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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Convention-al Thinking: Day 4 - America Can Be Better

Note: My coverage of the Convention is limited to whatever text the Internet gives me, and morning news shows like Good Morning America. Wait a second, Holy Shit! I actually got to watch some of the speech last night! AWESOME! Anyhow, I still apologize if my coverage isn't all encompassing or anything like CNN or Fox News. I'm still here to offer analysis and punditry, not the value of Joe Biden's house. Holy shit, I got to watch some of the speech last night.

Get used to this image, because until Monday this is gonna be in your head. This is truly awe inspiring. So awe inspiring, in fact, that even John McCain had to pay him respect. According to MSNBC, McCain ran a one night, two showing only ad that said:

McCain says:

"Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done." (In a switch, McCain to Obama: "Well done")

Which historic day? 45 years ago yesterday was the day that Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Have A Dream" speech, and I'm sure even he didn't dream of John McCain pulling a card from the classy deck and playing it in spades. This'll probably be the only time I get to say this, before his possible concession speech, but Fuck Yeah, McCain! I mean we all give the guy a lot of shit, but frankly I think this is the classiest move he's made in the whole game so far. Well done, Senator McCain, well done.

Anyway, back to the coverage. Last night was too big for one convention center, it was so big in fact that they needed a football field. 84,000 supporters, a fireworks and confetti spectacular at the end, and a 50 minute speech that not only solidified Barack Obama's position as the Democratic nominee, but prompted one of his supporters to say, "There’s no way the Republicans can match this. He’s got to win now." (Tide of emotion as Barack Obama makes history at Democratic convention)

And who better to warm the crowd up than former Vice President/environmentalist/former presidential hopeful/level 60 Dungeon Master, Al Gore. Gore helped push the message that McCain is like Bush Lite:

"If you like the Bush-Cheney approach, John McCain's your man"

He also went on record as stating that Republicans "...are desperately afraid of the change Barack Obama represents.", and that Obama's candidacy "has taught him something that career politicians often overlook — that inconvenient truths must be acknowledged if we are to have wise governance."(Gore says McCain's policies too close to Bush) From what I've read of Gore's speech, it was an ok warm up. Apparently not enough to get clips up on Good Morning America, because even they knew what the story of the morning was.

This link right here (Full text of Obama's speech) is probably what you've been waiting for, so if you like you can just click on that and ignore the rest of my rantings. But, if you're as patient as I am, click the link and then park it back here.

Just let me know when you get back.

You can get a sandwich while you're up.

Ok, this is ridiculous, are you coming back or are you just jerking my chai...oh, there you are. Cool. Let's move on, shall we?

I've found that looking at Biden and Obama's speeches, the big deals are the economy and the war on terror, and these two subjects are woven together by the common thread of the promise of America. These men don't sound like politicians, they sound like men trying to recapture the ideals of America you only find in popular entertainment. The ideals that acknowledge the good in every one, and the hardships families so often face for the betterment of the next generation. In an attack on the notion that he is more of a celebrity than a political figure, Senator Obama talked about his life as a child, and how his mother and grandmother both endured the struggle of being not only African Americans, but women as well.

"In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships. "

"And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well. I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States. "

Perhaps the best line in his speech though, and I'm surprised the media didn't jump on this as a pull quote, was towards the end of his speech. I had jumped onto my laptop and watched the live feed of the speech towards its end, and Senator Obama said something I think spoke volumes about his campaign: "This election isn't about me...it's about you!" That's a standard the Republicans are going to have to trump, and it's a standard even Hillary Clinton will have to face if she ever runs again. Obama made it clear: he isn't doing this because he wants notoriety or to even say, "Hey, I'm the first Black man to be president". He's not in it for bragging rights...unless you count national pride and faith in your fellow citizens to be the best goddamn people they can be as bragging rights.

I for one am proud to have Barack Obama representing America as a presidential nominee. The Democratic Convention was an overwhelming success, that started slow but built momentum and finally just delivered on all fronts. It was interesting to cover this convention, and I will be giving the Republican Convention coverage as well. I can't say it'll be as happy or rosey as the Democratic Convention, but it'll be equal time. Until Monday though, we have an image of hope and promise to hold onto. (Oh, and I know McCain is announcing his VP today, but honestly it's not as exciting or interesting as Obama selecting Biden. Besides, I still want to punch Neil Cavuto out, and I will do so if I have to hear him talk about the worth of someone's house.)

Son of a bitch! Just as I finish typing this entry, what happens: McCain Chooses Sarah Palin as V.P. Pick

This was almost predicable. He's going for the Hillary/PUMA vote, and the female vote in general. This might work to a certain degree, but I can't help but think if he made the announcement before the convention, it would have had a more "crippling" effect. Still, this seems more like a publicity stunt than anything. Plus, she's pro life and for drilling in ANWR, so good luck with that on your ticket, buddy. Though, might I dare say, she's actually kinda hot...in the sort of "my party's gonna lose, but I have quite the rack" way.

To be continued, Monday night...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle

Let that absurdity settle into your head. Blogger Kevin Cogill leaked songs from Guns N' Roses "It'll be released when it's released" album, "Chinese Democracy", and was arrested and is now being prosecuted by the FBI. The biggest line of bullshit in this whole story?

"According to an arrest affidavit, Cogill admitted to agents that he posted the songs on his Web site. Prosecutors said Wednesday the leak could result in a "significant" financial loss for the band."

Does it help his case if it was reported that he removed the songs, and that this whole mess started back in June? Apparently not, because his bail has been set at $10,000 and he will be facing a preliminary hearing on Sept. 17th. So what does Axl Rose have to say about this?

"Guns N' Roses representatives have been made aware of the arrest and are leaving the matter to the authorities," said Larry Solters, the band's spokesman.

In other words, the party that may face "significant financial losses" is going to remain quiet about the losses that were almost incurred upon them by that filthy blogger scum. Shame and damnation befall him, because Guns 'N Roses believes he deserves it. Actually, who knows what they believe at this point, because they're saying nothing! It's like if I were to prosecute someone for stealing Government technology, and the Government just brushes off the case in court. Wouldn't someone reasonably intelligent think that maybe GNR would want to at least issue a statement about their songs being leaked or when Chinese Democracy might be coming out?

Nope. Not Axl Rose and the gang. (Except for Slash, he rocks.) GNR would rather just the whole thing be settled so they can go back to delaying Chinese Democracy and robbing America of a free Dr. Pepper. (Hey kids, don't forget to play Rock Band 2, because it'll have a track off of the most famous album to never be released!) I guess that's a good thing, since the cultural relevance of Guns 'N Roses ended about the same time Kriss Kross stopped making music, Milli Vannili were found to be frauds, and Kurt Cobain and his buddies musically kicked Axl Rose's ass like the little schoolgirl he is.
Couldn't an arguement be made that Guns 'N Roses has not only diminished in its popularity, but is also not losing money in this matter? It's a safe bet that the leaked songs could lead to better album sales if the public likes them enough. This is all dependent on the assumption that this album is going to be released in the near future, much less the assumption that it's going to be a chart topping success.

Here's how it would have panned out in the real world: Guns 'N Roses finishes their album, announces a release date. The world is waiting with somewhat baited breath, they get thrust into the limelight. Axl Rose gets some ink in Rolling Stone because they sold out about the same time Axl Rose did, so that makes them bros. After the cover story, public interest is somewhat stoked, and that's around the same time the critics get their hands on a copy of the album. EW publishes an article labeling the album as, "A horrorshow of wasted promise and nightmarish delays...Chinese Democracy is about as fresh as the air in Beijing." The public will get wind of this, Axl Rose will become a raging doucheknuckle in the public eye again, the album will either debut with a tepid fourth or fifth place finish and gradually slip, or start at a Number 1 spot because of all the die hards, but will sink like a stone in a pond.

