Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The curse is over!

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for finally putting the Bambino curse to rest!

Yes, I know, I'm not a big sports fan, but this is an old cause... and an old curse. Babe Ruth cursed the Red Sox when he was traded to New York in 1918, and ever since then they have never won a World Series. As a New Englander, I've always heard about the curse and how the Red Sox will NEVER win a World Series because of it.

Well the curse was broken, and I think it was done right.

First, the BoSox beat the dreaded Yankees with a miracle from-behind win in the playoffs. Oh, just the reaction from the NY fans alone was incredible. And then a solid sweep in the World Series against the Cardinals to bury the curse once and for all.

And I'm glad it turned out this way. Nothing against the Cardinals... they didn't make it easy for the BoSox to win those four games... but the fates in the Universe decided that it was time for the curse to be put to an end.

So as an old-time New Englander, congrats to the Boston Red Sox... 2004 World Champions! You guys earned it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ashlee Simpson = Phony Baloney

So Ashlee Simpson, kid sister to Jessica Simpson, claims that "acid reflux" caused her to use a tape-recording of her songs instead of singing them live on Saturday Night Live? Well I'm sure nobody would have been the wiser if the audio hacks didn't screw it up, right? But they did, and she got caught pulling a Milli Vanilli/Phony Baloney act.

Well as Elton John best asked it... "Since when is lip-synching LIVE?"

So Ashlee had to cover up her little gaffe, and "acid reflux" was the best her father could come up with? Was he watching one of those pharmacy commercials when he thought about it? I half expected her to drop a plug for some new drug when she was explaining her action on the Today show.

And then she says that EVERY major artist does this sort of stuff... Yeah, nice going Ashlee! Why not give away all of the OTHER dirty little secrets of the music biz while you're at it?

Methinks she's been hanging around her sister for too long... her blond roots are starting to show.

Speaking of blondes... Britney Spears-Tease-Homewrecker-Rodham-Federline is telling people that she needs some more "time off". FROM WHAT??? She was supposedly ALREADY on the disability list for her bum knee when she pulled off that impromptu marriage. She's not doing concerts. She's not recording new songs. She's not doing new videos. What else does she need a break from, other than the Paparazzi?

Do yourself a favor... take Hef up on his standing offer... appear in his magazine... then take yourself and your new soulmate and his two children and just disappear to someplace like Key West. Open up your restaurant and just fade away into obscurity to pump out as many little dancing puppies as you wish. Let those last ticks of your 15 minutes go gentle into that good night.

Important notice for Brutally Honest listeners

As you may know, Election Day is next Tuesday. There is a lot at stake in this election... not just for those running for office or running to keep their jobs, but also for the rest of the world. That's not an exaggeration, my friends. We live in perilous times.

With that in mind, I have a special Brutally Honest Rant being prepared right now for the elections. Now normally when I do a rant, I record them on Wednesday (like I would any normal Brutally Honest show) and upload them on Friday. However, due to the subject I'll be discussing in this week's program, I'll be uploading this show to the Brutally Honest website right after post-production is finished. I'll also be sending out the transcripts to the show that night, not over the weekend.

What this means is that I'll have this week's rant online earlier than usual. So if you haven't checked out last week's rant entitled "The Numbers Game", please do so before Wednesday, because after that, it'll be too late. It's a good rant... one that is almost as important as this week's. But I think once you listen to what I have to say about the election, I think you'll agree that this show is one that deserves to be heard as early as possible before next Tuesday.

To listen to the show, either click on the link below or copy and paste it into your Real Player URL:

And don't forget to send in some feedback via the Brutally Honest Random Thoughts page:

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

NY Times doesn't really grasp the idea...

So I'm reading the feature article in the New York Times on Monday, which was about Europe's efforts to regulate Islam and try to create "positive" religious leaders to counteract the hate spewed by the mullahs and imams of today.

Now I know the bible-thumpers and God Squad leaders in America are having their hairs stand up on end over this idea of the government "regulating" their faith. But also bear in mind where this is taking place: Socialist France! And in all honesty at least they recognize the abuses of religion. They don't BS these things by declaring the abusers to be "not TRUE followers". They also recognize the value of secularism in society, which is also something that American religious leaders are too damned egotistical to admit to. Unfortunately, France has way too many other government issues to deal with... Socialism itself being one of them.

But there was one comment made by a theology student that just blew my mind! He wondered just WHY anyone would want to become an imam. After all, the pay sucks. There's no security. And all that most people expect of an imam is just someone to lead off with prayers and officiate certain services. It blew my mind as to how CLUELESS this student was!

You want to know why anyone would consciously want to become an imam? Well writing off divine inspiration and a fanatical desire to do good, the essential reason behind the vocational desire can be summed up with just one word: POWER!

An imam is a religious leader. People turn to him for advice and guidance. He has influence over them, thus he has POWER over them. He can use that influence to his advantage, just like the Taliban did in Afghanistan.

That's why religious leaders crave government power, because it's not enough to just have influcence over your faithful. They need government to have influence over everyone else as well.

