Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
December 5, 2013
I must be sick. And I don't mean physically sick, because yesterday I looked at the snow and thought, “I missed this.”
I don't know how to take me. I could've been sarcastic, but I wasn't holding my Sign of Sarcasm.
When I said “missed” I probably didn't mean...
missed verb /'mis/ 2To notice the loss or absence.
I probably meant...
missed verb /'mis/ 1To fail to reach, hit, or contact.
As in: “Cool, the snow missed Minnesota. It hit all points south.”
That must be what I meant. I wasn't sick after all. Sometimes we just have to sit down like this and figure me out.
Last night there was still some snow falling, so this morning I said, “I'll check on the Snow News, and hopefully Snow News will be good news.”
Okay, maybe I am sick after all.
Music Association: Dean Martin - Let It Snow
For the record, Dean was drunk when he said that.
Hunger Games - Catching Fire
November 26, 2013
The first Hunger Games (2012) movie was good. The second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, is better. I give it a three finger salute.
This year's movie has less violence and more characterization. It's the Empire Strikes Back of characterization. Catching Fire is a dramatically rich ride.
The motto of the Hunger Games is “may the odds ever be in your favor.” In Catching Fire,
the odds have tilted from favoring the technology-driven, totalitarian
Capitol of Panem to favor Katniss Everdeen and the people of the twelve
districts. She finds alliances in all the right places.
As a middle-of-the-trilogy film, Catching Fire
ends more than it finishes. I had a problem with Katniss being sedated
in the penultimate scene. Why is she sedated? Because she is angry?!?
If she is as important to the cause as we are led to believe, she isn't
merely statuary to lug around from event to event. She shouldn't be
My best understanding is that she represents the audience, which needs to be put on hold until the next film of the series, Hunger Games - Mockingjay.
Hunger Games - Catching Fire had the fourth highest opening weekend of any movie (after Avengers, Iron Man 3, and the final Harry Potter movie).
The production people of Hunger Games - Catching Fire lost the Unsteady Cameras of the first movie in favor of a better viewing experience. “OK, who's the jerk who hid all the unsteady cameras?!?”
In some international locations, Catching Fire is available in 4DX
-- an enhanced cinematic experience featuring motion-enhanced seating,
wind, water sprays, strobe lightning, and scent-based special effects.
Hey, it's the return of Smell-o-vision!
Music Association: The Doors - Light My Fire
Now I know what mandrills smell like... Thanks.
Hopes-and-dreams.net says it's a dramatically rich ride
Wild Sweater Season*
3 Finger Salute!
November 25, 2013
Last week, every two minutes, Comedy Central advertised the new Bill
Cosby special. They went so far as to interrupt their Bill Cosby
commercials with other Bill Cosby commercials. And they called Bill
Cosby "the greatest standup comedian."
Now, they lied.
Don't get me wrong. I like Bill Cosby. I've always liked Bill Cosby. And I think he is a great comedian. But he can not possibly be the greatest standup comedian, and I'll tell you why.
A standup comedian comes out on stage and says, “Filth and filth and habbob and filthing filth” without any filthing idea how many curse words they are actually saying.
comedians will use more curse words than all the words. That's right.
They do that by adding curse words as extra syllables in the middle of
regular words. That's what standup comedians do.
But not Bill Cosby. No. No curse words.
The other thing that standup comedians do is they stand up.
Not Bill Cosby. Most of the time, he's sitting down, you see.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that. But if Bill Cosby wanted to be the greatest standup comedian, shouldn't he stand up?
Music Association: Stu Gardner and Bill Cosby - Kiss Me (Cosby Show Theme)
*Imitation Association: read this in Bill Cosby's voice
The Hopes and Dreams of the Country
November 22, 2013
I cringe whenever people make generalizations about the past. “The Sixties were a time of...” No, they weren't. For some people, maybe, for most people, no.
People are wonderfully complex and simple, diverse and basic.
That's about as generalized as I get.
Fifty years ago, President Kennedy did not hold the hopes and
dreams of the country. There are always people who cannot even name who
is currently president. It just isn't important in their lives. And
that's my perspective on history. It's about ordinary people.
For ordinary people, it doesn't matter when a thing was invented so
much as when it was available. When were people drinking pop? When were
people driving cars? When were people able to go in groups to the moon?
