Thursday, June 30, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artists - MP5 + TO/LET
Location - Croatia

"I'm As Mad As Hell"

Sour Grapes of Fact

Today, after a much-needed break from ire, I am pounding my internal gavel at the usual greedy, seedy, lying, ignorant. hypocritical, political suspects. Should this post be redundant from posts-of-days-past and not filled with links and specific reference details, then so be it.

Why so harsh today? Because I'm in a hissy-pissy fit.

If you do not know what is happening in Congress right now, or that Michele Bachmann's husband accepts government-funded Medicaid backing for his mental health clinic while she mouths around blasting the country's dependence on government financial aid, then look it up or just take my word for it, because I'm in no mood to be quasi-journalistic at the moment. I am feeling like an American who is extremely furious with what is going down-and-down-and-down in this country.

My Flogging Whip has had a few days off to regain it's scathing sting...and sting it will do in the most general sense at the direction in which the USA government is not moving, thanks to immature Republican bitter jerks who continue to ensure that absolutely nothing a Democratic president wants to do about the economy will be done, despite way too many efforts by Obama to meet his nemesis' half-way, if not almost all the way, over various bills that, while under a GOP president, the Republicans allowed, applauded, and passed. But now the very same people have the snake-eyed, forked-tongue audacity and deplorable duplicity to refuse to support the exact measures based on an absolutely clear as a Tiffany crystal brandy decanter's sparkle of stealthy, smelly partisanship.

I'm in no diplomatic or sanguine frame of mind to be an objective "nice guy" about what anyone can fully see is a selfish, cynical, disastrous game Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John McCain, et al, are playing in the name of politics which could end any possible success in avoiding a U.S. default on loans by refusing to increase the debt ceiling at a critical time in out nation's economic history.

It was fine during the Bush presidency with the lock-step Republicans to vote for raising the debt ceiling 7 times. It was equally just peachy during the Bush administration to continue "The Dream Act." But not under Obama. Nope. That had to be dumped - pronto! And now, the GOPer's are appalled, horrified, at raising the debt ceiling.

It was quite okay when Bush was their leader-in-queef to spend trillions of dollars on almost everything they could slip under the snoozing noses of most Democrats in Congress, but not now -- not under Obama. In fact, I have never in my life seen such partisan politics and news anchors such as Chris Wallace and others dare to show their partisan self-righteous-so-very-in-your-face pontifications by calling the Democrats "crybabies" when all we have heard from the GOP and their mouthpieces since Obama was elected is one whine after another by supposedly "grown-up" people in powerful, influential positions with skins as thin as preemies in incubators.

The war is on, my friends. It is getting worse. The war against the middle class, the elderly, the teachers, and any group in America with union protection. You've heard about this all year. Well, the clang is louder than before. On Friday, Wisconsin's slimy anti-union negotiations for public employees law goes into effect after Koch-owned narrow-minded non-for-the-public-service-servant Governor Scott Walker's minions snuck it into law against the wishes of those who voted him into office. That's right. Wisconsin's drama hasn't fully receded from the headlines.

It is becoming a travesty of the highest order in Ohio that even a lifelong Republican retired policeman is fronting a petition against yet another sick attempt by a GOP governor to take away negotiating rights from unions. Bullet-proof vests are part of the union negotiations for police departments. Why in any sane world would supposed patriots want to stand in the way of these discussions and negotiations for safety and progress in law enforcement?

And, AGAIN, why are teachers being punished as our country's educational ranking continues to fall to it's lowest-low? Why are we allowing billionaires to eff us over?

Some of you may believe I am rehashing the same-old-same-old focus because I am a registered Democrat and will blindly follow that party's line as I claim the GOP does the same for their causes. The truth is -- NO! Whoever is effing-over everyone but the rich will get a firm whack of my whip. Because it is simply NOT FAIR, NOT MORAL, and, in most cases, has no positive fiscal impact whatsoever on the state in question, and the country in general, because all of these proposed and/or implemented cuts are conceived to appease lobbyists and large corporations who do not like to pay for their worker's rights.

The companies would rather out-source and exploit cheap labor -- as they continue to do despite the growing deficit and appeals for JOBS, JOBS, JOBS in the USA! The GOP BS that continuing the Bush Tax Cuts to the wealthy will create jobs has yet to come to pass and is just that = bullshit!

Why would this be happening in a time of crisis? Because the GOP is bought and sold by those billionaires, and these fake "public servants" don't care one whit about anyone else except to ensure they will receive the financial backing to win another term in office. In other words, to save their jobs when they have done not one damn thing to help provide jobs for anyone else other than their golfing buddies.

I may be accused of "Bumper-Stickering" the Liberal bias. Fine. Believe what you will. I will defend my feelings of disgusted dismay at the direction in which I see my country of birth heading in the name of moral justice. Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian. I will insist one more time that it no longer makes a difference to me along party lines.

Narrow-mindedness and pure bull-headed blockage of decency is simply unacceptable, and is a disgrace of the lowest form of decay that just so-happens is currently caused by bullying recalcitrant Republicans.

All one has to do is look at what is happening in Greece with violent public unrest based on their financial crisis to gain a view of what could happen in the U.S. if these political moral criminals have their stubborn way with not returning to the Clinton-era tax increases on the wealthy -- which aided the $127,000 billion dollar federal budget surplus at the end of his term.

Final whip-lashing: How dare these UN-AMERICAN hypocrites protect their jobs by ensuring most of the country cannot get jobs?

