Since When Is Lack of Back-Scratching the Same as Lack of Loyalty?

Filed under:Good Grief,Politics — posted by Anwyn on September 20, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

I’m busy with too many things to blog properly, but this is a gimme. Allah quotes Politico:

Savvy readers [of her biography] might find cause for concern in Palin’s burning ambition, her ruthlessness or her complete lack of loyalty to political patrons. …

… Palin was encouraged to run for a City Council seat in Wasilla, Alaska, in 1992 by council member Nick Carney and was warmly welcomed into office by then-Mayor John Stein. Within months of taking office, she had voted against a pay hike for Stein and against a mandatory garbage collection ordinance that would have greatly enriched Carney. Four years later, Palin unseated Stein…

The scandals Palin helped prod along [while an appointee of Gov. Frank Murkowski’s administration] badly damaged the Murkowski administration. She ran against the governor in the 2006 GOP primary, easily finishing him off.

Palin had her reasons but the pattern is clear. She is invited in by well-established pols, doesn’t get her way and ends up running against the “good old boys” and defeating them handily.

Was it possible that she thought the mayor’s salary was high enough by objective standards and that Wasilla didn’t need the garbage collection ordinance? Was it an understood thing that “encouragement to run” and a “warm welcome” cost her vote on their pet issues? That is not loyalty; that is corruption. Looks to me like an unwillingness to pay back good manners with political influence might be one of the reasons McCain picked her. Will he have to watch his back around her? Looks to me like no, as long as he watches his step around voters. Which is fine by me. If she defects and challenges in 2012, it is the voters who will decide whether she had good reasons to do so.

What Up, McCain Web People?

Filed under:Good Grief,Politics — posted by Anwyn on August 29, 2008 @ 11:46 am

Do you know how difficult it is to find the Downloads page on John McCain’s campaign web site? (Yeah, even though I apparently found it once before, to get the button in my sidebar.) So difficult that after roughly ten minutes of searching, I had to advance-Google “downloads” at site That takes you to the page, all right, for which there apparently is no direct link from the menus on the home page at all. (Update: I found the link, through the Action–>Action Center–>Site Tools path. One rollover and two clicks off the home page and utterly unintuitive.)

Once I found it, I was surprised to see there are no buttons for McCain/Palin, nor any stickers or signs for the duo in McCain’s online store. What gives, web and publicity people? You make a major announcement that will definitely get bloggers fired up, and then don’t have stuff available for us to show how fired up we are? Roll out the Mr. & Mrs. Maverick buttons and stickers. Put a link to the Downloads page on the main site. The web moves fast. Keep up!

Update x2: Made my own, cropped from the campaign site’s banner, inspired by Carlos Echevarria.

Update x3: Slu the Photoshop King made more, with pics.

What Fresh Celebrity Hell Is This?

Filed under:Good Grief — posted by Anwyn on August 28, 2008 @ 9:23 pm

David Duchovny enters rehab.

For sex addiction.

Apparently, they are not making this up. Usual boilerplate about “please respect the privacy of my wife and children as we deal with this” applies.

In one of those ironic twists that sometimes happens when you get a question in Trivial Pursuit on a topic you just happened to be discussing two hours ago, just today I actually read the blurb in Us where he talked about Tea passing out from getting steamy in a sauna.

H/t Ace’s headlines.

Dear Birthday Express Dot Com

Filed under:Good Grief,It's My Life,Mothering — posted by Anwyn on August 27, 2008 @ 9:33 am

On what planet is “Hot Wheels” a “sports” theme for a child’s birthday party, but soccer is not? Thanks for zip.

No *Time*?

Filed under:Good Grief,Movies,Tolkien — posted by Anwyn on August 20, 2008 @ 6:47 pm

Apparently Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens will reprise their writing duties from Lord of the Rings for the two Hobbit movies. Good for the consistency of the films–consistency that’s been worrying me, given that they’re going to have to swap out actors for primary characters; bad for the general writing quality, which I was willing to largely forgive during Rings for the stunning visuals. Notably, though, I have not felt any urge to go back and re-watch them since the last time I wrote about them. This is a laugh, though:

While looking for another writer, however, Jackson and Del Toro found openings in their schdules, realized how much they loved the material, and decided there was no time to bring in someone unfamiliar with Middle Earth.

Wow. They realized, after Jackson had previously made three gazillion-dollar movies off it, that they love the material? Does anybody really believe that anybody on that production was seriously considering bringing in a writer unfamiliar with Middle-earth, no matter how much time was or was not available? If that really was the case I’d have to say taking it on themselves dodged them a few bullets, cornball writing or no.

Quote of the Day

Filed under:Good Grief,Movies — posted by Anwyn on August 7, 2008 @ 5:37 pm

“The franchise [of Indiana Jones] really depends on me coming up with a good idea.”

… wait for it …

George Lucas

You know, I’m kind of sure that was sort of true. In about 1986.

Maybe if he got Lawrence Kasdan, or even Frank Darabont, to write everything else once he’d come up with “a good idea,” it would actually stay good. Hell, I’d like to get a peek at Tom Stoppard’s efforts, too.

