• Does the NYT have more ball than the Democrats do?

November 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

There’s some chatter going around right now that Kristol’s days may be numbered as a NYT columnist, which might help lead me back to being a regular reader. Just as impressive is Frank Rich’s G.O.P. post mortem, showing exactly how the Republicans have ruined themselves again and again, a select quote:

The 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign Web site even boasted a “Compassion” archive of photos of Bush with black folk, including Colin Powell. McCain used the same playbook this year, when he headed south to emote over Katrina victims and stock his own Web site with pictures depicting his adventures in black America. He had been a no-show in New Orleans during the six months after the hurricane hit, when his presence might have made a difference.

In other news, Joe The Backstabbing Sonuvabitch is getting off scot free for his behavior in the election. I’m half to three quarters considering registering as an Independent, not that it would help anything, as in NYC, I think Indies can’t vote in the primaries.


• Hipsters are people who love to talk about … Hipsters

November 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

Hipster, and a D-Bag

Hipster, and D-Bag

Click on the above image for a pretty funny video about hipsters.

Okay, I might just be a hipster. I listen to some hipster music, sometimes on big green awkward headphones that look like the things the guys on the ground at airports wear. I have some clothes from Uniqlo. I live adjacent to Williamsburg. And I found this video kinda funny and kind of worthwhile if only for the flappers comparison.

• Regarding the Fate of Joseph I. Lieberman, Asshole-CT

November 17, 2008 § Leave a comment

First of all, I’d like to float a Lieberman idea I’ve been passing around for a while out onto the net: I want Jon Stewart, this country’s most prominent and beloved Jewish person, to publicly boot Joe Lieberman from the Jewish Community. It would be much more symbolic than the vote that would happen tomorrow, but at least it would give me a good laugh.

Jesse spoke on the Lieberman topic today and I thought I wanted to throw my two cents into this take a penny leave a penny tray we call the internet before the secret ballot vote re: Lieberman tomorrow.

If you didn’t already know what’s going on here, let me set the story by bringing up the other person in the 2008 Presidential Campaign who went from Obama Friend to Obama Backstabber: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama was with him for years, trusted him, even defended him in the shitstorm of GodDamnAmericaGate, for a while, even said he wouldn’t throw the dude under the bus. Then, when Wright continued to be a thorn in Obama’s side, Obama said enough’s enough, Screw You Trinity United, I’ma Goin’ Home.

And to this point, I think a similar parallel can be made for Obama’s connection to a guy, who if he shut his mouth during the recount, and if FL was run right, would probably be ending his second term as Vice President right about now. He and Lieberman liked each other enough so that Obama went down to campaign on Joe’s behalf the CT race when Lierberman was being ousted from the Dems.

So how did Joey support Obama when Barack ran for Pres? Well, he went all Wright and damned Obama on the trail by not only speaking at the RNC, but going on stage and on trail with McCain and Sarah Palin, standing behind Palin during Palling Around With Terrorists Gate, and even saying he thought the “Is Barack a Marxist?” question was, well, a question one should ask out loud to others, rather than never be said because it’s just bullshit.

Yet, Barack still seems to support Joe. Why? When Bill Maher was on Huffington’s hosted version of Maddow, he said that Barack has been one step ahead of liberals who think that he’s about to make a mistake. Maybe he’s smarter than the average liberal right now, but to me, that’s only if he’s not really saying what he thinks to the public, but in fact saying what’s politically expedient.

If Obama is telling the truth about his feelings towards punishing Lieberman, then … I think Barack may have a terminal blindspot when it comes to those he thinks he knows and how his religion might teach him redemption, even when people don’t deserve it. I honestly don’t think it will matter much if Joe Lieberman puts an R next to that “-CT,” if Barack can beat the Clintons, than Joe can be overcome.

But then again, maybe he thinks he has to publicly support Lieberman, that if he doesn’t he’ll be written up as Politics as Usual. My inner conspiracy theorist, who wishes that Nick at Nite would pick up The X-Files, thinks that Barack may be actually sending a behind closed doors message to the dems to sink Lieberman. That the HRC as Secretary of State thing is political camo, to distract the media from what would be their big story if not for the chance to talk about Bill and Barack and their feelings towards each other. This is more far fetched than my Jon Stewart vs. Joe Lieberman bit, so I think we’ll all have to admit that Barack might not be right about Joe. The difference between Lieberman and Wright, is that maybe just maybe, Lieberman can be useful to someone. It’s doubtful, but nothing’s impossible, only improbable.

