Archive for July, 2007

Random Friday

July 27, 2007

Let us speak of motion pictures past, present and future.

**Can someone explain to me why Adam Beach wasn’t at least nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Ira Hayes in Flags of Our Fathers? Can someone explain to me why Alan Arkin won? Oh, that’s right. End of the career achievement award. Duh.

**The kids want me to let them watch the Reno 911!: Miami movie. After catching it On Demand this morning, I don’t think that is going to happen. There was so much objectionable material that I may have to watch it again before they get back from Florida.

**I heard there was a Simpsons movie coming out soon. Funny, I haven’t seen a lot of coverage about it.

**I’ve watched Superman Returns about 30 times now. It has grown on me. Despite the minor flaws, the unfortunate resemblance of Clark Kent to Max Fischer, and the slavish devotion to Richard Donner’s 1978 version, it gets the job done.

I’ve almost gotten past the miscasting of Lois Lane. I can’t quite get past the miscasting of Lex Luthor. Kevin Spacey seems like an inspired choice, and a worthy heir to Gene Hackman on the surface. But after a few minutes, it becomes clear that he is just bald Kevin Spacey, and not the greatest criminal mastermind of our time.

They should have used Clancy Brown. He would have been perfect. At least then you wouldn’t be wondering what Kevin Lex is doing with a girlfriend.

**Speaking of DC Comics, the new teaser for The Dark Knight is online. Tease is about right. All anticipation. No payoff.

**It may be the bourbon talking, but I would totally do Grendel’s Mother. It’s Beowulf time, beeeyaotch!

**I almost forgot about The Darjeeling Limited.  Or Bottle Rocket Goes To India.  Or The Royal Tenenbaums On A Train.    As long as it isn’t another Life Aquatic.  A couple of viewings of Bill Murray all hopped up on melancholy will make you want to shoot a spear gun through your mandible.

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I Don’t Believe You

July 25, 2007

The Law of Current Events compels me to call bullshit on the following stories.

**Siberian Huskies Maul and Kill Infant. I used to own a Siberian Husky. Those dogs are good for three things.

1. Pulling Sleds.

2. Escaping Confinement.

3. Taunting Their Captors By Prancing Around and Running Away After Escaping Said Confinement.

Unless those Huskies have been cross-bred with wolves, they wouldn’t go after an infant in playpen if you smeared bacon grease and baby seal blood all over it.

Alternate Theory: Someone killed the kid and used the dogs to cover up their heinous act. Or, they were in fact cross-bred with wolves and the owner doesn’t want to admit to that little tidbit of info.

It is far more reasonable to claim that this cat is killing old people than it is to believe those dogs went after that kid.

**Libya Releases Bulgarian Medics. Ok, that part we know is true. But this bullshit about 400 kids coming down with AIDS cannot be true. Fifty of them have died already. Supposedly. I’m sure somebody infected these kids.

What makes this such a pathetic shakedown is the lengths the European Union is willing to go to pacify this nut so they can get down to bidness.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, however, that neither the EU nor France paid money to Libya for the release.

Except for, um, $400 million dollars. How many kids would you give AIDS to for that kind of money?

And what a shocker, look at the lede getting buried deeper in the news hole. You don’t suppose the two issues are related, do you?

As a side note, compare the excellent New York Times article with the USA Today piece above. There’s a damn good reason why USA Today is given away free at every half-ass Howard Johnson’s and the NYT costs $4 on Sunday.

Alternate Theory: There isn’t one. Everyone knows this was a state-sponsored kidnapping. Sarkozy is being hailed as some genius. He isn’t fit to hold Teddy Roosevelt’s smelly jockstrap. Teddy, like President Madison before him wasn’t going to take any shit from the swarthy Barbary Coast Sultanates. I don’t care if he is played by Sean Connery.

**The slate of candidates running for Mayor of Nashville.

Alternate Theory: Why do we need a mayor? That Metro Council seems to have everything under control.

**When you consent for your sixteen year old daughter to marry her 40 year old cross country coach, you really don’t think suing the school district is going to work, do you? Really? Maybe sitting down at the kitchen table a few months ago and having the “Let’s Not Let Our Teenage Daughter Keep Hanging Out With The Creepy Cross Country Coach” would have been a better idea. You aren’t going to get any money out of this. Unless, of course, you sold your daughter to the track coach…but then again, teachers don’t make shit. Especially, teachers who can’t get a job because he married a sixteen year old girl.

Alternate Theory: When I was in high school, the girl’s cross country coach resigned under a cloud of suspicion that he and one or two of the girls had gotten a little too close. What is it about girl’s cross country coaches that makes them act like Catholic priests? Maybe they wanted to be priests but didn’t like little boys.

**Army Major Charged in Bribery Case. Every man has his price. Mine’s probably around ten million bucks, too. What is bullshit is that this guy is small potatoes compared what else goes on in the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex.

