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Archive for July, 2007

Shorter Jonah Goldberg

Posted by scott on July 31st, 2007

From today’s LA Times

“I have a fresh idea that no one has ever suggested in such detail or with such care before:  Let’s have some kind of literacy test at the polling place to keep undesirables from voting!”

Somewhat longer Jonah:

Maybe the emphasis on getting more people to vote has dumbed-down our democracy by pushing participation onto people uninterested in such things. Maybe our society would be healthier if politicians aimed higher than the lowest common denominator. Maybe the opinions of people who don’t know the first thing about how our system works aren’t the folks who should be driving our politics, just as people who don’t know how to drive shouldn’t have a driver’s license.

Instead of making it easier to vote, maybe we should be making it harder. Why not test people about the basic functions of government? Immigrants have to pass a test to vote; why not all citizens?

“I’m also working on an exciting idea for something I’m calling ‘the Poll Tax.’  It’s just a work in progress, but it’s a very serious, thoughtful idea that no one’s ever had before, and I really think it’s got the potential to revolutionize democracy in America.

What?  No, I wasn’t planning on having any American history questions in the voter test – why do you ask?”

UPDATE:  Mary is a public school teacher, so I asked what she thought of this column.  Before her head exploded, this is roughly what she had to say:

So, Jonah thinks people should pass a civics test in order to vote.

All I could think was, “Gee! Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to educate every citizen of our country so that they would could pass such a test, no matter their income?” Then I remembered that in the past we did educate our citizens on that very subject; it was called Social Studies and it’s one of the most recent victims of the asinine No Child Left Behind act.

You see, in order to prove proficiency under that act, a school must pass only a reading and math test.  No other subject is tested.  And schools are in such a panic to make sure their students pass their standardized tests, subjects like Science and Social Studies have been pushed out of the classroom.  So if Jonah thinks the current adult population is ignorant of (and therefore disinterested in) politics, wait until the kids now in school come of age.  They’ll be so woefully uninformed about their rights and obligations as citizens, they might actually mistake Jonah’s mash note to Jim Crow for a rational alternative to using the schools and media to inform Americans about issues of public importance.

If you didn’t know better, you’d almost think the GOP wants a populace that’s ignorant about the basics of government, and the NCLB delivers exactly that.

From Grindhouse to Governor’s Mansion

Posted by scott on July 31st, 2007

Bill S. reminds us that today (well, yesterday, but I got distracted) is California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 60th birthday.  And to celebrate, we’re revisiting his first motion picture, Hercules in New York, because frankly, we’re not that fond of him.

Hercules in New York (1970)


You can tell your film career isn’t off to an auspicious start when you’re playing the title character, and you still get second billing behind the voice of Top Cat.

Our story opens at the summit of Mount Olympus, where the Greek gods, in their limitless wisdom, have chosen to live on the steps of a community college library on Long Island.  Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Arnold Strong” in the credits) is Hercules, a demi-god celebrated in myth and ballad for his ability to recite lines phonetically.  On earth, Hercules was lauded as the mightiest of warriors, while on Olympus he is chiefly famous for showing off his veiny, trunk-like thighs in a side-slit mini skirt.

Hercules is bored in the realm of the gods, but Zeus will not permit him to visit earth, because, “these mortals are bedeviled by as aggravating a collection of annoyances as it’s possible for one to imagine,” so adding Arnold to the situation would just be gilding the lily.  When it’s pointed out to Hercules that he’s just a demi-god anyway, and should quit putting on airs, Arnold slowly recites, “My father may have been a mortal, but you Zeus, my father, are a god.”  So, Hercules Has Two Daddies.

Under the circumstances it’s forgivable that the star doesn’t understand English, but you’d think that kind of thing would have disqualified the screenwriter.  Especially since he then starts mixing up the Greek and Roman pantheons (Zeus is king of the Gods, but is married to Jupiter’s wife, Juno, which doesn’t make any sense unless we happened to catch the gods while they were competing on the hit ABC reality series, Wife Swap.).  Finally, Herc can’t stand it anymore and jumps off the mountain.  He lands on the wing of a Pan-Am airliner, pausing just long enough to scare the crap out of William Shatner, before hopping off again.

Hercules splashes down, and the next thing we know, he’s aboard a tramp freighter—naked and glistening—toweling his massive physique in front of the crew and their flinty-eyed captain.  If the filmmakers had chosen this moment to give up on the whole ancient-hero-in-modern-times scenario, and just make a gay porn version of Jack London’s “The Sea Wolf,” I think we all would have been a lot better off.

Unfortunately, they stick to their game plan, and Hercules jumps ship in New York.  In keeping with the classic myths, he immediately encounters pretzel vendor Arnold Stang, whom the filmmakers call, with malice aforethought, “Pretzie.” At first glance, they would seem to have little in common—the wormy, adenoidal peddler and the unintelligible slab of waxed beef—but they bond over their equally annoying voices. 