As for the FBI, isn't it kinda fucked up that they're prosecuting someone for stealing music. I mean it worked so well when they were first doing it years ago, that really stopped people from downloading music. I know I went right home and deleted Ares and Soul Seek after hearing that. It's not ridiculous that the FBI is the driving force for the prosecution, and not the band that's actually making the material that's disputed. It's not like there's more important things to be foiled. No terror plots being designed against us. There aren't even dumbass amateur assassins out there trying to kill Barack Obama that they could keep busy chasing. Nope, not here in Whitebread, USA! We just like to mind our picket fences, smile at our enemies, and waste time and money punishing our own citizens for music theft.

This is just one more reason why I think Trent Reznor is a genius. At least he understand the digital revolution in music. (Don't forget to download The Slip, kids! It's fucking worth it.) Well, until next time, I'll just sit in my office and pray the FBI doesn't have me on the list to be black bagged after my current post.

Convention-al Thinking: Day 3 - Together We Can Get Back Up

Note: My coverage of the Convention is limited to whatever text the Internet gives me, and morning news shows like Good Morning America. I apologize if my coverage isn't all encompassing or anything like CNN or Fox News. I'm here to offer analysis and punditry, not the value of Joe Biden's house.

This is where it starts to get interesting. Night 3 of the Democratic Convention has turned the flame up, and by tonight's broadcasts it should be at full boil. Was it enough? Let's find out.

Before we get into the actual news portion, I'd first like to vent a little outrage. I ran across this story from MTV.com on the Google News page, Rage Against The Machine And Thousands of Protesters Rock the DNC .... I could just be bitching here, but does anyone think we can we just acknowledge that Rage Against The Machine isn't a source of policy or political action in this country? I know I know, they perform such politically charged songs, they made a video with Michael Moore, and they performed at a protest rally outside of the Democratic Convention. Don't you think that they should have saved it for the Republican Convention though? I mean, the Democrats are the ones you WANT to win, why not protest in front of the bastards you can't stand. Last I checked, a protest is something you want the people you're protesting against to pay attention to. Crazy belief, I know, but I think all Rage Against the Machine amounts to is that angry kid singing angry songs against his dad who makes him angry, so instead of actually dealing with it like an adult he'll channel his energy into bullshit "entertainment". And as "guerilla" as you all are, I'm sure you're getting paid quite nicely. Paid nicely to look like you rolled around in shit the night before your concert, and it got stuck in your hair. (I'm looking at you, Zach De La Rocha.) All I'm saying is maybe they aren't as relevant as trendwhore MTV makes it out to be. Lights out, guerilla radio...turn that shit OFF.

And MTV...Rock The Vote doesn't work. It never did. You think it did, but really the kids just wanted to see a free concert with whoever it was you used that year. Let me put it into hip new terms you should understand, since English hasn't appeared on your channel since Sugar Ray was king:

"Kn0ck kn0ck" (Knock Knock)
"Hu iz it?" (Who is it?)
"Relevanz" (Relevance.)
"Relevanz hu?" (Relevance who?)
"Relevanz, YOU HAZ NUN!" (Relevance, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY!)

The last time MTV made any sense or difference was around 2000 when Britney Spears got her first implants, and we all know how THAT election turned out. Do you really think Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag give a shit about ANWAR? How about those Laguna Beach bitches talking about the mounting deficit? Hey, did you see that discussion between Bam Margera and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld? Oh that's right...NONE OF THAT SHIT FUCKING HAPPENED! Give up MTV, you're the creepy old guy with the ponytail, the shades, and the drive to act cool again. I hope John Cusack and Jack Black beat the shit out of you accordingly.

Back to the actual convention itself. Well, it's official. In case anyone had doubts or delusions, Barack Obama was officially named the Democratic Candidate last night. Please join me in a pause for all of the PUMA's in the audience to break their computer monitors, curse my name out, and sit back down to collapse in a heap of sadness. There there, it's nothing to be upset about...you just lost. All hundred or so of you. Hey, at least John Kerry made a splash at the convention...you female voters liked him, right? No...you were just voting for him because you thought the chances of John Edwards being photographed in a Speedo would drastically increase? Oh...well he still was at the convention last night. He didn't do much except tell us what we already knew:

“90 percent of George Bush is just more than we can take....”
“America does not torture, not now, not ever...”

“The Bush-McCain Republicans have been wrong again and again and again.”

Way to go, Captain Obvious. Thanks for an update from 2004...you know, the election you let the Republicans run away with. I think you can go back and sit in the corner now. Speaking of obvious, it's readily apparent that there were only two speeches people wanted to hear. Two speeches that really mattered to the people. Two speeches that kicked major asses and set things up perfectly for tonight's close to the convention.

Let's get Bill Clinton out of the way first, because whether you like the man or not it's obvious he knows how to speak. For those of you who are fans of pull quotes, this headline from MSNBC is all you need: Clinton: 'Obama is ready' . The man put on quite a show last night, getting so much applause and reverence that he had to tell the crowd to calm down. Bill Clinton's first politically relevant (as opposed to philanthropically relevant) appearance in a while is kind of like the first drink of water after being out in the desert...apparently people are so starved of it they had to go on for five minutes.

What's most interesting though, is the fact that Clinton did what his wife, his "preferred candidate", failed to do...give us a reason to vote for Obama. One of the best parts of his speech is when he flat out dismisses the notion that Obama doesn't have the experience to lead:

"Once he got started, Clinton reached back to his own campaign in 1992, when “Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.”
“Sound familiar?” he asked. “It didn’t work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it won’t work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.”

No offense to the man, but if the Governor of Little Rock, Arkansas; who almost definately had no foreign policy experience and who only had to govern a state, can go on to becoming president, then a Junior Senator from Illinois should be able to succeed with the same venture. Republicans need to get the notion out of their heads that cites inexperience as a vote killer. I mean, it didn't work when the Democrats used it against George W. Bush, and he had more foreign policy inexperience than a toddler.

And of course, one of president Clinton's many oratory gifts has always been stating the obvious, but in less obvious context:

“Let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks. In this case, the third time is not the charm...America can do better than that.”

Sometimes, the most obvious point is the one that has to be made. It just helps when you do it in a way that doesn't insult everyone's intelligence, and this is a decent example of such a scenario.

The other big speaker of the night? Some guy by the name of Joe Biden...no one important. That is, if you're not interested in the future of the nation. (Speidi, I'm looking in the direction of your general void.) The man who's balancing out the ticket to the bright tomorrow America's being promised spoke in his official capacity as Vice Presidential nominee, and despite what looks like genuine respect for John McCain, he seems like the perfect choice to continue to carry the standard of hope that the Obama campaign has stood for since day one.

“I watched how he touched people, how he inspired them, and I realized he has tapped into the oldest American belief of all: We don’t have to accept a situation we cannot bear,” said Biden, who ended his own presidential campaign early in the nominating process. “We have the power to change it.” (Biden: McCain offers 'more of the same')

He also went on record as saying he was moved seeing Hillary Clinton speak on Tuesday. While I'd be the first to disagree that the woman doesn't seem to be able to move anything but her hyphenate last name, I would also say that this sentiment is very touching. Yeah, she's a bitch; but she's the Democratic party's bitch, so they'll continue to honor her and I guess in some way we all will...even if it's jokes at her expense.

