Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Sometimes, I love my job.

July 17th, 2008 · No Comments · Art, Gaming, Misc.

I’m out at E3 in Los Angeles. LA is - as we all know - The Devil’s Own Asshole and is the single worst place on earth. E3 is always a meat-grinder event and while it’s much smaller now than it once was, it’s still a nightmarish three days of standing all day long, repeating yourself in front of hundreds of camera crews.

Most nights, you’re stuck “networking” at dinner - which is code for “having boring, half-drunk conversations with people you boss thinks are important”. But SOME nights you go to things like the MTV/EA Rock Band party.

And some nights, without prior warning, The Who show up and melt your faces off with a two-hour set of non-stop rock-n-roll awesomeness.

Guess what kind of night tonight was?

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Jesse Jackson takes stand on Obama’s nuts.

July 9th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

Specifically, he wants to “cut them off”. Let’s be honest, this can ONLY help Obama.

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Jesse Helms is dead.

July 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics, Rants

It’s times like this I wish I believed in Hell. At least MC Hawking finally got his wish.

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Attack of the Indies.

July 3rd, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

Via CNN:

In a four-way matchup that includes independent candidate Ralph Nader and Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, Obama’s lead over McCain dwindles to 3 percentage points, 46 percent to 43 percent. (Nader registers 6 percent, and Barr gets 3 percent.)

The fact that there’s essentially 10% of the voting public that would rather not vote for either major candidate is significant. No major poll of note currently puts the spread between Obama and McCain at more than 6-8%, so finding a way to reach those voters would be HUGE. I think Obama has the better chance of pulling it off in the end, but at the moment he’s not doing much to appeal to folks who’d currently rather pull the lever for Nader. And who the hell knows what sort of person would be willing to vote for Barr - maybe Obama could wear a tinfoil hat full of Bibles and pot and hope for the best.

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So… very… conflicted…

July 1st, 2008 · No Comments · Movies, Politics, Rants

If McCain wins, we can get rid of Susan Sarandon. But if Obama wins, we can get rid of Stephen Baldwin. That’s a tough call.

Maybe if Bob Barr wins they’ll BOTH leave.

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It’s better than being beaten to death, I suppose.

July 1st, 2008 · 2 Comments · Politics

DNC protests to be held back by fences:

The fence around the public demonstration zone outside the Democratic National Convention will be chicken wire or chain link, authorities revealed in U.S. District Court today.

That may allow protestors to be seen and heard by delegates going in and out of the Pepsi Center during the convention.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and several advocacy groups have filed an amended complaint to their lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service and the city and county of Denver that says protestors and demonstrators may have their First Amendment rights violated by security restrictions.

With this election looking so much like ‘68 already, I can’t say this is a HUGE surprise.

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What’s that giant sucking sound coming from?

June 29th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

Holy crap! Ross Perot is still alive!

To be fair, it’s actually a pretty good site.

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Bill to Barack: “Kiss my ass.”

June 28th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Politics

Yeesh:

Bill Clinton is so bitter about Barack Obama’s victory over his wife Hillary that he has told friends the Democratic nominee will have to beg for his wholehearted support.

Mr Obama is expected to speak to Mr Clinton for the first time since he won the nomination in the next few days, but campaign insiders say that the former president’s future campaign role is a “sticking point” in peace talks with Mrs Clinton’s aides.

The Telegraph has learned that the former president’s rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence.

A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could “kiss my ass” in return for his support.

On the bright side, Obama’s still got Carter and Mondale behind him.

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Holy nerdgasm, Batman!

June 27th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Art, Movies

Good news, everybody! According to Rolling Stone, The Dark Knight is made of awesome:

Heads up: a thunderbolt is about to rip into the blanket of bland we call summer movies. The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan’s absolute stunner of a follow-up to 2005’s Batman Begins, is a potent provocation decked out as a comic-book movie. Feverish action? Check. Dazzling spectacle? Check. Devilish fun? Check. But Nolan is just warming up. There’s something raw and elemental at work in this artfully imagined universe. Striking out from his Batman origin story, Nolan cuts through to a deeper dimension. Huh? Wha? How can a conflicted guy in a bat suit and a villain with a cracked, painted-on clown smile speak to the essentials of the human condition? Just hang on for a shock to the system. The Dark Knight creates a place where good and evil — expected to do battle — decide instead to get it on and dance. “I don’t want to kill you,” Heath Ledger’s psycho Joker tells Christian Bale’s stalwart Batman. “You complete me.” Don’t buy the tease. He means it.

