Friday, September 29, 2006

Senator Foot-In-Mouth Strikes Again

From ThinkProgress:
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), who famously suggested the U.S. wouldn’t have “all these problems” had Strom Thurmond been elected President, said today that the religious differences among Iraqis makes the conflict very difficult for him to understand:

“It’s hard for Americans, all of us, including me, to understand what’s wrong with these people,” he said. “Why do they kill people of other religions because of religion? Why do they hate the Israeli’s and despise their right to exist? Why do they hate each other? Why do Sunnis kill Shiites? How do they tell the difference? They all look the same to me.“

Of course, there's also this classic from 1998:

Trent Lott (R-) Senate Majority Leader: And you should not try to mistreat [gays] or treat them as outcasts. You should try to show them a way to deal with that problem, just like, you know, my father had a problem, as I said, with alcoholism. Other people have sex addiction. Other people, you know, kleptomaniac.

And then there was the time Lott was standing with other Senators at a still-smoldering Ground Zero, listening to Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer impress upon the group the absolutely vital need for emergency loans to repair and rebuild the thousands of homes that were damaged or destroyed on 9/11, when Lott (surveying the surrounding high rise buildings) exclaimed: "Homes? I don't see any homes!"

Sometimes it just boggles my mind the way Democrats give the Republicans a pass for this insular, provincial, racist bullshit. If a Democrat said all Iraqis look alike, just imagine the outrage that would come from the right. Rush would have an aneurism. (Hey! Maybe we could get some hapless Dem to do it--just for that reason? It'd be worth it.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

American Pride

This is the day we gave the govenrment the right to "disappear" us.

The traitorous scumbags:

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Carper (D-DE)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)

Way to go, US Senate. You just overturned what, for nearly a thousand years, has been the backbone of jurisprudence in the English-speaking world: the right of habeus corpus. Will the Supremes let this stand? And let's take special note of the 11 Democrats on the list--Lieberman doesn't count--and hope those Netroots people target them next. Get out of my party, you worthless pieces of shit.

Hillary Clinton spoke eloquently on this, albeit with her usual leaden delivery. Can she not take an acting class? Is Mike Nichols not available to tutor her? If she had 1/10th her husband's charisma, she would be our first female... Um. I guess the technical term now would have to be "Empress."

EVill TV: Veronica Mars Season Premiere--Online

Stream the third season premiere of Veronica Mars here. Broadcast Premiere: next Tuesday at 9 on the CW. (Requires Internet Explorer.)

New York Times Se Gusta Betty La Fea

The New York Times digs Ugly Betty.

This ABC melodramedy, which has attracted big attention both for being an American telenovela and for being funny and good, has a slight premise: an ungorgeous Latina goes to work at a fashion magazine. She’s hired by the father of the party-boy editor in chief because she’s too homely to tempt him into dissipation. Can this sitcom setup work in an hourlong format?

Seems dubious, but “Ugly Betty” is onto the doubts about it and stands ready to turn them into plot. As Betty Suarez, the sexy actress America Ferrera, here defaced by braces and bangs, sets her mouth, squares her shoulders and takes on the part like a linebacker. She’s bravely playing a character who’s coded as ugly, which means she’s still eating food, which is apparently about the bravest thing a television actress can do.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Opus, 9/24/06

Buffy Lives!

Dark Horse Comics will publish a new series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics that will pick up the story of the cult TV show and act as a de facto eighth season, Comics Continuum reported. ... Joss Whedon will write, with art by Georges Jeanty.

Series debuts in March.

Source: Sci Fi Wire

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Galactica Webside 5

Galactica Season 3 premieres October 6.

Lost Promo

Season 3 begins on October 4.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Studio 60 Overnight Ratings

are mixed.

The results were more mixed for "Studio 60." While the new Aaron
Sorkin show, tabbed by many critics as the best of the new season, averaged a 5.4 in its first half hour, just 0.3 behind CBS's "CSI: Miami," it dipped an alarming 15 percent in its second half to a 4.6. It averaged a decent 5.0 overall.

Still, it was up about 10 percent over the premiere of "Las Vegas"
in the same timeslot last year. And what NBC really wants from the show is strong ratings from the affluent, educated and advertiser-coveted viewers who stayed loyal to Sorkin's "West Wing" for years. Among 25-54s, the show averaged a 6.0, 1.2 behind "Miami."

