September 23, 2005

Friday Cat Blogging


8 and 11-inch cutouts of R.C. for my display at SPX this weekend. Even as just some cardboard, they are frikin' sweet.

See an integral percentage of you this weekend.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:25 AM

September 22, 2005

I don't get points

I would be a total asshat if I didn't at least note that tonight on UPN at 8:30 EST you can watch the premiere of Love, Inc., a comedy about professional "wingwomen."

To the 100% of you reading the site wondering why the hell I'd mention this, it's because the series was inspired by, and based on, an article written for the New York Times by Campus Progress' own Elana Berkowitz.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:37 AM

September 21, 2005

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:16 PM

And Good Movie

Armando mentioned Good Night, and Good Luck this morning, but I figured I'd add some commentary on the film since I, well, saw it last night at a special screening sponsored by CAP and Warner Bros. The film's really, really good.

Before I even get to the film, I think it's important we pass this meme around before the right-wing backlash starts: George Clooney, who directed the film and came out at the end to answer audience questions, proved both in the Q&A and this film that Laura Ingraham shouldn't have a career. Her entire "Shut up and Sing" rhetoric is nonsense when you realize that Clooney knows more about history, and politics, than her, most of her audience, many top-tier webloggers, and everyone on Free Republic. I don't ever recall Ingraham talking about McCarthy and present-day actions from Silvio Burscollini in a comparitive analysis of media manipulation. "That dude from ER" did.

The truth is, and Good Night, and Good Luck proves it, that pundits like Ingraham are scared to death of people like Clooney who have that dangerous ability to be both famous actors and intelligent political thinkers. I'm not saying Clooney should be running for office anytime soon, but the inevitable Ann Coulter column railing this movie sight-unseen will prove my general point.

Anyway, the movie itself: really, really good. For background, the film revolves around Edward R. Murrow and his news team at CBS taking on Senator Joeseph McCarthy's witch hunt against Communists. As joked about several times, McCarthy is played by, well, himself: all instances of McCarthy are in the form of actual news reel footage- when asked after the screening, Clooney noted the reasons for this: mainly, that nothing would be better than using his own words against him.

By filming the entire movie in black and white to mesh better with the McCarthy footage, Clooney pulled off a great trick in splicing the real with the fake. As a result, the acted portions of the movie have a more truthful, documentary-like feel when met with actual footage of one of Washington's greatest monsters.

The cast is great, but no one is greater than David Strathairn, who plays Murrow to perfection. Perhaps it's another advantage to using the real McCarthy footage so as not to demean Strathairn's work by trying to find a co-lead.

The only negative I can really give to the movie is that it works so well as a documentary-style news event that if you don't know anything about McCarthy or the events of the time, you're going to be very confused. Of course, knowing nothing about him hasn't stopped Ann Coulter from pretending that McCarthy was a hero, so you're not at the bottom of the barrell just yet. Do what Ann didn't and read a few things, then go check out the movie.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:51 AM

September 20, 2005

RIP

Mickey Siporin passed away last week. I met him briefly during a signing party for one of the Attitude books. Really, really nice guy.

Godspeed, Mickey.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:00 PM

"We haven�t even lived up to the promises of Plessey v. Ferguson"

Campus Progress' latest "Five Minutes With" interview is with Jonathan Kozol, the author of several books on racism and segregation in the American education system.

I think this is the best interview we've done on the site, simply by how angry reading some of this interview will make you. By the time Kozol starts mentioning schools where kids are taught to read by looking at want ads, you're ready to start finding random people to punch in the face.

Kozol's newest book is called Shame of the Nation, and it's an accurate title. There's arguments to be made about per-capita spending, variances in costs of living by state, etc. But the blatant disregard for the necessity of education in this country is unforgivable.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:47 AM

September 19, 2005

Free House seat available in Alaska

Seriously. That every registered Democrat in the entire state hasn't started getting petitions signed to run against this douchebag astounds me.

The New York Times: "Surely Rep. Don Young, the Alaska Republican who is chairman of the transportation committee, might put off that $223 million 'bridge to nowhere' in his state's outback. It's redundant now -- Louisiana suddenly has several bridges to nowhere."

The Wall Street Journal: "That same half a billion dollars (for the two Alaska bridges) could rebuild thousands of homes for suffering New Orleans evacuees."

No doubt to make Alaskans look bad, city leaders in Bozeman, Mont., are investigating whether they can give Katrina victims the $4 million they got in the federal bill for a downtown parking garage.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., raised the charitable pork idea on the Senate floor last week, although he stopped short of endorsing it.

So, how about it, Mr. Chairman?

"They can kiss my ear!" Young boomed when Sam Bishop, Washington correspondent for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, asked him about the many pleas to redirect the bridge money.

"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard," Young went on, noting that Louisiana did quite well in his highway bill.

As Kos notes, the $223 million Young accumulated will be spent on a bridge for a town of 50 people. And, just to make sure you're getting this prefectly clear, his defense of this in light of the Katrina disaster is that Louisiana's infrastructure already has enough money.

That a bill can't be passed tomorrow negating this project is ludicrous. That a candidate can't rise up who could trounce Young using only that article is unbelievable.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:15 PM

Newest comic - "Ties that blind"

Seriously, when did this happen? Is there an official "Concerned Elected Official" line at Eddie Bauer somewhere? The irony of Bush's sudden hatred of neckwear is the strong recollection his rugged, outdoorsy appearance gives to his vacation days in Crawford- you know, the place where he was napping for about a week before deciding it was time to fly over to New Orleans and pretend he rolled up his sleeves to actually perform manual labor. Unfortunately for the people of the Gulf Region, hurricanes don't scatter brush all over the place. If they did that instead of the torrential rain and wind stuff, Bush would have the place cleaned up in a friggin' week.

As always, buy some crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:07 AM