Friday, February 17, 2006

Brain Strained And Craving Humorous Distraction Of A Distinctly Mocking, Whedony Type

This made Codemorse laugh.

Laugh, Codemorse, laugh.*

Monkeyman meets Joss Whedon


*somewhat maniacally, and with the subtlest hint of onsetting insanity.

Portraits In Rage II


From the NY Times:


CAMBRIDGE, Md., Feb. 11 — House Republicans descended in force upon this Eastern Shore community for three days to ponder their political and policy future and ended up talking about "the Force."

Hunkered down at a retreat intended to help them regain their footing after a corruption scandal and a leadership shake-up, about 180 lawmakers were treated to a film spoof that portrayed Republicans as the "Star Wars" heroes being pursued by the evil Democratic empire led by "Darth Nancy." That would be Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader.

"After a decade of exile, the evil Democratic empire has created their most fearsome henchman to date, a mighty machine built to regain the majority once and for all," said the text that scrolled at the opening of the parody, which superimposed Ms. Pelosi's face on the movie villain.

Spooooooooky.

Yes, yes....I'm on the humorless "left," and don't understand these sorts of fun lil' jabs. But here's the thing: How much would you like to bet that, had this film been shown to Dems with Bush or Cheney superimposed on Vader's face, every single yammering pundit in the new Authoritarian cult would be calling out for public apologies over the defacement of our dear leader?

Because I'm not a betting man, but when I see a sure thing, I take it.

This joins Codemorse's Portraits Of Rage series because one of the emergent hallmarks of the cult is their inability to take a joke, especially at their expense. Also because it further illustrates a desire to motivate through empty rhetoric, emotional manipulation, and apparently, the abuse of copyright.

Unfortunately for the chortling beneficiaries of this thing, Darth Pelosi is strong in the Force (insert menacing breathing here).

From Yahoo:

The "empire" soon struck back, as Pelosi and other Democrats announced that Star Wars director George Lucas would be appearing with them at a town hall-style meeting at the Capitol next week.


Portraits In Rage



I've decided that, in addition to serving as a dumping-ground for political minutia, entertainment tidbits, religious speculation, and the random musings of my fevered, twitterpated mind, Codemorse should be pointing out evidence of the virulent, inexplicable rage that's so omnipresent in the "conservative" culture these days.

As always, I put "conservative" in "quotes" because, as Glenn Greenwald stated so elequently, these people aren't conservatives at all. They're cultists.

Exhibit A: Now you too can "Annoy A Liberal!" Yes, contribute valuably to our nation's fragmented political discourse by baiting those that disagree with you! And advertise this putrescence with a woman sticking her ass into the camera! You know! For the troops!

I'd link to the site where I found this trash, but I have this policy about not rewarding assholes.

Building Castles In The Overpriced Sand




I've posted a few times in the past couple of months to pimp the newly-released album by the Philosopher Kings. The PK's are, for lack of a better and more Disney-esque family phrase, fuckin' phenomenal.

I'd like to buy their new album, but I promised my lady that I'd hold off. I think she wants to buy it for me (which is sweet, thoughtful, and agonizing, as it's been available for days now). But because the PK's come from Canada - that mysterious, wooded kingdom of the north - you can't simply waltz into an overpriced Virgin Megastore and shell out your cash for "Castles," their new disc. No, you have to order it.

So, I thought I'd do a little pokin' around to see about prices, availability, and shipping.

What did I find? Amazon.com is selling the thing for $33 and change. That sound you hear is my unbelieving, mocking laughter. The day I pay that kind of money for any cd not actually dipped in valuable liquid platinum is the day I'll go and get my buttocks augmented with implants (so, next Thursday).

Apparently, this is not simply Amazon's attempt to fleece us blind. Best Buy is offering it for the low, low price of $34.99.

Was there some sort of rip in the time/space continuum that has severed Canada from the rest of the world? Is there some sort of inter-dimensional music tax being levied on cd's from those crazy canucks? I can only surmise that, yes, this is the case.

What's remarkable, and infuriating even, is that on Amazon's site you can purchase the same cd for $12, provided you go through their "new and used" section.

I recommend that you do this, because $12 is very reasonable. I then recommend that you contact Sony Canada, Amazon, and Best Buy, and let them know that, interdimensional space/time rifts or not, $33 for a cd is goddamn highway robbery.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Yuck

From ABC News:


ANNAPOLIS, Md. Feb 15, 2006 (AP)— State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer reacted angrily Wednesday to questions about whether he may have offended an aide to Gov. Robert Ehrlich at a meeting of the Board of Public Works.

