Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lesson learned

If you want to hear from a lot of people on Facebook, you needn’t bother with cute pictures of your kids, links to your favorite web sites, funny videos or fuzzy kitties. Just say something mean about a candidate.

A remark Mitt Romney made during a recent speech set me off, so this is what I posted:

“Hey Mitt Romney, here's a citizenship test for you: does being born in Michigan automatically make you a U.S. citizen even if one of your parents was Satan and the other was a jackal? I don't want to see your birth certificate, Mitt. I want you to shave your big, stupid, rubbery head on live TV to prove that you don't have a triple-six birthmark.

“Congratulations, jackass. You just made me decide to vote in November. I know the electoral college keeps you safe from the likes of me. But now I'm going to vote against state and local Republicans as well, something I might not have done if not for your birther crap. Keep up the good work.”

So as I expect you’ve gathered from that, the “birther” stupidity really pisses me off. Romney just made it worse by helping de-marginalize it.

Mass media nexus: this rant drew more feedback than anything else I’ve ever put on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

More from Ma Bell

Speaking of AT&T, here’s the potential fruit of its latest dissatisfaction with the amount of money it makes:

When I posted a link to Freepress’s petition to the FCC on Facebook, the whole mess brought me mindful of those ancient days of yore when the Justice Department actually tried to do anything about monopolies. Seriously, didn’t this noise get broken up back in the 1970s? And now here it is again. This thing is like a T-1000. There’s no point to busting it into a thousand pieces, because it’ll just put itself back together and come after us again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It’s a beautiful day in the fiberhood

This post commemorates our neighborhood’s achievement of the minimum number of pre-registrations for Google Fiber. So now it’s official. When the company starts installation, we’ll get hooked up.

Oddly, it isn’t even the prospect of an internet connection 100 times faster and more reliable than our current arrangement. It’s that long-cherished dream that someday, if I was pure at heart and said my prayers by night, I’d finally get the opportunity to fire AT&T.

Because I don’t just hate AT&T. I hatey hatey hatey hate AT&T. Hate it so much that flames out the side of my face, burning ...

Well, you get the picture.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review – The Big Uneasy

Harry Shearer serves up a documentary about the mistakes that helped turn Katrina into such a colossal mess. In its better moments it’s a fairly interesting story of government incompetence and indifference to the lives of poor people. However, it frequently strays into less fascinating subjects, such as New Orleans residents carping about how they don’t get any respect. Mildly amusing

Review – Catching Hell

On more than one occasion I’ve found myself wondering exactly why people in general and sports fans in particular have such a powerful need to fix blame on one particular person. I admit I’ve been known to play the scapegoat game myself, but not to the extent that Red Sox fans blame Bill Buckner for the 1986 World Series loss and Cubs fans heap hate on Steve Bartman for messing up a catch in the 2003 NLCS. This ESPN production covers both incidents – though the emphasis is on 2003 – pointing out that in both cases multiple problems led to the unfortunate losses. And in both cases the losing team had a whole other game to stage a comeback. The documentary goes on long enough that eventually it stops making fresh points, but it still raises some good questions about baseball fans and disappointment. Mildly amusing

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review – Asylum (1972)

Peter Cushing? Patrick Magee? Herbert Lom? An insane asylum? Must be another dreary British horror anthology piece. This one sports a number of familiar faces, including Charlotte Rampling and Brit Ekland as her homicidal imaginary friend. Though some segments are weaker than others (an unfaithful, murdering husband pursued by his wife’s brown-paper-wrapped body parts?), overall this was reasonably entertaining. Mildly amusing

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review – Dragonslayer

Before today I don’t think I’d watched this movie from beginning to end since my days at sci fi cons back in the early 80s. Ah, memories. Apparently it isn’t such a great memory for star Peter MacNicol, as one of the IMDb notes indicates that he leaves this one off his résumé. Can’t say as I blame him, what with the Blue Lagoon hairdo and all. Otherwise, however, this isn’t bad for a bit of sword and sorcery. Sure, I found myself rooting for the dragon, but that’s just me. The picture is also of some minor historical importance, as it employed some innovative animation techniques and represented what at the time was a rare departure from kiddie fare by Disney (working here in cooperation with Paramount). Mildly amusing

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review – The Devil’s Mistress

Originally released as The Devil’s Whore, which I guess was too scandalous a title for the American market. This miniseries recounts some of the key political struggles of the English Civil War from the perspective of Angelica Fanshawe, a fictional, free-spirited and ultimately fallen member of the aristocracy. I was drawn in primarily by the opportunity to see Peter Capaldi play Charles I and Dominic West as Oliver Cromwell. Though it gets a little soapy in parts, overall it’s a good way to learn a bit about this important period in history. Mildly amusing