• All the news that’s … actually News.

January 10, 2009 § Leave a comment

I was pondering whether or not to blog on this, mostly because I don’t have film or links to show as source. But I was watching Olbermann talk about Rendition today. Sure it’s nothing we, and by we I mean smart fly-to-state America, didn’t already know about, but it’s a subject that needs more attention.

And what does Anderson Cooper, when I was channel surfing a couple nights ago, talk about(and yes, this is just one segment, but even bringing this non-news-story up is bullshit)? He had a fucking segment on the Jett* Travolta death and connections to scientology. This is the further continuing death of journalism we saw in the overwhelming coverage of the death of Jennifer Hudson’s brother, a story that had no place getting as much as it did in coverage.

This is why I still respect The New York Times, and why I prefer the MSNBC progressive talking heads power hours: the stories they cover that could be seen as fluff are relegated to the tail section of the show and treated as not-real-news. Further, they cover the funnier stories, not the manipulative bull that is celebrity-family-deaths.

* Jett, are you fucking kidding me? He named his son after the thing he likes the most? Way to insult your kid.

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• Oscar Grant Got Killed By A Cop In Cold Blood And It’s Getting No Attention.

January 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

Oscar Grant is a name nobody that didn’t know the man should know.

But he was killed in cold blood by a cop in an Oakland transit station on New Year’s Day.

This may not have gotten the attention it did if not for the cell phone recorded video that has been posted online. You know what, technology keeps getting more useful.

I have just seen the clearest-so-far clip of the murder. I warn you, this is brutal, and it happens late in the clip.

The officer, who has resigned from the force, has not been charged at all for anything, which is almost mind numbing.

Oakland mayor Ron Dellums is quoted to have said:

“Even with our anger and our pain, let’s still address each other with a degree of civility and calmness and not make this tragedy an excuse to engage in violence,” he said. “I don’t want anybody hurt. I don’t want anybody killed.”

Which is bullshit. If you don’t want anybody killed, then bring this officer, Johannes “Hoping his name is so difficult to pronounce that nobody will cover this” Mehserle to justice. Deliver a fucking body already, Dellums, because Mehserle already has.

And finally, Mr. President Elect, speak about this. You may be surprised to find out about this, but you’re black. The country needs you to have one of your great speeches, now on the topic of excessive force from the police to minorities and the public in general. This country needs someone of power to say that Enough Is E-Fucking-Nough. You know you’re the right guy for the job. I know we have a troubled economy on all of our minds and bank accounts, but this is important.

More from the Times of UK article I’m sourcing:

Videos shot by onlookers on camera phones show Mr Grant being pushed onto his stomach shortly before Mehserle fired his gun at his back. The bullet ricocheted off a pavement and pierced his lung, killing him.

The victim’s family claims that the officer shot him deliberately but some have argued that he may have thought he was firing his stun gun.

A group of angry demonstrators smashed store windows late on Wednesday, set fire to cars and clashed with officers equipped with riot gear and tear gas in downtown Oakland. More than 100 people were arrested and about 300 businesses were damaged.

Extra police were posted at Bay Area Rapid Transit stations after the rioting and a demonstration passed off relatively peacefully yesterday. At the mayor’s request, the Oakland Police Department has launched an investigation into the shooting.

Mehserle was initially placed on paid leave. He resigned from the BART police force on Wednesday, but officials say he has refused to speak with the transit agency’s investigators.

BART officials said the agency is trying to conduct a thorough investigation, but that the public appears to be making judgments about the case based on raw video online or on television.

First off, the stun gun shit is pure Dept. Spin. The stun gun is a rectangle. A hand gun is not. Get out of here with that nonsense.

Further: They’re making judgments from raw video? How dare they view actual source material and not listen to what they’re told? This ricochet theory may in fact be true, but it doesn’t matter if it were a ricochet or not in terms of the fact that Mehserle should have been hauled down to the station for a full fucking debriefing. An investigation shouldn’t have been something happening just because of a request from the Mayor.