People tend to forget that West Wing was nearly cancelled in its first season, but became a monster hit the second year. Plus, we're now firmly entrenched in the era of niche marketing, so--assuming they don't drop too much in subsequent weeks--these ratings are probably good enough to get S60 its "back 9" order.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Opus, 9/17/06

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Studio 60 Debuts Monday 10PM NBC

The first time a lot of us Sorkin fans heard about Studio 60 was during a Charlie Rose interview in 2003:
I hope it's going to be what 'Larry Sanders' did with ... talkshows. I would like to do that with latenight sketch comedy -- with 'Saturday Night Live': in other words, behind the scenes at a network latenight sketch-comedy, edgy show.
Then, last October 5th, the trades reported the following:
Sorkin is expected to personally deliver the script for his project to networks as early as Friday. A WBTV reprep wouldn't comment, but two industry insiders said it's believed Sorkin is focusing his firepower on showbiz, with a behind-the-scenes show set at a "Saturday Night Live"-style skein
And, on October 15:
"The West Wing" ticket of Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme is in the running again at NBC, which outbid CBS late last week for their very expensive drama pilot from Warner Bros. Television. But instead of probing the corridors of the White House, the hourlong series will be set in what seems a lot like the peacock's own house. A draft of Sorkin's spec script making the rounds in Hollywood last week depicts the behind-the-scenes tumult of a fictional sketch-comedy show in the mold of "Saturday Night Live," as well as the corporate culture of a TV network not unlike NBC.
Now, the show is set to premiere on NBC Monday night at 10 amid reports that female lead Amanda Peet is pregnant.

Ah, series television. Never a dull moment.

EVill Preview
EVill Review
Nifty website

Friday, September 15, 2006

Lost: Secret Origin of Dharma & The Numbers--Revealed

This was the reward for those who played the Lost online game this summer, and it's no small reveal. MAJOR SPOILERS for those who hit play.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Galactica Webisodes

New Webisodes premiere every Tuesday and Thursday until the Third Season Premiere. These are cheap, but good. As pissed off as I was by Season 2, and as abruptly as they began the New Caprica storyline, I still feel like there's a very good chance we'll look back at this arc--inspired by Vichy France--as the show's finest hour (or, rather, finest six hours).

Marvel Mulls Live Action Avengers Film

Marvel Mulls Avengers Film

Marvel Entertainment intends to release a live-action film version of The Avengers, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The movie based on the superhero franchise is one of several projects that Marvel has in the works.

Zak Penn, the writer behind the last two X-Men movies, is slated to write the screenplay.

Marvel executives spoke briefly about their Avengers plan on Sept. 13 during a presentation to Wall Street analysts at the Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference in Pasadena, Calif., the trade paper reported.

The Avengers began as a team consisting of the superheroes Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp, Iron Man and Hulk. Later, Captain America and a host of others joined. Executives didn't say exactly which of Marvel's superheroes would be depicted in the Avengers movie.

If they're smart, they'll adapt the first Ultiamtes storyline (which was the basis for the very entertaining Ultiamte Avengers animated film). Better yet: they should do the *second* storyline.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hell To The No!

Oh, Whitney--Say it ain't so!

LOS ANGELES — The tumultuous marriage of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown -- which withstood drug addiction, Brown's numerous arrests, the decline of Houston's once-sparkling image and domestic abuse allegations -- is coming to an end.

A publicist for Houston confirmed to The Associated Press that the Grammy-winning, superstar singer had filed for divorce after 14 years of marriage.

But... But... I thought she was made to love him? That she'd saved all her love for him? That she would awwwwwwlways love him?!

My faith in crackheads is obliterated.

Brian K. Vaughan's Pride of Baghdad

Brian K. Vaughan's long-awaited new graphic novel has arrived. From the back cover:

In his award-winning work on Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina (one of Entertainment Weekly's 2005 Ten Best Fiction titles), writer Brian K Vaughan has displayed an understanding of both the cost of survival and the political nuances of the modern world. Now, in this provocative graphic novel, Vaughan examines life on the streets of war-torn Iraq.

In the spring of 2003, a pride of lions escaped from the Baghdad Zoo during an American bombing raid. Lost and confused, hungry but finally free, the four lions roamed the decimated streets of Baghdad in a desperate struggle for their lives. In documenting the plight of the lions, Pride of Baghdad raises questions about the true meaning of freedom -- can it be given or is it earned only through self-determination and sacrifice?

