Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Few, The Proud
Great inspiring video from the US Marines

Twinkie vs. Lazy Decision 2008
Great victory speech by Obama after his SC win. The guy knows how to strike an inspiring tone. It's impossible to dislike the guy.

Obama's rhetoric is like a twinkie - form and mass but no substance. He says nothing and everything at the same time. Amazing.

The Republicans need to stop invoking Reagan's name as shorthand for things they don't take the time to explain. There's a fair portion of the electorate who come into the election having been born after Reagan or during Reagan or with an amnesia of the conditions of the country before Reagan's presidency. Simply saying "I am Reagan too" doesn't cut it. Its meaningless and a sign of laziness if you aren't taking the time to articulate specifics of conservatism that emerged with Buckley and Goldwater in the 50's and culminated with Reagan's ascendancy in the 80's. Its important history and important philosophy and no Republican candidate should pass up the opportunity to explain point for point why it remains vital today.

Being lazy and speaking in code while your potential opponent is promising a big goodie bag isn't going to cut it. If it comes down to Obama's "Yes We Can" versus the Republican's "No We Can't" and the Republican hasn't done the heavy lifting to explain the wisdom of limited government then they can just kiss off the '08 election right now.

Ken Starr Was Right
I'm always humored every time I see one of those aged, faded, and sun bleached bumper stickers proclaiming Anita Hill Was Right. You'll usually see these adorning an old Saab or Volvo.

Well now, given that some on the Left are repulsed by the Clintons use of dirty tricks campaigning we might see a wave of Ken Starr was Right stickers showing up on the bumpers of Beetles, Priuses, Insights, and Elements. Keep an eye out for them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

American Monster
Mrs. Rants and I managed to get in a date night this weekend and drop BabyRants at Grammas. We went to see Cloverfield and take in some entertaining New York City destruction. I don't know if any iconic New York City landmarks are left for filmmakers to destroy. Independence Day torched the Empire State Building. The Day After Tomorrow sent a frozen ocean up to the steps of the New York Public Library. The Brooklyn Bridge takes a beating in both I am Legend and this movie, not to mention that the Statue of Liberty gets her head torn off and tossed halfway across Manhattan. If I were the Chrysler Building, I'd think my days of safety were numbered. Indeed, nothing is safe.

It must be said that both Mrs. Rants and I enjoyed the terror of Cloverfield. The narrative device of seeing all action through a handheld digital cam viewfinder a la Blair Witch works and helps to examine a question, "What would I do if a gigantic monster showed up one day and started destroying my hometown"? There are just some outright amazing scenes of destruction and terror and then the movie ends with no tidy ending and no explanation for why and how. As entertainment it definitely delivered.

Interestingly for me though, when I first heard about the movie and saw the trailer I had no idea what was the name of the film. One of the production house logos that are usually shown before a trailer was titled "Bad Robot" and after seeing a trailer I assumed that it was actually a giant badass robot (such as from Japanese cartoons) that was exploding the city. So it was only recently that I learned that a monster was the offending invader and not a Bad Robot as I first thought. This switcheroo begs the question, would the movie have worked if it was a big robot kicking NYC's ass? At first I'd have to say yes simply because I was jazzed from the start of what I perceived to be a first-person perspective movie of a big Japanese-style robot whacking down New York buildings. To me this sounded like good solid entertainment. As I said it was only later that I learned that the antagonist was a monster. Mrs. Rants liked that it was a monster and not a bad robot. I guess a monster is better because it works on an irrational level - you can't reason with a monster as you couldn't reason with a wild animal. But a robot, no matter how bad, is a product of intelligence - someone of smarts would have had to create it, and thus lies an opening toward an appeal toward rationality. Perhaps a robot could be talked out of destroying the city? Who knows. With a monster there's no such opening for negotiation. You just got to load up and hunt it down. A robot is of different origins and would have to be treated differently within the narrative.

