Monday, January 23, 2012

Why We Hate Part II

The Queen of Versailles
RTEP:
The hook for the movie and the source of the title is Jackie and David’s thwarted ambitions to build the largest house in America, modeled after Versailles and based on a sketch David drew on a private plane on the way to Las Vegas. The design is a monument to bad taste, as are the hilariously tacky portraits that litter the house they’re still living in, of Jackie as a Greek goddess and David as a Roman warrior.

But it’s also a testament to waste. Rather than using any room for multiple purposes, Jackie and David tacked ten kitchens onto their monstrosity so they can have a sushi bar as well as other specialized cooking spaces. The house has a wing for their children, a place Jackie plans to “visit” in one of the unintentionally callous things she regularly says about her brood. The basement is stacked with $5 million worth of Chinese marble, and Jackie has a warehouse full of decor she plans to use in it, from French furniture to giant replicas of Faberge eggs. Those piles of junk, and scenes of a garage full of unused bicycles for their children, or post-recession Jackie being coaxed into spending less for Christmas by her nannies and still walking out of Walmart with three sets of the game Operation (among other things) have blown past abundance or fulfillment straight to gorged. Nothing about the way the Siegels live their lives looks particularly desirable, from the house littered with dog shit to Jackie’s bed, plumped with seven layers of pillows.
Context & photo source & the like. Oh, let's double the ick factor, too:
Siegel, a 74-year-old Florida billionaire, and his 43-year-old third wife, Jackie
Think they might be big Gingrich supporters?

Amateur Campaign Strategist
"Really Big Ideas" Wrap-Up

Some fucking doofusinane drone at the Washington Examiner:
The longer this farce goes on, the more it helps President Obama’s reelection chances. Mitt Romney is either going to have to step up his game and embrace some real big ideas, like running on Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., budget, or another conservative will have to enter the race.
Boy, that's a terrible idea. Wouldn't do that, no sirree. Uh, while you're at it, please don't throw us in that briar patch, either.

America's School Funding &
Infrastructure Renewal On Parade

Wave good-bye to our nation's future.From DefenseTech, where it's noted that many have seen this train, & some of them have recorded it & thrown it on the Internet. Don't think you can get away w/ this sort of thing in the new media era, Big Gov't.!

Hugh Hewitt Projects

The South Carolina electorate didn’t vote for a person or a platform; they voted for a personality — the fiery, combative, MSM-hating Newt. They want the GOP nominee to charge at the president, throw around the term Alinksyite, push back at John King and Juan Williams, and shout out the absurdity of Barack Obama as president and the destructiveness of his combination of epic incompetence and awful ideology.
Just a cotton-pickin' minute here: Is Hewitt implying that Gingrich is not the dictionary definition of epic incompetence & awful ideology? (Frankly, we'd be a little hard-pressed to find the President's ideology at all.)

No, Hugh thinks we need to hear all about the usual:
[T]he absolutely awful record of a failed president, about how the elite media cleared his path in 2008 and has protected him since, and how Barack Obama’s contempt for the rule of law is not only startling but a source of great worry.
When we hear the phrase "contempt for the rule of law" we reach for our Google & use biased facts & direct quotation to demonstrate how far Mr. Hewitt has projected:
The Republican contender told a forum of anti-abortion activists ahead of South Carolina's primary election that as president he would ignore supreme court rulings he regards as legally flawed. He implied that would also extend to the 1973 decision, Roe vs Wade, legalising abortion.

"If the court makes a fundamentally wrong decision, the president can in fact ignore it," said Gingrich to cheers.

The Republican contender, who has made no secret of his disdain for the judiciary, said that as president he would expect to have repeated showdowns with the supreme court. He said the court would lose because it is the least powerful and least accountable arm of government.
Gingrich 2012: "MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!" Newt'll be impeachable from the moment he puts his grubby hand on a Bible & swears to uphold the Constitution.

And what does strategist Hewitt suggest? It's a simple strategy, & nothing new. Articulate the fear:
Center-right voters fear for the Republic and know their fear is legitimate. “Independents” also feel that fear, but don’t know what it is, or express it as just worry over the economy. The deep sources of that fear have to be articulated, and forcefully.
We're not absolutely sure that's a racial dog-whistle, but what are we supposed to believe the deep, beyond-the-economy sources of this legitimate, felt, yet unknown fear are? Surely not Rockefeller Republican Obama, or any actions the Congress might allow him to take. Perhaps Hewitt's center-right voter fears for the Republic because he or she is among the GOP voters who believe that Obama is Muslim, & once independents are fully informed the Republic will be saved from whatever's scaring us this wk.

