Star Wars: The Next Generation

Since last year George Lucas has been dropping hints regarding the possibility of a TV series. Today they are no longer hints. On USA Today, the TV series was confirmed by Lucas and now most recently the President of Lucas licensing, Howard Roffman, has quoted stating that a live action TV Series will indeed hit airwaves by fall of 2006.

More here, and y’know, sweeeeeet! But does Greedo shoot first?

The Enternal Spotless Sunset …

I keep blundering this name: The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I picked it up at Best Buy this morning – and that’s a problem with me, buying movies on DVD, I have like, well, a lot – (I actually have to go buy another bookcase because the one I have is no longer big enough) – anyway, GREAT MOVIE!

It’s by Charlie Kaufman … y’know, Adaptation, Being John Malkovich, he’s the fucked up guy who got Nick Cage to play him. How cool is that? Anyway, his stories are usually somewhere between “The Twilight Zone” and “90210″, in that they’re either really weird, or really down to earth. Well, usually somewhere that’s not quite in the middle.

In “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” – and, y’know, it’s not like the movie is in chronological order but I’m going to try and give you a brief spoiler-free, uh, spoiler – a guy named Joel (Jim Carrey, no relation to John) bumps into his girlfriend at a bookstore the day after a huge arguement during which he calls her a slut and she wrecks his car against a fire hydrant. Well, the girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet with blue/yellow/green/purple hair depending on the scene) totally doesn’t recognize him! He’s bummed out until he finds out that dear old Clementine was SO distraught by their fight that she had her memory of him … ERASED!

Well, he’s more than a little pissed off, and has the same thing done to him – memories of Clem? Gone! Gone! Except, as they’re erasing his memories of her – and him with no way to communicate with ‘them’ that’s-a-doin’ the erasin’ – he decides, “Wait! I love her! I don’t want to lose these memories!” And therein begins a wild chase as he tries to hide memories of her in places of brain where the “colander as a brain sucker” can’t locate and destroy them! All the while, the machine is on auto-pilot, and the tech and his girlfriend are eating his food, drinking his beer, smoking weed, and having sex on his bed.

It gets a bit more complicated than that, and an act of seeming charity by Kristen Dunst’s heartbroken receptionist almost destroys the happy ending …

… wait, there is no happy ending, this is a Charlie Kaufman script. Or is there? I don’t know, I’m still confused by it. Anyway, worth the $4 to rent it, or the $20 to buy it. It’s on the shelf next to “Adaptation.” Well, no, it isn’t, but that’s because “Adaptation” is on the shelf but “Sunset” is on top of the stack next to the shelf because I don’t have any more room for DVDs!

The Disintegration of the GOP Has Begun

(Washington) Washington, D.C. Councilman David Catania, once the GOP’s top fundraiser in the District, officially quit the Republican party Wednesday over its continuing attacks on gays.

The 36 year old joined the GOP when he was 16.

“For some time, the leadership of the Republican Party has been dominated – and I believe very adversely – by a single, narrow group of individuals, who show no interest or concern for issues that confront a diverse nation,” Catania said in his statement.

“The time has long since past for me to stop believing that by working within the Party, I can be an agent of change.

Empty words and rhetoric are all that are left of the once proud Republican Party and I am no longer willing to associate myself with it. I shall, therefore, continue my public service as an Independent.”

The Republican Party can continue to try to present itself as compassionate and fair-minded, but so long as they continue to preach hatred as a core Republican value, they will only lose those bright future stars who are essential to the Party’s future absent of its past stereotypes of rich, fat white guys.

Once upon a time, in 1984, David Catanina felt that the Republican Party was compassionate enough to accept a gay member. Twenty years later, the Party has moved not a step forward, but rather taken some incredible leaps backward.

The GOP is fracturing, and they have only themselves to blame.

Progressive Politics & The War on Terror

“I don’t want to create a society where all succeed equally, but an opportunity society where all have an equal chance to succeed no matter what their background, class or race” – Tony Blair

Last night when I returned from work (and flooding made the job a living hell), I set to work cleaning my apartment – well, the living/dining room, actually. I also rearranged the couch, love-seats, and entertainment center. I flipped on the TV as I worked, and wound up watching Tony Blair’s speech from earlier in the day rerun on C-SPAN.

What I found most interesting in his speech was when he said that it would be progressive – not conservative – ideologies which would win to victory in the war on terror. I’ve tried to find a transcript of the speech, but I haven’t been able to!, but what he said was along the lines of, “Progressives know that to defeat terrorism it isn’t enough to kill the terrorists, you have to go in and change the conditions which give rise to terrorism.”

