Friday, September 29, 2006



I hope you appreciate the brain cells I had to sacrifice in order to type a title like that.

So, during the flurry surrounding this whole Constitution-raping hoo-ha, an interesting story has come to light: Mark Foley, perhaps the man with the most open closet on the Hill, apparently sent his 16-year-old male page a series of very, very graphic e-mails and instant messages. Here's a sample; I know I'd get all atwitter if my boss, who's a good number of decades older than me and whose job duties include keeping kids safe from sexual predators, talked about pulling down my shorts and grabbing my trouser snake.

And there may be something more to this. John's tracing the morass as it stands right now, but according to the (well, primary) account of a friend of the family of the page, he contacted the House leadership about the incident when he first found out about the e-mails-- ten months ago. The story seems to be changing, though, but the possibility exists that this was sat on for a long-ass time before anything actually happened.

It may turn out that, in addition to coddling torture, the Republican leadership in the House may also be coddling sexual harassment.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


And Meanwhile...

I can only watch as the country I love, the country I believe in, slowly gets torn apart. I watch as the president is handed the authority to determine what's torture and what's not on a silver platter, and as habeas corpus gets shat upon. I watch as people honestly argue that it's fine to torture, that we can simulate drowning, cover people in fake menses, and stretch them out to the point where they feel like they're going to break into large chunks.

I watch this... and I fear.

Someone, tell me this will all get better. Tell me that the world will go back to normal. Tell me that we will no longer have to walk in fear, every hour of every day.

Tell me this is not America.


Trent Lott: Straight From The Horse's Ass

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush barely mentioned the war in Iraq when he met with Republican senators behind closed doors in the Capitol Thursday morning and was not asked about the course of the war, Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said.

"No, none of that," Lott told reporters after the session when asked if the Iraq war was discussed. "You're the only ones who obsess on that. We don't and the real people out in the real world don't for the most part." this bullshit real?

I can't even put into words my outrage at this shit-sucking sycophant and the garbage he's tossing at reporters. Trent Lott, the president's admitted close friend, just stood before the gathered press corps and told them, "That three-year war? Those 2700 dead Americans, over 20000 wounded Americans, and God knows how many dead Iraqis? The transformation of a repressive regime into a hemorrhaging hierarchy that's turned into Six Flags for terrorists? The billions of dollars spent? The squandering of all the good will we received from the global community after 9/11?

"Yeah. We don't care about it, and neither should you."

And of course, what's a public statement from Trent Lott without some casual racism?

It's hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what's wrong with these people," he said. "Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli's and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me."

"Man, it's just too difficult to think of brown people as people with their own sets of thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. I mean, it's not like these considerations play any big role in the geopolitical morass we've plunged ourselves into!"

I'm no big fan of Bush's policy. But I hope and pray to God that Trent Lott just delivered a massive load of verbal diarrhea, and that this really isn't what President Bush thinks about the war.

Then again, at this point, nothing would surprise me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006



Keith Olbermann, one of the few people on cable with the testicular fortitude to call this administration on the carpet, recently received a packet of white powder, complete with a note warning him that this was "payback." Needless to say, Olbermann was not amused.

But the New York Post was (emphasis mine):

MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann flipped out when he opened his home mail yesterday. The acerbic host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" was terrified when he opened a suspicious-looking letter with a California postmark and a batch of white powder poured out. A note inside warned Olbermann, who's a frequent critic of President Bush's policies, that it was payback for some of his on-air shtick. The caustic commentator panicked and frantically called 911 at about 12:30 a.m., sources told The Post's Philip Messing. An NYPD HazMat unit rushed to Olbermann's pad on Central Park South, but preliminary tests indicated the substance was harmless soap powder. However, that wasn't enough to satisfy Olbermann, who insisted on a checkup. He asked to be taken to St. Luke's Hospital, where doctors looked him over and sent him home. Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn't known. Olbermann had no comment.

As Dave Neiwert points out, five years ago, some jackass kept sending packets of white powder all over the country. No one was laughing then. And now, we have a conservative think piece cracking jokes about a liberal critic of national policy receiving faux-death threats--

Wait. This reminds me of something... Well, what do you know? Ann Coulter made similar comments when the New York Times received a packet of suspicious white powder and an intimidating missive. Why, what a coinkydink.

