Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Posted by Ryan on September 15, 2008

Perfect actress for Saraccuda by the way.

Palin’s people responded:   “[Palin] thought it was quite funny, particularly because she once dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween!”

Awesome.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Tom Brady is Hurt

Posted by Ryan on September 7, 2008

I’m sure all of you with Tom Brady on your fantasy teams were hoping for more than one quarter out of the two-time Super Bowl MVP and the man who holds the single-season touchdown record for quarterbacks at 50, but football is a contact sport and people get hurt.  But why did it have to be the Golden Boy, Tom Brady! 

After completing a pass to Randy Moss, Brady’s leg was hit, apparently tearing his ACL.  If this turns out to be true (Belichick can be quiet about these things), then it’s a season-ending injury.  However, it could be smoke-in-mirrors; a slight sprain or bruise that could take a week or two to shake off.  Or maybe not.  We won’t know until later this week.

Regardless, now it’s time for Matt Cassel to step up.  The Patriots defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 with Cassel in most of the game, but the Chiefs aren’t that good.  The New York Jets are better, and so are the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East.  With thoughts of Super Bowl revenge melting away, I hope Matt Cassel can be a more than adequate substitute and keep the Pats competitive this year should the worst be true of Brady’s injury.

UPDATE: It’s true — a season-ending injury.  Alas!  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the New York Jets early on their first win of the AFC East since the 2002 season (grumble grumble).

AP photo.

Posted in Pop Culture, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sarah Palin Facts

Posted by Mike on August 31, 2008

Even though we could see the website coming a mile away, it’s still an entertaining read.  Chuck Norris was the first person to have this shtick, Tim Tebow and Cole Hamels also gave it a shot, but Sarah Palin is the first person who can actually back it up. Come to think of it, I have heard the rumor that Superman wears Sarah Palin pajamas.

Reuters photo

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Big Brother 10: The Dan and Renny Show

Posted by Mike on August 31, 2008

I swore I’d never watch the show again after that bi%$# Allison Grodner rigged Season 8 for Evil Dick Donato, but I’ve been watching Big Brother this season. This year is probably as rigged as every other one Grodner one, but I’m still enjoying it. Early on in the season, I decided to root for Dan (the conservative), Keesha (self-explanatory once you see her), and Renny (funniest houseguest). Eventually, I began rooting for Memphis as well.

Since I’m watching the show again, I thought I’d post some clips I found around the Internets. One of the funnier dynamics in this year’s house is the mother-son/friend routine between Dan and Renny. The following are a few videos of Dan driving Renny up a wall, not that it’s a long trip for the “Dahlin From Nawlins.” Enjoy.

WARNING: Some videos contain language.

Posted in Pop Culture, Reality Television | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

An American Carol

Posted by Ryan on August 20, 2008

On October 3, David Zucker is going to release the film An American Carol  picking fun at filmmaker “Michael Malone” (read Michael Moore) who wants to ban July 4th.  The film’s story is in the model of “A Christmas Carol.”  Bill O’Reilly makes a cameo, as does a number of others from the trailer.  Ultimately, I’m surprised they found enough actors in Hollywood to film this thing!

Posted in Anything Else, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Movie Review: Star Wars — The Clone Wars

Posted by Ryan on August 16, 2008

George Lucas obviously wants to make more money and milk the Star Wars universe a little bit more with the release of the new Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie.  I make that statement for two reasons: it’s a good movie with a “Star Wars” attached to it, thus the money will flow; and the film’s concept takes us back to a period already handled with an animated series, bookended between Episodes II and III which also deals with these events in a reasonable way.  (How about a movie or something about the period between the Clone Wars and Episdoe IV?  I’m sure that’s on the horizon once the Clone Wars has been exhausted.)

All that aside, I think the film was pretty good.  It’s purpose is to launch a new animated series on the Clone Wars’ theme.   The action was top-notch,  the animation was smooth and cool, and though targeted towards a younger audience, I enjoyed the character interactions.  Plus any movie with Samuel L. Jackson borrowing his voice to be a bad-ass Jedi has to have some quality (Now, I want you to go in that bag and find my [light saber]. Which one is it?  The one that says bad motha f*****).

