Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Midwest Association of Professional Animators: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Ani...
Midwest Association of Professional Animators: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – Animation Serves the Story "Photos Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures
Midwest Association of Professional Animators: "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" - Analysis of the Look of the New Film "Photo Courtesy: Warner Bros. Pictures Read more about animated, horror, artsy and all kinds of film at theresidentfilmsnob.blogspot.com"
Monday, November 15, 2010
'The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest' does lack the bite of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,' but it's a more than fitting end to the Millennium Trilogy"
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
It's the best twist on the "We're here, we're queer," chant ever.
Sir Ian McKellen, when I am elected God, you will spend eternity in the Batcave.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
But hell, I need to say something and the Tea Party movement is still out there and even though this particular event has come and gone, this still matters.
There is a very good article on the issues of race and faith as they relate to the rhetoric of Glenn Beck.
My first comment on the article is this. Butler is right about the absurdity of comparing Beck to Malcolm X.
Not because of their opposing ideologies, but because they are not anywhere close to being in the same league.
Brother Malcolm was a goddamn hero.
He was one of the great minds of the 20th century and comparing ANYBODY to him is a leap and there are very few people alive that are worthy of such a parallel.
And to compare someone like Glenn Beck to him is just fucking dumb.
Okay, let's move on.
I don't believe every single person who follows Beck or watches Fox News or goes to Tea Party rallies is racist or stupid. Let's just get that out of the way up front.
People believe what they do for a wide array of reasons.
There are plenty of Tea-party-people who are simply life-long conservatives, or truly believe they have to go out and protest to protect capitalism as if it were in danger.
Having said that, conservatives who keep insisting there is no racism in the Tea Party movement are either in denial or they're lying.
On its face, the rally in Washington might seem innocent enough.
But given the subtext of the debate of whether or not the Tea Party movement is inherently racist, the act of holding a "Restoring Honor" rally on the anniversary of MLK's "Dream" speech in the spot where he spoke WAS an intentional "Fuck You!" to Black America.
It can't be interpreted any other way.
If one were to be extremely generous and give Glenn Beck the extraordinary benefit of the doubt which he hasn't earned, the rally was at the very least a deliberate "Fuck You!" to the NAACP.
But forget Glenn Beck for a minute.
Right now, I'm talking to those in the Tea Party who are genuine in their principles.
I'm speaking to those of you who are conservatives and go to these rallies for ideological reasons alone, not for the adrenaline rush being part of a mob gives you.
Stop ignoring the racist signs. Stop pretending these guys are on the fringe. They represent a significant segment of your movement and you can't just close your eyes and hope we don't notice them.
When they are pointed out, you can't say the "liberal" media is singling you out and picking on you.
Stop faking that innocent, wide-eyed look when the NAACP tells you that you have blatant racism within your ranks and saying, "What the hell are you talking about?"
It makes you look stupid because you know what we're talking about.
I've talked to Tea Party people who have told me point blank that the "N" word has NEVER been used at a rally.
We see the signs at every Tea Party event.
Let's turn back the clock for some perspective.
When we protested Bush, we were unpatriotic. We hated America.
And when we assembled, we were arrested en-masse.
You have people coming out, literally talking and acting like the Klan and look the other way.
You deny that they're there.
When your people make violent threats, you brush them off.
Just a few years ago, you were screaming for the heads of any actor or Dixie Chick who dared question the leader of our great nation because doing so was unpatriotic.
We were seeped in yellow-ribbon McCarthyism.
Don't get me wrong, it's not your protests themselves I have a problem with. It's okay for you to hate Obama, or any leader for that matter.
As a Socialist, I am not happy with our President either because he's a rabid capitalist who's expanding free trade and dragging out both of the wars we're in.
I could list a few more reasons, but that would be getting off point. Let's just say that, like many leftists, I do not consider him a liberal.
But coming from the same assholes who, less than two years ago were telling us that if we love America, we couldn't criticize the President, is disingenuous.
