Friday, June 30, 2006


After you've savored Al Gore doing his Chicken Little bit... again, go buy the first two seasons of PENN AND TELLER'S BULLSHIT! Season 3 comes on DVD in early October.

John Stoessel also has a new book out.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Contrary View from the Guy What Gave the Previous View

I may have posted my enthusiasm for Gore's film a little too hastily; as I've looked into it, Gore's facts about global warming aren't airtight, and that's a bit of a surprise coming from a man who takes his journalism degree seriously. But Gore does imply that there is a consensus within the scientific community on global warming, and that's not true (what he actually says is that, in a survey of articles in scientific journals on global warming, none disagreed about its existence or what was causing it). But what about David Bellamy? Or Richard Lindzen, who probably got paid off, but still, he's a real, working climatologist. I gotta say, though, after the drubbing science in general has taken from the current administration (creationism, "proof" that gay marriage leads to axe murderers, etc.), I'm pretty sick of the neocon whiners like Lindzen who claim the Liberal Media has taken over Science as well. Frankly, when a Republican congressman in the Republican clubhouse known as the House of Representatives says that there's no denying global warming, it's a goddam done deal.

However, I've also come across so many cranks out there in Googleland that it almost proves how right Gore is. The best comment, as usual, came from, which says that Gore is basically accurate, but that he's helping himself to exagerrations to get people to pay attention, and that such a tactic is beneath someone as intelligent as he is. Fair enough. Still, I think An Inconvenient Truth was better than X-Men III.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Why Does Carbon Dioxide Hate America?

So I saw An Inconvenient Truth, and I'd have to say it was probably a better film than X-Men III (interesting comparison of the two movies here). Hate to break it to you, gang, but it looks like Al's got the National Academies of Science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I know, they're a UN group, but I'll take it), and even the Bush administration's own Climate Change Science Program all backing up his claims (oh, and apparently so does Jesus). But even though it's now a fact that humans are making our environment less livable, it can't be too much of a problem--I'm sure corporations will create a new, probably better, environment for us to live in. The invisible hand, and all that.

Gore is very articulate and persuasive in the movie (I've just never agreed with the people who think he's boring, which says less about my politics than my social skills), though I wasn't the only person in the audience wondering what was up with all of the close-ups of Al staring sagely at his computer screen. The guy gets more quality camera love than Tom Cruise in his last eight movies.

If you want a spellbinding example of how political debate operates in this country, enter the film's title into Google News; you'll get a lot of articles claiming that the film is a financial flop and an embarassment, and an equal number touting the movie's success and predicting that it will be one of the top grossing documentaries in history (it is currently on the chart as #11). You'd think red states and blue states could agree on the criteria that constitute a profit.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

CIA haiku. Gangsta haiku. Beer haiku. Bar napkin haiku. Wine review haiku. Spam haiku. Toast haiku. Pop culture haiku. Celebrity haiku. Mr. T haiku. Postcard haiku. Dog haiku. Cat haiku. Blog troll/flame war haiku. Error message haiku. DVD decryption haiku. Random haiku. Haiku generator.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Domina mea exstat a tergo!

I'm amazed at how a fourteen-year-old rap number continues its heroic march across popular culture; I'm of course refering to Sir Mixalot's "Baby Got Back." I hate how so many people say they enjoy rap because they feel like they have to, but this one has all the marks of a true classic. It's been covered as a heavy metal song, a Christian pop song (!), and a Las Vegas crooner number by Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine. It's been translated into Latin, and equals any of the Epigrams of Martial. Thanks to the Internet, we have several anime videos of the song and one using characters from the Warcraft game. And the crowning achievement is Jonathan Coulton's strangely beautiful folky cover version: "In the proud tradition of many white Americans who came before me I hereby steal and white-ify this thick and juicy piece of black culture. "

Seriously, could even a lyricist such as Sondheim come up with a triple-rhyme lyric combining "Jane Fonda", "Honda", and "my anaconda?"

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cthulhu Discovers Sex Tourism

Move about Lovecraft: The curious should check out H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life by Michel Houellebecq, an essay by France's latest lit bad-boy published by the precious people over at McSweeney's. Houellenbecq's got a new book out, The Possibility of an Island, and it's his most Lovecraftian. Foregoing the sex safaris of his previous work, Houellebecq takes readers into a blasted future populated by a degenerate humanity. Hi-jinx ensue.

Houellebecq opens Against the World, Against Life with this salvo: "Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world." More here. Lovecraft's works are not those of a typical novelist seeking to explore, comprehend, and celebrate the world we live in. They are a condemnation and an escape, but not necessarily an escape to anything better (there isn't anything better). Houellebecq is also fascinated by Lovecraft's complete disinterest in the two great motivating forces of the 20th century, sex and money (in Houellebecq's previous novels, characters indulge in the pursuit of both, ad nauseum--their nauseum and ours). Excellent BookForum article here (though Stephen King's intro to the book is garbage). New York magazine review here.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Thing in the Cinema

I try to keep up with the latest doings in the world of Lovecraftiana, but I just now discovered that a film called Cthulhu will be coming out later this year. From the movie trailer on YouTube, the lord of R'lyeh doesn't seem to be in the film that bears his name, his place taken by the Deep One known to the Shoggoths as Tori Spelling. Looks like the film equates the followers of Cthulhu with the evangelical movement currently taking over the country, turning reason into madness, light into blasphemy, etc. Name the soundtrack used for the preview and win a Toner Award.

The truth is, there has yet to be a good film of Lovecraft's writings. Re-Animator is as close as they come, I guess.

More Lovecraft stuff: Hippocampus Press is coming out with Lovecraft's New York Circle, and, you may have seen this one, one man has re-written Lovecraftian captions for a bunch of Family Circus cartoons.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?