Thursday, May 16, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Not sure what to make of the guest line-up on tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher. There's Joy Reid from Grio.com and MSNBC, liberal columnist Glenn Greenwald, conservative columnist Charles Cooke from National Review, someone named Mark Bittman who the Google tells me is a food writer, and actor Zachary Quinto, plays Spock in the new Star Trek movies.
I know the food guy will be annoying and preachy, because they all are. I like idea of Joy Reid vs. Charles Cooke as far as political talk goes, but Glenn Greenwald is a bit of a wild card. He is much farther to the left than most Democrats, and is extremely critical of the Obama Administration. I could see him and Cooke agreeing more than disagreeing.
I imagine Quinto will be the guest who comes in halfway through the show and joins the panel late. I guess he's there to plug the new Star Trek movie. I don't know much about the guy outside of ST, but he is a great Spock.
I recently watched a video of actress Tiffani Amber Thiessen's 2012 appearance on Howard Stern, and developed a sudden urge to see what she's been up to since Saved By the Bell and some late 90s movies. Looking great is clearly what she's been up to.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
In my first post on the new SyFy show, Defiance, I stated that I thought the pilot was okay, but that I would "give it two more episodes before rendering a verdict." So, after watching three additional episodes, I am here to render my verdict....I'm going to continue to watch for the rest of the season.
It's not that I love the show or that I can even remember all the character's names or species, but there is enough there to keep me interested. In this week's episode, "A Well Respected Man," we learn that women are the real power brokers in the Castithan race. At least in the family of Datak Tarr, they are.
When law enforcement captures a cache of illegal weapons, it is revealed that Tarr and the town council arranged the shipment without the knowledge of the Mayor and the law keeper. That reveals how powerless the Mayor is, and what level of respect they have for her. When the Mayor looks for her lawman to deal with the issue, she finds him in the bedroom of her sister, Kenya, the prostitute. She is not pleased.
Since the first episode, I assumed that Kenya and the law keeper, Nolan, had a relationship that was beyond a mere financial transaction. She seemed to like him, for real, and not in that fake way a prostitute would deal with a client. Not so. At the end of their session, Kenya says she won't accept payment from Nolan any more. This obviously shows it was a client relationship until that moment. Not sure if that is significant or not, but I was surprised by it.
Kenya is later kidnapped by some enormous alien that works for Datak Tarr. As much as the Mayor dislikes him, she pleads for his help in rescuing her. Datak says no because he is tried of being disrespected in the town. Datak's wife convinces the Mayor and law keeper of ways they could show proper respect. Nolan takes him out on rounds with him and allows him to dispense his unique brand of wisdom about the town's residents. Datak's wife, Stahma, next convinces the Mayor to appoint her husband to the town council as her sign of respect. Obviously, she is far more effective in advancing her cause than her husband.
|Jaime Murray as Stahma Tarr|
Watching actress Jaime Murray play this albino type of alien has been interesting. I have seen her previously in two shows that I like - Dexter and Warehouse 13 - and thought she was a decent actress, but that was pretty much it. Now, however, I am finding her extremely attractive as this pale as a sheet, scantily clad alien chick who is secretly advancing her husband's status in the community. She has found her defining role!
So, the questions from this point on have to do with the relationship between Nolan, Kenya and the Mayor. That Mayor seemed awfully upset when she saw Nolan in her sister's room. The power struggle between Datak and his nemesis, Rafe will be a bigger issue now that one is on the town council. Nolan's "daughter" Irisa was barely in this episode, but she and her "ability" are bound to be a major plot point. If she can see the past, maybe the circumstances of how she and Nolan met were not exactly how she believes it to be. And I'm keeping my eye on Stahma Tarr, as she is the master manipulator.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
So, the other day comedian Marc Maron responded to my tweet about a possible Maron O.D. That was awesome, and I got a few new followers from it. Then, a mere three days later, TV pundit and former Republican Congressman, Joe Scarborough ("Morning Joe" himself), responded to my question as to why Republicans only like rich people if they are conservative, and use wealth as a weapon against liberals.
I'm not sure he really answered my question, but he was nice and humorous about it, so who cares really? But, holy crap did a lot of right-wing douchebags tweet at me! None of them had anything interesting or intelligent to say, and no one actually answered the initial question. They all just used it as a means to attack Pres. Obama about something he never said or did, but Fox News has convinced them otherwise. Pretty typical wingnuts.
