Tag Archives: ethics

Asshole Jimmy Kimmel’s pathetic, unfunny cry for attention

Jimmy Kimmel admits 'Twerking Fail' video was a hoax

Jimmy Kimmel | Photo Credits: ABC

ABC images

Jimmy Kimmel recently admitted that he violated your trust by having blatantly lied to you. Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s so funny!

I was one of the millions who viewed via the Internet the viral video of a young woman apparently practicing her “twerking” while home alone before, apparently, her female roommate or friend or relative arrives and forces open the front door (against which the first woman has been “twerking”), causing the “twerking” woman to fall onto a coffee table ablaze with several candles, and then, catch on fire.

The video did strike me as odd: Why the fuck would the second woman force the front door open like she apparently did when it was fairly clear that, for whatever strange reason, the first woman was upside down, up against the door? Is she that clueless and/or that bitchy that she would do that? And didn’t the “twerking” woman, albeit on fire, recover fairly easily from her body-slam onto the glass coffee table?

The viral video’s actual origin — a stunt pulled by “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” using a stuntwoman — explains all of that.

But it eludes me as to what, exactly, Kimmel & Co. were trying to accomplish by having released the fake video into cyberspace.

“Ha! We lied to you! Don’t you feel stupid?”

Was that the point?

Because it’s not especially clever or funny to post a fake video like this one online. It’s just another form of lying.

True, as this Associated Press article points out, we probably trust viral videos’ authenticity more readily than we should, and just because something has gone viral doesn’t mean that it’s authentic.

Certain videos purporting to capture victims of nerve gas in Syria at the hands of the Syrian government come to mind. Even if such videos weren’t faked, even if the victims were indeed nerve-gassed, the videos themselves of course don’t tell us who perpetrated the gas attack, yet the United States apparently just almost went to war based largely upon some fucking YouTube videos.

What would posterity have called that? The YouTube War?

I doubt that Kimmel & Co. were thinking of the Syrian videos when they pulled their stunt, of course.

Most likely, it seems to me, it was just a cry for attention, a juvenile publicity stunt.

I’ve never watched “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” but I have even less reason to do so now. The man’s just a liar, and that’s not clever or funny, and when one is lied to, he or she is not the defective one if he or she partially or wholly believed the lie.

It’s the liarnot the liar’s victims — who is the fucking asshole, and Jimmy Kimmel is a liar and therefore just another fucking asshole.

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Straining out gnats, swallowing camels and casting stones at Weiner

Andrew Breibart

Associated Press photo

Archie-Bunker-like bottom-feeding blowhard Andrew Breitbart claimed on Monday that he has an X-rated image of Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner that he has been withholding in order “to save his [Weiner’s] family” — because Breitbart is all about decency and fair play, you see — but Breitbart on Monday also threatened, “If this guy [Weiner] wants to start fighting with me again, I have this [X-rated] photo.” Yes, committing sexual blackmail is highly ethical and admirable! Andrew Breitbart is my hero! (But seriously, if Weiner can sue Breitbart for Breitbart’s blatant blackmail, he should.)

Are we done now laughing over Weiner/wiener ha ha ha ha ha ha ha?

Because there are, I think, some serious issues here.

Unsurprisingly, hypocrites on the right (that’s redundant) disingenuously are calling for the head (pun intended) of Democratic U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who, they say, should resign for having lied about having had very apparently consensual sexually oriented electronic communications with several women, even after he married.

(It’s like Monica Lewinsky redux, only Weiner isn’t president, he claims that he had no physical sexual contact with anyone, and he didn’t lie about his own sexual activity that is no one else’s fucking business anyway while he was under oath. Oh, and there is no semen-stained garment — that we know of, but rest assured, because I’m sure that Great White Protector of the Nation Andrew Breitbart is on it.)

The Weiner-related “outrage” on the right is beyond pathetic. Repugnican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, a Richie-Rich frat-boy prick, was one of the first to call for Weiner’s head. The loathesome, beady-eyed weasel U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, U.S. House Repugnican leader, also has called on Weiner to resign, but, as I have stated, it’s up to Weiner first and foremost whether he should resign, and then, if he decides not to resign, it’s up to his constituents to decide whether to re-elect him in November 2012.