Months ago, Dave also warned that Ann's "controversies" have a startling tendency to become bon mots amongst more mainstream right-wing sources. No one thwacked Ann for saying it, so I guess Page Six thought they could get away with it. What the hell will Ann have to say before the source of her precious lifeblood-- the mainstream media and its delicious, delicious limelight-- finally says no?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


The Next Challenge: Orphans and Puppies

I'm beginning to think that the art of sliming others in politics is part of some sort of "Top This!" game amongst politicians with nothing better to say. One of them targets someone who is considered untargetable, getting bonus points if they can actually insult them in a way that relates to the reason they're considered untargetable.

Needless to say, Peter Roskam, who used the "cut and run" line on his Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, who lost her legs serving in Iraq, likely just hit the fucking bulls-eye. His prize will be lunch with Karl Rove, where they will sip the blood of preschoolers, dine on the flesh of saints, and masturbate furiously to an audio recording of Christopher Hitchens' criticisms of Mother Teresa.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I Can See The Fnords!

So, let me see if I've got this straight: there are these things called "crisis pregnancy centers." These centers, usually run by pro-life individuals, masquerade as fully-functional family planning clinics, sometimes to the point of opening right next to Planned Parenthood centers. These centers, which are federally funded, exist mainly to do an end run around the possibility of the client aborting her fetus by any means necessary. Sometimes, this involves spreading damnably false information about abortion and breast cancer, fertility, and mental health. Other times, they perform "medical care" that seems questionably limited to sonograms. In a case in Indiana, the crisis pregnancy center told a girl to come back to the "other office" (read: the actual Planned Parenthood) for an appointment, only for her to find the police waiting for her, who'd been "informed" that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will. There are even tales of centers providing shelter to pregnant women until the date when they cannot legally get an abortion, after which they're turned out.

And now, one of these faux-family planning centers is suing an actual family planning center for "pretending" to be a crisis pregnancy center and "coercing" women into getting abortions. Just trying to follow and fully comprehend the logic behind this might result in transcendence to a higher plane of existence.

More seriously, though, as Amanda says, this is projectionist politics at its worst. The duplicitous, bullshit-spewing womb hijackers who occasionally launch campaigns of harrassment against young pregnant women are the victims here, and it's the honest to God fully-licensed doctors who are trying to pull the wool over women's eyes. It's like Bizarro World, only much less funny.


Lie To Us, We're Americans

Ganked from Shakes.

It's officially gotten to the point where the powers that be of American media believe that the American public are ill-suited to be directly presented with stories that they think the rest of the world can handle. Case in point: here is the cover story you might find if you picked up the latest issue of Newsweek in Europe, Asia, or Latin America: a piece on how the Taliban are coming back years after we should have reduced them to their base elements. The opening section of said story:

Oct. 2, 2006 issue - You don't have to drive very far from Kabul these days to find the Taliban. In Ghazni province's Andar district, just over a two-hour trip from the capital on the main southern highway, a thin young man, dressed in brown and wearing a white prayer cap, stands by the roadside waiting for two NEWSWEEK correspondents. It is midday on the central Afghan plains, far from the jihadist-infested mountains to the east and west. Without speaking, the sentinel guides his visitors along a sandy horse trail toward a mud-brick village within sight of the highway. As they get closer a young Taliban fighter carrying a walkie-talkie and an AK-47 rifle pops out from behind a tree. He is manning an improvised explosive device, he explains, in case Afghan or U.S. troops try to enter the village.

Meanwhile, on the US cover, we're presented with a piece on... the life and times of Annie Liebovitz. Oh, the article on Afghanistan's still in there, but somehow, it's been decided that Americans would much rather find out about the life of one of America's preeminent photographers rather than how a nation we have supposedly "liberated" and "improved" may be sliding back into religious fundamentalism at the hands of the very bastards we should have obliterated in the first place. This is how much the need for the truth amongst the American people is valued by those we trust to provide us with the news. Frightening.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Using Ethnic Slurs Is A Moral Value

Dear Family Research Council, James Dobson, Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney (my governor, people), George Allen, Tony Snow, etc:

You lost any claim to "moral values" when you decided to let Ann Coulter speak for you. Y'know, the woman who "jokes" about John Murtha deserving a fragging, who "jokes" about sending letters laced with white powder to the New York Times, and who used the term "raghead" in a speech at a political convention.

