Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Three Thumbs Down

Movie reviews crack me up. I pay them absolutely no attention when I'm deciding whether or not to go watch a movie, because I'm convinced that most commercial movie reviewers are talentless, bitter hacks who can't distinguish art from entertainment.

On the other hand...I rely on reviews when I rent from Netflix, if it's a movie I'm uncertain about.

In fact, I often just enjoy reading the reviews; they're a hell of a lot more entertaining, in some cases, than the movie itself.

Take the movie "Active Stealth", which stars Fred Williamson and Daniel Baldwin. Now don't get me wrong, Fred was da man back in the day. This movie, however, was made in 1999. If you've got Fred and Daniel "The Fat One" Baldwin as the stars of your movie...you're on a shoestring budget, and probably headed straight to DVD.

But the reviews...oh lawd, I damn near split a side! These are snippets from the actual viewer reviews of the movie:

It looks like a 8 year directed it. I wish I could give it -5 Stars but this system only allows for Positive Numbers... Puke all over it...

Everybody associated with the creative process including writers, producers, and directors should be taken behind the woodshed and roughed up a bit. Make that roughed up a lot.

Don't waste your time unless you have quite of few cases of cheap alcohol that you need to get rid of.

Terrible acting, and I've seen better shoot-outs in old westerns. The only thing worse than the acting was the casting.

The back of your eye lids would be a huge step up from this movie.

It's still playing and if it hadn't been the only DVD it the house while I tried my new 34" Vega I would have gone to bed.

This is a movie with a bad script, lousy direction, contorted plot, horrible display to details, below par acting, and fight scenes choreographed by the WWF. Save this disk for skeet shooting.
Who needs to watch it, with entertainment this good?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cheney + Gun = Heart Attack

First I am hoping that Whittington comes out of all this okay. Yes we're having a laugh at his expense, but there's no ill will wished on the man.


I read that he'd suffered a "minor" heart attack while in the hospital, and I had this vision. It's at night; there's a nurse on duty, but all is quiet. Whittington is having trouble sleeping, something is nagging at him, crawling at his skin.

He wakes, suddenly - and Dick Cheney is there, dressed in black and hovering over his hospital bed. "Remember", he rasps; "if anyone finds out what really happened...I know where you live..."

There's a scraping noise, like a sharp steel blade against leather...and then he fades back into the shadows.


Hell, that'd give me a heart attack too.

Monday, February 13, 2006

More Dick Humor

Cheney Says Shooting Was Based On Faulty Intelligence.
"Believed Shooting Victim Was Zawahiri", Veep Says

Vice President Dick Cheney revealed today that he shot a fellow hunter while on a quail hunting trip over the weekend because he believed the man was the fugitive terror mastermind Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Mr. Cheney acknowledged that the man he sprayed with pellets on Saturday was not al-Zawahiri but rather Harry Whittington, a 78-year-old millionaire lawyer from Austin, blaming the mix-up on “faulty intelligence.”

“I believed I had credible intelligence that al-Zawahiri had infiltrated my hunting party in disguise with the intent of spraying me with pellets,” Mr. Cheney told reporters. “Only after I shot Harry in the face and he shouted ‘Cheney, you bastard’ did I realize that this intelligence was faulty.”

Moments after Mr. Cheney’s assault on Mr. Whittington, Mr. al-Zawahiri appeared in a new videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera to announce that he was uninjured in the vice president’s attack because, in his words, “I was in Pakistan.”

An aide to the vice president said he believed that the American people would believe Mr. Cheney’s version of events, but added, “If he was going to shoot any of his cronies right now it’s a shame it wasn’t Jack Abramoff.”

At the White House, President George W. Bush defended his vice president’s shooting of a fellow hunter, saying that the attack sent “a strong message to terrorists everywhere.”

“The message is, if Dick Cheney is willing to shoot an innocent American citizen at point-blank range, imagine what he’ll do to you,” Mr. Bush said.

Elsewhere, aviator Steve Fossett completed his three-day journey around the globe, setting a world record for wasting both time and money.

Okay, So I iLied

...but you'll understand why. Remember my post on the possible touch-screen iPod? Well here's a shot of the image presented with the patent documentation Apple applied with:

You gotta admit...it's kinda cool.

Fucking Apple.

Cheney's Top 10 Reasons

Of course, there's no way I could have let a juicy tidbit like this pass by without sharing.

