Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Office

And now for something completely different...

we've been watching The Office on NBC and lamenting the inability of american tv to capture the magic of the BBC. however, we have been pleasantly surprised by what we were sure would be a doooooooooooooomed endeavor. from watching the ads over the past few weeks we were sure it was going to stink out loud and the truth is, it is better than we had feared...

the supporting cast of "unknowns" is really making it work and hooray for "unknowns!" good for nbc for taking a chance on some folks who haven't been in every single pilot season for the last 10 years...

however, we are still bemoaning the choice of steven carrell. sure, he's funny, but he's missing something, something that ricky gervais had down cold -- and truth be told, i can't imagine that it would be that hard to capture... so why isn't someone directing him to do it?

carrell is missing the excrutiating vulnerability that gervais brought to the role. there was the ever present sneaked peek to the camera, the constant breaking of the fourth wall to check in with the audience that gervais did. and behind that was a screeeeeeaming terror and fragility that immediately explained all the stupid bravado.

but more than that, it enlisted you, the audience. no matter how much -- or little -- you thought of the guy, you understood (if not outright identified) with his fear of failure and/or fear of being in over his head. so when he would go on to perform some ridiculously offensive prank or regurgitated comedy routine not only were you offended like those around him, but you were tortuously embarrassed and ashamed and looking for a way out with him. brilliant... visceral... and oh, so missed...

oh, and nbc, i'm available for coaching. just did a smash up job in new york. can do the same for you, too!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The New and Improved Schindler's List!

If you expressed your support* to Terri Schiavo and her parents fight to keep her alive, you may begin to receive a steady stream of solicitations. Terri Schiavo's parents have agreed to sell their list of supporters to a direct-mailing firm, Local 6 News reported. The company, Response Unlimited** pays about $150 a month for 6,000 names and $500 a month for 6,000 e-mail addresses. A spokesperson for the Schindlers confirmed that they had agreed to sell the information, but won't say for how much. Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

*if that support was financial then it was probably collected illegally

**We believe God has given us the gift and ability to help your direct marketing program succeed! - Response Unlimited


Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Definition of Hypocrisy

The assuming of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, with dissimulation of real character or inclinations, esp. in respect of religious life or beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretence, sham. Also, an instance of this.

"I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone...-- I think it is shameful -- in order to mislead the American people… We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers ... should be offering hype.

“It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it's dishonest. It's giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who's treated scores of thousands of patients that you don't give them false hope."

-- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (on the death of actor Christopher Reeve) attacking Sen. John Edwards for saying that stem cell research would enable people like Christopher Reeve to “get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Gollum wants to know

Since the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard have raised the age limit for recruits from 34 to 39, can we expect the future draft age to be raised to 39 as well?

Rumors have long been a flyin' that the Selective Service System's former acting director Lewis Brodsky presented a proposal to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, seeking to extend the age of draft registration to 34, up from 25. (And include chix.)

Why not go all the way up to age 55? Didn't W tell the over 55 crowd they shouldn't worry about Social Security? So it's us under 55 crowd who are the whiners? Send our asses to war, whydon'tcha? That'll show us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Where is the Love?

I'll bet ya that Michael Schiavo and Terri Schiavo's parents all love her very much. Nobody's saying THAT though.

Who needs another opinion about Terri Schiavo?

But I like this point from Tony Pierce:

"... in his defense of signing the bill mr bush said, 'This is a complex case with serious issues. But in extraordinary circumstances like this, it is wise to err on the side of life."'

the war in iraq wasnt a complex case with serious issues and extrodinary circumstances? was it not wise to err on the side of life in that matter instead of invade a country because of their alleged weapons of mass destruction which turned out not to be there? "

Well, I guess it depends on who you ask.

But that's a digression to the Perpetual War, the other slow-motion tragedy in our American lives.

The only machine the Republicans don't want Terri unhooked from is their goddamned propaganda machine.

When she dies, they will blame the liberals forever- the slide to fascism will claim a martyr- the hypocrisy about the sanctity of marriage, their leaked talking points memo about how to "spin" Terri Schiavo for political points, the coming assault on ALL judges, Bush's own Texas law that contradicts his "moral" action yesterday- none of that will register - Terry is a prop for Tom Delay. They can't wait for her to die, really. She will be a very useful corpse.

It's telling that the second story on LA's right wing KFI-AM's hourly news broadcast this morning was about this nurse that claims that Michael Schiavo wants his wife "the b.i.t.c.h." to die (Clicking on the link lets you know that not even Terri's parents sought this woman's dubious testimony in their effort to save their daughter's life- and KFI-AM featured this woman prominently on the morning news- I've got to reset my alarm clock to fucking BUZZ)- The nurse claims that Terry could speak. The words she allegedly spoke were "Mommy", "pain", and "help me."

Interpret that how you will, if it's even true.

