Sunday, August 28, 2005

Outed, Damn Traitor: The Cartoon Version

Mark Fiore deserves a few rounds of wine, women and song for this terrific dramatization of our portly prevaricator

Evolving Debate

George Will a champion of Darwinian evolution? Once in a while, the guy surprises (hell, he even takes time to plug author T.C. Boyle and his novel Drop City). In The Washington Post, Will looks at two current documentaries, March of the Penguins and Grizzly Man , while contemplating intelligent design:

"Reality's swirling complexity is sometimes lovely, sometime brutal; its laws propel the comings and goings of life forms in processes as impersonal as Antarctica is to the penguins or the bears were to Treadwell or Alaska was to Drop City North. It is so grand that nothing is gained by dragging an Intelligent Designer into the picture for praise. Or blame."

The entire article is worth reading.

For a much more exhaustive examination of evolution and intelligent design, we can also highly recommend Jerry Coyne's piece in The New Republic. It's a lengthy, but outstanding, read.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Fiddle Dee Dee

Tara Reid: Hopeless Romantic ...

"Eventually, I definitely want a family. If I didn't have a family, I would really be a heartbroken person. That is the most important thing I will ever do."

OK, well the most important thing Tara Reid will ever do is downing a couple dozen kamikaze shots in Paris Hilton's dungeon while a trio of transgendered dwarves snort Peruvian coke from between her fake boobs ... but starting a family is a close second ...

(via Thighs Wide Shut)

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday Random 10

All in all, I give this random shuffle the iPOD thumbs-up.

1. The Clash, "Brad New Cadillac"
2. The Hollies, "Dear Eloise"
3. Bright Eyes, "From a Balance Beam"
4. The Replacements, "I'll Buy"
5. Weezer, "Island in the Sun"
6. Sinead O'Connor, "I Am Stretched on Your Grave"
7. Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach, "The Sweetest Punch"
8. Jonathan Richman, "Salvador Dali"
9. The Kinks, "Get Back in Line"
10.Harry Nilsson, "Jump into the Fire"

Yea for me.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sex Tape Derby, Round 23

If it's Thursday, it's Sex Tape Derby. You know the drill: Let's say you absolutely, positively must watch a videotape or DVD of two people making sweet, sweet love. And let's say you must pick one among the following pairs to star in the aforementioned sexcapades. Whom would you rather watch get their figurative rocks off? Post your selections in the comments section, eat your vegetables, wash behind the ears and thank your lucky stars.

If you still don't get it, click here for a further explanation of STD.

1. Natalie Portman or Natalie Wood?

2. Clive Owen or Colin Farrell?

3. Carla Gugino or Kristin Davis?

4. Brendan Fraser or Matt Dillon?

5. HB Oh, Oh, Oh: Lauren Ambrose or Jamie-Lynn Discala?

6. Director diddling: Spike Lee or Spike Jonze?

Crumbs 'n Stuff, Take 9

Good news for any of you who still have "Name a panda" sticking out there like a sore thumb on your To-Do list. The National Zoo has kicked off its first-ever name-the-panda contest for a new male cub born last month. Friends of the National Zoo says participants can vote among the following names: Hua Sheng, Sheng Hua, Tai Shan, Long Shan or Qiang Qiang.

Oh, and Bob, too.


Mother Jones has a suggested reading list for George W. Bush. As far as I know, none of these recommended books are written phonetically, so whether the list is actually practical is anybody's guess.


A squib in Newsweek's "Periscope" section notes an attempt to force a recall vote on embattled Spokane Mayor Jim West. He's the guy, you might remember, who has railed against gay-rights legislation until he was outed by the city's newspaper. Shannon Sullivan, the woman leading the petition drive for a recall, explains that her opposition has nothing to do with his sexual orientation (perish the thought!): "The issue is that kids are looking up to this guy."

Huh? Kids look up to the mayor of ... Spokane, Washington? If so, I would say that the mayor is the least of the troubles of Spokane's young people.

The role model for every child in Spokane with big dreams and star-filled eyes.


The Gettysburg address in Powerpoint. 'Nuff said.


The theory of "Intelligent Falling" comes courtesy of -- where else? -- The Onion.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Doctor Tom Strikes Again

Oklahoma's newest addition to the U.S. Senate, Tom Coburn, is at it again. A headline in the Journal Record, an Oklahoma City-based business newspaper, says it all:

Coburn: U.S. should apologize to Enron

Janice Francis-Smith reports that Coburn told an Oklahoma City Rotary Club yesterday that the U.S. government "owes Enron executives an apology" because "the accounting of the federal government is worse than anything Enron ever did."