I have to say that reading transcripts and watching the clips of Biden's speech (Joe Biden's speech at the Democratic convention - Yahoo! News), it all went very West Wing. (Early, "warm fuzzy Sorkin feeling West Wing", not "Urgent urgent urgent, John Wells West Wing)." The energy, the emotion, the anecdotes about losing his own wife and daughter...it all just hit the right note. He came off as genuine, as heartfelt, and as respectable as Jed Bartlett ever did in his term in office. Take this quote for instance:
"...Work is more than a paycheck. It's dignity. It's respect. It's about whether or not you can look your children in the eye and say: We're going to be all right."
Does that sound more like a "real politician" speaking, or does it sound like a "Sorkonian politician"? This is it...right here. No more joke running mates, no more speculation, just a ticket of hope and change. As all of you know, I'm very much a cynic and I did vote for Bush in the last election. Well, I deeply regret that, and I'm proud to be backing a ticket that this time represents security through hope and change, as opposed to war and intimidation. This is the real deal folks...Obama/Biden '08 - "Together We Can Get Back Up".

Tonight's the big show folks. The Big Three: Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr, former VP Al Gore, and of course last night's surprise guest Sen. Barack Obama himself, all go out there tonight and bat the Ninth Inning for the DNC. And I've got a feeling it'll be right out of the park.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Convention-al Thinking: Day 2 - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit

Note: My coverage of the Convention is limited to whatever text the Internet gives me, and morning news shows like Good Morning America. I apologize if my coverage isn't all encompassing or anything like CNN or Fox News. I'm here to offer analysis and punditry, not the value of Joe Biden's house.

Round 2, folks! As the second night of the convention in Denver progressed, we saw some familiar faces. Senator Patrick Leahy spoke, who's claim to fame is being such a Batman fan that he got to be manhandled by the Joker as Harvey Dent's father in the summer box office smash The Dark Knight. Representative Dennis Kucinich was on hand as well, obviously being allowed to attend the convention in between his routine monthly abductions. The big speaker of the evening last night was, undoubtedly, the Great Pumpkin.

Time for to make Carville proud, because that goodwill I bestowed upon Hillary yesterday (if I did indeed do so, I cannot remember) is slightly diminished. Still, there was some good to her speech. She did address her loyal fanbase, and "release" them to vote for Obama as planned. Plus, as expected, she had a couple pull quotes, that summed up her speech:

"Barack Obama is my candidate."
"No way, no how, no McCain' "

Simple enough. Mix that in with a response to Michelle Obama's speech from the night before, a couple "I love you's" from Bill, and...wait, did she really say THAT?

“To my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. Thank you...you never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.”

"Sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits"?! Really? I mean, way to isolate your male fanbase, no matter how limited they may be. You know, 18 million votes is nothing to sneeze at, and do you really think that all 18 million voters that picked your ass were female? Maybe an overwhelming majority of them, but it would have done you well to Her big assumption is that you had to have a vagina in order to be compelled to vote for her, which equates to reverse sexism. Reverse sexism is still sexism, and frankly I'm surprised no one pointed this out. Maybe I'm just too picky, but I think it was a failed attempt at some campaign humor, and I think it was a stupid thing to say. One that if she were the party's nominee, would have cost her votes she would have needed against McCain.

See, even Senator Obama's laughing. Maybe he's laughing because this "500 foot home run" that Ms. Clinton hit out of the park, was really more of a bunt. And who do we have to thank for pointing that out? The same happy chappy who's quick on the attack ad trigger finger, Senator McCain. You have to admit, even if the man's an old bastard, who may or may not have broken his wife's wrist, he's sure got a cracker jack team of media hawks. Their biggest talking point of the evening:

“...nowhere tonight did [Clinton] say that Barack Obama is ready to lead. Millions of Hillary Clinton supporters and millions of Americans remain concerned about whether Barack Obama is ready to be president.”

The crafty son of a bitch...he's absolutely...right. I hate to say it, but he was right. If you go back and look at Hillary's speech, there's nothing that describes her feelings about his character, his leadership, or anything personal about him. She merely said he was her candidate and that her supporters should unify and vote for him. But she didn't give a compelling enough reason why, in fact she gave no reason as to why.

Nothing. Not even something as flimsy as, "I think you should vote for Obama because he has really nice ties and he's a family man." Nope. I would even go as far as to say that this speech sounded more like a victory speech...one she undoubtedly would have had written far in advance, assuming her "impending" victory after super Tuesday. It really didn't need a terrible amount of change, and the way she addressed the crowd even seemed like she was pretending to be the nominee.

Maybe the evening was just one big joke to Hillary Clinton. Maybe she expected someone to pop out and say she was on Candid Camera, and she was really the nominee. Or maybe, it was all running in slow motion like at the end of Requiem For A Dream. The applause, her name being shouted, the bright lights...all of it just soaking into her being and the spotlight making her forget for one shining moment that she epically failed to secure the nomination for the office she so desperately wanted.

Ms. Clinton, I will say this for the last time, so listen up...


I guess this proves one thing: Hillary Clinton is indeed the Joker, and she might as well said, "Hey, DNC...why so serious?" Dear god, please let Bill redeem himself, and maybe even his wife, tonight at the convention.

Further reading for the day from The Daily News, Body language experts debate Hil speech, which basically backs up some of the points I made here and Warner exudes a quiet confidence. Everyone got so caught up with Hillary, that this gentleman became overlooked with everyone else. But if anyone stole the show besides Gov. Warner, it'd have to be Sen. Bob Casey Jr. from Pennsylvania. If his speech was any indication, the Democrats have only begun to fight.

"Casey gave the convention its first couple of great one-liners, comparing John McCain to George W. Bush and quipping, "That isn't a maverick, that's a sidekick."
Casey then added that we don't need four more years of Bush, but more like "four more months" - a phrase delegates immediately began chanting, in a welcome sign that they were finally having some fun."

It just goes to show that in order to get some attention the same night Hillary Clinton speaks at your covention, you have to not only know what you're doing, but you've also got to have a hook.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Convention-al Thinking: Day 1 - "The Work Continues"

Note: My coverage of the Convention is limited to whatever text the Internet gives me, and morning news shows like Good Morning America. I apologize if my coverage isn't all encompassing or anything like CNN or Fox News. I'm here to offer analysis and punditry, not the value of Joe Biden's house.

Opening night at the Democratic Convention took a tone that disappointed James Carville. A tone that, "has no message", in his view of events, which was evident by his words on CNN last night:

"Well if this party has a message it has done a hell of a job of hiding it tonight I promise you that...You haven't heard about Iraq? You haven't heard about John McCain?"

He reiterated such a message with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America this morning. I think that Mr. Carville needs to see last night's opener as merely a first act of what's to come. There will indeed be plenty of time for talk about Iraq and McCain as the convention wears on, and if there's any teeth to be bared we can all be sure Hillary Clinton will be the one to start the fang show.

In my opinion, last night's opener was a reassurance to the Democratic supporters. They could have talked about Hillary trying to steal the spotlight. They could have bitched about McCain being a cranky old coot who likes to use attack ads as a means of topical discourse. What did they do instead? Michelle Obama talked about how her family is as American as you and me. One of her statements appealed to the ails of today, which surprisingly enough was covered positively through the Arizona Republic's article, "Michelle Obama showcases husband at Democratic convention":

"He was raised by grandparents who were working-class folks, just like my parents, and by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, just like we did. And like my family, they scrimped and saved so that he could have opportunities they never had for themselves."

This alone says that the Obama camp has not forgotten the working class voters, as well as voters from an older generation. One that had to make the same sacrifices to provide a future for its children. A sacrifice most of the younger voters don't remember, because they come from times where things weren't as rough economically. A message the younger voters would do well to carry with them and older voters already remember when facing the economic crises we face today. Either way, the cross generational appeal of the message is apparent.