• Links, WithAPassion.com style (brief and snarky, you know how it is)

November 17, 2008 § Leave a comment

Dear Lorne Michaels, here is your new Obama impressionist. Let Armisen spend his SNL’s awkwardly making out with dudes like he did last Saturday.

But on a more real note, let me say that since Our Tanking Economy is all of our newest interest, I’ll try and do some coverage here. By some coverage, I mean I read Krugman’s blog and will try and share things if they warrant the space or more importantly, if I can understand said items. Today, Krugman goes all Nate Silver on the numbers and shows our economy is inextricably linked to the world economy.

Also in bailout news, here’s a shocker: Hank Paulson is starting to think that the bailout money, that $700 billion of ours, he may not want to spend it all right now. You know, be … smart about it?

Obama may have to put down the blackberry, but it’s kind of sad because that might have more to do with a fear of being on record saying something he wouldn’t want to associate himself with, rather than, you know, not being that dick in the movie theater with a glowing screen coming out of their pocket. Arianna brings up an interesting point tonight, we’ve got some smart bastards, why can’t they write a hack-proof program for Obama and only Obama?

Remember Rick Warren from the Saddleback Ranch Dialogue between Obama and McCain? Turns out he’s a much much bigger douchebag than anyone in the MSM was letting people know.

Either Prince is a homophobe or Perez Hilton has a better fact checking set up than The New Yorker. The end result is sure to boggle minds.

So I gave a little cred to Kutcher for his Big Oil should bail out Big Auto idea, but in the rarely mentioned (at least here at withapassion.com/, where this and the Prince blip are sole recent moments, to the best of my knowledge) topic of celeb gossip, I should point out a series of back and forths between Kutcher and Dan Savage that, if true, reveal Ashton Kutcher to be … well, either a homophobe or just plain uncomfortable with his name and homosexuality being bandied about together. Are those the same thing? Tell me loyal commenters.

Mark Cuban and Martha Stewart now have something else in common aside from being dicks, Insider Trading! Deadspin explains.

Finally, what the fuck Missouri, where are your fucking votes?

• Rahm Emanuel and Stephen Colbert bring The Funny

November 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

Lest anyone think McCain is the sole Capitol Hill humorist, check out this collection of jokes and Emanuel and Colbert let rip at a roast of Colbert this past Friday at a charity event for the Spina Bifida Association.

• The Roots Announce Touring Retirement, To Play Jimmy Fallon’s new 12:35am show instead?

November 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

I’m not kidding. Check the link. If you didn’t know, Conan is taking Leno’s slot, and moving out to L.A. while Fallon takes Conan’s old slot. This idea alone was questioned.

So, my thoughts? I’ve had no faith in Fallon as a talent in years. There was the occasional spark of The Funny from him on SNL, but his laughing-through-his-lines to funny ratio was not going in the right direction. I’ve been sure for a while that the show is doomed to fail, and bringing in a name brand house band is not a good sign that Jimmy Fallon can keep the damn thing up on his own.

I’m praying this show dies as soon as America finally realizes the powerful flow that is The Roots, so that ?uest & Co. can get back to the road show. That is, if they want to. They’ve been touring for a shitlong now. Maybe they want to take some time and take a breath.

On the topic of young white preppy boys in the spotlight that say or do things that are decent? Ashton Kutcher on Bill Maher saying that Big Oil should be the ones bailing out Big Auto. I know it’s pie in the sky in terms of probablity, but how is KELSO the first one to say this?

• The Most Artful of Dodgers

November 16, 2008 § Leave a comment

How Could People So Cool Look So Toolish?

How Could People So Cool Look So Toolish?