That's right, Uncle Sam's accounting practices are worse than what is perhaps the most egregious corporate fraud of recent times, an orgy of greed and deceit that helped concoct a phony California energy crisis and evaporated the pensions of hundreds of thousands of employees. Someone get Doc Tom to a movie theater, stat, to see the excellent documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, so that he can get a little better fix on reality.

Wait a minute. What am I talking about? Coburn and a better fix on reality?

A better fix on reality from the guy who bemoaned "rampant" lesbianism in southeastern Oklahoma?

Who asserted that America must "stand for or against Christ"?

Who called homosexuality "the greatest threat" to freedom in our country (al Qaeda: Friends of Dorothy)?

Who said he had evidence that the Terri Schiavo autopsy was flat-out wrong?

Who railed against TV for the "all-time low" of showing the "full-frontal nudity" of Schindler's List?

Who suggested that doctors who perform abortions should be put to death?

Who contended fake tits are healthier than those of the non-fake persuasion?

With Tom Coburn, the hits just keep a-comin'.

I Feel Your Pain, but Not Mine

An article in The Journal of the American Medical Association is bound to stoke the battle over abortion. In it, researchers conclude that a fetus is unlikely to feel pain before 29 weeks. The conclusion casts doubt on the rationale of a bill authored by U.S. Sen. Sam Browback that would require abortion-seeking women to be offered anesthesia for the fetus because "at this stage of development, an unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain."

Bottom line: Who the hell knows what a four- or five-month-old fetus can or can't feel? Granted, certain hot-button social issues are destined for perpetual debate -- abortion, the death penalty, Yankees v. Red Sox -- since, after all, they are largely matters of one's personal belief system.

But it is particularly galling and disingenuous when the zealots on both sides of the abortion fight try masking their ideological obsession in peripheral pursuits, such as the bogus Browback bill and its conceit that is based on an unknowable.

Hell, I can understand an ardent pro-life legislator pushing for a Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade better than I can understand making shit up and slapping it on to proposed legislation. I can understand an ardent pro-choicer pushing for a Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade better than I can understand the desperate insistence that the Constitution includes an explicit right to privacy (there should be, perhaps, but many liberal-minded legal scholars concede that one does not exist).

But let's stop letting the real debate get clouded by arguments about whether unicorns can fly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Jesus Built My Socialism

by Conrad Spencer

I am a Christian, though these days I'm more likely to claim secular humanism. With the idiocy of intelligent design, jihadist anti-abortionists, and fanatic self-righteousness that define American Christianity today, it becomes so easy--as Peter discovered--to deny your faith, several times over.

And that's before you consider Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of a democratically-elected world leader.

I'm no expert in Venezuelan politics or the life and career of Hugo Chavez. The final word on President Chavez won't be written for some time. He's portrayed by some as a tyrant, best friends with Fidel Castro. The U.S. press easily banters about the moniker "dictator". To others, he's a populist, socialist reformer, defending the Venezuelan poor from the evils of globalization. The truth likely lies somewhere in between. President Chavez is well-liked by his country's poor and adamantly disliked by Dick Cheney and Pat Robertson, so he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Even if the accusations of tyranny are overblown, there is one thing President Chavez shares with a recently overthown dictator--his country lies atop some of the richest oil fields in the world. Rather than turn over oil reserves to international oil companies, Chavez--an admitted socialist--has kept the oil and used the profits to benefit the poor of his country. A constant critic of the Bush administration, Chavez has even been shopping for places other than the US to sell Venezuelan crude.

Mr. Robertson claims President Chavez should be assassinated for turning his country into "a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent."

In mentioning Muslim extremism, it's almost as if he got Venezuela and Saudi Arabia confused, but the oil-exporting country exporting Muslim suicide bombers is actually a friend and ally of the United States, and the Bush administration.

Chavez's major failing seems to be that he kept the greedy hands of U.S. companies out of Venezuela's oil and instead gave oil profits to the poor. This hardly seems a capital offense, or even un-Christian.

Though many will question the Christian basis of Mr. Robertson's comments, at least we know he's been reading his Bible. There's a guy in there who goes around saying things like:

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

And we all know what happened to that guy.

There's one verse Pat Robertson may have missed though,

Thou shalt not kill.

And the Nominees Are ...

"You like me! You really like me!!"

The 2005 Okie Blog Award nominations are in, and we'd be fibbing if we didn't admit to being pretty flattered and honored to be in the running.

This blog has been nominated in three categories: Best Overall Blog, Best Humor Blog and Best Writing Blog. We were hoping against hope to make Best Hung Blog, but wouldn't you know it, there's no such category -- which means the surgery was for naught.

There are some really tremendous bloggers in our fair state -- some of whom are friends, some of whom are inspiration, some of whom I have to concede I hadn't even been familiar with until the nominations. All are worth checking out.