It also says that the Obamas don't need to be on the defensive 24/7. The Democratic Party has inspired, and is currently reviving a feeling of hope. Nothing said that better than when often joked about, but still respected senator Ted Kennedy showed up on the convention floor last night, and issued a modified statement similar to the one he made at the convention in the 1980's:

"The work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on."

I know the man isn't the most respectable in the bunch, but just the way he actually showed up at the convention, physically standing in the room and delivering a speech, is quite inspirational. He could have just as easily done a satellite appearance. He could have prerecorded his speech. He could have even has Caroline Kennedy put in his two cents into the evening. But he decided a physical appearance was what was called for. That itself was a symbol of triumphing adversity, which has been this party's legacy: a legacy built by his brothers back in a golden era for the party.

Even the protesters at the convention were laid back, and hopeful. According to the LA Times article, "Protesters at the Democratic convention take a low-key approach", non violent demonstrations involving folk singing were the order of the evening. How often these days do you read a story about political protests, and read a line like this:

"The only sign that the midday gathering Monday was anything other than a run-of-the-mill congregation of local leftists was the dozens of police in riot gear, staying under spruce trees to avoid the brutal sun."

Negativity was not needed for the opening of the convention. Sure, it could be labeled as a soft sell, an evening clinging to nostalgia about the way things were, it could even be labeled as one big love fest for the Democratic cause. Well, coming from a former bitter Republican, I say that the message of last evening was hope. It was that America needs to stop being on the offensive with one another. There's important work to be done, issues to face, and a choice to be made. Again, there's plenty of time to launch a systematic attack on McCain's policies, standings, and personality. The Democrats have the first move in the game, it's important they don't mess it up by marching into the convention, guns blazing, torching McCain's reputation haphazardly, only to have him stand right up and defeat them with his "credibility".

I would say that it is important tonight to keep that feeling of hope and positivity alive. However, it is the second night of the convention, and Mr. Carville does have a point. Issues need to come into the foreground, only it should be a gradual process. Tonight, Hillary Clinton is on the schedule of speakers; and this afternoon should be her formal "release" of delegates to go and vote for Barack Obama. Why this "release" should be happening is beyond me. She lost fair and square, and her followers should just accept it. She seems to have, very gracefully in fact. Michelle Obama even acknowledged her work in the primaries, and the fact that she created, "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling." Senator Clinton should use this new found respect to rebuff the PUMA's (Party Unity My Ass) and show Chris Matthews that she is indeed not a "wacko", by building sincere party unity. Of course, this is what any other political correspondent would tell you, and I'm sorry if I'm just preaching to the choir here. I have to use my fucking Poli Sci degree somehow.

I'll close by saying the big push should be saved for the final night of the conference. Al Gore, Governor Bill Ritter, and Senator Obama themselves should be the three to bring the biggest message of the convention. They should be the ones that hit the hardest with their words. And most of all, they should be using the time they have between now and Thursday to build a case so great and so powerful against McCain's campaign, that he doesn't have a leg to stand on when the Republican convention opens on September 1st.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Everything is under control

As you all probably know and don't give a shit about, the Bejing Olympics ended last night, in as big a specticle as the Opening Ceremonies about two weeks back. (The only difference is it looks like they switched from Sony Imageworks to ILM for their CGI fireworks, and it didn't look like Jackie Chan was lipsyncing his performance from vocals provided by Jet Li.) The press has been labeling this as a success, with MSNBC calling it, "a display of tightly scripted merriment and lavish fireworks, a final burst of pomp ending 17 days of sports and celebration that Chinese authorities organized with flawless precision and an unbending security clampdown".

So American tourists getting stabbed is an example of "unbending security"? If you believe that, then I'm sure you'd also believe that the admission of switching little girls for the performance of "Ode to the Motherland" was truly for "the national interest". Now that we've gotten the delusions out of the way, let's focus on some truths, the ultimate one being this: this was not as big of a success for China as they'd like to let on.

In fact, I'd say it was a bit of a bungle. China didn't win the Olympics, they merely had the most Gold Medals. That's pretty impressive, but the US won the medal count, which last time I checked (I could be wrong) was the way we judged success in the Olympics. Not to mention, we had a pretty good swimmer in our corner, and we did pretty well in Basketball. I could be wrong, my father watched more of the Olympics than I did. But you'll still hear China under the delulsion that they were the best, as usual. Why is that? Because China has always had its delusions that it was the greatest nation in the world. Not only that, it's been one of the most successful nations when it comes to duping its populace into sharing those delusions, and keeping them engrained in the culture for several decades, if not centuries.

Don't believe me? Here's a quote from MSNBC's story, "Olympic success may empower China's leaders":

"We won 51 gold medals," exulted Cheng Xue, a 25-year-old Beijing woman who attended the Closing Ceremonies. "It is a total breakthrough. We did a perfect job on security and provided good services to all the athletes."

"Perfect job on security"? Tell that to Hugh McCutcheon, who lost his father in law to a random stabbing towards the beginning of the Olympics. Naomi Klein ran a piece on The Huffington Post's website, "The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0", that raised the point I'm backing in this post:

"...[China] is betting on this: when the opening ceremonies begin friday, you will instantly forget all that unpleasantness as your brain is zapped by the cultural/athletic/political extravaganza that is the Beijing Olympics. Like it or not, you are about to be awed by China's sheer awesomeness."
To be honest, what host nation wouldn't want to put their best foot forward in making sure the Olympics turned out as perfect as they could be? It could be said that there's probably been more attempts at Olympic sized deceptions during the games than there have been attempts on Jack Bauer's life during the complete run of 24. Still, no deception was as great or as strangely admitted to as China's. It's scary that a nation who's become an economic powerhouse wouldn't try to hide things a little more. C'mon, they still have a ministry for Propaganda, and they censor the Internet. You mean to tell me they couldn't lock this situation down a little better?

Awed we were indeed...at least until the admissions came out that the opening cerimonies were half faked. Not to mention, there's still controversy over the ages of the gymnasts involved in the games; which will most likely persist for about a week longer, then fade into nothing more than a historical footnote. Whatever the outcome, China did all of this because they knew what the rest of the world knew...they needed to knock this one out of the park, and provide enough pretty lights and colors to distract the world from not only their failure to act on bettering the situation of Darfur's population, but also to distract from their own checkered history of human rights violations.

So how does a nation who wants to be seen as perfect go about warming the public up to them? Admit to some small faults, so that way their "perfect" record is "tarnished". They admitted to deception because they want to be seen as a human nation, not just an austere empire of strict regulation and oppression. These faults may have been easily admitted to because A.) they were early on, B.) they were two small instances and C.) China wants to look as harmless as your Uncle Larry. It's as if they're saying, "Hey, we make mistakes too. We admit them readily, and we're just as falable as you....only we won 51 Gold Medals, so we're still more perfect than you, even if we're flawed." They will admit deceit, but only if it's in a series of controlled, singular instances that do not damage China's reputation in the long term. Everyone knows it's big news when China admits something like coloring the mass media's outlook on them, so why not admit to a couple little things and let everyone chew on that while you do the really bad stuff in the background. It's like if Clinton admited to his affair with Monica Lewinsky, while massive bombing campaigns ruined the infrastructure of Kosovo.
Not to be xenophobic or anything, but I'm scared of any nation that openly admits to deceiving the world in such cosmetic matters...because if they admit to the small stuff, what type of stuff aren't they admitting to that's undoubtedly bigger and more damaging to the world. Still, it's good to know that at least here in America, we don't succumb to similarly grand flights of fantasy that ignore the cold, hard facts within our own admittedly democratic processes...
...OK, maybe after Tuesday that statement will be true. If ever.