Then again, I guess these are all perfect for you. Just be careful about her rampant promiscuity:

"Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married."---Rivera Live 6/7/00

Because that's really all that matters, now, isn't it?

Friday, September 22, 2006


Everyone's A Winner!

...except for the losers.

So, once again, McCain appeared to stand up for protecting those captured by the US from torture and deprivation of civil liberties, and once again, Bush has come up with a solution that will make both of them look good while doing sweet fuck all for those who are affected. Bush can apply his own interpretation of what's blocked and what's not. The 450 cases for habeas corpus filed by Guantanamo inmates have been voided, and the chance of judicial review for any of them has been sufficiently kneecapped. And all the while, McCain, Warner, and Graham still get painted as "rebels" for capitulating in almost all regards, Bush still gets to decide what can be done to people with no rights, and the people who actually could have stood up and done something, for fuck's sake, just sat on their hands, utterly afraid.

Sometimes I wonder if anything's ever going to change. Or if we'll just be served the same old chicken shit, disguised as a tasty and diverse selection of salads.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Who Would Jesus Waterboard?

Congratulations, Lou Sheldon, you are now officially one of the Phairsees.

"This very definitely is going to put a chilling effect on the tremendous strides he has made in the conservative evangelical community," said the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, one of several conservative activists who support Bush's proposal on interrogation techniques.

Lou Sheldon claims to follow the ways of Jesus. A man who was captured by the local authorities for dissidence, stripped naked, flogged, made to carry the means of his execution for miles, and then nailed to a tree through the wrists and feet, given a crown of thorns, and stabbed through the side. He went through the agony of this of his own volition, but that does not make the process any less painful.

And now, one of his most vocal followers, as well as a good portion of said follower's flock, have come down in support of torture. Because if it was good enough for his Lord and Savior, it's good enough for those brown people, I guess.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Black Men: Are They All Really Athletic?

My first cultural exposure to gay men was "Homer's Phobia". As I've probably stated before, when a young gay man whose childhood consisted of playing with Transformers rather than Barbie dolls starts to realize he's gay, and the only cultural evidence he has to go on is John Waters and nelly steel mill workers, it does not end well. I spent two damn years in the closet, denying who I was.

When I did finally accept who I was and came out to my family, I began to think about stereotypes. How they color the mainstream view of gay people, and how they affect us when we start to realize who we are. Well, who better to explore, in depth, the deep-reaching, perception-coloring world of gay stereotypes than John Fucking Stossel?

That's right, folks; in an article that continues ABC's long-standing tradition of sensitive and truthful portrayal of gay people, Stossel quotes Carson Kressly, male dancers, male stylists, and a gender studies professor whose work has been linked to eugenics outfits and resulted in him stepping down from a teaching position at Northwestern University. Not quoted are any queer psychologists, queer media critics, lipstick lesbians, any gay man who has served in the military, any gay man who has played on a gay rugby team, any gay man who has played on a straight anything team, Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich...

I am tired of this shit. I am tired of all queens, all the time. I am tired of the heterocentric media reinforcing the idea that us queers are best for hairdressing and fashion, and that anything else is a pipe dream. What I want, and what I want right fucking now, is a well-rounded, strong, active role model for gay youth in the media. Just so that they, unlike I, don't have to deal with the kind of drivel that drives them so far back into the closet, you can smell the mothballs.

Monday, September 18, 2006


What We Want

See this? This is what we need.

When I came out of the closet, one of the first unpleasant discoveries I made about life for gays and lesbians is the dubious nature of our relationships in the eyes of the law. I read anecdote after ancedote about lovers kept apart during times of emergency because they weren't related, or out-of-state relatives swooping in to challenge a will and claim the spoils after a partner died, leaving the man he loved for years with nothing. This is what gay marriage means to me.

