s skippy the bush kangaroo: November 2009

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, November 30, 2009

We will watch no film before its time

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo here with a short review of the new film Me and Orson Welles.

Richard Linklater's newest flick has opened in extremely-limited release (I believe in only two theaters in Los Angeles and two in New York). And I admit, its audience would probably be limited as well. But that limited audience will love it.

It's a valentine to Film and Theater history buffs everywhere, as it follows the travails of a young acting student (played surprisingly well by Zac Efron, he of High School Musical fame) in 1930's New York, who just happens to land a part (unpaid, of course) in the history-making production of the Mercury Theater's presentation of Julius Ceasar.

The production, which set the action of Shakespeare's play in modern fascist Italy, actually happened, and actually set the Theater world on its ear. And this film depicts many of the real-life actors/producers in all their ego/passion/rag-tag glory. Of course the biggest ego, the most passion, and the raggest tag belong to none other than Orson Welles, who is the centerpiece of the story.

As I said, Mr. Efron was quite good and believable as a young man excited about being involved in the "Theatah," in something bigger than himself. But the reason to see this movie (in fact, the reason for the movie to even exist) is the marvelous British actor Christian McKay as Orson Welles.

Mr. McKay has been wowing England with his one-man show about Orson Welles ("Rosebud"), and there's good reason. McKay not only looks like a young Welles in his prime, he's managed to capture the sound, the rhythm, the bombast and the excitement of the greatest genius to ever self-destruct in American theater.

McKay's Welles is a tornado of bluster, full of genius, insight, explosive proclamations of brilliance. And nobody recognizes (and appreciates) his genius more than he himself. Women swoon at his charm, grown men cower at his rapier insults, and fellow actors (and damn good ones, too) cower in the wings hoping that McKay's Welles might actually stop orating and give them their own chance to shine on stage.

McKay is so good that I honestly found myself thinking I was watching Welles himself, even though I knew I was seeing Efron, Claire Danes (more about her later) and other contemporary actors when they were onscreen.

If anything, McKay was too good, because when Welles is not on screen (as with the last 15 mintues of the film, sorry for the ambience spoiler there), the movie falls into the ordinary.

Also of note is James Tupper as young Joseph Cotten, who some may remember fondly from Citizen Kane, The Third Man, and other great films, and who turns out to be a major playah and ladies man; I also loved Leo Bill as the wacky Norman Lloyd, who some may remember fondly as Dr. Auslander of St. Elsewhere. (Who knew young Norman Lloyd was wacky? Or that Joe Cotten was a horndog? Not me!) These two great thespians, for obvioulsy dramatic reasons, take Effron's character under their wing to initiate him in the ways of avoiding Welles' wrath as well as chasing as much Broadway skirt as possible.

Now, about Claire Danes. I actually was disappointed in her performance the most (and she even gets top billing!), which was a shame, because I know her to be a great actor. I will insist that she has previously given plenty more subtle, realistic performances than here (hell, she was more believable in Terminator 3). But for some reason (and I'm tending to blame Linklater) she "acts" as if she's trying to be in a screwball comedy. For a supposed Ice-Queen, her character winces, minces and overly gesticulates, as if she's doing what she thinks Carol Lombard or young Katherine Hepburn would do with the part, as the wise-crackin' tough-as-nails heroine in a backstage story set in 1930's Broadway.

By contrast, every other actor seems to be doing what they think an actual human being would be doing, as they go about their daily jobs; these jobs just happen to be in the business of rehearsing and mounting a major show.

There's great fun watching the various characters chase each other romantically offstage as they try to establish their time and space (and dominance/subservience) onstage. It reminded me a little of Tim Robbin's Cradle Will Rock of ten years ago, which also centered around real-life people (including Welles) and the production of another famous New York play (of the same name). But more to the point of the blood, sweat and tears of what goes on putting a show on the boards, this film reminded me of Mike Leigh's Topsy-Turvy, a backstage look at Gilbert & Sullivan and the D'Olye Carte theatrical company. I'd recommend that you check out both of those films, if you are a theater/film history buff.

Art direction, costuming, set design, all primo; though the majority of the movie was shot at England's famous Pinewood Studios, I felt like I was in Depression-era New York for the whole of the movie.

I'm a big Linklater fan; I'm on record as stating that he's one of the few who can handle a good Dick. And this film only reinforces my fondness for Linklater, for Welles, and for the world of the Theater.
posted by skippy at 3:57 PM | 4 comments

how safe is your chicken?

you might be surprised.

you would think that after years of alarms about food safety—outbreaks of illness followed by renewed efforts at cleanup—a staple like chicken would be a lot safer to eat. but in our latest analysis of fresh, whole broilers bought at stores nationwide, two-thirds harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter, the leading bacterial causes of foodborne disease. that's a modest improvement since january 2007, when we found that eight of 10 broilers harbored those pathogens. but the numbers are still far too high, especially for campylobacter. though the government has been talking about regulating it for years, it has yet to do so.

the message is clear: consumers still can't let down their guard. they must cook chicken to at least 165º f and prevent raw chicken or its juices from touching any other food. - consumer reports

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:24 AM | 1 comments

the few..the proud..the forgotten

while the corporate media salivates over the tiger woods car incident, stories that really matter slip silently by.

"they knew about it, they lied to us and they didn't let the american people know for years later and in the meantime, people are suffering and dying and not knowing why."

ed bauries will tell you he is a proud marine with a tortured soul ,"nothing will bring my babies back", and a broken body, "i thought of just taking my own life at times, it would be easier for my family."

riddled with searing pain and paralysis from multiple sclerosis, his muscles and nerves feel so inflamed, it's as if he is on fire: "up my neck up the right side of my face which it burns for 24/7."

...but it is not only disease that bonds him with a band of brothers, other marines, their children, their widows, from across florida and the nation. their shared bond is the water at camp lejune, north carolina. water they bathed in, cooked with and drank, decades ago, stationed at the base. water that now appears to have been
tainted with some of the most dangerous chemicals in the world.
- cbs4

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:13 AM | 0 comments

forget the sausage making in the senate

real "sausage making" is involved in health care issues.
an answer, questions in austin plant illnesses. a study published in lancet neurology confirmed that 21 slaughterhouse workers at a minnesota pork plant who contracted a mysterious neurological disorder in 2007 had inhaled pig blood and brain tissue sprayed into the atmosphere by high-pressure air hoses. - minn star tribune

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:08 AM | 0 comments

question of the day...

when you're running a printing press at around 31,000 revolutions per hour... and the paper trail suddenly breaks with a loud snap... and it takes you about two full seconds to figure out what that loud snap was because you almost never hear a noise like that... and the press is still running... and before you can slam your fist upon the nearest emergency stop button, the paper has wrapped around one of the cylinders about thirty times... and the belt for that cylinder is still turning, but the gears have frozen up... and because it takes the press about three seconds to roll to a complete stop, the friction between the moving belt and the unmoving gears creates one hell of an unpleasant noise until everything stops turning...

do you try to fix as much of the mess as you can before your boss finds out, or do you just seek your boss out first and say, "y'all ain't gonna like this, but..."


