Monthly Archives: November 2009

Two dudes kissing: Get over it or help the homophobes to get over it already

Adam Lambert, left, gets ready to kiss one of the dancers as ...

Adam Lambert, left, kisses one of the dancers as he performs ...

Associated Press photos

Openly gay artist Adam Lambert plants a kiss on an androgynous (but presumably XY-chromosome-possessing) keyboard player during his performance at last night’s American Music Awards. I love Lambert and I loved his same-sex kiss, except that in the video of it the kiss seems to be a bit rough, even perhaps with at least a tinge of violence to it, and I prefer it to be warm and tender. (And parents probably do have a legitimate complaint that during his performance he shoved a male dancer’s face in his crotch…)

I love Adam Lambert. Not just his music, but his balls.

No, he hasn’t taken the path of Levi Johnston; I mean, I love his chutzpah.

Of any complaints that he was sexually demonstrative with other males during his performance at the American Music Awards last night, he said:

“I do feel like there’s a bit of a double standard in the entertainment community, on television, on radio. I feel like women performers have been pushing the envelope, especially, for the past 20 years. And all of the sudden a male does it and everybody goes ‘Oh, we can’t show that on TV.’ For me, that’s a form of discrimination and a double standard. And that’s too bad.” 

Yup. Ditto.

And it’s because in a patriarchal, misognynist society, female-on-female sexuality (in which the women really are heterosexual or are at least bisexual, of course) is considered to be hot (or at least tolerable) by many (if not by most), but male-on-male sexuality, even just a kiss, is considered by many (if not by most) to be repulsive and/or even obscene. (Must protect the children!)

(Male-on-male violence, of course, is perfectly OK, even for the kiddies.)

So many Americans have a problem seeing two men kissing because it’s so rare that they ever actually see two men kissing. What you rarely see can seem strange and foreign and even unsettling when and if you ever actually should see it.

The solution to this problem?

And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gay and other same-sex-loving men who wish to show affection in public — holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc. — should do so if they are reasonably physically safe in doing so. (Kissing before some skinheads with baseball bats might not be such a good idea, for example.)

Of course, I can’t say that I am big on public displays of male-on-male affection that are not heartfelt but are just for political purposes. (Lambert’s on-stage same-sex sexual antics appear as though they might have been at least somewhat for the latter.) However, there might be times and places for even political same-sex public displays of affection.

Nor am I calling for public man-on-man sex or even for prolonged open-mouthed man-on-man kissing in public; if you must have prolonged open-mouthed kissing or fondling of the genitalia or the like, please get a room if you are in public (regardless of your XX or XY chromosomal status and your sexual orientation).

But again: If you are a male and you wish to demonstrate, with another male, affection in public that any heterosexual couple would be able to demonstrate without drawing condemnation (or maybe even a law enforcement officer…), then do so, unless you have good reason to believe that you could get physically harmed by doing so.

(Of course, if ending up in the ICU — or becoming the next Matthew Shepard — is your idea of a great political statement, then who am I to try to stop you?)

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American Taliban (a.k.a. Catholic church) tries to sink health care reform

Iran seeks to calm prison abuse outrage

Reuters photo

They look the same to me: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is surrounded by clerics during his swearing-in ceremony in Tehran in August (above). Although Ahmadinejad holds the title of president, it is Iran’s clerics who hold the power and call the shots in Iran. Below is a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops earlier this month in Baltimore. The bishops’ conference is doing all that it can to sink U.S. health care reform unless its demands regarding abortion rights are met.

Chicago Cardinal Francis George, far right, the president of ...

Associated Press photo

That a council of clerics calls the shots in the Muslim nation of Iran is ridiculed by the majority of Americans as oppressive theocracy, yet in the United States of America — “the land of the free” — we have shit like this (from The Associated Press today):

The White House is on a collision course with Catholic bishops in an intractable dispute over abortion that could blow up the fragile political coalition behind President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

A top Obama administration official is praising the new Senate health bill’s attempt to find a compromise on abortion coverage — even as an official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says Sen. Harry Reid’s bill is the worst he’s seen so far on the divisive issue.

The bishops were instrumental in getting tough anti-abortion language adopted by the House, forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to accept restrictions that outraged liberals as the price for passing the Democratic health care bill.

Reid, D-Nev., now faces a similar choice: Ultimately, he will need the votes of a handful of Democratic senators who oppose abortion to get his bill through. Republicans hoping to block the health bill in the Senate are relishing the Democrats’ predicament….