This reminds me of The Wire, seriously. Remember when Prez blinded the kid with the butt of his handgun when him, Herc, and Carver were out at night up to no good? That was some seriously in need of Internal Affairs fucking shit. But he skated cause of his family ties to the force.

Facts are sourced to this post from The Times of London.

• Sarah Palin’s “Class” Difference

January 9, 2009 § 1 Comment

Sarah Palin is now complaining that Caroline Kennedy is getting treated with the kiddie gloves that she did not because there of the “class” Kennedy belongs to, and we can infer, Palin is claiming she does not.

There are a great many things wrong with this malarkey.

First of all, Sarah Palin, you may have heard at some point that you are, “the gift that keeps on giving,” and well, this is not a compliment. You gave the national media, a pack of bored hyenas the reddest meat they could have dreamed of: a yokel-sounding shit talking cougar who is stubborn enough so that she has no idea when she is factually wrong, which in your case, turned out to be as often as when words came out of your mouth. There seemed to be about 3 things you’d say per day that made anyone grounded in reality snort milk out their nose. Caroline Kennedy, on the other hand, has only really given the media one thing, her diction, or lack of control thereof. No factual missteps, no troopergates, no prego-Bristols, no Bridge-To-Nowhere … I could go on, but you know, Sarah, you must have seen some of it all, there was a lot that was covered of you that seemed critical. Why was The Big Bad Media being so critical of poor ol’ you? Because you were wrong.

You want to know why Kennedy isn’t being torn apart by every single late night host still earning a paycheck? She’s asking to be chosen to fill the Carpet Bagger Senator Seat of New York, not running to be elected as Vice President, to a Presidential Candidate whose aesthetic made one eager to put his name in an office death pool.

The social class thing, though, really? What defines social class? Your … well, diction? That folksyness of yours? That bullshit put-on folksy nature used to make the retarded fifth-grade dropouts who voted for you either want to be you or want to … how would you put this … “Drill, Baby, Drill”? Well, okay, here are some of the differences I can find between you and Caroline:

One: Caroline Kennedy sleeps in a four post bed, and Sarah Palin falls asleep in her in-house tanning bed.

Two: Caroline Kennedy speaks The Queen’s English, while Sarah Palin speaks The Burger King’s English.

and finally, one of the reasons why many will never take you seriously, Sarah, is this gem:

Caroline Kennedy was the subject of the song “Sweet Caroline,” by Neil Diamond, and Sarah Palin was the subject of a porno Larry Flynt made called, “Nailin’ Paylin.”

• YouTube – Michael Phelps beats Warren Sapp in swim race Young Jeezy Refs

January 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

Is there anything else to say other than Net Bless America?

Update: Well, I guess there is something to say, as the guy disabled embedding, so click on the black background to go to the YouTube page for it, watch, then come back here for more of my nonsense.

• This Pro Israel Commercial You May Have Seen On TV

January 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

Almost thought about embedding the video, but yeesh, no. Click the image for it.

Almost thought about embedding the video, but yeesh, no. Click the image for it.

I’m admittedly, and possibly surprisingly, without bias when it comes to the neverending shit story that is the crisis between Israel and Palestine or however it’s supposed to be phrased this week. Well, maybe I do have a bias: People Should Knock This Shit The Fuck Off. I picked up the recent Economist to try and see if I could gleam anything from them, they seem like a rag which could be close to neutral on the affairs (readers, please tell me I’m wrong and inform me on that one), but I didn’t get much from it other than people are reacting out of proportion right now and chill pills need to be handed out.

So there I was last night when I saw this commercial urging people to call some phone number and voice their support. The commercial, from The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews seems to only be airing on MSNBC currently, which is one of the only networks I can be relied upon to watch anymore (seriously, I had no idea yesterday was when Scrubs relaunched on ABC), kind of sickened me in it’s cloyingness. That and I was already (and still kind of am) sick, and had nothing left to puke up, which I probably would have done if there was anything left. But the bile was already on the TV.

