Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Successful Failure

It looks like boycotts are alive and well. When conservatives do a boycott it's shutting down free speech but when liberals do a boycott it's a grand, heroic thing. In addition to the boycott on Whole Foods because the founder published a very neutral, well thought-out position on the health care debate ("How DARE he express his opinion which is different from OURS! We are only tolerant of those opinions which are exactly like OURS!")

Now Color of Change, those fine folks who brought you "BUSH IS KILLING BLACK PEOPLE IN NEW ORLEANS" is pushing a boycott against Glenn Beck for stating that Obama is a racist. HOW DARE HE! Unfortunately for them Beck has video proof of his claim (see below), proof that would convince anyone who hasn't already made up their mind (i.e. the closed-minded). But then again, when has facts and proof ever been of value to liberals when there's so much to FEEL about?

So this boycott is being trumpeted as being "one of the more effective boycott campaigns in years”. YEAH FOR BOYCOTTS! But read to the bottom of the article...

For its part, Fox News said through a spokeswoman that while some advertisers have "removed their spots from Beck," they have just shifted to "other programs on the network, so there has been no revenue lost."

So how is this boycott successful? Fox is not losing money and if anything more people are tuning in to find out what all the hullabaloo is about. The boycott, like most things liberals try to do in the public realm, IS A FAILURE!

But then again, don't let verifiable facts get in the way of what you feel.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday Morning Stuff

Eighteen months ago I bought some mid-80s Fangoria magazines off eBay... and then their warehouse holding all their back issues burned down. These five or six issues gave many hours of enjoyment, nicking down to my basement man-cave now and then to read about "upcoming" horror movies or books or special effects gurus.

But recently when this supply ran out I had the great fortune to win a massive auction of 40+ Fangorias from this era! Sure, some are missing covers and the earlier ones have some oh the pictures cut out (long with bits of the article on the other side... seems the previous owner liked Mad Max) but all in all it's a historical treasure trove of the golden age of horror films.

Last Saturday I sorted through the lot and this morning I started in on the earliest - #16 from 1981. Even at almost three years into it's publication it's interesting to see the transition away from science fiction and its sister publication Starlog. The ads, especially, run heavy on sci-fi and fantasy as the demand for scarier fare had, as yet, only created a few "A to Z" type monster books.

I read only one full article, one on Chris Tucker, the man who did the makeup for The Elephant Man, the wonderful movie directed by David Lynch. In Lynch's first film, the nightmarish EraserHead, there is a creature that is startlingly realistic, one created by Lynch who has never divulged how it was created and has said he never will. However in the article Tucker gives some insight into how this earlier effect was most likely achieved:

"According to Lynch's own account in a British film trade publication, his idea was for a suit built in layers that would have an 'incredibly organic' look [just like in EraserHead -ed] and would require five hours to apply each day. 'It was perfect in theory,' Lynch said. 'Like a ten-thousandth of a second, when I it on John Hurt the first time, he looked all right; then, the next ten-thousandth of a second... there was no way."

The ErasureHead creature was a puppet kind of thing that laid in a bassinet. It moved but only slightly. Lynch would naturally try to use the methods that he knew- thus some kind of tissue-thin layering to create the organic look.

Okay, so maybe it's not step-by-step instructions of how Lynch built the creature but it was more information on the subject than I had ever heard divulged.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mink Car Revisited

Originally I found the 2001 They Might Be Giants album Mink Car to be a mediocre album: a few good songs and lots of stinkers. In my nerdy CD database I had given it a 6. This morning I gave the album a fresh listen and was impressed by the number of great songs that kick off the album: Bangs, Cyclops Rock, Man It's So Loud In Here, Another First Kiss, I've Got A Fang and Hovering Sombrero all appear in the first half with Older, She Thinks She'd Edith Head and Working Undercover for the Man on the second half. A couple of those are classic status and the rest a good goofy fun! Why didn't I like this album more?

Oh wait... it's songs like Mr. Xcitement, Yeh Yeh, Drink!, Wicked Little Critta... songs where Flansburg has seemingly fallen off his musical rocker. HEY FLANSBURG... YOU'RE NOT SINATRA!

It's also of note that most of the above-listed great had previously been released on E.P.s or other collections so I can see how, in 2001 after waiting five years for a full album only to receive a few new songs that were good and an equal amount of new songs that were MAJOR stinkers, well, a six might have been generous.

As it stands I want to give this album an 8 but the Good to Stinker ratio is still frighteningly high. I'll bump it up the a 7 and hopefully will like their kids album (SCIENCE! - due September 1) better.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Too Early (in the morning) For Predictions

The current administration is showing itself to be extremely thin-skinned. People are coming out to protest government-run universal health care and these individuals are being lambasted as extremists and/or part of an organized event. It's the true liberal way: If you can't logically argue against something you start slinging mud and name calling and smearing reputations. Remember Joe the Plumber? At the mere mention of this guy some of the liberals I know would say, "But he didn't even have his plumbers license!", meaning that the media was right in what they did to this man's life. But what does his lack of a license have to do with the question that he asked? It's not like he approached Obama, Obama approached him!

