Saturday, February 7, 2009

The International, Not To Be Confused with The Internationale

though I made that mistake.(though I guess it could be thought that both are against and exposing the dangers of a greedy capitalistic system.) sorry for the digression; it happens- i'm red.

Anyway I don't know if I want to see The International, it kind of reminds me of The Firm, but I do love Clive Owens. Here's the trailer

My questions- what bank in this climate has the money or power to be that devious and murderous? And couldn't they just wait out The International and wait for it to collapse? I mean in this economy it's bound to happen sooner rather than later. Though I think it's great timing to have a financial institution as a villain.

The amazing sound of the killing hordes
The day the banks collapse on us
Cease this endless chattering
Like everything is fine
When sorry is not good enough
Sit in the back while no-one drives

: Radiohead- The Amazing Sounds Of Orgy [mp3]

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But... I Don't Want To Have To Believe Jose Canseco!

Yet I'm finding it harder to dismiss him. I remember when he came out with I guess maybe his second book where he claimed that Alex Rodriguez a) tried to sleep with Jose's wife and b) was introduced to a steroids guy by Canseco and everyone laughed him off as a washed up guy looking for more and more attention.
But then Sports Illustrated breaks this this morning and it's like ugh

In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.

Rodriguez's name appears on a list of 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball's '03 survey testing, SI's sources say.
The list of the 104 players whose urine samples tested positive is under seal in California. However, two sources familiar with the evidence that the government has gathered in its investigation of steroid use in baseball and two other sources with knowledge of the testing results have told Sports Illustrated that Rodriguez is one of the 104 players identified as having tested positive, in his case for testosterone and an anabolic steroid known by the brand name Primobolan. All four sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the evidence.

Primobolan, which is also known by the chemical name methenolone, is an injected or orally administered drug that is more expensive than most steroids. (A 12-week cycle can cost $500.) It improves strength and maintains lean muscle with minimal bulk development, according to steroid experts, and has relatively few side effects.
Rodriguez finished the 2003 season by winning his third straight league home run title (with 47) and the first of his three MVP awards.

I haven't really like A-Rod since he was in Seattle and/or those times he was rumoured to be coming to the Dodgers but, and maybe this is me being naive again, or believing the media about how he's always been clean but I never thought he used steroids, or maybe I just didn't care because he was the "white hatted knight" who would take back the home run record from B*rry Bonds.

But what now? Do I know have to believe Jose? I liked it so much better when he wasn't accorded, if not respect, than at least a grudging nod for being right. But he was right about everything in "Juiced" and now this.
Were the only clean superstars of the last 15 years Ken Griffey and Manny (Griffey and Lance Armstrong are the two athletes you will never be able to convince me used steroids, even if there was a video of me personally injecting both of them)

I don't know why I care; I guess it was just a little shocking. But is it weird that whenever I think of steroids being passed around I first think "that's so gay*" but then I wonder if the dealer tells the guy, in the immortal words of "Juice" "Yo, you got the juice now" because I think that would just be awesome.

*p.s. I really like those commercials but I hate that the made the message into a rhyme- i think the rhyming kind of makes it seem less serious and grown up, at least to me it makes it seem more playful and frivolous. I mean "when you say that's so gay/ do you realize what you say?" it sounds like a nursery rhyme. But I love in this commercial how the blonde girl says "why are you saying 'that's so Emma and Julie'?" the way she says the line is so queer and campy and fabulous and makes me laugh.

Also I know we now live in a 24 hour news cycle where it's all about getting the story out first but talk about a news dump! I mean you release a story on Saturday morning! What happened to Sunday night or Monday morning so it has a full news cycle and the attention of people bored in the office.

(image from and shows where to properly inject steroids into your glutes)

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So Many Memories

Of this when I was a little elementary school "it" laying on the floor too close to the t.v. watching perhaps age inappropriate movies. And I had the tune for this in my head for like months, a few months ago and I had no idea what it was until I remembered the visual of the circling lights and so I'm just going to post it here so I always remember where I can find.
Anyway it's the opening HBO showed before each movie and it says 1983 opening but that has to be just the first year they used it because I'm not that old and I remember it

The eighties weren't that awesome, were they? I mean no decade could actually be totally that sweet

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I Guess Spring Break in Baghdad Is a Bad Idea Then

I love Italians!

From the New York Times

Falluja’s first Western leisure visitor was in town.
Not for long, though. An Iraqi checkpoint guard spotted the traveler, Luca Marchio, among Iraqi passengers in a public minibus heading from Baghdad to the once notorious — and still tense — city and alerted his superiors.