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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:48 AM | 3 comments


obama’s speech on afghanistan to envision exit

note to obamarahma - vastly superior invading armies have always exited afghanistan - just not on the terms they were expecting.

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posted by George at 2:46 AM | 0 comments

the message

the gospel of bill hicks


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posted by mahakal at 1:13 AM | 2 comments

messages are there on all levels in all music

John Lennon - Mind Games


posted by mahakal at 12:50 AM | 0 comments

meeting the walrus

a 1969 interview with john lennon by 14-year old jerry levitan

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posted by mahakal at 12:40 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 29, 2009

environmental news stories sunday

stories you might not hear on the talking head shows this morning.

bhopal: the victims are still being born. - bhopal is a calamity without end. on 3 december 1984, clouds of poison leaking from a union carbide pesticides plant brought death to thousands in this central Indian city. today, fully a quarter of a century later, victims of this, the world's worst industrial disaster, are still being born. - london independent

bhopal's women still bear scars of gas hell. - many women were twice afflicted by the world's worst industrial accident. those who lost family have had to nurse their grief and themselves; some 43 per cent of pregnant survivors lost their babies, and there has since been an epidemic of gynaecological diseases - edinburough scotsman

bhopal gas survivors mark 25 years of agony. - livestock outnumber humans at the arif nagar slum, a toxic wasteyard next to the site of the world's worst industrial accident, which occurred 25 years ago this week in the indian city of bhopal. - afp

will other coastal communities share leeville’s fate? - for nearly a century, the homes and businesses between golden meadow and fourchon have disappeared one by one, victims of sinking land, surging surf and the occasional hurricane. the most marked change has occurred in the village of leeville - houma today

climate change threatens to push more bangladeshis into india. - many people from coastal areas of bangladesh, forced out of their homes by the effects of climate change, have started migrating towards already over-populated and infrastructure-crippled cities - and to india for their survival - indo-asian news service

alarming rise in surface water temperature in sundarbans. - scientists have noticed an alarming rise in surface water temperatures in the highly eco-sensitive sundarbans delta over the past three decades, a phenomenon they attribute to climate change - hindu

faulty promises in bid to drill off florida? - the oil industry makes its case for drilling within a few miles of florida’s coast by trumpeting a new kind of drilling that is “virtually invisible” on the coast - sarasota herald tribune

current, future challenges focus for rocky mountain national park. - just more than five years before its 2015 centennial, rocky mountain national park is in a state of flux as climate change bears down on it, deferred maintenance projects rack up a price tag greater than $50 million and industry-tainted air quality becomes a primary concern among park biologists - fort collins coloradan

ortland issues westside water-boil alert after e. coli found in reservoir. - for the first time in the city's history, the portland water bureau issued an emergency boil-water alert late saturday afternoon to more than 50,000 customers west of the willamette river because of an e. coli contamination - portand oregonian

gillibrand pushes for testing of e. coli in ground beef. - according to u.s.. sen. kirsten gillibrand, recent u.s. dept. of agriculture reports indicate nearly one in 300 samples of ground beef contains e. coli - dunkirk observer

australian aims to breed green sheep that burp less. - australian scientists have said they are hoping to breed sheep that burp less as part of efforts to tackle climate change. - bbc

wind turbines beginning to energize alaska: energy. - two spinning turbines dot the sky above palmer, putting the quaint colony-era town on the forefront of a grass-roots make-your-own energy movement sweeping alaska - anchorage daily news

warming will 'wipe out billions.' - most of the world's population will be wiped out if political leaders fail to agree a method of stopping current rates of global warming, one of the uk's most senior climate scientists has warned. - edinburough scotsman

shortage of water will shut power station. - low water levels will force the shutdown of the large wallerawang power station over christmas to take pressure off local water supplies. the move is the clearest impact yet of the dry weather conditions on the state's electricity industry - sydney morning herald

dead sea needs world help to stay alive. - the dead sea may soon shrink to a lifeless pond as middle east political strife blocks vital measures needed to halt the decay of the world's lowest and saltiest body of water, experts say - afp

india water demand set to double by 2030: study. - india's water needs are set to double by 2030, which could dry up its river basins, according to new research released tuesday that paints a grim picture for supplies across the emerging world. - afp

mountain removal an issue in senate race. - you probably didn't notice it, because it got the scant attention it deserved, but there was a fuss this month over coal and energy between the main kentucky democrats running for the u.s. senate - louisville courier journal

epa proposes sulfur dioxide limits for first time since 1971. - the environmental protection agency is continuing its crackdown on coal pollution with a new plan to cut sulfur dioxide — a move that would clean up the air for millions of americans and bring some relief to people who suffer from respiratory diseases - mcclatchy

three rivers sues over pollution. - four years ago, the 370-student elementary school in addyston, ohio, was evacuated because of air pollution. it never reopened. this week, three rivers local schools filed a lawsuit in state court against the former and current owners of a plastics plant near still-shuttered meredith hitchens elementary - cinncinnati inquirer

colorado cleaned up through cash for clunkers program. - colorado posted one of the highest gains in fuel efficiency in the nation through the cash for clunkers program as motorists traded in their suvs and minivans for passenger cars - denver post

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:46 PM | 0 comments

the turkey becomes a chicken

yeah. quitter sarah quit mid-way...again.
on wednesday, sarah palin excitedly announced on twitter that she was going to be running a 5k turkey trot charity race in washington state on thanksgiving day. large
crowds of people turned out to catch palin at the race, hoping to get the chance to meet the former alaska governor. palin, however, quit the race early to avoid many of her fans - think progress

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:59 AM | 0 comments

stick it right back at them

suggests a professor for those drowning in foreclosure.
go ahead. break the chains. stop paying on your mortgage if you owe more than the house is worth. and most important: don't feel guilty about it. don't think you're doing something morally wrong.

that's the incendiary core message of a new academic paper by brent t. white, a university of arizona law school professor, titled "underwater and not walking away: shame, fear and the social management of the housing crisis."

white argues that far more of the estimated 15 million american homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages should stiff their lenders and take a hike. - sfgate

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 10:44 AM | 2 comments

Disneyfication Doesn't Work; Sex Sells

Glad to see skippy covered the "Cleveland Rocks"/"My City is Gone" bomber. Go there, since all I'm going to talk about is sex.

Back in the good old days (B.I.), a NYC resident actually had to go to Hotaling's Newstand (142 W. 42nd Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues) to get out-of-town newspapers.

And during most of those days, you would see thriving businesses catering to the needs of their customers, with ever-changing film selections (though some Standards would recur) and 24/7 showings. (See Chip Delany's Times Square Red, Times Square Blue for a detailed perspective.)

Now, that area is mostly owned by The Mouse. An ESPNZone restaurant/store, a Disney Store: tributes to conspicuous, mass consumption with very little in the way of the sheer diversity the block used to offer. In a way, it's sad, since several of those stores are unlikely to survive—and it's a lot more difficult to fill a large business space than a small one.

