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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Speaking of Breasts (Because We Were, You Know)

I was going to make a joke about this. In fact, I wanted to make a joke about this. Something about how it was irresponsible of scientists to enable the growth of the breast industry in a time when we’re already seeing a severe bra shortage in the UK, maybe.

But, honestly, this is just too cool.

A gene that triggers the growth of breasts has been discovered which could one day enable technicians to grow mammary tissue in the lab for cosmetic surgery or for reconstructive surgery after breast cancer.
[...]
The team from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre has named it the Scaramanga gene, after the three-nippled villain from the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.

For a woman who has had a mastectomy, this could be a minor miracle. For men who like Dolly Parton-esque figures, this could be proof that God loves them.

For me, it’s just amazing to see the advances in medical science throughout my life. Miracles of modern science and all that…

Anyway, hooray boobs!

Read the story.

Helping Hands

On the off chance--the very off chance--that you haven’t seen a blog posting good resources for lending a helping hand in the wake of Katrina, it has to be noted that Instapundit has the authoritative list for all your generous impulses.

Slowly Becoming My Father

I’m slowly becoming my father. Not in the big things, and not even in all the small things. But in the really small things.

My dad used to hate it when I was a little too rough in closing the door in his car. He would get that strangled, frustrated dad look on his face every time and say something that would make me sullen in that special way that only a teenager can get just right. And I would think to myself, “I’m just closing the freakin’ door. Lighten up.”

Well.

I’ve noticed a pronounced tendency to hate (and I don’t use the word lightly) anyone who rides in my car and slams the door when they get out. I’m not sure precisely why--although, damnit, you don’t have to slam the door to close the thing--but the feeling is unmistakable.

Of course, people sitting in the back seat and leaning over into the front seat or pounding on the back of the driver’s seat rouse the same emotions as do the people who sit on my iPod, phone, and a pen without even noticing.

I am feeling mighty cranky.

France: Let the Economic Boom Begin

While the US is facing a slight rise in inflation and a sense that the economy is cooling down, it looks like France is ready to jump to the front of the line.

Heheh. Okay, I kid.

But after showing a .2% drop in unemployment to “just” 9.9%, and Germany staying flat at 11.6%, I can’t help but wonder why these countries think that they have any place to be giving economic guidance to any other country.

For the sake of the European Union, maybe they would be best off seeing if they could clone Greenspan for their own needs. They haven’t done so terrifically well on their own.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Signs

A few days ago, on the corner of Colorado and Alameda in Denver, I saw a man carrying a sign. On each side of the sign was a message:

Clinton raped Juanita.

Kerry throws like a girl.

I giggled like you wouldn’t believe--and wished I had a digital camera with me.

Looks like someone hasn’t really kept up with recent events, although I must admit, next time I’m starting up a flag football league, you can be damned sure I’m not picking John Kerry to be on my team.

Hard to Keep Dodging Bullets When You’re Playing Russian Roulette

image

The past few days, it’s been rumored (and certainly not verified) on Queens of the Stone Age and Mark Lanegan message boards that the singer went into a critical care unit a few days ago. The rumor is that he went in after a massive drug overdose. It’s true or it’s not, and I’ll probably never know. But either way, it’s believable; drugs are nothing new to Lanegan.

It’s amazing to watch the slow, sure self-destruction of someone who has been in and out of jail and rehab, who has seen close friends kill themselves, and who seems smart enough to know the risks. Maddening, really.

Most people that I’ve known who used only used for a while. They used through their college years (or, like me, through their bartending years), they used socially, they may have done some of the hard stuff, but they never needed the drugs. They stopped when they grew up--when a family, a job, and a car payment became more important than getting high. Drugs--like frat parties and beer bongs--were just something that they outgrew. Not a single one of them lost a girlfriend or a job or went to jail.

Some people can’t get to that step, though. It hardly matters whether the drug of choice is cocaine or alcohol--the point is that there is something broken inside addicts that keeps them going back in spite of the destruction that they bring into their lives. There could be a million reasons--loneliness, maybe, or a fear of facing life’s difficulties without chemical assistance.

For that matter, it could be the excuse to fail that some people need. Intentional failure is a great tool for a person who desperately wants to succeed but has an intense fear that no matter what they do they will lose. It gives them control of their situation--that the control is negative is beside the point.