Imagine the uproar if a country music group came out and criticized Obama and as a result was pulled off of every radio station in the country.
My point is, you and your protests, by contrast are being treated with a lot of dignity compared to what we went through for eight years.
You guys have no idea how easy you have it.
I'm getting off topic again, aren't I? Sorry, it's late.
Back to acknowledging and denouncing the racists in your ranks.
I mean, they can't even come up with newer material than "Go back to Africa?" At least be original.
If you want us to take you seriously as a populist movement, at the very least admit that there are dissenting voices in your ranks and that a chunk of the people who show up might be racists.
Then denounce them.
Until then, mainstream America is going to keep on thinking you're fucking idiots.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Perhaps the harshest critic of Gross’ article is conservative blogger Gina Loudon. Gross admitted to mistaking Loudon’s child, Samuel, who has Down syndrome with Palin’s two-year-old son, Trig, who also has Down syndrome. Loudon cites this mistake as evidence that Gross is not a credible journalist.
Loudon claims in her column that she met Gross backstage in Independence at a rally. She recounts an extensive conversation with the journalist on her blog. “After I explained which children were Todd and Sarah’s, and which were mine and my husband’s, Mr. Gross moved into a sinister line of questioning,” claims Loudon. She goes on to say, “The Palins were gracious enough to let Mr. Gross follow them for months backstage, behind the scenes, and in their private moments around their staff and friends and family, and this is how he thanks them?”
Gross responded on Vanity Fair’s website. “Let me state this as unequivocally as possible: Loudon’s accounts have no basis in reality. I do not mean simply that the facts are wrong—I mean that the episode did not occur. I have never met Gina Loudon.” He goes on to say that “It could be that Loudon spoke to another reporter that day, and that this is a case of mistaken identity. The other possibility is that Loudon has simply made everything up, inventing and publicizing a complete fabrication for her own purposes. It is either the one thing or the other.”
In a case of journalistic he-said-she-said, Palin fans are likely to believe Loudon while her critics will surely believe Gross.
Loudon’s column appears on Andrew Breitbart’s website, “Big Journalism.”
Andrew Breitbart was the conservative blogger who edited a speech from civil rights pioneer Shirley Sherrod, manipulating the video to look like she had denied a white farmer help because he was white. The speech, in its entirety was about uniting the working class across racial lines and Sherrod did indeed help that farmer.Breitbart was widely discredited.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
No, Newt, you fucking idiot.
See, here's the problem. You and those who think like you seem to think it's good enough for America to be as free as countries like Saudia Arabia.
That's not good enough.
Our standards are higher than that.
We believe in absolute freedom of religion and if you want to lower our standards to the level so that we are on an equal plane to countries like Saudi Arabia as far as our freedoms go, then thank Christ you no longer have any power.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Less than a minute later, in making a philosophical point, Dr. Laura was repeatedly using the ‘N’ word before abruptly going to break.
After the commercial break, Dr. Laura used the racial slur several more times, accused Jade of having a chip on her shoulder when she said she did not appreciate hearing the word and abruptly ended the call all in under two minutes.
After disconnecting, Dr. Laura indicated that if Jade did not like hearing white people say the ‘N’ word and was not going to have a sense of humor about racism, she should not have married outside of her race.
The call has created an outcry across the country, not only about the racial slur but about the ideas that Dr. Laura expressed along with them. At one point, she said that, “blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing.”
Also disturbing was the implication that any black person who was offended by racial slurs was too sensitive and that the caller should not have married a white man.
After coming under intense fire, Dr. Laura posted an apology on her website.
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, however, isn’t buying it. He claimed that her rant would have been offensive even without the racial slurs and that she did not apologize until there was a public outcry.
“Not only the caller was right that she said the word over and over and in a very animated way, I might add, but that she actually, if you listen carefully to the logic of what she was saying was saying that the n-word was not offensive,” said Sharpton during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “Her first reaction was that people use the n-word all along and you are being too sensitive or something to that effect, and at no point until after the outrage that followed did she come back today and say it was wrong."