Herc and Stang embark on one of those Legendary Journeys that Kevin Sorbo milked for four years in first run syndication.  Except, instead of engaging in epic battle with Cerberus or the Nemean Lion, Hercules encounters a junior college track and field team working out on a softball diamond in the Sheep Meadow, because the special effects budget is a little skimpy.

Meanwhile, comely co-ed Helen and her father, The Professor, sit in the bleachers watching her track star boyfriend, Rod. Helen, with her pert nose and long, center-parted brunette hair does a credible job of pretending to be Ali McGraw, but then blows it later in the film by refusing to die of leukemia.

Helen invites Herc and Stang over for tea.  When Rod arrives arrives, Hercules asks, “is he your lover?” Both Rod and Helen are scandalized (while, by 1970, the Sexual Revolution was going strong in bohemian haunts like Fresno and Wheaton, Illinois, it had yet to hit Manhattan).  Rod demands satisfaction, but since they appear to be filming in the producer’s grandmother’s apartment, and Grandma has lots of porcelain knick-knacks, they can’t afford to stage a fight scene.  So Hercules violently yanks Rod off his feet, and then cradles him gently against his bosom, while Helen screams and Stang hops up and down. And thus does this battle take its place amongst the legendary Labors of Hercules—the slaying of Anteus, the destruction of the many-headed Hydra, and the breast-feeding of Rod.

Naturally, Helen immediately agrees to have dinner with Herc, and later to take a ride in a hansom cab through Central Park.  Suddenly, a man in the worst bear costume since Santa Claus Conquers the Martians appears beside the cab.  Herc immediately leaps out and begins an inter- (or intra-) species smackdown.  Helen screams, “Beat him up!” She’s off camera, so it’s not clear whom she’s addressing, but one assumes it’s the bear.  She watches the two ursine antagonists wrestle for a moment, then has an orgasm (no, I’m not kidding) and falls back against the upholstery, spent and dewy.

Arnold finally works his hand inside the costume, but can’t find a breast, and he goes berserk, beating the ersatz bruin into a bathmat. Instantly, the WWE comes calling, and a newspaper from one of those Make Your Own Headline booths at Coney Island informs us that Hercules is now Champion of the World.

Meanwhile, on Mount Olympus, the majestic Zeus sits serenely upon his throne, except when a co-ed who’s late for an eight o’ clock class runs down the steps and clips him with her backpack. Otherwise, all is well in the mystical abode of these all-powerful beings, as demented young women in filmy togas run around on the grass, bouzouki tapes from a Greek restaurant play relentlessly on the soundtrack, and Audra from The Big Valley serves drinks.

Unfortunately, down on earth, Hercules is consorting with Vince McMahon, pretzel salesman, and Ali McGraw impersonators, so Zeus orders Mercury to take Hercules a Pick-Me-Up bouquet.  Ah, the viewer senses, at last, the filmmakers will deliver a battle royale between two legendary warriors endowed with powers of cosmic proportion!  Let the combat commence!

Cut to Hercules, who takes some snapshots at Rockefeller Center, then has coffee and a bagel at the Automat.  Mercury, having apparently missed his cue for the fight scene, finally shows up and stages an invervention.  Herc takes it about as well as Charlie Sheen usually does, and Zeus dispatches Nemesis to open an amphora of whup-ass on Hercules.  But Juno intercepts Nemesis, and gives her a mood ring that will render Hercules both mortal and mellow.

Stripped of his demi-divinity, Herc is now vulnerable to Juno’s malice. She immediately sets in motion a cunning plan to kill Hercules by…I’m not sure, actually. It has something to do with Hercules losing a weight lifting contest on a TV variety show that’s filmed in front of a shower curtain.  And even though we’re not sure what the hell is going on, we suspect that no good can come from this, since nothing good has come from anything else in the movie, especially the opening credits.  Anyway, during the power lifting, Hercules sustains a rupture of heroic proportions, and is forced to flee the TV studio, clutching his groin and pursued by the Mafia.

In the Elysian environs of Olympus, Great Zeus is displeased by this turn of fate. At least, I think he is—it’s hard to tell, because most of the dialogue is being drowned out by the sound of nearby cars honking.

Herc runs outside and just happens to discover an unattended chariot parked at the curb (well, they’re easier to find at rush hour than a cab).  Herc cracks the whip and drives his two-horse two-wheeler through Times Square (passing a movie theater showing Easy Rider), and then he drives aimlessly around for awhile, rendering it unclear whether the movie is ripping off the chariot race from Ben-Hur, or the Amish buggy scene from Witness.

Thanks to a jump cut, Herc is now in Central Park, where Helen and the Professor are being chased down by Mobsters, one of whom has apparently borrowed his mom’s station wagon for the day (sure, the modern capo shows a predilection for late model black sedans, but in 1970 the Mafia’s car of choice was clearly the cream-colored Country Squire).