Little did I know that beyond being completely manipulative, they fucking photoshopped in some explosions, as Gawker reports. Jesus B-F Christ. MSNBC take this shit down already.

• 2008: THAT JUST HAPPENED

January 7, 2009 § 2 Comments

We said goodbye to McNulty & Co this year, more on that deeper in this end of year piece.

We said goodbye to McNulty & Co this year, here's an image from one of their sets.

Before I decided to come back to the keyboard to clean this shitstorm of mental cobweb-ery out, I brought out a nice bottle of wine … and this clip. Bissinger vs. Leitch. Watch to get yourself in the mood to rip the old dead world apart.

picture-6

Throw on that Johnson&Jonson record to bring me back down, and here we are:

There’s a vibe going around right now, this whole big FUCK 08 thing. Sure we lost our economy down a drain more gutter than Amy Winehouse’s breath, but this was a brilliant year if you can look past that, which you might have to, in order to sleep at night. I got to meet people who create stuff I love, and they were all awesome. Hendrik Hertzberg, Matt Taibbi, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Elizabeth Moss, Common, Nas (who gave daps to everyone on the line, including yours truly), Jeremy Piven (briefly, as he had to get back into his SUV to his Nordic looking model girlfriend who must have been treating him for the Mercury Poisoning), and I think I’ve seen Jack McBrayer (30 Rock’s Kenneth The Page) enough on the subways for him to think I’m stalking him.

Oh yeah, and The Giants Won The Superbowl, Crushing Tom Brady & Bill Bellicheat, Ending Their Perfect Season.

Start off where the year jumped off at, the #1 Movie of 2008, pronounced by yours truly Mr. With A Passion:

2008’s Top Ten Movies

1. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is a movie you probably didn’t see and that’s because it had zero push behind it. The release felt confined to the pitiful location of The IFC Center, which still feels somewhat irrelevant for it’s nabe. 4 Months is the Romanian mindfuck about the odds against anyone in late 80’s Romania who wanted abortion, specifically two college students. The film is as well shot as anything made all year and on a shoestring budget, Cristian Mungiu, the film’s writer and director has produced a time vault level item for a year where the GOP restoked the fires of the pro life culture war army thanks to the fact that Wasillans are as dumb as pissed on dirt. 

2. The Dark Knight transcended both the crime and superhero genres, thanks to a stellar cast, most of whom have not received the kudos they deserve, yet that’s still appropriate given the shadow that Heath Ledger’s death, a colossal kick in the jaw to millions, still casts over the first superhero film to possibly reasonably merit, nay demand, an Academy Award (but, fuck, Paul Haggis has a fucking Oscar, so how valuable are they really?). A.O. Scott might have only done this to get someone to carve a smile into his face (I know a pint size powerhouse who will wreak havoc upon voters if this whole Tom Cruise for Supporting Actor in The Five Minutes of Tropic Thunder He Was In Where He Played The All Too Easy Role Of A Fat White Guy Dancing To Rap, and Scott, she’ll find you, too). Eckhart’s Harvey “Two Face” Dent is another villain portrayal that unquestionably made it’s case to be the definition of a decades old character. The older class comes out of this movie even better, as Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Cane all bring their A Game to the franchise, providing a real base for the film, one where characters sometimes get left in the trail to fight scenes, gadgets, and the zigs and zags of a finely tapered plot (not that TDK doesn’t have those three in spades, which it does).

3. Waltz With Bashir snuck in under the wire, on 12/26/08 in limited release. Think Waking Life‘s aesthetic yet less douchey in every regard including characters, the perspective of Full Metal Jacket, but the damn thing is a documentary about The First Lebanon War. The 26 dogs will haunt you as they haunted me, as this is one movie you cannot miss in theaters. It’s probably still over at Cinema Village or something, but you must go out and find it. The power of the images produced deserves more than your tv set, this is not for Netflix, this is why we go to the cinema, to be fucked with by way of our minds expanded.