If you're an Okie blogger, it's time to fulfill your civic duty and vote here.

If These Walls Could Talk

Some friends of mine just discovered that a house they recently bought was the site of a near-murder six months ago. Evidently, the previous owners had some marital trouble. The husband beat the wife to a pulp with an aluminum baseball bat. Now he's awaiting trial for attempted murder.

My friends, a newly married couple, found out about the incident from one of the neighbors. The woman who sold them the place is the mother of the bat-wielding husband; she didn't happen to mention the assault in her sales pitch. Shortly after my friends learned about the case, they found a section of carpet in the bedroom mottled with bloodstains.

At any rate, they're still forging ahead with the purchase. As for me, I don't think I'd be able to move into a place where I knew murder -- or near murder -- had occurred. I'm not certain why, exactly. I am slightly superstitions, I suppose, but my hesitation with living in such a house isn't about evil spirits or the like. I think it would just be unsettling to be sitting on the sofa and ponder the image of a guy in the same room clubbing his wife mercilessly.

So, just curious ... how would you feel about living in a home where a murder took place?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Talk about the Animals

From a New York Times story involving the debate between evolution and intelligent design:

"By studying the evolutionary tree and the genetics and biochemistry of living organisms, Dr. Doolittle said, scientists have largely been able to determine the order in which different proteins became involved in helping blood clot, eventually producing the sophisticated clotting mechanisms of humans and other higher animals ...

"For example, scientists had predicted that more primitive animals such as fish would be missing certain blood-clotting proteins. In fact, the recent sequencing of the fish genome has shown just this.

" 'The evidence is rock solid,' Dr. Doolittle said."

Now I'm as inclined to subscribe to evolution as the next monkey, but does the scientific world really gain credibility from a guy named Dr. Doolittle who says we can learn a lot from the animals?

Reel Short Reviews, Take 10

Advise & Consent (1962)
The years haven't been terribly kind to director Otto Preminger's turgid Capitol Hill melodrama, particularly its clunky this-is-how-government-works dialogue and hysterics over a senator with a homosexual past. But the large ensemble cast -- particularly Walter Pidgeon, Franchot Tone and the always impressive Charles Laughton -- help make this decent kitsch entertainment.

Being John Malkovich (1999)
In retrospect, Spike Jonze's directorial debut is probably a bit grittier than it needed to be (the cinematography is downright muddy at times), but that is about the only quibble to be had with this strange and inspired work. John Cusack portrays puppeteer Craig Schwartz, a self-absorbed loser married to an animal enthusiast (an unrecognizable Cameron Diaz) while pining away for the sexy, heartless, Maxine (an incomparable Catherine Keener). Then Craig and Maxine discover a forgotten portal into the mind of John Malkovich. The screenplay by the mad genius Charlie Kaufman poses a family-pack assortment of metaphysical questions hidden within layers of its own trippy humor. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (2005)
I respectfully disagree with the generally favorable reviews lavished on this Tim Burton-directed version of the celebrated Roald Dahl book. Burton's take on Willy Wonka and the brats who tour his chocolate factory is considerably darker than the (dark enough) 1971 movie that starred Gene Wilder, but in this redux there is very little heart to offset the chilly misanthropy. Burton can be maddeningly frustrating. He is obviously a master of lush visuals and a free-roaming imagination, but he seems as sociopathic as the characters who populate his films. Johnny Depp had the good fortune to be in Burton's two masterpieces, Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, but here his interpretation of an effete, emotionally stunted Wonka is one-note and abrasive. The first act is promising, and the third act is surprisingly affecting -- but Charlie & the Chocolate Factory crumples throughout a looong second act in which meanness trumps magic.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)
Cornball stuff, but unequivocally effective. Robert Donat won an Oscar for his portrayal of the prim and proper schoolteacher who loved and lost (a charismatic, if a bit too perfect, Greer Garson, being the love interest). Once Garson exits the picture, the Sam Wood-directed flick runs out of steam and settles for awkward sentimentality, but even so, Goodbye, Mr. Chips still works as entertaining soap opera.

The Insider (1999)
Michael Mann keeps his often-overblown stylistics in check for this riveting dramatization of tobacco whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand (another extraordinary performance from Russell Crowe, like it or not), whose courageous stand against Brown & Williamson was undermined by the good and backbone-challenged minions of "60 Minutes." Expertly shot, paced and written -- nearly perfect if not for a"Miami Vice" moment in which Wigand spaces out looking at a hotel room fresco. This is Mann's finest hour.

March of the Penguins (2005)
Is Morgan Freeman the official voice of all voiceovers now? Did I miss the election? (Damn!I was gonna vote absentee for Edward Hermann, myself). Anyway, there's no denying the allure of this fascinating documentary about the tough-as-nails emperor penguins in Antarctica and the sacrifices they make for their young. But I'm not certain what differentiates it from many fine documentaries you can find on the Discovery Channel. Maybe I'm just dumb. It's possible.