Excellent, Prime Minister! Someone who gets that killing terrorists is all well and good, but is only part of the solution, not the solution in and of itself.

Real Klingons Vote Kerry

klingons.jpg

The incumbent has staked his campaign on the war on terror. But those who speak the language of the Trek warrior race–known to disdain dishonor, or quvHa’ghach–seem alienated by Iraq and other issues.

According to the poll of eight local Klingons, a whopping 75 percent support the Democratic nominee.

Two Klingons polled–or 25 percent–said they planned to write in Satan.

Bush scored an abysmal zero percent in the poll.

“A good war is based on honor, not deception,” says K’tok (Earth name: Clyde Lewis), a 40-year-old Klingon from Lair Hill. “The first warrior, President Bush, deceived us all with this war.”

“On the home world, if there had been a contested election between Gore and Bush, the honorable thing would be for Gore to kill Bush,” explained Khraanik (Earth name: Jason Lewis), a 38-year-old from Southeast Portland. “Or the other way around. And then ascend to the head of the High Council.”

It’s too early for Kerry to chill the ceremonial bloodwine, but Portland Klingons are clearly warming to the cerebral Massachusetts Democrat.

But for whom would Kor vote? For whom?

FALL!

According to the Sun, temperatures will continue to drop this coming week. Hoorah! For the pizza delivery drivers among us, this means one thing: more money! Also: more stress, more miles on the car, more near collisions with deer.

Last Saturday night, I had the first taste of the coming dinner night rushes. It is hard to explain the nature of the business if you’ve never worked in a pizza shop before. We’ll have two guys working inside – taking phone orders, making pizzas and subs and salads, working their asses off so that when we, the drivers, hustle into the store, our orders are prepped and ready to go.

At my independently-owned pizza shop, most nights there are only two drivers. During the week this works out well – it is just the right amount, and we both make lots of money. On Saturday nights, it gets a bit more hectic, and on the rare nights when there are three drivers, we’re still getting our butts kicked.

The run starts when you walk into the store and put your hot-bags (if you’ve chosen to use them) under the sub-table. You walk over to the oven and look at the pizza boxes and sandwich bags stacked atop. Usually, the inside crew is either too busy to route you, or aren’t familiar enough with the area to route you. The first step you must do is to determine which order is the oldest. In more modern shops, with computer systems, the computer identifies the oldest order – but this shop uses the tried-and-true “guest check” system. Identifying the oldest order, you also quickly determine which are also heading in the sometimes general direction – sometimes this can be identified as vaguely as “west” (meaning anything to the ‘west’ of the store regardless of how far north or south it is).

Bagging up your runs, and making sure to account for side items – sodas, salads, etcetra – and jumping into your car, the routing begins. Some nights you may have a simple group: three deliveries up to Loveton, maybe two to Cranbrook Road. Some nights you’ve got a single to Cuba, three out to Falls, one to Jerome Jay, and two Mays Chapels atop of that. Loveton is north. Cuba is northwest. Falls is West. Jerome Jay and Mays Chapel are both south.

Talk about a headache.

I can’t wait.

I'm not a weasel!

Well … I do hog the laundry machines in the building, and sometimes I play the music a little *too* loud a little *too* late at night, so maybe I am …

But though I think Kerry is probably beyond the point of credibly reassuring me on the war, I invite him to move left and join me in open support for gay marriage, drug legalization, and abortion rights without any of that “personally opposed but still in favor” weaseling.

So writes Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com. I have to admit that on the surface, “personally opposed but still in favor” can quite seem like weaseling (or, for the anti-Kerry among us, “waffling”).

Is it, though? Is it not perhaps possible to have conflicting moral views about a behavior while at the same time recognizing that people have a right to engage in it? I think it is!

I am personally opposed to abortion. There. I said it. It’s the last remaining shreds of Catholicism within my person (the rest long since abandoned). However! I am also opposed to the anti-choice crowd: those who would seek to make abortion illegal. “Wait”, I can hear some people asking, “Doesn’t that make you pro-abortion?” Well, no, it makes me pro-choice. Why am I pro-choice? Because I have no right to tell another person what they can or can’t do with their body. Because in the event of a banning of legal, safe abortions, I fear the result of massive back-alley abortions, which would result in the deaths of many pregnant women who otherwise would survive.

So, Glenn, I’m going to have to say (y’know, me the flea, you the big mighty lion, like you’re going to listen to me anyway…) that it isn’t always weaseling. Some views are simply too complex … too many shades of grey …

(Which, by the way, was an awful episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” … just horrible).