Friday, August 22, 2008

100th Post Extravaganza

I'm moved into my new office, working for a new company, and it's the 100'th post of Mr. Controversy. Hoo-freakin-rah. I'd like to thank everyone for reading and making the last hundred posts feel like more of a communal entertainment experience, and not just the shameless grab for attention and fame it really is...er, was...um, feels like. Anyhow, it's good to see you all again, and I'm looking forward to keep up the work. (It's not my place to say whether it's good work or not.)

Forever indebted,

Mr. C

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Devil v. George W. Bush: A Short Fiction, Part VII

This will be the final part of The Devil v. George W. Bush to hit the Internets. I may revise the story, and add an epilogue, so that I may actually produce a book/novella from it that I can shop around and get published. Sorry if I've outraged anyone, and I'll confirm what you're all thinking right now...I am indeed a sell out. However, I'm a sell out who still cares about providing content to his fans, and has only sold out slightly.

Part VII: The Ultimate Legal Challenge (part II)

The media was out in force the next day. Fox, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC...any combination of letters that spelt "news" in people's minds was represented. Telemundo even had cameras there, to make sure the Spanish speaking population didn't miss a beat. Most of the Spanish viewers would turn the channel though, after finding out that the hearing that day would not involve immigration reform or border politics.

Fox's coverage was graphic heavy and included a remix of Ave Satani from the Omen mashed up with the Fox News theme, while the crawl at the bottom talked of Satan's possible links to Paris Hilton as a lover, and also speculated that Obama was secretly planning this whole incident from the beginning. Karl Rove lamented he resigned so soon, because he was missing out on his only chance to meet his future boss/mentor on Earth.

NBC's coverage was Tom Brokaw talking to a panel of theologists, political strategists, and at least one business expert; each of them speculating what this whole mess spelled out for mankind and its various citizens. MSNBC had the same coverage as NBC, only Keith Olbermann would pop in throughout to give his take on the situation, as Tucker Carlson silently was strangled by his bowtie. (The Devil truly hated him and thought it'd be amusing to have him flailing about in the background.)

CNN had Wolf Blitzer doing Situation Report specials for 24 hours straight, ever since Inauguration Day. He was later claimed to have "pulled an O'Reilly" and snapped on camera claiming, "The flies, the flies...the flies are eating me! Sweet Jesus, will anyone do anything about the flies?!" Anderson Cooper took over shortly, while CNN decided they had to put old Wolfie down.

ABC did a special edition of The View, in which Barbara Walters bragged about sleeping with the Devil in the 50's to get onto the Today Show, Joy Behar made some vagina jokes, Star Jones ate a dog whole, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck spoke in tongues and made a virgin sacrifice to her new lord and master. Whoopi Goldberg would resign that day, citing that she couldn't "take this shit" anymore and was "off to some place where the crackers made sense". Apparently, that place was her apartment, where she continued to watch the complete series of Seinfeld on DVD.

CBS, PBS, and all other networks just ran normal programming, because they couldn't wrap their heads around the situation happening. Even Comedy Central took the day off because, as Steven Colbert put it on his Inauguration Day coverage special on the Colbert Report, "You can't write stuff like this. Honestly, the jokes just write themselves with this mess. It's as if a bad writer were pulling the strings behind the scene, and all we're doing is watching it on TV like a mindless drove of drones. Bad move America, bad move." (Colbert eventually lightened up and said that he hoped The Devil stood by his choice of picking a Celine Dion song as the Global Anthem.)

The world was pretty much running the way it should, the only difference being the Devil might be owning it in a couple hours or so. You wouldn't know it by the television coverage though.
The benches were filled in Congress, as senators and constituents alike filled the chamber. The public, for once, was interested in proceedings of government, and as such they showed up in force to watch the battle for the world. Satan sat off to the side, wondering why now of all times the world decided to give a shit about something important. He just laughed it off, with the spectral presence of Johnny Cochran sitting next to him filling his briefs.

Johnny tried to appeal to the Dark Lord's sensibilities one more time, seeing as he thought there was a high probability of them losing, as well as the fact that the Lead Counsel said if he won, he'd string Johnny up by his tie so his victory would be short lived.

"You know, we could settle right now, Satan. Get you visitation rights, holiday weekends in charge, make Halloween a holiday for you to come out and rule everything. And you'd get candy out of the deal."

Burt, Satan, whatever you want to call him; he sat and sighed, "Look Johnny, I wouldn't be the Devil if I didn't want to rule the world, and I do! So I'm going through with this trial whether you like it or not, and I'm going to show the world once and for all that Mr. Bush is a world class dunderhead."

Johnny paused, "Buddy, that's like showing the Earth it has watter on it."

John The Lead Counsel came in with his client and his codefendants, the President, Vice President, and President Elect. They sat down, and John opened his briefcase, produced a couple documents, and then glared at Satan and his attorney. Satan was a little uncomfortable, Johnny looked like he was about to shit himself, and newly added second chair Alberto Gonzalez smirked, ready to take on anything.

"Al?!", the President exclaimed with shock, "What gives? I thought you were on my side?"

"Satan says if we win the case, I get to waterboard you all.", Gonzalez replied as he laughed and laughed maniacally.

A tear came to Dick's eyes. He looked like Christmas was ruined, "But...but...*sniffle* I was supposed to do the waterboarding." He wiped his eyes and took back his trademark snarl, "It's not fair...IT'S NOT FUCKING FAIR, GONZALEZ! I WILL RIP YOU IN HALF, EAT YOU UP, AND SHIT YOU ONTO THE STEPS OF CONGRESS! BRING IT ON!"

All of a sudden, there was an indentation in the center of the table. Dick's dick was fueled and ready to go, yet again.

"Jesus Christ, get a cup!", Obama exclaimed, evidently grossed out by Cheney's erection. Everyone else either puked, laughed, or hid under their seat. Either way, the trial was about to begin. The judge stepped out, and took his seat on the bench.

"All rise, the not so honorable Bill O'Reilly presiding."

Everyone stood as Bill O'Reilly, fully dressed in judges' robes, came out and took his seat.

"Thanks everyone. You may be seated. I'd like to start today's trial with today's talking point: Would Satan be a Better Ruler for Earth? My answer: No. Hell no, in fact. Satan has tried to rule this green Earth multiple times in the history of Man. I would say that the reason he hasn't won is because, well he's just not the guy. If Satan were supposed to rule the world, God would have let him and all of this "nonsense" called the Bible would be gone. Unfortunately, that's the Liberal revisionist history version of how history would have went. Call me crazy, but that's not how it went in The Good Book, so that's not how it'll go in my book. Let's get onto today's trial after these messages."

The Cameraman behind the camera reminded "Judge" O'Reilly that they were indeed not on air, because the camera still needed to be set up. O'Reilly grimaced, "We'll do it on the air than."

The Cameraman looked upset, knowing where this was going, "But, the delay with the camera...we'll need to go directly into the trial if we're going to fit this into the timeslot we were given."

O'Reilly started to get a little more perturbed, "We'll do it on the air, I'll remember it."

The Producer of the telecast, through an earpiece in Bill's ear, said, "Just go with the script, Bill. Cut directly to the trial."


O'Reilly then went deathly grey and slumped over the judges bench. Death stood behind his corpse. "Fuck. Satan, I owe you ten dollars. You really had him under your control the whole time?"

"Ever since he started at Inside Edition."

"Wow, good smokescreen. No one would assume a Bible thumper were possessed by the Devil."

"That's just how I roll, my man."

Death claimed his soul, the body disappeared, and a new judge was needed. At short notice, Michael Moore was found in the audience, with a Cheney in his pants after O'Reilly's death. Before he could run off to tend to it, he was given the judge's robes and asked to sit in as judge.