Maybe this twitter thing isn't such a waste of time. Who can I get to respond next?
Friday, May 3, 2013
Comedian, podcaster, and (now) television star(?) Marc Maron tweeted me back today! Yeah! I generally find twitter to be sort of stupid. Actually, I still do. But every once in a while, something happens that keeps me active on the site.
Marc Maron's new IFC series, Maron, premiers tonight, and his new book was released earlier this week. Naturally, he has been making the publicity rounds to promote them. He was on Howard Stern a few days ago, he called in to Todd N Tyler (a local morning show) the other day. I missed him on Fallon and some others.
So, I used my Cox Cable app on my phone to set my DVR to record the Maron premier tonight. First time it ever worked! However, a search for "Maron" also tagged his appearance tonight on Real Time with Bill Maher tonight. I always watch Maher anyway, so this will be a nice bonus. I excitedly tweeted about how much Maron I was getting this week, and the man himself responded!
It was hardly a dissertation or anything, but I am excited anyway.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
|Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth|
At some point in 2011, word came that Sonic Youth members Thurston Moore (gtr/vox) and Kim Gordon (bass/vox) - married for nearly 30 years - were getting a divorce, and the future of Sonic Youth was in doubt. For privacy reasons, little else was revealed. For an entire generation of Sonic Youth fans (myself included), this seemed almost unimaginable. Thurston and Kim splitting up?! Never!
It shattered a lot of punk and indie fans world view. I mean, if punk rock's most celebrated couple couldn't stay together, how can any mere regular person's relationship last?
I've met Thurston a time or two over the years, but do not, in any way, know him. I've never met Kim. But, I have been listening to Sonic Youth's music since 1989. I feel like I know them. So, when the word of the break up came out, I felt a touch of sadness. Sadness for them, of course, and sadness for their daughter; but, I also felt sad my generation of music fans. Few bands have been as significant to the music of the last three decades as Sonic Youth. Even bands that haven't heard of Sonic Youth have been influenced by them. So, the end of Kim & Thurston seemed like an end to the music of my era. It almost seemed tainted. I know I am taking this too far, but it shocked a lot of people my age.
Since the 2011 announcement, virtually nothing has been written that detailed exactly why the more than 30 year relationship ended. No one who knew was talking. Well, that has changed with a recent interview with Kim Gordon in Elle Magazine. The article sheds light on what Kim has been up to since the last Sonic Youth tour, and what her plans are for the future. She also delves into some details about the end of her marriage.
"We seemed to have a normal relationship inside of a crazy world," Gordon says of her marriage. "And in fact, it ended in a kind of normal way—midlife crisis, starstruck woman."
Some years ago, a woman Gordon declines to name became a part of the Sonic Youth world, first as the girlfriend of an erstwhile band member and later as a partner on a literary project with Moore. Eventually, Gordon discovered a text message and confronted him about having an affair. They went to counseling, but he kept seeing the other woman. "We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do," Gordon says. "Thurston was carrying on this whole double life with her. He was really like a lost soul." Moore moved out. Gordon stayed home and listened to a lot of hip-hop. "Rap music is really good when you’re traumatized," she says.
Wow. One can assume that infidelity might have been a reason for the split, but it was not my first guess. I assumed that after more than 30 years of marriage, and being in a band together, they were just sick of one another. That's totally understandable. Their daughter is now in college, so it seemed like the right time for that sort of thing. But the truth is pretty disappointing, I must say. To add insult to injury, Kim was also diagnosed with a mild form of breast cancer. She is fully recovered.
The article did not address the future of Sonic Youth. Both Thurston and Kim have new bands. Guitarist Lee Ranaldo has a new solo album out, and drummer Steve Shelley has his own projects. No one seems to know what the band's status is.