Reid has steered the Senate bill in a direction that abortion-rights supporters can live with: allowing coverage for abortion in federally subsidized health care plans, provided that beneficiaries’ own premiums are used to pay for the procedure. But abortion opponents say his compromise would gut current restrictions that bar federal funding of abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother….

But Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid’s “is actually the worst bill” on [anti-abortion] issues….

On Friday, the bishops’ conference sent each senator a letter saying the Senate bill violates federal policy on abortion funding and must be changed. “If that fails,” the letter said, “the current legislation should be opposed.”

Reid’s bill would forbid including abortion coverage as a required medical benefit. However, it would allow a new government insurance plan to cover abortions and let private insurers that receive federal subsidies offer plans that include abortion coverage.

In all cases, the money to pay for abortions would have to come from premiums paid by beneficiaries themselves, kept strictly separate from federal subsidy dollars. Supporters say that would keep government funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother as allowed under a current law known as the Hyde amendment….

Of course, there’s no question that things like Viagra and other boner-inducing drugs and vasectomies and other forms of male birth control should be covered in every health care plan, right? It’s only abortion that is the problem. No misogyny or patriarchy there!

Worst, though, is that we have Catholic clerics dictating U.S. government policy – giving a brand-new meaning to the term “American Taliban.”

Politico notes:

The big player here isn’t Reid or Pelosi but the Catholic Church, which helped get the Stupak [anti-abortion-rights] amendment into the House [health care reform] bill. Any abortion language may have to win the backing of the church for members to sign on – and the church is sticking by a tough anti-abortion stance that angers many liberals.

So the fate of health care reform is not up to our elected officials but is up to the Catholic church? Even though only about a quarter of Americans identify themselves as Catholic (and about 15 percent of Americans identify themselves with no religion at all or identify themselves as atheist or agnostic)?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: fuck the Catholic Church. That we non-Catholics still are battling these theofascists in the year 2009 is incredible.

First the Catholic church, with its partner in crime, the Mormon cult, pumped millions of dollars into a campaign of fear, hatred and lies that denied same-sex couples equal human and civil rights in my home state of California — equal human and civil rights that the California Supreme Court already had ruled belong to same-sex Californians.

Now, the Catholic church threatens national health care reform unless it contains prohibitions on abortion, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that first-trimester abortion is a legal medical procedure (and that later-term abortions are legal if the mother’s life is in jeopardy by the pregnancy).

If Catholics, Mormons and other “Christo”fascists want to enforce their backasswards beliefs among their own members, that’s fine – people (adults, anyway) have the option of leaving such dysfunctional, ironically anti-Christian organizations. But for the “Christo”fascists to force their backasswards beliefs upon all Americans is theocratic and is against the principles of the United States of America, which include the separation of church and state.

It’s time that we non-Catholics (and non-Mormons) do something about the theocracy that is being shoved down our throats. It’s past time, actually, to push back. 

I, for one, refuse to be dragged back to the Dark Ages.

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Palin-Prejean 2012!

Carrie Prejean starts to leave Larry King’s show because he asked her a question that he wasn’t supposed to. Prejean, like Sarah Palin, represents a faux victimization that only harms, not helps, women. (You know that Prejean is a good Christian, by the way, because she wears that cross.)

So Carrie Prejean and Sarah Palin are what’s left of the Repugnican Party — well, except for Glenn Beck.

What do Prejean and Palin have in common? A lot, with the exception that no Palin sex videos have yet to be discovered. (And I’m really, really hoping that there won’t be any Beck sex videos…)

Both Prejean and Palin have books out (as does Beck…), only Palin’s book is doing much better than is Prejean’s: Amazon.com has Palin’s book at No. 1 and Prejean’s at No. 6,712 — yes, at No. 6,712 — as I compose this sentence.

(Porn star Jenna Jameson’s book How to Make Love Like a Porn Star is at No. 56 on amazon.com right now — I swear – so what I’m thinking is that Prejean needs to follow the logical course of her “career,” which is to do professional porn, since she’s already done amateur porn. Then, perhaps, after she has had success as a professional porn “actress,” for which she’s already had her tits artificially enlarged, she finally can sell some books!)

If you think I’m awful for comparing Palin and Prejean, Prejean makes the comparison herself. This is from her pathetic recent interview with Larry King:

KING: You characterize yourself as being “Palinized.” What do you mean?