More head-scratchers in the piece:

The filmmaker scoffed at the possibility of passing the famed fedora from Ford to Shia LaBeouf, the 22-year-old actor played Indy’s son Mutt Williams in this summer’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

“He is Indiana Jones,” Lucas said of Ford. “If Indiana Jones wasn’t in it, you’d have to call it ‘Mutt Williams and the search for Elvis.’ … “Yeah, it’s ‘Mutt Williams and the Search for Elvis.”

So … smoking something, then, were we?

“I have an idea to make Shia [LaBeouf] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie.”

I get that “lead character” is not the same as saying Shia Labeouf will be Indiana Jones, but it sure sounds the same as “New Lead Character and the Search for Elvis.” And even if he does call it Indiana Jones and the [Whatever], I stand by my statement that we don’t want it and that I, at least, won’t watch it if he’s not the primary lead. Says the girl who didn’t even watch the last one.

Not the only howler in the piece, either:

Lucas plans a live-action “Star Wars” TV series as well, and he’s also looking into re-releasing the six “Star Wars” films using new 3-D technology.

God have mercy on Anakin Skywalker’s soul. I don’t even own the original three on DVD. How sad is that, for a girl who was in love with Han Solo from age five? Fie on thee, Lucas.

And lastly and bizarrely unrelated, this charmer:

“Like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, I’ll go out and adopt twins if they’ll pay me $14 million to do it.”


Want Less Stuff in Your Life?

Filed under:Good Grief,Language Barrier — posted by Anwyn on August 5, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

It’s simple: Keep only 100 things, not including anything in your shared household, anything you might want to use later, anything with personal history, or any books. Then get rid of crap you’re not using, like a yoga mat, and some extraneous clothes and the pewter LotR figurines. Voila!

Zabaduba describes in detail this guy’s self-parodying “purge.”

So, Dave was so disgusted by his cluttered lifestyle that he’s rebelling by living in a fully furnished house (with piano!), with a completely stocked kitchen and loaded bookshelves, while keeping all the personal items he doesn’t use everyday in a box for a year. Wow. Inspiring.

Judging by the comments, there are too many people who still think that good intentions and high-flown ideals are what count. Why do you have to bother to set up a Game with a Namegoal like 100 Thing Challenge … and then make a mockery of it right from the get-go by taking more than 100 things out of the running for elimination? Why can’t you just get rid of crap you’re not using, like the average rest of us?

Oh yeah … that wouldn’t gain you the admiration of a slice of the masses. But dude, as long as you’re sacrificing, I’ll be happy to take those LotR pewters off your hands.

Graceful Under Pressure

Filed under:Good Grief — posted by Anwyn on August 4, 2008 @ 7:12 pm

If you’d just been extracted from your car by the jaws of life and people were trying to shoulder up not to offer help but to snap you with their cell-phone cameras, would you joke about it? Nope, I wouldn’t either, but apparently Morgan Freeman did.

[Charleston Sun Sentinel editor] McFerrin said bystanders converged on the scene trying to get a glimpse of the actor.

When one person tried to snap a photo with a cell phone camera, Freeman joked, “no freebies, no freebies,” McFerrin said.

Swift recovery to you, Mr. Freeman.

Focus, Packers

Filed under:Good Grief,Sports — posted by Anwyn on August 3, 2008 @ 10:43 am

What a circus Green Bay’s management is making of Favre’s wish to unretire. Granted, the wish lends itself to spectacle. In a perfect world Favre would have made sure he was really serious about retirement before going ahead with it, but c’est la vie. NFL Commissioner Goodell has now reinstated Favre, so Green Bay’s choices remain: Play him, trade/release him, or dangle money enough that he will retire at their command.

Management is being extremely silly here. They say they want to move forward with Favre’s replacement QB, but they won’t release Favre because they’re afraid he’ll sign with the Vikings.

This is not even silly; it is downright stupid. There are only two possibilities here that should dictate management’s action: Either they believe 1) That Favre can play at something approximating his optimal levels; or 2) That Favre cannot play at these levels. If they think he can play, they should have taken him back, no questions asked, except with a little private grumbling and a sop to his potential replacement. The man should have earned a little leeway, not to mention loyalty, by now. Replacement QBs will come and go, but in Green Bay there is only one Favre, even with his star slightly tarnished by a false-start retirement. If they believe he cannot play, they should have quietly admitted him back to the rosters and quietly released/traded him. Because if they don’t believe he can play, what harm does it do anybody but Favre himself and the Vikings if he goes to the Vikings? Certainly wouldn’t hurt Green Bay; in fact they’d have a prime opportunity for their players to show the old man that he should have stayed off the field. An ignominious end, certainly, but that risk should be left up to Favre to take.

Seems like management’s letting its pissiness at Favre’s desire to do something other than what they want to dictate its actions. They need to come down off the high horse and make a decision based on football, not their bruised egos.

Self-Awareness. Ur Doin It Rong.

