March 10, 2006

"Fancy Ford?"

You have got to be freaking kidding me.

Just to make it clear: this isn't some fringe right-wing site. This is designed, operated, and paid for by Liddy Dole and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Apparently they think it's a serious issue that Harold Ford dresses fancily and caraouses with attractive white women. I'm sure they're not implying anything, of course.

Update: taking a break from the whole "Ford is gay and loves dem white women" angle, it's also notable to catch Liddy's team in a bit of hypocrisy. From their website:

Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) was spotted at the Playboy Super Bowl party in Jacksonville, Fla., after the New England Patriots� big win Sunday night.

The Congressman�s office did not return calls seeking comment on whether he enjoyed himself at the bash, which, according to an HOH informant, was �chock full of scantily clad bunnies� as well as NFL players, �American Idol� judge Randy Jackson and other celebrities.

Another source, who identified herself as �JanetNMemphis� in an e-mail, said, �I cannot believe someone who is running for Senate would attend such an event. It�s poor judgement and offensive.�

That's right, Liddy. You can only carouse with scantily-clad women if you're running for Governor:

Parties hosted by Maxim and Sports Illustrated were supposedly the hot spots over the weekend. Terry Crews ('Everybody Hates Chris'), Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Wyclef Jean, and a host of others were chilling with Maxim Magazine at The Max M. Fisher Music Center while Detroit Shock player Swin Cash, DMC of Run-DMC, former Pittsburgh Steeler receiver Lynn Swann, former Boogie Down Production rapper D-Nice, along with dozens of Sports Illustrated models got down at the Emerald Theatre for the SI party.
That would be, of course, Republican grubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann.

Whoops.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:58 AM

March 9, 2006

Just awful

I have to confess a particular masochistic trait of mine. For some reason, I find myself frequently watching a particular television program with some unrealistic idea that it will one day be good. Yet it continues to be awful, and I continue to watch it in some desperate hope that something might change. And so continues the downward spiral of my own sensibilities that is Drawn Together.

I addressed the major problems with the show when it first came out, and apparently it's clear at this point that the producers have annointed themselves the Tom Green of the animated world, satisfied with merely finding a newer and more unpleasant idea than the previous to satiate the particular viewing audience that will actually watch this crap just to see what "outrageous" thing they'll do or say next.

Let me emphasize here: the last episode, which aired last night, revolved mostly around a character's vagina. There is honestly not even a point to trying to explain the plot; that's not what the episode was about. The running "gag" for which the entire plot was apparently devised was to find as many ways to say euphemisms for the vagina on the show.

What bothers me so much about this isn't in any way the language or crudeness- South Park deals far more in spades. It's the sheer laziness of the entire goddamn series. The character designs are great. The animation is fantastic, and to see such quality in a 2-D show is breathtaking. And yet in one or two gags in each episode, when you see that spark of brilliance in the writers, it is dulled by a gag about taking a dump on a pizza.

I struggled hard to find a metaphor for this, and the closest I could come was as follows: imagine being told a famous novelist was going to be reading from his or her latest work at your local bookstore. You arrive, only to discover that the novelist is in fact being dropped into a 200-gallon vat of human excrement. And when that happens, everyone in the bookstore applauds. You try, very hard, to follow the crowd, but in the end, you just can't, because you realize no matter how appealing someone might find it, people passed up on hearing words of brilliance to watch someone get dumped in a vat of shit.

My exact words when the show premiered were "I hope they can do better or else I don't see this going beyond six episodes." Well it turns out I was completely wrong. The writers can make this go on forever because they clearly couldn't care less about their own show.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:51 PM

DOA bill redux

Several reders have sent links related to the stillborn New Jersey anti-blog flaming bill. My favorite so far is the the letter being sent by Assemblyman Biondi to constituents, where he himself points out the fact that this bill will likely go absolutely nowhere.

Fun news cycle, folks. Absolutely no story.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:34 AM

March 7, 2006

Aaargh

A friend of mine sent me the story about the New Jersey Assemblyman introducing a bill to ban anonymous posting on the internet, and I passed it off as yet another piece of ludicrous legislation that will never go anywhere. Since then, way too many blogs have linked to the story, and it's really getting annoying to me. Allow me to explain:

I used to work as a Legislative Aide for a Democratic New Jersey State Assemblywoman. Yes, it's a stupid bill. Yes, it's likely an unconstitutional bill. But from my own personal experience, I can happily let you all know this bill, and the story, is a non-issue because it's simply not going to go anywhere.