"Five minutes, Mr. Moore", the Cameraman spoke, as he was futzing with some wires to make the camera work for the broadcast. Michael Moore stood up, pointed his finger at George and Dick, and had this to say: "You miserable, fucking bastards! You're goin' down, do you hear me? You are truly going down to Hell. If I had to choose between you and Satan to rule the world, I'd choose Satan because he got me my Oscar and he got Sicko greenlit. Sure, it didn't make any money, but it sure made those who pirated it think about just what this country is doing for its sick and ailing....HURGH!"

Michael Moore was dead, from heart attack generated by the blood rushing to his member after his...Cheney...burst. Death once again stood behind the body.

"Was that true?"

"Yeah, I got him the Oscar. Sicko was his own doing though...greedy Hollywood."

"Sheesh. Can we get a judge to stay, for once?"

Satan thought for a little. They needed someone that would be fair, impartial, was tv ready, and easy not to kill. Satan had a brainstorm, but for this he'd need God's help.
God, who looked like Jimmy Stewart, was sitting up in his Heaven, watching a live performance of Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theatre, when his cell phone rang.

"God, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnivorous since 0. How may I direct your call?"

"God, it's Satan. I have a favor."

"Hey, Satan! You horrid, horrid man. How's things on the opposite number?"

"It's not so good, God. I'm fighting for custody of the world and I need a good and impartial..."

"Say no more, I read the description a couple lines back and I've already sent my guy."

"Oh...thanks God. See you at the Tennis match."

"No problem, Satan." God hung up his cell phone, as Milton Berle approached him in a dress.

"God, are you ok? You look as if you've gotten a bad phone call."

"Nah, Miltey. It's just Satan is trying to take over the world and needed a judge."

"Wow...I'm dead and my ex-wife still wants to milk me for everything I've got. Talk about determination. I haven't seen this much spirit since I played golf with Stubby Kaye. Oy."

A rimshot sounded, God laughed, and the show went on.
Five minutes after his phone call, a new judge showed up in the judge's chambers. He was robed, and ready to go. Everyone was shocked to see none other than the spectral presence of Fred "Mister" Rogers himself. Judge Rogers took the bench with a smile.

"You may be seated everyone", he said in his traditionally sunny demeanor. He slipped off his sneakers, put on his dress shoes, and sat down, so that he may hear the opening statements of both lawyers. The Prosecution was up first, and as the Lead Counsel rose, President Elect Obama signaled for him.

"Let me open."

"No. No one knows Satan better than me."

"I know that, but people don't want to be antagonized. They want to be told the facts and they want them simply as possible. I'm opening, and I'm closing, and unless you're gonna take me out then you can't do anything about it."

Death stood next to the President Elect, "And I'm not gonna take him out. I think he's cool. President Elect, you may make your opening statement."

Obama took the floor, and cleared his throat. "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are in a bit of a situation here. Our former president, tried to sell us into another crisis. A crisis so great, that partisan politics itself is rendered mute. A crisis so wide reaching, it effects us all. There's a time to forgive, and there's a time to avenge; and now is a time to forgive the President his fault."

The courtroom almost erupted with chatter, but a stern, yet friendly look from Judge Rogers kept everyone in their seats, rapt with attention.

"The time has come to unify, and to forget that our own leaders engineered this crisis, because if we do not unite and face this menace, then it will be our downfall and we will see a thousand years of darkness. We must unite and say, "No, Satan. You will not take this world, you will not take our happiness, and you will not take this world."

The crowd cheered and whooped. Satan was going to have a lot to live up to. Johnny Cochran stood up to speak, but Satan asked him to sit down. He would instead give his opening statement.

"People of the Earth, I'm Satan. You might not like me, you definately know who I am, and I will warn you all that I am not one to be trifled with. I have every trick up my sleeve that you can think of, and I WILL use them. Now then, if we want to put an end to all of this foolishness, we can go to Bennigan's for that lunch I promised you all."

Judge Rogers looked at Satan, "Mr. Satan, I hate to break it to you, but that Bennigan's closed down. The company went bankrupt due to the economic pressures our nation has been facing. Haven't you read the papers?"

Time froze. Satan stood frozen in his place. "They....they....they closed?"

Judge Rogers nodded his head and Satan began to cry...massively.

"NOOOOOOO! WHY OH WHY DID MY BENNIGAN'S HAVE TO CLOSE DOWN?! IT'S NOT FAIR! IT'S SO NOT FAIR!" He dried his eyes with a tissue from Mr. Cochran, and then he pouted. "You know what, you can keep your stupid world! A world without Bennigan's is a world I don't want to live in! C'mon Johnny, Alberto; let's go back to Hell."

Johnny stood up, and said, "Sorry, God needs me back. I atoned for the O.J. thing, remember? I'm squared away."

Alberto, on the other hand, was quaking, "But...but...but...but...but". This put a smile on the Devil's face. A smile not unlike the smile when the prison tough sees his new bitch. He dragged Alberto, kicking and screaming, out the door.

"Well...", The Lead Counsel said, "...that does it I guess. Back to Hell for me!" And with that, John ran out the door to catch up to Satan. He did ever so love a good waterboarding.
The floor of Congress erupted in cheers of joy and rapture. Everyone, regardless of beliefs, was cheering and yelling their lungs out. Except for the Satanists, but they were home on the couch, drinking Mountain Dew and watching Oprah as usual. President Elect Obama took the stand with Chief Justice Roberts, and Judge Rogers. They finished swearing him in, and the crowd cheered yet again.

Judge Rogers sighed and smiled, "Well, it's time for me to go back to Heaven. Milton Berle's warming up for his second show about now, and I'm scheduled to make an appearance. Peace be with you all!" As he left, everyone could hear him whistling, "It's Such a Good Feeling", and started to sing along with the tune. As the tune ended, now President Obama stood in front of now ex President Bush.

"So...Barry. Hope there's no hard feelings.", he said as a laurel and hardy handshake to our new president. The President smiled...and pimp slapped W and Cheney both as hard as he could.

"If I EVER find out you two have done something stupid like this again, I'll make good my my threat. Which means you better buy stock in Depends, just in case."

The President joined the throng in another sing along, while George and Dick walked off into obscurity.
Burt The Devil was having a conversation with John The Lead Counsel, as they waterboarded Alberto Gonzalez.

"Do you think anyone misses him?"

"Nah. Who misses torture? Besides Jack Bauer."

They both laughed...though at the same time the cowered. They knew that Saint Bauer didn't like his name invoked in vain, and had been subject to many asswhoopings as a consequence.

"Were you ever going to betray me, John?"

"Nah. You're too fun. Besides, I have someone else lined up for you to do business with."

"Oh? Do tell?"

"When's the last time you visited Georgia?"

"The state, or the country?"

"Which one would you rather deal with?"
The End...For Now.
The Devil and John MIGHT return in "The Devil and Paris Hilton: BFF's 4Ever"

Who Watches The Watchmen? (And for how long?)

Note: I pulled the image from a message board. Someone had created a desktop of all the Comic Con posters for Watchmen, and I saved it for my own usage. I didn't create this, nor do I claim exclusivity on this piece.

Warner Brothers, stupidheads extraordinaire, are supposedly trying to screw up another film of theirs. Zach Snyder is being asked to keep his movie Watchmen under the three hour mark. If you've read the book, or at least have an inkling of the story, you'd know that anything under 3 hours would probably ruin the film. Keep in mind, The Tales of the Black Freighter is already going to be its own movie on DVD, so that's not part of the cuts that will be suggested. Sign this petition, and help Watchmen not become another casualty of Alan F. Horn's smallminded thinking.

P.S. Fox, if you were so keen on getting a piece of the rights to Watchmen, why didn't you raise a fuss when the film was starting production, instead of waiting for the trailer to become crazily popular? If you fuck this up, you won't be forgiven by the moviegoers. DROP THE SUIT!

