…sail across the sea of lights"
LEONARD PITTS FOR PRESIDENT!
If Barack Obama turns out to be a bust as our Prez (and I don’t believe he will), I have the ideal replacement in mind for 2012: columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. I’ve praised him many times on this blog already because this guy is so right-on about most subjects, and it’s refreshing in this day and age to see a columnist/pundit who uses his head for something besides a hat rack, and who also doesn’t seem to be pursuing any kind of personal political agenda. LP authored yet another brilliant column this week and did a mighty fine job of cutting the Rush Limbaugh cheese in the process. A sample paragraph: "To judge from the eagerness with which they [Republicans] prostrate themselves before Limbaugh, the answer is troublingly simple: They fear losing the votes they have. They are unable to disenthrall themselves from that culturally intolerant, intellectually incoherent, perpetually outraged and willfully ignorant cohort of the American demographic they call their base, i.e., extreme social conservatives." Damn, I wish I’d written that! Here’s the entire column.
While we’re on the subject, a letter-to-the-editor writer in today’s K.C. Star, one Bud Simpson, had this to say: "Let me get this straight. The Republican Party, the party that has sold itself for years as the only one that can keep us safe from foreign interests, terrorists and economic meltdown, is now the party that doesn’t have the guts to stand up to a radio personality? That’s just pathetic." Well said, Bud. Heeeee shoots and scores!
Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. I was quite impressed with Sean Penn’s Oscar-winning performance in Milk—it’s everything the critics said it was, and you truly do lose track of Sean Penn and just see Harvey Milk throughout. I had to keep reminding myself this guy was once best known as Jeff "Hey, bud—let’s party!" Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High! Even though I knew Penn was playing a flamboyant, openly-gay man, I was still a bit startled when he hauled off and kissed another guy right smack on the lips. In doing so, he sure showed some stones as an actor—I think if it were me, I would’ve insisted on a stunt double woman made-up to be the guy before I did any kissing that intense! Josh Brolin—fresh off his role as Dubya in W—also turned in another pretty good performance here as unstable bad guy City Supervisor Dan White. How this creep (White) got off with only manslaughter convictions after murdering two city officials (including the mayor) by way of blaming his actions on a chemical imbalance (the "Twinkie defense") is truly absurd. Maybe I should go out and commit a major felony and use the ol’ "T-bone steak defense".
After having seen the movie—much of which was filmed on location in San Francisco—I regret not making it over to the city hall when I was out there last summer. It would’ve been neat to see where so much of the drama took place. Even though I’m not homosexual, I am sympathetic to their cause because of the way the religious right constantly shits on them, and I’ve always found Harvey Milk to be a rather fascinating figure. If nothing else, the guy sure had balls to challenge the status quo and rankle the establishment, thus giving a voice to millions of disenfranchised people. I loved how he took on phonies like Anita Bryant and right-wing so-called religious and political "leaders" head-on without blinking. Btw, the documentary film The Times of Harvey Milk is quite good as well, if you’re wanting to learn more about the man.
I’ve never gotten all the hatred and hostility the religious right heaps on gay people, especially their raging paranoia about how gays are "destroying the American family". How? Why? Just because they aren’t able (or don’t want) to have children? So what? Hell, I’m straight, and I can guaran-freakin’-tee that y’all ain’t getting any kids out of me, so what difference does it make who’s procreating and who isn’t? As for gay people adopting, I’d much rather see a child being raised by two gay parents who actually give a shit about him or her, as opposed to two neglectful and/or abusive heterosexual parents, wouldn’t you? Just relax, religious right folks—there are still plenty of straight people out there being fruitful (oops!) and multiplying, so there will be more than enough unwanted babies to go around. And then there’s all that ignorant clap-trap about "them homo-sek-shuls are out to recruit your kids" or that watching a gay movie will "turn you gay". It truly embarrasses me to be a member of the same species as the mongoloids who think that way. Sorry, folks, but watching a movie about Harvey Milk doesn’t make me any less heterosexual or any less of a man—it just makes me more aware of a wider reality.
This is not to say that I embrace everything about gay culture or condone everything gays do or stand for. I can do without the man-hating lesbians (and man-hating straight women, for that matter) as well as flamers like those you see on all these shallow-as-shit reality shows about fashion and gay guys who are so prissy that they’re afraid to get their hands dirty and do some honest-to-goodness hard work once in a while, like some former co-workers I’ve dealt with. That ACT-UP bunch is another group I can do without. And this is also not to say that I’m above describing something as "faggy" or making fun of famous gay people now and then (George Michael—TEN HUT!). Still, having said all that, geez Louise, can’t we all just live and let live? I seem to remember there’s something in the Bible about that, but I guess all the homophobic bigots out there just conveniently forget that part…
Sorry to turn a movie review into a rant, but I needed to take that garbage out of my system. Anyway, I give the film Milk about an 8.5 (out of 10). I think maybe I’ll mail a DVD copy to Rev. Fred Phelps in Topeka—I’m sure he’ll love it…
In what may well be the most bizarre double-feature ever executed, before I watched Milk the other night, I revisited that 1986 colossal bomb of a movie, Howard The Duck, which also debuted on DVD Tuesday. Yes, I know, it was a stupid movie for the most part, but it did have its moments. Actually, the first hour or so wasn’t all that bad—it was the whole "overlord of the universe" bit with Jeffrey Owens (the vice-principal guy from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) that killed it for me. That, and the duck himself, who wasn’t terribly likeable. Howard The Duck had a cult following in comic book circles prior to the movie, but like Garfield and Scooby-Doo, he simply didn’t transfer well to the silver screen.