So now we're seeing how Chicago politics operates on a larger scale: hired union thugs beating up old people, trying to threaten them.

I predict that 2012 is going to have a very unusual November. The sleeping giant is waking and the American people who normally only care about getting to the local RedBox and making sure their boat at the lake has gas is slowly realizing the character of this man they voted in for President of the United States of America. My prediction is that reality will continue to set in for the rest of this mans 3.5 year term, provided he is allowed to serve it (but that's another post) and the American people will descend en masse to vote him out. However there will be a couple of unusual things that will happen:

1) In the last election there was MASSIVE voter fraud, Chicago style. Everyone jokes and laughs about how the dead vote in Chicago but in this last election ACORN made sure that the dead voted nationally. Anyone with a bit of time can read this or simply search "ACORN voter fraud" for hours of evidence. The fact that the past election was so close means that it is extremely likely that the election was stolen. In my own county I chose to vote early only to find that there wasn't anything to prevent me from voting again on election day. I was told that there were checks in place but my hunch is that this was just CYA on the part of the voting board. A list was supposed supplied to each voting station of those who already voted and the volunteers were to go through the book and mark out those who had already voted. When my wife voted in the afternoon there was still no indication on my record that I had already voted.

2) The Republicans had better give us someone worthy of our vote! If they sit back and say, "We've got this one in the bag... who's the next Country Club Blue Blood pal of ours who's due?" JUST LIKE THE DID LAST TIME then, well, I don't know what will happen. I fully believe that if they hadn't had Sarah Palin on the ticket that they would have lost by even more and if they had had someone who acted like they wanted to win, someone who wasn't so wishy washy like McCain, that there would have been enough votes to overcome the fake ACORN votes.

3) I suspect that Obama and his machine are working towards gaining control of counting the votes. He illegally grabbed control of the Census and no one stood up to him so why not the whole voting process? So he won't be too concerned over campaigning (thought that appears to be the old thing he's good at) or sweating it out because he and his goons will control the outcome. The problem will be when the American people realize what's happened, when all the poll numbers leading up to the election show clearly that Obama is losing badly and suddenly he wins... well, I'm not sure what will happen but there might be a sale on pitchforks and torches.

4) Regardless, there will still be wholesale intimidation by The Black Panthers/ACORN and voter fraud on Election Day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Continuing Saga of the 1995 Ford Taurus

It's been a good car. The 1995 Ford Taurus came into my life via a friend. He asked if I could put up some fliers at my work and I'll be durned if the car he was selling wasn't loads better than the one I was driving. So I bought the car for a cool grand, a bargain for the mere 67,000 miles on it! Perfect also for the long distance relationship that would develop into marriage. I had to immediately put $300 or so into a fuel pump and then another $300 into tires. $1600 for a car in great shape with only 67,000 miles on it? Prior to this the lowest milage I had purchased was 92,000 back on my way out of college, the very car I had driven to bits.

Now it's six years later and I've managed to put a whopping 35,000 miles on it (tis only a mile or so to work). I've since put in another $2000 or so in repairs over the years but overall it's been good to me. But last February it shredded a belt on one very cold day. Fortunately it happened AFTER I had dropped off my son at school so I walked to a pay phone, waited until when they opened, and called my mechanic. One tow and $400 later (the belt broke due to a siezed steering pump) I was back on the road. But things had changed in our relationship. It had left me stranded and was now on probation.

A couple of months later I had to come to a quick stop and a pop sound came from the right front wheel well. Then when I started driving again it made a giant CLUNK sound. Then nothing for a few weeks until I had to make another quick stop. Later I took off the wheel buy my non-mechanic eyes couldn't see anything. Over the summer this sound happened with less and less provocation but it wasn't until I hit a rather large bump that a new sound started - a dinking tink in the engine compartment when I'd start to drive it, just once or twice and then done until the next time I'd drive. Two weeks ago I admitted that it was time for my mechanic to take a look.

A mere $20 later and my car is on life support. The parts that need fixing are structural but would be expensive. "It's safe to drive but I'd start looking for a new car." Hmmm... no need to change the oil? No need to fix anything? Just drive it until it leaves me stranded or the tink or CLUNK becomes a CRUNCH? FREEDOM!

But today there was a slight grinding noise from the right front wheel well. I'd hoped to maybe drive the thing well into the fall when this Cash for Clunkers nonsense was over but perhaps it won't let me. I barely drive it lately as I'd rather bike to work but some days, like when I take the water buffalo to work, I have to drive. Since I don't drive much and my cars seem to wear out from age rather than high miles my strategy is to find a newer car with high milage, preferably cheap and neon green. CRAIGSLIST TO THE RESCUE!