Not Another She Movie

This looks desperately tragic. I mean, this is four alarm horribleness. They're going to make a film where a whole bunch of sassy women gab and talk about men as if they're the worst things to happen in this green Earth, and ultimately something "life affirming" is going to happen and tie the movie off with the ulitmate, feminist twist. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET SEX AND THE CITY RUN RAMPANT, PEOPLE! Hmm...let me pull out the Movie Blender here and see if I can't pull apart the individual elements.


plus this...

with a little bit of this...

...equals the trailer I showed you at the top of the page. Yep. We're dealing with a new strain of bad female empowerment movie. Vaccinate yourself and those you know and love accordingly. In the mean time, we're at DefCon 3, and we don't have a moment to spare.

"I'm working on something big..."

I was going to post a story today about the evolution of marketing and how it's evolved over time. I eventually decided not to, because I felt that I wasn't giving the article enough time to breath and evolved. (Plus I feel it's a little sprawling and rambling.) So instead, I have decided to take my time with the article, and perhaps use it in a book I'd like to publish sometime in the future, comprising of some of the "best bits" from the blog, as well as exclusive shite I didn't publish or write for the Internet. I'm not trying to rip you guys off, I'm just trying to make sure that what I think is one of the smartest, most coheirant pieces I've written in a while doesn't get rushed. Don't worry, I'll put some of it out here for you all to read. I'm not completely heartless. Just thought you'd like the heads up. Expect a survival guide to Rock Concerts and the final web chapter of The Devil v. George W. Bush soon, kids! Until then, I leave you with some videos of Paper Route, a pretty awesome new band I discovered with my brother this past weekend (more on that later):

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pairity, Volume 5

Point: A summer blockbuster about actors who'll do ANYTHING for an award getting dropped into real combat.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Counterpoint: A special interests group that does much needed charitable work, as well as builds the self esteem of those who are disabled; but who also, like many other special interests groups, doesn't know how to choose their battles.

Advantage: Point. Tropic Thunder rolled The Dark Knight into second place this weekend, despite the boycott by the Special Olympics. They believe that an actor playing a mentally disabled actor strictly as Oscar bait (and subsequently being criticized for it by being called a "retard") is "hate speech". If that's true, then this is the biggest film debut for hate speech since Triumph of the Will.

See more Robert Downey Jr videos at Funny or Die

It won't be long though, I can sense another controversy upon the horizon...

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Friday, August 15, 2008

Avoid this post if you do not like George Clooney, Videos, or Fun.

I've gone video happy with this post, but these commercials aren't aired in America, so I had to share them.

Don't know about the rest of you, but I can buy George Clooney as a fopish matinee idol. Speaking of which, hey Coen Brothers, hurry up with Hail Caesar! Which will segway us into the red band trailer and commercials for Burn After Reading, because let's face it the pickings are slim in September.

Gotta love John Malkovich with that shot glass at the end of the last commercial. Burn After Reading is released on September 12th, and I hope it isn't a disaster like Intolerable Cruelty was.

My Abusive Relationship With Hollywood, Episode 6: Goddamn You, Warner Bros.

Something's wrong with this picture.

See that? It says, "In theatres, July 17, 2009." Surely they jest, I mean we've all been waiting for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince for roughly...a year or so. I mean, the production finished on time, and the trailer was released. The domestic trailer says, "November"; and the International trailer says "This Year"...no, really, look at it:

Even IMAX has flyers printed up that say "November 21, 2008", or at least the Tropicana did. So how the hell is this true. What? You mean Warner Brothers passed on releasing the latest installment of one of the most marketable frachises in the world in the Fall of this year? Yeah, right! Next you're going to tell me that Warner Brother is dumping Trick 'R Treat, which was delayed after they included the trailer on the 2 Disc DVD for 300.

I mean, c'mon; any studio that dumps a picture with Anna Paquin as a hot assed Little Red Riding Hood, HAS to be legally insane. Plus, it looks insanely good, just like RockNRolla.

WHAT?! You say that BOTH of them are being dumped? No...no, that can't be. RockNRolla showed up to ComicCon this year. So did Watchmen! What are you going to tell me next, that Watchmen is going to be pushed into a summer slot for a "Tentpole release"? Thank god the last one was false, but all the others are true. Which bring us to pose the question, "WHAT THE IN THE CHRIST HUMPING, DOG SHITTING, ANDY DICK LOVING BLUE HELL IS GOING ON AT WARNER BROTHERS?!" I mean we're trying to make one of their movies into the highest grossing films of all time, and THIS is how they repay us? Don't believe me? Here's the proof.


and most noticably, http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/08/15/harry-potter-delay-evokes-angry-outbursts-amongst-fans/

So, after bringing awesome pictures like Dark Knight and Speed Racer to our eyes, Warner Brothers is going to go full retard on its fans and delay Harry Potter, dump Trick 'R Treat after long delays, and shitcan RockNRolla - which looks like Guy Richie's blood soaked apology for Swept Away and Revolver? Welcome to Warner Brothers: the studio who brought you such hits as Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, Angel Eyes, and Ready to Rumble! Oh...wait...those weren't hits. Sorry. Point is, Warner Brothers isn't the first studio to mismanage a movie, and First Showing.net has been resourceful to point this out. They also pointed out that Hot Fuzz and Children of Men both got fucked royally courtesy of Universal. You know, the studio that released Mamma Mia and Virus, which was ALSO privy to a release date delay but that was because the movie sucked so bad that Jamie Lee Curtis even mentioned it in an interview.

However, all of these decisions made in such a short span has made me question if the president of Warner Brothers, Alan Horn, hasn't lost his fucking mind. Trick 'R Treat has been languishing in the hands of Warner Brothers for a while now, originally being scheduled for release on October 7, 2007. As previously mentioned, the trailer was attached to the 300 DVD, in hopes of drumming up some interest in the film. Unfortunately, the film was removed from the 2007 release schedule, due to unspecified reasoning. It wouldn't have had much competition though, Feel The Noise, The Dark is Rising and The Heartbreak Kid were the only competition released on that weekend, and the only viable threat would have been Saw IV, which was set for release on October 26th. (And frankly, wouldn't have outdone Trick 'R Treat in the story department.)

That was ok though, it wasn't a major franchise, and it was done a couple months before the film was close to being released. Happens all the time. However, it never reappeared on the studio's release schedule...at least, until a couple of days ago, when this extremely awesome poster was released and an "assignment listing" was leaked stating that Trick 'R Treat was on for this October. Now, with both of these pieces of news, you would think it's pretty hopeful. I mean why release another poster if you weren't going to release a film? Plus, just in case we thought they were yanking our chain, the assignment list said it was on for this year, or at least very soon.

Nope. Sorry to say, it was all just one big misunderstanding. Warner Brothers had no intent of even releasing the film, and is currently trying to shop it around Hollywood. Which is EXACTLY what they're doing with RockNRolla. Why? Because they have "too many movies" after absorbing New Line Cinema into their studio, which they already owned. (Looks like the Lord of the Rings money ran out. I told you not to release Sex In The City...and look where you are now.) In fact, the Warners are also looking to unload decent looking cop drama Pride and Glory (Which was also scheduled for release for October 24th.) and Slumdog Millionaire, which is the next film from uber classy and versitile director Danny Boyle.