Monday, March 21, 2005

OOOh, now you want your judges to be activists...

what dicks. what hypocritical dicks.

HERE's a good article on terri schiavo and the hypocrisy of tom delay and george bush. have you heard of sun hudson? it's about time you do. he's passed on now. he didn't have health insurance and he had the misfortune of being born in texas where the hospital decides whether you live or die if you are on life support and can't afford health insurance. his mother wanted him to live but that doesn't matter anymore... besides she was poor. that's immoral, right?

couple of other cruel random thoughts:

would a bulemic want to be fed with a tube? maybe she would, but maybe a little less...

if terri dies before the judge decides, does that make him a good judge? he won't be an activist, meddling judge then, will he?

fuck the hypocrites!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Inside your wha?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Next Stop Greeenwich Village

Greenwich Village by Steve McGee

We'll be Dodging again, this time returning to NYC- fans of the blog might recall (Dodgeheads? You know who you are, and we love you you for it) that the editorial staff of DtA were in residence in New York on 9/11/01.

But we were living in mid-town, and I've got to tell you, living on a shoestring in mid-town, near the Port Authority and Times Square, is not really very much fun. I mean, it's mid-town. Yawn.

But we've got a mission to the Village, a sweet, sweet sublet (well, we still have to see it, but the location is nice) and Momma just got a residual check that bankrolls the whole excursion.

We're packing light, doing some theater (helping a friend birth his baby, really) and ready to just goof off in New York.

Pictures and bloggery will be forthcoming and comingforth.

Hey kids, for extra credit, visit the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

This could be handy:

Surveillance cameras around Greenwich Village

(By the way, we had dinner at Cheebo on Sunset last night in LA with V and were pleasantly surprised.)

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Really, when you think about it, Social Security is just so impersonal. Without it, we'll be so much closer. These are the true family values.

flip flop!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Isn't this a mother-fucking FLIP FLOP you fascists?

So... the waterheads that shrieked "flip flop, flip flop" all last summer must be scratching their encephalitic brain pans in dumb(that's DUMB)founded wonderment at the new policy shift coming LATE FRIDAY re: Iran.

LATE FRIDAY, you see, is when slimy politicos release the stuff they know they've got to release, but they're hoping people will miss, because who wants to watch the fucking news at 6:30 on a Friday night?

Well, I do, and that's when I heard that we, the United States of America, are going to have a major Policy Shift when it comes to Iran.

The Europeans must have had a serious talking-to with with Dear Leader during his last trip.

But Iran ain't buying it. Iran Dismisses US Policy Shift

So the Bushitistas are thinking of letting Iran into the WTO, of selling them parts for their civilian aircraft, of letting Old Europe take the lead when it comes to Iran's Nuclear Itch.

So pardon me for this, you ugly fascist fucks and your Swift Boat friends- this a FLIP FLOP, isn't it? Your Wealthy Elitist Draft-Dodging Connecticut-Born Cowboy told us Iran was EVIL and that we don't deal with countries that SUPPORT TERRORISM but where did that get Dumbya? Nowheresville.

Personally, I don't mind a policy shift- I like to think our elected representatives will consider all options, duck and weave, do what they have to to do what's best-not lock themselves into a position because of some tough-talk bullshit idea-ILL-ogical neo-con crap Richard Perle shoved up their ass and put in their speech to the UN. I like the idea of us selling stuff to Iran- of getting our people in there. Of SPYING on them really, really well. Of knowing what's going on from a strong intelligence agency. Not basing our actions on the wishful thinking of a Washington think-tank.

This policy shift is a FLIP-FLOP, you morons. If a President Kerry has allowed this, one of you crackers would have shot him.

By the way, another Friday story tells us that we have the second-largest trade deficit in our history (it was larger way back in the old days, in NOVEMBER)

I guess we are an ownership society already- we keep buying shit. We're not making and selling much- but we're racking up the credit card debt. And Congress is all too happy to rub one out for MBNA and the rest.

It's going into the shitter people. Pardon my French, but I don't know who I hate more, Chimpy The Prezidon't or the assholes that voted for him.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Rules to Live By

Listening to my absolute favorite radio station, Air America Radio, I have to say that I completely agree with Sam Seder when he says that being a Libertarian makes about as much sense as being an Anarchist.

Lately a number of them have been calling in to the station and challenging various hosts on their view on the Social Security "reform" debacle on grounds that we should be FREE to do what we want with our money -- and "don't you LIBERULS say that you all are for FREEDUM? Then why aren't you for freedum from taxes?"

Generally, these nutcases seem like they are cruel conservatives in rebellious Libertarians' clothing and they are using the fact that Social Security is not in the Constitution as their strongest argument. Of course, the FDA, SEC, CDC, FDIC, FAA and all sorts of other worthwhile letters from the alphabet aren't in the Constitution either. But these bozos don't care. They must be planning to move into a cave somewhere. Good. Let's just hope they plan to stay there.

