August 10th, 2005

flavored with age


What I got when I cashed out the two Powell's gift certs kindly given to me for my birthday by thaitea and never_fear:

- Ziryab: Authentic Arab Cuisine, by Farouk Mardam-Bey.

- The Land That Never Was: Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Most Audacious Fraud in History by David Sinclair.

- Language Myths by Laurie Bauer & Peter Trudgill (eds.)

- After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy by Noah Feldman.

- Nowhere Man by Aleksander Hemon.

- Guided Tours of Hell: Novellas by Francine Prose.

- An Anthology of Chinese Literature from Early Times to the Fourteenth Century by Cyril Birch (ed.)

- A School for Atheists: A Novella or Comedy in 6 Parts by Arno Schmidt.

- King, Vol. 3 by Ho Che Anderson.

- The Silver Age of Comic Book Art by Arlen Schumer. (Comics nerds, this one is highly recommended -- in-depth interviews and features about Ditko, Kirby, Colan, Infantino, Adams, Kane, and Steranko, gorgeous design and layout, some killer quotes, and lots of shop talk for you artists, including some really fascinating stuff on kinetics from Infantino and faces from Adams. Almost all the Amazon reviewers hated it, so you know it's good.)

Thanks, you two!
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Don't forget, Chicagoans and near-Chicagoans (and anyone else who can get here by 7:30PM tonight): I'll be reading nearly funny and almost clever pieces tonight live at the Hideout, and Funny Ha-Ha 4Ever!. Be there! See humor happen before your eyes! Watch me take advantage of my drink tickets!
flavored with age

Speaking of books...

I recently got a raft of celebrity cookbooks in my usual publicist swag. There's some pretty strange ones in here.

Cookin' Cambodian with Henry Kissinger
Elizabeth Wurtzel's Antidepressant Spice Rack
It Came Out of My Body! with Moises Alou
Meet the Eats That Killed Us: The John Candy, John Belushi and Chris Farley Cookbook
Calista Flockhart's Water and Breadcrumb Collection
Eatin' Shit with Karl Rove
Vincent Price's Flavor from Beyond the Graa-a-a-a-aave!
Binging and Purging with Oprah Winfrey
G. Gordon Liddy's More Than Just Rats Cookbook
Joss Whedon Presents My Recipes That Were Way Better Before the Stupid Publishers and Incompetent Chefs Ruined Them
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Focus On Your Child, the child-raisin' branch of Rev. Jimmy "Get That Smut Off'n My Telly-Vision Box" Dobson's nefarious Focus On The Family, has published this helpful guide, which will let you detect if your son is becoming a disgusting queermo. (Thanks to oilyrags for the tip.)

It's titled "Helping Boys Become Men, and Girls Become Women", a pair of processes that generally don't require the help of religious right websites, but let's go straight to the list of "evidences of gender confusion or doubt in boys ages 5 to 11".

1. A strong feeling that they are “different” from other boys.

Discourage difference in your sons early, folks, lest they quest to shed their penis!

2. A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.

If YOUR child is unathletic, emotional, or inexplicably leery of bullying, odds are good that he is a sissy mary in the making.

3. A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play.

NO, Junior! You are the BEAST! Not BEAUTY!

4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes.

Good solid heterosexual boys hate hanging around with girls. If your son likes girls, he might be gay.

5. A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”

After all, if your son wasn't a gay queer fag, the other boys would never call him that!

6. A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even “think” effeminately.


7. A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.

Okay, maybe this one is a tipper.

“By the time the adolescent hormones kick in during early adolescence, a full-blown gender identity crisis threatens to overwhelm the teenager,” warns psychologist Dr. James Dobson.

Also known as Rev. James Dobson, religious fanatic and founder of Focusn On The Family! What happy confluence.

To compound the problem, many of these teens experience “great waves of guilt accompanied by secret fears of divine retribution.”

"Which, of course, we strongly encourage, because there certainly WILL be divine retribution for this horrible sin," Dobson concludes.
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Meanwhile, in Town Hall...

..."conservative filmmaker" (according to IMDB, his credits include...whoops! He doesn't have an IMDB listing) and Libertas blogger Jason Apuzzo lists a number of forthcoming Hollywood movies that "sympathize with the enemy", proving once again that Tinseltown is a nest of liberal vipers on the edge of America. Let's watch!