It's sponsored by Asm. Peter Biondi, a Republican, which means neither of the conferences in the Democratic-controlled Assembly will take up the bill. When I was an Aide during session periods, a significant portion of my job was seeing bills like this on the Health & Human Services Committee pending list, which my boss was the Chair of at the time, and ignoring them.

As of now, you can see its status is merely that it's been introduced and referred to committee. As someone who personally took part in the introduction process, let me explain that process: on behalf of the Assemblyperson you take the text of the bill down the hall to an office and file it, where it gets its number. That's "introducing a bill" in the New Jersey Legislature. A lot less dramatic-sounding, isn't it?

Legislators introduce tons of these bills in addition to co-sponsoring others. Biondi himself has already introduced 60 bills for this legislative session, which only started three months ago (Jersey has off-year elections).

For the bill to become law, it would have to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, then approved by majority vote in the Committee, then presented to the full 80-seat Assembly, then approved along with identical companion bill in the 40-seat Senate (also controlled by Democrats) before being signed by the Democratic Governor.

In other words, this won't happen. In the 48 hours since the first story of this bill came to my attention, more time has been spent talking about this bill than will ever be spent by any single member of the New Jersey Legislature looking at it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:22 PM

Why Conservatives Should Love Brokeback Mountain

Bryan Collinsworth writes on Campus Progress about the effort right-wingers have made to suppress probably the best statement on the "gay lifestyle" they could ever hope for:

Bill O�Reilly has been voicing a similar view since long before Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist were wishing they knew how to quit each other on the big screen. �Consenting adults in the privacy of their homes should not have sexual activity monitored,� he declared in June 2003 after the Supreme Court struck down anti-sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. �But, and here comes the no spin, this ruling should not give militant gays the right to flaunt their alternative lifestyle in the faces of American children.�

Gibson and O�Reilly want us to believe they�re fine with gay people, as long as they keep their �gayness� to themselves. But if that�s really the case, why aren�t they hounding everyone and their mothers to go see Brokeback Mountain? After all, if O�Reilly actually saw the movie, he�d realize it�s a perfect portrayal of what he considers �proper� gay relationships.

Gyllenhaal and Ledger�s characters follow to a �T� Bill�s 2003 Talking Points Memo that advised �all Americans to shut up about your sexual preference. It�s nobody�s business.� They sure as hell don�t spend any time hunting for American children in front of whom to flaunt their alternative lifestyle. On the contrary, the mountain of the film�s title is an isolated patch of wilderness to which the two men always retreat to make sure the world never knows what they share.

What�s more, even the Bill Donahues and James Dobsons of the world might find something to like in these two. Jack and Ennis may have a bit of trouble suppressing their homosexual urges, but they do go ahead and get married to women, settle down, and raise kids�just the way God supposedly intended.

I understand this is meant to be at least partially sarcastic/ironic, but still, he's got a really good point. Read, as they say, the whole thing.


Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:06 PM

Journalism!

I would tend to think millions of dollars invested in the company you chair might affect your personal opinions on said investor's business dealings, but hey, I'm not a journalist like those guys on Meet the Press, so what do I know.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:52 AM

March 6, 2006

Newest comic - "Port Security Expert Man"

I really liked doing this one. It's everything I like getting out of a cartoon: pointing out the silliness of instant expertise on the news item of the day while reflecting, once again, just how annoying I find almost everyone else on the Interweb. Plus, I had a legitimate excuse to use Kirby Dots in a cartoon. What's funny is someone wrote me a few months ago randomly saying I should use Kirby Dots in a comic. I have no idea what prompted the request, and I believe my response at the time was I didn't predict ever using them in the near future. So suprises abound. They're not very good Kirby Dots, mind you. At this point I just like saying Kirby Dots. Kirby Dots.

Now buy some crap Kirby Dots.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:04 AM

March 5, 2006

Unbelievable

I guess if anything, kudos to Glenn Reynolds for taking only 21 words to explain just how worthless he actually is.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:34 PM