(This doesn't mean that Eighth Avenue has been cleaned up. For instance, the scene in Brad Denton's Laughin' Boy where Danny Clayton searches down it can still be re-enacted. But the former Crossroads of the World itself has devolved into a narcissistic fantasy.)

So where has all the titillation and temptation gone? Why, over to Stately Fifth Avenue, of couse. XOXO (presumably Kiss Hug Kiss Hug, though they seem to just call it "Hugs and Kisses"), which doesn't appear to offer "delicates" as part of their line, is using their store window on 38th and Fifth for a display called Want to Watch?

Highlights are available at their website, on their YouTube Channel, and are, naturally, freely advertised by local television news stations.

Maybe that's the ultimate reason that the theaters on The Deuce were mostly closed: more people Like to Watch than can be accommodated in just a block or two.

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posted by Ken Houghton at 10:02 AM | 0 comments

skippy's sunday morning music club

television, the drug of the nation

watch what you watch.

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posted by mahakal at 1:39 AM | 2 comments

Saturday, November 28, 2009

two socialites crashed the prez party? terrorism!! right wing bomb-maker? not so much...

today we found a couple of interesting blog posts that, when taken together, add up to a disheartening view of our media.

john cole wonders aloud why those two real housewives of dc who crashed obama's state dinner are causing such a stir amongst the beltway pundits:

but i have cnn on in the background and i am still seeing breathless commentary about the party crashers at the white house.

people are aware that the only thing that happened in the breach is that they were not officially invited, right? you all are aware out there that they went through intense screening on-site, went through metal detectors and everything else, and there was no chance they had a weapon on them. you are aware that if one of them had, as peter king suggested, “grabbed a knife off a table” and lunged for potus, they would have been tackled by any one of the thousands of security personnel there. you are aware that they were through far more security screening than it takes to get on an airplane, and tons more than any of the hundreds of thousands of people who shook hands with obama the last year on rope lines?

in short, you are aware that the only thing that was missing was their name on an official invite list, and it is looking like they were helped out by an indian dignitary.
meanwhile, over @ crooks&liars, dave neiwert (the best writer in blogtopia and yes, we coined that phrase) points out a real terrorist with real threats, who not only is not being covered by the media, has not even been arrested as of yet:

gee, for some reason, this story hasn't managed to make it out of the local news and into the national headlines:

cuyahoga falls, ohio – following a pipe bomb explosion monday night, police and federal law enforcement officials are trying to figure why a center avenue man turned his apartment into a bomb factory.

police said no charges have been filed against mark campano, 56. police found 30 completed pipe bombs in his apartment along with components to make more, plus 17 guns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

campano is in an akron hospital with injuries received when one of the bombs exploded.

as police and federal authorities puzzle over campano's past and what he planned to do with the bombs, a former neighbor said campano often railed against the government.

barbara vachon lived next door to campano at the center park place apartments for several years and said he was a big reason she moved.

"he was always trying to get me and another neighbor to listen to anti-government tapes and watch anti-government videos," said vachon. "i would never watch them. he was some kind of radical, and he didn't believe in the government." …
of course, if this had been a muslim extremist caught with such an arsenal, we'd be getting talk-show panels on hannity featuring michelle malkin ranting at length about the threat of islamic jihad, blah blah blah. not to mention chatty discussion on fox and friends and morning joe.

but instead, because he's just a white anti-government extremist, hey, let's just give it a big shrug.

more on the case here and here.
we weep for our news media.
posted by skippy at 6:22 PM | 2 comments

a rude question

why does google whitewash some results and decide to leave inaccurate, racist results up?

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posted by George at 3:38 PM | 0 comments

skippy's saturday morning music club

constellation of the heart

i awake

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posted by mahakal at 9:49 AM | 0 comments

it is what it is...

those of you who have been paying attention over the last several months know that i'm a self-described furry, and that i'm into the furry fandom. i really don't care what anyone thinks about this -- i just felt like coming out and admitting it.

but for some reason, i feel like letting people know what i'm doing in my furry capacity. well, i'm working on a furry comic strip. it deals with all sorts of issues -- politics, religion, sexuality, you name it. but it starts out with a leonard cohen song, "heart with no companion." sadly, i'm no van gogh. but i have some drawing ability...

this is part of what i'm up to over at that fur affinity place i occasionally mention here. as far back as i can remember, i've loved all sorts of anthropomorphic animal artwork -- seems i was a furry years before furries had that name.

now i'm starting to draw my own. say what you will -- this beats the hell out of blogging about politics.

my 2 cents...


posted by Jim Yeager at 7:21 AM | 2 comments

well, well...

this is interesting:

by a slim 49 - 46 percent margin, new jersey voters oppose a law that would allow same-sex couples to marry, according to a quinnipiac university poll released today.

this reverses the 49 - 43 percent support for same-sex marriage in an april 23 survey by the independent quinnipiac university.

in this latest poll, same-sex marriage wins 60 - 34 percent support among democrats and a narrow 49 - 45 percent support among independent voters, while republicans oppose the measure 69 - 25 percent.

women support same-sex marriage 53 - 41 percent, while men oppose it 57 - 38 percent. white voters split 49 - 47 percent, while black voters oppose the measure 61 - 28 percent...

and therein lies one possible explanation of why the gay-marriage-or-bust segment of the lgbt community keeps losing its battles.

question: off the top of your head, how many african-american gay rights advocates can you name? personally, i can come up with two: pam spaulding and alvin mcewen. there are many more, but those are the only two who immediately come to my mind. maybe that's because the gay rights crowd consists mostly of affluent white gay males who seem to spend most of their time kvetching to other affluent white gay males about how backward the majority of voters are when it comes to gay marriage, gay marriage, gay marriage. perhaps if they spent some of that time trying to reach out to people other than themselves (the black community isn't completely homophobic, for cryin' out loud), they might have a little more success on election day.

oh, but who am i kidding? waiting for these guys to see the light and put a lid on the drama is like waiting for the democratic party to grow a spine -- it ain't gonna friggin' happen. what we need to do is put a few dykes in charge of the activism -- then we'll see some results.

but again, it ain't gonna friggin' happen.

and people wonder why the gay marriage issue sets me off...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 5:44 AM | 1 comments

Friday, November 27, 2009

question of the day...

i, a new england yankee by disposition as well as birth, have started using the word "y'all" in conversation -- does this mean i'm a southern boy now, or have i just grown so accustomed to the way folks talk down here that i don't know what the f&*k i am anymore?