More than 9 million Americans listen to Dr. Laura’s show every week.
The media was waaaay to easy on Dr. Laura on this one, even though she's acting like a martyr.
Here's the thing that nobody seems to pointing out, though Reverend Sharpton touched on it.
The n-word wasn't the worst of Dr. Laura's offenses here. In fact, it wasn't even the most racist thing to come out of her mouth.
The attitudes behind her rant were far worse than the word itself. Particularly the part about how Jade shouldn't have married a white guy if she wasn't going to have a sense of humor about racism.
I am sad that Dr. Laura is running off and quitting her radio show, though. I like people like her out in the open where we can see them, not lurking in the shadows.
So nobody really called her on her shit and she gets to go off and pretend she's a free-speech martyr. It's a goddamn pity all around.
But let's be clear. Let's put the n-word aside and pretend she never said it. Dr. Laura is not being chased off the airwaves, in fact, I would love to have her stay on.
And let's be clear on something else. Yes, there's room for disagreement and debate, even about the use of the n-word and all kinds of race-related issues. But Dr. Laura is not a voice of dissent. She is a racist.
Just to be clear.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Just a couple of things.
How far away do you want this thing? Eight blocks? A couple of miles?
Are you actually suggesting we start zoning religious sites?
Yes, the people who attacked us on 9/11 were Muslims.
And on April 19, 1995, in Oklahoma City, we were attacked by white Christians. So let's agree, no Protestant churches within two blocks of the Murrow Building?
Fuck, Scott Roeder gave his life to Jesus on his knees in front of the TV because Pat Robertson told him to. How about we not allow the 700 Club to be broadcast in the Wichita area?
Let's go all the way. Anywhere there are victims of religious violence, let's pick a radius and ban that religion out of respect for the dead.
Maybe if the same people who were saying "Let them build the Islamic Center farther away," weren't also protesting the erection of Mosques in Tennessee, Wisconsin, California and, well, anywhere in America, they wouldn't sound so goddamn silly.
So please stop saying that the terrorists hate our freedom. Because you have already given them that.
You throw the word "freedom" around, but you either do not believe in it or you just don't understand it.
Either way, when you say it, it sounds hollow and I don't believe you.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Children sang songs and bells rang to mark the moment the bomb was dropped.
74 nations were present to honor those killed. The date is remembered every year with a somber ceremony, but this year, for the first time, representatives from the U.S., Great Britain and France were in attendance.
The ceremony focused on moving toward a goal of a nuclear-free world."A world free of weapons of mass destruction - that is the only safe path to a safer world," said Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General.
This is a shift from the normal argument of whether the use of the atomic bomb was justified to end the Pacific front of World War II.
Both arguments have raged back to the moment the bomb was dropped in August of 1945. One of the first articles to predict the fear that would dominate the public consciousness in the decades following appeared just 12 days after the bombing of Hiroshima.
The memorials and ceremonies are over for another year, but the debates over proliferation and the justification of the use of nuclear force will be with us as long as the memory of the more than 140,000 killed in the blast 65 years ago today.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Shirley Sherrod is a civil rights pioneer, married to civil rights legend Charles Sherrod, a leading member of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who risked their lives to challenge Jim Crow segregation of the sixties.
She gave a speech last March on the problem of classism in
She had no idea how her words would be manipulated and used in a high-profile political fight that would ultimately end in a demand for her resignation.
But that’s what happened.
And when conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart manipulated Mrs. Sherrod’s speech to make it look like she had denied a farmer help because he was white, he may or may not have realized the full video would have eventually surfaced.
In the immediate aftermath, Mrs. Sherrod was decried as a “reverse racist” and denounced not only by those in the conservative media, but by CNN and others in the mainstream media, by the Obama administration and even the NAACP. Mere hours had gone by before she received a call on her cell phone demanding her resignation.
It didn’t take long for the truth to come out.
The white farmers Breitbart accused Mrs. Sherrod of refusing to help went in front of the camera and made it as clear as they could. Shirley Sherrod helped them in every way.