Soon, Mr. Marchio, 33, a native of Como, Italy, found himself in the Falluja police headquarters surrounded by bewildered Iraqi officers trying to figure out why a Westerner would wander around this city without a translator or guards. Mr. Marchio may have worried the police, but his main concern was saving money.

In two telephone interviews he brushed away all concerns for his safety and offers of help.

“I am a tourist. I want to see the most important cities in the country. That is the reason why I am here now,” he said in heavily accented English. “I want to see and understand the reality because I have never been here before, and I think every country in the world must be seen.”

Aww; that's kind of so romantic; He's just like Christopher Columbus, except without the whole genocide thing. I really like his spirit- I wonder if he's cute

Italian Embassy in Baghdad established that Mr. Marchio had traveled from Italy to Egypt, then to Turkey, and from there to northern Iraq over land. A photocopy of his passport shows that he obtained a 10-day visa and crossed the border from Turkey to Kurdistan.

Then came a 200-mile journey by taxi from Erbil, the Kurdistan regional capital, to Baghdad, where a startled Bashar Yacoub, 31, reception manager at the Coral Palace — a hotel that had not had a casual Western visitor since the American invasion in 2003 — took his details.

A good Iraqi bureaucrat, Mr. Yacoub checked Mr. Marchio’s documents and despite qualms about hosting a foreigner found his papers in order and gave him a room key. “He told us he just wanted to see Baghdad,” Mr. Yacoub said.

Asked if he thought Iraq was ready for tourists, Mr. Yacoub said, “No.” When he was asked if he believed Falluja was safe for tourists, his emphatic “no” was echoed by staff members and guests standing within earshot.

I wouldn't blame them for saying "No;" I hate tourists, they annoy me....even when I'm obstensibly one. I prefer to walk like I've lived there for years and own the place. Moving on

But there was no stopping Mr. Marchio. For an extra $40, the hotel gave him a tour of Baghdad sights, driving him along the riverfront, where he could photograph a statue of Scheherazade, the narrator of “The Thousand and One Nights,” and see children playing in a riverside garden. He proceeded to the artificial lake near Baghdad University and then to the square named after Baghdad’s founder, Abu Jaafar al-Mansur, on the west bank of the Tigris.

He went on to Zawra’a Park, a family spot with a small zoo and rides. He finished his day in the affluent but bomb-scarred shopping district of Karada, where his guide for the day, Ramez Fa’eq, 23, said, “When it became dark, he got afraid and wanted to return home to the hotel.
The next morning he set out for Falluja despite the hotel staff’s efforts to dissuade him, insisting on taking a public bus to the city, 40 miles west of Baghdad.
For the eager Mr. Marchio, that was the end of his bella viaggio in Iraq.

"The Eager Mr. Marchio;" sounds like a good name for a series of books, kinda like Mr. Magoo where our naive/idealistic traveler volunteers for exciting adventures in places that are perhaps not that safe for the Mr. Marchio s of the world. Or he's like a war zone hitchhiker. That could work.

But in conclusion Luca rocked the casbah and Sharif (god I'm racist) don't like it.

The Clahs- Rock The Casbah [mp3]

(image from The Hitchhiker)

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Saturday Morning Cartoons

You know who sucked a lot? The Nazis.
Now that I've gone out on such a limb here is a propaganda cartoon by Walt Disney from 1943 called Education For Death: The Making of The Nazi

This film was released when Disney, fresh off the bomb that was Fantasia (at the time)needed more money and so, according to Wikipedia, "Nearing bankruptcy and faced with a strike that left less than half of his employees on the payroll, Walt Disney was forced to look for a solution to upturn the production of the studio. Because of the physical closeness to the military manufacturing giant, Lockheed Martin, it allowed for the U.S. government to offer Disney a contract for 32 short propaganda films at $4,500 each which would create work for his employees and in turn save the studio"

So we can thank this little gem for allowing us to have, Alice in Wonderland, Lady and The Tramp and Sleeping Beauty (I think after that point the ship would've righted itself) and it is kind of a gem. Even though the material and story are as grim as you can get (expectedly), the animation is superb and the Sleeping Beauty vignette is actually kind of funny. Though it always troubles me that in 1943, when everyone must've known about the concentration camps and atrocities and other cruelty that Hitler was portrayed as an object of farce and ridicule instead of an object of malevolence.
But from 1943 here's "Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi"

