Monthly Archives: January 2010

Funny man.

I like Ricky Gervais. He’s an asshole, but he doesn’t care what you think of him. Why should he? He’s Ricky Gervais, and we’d never have come up with the Office on our own.

Speaking of funny men, I was watching old Sam Kinison videos the other night on YouTube. Now that guy was funny.

I was thinking.

If I had a politcal fantasy (as if I fantasize about such things) it would be a Scott Brown-Sarah Palin ticket in 2012, just because they’re so damn pretty.

Thank you, sir.

Ilíon, you were right. There are a lot of very naked pictures of Robbie Williams on the internet. I’d never checked before. My goodness.

Naughty bits. (In which I rant about the stupidity of the “romance” genre.)

This is one of the weirdest things I’ve read in awhile–and I’ve been reading Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin lately. Leave it to Steyn to find the sex in climate change. My favorite part comes at the end. (That entire sentence was a double entendre.)

But don’t worry. Every sex scene in the book is peer-reviewed. Alas, like the IPCC report, not all of them live up to advance billing:

Sadly for Sanjay, writes Dr Pachauri, “the excitement got the better of him, before he could even get started”.

Oh, dear. There are times when even a climate expert can’t “hide the decline”.

Setting aside the weirdness of this entire thing, why do people insist on writing ridiculous sex scenes? It can be done well, but that takes actual talent. I picked up my yearly copy of Cosmo this weekend–I love Anna Faris–and paged through what seemed to be acres of cheesy sex advice and attempted bawdy talk. First of all, girls don’t do sex talk well. We tend to giggle and shy away from the proper names of things. Anyway, the back pages are reserved for excerpts of romance novels, and being unfamiliar with that particular genre, I had to read it. I don’t understand how women read those things without laughing. All that talk of “his length” and “member” and “ravishing her” is just terrible. I’ve read good sex scenes and that ain’t it. I know that if I could only swallow (ha! ha! “swallow”–I’m a 16 year old boy at heart when it comes to these things) my pride, I could make a lot of money writing that crap. But there are some fates worse than death, and writing (or reading) “romance” is one of them.

And besides, does that romance-y crap really turn women on? The hot young longshoreman is obviously lying to get into the heroine’s pants (or bodice or pantaloons), so why even pretend? I find it much more interesting when men are honest about what they want. I’m pretty honest about what I want, so I feel the favor should be returned. But that’s just me. I’m not all that sentimental.

Handsome.

I haven’t watched SNL regularly since high school, but this skit is pretty hilarious. I haven’t watched Mad Men this season, but I’ll confess that Jon Hamm is devilishly, old-school handsome. There aren’t a lot of men that fit that bill these days, with all the metrosexual manboys running around, but Hamm is grown-up handsome. Who better to play Scott Brown, another old-school handsome man? I’m telling you, Massachusetts has got a lock on classically handsome conservative politicians.

I like saying that word, “handsome.” Men like Scott Brown, Mitt Romney and Jon Hamm get better as they age. Manboys like Justin Timberlake do not.

I have my own handsome man: Jack, the two year old grey pit bull who sleeps on my feet every night. (That’s right, on my feet, not at. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.)

Stupid Tenenbaums.

Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors. I can safely claim Rushmore as my all-time favorite movie with a clear conscience. The Royal Tenenbaums is nearly as good, and it is on Starz right now, at 1:00 am PST. It has been an half-hour struggle making myself turn off the television, even though I own the director’s cut, fancypants edition and could pop it in the DVD player at any time.

I love Luke Wilson in this movie. He is wonderful as Richie. I can’t handle it; I need to go to bed or this kindergarten flu is going to sideline me. Maybe I’ll watch Rushmore tomorrow.

Oddly enough. . .

I realized the other day that when I’m annoyed with other people for being backstabbing a-holes, I turn on some Robbie Williams. Weird, huh? I’ve also noticed that Robbie has a nice, smooth, decidedly male voice, something that I’ve been yearning to hear in a sea of Justin Timberlake clones. Yeah, Robbie goes falsetto, but he’s got an actual range and doesn’t always sound like someone’s kicked him in the crotch.

So Robbie is my go-to grumpy music now, as I find his male voice and cynicism very soothing. Like a zen garden. Or something.

Chilling.

This sounds terrible, right? Intrusive and an affront to personal privacy. It sounds like the Nanny State trying to manipulate children into narcing on their parents, giving the state a chance to gain a little leverage over parents.

I know what you’re thinking: “Thank God we live in the US, where things haven’t gotten this bad.” Well, kids–I live in California and things are that bad. My daughter’s pediatrician asked her (and us, at separate times) many of these questions. Of course it wasn’t compulsory either, but then they mark in your kid’s chart that the parents are unwilling to comply with the survey.

As you can imagine, I was pissed off. I filled out their little forms–and stuffed it in my purse when they weren’t looking. It is not in my kid’s file. I’ve got to admit that the thought that my fitness as a parent might be decided by some a-hole bureaucrat based on the “vibe” she picked up when she asked us to fill out a form, or by how many times the kid eats McNuggets per week is actually quite frightening to me. I mean, what if they don’t like that we have pit bulls, even if they are just furry, farting, snoring throw pillows? I’ve GOT to get out of this state. It’s complete insanity here.