Alternate Theory: If I had been commissioned upon graduation from college, I too would be a Major right now. I wonder if they have filled dude’s position yet. I could totally use ten million bucks right now.

Field of Screams

July 24, 2007

WordPress has thwarted my attempt to get a poll loaded up here.  Better to blame the “nameless, faceless corporation” than to admit to my own shortcomings.  Here it is:

Which Would You Rather See? 

Barry Bonds break Hank Aaron’s home run record.

or

Barry Bonds drop dead at the plate of a massive, steroid-induced coronary. 

Pretend to vote now!

Octopussy Galore

July 21, 2007

**In my Lottery Fantasy, I always wind up buying a boat and naming it The Seaward. After putting Mrs. Sarcastro’s name into the Girl Parts Name Generator, I may instead christen it The Vice of Love. Or, more accurately, The Vise of Love.

**That one Vagisil commercial is a little off-putting. This dame is putting on lipstick and yapping about how her lady parts smell like a sub-Saharan fish market. She then mentions how she’s got an itch she can’t scratch.

When I get an itch I can’t scratch, it usually leads to divorce. I wasn’t aware there was a product that took care of that for you. Other than porn, of course. I went looking online for the ad, and found out about the whole “down there” controversy. They even have an, uh, interactive map of “down there”. Just in case you were wondering how to find the Jew gold, or more likely the blood diamonds your special lady friend has been smuggling.

**There may be no word in the English language which makes me laugh like the word “twat”. It is ALWAYS good for a laugh. I momentarily toyed with the idea of renaming this blog Tiny Cat Twats. That’s how much it cracks me up.

**On VH1 or E! (is there a difference?) the other day, they had a show about celebrity sex tapes. By the time it was over, I realized I had already seen them all. The customer whose home I was in was less than impressed with my Ebertian critiques of the Tonya Harding honeymoon video or the entire Pam Anderson oeuvre. This knowledge does have a practical side. If your boner pills are giving you that six hour erection and you are contemplating a trip to the emergency room, dial up the Gina Lee Nolin home video. It may be the least erotic sex tape ever. I think churches and schools use it to get the abstinence only message across.

**Best Headline Ever. Thank you Christian Science Monitor.

**Octopus vs. Shark. Just so there isn’t any complaining about false advertising.

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

July 20, 2007

With no way to defend the indefensible, the Vick Fan is chumming the waters of the internet and sports talk radio with charges of racism and allegations that The Man is out to get another Black Hero.

Really?  As The Man’s local representative, frankly, we’re shocked.  How did you figure out our secret plan to offer to pay this guy $130 million dollars, only to go after him for some harmless fun?

Is it racist to expect better from this man?  C’mon, we’re not talking about Marcus Vick. Have we infantilized the Negro Male to the point where animal cruelty is something to be tolerated, and more often than not, expected?  If it is racism to expect better does that mean that dog fighting is a part of black culture and we are not being sensitive to the traditions of others.  Golly, I hope the diversity broad at work doesn’t find out.

The aptly named (for Boondocks fans) Mike Freeman of CBS Sportsline gives his take.  He damns Vick with faint damning before equating those who don’t see a racial element with Klan members.

As a brief aside, the drooling idiot Senator from West Virginny tossed in his two cents the other day.   What courage Senator Byrd must possess to stand on the Senate floor and condemn the scourge of animal cruelty.  Let me see if I have something straight.  This worthless old windbag was a Grand Wizard Great Poo-Bah Eminent Dodecahedron Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan.  The Klan is a domestic terrorism organization according to law enforcement.   This asshole was a segregationist and filibustered against civil rights whenever possible.  Unbelievably, he is celebrated by the Democrats for his long and distinguished record, despite clearly loving dogs more than the Blackamoor.  When Byrd dies, his seat will go to a former member of either Al-Qaeda or the Baader-Meinhof Gang.  They can’t be much worse than the feeble and pointless Byrd or the nitwittery of Jay Rockefeller.

But I digress.

Getting back to the Freeman piece, he rambles on to a point where he coughs up his true life encounter with honest to gosh racism.  This one time, he recounted, a middle age white woman admitted that she didn’t know black folks owned dogs.

Wow.

I bet that room got so quiet you could hear a church explode.

Spare us all the talk about race as a driving force in this unfortunate tale.  Spare us the conspiracy theories.  Spare us the comparisons to high profile white quarterbacks.

If you want someone to measure Vick’s transgressions against, how about Pete Rose?  All Pete did was bet on a few baseball games.  Pete went to prison.  Pete isn’t allowed near professional baseball.  Pete is living out his sad life as a disgrace and a joke.  Pete has to sit outside a Vegas memorabilia store for the rest of his days signing baseballs and photos for anyone dumb enough to want one.

By the way, I have two Michael Vick jerseys (youth small and youth medium) I need to sell.  Any takers?

I didn’t think so.

Ahead Of Their Time

July 12, 2007

Looking back at this clip, it seems a perfect metaphor for how things work here in Blogistan.