Sling Blade (1996)
Billy Bob Thornton is exceptional as the director, writer and star of this drama about a mildly retarded man released from a mental asylum where he has lived most of his life for the murders of his mother and her lover. While Thornton's creation of Karl Childers is one of modern-day cinema's more mesmerizing characters -- as evidenced by the fact that just about everyone who has seen Sling Blade feels compelled to imitate Karl at some point afterwards -- Thornton is not so much of a prima donna that he doesn't let his co-stars shine, too; John Ritter, Dwight Yoakam and then-child actor Lucas Black are all superb.

Traffic (2000)
Steven Soderbergh's most ambitious (and that really is saying a lot) and successfully realized film, Traffic is a meaty, big and bouncy masterpiece. It covers an impressive expanse without losing sight of the characters fueling the larger issues that are pondered here. Spanning three stories -- all of which deal with some form of the war on drugs (everything from Mexican drug cartels to upper-class drug abuse among American youth) -- the movie's occasional (and inevitable) lapses into didacticism are forgiven by an economical screenplay and solid performances. Soderbergh served as his own director of photography, and the gamble is worth it; Traffic benefits from a naturalistic, albeit stylized, visual scheme. If Soderbergh keeps turning out alternately pretentious and superficial drivel, as he has as of late, at least he will always have this film to point to with pride.

Undertow (2004)
David Gordon Green is an obscenely young director (read: I'm jealous) to have earned the critical raves he received for his contemplative films, (the overrated) George Washington and (the much better) All the Real Girls. In Undertow, he achieves something appropriating commercial appeal, combining Flannery O'Connor-styled Southern Gothic horror with a modern-day Treasure Island. The result is intriguing and very watchable adventure-thriller that boasts a terrifically villainous performance by Josh Lucas.

Wedding Crashers (2005)
Who knew that moviegoers had actually been starved for an R-rated comedy with the faith in its own raunchiness to engage in a bit of sex, nudity and assorted bad behavior? The final 20 minutes are a downer, but only because everything up to that point is so damned funny. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are the anti-heroes of the picture's title, a pair of divorce mediators who have perfected the art of scoring wedding tail. There are some terrific comic turns by Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour and an uncredited Will Ferrell, but this is Vince Vaughn's movie all the way.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Keep on Truckin' and Truckin' and Truckin' and ...

Despite protests from truckers and safety advocates, the Bush administration has opted to leave intact a rule allowing truckers to drive six days a week and for up to 11 hours a day.

Crafted last year by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, the rule has been bashed by critics who contend truckers really shouldn't be behind the wheel for more than eight hours a day. Teamsters Union President James P. Hoffa (not the dead guy, but his son) asked AP, "What reasonable person who has traveled our nation's roads and highways thinks that forcing tired truck drivers to stay behind the wheel even longer is good public policy?"

I don't purport to be an expert in highway safety, but the rule does prompt this advice:

Invest in meth.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Having a Blast

Hunter S. Thompson got blasted one final time this weekend. As per the wishes of the late, great and irate writer, his remains were shot from a 153-foot tower amid a hail of fireworks. Some 250 friends and family looked on during the celebration, which was largely bankrolled by Johnny Depp, who portrayed the good doctor in the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Thompson's life-long love affair with guns, of course, came to its violent and inevitable consummation back in February, when the 67-year-old Thompson shot himself in his kitchen.

Regarding the bang-bang weekend festivities, Thompson's widow offered this succinct, and sadly ironic, explanation to AP.

"He loved explosions," said Anita Thompson.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Another Contributor

It is my pleasure to announce another contributor will be joining CTTC for occasional musings. Conrad Spencer is a friend, a colleague and a smirky progressive -- all of which makes him a decent fit for this here blog. Please make Conrad feel at home; he's been a little bit shy ever since the tractor "incident."

The FOX and the Lizard features a short bit today on a Lawrence, Kansas, woman who found an alligator in front of her home. That, in and of itself, is hardly so impressive (I have come across a few reptilian Jehovah's Witnesses at my front door before), but I was struck by the headline that an intrepid FOX writer (how's that for an oxymoron?) gave the story:

"Big Lizard in My Front Yard"

Now, all I can guess is that the headline is an obscure allusion to Big Lizard in My Backyard, a seminal (and terrific) punk album cut in 1985 by the sadly underappreciated Dead Milkmen.

So, what does this mean?

That there is at least one reasonably cool FOX News employee.

Just thought it was worth pointing out. Keep hope alive!

Friday Random 10

And a wonderful Friday to you, too. Shuffling the iPod, I find ...