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posted by Jim Yeager at 5:39 PM | 9 comments



posted by mahakal at 5:37 PM | 0 comments

the history of money

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posted by mahakal at 5:34 PM | 0 comments

i'm sorry, skippy...

i know i had a good sweet fix a short while ago, but dammit, i really had to have just one more.

i'm good now. please forgive me...


posted by Jim Yeager at 5:19 PM | 0 comments


no wonder you furloughed the tax collectors....you haven't been paying yours.
according to documents filed in l.a. county superior court, arnold schwarzenegger owes the irs $39,047 from 2004 and $40,016 from 2005. in total the guv owes $79,064.00 ... and as we all know, he's definitely not saving the money for rainy day traffic violations.- calitics - latimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:42 PM | 2 comments

with dubai becoming "don't buy"

how will this affect the sport of kings worldwide?
darley is hh sheikh mohammed bin rashid al maktoum's global breeding operation which currently stands stallions in six countries around the world.

...darley commenced operations with one stallion and employed fewer than ten people at dalham hall stud. today, darley's global racing and breeding operations directly employ some 1,300 people.

today, darley stands more than 60 thoroughbred stallions through out australia, britain, Ireland, japan, and the united states of america. - darley
sheikh mohammed bin rashid al maktoum returned to the fasig-tipton saratoga sale of selected yearlings for the first time in more than 20 years on monday night, and his ravenous appetite for racing prospects helped push the average price to the highest level since the record year of 2001.

with 76 horses sold for $25,470,000 (up 40.3%), average rose to $335,132. - thoroughbred times

wall street ended the day lower on friday, reacting to reports that dubai world, the emirate’s investment vehicle, was seeking to suspend repayments on all or part of its $59 billion in debt for six months. - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:31 PM | 0 comments

thanks nasa!

wow. watching the space shuttle and the space station zoom through the skies twice last night was awesome. giving you thanks, nasa!

the space shuttle atlantis and the international space station are separately flying around the earth until friday, and they can be seen as a pair of bright lights in the sky at certain times over the next few days. - msnbc

i'm sure some kids were told that those fast moving bright lights were santa making his way to the earliest black friday sales, though.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:20 PM | 2 comments

James Cameron's Ava-Ishtar; or, Howard the Smurf

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo here, and I don't know about you, but the trailers for James Cameron's new film Avatar makes the film look down-right laughable to me.

Considering the rumors that the movie cost $500 million to make, 20th Century Fox has a lot riding on this flick.

Sure, Cameron has made movie history with Terminator, T2: Judgement Day, Aliens and Titanic. And I loved all those films.

But Avatar looks hokey. No, not the effects. The story. It really looks like Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest crossed with Curse of of the Smurf Cat People.

But speaking of effects, the buzz on line is that the movie looks best in 3D. To me, if you have to rely on a gimmick for a movie to work, that spells trouble. It's like saying The Tingler is best when seen sitting ing William Castle's electric seat joy buzzers.

I'm a Sci-Fi Geek. I read io9 daily, and I've seen all ten Doctors and I'm looking forward to Matt Smith. I even watched as much Fast Forward as I could stomach (I gave up two episodes ago...man, that show reeks!).

But Avatar looks down-right ridiculous. Unless I hear incredible word-of-mouth from my friends, I don't even think I'll watch this one on Netflix.

I'm just sayin...
posted by skippy at 1:30 PM | 4 comments

she even bakes

mary jane


posted by mahakal at 4:20 AM | 3 comments

Thursday, November 26, 2009

and the women tear their blouses off, and the men they -- {!}

whoa, the women really are tearing their blouses off! seventy-five years of age, and that old man is still drivin' women crazy! unbelievable.

well, maybe not unbelievable. but deeply impressive. i for one will never get tired of cohen's music -- it still hits me so strongly, it's only two or three degrees away from downright paralyzing me. no one will ever take his place.



posted by Jim Yeager at 6:01 PM | 5 comments

queen for a day

via the agonist, here's our favorite version so far:

posted by skippy at 2:53 PM | 1 comments

Happy Thanksgiving

z5 Pictures, Images and Photos

Mrs. Skippy is whipping up, along with a beautiful turkey, some baked potatoes, yams, sweet sausage corn bread stuffing, and her famous cranberry-orange relish.

what's on your menu today?
posted by skippy at 9:56 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


of all animals, bears are my favorite. doesn't matter what kind of bear it is -- if it's a bear, i love it. that's just the way i am.

so when i see something like this... and i know it's just an animated commercial, and the makers are just trying to make a point...

i can't help myself. i get pissed off.

posted by Jim Yeager at 11:07 PM | 4 comments

just my luck...

a few years ago, i decided to try and get my weight under control. it wasn't outrageous -- i weighed 220, and i'm a little over six feet tall. but that's still overweight for someone like me, so i altered my diet. i managed to get down to around 195 -- still a bit overweight, but twenty-five pounds lighter. good work overall.

then in may, i moved to where i live now -- a neighborhood chock full of restaurants and supermarkets. the point was to cut back on my expenses and pay down my debts, which is all coming along nicely. but i stepped onto a scale yesterday...

it read 226.

yes, my jeans were getting harder to zip up and button in the last month or so. but when it gets colder, i start wearing sweatpants under my jeans -- i have no personal transportation, so i get around mostly on foot, and the waistline area gets noticeably tighter this time of year. somehow -- despite having patronized this mexican restaurant monday, and that italian restaurant tuesday, and having done stuff like this for much of the last six months -- i failed to notice that i've gained all the weight i lost back until the other day.

i started to whine to myself about this, but i stopped within seconds. you know why? tonight is the eve of holiday season -- therefore, i'm gonna get even fatter than i am now. it happens every year. trying to stop this is like trying to take a food bowl away from a hungry dog -- you just can't do it.

my diet tends to be heavy on the vegetables and fruits, light on the meats. that won't change. but if i'm just gonna get fatter anyway, then f%#k it -- i won't pig out on junk food, but i'm not killing myself to fit into jeans i haven't been able to fit into since i was 20, either. i'll just fatten gracefully.

as long as i can button my jeans up and get from point "a" to point "b" without worrying about having a heart attack, i really don't give a $#!+ anymore. if squeezing my butt into a seat at the movie theater is the worst i'll have to endure, then i'll endure it...


posted by Jim Yeager at 10:12 PM | 2 comments

vibration creates form

evan grant on cymatics

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posted by mahakal at 9:25 PM | 0 comments

sarah, palin tall

be afraid...be very afraid: palin fuels presidential rumors: ‘i like’ the sound of ‘president palin.’

yesterday, sarah palin was greeted by a throng of supporters in the villages, florida — a retirement community northwest of orlando. (glenn beck visited the same town this past weekend.) there were shouts of “we love you sarah!” and “we want you to be president!” from the crowd. and palin did plenty to stoke their hopes:

“i addressed her as ‘president palin,’ ” said debbie mcmillan of orlando. “she said, ‘i like that very much — i could live with that.’” […]

sheila schulte, 54, a resident of the villages who was wearing a button on a red, white and blue scarf that read “sarah palin for president 2012,” leaned over and thanked palin for serving as a great inspiration.

palin responded, “you’re welcome and i like your pin.”
wait...it gets worse:

palin was asked during an interview with fox news’s “fox & friends” about the chances that she “would run on a ticket with fox’s own glenn beck,” as the conservative outlet newsmax reported might be a possibility in 2012.