And while these so-called adults kick sand in the president's face day-after-day while Rome burns, we have nuclear power plants in jeopardy, an asteroid that came terribly close to the earth the other day, and whether you believe in Global Warming or not, something sure as hell is up with the weather.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - n/a
Image via fontsgraffiti.info

The High Heels (Fred Astaire)

Falls of Shame

Have you heard (and do you care) that Rihanna fell down and went BAM-Boom during a recent performance in Canada? I care to write about it (rather than Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant danger, or other weightier issues) because this must be the year of women toppling over in the most public of forums. So, how can I resist a comment or more about it – especially when serious, life-changing and challenging issues give me the vapors today?

Rihanna joins Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Shania Twain thus far on this year’s Female Slip-Sliding Away list. Christina kicked-off the trend earlier this year with her sudden ka-boom during a Grammy Awards group tribute of Aretha Franklin songs when she almost fell off stage.

I don’t know what Christina’s problem involved, but Lady Gaga’s downfall happened while in the middle of an attempt to be somewhat chanteusey-edgy by warbling atop a piano, one foot on top of the shining Steinway, the other on what turned out to be a wobbly chair. More reason for the Lady G to stick with Terra Firma-based gyrations. Some people just can’t handle well-buffed slick surfaces mating with a common piece of furniture.

In Shania and Rihanna’s situations, mile-high stiletto’s appear to be the culprits. Shania had a nasty trip and fall while climbing her way to the stage at the CMT Awards earlier this month. Recovering with a bit of self deprecating humour, she has threatened to place the unreliable stiletto’s on the auction block where hopefully they won’t take on a life of their own and fly up to bitch-slap the auctioneer in perverted glee.

In my opinion, the trend on and off stage to wear outrageously high heels is more than bizarre: it’s dangerous – and unhealthy! Although high heels may enhance the curve of a nice pair of legs as well as visually dazzling in a variety of sleek uber chic styles, they are unsteady connections to the ground beneath one’s feet, and are known to create muscle cramps in legs and bone distortions in the feet over time – among other health problems.

Beyoncé has experienced several on-stage tumbles over the years, and once again this year, while in Orlando, Florida, she stepped on the hem of her trench coat costume at the top of a stage stairway, toppled oh-so-professionally into the new Hall of Klutz Fame and, as with all of the above, carried on with the show. But I’m sure she was wearing ridiculously high heels that decided to clutch onto the coat’s inner stitching's that caused the pitching.

Falling under any circumstance isn’t funny in mine eyes – unless it is a deliberate part of a routine. I just find the domino-effect of teetering, tottering-stage-plops to be an unfortunate fact of show-biz life more than ever, as with the absurd daily headlines in both news and gossip magazines and websites that announce the latest starlet in a bikini as if it were Breaking News that stars are people too and wear bikinis at beaches and resorts. Have you noticed THAT latest trend as well?

Aside from the over-the-top nose-bleed-inducing height of high heels this year, the basic point I want to make in today’s flog is that it’s time for female performers (and award presenters) to lead a new trend by developing stronger footing (or, in Lady G’s case, better balance from firm butting) before someone ends-up in an ICU from extreme image-focused strutting.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - Ziida
Location - n/a

Respect

Head to Head



Intriguing interview re: controversial book on whether or not a formerly gay man is qualified to sell the idea that homosexuality can be "cured" - and his list of questionable causes of same.

Unfinished Post

Just a few words today:

Following-up on yesterday’s focus on the passing of gay marriage into law in New York State, several glaring dangling threads remain a tad tattered, blowing in the windy climate of political wishy-washy-ness. And what I mean is sitting directly on the ever greying head of President Obama.


On Friday evening, following the announcement of New York’s Senate decision, a professionally balanced Rachel Maddow, a “Liberal” in the best use of the label, unleashed a few simple words regarding Obama's current position on the issue during MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. In addition, she Tweetied her sentiments to her Tweetie followers in 140 characters and less. "Obama Is Against What Just Happened."

Unfortunately a tech glitch has made the original embedded video post inaccessible to us. Should you be interested, check her link on MSNBC and YouTube for Friday evening's broadcast.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - n/a
Location - Germany

We Are The Champions

Happy Gays

2011 is turning out to be the year of raised arms and hands or fists in either celebratory or protesting glory across the world. The much anticipated passage of gay marriage in New York State last night is one more example of mass excitement. How appropriate to pass gay marriage during U.S. Gay Pride events which are happening right now.

There is nothing to flog when it involves the legal right for human beings to love and live in equality. Any floggings will be aimed at those who disagree with fundamental rights for gays to be joined in more than a basic “civil union.” But rather than rain on the gay parade, I’ll wait until the usual public naysayer’s have exhausted their droning chants to drown out the happy squeals of delight that reverberated around the U.S. last night before hurling the Flogging Whip in their direction.

In the interim, the words of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York best express my feelings and attitude:  "New York has always led the way for equal rights - from leading the suffrage movement, to Abraham Lincoln's remarkable speech opposing slavery speech at Cooper Union - and we have done it again. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his extraordinary leadership and unwavering commitment to marriage equality which brought home this great victory. I also want to thank the committed advocates who worked day in and day out, and all of the New York State lawmakers - Democrats and Republicans - who came together to uphold the fundamental American values of equality and justice for all.

"New York State has sent a powerful message to the rest of the nation. The right to get married and start a family is a basic, human right that must be shared by all Americans. Every loving, committed couple in America deserves this right. And no politician should stand in the way of this fact.


"Marriage under the law is the foundation for strong families. I will continue to help lead the fight in Washington to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act so that all loving and committed marriages in New York are recogn
ized by the federal government."