Thing is, this basic desire has been obscured by years of spin and counterspin. There's talk about whether it's good for children, what it will do to society, whether it's defying the will of the people... well, here's what gay marriage is: being guaranteed the same rights as straight couples without having to beg mercy, hire a lawyer, or stand before a judge. Hopefully, this will cut through the bullshit and show straight voters in Wisconsin what this is really all about.


That Is Not Dead Which Can Eternal Lie...

...and with strange aeons, even the feeling that we've been through this already may die. This is not one of those cases.

So, Cyrus Nowrasteh is claiming that the reason he has been raked over the coals is because he wrote a film that "accurately depict[s] Bill Clinton's record on terrorism." Wow, that's a big change from admitting two weeks ago that he made shit up because "maybe [he could] use that".

It gets better:

It is also indisputable that Bill Clinton entered office a month before the first attack on the World Trade Center. Eight years then went by, replete with terrorist assaults on Americans and American interests overseas. George W. Bush was in office eight months before 9/11. Those who actually watched the entire miniseries know that he was given no special treatment.

You mean, aside from the parts where:

-There is nary a mention of George Bush sitting in a Flordia classroom for a good five minutes, doing nothing, after being told about the first attack.
-There is nary a mention about Bush practically flying around in circles for 35 minutes, then not speaking publically on the matter until 12:30 PM, after both towers had fallen.
-Condoleeza Rice is shown telling two advisors that Bush is very concerned about the "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" memo, despite the fact that Condi testified that the memo was nothing more than a historical document.

And of course, let's not ignore the fact that the film blatantly made shit up about American Airlines, Sandy Berger, and Madeleine Albright. And that ABC pretty much gave up trying to claim the film was fact-based, calling it a "dramatization" and not a "documentary."

Nowrasteh even plays the card of "the poor shat-upon Christian" for his partner, David Cunningham, making it out to be religious persecution that was the cause of skepticism behind the man in the director's chair... despite the fact that Cunningham's dad, Loren, is a noted player in Christian Reconstructionism, the idea of rewriting American law so that it sincs up with the Bible, and that David got his film school training through a branch of Loren's ministry "dedicated to a Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry." With a background like that, I can understand some of the criticism, just as I could understand someone viewing an "unbiased" liberal filmmaker with skepticism for a history in the American Socialist Party.

Cyrus, let me be honest with you: This film is over. Yes, the facts, or lack thereof, will be trodded out on right-wing blogs for years to come, but it's not like such accusations weren't being bandied about before. The film failed as anything resembling an educational aid, a ratings winner, or a national talking point. It was an angry talking point for us on the left, and let's face it-- there's a reason Scholastic dropped the film like it was a hot rock. I'm still a little angry at ABC, but this film is done. It had a chance to make a mark, and it didn't.

So, Cyrus, in the words of a man who says these things much better than I do, who experienced similar criticisms from another conservative filmmaker about the way the media works: Just. Stay. Down.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Some Adult Content

"And when some Canadian comes charging at you with his hockey stick or whatever, just remember what the MPAA says: Graphic, deplorable violence is okay, as long as there are no naughty words!"- Shiela Broflosky, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

While watching This Film Is Not Yet Rated, I wondered if, just maybe, I should get out of the screenwriting trade and do something more pure. Like, say, being a professional hitman.

All right, that's hyperbole, obviously. But it's deserved. This Film Is Not Yet Rated might not be the most frightening film this year (that honor will likely go to Jesus Camp, which I saw the trailer for before the film), but it's certainly eye-opening, and with just the right amount of humor to soften the pain.