The kicker? After all that slurping, Hugh doesn't think Gingrich is the man for the job. Poor little Rick Santorum should be leading the charge, because, well ... they keep picking on him, & it wasn't fair how he got his ass kicked in 2006 &, & ...
The Palmetto State was unfair to Rick Santorum, as was the MSM throughout the fall, the Iowa GOP on the night of the caucuses, and CNN’s John King on Thursday night, when the first question should have been about Iran and should have gone to the former Pennsylvania senator.* Santorum may soldier on, but whether he does or not, everyone has to respect the grace with which he has accepted a series of unfair turns dating back to 2006 when a last name in a suit swept him aside because that legacy candidate could surf a flood. Santorum is a good and very able public servant, and though he faces a very uphill battle in Florida, he’s not had much help from anyone to date, and he doesn’t need anyone’s advice on how to run that race.
In our humble opinion, if the result of one's lastmost recent electoral effort (Against a named suit legacy candidate!) looked like this,
In the November 7, 2006 election, Santorum lost by over 700,000 votes, receiving 41.3 percent of the vote to Casey's 58.7 percent, the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent senator since 1980 and the largest losing margin for an incumbent Republican senator ever.
one might need someone's (Anyone's. Please!) advice on how to run a race. And why is Poor Richard Santorum getting so little help? Because he's a creepy loser?
Incredibly the GOP next turns its fate over to NBC on Monday night. Advice to Mitt and Rick: Don’t copy Newt, but understand that he won in South Carolina because he absolutely refuses to let the MSM set the agenda, which is the president’s agenda.
Please. Just one actual example of this unified agenda? Or even the actual "agenda." (Surely it's written down somewhere, & one of Hewitt's many sources can dig it up for him.)

You may also be interested in: Dr. Freud, to the Radio Ward Please
*Why, might we ask?

Harlan Ellison & Patton Oswalt

Let's Review

In the three wks. of the new yr., three Republican electoral processes: Two elections & a caucus held in a state w/ an estimated 3,000,000 & change, 95%+ honky population that holds caucuses as early as possible every leap yr. to scam a few million dollars from campaign war chests & reporters' corporate expense accounts. (Obligatory yada.) Iowa's caucuses are the first step in a Byzantine procedure which renders them electorally meaningless:
Delegates from the precinct caucuses go on to the county conventions, which choose delegates to the district conventions, which in turn selects delegates to the Iowa State Convention. Thus, it is the Republican Iowa State Convention, not the precinct caucuses, which selects the ultimate delegates from Iowa to the Republican National Convention. All delegates are officially unbound from the results of the precinct caucus, although media organizations either estimate delegate numbers by estimating county convention results or simply divide them proportionally.
And remember that the parties themselves, not the State of Iowa, conduct these caucuses. So Romney's eight-vote caucus "victory" was later discovered to be a Santorun "victory" by 34 votes, & records from eight precincts had been "lost" & couldn't be found or used. Bear that in mind the next time a Republican drags out the voter fraud horse & starts beating it. (This is encouraging; chatter about not paying any attention to Iowa is already up, & these are the solidest reasons to do so yet.)

(Recapping that was so Iowa-dull we lost our train of thought ... Hang on, it's coming back. Something about Florida. That's it. But we're getting ahead of ourself.)

Once past the fraud & the essential tie (Which will nonetheless be remembered as a Romney "win," at least as long as anything is remembered now.) of Iowa, on to New Hampshire (Pop. 1,300,000+not much, & not quite as white as Iowa.) where Willard Mitt won but not by as much as he should have, considering his summer vacation house is right there in the Granite State; this round's first runner-up was Dr. Ron Paul, not surprising in the "Live Free or Die" state.

Then South Carolina (Unofficial motto "Too small to be a republic, too large to be an asylum.") where Gingrich somewhat unsurprisingly parlayed his debateforum performances/red meat toss exhibitions prior to the election to victory in the state that could be said to have invented red meat politics.

The point being that despite all the yammering, few delegates have been selected from these three backwaters & the first primary in a large & not so homogeneously populated state (Granted, we saw a headline somewhere claiming that Florida is South Carolina w/ Cuban-Americans. No question there be loons.) is still 10 days off, meaning everything typed & blathered to this point has been even more meaningless & futile than the ordinary hideous emptiness of human existence. Is it time to start paying attention? We ask because we've marginally better things to do than pay attention if none of the horse race crap from this wk.'s go-round is going to make any difference.