I did not like the narrator replacing the opening crawl — it didn’t seem truly Star Wars-ish at first.  I also was not impressed with the concept of a padawan for Anakin.  “Ahsoka” reminded me of an overbearing and cocky Millennial most of the time.  Plus, there were a few other plot inconsistencies involving her, Ventress and Count Dooku.  That being said, kids will love this film, and hardcore Star Wars fans who have gotten over the prequel concept should at least enjoy the fighting.  B- in my book.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Not Pretty Enough to Sing in Chinese Games

Posted by Ryan on August 12, 2008

The opening ceremonies of any Olympic games are full of spectacle.  Now, we usually assume that this spectacle does not include lip-syncing the host country’s patriotic songs, but we are dealing with China here!  It’s not that little Yang Peiyi (on the right) isn’t talented, it’s that she’s not as pixie-like as Lin Miaoke according to Chinese officials.  I think that’s a little harsh to tell a seven-year-old girl who has talent.  

My other issue is this: China has 1.3 billion people and they can’t find a cute kid who ALSO sings well?  That’s a totalitarian work ethic, I suppose — just fake it (which is as normal as reading/watching/or getting online news in China).  But, this isn’t good PR for the PRC, thus I’m surprised they even admitted it.

AFP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, International Relations, Politics, Pop Culture, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Isaac Hayes Dies at 65

Posted by Ryan on August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes is the second significant entertainer to die in the last three days!  Well-known for his work on the Shaft soundtrack and as the voice of “Chef” on South Park, Hayes was found dead near his treadmill at about 1pm today in Memphis, Tennessee.  He was 65.

Hayes was a highly influential, Grammy-winning musician whose impact stretched across the decades and music genres.  He was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and won an Oscar for the Shaft Soundtrack in 1971.  He eventually quit South Park because SP railed on Christians a bit too much for Hayes, (it’s true, SP farcically loves hitting Christians, especially Mormons and often Catholics too) who was a Scientologist. 

Entertainer, songwriter, and civil rights activist Isaac Hayes will be sorely missed.

AP photo

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bernie Mac Succumbs to Pneumonia

Posted by Ryan on August 9, 2008

Prominent entertainer Bernie Mac died today at the age of 50 from complications brought on by a tough bout of pneumonia. 

Bernie Mac eventually lived the American Dream through hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck.  Born into a poor neighborhood with a tough upbringing, he did what he needed to do in order to excel in his career, which included being a street performer, working the club circuit for decades, before finally breaking through in “The Bernie Mac Show” which aired over 100 episodes from 2001-2006.  He’s been in numerous movies and shows both in front of and behind the screen. Recently, Mac came under fire for taking his act on the campaign trail, perturbing “The One” and his campaign with some R-Rated language while warming up a crowd.

His unique style and humor will definitely be missed.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Darth Barack

Posted by Mike on August 9, 2008

Its Saturday, so how about mixing some politics with movie geekdom?

Hat tip:  Machosauce video via The Anchoress

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Morgan Freeman Injured in Car Crash

Posted by Ryan on August 4, 2008

Seventy-one year old actor Morgan Freeman was involved in a one-car accident late last night in Mississippi.  He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and is in “serious condition” with injuries to his shoulder and arm.  

In his latest work, Freeman plays Lucius in the blockbuster sequel The Dark Knight.  He’s a major film icon, being in such films as Million Dollar Baby, Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, Deep Impact, Glory, Amistad, Batman Begins, Along Came a Spider, Lean on Me and numerous others.  His politics is typical of Hollywood, as he has endorsed “The One” Barack Obama, but again, politics stops in instances like this.  We hope he can continue to grace the screen with his supurb acting for years to come!

AFP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama’s “The One”

Posted by Ryan on August 3, 2008

The McCain campaign has been awesome this week, tightening the polls while going on offense!  I wasn’t too keen on the “Celeb” ad, but this new spot, “The One” is perfect.  It uses Obama’s own words against him, making him sound delusional in a fun way which will really grind the “geahs” of Obama’s people:

Obama’s people called this ad simply “juvenile antics.”  It is a well-known anecdotal fact that Libs do not have a sense of humor.   It’s more likely that Obama’s people probably didn’t get the gag. 