“i saw that, i saw that; he probably got a kick out of that,” palin said. “it was just a hoot, too, to hear such a thing.”

“i don’t know,” she said. “we’ll see, we’ll see.”

palin did not specifically tell newsmax that she was considering a run with beck but did tout the controversial television and radio host as “bold” during her interview with the conservative magazine.

“glenn beck, i have great respect for,” she said. “he gets his message across in such a clever way.”

“he calls it like he sees it, and he's very, very, very effective,” palin added.
so is ebola.
posted by skippy at 9:12 PM | 4 comments

happy thanksgiving, everyone...

(it had to happen eventually...)

posted by Jim Yeager at 8:55 PM | 1 comments

down the penrose lane


more @ penrose on politics
posted by skippy at 6:20 PM | 0 comments

safe flying to your turkey day destination

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:34 AM | 1 comments

mostly harmless

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posted by mahakal at 12:13 AM | 1 comments

entirely beneficial

posted by mahakal at 12:00 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

this thanksgiving..don't hang out with "the family"

their "c street" abode may have lost its tax exempt status, but they're back...and jeff sharlet shares some more of their badness (can you say death penalty for being gay in uganda) with terry gross in a must listen to"fresh air" episode.

you may recognize these names from recent headlines: sen. john ensign, rep. bart stupak and rep. joe pitts. stupak and pitts have become familiar names through the media's health care overhaul coverage; their abortion funding amendment
introduced an 11th-hour twist as the house of representatives approached a vote
on a landmark health care bill.

ensign was the focus of media attention over his affair with a campaign staffer. just last night, a nevada man disclosed that he found out about his wife's affair with the state's junior senator — his best friend — via a text message.

the common factor among these political players is their involvement with the family, a secretive fellowship of powerful christian politicians that centers on a washington, d.c., townhouse. - npr

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:46 PM | 0 comments

google's da bomb

our co-blogger george respectfully suggests a new google bomb: the definition of a conservative.
posted by skippy at 3:24 PM | 0 comments

His Truth is Marching On

with a hat tip to Ken MacLeod, the intersection of reality and data:
I went running through Toronto the other day on a 17°C November afternoon. Canada’s west coast is currently underwater. Sea level continues its 3mm/year creep up the coasts of the world, the western Siberian permafrost continues to melt. Swathes of California and Australia are pretty much permanent firestorm zones these days, and heat waves continue to kill thousands in Europe. The glaciers retreat, the Arctic ice cap shrinks, a myriad migratory species continue to show up at their northern destinations weeks before they’re supposed to. The pine beetle furthers its westward invasion, leaving dead forests in its wake— the winters, you see, are no longer cold enough to hit that lethal reset button that once kept their numbers in check.

I could go on, but you get my drift. And if the Climate-Change Hoax Machine is powerful enough to do all that, you know what?

They deserve to win.

Amen, brother!

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posted by Ken Houghton at 2:12 PM | 0 comments

in comedy you're either in or out

heide klum has taken seal's last name.

from now on, she'll be known as "heide".
posted by skippy at 11:45 AM | 2 comments

mega drought

(cue the disaster film soundtrack)

calif. scientists announce proof of mega-droughts. - while californians worry
about the three-year drought dragging on, researchers say climate change soon
could create much longer dry spells--lasting decades or even centuries. and
scientists have announced the first proof after studying caves along the sierra
nevada - fresno bee

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:14 AM | 2 comments

obama's december jobs summit

10,000 to 40,000 new troops to viet afghanistan

how william r.polk would handle afghanistan.

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posted by George at 1:28 AM | 1 comments

skippy's tuesday morning music club

happy cycling

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posted by mahakal at 1:08 AM | 3 comments

on the acceleration to 2012

robert anton wilson on the new consciousness

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posted by mahakal at 1:06 AM | 2 comments

Monday, November 23, 2009


an american conservative is someone who believes that

a) the vatican ought to decide our domestic policy;
b) israel ought to decide our foreign policy;
c) communist china ought to decide our economic policy; and
d) osama bin ladin ought to decide who gets tried in our courts.

it's pretty clear why they're conservative, but it does makes
you wonder why they bother to call themselves american.


posted by Pudentilla at 11:30 PM | 3 comments

abel maldonado (r) santa maria

has been annointed the new lt. governor now that john garamendi is in d.c.
gov. arnold schwarzenegger spilled the beans to late-night host jay leno that he's nominating republican sen. abel maldonado to fill the vacant lieutenant governor seat. - sac bee
this is the same slimey politician who ran in santa barbara county's primary as both a republican and democrat.
republican sen. abel maldonado is running for reelection this year - as both a republican and a democrat.

the santa maria lawmaker turned in signatures earlier this week to qualify himself as a write-in candidate in the democratic primary of his 15th Senate District, though he is already unopposed for the gop nomination. - sac bee

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:17 PM | 0 comments

where's joe the plumber when you need him

hardware stores will be hit hard with the new law going in on january 1 here in the late, great state of kahliforneeah
starting jan. 1, plumbing materials sold or installed statewide that carry drinking water can contain no lead, meaning millions of dollars worth of existing inventory must be flushed down the proverbial drain.

state officials contend the law helps prevent a variety of serious health concerns that can result from lead exposure. - vallejo times herald

and speaking of plumbing problems...

...one goal of the clean water act of 1972 was to upgrade the nation’s sewer systems, many of them built more than a century ago, to handle growing populations and increasing runoff of rainwater and waste. during the 1970s and 1980s, congress distributed more than $60 billion to cities to make sure that what goes into toilets, industrial drains and street grates would not endanger human health.

but despite those upgrades, many sewer systems are still frequently overwhelmed, according to a new york times analysis of environmental data. as a result, sewage is spilling into waterways.

in the last three years alone, more than 9,400 of the nation’s 25,000 sewage systems — including those in major cities — have reported violating the law by dumping untreated or partly treated human waste, chemicals and other hazardous materials into rivers and lakes and elsewhere, according to data from state environmental agencies and the epa. - nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:09 AM | 1 comments

don't piss off a roo

or they will come after you.
a kangaroo startled by a man walking his dog attacked the pair, pinning the pet underwater and slashing the owner in the abdomen with its hind legs.- sfgate

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 6:53 AM | 0 comments

let's hear it...

not to seem flip or anything, but this ain't exactly revelatory:

the five men facing trial in the sept. 11 attacks will plead not guilty so that they can air their criticisms of u.s. foreign policy, the lawyer for one of the defendants said sunday.

scott fenstermaker, the lawyer for accused terrorist ali abd al-aziz ali, said the men would not deny their role in the 2001 attacks but "would explain what happened and why they did it."


the u.s. justice department announced earlier this month that ali and four other men accused of murdering nearly 3,000 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in the u.s. will face a civilian federal trial just blocks from the site of the destroyed world trade center.

ali, also known as ammar al-baluchi, is a nephew of professed 9/11 mastermind khalid sheikh mohammed.

mohammed, ali and the others will explain "their assessment of american foreign policy," fenstermaker said.