Dick Cheney's Top 10 Reasons for shooting hunting buddy Harry Whittington:(Author unknown)

10. Sick and tired of Whittington's "Hey, I'm having a heart attack" jokes
9. Pushed over edge by Dixie Chicks and Streisand blasting on pick-up truck stereo
8. Ongoing dispute over whether it's acceptable to torture quail before shooting them
7. Thought he saw Scooter Libby on other side of tree line
6. Bombed out of his gourd on Wild Turkey and Lone Star Beer
5. Companion's ill-advised decision to wear Moveon.org sweatshirt
4. Was trying to impress Jodie Foster
3. Whittington's repeated ribbing that Bush is actually the "real president"
2. Targeting scope on rifle made by Halliburton

And the number one excuse given by Dick Cheney for almost blowing away hunting companion Harry Whittington...

1. Because he's a wartime vice president, damn it

Personally...I figured he did it because Harry heard a big storm was hitting the northeast, and joked aloud that maybe someone should call FEMA so they can ship a bag of salt and a shovel to help with the cleanup.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow Day

Mother Nature finally woke up, looked at the East Coast and realized, "oh crap, it's winter - where's the snow?" We've been blanketed in, at least here in Da City, about 8-10 inches of the fresh white stuff. And I don't mean the stuff that gets shipped in daily from Columbia, *sniff sniff wink wink*.

Odds are good that we won't get another weekend like this, so - since I couldn't head north to the slopes, courtesy of a twisted ankle, I figured I'd dress in my snow fatigues and head out to the park instead. Now...I happen to live in Inwood, upper-upper Manhattan. An area most New Yorkers think is part of the Bronx, but that's okay with me because it keeps out those not "in the know". Why is this a good thing?

Because Inwood is all parkland. We have actual hills, in dem dere hills. No foolin'. It's at the very tip of the island, at the canal where the Harlem River crosses over to the Hudson River. It's picturesque, if you've had the pleasure. Isham Park, Inwood Hill Park, Fort Tryon Park, Riverside Park; they all blend together to make a hidden woodland tucked away in a corner of one of the biggest cities in the world.

So here it is snowing like mad, and where do you think the people all are? In the park, of course! Sleds, snowboards, tubes, plastic discs...whatever they can get their hands on. There's a nice slope at the top of a ridge that separates Isham Park from Inwood Hill Park, that's high with enough of an incline to make sledding fun but not too dangerous for the kiddies.

I thought about taking my board out there, but opted instead for the camcorder. I spent a good hour or so out there, capturing everyone slip-sliding down that hill any way they could. It wasn't just kids, a few adults were there too - all having a blast!

It didn't take long for them to catch on to me videotaping; at first I thought I'd catch hell for it. I mean not to be messed up about it, but let's face it - I'm a black man in New York, filming kids. Not exactly kosher. But a few smiles and laughs later and everyone was hamming it up for the camera; suddenly everyone wanted to be a star! I had one or two kids who wanted to be filmed so badly they'd aim themselves at me, hoping I'd ignore everyone else and focus on them - never realizing that I'd be too busy dodging them to film anything at all!

But it was all in fun, and well worth the effort. Hopefully there's enough decent film for me to put a music video together, just showing everyone having a blast.

Hope you all had a great snow day yourselves!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

iSn't iT iRonic?

I'll stop with the iPod references, I promise. But this made me chuckle.

I'm out last night, on my way home - dressed in my usual night gear. Black jeans, black sweatshirt, black leather jacket, black gloves, black ski cap. Yes I like dark clothes, okay?

Anyway. I'm listening to my music player, and a good song comes on. I'm in a relatively good mood, it's late and pitch dark, so I start grooving to the music as I'm walking down the street. We've all done it, right?

What got me was looking down at one point and seeing that bright, white headphone wire (because for *some* reason EVERY manufacturer is making their headphones in white) dangling down my neck...contrasted against all that black...and I thought:

"Oh shit. I look like an iPod commercial."

Hey. I thought it was funny.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Ask the Trickster

My new bi-weekly (or when I feel like doing it) "advice" column. No one actually writes me for advice, fortunately for them; I borrow would-be supplicants from the syndicated column found in my local DAILY NEWSpaper. Not that I'm naming names.

Dear TRICKSTER: I'm a big fan (I read your column every morning on the train to work). I read, but never thought in a million of years I would be writing. I was compelled by Alexis (the 60-year-old divorcee), who not only shares the same interests, but has touched upon what my life is like with women.

I know it's harder for men, but I never thought a woman would have the same "problems." The looks from women and their not wanting to be bothered only leaves me insecure and the feeling of loneliness overwhelms me at times. It's all in the look. Alexis should've met his stare (if she was interested) or at least said something. I would like to be friends (maybe more) with Alexis, if she wouldn't mind being paraded by a 32-year-old gentleman.
— Michael, New York

Dear Michael,
You MILF-hunting hounddog you! Admit it, you're really just writing hoping you'll get a hook-up with the granny, ain't you? Except...you got no game, by your own admission. I mean damn, if you're 32 and having problems picking up a 60yr old woman...I gotta tell ya, buddy, it ain't THEM. Know what I'm saying? The woman is 60, she's allowed to have her doubts about her own sex appeal. You? You're just sad; I'm betting just standing next to you would ruin my personal mojo, so keep your distance!

