Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My parents let me rent it from Blockbuster when I was in 4th grade and it gave me nightmares nonstop years after that. I remember seeing the re-release in the theater one night after a BC football game senior year, where I had to sit next to Arvind and Megan Neher, as if that situation wasn't already scary enough.
But while The Exorcist easily wins the scariest award, the film itself isn't necessarily all that clever or ground-breaking for horror films. Sure, it used some cool special effects and pushed verbal (and physical) vulgarity limits to unprecedented heights, but it was ultimately a strict book-to-film adaptation that remains in a narrow genre of its own that can't really be expanded upon.
So as far as the smartest and most influential horror movie of all time, that award goes to John Carpenter's Halloween. Produced on a shoestring budget, it was a massive sleeper hit released in the fall of 1978. It built and expanded upon the slasher film model introduced 18 years prior by Psycho and created an entirely new genre of horror movies.
It's true that just about everything that came after Halloween sucked really bad: Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. were all terrible because they lacked the darkness and depth of their archetype. Still, Halloween deserves credit for starting that genre in a manner that combined simplicity (good vs. evil, the boogeyman is scary) with creativity (evil in human form that cannot be killed, that wears a signature mask over a face we never get to see, that moves subtly and slowly but is unstoppable, that returns to haunt a particular town on a specified date each year, and that instantly appears/disappears in dark corners created by perfectly positioned camera angles or is often viewed from a first-person perspective).
Halloween is also great because it employs a less-is-more approach. There are very few special effects used and only a couple of bloody scenes. Except for the short prologue, we don't see the first killing until an hour or so in. In this way Carpenter, like Hitchcock, is able to slowly stoke the audience's suspense level instead of desensitizing it with the up-front, nonstop gore and guts scenes we see in theaters today. Carpenter also got lucky in discovering then-unknown Jamie Lee Curtis and casting her as the protagonist. There's just something about Curtis' performance, particularly in the last 20 minutes, that announces to viewers that something is going on here that clearly separates this film from the typical, campy B-movie category under which many of Carpenter's other endeavors fall.
So this weekend, forget paying $8 to go see Saw or whatever it's called. Head down to Movie Gallery and rent this timeless classic instead.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
BMBS mourns the loss of a Savannah institution: the Crystal Beer Parlor, which closed its doors for good last Friday. Founded in 1933, this place served 25 cent hamburgers to people during the Depression. Inside you would find pictures from the BC/Savannah High game and other memorabilia.
It should be noted that CBP closed once before (for renovation or something, I think) when we were in high school, but according to Savannahnow, this time it's permanent. There was also the short-lived southside location on Waters Ave., but that place lacked any remote semblance to Jones Street or the food served there. Crystal Beer Parlor served the best hamburgers and onion rings in all of downtown Savannah. The new Five Guys has some pretty big shoes to fill.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Electoral Prediction: Obama/Biden - 364; McCain/Palin - 174
Popular Vote: Obama/Biden - 52%; McCain/Palin - 45%
It goes without saying that a lot could still happen in a week. And I've been wrong about a lot of things this past year, especially Obama's ability to defeat Clinton in the primaries, which I was convinced was impossible.
I've actually been a little generous to McCain here, because it also looks like Indiana could go Obama's way. This is quite astonishing when you consider that Bush won Indiana by more than 20 points in 2004, and carried North Carolina (which I guess isn't part of the South anymore) by 15. Jesus what the hell happened. You know pigs are starting to fly when the most liberal member of the US Senate is able to carry Indiana of all places. It really doesn't get any worse than this. This is where the "independent," "moderate," "maverick," "I'll support the bailout and use taxpayer money to buy up irresponsible and stupid people's mortgages so I can piss even more people off from my party and get more praise from the New York Times that isn't going to endorse me anyway" approach gets you: nowhere. We'd be in much better shape right now had Romney won the nomination and had less "independents" (e.g., Democrats) been allowed cross over and screw up our primaries.