4. Let The Right One In, is the proof that the Swedes work on levels we can’t even touch. From all the sources I’ve got, it seems that while Twilight is a capable half decent movie, it’s based on a book series of the same quality of Goosebumps. Let The Right One In, on the other hand, is based on a novel, which was adapted for the screen by the actual author of the novel. The result is a brutal depiction of elementary school bullying, and one of the finale fights felt like some sci fi fantasy take on Columbine, and where the blood gets the most perverse laugh out of the audience you will find all year.

5. A Girl Cut in Two, the latest Chabrol film is a great love triangle film, a phrase I don’t find myself saying that often, or ever, really. François Berléand is the kind of actor whose face you’ve known for decades, yet never connected to a name. Here, he plays a renowned author who’s latest fancy is weather girl Gabrielle, played pitch-perfect by Ludivine Sagnier. But their romance isn’t anything to write home about until the nefarious Paul Gardens, a bougie douche who could go toe to toe with the Chuck Bass’s of the world any day, who treats Gabrielle like she’s his birthright. This triangle does not end well, not that they ever do.

6. Wall•E, was possibly the most beloved animated movie since Toy Story, yet this time the adults were more in love with the story than the kids were. This has a lot to do with the film’s (more) mature (than usual) subject matter: We’ve Fucked The Planet Royally & Spend Most Of Our Time As Sedentary Snoozing Schmucks. It was good, but really didn’t grab me as much as the top 5 did.

7. Milk was a great movie. Everything worked, except for the unlikeable character Diego Luna played which felt too close to stereotype. I wonder, though, that if this movie came out at a different time, would it have had the same impact without the election and the passing of prop hate?

8. Frost/Nixon brought Ron Howard to an all too prescient topic and accomplished everything it had to while avoiding the SNL Skit vibe that Oliver Stone’s W. suffered from. Why Mickey Rourke had to make his comeback in the year Frank Langella made an amazingly deserving Oscar performance we won’t know.

9. Synecdoche, New York is for all intensive purposes (Thanks Tavit!) intents and purposes, Charlie Kaufman’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. A film so enamored with itself that the cartoons on tv, which barely have any purpose, point, or use, are also made by the filmmaker. I think it’s good Kaufman got this out of his system so he can move on to make less frustratingly dense films. The last half hour is a bulldozer of mindfuckery that grated all nerves.

10. The Wrestler. I used to watch pro wrestling, and for anyone in a similar predicament, Arronofsky’s small film about the horrors that wrestling inflicts on the human body this is a tough film to watch. Hell, it’s a tough film for anyone to watch, but it wouldn’t have fallen to the 10-er if the Marisa Tomei character had more going for herself plot wise. But I guess that’s why they called it The Wrestler and not The Stripper Who Has An Oscar. Rourke’s performance was so brilliant that he’ll have his own soon enough.

Honorable Mentions: Che, for making 4.5 hours not seem that long; Transporter 3, the best pure action movie I’ve seen in a while; Vicky Cristina Barcelona for giving Woody Allen a reason to give us all a reason to ogle Scarlet and Penelope some more; and Rachel Getting Married, for having Tunde Adebimpe of TVOTR singing at a wedding.

The rest of this closing the books on a year below

« Read the rest of this entry »

• Coates is doing a reading, So that’s where I’m gonna be tonight

January 6, 2009 § Leave a comment

Ta-Nehisi Coates, writer, gamer, and the man at The Atlantic Monthly who isn’t Andrew Sullivan that me and mine link to, is gonna be at the Court Street Barnes & Noble tonight at 7pm for an event for the paperback edition of his title The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood. Read some of his blog, I’d be amazed if you don’t dig it. I don’t own the book yet, but I expect this to change tonight.

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