It gets better. I have forgotten to mention that along side the glut of new films being the downfall of RockNRolla, Chairman Horn was also quoted as saying that it was,"Too English". Excuse me? "Too English"? What the fuck are you on?! You're going to tell me that the James Bond movies, the repeated raping of Jane Austen's collected works, and THE FUCKING HARRY POTTER SERIES are going to be released, but RockNRolla is not because it's TOO FUCKING BRITISH?! All of those films mentioned are even more British than King George himself, and you're going to hide behind a lame assed excuse as it's "Too English? Maybe that's why Alan Horn is doing all of this: Alan Horn HATES the British. Connect the dots people:

- Dark Knight has Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and the late Heath Ledger. You've got three Englishmen and an Austrailian; and they starred in a mega hit.

- Trick 'R Treat features Anna Paquin and Brian Cox, a Canadian (who was raised in New Zealand) and a Scotsman, respectively. "Close enough".

- Pride and Glory has Colin Farrell...he's Irish, but in Mr. Horn's eyes it's probably "close enough".

- RockNRolla has Tom Wilkinson, Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, and a slew of other people with funny accents from that part of the world.

- Danny Boyle is British, so goodbye Slumdog Millionaire; which is about some Indian kids in love. Honestly, didn't you people learn from Bend It Like Beckham? That shit don't fly over here in the US of A. We have WalMarts, y'all.

- Harry Potter...fuckall, it's so British you'll never see an American in there.

Massa Horn is merciful though. Our friends WB are saying that if RockNRolla doesn't get bought by another studio (They screened it for Sony and Lionsgate) they'll release it on a limited 800 screens, much like they did with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which starred everyones favorite superhero duo, Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. (On top of being a funny film noir that could have made a killing, had it been marketed enough.) Hooptee-fucking-do, you goddamned chucklehead, now stop playing games and release your fucking own movies already!

Sadly, that's what it all comes down to folks...marketing. If they don't think your movie can move, it'll move alright, to another fucking studio or worse...the vault. To conclude, I believe Alan Horn is saddened that he didn't pick up Beer For My Horses, because honestly, that's just gonna topple the Dark Knight like a pyramid of beer cans at the local Piggly Wiggly. Fuck you Alan Horn, fuck you with a spiked horsecock. I'm a proudly outspoken American, but in this case I have to say England Prevails, bitch! I hope Albus Dumbledore fuck your shit up MASSIVELY, because he will!

Until next time, I'm Mr. Controversy, and I'm sure as hell not going to send you off to the weekend with that Toby Keith shit. Here's something more...pleasing.

Shame there were no plans for an IMAX release of Trick 'R Treat...you'd get to see that image in IMAX-erific splendor.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Growing Up

Pajiba had an interesting mini diversion the other day, as they are wont to do.

The question was a two parter:
Part A: What did you want to be when you grew up? And Part B: What are you now?

My response:
"As a kid, I wanted a doctor/virologist. (I was going through an Outbreak phase, and r
reading Robin Cook and Michael Crichton throughout elementary school.)

In High School, I wanted to be a writer or an actor. In College, not getting anywhere into writing or acting, I settled on Lawyer. Never got into law school though.

The one constant though was show business. I always wanted to be a writer/actor/director throughout my life, and I idolized Steven Spielberg. (I even wrote to him to ask about a Tiny Toons movie back when I was a third grader and got a signed photo. George Lucas on the other hand only send an 8X10 of him and some Ewoks, NOT EVEN FUCKING SIGNED. He was too busy raping people's childhoods, which was exactly what I was inquiring about.) So here I am, working for a Government contractor as a desk jockey, running a blog, desperately wishing I could get something published and escape this Hell so when my future kids have show and tell, they can say "My daddy's fucking awesome, and all your daddys can just suck it!"
Thanks for getting me to pour my heart out, fuckers, that's the least snarky thing I've ever posted here."

This got me to thinking, how do you marry your dreams together with reality? How the hell do you keep your dreams, without becoming irresponsible and going into a state of arrested development? Our society is very double sided: "Follow your dreams...but grow the fuck up." We've been taught to follow our bliss, while at the same time giving our dreams up for "responsibility". Well?! Which is it, society? Which option should I be fucking choosing, because I'm not getting any younger and I want to do something with my fucking life before I go out, get married, have kids, and kick off!

That having been said, this whole enterprise of mine came from those types of dreams. I pour as much as I can into this blog, because one day I'd like to fulfill that dream of publication and notoriety. I want to have book chats at Barnes and Noble, go on The Tonight Show to shill my latest book and crack wise with Conan, and have a guest spot on House because goddamn if I couldn't improv with Hugh Laurie. I know, a lot of people have those dreams, and allow themselves to be deluted by them. Just look at the contestants on American Idol, any beauty pagent you can watch, and even local news anchors. They all have their "foot in the door", and they all think that behind that door is stardom.

It used to be you could just sit at a soda fountain and if the right person came along, you could be a star. You could work in the mail room of a Hollywood studio, and own the place the next year if you played your cards right. Sadly, that ingenuity went away, partially because those mail clerks and soda slurpers became so high profile and set the bar so high that no one else could ever cross it. If you work the mail room at Universal now...you're going to be working the mail room at Universal forever. If you want to rise, you need to fulfill much higher criterias and much bigger educational requirements. Why? Because everything is business now. The heart and soul of the Entertainment Industry...gone. It's opening weekend grosses and Oscar nominations all the way, fuck you if you want to "have heart". Even independent films are starting to go that way. (You know it, don't deny it.)

Any industry for that matter is about the bottom line, and that bottom line is money, power, and influence. There is no place for hard working, ingenious employees; because there's a ladder climbing weasel to take 'em at every step of the way. Somewhere between free love, drugs out the ass, and new wave music, America "grew up". It gave up its youthful ways, its naive ideals, and it sold them for a cool pile of cash. The whole discourse of our culture changed in only forty short years. "Greed is Good" replaced "All you need is love", "Imagine there's no Heaven" became "Let's Roll" and "Bring it on", "Give Peace a Chance" turned into "Shock and Awe", and "We don't need to take our clothes off" became "Hit me baby, one more time".

I don't need to tell you this though, it's quite obvious. Great people before me, great people that exist now, and great people that'll come after me will keep saying this, until something is done. Growing up doesn't always mean sell out, buy a nice car, and make a killing on the market. Growing up doesn't always have to be you becoming a bitter husk of yourself because you didn't become an astronaut. Growing up can be a good thing, especially if you grow up right. Everyone has an inner child, and if we abuse that child we turn into such dark and twisted things. Don't ignore of bury your inner child, embrace it. Know when to grow up and know when to grow down, because the world needs more people to grow the fuck down and handle things a little less harshly.

No, I'm not a hippie. Yes, I believe money is an evil, but a nessicary one. I want to entertain people, and bask in the glow of genuine fandom while making enough to live comfortably, raising wonderful children, and paying my taxes. I want politicians who make hard choices smartly, and smart choices easily, while at the same time laughing with the public and showing them they can truly trust them. I want business to be fair, I want the little guy to win a shitload of victories, and I want good to kick the shit out of evil. I am not a dreamer, I'm not ignorant of the world's ways, and I'm not greedy. I just demand a whole lot more from the world we've been given, and I think it's high time to turn off the television, and take the people who "work for us" to task. You want to be elected to office, you want to make millions off of your movie, you want us to buy your book and CD...well then say hello to your lords/ladies and masters/mistresses. Demand nothing short of total satisfaction. Demand it hard enough and loud enough and you'll get it. BUT, at the same time, try to help others get their satisfaction. Don't forget, there's numerous others out there who deserve as much as you do. At the same time though, don't just give them a hand out. Karma does not exist, it is merely a supernatural explaination for the goodness of people inspiring goodness in others.

Wake the fuck up, everyone. It's time for you to get what you deserve, and you're gonna have to work for it. Trust me though, it'll be worth it.

In short, if I could do this for the rest of my life, I'd be happy.

Until next time, stand tall, fuck the greedy, and be no one's monkey.

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