P.S. = Also, keep your eyes on Montana. It could end up going blue as well.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
So, that's what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"
"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I first encountered Conscience my junior year at Georgia when I checked it out at the library late one night. Written at the height of the Cold War, this short 150-page masterpiece made the case for conservatism during a time of liberal dominance in Washington. Goldwater, a Senator from Arizona, was the first prominent Republican politician to seriously question the New Deal and scathingly attack the "Me Too" Republicanism that was prominent in his party. He argued that Social Security should be voluntary, that taxes and spending should be slashed, that power unconstitutionally usurped by FDR should rightfully be returned the States, and that Soviet Communism should be defeated, not merely contained. Here is a sample quote from the book's first chapter:
I have little interest in streamlining government, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed" before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' "interests," I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.Man wouldn't it be cool if Arizona senators running for president still talked like this today. Anyway, Goldwater would later run for president in 1964 and lose in one of the biggest landslides in American political history. This was due largely to Kennedy's assassination less than a year before and to Johnson's ability to portray Goldwater as a far right, anti-poor extremist who would ignite World War III and kick elderly dependents out of their homes and into the streets. The Johnson campaign's "Daisy Girl" ad, probably the most famous political TV ever made, suggested that Goldwater would provoke all-out nuclear war.
To be fair, Goldwater didn't help matters with a series of off-the-cuff remarks made during the course of the campaign, including ones like "We ought to lob one into the men's room of the Kremlin" and "Sometimes I think this country would be better off if we just sawed off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea." Goldwater supporters used the theme "In your heart, you know he's right," to which Johnson's people of course countered "In your gut, you know he's nuts." Johnson devastated Goldwater 61% to 38% on election day. I am happy to report that all 4 of my grandparents were in this 38% minority.
Anyway, Goldwater ended up being the most important losing candidate of the 20th century. He led the Sunbelt in a conservative takeover of a party previously dominated by Northeastern, country-club liberals. He is one of the primary reasons why the South started voting Republican after a century of unwavering Democratic allegiance. The grassroots, anti-establishment nature of his movement laid the foundation for GOP successes decades later. As George Will likes to say, "Goldwater won the '64 election, it just took 16 years to count the votes."
I would recommend this book to basically anyone who already thinks like me and actually cared enough to read the past 5 paragraphs.
On one of my almost daily trips to Barnes & Noble on my lunchbreak, I was perusing the books in the music section. It was there I first stumbled across Scar Tissue, which is the autobiography of Anthony Kiedis and the story his involvement with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I'll admit that although I liked the Chili Peppers, I was never really a huge fan. While their sound has always been fresh and exciting, I've always felt their lyrics somewhat nonsensical and a little hard to relate to since they were so out there. I picked it up and started skimming through and was blown away. I couldn't put it down, so I bought it and stopped the other book I was reading.
That was a couple weeks ago and I've nearly finished it. It's honestly one of the best books I've read in a long time. His story is great on so many levels, from the formation of the band, to the relationships between him and his friends, to his battles with drug addiction, to the women in his life who inspired his music.
Earlier I said that while I enjoyed their sound, the Chili Peppers lyrics seemed foreign to me, but what has struck me most about this book is the context it placed on their lyrics. Throughout the book, interspersed with Kiedis's outstanding prose, are lyrics to Chili Peppers songs that he wrote and how they apply to where he was in his life and where we, as the reader, are in his story. Seeing the lyrics in that context helps them make a little more sense.
This has been an outstanding read so far and I can't recommend this highly enough.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
ESTERO, Fla. - The Estero High football staff gathered in head coach Rich Dombroski's office late Friday, almost in stunned silence.
Earlier that night, Estero lost to Naples High by 13.
Not by 13 points. By 13 touchdowns. That's right: Naples 91, Estero 0.
|All-purpose back Greg Pratt helped Naples pile on the points.|
"Hey," offered Estero defensive line coach Pat Hayes after the one-sided affair, "I didn't even know 91 was a multiple of seven."
With that, the coaches all got a much-needed laugh.