1. A.C. Newman, "Drink to Me Babe, Then"
2. The Deathray Davies, "Chainsaw"
3. Siouxsie and the Banshees, "The Passenger"
4. World Party, "Way Down Now"
5. Slobberbone, "Meltdown"
6. The Beatles, "Baby You're a Rich Man"
7. Elvis Costello, "Heathen Town"
8. Los Lobos, "Don't Worry Baby"
9. The Kinks, "Apeman"
10.R.E.M., "Begin the Begin"

Thursday, August 18, 2005

AssHole in One

So what is it that I, Chase McInerney, contend is the single most repugnant part of politics that, for the dear life o' me, I don't see ever getting fixed?

Easy: It's Money. Or, as in the case of far too many politicians, easy money.

The source of all undue influence and unsavory relationships and backstabbing and compromise in political discourse can effectively be traced back to the words of Max Bialystock, the schlubby Broadway producer portrayed by Zero Mostel in the Mel Brooks flick, The Producers: As Zero put it: "Money. Money is honey."

While the Jack Abramoff scandal evaporates into the ADD of the 24-hour news cycle and its ability to sap the life-juice out of anything important, we now have Ohio Gov. Bob Taft pleading "no contest" for failing to disclose some 50 golf outings he had with assorted lobbyists.

A few of those golf excursions were courtesy Thomas Noe, a rare coin collector who just happened to luck into managing investments for the Buckeye State's Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Noe has been accused of skimming $4 million from the $50 million fund for his personal use, and investigators say that figure could reach much higher.

Some Ohio legislators are talking impeachment, although I suspect Taft will remain in office while the uproar eventually dulls. The point, of course, isn't that the guy played golf on someone else's dime. It's that he obviously didn't want a paper trail of such meetings that could point to inappropriate access. In policymaking, it's all who you know, and who it pays to know.

Sex Tape Derby, Round 22

Hold on to your hats, voyeuristic sex fans, it's another installment of Sex Tape Derby. Let's say, just for the sake of argument, y'see, that you must watch one among each of the following pairs doing the nasty on a sex-soaked videotape. Who would it be? (for the comprehension-impaired, click here for more information). Otherwise, post your selections in the comments section.

1. Donald Trump or Richard Branson?

2. Eva Mendes or Rosario Dawson?

3. Love Story-era Ryan O'Neal or "Six Million Dollar Man"-era Lee Majors?

4. Come on, get happy: Maureen McCormick (aka Marsha Brady) or Susan Dey (aka Laurie Partridge)?

5. The Big O.G.: James Cagney or George Raft?

6. Ellen Degeneres or Rosie O'Donnell?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Mother of All P.R. Battles

Not that the blogging universe is exactly crying out for yet another weigh-in on the Cindy Sheehan media circus, but here's mine. Please forgive the lateness of my unsolicited opinion, but I've been lost in my own world these past few weeks, what with pre-baby stuff and whatnot ...

Let me just say this: Despite my own considerable disgust with our Prevaricator in Chief, I don't share the scorn of my pal Token Liberal and so many others who say he should meet with Sheehan, the anti-war protester whose 24-year-old son is among the more than 1,800 U.S.troops killed in Iraq.

While I believe the Iraq War was and is a deadly and tragically unnecessary mistake, I don't see what real-world purpose would be served by Bush sidling down the driveway for a chat with Sheehan. It's a lose-lose proposition for him, and it will neither further the public debate over Iraq policy nor placate a grieving mother. You can sympathize with Cindy Sheehan's pain and passion, but that doesn't justify whatever she wants.

Whether or not she has some crackpot ideas, as the right-wing goon squad purports, is immaterial.

First, no one's mind would be changed by such a meeting. And if the hypothetical discussion between the mother and the mofo were to be private, as it surely would be (assuming, for an instant, it will ever happen), it's assured that Sheehan would characterize Bush's demeanor as cold and uncaring. He would be at the mercies of whatever she said unless cameras were rolling on the actual confrontation, and that scenario would expose the Prez to all sorts of media stunts that he doesn't need to risk.

As arrogant and detestable as Christopher Hitchens is, I'll concede his assessment of the Sheehan demand is on the money:

"Any citizen has the right to petition the president for redress of grievance, or for that matter to insult him to his face. But the potential number of such people is very large, and you don't have the right to cut in line by having so much free time that you can set up camp near his drive. Then there is the question of civilian control over the military, which is an authority that one could indeed say should be absolute. The military and its relatives have no extra claim on the chief executive's ear. Indeed, it might be said that they have less claim than the rest of us, since they have voluntarily sworn an oath to obey and carry out orders."

Finally, a strange precedent would be set, one in which the president of the United States, a guy ostensibly saddled with the busiest schedule and greatest burdens in the free world, must personally hear out the complaints of every fallen soldier's kin.