After the young woman brought him a beverage at Wednesday morning's meeting at the State House, Schaefer stared intently as she walked back to the governor's office. Then, just as she reached the door, he summoned her back as people waiting to testify before the board watched.

When the aide, looking puzzled, returned to the table, Schaefer told her, "Walk again," and watched her as she made the second trip to the exit.

When reporters asked him after the meeting about the incident, he called their interest "dumb." He said "this little girl" ought to be "happy that I observed her going out the door."

"The one who is offended is me," the Democratic comptroller told reporters.

"She's a pretty little girl," he said. "The day I don't look at pretty women is the day I die."


WOW.

Who says chilvalry is dead? Not Mr. Schaefer, that's for sure.

There's a special level of hell reserved for people like this guy. Where they're made to walk an endless runway in the nude as satan's cackling minions cat-call and throw crumpled dollar bills at their sagging, humiliated flesh.


You Are All Criminals

From EFF Deeplinks:


It is no secret that the entertainment oligopolists are not happy about space-shifting and format-shifting. But surely ripping your own CDs to your own iPod passes muster, right? In fact, didn't they admit as much in front of the Supreme Court during the MGM v. Grokster argument last year?

Apparently not.

If the industry gets its way, music we purchase will only be available for listening if we're strapped into a monitored booth and made to feed it quarters.




Rural Firefighters Play Sopranos

From News-leader.com:

Monett — Rural firefighters stood by and watched a fire destroy a garage and a vehicle because the property owner, who was injured battling the flames, had not paid membership dues.

Monett Rural Fire Department Chief Ronnie Myers defended the policy, saying the membership-based organization could not survive if people thought the department would respond for free. The department said it will fight a fire without question if a life is believed to be in danger.

Myers said he would make an effort to explain the membership policy to the area’s new Hispanic residents after the property’s owner, Bibaldo Rueda, said he had never been told of the dues policy since moving there 1 1/2 years ago.


How "nice" of Myers. The article goes on to say that Rueda offered to pay them, but that the department "has no policy for on-the-spot billing."

Unbelievable.

(link courtesy of Fark.com)

Muslims Begin Consuming Flora In Protest

From CNN.com:


Tehran, Iran (AP) -- Iranians love Danish pastries, but when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed."

Bakeries across the capital were covering up their ads for Danish pastries Thursday after the confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for caricatures of the Muslim prophet published in a Danish newspaper.

"Given the insults by Danish newspapers against the prophet, as of now the name of Danish pastries will give way to 'Rose of Mohammed' pastries," the union said in its order.

"This is a punishment for those who started misusing freedom of expression to insult the sanctities of Islam..."

Irony, thy name is Islam. Yes, irate and pastry-eating Muslims, punish those who have 'misused' freedom of expression by forbidding the use of the words 'danish pastries."

This entire excerpt would not be out of place in a Simpsons episode.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Codemorse Collides With Claymation


The new-and-improved Collider.com is up and running. Go check out my review of Will Vinton's Claymation opus, The Adventures of Mark Twain.

Greetings, Salutations, Welkom, Willkommen, Bienvenue

I'd like to take a moment to welcome our new readers from Akron, Ohio, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Brussels, Belgium(!). It's great to have y'all here, and I encourage you to use the comments section.

Hope everyone's enjoying the site "upgrade." As always, Codemorse struggles valiantly to be both stimulating to the mind, and easy on the eyes. Like that girl who played Winnie Cooper on the Wonder Years.

Jonah Goldbergissa Re-explains It All

Jonah Goldberg responds to the Glenn Greenwald post I highlighted the other day:

This quote by Glenn Greenwald is objectively inaccurate and stupid and yet Andrew Sullivan makes it his "quote of the day" and says it "accurately" diagnoses the current situation. Greenwald writes:

It used to be the case that in order to be considered a "liberal" or someone "of the Left," one had to actually ascribe to liberal views on the important policy issues of the day – social spending, abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, immigration, "judicial activism," hate speech laws, gay rights, utopian foreign policies, etc. etc. These days, to be a "liberal," such views are no longer necessary.

Now, in order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required – a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush. The minute one criticizes him is the minute that one becomes a "liberal," regardless of the ground on which the criticism is based. And the more one criticizes him, by definition, the more "liberal" one is. Whether one is a "liberal" -- or, for that matter, a "conservative" -- is now no longer a function of one’s actual political views, but is a function purely of one’s personal loyalty to George Bush."