A half-hour away in Naples, Eagles coach Bill Kramer—the man on the winning end—could use one of those.
He looked at the scoreboard late in the game, saw 91-0, and said he felt sick to his stomach. Kramer's team ran only 31 plays and he kept most of his best players on the sideline—for the entire game in some cases. But still Kramer knew what was coming.
Soon after the game ended, his inbox began filling with angry e-mails, some from Estero parents wondering why so many points were necessary, some from Naples parents wondering why their kids didn't play more in an effort to pad their stats.
"There's only one way to describe it," Kramer said. "Just bizarre."
The schools aren't far off in size: Estero has about 1,400 high schoolers, Naples roughly 1,700.
But the pedigree of the football programs couldn't be more different.
Estero is rebuilding from the lowest level, with Dombroski in his first year at the school and having inherited a program that had simply crumbled. Naples is the reigning state Class 3A champion, and a contender to win the title again. Naples has players committed to Division I schools like Ohio State already and a roster filled with talent at every position. Estero has no college prospects and only about 25 healthy or so players remaining on its roster.
"Some of us, most of us, well, all of us were intimidated," said Tyler Eastridge, a free safety who may be exaggerating when he says he weighs a 150 pounds.
Naples led 70-0 at the half; only four of the 1,420 games reported by member schools to the Florida High School Athletic Association this season have seen teams score more than 70 points.
"It was David versus Goliath," Dombroski said, "and David didn't have a stone to throw."
The national record books are incomplete, but a score like 91-0 won't register a blip on the list of all-time defeats. It wasn't even the most lopsided score in the country this weekend—in Ohio, Beechcroft beat Centennial 96-0, taking knees on plays in the fourth quarter to avoid triple figures.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, five teams have scored more than 200 points in a game, with the record believed to be 256 by Haven (Ky.) High in 1927.
Dombroski isn't blaming Naples.
"Naples did absolutely nothing wrong," Dombroski said. "We just didn't do anything right."
Kramer has been in this spot before.
In 2001, the Golden Eagles scored 63 first-quarter points and beat Lely High — ironically, where Dombroski's girlfriend teaches today—85-0, and Kramer suddenly became the target of perceptions that he intentionally ran up the score.
But in that game, just as on Friday, Naples had some of its starters not play at all, and others just for one or two series.
|Carlos Hyde paves the way|
It's an unsettling time again.
The Naples Daily News ran a poll asking if Kramer and his team "should be ashamed" over the result, and by Monday afternoon, the vote was nearly dead-even: 239 no, 225 yes.
Hearing that, even Dombroski shook his head. He e-mailed Kramer on Monday to reiterate that Naples did nothing wrong, but that's hardly the only opinion swirling around Naples these days.
"My daughter plays basketball and there's a local team that's really good and when they're about to score 100, there's no polls about that," Kramer said. "When the local lacrosse team wins 24-0, where's the outrage? Or when kids win 6-0, 6-0 in tennis? We score 10 touchdowns and everybody loses their minds.
"The real irony is we've got some of our parents upset that their kids didn't play or didn't play enough. And you just say, 'Wow."'
Dombroski knew when he took the Estero job that there would be days like Friday, but he said the 91-0 thumping might help him turn the program around.
"We won't forget this. I won't forget this," said Dombroski, whose freshman program is off to a 4-1-1 start this year, a sign that better days could be ahead for Estero. "We're not going to lay down. We're going to fight for 48 minutes, every time we're out there."
So on Monday afternoon, when school got out at 1:45, the Estero High football team headed to its locker room and prepared for practice. New scouting reports were waiting for them, and soon the team headed onto the field for practice, their blue jerseys whipping in the wind as they stretched.
"Our team might not be winning or might not be on top right now," said right guard Mike Perez. "But we all have to do the best we can do. We can't forget that."