Amazing that New York is late to the game in legalizing gay marriage, isn’t it? The sixth state to step forward in the legal arena has a reputation around the world as a liberal, “anything goes” place. Not really. The State of New York is not Manhattan.

The same battle exists in California where gay marriage was legal in 2010 for approx. a second and a half in the larger view of things. Barely enough time for those who wanted to wed to get thee to a judge or pastor. One would think that in a state where Hollywood and San Francisco exist it would be easy to overturn the on-the-ballet in 2008 passed Proposition 8*but no. California is a huge mix of people, and many are extremely conservative, deeply religious. Even in Hollywood. Just ask Mel Gibson. Or, maybe not. But you get the point.

Gay communities and peoples all over the planet still have many rivers to cross before acceptance in society and the courts bring equality to their lives. This latest step forward in progress is just the beginning.

Congratulations to gay New Yorkers! May you wed with more sincerity in your union than many heterosexuals have shown over the years in the much lauded “sanctity of marriage” argument considering the astounding divorce rate in America.**

*Basics of Prop 8: Proposition 8 eliminated the Rights of Same-Sex Couples to Marry (named by proponents as the “California Marriage Protection Act“). The ballot measure also included a provision, Section 7.5 of the Declaration of Rights, to the California Constitution, which provides that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”


** Per the Enrichment Journal on the divorce rate in America:
First marriage divorce rate - 41%
Second marriage divorce rate - 60%
Third marriage divorce rate - 73%



General post sources: AP/The Huffington Post
Image: Mike Groll - AP Photo

Friday, June 24, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - n/a
Image via Kuesta.com

Time Won't Let Me

Afghanistonhan

As the week comes to a close, the hottest political issue in the States remains the war in Afghanistan. (Forget Iraq. What war? We’re still there? Yawn.)

Now that President Obama has given his speech on troop withdrawal timelines and numbers, we go once more into the crevasse of differing bickering opinions regarding how many (or how few) troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan. It has been decided by Mr. Obama that a whopping 10,000 will be sent home this year, and a grand total of 33,000 by summer of next year. At least I think that’s what he said.

Amazing! Applause, applause! Or not.

Hey there Mr. Prez, it’s not enough. Period. 56% of the country wants OUT ASAP! It’s been 10 years already! With 100,000 U.S. troops in that hell hole, the paltry withdrawal is just that – paltry. Plus, It costs 2 BILLION dollars a WEEK to maintain this seemingly now-very-empty-in-meaning war. 

And, although President Obama told the world during his speech on Wednesday evening that by 2014 more troops will be out of there and Afghanistan will be back to running their own country AND the U.S. won’t be involved in “nation building” there – thus, rainbows will line the skies and all will live unhappily ever after -- I have to ask this: 2014?

I loathe these faraway deadline promises from all politicians on anything. We don’t know what will happen next month in that region. Or here in the U.S. The way in which the weather has been playing mean tricks on almost every region, who knows if we will even be here -- intact. Then there is the reality of how the political process unfolds.

Obama may or may not be the leader sitting in front of the big power desk in the West Wing at that time. New members of Congress will be voted into power, bringing their own perception and plans of change with them, hence previous promises have been and can be changed in a second. As in the game of "musical chairs" lofty projections in a rapidly morphing international and domestic political universe doesn’t mean a thing, does it? Really?

So, regardless of who is doing the talking, it is just another set of empty words. What most people want is concrete support on how to deal with TODAY and TOMORROW’s concerns of basic living in a weak economy. I don’t give a flying cast iron skillet about the long-term future plans that affect the nation’s finances and security, especially when we are learning that part of the monies spent in Afghanistan are providing health care to the populace while our government is trying to drive a sickly wrench into the small gain that has been made in our own country with “Universal Heath Care” that has yet to fully materialize.

For Gawd’s sake, man! We have people committing crimes in order to be arrested so that they can see a doctor and have food and a place to sleep! Believe me, this will become a trend if things don’t change, and change sooner than later. There is a growing crisis HERE, NOW. Hello?

I get it, Mr. President. You want to be fair to everyone by doing something. Well, as much as I believe in diplomacy and admire your desire to show strength in war matters, compassion for the poor, civility in manner and eloquence in speech, you’re beginning to get the side-eye from me these days despite your many accomplishments.

Enough on that subject. My stomach is beginning to fill with churning acids, making noises and creating little dart-like sensations.

Otherwise, it’s been a thrilling week in gossip-land! Jennifer Aniston has a new (maybe not-so-new?) seedy boyfriend, Justin Theroux (who?), and speculation is that she is the cause of his breakup from his girlfriend of 14 years, thus becoming a new version of Angelina Jolie. Wow! How very uncool is that? Jen has such great taste in men, doesn’t she? This one looks like he could easily mug a crippled grandmother in broad daylight on a busy city street without giving it a thought.

Lindsay Low-han received another slap on her not-so-dainty wrist in court yesterday for supposedly violating her parole by testing positive for alcohol while under her obviously hellish house arrest where, up until the mean judge laid down new rules, she could party until dawn on her condo roof with lots of enablers. Now the poor girl can’t do that anymore. Only one “friend” at a time! And alcohol is not forbidden! Turns out the drug and alcohol testing orders while on parole expired in February, so she didn’t do anything wrong! The judge just sent her home to cry one more time from being spoken to as if she was/were a spoiled brat.

Break out the Cooks Brut, Lindsay! And while you’re at it, why not install a stripper’s pole on your roof to add more spice to the show you’ve given to most of the world’s pap’s? Those money shots of you are keeping the California economy from completely tanking.

Oh, I know. How bitchy. Some people and situations just bring out that snarky side of me. That’s why this place is called a Flog Blog!

Chow – for now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Street Art of the Day

4125492636_52c6a77412
Artist - Sabastien
Location - Toulouse, France

Mea Culpa

For Whom the Cell Told

images (17)Oh those kids! Just Sexting away on cell phones in pursuit of getting laid. Typical post-teenagers on the move following primal urges to mate. Nothing unusual about that instinct is there? Well, if you’re a 21-year-old Amish man by the name of William Yoder who rides in a horse and buggy in rural Indiana while using a modern electronic device to entice a 12-year-old girl into huggy-buggy sex, then it’s not exactly typical Amish behavior, nor is it legal, either. Hence, not-so-young Yoder was arrested last week in a real life “sting” after the parents of the girl discovered his sext-texts.

The mind reels. An Amish guy? I don’t know what is stranger: his use of a modern device, usually a huge “no-no” in the down-to-earth-no-frills (and sometimes no electricity either) Amish community, or the random way in which he reportedly punched a few numbers on the cell and ended-up with a young girl on the other end. He also thought she was 13. In his world, that’s a ripe age for coupling, doncha know? After all, he is old enough to grow the Amish male beard of marriage, and, perhaps in Yoder’s mind, a 13-year-old girl would seem to be an appropriate age to create room for a baby seat in the horse-drawn carriage.

Not that I believe William Yoder had plans to do more with his new friend than yodel his way to haben sie lüstr sernes verbotenen geschlecht im frischen verrückten heu. Woo-woo! A lusty roll in the fresh sweet hay in the back of the buggy may have been the extent of his quest for non-Amish-baked pie.

Too bad, really. Amish-made Bavarian Cream pies were the most delicious, decadent pies I have ever experienced in my culinary life! I grew up near an Amish community where the sight of horse and buggy’s clopping along the roadways were normal parts of the landscape. I would drive past their farms, noticing the dark drawn curtains and flickering interior lights from large oil-filled lanterns – no TV antenna's or a car in sight.

On weekend outings, my mother and father would take me to the nearby quaint town of Hartville where the Amish population was large. An enterprising and fairly modern Amish family owned a small restaurant in the heart of the Ville named “The Pantry.” One entered a charming dining room with old yet beautifully maintained wood tables and family-sized booths where we ordered some of the best German-American-based food – evah! But the sensational sensuous part of it all was when the dessert arrived – any variety one could imagine of a Bavarian Cream pie. The crust was liltingly light – just right – and the cream filling of any flavour one could ever desire was whipped into a Top Chef perfecto confection.

The three of us would devour every morsel before patting our stomachs with appreciative care before wandering off to the car in a dazed culinary bliss.

Ah, if only Yoder knew what he was missing! One slice of that pie would have melted in his mouth and his cell phone would have fallen to the floor with nary a need to sext no more.

But, times have changed, it seems. The once absolutely shunned trinkets of material temptations have trickled into the Amish community, exposing repressed generations to modern society’s lurid temptations.

If you aren’t familiar with Amish culture and the unique details of the frugal and religious lifestyle, know that it is one of the purist in the world. Farming is the main occupation, along with artful simplistic carpentry and other charming, practical crafts. One grows one’s own food 90% of the time. Traditional “Old Amish” families continue home-schooling up to the 8th grade. The tight-knit communities will build a home or a barn in one day with the help of neighbours, and the staircase banisters will always be solid as a rock.

Sacrifices are made to live within the community. There are very strict rules. A few simple examples: should one wander from the Christian-based faith; rebel against any rule, they will be “shunned” indefinitely (or worse *) – by everyone, including one’s parents or spouse. And, you must love to wear plain clothing – no frills beyond suspenders for men, and both sexes dress primarily in greys and browns and blacks. Men wear wide black or tan flat hats and women tie a white stiff lace-like bonnet to cover their rarely seen pretty long hair.

The Amish are from German, Dutch and Swiss stock, settling in the Northeast section of the U.S. in Pennsylvania where their original Mennonite religion eventually split into different factions, producing what is commonly known as the “Pennsylvania Dutch” who then grew into the religious sect we now know as “Amish.” This information is but a skim over the surface of a culture filled with deep wisdom; a structural belief in peace/non-violence with the honorable intention of living and breathing a daily walk of “walking the talk” by truly being there for their neighbours – as long as one adheres to certain behaviors. *

Exposure to the outside world is held to a serious minimum. That’s why I am surprised to learn that cell phones have entered into their cloistered space. Shared land-lines, yes. Cell phones? Nooo! Although each community can make their own rules within their religious and philosophical roots, many still refuse to use modern appliances or form non-Amish social alliances.

One would think that within the rigid and often claustrophobic atmosphere of living in the world but not of it, the culture would be slowly ebbing as the world becomes smaller with new technology that even those who turn away from most of the toys of modern life can barely ignore how fast things are moving around them. And that more members than not would slip away into the cities of the damned to get away from slaughtering one more lamb, as well as to dance and prance in colorful frocks, wearing makeup and jewelry without scratchy wool socks. 

The fact is, not only have the Amish maintained their strong presence in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana – their historical home bases – other areas such as Missouri, Kentucky and Minnesota have seen an incredible increase of more than 130 percent in Amish populations. They now number an estimated 227,000 nationwide, which is an increase from 123,000 in 1992 (per data gathered by researchers from Elizabethtown College's Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies).

