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Monthly Archives: May 2005

The hand that feeds

I used to be a big fan of Nine Inch Nails back when I was younger, but fell off the bandwagon as the years went by. They just put out a new album that is getting some good reviews, but I’m not too interested. They did manage to catch my attention however with this news story today about them backing out of their agreement to perform at the MTV Movie Awards because of a disagreement with MTV over whether or not they could perform with a picture of President Bush in the background for their single “The Hand That Feeds” which criticizes the war in Iraq. MTV, proving once again that it’s just a big corporate tool to feed advertisements to young people, would not allow the picture because it is “uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement.” When did MTV get bought by Fox?

The best line of the interview is singer Trent Reznor commenting that “Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me.”


Wal-Mart to takeover Cleveland

I ran across the No Cleveland Walmart website today. Unfortunately, I believe it is too little, too late, as Walmart is moving full speed ahead on their plans to build a Supercenter in downtown Cleveland in the old Steelyard Commons area. Cleveland’s inept mayor, Jane Campbell, is all smiles and bragging about how many jobs it will bring to the area. Great job Jane…just what Cleveland, the most impoverished city in the nation needs, more jobs paying wages well below the cost of living. Put the unionized grocers and other independent stores out of business so Walmart can send all the profits back home to Arkansas while paying it’s workers $7/hr.

blogging break

I will be taking a break from my blogging duties for the next week or so as I make my way to Las Vegas for the first time. It seems like everyone and their cousin has been to Vegas except for myself, so I have decided to take this time to fulfill my patriotic duty of visiting that gleaming beacon of consumerism out in the deserts of the wild wild west. Hopefully I will return a wiser and richer man, but I fear I will not return with either.

dang that kid is fat

Leaving it up to the British to come up with a great invention…the “Square-eyes”, a device that tracks the amount of excercise a child does in a day, which determines how much television they can watch, literally (story link). So if the kid sits around the house all day? No TV. Obviously it is not going to work, because it’s up to the parents to control the amount of TV their children are watching, and they obviously cannot handle that as it is, so how can we expect some cheap little device to do that? TV is warping the minds of children as it is, regardless of how little excercise they are getting. The fact that they don’t excercise is just icing on the cake.

‘The Office’ to return to NBC!!

Even though Will totally scooped this one, I felt that my readers would be delighted to know that NBC has renewed ‘The Office’ and is bringing it back to Tuesday nights for a second season! You can read more about it here. It’s nice to see NBC taking a chance on something for once. I’m starting to feel like a TV addict now since I now have 2 shows that I will make a point to watch on a regular basis (‘The Family Guy‘, of course, being the other one).

In somewhat related news, this site seems to be one of Google’s definitive sources for ‘The Office’. Just today, I’ve received 6 hits from Google. It pays to be the #5 result for the search ‘the office on nbc‘. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Google owns Blogger, and Blogger sites are encouraged to have AdSense which in turn puts big money in Google’s enormous pockets. No incentive to have it’s own sites near the top of search results, is there? But hey, I don’t mind.

Where do you land on the Political Compass?

I ran across a very interesting site today, Political Compass. It asks the user a series of questions ranging from economic to social areas. It’s not one of those silly five question, are you Democrat or Republican deals, but seems to be a rather good evaluation of where one stands on the political roadmap.

I ended up with the following scores:
– Economic Left/Right: -4.75
– Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.15

Comparing my scores to some of the more famous political figures of our time, I was very close to the same results as The Dalai Lama, and relatively close to Nelson Mandela and Ghandi. Not too bad. Not surprisingly, my ideological opposite who was almost a mirror image of my position…George W. Bush. Who would have guessed?

craziest story of the year

I just finished reading this story from Brazil about a 21-year-old man and his parents who were killed after the man agreed to be murdered along with his family if he lost a murder-mystery role-playing game. Apparently he had made an agreement with his opponents that whoever lost the game would be killed with his family – just as it happened in the game. That is so insane, I don’t even know what else to say about it. How could someone agree to go along with that, and then how could whomever he was playing actually want to do that, and then actually do it? (I know, that is a lot of “actually”s, I’m trying to cut back). Now I have a better excuse to not play role-playing games, other than just “I don’t like them”.

he is watching you

The Senate approved a bill to spend another $82 billion dollars in Iraq to keep trying to do whatever it is we are trying to do over there. Who would have thought taking over such a small country would cost so much. We better go smaller next time and maybe snag one of the smaller, lesser known European countries. Oh what the heck, who cares about the national debt anyways? Go big or go home I say.

What was more interesting to note is that the bill includes a provision to create a “Real ID”, which would essentially create national driver’s license standards, and a federal database of information from all 50 states. So, this is essentially the National ID Card that we’ve all been expecting. Well, with that milestone out of the way, how long until we get chips implanted in us? We’re already halfway there with tracking some criminals with GPS devices.

And at the end of the day, where does it really get us? Is not having an ID card going to keep “bad people” off the streets? We have millions of illegals in this country now that we don’t really seem to care about. How is a silly little card going to change anything or make us safer?

Social Security reform

I know that I’ve sort of flip-flopped on this issue, but after discussing the issue with a number of my friends over the past few months, I’m now firmly against Bush’s plan of privatizing Social Security. My friend Rachel sent me a link today to a cool little flash clip that demonstrates in very simple terms why privatization does not make sense, and that eliminating the salary cap on the social security tax is the simplest and most logical thing to do.

Go here to watch this short presentation.

talking pictures

Last night I did something very uncharacteristic for me, I went to a movie I knew nothing about. In this day in age, where there is advertising everywhere, it is hard for a movie to come out that I have not seen a trailer for, or TV commercial, or news story, or anything else. Well, Friday morning, I was reading the paper, and they had write ups on all the new movies coming out that day. I was rushed for time, so I just flipped through them, and I noticed their review of this movie which they gave an A, and I saw they said it deserved nomination for the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar. So naturally, that peaked my interest. But I decided to stop right there, and look at nothing else, and just go see it.

So last night, I did. It was actually very exciting to see a movie that I did not even have a general idea of what the plot was. With most movies I see, I’ve seen the trailer and/or advertisements multiple times, which basically give away the funniest/action-packed/dramatic moments in a movie. And, you usually come away with a pretty solid preconceived notion of what the movie is going to be like, along with certain expectations. It was very cool to not have any of that for once.

And, I was not disappointed. I can say with no hesitation that ‘Crash‘ is the best movie I have seen so far this year, and I see more than my share. It is co-written and directed by the writer of ‘Million Dollar Baby’, and this is his directorial debut, which is really quite amazing to do so good the first time out. I will be scant on the details in case you’d like to go see it yourself knowing as little as I did. There are no real leads in the movie, it is truly an ensemble cast, and a rather impressive one at that, with a lot of actors that you will know, in roles you really would not expect them to be in. This movie is brutally honest and hard to watch at times, but unfortunately is not far from reality in some of its portrayals. It is very dramatic at times, and very well written. I really recommend that everyone go out and give this movie a chance. I highly doubt anyone could come away disappointed from seeing this movie.

(On a side note, the Regal Cinema we went to is now $8.25! Fortunately, being the bargain hunter I am, I had some $6 Entertainment book passes).