Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Scenes From "Watchmen"

When I first heard that the classic graphic novel Watchmen was being adapted for film, I was skeptical. While Alan Moore's books From Hell and V for Vendetta ended up pretty good on the silver screen, the filmed version League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was terrible. The more I see of Watchmen, the more exciting I am getting about the release. It seems like the directors have a good grasp of the characters and the world they are living in.

Watchmen Exclusive

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where Art Thou, Hip-Hop?

Like a good portion of hip-hop fans, I've had an off again on again love and hate relationship with hip-hop. One day I'm criticizing its materialism, misogyny, glorification of violence and all around silliness. The next I'm listening to underground acts like Kool Keith or Grayskul and listening in awe to their brilliant verbal and musical tenacity. It's a bipolar affair if there ever was one.

My relationship with hip-hop went on again this winter. I bought a copy of Seattle area group The Gigantics' album Die Already and downloaded the new Kool Keith album, Dr. Dooom 2. I was impressed by both. I was also struck by the fact that both albums, which share no connection, both had verses about hip-hop being dead or on life support. If rappers from different sides of the continent can agree that the genre is hurting, perhaps it is.

Is hip-hop really dead? People said rock was dead for a long time, and before groups like The White Stripes brought real rock and roll back the genre was tagged with nu-metal monstrosities like Linkin Park and P.O.D. I hope that the genre is working itself out, realizing that the success of Barack Obama's candidacy, Oprah Winfrey's television show and conscious rappers like Common and Lupe Fiasco has proved that the black persona doesn't have to be interwoven with banana clips and bouncing butts.

The great combination of rhythm, melody and poetry that hip-hop provides is too creative to just go out of style like bell bottoms or long-collared shirts. It has drawn alot more people into it than just black males and should not just be cast aside as a musical presentation of post-Civil Rights black anger.

Whatever doesn't happen with hip-hop, I'll be listening with hope that I'll hear something I like. If I like, I might buy a CD or download and maybe even go to a show. That's only if I hear something good, though.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Review: "The Spirit"

Frank Miller's new film:

The source material:

If I were a comic book purist, I would be grossly offended by The Spirit. In this film, Frank Miller adapts Will Eisner's The Spirit comic book character into the more respectable and popular format of a major motion picture. In doing so, Frank Miller totally re-aligns the character's orientation, turning a goofy gumshoe/superhero more akin to Dick Tracy or Richard Diamond into a thinly disguised Sin City sequel.

The film style is exactly the same as Sin City. The pacing is the same, the look is the same, the characters are the same. Sure, we expect adaptations of comics to deviate from the original material, but this is ridiculous. I expected Frank Miller, as a comic book writer, to have more respect and creative distance than that. As Sam Adams wrote in his Los Angeles Times review, "Miller has simply transplanted his vision onto another costumed crime fighter."

Despite my harsh words, I do not totally disregard The Spirit. The similarity to Sin City makes for great visuals, and the blending of modern day gadgets with a Jazz Age look reminds one of how similar America is now to the Depression/WWII era. I appreciate Miller's effort to revive the noir style and hope that it is used by other directors. However, this is a lukewarm effort at best and not one that should be viewed as keeping with Will Eisner's work.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

"A Beer and a Bugger"

My heavens, I love British humor. You can hear more from Colonel Crabtree-Smythe by listening to the podcast "The Colonel Radio Show."

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

American Automakers Could Learn From Marvel Comics

Cross-posted at United Liberty

While searching through the comic book section at a Barnes and Noble in Emeryville, California, I was unsurprised to see that there were about five shelves dedicated to manga (the term for Japanese comic books) compared to only three for American graphic novels.

Like Japanese automobiles, Japanese comics and animation have infiltrated and taken over American culture. While American comic books and graphic novels still bring in more revenue than their Japanese competitors, with recent estimates showing the American market at $705 million compared to manga at $210 million stateside, the competition is fierce. DC Comics has started its own line of manga comics called CMX. The art of myriad American artists resembles manga, with artists like Chris Bachalo and Joe Madureira looking as if they stepped right out of the Tokyo scene. With the intense popularity of manga among younger generations, it is possible that American comics could be eclipsed by manga.

Like their American counterparts in the auto industry, the American comic book industry has been faced with bankruptcy. In 1998, Marvel Comics, one of the “Big Two” of comic book publishers along with DC, was operating under Chapter 11. In order to maintain its relevance, Marvel had to completely retool itself, changing editors in chief, involving itself deeper in film, toys and licensing and video games. It became a part of Toy Biz, a move that may have been humiliating to some involved.