In 1963, President Kennedy was well liked, generally. Stepping
imaginarily back in time to the Oval Office and looking over his
shoulder, I would grade his work C, B, F, B, F...
For his efforts in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy would get a C or a
C-. He brokered a deal but had a part in bringing the world to the
brink of nuclear war in the first place. For his efforts in Civil
Rights, he would receive a B, for arriving late, turning in incomplete
work, and being a bit too fearful of opinion polls. For his role in the
Vietnam War, he would get an F. For instigating the race to the moon,
Kennedy would get a B because it still hasn't benefited most people.
He didn't have a farm policy or a native American policy and
would get an F.
On this anniversary of his death, we don't often hear about Kennedy's report card.
We hear about his assassination. And with the assassination, there are the conspiracy theories. But not the blame.
The secret service should be blamed for not keeping the President safe,
keeping the roof on the limousine. The Dallas Morning News and Dallas
Times Herald should be blamed for reporting the motorcade route.
But how could the secret service argue with the wishes of the
President? How could the Dallas newspapers argue with the mobs of
people who wanted to know how to see the President?
The crowds of people, cheering for the President, spilled over the sidewalks and slowed the motorcade.
Essentially I'm saying, you could blame ordinary people for Kennedy's
death, you know, the people that actually hold the hopes and dreams of
Association: Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil “I
shouted out, 'Who killed the Kennedys?' When after all, it was you and
“We're really in nut country now.”
- President Kennedy to Jackie Kennedy (Dallas, November 22, 1963)
“Mr. President, you can't say that Dallas doesn't love you.”
- Nellie Connally to President Kennedy (Dallas, November 22, 1963)
The Bright Side of Life
November 21, 2013
It's a good day today. Last night, Jon Stewart ditched his shallow view
of pizza and dove into the deep end (with a push from Marc Malnati).
Today, Monty Python has officially reunited after thirty years of
not reuniting. Eric Idle had previously joked that it would
only happen “if Chapman came back from the dead, so we’re negotiating with his agent.”
Yes, well, apparently the negotiations are at long last complete.
So despite the dreary weather, things are looking reasonably bright, which I say, knowing full well what tomorrow will bring.
Music Association: Monty Python - The Spam Song
Eleven Score and Seventeen Years Ago
November 19, 2013
Happy Sequential Day
November 12, 2013
November 7, 2013
It's time, once again, to dole out the golden gourd for the best
Halloween costume, as tabulated by our accountants from the accounting
firm of Weekly Accountants.
Weekly Accountants stand by their motto, "When you want it fast, make a spreadsheet."
It's always good to see costumed creativity, and this year Heidi Klum took an old look and made it new.
Her 96 year old makeup and costume almost got her a Golden Pumpkin.
But her grandmother look just wasn't great. It wasn't a great grandmother. Auf wiedersehen, Heidi.
The Transformer car costume is good. It's gotta-have-current-license-plates good.
This one could get pulled over by the police.
The Golden Pumpkin started rolling toward this costume on its own.
But then there's the LED costume on the 22 month toddler.
This is the winner of the 2013 Golden Pumpkin Award for best costume.
Congratulations on the award and for your 19 million hits on
YouTube and 1810 Reddit comments.
Music Associations: Katy Perry - Dressing Up & Madonna - Dress You Up
November 1, 2013
I am a minimalist. I am very good at letting go. I'm not
thinking about today. I'm thinking about tomorrow and tomorrow's
Over at the NSA, the analysts are more fixated.
The term for their personal, unauthorized stalking is LOVEINT.
They spy on girlfriends, boyfriends, exes, celebrities... It's willful misconduct.
number of self-reported (self-confessed) cases plus the number of
overseas-related spying on partners and spouses adds up to 2,776 times in 2011. The total number of domestic occurrences of LOVEINT is unknown.
The funniest part of the Wall Street Journal and
articles on LOVEINT is that the NSA still uses polygraph tests.
Come on people, this is the 21st century. Polygraph tests are not
scientifically credible, valid, or unbiased. They are pseudoscience. "I'm just going to ask a few questions while I get this set up." Heh, you tripped on your magic lasso.
The NSA is too attached to its tech. Al Qaeda doesn't use it. Bin Laden wasn't caught with tech.
I think I know some people at the NSA. But I think they think they know me better.
Music Association: The Who - See Me, Feel Me