And so, they were back to work, which they'll need. This week, Estero plays Cape Coral—a team that nearly beat Naples.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Anyway, this Democratic commentator on CNN mentioned how we need another stimulus bill that will "rebuild our crumbling infrastructure" (Is it really crumbling? Diamond Causeway and Truman look just fine to me. Hm. Whatever.), constructing new bridges and dams that will "create thousands of new, good-paying jobs" during these tough times, just like during the New Deal.
This proposal got me thinking: if "job creation" is the ultimate goal here, why don't we pass a bill that calls for the construction of 10 (or 100?) new dams in the Potomac River around Washington D.C. And let's pay each worker that helps build these new dams an annual salary of...say...$300,000 per year. Seems well-paying enough. And...oh yeah, instead of allowing the workers to use productive, high-powered industrial equipment like bulldozers and cranes, let's say they can only use...spoons. That way lots of new jobs would be required, and we'd really be able to get this economy going!!
In addition to the dams, we could build hundreds of new bridges too. And parks. And monuments. And pyramids. This would eliminate joblessness and the economy would really get a good jolt! Times might be tough now but it's okay because Washington can save us all with full employment by creating millions and billions and gazillions of new jobs! Who's with me?
Thursday, October 09, 2008
McCain may be a poor choice, but he's better than the alternative.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
If so, what a son of a bitch Obama is.
Perhaps there are SOME out there who are beginning to get 'the picture'. The following is a narrative taken from Sunday Morning's televised "Meet The Press'. and the author is employed by none other than the Washington Post!! Yeah......the Washington Post of New York and Los Angeles Times fame!! Must say that I'm dually impressed.................. From Sunday's Televised "Meet the Press" Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag.
Obama Explains National Anthem Stance Sun, 07 Sept. 2008 11:48:04 EST, General Bill Ginn' USAF (ret.) asked Obama to explain why he doesn't follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.
The General also stated to the Senator that according to the United States Code,
Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171... During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. At the very least, "Stand and Face It"
Senator Obama Live on Sunday states, "As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides, Obama said. 'There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message. You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it."We should consider to reinvent our National Anthem as well as to redesign our Flag to better offer our enemies hope and love. It's my intention, if elected, to disarm America to the level of acceptance to our Middle East Brethren. If we as a Nation of warring people, should conduct ourselves as the nations of Islam, whereas peace prevails. Perhaps a state or period of mutual concord between our governments.
When I become President, I will seek a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, and a freedom from disquieting oppressive thoughts. We as a Nation have placed upon the nations of Islam an unfair injustice.
My wife disrespects the Flag for many personal reasons. Together she and I have attended several flag burning ceremonies in the past, many years ago. She has her views and I have mine". Of course now, I have found myself about to become the President of the United States and I have put aside my hatred. I will use my power to bring CHANGE to this Nation, and offer the people a new path of hope. My wife and I look forward to becoming our Country's First Family. Indeed, CHANGE is about to overwhelm the United States of America.
WHAAAAAAAT the Hell !!!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it right. This could possibly be our next President.
I, for one, am speechless.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
What you will find is that the Republicans on the committee almost universally question the liquidity of the assets of Fannie and Freddie, call for more regulation, and warn that American taxpayers will eventually have to pay for irresponsible lending.
Democrats, on the other hand, are "pissed off" that they would spend taxpayers' money to question the "outstanding leadership" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which did not need to be fixed since they were "not broken".
Why were the Two-faceacrats so deep in the tank for the lending institutions?? Simple. A cornerstone of their neo-socialist policy is that every single American should own a home. In the interest of fairness, the Bush administration was a willing participant in this dangerous game. In defense of weak economic numbers, one of the first talking points out of the White House has been "...but minority home ownership is at record levels".
This crisis is a "result of greedy Wall Street fat cats"??? Maybe so, but ONLY with a wink and a nod from the hammer- and sickle-toting Left.
"Irresponsible lack of regulation on the part of Republicans"?
Get your popcorn ready.
Monday, October 06, 2008
"Hey baby. They sendin' my unit ova to Afghanistan this week on a top secret mission to find Bin Laden. This is my last nighta freedom. You look like you need a yayga-bomb."