It’s also known that certain substances can make one feel like they’re on top of the world and can do anything.  Remember, he was once a self-professed “junkie” who now can lower sea-levels by his mere presence…hmm.  I’m just sayin’.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama and This Week’s Race Issue

Posted by Ryan on August 1, 2008

We knew this would happen sooner or later:  Barack Obama said the following at at least two different campaign stops Wednesday:

“So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making.”

Whether this was innocent or not, it reeks of racial politics.  What could he have possibly meant by that?  How could that bold statement have been taken any other way than to infer that McCain’s campaign is going to use race as an issue in this campaign? 

Of course, Obama commits this inappropriate racial remark and all that anyone can talk about is the Britney/Paris ad that the McCain camp released the other day! (Well, if the MSM and Obama people can’t get over the ad, then maybe it’s working the way it’s supposed to — notice most critiques are about how petty it is, not that it’s wrong on the issues.)  But already we know who the MSM is voting for.  I don’t like the ad, but the Obama-as-Diva theme definitely should have been brought up by surrogates at some point.

However, all is not perfect in Obamaland.  Even some African Americans are getting a little impatient with Obama, as a small protest in Florida got reported today.  Obama isn’t used to dissent at his functions and handled it so-so.  I completely disagree with people shouting and disrupting Q&A sessions for anyone involved in politics (it’s reminiscent of Fascist Black Shirt tactics of silencing opponents through fear, intimidation and — as it turns out — shouting them down at rallies so the opposition candidates could not speak). 

It hasn’t been such a great week for Obama: Sunday he was up by 9 points in the Gallup Poll, six days later it’s tied at 44%!

Posted in Blogroll, Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer Released

Posted by Ryan on July 31, 2008

Released yesterday, it’s only the teaser trailer, but it looks really good.  I like the darkening tone and somber mood, plus the actor playing the young Tom Riddle seems like a really good fit (I believe it is actually Ralph Fiennes’ nephew).

The HBP is one of my favorite books in the series (I like Four and Seven as well, though all seven play a necessary part of the story and are all entertaining).  I’m hoping this film will be better than the last one.  I wasn’t too much of a fan of the OOTP movie because they edited so much that as one who’s read the book, I had trouble seeing things connect properly — it was very disjointed and missed some important points they’ll have to explain later.  Hopefully they’ll make this one better, more focused.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Is Bush Batman?

Posted by Ryan on July 28, 2008

Apparently, a number of op-ed articles have hit the Internet regarding Christopher Nolan’s new film, the box-office shattering The Dark Knight, and how Batman allegorically plays the role of George W. Bush (some say Batman is Dick Cheney or a generic conservative hero)! 

A friend tipped me off to this concept last night and I looked around the Internet finding that this notion has been proliferating, even to the WSJ Online!  It makes a lot of sense to see The Dark Knight as an allegory of the War on Terror and about Batman as the man who few people like as the one who has to make the hard choice to blur the lines in order to achieve victory — aka GWB to some. 

Leftist blogs are wicked upset that a movie with such a black-and-white treatment of morality like this one can make $300 million in just ten days while their beloved anti-war flicks quickly sputter and die quick deaths!  In The Dark Knight, terrorists (The Joker’s crew) are the remorseless fiends who fight for no discernible reason beyond the joy of it, and the good people have very tough choice to make on how to defeat them.  It mirrors reality.

Given the box office success of this film, perhaps the American people still yearn for a no nonsense ass-kicker rather than an international ass-kisser in their leaders.  This bodes well for McCain down the stretch, with less than 100 left until my birthday, which happens to be Election Day this year.  But will people make this connection and understand its implications?  Will the baggage of the last eight years show up on Election Day and turn American into an Obama Nation?  Who knows?   If the allegory holds however, then it’s the Republicans and Bush who must take the hit for having made hard, sometimes unpopular, choices which have nonetheless made all of us safer.

Pic from Rick Rockwell.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Favre’s Impending Return

Posted by Ryan on July 26, 2008

Is anyone else getting sick of all this?  I remember at the end the last NFL season, the great Brett Favre finally retired.  Everyone was nostalgic, some even perplexed since he obviously still had talent, even I here at AOR provided a glowing post as a career epitaph for a man who always looked like he was having fun out there.