PREJEAN: Well, you look at Sarah Palin and Congresswoman, you know, Michele Bachmann, they are relentlessly, you know, torn down by the liberal media. I mean, they’re wonderful women. They’re intelligent. They’re great mothers. They’re brilliant. And yet there’s this double standard that conservative women are fair game to be attacked. And it’s not right. And it needs to stop.

KING: Doesn’t the conservative media tear down liberal politicians?

PREJEAN: Not to the extent that liberals do to conservative women. I think that they get away with it. If you look at Keith Olbermann, for instance, I talk about it in my book, some of the things that he says on his show about conservatives, if Sean Hannity or if Bill O’Reilly said anything like that about a liberal woman, like Sonia Sotomayor or Michelle Obama, he would be off the air. And there is this double standards and Americans are now exposed to it.

KING: But the conservative media commentators denounced Sonia Sotomayor as a racist, Hillary Clinton as a bitch and a liar. Laura Ingraham recently accused Nancy Pelosi of having do everything but sell her own body to get the health bill passed. You must condemn things like that.

PREJEAN: Look at the things that they said about Sarah Palin and her children. I mean, it’s unbelievable. The attacks are still coming. And, you know, when they’re not happy with the message, Larry, what do they do? They attack the messenger.

KING: Well, you don’t see that it happens on both sides?

PREJEAN: I think that it’s important for women to stick together. I think that’s the biggest thing. And I think that there definitely is this bias against conservative women. It’s fair game. And if they don’t like what you have to say, they have to attack your personal life. And that’s what we’ve been seeing. It’s very consistent.

Oh, puhhhfuckinglease. If you put yourself in the public spotlight, like both Prejean and Palin have done, you can’t complain that the public spotlight shines on those parts of your life that you wish it wouldn’t.

Especially when you claim to be such a great fucking upstanding “Christian” (which includes hating fags and dykes, just like Jesus did/does, of course!), as Prejean does, you can’t expect your hypocrisy (such as breast implants and amateur sex videos) not to be exposed.

When I watched the Prejean-Larry King clip with Prejean ostentatiously wearing her Christian cross pendant, as though she actually exemplifies what Jesus Christ taught, I wanted to vomit.

All that Palin and Prejean do is cry “victim.” How, exactly, does this victim mentality empower women? And is their incessant whining about the “liberal media” enough to elect the likes of Palin to positions of power? Aren’t you supposed to have actual accomplishments, not just bogus claims of victimhood? 

Prejean is full of shit when she claims that women on the right are given worse treatment than are progressive women. And women on the right usually are attacked because they are fucktarded and mean-spirited, not because they are women.

Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are “brilliant”? Well, consider the source of that assertion. No doubt Prejean considers herself to be “brilliant” as well.

I recall the incredibly vicious attacks on Cindy Sheehan by the right. (The majority of Americans now agree with Sheehan, of course, that the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War was dead wrong.)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and my only truly Democratic U.S. senator, Barbara Boxer, constantly are villified by the right, as was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (primarily because she isn’t a conservative white man), yet here is Prejean whining about what supposedly horribly unfair treatment she and Palin have received. She’s even coined a verb for it: “Palinized.”  

What Palin and Prejean and their ilk really want is for progressive women to be crucified while wingnut dingbats like Palin and Prejean get a free pass — lest they scream “sexism.”

Why won’t Palin and Prejean just go the fuck away, even though the McCainosaurus-Palin-Quayle ticket tanked at the ballot box a year ago this month and even though Palin and Prejean both, to my knowledge, are unemployed, except to peddle their books?

Because of Americans’ love affair with white trash, that’s why. We haven’t seen Palin’s nasty bits, as we have Prejean’s, but we are promised that soon we’ll see Palin’s grandkid’s baby daddy’s pee-pee on playgirl.com.

That’s why Palin and Prejean endure: because Americans just can’t get enough of stupid.

I don’t expect Prejean to be around much longer, and I don’t see that Palin-Quayle ever will make it to the White House. Still, I believe that it’s a mistake to misunderestimate, as our last “brilliant” “president” would put it, how popular stupid is in the United States of America.

Sarah Palin and Carrie Prejean appeal to the fantasy of millions of fucktarded Americans that they, too, can become famous one day, even though they have attained absofuckinglutely nothing. It’s the American dream, to attain to heights that you never earned and don’t deserve. (It was, I think, the “brilliant” “President” George W. Bush who started that trend.)