OK, granted, it's not as if he seems to be that busy, what with clearing brush on his ranch (Crawford, Texas, apparently has an endless supply of photo-op brush), but y'know, there's always the possibility that vacation will end and then Dumbya will have to get back to work, and pronto.

There are a lot of serious questions to ponder with Iraq -- such as an exit strategy, for one -- but the Cindy Sheehan spectacle isn't worth the ink.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

With a Hitch

On this date (Aug. 13) back in 1899, the Master of Suspense dropped the suspense and popped out of his momma's womb ...

Happy birthday to the late, great Alfred Hitchcock. And for no other reason than the fact I love Hitchcock and I love making lists, here are my five favorite Hitchcock films in ascending order:

5. The 39 Steps (1935)
4. Rear Window (1954)
3. Psycho (1960)
2. Notorious (1946)
1. Vertigo (1958)

That's all.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Friday Random 10

iPod. Therefore I am. Happy weekend, everybody.

1. Barenaked Ladies, "Too Little Too Late"
2. The Beach Boys, "California Girls"
3. Camper Van Beethoven, "Never Go Back"
4. Uncle Tupelo, "New Madrid"
5. R.E.M., "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville"
6. Men at Work, "Down Under"
7. Midnight Oil, "Power and the Passion"
8. Sonic Youth, "My Friend Goo"
9. The Monkees, "Monkees Theme"
10. Stan Getz, "Manha de Carnival (Morning of the Carnival)"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Sex Tape Derby, Round 21

Another Thursday, another Sex Tape Derby. For the uninitiated, check here for details regarding this intellectual exercise. But in a nutshell, let's just say that, if forced to decide between the following pairs of good God-fearin' people, whom would you rather watch knock boots in a sex tape?

Post selections in the comments section.

1. Jessica (what like a) Rabbit?: Jessica Alba or Jessica Simpson?

2. Method sex-acting: Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman?

3. We love the Seventies (and early Eighties): Lynda Carter or Catherine Bach?

4. Ed Burns or Benjamin Bratt?

5. Mmm ... sisters: Meg Tilly or Jennifer Tilly?

6. Mouth-to-mouthpiece: Scott McClellan or Ari Fleischer?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Cutaways, Take 12

Oliver Stone is set to direct a film detailing the real-life stories of two men who were trapped in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, Port Authority police Sgt. John McLoughlin and officer William J. Jimeno. Nicolas Cage will star as McLoughlin.

"I feel someone had to tell the story of the people who were in the Trade Center before and after it collapsed," McLoughlin said in a statement. "It needs to be told how this horrific tragedy brought Americans and the world together to help those in need."

Umm, yeah. Call me crazy, but I have some doubt that the guy who brought us Natural Born Killers is the right fit for the job. Was it between him or Rob Zombie?


Check out the trailer for Pretty Persuasion. Looks promising. After all, Heathers and Election were good movies, and this appears to be both.


A farce about two straight guys pretending to be gay and married sounds like, um, a really, really dumb idea for a comedy. Nevertheless, two of the best screenwriters working today, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, are set to write just that. And Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin is attached to the project, to boot. If anyone can squeeze lemonade from a moldy lemon, it would be these three.


Newsweek's David Ansen recently surveyed the current crop of A-list movie stars to ponder which ones are really making films destined to outlast their current celebrity. It's all madly subjective, of course, but still a fun read. Check it out here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Buck Loves Babies

My old pal, whom we shall call Buck Nekkid (per his directive), is decidedly of the booze-swillin', golf-playin', he-man woman-hatin' variety (for those of you who actually read this blog on a semi-regular basis, you might remember him from this). Still, he seems all a-twitter about me and Mrs. Chase having a baby.
This is the actual congratulations email I received from Buck:

"Buck Nekkid"
07/29/2005 01:58 PM
To: "Chase"
Subject: RE: Hey, baby lover

Well, congrats! Do you have an opinion on this?
You know what They say - girls are easier to raise. And They are never wrong.
Zak has one, and it doesn't seem to cause too much trouble. Although Zak
does seem to spend a lot of evenings at dance recitals.
Still ... eventually there'll be slumber parties. And by then I'm sure
you'll have your whole house wired with web cams for your good buddy, Buck.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chase
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2005 2:51 PM
To: Buck Nekkid
Subject: Hey, baby lover

I'm gonna have a girl. We just found out today.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bullshit Takes a Walk

Bob Novak's petulant storming off of a CNN set might just hint that the right-wing columnist, affectionately known to "Daily Show" aficionados as "the douchebag," might be getting a touch stressed these days over the Valerie Plame scandal and investigation.