By this time, however, the wheels are coming off the chariot (as well as the movie), so our hero and his sidekick jump into the backseat of the Professor’s car. Almost instantly, Helen shouts, “We’re out of gas,” and there is a moment of pure terror as we realize the rest of the movie may consist entirely of watching Herc and Stang make out.

Mercifully, they go into a warehouse instead, where Hercules gets his ass kicked by a pick-up group of thugs. Suddenly, Atlas and Sampson appear! Or rather, a beefy guy wearing the bottom half of a monk’s habit, and another dressed like Fred Flintstone show up, and start smacking around the crooks while our hero scrambles onto a pile of boxes and cowers.

(By the way—Sampson? It’s one thing to mix up the Greek and Roman gods into some kind of Reese’s Peanut Butter Pantheon, but now we’ve got characters out of the Old Testament? Who’s going to show up next? Gilgamesh?  Hansel and Gretel? The Dukes of Hazard?)

Anyway, Herc gets his strength back and immediately rips off Sampson’s act by pushing over two stacks of empty cardboard boxes, which apparently frightens off all the thugs, because suddenly the fight is over.

We cut to Olympus, where Hercules is concluding the tale of his earthly adventures. “It all sounds revoltingly noisy,” Juno sniffs, and we’re forced to agree, since she has to shout to be heard above the off screen traffic.

So there you go, fans of 300 and Victor Davis Hanson.  To the ancient Greeks, heaven is filled with scheming, immortal harridans and mini-skirted lummoxes who talk like Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles.  On the bright side, Mount Olympus, the dwelling place of the gods, is — judging by the soundtrack – convenient to schools, shopping, and the Long Island Expressway. 

Shorter Kathryn Jean Lopez

Posted by scott on July 31st, 2007

I don’t mind hearing people call John Edwards a faggot, but I shouldn’t have to read about him having sex with an icky old girl!

via Instaputz

Come On, You Guys Haven’t Given This War A Chance!

Posted by scott on July 30th, 2007

Hugh “Ol’ Gunny” Hewitt standing watch at Firebase Borders, where the lead is hot, but the frappes are cold.

When General Petraeus Reports (Johnny Won’t Be Marching Home Again)

President Bush made an excellent speech this week

And my grandfather, according to his nurse, made an excellent doodie. I suspect these two events will wind up having an equal effect on the war in Iraq.

…laying out the case that al Qaeda in Iraq is a subsidiary of al Qaeda in Waziristan…

Although for tax purposes they’re incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

His central premise –a retreat in Iraq means a huge win for al Qaeda everywhere it organizes– was carefully constructed and reasoned and simply cannot be argued by the war’s critics, only ignored.

Well, our withdrawl wouldn’t exactly provide a big bump in business for al Qaeda in Iraq, now would it? And if some of those troops were diverted to Afghanistan, I don’t imagine that would really boost morale at the home office. Oops, sorry — I forgot that the president simply cannot be argued with, only ignored. The problem is, he will not be ignored! So either I engage his argument and he fakes a suicide attempt, or I ignore his speech, and get boiled lagomorph for dinner.

There is a certain panic in the anti-war leadership as they see the same data that pro-surge commentators do, and understand that the unmistakable momentum on the side of the coalition threatens to bolster support for victory in Iraq. Victory in Iraq –the creation of a stable, functioning representative government protected by a strong Iraqi military capable of and committed to the suppression of terrorism and sectarian violence– would be a vindication of the Bush Doctrine

Whereas the situation we have currently achieved in Iraq is a vindication of Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, that crappy Star Trek episode with Frank Gorshin as an alien with the complexion of a spectator pump who spends 50,000 years chasing another harlequin-faced dude around the galaxy because he stole Frank’s idea for the mock turtleneck. So Frank hijacks the Enterprise, but when he and the other Othello game piece get back home they find that all the Star Belly Sneetches and all the Plain Belly Sneetches have exterminated each other, leaving the two color-coordinated antagonists to chase each other through a lifeless, smoldering, irradiated landscape for all eternity. However, if George W. Bush was the captain, I have a feeling Hugh would find a way to spin this as a victory for Federation diplomacy.

…and although it would also be in the very best interests of the country as a whole, the left sees a political disaster in such an outcome, and has hence redoubled its efforts to tarnish not just the president who ordered the war, but also the generals who lead it, and the soldiers who fight it. In the service of this last objective, The New Republic was pleased to bring its readers the now infamous “Baghdad Diarist,” but that is just one of the more visible libels on the troops dressed up as “reporting” intended to be understood as a generally applicable view of the conduct of America’s military.