Based on a true story, Vaughan and artist Niko Henrichon have created a unique window into the nature of life during wartime, illuminating the struggle as only the graphic novel can.

And, BTW, Marvel comics announced on Monday that Vaughan will leave Runaways, which he created (with artist Adrian Alphona). The new writer is Jsos Whedon. (Yep.)

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Star Trek Remastered

Some in my beloved Geek Community are bemoaning the impending arrival of Star Trek Remastered, but I'm excited about the 60s show for the first time in decades.

If you have even a drop of geek blood in you, you must check out this trailer.

(Also note how they use the theme from Buffy's final episode near the end.)

They've cleaned up the prints to look pristine in Hi-Def (check out the before & afters in the trailer)...

They've re-done all the FX with cutting edge CG-techniques, adding depth and perspective while preserving the original shot compositions. The planets are now photo-realistic images of the type usually associated with Satellite or space probe photography. (They used to look like day-glo aggies... or maps.) And the ships move like ships instead of models.

They've also re-done the sound -- including the music. They totally re-recorded every note. How cool is *that*? Check out the funky chick singing the vocal part of the Alexander Courage theme in that trailer -- Dunno why, but I was laughing my ass off. (OK, that's a lie--I *do* know why.)

The first Remastered ep, "Balance of Terror," a brilliant U-Boat movie in space, debuts in syndication this weekend. In the NYC area, it will air on NBC-4 Monday at 3:30AM (aka, late Sunday night).

Geeks--Set yer DVRs.

Unfortunately--for reasons I don't quite understand--it will not air *in* Hi-Def. But it should look pretty damn spiffy, anyway, and the HD DVDs can't be too far down the pike.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Opus, 9/10/06

Monday, September 11, 2006

EVill Pups

More new picks at flickr (link on blogroll to the right).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Star Trek

So... Some Numbers.

Exactly 40 years ago, NBC debuted a little show called Star Trek.

It ran 79 episodes over the course of three seasons.

20 years later, it came back and ran 647 episodes.

There were also movies--10 movies.

I am a huge Trekkie, as you can imagine. Also a fan of stating the obvious. I didn't watch uncritically--I hated the last two shows called Star Trek, and six out of the ten movies called Star Trek--but I did watch.

(My favorite is the one casual viewers seem to loathe: Deep Space Nine. But Trek's finest hour--to date--is unquestionably The Wrath of Khan.)

Now, the team that created Lost--JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof--have teamed with Alias screenwriters Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci to revive the original Kirk-Spock incarnation in a big budget movie slated for Summer 2008. There's a rumor--which may well be bullshit--that Matt Damon wants to be the new Kirk.

I have high hopes for this production.

Hot Jupiter Systems May Harbor Earthlike Planets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Earthlike planets covered with deep oceans that could harbor life may be found in as many as a third of solar systems discovered outside of our own, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

These solar systems feature gas giants known as "Hot Jupiters," which orbit extremely close to their parent stars -- even closer than Mercury to our sun, University of Colorado researcher Sean Raymond said.

The close-orbiting gassy planets may help encourage the formations of smaller, rocky, Earthlike planets, they reported in the journal Science.

"We now think there is a new class of ocean-covered, and possibly habitable, planets in solar systems unlike our own," Raymond said in a statement.

The team from Colorado, Penn State University and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Maryland ran computer simulations of various types of solar systems forming.

The gas giants may help rocky planets form close to the suns, and may help pull in icy bodies that deliver water to the young planets, they found.

"These gas giants cause quite a ruckus," Raymond said.

Water is key to life as humans define it.

"I think there are definitely habitable planets out there," Raymond said. "But any life on these planets could be very different from ours. There are a lot of evolutionary steps in between the formation of such planets in other systems and the presence of life forms looking back at us."

As many as 40 percent of the 200 or so known planets around other stars are Hot Jupiters, the researchers said.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bill in Exile

is back.

This weblog is an on going collection of the letters that my best friend Bill and I exchange with each other while Bill is an inmate in federal prison for selling methamphetamine. Bill was sentenced to seven and a quarter years for his crime. The letters, and by extension the blog, are nothing more than a continuation of the conversation that Bill and I have been having with each other for 23 years. I'm Scott, and I lived for the past 20 years in New York City where Bill also used to reside and where he worked as a "famous" artist. I now live in Seattle with my boyfriend and our two dogs.

Warning: this blog regularly features gloriously graphic descriptions of sweaty prison sex.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Opus, 9/3/06