"their assessment is negative," he said...

gee, ya think so? and this just in from yosemite national park: wild bears do, in fact, $#!+ in the woods. which segment of "murdering nearly 3,000 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in the u.s." brought him to that realization?

really, folks, after watching the hardly-ever-right spazz out following eric holder's announcement that these five detainees would be put on trial in new york city, i feel compelled to break up some of the tension. they want a platform to air their views? fine, give 'em one. let 'em bitch about america's foreign policy -- hell, i've been doing that for years. even if i wind up agreeing with everything they say, they're still heinous criminals, and i still won't sympathize with them -- i don't follow the logic of pleading "not guilty" on one hand and explaining why you did the deeds you claim to be not guilty of on the other.

but apparently, many on the hardly-ever-right are afraid of what these guys might say. that's pathetic, period. i mean... what, is khalid sheikh mohammed going to intone some magical arabic phrase that turns us all into sand, or something? let's hear what he has to say. what they have to say.

three simple words: know thine enemy. it just might help us in the future; it certainly hasn't seen much application lately...

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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:41 AM | 4 comments

every little thing

is gonna be alright


posted by mahakal at 12:45 AM | 2 comments

Sunday, November 22, 2009

on conspiracies

the late great robert anton wilson


posted by mahakal at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

rumors of anti-castro pigeons

the late great bill hicks, on jfk

go back to bed, america

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posted by mahakal at 4:20 PM | 0 comments

environmental news stories sunday

because you probably won't hear these stories on the talking head shows today.

did the 2008 wenchuan quake strike because china filled a reservoir? - fill a reservoir behind a new dam, and, oops, you trigger an earthquake nearby not long after the lake is topped off. now, a team of researchers suggest that this could well be what happened in china’s sichuan province in may 2008. - christian science monitor

bitter fight developing over sugar beets. - virtually the entire sugar beet crop in the united states is genetically engineered to protect it from herbicides. now, a lawsuit claiming the biotech beets pose a risk to other varieties could threaten sugar production. - marketplace

low city. - with no fast food restaurants or big box stores, the bicycle and pedestrian friendly cowichan bay has become north america's first slow city. - living on earth

bscured by war, water crisis looms in yemen. - lately, the news from yemen has been dominated by an escalating rebellion along the border with saudi arabia. but for water experts, yemen has been making news for decades because of its severe overuse of a rapidly disappearing water supply. - all things considered

tybee eyes rainwater showers. - for the past 10 weeks, students in a savannah college of art and design class have been brainstorming innovative ways for tybee island to cut its water usage while still allowing beachgoers to rinse themselves clean and use toilet facilities. - savannah morning news

zombie nuke plants. - in the face of climate change, many people who are desperate for alternatives to fossil fuels are considering the potential of nuclear power. more than half of america's nuclear plants have received new twenty-year operating licenses. these undead nukes are highly dangerous. - nation

gore to techies: shake off the lethargy. - former vice president al gore was given the global humanitarian award 2009 for his work drawing attention to the global warming crisis. In his acceptance speech, he emphasized that fundamental shifts in policy are required to stave off environmental disaster - sfgate

after the thaw. - keen skier? thinking of buying a snow-covered chalet in the alps? then think hard before making a decision. according to a recent report from the united nations world tourism organisation, melting snow caps will result in the closure of many winter sports resorts in the coming decades - london financial times

environmentalists: look at texas to see what's coming. - tony amos stands on the deck of the university of texas research station. over his shoulder, 3 miles off mustang island, just past an industrial port teeming with tankers and crew boats, an oil rig dominates the horizon. - gannett news service

california recycling program is on the rocks. - for years california has courted a reputation as an eco-friendly, green-minded leader, but the state now finds its most basic program of recycling beverage bottles and cans mired in debt and litigation - sac bee

experts fear scots face future of climate chaos if we do not mend the planet. - one of scotland's top environmental experts is warning that our weather will get wetter and wetter as global temperatures rise - glasgow daily record

canyon officials to tackle warming. - officials at the grand canyon are proposing to make the national park one of at least 50 in the country that attempts to counter and respond to global climate change - flagstaff arizona daily sun

what's ahead? warmer winters, wetter springs, experts contend. - warmer winters, wetter springs and more flooding in illinois may become the norm, wes jarrell says. "the time for debate about global warming is over," he said. "it’s not a matter of opinion; it’s a matter of fact. climate changes are already occurring in the midwest." - alton telegraph

more than 100 evacuated in heaviest flooding in years. - more than 100 people were evacuated from their homes because of some of the worst flooding for years in ireland. victims in co clare were accommodated in hotels and sandbags were used to protect businesses and houses, a spokesman for the local council said. - cork irish examiner

fires in spanish wetlands causing alarm. - columns of smoke and the acrid smell of burning peat now greet visitors to one of the largest wetland zones in europe, where smouldering fires in the subsoil are causing alarm among environmentalists - afp

gaza water unfit for human consumption, palestinians say. - water in the gaza strip is so salty that it is unfit for human consumption, a palestinian official in charge of water supplies inside the besieged coastal territory said on saturday - afp

google – the new eye in the sky for protecting forests? - google looks set to play a part in a called-for "new environmental world order" by satellite-monitoring the rates of deforestation of tropical rainforests and pinpointing illegal logging and land misuse, google's northern and central europe head philipp schindler has revealed - mongabay

voracious asian carp poised to upset great lakes. - conservationists and government biologists, stunned by new indications of the advance of asian carp toward lake michigan, are trading ideas for poisoning chicago-area rivers, conducting emergency electrofishing or chemically neutering the wily fish. - chicago tribune

california: an unhealthy state. - california ranks 23rd among u.s. states for the overall health of its residents, according to an america's health rankings study. among the state's challenges are pollution, high incidence of infectious diseases, and a large number of uninsured residents. - inland daily bulletin

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 2:06 PM | 0 comments

wienermobile spotted in santa barbara

Originally uploaded by twomets
with the personalized plate..."relshme"
but we often see some strange things drive down the street here...thanks to the creative folks at prototype source.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 11:42 AM | 1 comments

sometimes a visual

adds a sobering quality to a reality.


posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:38 AM | 1 comments

why is it....

that the folks debating healthcare on the hill...all have health insurance and access to doctors?

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:24 AM | 2 comments

positive reinforcement

listen to the radio...


posted by mahakal at 9:15 AM | 0 comments

november 22, 1963

"let us not seek the republican answer or the democratic answer, but the right answer. let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. let us accept our own responsibility for the future." - jfk

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 8:59 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, November 21, 2009

what is up with chamber of commerces?

don't they realize that green jobs and a healthy environment creates commerce? and who will have the money to frequent chamber of commerce members if all their money is lost to medical bills? and...geee...health issues are often bad environment caused.
the west virginia chamber of commerce wants the state's federal lawmakers to block health-care reform until the obama administration and congress end what the chamber says is a "war" on coal and domestic energy.

chamber president steve roberts called friday for the state's congressional delegation -- especially democratic sens. robert c. byrd and jay rockefeller -- to withhold votes on health reform until president obama and the u.s. environmental protection agency change their stance on climate-change legislation, coal-mining permit reviews, mountaintop removal and other issues. - gazette mail

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 4:18 PM | 2 comments

down the penrose lane


more @ penrose on politics!
posted by skippy at 11:32 AM | 0 comments

the beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it...

but the way those atoms are put together.

(found this over at fur affinity [may not be work-safe], of all places...)

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posted by Jim Yeager at 6:02 AM | 1 comments

light's point of view


posted by mahakal at 2:21 AM | 0 comments

skippy's saturday morning music club

suddenly the trees are giving way.

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posted by mahakal at 1:42 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 20, 2009

one more gong song...

ee, a-o, za-ee, za-o, ma-ee, ma-o, ta-ee, ta-o, now...



posted by Jim Yeager at 10:13 PM | 1 comments

Prisoner of Love

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo here, and thanks to the magic of DVR, I have just finished watching the AMC reboot of the seminal 60's show "The Prisoner."

I was all ready to hate it, and strangely enough, I found it quite intriguing.


Big caveat to start: No, it's not as good as Patrick McGoohan's orignial paranoia. No one can touch his startingly original premise (the show was his idea, and he wrote several episodes, and was executive producer on them all). Nor can this new version come close to McGoohan's great defiant approach to the character of Number 6. Also, we must needs give big props to the marvelous actor Leo McKern, who was one of the better Number Twos in that version.

However, as I watched the AMC remake, it occurred to me that, taken on its own merits, this new version had plenty to recommend it, and was quite engaging.

The new version has many of the same tropes as the old: A man wakes up in a new place, the Village, and is told he is Six (no prefix of the word "Number" is used to denote characters in this version; an interesting twist). The man in charge is Two. The inhabitants seem mindlessly content, but totally unable or unwilling to help Six either understand his situation or escape it.

The old standby giant white bubbles ("Rover" as it was known in the old version) keeps folks from leaving the Village, though this time with some sort of Electro-Zap ray. And Villagers leave each other with a hearty "Be Seeing You."

But there's a lot of new ideas and set pieces as well. There's one consistent love interest for Six, a doctor in the Clinic named (or numbered) 313, who appears through out the entire program. And this Village is in the desert, not by the sea shore (the show was shot in Africa, and the endless sand dunes make for a surreal landscape, giving the feeling that even if you get out of the Village and run and run forever, you'll never get anywhere).

Another change: The Villagers all have amnesia, and don't remember (or even believe) that there is any where else in the Universe ("There is only the Village"). And most radical of all, we are shown snippets of Six's back story in civilization (where he worked as an analyst for a large corporation, rather than as a Secret Agent Man like in McGoohan's original). These scenes are intertwined into the current story of Six in the Village.

If I explain any more of the structural changes, I'm in danger of giving away major spoilers of the show. And actually some commentors on the AMC forum point out that this new version owes at least as much to Ursula La Guinn and Jorge Luis Borge as it does to McGoohan.

It was not without its problems, of course. Many commentors online correctly pointed out that it moved slowly, especially in the first episode "Arrival" (quite a bad thing to do. You want to start out grabbing your audience by the throat and pulling them into your world at a rapid clip. This program, alas, did not).

Also, be forewarned: this is not easy-listening television. No multi-tasking, reading the paper, conversation or web browsing while you watch. You've got to pay attention. I'd suggest, as I did, recording it for repeated viewing.

(Another problem mentioned on the forums: the audio frequently is muddled, whether it's the accents, or deliberate "surreal" mixing of tracks, often times I didn't understand words and sentences. One viewer suggests watching with the Closed Captioning feature turned on.)

But if you were willing to stay along for the ride, a definite sense of creepy paranoia and confusing dread evolved in the second episode "Harmony." By the time Six and his supposed brother "Sixteen" have switched sides in their argument about whether they are related or not, you realize that not only is Six unsure of who's who, so are you. And then, when Six tells Sixteen's family of his death, and the family laughs uproariously while they watch the Village's soap opera on TV, a real sense of surreal horror has taken over the whole proceeding.

Two of the greatest things about this new version happens to be the stars: Jim Caviezel and Sir Ian McKellan. I was happily surprised at Caviezel's performance. While McGoohan brought a defiance in his tour-de-force as Number Six, Caviezel's quiet intensity served this new version well. Matching the tone and atmosphere of the Village, with its undercurrent of unseen forces roiling throughout, Caviezel brought the suggestion of violence and rage, rather than surface exposition. All in all it was a quite impressive performance that fit the overall production well.

And what can be said about Sir Ian McKellan, that hasn't been said by more erudite fans than myself? The man who brought us Magneto and Gandalf, as well as one of the more insane Richard III's, and a host of other stand-out performances, was at the top of his form here. A slight smile, hinting at the destruction that he could reign down on those who cross him, a wistful stare into the horizon as he struggled to maintain his control; this man is a genius in his craft (so much so that he got top billing; imagine, Number Two getting his name number over Number Six!).

Bottom Line: Is it as good as the original? No. Is it better than 99% of television now? Definitely yes. And kudos to AMC, home of Mad Men (which underwhelms me, but is the darling of Blogtopia, and yes, I coined that phrase) and Breaking Bad (which I love), for taking more risks in a time of Reality doldrums and Jay Leno cop-outs.

It's re-running starting this Sunday, Nov. 22, on AMC (two hours a night at 10 pm for three consecutive Sundays). If you're game, check it out.

Til then, Be Seeing You.
posted by skippy at 8:55 PM | 3 comments

sometimes these things just write themselves

seriously, how can we hope to compete with this kind of comedy? thinkprogress:

utah lawmaker claims he doesn’t ‘mind’ gays, but ‘i don’t want ‘em stuffing it down my throat all the time. certainly not in my kid’s face’

write your own punchline here.
posted by skippy at 6:33 PM | 2 comments

worst idea ever

tax the students!

pittsburgh mayor luke ravenstahl, just seven years out of college, is igniting ire with his plan to levy a 1 percent tax on tuition collected by the city’s 10 nonprofit colleges and universities.

pittsburgh depends upon its corporate owners; we should give them a break after all.

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posted by mahakal at 8:57 AM | 0 comments

hoppy kangaroo blogging friday

Inquistive Wallaroo
Originally uploaded by J T Morling
well..."wallaroo" actually.
posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:28 AM | 0 comments

while the bankers are raking in the big bonus bucks again

the rest of the country is hurting. bad.

u.s. mortgage delinquencies reach a record high

the delinquency figure, and a corresponding rise in the number of those losing their homes to foreclosure, was expected to be bad. nevertheless, the figures underlined the level of stress on a large segment of the country, a situation that could snuff out the modest recovery in home prices over the last few months and impede any economic rebound.

unless foreclosure modification efforts begin succeeding on a permanent basis — which many analysts say they think is unlikely — millions more foreclosed homes will come to market.- nytimes

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:10 AM | 3 comments

Thursday, November 19, 2009

when is it free speech...and when is it a threat against the country?

when you sell products that “entreats god to destroy the president”....i think you have crossed the line. you listening cafe press?

the newest far-right craze is an anti-obama slogan that is making its way onto t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, and even teddy bears: “pray for obama: psalm 109:8,”

...diana butler bass at beliefnet explains that psalm 109 is one of the “imprecatory” prayers, “a lament in the form of petition to destroy one’s enemies.” while perhaps intended to be a joke, she notes that the psalm actually “entreats god to destroy the president” - think progress

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 9:21 PM | 5 comments

i find it hard to tell you, i find it hard to take...

when people run in circles it's a very...

mad world.

dedicated to badtux. he knows why.



posted by Jim Yeager at 7:48 PM | 0 comments

bass cadet


posted by mahakal at 9:09 AM | 1 comments

empty head

DIY Sarah Palin Mask
Originally uploaded by billypalooza

posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:34 AM | 0 comments

faux rolls wrong video

and they say that heads will roll. but you know they will list the names of those they fired and then put a (d) beside their name.

fox has done it again, and this time, once again, fox says its misplay of the wrong crowd video was another regrettable mistake. - the

yeah..."regrettable" mistake. like giving the right wing talking point channel a broadcasting license in the first place?

our bloggy buddy, john amato, over at crooks and liars, is filing an fcc complaint against faux for this obvious manipulation of fact.

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posted by SantaBarbarian at 7:20 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

one more, and then it's bed time...

alice in chains, post-layne staley. pretty good.



posted by Jim Yeager at 10:45 PM | 1 comments


i've always loved her. if only i were straight and twenty years older...



posted by Jim Yeager at 9:51 PM | 2 comments

question of the day...

Something that should have occurred to me a couple weeks ago, when Virginia Republicans made a clean victory sweep in this state on election day...

If the biggest reason the Democrat lost in double digits to the Republican is because a large chunk of the Democratic base stayed home on election day, then why are these no-show folks even thought of as a large chunk of the Democratic base?

I showed up at my polling place. I voted Democratic. And I've called myself an Independent voter since the day I turned eighteen -- I may blawg a buncha smack about Those Goddamned Jackasses, but I still vote for them. What's the so-called base's problem?

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posted by Jim Yeager at 8:55 PM | 10 comments

(no) thanks for the mammaries

our good friends jill @ brilliant @ breakfast and blue girl both take issue w/the obama admin's recent 180 degree turn-about on preventative mammagrams.

jill wonders why more feminist bloggers aren't concerned:

pregnancy hasn't been a concern for me since 2005, but i still write about the importance of access to abortion and contraception. reproduction is an issue in my past, that i will never have to worry about again, at least not in this particular incarnation. but for the feminist bloggers in their twenties and thirties, this latest assault on women's health care is in your future -- and that future is coming faster than you can even imagine.

so why the silence? is it because this plan to ration health care services to older women is coming directly from barack obama's department of health and human services and you're afraid to criticize it? is this what we've come to, selling our own sisters down the river rather than criticize a democratic president?
and blue girl sez she's the exception that disproves obama's rule:

it took me a day to process the news that the guidelines for breast cancer screenings were being changed, nudged upward as we prepare to step into the era of health reform and cost controls. we are testing 1900 women unnecessarily in order to save one, the argument goes, and it just isn't worth it.

okay. tell it to the other 1899, but as for me? i don't care to hear it.

wanna guess which one of the 1900 i am?

i am the poster child for early detection. my brush with the disease was a non-event that cost less than ten grand to treat because of early detection and screening.
we agree. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of chemotherapy. we hate to even appear to seem like we think the repubbbs are making sense, but in this case they've seized upon this crappy (and ultimately sexist) decision to make their own looney points about rationing health care:

republican women house members, who convened a press conference this afternoon, see a dark side to the recommendations. “this is the wrong approach,” said rep. cathy mcmorris rodgers (r., wash.). “especially as we have been debating health care reform in america, it is concerning to us that these recommendations mirror policies in single-payer nations like england.”
of course, this logic is full of straw (wo)men and false binaries, but on the surface the gop could get some traction.
posted by skippy at 8:01 PM | 3 comments

Life Imitates Art--or at least a Commercial

The real life version of That Jameson's Ad:
A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica's ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whisky that has been on the rocks since a century ago.

The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whisky that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition.

And, since Skippy already noted that Ken Ober is not Canadian, his most notable appearanvce:

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posted by Ken Houghton at 6:20 PM | 0 comments

rip edward woodward and ken ober

two of our favorites from 80's tv, wildly different, but both incredibly solid in their approach to entertaining their audiences, have passed recently.

it's quite ironic that as we enjoy the remake of the prisoner on a&e this week, we find the news that another of our favorite tv ex-spies, edward woodward, has died at age 79. seattle pi:

edward woodward, who had a long career on stage and in movies but is probably best remembered for the tv series the equalizer, died monday at 79.

his agent, janet glass, said he had been ill for several months and died in a hospital in truro, england, with family members around him...

woodward won a golden globe and received five emmy nominations for his star turn in the equalizer, which ran on cbs from 1985 to '89. the british actor, who had a heart attack during the series, played an ex-spy who helped regular people even the odds against anyone with whom they had a problem.
mr. woodward, who studied acting under laurence olivier @ the national theater, was also the star of the iconic australian film breaker morant, and the first (and best) version of the wicker man.

we loved watching mr. woodward as ex-secret agent robert mccall in the equalizer during the 80's. his tortured determination to help those in need of his services made what could have been a cheesy robin hood update into a fascinating character drama, w/loads of revenge fantasy heaped on.

also passing, on the opposite end of the seriousness scale, ken ober, the host of mtv's old 80's game show remote control. e! online:

ken ober, who hosted mtv's pop-culture-centric game show remote control for five seasons beginning in 1987, was found dead in his home on sunday, the network reports. the 52-year-old's cause of death has yet to be determined.

ober began his career on star search but spent recent years behind the scenes, working in production on comedies like the new adventures of old christine and mind of mencia.

"kenny ober was and always will be the quickest wit in the room," fellow funnyman denis leary tells mtv news. "he was fall-down funny from the moment he was born—a smart, fast and hilarious human being who made many of us, including myself, laugh until we cried. as the star and host of remote control, he was a welcoming ringmaster who helped to kick-start the careers of numerous talents, including adam sandler, colin quinn and myself. he will be remembered always by each of his friends not only for his massive talent but for his true, deep and enduring friendship."
the cause of death has not been determined, but mr. ober complained of flu-like symptoms earlier in the weekend.

this is quite distressing. we loved the zany, meta, in-your-face anarchy of remote control, and are also fans of the new adventures of old christine.

we enjoyed greatly the work of both mr. woodward and mr. ober. rest in peace to them both.
posted by skippy at 5:11 PM | 0 comments