Don’t you hate these guys who think, just because they’re “on the ground” and “writing” about things they’ve “witnessed,” that they’re “reporting?” That’s not reporting, that’s libelling. Reporting doesn’t consist of some jerk wandering around a war-torn country, interviewing people, taking photos, and describing events. The real reporting takes place back in the states, when bloggers prove the reporter in Iraq doesn’t exist.

Of course the victory hasn’t been won, and of course the argument about the war isn’t going to vanish even if General Petraeus gives an optimistic report in mid-September. But that report will matter a great deal, and I hope the Administration takes steps to assure that the American people get to hear it without the filter of the MSM or a Democratically-controlled Senate or House panel doing its best to muffle the good news and amplify the bad news.

I hope that General Petraeus appears before a respectful audience interested in his report and gives his remarks prefaced by an appeal to the MSM to at least play, uninterrupted, the first five minutes of his talk.

Or better yet, just let him deliver it from the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia. That usually fires up the proles.

If he then provided an executive summary of what he thinks is the situation in Iraq, there is an excellent chance that the American people will be allowed to hear the key facts from the key military leader.

I hear Pinochet’s available.

I hope after that summary he proceeds to deliver a detailed speech which the responsible networks will carry live (and radio hosts will replay) and that he then takes an hour of questions, before appearing before any Senate or House panel (which he will of course make himself available for.) Even though the day is long, I hope he ends it with Brit Hume…

That seems a bit harsh. Couldn’t they just waterboard him instead?

…followed by Charlie Rose, and then appears on Meet The Press and Wolf Blitzer’s program the following Sunday, thus making himself available to the four best television interviewers working today. On the Monday following the Sunday shows, I hope he appears on the programs of Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved…

Here’s a tip: With that many clowns, you’re going to want to Armor-All the vinyl seats first, that way they can all pour out of the tiny car much more smoothly.

In the course of these talks, speeches, hearings and interviews, I hope General Petraeus does two key things.

That’s Gaius Julius Petraeus to you, pal.

First, I hope he communicates a realistic timetable for success in Iraq.

Using the Gregorian Calendar is just depressing people. He needs to start framing the debate in geologic time.

While he may commit to making quarterly reports, support for the war has to be informed by realism as to how long it will take to bring about victory.

Until an asteroid hits Iraq and causes terrorists to undergo a global extinction event?

Bluntly giving his best assessment of a timetable to victory will serve notice on the enemy that the military is prepared to go the distance

Even if the weak-kneed civilian leadership gives up on the war, the military will not be moved. Any future Democratic Administration would have to scurry around Iraq, popping each individual soldier out of his foxhole with a prybar.

…and it will also give the public a measuring stick not just for our effort their but for Congressional support for it as well. General Petraeus has been attacked by the anti-war fringe

If your fringed shawl is 30% shawl and 70% fringe, chances are it’s not really a fringed shawl, but a regular shawl that’s just really badly unraveling.

I also hope General Petraeus tells us how many foreign jihadists have been killed in Iraq in the months since the surge began.

Because as Hugh and the other hawks never tire of pointing out, there is no similarity between Iraq and Vietnam. And what better way to demonstrate that than by measuring the progress of the war with body counts?

I know the policy against giving body counts, and debated it on air with Tony Snow recently, but I hope the Pentagon will see that there is a huge difference between tallies of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese killed in the ’60s and the ’70s, and the number of international terrorists dispatched in Iraq in 2007.

In one case, the corpses were sort of yellowish, and in the other, they’re kind of brown.

The president made an excellent case in Charleston that we cannot allow al Qaeda to establish a base of operations in Iraq…

Um, Hugh? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but uh…

But that threat is still not real to many Americans. Why they refuse to believe the obvious is a problem

Hugh’s job used to be easy, but all these educated immigrants from India and Asia pouring into the U.S. have increased the average IQ, and decreased the National Gullibility Index. Damn you ICE!

…but the one measurement they may understand are the numbers of foreigners who travel to Iraq to make jihad against us. We can’t know that exact number, but we can establish a minimum of the number of them killed by our military before they ever had the chance to take jihad anywhere else.

Maybe, finally, the American people will wake up when they see the large numbers of dead jihadist toddlers, militant teddy bears, and terrorist binkies caught by our new body count system.

Every dead terrorist in Iraq represents a significant victory for American security (and every foreign jihadist there is there against the wishes of the lawful government of Iraq and must be considered a terrorist.)

Except the Shiite ones. And to be fair, the Sunni foreign jihadists are there with the express good wishes of the lawful government of Saudi Arabia. But I’m sure there’s some radical Baha’i terrorists we can all hate on together.

The numbers of these terrorists in the country and the number of them killed matter a great deal, as they communicate to the American public a sense of the scale of the threat we face in Iraq. Had we left when the Democrats wanted us to leave last year or early this year, those terrorists killed since the surge began would not only be alive…

But so would several hundred American soldiers.  And several thousand Iraqi civilians.  And where would we put them all?  We’d have to send the kids down to the Piggly Wiggly for more ice, and Bob would have to put a leaf in the table. 