I have no idea why someone like Lanegan would choose self-destruction over living his life (for that matter, I don’t even know if the rumor of his trip to critical care is true), especially after seeing friends like Layne Staley kill themselves the same way. I do know, though, that whatever happens will have been his choice.

He’s an adult and he knows the potential consequences, just as much as a man playing Russian roulette. Play long enough and, sooner or later, that chamber will be loaded.

It’s a dumb way to die.

Ah, Yes…

...It’s so good to see that disasters bring out the absolute best in people.

There is no shortage of reasons to be cynical these days.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Guess Who: Ten Point Review

  1. Ashton Kutcher, for possibly the first time in his career, plays against type. And it works. I actually liked him when the calculated stupidity is turned down.
  2. Bernie Mac, playing precisely to type, is still funny as hell.
  3. Mac does blustery but charming extremely well.
  4. Still, the movie is predictable.
  5. And typical.
  6. And one of the plot points just doesn’t seem worth all the furor which chips away at the movie’s tiny store of credibility.
  7. The scene where Kutcher’s character is goaded into telling racial jokes is actually done very well.
  8. One of the great thins about comedies is that they can deliver a message with the kind of gentle grace that self-conscious dramas can rarely achieve. They can do their best to demonstrate truths without having to hit us over the head with their messages. But here’s the problem: is interracial dating really that big of a deal any more? Is it really that unusual or remarkable? Perhaps it is, but it just isn’t one of those things that rouses much interest in me.
  9. Luckily, there are a few scenes that are laugh out loud funny to compensate for the flat parts--just a few, though.
  10. This movie just barely does better than tread water. It isn’t great, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. In essence, by exceeding my exceptionally low expectations, I found myself enjoying the small charms that it had to offer.

Excuses and Stuff

Reasons writing is light today:

  1. The dog ate my server.
  2. Potential, impending career doom does dampen the spirit somewhat.
  3. Hurricanes seem far more important than mocking Kos or Oliver Willis today.
  4. Jeff Goldstein still does it better than I do.
  5. I’m trying to kick the caffeine habit and the crankiness is running neck-and-neck with the urge to snooze.
  6. Continued disappointment in the lack of groupies.
  7. Sudden realization that no matter how brilliant I am, people still don’t do what I tell them to do.
  8. All the good post titles have been taken.
  9. Michael Moore has been strangely silent lately, leading to an increased sense of pop culture paranoia in Zombyville.
  10. Sudden plummet in Ecosystem standing has left my blogging will broken and bruised.

Anyway, thanks for all the well wishes, thoughts, and humorous comments.

I’ll be back later.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Well, Now…

I wonder how much alcohol was involved in this Kodak moment.

Er.

Anyway.

Mental Prep

Things to do tomorrow (if Something Bad Happens in my life):

  1. File for unemployment immediately. The money will help supplement my savings while I look for a new job.
  2. Go for a bike ride. It’s been a long year and I haven’t had the time to ride my bike that I would like. A good, long ride would do me good both mentally and physically.
  3. Clean the apartment. It needs it.
  4. Update the ol’ resume. It needs it, too.
  5. Decide what to put in the portfolio and build an online site (not related to ResurrectionSong) to support the printed bits.
  6. Watch Anchorman. I’m guessing I’ll need a good laugh.
  7. Give blood. There might be an increased need after Katrina hits. Even if there isn’t, giving blood is a good thing--and a small thing--that most of us can easily do that has the potential to help others.
  8. Don’t drink. That’s something I don’t need.
  9. Get my references together and start the networking machine.
  10. Get dry cleaning done. Must be ready for the interviewing process.

This could be a tough week.

Friday, August 26, 2005

How Wrong Would it Be?

How wrong would it be to suggest that Casey Sheehan’s death was the best thing that ever happened to his mother, Cindy? To see her reveling in her new celebrity is to see a woman who has found her place and calling in life, no matter that it came not only at the cost of her child but also in spite of whatever the volunteer would have wanted to have said in his own memory. See, no one--not even his mother--can claim divine knowledge of what Casey would want to say to us if he could still speak.

Would he still support the effort and be proud of his service? Or, would he urge others to protest?

Cindy doesn’t need to know what he would have said, since his death gifted her with the moral authority to scold anyone who disagrees with her. She can spout the looniest stuff and people who would dissent are cruel for not respecting her grief. It’s the direct opposite of those on the right who treat any criticism of the President as being un-patriotic: a ridiculous shield that lends authority where it doesn’t necessarily exist.