Still, though, Palin and Prejean (and Glenn Beck) do represent an ever-shrinking segment of the U.S. population: the misogynist/pro-patriarchal, white supremacist, “Christo”fascist, xenophobic, homophobic, pro-bogus-war, anti-social-program, anti-environmental (not necessarily in that order) set. They are vocal, but they are going extinct like the dinosaurs they don’t believe in.

The Repugnicans think that just because they can front a she-Nazi or two, the majority of the American voters won’t see that a Nazi is still a Nazi, male or female, Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin.

“I think that it’s important for women to stick together,” Carrie Prejean proclaimed on Larry King.

Because getting breast implants in order to compete in the Miss USA pageant is what feminism is all about! As is the anti-abortion stance of both Prejean and Palin! Yes, women of the United States of America, these brilliant women are on your side!

Prejean already is dead in the water, so she might as well go ahead and make that pro porn, and Palin is riding high right now only because of her book. She’ll fade. You betcha.

And even if she didn’t, she and her ilk just don’t have the numbers anymore. It’s not even close enough for the Repugnicans to be able to steal presidential elections anymore, like they did in 2000 and again in 2004.

The demographics are their death.

But it doesn’t hurt to help the demographics along.

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Forgo the Christmas sweater and see Zemeckis’ ‘A Christmas Carol’

Film review (with gratuitous political commentary)

Charles Dickens character Scrooge played by Jim Carrey is shown ...

In this film publicity image released by Disney, from left, ...

In stills from Robert Zemeckis’ version of “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge, voiced by Jim Carrey, is confronted by the tortured ghost of his deceased business partner Jacob Marley and is shown by the Ghost of Christmas Past the love that he gave up for the pursuit of money.

God bless Robert Zemeckis for bringing us “A Christmas Carol” at the same time that Glenn Beck (assuming that he really writes all of the books that are released under his name) has released his children’s picture book The Christmas Sweater (yes, I know, it’s frightening, a children’s book by the likes of Glenn Beck; if it is not a sign of the coming Apocalypse, then I don’t know what is).

Full admission: I would never purchase one of Glenn Beck’s books. I would never financially support a stupid white man, a dry drunk who claims that he is all about traditional values. Yes, Glenn Beck wants to drag all of us, kicking and screaming, back to the good old days — you know, the days when stupid white men like he, drunk on power, had complete control of everything, and we uppity women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals and non-Christians knew our place. (Um, yeah, that’s why if I had a child, I wouldn’t allow him or her to possess a copy of anything by Glenn Beck. Because I truly care about family values, and white supremacism, racism, misogyny, homphobia, xenophobia and “Christo”fascism are not family values.)

Anyway, although I’d never read anything by Beck, amazon.com does give this description of The Christmas Sweater (the full “novel” that the children’s picture book, released a year after the “novel” was released, is based upon) :

In Beck’s debut novel, the conservative radio and TV host makes a weak attempt at a holiday classic in the vein of It’s a Wonderful Life.

Despite his single mother’s financial hardships, 12-year-old Eddie is certain this Christmas he will receive his much-desired Huffy bike. To his dismay, what he finds under the tree is “a stupid, handmade, ugly sweater” that his mother carefully modeled after those she can’t afford at Sears (one of four places she keeps part-time jobs).

Eddie tosses the sweater and insults his mother before the two go visit his grandparents at their farmouse. On the drive home, though, Eddie’s exhausted mother falls asleep at the wheel and crashes, dying instantly. Sent to live with his grandparents, an increasingly bitter and angry Eddie lashes out at his accommodating guardians, engages in typical teenage angst and grapples with belief in God.

For all his focus on traditional family virtues like respect, love and forgiveness, Beck’s lightweight parable cruises on predictability, repetition and sentimentality.

That’s priceless: A materialistic baby boomer like Glenn Beck is going to lecture our kiddies hypocritically that they shouldn’t want stuff. Like the likes of Beck would pick the homemade sweater over the Huffy bike. And it’s incredibly and sickly ironic that Beck and his Fox “News” fully support the system of wage slavery in which a single mother would have to work more than one job, yet here is Beck writing about the tragedy of a single mother who has to work more than one job.

And what kind of kid’s book has the protagonist’s mother dying in a car wreck? Beck is one sick and twisted piece of shit, and I wouldn’t want my kids reading something by a sick and twisted piece of shit.