Friday, October 03, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
The Mishandling Of Sarah Palin
By Andrea Tantaros
Republican Political Commentator
To many political insiders it is apparent that the McCain campaign has mismanaged Sarah Palin.
The first female governor of Alaska broke onto the political scene a confident, competent contender. She was a take-no-prisoners, fearless female who cut through the bull to do what’s right, no matter which corrupt politician is in her way. The evolution over the past few weeks from what the world originally witnessed until now has been staggering and paints a picture of a woman who seems quite the contrary.
With each passing day Palin appears increasingly mishandled and marginalized, two crucial characterizations that are not her fault.
There is something about her disposition that signals she isn’t allowed to be who she really is, or who she wants to be. Any good press staffer knows that in order to maximize the mojo of your candidate you must accentuate their assets, not hide them. And anyone with a functioning brain knows that when you’ve got a good thing, you use it. Palin could be the only candidate on the ticket this fall that comes out of this financial crisis without mud on her face. She could be an effective surrogate for McCain calling for reform in Washington and Wall Street but instead they’ve chosen to stifle her voice.
I’d like to point out that this problem was observed over a month ago on my Web site, with a column that urged the McCain campaign to “let Palin be Palin,” long before any other outlet addressed the issue. Since then we’ve seen the campaign relegate her into a defensive bunker, and when she emerges, she seems unsure, and uncomfortable with the message she’s been fed. Some would argue the messenger is flawed. Or perhaps the message is broken, boring and regurgitated, three things that Sarah Palin is not. My money’s on the latter.
Palin was comfortable with the media until she met the McCainiacs, who have all but declared a jihad on the mainstream media. After McCain announced she was his pick for Vice President, his camp was inundated with requests from media outlets, as expected. These inquiries were rebuffed and ignored. The McCain camp has even ignored inquires from a prominent women’s magazine and its millions of curious and valuable readers.
Many of the former Bush aides that now surround Governor Palin suffer from extreme paranoia. They behold an obvious insecurity that manifests itself in stubbornness and incessant bullying. Most of all they approach tough situations from a position of weakness rather than strength. Rumors swirled that many of these same staffers were worried she would get asked about abortion thus they declined every interview offer. Sarah Palin, in my opinion, is someone who is so morally grounded in her positions she doesn’t shy away from tough questions. Something many Beltway buffoons should learn a lesson from.
Another lesson: Sarah Palin is a force to be reckoned with. She is the antithesis to the elitism that often plagues politics. She is someone who has common sense and a cause. She deserves to speak her mind and engage with the people she hopes to represent. And she deserves a team around her that will capitalize on her strengths, not try to run from them. Let her shine in the McCain camp, before it’s too late.
One thing I keep hearing on the networks, both from liberals and alleged "conservatives," is that taxpayers could somehow "make money" on this deal, so it's really a "buy-in" that we should all be excited about. Well here's a question for them: if these securities and assets are such a good buy and have so much potential, why are we forced into purchasing them? Why hasn't the private sector snatched them up already? And most importantly, from a philosophical standpoint, why does the federal government even have the authority to confiscate $700 billion in our incomes for this purpose in the first place?
If you get a few minutes today, please email Saxby and Isakson's offices and tell them to vote against this monstrosity. Trying to keep asset prices artificially inflated instead of allowing the market to do its job by liquidating them is what's kept Japan in a recession for the last 18 years. Failed government policies is what got us into this mess in the first place; we must allow the free market to lead us out of it.
Americans' personal income increased $61.5 billion in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $12,267.1 billion, according to figures released by the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis on September 29, 2008. Revised figures for July show a decrease of $69.0 billion. Personal outlays in August increased $4.0 billion, to $10,614.3 billion, after an increase of $14.4 billion in July. Personal consumption expenditures increased $3.9 billion in August, compared with a July increase of $14.2 billion. Personal saving was $103.6 billion in August, compared with $201.0 billion in July.