May 12, 2007

Guh.

Lackadaisy. The ongoing saga of Don Bluth-esque anthropomorphic cats in Prohibition-era St. Louis.

This comic is proof God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:20 PM

Rudy's farm can't fail

It is, for sure, incredibly annoying that a story like this, which blatantly and unambiguously proves how much Rudy Giuliani is a total asshole, is being compltely ignored by the press. Hillary got three days of stories when she forgot to leave a tip during her 2000 campaign; Giuliani snubbing a family because they aren't rich enough doesn't get a mention. As the kids these days say, what liberal media, indeed.

But it's even more annoying that the few places focusing on it are focusing on what makes it truly compelling: that it completely crushed one of the right wing's favorite campaign season lies.

As Steve Benen notes, Giuliani's team would have been spending a long time searching Iowa finding a farm that was facing forclosure over the "Death Tax." Why? Because there aren't any in Iowa. There aren't any in the early states. There aren't any. At all. Let's go to bold for this one: not a single farm in the history of the United States of America has ever been lossed due to the family owning it having to pay inheritance tax.

This isn't one of these "let's pick and choose" arguments using whatever facts suit the opinion of the speaker, like you see with abortion, guns, religion in schools, and so forth. It's just a lie. There's no counter-argument about the estate tax being an unfair burden on small farmers. It just isn't. Giuliani was looking for poster children that do not exist.

So why bother finding non-existent farmers? It's just that the realistic argument- that Paris Hilton will have to pay way too much money when her parents die- is for some strange reason not as palatable to, you know, almost everyone on the face of the earth.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:03 PM

Deep 60

Okay, it won't be officially official in its officialness until the NBC upfronts on Monday, but the last three months of ambiguity aren't worth it anymore at this point: Studio 60's been cancelled.

I suppose in some stupid way I was holding that small sliver of hope that NBC might have still been considering keeping it, if only to give Aaron Sorkin one more season to try and fix his glorious, spectacular mess, but I guess at three million an episode that might not have been the priority for NBC.

It's a shame, because with a great concept and an amazing cast, I'm almost overwhelmed at how quickly Sorkin ran it into the ground. A poster at Television Without Pity sums it up the best:

Sorkin has no clue how Saturday Night Live was and is made. If you read the book Live From New York you can see there IS a story there. It's a fascinating one (and rarely a funny book, BTW), and a page turner: full of egos, battles with the network, fights and love amongst the cast, tragedy, redemption, comeback stories. For God's sake how do you make that boring? If you're Sorkin, you ignore how a weekly sketch show is written and performed so you can take out all the stress and tension that goes into making it. You cast bland and unfunny actors playing bland and unfunny actors, rather than actors playing out of control writers or young comedians straight off the improv stages at major cities getting their first taste of fame. Instead of the reality of a hard-ass creator/overlord who was the inspiration for Dr. Evil overseeing it all, you replace him with two smug, bland head writers who do nothing but mope. Instead of a shark-like network executive you turn a professional woman in a simpering little girl who has nothing better to do than pine about her sex life and take naps on her boyfriend's couch.

Sorkin took what was supposed to be a show about the behind-the-scenes struggles of a major television program, and he made it about the nonsensical activies of generic characters unconnected to the show at all. It just went everywhere and nowhere at once. If you watched the pilot, you can see just how much potential it had, and then it just dissolved into a completely different show. I thought I'd be upset about it; instead I'm just pissed off at Sorkin. He's better than this, and his fans deserved a better show.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:32 PM

May 11, 2007

DNA. RIP 1952-2001

So long. And thanks
March 11, 1952 - May 11, 2001


Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:00 AM

May 10, 2007

BeeDub!

In what will certainly rank in the "Awesome" file for eons to come, Bruce Willis decided that he could contribute to promoting the next Die Hard movie by just showing up at Aint It Cool News and talking to everyone in the message boards.

I'm not sure which is the most spectacular part about this: that he spends multiple comments rightly defending the position that Unbreakable was one of the greatest movies ever*, or that he gave himself the handle "Walter B" and the first word in every one of his responses is "yo."