No fair giving away the mysteries of The Dark Knight. It’s enough to marvel at the way Nolan — a world-class filmmaker, be it Memento, Insomnia or The Prestige — brings pop escapism whisper-close to enduring art. It’s enough to watch Bale chillingly render Batman as a lost warrior, evoking Al Pacino in The Godfather II in his delusion and desolation. It’s enough to see Ledger conjure up the anarchy of the Sex Pistols and A Clockwork Orange as he creates a Joker for the ages. Go ahead, bitch about the movie being too long, at two and a half hours, for short attention spans (it is), too somber for the Hulk crowd (it is), too smart for its own good (it isn’t). The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. It’s full of surprises you don’t see coming. And just try to get it out of your dreams.

I think I may need to lie down now. At least until the 17th.

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Happy Cold, Dead Hands Day!

June 26th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics, Rants

With SCotUS finally ruling in favor of the individual’s right to bear arms today, the toughest part of the decades-long struggle for gun-rights in D.C. is over. Some are already arguing that today’s ruling has rendered guns a “non-issue” in American politics - which seems pretty darn premature in my eyes.

What seems likely to occur (in D.C., specifically) is:

- Some sort of sneaky nonsense that defers to the absolute letter of the SCotUS ruling while still deeply hamstringing the actual right to bear arms. Zoning rules will be used to keep legitimate dealers out of the city, a Byzantine bureaucracy will be constructed to hand out gun permits at a snail’s pace, weird restrictions will be placed on the sale of ammunition, etc. We’ve probably got another ten years of court cases ahead of us before the citizens of D.C. are ACTUALLY able to exercise their Constitutional rights.

- Very few people will go out and buy guns. The gun ban was actually fairly popular among D.C. residents and no sane person ACTUALLY believes that criminals were sitting around, waiting for a LEGAL avenue for gun purchases to arrive.

- The Democrats - at long last - have their “abortion-quality” issue. By which I mean something that SCotUS has ruled on rather definitively that they can safely rail against without having to worry about actually DOING anything related to the issue if elected. It will join abortion, “marriage protection” and flag burning on the list of totally vacuous political positions that candidates use to try and whip up the fringe of their base.

All that being said, this has been a pretty good SCotUS session in my view. Anything that weakens the application of the death penalty is good (though I’ll be damned if it’s not a bitch and a half to try and explain why you’re “pleased that child rape is no longer a capital offense”) and affirmation of the purpose and protection of the 2nd Amendment makes me very happy.

And the cynical bastard in me is somewhat amused that Exxon has managed to STILL not make restitution for the Valdez disaster. What a gloriously, glacially-slow, hilariously exploitable legal system we have!

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R.I.P. George Carlin

June 23rd, 2008 · No Comments · Art, Politics, Rants

Dead of a heart attack at 71.

Truly one of the great rebel comedians and a giant in the world of folks who love free speech and clear thinking. He’ll be missed terribly.

[edit] Never forget:

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R.I.P. Stan Winston

June 17th, 2008 · No Comments · Art, Misc., Movies

The great Stan Winston has passed away. If you’ve enjoyed any (non-Lucas) special effects bonanza over the past 30 or so years, he’s probably the man to thank.

The world officially sucks a bit more now.

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Thanks for nothin’ Al.

June 16th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

Now that it no longer matters at all, Al Gore has endorsed Obama.

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WTF, John?

June 14th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Politics, Rants

WaPo: McCain Denounces Detainee Ruling

“We made it very clear these are enemy combatants,” he told more than 1,000 supporters at a town hall meeting here, echoing the president’s criticism of the court decision. “They have not, and never have been, given the rights of citizens of this country.”

The presumptive GOP nominee then read from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s dissent in the case and predicted the courts will now be “flooded” with lawsuits from terrorism suspects.