Kirby Dick, the director, basically goes on a mission to find out what the hell the MPAA is, and how it operates. He interviews filmmakers such as Matt Stone, John Waters, and Darren Aaronofsky, among others, who have all been threatened with the dreaded NC-17. The film goes into, in detail, just how awful the NC-17 is-- if your film gets it, it will not be promoted, its trailer will not be shown in theaters, and it will likely only air in art house or indie theaters. The reason films get rated NC-17 are extremely disconcerting, yet entirely predictable: sex. Gay sex, anal sex, sex with beaver shots, sex shown below the waist (as showcased in a hilarious "count the pelvic thrusts" sequence)... The most disturbing part, as showcased in a side-by-side sequence, is how films that show gay sexual content will usually be rated NC-17, yet films that show the exact same content in a straight context will be rated R (perhaps the most telling indicator of this is a female character masturbating through her bedclothes in But I'm A Cheerleader while Kevin Spacey's character whacks off in the shower, completely nude, in American Beauty).

The film's major accomplishment, however, is the fact that it manages to out the MPAA. As mentioned repeatedly throughout the film, the MPAA is the only rating boards in America, and probably the only film rating board in the world, where all the raters are anonymous. Joan Graves, head of the MPAA, says repeatedly that it's to "avoid influence", but as Dick finds out, there are members of the clergy present at these things, so that's right out. Dick manages to do what no one has done: by hiring a pair of (lesbian) PIs, he manages to out all nine MPAA raters. The revelations are shocking: while the MPAA touts that its raters have children between the ages of 5 and 17, few of them actually have children who could still be considered in that range (hell, one has no children at all).

I will admit that there were points of Kirby's I disagreed with. While I do believe that it is a bit sickening that graphic violence gets off easier than sexual content, I wouldn't believe that it adversely affects American youth. Still, I do agree with the idea that the MPAA shouldn't be making these decisions without a child behaviorist on its panel.

The part of the film, however, that truly proves that Dick has balls (sorry) is when he submits his own film to the MPAA. Yes, the film that not only rakes the MPAA over the coals, but which contains all the footage that was cut from other films for being NC-17. Needless to say, he gets an NC-17, but it's when he brings it to appeal that the truly scary shit comes forth. Dick is wheeled into a room with ten voters (all of whom are later outed as industry representatives), as well as two members of the clergy, and told that he is not allowed to bring up past MPAA decisions. That's right; the MPAA is allowed to blatantly contradict itself, and no one can call bullshit.

This is a movie everyone going into the business needs to see. Sadly, it was only playing in my theater for one week, so you'd better be quick. Still, it's best to understand the people who will likely be screwing you due to some sort of undefined, unfiltered idea of what is "appropriate".

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Be Not Afraid Of Being Afraid

I'm getting some decidedly mixed messages here:

It's a dangerous world. I wish it wasn't that way. I wish I could tell the American people, don't worry about it, they're not coming again. But they are coming again.

So, in other words, he'd like to tell us not to be afraid of the terrorists... but we should be afraid of the terrorists, because they're coming. Shakes already beats the shit out of this argument, but if I may use the arguments of the esteemed John Rogers to deliver the argumentative double tap:

During WWII, Churchill and FDR encouraged the people not to be afraid. Yes, FDR gave in to paranoia and rounded up every Asian-American on the West Coast, but when the American public were told, "Remember Pearl Harbor," it was not with the undertone of, "...because it can happen again." Our current administration, on the other hand, bends laws, ignores freedoms, and puts up a color-coded chart of fear while constantly stating that we live in Dangerous Times, and that Desperate Measures must be undertaken.

In short, I would trust the president more when he says these things if he actually did anything to prove he means it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


We Can't Be Safe

Chertoff, paraphrased: "We can't afford to scan incoming cargo in US ports."

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 — Congress and the American public must accept that the government cannot protect every possible target against attack if it wants to avoid fulfilling Al Qaeda’s goal of bankrupting the nation, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told a Senate committee Tuesday.


But the list of initiatives cannot be limitless, Mr. Chertoff said. A mandate, for example, that every cargo container headed into the United States be X-rayed and subject to a radiation scan before it leaves a foreign port to search for a possible nuclear bomb is not now feasible, he said.

Because God knows, we can spare money on Old Macdonald's Petting Zoo (no relation), but taking steps to truly guard one of the most vulnerable points in the US is just out of the question. Yes, the X-ray machines are nice, but chemicals and, more imporantly, men can easily be brought over as well.