Wow! The Amish are getting their Hoods-on! No graffiti on the side of barns, of course, but maybe a serene painting of a work horse with plough. No drive-by shootings, either, but if Mr. Yoder is an example of what is bubbling beneath the purified surface, the new Hoods of the Amish might end up with buggy ride-by-hootings at all the little cuties.

* The rules of the church, the Ordnung, must be observed by every member. These rules cover most aspects of day-to-day living, and include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Many Amish church members may not buy insurance or accept government assistance such as Social Security. As Anabaptists, Amish church members practice nonresistance and will not perform any type of military service. Members who do not conform to these expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent are excommunicated.

Sources: Associated Press/USA Today/The Smoking Gun

Monday, June 20, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - Banksy

Talking Like I'm Falling Down Stairs

Wobbly Railings

Let’s begin the week with fluffy observations of inferior film-making. Why? Because over the past month I have had the need to take frequent breaks from “normal” life while continuing to be held captive in the role of one who is having a bout of extended illness which is hanging-on to my body as if whatever it is has no other vessel in which to play insidious games.

Therefore, I wincingly admit to spending much of my time in a form of bed rest rather than writing as often as I would prefer. And you know what “they” say: “Idle hands are the Devil's workshop.”

The Devil has made me watch one film after another rather than expanding my grey cells with interesting reading material, or to spend hours in silent meditation where I could commune with dazzling little pixies and benevolent Beings in Heaven’s playground. The daily movie marathons of mixed genre films – high quality to the most insipid drivel-sniffles – have flashed by with astounding speed.

Despite the escapist whirlwind, glaring mistakes that Film-making 101 at an underfunded community college would never allow to fly with a passing grade, have happened over and over again. Even when the films were blessed with actors of renown who must have been desperate to accept the gig.

In the midst of watching several made-for-TV movies, one consistent, blatant directing and camera-person error caught my attention: wobbling stairway banisters. Yep. Banisters that would not hold up if used properly in real life as a form of physical support. In truth, if anyone dared to lean on them they surely would have crashed to the floor – both the actor and the banister. The glaring glued-together set piece in these films were so flimsy they moved like a tuning fork in heat when anyone held onto them for an instant as the person dashed up or down the stairway.

Of course a film is not real life and the majority of the plots are as unrealistic as expecting Amy Winehouse to return from her umpteenth stint in rehab and put on a fabulous live performance. (Choke.)

Regardless, one element in movies we usually rely on is that most of the utilized pieces of a set are solid: chairs, tables, sidewalks and the like -- whether or not the plot makes one bit of sense.

I’ve noticed in many of the films I have been viewing that the main characters’ homes are often cleaner than an operating room with perfect, gleaming, hardwood floors; fresh flowers in crystal vases lining the impeccably uncluttered, perfectly designed foyer’s, and that most of the bathrooms are the size of a Manhattan walk-up and have luxurious bathtubs that don’t leak and are surrounded by candles at all times.

And, these precious homes always have staircases with shining wood or elegant wrought iron hand-rails/banisters.

All of the above indicate that the residence where the hero or villain lives is of the finest quality. It's not too much to ask of the set designers to ensure a staircase railing would be strong and safe, now is it? How could it be, then, that in at least four of the films I've recently watched those grand banisters nearly fell down and went boom? Is everyone still on drugs?

How did the director(s) miss this obvious visual gaffe? Surely there was more than one take of the scene.  Didn’t anyone watch the day’s footage and notice the problem? Didn't the person at the other end of the camera see what had happened?

For shame, I say!

What’s up with that sloppiness?

After seeing banisters with a bad case of the shakes, my focus on the next time someone went near the stairs was not what they were doing, but whether or not they would dare to pretend their steadying prop would not go plop!

Considering how many typos and punctuation errors I have made over the months in many a post I am probably not the best person to accuse others of sloppiness. It’s true I’ve rushed a post and missed mistakes in haste.

Believe me, when I have discovered errors my heart always sinks and I fall into a mild form of self-loathing terror. How could I have missed that, I scream to myself. I catch others’ errors all the time, yet miss my own until I have already embarrassed myself.

The difference is that I can always go back to the post and fix the problem, if for nothing else than to create a clean archive. Nevertheless, I don’t like to see a “too close” subjectivity ruin an otherwise interesting post because I am the only one checking my work.

In film or TV, however, there is no excuse to allow an otherwise half-decent project to go out to the public without a serious fix when there are many people in the crew who could have seen the tottering unhinged banisters causing a tacky glitch.

C’mon, all ye' filmmakers! Get a solid grip!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Street Art of the Day



Artist - Peat Wollaeger
Location - NYC, New York

Lyin' Eyes

The Foolish Case of Lying In Haste

Now that Anthony Weiner has resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives following a major tomato-throwing and boo-fest from his own Democratic colleagues and president, I want to present my opinion on why I believe it was the best – and only sane – decision he could have made.

Unlike several media pundits and personal friends I respect who did not want him to step down, I did. From the very beginning of the mess. Yes, yes, the enormous hypocrisy of the Republicans and many media outlets in denouncing Weiner’s extreme lack of judgment in his Tweety world, is enough to make one furious, as was the usually calm though vocal Rachel Maddow when she went on a blistering rant last evening on The Rachel Maddow Show citing the hypocritical elements involved in the situation.

I too loathe the fact that Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) remains in the U.S. Senate after acknowledging his illegal use of prostitutes. I too denounce the patting-on-the-back “It’s okay, we love you anyway” attitude former Senator John Ensign of Nevada (R ) received from his GOP buddies (and a surprisingly quiet reaction by media darlings) after the Big Reveal of his affair with a campaign staffer and an (alleged) pay-off of the woman’s husband via Ensign’s parents to stave off ugly ramifications.