…they would have greater training, greater ambitions, greater momentum, and a sense of mission that could carry many of them to the West. If the United States doesn’t fight them in Iraq, we will indeed be fighting them in the county or in the countries of our allies.

Well, we shouldn’t have offered to host Mesopotamian Civil War XII: Caliphate Smackdown!  Yeah, it brings in the tourist dollar, but it’s going to screw up traffic in the downtown area for weeks.

General Petraeus and the officers and troops he commands have been winning huge victories for the American people as well as for Iraqis since January

Even though we’re told that the surge only started two weeks ago. Well, I’m sure the General has won many famous moral victories. And probably several huge pyrrhic ones too.

and the significance of those victories deserves to be spelled out for the public and broadcast by the MSM. If General Petraeus asks for five minutes and doesn’t get it from the networks, the outrage will be real and sustained.

Well.  It’ll be sustained anyway. 

If he does get those five minutes I hope he assembles the facts that Americans need to hear and which will confirm for them not just the excellence of their military and the skill and courage with which they fight, but also the significance of their mission and the necessity of the awful sacrifices made by so many men and women. 

I recommend he open with a joke.

Cold Duck

Posted by scott on July 29th, 2007

The LA Times has mercifully discontinued Mallard Fillmore, on the theory that anyone trolling the comics pages for hilarious hijinks and knee-slapping shenanigans are more likely to find them in the panels of Rex Morgan, M.D.  Nevertheless, a commenter in this Sadly, No! thread pointed me to today’s edition of Bruce Tinsley’s long-running series: How Many Ways Can A Duck Suck?…

Well, THAT ought’a persuade Al Gore to STFU.  Unless you happen to recall this post, in which we discussed Mr. Tinsley’s habit of getting arrested for driving under the influence.  Granted, his caricatures are ugly, but you have to admit, the man draws what he knows:

As fellow Hoosier Doghouse Riley pointed out at the time, Mr. Tinsley wasn’t some innocent Joe who had a couple of beers with fellow conservative waterfowl fanciers, then fell afoul of an overzealous traffiic cop.  He was a repeat, and, as it turns out, extremely enthusiastic offender:

Guy blows a .14 on a second arrest in four months and he’s free on $750 bail, plus it somehow takes a week for the news to get out. He’s got an angel somewhere. And he could now be looking at a Class D felony, and definitely some jail time. Should be interesting to watch. Plus the opportunity to say, “Mallard Fillmore, by convicted felon Bruce Tinsley” would almost make reading the thing worth it.

So while I’m happy that Mr. Tinsley is reducing his carbon footprint, I think it has less to do with ecological altruism, and more to do with the court dropping his drivers license into a document shredder.  And Bruce?  The “legislation forcing everyone to do what you do” is called Indiana Code 9-30-5.  You might want to pay special attention to the section on license suspension, and mandatory jail time after second offense.

But by all means, get on your high horse about people who voluntarily ride a bike.  I’m pretty sure they can’t cite you for cantering down the equestrian trail while slightly drunker than Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou.

How To Pitch Movies…If You’re A Right Wing Hack

Posted by scott on July 27th, 2007

Recently, Kathryn Jean Lopez escaped from the Bedlam-like confines of The Corner and wandered into Townhall, where she was immediately mistaken for the Kommissar of Kultur, leading to a series of rib-tickling monkeyshines straight out of the 1949 Danny Kaye vehicle, The Inspector General.

For most of its history, Hollywood has been a liberal enterprise

Yep.  For more information, see Neil Gabler’s groundbreaking book, Joseph Breen, Secret Hippie.

…with occasional exceptions like “The Passion of the Christ.”

Which wasn’t actually made by Hollywood, thus proving that the exception proves the rule to the, uh…exception.

And it’s also been too darn predictable. Hollywood needs to make more movies that don’t use its typical formula. One outside-the-box example is the raunchy summer comedy “Knocked Up” – its adolescent humor is infused with a conservative message.

I don’t approve of raunchy comedies, even in warm weather, but filmmaker Judd Apatow deserves kudos for his courageous decision to reject the weary old Hollywood formula in favor of the bold, risky, untried tack of “Boy meets Girl.  Boy loses Girl.  Boy gets Girl in the end.”  For viewers who sit through Knocked Up, expecting a romantic comedy, the experience is no doubt similar to the shock felt by the audiences who saw the first screening of Un chien andalou, or Nijinsky’s masturbating ruminant in the 1912 premiere of L’Apres-midi d’um faune.

If I were issuing grants to filmmakers for non-formulaic productions, there would be two genres I’d look to fund. First, we could really use inspiring war stories…

To thine own porn be true.

