"If you've gotta make a movie, though, there's one other option: work in a genre that studio executives don't pay too much attention to. Take that genre's conventions and turn them up to eleven, so no one can accuse you of not making the movie you're getting paid to make. Put so much bombast into your filmmaking that inattentive viewers won't pay attention to the underlying message, but clever viewers will hear what you want to say. Then you just wait fifteen years or so for Andrew Sarris to let everyone in on the joke.It's an interesting strategy, and it's one several filmmakers have adopted over the years. The current world-record holder for subversive, poison-pill filmmaking is Paul Verhoeven, for Robocop and especially Starship Troopers, in which Verhoeven spent $100 million of Sony's money to more or less explicitly accuse Americans of being latent Nazis waging endless war against vaginas."
- Heather Mac Donald at Secular Right
A precis of what you should find at this link:
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a feature length movie based on the animated series, South Park. Prior to its release in 1999, the movie's creators - Matt Stone and Trey Parker - were asked repeatedly by the MPAA to alter the film in order for it to gain an R rating rather than an NC-17. The link is to memo sent by Stone to the MPAA, in response to such a request.
Enjoy, unless you are linking here thinking this is something else - in which case you only have yourself and your grade school english teacher to blame.
p.s. Speaking of baby pictures, Cam, were are they?
Just wanted to let everyone know that on Oct 3rd at 3:59am, Mairi Johannah Webb entered the world, and our hearts (and our kitchen!).
Mom and baby are doing great, Oliver is pleased (more or less) at having a little sister, and the four of us couldn't be happier!
So here's the thing; her name 'Mairi' rhymes with 'starry', and it's Gaelic. And no, neither Haidee nor I has any Gaelic in us, we just really liked the name and so we took it. We're just thieves that way. As for the last name being 'Webb', Haidee and I agreed when we started having kids that all the boys would be Hilton's, and all the girls would be Webb's. So in a way, Mairi brings some balance to the house. And in all probability - to the Force.
As for the kitchen birth thing, it was our intent all along to have Haidee labour in a large inflatable birthing pool at home to maximize her comfort, and to mimic the awesome experience she had with the labour of Oliver at BC Women's Hospital in Vancouver. One of Haidee's women folk friends had one of these labour pools, and were kind enough to lend it to us.
So at 3:00am I was woken up, informed by my wife that active labour was well underway and instructed to start filling the tub. Haidee's Mom began boiling water in pots and mixing it with cold in the sink to add to the tub as we quickly wiped out all the hot water we had in the hot water heater. With all the boiling water and towels, it was looking like we were prepping for our own little-house-on-the-prairie birth scene in our kitchen. Very old-school.
Just after 3:20 Haidee got in the tub, and expressed a concern that it may slow the labour down. We'll chalk that up to confused hormones and wishful thinking.
At 3:30 the doulas arrived. They are non-medical birthing attendants, and frankly were totally awesome, if actually helpful for only a few minutes.
At 3:40 Haidee's contractions are still 5 min or so apart, but getting stronger. When Oliver was born, this stage lasted for about 90 minutes.
At 3:45 one of the doulas calls 9-11 in anticipation that we will need a ride to the hospital. Many of us (mostly me) thought that this was premature.
At 3:59 exactly, Mairi arrived. Everyone was pretty surprised by this, though Haidee managed to be less surprised than the rest of us and caught her before she landed on the inflatable bottom of the pool.
Just after 4:00 the paramedics arrived, letting us know that there wasn't much help they could offer given all the work appeared to have already been done. They were pretty cool about helping me cut the cord though.
At about 4:10 we were all entertained for a solid 20 minutes as the two burly paramedics, and the two doulas used various kitchen utensils (my favourite popcorn bowl, etc) to try to locate and retrieve the placenta and remaining umbilical cord out of the bottom of the tub. You'll have to trust me on this, but it was past 4:00am, we were very tired, and this was even funnier than you think.
Anyway, after a visit to the hospital that included an interminable wait for some necessary shots, etc., Mom, Mairi, Oliver and I are all happy to be home and healthy.
He also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common."
Riazat Butt, Guardian religious affairs correspondent, and Anushka Asthana
In other words, 'we have a problem, but other religions are worse! Look, a pony!'
"Although conforming to a basic stereotype, and constant in location, throughout the 6 years of his adolescence so far described they have shown a tendency to progression. Later descriptions include a range of accompanying symptoms. Despite some quite unusual features, they meet all but one of the ICHD-II criteria for migraine, so allowing the diagnosis of 1.6 Probable migraine."
Over 2,600 runners representing 17 different countries were registered in the 26.2 and 13.1-mile events held in Maui.
Collie, 38, took the lead about two miles into the race, finishing in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 15 seconds – more than eight minutes ahead of Gregory Christopher of Kentwood, Mich., who placed second in 2:49:20.