But I digress.

There is egomaniac Glenn Beck, who likens himself to Thomas Paine — yes, he actually released a book actually titled Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine — and then there is the real deal, Charles Dickens.

Wikipedia notes that Dickens, who lived from 1812 to 1870, “was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era and one of the most popular of all time. He created some of literature’s most memorable characters. His novels and short stories have never gone out of print. A concern with what he saw as the pressing need for social reform is a theme that runs throughout his work.”

Yup. While Beck writes a story about a boy who must feel awfully guilty that he wanted a bicycle over the sweater made for him by his mother, who works in sweat shops that Beck and Fox “News” support and who then dies in a grisly car wreck, Dickens was about doing something about the sweat shops.

Dickens was not about lecturing the downtrodden to just shut the fuck up and thank God for whatever they do have, which, from what I can tell, is the central message of The Christmas Sweater, a message that the plutocrats and corporatocrats are only too happy to have their Darth Vader in Glenn Beck deliver to our impressionable kiddies. (Further, why do the corporatists like Beck incessantly advertise their products and then criticize anyone for actually wanting one of their products, like a Huffy bike? They can’t fucking have it both ways.)

“A Christmas Carol” is, let’s face it, socialist.

The main character of “A Christmas Carol” is the Dick-Cheney-like Ebenezer Scrooge, who, when he sees the damage that his miserliness has caused others, does a 180 and decides to stop stealing other people’s money from them via the legalized thievery that is called “capitalism” (a.k.a. “just business”) and decides to give their rightful wealth back to them instead.

That’s hardly the Christmas message that the likes of “Fox” News’ Glenn Beck want to put out there, that the plutocrats should share the wealth that they have stolen and thus ease the suffering of the many around them. Why, that’s — socialist!

(Of course, Jesus Christ himself preached, over and over again, in black and white in the New Testament, about the evils of the rich [my favorite being his declaration that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven] and the virtue of helping the less fortunate, so Jesus must have been a socialist, too. And doesn’t Christmas come from Jesus Christ?)

But we can’t have a socialist/“socialist” — that is, a truly Christian — Christmas message put out there, so it’s the likes of Beck, with his fucking Christmas sweater, who are to save the day for the ultra-super-rich.

OK, my political commentary is over, so let me dive into Robert Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol.” I just wanted to put it into some sociopolitical context first.

Zemeckis, who brought us the “Back to the Future” trilogy and “Forrest Gump,” lately has been giving us computer-aided fare, with “The Polar Express,” “Beowulf” and now “A Christmas Carol.”

I’ve seen all three of those films, and, like Roger Ebert declared that he would do in his review of Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol,” I won’t regurgitate the plot of “A Christmas Carol,” which everyone already knows, but I will talk about the technological aspects of Zemeckis’ latest.

Zemeckis’ craftspeople are getting better at capturing realistic human expressions (especially human eyes), but they’re not fully there yet. I found the creepy unnaturalness of the characters’ CGI eyes in “The Polar Express” to be too much to even be able to get into the film (which, if memory serves, I saw at an IMAX theater, so it was even bigger and even more unintentionally scary).

“Beowulf” was an improvement on the CGI technology that Zemeckis uses these days, but “Beowulf” suffers from a poor storyline (isn’t Beowulf what high schoolers dread they’ll have to read?) and a poor screenplay (as well as from testosterone overload, a la “300”). Of all of the stories that Zemeckis could have adapted, why Beowulf?

No, we didn’t need another “A Christmas Carol,” either. You’re right. We didn’t. Except that we probably did. In these BushCheneyCorp-induced times of economic collapse and the subsequent national environment of fear and uncertainty that that collapse has caused, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of the fact that the reason that there is so much poverty and suffering around us is that there are so many Ebenezer Scrooges around us.

Of course, Dickens’ story relies on four spirits to induce Ebenezer Scrooge to change his ways. In our case, we can’t count on spirits preventing the plutocrats from completely destroying our nation (although I must wonder if the ghost of Ronald Reagan would replace the spirit of Dickens’ Jacob Marley were a ghost to appear before the Scrooges of today). We, the people, might have to take matters into our own hands — the threat of which is why we have such things as “Fox” News and its henchmen like Glenn Beck.