Kerry, Bush, or …

Don’t want to vote for Kerry? Don’t want to vote for Bush? Don’t. There ARE other political parties, y’know. Check it out:

David Cobb for the Green Party.

Ralph Nader for the Reform Party.

Michael Badnarik for the Libertarian Party.

My public service announcement of the year … well, not very much of a service considering I have what, five readers? Well, six if Bob remembered to surf on over here after work.

Ban the Boonducks? Fuck that.

The decision by several newspapers, including a few major ones, to drop Aaron McGruder’s popular “Boondocks” comic strip this week has set off sparks, possibly as the artist intended.

The series of daily strips this week imagines a new reality TV show hosted by rap impressario Russell Simmons, called “Can a N***a Get a Job?”, with the missing letters pretty easy to discern. It includes panels showing a woman who would rather sleep than apply for a job, a knife fight between two women and a black man smoking marijuana in a board room, in a takeoff on “The Apprentice.”

Boondocks = Funny.
Censorship = Bad.

This ends the lesson.

Play on your fears for political gain? NEVER!

The Republican Party acknowledged yesterday sending mass mailings to residents of two states warning that “liberals” seek to ban the Bible. It said the mailings were part of its effort to mobilize religious voters for President Bush.

The mailings include images of the Bible labeled “banned” and of a gay marriage proposal labeled “allowed.” A mailing to Arkansas residents warns: “This will be Arkansas if you don’t vote.” A similar mailing was sent to West Virginians.

A liberal religious group, the Interfaith Alliance, circulated a copy of the Arkansas mailing to reporters yesterday to publicize it. “What they are doing is despicable,” said Don Parker, a spokesman for the alliance. “They are playing on people’s fears and emotions.”

The mailing is the latest evidence of the emphasis Republicans are putting on motivating conservative Christian voters to vote this fall. But as the appeals become public, they also risk alienating moderate and swing voters.

An editorial on Sept. 22 in The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, for example, asked, “Holy Moley! Who concocts this gibberish?”

“Most Americans see morality more complexly,” the editorial said. “Many think a higher morality is found in Christ’s command to help the needy, prevent war and pursue other humanitarian goals. Churchgoers of this sort aren’t likely to believe childish allegations that Democrats want to ban the Bible.”

Still, Mr. Land questioned the assertion that Democrats might ban the whole Bible. “I wouldn’t say it,” he said. “I would think that is probably stretching it a bit far.”

The New York Times.

Do they even compare notes?

“Forty-three days before the election, my opponent has now suddenly settled on a proposal for what to do next, and it’s exactly what we’re currently doing.” — George W. Bush, Sept. 20

“John Kerry’s latest position on Iraq is to advocate retreat and defeat in the face of terror.” — White House spokesman Steve Schmidt, Sept. 20

Thanks, Atrios.

Star Wars: The Special Special DVD Edition

Star Wars finally came out on DVD yesterday. FINALLY! Best Buy in White Marsh and 98-Rock hosted one of those “Open at 12:01 so you folks can get it THAT early, because really, you’ve waited seven years for these movies to get to DVD, who can’t wait another ten friggin’ hours?”

Well, I’m usually up fairly late, and I figured that most people wouldn’t go because they’d have to be at work in the morning. Boy was I wrong. I pulled into the parking lot at fifteen after midnight, and there was a line out the door and around the building. I said “no thanks” and made a hasty retreat, opting to purchase it in the morning – well, er, later in the morning, anyway.

So about 10:20, I rolled into the Best Buy in Lutherville (much closer to where I live), bought the set, and went to work. When I finally got home for the night (a little after 10pm), I threw “Star Wars: A New Hope” into the player and watched it. Oh, the chills! The excitement! The geekfest that my apartment has become!

(No, really, geekfest, you have no idea, it is SCARY)

So, anyway, I watched “Star Wars” and “Empire Strikes Back.” Now, Mr. “I can’t leave these films alone” Lucas did a little editing to all three films (covered earlier here), and the biggest change to “Empire” was in the scene where Vader and the Emperor communicate via a huge “look, my head is floating above you” hologram projector. In the original version of the film, Clive Revill played the Emperor. Now, Ian McDiarmid (who played the Emperor in “Return of the Jedi”, and the two prequel films), has been edited in to replace Clive. The dialogue between the two has also been changed. I’m okay with replacing Clive with Ian, but the new dialogue is just ATROCIOUS!

I’m not even bothering with spell check, I’m so irritated.