However, HTD did have something that I liked when I first saw it. Hmmm, let’s see, what the heck was it? Gimme a minute, okay? Oh wait, now I remember what initially drew me to it…
Ah yes, the lovely Lea Thompson was a real hottie in this one (to this horny 22-year-old in 1986, anyway) and she turned in the only decent performance in this disasterpiece. To her credit, she doesn’t try to act like Howard never happened, and gladly participated in the DVD’s special features, unlike Tim "Shawshank" Robbins, who was nowhere to be found. I was surprised to learn that Lea actually did her own vocals in the film (she played a singer), and wasn’t too shabby at it—quite serviceable, anyway, for the ‘80s. LT still looks very attractive today, too—nice to see she’s taken care of herself and hasn’t become another Hollywood casualty.
CLASSIC OVERUSED MOVIE/TV CLICHÉ #10
Ain’t it amazing how apartment and/or office building rooftops in the movies and on TV are so neat and tidy? Oftentimes these roofs are totally devoid of all that silly tar and gravel—let alone pigeon poop and trash—that one would normally find there. A glaring example of this is the "Frasier" episode where Frasier and Martin arrange it so Daphne and Niles can have a secluded romantic dinner for two on the roof of Elliott Bay Tower, and the surface of that roof was almost clean enough to eat off of! Also amazing is the incredibly easy access TV and movie characters have to these roofs without setting off any sort of security alarms.
CLASSIC OVERUSED MOVIE/TV CLICHÉ 11
Speaking of double-features, here’s another cliché that I find particularly asinine: pretending to be Jewish (or any other religious denomination) just to impress a potential mate you’re attracted to. This plotline also happened on "Frasier", as well as "Caroline In The City" and no doubt countless other TV shows. This should be pretty self-evident, but I’ll say it anyway—if you feel you have to change who you are to impress someone, they ain’t freakin’ worth it, anyway…
KLINGONS ON THE STARBOARD BOW, STARBOARD BOW!
I was surprised to discover this week that the first woman I ever lusted after in my life—the lovely Yvonne Craig, who played Batgirl on TV’s "Batman"—also played the green chick that Kirk tried to get it on with on "Star Trek". Like Eddie Murphy once said, "You gotta be pretty hard-up to do it with a green bitch."
In a related issue, it took me years to finally notice that actor John Larroquette was one of the Klingons in Star Trek III—The Search For Spock in a pre-"Night Court"/Dan Fielding role. He was the one who uttered, "I do not deserve to live," to which Kirk replied, "Then I’ll kill you later."
While I’m at it, wouldn’t Rob Zombie make a dandy Klingon?
"WHAT THEY NEED'S A DAMN GOOD WHACKING!"
And it sounds like the folks at CNBC, especially raving lunatic financial guru Jim Cramer, got one on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" that was taped today. It airs in about an hour, and I look very much forward to seeing these schlubs taken to task for all their crappy financial advice...
CLASSIC MISHEARD LYRIC #110
"Kicks"—PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS (1966) "Before you find out it’s too late, girl, you better get straight." Or to my three-year-old ears when I first heard it, "…girl, you better get stretched."
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
This would've been a really bad celebrity product endorsement: "Hello, Vincent Van Gogh here for Miracle Ear…"
FROM THE "SUCKER BORN EVERY MINUTE" DEPT.:
This recession has produced a new cottage industry you might have noticed lately—these "Cash For Gold" TV ads, or "Dinero Por Oro" for youse Univision viewers. You gotta be a real piece of spackle to send off your valuable jewelry in the mail and actually expect any kind of decent reimbursement in return. Just go to a pawn shop, dummy!
Another cottage industry that popped up before the recession is all this identity theft prevention hysteria crap. I’m not saying ID theft doesn’t happen now and then, but I find it hard to believe it’s as prevalent as these sensationalistic fear-mongering advertisers make it out to be. Hell, if someone wants to steal my ID, they can fucking have it—it’s not like I’m scoring any hot chicks with my current one, and I’ll gladly let the sucker pay my credit cards off instead!