(We slave over a hot keyboard for hrs. writing a pseudo think piece & that's the best ending we can come up w/? Back to photos.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

K.C. & Rain

Boston's Best was no picnic, but we shudder to think which Bay Area musical figure may be called upon to sing.

Oh. A real singer. A vocalist, certainly. At least the Frisco crowd isn't booing the LampoonAnthem, even if they're making noise.

Kicking Game

Better the Belichick Cheaters than the Lewis Killers to represent the AFC & hold the Lamar Hunt trophy, we suppose.

Asshole Of The Day, So Far

Go fuck yourself, your mother, & the horse on which you rode in, Cagle. No more free exposure for you around here. Hell, you should probably be paying us for running your sorry drivel in the first place.

American History

Can't embed it & just as well, it's as graphic as it gets: A link to PA State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer offing himself at a news conference 25 yrs. ago today. If only Nixon had taken this approach when he announced the press "wouldn't have him to kick around any more."

Old Peoples' Ears

Thought the announcer said we were going to hear the "National Lampoon" sung. Then the wretched Steven Tyler was hauled out to squeak & rasp it. A rendition like that should be considered an act of treason.

Elitism Report

My Dem friend Rich Yeselson asks: "Can you imagine if Barack Obama mentioned that he'd been president of the Harvard Law Review as often as Newt Gingrich reminds us that he taught history at West Georgia College?"

A Big "If"

Great American Ninny Jennifer Rubin:
If conservatism becomes a movement of anti-media bashing and hyperbolic rhetoric, it will cease to be a force in American politics. And if it is led by an egomaniac whose personal advancement takes precedence over any principle, the GOP will be (correctly) mocked.
"If?" It's not even a question of when. We can only assume that Ms. Rubin is a sort of Helen Keller figure, unable to perceive what's been occurring around her.

OK, Wait ...

Is Coach Joe Paterno of Happy Valley dead for sure? There were discounted rumors yesterday, & we'd hate to jump the gun.

Sermon Parts I, II, III & IV

Murder At The Zoo

Is this is what Medicare will become, shape up in a mo. or it's check-out time?
The sole hippopotamus at the Los Angeles Zoo was euthanized Friday after being ill with an unknown ailment for a month and not responding to treatment, zoo officials said.

Zookeepers noticed in December that the 28-year-old hippopotamus, Jabba, had a decreased appetite, abnormal bloating and was not responding to medication, zoo spokesman Jason Jacobs told City News Service. The hippo was under close veterinary care, but his condition rapidly worsened in the last few days.

The zoo's staff made the "difficult decision" to euthanize Jabba, according to a statement released by the zoo.

Jabba had been at the zoo since 2009. Before that, he lived at the San Diego Zoo for several years, where he sired several calves.
Crikey, we've had decreased appetite, been abnormally bloated & haven't responded to medication for yrs. That's no call to send us to the happy hunting ground.

Late Nite Music Bite

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Manifestations Of Western Culture"

By Associated Press, Published: January 20

TEHRAN, Iran — Police have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls in Iran, part of a decades-long crackdown against “manifestations of Western culture,” the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported Friday.

Barbie dolls are sold wearing swimsuits and miniskirts in a society where women must wear headscarves in public, and men and women are not allowed to swim together.

A ban on the sale of the Barbies, designed to look like young Western women, was imposed in the mid-1990s. In its latest report, Mehr quoted an unidentified police official as saying authorities confiscated the dolls from Tehran stores in a “new phase” of the campaign.

In 1996, a government-backed children’s agency called Barbie a “Trojan horse,” sneaking in Western influences such as makeup and revealing clothes.

Authorities started confiscating the dolls from stores in 2002, denouncing what they called the toys’ un-Islamic characteristics. The campaign was eventually dropped.

Iran that year also introduced its own dolls — twins Dara and Sara, designed to promote traditional values with modest clothing and pro-family values — but those proved unable to stem the Barbie tide.

Despite bans on many Western books, movies, satellite TV channels, music, haircuts and fashion, young people maintain their interest in that culture.

Iran’s state TV channels broadcast several Western and Hollywood films every week. Islamists have repeatedly tried to fight what they see as a cultural “invasion” since 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted a pro-Western monarchy.

Since then, importing Western toys has been discouraged by the regime.

