Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sweet Serenity

As September welcomes us into her generous bosom, the opening of Serenity draws closer. Like the unrepentant fan that I am, the notion's got me anticipating September 30th with the sort of excitement reserved for rock concerts. Yes, I'm a bit of a nerd.

But in my defense, Serenity promises to be genuinely great. Firefly the television show (which Serenity is a continuation of) was a terrific drama with entertaining action, wit, and emotion. From everything I've seen so far, Serenity the movie promises to take everything that made the show so very enjoyable, and amp it all up to cinema-sized proportions. Better still, you don't need to have ever watched the show to enjoy the film (or so all reports say).

Best of all, you don't need to enjoy science fiction to enjoy Firefly and, one assumes, Serenity. All you need to enjoy is well written, witty dialogue, great characters, and assured storytelling. Any fan of Unforgiven, Cool Hand Luke, Die Hard, or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will most likely enjoy Serenity.

Here's the film's website. Take a look around. Then mark your calendars for the weekend of the 30th.

Photographic Opportunities

I was pointed by a friendly reader to this report from U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu - issued Saturday afternoon.

But perhaps the greatest disappointment stands at the breached 17th Street levee. Touring this critical site yesterday with the President, I saw what I believed to be a real and significant effort to get a handle on a major cause of this catastrophe. Flying over this critical spot again this morning, less than 24 hours later, it became apparent that yesterday we witnessed a hastily prepared stage set for a Presidential photo opportunity; and the desperately needed resources we saw were this morning reduced to a single, lonely piece of equipment. The good and decent people of southeast Louisiana and the Gulf Coast
– black and white, rich and poor, young and old – deserve far better from their national government.


Testify, sister. I don't know what's more pathetic, actually; is it the belief that no one will notice the blatant photo op and subsequent disappearance of aid to the 17th st. levee? Or is it the fact that they appear to be right in that belief.

People who think that I'm a "Bush basher" on the issue of Katrina miss the point entirely. Our government, as a whole, has been inexcusably slow, half-assed, and incompetent. And as the head of that Government, Bush is reasonably and rationally the man most able to correct the sort of relief effort we've handed out thus far.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Point/Counterpoint

In "real life," my best friend's a dyed-in-the-wool conservative. He and I have the good fortune of liking each other enough as people not to start grunting and beating the other about the face and hands for espousing opposite political beliefs.

Some of our conversations get pretty entertaining. For a dialogue on Bush, the present administration, Hurricane Katrina, and 9-11, click HERE.

Thursday, September 1st: The Round-Up

From dailykos:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went shoe shopping on Fifth Avenue, but not before she played tennis and yukked it up at Spamalot.

The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael D. Brown: "Paula, the federal government did not even know about the Convention Center people until today."
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The Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert: maybe we should just forget all about rebuilding New Orleans.
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The Pentagon, headed by Donald Rumsfeld, reassured America that, yes, the Country music hoedown with Clint Black on September 11th is still on.


The head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman, sent out an email stressing that now---for God's sake, people---NOW is the time when we must repeal that which is causing our country to go down the tubes: the estate tax.
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And Vice President Dick Cheney was still on vacation.

A Damn Good Question

There is massive death and massive chaos going on in New Orleans. Shouldn’t American citizens be getting airdropped MREs the same way we airdropeed MREs to Afghan and Iraqi citizens? Shouldn’t there be National Guard troops patrolling the streets of New Orleans and keeping the peace?


(courtesy of oliver willis)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Accountability: Not Just An SAT Word

When our President is aware of the need for Urban Flood Control funding over one year before Katrina hits our shores, when this same President was aware months prior to 9-11 that Bin Laden planned to attack the United States, and yet manages to be asleep at the wheel in not one, but TWO unprecedented disasters, we as a people need to begin demanding accountability. Not in the name of partisan politics, but in the name of those who are being torn from their homes, their families, and their lives by missteps and oversights.

From U.S.Army Corps:

In authorizing the project, Congress expressed intent to have the critical flood control work accomplished as quickly as possible. The current budget funding for FY 2006 will prevent the award of contracts. This will significantly increase the cost of the project, delay project completion, and delay project benefits.

Humanitarian Effort Is Not Political

There's a "Liberal Blogs For Hurricane Relief" donation site that's being touted around the internets, but I can't help but feel that any sort of partisan push at this point in time is misguided and ill-timed.

Donate to the Red Cross directly. Being human isn't a Liberal or Republican practice. Acting in a humanitarian fashion requires no party allegiance.

Vacant Stare Addresses The Nation

Is anyone watching Bush's live press conference?

I'm rarely happy with his performance in general, but I'm practically furious with his performance today. Not only is he unable to speak with any conviction or reassurance, he seems equally unable to read his pre-prepared speech with anything resembling interest.

He looks confused, addled, annoyed, and over his head.

Why weren't we as a country already planning for the inevitable destruction? Why is no one discussing the cuts made to Hurricane and disaster relief last year? Why does this administration get a free ride on everything?

Why do birds suddenly appear? Everytime you are near?

Liberality For All: The Interview!

Read Part I of my interview with conservative comic-book creator Mike Mackey HERE.

Part II is available HERE.

Scroll down to see the newest posts here at Codemorse.

Get Some Cox In Your Diet

Brian Cox is one of my very favorite actors, ever. You know him as the original Hannibal Lecter in Michael Mann's Manhunter, Argyle Wallace in Braveheart ("We shall have to remedy that!"), Dr. Nelson Guggenheim in Rushmore, Ward Abbott in both Jason Bourne films, Ed Norton's father in the 25th Hour, Colonel William Stryker in X2, and, most importantly, Captain John O'Hagan in the criminally-underseen Super Troopers ("When they get that syrup in them, they get all antsy in their pantsy!").