The Los Angeles Times' Scott Collins reports that Novak's freakout came after Carville jabbed the douchebag: "He's got to show these right-wingers that he's got a backbone, you know. It's why the Wall Street Journal editorial page is watching you. Show them that you're tough."

That's when Novak erupted, "This is bullshit!" and stomped off the set. CNN later called the conduct "inexcusable" and suggested he take some time off.

Couldn't happen to a nicer fella.

Click here for the video.

Friday Random 10

See if you can guess what track was my wife's addition to the iPod. Feel free to post what's on your iPod (or 8-track, in case my brother is reading this):

1. Mott the Hoople, "All the Young Dudes"
2. The Beatles, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
3. Elvis Costello, "The Other End of the Telescope"
4. The Thrills, "One Horse Town"
5. Siouxsie and the Banshees, "You're Lost Little Girl"
6. Lyle Lovett, "That's Right (You're Not from Texas)"
7. The Judds, "Change of Heart"
8. The Incredible Bongo Band, "Apache"
9. Brenda Holloway, "When I'm Gone"
10. Barenaked Ladies, "Sell Sell Sell"

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mother Knows Best calls our attention to this gem of a quote uttered in 2003 by former First Lady Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America":

"But why should we hear about body bags, and deaths, and how many, what day it's gonna happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that. And watch him (President George W. Bush) suffer."

Is this some of that fabled tell-it-like-it-is straight talk for which Barbara Bush is famous? What a vile, vile, vile human being.

Where the Booing is Hoot and Hoot and Hiss

Suzanne Somers' recent attempt to parade her insecurities on stage and under a spotlight proves to be -- surprise, surprise -- an off-Broadway turd the size of Montana. Apparently audiences were as uninterested in her cliched showbiz skeletons -- alcoholic dad, domestic abuse, self-esteem issues, unwanted pregnancy, illicit affairs, eating disorders, horse whippings, fox trots, smoking in the boy's room, gangbanged by the cast of "Lou Grant"-- as one would suspect.

But Christ-0-rama, the sheer level of snakebite venom surrounding reviews of her now-closed show, "The Blonde in the Thunderbird," almost makes you feel a wee bit badly for poor ol' Chrissie.

Check out Peter Marks' review, for instance, in The Washington Post:

"For some reason ... she's gotten it into her head that she's a fixture in the collective American consciousness, that five years on a brainless sitcom in the late '70s and early '80s has granted her lifelong entree into our good graces.

"The hubris is breathtaking. If any aspect of 'The Blonde in the Thunderbird' is consistently entertaining, it's the comical notion that an audience is invested in the vicissitudes of Somers's career. Near the start of the show, she assumes the 'classic' posture of Chrissie, the character she played on 'Three's Company,' a portrayal she feels certain millions still know and care about. Affixing rubber bands to her pigtails, she completes the 'transformation,' as if she were Laurence Olivier applying the hump for Richard III.

"The campiest moment of all comes toward the end of the show, when Somers pushes a souvenir cart onto the stage, packed with the perfume, jewelry and other tchotchkes she hawks on the Home Shopping Network. The gold-medal moment: She holds up a Thighmaster. It receives the biggest ovation of the night.

"You're never really sure whether Somers is in on the joke. 'Tonight,' the 58-year-old actress declares, 'you're going to get to know Suzie, the good, the bad and, oh yes, the ugly!' Whom, you wonder, is she really talking to? Does she really think an audience is all that curious? The night I attended, a tiny coterie of Somers fans was scattered about the house, but the rest of the audience appeared to be in a mild state of shock. Her songs prompted the kind of smattering of applause you hear at a PTA meeting after a vice principal discusses bus safety."

Eric Grode offers this on

"The ... book includes a bizarre sequence in which Somers wheels out a kiosk packed with her Home Shopping Network wares; her triumphant brandishing of a Thighmaster inspires the most raucous audience reaction to an inanimate object since Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Earlier in the show, the statement 'And I finally became Mrs. Alan Hamel!' also receives a smattering of applause--presumably from those who either forgot or don't care that Mr. Alan Hamel (who also produced 'Thunderbird') first had to 'finally' leave the original Mrs. Alan Hamel and their two kids.

"I wish Suzanne Somers all the contentment in the world. I'm thrilled that she found it in herself to get past a childhood that would have doomed many people. I'm genuinely happy that she has found a man she loves. I fervently hope she continues her success in fighting cancer, even if I find it medically and even morally dubious to point out at the audience and say, 'I did it and so can you!'

"But I don't want to hear her sing songs she has no business singing."

Then there's Charles Isherwood in The New York Times:

"Something is desperately needed, in any case, to dress up 'The Blonde in the Thunderbird,' a drab and embarrassing display of emotional exhibitionism masquerading as entertainment. Attired in a cruelly clingy black tights-and-tunic ensemble, Ms. Somers re-enacts or describes triumphs and traumas from her personal and professional life for a grinding 95 minutes, on a stage adorned only by a pair of video screens, an armchair, a prop phone and a coat rack.