Indeed, Reuters reports that “A little more than half of New York City voters think Weiner should not resign, according to a NY1-Marist poll taken just hours after his tearful admission.” I surmise that as time passes and “Weinergate” subsides, even more of Weiner’s New York constituents will feel that his resignation is not called for, and in this case, it’s their opinion, not the opinion of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, that matters.

It’s not like self-serving, hypocritical, stupid-white-male scumbags like Priebus and Cantor have the best interests of Weiner’s constituents at heart. They clearly only want another Democratic scalp to nail to the wall, perhaps especially since Repugnican U.S. Rep. Christopher Lee, also of New York, resigned in February after his online sexual behavior came to light. (To add insult to injury, a Democrat, Kathy Hochul, to whom I’d happily given a $25 campaign contribution, won Lee’s vacated seat in a special election last month.)

But Lee resigned from the get-go. The day his shirtless-in-the-mirror pic hit the Web, he called it quits. He didn’t, in my estimation, have to resign. And, as I argued at the time*, he probably shouldn’t have resigned. 

However, I don’t expect the spineless Democrats in D.C. to support the now-politically-radioactive Weiner — and that’s how most politicians are, of course: they’re your “friends” only if they perceive it still to be in their best personal political interests — and without the support of his fellow Democrats in D.C., I don’t know if Weiner can politically survive being frozen out of his own party, even if he strives to survive politically.

And then there is wingnut Andrew Breitbart, who on Monday bizarrely, swinishly and inappropriately bogarted Weiner’s news-conference podium to announce that he wanted“vindication” because indeed the infamous crotch shot that he publicized is an image of the underwear-clad, engorged (and perhaps tingling) crotch of Anthony Weiner. (Yes, this was a “victory” — just like Donald Trump’s Barack-Obama-birth-certificate “victory” was a “victory” of which Trump pronounced that he was “proud” of himself.)

Yes, Andrew Breitbart is a modern-day bell-ringin’ Paul Revere, a real patriot who is protecting us from elected officials lying about whether or not racy images that they transmitted privately actually are of  them.

One of Breitbart’s self-aggrandizing websites is called “BigJournalism.” Because that’s what the best journalism is all about: not exposing fraud, graft, waste and corruption and the like, but exposing whose bulge that is in the gray underwear. Yes, world-renowned fearless journalist Andrew Breitbart makes the likes of Ida Tarbell, Edward R. Murrow, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein and Seymour Hersh look like mere fucking amateurs.

To me, the largest issues in “Weinergate” are that it exposes (1) Americans’ juvenile and backasswards (read: Judeo-“Christian” [that is, “Christo”fascist], puritanical, Victorian, etc.) views on sexuality and (2) how they’ll simply let crimes of the century (like, oh, stolen presidential elections and bogus wars launched on purely false pretenses) go but will go ape shit over the teeny-tiny (but titillating) shit, like whose semen it is on a semen-strained dress and whether or not the sausage-like bulge in a pair of gray underwear belongs to a certain elected individual with the surname of Weiner (guffaw!). 

If the members of the lunatic, Taliban-like right want to lead repressed, hypocritical sex lives, that’s their own fucking business, but for them to shove their Dark-Ages hangups over sexuality down the throats of the rest of us is, dare I say — and this is one of their favorite words — tyranny. And indeed, for buttholish self-appointed morality cop Andrew Breitbart to hold the public release of an X-rated photo of Weiner over Weiner’s head also is a yet another example of right-wing (that’s redundant) tyranny.

And for the Democrats to cave into this kind of sexual blackmail — instead of fighting back and changing the game instead of playing along with the wingnuts’ game — is yet another example of the spectacular spinelessness and political ineptitude that we’ve come to know and loathe about the Democratic Party.

I can empathize with Weiner. If some wingnutty, bottom-feeding scumbag like the Archie-Bunker-like Andrew Breitbart had obtained and publicly released an embarrassing image of me and I were confonted with the question of whether or not it was me in the image — if I had been in Weiner’s shoes (and in his underwear, too, I guess…) — I can’t say for certain that my initial impulse would not have been to deny it, as Weiner did. After all, is something from my personal life really the whole world’s business?

However, the best tactic, I think, would be to refuse to respond to attempted sexual blackmail. To even answer yes or no, to confirm or deny, is only to play into the hypocritical, disingenuous wingnuts’ hands, and at least tacitly grants legitimacy to sexual blackmail, when sexual blackmail, or any blackmail, is quite illegitimate (it’s incredibly unethical and immoral, if not also illegal).