Filed under:Good Grief,Television — posted by Anwyn on July 27, 2008 @ 9:12 pm

Autograph seekers outside the theater where David Tennant is playing Hamlet and Patrick Stewart is playing Claudius are limited to asking them to sign Hamlet-related memorabilia, as opposed to “bags” … bags!!! … of Doctor Who stuff, and presumably Star Trek stuff as well.

I am so embarrassed for these people. If I ever meet David Tennant I will be finding something better to say than begging him to write on Who stuff, I can tell you.

H/t Daddyman.


Filed under:Good Grief — posted by Anwyn on June 6, 2008 @ 7:17 pm

IMDb appears to be down. After Amazon was down for two hours earlier today. Is somebody doing a one-by-one hit job on the Ten Wonders of the Internet? Is Fark next, or Wikipedia, or eBay?

Link via Ace.

Update: Turns out IMDb has been owned by Amazon for the last ten years. Shows how much I follow business news. But at least it explains the outage, which continues as I write this.

I May Be Dumb, but Amazon’s Rude

Filed under:Good Grief,Need a Good Editor?,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on May 20, 2008 @ 7:07 am

So I joined the Associates program, thinking to pick up a few cents here and there on people’s Amazon orders. I was aware there are no referral fees on items I buy myself, but stupidly overlooked this part:

This includes orders for customers, orders on behalf of customers, and orders for products to be used by you, your friends, your relatives, or your associates in any manner.

Okay, that’s pretty restricted–my mother almost never orders from Amazon because she doesn’t like wrestling with a click system rather than just picking what she wants and filling out an order form. She orders through Amazon specifically because I set up the portal on my blog–thus essentially referring a new customer to them, the ostensible purpose of the program–and her purchases don’t count because she’s my mother?

It’s understandable, if a bit narrow. But what really got my goat was the offensive and condescending expressions of the Amazon flunky who wrote back to my query about why there were several orders but no referral fees in my account. He accused me outright of ordering all the items myself, when actually some were ordered by my mother as aforementioned and some were ordered by Daddyman. He then snidely mentioned that Amazon is not running a “discount program” here. Yeah, no duh, moron.

And because their system is “proprietary,” he condescendingly declines to explain to me how they “know” I ordered the items myself. Hey, Sherlock? My mother has my same last name and Daddyman lives at my same address, though we aren’t married and thus aren’t even related. I pretty well grok on my own how you “deduced” these items were nefariously purchased by me. But you’re dead frackin’ wrong–I have zero interest in old episodes of Doctor Who.

So while I understand that you have to protect yourselves from being taken advantage of, and that orders from the same household should probably be restricted from the program, still, that’s not the same as me ordering them myself to try to hoodwink you. When you accuse people of that, you destroy a lot of goodwill and good faith. Yeah, it’s embarrassingly stupid of me not to have noticed the “relatives” part, but it’s offensively condescending for you to send a lengthy, rambling email accusing me of acting in bad faith instead of simply pointing out the problem and the restricted items. Thus my membership in the Associates program is finished. Hire some people who know how to respond to emails without acting like people who invite their friends and family to use their Amazon portal are deceptive little weasels who really are only after discounts for themselves.

Lucas Gone Round the Bend

Filed under:Good Grief,Movies,Not Cool — posted by Anwyn on May 16, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

Well, all right, he was round the bend when Episode I was made, but now he’s so far gone I can’t even see him any more: Shia LeBeouf as the new Indy, with Harrison Ford coming back as the elder statesman a la Connery.

“I haven’t even told Steven or Harrison this,” he said. “But I have an idea to make Shia [LeBeouf] the lead character next time and have Harrison [Ford] come back like Sean Connery did in the last movie. I can see it working out.

I guess I’m dumb even to be surprised and dumber still to be sad about this kind of thing. This stuff is aimed at the generations following on to mine, and they don’t care if things we treasured are ruined–they’ll plunk down their money and Lucas will gather it up.

But I doubt Lucas has come to terms with that in his own mind. He still seems to have no clue that these are not good ideas from a creative/story point of view. I haven’t seen the new movie yet; it doesn’t matter whether Shia LeBouf is the new Ford or spends all his time chewing scenery. It’s not about that. It’s about a creative institution: Indiana Jones. Don’t show him to us getting old, sitting around, giving advice to the new protege. We don’t care about that. He was a man at a moment in time, and we don’t want to know how Lucas thinks he ages. We don’t want him to age at all. Enough, already. Connery worked because he was a static character also: Introduce him, boom, he’s old, he’s Indy’s father, accepted, he’s a name actor with charisma coming out his ears and we all love him. Wild cheers. Exit to applause–a lesson Lucas has never learned. His lesson is more like “wring out every last drop.” I thought it was only television execs who were supposed to be so heartless to their product–execs who have no hand in writing, casting, or shooting the work. Lucas should know better. Why doesn’t he?

As for Lucas’s comment that the current Indy movie will be the “exact same experience” the other three were, all I can say is, actually, I hope so.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace