Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bit says "Yes" . . . or "No"

I'm kind of concerned that the villain of the new Tron: Legacy is Clu. One, because it leads to a continuity problem in that Clu was killed by the Master Control Program in the first movie in a tank wreck. Second, because I know that Clu was killed by the Master Control Program in the first movie in a tank wreck.

Why do I have this information, and why is it readily accessible? What important bit of information am I not able to hold (the year the Civil War ended, the atomic number of gold, how to insert a trach tube) because I've got decades old movie trivia floating in my brain? Why am I not able recite Shakespeare sonnets, but I can quote freely and liberally from Big Trouble in Little China?

Honestly, if I could go in there and just do a little brain clean up. Delete some old files. Then run a good defrag. Imagine how much memor I could free up. I could be a freaking genius. Instead I have cluttering up the file structure things like "Great! Another mouth to feed." "yesyesyesyesyes!" Aaaggghhhh! Delete!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Make it stooooop!

Okay, I wasn’t aware of this one. Apparently, this Jessi kid went ballistic on YouTube. Made some really inappropriate comments. Went the full Gibson in front of God and the internet. And also apparently, the internet hall monitors decided to teach her a lesson. A rough lesson.

Maybe (probably) it would be to this little girl’s benefit to rein her in a little bit (Glocks and brain slushies? Honey.). But I can tell you, getting metaphorically slapped around by strangers wouldn’t have worked with me when I was 11. It would have just made me crazy angry. Or, in her case, crazier angry.

You know what would have worked on me? A bunch of concerned middle-aged people showing up at my house, turning their sad, concerned middle-aged faces at me and saying in sad, concerned middle-aged voices “Sweetie, you seem . . . upset. Is there something you need to talk about? We are so proud of you that you are able to use the YouTube. But this seems like you’re “acting out” [accompanied by the air quotes]. We know that you are a smart young lady, and are capable of so much better behavior. What can we do to help you be the best young person you can be?” EEEEEEEEKKKKK! And especially if the adults showed up in big cardigans and mom jeans (even the men) and could work the terms “good example”, “changing bodies” and, worst of all, “your period” into the conversation. I’d have done anything to make that conversation stop and for the adults to go away. Anything. Even acted like a grown up.

A Loss for the Slow Movement

More from those crazy kids in California.

I myself don’t indulge in the marijuana, but this would seem to me to be more like a death knell for pot culture than a victory. And it really flies in the face of the whole organic, heirloom, small farm movement. Honestly? Corporate farms growing weed? That can’t be good. As much as I want my tomatoes grown by a lady in overalls and a giant sunhat, don’t potheads want their ganja grown by a bearded guy in a tie-dyed Grateful Dead t-shirt? I mean, where’s the quality control? Where’s the craft? If Monsanto is growing bud, I can guarantee there’s going to be a lot of hippies complaining about the quality of the "produce" that they’re getting at the supermarket. Sure there will be a lot of it. But it’s all going to be weak. I may not smoke pot, but I do know tomatoes, so let me share these words of wisdom – artisanal and homegrown. It’s the only way to go.

For Whom the Bell Tolls,0,5745068.column

This story out of LA County is amazing. It’s been going on about a week and it just gets uglier. Take a Maalox first if you decide to read the story. Basically, the city officials of Bell, California have voted themselves salaries that would make even the corrupt rat bastards in Dallas sit up and take notice. Fer instance, the city manager is making close to $800,000 bucks. By the way, Bell isn’t some booming Hollywood, CA style town. It’s small, working class and not real fancy. There isn’t all sorts of money floating around. And significantly, it’s also got a lot of illegal immigrants.

And that’s one of the things that doesn’t get mentioned a lot. Regardless of how you feel about how illegal immigration affect the economy, it’s also not a real healthy way of life for the Alien American. They live in a town where they can’t vote. They have absolutely no say in how things are run. And if they even begin to suspect city corruption, who can they go to without fearing they’ll be deported? When you live on the fringe of society, you are largely outside the cover of legal recourse. Prostitutes are frequently rape victims. Drug addicts frequently get robbed. Illegal immigrants are by virtue of their immigration status engaged in a criminal enterprise. They live in a world where they can be victims of a whole host of crimes, and because of their status they have no recourse. They get cheated on wages and housing, are victims of violent crime, are held up for blackmail on threat of being reported to La Migra. And there’s not a damned thing to be done about it.

And on a larger scale, a town where a good 30% of the residents are not citizens (with all the rights and privileges that entails) becomes easy pickings. Corruption flourishes when people don’t vote. Imagine what happens when a good chunk of the populace can’t vote.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Internet Hall Monitor

Okay, I hate it when people act like they are the arbiters of all that is just and noble on the internet and go off on somebody for a simple mistake. So, instead of browbeating some flak at the Water Tower Theater, I will share my holy rage with you guys. Time to go Mel Gibson on somebody's ass. Except without the racism and threats of violence.

This would be from an advertisment e-mail I received from the WaterTower for their production of The Full Monty. I've seen the show before. A delightful little musical. NOT based on a 1975 movie. A quick look at the internet shows that the copy was probably cribbed from another theater's website which listed the movie's date as 1957. Which means somebody figured out that the 57 was probably wrong, but decided that the number was only transposed, and just flipped those babies around. Grrr.

You see, there's this thing, called IMDb. If you are in the least, tiny bit of doubt about this sort of thing, or are, oh, say, sending out an e-mail in which you represent an organization and in which you'd like to look your best, you can just tippy-tappy your little fingers on a keyboard and find out these things. There is no need to speculate. And instead of relying on some other summer intern at some other poorly funded theater, who probably types by hunting and pecking, and who was probably not BORN in 1975, you can actually go and look it up your very own self.

In fact, you should probably just check all your copy. Given that it is actually also an Academy Award winning movie (okay, just best original score for a musical or comedy, but still, not bad in addition to the Best Picture nom). But see, I know that because I looked on Wikipedia. Because I was the not sure of my facts. Because I had doubts. So I went and looked it up. Okay, not everything on the wiki is right. But in this case it wasn't twenty-two years off. Bless us all, it's the information age. There's a ton of it out there. Let's use some. Or, maybe even come up with our own copy, instead of vomitting up somebody else's reheated regugitation. It really is a charming musical. Surely you could have come up with a few lines of text of your own?

But instead of unloading this on poor, little Ida Intern, I share my bile with you, gentle readers. Because, unlike Mel Gibson, I am a lady.

Clinically Jerky

There’s been a lot of stuff after the Mel Tapes about trying to pinpoint where exactly he went wrong. Is Mel Gibson bipolar, a malignant narcissist, an addict, or, really, just a jerk? Here’s my dividing line: a clinical diagnosis is only helpful when the problem is fixable. As in, there is an established protocol that will bring verifiable improvement in behavior, AND the subject is willing to undergo treatment. Until they cross that line, they’re just a jerk.

Because, for the rest of us, what’s the difference between the damage that borderline personality disorder and an addiction to Oxycodone can cause in our lives? Either way, they’re going to make you feel like dirt, ruin your credit and undermine your other relationships. Either way, the only way to make sure they actually change is to limit contact, refuse to help them engage in destructive behavior (don’t give them money, don’t stand around and let them mistreat you, don’t bail them out when they have mistreated others) and urge them to get qualified professional help. And any time you show any sympathy for their designated illness, it’s only going to be seen as a weakness to be exploited. But you don’t have sympathy for a jerk. Jerks are jerks because they won’t admit their behavior is wrong, and is hurting others. “I’m wrong and I need help” are magic words. They make words like “bipolar” or “addict” real. They suddenly make an awful person a sick person, and you do everything you can to help them get healthy.