(There I go again…)

Anyway, Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol” has the eye thing down, at least where it comes to the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Zemeckis’ CGI Scrooge is quite humanlike, but it’s the other characters, especially the extras in the streets, on whom the CGI technicians presumedly spent less time and effort, that have that unnatural, not-quite-human look that we have seen in “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf.”

Zemeckis makes the burly Ghost of Christmas Present surprisingly hunky, replete with a copious amount of apparently proudly displayed strawberry-blond chest hair (although apparently Zemeckis was fairly faithful to the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Present as he appeared in Dickens’ original novel), and Zemeckis interprets the Ghost of Christmas Past interestingly — as a human-candle hybrid, with the head of the ghost being the flame of a white candle that occasionally flickers as the ghost speaks (which I, like Ebert did, found to be an interesting special effect).

Much of Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol” is like a roller-coaster ride, with the latter three spirits zipping Ebenezer here and there, over rooftops and landscapes, in order to show him where he fucked up his life in the past, how his miserliness has harmed others in the present, and how his miserliness will affect him in the future if he doesn’t change his ways drastically.

The greatest liberty that Zemeckis took with “A Christmas Carol” is the segment in which he has Scrooge shrink to the size of a mouse during his time with the Ghost of Christmas Future. At first I took umbrage with this liberty — Dickens never shrunk Scrooge! — and other reviewers have said that they didn’t like it, but Zemeckis at least ultimately makes it work, especially when the mini-Scrooge finds himself in the home of his impoverished maid, who is talking to her husband about Scrooge after his death.  

Jim Carrey (who also gave us the live-action Grinch, recall) did an excellent job voicing Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. (Well, OK, he is credited with being the voice of the grim-reaper-like Ghost of Christmas Future, but I don’t recall that that ghost says a word…) Why Carrey has taken so much shit from reviewers, proclaiming in their sheep-like unison that One Jim Carrey is enough!, I don’t know. Jealousy over Carrey’s talents, maybe?

“A Christmas Carol,” although fully titled “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” (shudder — that a corporation would co-opt the anti-corporate Dickens is sickening), probably isn’t for small children. I found the slack-jawed ghost of Jacob Marley to be at least moderately disturbing, so I can’t imagine that most small children wouldn’t find it to be even more disturbing.

But most older children and adults — except for the plutocrats and corporatocrats and their supporters, of course, who equate the easing of poverty with “socialism” and who would regard Ebenezer Scrooge as a Great American Capitalist Hero — will enjoy Zemeckis’ “A Christmas Carol,” not only for its technological achievements (and you must see it in 3-D if it’s playing near you in 3-D), but also for the fact that it remains faithful to the spirit of Dickens’ short novel — which is the true spirit of Christmas.

Fuck Glenn Beck and his fucking Christmas sweater.

My grade: A

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‘Terrorist’-capturing Marine reservist has a very bright future in gay porn

There were media reports that right before he fired (and/or while he was firing) on his comrades at Fort Hood, Palestinian-American U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan yelled “Allahu Akbar!” — Arabic for “God is great!”

I didn’t repeat those reports because officials hadn’t substantiated them — and still haven’t, to my knowledge.

Maybe Hasan did say that — or maybe some Islamophobes made it up in order to further inflame tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims and/or to minimize the apparent fact that Hasan apparently was the victim of anti-Muslim discrimination at Fort Hood; just paint him as the radical “Islamofascist,” just put all of the blame on him.

After I read this news item from today from the St. Petersberg Times’ website, I have even greater doubt that Hasan actually yelled “Allahu Akbar!”

Tampa — Marine reservist Jasen Bruce was getting clothes out of the trunk of his car Monday evening when a bearded man in a robe approached him.

That man, a [29-year-old] Greek Orthodox priest named Father Alexios Marakis, speaks little English and was lost, police said. He wanted directions.

What the priest got instead, police say, was a tire iron to the head. Then he was chased for three blocks and pinned to the ground — as the [28-year-old] Marine kept a 911 operator on the phone, saying he had captured a terrorist.

Police say Bruce offered several reasons to explain his actions:

The man tried to rob him.

The man grabbed Bruce’s crotch and made an overt sexual advance in perfect English.

The man yelled “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” the same words some witnesses said the Fort Hood shooting suspect uttered last week.

“That’s what they tell you right before they blow you up,” police say Bruce told them.

Bruce ended up in jail, accused of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was released [yesterday] on $7,500 bail. Marakis ended up at the hospital with stitches. He told the police he didn’t want to press charges, espousing biblical forgiveness…

You can read (and should read) the full story here.

