Friday, April 21, 2006

Prayer, the last refuge of a scoundrel.

I hate when Lisa's right...
Dear God,
Please let this happen.

Your Friend,

See these glasses? Solid Gold!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

And while I'm on the "do yourself a favor" kick, check out Silversun Pickups (myspace). I've listened to "Kissing Families" repeatedly over the past few weeks and love it even more each time I hear it. Plus, chick bass player = awesome.
Do yourself a favor and go here, here, and here to download a NPR Live Concert Series featuring Neko Case. Also, keep checking in with So Much Silence (link now added to the sidebar) for more excellent live stuff.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


When Hoffman won the Oscar for Best Actor I wasn't sure what to make of it. The man is a fine actor, no doubt, but from the trailers and scenes I had seen he seemed to be doing more of an impression than playing a role, a pitfall any actor portraying a well known public figure can fall into. Example, Jamie Foxx. Ray was an excellent biopic and I enjoyed it, but I never had the sense that I was watching anything more than a Jamie Foxx impersonation. Of course I don't know a whole hell of a lot about Truman Capote other than a few titles he authored, so that probably helped me see him as a character instead of an actor in a role. But back to it, Hoffman does a magnificent job in the role. From the outset he plays Capote as an extroverted socialite, more interested in being perceived as witty and clever at cocktail parties than anything, until he reads about the horrific murder of a midwestern family. Determined to write an article about the murders and their effect on the town, he sets out for Kansas and finds that there's more than a magazine articles worth of story to tell, and begins the process of gathering information for a "non-fiction novel," a new idea in literature that he feels will catapult him into the upper stratosphere of literary stardom. He becomes friendly with the killers, helping them find lawyers to appeal their conviction in order to keep them alive long enough for him to get the information he wants, and even begins to develop a bond with one of them, all the while aware the he is using them solely for his own personal ends. He gives a reading and it's a smashing success, and we watch as he revels in the adulation he recieves from luminaries like Tennessee Williams and George Bernard Shaw, and as his publisher exclaims that this will change the way people write. As time passes, however, he finds himself tortured by the knowledge that he is attached to a cold blooded killer and willfully aiding his legal appeals in order to further his own career. In the pivotal scene he finally gets Perry to describe the night of the murders to him, and we watch as he goes from cocky and assured writer that's finally getting his story to a horrified, sickened man who's just now realized what he's been doing. It becomes more than he can bear and he suffers a nervous breakdown upon completion of the book. It's this latter part of the movie is where Hoffman earns his pay, and earn it he does.
Only 144 more shopping days until my birthday...
Today's "boo-fucking-hoo" update courtesy of the Zacarias Moussaoui trial.

Societal alienation causes Americans to turn to black makeup and The Cure, while Muslims respond by flying planes into buildings.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thank You For Smoking

Based on the book by Christopher (son of William F.) Buckley, this is political satire at it's finest. Eckhart plays Nick Naylor, a tobacco lobbyist who describes himself as "that guy who can get any girl." And he's probably right. The man has a knack for talking over, through, and around any subject and takes delight in the fact that he is successful at a job where his sole duty is to shine a positive light on an industry that kills 1200 people a day. He lunches with lobbyists from the alcohol (Maria Bello) and firearm (David Koechner) industries (known as the MOD Squad, where MOD stands for Merchants Of Death) and they discuss the PR nightmares they must face each week (up to and including deformed babies) with detached attitudes more befitting of accountants discussing the latest tax code revisions. The movie opens with Naylor on the Joan Lunden show seated next to a young man dying of cancer and showing signs of chemotherapy. The rest of the panel consists of representatives from anti-smoking groups, but Naylor manages to outshine them all. He boldly states that the firms he represents have more interest in saving the life of "Cancer Boy" as a valued customer, while the other panelists want to see him and those like him dead in order to push their agendas and get grant money. It's a beautiful twist that turns an audience who openly sneered with contempt at him to his side while his fellow panelists stammer ineffectual rebukes as the show goes to break. The rest of the film follows Naylor as he attempts to get Hollywood to put more cigarettes in movies (because the only people that smoke in the movies anymore are villians and Europeans), bribe a former Marlboro Man who's dying of cancer, and testifies before a senate panel that wishes to place the "poison" skull and crossbones warning label on all cigarette packs.

The beauty of the movie is that it skewers everyone in politics. Naylor is "the hero" of the picture, but he admits to his son that it takes a certain moral flexibility to do what he does and is duped by a female reporter who uses sex as a means to write an expose on him and his firm riddled with damaging quotes he thought were otherwise privileged information (best quote of the movie: "I assumed anything I said while I was inside of you was off the record."). Macy's do-gooder Vermont senator who is spearheading the label issue is clearly in it for the publicity and not out of concern for the health or well being of his constituents. Naylor embarrasses him time and again, especially on an episode of The Dennis Miller Show (is that still on?) where he points out that the senator had denounced tobacco farmers and called for the slashing and burning of their fields right before showing up at Farm Aid to stand in support with and show his concern for the plight of the American farmer. It's a well written and hilarious movie that any political junkie (such as myself) would love.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I don't usually go for "your momma" humor, but I heard this one on the radio this morning and laughed for a solid five minutes:

Your momma is so fat, when she was diagnosed with a flesh eating bacteria the doctors gave her ten years to live.

No need to worry Vols, you've got him for at least another decade.