Must be tofu, cuz beef don’t shake like that

So, apparently, I must now add “Veganism” to the ever-growing list of “things I have to pretend to like if I ever meet Natalie Portman”:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-portman/jonathan-safran-foers-iea_b_334407.html

For the record: I don’t really have any “problem” with Vegans, though I DO have a problem with Natalie Portman becoming one. Namely… well, remember “Closer?” “Hotel Chevalier?” Yeah… that figure is just NOT going to exist under a veggies-only diet. Ah, well…

One of the things that has always perplexed me about vegetarianism (and hardline animal-liberation ideology in general) is how often it’s framed as a kind of mutual-morality issue: That it’s wrong to eat or experiment on animals because some believe they are just as capable of emotion, emotional-reaction and even moral reasoning as human beings are. To me, that seems backwards… I’M against cruelty to animals largely because I’m inclined to conclude that they AREN’T capable of moral-reasoning – at least not to the degree we are.

See, I’ve met TONS of human beings who deserve to be treated unkindly, to say nothing of outright CRUELLY – mostly because that’s how they’ve treated myself and others. Hitler deserved to be treated with cruelty. Osama bin Laden deserves cruelty. Have you ever heard of an animal that did anything to deserve the same? I certainly haven’t.

For all anyone has been able to prove scientifically, animals are TOTAL innocents: moral/ethical “blanks;” which means they aren’t capable of EVIL. If, on the other hand, we were to prove that they were capable of good, logic would dictate that they are ALSO capable of evil – one cannot exist without the other. Wouldn’t this, then, mean that a simple solution to the problem of how to consume meat protein without harming something “good” be to eat only the “bad” animals? Surely, it couldn’t be hard to find and execute the Hitler of Cows or the Manson of Turkeys, yes?

Science could probably make this whole thing irrelevant if they wanted to: If we can clone whole animals effectively, it can’t be too far of a step to only clone PARTS of them. Imagine being able to GROW edible cuts of meat without having to worry about the pain inflicted on a whole steer…

In other news, I hear Leatherface is stumping for immigration reform…

As President Obama continues the Democrat’s sisyphean quest for Health Care reform, perhaps he can take some measure of comfort from the fact that – in the same weekend wherein he learned that Joe Lieberman plans to vote with the Republicans against the Public Option; we now learn that he at least has the support of one John Kramer, aka “Jigsaw,” the serial-killer protagonist of the “Saw” movies.

“Saw 6,” the most recent episode, opens with the Jigsaw-mandated self-imolation of two corrupt mortage loan officers, then for the main course serves up some “git th’ bastard!!!!” torment of a heartless insurance company boss and, for good measure, the group of eeeeeevil overly-slick MBA brats who serve as his main team. Yes, the slowly-petering-out gorefest franchise has officially taken one of genre-film’s classic first-steps toward oblivion: The socially-relevant “message” installment. Presumably, Jigsaw (or, rather, Jigsaw’s posthumous minions) will battle Climate Change by stapling a polluting CEO’s mouth to an exhaust pipe in Part 7; or feeding Wall Street derivatives-traders’ intestines through a stock-ticker in Part 8.

Okay, for what it’s worth marrying the standard outline of the post-Part-3 “Saw” movies to this particular cause of the month makes a certain amount of sense: Jigsaw is/was a terminal cancer patient who forces victims who don’t “appreciate” their lives to endure gruesome endurance tests to teach them a lesson. Still, the risk of merging a franchise like this to a topical issue is always a matter of elevation versus deflation: If you’re going to insert a serious socio-political argument – in this case the need for healthcare reform – into something as inherently silly as “Saw,” the franchise must rise to meet the import of the issue OR the issue must become silly to mee the franchise. Those wondering which version has happened more often are advised to go watch “Superman 4: The Quest For Peace” again.

See, the “Saw” movies have always had a certain “preachy” quality as part of their hook: People struggle their way through torture traps while Jigsaw grumbles a narration largely made up on his own warped philosophy on life and death. THAT basically works, since Jigsaw’s ramblings (and Tobin Bell’s by-now iconic performance) matches up with the high-grade-schlock asthetic of the films-proper. Simply swapping that dialogue out with bumper-sticker bullet-points about insurance reform (Bell’s vocals work overtime to make sure we never get tired of hearing him growl the word “policy”) but keeping the actual movie around it as goofy as ever turns the whole thing into unintended comedy… a straight-faced version of those SNL “Weekend Update” bits where an ironically-appropriate fictional character delivers an editorial (“and now here with an opinion on gun control, Mr. Yosemite Sam.”)

At the very least, even though it’s now functional only as a kind of unwittingly-hillarious self-parody, it’s at least more watchable on a technical level than the last two. If nothing else, hopefully this newfound technical acumen can carry through all the way to “Saw 10″… wherein, I imagine, Jigsaw will do battle against offshore drilling.

cross that one of the list…


A friend from YouTube points me to an image that effectively ends a rather passively-undertaken “search” the origins of which date back to about 1995 or so. Some folks have the Loch Ness Monster, some folks have evidence of Extra-Terrestrials; I’ve got, well…



P.S. Anyone on the convetion circuit who knows who these two are?
Yeah… if one of them is actually a guy, I don’t wanna know. Okay? 😉

JOY!!!

Embedded below, the opening cinematic to “New Super Mario Bros. Wii.” Not precisely the epic air-raid/nostalgia-fest that the “Mario Galaxy” prologue was, but cute all the same. Depicted on the pile of giant presents in the background are this installments round of power-ups, including the classic Fire-Flower, the re-designed incarnation of Galaxy’s Ice-Flower, the Propeller-Helmet and, yes… that would be a Penguin Suit. However, the REAL bigsuperhappyfun confirmation comes at exactly 0:17…

I’ve been waiting since 2003 to be able to say this…
THE KOOPALINGS LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A boy can dream

One can rest assured that, in the modern Hollywood, the town is currently FULL of producers and executives who’s job it is to “option” material with their fingers hovering over the metaphorical “button” in regards to various other ‘offbeat’ youth-oriented/Gen-X-beloved literature should “Where The Wild Things Are” become a decent-sized success.

Naturally, this right here will NEVER happen, but… if I were to walk into a theater at some point in the next year and see some approximation of the following imaginary teaser poster up on the wall, I imagine I might pass out right there on the spot…


EDIT: Just to be clear, I know it would be a bad idea, I’m just pointing out that I’d be immediately fascinated to see how it played out.