October 31, 2003
Halloween Cat Blogging
Here's a cute shot of Lucky and Beowulf playing. They're looking at me like they're guilty of something. The black blob behind them is their mother, Oreo, who could not care less what her two sons are doing.
I had to throw in some Halloween-themed pix. Mulder, the carpet whale, wasn't too happy about it. That's the best shot I could get of her with the pumpkin. She kicked the pumpkin off the rocks, took a swipe at me when I tried to replace it, and then ran under the house next door. She did not like the pumpkin. Grouch.
My Halloween Display
I recreated Sadako coming out of the well, from the Japanese horror movie "The Ring." I think it turned out rather well. She hasn't scared the trick or treater's away from the Reese's Cups and Kit Kat's, though. The call of chocolate is strong.
Happy Samhain and Happy Halloween everyone! I might be a bit late with my Friday Cat Blogging. I'm finishing off preparations for the Trick or Treaters, plus we're heading to Salem, Massachusetts tomorrow. What better place to spend Halloween weekend?
I have my Halloween music on a loop today: the soundtrack to the horror game "Eternal Darkness - Sanity's Requiem," Goblin (Dario Argento movie soundtracks, like "Suspiria"), The Exorcist, some Bernard Herrmann (Hitchcock soundtracks like Psycho and Vertigo), Jaws, The Omen, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and Army of Darkness (Bruce Campbell -- gimme some sugar, baby). When I'm through with that, I'll put on some dark ambient like Lustmord, Ambre, and Nord Ambient Alliance. If you want some great dark ambient for today, I recommend Lustmord's "The Place Where The Black Stars Hang" and "Metavoid," Ambre's "Enclave," and Robert Rich's "Stalker," "Fissures," and "Bestiary." Rich and Lustmord (Brian Lustmord) are pretty much one and the same.
I Got A Link From Iceland!
I've learned that "blogger" in Icelandic is "bloggarinn."
October 30, 2003
Atrios Threatened With Nuisance Suit
Remember when Michael Savage threatened three web sites, including Take Back The Media, with what amounted to a SLAPP suit? Flashback to Bill O'Reilly and Faux News getting their boxers in a bunch over Al Franken's use of the "fair and balanced" tag line. Well, it seems that Atrios is now under a similar attack by a legal representative for National Review hothead Donald Luskin. As Atrios had written to right-wing bloggers, "obviously this kind of thing has a potential chilling effect on all of us - bloggers, anyone who posts comments, etc. This is a nuisance suit without any legal merit, with the not veiled threat to "out" me as the real purpose."
The other real purpose is to make it difficult to express opinions. Even though Atrios has not yet been sued, and it is unlikely that a libel suit against him would have any teeth, he must still waste valuable time, energy, and (should a law suit materialize) money to fend off this garbage. The court system should not be used as a bludgeon to curtail opinions and speech that you do not like.
Why is it that I see right wingers rather than left wingers most often pull lawsuit stunts like this?
100 Scariest Movie Moments
Right Wing News linked to RetroCrush's 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Scenes from the two Lucio Fulci movies we saw at the Horror-thon are listed. Ranked at numbers 69 and 73, respectively, are the eye-gouging scene from "Zombie," and the gut-puking scene from "Gates of Hell." Both scenes earned lots of catcalls when we saw them.
The shower scene from Psycho is number one. No surprise there.
October 29, 2003
Camille Paglia is a Weasel
After a thankfully long absence from the public eye, Salon recently dusted off Camille Paglia for a pathetic boast-fest. [via Atrios, who refused to even read it. I should have followed his lead.] Paglia tried to take credit for injecting the word "weasel" into the arguments about the Bush administration's PR campaign for the Iraq war when she referred to Dems using that word.
Sorry, Camille, but Scrappleface coined "axis of weasels" two weeks before your long-winded interview was published. His spoof site is so effective that plenty of people, including some in the media, really thought that Donald Rumsfeld had referred to France and Germany as the "Axis of Weasels." He put "weasel" back into the American vocabulary, not you. You're taking credit for another person's genius.