*That's right Nicole. It was. You know who else thinks so? BRUCE F#&%ING WILLIS.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:52 PM

Soon to be a Disney movie, I'm sure

Cop confiscates pot, cop keeps pot, cop bakes pot into brownies, cop eats brownies, cop gets ridiculously high, cop calls 911 to claim he's dying and ask for the score of the Red Wings game. Cop not a cop anymore. However, the 911 call lives on forever.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 4:47 PM

May 9, 2007

Waiting for Blizzard

Two fools wait on a darkened road. Says one to the other "The Announcement is coming."

"When?" says the other.

"I do not know."

"Perhaps we should go."

"Yes, perhaps The Annoucement will not come today."

They do not move.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:52 AM

May 8, 2007

McDonald's sells salads too, you know

Okay, I know that this is a losing battle. But amidst the right-wing feeding frenzy going on today over Rudy Giuliani's multiple donations to Planned Parenthood, could someone, anyone, even weakly note that Planned Parenthood isn't just an abortion service?

Yes, as the post title alludes, to remove the association of PP with abortion is ludicrous- they are, to be sure (and to be admired) the largest provider of women's health services in America, including abortion. But they also are one of the nation's leading providers of contraception, pregnancy counselling services, STD awareness programs, and screenings and treatment assistance for both ovarian cancer and testicular cancer- you know, that potentially-fatal affliction Rudy Giuliani himself had a few years back.

I understand completely how to right-wingers that's no excuse. By comparison, I'm an active supporter of more humane treatment of animals, but I would never in a million years offer financial or vocal support to PETA because of the numerous activities they engage in which are reprehensible. Now multiply that analogy by a factor of a thousand or so. To the right-wing base of the Republican Party, supporting Planned Parenthood is about one step shy of joining Al-Qaeda.

That said, the problem here is that in the wake of Giuliani's "horrific" past of supporting a noble and worthwhile endeavor coming back to haunt him, the absence of defense from the left sort of casts an unfair shadow on an already-unfairly-villified organization. It seems hugely detrimental that liberals are embracing the attacks on Giuliani in hope that it crushes the currently perceived "biggest threat" to a Democratic nominee, at the cost of allowing an entire news cycle go by unchecked in which Planned Parenthood is depicted yet again by the right-wingers as some kind of all-abortions, all-the-time drive-thru. It would be awesome to see any candidate actually make a point of acknowledging that, for or against abortion, Planned Parenthood should be admired for all its other work- work that reduces the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions in America. But it would also be awesome if I had a pony.

Update: Amanda adds in, noting that I ignored the important element in play that much of the right-wing GOP base probably isn't too keen on all the other stuff PP does either. This is, sadly, tragically, horrifically true.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:17 PM

May 7, 2007

"Crazy Man 2008"

Latest comic - click here!

I know I'm in the minority on this, but I feel like we since have so few debates because of our messed-up privately-financed election system, and there's so little time for candidates to talk about relevant issues like health care and women's rights and the war in Iraq, that maybe, just maybe, we shouldn't waste much of that time letting crazy people go on stage who have no chance or even for that matter personal intention of getting elected and babble incoherently about stuff no one will talk or care about after they stop getting invited to future debates. Look, I'm glad everyone is talking about how "bold" Mike Gravel is, but I'd rather hear about who had the best plan to bring the troops home and, as an added benefit, isn't insane. And Tommy Thompson should go away now and let us have more time to study the guys who might have a chance of being placed in a position of wrecking the country. Seriously, dudes, you're not going to change John McCain's stance on the war and no one's going to talk about nuking Iran once you're served your restraining order. If anything, you've reduced the merits of your positions by establishing yourself as the guy on stage who's so bizarre he looks the candidates whose opinions you despise look more palatable. By nature of lack of charisma, these guys are making Al Sharpton look more appealing and worthy of being given free air time, and do you know how bad an accomplishment that is?

Now Buy some crap and join the list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:09 AM