But I’m starting to doubt that Mel will ever admit that his behavior is out of line. He’ll always come up with some excuse that justifies screaming profanities and racist filth at another human being. But until he admits there’s something wrong with himself, he’s never going to be able to accept the help he obviously and desperately needs. And until then, he’s just a jerk.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It has to be said

Sarah, I know Shakespeare. I studied Shakespeare. You, my dear, are no Shakespeare.

And while we're at it, it was quite obvious what word you thought you were saying. Nice try. And there's a big difference between coining a word and pulling a malapropism out of your ass. Stick to the 50 cent words. Leave the $10 lexicon to those who know what they're doing.

Amy Adams as Janis

Seriously? Amy Adams?

Hollywood can officially kiss my ass. What's next? Jennifer Anniston as Mama Cass?

Not to slight Amy Adams. I like her fine. But unless she can throw down some serious Charlize Theron/Monster action, this dog just won't hunt.

Stuck in the Middle with You

Here’s something I was thinking about this weekend. There was this article I saw, once again, about how super-thin models and actresses are giving girls an un-healthy ideal, and turning them into anorexics. But I started thinking about the other end of the scale. What about the girls who look at a Blake Lively or a Leighton Meester and think, “Well, I’m never going to be that, so I give up.” There are girls out there who will try to starve themselves to some scarecrow thin ideal. But there are also ones who know that no amount of calorie restriction will ever get them to that point, so why even try?

And given the entertainment industries love of extremes, if they think to promote other body images, they go straight for girls who are pretty firmly in the other end of the bell curve. I think it’s great that some of the more voluptuous girls are getting attention too. The girls on Huge over on ABC Family are terrific, and beautiful. But it’s like the just plain average girl doesn’t exist. You can be thin and glamorous, or fat and fabulous. But if you’re just kind of regular, forget it. Maintaining a healthy BMI, eating in well and in moderation and getting a little exercise? How boring. Nobody’s interested. I guess that’s just the industry. If you are happy as you are, they don’t have anything they can sell you.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I grew up in the Free to Be You and Me generation. I think just being the best you is a pretty good goal. Forget about what anyone else is; concentrate on what makes you you, and be that. And if you’re naturally skinny, that’s great. If you are doing everything right and still have some junk in the trunk, that’s great too. And, heaven forbid, you happen to just be average, how lucky can you get?

That other King

Okay, we know my well-documented issues with sitting too close to the stage. Don’t like it. But, hey, it works: not only can I not usually afford the front row, I don’t want to be there in the first place.

So, when my Moms offered to buy the tickets for the Asleep at the Wheel: A Ride with Bob show, we were all in concurrence that front row balcony was just a dandy place to be. If you aren’t familiar, A Ride with Bob is a tribute to the music of Bob Wills, by Western Swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Okay, and if you’re not familiar with Wills, he’s the reason why country stars wear cowboy hats, and why Texans believe that while Elvis is all well and good, Bob Wills is still the King. And this show is a look at the life of Bob, peppered with some of his biggest songs. You may have heard some of them, either by him or one of the many covers: Roly Poly, San Antonio Rose, Faded Love.

Anywhoodle, we thought we had a great spot. Close, but not toooo close. But when we go to the Aisle 2, and start trying to locate our seats, we start to suspect that we were closer than we’d thought. A lot closer. Like front and center. The only people closer were the two pit rows. So basically spitting distance to the stage. Eeek. Especially since the guy playing Bob Wills took the role seriously and was basically making eyes at any female within eyeballing distance when he played. Bob’s band wasn’t called the Texas Playboys for nothing, and the real deal cut a wide swath through the female population. Not that the guy playing the part wasn’t cute as hell. And he was just doing his job by throwing a littl charm around, nothing personal. But I was just so flipped out by it that I nearly hid under my chair for about 10 minutes.

Regardless of my neuroses, it was a really fun show. Mom clapped along to Roly Poly, and any time there’s good fiddle playing Dad’s happy. I got to share some really great music with them. Maybe not as good as seeing the real Bob Wills in some west Texas dancehall back in the day. But close enough.

TIME: Quotes of the Day