…taking place not just on the battlefield, but also on the airwaves or anywhere a major conflict impacts our way of life.

Exactly!  It’d be like Audie Murphy’s autobiography, To Hell and Back, or Guadalcanal Diary, or The Thin Red Line, except it would be about Hugh Hewitt (affectionately known to his interns as “Gunny”) fighting the Battle of Fallujah from his besieged studio in the Empire State Building.  Can’t you just see Hugh, grimy, unshaven, crazed with grief and rage as he verbally mows down enemy strawmen while bellowing to his troops, “C’mon you candy-asses, get back in the war!  And get me a no-foam double vanilla latte and a raspberry danish!”  Call it, To Zabars and Back, or, The Sands of St. Croix.

There have been some attempts, which I applaud, but we need more. We’re at war. Pop culture should reflect that.

Yeah.  Except pop culture is, sort of by definition, popular culture.  When the country is united behind a war, films depicting it will attract audiences.  When a war is unpopular, however, you’re more likely to see it celebrated in noticably unpopular culture — like the National Review, or Townhall.

Secondly, I’d support the “Feminism Does Not Speak for Me” project — as feminism does not speak for me, and I’m not the only American woman who would say that.

While I, on the other hand, support the “I Support Tautology Because I Support Tautology” project because I support the Tautology project.  And I’m not the only American who would say that.  Especially if they’d recently sustained a head wound.

And anyway, unlike “Boy Meets Girl,” the old “Feminism does not speak for me” formula is much more commercially viable, because, let’s face it, women flock to those movies.  Especially during seasonably warm temperatures, when they just want to turn off the brain, kick off their shoes, and watch a didactic flick dramatizing the heroic efforts of reactionary political action committees to roll back gains in reproductive rights and gender equality.

For you major-motion-picture types, here are some ideas. Enjoy them. And have no worries, I won’t ask for royalties.

Ohhh, to have the Diet Sprite and Junior Mint concession for these blockbusters.

SOLDIERS’ ANGEL. With a son deployed in Iraq and a daughter who’s helped the rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, D.C. mom and Hill vet Barbara Ledeen spends her off hours talking to and advocating for young men, some of whom lost limbs to enemy IEDs. In a culture where sacrifice is slim and protest often casual (including the antiwar protests she encounters outside medical centers where our wounded are being cared for), Ledeen’s encounters are heartbreaking, startling and inspiring.

This is a very strong pitch, but I think K-Lo needs to stress the project’s potential as a tentpole summer comedy.  For instance, there’s the whole Tracy and Hepburn-like back and forth as Barbara, the “Soldier’s Angel,” spends her off-hours advocating for service personnel maimed in Iraq, while her husband Michael spends his time at the office advocating for the invasion of Iran (“and faster, please!”).  It’s like Adam’s Rib, except with more amputees.  Then there’s our B story, where daughter Simone takes a job with the Coalition Provisional Authority and promptly loses 9 billion dollars!  From there it’s a non-stop gigglefest as Simone goes through one desperate, hare-brained scheme after another to keep her parents from finding out (I see it as a cross between the 1967 Jim Hutton laugher Who’s Minding The Mint? and the later episodes of Here’s Lucy.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE! I’ve stolen the title from radio-talk show host Laura Ingraham’s upcoming book (Regnery), so she might want royalties. A group of media conservatives helps kill a bad bill against all odds. With the power of the White House pushing an amnesty-for-illegal-immigrants bill, a dramatic debate ensues, with name-calling, broken friendships and eventually some redemption. The White House loses big, but it’s a victory for law-abiding Americans who let themselves be heard via phone and e-mail, against the backdrop of heart-wrenching stories and the need for law and order.

The drama just drips from every word of this synopsis, creating an ever-widening pool that obstructs foot traffic and eventually draws a rebuke from OSHA.  At last, Hollywood tells the stories of Real American Bigots the way they were meant to be told:  Up on the big screen!  30 feet tall!  Via phone and email.

CHENEY.  He was White House chief of staff. He was secretary of defense. They thought his career was over. And then he became one of the most hated and feared politicians in the land, one heartbeat away from the presidency. But that was only the beginning. After months of the politicos’ eyeing the field, Dick Cheney surprised them all by storming in late in the race and taking the Republican nomination for president in 2008.

But then, at the last second, Aragorn shows up with Isildur’s sword and an army of the Sleepless Dead, and it looks like the tide is turning.  Only Cheney slays Theoden, and then he tells Eowyn, “No man can kill me!” and then she stabs him right in the face and pulls off her helmet, and her hair still looks great, and she says, “I am no man!”  And then everybody goes to Mordor, and Gollum falls in the lava with the One Ring, and then the black tower with the big flaming eye that kinda looks like a vagina falls over in slow motion, and the eye is glancing back and forth like it’s going, “WTF, dude?”  And then some eagles pick up the Hobbits and everybody goes to Gondor to party, and Aragorn takes the Republican nomination for King.