Ordinarily with a band together for 30 years, a break up is almost welcome news (think R.E.M.). But with Sonic Youth, that is hardly the case. Their most recent album, 2009's The Eternal, was amazing! It was a continuation of a serious creative hot streak the band has been for the last few albums. The band did not have to end. Maybe it hasn't, but in light of these recent revelations, the future does not look good.
|Thurston Moore with Chelsea Light Moving 3/28/13|
I caught Thurston's new band, Chelsea Light Moving about a month ago. They were quite good, and I enjoyed seeing Thurston in a smaller venue. Lee's record was pretty good, and I haven't heard anything new from Kim yet. As good as these separate projects are (or might be), I'd still rather have Sonic Youth back.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Thursday, April 18, 2013
|Conservative activists are distributing these anti-Rubio buttons|
Remember all that excitement among Republicans and the media just after the 2012 election about how Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was going to "save" the GOP from demographic decimation in future elections? Rubio, whose family came to America from Cuba after escaping the casinos, girls, and gangsters that populated the American tourist trap prior to the downfall of Fulgencio Batista, has milked America's ignorance of Cuba, and convinced Republican and media rubes alike that he is some sort of freedom fighter. Never mind that Rubio's family came to America two years before Fidel Castro's takeover. Why let that get in the way of a good political back story?
But I digress...
The far right of the Republican Party (aka The Tea Party) may say nice things about Rubio, but they clearly do not want more of his kind coming to America...and voting. GOP mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh interviewed Sen. Rubio and made his case for being opposed to any immigration reform. “I know that you say the political aspects of this are not yours, but so many people are scared to death, Senator, that the Republican party is committing suicide,” Limbaugh said. “That we’re going to end up legalizing 9 million automatic Democrat voters and that’s why the Democrats are so adamant...I see polling data again that suggests 70 percent of the Hispanic population worldwide or in the country believes that government is the primary source of prosperity. I don’t, therefore, understand this contention that Hispanics are conservatives in waiting."
For political reasons, I understand Limbaugh's assertions (as factually challenged as they may be). They are wrong, of course, as I doubt there is any actual polling that shows Hispanics believe government is the "primary source of prosperity." But few look to Limbaugh for facts. What I find strange is that for the last two decades, the line coming from the GOP has been that "Hispanics are natural Republicans." After asserting that Hispanics are religious and have strong families, professional Republicans then make the leap into believing it is natural for them to vote Republican. Yet they rarely do.
Pres. George W. Bush did the best electorally of any Republican president in his re-election in 2004. His attempt at immigration reform failed miserably because most of his party was opposed. Not just opposed, but violently opposed. It was about that time when the term "amnesty" became the go-to word when Republicans talked about Latino immigration. Every conservative talker on radio and TV railed against amnesty, and how anything short of mass deportation of the estimated 11 million folks in the country illegally was, in fact, amnesty. Following the amnesty craze, we got the term "anchor baby" and, of course, the threats of Al Qeda invading America via Mexico. This was in addition to the recommendation of numerous Republican office holders and candidates that we build a 20ft high electrified fence to keep out "illegals."
No matter how you slice it, when you accuse every person with brown skin of being a potential illegal, and pass laws requiring Hispanics to carry their "papers" (see Arizona), and then accuse them of only wanting to come here in order to get "free stuff," it is hard to get them to turn around and vote for you. That is the Republican dilemma.
Most Hispanics are not going to hear anything you have to say about lower taxes and smaller government when the people doing the talking are calling them wetbacks and referring to the Spanish language as the "language of the ghetto." They just aren't. And who would blame them?
American conservatives have shown an open hostility to the Latino community in the US, while Democrats and liberals have not. Hell, the Republicans even filibustered the Dream Act, which was Bush-era idea in the first place!
Rubio has a very tough sell to his tea party friends in the Congress. Most of them have invested quite a bit of their political capitol talking tough about illegal Mexicans invading the country. They can't turn back now, or they will find themselves being on the losing end of a primary election with an even more right-wing candidate in the next election cycle. So, as the conservative movement in America becomes even more insular and xenophobic, its chances of winning national elections becomes increasingly difficult. Like gay marriage (a formerly successful Republican wedge issue), the issue of Latino immigration is wedging the GOP right out of the electoral mainstream.
Is Marco Rubio the GOP savior? Can the party even be saved? Does it want to be saved? I suspect that NO is the answer to all three questions.
Not sure if this bad news or not, but with the week Ozzy Osbourne has been having, it's hard to tell. According to a real estate industry website, Jessica Simpson has just purchased Ozzy's home.