Look, here's my advice. Take your Zoloff, log onto your usual www.grannysgotgame.com website, keep the lotion and tissues handy and quit stalking the subways. We know you're out there now, buddy, don't make me have to call the cops!

Don't you just feel the love ooooozing off me, people?

The iPod Killer

Gotta love those Japanese. Just when you think they've just about covered every kitschy, cutesy thing imaginable...they come up with stuff like this.

Undeniably cute and expensively priced. Tomy’s “Teddy Bear MP3 Player” boasts just 128MB memory and only supports MP3/WMA audio playback. On the plus side, it has USB connectivity and gets up to 8 hours of continuous use on 1 AA battery. The player measures 95×65×40mm and weighs 50g (without battery). It will be released on March 30th at the price of $78 USD (9,240 Yen).

Perfect device for playing that extensive HiHi Puffy AmiYumi collection of yours.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

iLead iUs Not Into iTemptation

Steve Jobs...I hate you. I do.

It's nothing personal. It's just that I firmly believe that you are Beezelbub, here to tempt the world with your overpriced, artsy-but-limited devices. I've argued against your evil iSpawn, since the advent of the first Macintosh, all to no avail. "But you can get an mp3 player that'll play the basic mp3 format, with more features, for less money!" -- "...yeah, but it isn't cute!"

Lemmings. You sell to lemmings, you iBastard.

I've resisted your iPods, although I admit there are times when I've wavered. Thank the cybergods my faith in open-end technology is so strong, or I'd have succumbed to your wiles years ago. The nano, in black, was a powerful force - but I stood strong in my resolve.

Only now...there are rumors. I'd heard already that Apple had filed a patent for touch screen technology, giving rise to speculation of a new Powerbook, maybe in tablet form.

Whatever. *Yawn*.

But suddenly the word on the fiber optic street is...it's a new iPod. The design is that there's a DIGITAL scroll wheel, coded onto the touch screen. When you touch the screen the wheel appears and you can navigate your playlists and songs. After a second or two of non-use, the wheel vanishes.

And it could arrive before this summer.

Damn you, Satan-Jobs. Damn you to iHell.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snitch For A Cause

Sometimes I feel so left out of the loop, ya know?

Take the Business Software Alliance, for instance. I had no clue they existed. They are, according to their web site, "the foremost organization dedicated to promoting a safe and legal digital world."


"BSA is the voice of the world's commercial software industry before governments and in the international marketplace."

I mean, seriously. Color me impressed. Forget FEMA, Homeland Security, Interpol, the UN. This is BIG! And of course, their big topic du jour is:

Piracy. Arrgh, matey!

According to their "Define The Line" strategy (I'm not making this up), piracy is wrong! Bad dog! Wrong wrong wrong!

"According to a study conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs, only 32 percent of students are paying for software most of the time. That leaves 68 percent of students who are potentially using commercial software illegally."

That's so cup-half-empty. I see it as 68 percent of students too stupid to know they could have gotten their software for free. Educate them, people! Fight the power! Power to the people, software for everyone!

I'm all about the hippy free love explosion, I am. But then I saw...they have a page WHERE YOU CAN REPORT OTHER PEOPLE!!! FOR MONEY!!

OMFG. This is so Orwellian, I think I'm about to cream my shorts. Rat on your friends, earn cash. It's absolutely brilliant in it's simplicity.
These are the choices they give you:

I am reporting an organization using pirated software on its own computers. (You may be eligible for a reward.)

I am reporting a company that distributes pirated software &/or computers with pirated software.

I am reporting piracy that involves software offered through the World Wide Web, FTP, e-mail, bulletin boards (BBS), chat (IRC, ICQ, etc.), news groups, or any other unauthorized distribution of software using the Internet.

Even if I were about to use options 2 or 3, do you really think I'd do so when I see they're offering CASH MONEY to people willing to snitch on their own companies!? Screw that FTP site crap, I'm getting my company involved and reporting their fat-cat asses!

I click on option 1. Naturally. This is what I get:
"Thank you for choosing to report software piracy. It's the right thing to do, and it can be "rewarding" - BSA is offering Rewards of up to $50,000 for qualifying reports. (emphasis added)

To learn about our Reward Program and to make your report, click here or call our hotline at 888 NO PIRACY.

