Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Scary stuff

Brace yourselves, folks. Something came through the area on Monday and gave me a right royal fright. I managed to keep my sanity long enough to snap a picture, but it's so disturbing I dare not post it above the fold.

Be warned: Scariness lurks below.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Leave my childhood alone!

The Goonies. Thundercats. Red Dawn. Transformers. GI Joe. With every remake, reboot and rehash of an '80s property, a little bit of my childhood dies. It's only a matter of time before Bravestarr gets dragged into this vortex of meh.

Now I see MacGyver is over in Europe, shilling for Mercedes-Benz. Really, Mac? Next you'll tell me Michael Jackson wasn't a clean-cut, all-American pop star and David Hasselhoff didn't bring down the Berlin Wall.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's a Manly Man's world

File this one under "Makes Me Embarrassed to Carry a Y Chromosome." According to the guy who used to review movies for the Niagara Falls Reporter, the publisher of said weekly only wants to run reviews of movies that portray men in their correct, God-given dominant roles. The publisher's e-mail to the aforementioned reviewer, Michael Calleri:
Michael; I know you are committed to writing your reviews, and put a lot of effort into them. it is important for you to have the right publisher. i may not be it. i have a deep moral objection to publishing reviews of films that offend me. snow white and the huntsman is such a film. when my boys were young i would never have allowed them to go to such a film for i believe it would injure their developing manhood. if i would not let my own sons see it, why would i want to publish anything about it?
snow white and the huntsman is trash. moral garbage. a lot of fuzzy feminist thinking and pandering to creepy hollywood mores produced by metrosexual imbeciles.

I don't want to publish reviews of films where women are alpha and men are beta.
where women are heroes and villains and men are just lesser versions or shadows of females.

i believe in manliness.

not even on the web would i want to attach my name to snow white and the huntsman except to deconstruct its moral rot and its appeal to unmanly perfidious creeps.

i'm not sure what headhunter has to offer either but of what I read about it it sounds kind of creepy and morally repugnant.

with all the publications in the world who glorify what i find offensive, it should not be hard for you to publish your reviews with any number of these.

they seem to like critiques from an artistic standpoint without a word about the moral turpitude seeping into the consciousness of young people who go to watch such things as snow white and get indoctrinated to the hollywood agenda of glorifying degenerate power women and promoting as natural the weakling, hyena -like men, cum eunuchs.

the male as lesser in courage strength and power than the female.

it may be ok for some but it is not my kind of manliness.

If you care to write reviews where men act like good strong men and have a heroic inspiring influence on young people to build up their character (if there are such movies being made) i will be glad to publish these.

i am not interested in supporting the reversing of traditional gender roles.

i don't want to associate the Niagara Falls Reporter with the trash of Hollywood and their ilk.

it is my opinion that hollywood has robbed america of its manliness and made us a nation of eunuchs who lacking all manliness welcome in the coming police state.

now i realize that you have a relationship with the studios etc. and i would have been glad to have discussed this in person with you to help you segue into another relationship with a publication but inasmuch as we spent 50 minutes on the phone from paris i did not want to take up more of your time.

In short i don't care to publish reviews of films that offend me.

if you care to condemn the filmmakers as the pandering weasels that they are.... true hyenas.
i would be interested in that....
I just ... wow. I'd try to examine that message while wearing my copy editor hat, but it bursts into flames any time it comes near this post. Odd, that.

The publisher, Frank Parlato, reportedly is no stranger to controversy in his business dealings. The NFR also made national news recently, publishing this delightful bit of enlightened commentary on how hockey is turning gay. Sound familiar?

Not surprisingly, Parlato waded into the comments and wasted little time blasting away, attacking the messenger and painting himself as an embattled defender of Traditional Family Values. He also makes sure to remind everyone how successful he is -- because that's what Manly Men do, reinforce their appearance of Manliness at every opportunity. Sounds like someone who has years of experience viewing life through the eyes of fear.

Also lurking in the comments are the requisite Men's Rights Advocates, who see a grand conspiracy against men everywhere they look. Articles like these are dog whistles for MRAs and other assorted creeps who feel their lot in life would be so much better if it wasn't for Big Sister depriving them of their rightful status and denying them the sex they deserve. Get out your MRA bingo cards if you read through the comments as they touch on many of their greatest hits: biased against men, feminist onslaught, traditional values, misandry, traditional gender roles, loser geeks and half-men, "women's issues," eunuchs, "spend one week as a man and see how YOU like it," "but what about the rights of men," "freedom of speech," androphobia, etc.

You can almost understand their shock and horror, what with white, male Christians no longer being the dominant force in this country and having to play nicely with the rest of the populace. Yeesh. If this is how real, Manly Men are supposed to behave -- viewing the world as a zero-sum game and treating anyone who doesn't look, think and act in the Traditional Way with contempt -- I'll just go ahead and chop off my dick now, thanks. I want no part of this foofery.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


This is what happens when you let religion sink its fangs into government and hold sway where it doesn't belong. A woman in Ireland is dead because certain parties valued an unviable fetus over the mother's life.
Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.
Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.
Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.
This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.
She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.
The dead foetus was removed and Savita was taken to the high dependency unit and then the intensive care unit, where she died of septicaemia on the 28th.
Read that again. Because some people still believe a book of Bronze Age myths curated by a group of old men in funny hats has some relevance today, supposed medical professionals were willing to leave a pregnant woman in agony for three days before watching her die. Odd how that happened only a month after Ireland's finest minds assured us all that abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of the mother.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Below the line

Have I mentioned lately how much I love the commenters on the Jakarta Globe's website? With only a very few exceptions, my policy on comment sections is "that way madness lies," but bless those Globe commenters for being a shining counterexample.