"V For Vendetta." From Warner Brothers and the creators of "The Matrix" comes this film about a futuristic Great Britain that's become a 'fascist state.' A masked 'freedom fighter' named V uses terror tactics (including bombing the London Underground) to undermine the government - leading to a climax in which the British Parliament is blown up. Natalie Portman stars as a skinhead who turns to 'the revolution' after doing time as a Guantanamo-style prisoner.

Of course, in the movie version, the fascist overlords of the comic have been turned into Nazis. So here, essentially, Apuzzo is criticizing the film for taking the side of a man fighting against the Nazi party. TERRORISM IS ALWAYS WRONG, PEOPLE. Also, you have to love the "Natalie Portman stars as a skinhead" line; there's nothing like a critique whose research consists of looking up a few publicity shots rather than actually discovering the context. I won't even get into the ignorance of the story contained in "doing time as a Guantanamo-style prisoner".

"Munich." Steven Spielberg directs this film about the aftermath of the 1972 Olympic terror attacks that killed eleven Israeli athletes. "Munich"'s screenplay is written by playwrite Tony Kushner ("Angels in America"), who has been quoted as saying: "I think the founding of the state of Israel was for the Jewish people a historical, moral, political calamity ... I wish modern Israel hadn¹t been born." The film focuses on the crisis of conscience undergone by Israeli commandos tasked with killing PLO terrorists - rather than on the barbarity of the terrorists themselves.

PlayWRIGHT. PlayWRIGHT. Play-fucking-WRIGHT. And goodness, what possible dramatic tension could you get out of making a film about a man's crisis of conscience about having to kill someone? Much more morally sound to just make it about how evil terrorists are.

"Untitled Oliver Stone 9/11 Project." Paramount will distribute Oliver Stone's new film recounting the rescue of two Port Authority officers after the 9/11 attacks.

I don't know what it's called, but I'm sure it's treasonous!

"The Chancellor Manuscript." Paramount reworks Robert Ludlum¹s 1977 thriller into an anti-Patriot Act star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio.

We've updated the script to make the terrorists Iraqis instead of Iranians.

"Jarhead." This Universal release, starring Jamie Foxx and Jake Gyllenhaal, deals with the 'dehumanization' of Marine trainees prior to and during the 1991 Gulf War. Based on Andrew Swofford's notorious and questionable memoirs of the same name.

Even though Swofford was an actual Marine during the actual Gulf War and actually wrote about his actual experiences, he must be lying, because he says that sometimes the military is bad!

The above list, incidentally, should not be taken as comprehensive. For example, Paramount also has projects in the works about a 'reformed' al-Qaeda operative, and about the victim of an Iraqi suicide bomber.

And I'm sure that the bomber, not the victim, will be the hero, because so many Hollywood movies portray insane, fanatical killers as objects of depth, complexity and sympathy, and so few of them focus on good people who are forced to overcome terrible circumstances not of their own making.

Little about these projects has been made public.

But that won't stop me from calling them traitorous slander!

One thing should be obvious from this list: left-wing agitprop filmmaking is no longer the purview of desperate, 'indie' filmmakers with shaky camcorders and maxed-out credit cards. The films listed above are being made by large, multi-national corporations - and will feature sophisticated, expensive marketing campaigns with A-list stars. Imagine Leni Riefenstahl cross-promoting "Triumph of the Will" with People Magazine covers and E! Channel specials. That's more or less what Hollywood has in mind.

Yes, Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers Studios are essentially the same as the Nazi party. GODWIN CALLED, JASON, HE WANTS HIS LAW BACK!

The proper 'response' for this sort of thing is simple, if complex in execution. At some point conservatives need to raise capital, pick up cameras and start making movies of their own - much like Mel Gibson did with "The Passion." And conservatives should do this not simply to 'rebut' the other side, but to add depth and imagination to what has become a wasteland of popular entertainment.

In other words, "Give me funding".

It will be a great shame if all we leave behind from this vital period in American history is a shoddy trail of "Syriana"s, "V For Vendetta"s or "American Dreamz" - rather than a "Casablanca" or a "Notorious."

But wait! "Casablanca" featured Humphrey Bogart using terrorist tactics to fight the Nazis, and one of the characters led an underground movement against them after having been imprisoned in a Guantanamo-type situation! It's no better than "V for Vendetta"!
flavored with age

Blame blue_straggler for this entry...