Not interested in participating in the Reward Program? Click here to skip directly to the Reporting Form. "

Fifty. Fucking. Thousand. Dollars. Why are they even asking me if I'm not interested in the reward program!? What, do people just get off on snitching that much, that they'll turn down 50k American buckaroos?

Excuse me, would you? I've got some phone calls to make.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yes, He Really Was That Stupid

Got this one from the AP archives, folks. It's hard to fathom being this incredibly stupid...but then again, maybe he was high when he did it? If you need yet another reason to just say no...

OREM, Utah (Jan. 31) - An man who called police to report the theft of a quarter-pound of marijuana was arrested when police recovered the bag of pot and then invited him to come to the Public Safety Building to identify it.

Kory C. Tippetts, 18, identified the pot as his and then was arrested and booked into the Utah County jail for investigation of possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone with intent to distribute, police said Tuesday.

Tippetts had called police on Monday evening after he returned home and found that someone had broken a window, got cut on the glass, and crawled into the house. Tippetts told police the only thing missing was the quarter-pound of marijuana he was selling.

Tippetts also told officers that earlier in the day a man had called him about buying some marijuana, but he was on his way to work and told the caller no.

Tippetts gave police the man's name.

Officers found Richard W. Hight, 23, at his mother's home in Provo. He had a cut on his arm and blood-soaked pants. Police also recovered six ounces of marijuana at the home.

Hight was arrested for investigation of burglary, theft and possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone with intent to distribute and booked into the Utah County jail.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What, Me Worry?

My company, in a flash of generosity, handed out emergency kits about two years ago (after the blackout we had here in New York). The usual; a sippycup of water, foil blanket, mini flashlight, first aid. Nice gesture.

Today we got a memo to "please check your emergency kits" and make certain everything's working properly, and that you have comfortable walking shoes stored away under your desk.

Now I'm a little concerned. When your company starts saying things like "oh by the way...you've got that first aid kit handy, right? Okay good"...it doesn't put me in a happy happy joy joy frame of mind.

Do they know something I don't? Is there another orange alert and they're just not telling me? I mean hell, I'm about to head home here...do I need to watch out for the guy in the long trenchcoat? If I hear the squeal of tires, should I turn and look for the truck or should I just haul ass in any direction away from the noise? Should I keep finding reasons to walk down to the lower floors during working hours, just to make sure I'm not one of those people taking a dive into the concrete pool on the evening news?

Paranoid? Maybe. But it's the paranoid ones that're getting interviewed the next day, while the ones who said "oh it doesn't mean anything" are the ones getting their pictures posted up on lampposts in Union Square.

I'm cold. But I ain't stupid.

Ni**a Can't Take a Joke!

Why is it some people just can't sit back and laugh at themselves? Hmm?

I'm a big fan of Aaron McGruder's "The Boondocks". Have been since they started popping up on the comics page of my local paper, started reading them online and was thrilled when it became an animated feature on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim series.

Now Aaron's been censored before; not too long ago, he used to strip to suggest that Condoleeza Rice just needed a man, and maybe she wouldn't be so eager to blow up the world. The New York Daily News, among others, decided that Aaron was "on vacation" and filled the space where his strip was with something less controversial until the joke ran its course.

Now...this past January 15th, the Boondocks showed an espisode that had the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King not being dead, but instead having been in a coma. He comes out of it into today's world, and is appalled by what he sees. He goes into a fiery tirade against today's black culture, and his pacifist ways are seen as "pro-terrorism" in this post 9/11 world. He moves to Canada and sparks a second civil rights movement.

"Our" erstwhile mouthpiece (mainly because we can't shut his black ass up), Rev. Al Sharpton, has decided that this is just too far over the top. To have the honorable (womanizing) Dr. King actually mouth the N-word...heavens above, oh lawdy miss mabey, shut yo' mouth!

"Cartoon Network must apologize and also commit to pulling episodes that desecrate black historic figures," Sharpton said in a statement. "We are totally offended by the continuous use of the N-word."

This same highly offended man also says in the same statement that McGruder deserves much praise for his past work, and hinted that if no apology is forthcoming he and his supporters will picket the corporate headquarters of Time Warner, which owns the network.

Here's the thing, Al. I'm betting that if the good Dr. King were in fact alive today...he'd have been laughing his ass off, because HE would have gotten the joke. YOU, Al, have your head so far up your own ass you wouldn't know good parody if it made a nest in that hair of yours.

I personally think Rev. Al is offended for an entirely different reason, and has been looking for a reason to blast the cartoon:

He knows he looks too damn much like Uncle Ruckus!

See? A nigg* don't lie!