The Globe commentariat has previous in eviscerating substandard and/or outright wrong-headed editorial stances, such as the newspaper's support for an anti-porn task force and its siding with Islamic radicals in the Lady Gaga Saga. Now we have Peter F. Gontha -- Globe publisher, former Suharto lamprey and admitted crony capitalist -- throwing a fit about Jakarta's new deputy governor daring to check his BlackBerry during their meeting, in which Pak Gontha suggested easing the capital's traffic by restricting access to some roads to vehicles of certain colors, an old idea which has been dismissed by the publisher's own newspaper.

I couldn't blame you if you skipped the article itself -- it's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, as per usual -- but please do read through the comments. The response to Gontha's kvetching is energetic, to say the least. An example:

Quite apart from the appalling arrogance of the first paragraph the lead in to the third leaves one in awe of this mans audacity.
"I am fully aware that I am no expert in city planning, or an expert in overcoming transportation problems. But as a resident of the city, I feel called to contribute to progress." By Whom?
If you are aware of your inadequacy in this area then stick to what you know and you will not get the short shrift out of a very busy officials office for wasting his time.
"noble intention of meeting with his deputy governor" Your Deputy Governor? Who do you think you are?
This sort of statement epitomizes the elitist arrogance that is one of the contributing factors to the state this country is in. Someone who thinks he has a right to interfere in an areas he professes himself to know nothing about, but wants to meddle anyway because he thinks he is rich and should be listened to.
Perhaps the whole thing was to teach you lesson in humility. Epic Fail....
The whole episode does not reflect well on someone who fancies himself the Donald Trump of Indonesia. Still, perhaps Pak Gontha does deserve some sympathy. A man of his wealth and political connections gets used to being treated with reverence and fear -- especially at the Globe, given his mixed record of success with English-language publications -- and finding out that the universe does not, in fact, revolve around you can be quite a shock to the system. Of course, it's a shock most of us experience and get over in our teens or early 20s.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Last night brought the draw for the fourth round of Concacaf qualifying -- known to its friends as The Hex -- for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Matches don't start until February, but in a brazen bit of stealing from myself, here's my knee-jerk, completely speculative projection on how the last round of qualifying will go.
@ Honduras: MLS players will be short on match fitness in early February, so Klinsmann had damn well better hold Camp Toaster Strudel. The US nicks a goal but concedes late and it finishes 1-1.

vs. Costa Rica: As suggested by SBI, Salt Lake City is almost ideal for this match -- friendly crowd, at altitude and should still be fairly cool in late March. The US gets pushed hard by the Ticos but wins 2-1.

@ Mexico: Think El Tri and its fans will be up for this one? Jermaine Jones gets sent off in the first half and Mexico wins 2-0. The more reactionary US fans express Great Concern on message boards.

@ Jamaica: Our friends the Reggae Boyz will host Mexico three days prior, what with El Tri running off to the Confederations Cup (which we've all established no one cares about, right?). Odds are Jamaica will still be stinging after a loss and in no mood to party. Hopefully Klinsmann remembers to pack a few extra wide players, just in case. It finishes 1-1 and BigSoccer is inundated by hotlinked images of panic buttons.

vs. Panama: Reactionaries will declare this game a must-win; realists will remind the reactionaries that every home game in the Hex is a must-win. Even with Blas Perez leading the line, Panama at home is about as close to a get-well game there as is at this point. The US wins 3-1 and goes into the second half of the Hex with eight points, roughly halfway to Brazil.

vs. Honduras: For all the talent Honduras has, it's only beaten the US twice in the MLS Era -- the DC Debacle in 2001 and a friendly after the 2010 Camp Cupcake -- and three times overall. So why does this game scream "trap?" Maybe the intensity of three qualifiers in 11 days is a lot to ask, especially of guys coming off a long European season. (Then again, Mexico has to go to Jamaica and Panama and host Costa Rica in the space of a week before the Confederations Cup, so who knows what that will do to their heads, let alone their bodies.) US 1-1 Honduras and a summer full of Squeaky Bum Time awaits.

@ Costa Rica: If any Concacaf team has the US's number, it's Costa Rica, not Mexico. The US is winless in its last five against the Ticos (the earlier projection notwithstanding) and hasn't left Costa Rica with so much as a point since 1992. Things go poorly, Costa Rica wins 3-0 and "Klinsmann out" becomes more than just the US coach's sign-off when he fills in for Ryan Seacrest.

vs. Mexico: One of the biggest selling points of the Klinsmann era is that his teams get results when they absolutely have to have them. These last three games will put that assertion to its stiffest test yet. Of course this one takes place at Crew Stadium. Chicarito scores early but the US rallies, winning 2-1 and keeping the Columbus mystique alive.

vs. Jamaica: Rough as the Hex draw was to the US, it could've done far worse than playing Jamaica and Panama in the final week. This one seems like a good fit for Kansas City, especially if the weather turns cold. The US grinds out another 1-0 home win over Jamaica and in all likelihood secures a place at the World Cup.

@ Panama: All three US visits to Panama City have been fruitful, yielding two wins and a draw. Unless the US needs this result to qualify (and it shouldn't), expect to see the backups and anyone urgently needing to be cap-tied. The US wins 2-1 as Eddie Johnson nods in two goals and begins his campaign to go to a second World Cup.

Mexico 7W-2D-1L 20 GF 6 GA 23 points
Costa Rica 6-2-2 17 GF 9 GA 20 points
USA 5-3-2 13 GF 13 GA 18 points
Honduras 1-6-3 10 GF 13 GA 10 points (loses qualifying playoff to Oceania winner New Zealand)
Jamaica 1-3-6 5 GF 13 GA 6 points
Panama 1-2-7 6 GF 17 GA 5 points