Thursday night, I got to see a preview screening of the new Bond flick, the inexplicably named and once vaguely referenced Quantum of Solace. Inexplicably, because, well, most Bond titles have a direct link to the plot, as in a villain or some such. The title’s obscurity was, in fact, the first sign that the Daniel Craig led Bond-verse is going to be a very good one. The OED in my computer claims that the Quantum’s second definition, which is by far the most easy to parse and relate to this film, is:

a required or allowed amount, esp. an amount of money legally payable in damages.

And there we find that a “Quantum of Solace” is comfort and peace found in revenge earned, which is the point of the film. Yes, the latest Bond movie is about revenge, and it can be about as much very well, because, it is a direct sequel to Casino Royale, the previous Bond movie, one of two actually fiscally and artistically successful franchise reboots of this decade (which places James Bond on a pedestal only Bruce Wayne is perched on at the moment). Will I go further into the plot? No. I’d rather not spoil anything here as I actually had some respect for the film.

The film is for the most part just as beautiful and balanced as Royale was, yet one scene is still annoying me in thoughts about the way it was shot. There’s a boat chase early on in the film that suffers from either piss poor coverage or lazy editing. The climax of the chase isn’t earned at all or well explained within the Bond Film laws of physics.

From the opening credits, you’d have thought the problems wouldn’t be confined to the editing of a single scene. The already publicly trashed Jack White & Alicia Keys opening number “Another Way To Die” is the precise nadir of the film, and it also helps me prove a point. Alicia Keys is god awful and has been such for a long long time now. Maybe her first single was good for the time, but that’s about it. Remember my post about coworkers with way too loud radios? Well, the other song I keep hearing coming out of that contiguous cubicle is the Alicia Keys track, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” which I can summarize as best: It’s What Depressed Single Parents Break Down And Cry To When They’re Pushing Their Idiot Spawn Around In Target. Find the track and tell me it’s not that song. I’ve heard it enough to condense it down to that brief description.

The other red flag that comes up during the opening credits is one of the names in the writer credits: Paul Haggis. Paul “Crash” Haggis. Paul “I-Suck-&-Stole-The-Oscar-From-Brokeback” Haggis. But then I realized he had been on the writing staff for Casino Royale, so I sort of accepted it, as the movie had a lot of great dark comedic touches that I was kinda sure Haggis had his hands in.

Now, when it comes to the ladies, y’all were on point. Supposedly Olga Kurylenko, left in the top photo, has been doing this whole object of interest of the stoic pissed good guy for a while now. But seeing as I don’t go to see video game adaptations like Hitman and Max Payne, I wouldn’t have known. It turns out though, that whatever practice she’s had in this kind of role prepared her well. Hers and Bonds plots tie well together, as they’re both on a vengence beat. Judi Dench, you continue to rock M out with your metaphorical cock out. And Gemma Arterton, who played the wonderfully named Strawberry Fields, right in the top photo, your role in this movie was small, but you did manage to stay memorable in quite a long drawn out memorable Bond flick. Sure, Eva Green was amazing and we’d all love to see her again, but hey, her absence makes the revenge plot all the more strong.

But the real gem of the film is the performance from Mathieu Amalric, who I think I remembered from Munich, playing Dominic Greene, a fancy schmuck you want to see fail and fail hard. Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) from Royale wasn’t really the villain you thought Bond deserved, more gimmick than character, even though gimmick is seemingly always a part of the Bond villain mold. But with regards to Dominic Greene, this slimy shite, the audience delights in his fall, and he’s also particularly handy with melee weapons, which makes things fun.

All the other tropes of the film are finely handled, with the film being a tad light on gadgets, though. Cleese wasn’t in Royale either, though, so maybe in our ultra modern times, the franchise is going to try and limit 007 to more conventional weaponry and leave the gadgets to the functionality of plot devices. The film is beautiful and well rounded in terms of epic locales, along with a great taste in typography to further announce each new city Bond hops to.

On the last note, I’d have to say that the Felix Leiter character continues to be perfected by Jeffrey Wright, who I hope to see continue to survive the series for as long as the actor so wants. The disgruntled American, angry with his toolish government fucking everything up, is expertly handed by Wright, and really helps the film fit this time period it’s being released in, even better than the evils behind Going Green plot that is almost lost in the horrible Greene pun of the Amalric character.

All in all, Quantum of Solace is more than worth the now exorbitant price of admission.

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