Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Thoughts of She

I came across one of those WTF stories I used to send her, or have her come over to the computer screen to read.

She would read the headline, and sometimes the lede, roll her eyes and ask me why I keep reading Sankei News.


I wish I didn't feel this way.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Just Because

I've had a pretty shitty week, so here's a cute tune that made me smile:

Monday, 15 November 2010

Maddow Vs. Stewart

I absolutely love Rachel Maddow, mind like a steel trap; and I consider John Stewart one of the best commentators on US politics. So it was great to see this interview where Maddow really pushes Stewart to get at what he's trying to do and his precise role. The interview felt a bit awkward in parts, however. I think this was down to the fact that he was making his points about 24-hour cable news to the person whose show is one of the least representative of the problems Stewart critiques. I do take issue with what I see as a false equivalence in his analysis of political dialogue in the US, which I've written about elsewhere, I've been doing some more thinking, and I'm mulling over his points in the Bush WMD and waterboarding discussion.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Simple Answers to Simple Stupid Questions Cont.

After quoting this post from Juan Cole:
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship maintains that we do not have to worry about climate change because God promised in the Bible not to destroy the world again after Noah’s flood.
About half the newly elected Congressmen are climate deniers (and if past experience is any guide, about a third of them are criminals).
 John Cole asks:
Do other nations look at us and just laugh?
Basically yes, until we realise what the fumduckery of your lawmakers may mean for the rest of us.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Just Because

Some tunes from a cool Icelandic band, Hjálmar. Caught their song Manstu on a Icelandair flight back home and haven't been able to get it out of my head. It brings to my mind's eye a scene in which I foolishly serenade some poor girl with my boys in tow, and ask her to remember how good it felt to be with me:

I also dig this tune, Líð ég um. Enjoy:

Monday, 8 November 2010

I'll try to keep an open mind...

I've just learned, via my morning read, that Zac Efron has been offered the lead role in an adaptation of anime fan favourite Akira.  

Akira is the name of a manga series -later adapted into an animated movie- set in "neo-Tokyo" a city built following the destruction of the old Tokyo in an explosion three decades earlier. The explosion was caused by the eponymous Akira, a young boy with terrifying telekinetic powers. The central protagonists are Shima Tetsuo and Kaneda Shōtarō. The latter -the role Efron has apparently been offered- is the leader of a biker gang who discovers that his childhood friend Tetsuo is developing similar destructive powers.

Truth be told, I'm not all that enamoured of the anime. Still, my immediate reaction is worry that this will be another Dragonball Evolution, a little disappointment that the rumours do not concern some hot, young Asian actor, and hope that the producers will do more justice to the depth and complexity of the original manga than the anime adaptation.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Crank Up The Wingnut Wurlwitzer!

I expect lots of crowing from the pundits about "the people" having delivered their verdict on the so-called big government tax and spend policies of the Obama administration, and I shall pay them no mind. I have little time for those who largely kept quiet while an inherited surplus was transformed into a structural deficit with  tax cuts, two wars, and a new programme - all unpaid for. Furthermore I'm quite certain that if you were to ask people specific policy questions they would not opt for a roll back of provisions for people with pre-existing conditions, nor for another transfer of wealth to the rich and super-rich through the Bush tax cuts. 

The economy sucks, incumbents always get soaked when the economy sucks. In fact considering how many people are hurting I'm surprised that the drubbing the Democrats received wasn't much worse 

What annoys me most about the result is that now the Republican leadership has no incentive whatsoever to actually get to grips with the business of governance. These knuckleheads spent the last two years ginning up fear about a secret muslim Kenyan socialist usurper, and they've been rewarded with control of the lower house of Congress and quite a few state legislatures - I expect some real wailing and gnashing of teeth when districts are redrawn. The next two years should be even more fun: crazy bills with no chance of making it through the senate and frivolous investigations (to keep the base nice and angry), increased legislative paralysis, the inaction and its consequences shamelessly blamed on Obama.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Simple Answers to Simple Stupid Questions

Bill Maher, upon discovering that the most popular baby name in the U.K was Mohammed: Am I a racist to feel I'm alarmed by that? Because I am.

Not necessarily, Mr. Maher but that's classic bigotry right there.