The restructuring proved a lifesaver for Marvel. Only two years later, “X-Men” was released in theaters, bringing in $157 million in ticket sales. In an article released in 2003 on the website, it was noted that while Marvel’s shares traded at $6.75 in 1998, they were trading at $28.58 in 2003.

While I’m by no means a business expert, I think American automobile manufacturers could learn alot from Marvel’s experience. While Chris Matthews may have quickly dismissed Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s assurance that going into bankruptcy helps a company reorganize as Milton Friedman rhetoric which clashes with recent events, that is exactly what happened for Marvel. Giving the automobile manufacturers a chance to do the same thing is not a bad idea.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Robert Llewellyn Goes Crazy

Robert Llewellyn is most famous for playing Kryten on the brilliant British comedy "Red Dwarf." In this video, he gets more angry and intense about renewable energy and "eco-cars" than anyone I've ever seen.

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Listen to the War

History can be an abstract thing on paper, and it takes immersion in it to really realize the extravagant things that happened in the past. The podcast "M Radio SIG" makes available hundreds of clips of vintage radio broadcasts, from drama to news. Recently it's been producing clips from World War II broadcasts that do better than any textbook or even a movie at bringing the war into real focus. The range of the clips is pretty long, with commentary from the non-interventionist Charles Lindbergh to clips of interviews with soldiers fresh from combat in Europe.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

United Liberty

If you like this blog and want to see more of my work, I am a regular blogger at United Liberty. Most of my work there is on the more political side, while most of what is here is more on the entertainment and cultural side.

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"The Crow" Flies Again?

MTV's Splash Page reports that, after becoming demoralized from the failures of his 2003 film "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," director Stephen Norrington is looking at taking a crack at "The Crow." Norrington doesn't have a bad track record, having directed the successful "Blade" series. "Blade" is very similar to the tone I would envision for a good adaptation of "The Crow."

A personal note - As a very young 12-year-old comic book fan during the 1990s, I dressed up as The Crow for Halloween. I've never really been a fan of Halloween, that being the only time as a kid that I didn't either dress up as Batman, Thomas Jefferson or just not participate. With my then fairly long hair greased back and dyed black with the face paint applied, I looked pretty menacing. I'm not sure if it would work well these days.

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sometimes Girls Blow It Too

Yes, that headline sounds pretty bad but it's true if you stop thinking dirty. Sometimes girls screw it up too. Here's an animated case-in-point:

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HULK VS. Trailer!

This is so awesome. I never thought I would see Deadpool in animated form. It's also cool to see Wolverine's 1970s era costume revitalized.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

A Mysterious Disappearance

Following is a brilliantly done video from the BBC, which illustrates the strange disappearance of a scientist in what looks to have been the 1920s or some similar period. The newsreel style adds alot of realism to the story.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Red Dwarf to Return?

After years of somewhat pretending to promise a possible movie, it looks like the Red Dwarf lot have settled on bringing the British sci-fi comedy back in the form of a one-hour special. Here is Robert "Wet Liberal" Llewelyn, who played Kryten in the series, speaking on what he knows about the special:

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Karl on the BBC

Karl Pilkington is a cult figure who exploded thanks in part to his appearance on Ricky Gervais' series of audiobooks and podcasts. He showed up on "Something for the Weekend," a daytime interview show (along the lines of "The View" or "Regis and Kelly") on the BBC, recently. Here's the interview:

The second half is pretty funny in a subtle way. Pilkington is seen rambling about whether one has control of their own brain or not while a chef cooks all sorts of complicating concoctions.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Rammstein Back in the Studio

Rammstein, one of my favorite bands of all time, has finally gotten back in the recording studio after three years of silence. They're doing so in my own back yard too:

After months of silence, the band has begun to surface! They have finished the preproduction of their sixth studio album in Berlin and are now gearing up to fly to meet in San Francisco where the band has rented a studio that they will be working in starting this Sunday. In fact, Schneider is already in Los Angeles to begin preparations for the drum tracks. They are working with producer Jacob Hellner (who has produced all of their albums so far) and his team, which currently includes Ulf Kruckenberg (who has worked with Clawfinger, Apocalyptica Emigrate, etc.) and Florian Ammon (Eminem, Elton John, Lifehouse, many more). Paul and Richard are set to fly there this week and I assume the rest will follow soon as they sequester themselves for the coming weeks.