In 2008, the Iranian judiciary warned against the “destructive” cultural and social consequences and “danger” of importing Barbie dolls and other Western toys. Even so, Iranian markets have been full of them. One-third of Iran’s population of 75 million is under 15.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Not that we (necessarily) disagree w/ the mullahs in their righteous stance against Western you-name-it. Mostly we needed an excuse for these shots of a Barbie-on-a-Harley Hallmark (we assume) ornament we spotted on a Yule tree somewhere.

Etta!

Stole from Salon. (Can't be arsed to embed the others.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Johnny Otis Show

Good piece on Johnny Otis by Erin Aubry Kaplan. Good excuse to run more of Johnny's music,'though none of the really wailing shit seems to have reached YouTube.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Steak Tartare

The Naked Dinner
It is murder, y'know.

Street, Sign, Skulls

"Whore Of Babylon!"

Would've titled it "Slut-Shaming," but we doubt if the current Mrs. Gingrich has any shame.
"Dobson first talked about how great Santorum is," recalled one source, who had first-hand knowledge of Dobson's comment. "[He said,] 'I want to tell you that I've gotten to know Karen [Santorum] and she is just lovely. She set aside two professional careers to raise these seven children. She would make a fabulous first lady role model.* And Newt Gingrich's wife, she was a mistress for eight years."
Karen Santorum (left) and Callista Gingrich (AP)
Another source confirmed the account, and said Dobson concluded the sentiment about Callista Gingrich with, "Who do you want as your first lady?"

"It was like a chill [set into] the room," said one source. Several people were offended by the comment, said another source, adding that it was noted among some participants that Callista Gingrich had only been married once.
This Good Christian Bitch, meanwhile, has little shame herself. Wonder how many glass walls she has?
Yet while Dobson’s candidate won the group’s endorsement, it’s Gingrich who’s gaining steam this week.  Some evangelicals seem surprised. Concerned Women for America president Penny Nance endorsed Santorum early on, and she told the New Yorker’s Ariel Levy she expected other evangelical women to fall in line. But many haven’t.

“Initially, my reaction to Newt Gingrich and to Callista is that the third wife doesn’t get to be the First Lady,” Nance said. “I came at it completely believing that evangelical women would not even consider him, and I’ve been surprised by their willingness to listen and forgive. I attended an event he had here with evangelicals, and there were some pretty tough questions. The most interesting thing to me was not the answers but how he handled them. The old Newt that I knew would not have handled it very well, but this Newt did. He really tried to divine what was at the heart of the question and didn’t come across as rude or arrogant.”

But Nance held a hard line nonetheless, “We cannot allow Newt Gingrich or anyone else’s moral failure to be used as an excuse by others for their own wrongdoing and saying ‘Hey, I can still be President!’”

I think Gingrich’s rise has less to do with evangelical women forgiving him than with his pitch-perfect race-baiting, especially in Monday night’s debate. On Wednesday, a South Carolina voter praised Gingrich’s performance, telling him, “I would like to thank you for putting Mr. Juan Williams in his place.”
Sexism from a "concerned woman" & race-baiting. Go Newt!

(Ab-so-fugging-lutely not cross-posted at Whiskey Fire.)

*Cf., as they type.

Dep't. Of Amplification

Traxx, the other, open restaurant at Union Station isn't doing so well either.
Traxx bar 
Easy to get that Health Dep't. "A" IF YOU AREN'T USING THE KITCHEN!
Could it be the stupid name?

TMI

It's as if everyone is shouting in our eyes 24/7. Stop it!
You know who else's color scheme was red, white & black?
Simply desperate for happiness.
Don't make us stop you. You won't like that.

The Dregs

So Rick Perry has been run out of town, leaving the Party of Greed & Fear w/ whom, exactly?

Let's recrap [sic]: Presumptive nominee Willard Mittens Romney, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Rick Santorum (Who has so suddenly & completely dipped below the radar that we're having trouble finding a recent absurd or lying quote from him.) & somebody's grampa who wandered into the hall from the old folks' rookery next door & started talking about how the "niggers" were going to riot for white women & other white property & that touching a "queer" or using his bathroom will give you AIDS.

If any of these four fuckfaces were to be elected to the American Presidency 10 mos. from now, it would confirm our carefully researched thesis that democracy (&, therefore, your entire species) is a huge & pathetic failure & we'd consider ourself perfectly justified in getting out the key & starting the Doomsday Machine.

TCB III: Queen Amy

La Brea Lenin

The Gao Brothers' "Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin's Head," now visible.

Show Biz Squirrel

It's as if the little rodent bastard were posing.
Super Squirrel

There's That Blimp!