Now all this:  Is he coming back? Yes, but where will he end up?  What do the Packers have to say about this?  What about Aaron Rodgers who’s been training to take over Favre’s position for months? Will Favre end up on the Vikings? Bucs? Or even the Jets?  No no no, he’s back at the Packers… for now, unless traded.

I love Brett Favre the player, but he’s definitely the bad guy in all of this.  He should have waited a few months before announcing his retirement earlier this year and getting everyone in such a frenzy. 

AP photo.

Posted in Pop Culture, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Movie Review: The Dark Knight

Posted by Ryan on July 20, 2008

WARNING: No true spoilers, just a lot of “insider baseball” in regards to the fantasy genre. 

Thus far, Christopher Nolan’s take on Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One series is leaps and bounds better than any of those goofy Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney movies, which all seemed too comic-like to be taken seriously.  I never liked any of them because (this may sound strange) they seemed too much like I was watching a comic book movie. 

But Batman Begins was entirely different from my point of view — it had heart, an interesting and deliberately developing storyline, characters you care about, and great action which didn’t strain the “plausible impossible” too too much, as some of the earlier versions of Batman could (think of Batman jumping out of a missile with Robin after ducking Mr. Freeze’s trap before reengaging the chase after dropping six miles on sky-surfing blades without a scratch in Batman and Robin:  a little ridiculous even for fantasy!).

Nolan continues the series about a year after Batman Begins. The Dark Knight lives up to and surpasses its predecessor in terms of action and an intricately weaved storyline that leaves you with a sense of real danger for our heroes.  I’m not ready to say that this movie was the best thing ever, as some have said, but it’s the best movie I’ve seen this year by far.  Heath Ledger’s Joker is worth the price of admission; he’s both more creepy and lucid than Jack Nicholson’s rendition back in 1989 — they aren’t even on the same planet.  Oscar-worthy?  They’d give one of those things to anybody these days, so the late Heath Ledger will probably get one just for having died (that’s not to say his performance wasn’t worth an award, he was great, but the Academy is mostly out of touch with their audience and the insiders will demand the award be given to him nonetheless… plus think of the viewership at next year’s Oscars).

Comic books are really just morality tales, including “graphic novels” (the 21st Century way of describing a “comic book”).  So, in Batman Begins we are treated to a tale about how to conquer our fears and using our strengths to do and be better than what we think we’re capable of.  My take is that The Dark Knight simply continues that theme with an extended lesson.  The enemies in Batman Begins were sinister but had rules: Ra’s Al Ghul and his minions had a shrewd but ancient warrior code, the Mobsters had one’s basic code about not messing with the Big-Guy, and the Scarecrow functioned in the real world as a psychiatrist and crony and let go of those rules only when with the psychotic inmates or his victims.  Ledger’s Joker has no rules.  Give such recklessness, the question is: how far will the good people go to defeat such evil?  The Dark Knight explores this concept from everyone’s point of view.  We’re beyond fear in this movie — it’s what to do now that good people are afraid: ally with the evil for a temporary benefit, bend the rules to slow the evil down, or become like the evil thing itself.  No one in Gotham City can come to grips with the Joker:  even the Mob looks weak and impotent next to the Joker’s recklessness.  Our heroes need to look inside to defeat this menace, and not everything there is peachy or easy.  That’s what makes this movie stay true to the magic of the original — it’s not about the car crash, it’s about handling the ride.

I also love sagas when they introduce the insidious third party.  Like The Matrix series had the Merovingian and his crew of tertiary programs floating between the world of men and the machines, The Dark Knight’s Joker is a tertiary interest between the Cops and the typical Bad Guys who, unlike the Merovingian, is not just floating — he’s destroying everything on both sides (like the viral Agent Smith in this The Matrix analogy)!  He’s destroying it for its own sake, not for any common reason like power or favor which normal people could understand.  Sometimes that’s the problem with evil — there isn’t any understanding it, no matter how hard we may try.

I give this movie a solid A+/A (like a 96%) for entertainment value, storyline, and morality.  You should see it, especially if you liked the first one or want to forget about those ridiculous ones from the 1980s and 1990s.

Pic from Movie Web.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Media Bias, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Elisabeth and Whoopi Discuss the “N-word”

Posted by Ryan on July 19, 2008

On an episode of this week’s “The View” the ladies were discussing Jesse Jackson’s hypocritical use of the “n-word” in the same interview where Jackson voiced his desire to castrate Barack Obama.  For some reason Fox News didn’t release the part of the film in question to the public, but it leaked anyway. 

Either way, this exchange broke out between the ladies, mostly Whoopi and Sherri versus Elisabeth, about the use of the “n-word.”  As usual, they seemed to gang up on Elisabeth, although I believe she has the moral high-ground in this argument: 

In my opinion, either it’s a good word or a bad word, but playing the “it’s our word” game is not only a complete violation of the First Amendment if use of the word leads to legal repercussions (which it does in certain circumstances, sometimes even when the word itself is not even used!), but it’s simply not playing fair.  Also, adding an “a” or an “er” to the end of the word should make no difference if in principle it’s a bad word either. 

Yet, it does make a difference, at least to my students, their music, and some in the media.  Should it, though?  Elisabeth says no, and based on principle I’m in solidarity with her on this one.  I wonder what Jesse Jackson would have to say about all this?

Posted in Anything Else, Blogroll, Culture, Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

InBev to Buy Anheuser-Busch

Posted by Ryan on July 14, 2008

The Belgian brewing company InBev is going to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52 million.  While many details are still being negotiated, the deal will probably become reality.  If that is the case then, in my opinion there are two different ways of looking at this:

1.  This is a dark day for America.  As the Belgians buy-out the largest beer producer in America, America is a weaker, sadder place… we can’t even brew and market our own storied/historic beer without help from those pesky Europeans!  Selling our souls for $52 billion?  Anheuser-Busch is a company which even survived Prohibition the honest way!  I guess there is a price one could set for selling out to the Man — a Belgian man in this case. 

2.  Woo hoo!  To this beer snob, Bud sucks (always has) and Belgian beers are world-renowned for their flavor and potency.  So, even though under the new management Bud will still suck, in the eyes of the world we’ll get a little more international “street cred” when soliciting our crappy beer to others.  InBev brews Stella Artois and Becks (meh) and Anheuser-Busch owns 50% of Corona.  Ultimately, this could signal a marked improvement to the average beer Joe Sixpack consumes.  Though this in no way will affect my own drinking habits, I believe this “sell-out” is an upgrade!

Reuters photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, economy, Europe, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Happy 232nd Birthday America!!!

Posted by Ryan on July 4, 2008

Today is the Fourth of July, America’s official birthday since 1776 (actually, the Founding Generation initially celebrated our birthday on June 14th, “Flag Day,” until the war effort improved.  I like the change)! 

So from all of us here at AOR, have an All-American great day of BBQ, good beer, fun with family and friends, and of course the fireworks!  Even if you’re not an American, getting full and blurry on good food and booze is worthy of celebration anywhere… it’s got to be five o’clock somewhere!

Pic from T-Shirt Watch.

Posted in Culture, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Wasting Money Telling People About Cleaning up After the Wasted

Posted by Mike on July 1, 2008

One thing that bothers me even more than wasteful government programs is the way government often wastes money advertising wasteful government programs. Actually, what really bothers me is being caught off guard by a photo of an oversized vomiting sea cow. Thankfully this masterpiece advertising the fact that government will clean up your puddle of yack was funded by our British friends’ hard earned tax funds and not ours. Small comfort to those of us who, um, enjoyed that photo for free.

On a lighter note, if there is any truth to what was implied by today’s rumor, then this hag would be one heck of a step up for Alex Rodriguez.

Posted in Anything Else, Culture, Europe, Politics, Pop Culture, Sports, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Coldplay Plagiarism Controversy

Posted by Ryan on June 19, 2008

Coldplay’s new album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends debuted in America Tuesday and will predictably become a huge hit.  However, there is a potential plagiarism charge levied against the British superband.  Apparently the new Coldplay single (and title track) sounds a lot like the American band Creaky Boards song “The Songs I Didn’t Write.” 

I was once in a college band and know the controversies which arise from bands in the same genre swiping this or that lick or riff from other bands.  My band was innocent of that stuff because we weren’t trying to be too contemporary (we sounded like Tool meets Rush when at the time everyone wanted to sound like 311), but many bands in the area which had a very similar sound always used to complain about this band or that band stealing their music.  It was very tough to watch sometimes. 

In truth, copyrighted material like a song must be intentionally lifted and the notes/arrangement must be nearly identical to have a case in court, otherwise Paul and Ringo have quite a case against OasisVanilla Ice’s swipe of “Under Pressure” was a sampling he gave credit to but also took without permission, hence legal issues arose.  I think the Creaky Boards song and the Coldplay tune are somewhat similar, but Creaky Boards doesn’t have a case in my opinion since they two songs have different arrangements and lyrics.  They are somewhat similar, but not the same.

Hats off to Creaky Boards, though!  This is a great way to get one’s band in the news– all publicity is good publicity in music and the arts when one’s trying to break through.

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Gay Wedding Between Two Priests

Posted by Ryan on June 16, 2008

The Anglican Church is in crisis.  Britons are moving away from it in droves, many of whom are dropping religion altogether or becoming Roman Catholics, like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (I bet he has private health insurance too!).

The recent dilemma wreaking havoc over the Anglican Church is what to do about homosexuals.  Many traditionalists and conservatives are angry by the Church’s lurch to the Left in recent years.  Ordaining female priests and having openly gay ministers were vexing enough for the old school crowd, but last month two gay priests married each other in a “blessing ceremony” that went beyond anything sanctioned by the Church before and is also in open defiance of Anglican guidelines. 

Some conservative clergy are even threatening a worldwide split over this issue.  I believe it is an important issue.  Religion is not supposed to reflect the hip new headlines and trends, it’s supposed to be a spiritual road map to help us better understand the depth of our soul.  If your beliefs don’t mesh with a particular religion, join a new one, or try going Unitarian or Taoist.  But witnessing one’s own religion change its core beliefs on an issue based on the social whims of the last three decades, which seek to change the face of a church approaching its 500th birthday should be vexing. 

Go to the polls and change government policy, but leave religion out of this kind of secular social engineering.  Or, from another angle, keep it up, Anglicans, and you’ll doubtlessly add more to the ranks of my Catholic faith!

Posted in Culture, Europe, Pop Culture, Religion, UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Celtics vs. Lakers Final

Posted by Ryan on May 30, 2008

Tonight, the Boston Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons 89-81 in Game Six of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Championship game.  The Celts will now play for the NBA Championship for the first time in 21 years (that was 1987 for those of you with a public school education).  The kicker is who they are playing: the Los Angeles Lakers! 

Whoa…  I can’t believe it!  Where am I? Or more importantly, when am I?

If there ever was a classic NBA match-up to bring many old fans back, this is it.  I count myself in that category.  The NBA has been very unexciting to me since Michael Jordan finally retired.  I was mainly rooting against the Chicago Bulls back then, but Jordan was something special to watch and the Celts weren’t very good.  Just last year the Celts only won 24 games (this year they had a league-leading 66 wins!).

In fact, Boston fans haven’t had much reason to cheer for the Celtics over most of the last two decades because they have pretty much have stunk.  Hence, my interest in pro-basketball has waned considerably, replaced by a renewed interest in Big East College Basketball instead (Go Friars!).  However, a chance to see the Celts play their storied rival, the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship next week is just plain awesome!  I’ll watch every game and bask in all the history the commentators will relish in!

AP photo.

Posted in Anything Else, Pop Culture, Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ban WiFi in Public Areas?

Posted by Ryan on May 25, 2008

That’s just what a Santa Fe group wants: the ban of WiFi service in public facilities like the library, city hall, and eventually stores.  They claim that since some people have real allergies to certain electrical fields (“electro-smog”), like those emitted by WiFi and cellphones, keeping WiFi in public areas risks discrimination in a way that violates of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I empathize for those people with those allergies, but I have WiFi and I love it, like my cellphone.  Should I get permission to stay home from work everyday there’s tree pollen in the spring, which I happen to have some allergies toward?  I know that trees can’t help it, but my boss can!  Is he discriminating against me because I have to work while sneezing, rubbing watery eyes, and teaching through a hoarse voice? 