And it’s interesting to see what types of lies the Repugnican Tea Party traitors attack. Bill Clinton’s lie that he didn’t have any sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky — this lie of his didn’t hurt the nation, to my knowledge. Neither has Weiner’s lie that a certain crotch shot wasn’t his.

So we have lies like Clinton’s and Weiner’s, but when the treasonous-by-definition Repugnicans lie, an awful lot of people tend to get hurt — or killed.

How about these huge fucking lies, circa late 2002 and early 2003: Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. We can’t wait for the “smoking gun” to come in the form of a “mushroom cloud.”

Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have died because of those lies, as have more than 4,450 members of the U.S. military since the unelected Bush regime illegally, immorally and unjustly launched the bogus Vietraq War in 2003 (five of them, in fact, were killed in Iraq on Monday, so the treasonous BushCheneyCorp’s blatant fucking lies still are killing people today).

If you want to talk about House ethics, I’ll give you just one example of something that I find a lot more disgusting than anything that has been revealed about Anthony Weiner: How about Repugnican Texas U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, who essentially takes bribes from Big Oil for selling us out to Big Oil, and who a year ago this month proclaimed that the U.S. government’s seeking to get compensation from British Petroleum for its oily debacle in the Gulf of Mexico amounted to a grossly unfair and unjust “shakedown” of the poor corporate behemoth BP?

So it’s perfectly ethical (or at least acceptable) to take tons of corporate cash in exchange for protecting the corporate criminals, no matter what devastation they cause, no matter how much they harm the public good — but a politically motivated third party’s release of risque images of an elected official amounts to a serious ethics violation? Really? Really?

“You strain the gnats from your beverages, but you swallow camels,” Jesus Christ said critically to the small-minded hypocrites of his day, the Pharisees. (Among many other things, Jesus also said to them, “Whoever among you is without sin himself should cast the first stone.”)

Nothing, really, has changed since then.

*I wrote:

I don’t really see, though, that Lee was guilty of much more than attempted infidelity and apparently being in the throes of a midlife crisis….

As reprehensible as [Lee] seems to be … it seems to me that the matter really is between Lee and his wife. And, dare I say, that he shouldn’t have had to resign over it.

As fun as it is to dog-pile upon an apparent Repugnican hypocrite (wait, that’s redundant…), my concern is that these sex scandals, aside from giving us perverse entertainment at the expense of others’ privacy, serve to preserve our national hangups over sexuality. 

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He has a promising future in porn!

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner

U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) speaks ...

Associated Press and Reuters photos

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York tearfully admits at a press conference today that he indeed sent a crotch shot of his via Twitter recently. Like we really needed the admission.

And they won’t even have to give him a fake porn-star name!

Just sayin’.

P.S. Yeah, but seriously, he should resign — for lying, if for nothing else — but he says that he won’t.

P.P.S. Here’s a shirtless pic of Weiner, courageously provided to the world by Andrew Breitbart, the Archie-Bunker-lookalike Great White Savior of Our Nation:

file

OK, now that I’ve cleared the little bit of vomit from my mouth, I do have to say that Weiner, while on the thin side, is pretty toned.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dudes really, really should not remove their body hair.

This should be the Eleventh Commandment.

Just sayin’.

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E-mails worse than anything James O’Keefe has ‘uncovered’

Wingnutty “crusader” James O’Keefe — you know, the brave pimp and the (would-be) slayer of ACORN and NPRhas to misrepresent himself, or have his hos misrepresent themselves, in order to “expose” the “dirty truths” about the left/“left.” (And creative video editing, a la Andrew Breitbart, helps an awful lot, too.)

But e-mails, unlike the likes of Breitbart and O’Keefe, don’t lie.

And we have plenty of e-mails that expose the blatant dishonesty — and the incredible stupidity — of the operatives on the right.

Reports The Associated Press this week:

Everything from taking away computers to denying a year of service in the state retirement system was considered to punish the 14 Wisconsin [state Senate] Democrats who fled to Illinois for three weeks to block passage of a bill taking away union bargaining rights, newly released e-mails show.

Members of Republican [Wisconsin state] Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s staff bounced ideas off one another and the Legislature’s attorneys for days about how to penalize the [state] Senate Democrats for [having left the state] and pressure them to return, according to records released Wednesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The watchdog group obtained the e-mails from Fitzgerald’s office under Wisconsin’s open records law.