"It was a lot of fun," said Collie, a resident of Cochrane, Alberta. "The marathon's aid stations were great and the volunteers are amazing." This was Collie's first Maui Marathon and he is already planning to return to for next year's event. "I look forward to enjoying a nice vacation in Maui now that the race is over," added Collie, who is staying for a week."
He didin't just win, he won by 8 Minutes! Way to go Marc!
A couple of months ago someone asked me what I was up to and I mentioned I was making a documentary about Richard Wagner. “Oh, I would have thought you liked Beethoven,” they said. I was too polite to pick them up by their scruff of their necks and shake them violently back and forth, but I mean WHAT? “Why’ve you got a Norwich City shield on your Twitter avatar? I thought you liked cricket.” “You just quoted Family Guy” – I thought you liked The Simpsons”, and so on and so on. I mean, really.
Another joke. A Jewish boy on his birthday is given a pair of fine silk ties by his mother. He comes downstairs next morning proudly wearing one. His mother looks at him, hands on hips and says, “So what was wrong with the other one?” Imagine if every time you ordered chicken in a restaurant someone said, “Oh, so you hate lamb, do you?”
- Stephen Fry
It's fine for us laymen to indulge that, but I don't want to be led by people who think that outlets (including this one) which weigh in on who "won the week" are some kind of gauge of their actual progress. I don't want to be led by people who think that "getting angry" is a actual political strategy. I want to be led by a killer. A cold, unemotional, professional killer.
I keep meeting lefties who tell me Obama's "too soft" with these guys, and I keep looking at them like they're crazy. I am going to go out on a limb and say that there is something deeper at work here, something beyond the policy fights. I think a lot of us don't just want Obama to be effective, we want him to exact some measure of revenge. It's smart to understand the difference between the two, and moreover, how the desire for one can undermine the other. A section of conservatives love Sarah Palin because she drives liberals crazy. That she drives a lot of other people crazy too, and hence undermines herself, is beside the point."
- Ta-Nehisi Coates
He'd do well to remember that the last time he did this, Barry took it back for six. But I wouldn't count on that." Ta-Nehisi Coates
- General Petraeus
"It isn’t just that Mulroney didn’t tell the whole truth. He didn’t even tell a partial truth: ie. I met him for a cup of coffee, once or twice, full stop. Because, as Wolson pointed out, he then went on his testimony to describe in some detail the nature of their conversation, including that Schreiber had hired Lalonde to represent him. And he concludes with “that was it.” So this was a partial truth, masquerading as the whole truth. The clear impression was that he had given a full description of what went on at their meetings.
As for Mulroney’s pledge that he “would have” told them the whole truth, of what value is that? He says he’d have told his interrogators about the cash if they’d asked: but there was no way anyone else could have known about it. He says he would have given the police all of his documents — his bank accounts, and his income tax returns, the works. But the bank accounts would have had no record of the payments, since he kept them all in cash. And he didn’t declare it on his income tax until 1999. There are no documents anywhere that show any trace of the payments. So his retroactive hypothetical promise that he “would have” come clean is a crock."
How curious to have a PM parsing his language in such a way, where 'the truth' is not the same as 'the whole truth' and where his concerns about how the cash payments would be viewed by investigators are his publicly claimed rational for not disclosing them. In 'Alice Through the Looking Glass', Humpty Dumpty posits "When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less" which expresses the essence of post-modern descent into meaningless relativism. Mulroney is now forced to engage in the same kind of obfuscatorial denial at the inquiry - for him, 'the truth and the whole truth' mean what he says it means, nothing more and nothing less, because if the words mean what everyone else thinks they mean he would be forced to admit he is simply lying.
Corruption of the PMs office isn't something limited to Tories like Mulroney, Chretien's laundry list of shady business dealings never met the smell test either, and in both cases we have a PM enriching themselves unethically in ways that demean the office.
All of which is way of saying that any schadenfreude I feel here for the long overdue comeuppance of Mulroney is not partisan - but is no less sweet.
- the Dalai Lama.
But he goes on to make the case against exceptionalism - something rare to see among conservative authors, and he ends the piece with a terrific quote from Canadian journalist Dan Gardner on why the preaching of US exceptionalism is so 'infantile';
"Now, I don’t want to answer dogma with dogma. Strategic and national interests played major roles in the decisions of all combatants in the First and Second World Wars. They do in every war. It’s a messy world and the motives of nations are seldom simple and pure.
The sort of Americans who cheer for Fred Thompson would agree with that statement — as it applies to other countries. What they cannot seem to accept is that it applies to their country, too. For them, Americans are unique. The United States is unique. And what sets America and Americans apart is purity of heart.
“We are proud of that heritage,” Thompson said in Iowa after citing the mythology of America-the-liberator. “I don’t think we have anything to apologize for.”
Nothing to apologize for. Never did anything wrong in 231 years of history. Nothing.