Why can't the NY Times get it?
And of course it's not just the Muslims who do this. They're just the uncontrollable brats right now in sore need of a social spanking. Trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Wait until the Christians kick things up a notch.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Non-story: NY Times endorses Lurch

So as I understand it, the New York Times has come out to endorse Senator John "Lurch" Kerry this past Sunday.

And this is news???

The NY Times is a liberal newspaper, so OF COURSE they're going to endorse Senator Lurch! That's not news, that's a foregone conclusion! These guys will endorse anything the Democratic machine tells them to endorse. They'd endorse a bowl of jello if it had the party's logo on it!

It would really be news if the Times endorsed anyone BUT Kerry. It would be news if they endorsed independant candidate Ralph Nader. It would be news if they endorsed Libertarian Michael Badnarik. It would even BIGGER news if they endorsed Bush Junior! But they didn't, so the endorsement isn't a news story... it's an afterthought.

Friday, October 15, 2004

FCC exposed

Found this quote from the folks at the First Amendment Center:

''Scratch just about every other FCC commissioner, and you’ll find a TV critic dying to get out.''
- Robert Corn-Revere, First Amendment lawyer, author, 2003

All too true, but I think Mr. Corn-Revere is being too kind in terms of the numbers. It's more like EVERY commissioner, not every other one. A regular critic can't do what the FCC can do, which is to use government to silence speech. That's WHY they're in the government in the first place. It's all about power, folks.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

It takes a geek to get it right!

It figures that it would take a techno-geek named PC to be able to sum up the 2004 Presidential debates just right...

Click on this link to see what I mean...

Monday, October 11, 2004

Sad to hear he's gone...

Sad day in Smallville, boys and girls. The former Man of Steel has died.

Christopher Reeve was THE Superman for all four movies made between the late 70's and mid-80's. He inherited the role originally made famous by George Reeves (no relation) in the 1950's TV show, and previously by Kirk Alyn from the 1940's movie serials.

And yes, he was known for a variety of other roles and movies, but he was always considered to be Superman, even when he was paralyzed after a riding accident. Even when he was confined to a wheelchair and fighting for his life, he still spoke out for cause he believed in. He even continued to act and direct, performing on stage as the lead role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window", and serving as a mysterious mentor to a pre-Superman Clark Kent in the WB series "Smallville". Bringing Reeve and actor Tom Welling together along with the original John Williams theme music was probably the best two episodes of Smallville that the folks at Warner Brothers ever did, and it is a pity that they will not be able to continue with that.

On a more personal note, Superman was always my favorite cartoon character, and Reeve portrayed the role perfectly, to a level that even those that preceeded and followed him could not match. This commentator was shocked when the character died in the comic books (Superman #75), and just as shocked today to know that the actor who exemplified the character has now died. He will be missed.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The question that probably won't be asked

Tonight: Lurch Versus Junior, Part 2! The flip-flopper versus the pretzel-choker will be once again unleashing their weapons of mass distraction as they battle over who will win in the November election (post-court decision, of course)! This time the candidates will have to field questions from selected members of the audience in a nationwide town-hall forum! Will Kerry contradict himself again? Will Bush stumble over his words? Will we know if the candidates make fools of themselves? Will we care? Will we even bother to vote in November? Tune in tonight to see it all for yourself!

Okay, first, I hope everyone will tune in to hear my thoughts about these debates. That's what this week's Brutally Honest Special will be all about. That should be uploaded by 8pm EST, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to listen to that and then see the debate at 9pm.

Second, I have a sinking suspicion that the candidates will be a little more prepared for this debate than their previous one, simply because the questions will be coming from the audience instead of from a lone moderator. There's a greater chance that you will have strategic plants (and I don't mean the potted variety) in the audience with prepared party questions.

Remember, the whole purpose of these debates is to make the party's candidate look credible and authoritative. If they know what the question will be ahead of time, they can prepare the perfect response, thus fulfilling the illusion.

Now every question has to be screened in advance and approved of before it can be asked. That means that the moderator and the people working for the debates know in advance who will be asking the question and what that question will be. You won't have anything spontaneous. In other words, no surprises.

With that in mind, there is one question that you probably will not hear during the debate, and it is a question that both Bush and Kerry need to answer.

Q: In previous instances, President Bush has mentioned that we have entered into an era of responsibility. An era that says that "if it feels good, do it" is wrong. Yet we are one week into federal fiscal year 2005, and the Congress has yet to even consider one of the thirteen required appropriations bill for this fiscal year. This
government is operating without a working budget for the year, and is instead relying on creative accounting practices that would otherwise lead to criminal charges in the corporate world.

For far too long, Congress and the White House have been allowed to stave off their fiscal responsibility to the American public through continuing resolutions. Both Democrats and Republicans complain about deficit spending, yet both parties are equally guilty of spending money that the country does not have.

My question to both candidates is this: how can our government speak of responsibility, much less try to impose it, when members of this government themselves refuse to honor their own obligations?

You probably won't hear that question being asked, because it makes both candidates look bad. But it is still a question that needs to be asked.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Rodney: he got his respect

So I get a phone call this morning from Dr. Vinnie Boom Botz, and he tells me that he needs a new patient. I ask him why, and why did he call me? He tells me that Rodney Dangerfield passed away, and that he needs someone new to insult.