As I wrote when the flurry of resignation demands hit Weiner in the face, the primary reason for my stand in wishing he would go away to a quiet nether-land was based on his week-long interview blast of lies and deceit. The man wouldn’t shut up. He created the monster that has slayed his career and reputation. Had he kept a low profile, refusing to go beyond a few well-crafted slippery words to those who wanted to hear what was going on with his Twitter-soaked Bulging Dong, perhaps he could have escaped his current fate.

No one likes a liar. It’s enough when so many powerful men who are married cheat on their wives or engage in base forms of sexual harassment. To continually deny such activities day-after-day, creating a story (the Twitter account “hacking”), looking interviewers in the eye to lie to those who can roast your cajones to millions of readers and viewers, is just plain stupid.

Sure, as anyone who has ever found one's self caught in a potentially embarrassing job- or spouse-losing scandal-of-sorts knows, it’s a knee-jerk survival response to attempt to avoid the inevitable hammer of disgrace by finding ways to make light of whatever the accusation might be, and/or to completely lie in hopes that everything will just go away and one can then get on with their day.

In Weiner’s cornered position as a married man with a very respected wife, and a public life of political service, who can blame him for initially publicly denying his secret weirdness? If he had been honest with his wife and privately decided to do whatever form of rehabilitation was/is necessary to discontinue behaving like a horny teenager on a Spring Break sexual binge, then it is ultimately no one’s biz, as I always say/write.

Weiner is by far not alone in Congress in having secrets to hide from colleagues and constituents. As many have joked over the weeks, if everyone in Congress had to be morally correct to do their jobs, most of Washington DC would be an empty parking lot.

In my humble opinion, if one is not a murderer or worse, then stay on, do the job, and, by all means, keep your mouth shut to the media – until you have gained enough strength to admit what you have done and go from there. Chances are Weiner would still be a Congressman today had he simply not panicked and gone on a Liar’s Media Rampage.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Street Art of the Day


Artist - Evol
Location - Berlin
Miniature Buildings Made With Paper - Placed In Streets and Parks

(I Get Chills) When I'm With You

Abridged Too Far


Brrrr. It’s rather chilly these days between Pakistan and the U.S. now that Pakistani informants for the CIA have been arrested by their own government for aiding the successful hunt for the USA’s Most Wanted Dead Or Alive Guy. How lovely! Just what we need. More hostilities with a nuclear power with sketchy ties to non-allies.

It is also a brain-strain that war continues in Afghanistan to what end? Is the U.S. remaining for reasons beyond the jagged rugged surface of the original purpose? As written in the past, and understood by most, that particular land is where the war should have stayed back in the day…before the foolish ghoulish stray to Iraq.

(Yes, I've written of this concern several times over the months. So, what's wrong with a little refresher with new elements, eh?)

When President Obama promised to return the military focus to Afghanistan, it made a great deal of sense. Bin Laden had not been found. The Taliban was regaining ground. But now, the beat goes on with a gathering pound to get the hell out of there! What, again, is the point of staying? If the U.S. needs an excuse to have its huge finger on the trigger lest tensions with Pakistan gets out of hand, then, well, okay. Sorta.

I’ll now add my voice to the chorus of at least cutting troops by more than half, saving lives and money in the process. If the USA is so bloody broke, then we need the money to fix our own country, pump up the neglected infrastructure = JOBS = Money. And so on and on....

And then there is Libya. WTF are we doing there?

Although summer is in the air, it’s really getting chilly and even wintery-frosty with Democrats (and Republicans) in Congress threatening to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration for purportedly waging a war without their consent. Hey, Gaddafi is a brutal dictator. We don’t like him. We want to support those in that country who want him to go away, already! Got it. But beyond not actually declaring war and, according to the legal people in the White House, the U.S. is merely providing assistance and not waging a full-on war; therefore no laws have been broken.

The justification may be technically correct, but what is happening is no less suspect than Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney’s jones to jump on Saddam Hussein’s sorry bones. (And that decision has turned out so very well now, hasn’t it?)

The legal-ease of such a stance reminds me of my former career as a book abridger -- erase a word here, a sentence there, cross-out a T and lose a dot, then create a new story without the subplot.    

Brrrrrr. I feel very, very chilly now.


(Note: A lively and informative response to a comment made by John, a friend who likes to take me to task on my Liberal views, has been rebutted by another friend, Philip, in the "Comments" section of this post <posted under my name as it was sent to me via email>. For those interested, please read the discourse. Philip's blog is linked on this site to the right.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist/Location - n/a

With A Little Help From My Friends

Self Energy Conservation

Good afternoon/evening. Am still on the mend (getting better), but have been advised to avoid becoming overly-stimulated in any way so that a recovery will occur sooner than later.

Drat. I really want to pull out the Flogging Whip and take a written witty trip down the headlines of the day!

As has been the case this week, I’ll let others do most of the writing and biting until I’m back in tip-top shape for a giddy escape into punny-land.