This is infantile. And dangerous. A superpower that believes it is pure of heart and the light of the world will inevitably rush in where angels fear to tread. And then it will find itself wondering why the foreigners it so selflessly helps hate it so."
- George W Bush in the immediate aftermath of the Abu Ghraib photos.
So even George thinks an investigation is appropriate.
"The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein liked to say that the trick to philosophy was knowing when to stop asking the questions that lead you astray. Similarly, the trick to being a Canadian is knowing when to stop obsessing over the question of our national identity. By reimagining Canada as a Métis country, John Ralston Saul has almost certainly brought English Canada’s ongoing search for an identity to an end. He has also, inadvertently, revealed how inherently futile the whole exercise has been."
"If somebody can go through water-boarding for 183 times, 6 times a day .... it means you’re not afraid of it, it means it’s not torture. If you’ve found a way to withstand it, it can’t possibly be torture." —Rush Limbaugh
"The idea that torture doesn't work — that's been put out from John McCain on down — You know, for the longest time McCain said torture doesn't work then he admitted in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last summer that he was broken by North Vietnamese. So what are we to think here?" —Rush Limbaugh
Seems pretty self-refuting to me. It's A: Not torture. B. Even if it is torture, it isn't because the guy withstood 183 waterboardings in a single month, and C. It is torture, but torture works!
Rush Limbaugh is the very definition of intellectual dishonesty and rank partisanship. How anybody can take him seriously about anything is beyond me.
As for the US, Obama has a lot of work to do to rehabilitate the country in the eyes of the world. Yes, the US tortured people, No, there was no ticking bomb, and Yes, they did so specifically because they wanted to find/create a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda where there wasn't one.
Its about as disgusting as it gets, and I believe clearly meets the level of war crimes - crimes committed by the highest ranking members of the Bush administration.
How ironic then that the GOP, the very people who pilloried Clinton for lying about a blow-job in the Oval office and screamed about 'the rule of law' would subsequently engage in criminal acts orders of magnitude worse and claim legal cover for doing so.
I smell a truth commission coming - and I suspect that the worst of the abuses have yet to be revealed.
Most famous for his memoir/novel turned movie 'Empire of the Sun', Ballard was a prolific writer who penned dozens of science fiction novels and short stories over his storied career.
Among my personal favourites were his short stories; The Drowned Giant (a haunting story where a giants body washes up on an English beach and gradually decays), The Garden of Time, War Fever and Dream Cargoes.
Among his novels that I enjoyed the most were; Cocaine Nights, High Rise, Running Wild, Super Cannes, and of course Crash.
His works were often the inspiration for musicians - in particular for me 'Atrocity Exhibition' by Joy Division remains one of the earliest allusions to him that I am aware of.
To have my favourite director David Cronenberg tackle one of his most important novels 'Crash' and bring it to the screen with such impact is a collision of my interests that remains nearly impossible to top.
Without a doubt he will be missed.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates
This strikes me as exactly right. The Castro regime is an ugly, vile dictatorship, with its hands soaked in the blood of innocents, and supporting it is wrong - but at the same time, the embargo is a failed policy that does nothing to dislodge the regime and perversely empowers it. Engaging in diplomacy and trade with a nation is not equivalent to endorsement or appeasement, indeed they are often the best (and only) methods for encouraging existing dissent to create the internal sea-change that leads to a better way forward.
"The fact that I expected it to be lousy doesn’t make it any less disappointing. So, all of that to find that the whole thing was a three-way mashup of The Matrix, No Logo, and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy?
Ugh." - Andrew Potter echoing my own thoughts on the final episode of BSG
Personally I prefer the 'Prince of Nothing' series to LOTR, but otherwise the quote is spot-on.
Fareed Zakaria on Obama's foreign policy critics
Of all the Republican noise-machine-apparatchiks Frum seems to have the least amount of stomache for spewing partisan cant, and the largest amount of common sense left in him.
That said, I still think he's a tool.
-- Mark Twain Letters from the Earth
Which brought to mind the following;
'We will make great pets' - Perry Farrell (Porno for Pyros)
- from Barack Obama's Inauguration speech
When was the last time 'non-believers' were contained within the same sentence as Christians by a US President, except as a contrast? Even Clinton didn't go that far. Know hope indeed.
Here's FiveThirtyEight's take on the defeated Coleman's next moves;
"Let's be frank: Norm Coleman doesn't have much of a future in electoral politics. Defeated Presidential candidates sometimes have nine lives, but defeated Senatorial candidates rarely do, and in his career running for statewide office, Coleman has lost to a professional wrestler, beaten a dead guy, and then tied a comedian. He doesn't have much to lose by fighting this to its bitter conclusion. But it's hard to envision how he'll come up with enough ballots to overtake Franken."
Nothing good is coming of this." - John Cole