So far, each Rammstein album has been progressively better, stranger and more experimental than the last. I hope they keep that trend going.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nova's Lights Burn Out?

The educational black hole that is Seattle's Nova High School appears to be closing down:

Students would be shifted to other schools. The district also proposes to close one alternative program — Alternative School No. 1 — and move three others, Summit K-12, Pathfinder K-8 and NOVA high school.

It seems the "alternative" programs will be moved to other schools, along with the students. If the building that once housed Nova ends up out of the hands of the Seattle Public Schools, maybe it will be used for something useful.

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Manga Enters "Dead Space"

There's something interesting going on with the new Dead Space franchise. While launching as a video game for Playstation, XBox and Windows, it is also launching as an animated film and a comic book. Usually the comic book or the film come a long time after the game has been successful.

The art for the Dead Space comic book, which was published by the Berkeley-based Image Comics, was great. I originally saw it when I met artist Ben Templesmith at WonderCon in San Francisco earlier this year.

The Dead Space animated film, which is put up by MANGA Entertainment, has just been released. It, too, looks great. The trailer reminds me a bit of an episode of the British comedy Red Dwarf, called "Psirens," in which the crew finds themselves trapped in an asteroid field where dozens of ships have had their crews murdered by blood-sucking aliens.

Take a peek at the Dead Space trailer:

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Wonder Woman DVD Trailer Released!

I'm not a very big Wonder Woman fan, so I'm not very excited about this. Given that, it does seem like there has been alot of improvement from Superman/Doomsday to JLA: The New Frontier to this. I'll definitely see it when it's out.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trailer for Neil Gaiman's "Coraline" Revealed

It looks like goth kids' wet dreams have finally come true. Neil Gaiman has teamed up with the director of Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick, to create a stop-motion film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novella Coraline.

Now that many of Gaiman's works like Stardust and Coraline have launched into theaters, how long will it be before we see a Sandman film?

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Defense of Star Wars

Cartoon Network is currently airing an animated series called Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The series takes place in between Episode II: Attack of the Clones (AOTC) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (ROTS).

In honor of the release of this surprisingly stellar series, I felt it would be a good time to take a look at the three Star Wars “prequels,” which have been loved by some and hated intensely by many others.

Now that the entire prequels series is complete and has been for a couple of years, the question should now be asked: Are the films as bad as people say?

If we are to answer that question by box office sales, the answer is a resounding no. The first in the prequel series, 1999’s Episode I: The Phantom Menace (TPM), cost an estimated $115,000,000 to produce and grossed $431,065,444 in theatres. The trend continues with all three films, each of which made a profit over half the cost of production. That’s something that unsuccessful films obviously never do.

Of course, box office success doesn’t always mean success with critics and fans. Some of the most beloved films are ones like The Big Lebowski, which had only mild theatrical success but later became a cult classic.

It seems that the kind of viewers that make films into cult classics have had many criticisms in common toward Lucas’ prequels. Let’s go through them.

It’s said often that Lucas relied too much on computer animation and green screens for the prequels, hampering actors who need something real to interact with. This accusation fails to take into account that the original “Star Wars” was the genesis for modern special effects.

After the original trilogy was finished, Lucas developed Industrial Light and Magic in order to advance visual effects in cinema. Lucas dedicated 11 years to acting as a producer before he started writing the new trilogy in 1994. For Lucas to have gone back to just model shots and painted backgrounds in an effort in order to make his new trilogy appealing to retrospective nostalgists would have been bizarre given the history of his career.

Another criticism is that of a convoluted plot that was not as clear-cut as the original trilogy. The new trilogy is basically about the degeneration of a vibrant democracy into a totalitarian dictatorship. In the DVD commentary for AOTC, Lucas cites figures like Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar as figures that squashed democracy. The confusing plot reflects history, as the descent of a free society into dictatorship and tyranny is almost never simple.

One criticism about the new trilogy that holds a lot of water is on the presence of Jar Jar Binks, an awful character that was fortunately put to the side after TPM. Lucas winked at his critics in AOTC by making Binks the one who proposes giving emergency powers to Chancellor Palpatine, thus throwing the galaxy into the grip of the Sith.

It's also noted that the prequels lack the magic of the original trilogy. This I definitely understand, and in many ways the people who level this criticism are correct. There is far more computer animation in the prequels and the universe that Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme interact in is far more similar to Blade Runner or Neon Genesis Evangelion than the grimy, earthy universe of the original trilogy.