The e-mails show Fitzgerald’s staff members were as worried about the public relations campaign as they were actually figuring out a way to get the Democrats to come back.

“I would just be somewhat cautious in whatever we do so that it doesn’t end up creating sympathy for the Dems,” Tad Ottman, a Fitzgerald aide, wrote to his chief of staff John Hogan on Feb. 20. “The more directly we can tie whatever action we take to what they are doing the better it will be.” …

The e-mails show there was a lot of discussion with legislative attorneys about how to legally impose fines on the missing senators and other steps that could be taken against them and their staff.

“I say we not only make it hurt for them, we have to make it hurt for their staff as well,” [Fitzgerald legislative aide Rob] Richard wrote on Feb. 20.

One idea Ottman suggested in a Feb. 20 email was cutting the size of each Democratic senator’s staff by one person “since one person from each of their office is failing to show up for work (the Senator).”

That idea and several others, like reducing or taking away per diem payments and denying a year’s service in the retirement system, were not pursued. Richard pointed out in the same Feb. 20 email that taking away a year of retirement service likely would engender a court fight. …

Indeed, the rhetoric that came from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin was centered on the allegation that the absconded 14 Democratic state senators weren’t doing their jobs (except that they were — they were protecting their constituents’ best interests instead of Big Business’ best interests), when, in fact, as usual, the Repugnican Tea Party’s traitors’ motivation was petty, vindictive partisanship.

And clearly the Repugnican Tea Party traitors aren’t bothered by what is unethical or illegal — as long as they get away with it. Fitzgerald himself indicated that having attempted to have the 14 Democratic state senators arrested “would have been a public-relations nightmare” — he did not express his concern, from what I can see, that such an action would have been an illegal abuse of power.

And in the infamous recorded telephone conversation between billionaire pimp “David Koch” and Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last month, Repugnican Tea Party traitor Walker stated that he and his henchmen had considered planting fake protesters among the legitimate protesters who had thronged the state’s Capitol.

Apparently, what dissuades Walker & Co. from committing dishonest (and even illegal) shit like this is not the inherent immorality (or even illegality) of it, but is the political blowback that might occur if the plot is exposed.

And the Repugnican Tea Party is supposed to be all about moral values.

Speaking of which, the contents of this e-mail, written to “Dead Man” Walker, trumps all of the others:

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions. … Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.”

That juicy e-mail was signed off thusly: “God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

Carlos F. Lam is — or, rather, was — a deputy prosecutor for Johnson County in Indiana. Lam resigned after his unethical (if not illegal) e-mail to Walker was revealed, apparently by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Think about this: a prosecutor, one who prosecutes others for their (alleged) wrongdoings, himself suggested that a governor stage a fake attack (maybe even take a bullet???) for political gain. (It was right-wing geniuses, after all, who came up with the Reichstag fire…)

And the prosecutor ends his e-mail with “God bless,” as though the God he claims to believe in actually would endorse such a plan.

This is what we’re up against:

While a fundraiser for NPR just states obvious (if politically incorrect) truths about the right-wing nutjobs, which gains the scalp of the head of NPR for the wingnuts, a fucking Repugnican Tea Party governor and prosecutor are on the record as having at least considered planting fake protesters in Wisconsin in order to harm their political opposition — perhaps even employing a firearm.

The prosecutor no longer has his job. The governor should no longer have his.

The gubernatorial recall process in Wisconsin should take care of this, but in the meantime, those of us who are true patriots — who believe in the best interests of the majority of the people over the interests of the rich and the super-rich few, and who believe in acting ethically, morally and legally — have to remain vigilant.

We have to remain vigilant because the desperate members of the right wing, who are losing political power in a rapidly changing nation (and world) whose demographic shifts don’t favor them, have demonstrated amply that they will do just about anything to hold on to the political power that they historically are so accustomed to having.*

*The blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 and the probably-stolen presidential election of 2004 probably are the largest, most glaring examples of this fact. 

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MSNBC caves in and throws Olbermann under the bus

I learned early on in my days of journalism that there’s no such fucking thing as free speech when you are the property of some corporation.

Oh, sure, you can say or write whatever you want when you are employed by a corporation — subject to termination or other adverse action, of course.