This is the booking photo of the genius who reportedly told 911 that he’d captured a terrorist:

Jasen Bruce

The St. Petersberg Times news story that I excerpted and linked to above notes that Bruce has a blog, and that “His blog entries tout the benefits of increasing testosterone and human growth hormones.”

I couldn’t make shit like that up. But wait; it gets better. The news story also notes: “Online photo galleries depict him flexing big muscles, wearing little clothing.”

Boy, do I feel so much safer knowing that the U.S. military is chock full of winners like Jasen Bruce, who’s all about increasing his testosterone level and posting homoerotic images of himself on the Internet for all the world to see!

Why a Greek Orthodox priest would yell “Allahu Akbar!” when he is Christian and not Muslim escapes me. But surely a member of the U.S. military, especially a white (presumably “Christian”) male, would not lie!

Will President Barack Obama, now that he’s done giving the obligatory post-massacre presidential oratory at Fort Hood, be a leader in encouraging non-Muslim and non-Arab Americans not to attack individuals who are different than they are?

Because having to live through the post-9/11 hysteria and xenophobia once was more than enough.

P.S. A Google search of “Jasen Bruce” reveals these rather revealing photos of him from a blog titled “Mad About the Boys”:

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Again, I couldn’t make shit like this up…

And please excuse me, because I need to go jack off now…

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‘Dilbert’ creator Scott Adams fires opening salvo at the baby boomers?

Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams for the first time, to my knowledge, has taken the baby-boom generation head on in his strip for today:

(The full-sized strip is at the end of this post.)

The “pointy-haired boss” of “Dilbert” for years has been the quintessential baby boomer, utterly clueless and incompetent yet in charge of the whole show nonetheless — and in possession of wildly exaggerated views of his own competence, talents and worth.

The title character of Dilbert, I do believe, is a member of my generation, Generation X (which is probably why I’ve always loved “Dilbert”). Dilbert incessantly struggles to do a good job despite the obstacles that his incompetent baby-boomer boss puts in his way.

Today’s “Dilbert” strip has Asok, a member of Generation Y, I believe, flat-out telling the “pointy-haired boss”: “Your [generation] has destroyed the hopes of my entire generation.”

Yup.

Not that the boomers give a flying fuck that they are the first generation in the history of the United States of America that didn’t give a shit about leaving the nation in better shape for the next generation than the nation was when they inherited it.

I would say that the boomers’ mentality always has been “Get mine and get out,” except that they always got not only what was theirs but also what wasn’t theirs, but what belonged to their children and to successive generations. Like cancerous tumors, the boomers just can’t get enough at the expense of the whole (that’s why I’ve also thought of the boomers as Generation Swine), and their greed has brought the entire nation — indeed, the entire world — to the brink of collapse. 

Ironically, the boomers apparently thought that things would collapse right after their deaths, but their unbridled, hordes-of-locust-like greed has been such that we are seeing the catastrophic results of their utter selfishness and irresponsibility sooner (as in now) rather than later.  

The boomers’ legacy will include such things as stolen presidential elections, bogus wars in the Middle East (only perpetuating the terrorist threat from there for years to come) and environmental devastation (including melting polar ice caps, for fuck’s sake) and economic devastation that will affect generations to come.

There are exceptions that are far and few between, but even the most progressive boomers tend to show central boomer traits, such as materialism (even their “spirituality,” such as “The Secret” bullshit, is about materialism) and a refusal to acknowledge the damage that their generation has done to the generations succeeding them.

I wonder if Adams is going to continue the discussion, and I wonder if a larger national discussion about the worthlessness of the baby boomers is going to follow.

I hope…

P.S. The Wikipedia entry on Scott Adams notes that he was born in 1957 — which makes him a baby boomer. He is one of the rare exceptions, one of the few boomers who will admit that the baby-boom generation dropped the ball on the American dream, which is that each generation would make things better for the generations that follow it.

When we finally round the boomers up for Carousel (or maybe for Soylent Green [or for both]), perhaps we can give Adams an exemption…

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Pot calls the kettle ‘radical’

Media bias can be subtle. But there it is.

Take this from The Associated Press today:

A radical American imam on Yemen’s most-wanted militant list who had contact with two 9/11 hijackers praised alleged Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan as a hero on his personal website [today].