Sometimes, you have to wonder just how much the people in charge really care.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Come to Jesus

So, it's not enough that he's fighting for the future of American civilization, but apparently, George Bush thinks he's leading the Third Great Awakening. Oh, and it coincides with the "confrontation between good and evil" that is the War on Terror. Yes, because when I see widespread war, discrimination, and the fucking over of the poor, I automatically see deep-seated, thoughful religious devotion. For fuck's sake, at least the Second Great Awakening spawned Unitarian Universalism.

So now, not only is Bush the only man who can lead us against the terrorists, but now he's speaking for God. His ego is bulletproof.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Know Your Base

Over the past few weeks, we've seen waves of... well, completely ass-backwards racism coming from political candidates. George Allen uses a term that's gaining in popularity amongst white supremacists to describe an Indian staffer who worked for his opponent. A Florida Congressional candidate says that blacks can't swim like whites. Conrad Burns talks about killer terrorist cab drivers. And so forth.

This may be, however, the first time this campaign season I've seen a candidate chill with white supremacists:

Dressed casually in a yellow t-shirt, Tancredo addressed the standing-room audience of 200-250 from behind a podium draped in a Confederate battle flag. To the congressman's right, a portrait of Robert E. Lee peered out at the crowd of Minutemen activists, local politicians, and red-shirted members of [the League of the South] and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The Confederate trappings of the event found a mismatch in Tancredo's standard nativist polemic, which stayed clear of references to Southern heritage or direct plaudits for the LOS, a Southern white nationalist organization dedicated to "Southern independence, complete, full, and total."

Yes, that would be the same League of the South that, on their website, describes multiculturalism as "a poison". And yes, this would be the same Tom Tancredo who suggested nuking Mecca to keep the Muslims in line.

But don't worry. According to Tony Snow, racism is dead.

Monday, September 11, 2006



Let's go back five years. Back before the divisiveness. Back before the ill-advised wars. Back before the use of the worst attack on our nation as a political wiffle ball bat. Back before most of the world knew who the fuck Bin Laden was.

Let us go back to 9/11. And let us remember the lost.

I've already told my story. I said it was stupid at the time, but it's not. It's how we all felt that day. Helpless. Lost. Like we were trapped in a goddamned nightmare.

No matter what happens in the next five years, no matter how many times the day is mined for political gold... remember the men and women. Not the deed.

It is the least we can do.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


Next Up: The Cybermen Do Devo

Y'know, it's been a while since I posted some really goofy shit on this blog. And y'know, between all the bigotry, the lying, the warmongering, and the ostrich-like sense of fear, you just need Daleks covering the Dead Kennedys every once in a while.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Let The Bastards Grind You Down

Far, far back in the day, I wondered how anyone could worship a God who would gladly strike down thousands of American citizens because a subset of the population did something that, while not proven harmful, nonetheless pissed him off. Well, if the blatherings of Dinesh D'Souza are to be taken as an example, these people merely fear anyone who will rain massive death down on America due to perceived slights. See, according to D'Souza, it wasn't the American land action in Saudi Arabia that pissed off Bin Laden and his ilk, but our social liberalism- our feminism, our support for homosexuals, our right to choose.

And if we want to stop this global jihad, he argues, we must take these values out back and shoot them in the head.

See, according to Dinesh D'Souza, the best way we can end this current terror blitz is to basically give in to their demands so that we can establish a dialogue with "moderate" Muslims (which seems like a slight to Islam itself; if they're the kind of people who believe that women belong under burqas and that gays should be stoned to death, then they're not moderate). Only thus can we defeat world terror... by becoming it. And it's not like this guy is some whackjob working for a conservative clearing house; as Berube points out, he's been on the scene for a while and has a contract with Random House.

Hey, Rumsfeld? Next time you compare war critics to Nazi appeasers, you might want to look on your side of the aisle first.

Thursday, September 07, 2006



Well, that blew up pretty quickly. Meanwhile, Scholastic, who were to be responsible for handing out 100,00 copies to high school classes of The Path to 9/11 for free, have dropped the movie like Britney Spears's baby, and the Senate Democratic leadership has sent a firm rebuke/possible threat of legal action to Disney.