For the rest of us, we see the wisdom in pooling our resources, be they money, talents, labors or whatever. By banding together we can share in the wealth and be there for each other when times get hard.

I'm not saying it's always easy. It ain't. But who said it was going to be? It's time we all grow up and take responsibility for ourselves. Now, for some guidelines that will make the journey a little easier...

Check out Tomato Nation's Rules for Those Over 25. (Man, if one of my friends who is waaay past 25 would pull his/her head out of his/her bottom long enough to read this....)

And then check out The Center for Inquiry - West's 11 Strong Suggestions. (It took me a few brain cells to figure out that "KMA" meant "kiss my ass." - I'm tired.)

And then go be nice to someone.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Bushes don't get old people

According to an ABC News story tonight*, the Bush Administration "doesn't understand" why their social security agenda isn't more popular with seniors, who won't be affected by any changes to the system.

They don't understand because they are conservatives- people who believe in looking out for number one, that if it doesn't hurt me then I don't care . Conservatives are notoriously short-sighted.

They can't fathom that our older generation might want their children and grandchildren to have what they have. The Greatest Generation is patriotic and doesn't delight in the idea of fucking over the people they will leave behind.

See, as Anne Frank reminded us, the majority of people are good at heart.

The Bush Administration cannot understand this.

*(this was first posted few weeks ago, over at Dodging the Apocalypse. The Dodger just paid $80.31 into Social Security on his most recent paycheck, and he wants George W. Bush and Grover "Date Rape" Norquist to keep their fucking hands off of it. If that money aint there when he needs it, he's goingto punch you in the neck, Grover "Date Rape" Norquist.)

Cassandra should be a Republican

way back in 2004 dutchman and i were doing our part for the cause by donating our talents to a late night political comedy lampooning the still current admonistration. i revere playwrights and i only add lines with their permission, so when i got to add the little jab in italics below i was delighted. Here's the scene:

(Lights dim. A young woman enters, dressed provacatively.)

Who's that?

Oh, they're'll be temptations
along the way. Things to make you lose your way.

(W. approaches the Siren)

Can I offer you a one-night stand that will tarnish your legacy?

(W. looks to Laura for guidance)

That would be a no, dear.

Okay, then. (He turns to Siren) No.

Suit yourself. (She walks away)

How was that?

Not good. She's an independent. You have to get her vote even though you can never give her what she wants.

Ohhh.... (He calls out to the Siren) Miss?

(The Siren stops)


Nothing personal. I'm not much for snatch.
Can I offer you a middle class tax cut?

Will it offer me no real relief from my financial woes and keep the deficit growing at a record pace?

I believe it will.

No thanks. (She exits.)

(To Laura) What happened?

She asked you a direct question and you answered her.

What should I have done?

Answer her question with a question. Quote facts and figures from obscure sources. Change the subject. Use the numbers 9 and 11. I swear sometimes I think it's your first day on the job...

and scene!

so why is cassandra all puffed up about her political hackery abilities. well just get yo'self over to here. it appears that i'm not far off from the real hacks' strategeries! for example:

Without the context of 9-11, you will be blamed for the deficit. The deficit is a touchy subject for both Republicans and Democrats - your supporters are inherently turned off to the idea of fiscal irresponsibility, and Democrats see nothing but hypocrisy. The trick then is to contextualize the deficit inside of 9-11 and the war in Iraq, which Republicans sometimes do, but not early enough in the answer.

TRICK indeed! for more tricks of the trade -- the trade of ripping off poor folks in the name of patriotism, that is -- you can check out the Frank Luntz Republican Playbook via Democratic Underground.

We are not like Nazis!

Because electronic anklets placed on immigrants are much more high tech than yellow stars placed on Jews.

Because for this analogy to work we would have to scapegoat the immigrants -- even the immigrants going through legal channels, applying for residency, working hard at crappy jobs. We would have to scapegoat immigrants the way the Nazis scapegoated the Jews...

Because even though Bill O'Reilly said this on his nationally broadcast show two weeks ago, he's not in government, so he doesn't have any real power, right?

Uncontrolled immigration influences salaries, voting patterns, welfare payments, crime, real-estate values and scores of other things. The USA is changing drastically because of immigration, and the politicians have no idea what the unintended consequences of this situation will be, and that is a very, very frightening scenario. --Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points, 2/23/05

PS. cassandra categorically denies that this analogy has anything to do with another statement culled from the very same set of o'reilly's talking points, specifically this one:

The Census Bureau says that, in the last four years, about six million new people, both legal and illegal, have come into this country.

that six million number figure is purely coincidental and i'm sure it has nothing to do with anything at all!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dear Senator Byrd,

Thank you for your comments defending the Senate filibuster.

The Republicans are threatening to permanently damage the balance of power that is essential to the foundation of our democracy.

Your comments are mild compared to the rage that the Republicans provoke in me.