You get the idea. There are a lot of stories out there. No need for us to be seeing the same movie. Or worse than that: an Al Gore production.

Yes, let’s not wallow in that fey, Oscar-winning shit.  Now, some people may ask (like Roy.  Repeatedly.) why the purveyors of wingnut welfare don’t pour some of the same resources they’ve used to build up phony think tanks, astroturf advocacy groups, magazines, websites, and Fox News into producing their own films.  Well, I think there are two reasons.

First, unlike the cost of keeping Jonah in Yoo Hoos and Little Debbie’s Pecan Spinwheels, making a movie is actually expensive, requiring anywhere from 10 to 60 million dollars for a respectable product, let alone the additional millions for prints and advertising.  And while the men and women who fund the conservo-calliope are happy to tell Hollywood which mouth to put their money in, when it comes to their own pockets, they don’t seem terribly anxious to wager on whether audiences will flock to see the uplifting prison drama, Scooter Libby: The Lambshank Redemption.

Secondly, these same financiers spent 30 years building the world’s loudest megaphone, and since the dawn of the Clinton Administration they have been shouting through it unceasingly until now the major news media spend most of their time quivering in a corner like a whipped hound.  They expected a return on investment, and they got it.  And they see no reason why, if they turn that same megaphone on Hollywood, they can’t bellow the movie industry into obedience as well.  That way, Hollywood will start devoting most of its resources to turning out right wing propaganda disguised as “entertainment,” while the news media promotes right wing talking points — no matter how transparently untrue – in the interest of “balance.”

So, anticipating the day when Bill O’Reilly’s hectoring drives Sumner Redstone into an overdue grave, and the Liberty Film Festival becomes the new Cannes,  feel free to pitch your ideas for conservative movies in the comments.  And K-Lo says it’s okay to steal the titles right wing books, even if they haven’t yet been published or even remaindered and mulched yet.

h/t to reader Patrick

Riley can’t believe — simply cannot believe – that Moondoggie is lying in her sun patch.  Nevertheless, she remains confident that if she just STARES at him long enough without blinking…


…she can wish him into the cornfield.

Later, however, amends are made through an eagerly offered, and grudgingly accepted tongue bath.  Fellas, take note.

“Oh all right, if you must, I suppose I can put up with it…”

You May Kiss The Homophobe

Posted by scott on July 26th, 2007

Longtime Wo’C companion Bill S. was crazy enough to read World Net Daily’s take on I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and kind enough to send us his considered, and considerably snarky, thoughts. Take it away, Bill!

The recent Adam Sandler-Kevin James comedy I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry opened last weekend, finishing #1 at the box office. I haven’t seen it, but judging from the trailer, it appeares to be an innocuous, if stupid movie that combines two very old plot devices: the Marriage of Convenience (which I can trace as far back as 1936′s Libeled Lady, but it might be older) and the Straight Guy Pretending To Be Gay (which goes at least as far back as 1959′s Pillow Talk. The irony is not lost on me). It doesn’t look teribly promising, but I have a friend who’s a Sandler fan so I might end up seeing it (I survived Wild Hogs, so don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll survive this). There’s a good reason to go see it-according to Dr. Ted Beahr of WorldNutDaily, it’s (clutch your pearls, folks) “1 of the most anti-Christian films of the year

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Jessica Biel in one of the most blatant politically correct, anti-Christian movies of the year.

Well, considering the negative stereotyping of Asian Americans, I don’t know how blatantly P.C. it is.

Promoting itself as a comedy about two straight fireman who get married in order to receive better pension benefits, the movie is nothing more than anti-Christian, pro-homosexual propaganda that attacks the traditional, Judeo-Christian moral values of American Culture.

Which I’m guessing include denying gay couples pension benefits.

Chuck (Adam Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James) are two New York firemen who have been friends forever. When Larry saves Chuck’s life, Chuck says he is indebted to Larry and will do anything for him.

Wow, what an affront to traditionial values!

Larry, a widower, has two children of which he is the sole provider. Because of a flaw in the system, if something were to happen to Larry, his children would not receive any of his pension benefits. Only Larry’s “spouse” may receive the benfits.

Can somebody please tell me why wingnuts are so free with the scare quotes?
So, after seeing a newspaper article about same-sex marriages and pension benefits, Laary asks Chuck, who has a well-known reputation as a ladies man, to marry him. Their arrangement is nothing more than a ruse at first-that is, of course, until the fraud department decides to look into their domestic partnership.

And then it stops being a ruse and they fall in love, like the couple in Green Card. Oh, wait…

Chuck and Larry rush off to Canada to get married so that their partnership looks legitamite, and Chuck moves in with Larry and his kids.