We've still got a while to go. But at least we're making a difference, and at least we're not taking this flagrant disregard for the truth lying down.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Cinema Mensonges

Four years ago, I watched 9/11 on CBS, a documentary put together by two French brothers who'd been following around a NYC ladder company when 9/11 happened. It had scenes that captured the horror of the days like no other: the plane crashing into the North Tower, the sound of bodies falling as the firemen searched the tower, the new guy among the firemen watching from the house as he could do nothing. This was 9/11, in all its uncut horror.

Four years and one bared bosom later, CBS is pulling a reairing of 9/11 from some markets, afraid that the FCC will bring the hammer down. Perhaps most sickening is the reaction of the FCC to these accusations:

However, he said he understood the difficulties of small stations that fear the huge FCC fines. "We're not twisting arms," he said.

FCC spokeswoman Tamara Lipper said the commission routinely takes context into account in any decency analysis.

"We don't police the airwaves. We respond to viewer complaints," Lipper said. "We haven't seen the broadcast in question. It's up to individual stations to decide what they should air or not air."

See, what Ms. Lipper conveniently leaves out is that she knows there will be complaints. As the article states, organizations like the American Family Association already have their arms up in the air over the fact that a station might let the F word slip by in a documentary about the worst tragedy in American history. She knows that her organization has handed down million dollar fines on as little as three original letters from moralistic busy bodies who care more about one second of a washed-up pop singer's tit than all the dead in Darfur. And she knows that something will very likely happen.

We can have this bullshit propaganda stuffed down our throats, but when we want to think back to what 9/11 was really like, we have to work our way past people who care far too much about protecting us from those icky, icky swear words. So much for the "cinema of truth."

Monday, September 04, 2006


I Am Two Decades Old

Or at least, I will be in two days. That doesn't stop me from celebrating early.

The birthday presents were somewhat meager, but reasonably so. Neither my brother nor I could really come up with anything to ask from our parents, so we simply requested cash. Not the most romantic thing in the world, but hey, it gets the job done. We got a few other things-- a shirt, sandals for my brother, a new belt for me-- but it was mostly just the cash.

After the presents were opened, we headed off to dinner at The Living Room, a place I'd read about in one of Boston's five thousand free weeklies. We ate in the lounge area, so we sat on couches while eating from something not entirely unlike a coffee table. The food was actually pretty damn good, especially the peanut butter pie that I had for dessert. My one real bone of contention was the top 40 music piped over the speakers (God, people still listen to Train?).

Ah, well. Another year come and gone.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Fact, Fiction, and Fuckup

Well, we're soon approaching the five-year anniversary of 9/11. A time to remember the dead, but also to ask why they died. Who was asleep at the switch? Why did this have to happen? Luckily, ABC is answering all our questions with a docudrama called The Path to 9/11. Hopefully, this will put the blame where it belongs and--

Oh. Well, it looks like the documentary is going to place a lot of blame at the feet of Clinton and Albright. Well, that's fair. I can see how one might argue how Clinton, although he did quite quite a bit, didn't bite bin Laden in the ass when he had the chance. Hopefully, however, the film will also reflect that most of the evidence came in on Bush's shift and--

Condoleezza Rice gets that fated memo about planes flying into buildings, and makes it very clear to anyone who’ll listen just how concerned President Bush is about these terrorist threats — despite the fact that we’re given little concrete evidence of the president’s concern or interest in taking action.


I'm sorry, would this be the same Condoleeza Rice who referred to a memo titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" as "historical"? Or the same Bush who allegedly told a staffer who told him about said memo that he'd "covered his ass now"? This doesn't exactly scream historical accuracy.

Already ABC is trying to cover its ass, saying that it's not a documentary and that there will be plenty of bashing of both sides in the second part. I'm not buying it. This show's being pitched as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report" (y'know, the same commission that Bush opposed). You want fiction, you sell it as fiction. You do not slander a deeply investigated record of government fuckups by attaching it to a movie that plays fast and loose with the facts, and which makes DC 9/11 look like JFK.

Is this the truth you want, America? Because this is what's being pitched right down your throat.

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