No.  I have to cope, take allergy meds on the bad days, suck it up, and continue to be a cog in the wheels of American capitalism.  These folks should be targeting doctors to find meds and cures which allow them to take part in life, not minimize life for everyone else, claiming discrimination.  Do these folks work for the Obama campaign?  They’d fit right in.

Pic from WiseWiFi.net.

Posted in Anything Else, Election 2008, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Movie Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Posted by Ryan on May 23, 2008

NOTE:  A FEW LIGHT SPOILERS:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull  (2008 ) was a damn great flick, following in the serious, yet sometimes tongue-in-cheek, pulp action of the originals!  It was full of fun and outrageous death-defying action sequences, mystical plot twists, and of course the commies are the bad guys this time! 

In fact, the Russian Communist Party is not too happy about the movie’s portrayal of Soviet Communists in 1957.  Note to Comrade:  get over it — your predecessors were well-documented monsters and we know you aren’t anymore!  Marxist-Communism as a way of life has been exposed as a failure currently rotting on the ash heap of history.  The movie simply elaborates on already existing stereotypes of Soviets in the post-Stalin/pre-Sputnik period.

Back to the flick.  I enjoyed the fun and quickly accepted the unusual premise they through at us.  If you didn’t, the tone of this overview will not match yours.  Indiana Jones still rocks as an older professor.  I really enjoyed seeing Indy back in action.  George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have earned every dollar that their film makes this and in subsequent weekends. 

So, I don’t want to say anymore because there are things about this film that can be spoiled.  In short, I haven’t been this satisfied with a movie in a long time.  Both nostalgia and the film’s sense of fun (plus I love seeing commies as the bad-guys; the Nazis were getting old in these films) have earned an unabashed A for this film in my opinion.  If you have other thoughts after seeing the flick, comment using as many spoilers as you want– there is much to discuss.

Official movie picture printed in the Boston Globe.

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Movie Review: Prince Caspian

Posted by Ryan on May 18, 2008

 

I just got back from viewing The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian at a new movie-viewing location near my new place.  So, let me get right to it without ruining the plot for those who haven’t seen it: 

I like C.S. Lewis, for both his fantasy novels and his philosophical works.  Part 1 (or Book 2 if you’re a purist) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was a good movie adaptation because it effectively used tons of religious allegory to tell a mythical coming of age story about four kids sent up North during the Blitz of 1940 who stumbled into a mysterious land.  It was full of mystery and wonder and brought us into a new world in which the “Sons of Adam” and “Daughters of Eve” were delivered in order to make things right.

Prince Caspian does a similar kind of thing, but in my opinion with much less allegory and heart.  There were moments of struggle, choice, doubt, belief and introspection, but much of the wonder was gone, replaced by more battle scenes with little depth.  I liked the increased action, and on the surface it was a better movie than the first one, yet something was missing.  I read LWW, but never read Prince Caspian (which is technically Book Four of the series), so I’m not sure how it translated to film.  I just had the sense that some of the magic in the first movie was not here.  Maybe I needed more of an explanation, maybe I needed more Aslan, maybe I needed more back-story, but something’s leaving me unsatisfied.

I’d give the movie a “B.”  Great action, good story, but it left me wanting more — not in a good “I can’t wait for the sequel” kind of way, but rather a “Did I miss something?” sort of way.  I’m going to have to read the book now. 

Pic from Movies.com archive.

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Coh-Stanza: That Heineken Commercial Song

Posted by Mike on May 13, 2008

I’m feeling a little vindictive right now. Since this song has been stuck in my head for about two and a half days now, I think you need to hear it too.

Come to think of it, you probably already have.

ETA: The song is “It’s Love” by Chris Knox

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SNL Makes The Case For She Who Must Not Be Named

Posted by Mike on May 11, 2008

I think it’s a sad day for She Who Must Not Be Named when two of the three SNL spoof’s arguments for her to stay in the race are accurate. It’s a funny day for us however.

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Use The Farce

Posted by Mike on May 3, 2008

I’m not one of those people who laugh at every video invoking Star Wars, but this one is pretty good.  Obama might not be Luke, but Operation Chaos/Uncivil War fans will probably like it.  Enjoy.

Hat tip:  Ace of Spades

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