Soon,the two hire themselves a lawyer, Alex McDonough (Jessica Biel)

From the looks of her, she graduated from the David E. Kelly Sexy Attorney school.

This, of course, proves to be the biggest test of their “marriage” because Chuck is attracted to Alex. As reports of their “marriage” surface, Chuck and Larry find themselves at the center of a whirlwind of public opinion.

Who’s the “top” and who’s the “bottom”? After seeing Bulletproof, I think I can guess.

On one hand, they are the objects of sexual ridicule from their fellow firemen.

Representing tradition American morality.

On the other hand, they are the heroes of the homosexual “community”.

Representing what causes Ted’s boxers to bunch into a gigatic wad. And again with the superfluous scare quotes.

There are moments in the first half of the movie that provide some laugh-out-loud physical comedy and some funny situations.

Now I HAVE to see this movie-just to find out what Dr. Teddy thinks is “laugh-out-loud funny”.

With that said, “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” is not a comedy.

It’s a bleak meditation of the soul, reminiscent of Bergman. Sandahl Bergman.

There are several sequences throughout the movie when no one in the audience was laughing for several minutes at a time. The movie quickly moves away from anything resembling entertainment and turns into a boring, perverted, anti-Christian political platform for homosexual activist.

Maybe they’d be laughing harder if they were seated close enough to Baehr to watch his foaming-at-the-mouth reaction to the goings-on.

The content of this movie is abhorrent.

That’s a strong statement coming from a writer for WorldNetDaily.

Apart from the homosexual subject matter, the other strong sexual content is out of control.

Keep in mind, this guy considers a mere REFERENCE to homosexuals to be “strong sexual content”.

Sandler’s character, Chuck, is a womanizing sexual deviant. From implied group sex with five women who appear from his room

I wonder if Adam Sandler had a hand in writing the screenplay?

…to receiving mail that includes pornography magazines as well as sexual toys, Chuck is clearly a pervert.

Because any straight guy who sleeps with women and likes looking at sexy pictures of them is obviously perverted.

Also, in one scene, Larry tries to get effeminate young son to become interested in the nude photos in Chuck’s porn magazines, and the son runs away.

Which means the kid is clearly NOT a pervert. Good! Oh, wait, that implies he’s gay. The only Non-perverts are heterosexual men who have zero interest in looking at women.

The excessive homosexual content is just more is just more psychological conditioning from the neo-Marxist, anti-Christian politically correct philosophers of our day…

UM…”neo-Marxist”? I’m sorry. I just…WHAT. THE. FUCK. DOES. THAT. MEAN? (I wish I had a more clever response to that but…seriously, WTF?)

Some of these opinion leaders even support lenient prison sentences for pedophiles who abuse children

Wow, that’s one shocking indictment he’s pulled out of his ass.

(unless, of course, the pedophile happens to be a Christian leader or white male clergyman)

Who, I take it, Baehr thinks should be the ones to get leniency. Who exactly are these “opinion leaders” who say this? Do they hang out with those people Mike Adams writes about? If he can find one real “opinion leader”(whatever that is) who made that statement, I’ll watch Billy Madison 10 times in a rown. If he can find two or more, I’ll thow in 10 viewings of The Waterboy.

From multiple manly New York firemen who “come out of the closet”…

An unexpected twist in a movie whose plot centers around the premise that there are gay firemen.

…to a young boy who is incredibly effeminate and would rather tap dance and be in musicals than play baseball…

Sounds like the nephew in Ugly Betty. I love that show!

…to making Christians look like stereotypical bigots who use hate speech…

An image Ted Baehr’s certainly doing his best to dispel in this review.

“I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry” is aimed not at entertainment, but rather at the philosophical destruction of every virtue and the promotion of every vice.

Tap-dancing children are destroying America!

John Adams, the second president of the United States…

Has as much to do with a silly Adam Sandler comedy as John Wayne had to do with Brokeback Mountain. As long as we’re polling dead people for their opinion of current movies, can we maybe ask Gene Siskel or Joel Siegal?

In my latest book, “The Culture-Wise Family”…

Available where fine books are sold. Buy one of those instead.

Of course, the answer to the humanist worldview and pagan immorality of movies like this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.The Gospel of Jesus Christ preaches the kind of love that does not delight in evils like sexual promiscuity, adultry, greed, envy and murder.

The kind of love that equates homosexuality with murder. That’s quite a selling point.

MOVIEGUIDE is dedicated to redeeming values of Hollywood by informing parents about today’s movies and entertainment by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out.

Which explains why I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry opened at #1.

How To Pitch A Movie Part II

Posted by scott on July 25th, 2007

This is how you pitch a movie…if you’re a ninja!

Deep in CTU.  At the crappy workstations.  Next to the fax machine.  You have 4 minutes and 28 seconds to make coffee, or millions will die!

24:  The Interns.

h/t to Jane Espenson.