Monday, May 31, 2010

They Served Too

Today is the day we honor the fallen members of our Armed Forces.

The question I ask is how many have fallen who have been given no honor at all.

Let's start with:

Blacks: During the American Revolution, any black soldier who fought in George Washington's army was promised his freedom, and generous payment for it. This promise was frequently never kept. Many of them were even returned to slavery after their service.

Women: Women served actively in the military during every war since the Revolution. And yet most of the time their service was never recognized or rewarded. In most cases, it was often ignored.

Homosexuals: The case of Margarethe Cammermeyer springs immediately to mind. This is a woman--not American born, but a naturalized citizen--who dedicated her life to serving America as a military officer. But when she revealed she was a lesbian, she was immediately dishonorably discharged. The narrow-minded military policy against gays once again deprived it of a valuable asset, a college-educated, highly skilled nurse, for no other reason than her sexual orientation.

On this day, when we remember our fallen military heroes, let us also pause to remember those who will never have a chance to receive the same honors, because they were simply born at or of the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong gender, the wrong race, or the wrong orientation.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Random Thought

Today I had a random thought, which I think has potential.

Today we were treated to the theatrical release of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. This movie is apparently based on a popular video game.

An aside: Why would the movie's makers cast Jake Gyllenhaal as the titular character of the movie?! He's about as Persian as Woody Allen! I realize that having a popular actor helps out at the box office, but surely there is some well-known actor of Persian descent who could have filled the role...

But I digress. In the past few years, we have seen a number of movies derived from immensely popular video games. In no particular order, we have seen often more than one film based on Mortal Kombat, Doom, Resident Evil, Max Payne, Street Fighter, Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy, just to name a few. The list gets bigger if you include animated movies produced in Japan.

The movies themselves have met with generally mixed reviews. It may be impossible to make a movie that lives up to the expectations of the fans of a game that is loved by millions, or tens of millions, of fans.

But my thought was this: why not try tapping the people who make these games, who obviously know how to create popular entertainment?

There's a chance this has already happened. Maybe some of the people who create these wildly popular games already work in Hollyweird.

But, given what's coming out of there these days, I seriously doubt it.

Meanwhile, I'll keep waiting for the adaptation of Half-Life. It's got to come eventually...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why is Anyone Surprised?

Anyone who has followed the news over the past few weeks has watched as BP has tried--and failed--many times to cap the uncapped underwater oil well that is spilling tens of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day. They have also watched as the government has stood back and waited for them to fix the problem, using everything from drilling a second hole into the gushing broken well to cap it to trying to use a giant concrete condom to cap the gusher. Nothing has worked--yet.

Why are people surprised that nothing has worked?

Companies that tap our planet's natural resources to produce energy have only one interest in common--to get as much profit as they can out of the ground with as little expense as possible. Safety be damned.

We have seen this happen time and time again with coal mine disasters. Miners die, inevitably as a result of safety cutbacks. And now we have seen an offshore oil rig that failed as a result of shoddy safety practices. And that failed offshore rig is continuing to pump oil into the Gulf. It is guaranteed to become the worst environmental disaster in history. The Gulf states may never recover from it.

But the corporations will survive. Because they always do.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lost--cops out

OK so it had no choice.

What else could it be but a cop out?

It turns out he was dead all along. Lame, lame, LAME!

It could not possibly have lived up to the expectations everyone had.

I should expect no less from the man who took the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek Universe out into the courtyard, tied it to a tree, gave it a cigarette, and executed it.

I'm talking to YOU, J.J. Abrams!

OK What the Hell?!

THAT is a finale?!

Please post a comment if you think the finale of LOST sucked the sweat from a dead bear's anus.

Are. You. Kidding. Me.

Edit 11:11 PM Well the finale has gone past the normal ending of prime time. We will wait...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Glimmer of Hope...Dashed

Official results of yesterday's pivotal primary and special elections were announced today. On the morning news.

An aside: As a Democrat-leaning independent, I have to say I'm mostly pleased with the results yesterday. Particularly in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

But I digress. This morning, as I wandered into the office, I caught a snippet of conversation between two of my female co-workers. I picked up the words "vote" and "last night".

Finally, I thought to myself. It's finally happened. The people in my office have decided to take an interest national politics. My tireless work to get these people interested has paid off! I was ecstatic.

The feeling lasted about ten seconds.

As I wandered over to join the conversation, I realized as I got closer that they were talking not about the results of yesterday's elections, but about voting on American Idol. I should've known better than to get my hopes up.

I weep for the dying IQ of this nation.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Obama Assassination Geometry Lesson

It seems that a geometry teacher in Alabama has used a theoretical assassination attempt of President Obama as an example in his geometry class.

I really don't know where to start.

Threatening the life of the President is a Federal offense. I don't care how innocuous it may have been. This guy should go to jail. I can't imagine what the outcry over this would be like if a geometry teacher in a high school in, say, Massachusetts had done the same thing using George W. Bush as an example.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. This is, after all, in Alabama, which produces politicians like this.

I weep for the dying IQ of this nation.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crystal Crazy

My city of Toledo has gone completely Crystal Bowersox crazy.

This American Idol winner wannabe came to Toledo today, performed at an Open air concert (where she apparently showed up late and sang two songs and then left), went to the Ottawa County fair, then returned to Toledo to sing the National Anthem at the Mud Hens game (the Mud Hens, by the way, will ALWAYS be more famous than any American Idol contestant), and then ran back to Hollyweird.

She is NOT from Toledo. She is from a place in Ohio called Elliston. Search for it on the web. You won't find it. You also won't find it on any current map of Ohio. That will no doubt change after this year. It's an "intersection town". If you are driving down a two-lane highway and come to a stop sign, you will see a few houses scattered nearby. That's what this town consists of. That, and a couple of churches.

I have NEVER watched a single episode of American Idol, and if I never watch an episode of the show, I will consider one of my life's goal's fulfilled.

I have probably said this before: I imagine the following meeting in FOX's production office:

"Hey! I have an idea for a show! Let's send out a call for every no-talent hack in the country to come and audition in front of cameras while singing badly over-produced Karaoke. We'll get a trio of judges with no power to change anything that will include a snarky English guy, a fading Pop star, and a token Black man that no one has ever heard of to choose the people that get to face up to whichever faction can manage to muster the most artificial internet and text votes to keep them in the game.

The sad part is that this show has become one of the most popular shows in the nation.

I weep for the dying IQ of this nation.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Fuglies

Attention any female readers of this blog: I am about to be a shallow, insensitive prick. Stop reading NOW!

Are they gone? OK, good.

The president has announced his nominee for the next supreme court justice:

Yes folks, meet Elena Kagan.

A woman who, not to put it mildly, looks like she took a nose dive out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

(I did warn you!)

The Democrats seem to want to select the ugly ones: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Janet Reno, Nancy Pelosi, Teresa Heinz-Kerry. Don't get me wrong--there are a few exceptions.

Meanwhile, Republicans have ones like Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham.

I guess that having a soul and a conscience apparently weighs you down enough that the warts start to show.

It must be easy to be cute if you don't care about the welfare of others.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

From the Department of Redundancy Department

I was at my dad's house today, and I was flipping through the cable TV channels, looking for something that would convince me to get cable (as I have done many times before, without success).

On the Fox Sports Channel for Detroit, I encountered a baseball game between the Indians and the Tigers. The Channel info described the game as being "MLB Baseball".

MLB stands for "Major League Baseball". So the channel info stood for "Major League Baseball baseball."

I weep for the dying IQ of this nation.