And I guess I'm just maybe a little naive or I'm of my time and place but it never made sense to me how a whole nation could hate so thoroughly and vitriolically...until I saw some of the propaganda the Nazis offered to the smallest and most impressionable of their citizens like this cartoon
or saw this 1940 film about Jewish Immigration

and read The Poisonous Mushroom

It still doesn't make sense to me, but I guess I understand if this is all you see and are raised on from the time you can think, well...there would be little hope.
Ugh; I feel sick and it is too early for this; I'm sorry.
So mommas don't let your kids grow up to hate

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Night Flims

Hiroshima, Mon Amour concerns the experiences of a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) who performs the role of a nurse in a film being shot in post-war Hiroshima. There she meets a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) and they become lovers. Using flashbacks intercut into the present day love story - the couple's meetings in hotel rooms, restaurants, etc. - the woman tells of her experiences during the Second World War in France, where she was involved with a young German soldier during the German occupation, and the consequences when the war came to an end. -Wikipedia

Directed by Alain Resnais

Bryan Ferry- Hiroshima [mp3]

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When Stars Explode

Such hilarious little supernovas (excepting the whole part about the star dying)

I also got a kick out of this parody;

I wonder, of course if the Gregg Alexander who came up with the concept is the same Gregg Alexander who came up with the New Radicals (but that is not really related at all; i'm random)

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I Need To Get Out More

I've been in this city what? like 8 months now? and I still have no idea what's going on.
Otherwise I hopefully would have heard about this before now; it's a gathering of my people*! BSG fan's! Every Friday at the Bagdad Theater (i have no idea where that is) there are Battlestar Galactica watch parties, and hopefully unlike in the pictures there are actually minorities and women in attendance. Carrying on
From the Oregonian

...sitting among a packed house of "Battlestar Galactica" fans who gather Friday nights at the Bagdad Theater & Pub to watch the latest episode of the Sci Fi channel show on the big screen. Each week in the series' final season, KUFO radio personalities Cort and Fatboy are hosting screenings at the Bagdad. And everyone in the crowd seems to revel in the experience of geeking out over a show they love.
Even if you've never watched it, there's no mistaking the passion of "BSG" fans who, on a recent Friday, line up around the block an hour or more before the show starts. Wrapped in hooded jackets, knit caps, scarves and gloves over jeans and sneakers, the fans -- mainly in their 20s and 30s -- jabber excitedly about the show and its intricate mythology. Once inside the theater, more long lines form, this time for beer and pizza.
Beyond that, watching in a crowd makes sense, Gross thinks. "Television at its best is a communal experience. Think of 'Who shot J.R.?' and the moon landing. These are the moments that bond people together. Why should we isolate ourselves to watch?"

Inside the theater, Cort and Fatboy take to the small stage in this charmingly historic theater, with its ornate arches, wrought iron and vaguely Moorish architectural details. After a boisterous, expletive-peppered intro, the pair lead the crowd in an oath climaxing in one of the show's catch-phrases, "So say we all!" Then the lights go down and eyes rise to the big screen.

Aaah; that sounds like so much fun. God; I'm a gigantic nerd.

But this has been a big week for me finding out things to do in this city. Man V. Food, which I have become a big fan of, broadcast their Portland episode this week and I have no idea how I've never heard of Salvador Molly's; I feel I would love that place, I just hope it's not so touristy and cheesy.
P.S. I would totally rock that Habenero Fritter "Great Balls of Fire"challenge, yo; it actually seemed like one of the weaker challenges but still

I guess I'll have to wait for one of my friends to visit me in the great white north(west). Seriously it's really white.

* not my real people; there are very few black celibate transsexual socialists

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"My B*tch N*gga; Buy Your Own Damn Fries!"

One of my friends on facebook quoted this on their status and..I'll just let the youtube description, um, describe it for you because it is brilliant

If you've ever read President Barack Obama's "Dreams from My Father", good for you. I couldn't get past the foreword.
I wish I had. Because today I discovered that there's a fairly juicy little subplot in the book, involving one of Obama's high school friends.
Ray, a fellow classmate of Obamas, was also bi-racial, and also trying to define himself. But what set him apart was his colorful manner of self-expression. Ray cursed like a motherfucker.
This would all be snickerworthy enough, but it turns out that Obama actually read the audiobook version of Dreams For My Father.
And that means he read Rays quotes.
And that means you're about to hear the President of United States using language that would finish Cheney off once and for all.

Ah Barack! Ha! In the words of Denzel as Alonzo Harris from Training Day

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