No one is above criticism, not even the grieving mother of a wartime casualty.

Sheehan is a leftwing loony of the first order and always has been. While I won’t suggest that she hasn’t suffered and while I can’t imagine that she would willingly have traded her child for her fame, I would say that this has worked out pretty well for her and not so well for Casey. His memory won’t be of his selfless service or sacrifice as a volunteer in the United States military; his memory will always live in the shadow of his mother. Her persistence and garish media manipulation have all served her own purposes in causes that were formed well before Casey had died.

Casey’s death was what she needed to put attention on her causes and give her cover to say whatever she wanted while maintaining credibility and standing in the eyes of the public.

I’m sure she would trade it all in to have her son back, but I’m equally sure that she happily pats herself on the back for all the sacrifices she continues to make in service to her causes. There is a religious zeal and self-righteousness involved, where she continually reminds us all of how much she has lost and how her campout is really her way of serving so that other parents don’t have to see their kids die, too. “Look at me,” she seems to say, “and see how much I’m willing to give up for you.”

Her reward, at the end of the day, is her sacrifice.

So, how wrong would it be to say that her son’s death was the best thing that ever happened to this attention seeking, paranoid and self-righteous woman?

Because, let’s be honest, her desire to question the President isn’t really in any hope that he could answer her questions. He’s already done that. No, his answers simply aren’t the one that she believes in her heart to be true; they aren’t the answers she’s already emotionally invested herself in, and, therefore, they must not be the “right” answers. She doesn’t want a conversation, she wants to scream and yell and continue her very public tantrum.

She’s already had her moment to meet the man; she’s already heard his answers.

Yet, for a person who believes that our “country isn’t worth dying for,” it’s inconceivable that her child would choose to risk that sacrifice. For a person who believes that the neocon cabal that controls the country allowed the attacks on 9/11, it is just as implausible that we needed to act against terrorists in Afghanistan or in hopes of changing the political structures of the Middle East by toppling a corrupt regime in Iraq.

And, ultimately, if she thinks that George Bush represents the greatest terrorist threat to the world, does it matter what he says or what he feels? She has already given herself to hating him on such a visceral level that it would be something like me asking for a meeting with Osama bin Laden--I don’t care what he has to say, I just really want my chance to take a shot at the guy.

Maybe I’m being heartless. Maybe some of this is just dead wrong. But, as it relates to a woman who continues to pimp her dead son’s memory to support her own agenda, I really don’t care. Defend the words and thoughts that she supports--that the US isn’t a democracy, that without blogs to protect us we would be living in a fascist state, that our government allowed the attacks on 9/11 just to give us an excuse to invade countries in the Middle East, and all the rest of the garbage that she spews--but don’t bother to defend her. At least, not to me.

Further reading:
Rocky Mountain News.
Dorkafork’s extensive list of quotes.
Goldstein’s view of Cindy’s “Rainbow Coalition.”

So…

I’ve written this thing, but I don’t know if I want to share with the class. There are a few things in it that leave me open to some pretty nasty criticism--and maybe even fair criticism, I’m not sure.

Do I share? Do I not share?

It’s Cindy Sheehan related, and it’s not very friendly.

Does the world really need one more commentary on the woman? But, geez, she just let go of the spotlight, and the longer she sticks around, the more I want to say something.

Damnit.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Back to the 80’s: I Like it When I’m Nibbled…

...You know, gently.

Anyway, “Should I Stay or Should I Go” is definitely a good choice. That opening guitar line has to be one of the most instantly recognizable in the history of rock music.

I have to say, while it wouldn’t have qualified for the Best Song of the 80’s, one of my favorite songs from The Clash has turned out to be “English Civil War"--a punked up version of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.”

Damn, they were good.

Speaking of Bad Ideas (Because We Were, You Know)

This seems like a mighty bad idea to me.

Controlling consumer costs for gas at a local level won’t actually change the cost to providers.

That is, just because a governing state board tells me that I have to sell pens for $1 a piece doesn’t magically change the actual value of that pen if my supplier sells them to me for $1.25. That means that one of two things happen: either I stop selling pens or, as McGehee points out, I could raise the price of other goods to offset the loss in revenue.