The following stories piqued my interest today:


The Patch: http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/gay-couples-account-homophobic-rant-witnessed-at-li-starbucks-goes-viral

New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/06/15/2011-06-15_snake_house_of_horrors_idaho_family_driven_from_home_after_finding_thousands_of_.html?r=news/national

Open Channel: http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/15/6865124-gingrichs-wife-at-center-of-presidential-campaign-turmoil-sources-say

The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/articles/detective-trying-to-get-into-mind-of-litterer,20744/

Salon.com: http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/reality_tv/index.html?story=/ent/tv/feature/2011/06/15/kim_kardashian_kris_humphries_wedding_registry

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - n/a
Location - London

Chain of Fools

A Direct Re-Direct

Last night in New Hampshire a group of GOP twoof-tellers gathered to outshine each other in a Great Debate to win the primary crown for the 2012 presidential race. Michele Bachmann, who finally announced that she is serious (thus not a fake) to take up the mantle of an official candidate, came across as the most prepared of the lot.

I could write many amusing observations of the evening’s machinations; however, the following article from The Huffington Post provides a perfect view of what I would spew:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/14/new-hampshire-debate-in-four-minutes_n_876478.html

Enjoy or hiss, whatever suits your political bliss.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Senter - The New York Times

Monday, June 13, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - Edgar Mueller
Location - Hong Kong

Bad Reputation

The Artless Dodgers

While perusing today's news online and on the telly, I had hoped to hear/read about other topics beyond the bad behaviour of the Weiner's and Morgan's of this world. 

For a few minutes, the intense Arizona wildfires led the stories, along with several blurb-burps and cheeky chirps concerning Newt Gingrich's rather hubris-y speech in Beverly Hills Sunday evening at a long-ago booked non-fundraising event. *

Along with the usual moans and groans regarding the economy and happy-looking pictures of House Rep Gabrielle Giffords during her amazing recovery from a direct bullet-to-her head last January, the focus still remains on Anthony Weiner's crashing career train.

To be sure, each new day for the last two weeks brings more attention to his racy tweets, as well as the unfortunate fact that his wife is not only a class act, but is Hilary Clinton's most trusted aide and that Bill Clinton officiated at the Weiner wedding parade less than 11 months ago.


Oh, the irony!


Now that Mr. Weiner is ducking for cover (for a change) by reportedly requesting a leave of absence from the House of Representatives while going into some form of rehabilitation (aka a shamed public figure's typical vacation), there is a genuine news story to share to all who give a care.

However, the Weiner jokes are growing old and redundant. Until a decision is made from he-who-hath-done-wrong re: whether or not he will run along from his perch atop the Washington scene, I will set aside my snide-y snarks and slide out of the ocean of sharks.

(At least right now...)


For a balanced and excellent overview of the entire issue of Menz in Power's sexual scandals, the following article from The Daily Beast is a must-read: 
The Media's Selective Sex Scandal Savagery (FYI: Link begins on page 2 of article - ???)

*"Summer Bash" of the Los Angeles chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition at the Beverly Hilton.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - n/a
Location - Prague

Sick Enough To Die

Oh My!

Hello all! Today's news is ripe for flogging; however, I feel faint. I truly do. In dealing with a flu that turned into a cold-flu which then became Bronchitis, I now teeter on the edge of my bed wondering which Vampire from the latest rash of Vampire films and TV programs came to me in the middle of the night to suck what is left of my blood and energy away.

But, I promised to return the blog back to its usual format today, and so - here it is, albeit without substance on current events.

Best to rest and clear the chest.

Feel free to look into the archives if you are new to TDFB and would like to read more. The daily music video and "Street Art of the Day" will be posted as usual.

Signed,
Colette's Reincarnation

Friday, June 10, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - Banksy
Location - UK

It's Not Funny Anymore

Queer As Joke?

For those who regularly follow this blog, you know how weary I am with the trend of public figure’s endless apologies following their “mistakes” in a variety of categories.
 
Today we have another “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone” apology slithering out of the mouth of 30 Rock and former SNL player Tracy Morgan concerning what reportedly was an extremely offensive, not-at-all-funny-tinged-with-suggested-violence rant against homosexuals during a performance in Nashville earlier this week.
 
According to a lengthy Facebook post by Kevin Rogers who attended the Morgan fiasco, the so-called comedian began the homophobic rant as he has in previous performances, denouncing homosexuality because it is, in his opinion, a “choice” and that, in essence, “God makes no mistakes” – so, according to Morgan, being gay isn’t a mistake, just a perverted decision by a perverted minority.
 
Roger’s post included:  
“He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death.”
And this:
“He took time to visit the bulls*it of this bullying stuff and informed us that the gays needed to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying. He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little f*ckers that bully them, not whine about it. “
Tracy Morgan is African American; possibly a victim of discrimination, bullying, and primal hatred from people who are afraid of those who are not “like them” – whoever the “them” may be. Fingers are wagging in his direction for this very reason. How could he be so callous, bigoted, mean?

Commentators claim that he has crossed the line between comedy and outright calamity in his rant-filled insanity akin to when Seinfeld’s Michael Richards' used the N word in a less-than-humorous manner in one of his last stand-up acts. (BTW, where is he today? Ahem.)
 
Realizing that his career might go the way of Richards, the following apologia turned up a short while ago in The Huffington Post via Morgan’s PR rep:

“I want to apologize to my fans and the gay & lesbian community for my choice of words at my recent stand-up act in Nashville. I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others. While I am an equal opportunity jokester, and my friends know what is in my heart, even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”
 
As with Congress on recess, TV personalities on hiatus have way too much time on their hands and tend to find themselves in trouble while flexing their talent muscles to remain in tip-top shape. Normally I’d suggest that most should take much-needed vacations, but Newt Gingrich’s summer getaway on a tony cruise ship didn’t help his image at all following the $500,000 Tiffany purchases expose. His staffers are now dashing away from his presidential campaign as if he had been bathing in Cristal Champagne (which, for all we know, is not an impossible thought).
 