I tell him that I'm fine and that I don't need a doctor. He tells me that I may not need a doctor, but he needs someone to pay for his trip to the Bahamas, and since Rodney can't do it, I'm the next logical choice.

I ask him what's that. He says that while Rodney may have pretended to not get any respect, that I really don't get any respect. He figures that at this rate, I'll be calling him at some point about stress, high blood pressure, a broken heart, and he might as well just make a pre-emptive call now to get the bad part over with.

Boy I tell you, that's the story of my life. No respect. No respect at all, I tell you.

Rodney, on the other hand, was a class act. Sure some of his stuff was sophmoric. Sure his stand-up was old school. But that's why we loved his stuff. Rodney wasn't above making fun of himself to get a laugh, even if it was just a parody of himself.

Rodney, you will be missed.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Quick DVD Review: THX 1138 - Director's Cut

Picked up the director's version of THX 1138 over the weekend. It had been a while since I've seen it, and back then it was censored. (This was obviously pre-DirecTV.)

THX 1138 was the professional directorial debut of a young man by the name of George Lucas, along with another "young Turk" by the name of Francis Ford Coppola, who served as the producer. Lucas was also the writer and film editor.

Now if you've never seen the movie before, be forewarned... this is not a light movie! It is very cerebral, and you will be as lost and confused as many of the characters were if you're not careful.

THX 1138 was originally billed as "a love story live from the 21st Century". The 21st Century was a long ways away when this movie came out in 1972. And there is love in this movie. Well that and a few other things which couldn't be seen on broadcast TV.

This is not a "Brave New World", but rather more like "1984" done in white. Everyone is monitored. Emotions are dulled away by pills. And you MUST take these drugs, or else you're charged with a crime. Even education is administered through drugs. Religion is reduced to prayers to OHM, which responds with a programmed script. Consumption is required, even if you don't need to "consume". Production and consumption are the only purposes in life. Robotic officers patrol the area talking like therapists, and they will take you away to be "re-educated" if you're not behaving yourself. Trials are reduced to rushed arguments by advocates followed by a computer-generated verdict.

Scary, isn't it? And yet how much of that world do we see in our reality?

Now this is the "director's cut" of the movie, which means that George Lucas added a couple of things to it. One of them happens to deal with stimulation through artificial means. I won't say what the other two are, but when you see them, you'll know what they are.

The rest of the DVD involves a couple of documentaries, and other two versions of the movie (movie-only and sound effects-only) which you may want to check out if you want to impress a bunch of liberals.

And now I have a little exercise for you: there are a couple of hints to the director's NEXT science fiction movie hidden in this one... and the title is one of them. Can you find them? (Oh, and in case you don't know what I'm talking about, the next Sci-Fi movie Lucas did was this little movie called "Star Wars".)

All in all, like I said, this is a cerebral movie. If you like these omnipresent dictatorial stories like "Brave New World" or "1984", then get this DVD. If you're opposed to the USA PATRIOT Act, then get this DVD. If you're a freedom-loving individual, then get this DVD. On the other hand, if you just want to be mildly numbed by lighthearted comedy, then skip this DVD, pop your daily pills, and don't mind the robots when they come to pick up your computer-assigned roommate for deviant behavior.

Or as OHM would tell you... Buy more. Buy more now.

Monday, October 04, 2004

SpaceShipOne wins the X Prize!

As I am typing this, SpaceShipOne, America's first privately-funded spaceship, has just completed its third trip into space, and has tenatively won the $10million Ansari X Prize.

The whole purpose of the X Prize is to generate interest in private exploration of space, much like the original challenge did for air travel in the 1920's. The new civilian astronauts of SpaceShipOne are the Charles Lindbergs of the 21st century, and hopefully they will do much to hasten the development of more private ships to do what NASA refuses to do.

I have a few suggestions on the next goals for the people behind SpaceShipOne...

1. Offer to fix the Hubble Telescope. NASA wants to let our first and best space telescope die a slow death rather than daring to risk a shuttle mission to fix it. If NASA doesn't want to fix it, they can lay claim to it.

2. Pay the International Space Station a visit. Maybe ask the two astronauts there if they want to pop on down for some dinner and some fresh air before taking them back up over the weekend. It takes NASA months to set up and launch a shuttle, but we've just proven that we can get a ship up there in a matter of days!

3. Offer to make more civilian astronauts. Hey, SSO can hold three people! Offer $10,000 to put you in space for a few minutes and make you an official astronaut. How many former Air Force and Navy pilots with dreams of being the next John Glenn were turned away from NASA? Well we can fix that now. And the more these guys that become civilian astronauts, the more opportunities to get OTHER private vessels into space.

All in all, guys, this is a GREAT moment for space travel and a GREAT moment for private industry.

And I need to remind you that today is also the anniverary of the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet satillite that shocked the world. Today the world isn't shocked... but I'm sure that the paper-pushers at NASA are just a little on edge right now. They've just lost their monopoly.

And yes, it is good.