The posting on the website for Anwar al Awlaki, who was a spiritual leader at two mosques where three 9/11 hijackers worshipped, said American Muslims who condemned the attacks on the Texas military base last week are hypocrites who have committed treason against their religion.

Awlaki said the only way a Muslim can justify serving in the U.S. military is if he intends to “follow in the footsteps of men like Nidal.”

“Nidal Hassan [sic] is a hero. He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people,” Awlaki wrote.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of killing 13 and wounding 29 in a shooting spree [on] Thursday. Hasan’s family attended the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Va., where Awlaki was preaching in 2001.

Hasan’s mother’s funeral was held at the Falls Church mosque on May 31, 2001, according to her obituary in the Roanoke Times newspaper, around the same time two 9/11 hijackers worshipped at the mosque and while Awlaki was preaching.

Awlaki is a native-born U.S. citizen who left the United States in 2002, eventually traveling to Yemen. He was released from a Yemeni jail last year and has since gone missing. He is on Yemen’s most-wanted militant list, according to three Yemeni security officials….

Wow. So we are more or less associating Hasan with 9/11 because Awlaki has praised Hasan on Awlaki’s website and Awlaki might have known some of the 9/11 hijackers. Irresponsible.

But most of all, I have a problem with the casual use of the word “radical.”

What a loaded term, “radical.”

I just Googled “radical,” and the first online dictionary definition of the word “radical,” as the AP story above uses it, that I see is this:

3 a : marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b : tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c : of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radical right>

OK, so maybe we accurately can call Anwar al Awlaki “radical,” but what about the United States of America?

On Sept. 11, 2001, 19 Arab/Muslim hijackers — 15 from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates and one each from Egypt and Lebanon — attacked targets on U.S. soil, killing under just 3,000 people.

In response, the unelected Bush regime (stealing a presidential election — that’s pretty radical in my book) launched wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Bush regime did not treat 9/11 as what it was — terrorist attacks — meaning that you hunt down the terrorists responsible for the attacks — but instead repeatedly called it a “war,” a la Big Brother in 1984. (Just repeat a lie often enough…)

The U.S. may declare war on another nation legally only when that nation has provoked a war. The U.S. had no legal grounds on which to go to war with Iraq, which is why the Bush regime gave the United Nations Security Council — which had refused to rubber-stamp the Bush regime’s Vietraq War like a good little Security Council should — the middle finger and in March 2003 invaded Iraq anyway, against the United Nations’ wishes.

That seems pretty radical to me — to launch wars upon Iraq and Afghanistan, killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians, when those nations didn’t even have any of their citizens participate in the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

And it’s pretty fucking radical to expect Muslims and Arabs not to have a problem with this illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and indiscriminate slaughter of Muslims and Arabs on their own land. 

I don’t blame Hasan for having had a problem with it, because I have a problem with it, and I’m not even Arab or Muslim. I just have a conscience. (And I can reason and I have some idea of what actually is going on in the world because I don’t watch Fox “News.”)

Killing people when it is not in clear self-defense is radical, whether the killers are “Islamofascist” suicide bombers or shooters like Hasan — or members of the United States military who continue to kill innocent civilians throughout the Middle East to this day. (It’s still killing even if it’s high-tech.)

I agree with the “radical” Awlaki that Hasan apparently “could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an army that is fighting against his own people” — that seems rather obvious — and it is my understanding that the conflicted Hasan tried to leave the U.S. military, but that the U.S. military not only would not release him, but decided to ship him off to Afghanistan.

Smart!

If we are going to argue that Awlaki or Hasan is “radical” or “insane,” then we also should take a look at the actions of the United States of America, which only continues to fuel the flames of the “war on terror” that it claims it wishes to extinguish. That is radical and that is insane.

(Of course, it’s debatable whether the powers that be want the “war on terror” to ever end in the first place; it’s great business for the war profiteers and the oil mega-corporations.)

It’s pretty radical that I, who do not subscribe to Islam or Christianity (or the other Gang for God, Judaism), am caught up in the war between the three feuding bullshit religions whether I want to be or not, because with the launching of some nuclear missiles, this “holy” war could change things radically for every living thing on the planet.

It is the media’s job to tell us what’s going on — not to take sides and to get us also to take sides in “holy” wars.

If the AP is going to refer to those outside of the United States who act beyond the pale as “radicals,” then it should start referring to those within the United States who act beyond the pale as “radicals” as well.

You know, to be fair and balanced…

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