Hollywood Does It Again

And again.
It’s not just 3-D but re-releases of popular titles in 3-D.  Disney is leading the way with 3-D upgrades of several popular animated titles, including last weekend’s release of Beauty and the Beast in 3-D.  Also to follow this year is a 3-D release of Pixar’s Finding Nemo.

Fans will also get to venture to a galaxy far, far away in 3-D when the upgraded Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace hits theaters next month.

Director James Cameron’s Titanic, which ruled the world as the most successful film ever when it was released in 1997, returns April 6, and Pixar’s Finding Nemo from 2003 follows on Sept. 14.

As usual, Cameron is enthusiastic about the new technology and his use of it. ”Even the scene where (Kate Winslet’s) mother puts her corset on her.  In 3-D its mesmerizing,” says Cameron.  ”It brings the rest of the movie up to the big sweeping thing you remember. The intimacy is accented.”
A) James Cameron, just shut up!

B) The movie industry is about to reduce, reuse & recycle itself to death.

Cover Version

We'd been hoping for something a bit more apocalyptic, & certainly weren't expecting a version of the Skeeter Davis classic, about which much has been bandied of late here, & elsewhere.Alas, Mr. Isaacs was no Skeeter Davis. (Nor was she any Gregory Isaacs; it's all good.)

This Seems Familiar, But
We Can't Quite Put Our Finger On It

It is not even safe to look at clouds.

Self-Pouffing Croissants

Presentation is all important.

Burning The Wicked In Fire

Traffic Control Box II

Head Up-Date

We know just where this is.
The body parts were discovered near a concrete ramp frequented by skateboarders.
And the concrete rampflood channel/skate ramp is the final vestige of civilization before the rugged parkland.

Parts Unknown

We dunno how much of a real life Sopranos this is, but the initial discovery was certainly straight outta any given Law & Order opening.
The homicide investigation began Tuesday afternoon after two dog walkers in Bronson Canyon Park noticed their dogs playing with a plastic bag and went to inspect it.

PHOTOS: Body parts found below Hollywood sign

Inside was a man's head. His hair was graying. Police said he appeared to be in his 40s and that he probably had been dead for a day or two.
Although we've been going there regularly since 1978 or 1979, note well that the murder didn't occur in the area, so nyaah, can't pin nothing on us, copper!

Where nature more or less begins:
(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times-0846 18 January 2012)
LAPD at the entrance to Bronson Canyon; 30+ detectives
& officers on horseback searched seven acres of
rugged parkland for body parts.
"Rugged," bitchezz!!

Johnny Otis Joins Jumpin' Band
In Sky Or Hell

A very important figure in the world of race music. He hung on till 90. That'll show the bastards!

To return to the important subject, we are in possession of the 0s & 1s that comprise Rhythm & Blues Caravan: The Complete Savoy Recordings (And only Discs One & Three; the Santa Monica Library's copy of Disc Two wouldn't rip.) & that is some seriously down stuff. Funky's too easy & trivializing a description; it has the beat, the flats & the sharps, all in the right places. Torrent a copy today, while you still can.

Big Fucking Dummies

It's still a democracy: You are privileged to decide which group is worse, the exploiters or the exploited.

The candidates are close to literally out of their minds:
What's really scary is that the way that Republicans—including Ron Paul—talk and act about Israel shows that their grasp of world affairs ranges between incompetent and delusional.
But they must keep ahead of their flock, whose delusions are never-ending.
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA—In talking to Republican voters across the state, one thing I’ve found interesting—and alarming—is the degree to which apocalyptic rhetoric is par for the course. “We will not recognize the United States after four more years after Obama,” said John Leach, an avid supporter of Newt Gingrich who attended the candidate's Sunday rally in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “We are surely moving toward socialism.” he said.

Likewise, at the South Carolina Tea Party convention, attendees were worried that Obama would make irrevocable changes to the country if he won re-election. “He will take the God out of America,” said Carolyn Church, a housekeeper and domestic worker who sees the country’s “Judeo-Christian heritage” as its most important characteristic.

And at Rick Santorum’s town hall at Daniel Island Elementary, attendees were terrified that Obama would impose tyranny if he made it through 2012. “This is the most important election of our lifetimes,” said Susan Sloate, “Obama has made huge strides in destroying the America we know, and if we don’t win this one, there will be no elections in 2016.”
What fun these next months will be. An eternity of fun.

Traffic Control Box

Now art nazis are trying to, uh, control it.

An Imprecatory Prayer

May his days be few; may another take his office*.
*Bead-rattling version, w/ lyrics.

Not In Service

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.