This is why I’d much rather be an unpaid blogger than a paid corporate whore: I can say whatever the fuck I want to say without having to worry about being fired or otherwise shit and pissed upon by my corporate overlords who care only about looking out for their own best plutocratic interests.

Is supporting a political campaign a form of free speech? At least for the corporations it is — the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court more or less ruled so this year; not only are corporations people, but they have free-speech rights, according to the right wing and their friends on the “high” court.

Yet MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who apparently has no rights because he is an actual person and not a corporate “person,” has been suspended indefinitely from his job without pay for having donated to three different Democratic candidates.

Journalistic ethics, you see.

(Because I am not employed by a corporation) I say: Fuck. That. Shit.

If everyone were playing fairly, I might tend to agree that maybe Olbermann has compromised his “journalistic ethics,” but (1) Faux “News” not long ago gave $1 million to the Repugnican Party (to give just one example of how the right-wing media handle “ethics”) and (2) Olbermann makes his political leanings quite well known, so it’s dubious that we can call him a “journalist.” He’s much more of a commentator — that is, a man with an opinion who vocalizes his opinion — than he is a journalist.

Further, the rules have changed. Unbiased journalism is a thing of the past. In the mass media it’s left-vs.-right now, with most of what is called “news” being pro-right-wing. And mass-media journalism never was unbiased anyway. It’s always had a pro-corporate slant because it always has been the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who have owned and controlled the mass media, from William Randolph Hearst to Rupert Murdoch.

In my journalism days I never agreed with the “ethics” rule that a journalist covering politics never should give money to a political candidate or to a political cause. You don’t lose your citizenship and your civil rights because you’re a journalist. Journalists all have their own opinions anyway, so they should be able to participate fully as citizens in the sham that we call a “democracy.”

And it is foolish and dangerous for us serfs to continue to surrender our right to participate politically because some wingnut might cry “foul” while the corporations shamelessly claim “personhood” and participate fully in the political process, throwing millions and billions of dollars behind their right-wing, pro-plutocratic causes.

More rights for the corporations and fewer rights for us serfs — we serfs have to revolt against this kind of bullshit now.

And for the left to disarm unilaterally while the right continues its gross abuses of power will only propel the United States of Amnesia even more quickly into the fascism into which is already has been descending for some time now.

MSNBC is unbiased?

Good!

The nation needs a counterweight to the shameless right-wing excesses of Faux “News” — and to the general pro-corporate slant of the mass media in general.

You can sign the petition to MSNBC to show your disapproval of its suspension of Keith Olbermann by clicking here.

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My bad — it was triplets, not twins

Andrew Breitbart

Associated Press photo

Three peas in a pod.

Yesterday I noted that white-supremacist race-baiter Andrew Breitbart and Archie Bunker were separated from birth.

But the Whore of Babylon had one more demon seed inside of her: Rush Limbaugh, who, terrified of irrelevance, chimed in on the Shirley Sherrod debacle.

Limbaugh blasted Faux “News'” host Shepard Smith for not having run with Breitbart’s clip of Sherrod altered to paint her as a whitey-hater.

Smith said: “We on Studio B did not run the video and did not reference the story in any way for many reasons; among them: We didn’t know who shot it, we didn’t know when it was shot, we didn’t know the context of the statement, and because the history of the videos on the site where it was posted. [Emphasis mine.] In short, we did not and do not trust the source.” 

Smith’s “crime,” you see, was to have shown a minimum degree of journalistic integrity instead of having marched in lockstep with his colleagues at Faux. (Um, my guess is that Smith was the only one at Faux who didn’t show Breitbart’s clip.)

“There are only a handful of us that have the guts to put this story straight,” the grammatically challenged Limbaugh huffed and puffed. “If we don’t hammer back, nobody will. We got a bunch of cowards in the conservative media inside the Beltway which will not deal with this honestly.” 

Yeah, the white man is such an endangered species that he needs to “hammer back.”

And the white man is so brave that he has to make an unprovoked attack upon a black woman — a black woman whose integrity is such that the white man has to lie that she’s a racist.

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‘Splice’ is a splice gone wrong

Film review

Warning: Contains ample spoilers.

In this film publicity image released by Warner ...

Bioenginer Elsa (Sarah Polley) meets a very young Dren in the sci-fi film “Splice,” above; and below, a young Dren (Abigail Chu) plays with her teddy, and a grown Dren (Delphine Chaneac) tries on makeup with her “mother” (Polley).