At any rate, Cloverfield explores a monster destroying a city. I hope that if there is a sequel, they will dispatch the Bad Robot towards the Big Apple for some ass-whoopin'.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lyric of the Week
The Sow
The Sow
The Sow

- Scissorfight

Flying Tigers
So we know the kids taunting the tiger were high on weed and alcohol. Why wasn't the tiger tested to see what it was on? I believe the tiger was high on 'ludes, though I have no way of confirming my suspicion.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Profit of Big Brain
A number of politicians and presidential candidates have made it a point to criticize the profits of the oil companies during this time of high gasoline prices. I'd be interested to hear these same politicians complain about colleges and universities charging high tuition rates while simultaneously holding large endowment portfolios. Perhaps these politicians are unwilling to criticize university elites who are most assuredly their supporters?

Bhuddist Baby
BabyRants likes music. Piano playing has an instant calming effect. In general, standing tones short circuit his fussy fits. I've also found that a vociferous om mani padme hum mantra delivered monk-like with lots of throat reverb soothes him.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's a horserace out there.
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Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Rock & Roll Tyranny
Kreblog posts his hatred for classic rock. Indeed, I've always wondered if the Baby Boomer generation ever had to endure a radio station saturation of constant overplays of Ella Fitzgerald, Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra back in the 60s when they were teenagers. Did they ever bristle from having to hear the Classic Be-Bop, Classic Ragtime, Classic Swing, Classic Boogie Woogie of their parents generation? Why is it that early Boomers torment us to this day with their Beatles, Rolling Stones and Late Boomers torment us with Led Zeppelin and The Who?

In fact, I'd like to see us move beyond rock & roll and its offshoots and hear the next musical genre innovation. Medieval madrigals didn't last forever. Neither did fugues and symphonies. Can we get beyond rock & roll or are we forever doomed to stuff our rock favorites down the throat of each succeeding generation?

Rock is Dead, Long Live Rock. Hopefully the former and not the latter.

Hanging with GOP'ers
Saturday night was spent in Manchester attending National Review's debate night event with fellow bloggers Jackdied and Bobsalive of team blog jackdied. Ostensibly, the main draw was the chance to rub elbows with columnist-God Mark Steyn and NR editor Jonah Goldberg, author of Liberal Fascism. The event offfered ample portions of cheese & crackers, pasta dinner, and instant smarmy punditry from the NRO stars.

The crowd was an attractive mix of thoughtfulness, intelligence, and good-natured humor - what you would expect to find at a gathering of conservatives. The mere sight of Bill Richardson induced howls of laughter from the crowd. John Edwards was termed the "boy candidate". And with alcohol served a drinking game was established for anytime the democrats mentioned change or anytime John Edwards mentioned that his father worked in a mill. Indeed, one of the NRO insta-bloggers deciphered that by CHANGE the democrats are meaning it as an acronym for Corporate Hatred And New Government Expenditures.

Interestingly enough, Bill Clinton happened to be in the function room right next door, leading a rally of special interest labor unions in support of his wife. We made sure that our howls of laughter could be heard in the next room.

Also, it must be said that John Edwards is the most repugnant presidential candidate on the scene since perhaps when George Wallace advocated racial segregation back in the '60s. Edwards' fight for the middle class and frothing-at-the-mouth anti-corporation screed is delivered so psychotically it's frightening. His outright slander of America does not deserve to be rewarded with a bestowing of the office of President upon his shoulders. The faster Edwards disappears from the political scene the better.

Another observation: the revolt against Hillary by a majority of Democrats suggests that the self-styled Party for Women is anything but. Its evident that the party finds the historic candidacy of a black man more compelling than the historic candidacy of a woman. If women still come up as #2 in the Party for Women, then what's a woman to do if identity politics is her bag? With the Dems, women come up short.

The crowd at the NRO event were largely for Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney. There were a few Hucklebees and a few "Paul-pots" there. I fell into a minority as a Guiliani supporter. Oh well. It simply served to show that even in a hotel function room the party is a Big Tent of conservatives, social conversatives, economic conservatives, and libertarians.

Food, beer, and good fun laughing at Dems. A good night.
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