The man's a cinematic deity.

So, its with no small amount of excitement that I see he'll be joining the stellar cast of Deadwood for season three. A kick-ass show with a top-notch cast gets one hell of a thespian.

'Cause I'm Lost Like Stephen Schwartz In The Wilderness

EW.com's popwatch site has some pretty tingly-type tidbits on Season 2 of the weirdest show on prime-time television - Lost.
"...as for what's in the hatch, we'll find out during the premiere, though
Terry O'Quinn (Locke) and the other stars hinted that the revelation will only raise more questions. "My initial reaction was 'That's not huge enough,''' O'Quinn says. ''But my second reaction was 'How could it be, with all the buildup?''' [Matthew] Fox is a bit more reassuring. ''It's gonna blow your mind,'' he promises."

Season 1 comes out next week on DVD. Be good Americans and consume.

Y Chromosome Triumphantly "Sticking Around"

NEW YORK (AP) -- The human Y chromosome -- the DNA chunk that makes a man a man -- has lost so many genes over evolutionary time
that some scientists have suspected it might disappear in 10 million years. But a new study says it will stick around.

I, for one, am thrilled.

(from cnn.com)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Gavin Rossdale Missing From Bush Concert


Even a dyed-in-the-wool liberal has to admit that's a bitchin' guitar. I want the Presidential Seal on my acoustic. Immediately.

And the picture helps to nicely buttress the Union Leader's editorial posted below. Why was Bush doing this, and not already elbow-deep in Hurricane relief efforts?

How Government Works

(From the NY Times)
WASHINGTON -- A high-ranking Food and Drug Administration official resigned Wednesday in protest over the agency's refusal to allow over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception.

The FDA last Friday postponed indefinitely its decision on whether to allow the morning-after pill, called Plan B, to be sold without a prescription. The agency said it was safe for adults to use without a doctor's guidance but was unable to decide how to keep it out of the hands of young teenagers without a prescription -- a decision contrary to the advice of its own scientific advisers.

"I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled," wrote Wood, who also was assistant commissioner for women's health.

Good, honest, hardworking men and women who've devoted their lives to public service are jumping ship as the government that claims to be "of the people" continues to prove itself otherwise.

Whose interests are being served by the FDA's actions here?

A Conservative Says It Best

AS THE EXTENT of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation became clearer on Tuesday — millions without power, tens of thousands homeless, a death toll unknowable because rescue crews can’t reach some regions — President Bush carried on with his plans to speak in San Diego, as if nothing important had happened the day before.

A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource to rescue the stranded, find and bury the dead, and keep the survivors fed, clothed, sheltered and free of disease.

(courtesy of The Union Leader)

You'll Never Forget Katrina (with apologies to Disney)

I've been at a loss for things to say, these past few days. Hurricane Katrina has sucked the life out of most news coverage, and there's only so many times I can say "give money to the Red Cross," or that I'm sincerely praying for the people affected by this disaster.

Looking at the pictures of the aftermath, I can't help but fear the day that NYC meets its own Katrina.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

Tonight during the Mtv music awards, countless (un?)consciously narcissistic people thanked God for blessing them with talent. Over on CNN the God of the Old Testament bore down on New Orleans like the angels on Sodom.

It's these sorts of things that make me wonder about the nature of the divine.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I Believe I Can Fly, I Believe I Can LipSync A Bizarre "Opera" Whose Characters Include "Rufus" and "Chuck"

Watched a portion of the MTV music video awards last night and was struck by how amazingly old it made me feel. I was also floored by R. Kelly's mondo-bizarro performance art piece. I've seen bits and pieces of "Trapped In The Closet," R. Kelly's supposed R&B "opera," but I've never listened to it for longer than sixteen bars; the melody is maddeningly repetitious in a headache-inducing sort of way.

I was so transfixed by R. Kelly's sloppily lipsynched, Martha Graham-ish solo interpretation of the song that I listened to the entire thing from start to finish. And I've come to the conclusion that R. Kelly is bugfuck crazy. And apparently, so is America.

We all know that R. Kelly stands accused of fourteen counts of child pornography, sexual misconduct with a minor, etc, et al. Yet, unlike Mssr. Michael Jackson, R. Kelly's career has flourished in a real and eyebrow-raising fashion. I think it says a hell of a lot about our nation's attitudes regarding gender. A grown man stands accused by a young boy of touching him inappropriately, and that man is publically, brutally stretched across the coals. He is ostracized, condemned, and will never, ever acheive the level of popularity he once enjoyed.

Another grown man stands accused of some pretty filthy sex with young girls and his album sales soar. According to Mtv News, Kelly had to get permission from the judge in his "child pornography case" in order to perform at the show, where he was greeted by rapturous applause. What's wrong with that picture? And what's wrong with our country?

On a lighter note, "Trapped in the Closet" is the silliest damn song I've ever heard. I wanted to post the end lyrics of the thing, but apparently the live version included brand new lyrics that aren't published yet, and they're the ones that made me laugh the hardest.

The long and the short of it is that Kelly chooses the names "Rufus" and "Chuck" for two of the characters in the song, and there's something like a full minute where the lyrics consist of nothing but "And so Chuck said to Rufus, and then Rufus said to Chuck!" This is sung so passionately, and so often, that it becomes hilarious. Around the twentieth time Relly belted out "Rufus!" I just lost it and started laughing.

I'll find a clip of it online at some point today, and post it for everyone. Comedy, thy name is accused child pornographer.