This is a result of two factors. First, Lucas used the prequels to experiment with computer animation and do things he was never previously able to do. Scenes in environments like Dagobah in Empire Strikes Back were replaced with scenes like the Mustafar duel in ROTS. Second, the story that Lucas told was completely different than the original trilogy. The prequels told the story of a Greek tragedy, with a promising young hero becoming a twisted executioner. The original trilogy, on the other hand, told a folk tale of a merry band of rebels confronting and destroying evil in the face of insurmountable odds. Because of the great differences in story, they should be judged differently.

The most common criticism is that Lucas wrote awful dialogue. Sure, it’s cheesy when Anakin says in ROTS “You are so beautiful” and then Padme replies “So love has blinded you?” However, many critics are missing the fact that the original Star Wars trilogy is riddled with corny dialogue. Luke Skywalker was a very whiney character as well, like his father, and if it’s not corny when he whines to his uncle “But I wanted to go to Toshi station to pick up some power converters!!” then I’m a giraffe.

Nostalgia has blinded many to the fact that the original trilogy too was filled with very slangy and awkwardly informed dialogue and lukewarm acting, much of which actually helped make the films enduring. Some fans seem to have expected Star Wars to be something it never has been.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Hitchens: The GOP will be "beaten very badly"

As is frequently so, I found myself in high agreement with Christopher Hitchens. While Obama is the clear best choice in the election, it takes alot to believe that his charismatic personality is going to result in an immediate repulsion of all of America's enemies, the credit crisis and global warming. Many in the Left could find themselves disappointed.

It's also clear that the Republicans are going to be in the wilderness. There's a chance for them to relaunch. Taking advantage of the few superstar Republicans left, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bobby Jindal and maybe even Dino Rossi and BJ Lawson if they win, would be a good idea.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Tainting of "Liberal" and "Conservative"

It's been said by many that the word "conservative" has been tainted by the last eight years of American politics. To many, conservatism is now associated with pre-emptive war, fear of terrorism, economic disaster, failed disaster relief and gigantic deficits.

I'd like to argue that "liberal" is equally tainted. Liberalism has been tainted, though on a far smaller scale, by the authoritarian behavior of cultural liberals. The authoritarianism of political correctness makes it next to impossible to break the ice in conversation with many liberals, as they'll always find something to be offended by. Racial quotas, affirmative action and diversity propaganda in our schools deliver a warped view to children that makes them view themselves by the color of their skin above anything else. The propaganda doesn't end there, as many elementary schools are showing overtly political films like An Inconvenient Truth to children, thus brainwashing children before they know enough to make their own decisions.

There are important aspects to being conservative. It is very important to be skeptical of cultural fads, to embrace family over society and to embrace what makes our culture different and successful. There are also important aspects to being a liberal. Thinking outside the box, advocating for the weak and disenfranchised and seeking social justice can all be important. We should reclaim the terms "liberal" and "conservative" or set them aside.

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John McCain on SNL

The old witty and smart John McCain that we all used to love was brought back to life for a pretty funny appearance on Saturday Night Live. The concept was great, with John McCain left with appearing on QVC while Barack Obama made his case on the major networks during primetime. Was this a satirical way for John McCain to acknowledge to the world that it's over? We'll see on Election Day.

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

John Cleese on John McCain

Cable news may be widening its horizons beyond just pundits and politicians, as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has just had comedy legend John Cleese on. Yes, the John Cleese of Monty Python fame! The guy who famously retorted, "Judean People's Front? Please....We're the People's Front of Judea!"

His laugh doesn't sound that great. That cough sounds as if he's swallowed an entire beehive. Hang in there, John!

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The Hulk's Fight Continues

The Hulk is not only appearing in a slamfest with an Asgardian god, but Marvel is also slated to release a slamfest between the Hulk and that adamantium-laced Canadian, Wolverine.

While scanning the comment section for this video, I saw a comment that said that the art here was really bad. To the contrary, I think it's wise that the animators cleverly made Wolverine and Hulk look alot different than the Thor and Hulk in the video I posted yesterday, making them look more brutal and cartoonish. The fight taking place is supposed to resemble the first appearance of Wolverine, which was in a showdown with the Hulk:

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Who gets the Professional Wrestling Vote?

This is a point of view you surely aren't getting on the news. While most of them didn't seem very well versed, Mick Foley stands out as a smart cookie. He's also an accomplished author with a streak of Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Bukowski in him.