Then, the full tape was released.
And with the full tape, everybody could plainly see what Shirley Sherrod was saying in her speech. She did not say that she had denied anyone help because they were white.
The speech was clearly about the need for all the working class of
And Andrew Breitbart was discredited.
Mrs. Sherrod got apologies from the NAACP, the Obama administration and Bill O’Reilly.
It would seem that everyone would want to keep Breitbart at arm’s length.
But he has been invited by the Republican National Committee to participate next month at a GOP fundraiser.
Tickets to the donor event in
Breitbart and RNC Chairman Michael Steele are listed as confirmed speakers to the August 12 event.
They will update donors on the RNC’s strategies to win back the House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.
The invitation has been confirmed by the RNC, but they have declined to discuss the event further.
And now here comes my own personal commentary that I have to reserve for my blog. Here goes.
ANDREW BREITBART? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?
Okay, now I'm talking to all of you out there in fucktard land. Did you know what Breitbart said when he was caught in his lie? He said that he wasn’t trying to make Mrs. Sherrod look bad. He was trying to make the audience look bad for clapping. And that sounds believable to you?
But that was his explanation.
Mr. Breitbart, you say you were trying to make the people who were clapping look bad? That's your story? That’s the best you can come up with?
You’re not even fucking trying, are you?
Remind me to never fucking ever bet anything of value on Andrew Breitbart's lying skills.
The fact that the RNC isn’t keeping this slimy git as far away from them as possible is mind-blowing, and very telling at the same time. When you think about it, Breitbart is just a guy emulating Karl Rove. He’s just not as good as covering his shit up yet.
But those are the small details that can be learned. Breitbart has shown himself to be a clever and willing character assassin. He’s willing to exploit the prejudices of the American public and ignite racial tensions to win power for his side. He just needs some training on how to cover his tracks better.
The RNC has shown with this invitation that they are very impressed with Breitbart’s willingness to take aim at Shirley Sherrod, one of the great heroes of the 20th century, and assassinate her character, her career and her legacy. Yes, they publicly apologized because they had to, but this invitation is Michael Steele’s way of telling Breitbart that he liked his work.
Even more disturbing than the invitation to next month’s fundraiser is the role Breitbart has been asked to play. He, along with Michael Steele, will be talking about strategies on how to win the upcoming election.
That’s right. Breitbart isn’t only a guest. He’ll be addressing the group as a strategist. His approach to politics is one of deliberate deceit, crushing the reputations of
And when they invited this discredited, disgraced blogger to talk strategy regarding the upcoming midterm, the RNC has essentially announced they intend to use that strategy of deceit, slander and exploitation of our lowest, basest fears and prejudices.
All of this should make me very angry, but it doesn’t. It just makes me sad.
Because the truth is that their strategy could very well work and that just makes me want to weep for my country.
It blows my mind knowing full well that there are a lot of people out there who are not going to see through this.
And I’m not talking about delusional simpletons, either. These are people I know are smart and reasonable and should know better.
I have friends and family, people who are compassionate and intelligent, who I respect, who will refuse to see that the RNC is purposely rewarding a man who deliberately tried to destroy one of the heroes of the civil rights movement in a revenge hit against the NAACP for their criticism of the tea party movement.
It doesn’t matter what your ideology is.
The fact that in recent years, people have jumped to defend the most unconscionable acts of the people who will help them keep their power is sickening.
There is no sense any more that wrong is wrong.
There are conservatives who are honorable. I know many of them. As a socialist, I have to say they are absolutely wrong about everything, but they are my neighbors, family members and friends and they genuinely believe the path the right has chiseled out is good for our country.
Once again, good people can be mistaken as hell and I have no choice but to fight them every step of the way in the political arena. But many of these people, I know for a fact are not malicious.
So, how can they put up with these horrible men who have hijacked what they believe are honorable values?
How can they tolerate Rove and Steele and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush and I could fill a whole paragraph, but I won’t.
I’ve gone on long enough. I’m going to sum it up with this.