Exactly.

I missed Steyn on Hewitt this afternoon, but I can almost hear the disgust in his voice as I read the transcript.

Obama will still be blaming everything on what he “inherited” in years and years to come. It’s time to man up. You’re the president. Nobody forced you to be the president. You wanted the job. Man up or get the hell out of the way.

Amen to that. The whining is absolutely pathetic, and unpresidential. The more Obama speaks, the more convinced I am of the state of perpetual adolescence in which he exists. Unbelievable.

Not forgotten.

Arash Rahmonipour, 19

Mohammad Reza Ali Zamani

Executed at dawn, 1/28/10 for “waging war against Allah.” Robert Spencer asks some poignant questions:

Surely opposing the oppressive regime in Iran is not really to oppose the peaceful and tolerant Allah of the Qur’an, is it? Surely moderate and peaceful Muslims in the U.S. will be eager to step forward and explain just how and why the Islamic Republic actually misunderstands Islam. Honest Ibe Hooper is probably readying a press conference right now. What about it, Ibe? Brave Ahmed Rehab? Anyone? Anyone?

I’m not holding my breath.

I know how it is–this Iranian situation has gone on for longer than the usual news cycle, and it is hard to keep track of stories once they sink to the bottom of the page, but we’ve got to keep bringing the horrible, inhuman actions of the Iranian thugocracy to the light of day. The world needs to be reminded daily of the atrocities committed by the regime, and we need to make some noise.

Neda. Arashi. Mohammad. You haven’t been forgotten.

“Phoning” it in. “Phoning”–get it? “Phoning!”

It’s like Apple didn’t even try. I put up with a lot of crap because I love my iPhone, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to buy a bigger, more expensive version. I have a tiny, $250 Acer netbook and I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s red! I’m running Linux on it and therefore software is free. And it fits in most of my purses.

Maybe I should look into the Google phones. I like open source.

RIP.

Never was a fan, but I’m sorry to see that JD Salinger has passed. I read a lot of his work in high school and college, but it never really resonated. In fact, friends of mine who were Salinger fans were often Vonnegut fans as well, which made our “literary” conversations doubly annoying.

Regardless, rest in peace, sir.

More.

I’m going to have to pour my time into the great sucking maw that is YouTube and watch some past SotUs to refresh my memory, but something was plucking at my brain all evening after I experienced the Obama SotU. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I read this from Steyn at the Corner and muttered, “That’s it! That’s what was bothering me.”

In the Westminster system, a Throne Speech is monarchical theatre dressing up political reality: In a Commonwealth country whose government has a parliamentary majority, the Queen or her viceroy is reading out the legislative agenda — ie, most of this stuff is gonna happen, and soon.

The SotU, on the other hand, is not a legislative agenda in any meaningful sense: It’s monarchical theatre without the underlying political reality, the worst of all worlds. The president is not proposing policies so much as striking attitudes according to his needs of the moment — the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” sham being the most obvious last night, but much of the rest (fiscal responsibility, pro-business policies, etc) falling into the same category.

This habit Steyn has of reading my mind and then expressing it more articulately than I could ever dream to is very disconcerting. I’ve gotten so used to it, however, that I hardly notice it. You may think that this sounds like asskissing or possibly stalkerly, but no fear children; I am sane. This all too frequent occurrence is just proof of my unfortunate habit of being like Chesterton’s man who discovers Brighton–proof of “my elephantine adventures in pursuit of the obvious.” Daily I am reminded that I am not “a unique and special snowflake,” as Tyler Durden likes to say.

I can live with that.

As for Barry O, I am not his subject. I’m no one’s subject. He can stuff his legislative agenda.

Waste of time.

I watched the first several minutes of the SotU and then listened to it on the radio while I ran some errands. There was a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’, (as my dad would say), in our car, much derision and general grumpiness with a dash of genuine disbelief. I missed all of the nonverbal responses from folks like Sam Alito, which kind of took away from the experience.

Obama wastes so much of my time, pre-empting Simpsons reruns and the like, and yet he never really says anything. He was supposed to be the next Cicero, wasn’t he? He’s arrogant, angry and completely substance-free. I’m so glad that we’ve got another three years of this.

Steyn pretty much summed it up at the Corner last night.

It sounds like an all-purpose speech for President Anyone: We’ve met here in good times and bad, war and peace, prosperity and depression, Shrove Tuesday and Super Bowl Sunday, riding high in April, shot down in May. We’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing. Each time we find ourselves flat on our face, we pick ourselves up and get back in the race. That’s life, pause for applause . . .

There’s no sense that, even as platitudinous filler, it arises organically from who this man is. As mawkish and shameless as the Clinton SOTUs were, they nevertheless projected a kind of authenticity. With Obama, the big-picture uplift seems unmoored from any personal connection — and he’s not good enough to make it real. Same with all those municipal name-checks.

When he does say anything firm and declarative — the pro-business stuff at home, the pro-freedom stuff abroad — it’s entirely detached from any policy, any action, so it plays to the Bob Herbert trust issue. And, when he moves from the gaseous and general to the specific, he becomes petty and and thin-skinned and unpresidential. And, unlike the national security feints and 101 Historical Allusions For Public Speakers stuff, the petulance is all too obviously real.

I really couldn’t have said it any better myself.