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Coming Soon to your DVD Player: Hulk vs. Thor


While a bit shorter than I wish they were at only 80 minutes, the Marvel and DC animated features that have been released lately come closer to the feel of comic books than any of the feature films. Animation allows for a suspension of belief than is alot harder to pull off in live action film. It would be really hard to do something like the Hulk rampaging through Asgard in a feature film, but here it is in an animated feature.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Palestinians expect little from U.S. election"

If the average Palestinian expects little progress from U.S. elections, they can take comfort in knowing that the feeling is mutual.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Obama Infomercial

Here is Barack Obama's half-hour infomercial "American Stories, American Solutions," which showed on various TV networks today. Thanks to Free Republic for the link.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama Headed to Electoral Blowout?

Over at Real Clear Politics, there's a prospective electoral map that puts Democrat Barack Obama at a best case of 286 electoral points and a solid case of 251 electoral points. In contrast, John McCain has a best case of 160 electoral points and a solid case of 137 electoral points.

Whoever wins, I hope they get a decisive victory. The "cold civil war" and "50-50 nation" that we've been living in has been toxic for free-thinkers and independents to try to discuss anything of substance in, as everyone seems locked in rooting for their team above all else.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain: I Screwed Up

John McCain returned to the lion's den, after his embarrassing episode in which he cancelled on Letterman in order to be interviewed by Katie Couric. It's pretty funny stuff. McCain and Letterman seem like they like each other.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gregoire vs. Rossi Round 2

I just finished watching the Washington state governor's debate. Here's my response:

Dino Rossi seemed far more communicative, adopting the technique that Barack Obama used in his final debate of talking right to the camera. Like John McCain, Christine Gregoire seemed cold and angry. Alot of what she said sounded like talking points, whereas Rossi seemed more spontaneous.

I found it a little interesting that, even after Rossi mocked Gregoire's comparing him to President Bush, Gregoire kept on comparing him to Bush. It almost seemed like she wasn't listening to what he was saying and just kept reading what she already had planned.

Gregoire reminded me alot of Hillary Clinton, a career politician who felt entitled to her throne. Rossi appears as an outsider uncomfortable with the mindset of most politicians.

Rossi countered Gregoire's point about there being a "world class education system" in Washington state by pointing out that 16,000 a year are dropping out of school. Is that Gregoire's idea of "world class education?" I can tell Governor Gregoire a few stories about my world class education at the wonderful schools of the Seattle School District. A world class education system doesn't have its admission systems found unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.

I really like what Rossi said about excessive partisanship and being willing to work with an Obama-Biden administration. When Dwight Eisenhower decided to try out politics, he considered running as a Democrat with Harry Truman being deciding to be a Republican. That lack of partisanship needs to return.

I haven't been following Washington state politics closely for the past year, so I'm a bit confused on the issue of the deficit. Rossi and Gregoire seemed to disagree on the facts, since Rossi talked of a budget deficit and Gregoire said there was a surplus. If anyone more knowledgable would like to help me out (objectively), please do.

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Obama on School Choice

I would like someone other than John McCain to press Obama on vouchers. From the debate last night, it seems that he realizes that the public school system in the United States is inexcusable, that teacher's unions have played a significant role in keeping schools the way they are and that charter schools should be supported.

It's unfortunate that it's only on the verge of the election that we're really hearing the candidates talk about education. It relates directly to the economy, because if children are afraid to go to school, have low self-confidence or are lacking in basic skills and knowledge, we will be unable to compete with other countries. That is completely unacceptable.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Jerry Reed on "Scooby Doo"

I never heard of Jerry Reed before his death, but I certainly admire the far less commercialized era of country music to which he represented. In the following video, Reed is incarnated into an animated version of himself on the classic series Scooby Doo:

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Following is the documentary Crawford, provided free (with advertisements) by Hulu. Crawford documents residents of Crawford, Texas, in their reaction to President George W. Bush setting up a vacation home right next to them. The documentary spans seven years, from the 2000 election to 2007. One interesting aspect is the change in views toward the president. While Crawford residents initially welcome Bush in the days when he was just a Texas governor aspiring to be president, their opinion dissipates as they experience the intense protests led by Cindy Sheehan. Towards the end of the film, there is a feeling among some residents that Bush only used their town to build an image for himself.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Vintage Video: Hands

This creative work was used as World War II propaganda. It encourages unity among Americans in an effort to defeat the Nazis and the Japanese.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Conservative Democrats and Libertarians bring more options to the table

If you ever pick up a history book of twentieth century politics, it'll be striking how much more fluid party affiliations were in the first half of that century.