Halo Effect

Gamers will understand the excitement: the smash hit Halo is coming to movie theaters.

The company’s “Halo” video-game franchise and its hero, Master Chief, will provide the basis for a major movie under a deal between Microsoft and movie studios Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.

Microsoft confirmed the agreement Wednesday after months of speculation in Hollywood and the video-game world. The company declined to disclose the financial terms, but Daily Variety reported that Microsoft will receive 10 percent of the box-office receipts, including a guaranteed $5 million in advance.

There’s a hazard in bringing a video game to the big screen. At best, the typical video game is a little shallow on plot, and they don’t easily translate from a fun, fast-paced button masher to an engaging, semi-intelligent film. I’m actually heartened by the fact that Microsoft is involved; I can’t believe that they would let their franchise be trashed by some idiot filmmaker.

For that matter, that Alex Garland, writer of The Beach and 28 Days Later, will be handling the script seems like a good sign. He might not be the best scriptwriter, but he’s no geeky neophyte. Ultimately, I would like to see a good movie, not just a good game movie. Pirates of the Caribbean was brilliant fun because, although it took its basis from a tiny Disney World amusement ride, it only took that as the germ of a good movie concept. Halo needs to do the same if it wants to succeed as something more than a monument for the kids that played the game.

Of course, they also need to hire the right actor to play Master Chief, the tough and gruff hero of the game. It needs to be someone with physical presence, the ability to play out credible action sequences, and a little bit of age (since Master Chief most certainly isn’t a youngster). Pretty boys need not apply: this guy is a little rough around the edges, battle-scarred, and rugged.

Read the Rest...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I Suggest the Release of Strategic Stores of Seashells

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There’s a crisis in the UK. A crisis of potentially epic proportions, depending on the woman in question. A crisis that will strike at the very foundations of civil society.

Consumers may soon be seeing the prices on bras rise dramatically.

Shoppers face rising prices if the European Union’s “bra wars” with China is not quickly resolved, a major British retailer warned yesterday as Brussels admitted it had blundered in the way it imposed emergency quotas.

UK retailers, including Marks & Spencer, Philip Green’s BHS and Arcadia Group, Debenhams and John Lewis, in addition to Next, are reported to have been badly hit since the introduction of EU textile quotas in June, restricting imports of cheap, Chinese-made trousers, sweaters, bras and T-shirts.

The entirety of the UK may soon be jiggling dangerously (and suggestively) when bras become too expensive for the common woman to buy. I blame not only trade protectionism, but also the terrifying proliferation of breasts throughout the world. Not only are there more breasts now than there used to be, but those breasts are also larger than they used to be.

To be plain, the unchecked expansion of breasts is consuming our world’s precious natural resources at a rate that our Mother can no longer support.

No boobs for oil!

Or something very protest-y along those lines.

Read the whole, horrible story.

Super Special Guest Post by Rae: Rocky Mountain High

Since the MuNuvians are broken somethin’ serious, Rae asked if she could post her Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash wrap-up here.

I said no. She offered bribes. She won.

Anyway, for those of you who didn’t attend, just see what you missed. Next time, we’ll expect you to fly in and buy me shots.



The Minturn Saloon in the Mile High City was bustling with bloggers Saturday night.  I arrived around 6:30 to find Zomby, Stephen Green, and Andy already sipping.  Jed had arrived only seconds before me.  The bacon cheeseburgers that Andy and Stephen ordered looked absolutely fabulous and as I was famished, I asked for one myself-- with BBQ sauce and fries.

Remembering that I had my digital handy, I had Z try to take a shot of Andy, Stephen and me.  Unfortunately, my camera’s batteries were completed faded. Stephen recalled that he had some in his car from a camping trip and offered to grab them from his car.  Three attempts from three different people found the batteries were out of juice, so Jed kindly offered to walk over to a 7-11 to purchase some for me.  I had earlier walked downtown Denver to a Rite Aid.  This girl has been in the small town too long.  I took an alternate route back to avoid what I saw earlier.  So, I was very thankful that Jed was so willing to walk the streets of downtown Denver just so I could have batteries.

Read the Rest...

I Hope That These Dreamses…

...Really can’t become.

And that’s one of the most intelligible things said in Backstroke of the West.

Laughing at translators has never been more fun.

Thanks, Shawn!

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