"Devoted fans may savor this no-frills, quasi-intimate audience with a favorite celebrity and professional dispenser of uplifting advice, but others may find their attention wandering to the coat rack. And resting there."

Ouch. Is poor, washed-up, has-been, hardly-was Chrissie not deserving of some sympathy? If you prick her, does she not bleed? If you tickle her, does she not laugh? If you yank her off a goofy sitcom, does she not still need a paying gig of some sort?

This much we know: Joyce DeWitt had better watch her ass.

Sex Tape Derby, Round 20

Just 'cause we're gonna cut back a bit on blogging doesn't mean we need to cut down on the really important stuff ... hence, another installment of your favorite and ours, Sex Tape Derby. We'll make it easy on you with this hypothetical: You must watch someone have sex on video, or DVD, if you prefer your masturbatory material with a clearer image and director commentary.

Who would you choose to watch, if you were forced to choose? Post your selections in the comments section and we'll call it a day.

For an exhaustive explanation of STD (get it?), click here.

1. Disco Diddle: Cheryl Tiegs or Farrah Fawcett?

2. Justin Timberlake or Leo DiCaprio?

3. Sarah Polley or Chloe Sevigny?

4. Tommy Lee Jones or Tommy Lee?

5. The Golden Age of Throwdown: Lana Turner or Virginia Mayo?

6. Method Monkey Slappin': James Dean or young Marlon Brando?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Never. Ever. Period.

I know I said I'd be significantly curtailing this blog -- and I am, I swear -- but I had to weigh in on this latest outrage in the news.

No, not Dumbya's defiant appointment of John Bolton as UN ambassador.

Something far more grievous.

Baltimore Orioles' slugger Rafael Palmeiro, he of the 3,000-hit club and beacon of moral rectitude who wagged his finger before Congress to say he had never taken steroids -- "never, ever, period!" -- has been suspended for, um, uh, well ... taking steroids.

Palmeiro is the first high-profile Major Leaguer to be slapped with a 10--day suspension for testing positive for steroids.

But it's not the way it looks, y'see. Raffy accidentally ingested them, he says, conceding that he doesn't know how the ruinous 'roids sneaked in without an invite. The Baltimore Sun reports:

" 'It was an accident. It was not an intentional act on my part,' Palmeiro said.

"Palmeiro said he must have ingested something -- a supplement, vitamin or food product -- that caused his test to come back positive.

"Major League Baseball, the Orioles and Palmeiro would not be specific about when the test was conducted. But sources familiar with the program -- though not Palmeiro's case -- estimated that at least two to three weeks typically elapse between a test and a ruling on an appeal.

"That means Palmeiro could have been dealing with the issue as he closed in his 3,000th hit, which he got July 15 in Seattle."

Sadly, this is not the first time a naive and gullible Major League ballplayer has been tricked by insidious demons hellbent on giving these professional athletes superhuman strength.

There was Gary Sheffield, who claimed he accidentally took steroids when he applied a cream from Balco Labs to his arms and legs. Whaddya know, the cream turned out to be a testosterone-epitestosterone concoction.

And of course there was Barry Bonds, who wanted nothing more than to slather himself in flaxseed oil when -- surprise, surprise -- the aforementioned substance turned out to be a steroid cream.

Oh, those bastard demons! How dare they surreptitiously enhance the performance of these poor souls without so much as written consent! Worse, these demons shift form as quickly as an extra on "Nip/Tuck," one minute morphing themselves into steroid-happy trainers and the next minute transmogrifying into bat boys who place corked bats in the hands of Cubbies who can't speak English.

Even by the standards of a high school sophomore caught with a joint in his backpack, these are pretty lame excuses.

Next time, Raffy, try "the dog ate my drug test."

Monday, August 01, 2005

From the Management ...

While I have always bristled at bloggers who announce they won't be writing for a while, I move that always strikes me as a bit on the self-important side, it is time for me to play the hypocrite that I am and say this: I won't be blogging for a while.

For both my readers, that might not be much of a shock, considering the scant output as of late. But with a number of factors currently rattling around -- a new baby on the way (coming soon to a theater near you: Spawn of Chase), some writing assignments, my friggin' job and, most pressingly, a general lack of inspiration -- it's time I concede that posting will be much more sparing from here on out.

Does that mean once a week? Twice a week? Once a month? I dunno, but if you care, you might check back here once in a blue moon.

In the meantime, on the right-hand side you'll find oodles of links to blogs I dig very much. All of them are bound to entertain and edify. Well, edify might be a bit of a stretch ...