"In a multimillion-dollar twist on celebrity musical chairs, singer-actress Jessica Simpson has bought Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne’s estate in Hidden Hills for $11.5 million, public records show...The couple [the Osbournes] paid nearly $12.4 million for the estate in 2007, public records show."
Seriously, I did not realize Jessica Simpson had that kind of money.
Per TMZ: "Heather Locklear has loads of advice on how to look young ... no, it's not Botox, but it does involve a shot to the face."
Huffington Post adds, "Semen as an anti-aging treatment saw a spike in popularity (or at least curiosity) around 2009. Turns out spermine, one of the components of semen, is high in anti-oxidants and can be used to smooth out wrinkles. An enterprising Cosmo reporter even went and got a sperm facial at a swanky New York spa, confirming that her skin did feel smoother afterwards."
Those Darlins took a break from the studio to play a couple of hometown shows, and lead singer/guitarist Jessi Darlin revealed something of a new look. She cut her hair really short and threw on a suit and tie. She looks a little like Elvis Costello now. All she needs is glasses.
Even with the slightly masculine look, Jessi is still the hottest woman in rock. Does this make me gay?
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
"Breaking Bad has set a return date for its final eight episodes. AMC's drama will return August 11th to close out its fifth season, which is the series' last. The network is also launching a new live show, Talking Bad, which will discuss the show's conclusion in-depth for fans. That will also start August 11th and air after Breaking Bad." Read the rest here.
Today, the Republican Party prevented a bill from being voted upon that would have required a criminal and mental health background check be passed before purchasing a gun. There were 54 votes to proceed, and 46 to deny a vote. Miraculously, the 46 wins. Only in Tea Party America!
You can thank the NRA, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the RNC, the Republican Party and the mainstream media for the outcome. This is a HUGE victory for criminals, terrorists, spouse abusers, stalkers, and violent people all across the United States. This is a major loss for the American people -- 90% of whom want universal background checks on all gun purchases.
If, as the NRA and its toadies always say, "guns don't kill people, people do"...explain the opposition to checking whether certain people are too dangerous or unstable to buy a gun?! Seems to me that if you oppose background checks, then you are saying it doesn't matter who has a gun; and are therefore negating your stupid catch phrase.
The lunatics are running the asylum, friends.
I have been singing the praises of this band for the last two years. Loved their debut LP and saw them open for Mission of Burma in 2010. My bold prediction is that Surfer Blood will be the new Weezer. The old Weezer has sucked for the better part of the last decade, so it's a win-win!
I checked out the newest SyFy series, Defiance, last night. Mixed feelings on the show. I stayed tuned throughout the entire two-hour premiere, so that says something.
Entertainment Weekly posted that the show generated SyFy's highest rating since 2009, and it's highest rated premiere since Eureka in 2006.
The series mixes two popular science fiction themes of late: aliens and the apocalypse. From what I could gather from the show, the gist of it is that a number of different aliens came to Earth to escape their dying star system. They assumed Earth was uninhabited. Obviously, this was incorrect. After many years of war, there was something of an armistice between humans and most of the aliens. That's where we are now.
The show, on a visual level, is reminiscent of the Mad Max movies from the 80s. Much of the earth is barren and very dangerous. The big shots at the SyFy network want Defiance to restore the network to its Battlestar Galactica heights. We'll see. Fox had a similar show on last year called Terra Nova, and it was a bomb. Here's to hoping this one is better! Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter says, "...even if tonight's two-hour premiere doesn't hook you, stay patient and let it find its footing."
I'll take Tim's advice and give it two more episodes before rendering a verdict. I mean, I liked Revolution at first, but quickly grew to dislike it. Maybe my neutrality can be shaken with a strong next two episodes.
On the casting front, two former Dexter stars appear on Defiance. Julie Benz, who played Dexter's wife on the first few seasons before -- spoiler alert -- she is killed, plays the Mayor of the city of Defiance. Jaime Murray, who was Dexter's psychotic love interest in season two before he -- spoiler alert -- killed her, also appears. Though I honestly don't remember seeing her in the episode. Lastly, actress Mia Kirshner stars as the owner of a brothel in Defiance, and sister to the Mayor. I used to looooove her on The L Word. Of all the crazy and hot lesbians on that show, she was the craziest and hottest (next to Jennifer Beals, of course).
So, there are some pluses and minuses to Defiance. I'll keep you in the loop on how it evolves.