Abigail Chu

In this film publicity image released by Warner ...

“Splice” is an appropriate title for a film that seems have spliced together two different films: a thoughtful, philosophical one — and typical Hollywood sci-fi thriller garbage.

I’ve always liked Sarah Polley, and Adrien Brody is OK — he’s a reliable if not an exciting actor — so to see them team up in “Splice,” the kind of movie that I usually wouldn’t see, seemed promising.

Alas, it turned out to be a false promise.  

“Splice” takes on some interesting issues in its first portion, but then squanders it in its latter portion. The issues that it initially raises include the ethics of creating new life forms –including the question as to whether these new life forms are creatures in their own right, especially when they contain human genetic material, or are “specimens” to be treated only as objects of study (and thus killed when deemed necessary) — the ethics of corporate weasels being involved in bioengineering, and the age-old topic of parenthood.

Speaking of which, as scientist couple Clive and Elsa, Brody and Polley don’t make very good parents. As far as I can tell, we’re supposed to like Clive and Elsa, but their actions toward their human-animal hybrid creation (well, mostly it’s Elsa’s creation) that Elsa names Dren (that’s “nerd” backwards) don’t make them very likeable.

When Elsa asks Clive whether or not he was trying to drown the young Dren or whether he knew that she could breathe underwater, it belies Elsa’s intelligence and it makes us not like Clive very much too early in the movie. (Of course he was trying to drown Dren.)

Then there are the fairly heartbreaking scenes in which Elsa takes away Dren’s beloved cat — an awful thing to do to a minor, to take away his or her pet without extremely good cause — and in which Dren tries to go outside to explore, as any caged human being or any caged animal or any caged human-animal hybrid would want to do, and Dren smiles broadly in anticipation — only to get a shovel in the back of the head at the hands of Elsa.

None of this makes us like Elsa very much, and again, I surmise that we’re supposed to more or less like her.

And any misbehavior on Dren’s part, such as what she ultimately does to Fluffy, mostly stemmed from her shitty parenting and from rather normal human childhood and teenaged rebellion.   

And then there’s the look of Dren. I can get over her chicken legs and her chicken feet that make her look like she’s always wearing high heels, and her goat-like pupils (which are pretty cool, actually), and I can even get over her possession of a monkey-like tail, but apparently the filmmakers didn’t feel that those alterations of the human schematic were enough. So they gave Dren a retractable lethal stinger at the end of her tail, and after a while she even rather ridiculously sprouts wings, all in all making her resemble quite the she-devil.

Speaking of that stinger, perhaps the best scene in the film — next to the hilarious scene in which the mole-rat-like bioengineered creatures named Fred and Ginger are introduced to their owning corporation’s stockholders (well, I laughed if only no more than a few others in the audience did…) — is the one in which Elsa decides that Dren’s stinger has got to go. (It kind of reminds me of how my mother destroyed my brother’s BB gun after he used it to shoot at his two siblings [including me].)

Up to that point in the film Elsa had always been defensive of Dren, but when you see Elsa cut Dren’s black dress off of her before performing a stinger-ectomy on Dren, suddenly the naked Dren becomes the lab specimen that Elsa had always insisted that Dren was not, and the symbolism of that scene makes one realize how much clothing serves to humanize us.    

But as if the retractable stinger at the end of Dren’s tail — and her retractable wings, which no animal, to my knowledge, possesses — weren’t enough, the filmmakers then have Dren switch, unbelievably, from a female to a male.

Why? So that first she can seduce Clive into fucking her and then so that, as a male, she can rape Elsa.

That’s what I mean by the latter half of the film being typical Hollywood trash: It just wouldn’t be a Hollywood blockbuster if Clive and Elsa didn’t have sexual relations with their creature, would it? And we have to go as far with Dren as we can, even having her/him ominously flying around at the end of the film. (Hell, why didn’t they have Dren belch fire, too?)

Nor would it be a typical Hollywood blockbuster sci-fi film if Elsa weren’t shown pregnant at the end of the film, making a sequel possible.

So the first portion of “Splice” I give a B+ and the second portion I give a C-.

“Splice” is better-than-average entertainment fare for its genre, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the mere presence of art-film actors Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody (both of whom have won Oscars, Brody for best actor and Polley for best adapted screenplay) has elevated the bioengineered-monster genre that much.

My grade: C+

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