Conservative populist Democrats, who backed Roosevelt's New Deal but opposed civil rights and supported Jim Crow laws, propelled guys like FDR and Harry Truman by keeping the South Democrat. Republicans tended to be dominated by urban bankers, and were usually the pro-industry party (but not exactly "conservative"), which explains their lack of electoral victories during the years following the Great Depression, when Americans were more inclined toward socialism than at any other point in history.

Things continued to be muddled into the 1970s. Under both Republicans and Democrats from Truman all the way to Nixon, federal authority was used to impose civil rights for African Americans upon unwilling southern states. We saw Robert F. Kennedy in confrontation with Alabama governor George Wallace over admission of African Americans into the University of Alabama in 1963, even though both of them were Democrats. Lyndon Johnson, a Southern Democrat, supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which his Republican opponent Barry Goldwater opposed. Neither political party had a consensus on civil rights during that period.

At some point, the South was largely won over by the Republicans and the Democrats became the party of the coastal liberals.

That could start to change, as some pretty conservative folks, dissatisfied with the Republican Party, are running as Democrats and third party candidates.

Bob Conley is running for South Carolina's US Senate seat, in opposition to Lindsey Graham, a close friend of John McCain. Conley, who is opposed to the Patriot Act, gay marriage, abortion, amnesty towards illegal immigrants and the Iraq War and in favor of adherence to the Constitution, is running to the right of Graham.

Watch an endorsement of Conley:

Jim Webb is a former Republican critical of the "Trotskyites" who have gotten us into war in Iraq. With a hard line on illegal immigration and support for gun owners, Webb is a conservative.

Webb unseated George Allen in Georgia in 2006, a year in which Democrats re-took Congress. That political realignment was built on guys like Webb, Loretta Sanchez, Jim Matheson and other conservative Democrats.

Since the United States is for the most part a center right country, both parties would be wise to be friendly to conservatism. Politicians like John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are to the left of people like me and the GOP is unwise to keep bringing them out. Politicians like Barack Obama are also to the left of people like me, though less bloodthirsty than McCain.

That's where Bob Barr comes in. As the Libertarian candidate for president, Bob Barr represents conservatism at its core defintion: a return to the values and ideals that built this country. He supports school vouchers, opposes the war on drugs, wants to repeal the Patriot Act and opposes endless occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barr was the only candidate for president to criticize the bailout of irresponsible corporations. In an appearance on Lou Dobbs' program, he said that subsidizing mortgage giants only sets a precedent and insisted that it'll result in the same thing happening again:

Even though he is running as a third party candidate, Bob Barr is much more conservative than John McCain.

Conservatives who vote Republican reflexively should think again. The walls of party loyalty are breaking down.

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"Peddling" school choice

In the following video, Barack Obama makes some fair criticisms towards the McCain campaign and analysis that I agree with on the media covering polls, scandals, gaffes and attacks. He then mentions McCain's education policy as being the same thing that conservatives have been "peddling" for thirty years: vouchers. Vouchers have been an enormous success wherever they have been adopted, including in the socialist country of Sweden.

What is it that Barack Obama is peddling on education? Allegiance to the teacher's unions, which protect unfit teachers and stand in the way of angry parents? Obstruction of reform? On the issue of education, Barack Obama is against change and for the status quo.

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Bob Barr on Lou Dobbs

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Go Palin!!

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Deadpool gets Robbed

If a new Deadpool ongoing series from Marvel wasn't enough of a throwback to the 1990s, the first issue actually has a variant cover by beacon of artistic skill, Rob Liefeld. Fortunately, Deadpool wears a mask, which will spare us from the perpetual constipation that is pervasive in many of Liefeld's character illustrations.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Blog focus: "Dr. X's Free Associations"

Today I came across an interesting blog, entitled "Dr. X's Free Associations." The blog publishes a mix of political commentary and vintage photographs. Having been born in the wrong century, these photographs lured me in. Following is one of Ayn Rand as a young woman:

I had no idea she was such a babe when she was younger. So it goes.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gibbons hearts Watchmen movie

In contrast with writer Alan Moore, Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons is positively gushing about the new Watchmen film in the following video by Empire Magazine. Gibbons refers to Moore in the video as well. You can watch it at

By the way, a quick look at Wikipedia shows that Gibbons is nearly sixty years old. He looks excellent for that age.

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