Me: I defy either of them to attempt to demonstrate this assertion factually. Andrew has quoted countless conservatives' criticisms of the President (the merits of the criticism vary widely). They aren't all suddenly liberals -- even in the eyes of Bush "loyalists" -- for criticizing Bush. Just off the top of my head: John McCain, Bob Barr, Pat Buchanan (and the entire staff and contributor's list of The American Conservative), the whole gang at Cato, everyone on the right who opposed the Miers nomination, Christopher DeMuth, Robert George, George Will, Brian Riedl and the usual slew of deficit hawks and many, many others. Oh: I should also probably add that National Review opposed the formation of the Dept of Homeland Security, published very, very critical pieces and editorials against Bush's spending priorities, immigration proposal, various nominations -- including Miers -- his drug policy, his faith-based initiative, his punting on affirmative action and Title IX and lord knows what else. I personally have criticized Bush countless times, and it's pretty much a staple of every speech I give for me to denounce "compassionate conservatism."

Now, I really could go on for a very long time but I don't see why it's necessary, since Greenwald and, by extension, Andrew are absolutist and categorical. In none of the above cases am I aware of an instance where these various voices were automatically and unreflectingly labled "liberal" by anyone of any substance or prominence on the Right. None of these people have pledged "blind loyalty" to Bush and Andrew should know better. Simply because he gets a lot of email calling him a liberal doesn't mean he represents a trend, a cause or a movement. As for Greenwald: I really couldn't care less.

[Note: some typos fixed from earlier post]

Gosh, Jonah....You sound kind of, well, angry.

Goldberg's examples of non-Bush worshipping conservatives don't answer the fundamental point of Greenwald's article, and it's this sort of evasiveness that I find most infuriating about the new breed of neo-con. Sure, Jonah. Not EVERY conservative is an ardent cultist. Greenwald never claims otherwise. He's writing about a very specific breed of conservative, and you've back-handedly proven his point by refusing to engage substantively the argument he poses, choosing instead to reframe that argument so as to completely and utterly dismiss him.

"As for Greenwald: I really couldn't care less." Mr. Goldberg, that sentence does more to negate your argument than any amount of words on my part could do.




A Very Special Post

An interesting film trailer for you folk:

Special

(link courtesy of Chud.com)



Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Co-edmorse

Jennifer Roback Morse (!) is interviewed over on the National Review Online, about "Smart Sex," and it's worth a read.

Jennifer Roback Morse, who taught economics at Yale and George Mason University, is author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love in a Hook-up World, which is much more fundamental than joint bank accounts.

Jennifer Roback Morse: I don't think you'd be surprised to learn that many forms of recreational sex often turn out to be quite foolish, and incidentally, not much fun. Every mature person realizes the potential dangers and disappointments of hooking up, shacking up and just plain messing around. The real surprise is to learn how systematic these disappointments are, and to learn the underlying problem that makes these disappointments so common.

Morse: I think the key is that everyone wants to matter, especially to their sex partners. We have created a world in which we treat sex as a private recreational activity, with no moral or social significance. But when sex is a recreational activity, my partner becomes a consumer good. And we all know what we do with consumer goods that cease to satisfy: We get rid of them. In this world of consumer sex, it is socially acceptable to use other people. But no one really wants to be used. I think that is the ultimate source of our disappointments with the modern consumer-sex approach.


Y'know, despite my innate adverse reaction to the National Review, I think Ms. Morse makes a lot of good points in her interview. Best of all, it seems backed up by the sort of scientifically-supported, reasoned thought that seems so lacking from so-called "conservative" positions these days.

Do I think that she's correct in her assertions? Well, yes and no. I don't think that casual sex is, in and of itself, a terrible thing. As much as there are natural, biological reasons for commitment, there are reasons for the urges of "consumer good" sex, too. But I also think that Ms. Morse is right about a lot of what she says. There is a certain degradation attached to the "commercialization" of sex, and its especially detrimental to young women, who believe they have to drink as much and fuck as much as men to be accepted.

Either way, I do think its a good read. I understand what Roy is saying over at alicublog (from which I got the link to this), but I think it's more nuanced than that.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Is John Lasseter The Secret Repository For Walt Disney's Brain?

From Seward Street:

And then I get a call tonight from a friend who has a friend who heard from a friend that at a meeting tonight with Lasseter that he was talking all about bringing back the glory of Disney traditional 2D animation. How Pixar animators would not be tied down to their digital desktops. If someone wanted to work on a 2D film, they would be allowed to - probably even encouraged. That they are planning on bringing all those beautiful old animation desks out of that pathetic storage shed next to the Burbank airport and might even bring back shorts - hand-drawn animated shorts!


Oh, please, let this be true.

Handdrawn 2D animation is a goddamn art form. Sure, much of it is passable, Korean pablum, but the Disney films, even at their most inspid and uninspired, are beautiful to look at.

The prospect of John Lasseter reinventing the Disney brand after decades of ham-fisted, stumbling-through-the-door-at-3am-stinking-of-booze-and-loose-women abuse at the hands of Micheal Eisner makes me all giddy n' stuff.

Teddy MuthaFunkin' Roosevelt: The Movie

What kind of nerd am I if THIS is the most exciting movie news I've heard so far this year?

What it boils down to is that Martin Scorsese is going to be directing a film about the life of Teddy Roosevelt, titled "THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT" and they will be filming for a month or two, in the near future, at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace. I also learned that Theodore Roosevelt will be played by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio.

No matter the particular species, a nerd I be.

Arrrr.

Happy Birthday, Codemorse

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Codemorse.*

In honor of this most excellent event, I've decided to play around with the look of the site. Bear with me for a day or two while I attempt to iron out the kinks.

*presents, gold, well-wishes, myrhh, and animal sacrifices all welcomed. Contact morsematthew77@hotmail.com for shipping details.




John McClane Explains Some More

From Chud.com:

Q: You are one of the few major Hollywood stars who are proud to be Republican...

Willis: Let me stop you right there. I'm a Republican — and everybody write this down because I'm sick of answering this fucking question.

Q: Can I continue

Willis: You can continue, but let me answer that part of it. I'm a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government intrusion, I want them to stop pissing on my money and your money, the tax dollars that we give 50 per cent of or 40 per cent of every year, and I want them to be fiscally responsible, and I want these goddamn lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and I'll say I'm a Republican. But other than that, I want the government to take care of people who need help, like the kids in foster care, the half a million kids who are in orphanages right now, they call them foster homes but they're orphanages. I want them to take care of the elderly and give them free medicine, give them whatever they need. There's tons, billions and billions of dollars that are just being wasted. Okay? I hate government. I'm apolitical. Write that down. I'm not a Republican.

Heh.

Glen-issa Explains It All

You know that feeling you get when you're attempting to explain something complicated, and someone else comes along and sums it all up with an ease you'd never have been able to muster? That combination of respect and jealousy? Well, Glenn Greenwald just summed it up. I urge you to click that link and read the full thing. It's amazingly well-reasoned and performs the admirable trick of expressing my thoughts for me. Below, a lengthy excerpt:

It used to be the case that in order to be considered a "liberal" or someone "of the Left," one had to actually ascribe to liberal views on the important policy issues of the day – social spending, abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, immigration, "judicial activism," hate speech laws, gay rights, utopian foreign policies, etc. etc. These days, to be a "liberal," such views are no longer necessary.

Now, in order to be considered a "liberal," only one thing is required – a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George W. Bush. The minute one criticizes him is the minute that one becomes a "liberal," regardless of the ground on which the criticism is based. And the more one criticizes him, by definition, the more "liberal" one is. Whether one is a "liberal" -- or, for that matter, a "conservative" -- is now no longer a function of one’s actual political views, but is a function purely of one’s personal loyalty to George Bush.

That "conservatism" has come to mean "loyalty to George Bush" is particularly ironic given how truly un-conservative the Administration is. It is not only the obvious (though significant) explosion of deficit spending under this Administration – and that explosion has occurred far beyond military or 9/11-related spending and extends into almost all arenas of domestic programs as well. Far beyond that is the fact that the core, defining attributes of political conservatism could not be any more foreign to the world view of the Bush follower.

As much as any policy prescriptions, conservatism has always been based, more than anything else, on a fundamental distrust of the power of the federal government and a corresponding belief that that power ought to be as restrained as possible, particularly when it comes to its application by the Government to American citizens. It was that deeply rooted distrust that led to conservatives’ vigorous advocacy of states’ rights over centralized power in the federal government, accompanied by demands that the intrusion of the Federal Government in the lives of American citizens be minimized.

Is there anything more antithetical to that ethos than the rabid, power-hungry appetites of Bush followers?

Indeed, as many Bush followers themselves admit, the central belief of the Bush follower's "conservatism" is no longer one that ascribes to a limited federal government -- but is precisely that there ought to be no limits on the powers claimed by Bush precisely because we trust him, and we trust in him absolutely. He wants to protect us and do good. He is not our enemy but our protector. And there is no reason to entertain suspicions or distrust of him or his motives because he is Good.

The blind faith placed in the Federal Government, and particularly in our Commander-in-Chief, by the contemporary "conservative" is the very opposite of all that which conservatism has stood for for the last four decades. The anti-government ethos espoused by Barry Goldwater and even Ronald Reagan is wholly unrecognizable in Bush followers, who – at least thus far – have discovered no limits on the powers that ought to be vested in George Bush to enable him to do good on behalf of all of us.

And in that regard, people like Michelle Malkin, John Hinderaker, Jonah Goldberg and Hugh Hewitt are not conservatives. They are authoritarian cultists.

[T]he core emotions driving the Bush extremists are not hard to see. It is a driving rage and hatred – for liberals, for Muslims, for anyone who opposes George Bush. The rage and desire to destroy is palpable. When John Hinderaker removes those tightly-wound glasses and lets go of the death grip he maintains on the respectable-corporate-lawyer facade, these are the sentiments which are always stirring underneath:

You dumb shit, he didn't get access using a fake name, he used his real name. You lefties' concern for White House security is really touching, but you know what, you stupid asshole, I think the Secret Service has it covered. Go crawl back into your hole, you stupid left-wing shithead. And don't bother us anymore. You have to have an IQ over 50 to correspond with us. You don't qualify, you stupid shit.

The rhetoric of Bush followers is routinely comprised of these sorts of sentiments dressed up in political language – accusations that domestic political opponents are subversives and traitors, that they ought to be imprisoned and hung, that we ought to drop nuclear bombs on countries which have committed the crime of housing large Muslim populations. These are not political sentiments, and they’re certainly not conservatives sentiments, but instead, are psychological desires finding a venting ground in a political movement.

It’s not an accident that Ann Coulter and her ongoing calls for violence against "liberals" (meaning anyone not in line behind George Bush) are so wildly popular among conservatives. It’s not some weird coincidence that the 5,000 people in attendance at the CPAC this last week erupted in "boisterous ovation" when she urged violence against "ragheads,’ nor is it an accident that her hateful, violence-inciting screeds -- accusing "liberals" of being not wrong, but "treasonous" -- become best-sellers.

[W]hat I hear, first and foremost, from these Bush following corners is this, in quite a shrieking tone: "Oh, my God - there are all of these evil people trying to kill us, George Bush is doing what he can to save us, and these liberals don’t even care!!! They’re on their side and they deserve the same fate!!!" It doesn’t even sound like political argument; it sounds like a form of highly emotional mass theater masquerading as political debate. It really sounds like a personality cult. It is impervious to reasoned argument and the only attribute is loyalty to the leader. Whatever it is, it isn’t conservative.


God, I love and hate you, Glenn Greenwald. Why can you explain things so darn good?

(link courtesy of dailykos)



Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chicken Apocalypse

From the High Springs Herald:

HIGH SPRINGS — After seeing High Springs firefighters toting rifles through a neighborhood and shooting at chickens last week, residents said they are infuriated....Residents said they were not notified that the shooting would happen, that they worried about the safety of their children and pets, and that firefighters ran through private property without permission.

When the shooting was over, residents said they were left to deal with injured chickens and a bloody mess.

....50 wild chickens that nested in the woods surrounding the area had begun to leave the woods and cause trouble for residents. Roosters crowed at street lights at all hours of the night. Hens tore up yards and left feces in them for residents to step in. The fowl stood in the streets and upheld traffic.When the cars in the neighborhood were parked, the chickens flew atop them to roost and left scratches.

Some residents even complained that they were afraid to leave their homes because the roosters were aggressive and chased people.

Code enforcement officials were first enlisted to capture the animals, but the chickens’ speed and ability to fly made attempts nearly impossible....Traps with high quality feed inside them were put out to lure in the chickens, but after a hen was captured, roosters started to guard the traps and keep chickens away from them, Drumm said.

Officials put alcohol in the birds’ food to try to slow them down, but that didn’t work either, Drumm said.

You'd think they were dealing with a race of hyper-intelligent Super-Chickens from reading this.

The Chickens' speed and ability to fly made capture "nearly impossible?" For God's sake, people - they're Chickens, not winged cheetahs.

Stories like this continue to make me happy to live on the godless, heathen, liberal streets of New York City, where we prefer to shoot unarmed black people, not farm animals.

How Many Polish People Does It Take To Make A Movie Poster?




Apparently, movie posters in Poland are just bizarre. Take a look at some odd (and sometimes, very beautiful) film poster designs from the country previously best known for screen-doored submarines HERE.

(link courtesy of fark.com)