Debate, discourse and arguments are good. They keep us sharp and they make us rethink everything. We see things in different lights because we disagree with others and nothing could be healthier. Republicans and Democrats should all have at least one Socialist friend like me to tell them that there’s a better way. And it’s good for me to hear the other side from someone I care about and respect rather than some dick on the radio who I can easily hate. It gives me perspective.
But there are people out there who are hurting the debate. It’s people like Breitbart who have taken the honesty out of honest disagreement.
And if anyone cares, I'm listening to:
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
Respected Swedish lawmaker Fredrick Federlev, who also happens to be a cross-dresser, said, “There is some kind of passion for social justice here, that everybody should be treated the same.”
In spite of the advances in gay rights over the past decades, it is all but unimaginable to think of a gay American President, much less a President entering into a gay marriage.
This is a sharp contrast to many Catholic dominated countries like
When she heard about the Icelandic leader’s marriage,
"In the current climate of
I don't know how much I have to add to this. I'm of two minds on this one.
I think it's great that it's finally happening. Parts of the world at least are waking up and realizing that some things just aren't their goddamn business.
But there's still a part of me that truly feels that if we were as advanced as we believed, this wouldn't be news.
As Mr. Tatchell said, we ought not to even care.
And if you care, I'm listening to:
Mark Clements spent 28 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. On Monday, he and a group of activists and other torture victims found themselves in the federal court building in downtown
Clements choked up when he heard the news. Burge had been convicted of all counts against him: one count of lying under oath and two counts of obstruction of justice.
Jon Burge is a former Chicago Police Lieutenant who led unit of cops that tortured black suspects in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Burge’s trial lasted five weeks. Five victims testified about how they signed false confessions after being suffocated, electrically shocked, beaten and threatened with guns placed in their mouths.
Burge was not on trial for the tortures themselves, but for lying under oath in a 2003 civil lawsuit about what he knew about the torture. The statute of limitations on the tortures ran out long ago.
Mark Clements was 16 years old when he was tortured by men under Burge into signing a false confession. He cried when he talked about how he felt about Burge’s conviction.
“My daughter is 29 years old,” said Clements through sobs. “I missed all those years with my daughter, sitting in those prison cells for a crime I didn't commit. I do not feel sorry for Jon Burge."
Many call the guilty verdict significant. One juror said it was hard to find a police officer guilty because most people, by instinct believe an officer’s side of the story. Many human rights groups believe that is why
Whether or not this verdict reflects a shift in the public’s willingness to hold police accountable for their actions is not clear, but Clements said that he’s “Relieved that at least one of these people is now going to finally feel the pain.”
And that was the objective story I wrote. Good work. Straight and to the point without a lot of my input.
Now that I'm here on my own time, I can commentate, right? (Right, Josh, go nuts!) Because writing that without bursting out into a tirade took a lot of self-control and I think I've earned a rant.
Okay, forget the fact that innocent men like Mark Clements, Ronnie Kitchen, Melvin Jones, Martin Reeves and countless others suffered at the hands of police like Burge and his thugs. Forget the 22 torture victims who are still in prison because of confessions that were forced from them.
Wait, don't forget them. Never forget it. Let's just put it aside for a second so I can make an intellectual appeal to those reading this who aren't the bleeding heart type.
Because I know what many of you are thinking.
You're thinking, even if you're not going to say it out loud, that at least some of these guys probably did the crimes they were locked away for, regardless of whether their confessions were beaten out of them.
Actually, I take that back. I've gotten tired of making intellectual appeals to people who don't care.
Are you really okay with police doing anything they want with impunity? Have you stopped to think what kind of person wants to become a cop under those circumstances?
Two kinds of people: naive idealists who really want to help people and Droogies.
This is about living in a society that allows monsters to be police. Nothing gives a sadistic bully a hard-on like the idea of walking around with a gun, a badge and absolute impunity. And as long as we refuse to hold police accountable, we will have psychopaths lining up, just itching to join the force.