Ha ha! She's envious of blogs, and she steals from them. I hope it's another two years or more before she resurfaces.
Interesting News I've Read Today
Conservative Hypocrisy about Judicial Nominees
Nathan Newman skewers Jane Galt for claiming that no one should be promoted based on race, yet at the same time she had accused Democrats of racism for opposing some latino and black judicial nominees. It's a classic straw man argument: nominate minorities that support your conservative, anti-affirmative action point-of-view, and then claim that the reason those who oppose your views reject those nominees is due to their skin color. Galt's hypocrisy was turned on its ear when comments poster Alkali listed all the minority nominees that the Democrats have confirmed. I am opposed to nominee Janice Rogers Brown because of her conservative views and due to her poorly-reasoned opinion in a custody case in California I had described in a previous post. Her race is not an issue.
I've heard the same litmus test applied to feminists who are supposedly hypocritical when they oppose a female political figure, or when they oppose an organization that is harmful to women even though that organization includes a female support auxiliary. Second wife auxiliaries of fathers' rights groups are an example. Women definitely do not necessarily support positions that are beneficial to women across the board, but there exists a mythic vision of an all-supportive "sisterhood" that anti-feminists have pulled out of a hat when it suits them. Female members of anti-woman organzations make wonderful political props at legislative hearings, at least as long as the legislators cannot see past the political posturing. The twisted logic says that "this organization cannot possibly be anti-woman because women are some of its most active members."
A woman who had once belonged to a fathers' rights group had written a lengthy article describing her wake-up call. She did not see her early, positive treatment by the men in the group as a red flag. As she wrote, "[t]he second wife, new girlfriend, or female sympathizer of the Father's Rights movement is a queen amongst a retinue of attentive servants. [...] [S]he is placed upon a pedestal and worshipped by the masses in an overwhelming display of gratitude for her ability to sympathize with what would appear to be common sense to most people. SHE doesn't hate men. SHE values fatherhood. SHE believes in us. Every wish, every whim." Female fathers' rights sympathizers receive this favored treatment only as long as they tow the fathers' rights party line. The moment they stray, they receive abyssmal treatment that rivals the abuse these men heap upon their ex-wives and ex-girlfriends. I have seen numerous cases of women who had been married to or otherwise had borne children with fathers' rights advocates who ended up experiencing the same treatment in court that both they and their men had inflicted upon his ex-wife. The women who had filled out the legal paperwork, contacted fathers' rights groups, lied on the stand for him, and searched for case law on the Internet to assist their men in their crusade to take custody away from their ex's ended up having to use that expertise to protect themselves and their children. Ironically, sometimes the men they had once helped had replaced them with a newer, supportive model who fills out his legal paperwork, contacts fathers' rights groups, lies on the stand for him, and searches for case law on the Internet.
What goes around, comes around.
"Fake" News Beats "Fair And Balanced" Every Time
Ratings for the barking heads have been steadily falling for some time now. Atrios had posted a list showing the latest declining ratings:
FOX O'REILLY 1.9 [RATING]
CNN LARRY KING 1.6
FOX HANNITY/COLMES 1.2
FOX GRETA 0.9
CNN AARON BROWN 0.9
CNN ANDERSON 0.6
CNN ZAHN 0.7
MSNBC HARDBALL 0.3
MSNBC OLBERMANN 0.3
MSNBC SCARBOROUGH 0.3
CNBC BRIAN WILLIAMS 0.3
MSNBC ABRAMS 0.2
CNBC KUDLOW/KRAMER 0.2
CNBC BARTIROMO 0.2
What I found beautiful about this list is the absence of one show in particular, because it isn't "real" news: "The Daily Show." Not only have Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Steve Correl, Samantha Bee, Lewis Black, Mo Rocca, and Ed Helms beaten the snot out of their competition, "The Daily Show" was nominated for a Television Critics Association Award for "Outstanding Achievement in News and Information." The winner was "Frontline" -- also not listed above. None of the above shows was even nominated.
"The Daily Show" and Stewart himself won Emmys for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. They deserved them. For a show that isn't "real" news, it is head and shoulders above the "fair and balanced" crowd.