Tracy, Tracy, Tracy. Good grief, man! I liked you. I really did. You can be cute and funny. And no, I don’t reject comedians who are crass or rude until they rip someone or any specific group in a less-than comedic satiric quip. It’s not lewd language that I find offensive. It is when “comedy” veers into a hate-filled rampage.
 
Do you believe Morgan’s apology is sincere or just another damage control filled with crocodile tears?

 
Editorial Note: I’m not unaware of the well-known “fact” that the African American culture places a serious stigma on homosexuality. However, it is equally unfair to assume that because Morgan is “Black” he is on the attack by following a supposed mindset of his entire race. There are just as many, if not more, peoples of NON-colour parading on stages in homophobic rages.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - n/a
Location - South Slope, New York

Photo by I. Theorin - Image via saltylemons.com 

Trouble - Cat Stevens

Between 30 Rock And a Hard Place

Wildfires continue to consume precious land in Arizona; Obama is under fire from Dem’s and GOPer’s regarding sustained USA military involvement in Libya; a massive heat wave has caused death, sweat, and tears in the South and Northeast portions of the U.S.; Prince William and Kate are moving out of their shared digs with Prince Harry to live a less claustrophobic life by moving into one of the many spaces in Kensington Palace, and have advertised for a wee bit of hired help despite initial proclamations of living as mere mortals…..

Oh, does anyone really care to read about the above? I know why you’re here today. Yep. You want to know what I’m going to say/write about Anthony Weiner because the shoes continue to drop on this sorry sap’s over-heated lap. He is the biggest wildfire blazing through the news although media outlets and others are attempting to move away from the Weiner-fray.

Okay. THE (alleged) dreaded pic has hit the interwebs, showing-up in a censored fashion on TV with those behind the newsy and comedy desks doing their best not to retch or reel with shock and Ahhhhhh (although a few have spewed a hearty guffaw). BUT, timing is everything. What could deflect from something so – uh, um – direct? The New York Times report that Mrs. Weiner is “with child.” Now that is absolutely wild.

And sad. For his wife, I mean, not Mr. Tweetie-peen.

Under typical scandal routines, one usually resigns or releases bad news on Fridays after most of the mainstream media’s stars have packed their weekend suitcases and jumped into their cars. On Monday, I fully expected the Congressman to announce his resignation tomorrow for the very reason mentioned above. However, I forgot that the House is in recess; thus, despite the mounting public redress from colleagues, during a surprise “gotcha” TV crew on-the-street brief interview this morning outside his private office at Rockefeller Center, he adamantly declared he would not be going = surrender.

For now I believe him. But then, for all we know, so did his wife when he surely promised not to continue his bachelor ways when she said “Yes” to his passionate gaze.

Just wait until the House is back in session. It won’t matter at all that he made a quasi-contrite confession. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - Aryz
Location - Poland 

Image via http://unurth.com//#ixzz1OiOZ10TM

Kiss Me Thru the Phone

Shhhhhh

Right now all is quiet on the scandal front beyond speculations over whether or not Congressman Weiner will tough it out and not allow his colleague's sharp elbows to hit him where it hurts. (Yes, many are that short.) 

And hey, according to New York polls, most of his constituents want him to remain in office...more women than men, too.

Go figure.

Meanwhile, I have more coughing to do.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Street Art of the Day

Artist - Peter Gibson (aka Roadsworth)
Location - Montreal, Canada

Say Hello To Goodbye

Amazing Disgrace

 
Oh pleeeezzeee! Can’t we have a week without another sexually-based scandal from Menz of Power and Polly-dicks?

Yes, I’ll weigh-in on Anthony Weiner’s Tweetie’d waxed chest, bulging grey boxers, and the insinuated X-rated thus-far-hidden pics which may soon come out of hiding (sans the cloak, which may cause the Weiner to choke).

Considering the admission by Weiner during yesterday’s press conference that the initial picture in question was, indeed, of his  precious “friend” and that he was the culprit who hacked his own near-whack to the young woman in Seattle (and to another woman somewhere else, then another, and another over the years), the issue no longer resides in cyberspace. It now writhes in his absurd lies during a week-long series of interviews to almost everyone in the news – and the woman who is his wife.

Here we go again. Is there a generic script for all of these Menz to use when they fall upon their public sword? During the press conference he declared his intention to become “a better man” and husband. Hey Anthony, from what you’ve allowed a few women to see, you’re already a “better man” than most. Even Jon Stewart envies your precious abs and the largess of what you have below-the-belt of your special gateway to an orgasmic speedway.

Rather than detail what anyone who is reading this post already knows regarding the “Weinergate” scandal, the larger story is why the Democratic Congressman will not step down from his Narcissistic Throne because, of course, in his eyes all he did was a “virtual bone" (my quote).

So what is illegal about that, asks he-who-must-not-be lying – again – right? We shall see after Nancy Pelosi’s promised Ethics investigation is underway. If the other shoes don’t drop before that day. Frankly, by Friday of this week I expect another surprise Tweetie from Weiner’s account. A resignation announcement without a faux hack because his comrades aren’t covering his shimmering back.

Sex is sex. If it involves consenting adults, I really don’t care who is sexting-texting or sending personal pictures of themselves to those who don’t mind receiving them. It is - None. Of. My. Business. Unfortunately, when a public figure does so and the information becomes an issue, and when they lie and lie and lie, it’s no longer “do or die.” It is a surefire route to a peer-forced, bittersweet, solemn “Goodbye.”