“We are going to be bollixed up in a way that’s terribly unfortunate,” he said. “Our first obligation is the safety and security of this nation and the men and women who defend it. This decision will harm our ability to do that.”

Now, ignoring the fact that I’ve never seen “bollocksed” spelled with an “x” before, I can’t even IMAGINE what he’s thinking here. He’s spent the past few weeks trying to draw a distinction between his views and Bush’s and he publicly comes out in favor of one of Bush’s most insane, duplicitous and just down-right EVIL positions? A position he has the unique personal experience to condemn with total and complete validity?

I honestly don’t even know what to say.

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Something something IRAQ something something.

June 14th, 2008 · No Comments · Art, Misc.

Tonight’s episode of Battlestar Galactica was a few things:

1) Deeply predictable.

2) Still pretty swanky.

3) A fearsome indicator of potentially awful “commentary” to come.

Also:

Drooling Adama is awesome. Not “Fat Apollo” awesome, but still pretty goddamn awesome.

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SCotUS: Gitmo Prisoners have rights.

June 12th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

Via the AP:

The Supreme Court has ruled that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts. The justices, in a 5-4 ruling Thursday, handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

I’m still looking for who the swing vote was, but good news regardless.

[Update] Much love for this from Justice Kennedy:

“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.”

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Fair’s fair.

June 9th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

If McCain represents Bush’s third term, then Obama represents Carter’s second.

Which may not be the best thing for McCain to be calling out, to be honest. Carter’s morphed into a cranky, but lovable saint in his later years and I can definitely see Obama turning this around and taking that mantle with pride. Something along the lines of:

“If Jimmy Carter had had his second term we wouldn’t have suffered through [list of Democratic talking points criticizing Reagan/Bush/Bush]. Jimmy Carter NOT having a second term is the worst thing that happened to America in the past thirty years!”

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Obama’s secret plan.

June 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Misc.

First, some background:

Now, the Big Reveal:

[Read more →]

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Obama may have won the nomination…

June 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics

…but our hearts will always belong to Mike Gravel:

“6′2″ from Alaska - I could give that a shot…”

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Thoughts on tonight.

June 4th, 2008 · No Comments · Politics, Rants

1 - McCain

I’m not sure I would’ve popped up tonight if I were Big Mac, but such is life. He gave a mediocre speech to an anemic crowd for reasons that are unclear, at best.

That being said, attempting to undercut Obama’s “McCain = Bush” nonsense is probably not a bad idea. I’m just not sure I would’ve picked NOW to get that message across.

2 - Clinton

A heartfelt, emotional speech that - I am sure - made many Obama supporters quake a bit. I say that because Aubrey - an Obama supporter - was wracked with doubt as we watched her all-but-concede. People like my mother who supported Clinton wept because - as far as they’re concerned - the dream of women achieving true equality (in their lifetime) died tonight. In 2016, Hillary will be too old (as will many of them) and no female champion looms on the horizon. They will die without seeing a female President, so a lifetime of hope dies with Obama’s win tonight. The same would’ve been true if Obama has lost, but its illustrative of the awkward timing of this particular primary.

3 - Obama

A very strong speech. 90% of what he said was pretty damn good but his shameful lies and misrepresentations about Iraq continue to nauseate me. Until he stops habitually misrepresenting this most significant of moral issues, I simply cannot stomach the man. I stormed about, chugging vodka and being deeply disappointed that the lies continued tonight. I WANT to support this man, but I can’t.

4 - Misc.

“HONOR” signs from McCain’s team are just as annoying as “BELIEVE” signs from Obama’s.

CNN’s pre-poll-closing nonsense was hilariously awful. It was like an NPR telethon where they were promising to turn off the horrible, gibbering lunacy if - instead of money - people would call in with Superdelegate votes. Which, of course, failed.

5 - Tonight’s loser

America

Postscript

On her way out, Clinton’s team played Tom Petty’s Won’t Back Down - the lyrics of which are worth noting:

Hey, baby…

There ain’t no easy way out.

Hey, I…

Will stand - my - ground.

And I won’t - back - down.

So no bitching when this all goes sideways on you shortly. The lady warned you - she wants SOMETHING.

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