This isn't an insult to police who truly want to help their fellow man. Quite the opposite.
If we let the thugs and monsters blend in with them, then we're dishonoring all of them, aren't we?
So try to understand that celebrating the conviction of Jon Burge has nothing to do with hating cops.
Next stop, Stark County, Ohio. If there is a God and if he is just, maybe Sheriff Tim Swanson and the 7 sexual predators he has been protecting will be prosecuted at some point.
But that's another post. And you know what? I think it's gonna come soon.
And in case any of you care, I know I should be listening to Rage Against the Machine or N.W.A. or something like that given the topic, but I'm in an ethereal pop mood, so I'm listening to a gorgeous new 180g re-release of:
Friday, June 11, 2010
My family is grieving with you and praying for your family.
Thank you for everything and we love you.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Actual liberals have been all-but banished from the Democratic Party.
Ask yourself, do we have any heroes in America like Marek Edelman, who left us this past October? Uncompromising and fierce, even in the face of death, even in the face of the scorn of his countrymen and allies?
The Democrats will not get their shit together on issues like marriage equality or reproductive rights and they have caved on every economic issue there is.
The Clinton 90's heralded an era of Democratic Reaganomics.
The Democrats are now on the wrong side on the death penalty, the war on crime, the war on drugs, and more or less every other aspect of both our foreign and domestic policy.
Gains are small and usually immediately taken away. Resistance is met with either scorn, or muscle.
We, the left, caught a great deal of grief from the Democratic Party when we dared to refuse to support Gore and Lieberman who might as well be Republicans.
I’m sorry, but you can’t move that far to the right and then complain that the left has abandoned you.
And anyone who has spoken out in the last eight years, from Ward Churchill to Bill Maher to the Dixie Chicks can tell you what it’s like be responded to with simple, brutal, unmoving force.
And now, we are at a crossroads. Did we really mean what we said when we voted for change, or are we just jerking off?
Are we pissed off enough about this recession to demand that the people we just put into office reverse the past 28 years of systematic deregulation that led to this whole mess?
The hubris of the last eight years, the prioritizing of power over party, and party over country has imploded the Republican Party and we have been given a magnificent opportunity. It would be a crime to waste it. But the Democrats have indeed wasted the opportunity.
They could not get meaningful health care for all Americans even with a Super-majority in both houses. You know why? Because they didn't fucking try!
They talked of bi-partisanship as if it were the primary virtue for any politician. As if making friends with the enemy were more important than principle.
They've put Blackwater into Pakistan for Christ's sake!
No more. I've come to a crucial decision. When you choose between the lesser of two evils, you are still choosing evil.
Go ahead and tell me I'm throwing my vote away.
But from now on, every vote will go to a Socialist, Green or Independent candidate.
I used to think the Democrats' problem was weakness. Now I see that it's a lack of conviction.
And for the record, to you, the Democratic Party, you left us. Adieu.
Friday, May 21, 2010
They have their own pre-written message, but I suggest writing your own. I think when politicians get the same thing over and over they tend to think a lot of people are clicking without thinking and probably don't give it the weight they should.
So, in the hopes that Sen. Bond, Sen. McCaskill and Rep. Graves will actually read something I took the time to compose myself, here's what I wrote:
With due respect, the arrogance with which we are fighting this war is staggering.
I know that you are educated. You don't get to where you are if you're not smart.
No superpower in history has been able to conquer
First, the terrain is prime for defense and second, this is not a culture that surrenders. EVER.
What's happening there now is a civil war and we have got to get out. Please, I care about my country too much to stand by and watch it continue in its imperialism.
I'm writing to ask that you support legislation introduced by Senator Feingold (S.3197) or Representatives McGovern and Jones (H.R. 5015) requiring the president to submit to Congress a plan for the "safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan."
President Obama promised change and he has not delivered it. It is up to the legislative branch to stand up and get our troops out of
Please, don't let any more of them die over there.
Please don't let any more of our young people become killers.
Thank you for listening.
Joshua D. Lucht