Dog Days of Summer

July 10, 2007

In my daily travels, I see how a wide variety of people live. My job takes me to the roughest projects in town and the nicest suburban subdivisions. I see rich and poor alike every day. Well, mostly I see people who shouldn’t have pets.

Notice I didn’t say …people who shouldn’t be allowed to have pets. You will have to go elsewhere for that kind of hysterical call for government intervention.

There was a story on WKRN this morning, (it isn’t up on that newfangled internet machine two hours after it was on the air; so much news, so little time, I guess) about some pit bull attack out in Donelson. The pit bull was chained to a tree, and with Hannibal Lecter-like skill, broke free of its restraints and went after a woman who was searching for her lost dog. Then, the pit bull carved off the face of another dog and attempted to pass itself off as an innocent victim when animal control showed up. Or something like that.

The owner of the pit bull claimed that the woman looking for her dog must have attacked the pit bull and provoked it into escaping its captivity.

First off, if you feel that chaining a dog to a tree is acceptable and responsible pet ownership, you don’t need to have a dog. Go breed yourself another ugly kid if you need something to tie to a tree.

Here’s what I see every day. Some poor mutt staked out in the yard with approximately four feet of chain. A turned over water bowl is nearby surrounded by piles of dog turds. Looky here dumbasses, you are forcing the dog to shit where he eats. You would be a little aggressive too, were that your living conditions. Wait, oh sorry, I’ve been in your houses. You pretty much already shit where you eat.

The other breed of idiot dog owner is the one who thinks it a bright idea to buy a six by six chain-link kennel to put a seventy pound dog in. By the time you squeeze in the stylish, plastic igloo dog house you picked up at Wal-Mart, Ol’ Yeller has about three feet to move around to do his daily business.

If you need to keep something in a cage, buy a bird or get yourself another foster child.

Here’s how this is going to roll, moron pet owners. I know you aren’t breaking any laws. There is, after all, no law against being stupid. I have a pair of bolt cutters and am not scared of coming back late at night and setting Fido free.

You know, if I have the spare time and there isn’t something good on TV that night.

Get Me A Bottle Of Naive

July 7, 2007

Here’s the deal Hollywood, I’ll stop idling my car at intersections when you stop making Fast and the Furious movies. Other than appealing to the booger-eating moron and Asian kid demographic, they have no reason to exist. I’ll compare my carbon footprint with one of your $100 million crapfests any day of the damn week.

Does this tunic make me look fat?Speaking of Hollywood crapfests, Jor-El is having his idiotic concertapalooza today. Never mind the hypocrisy and pointlessness of the entire affair. What intrigues me is his handling of Jor-El III’s arrest and subsequent entry into rehab.

What’s more important to you? Your kid got pinched for winding a Prius up to its theoretical limit or a dumb concert that you are putting on? John Ridley (who, by the way, is making MSNBC watchable in the a.m. again) brings up an inconvenient truth about Jor-El’s priorities. Short version, if you can’t save your kid, how can you save the world? What are you saving the world for, if not for your kids?

There will be plenty of bottled water on hand, I’m sure. What is a celebrity without a ubiquitous bottle of Evian. Oops, bottled water is bad for the planet. Hey, don’t throw away that bottle of water! That’s even worse. Buy some carbon offsets and I’m sure it will all come out in the wash. Remember, Evian spelled backwards is “Naive”.

As far as this heat wave and drought this summer across our nation, why is it that the drumbeat is about how Global Warming  is to blame? When it was cold and a blizzard shut down a Climate Change conference, the same know-it-alls said, “Don’t confuse weather with climate.”

Well, right back-atcha, sport.

Now excuse me, I have to go fill my pick-up with evil gasoline.

Now You Can Buy A Helicopter!

July 6, 2007

For those of you who thought that Brittney Gilbert was going to get a gold watch and a vegan cake in the WKRN breakroom sometime around March 2037, it is time to grow the fuck up.

For those of you who looked at Nashville is Talking as a major source of income, it is time to get a job.

For those of you who predicted the obvious a month or so ago, well done Nostradumbass. Your powers of clairvoyance are truly amazing. You should totally go find some more terminally ill or elderly people to put on the death watch. My advice is to add Tammy Faye Bakker, Roger Ebert, Beverly Sills and Billy Graham to your list ASAP.

As for WKRN, well, it’s not personal, it’s just business. If you are put in charge of a station that finishes consistently last in the ratings and the StormTracker 2000 forecast is predicting falling revenues, you better do something. When Brittney resigned, it gave WKRN’s new management the opportunity to stop the bleeding and reevaluate the economics of this New Media Experiment. That’s what I would have done.

Clearly, that is what they are doing. Whatever format NiT takes in the future, it will conform to a more traditional business model. One where either the expense will be minimal or the potential revenues will pay for itself.

That being said, there are some intangible gains that WKRN has made over the last couple of years by using the blogosphere. Foremost among them, is that the station raised its national profile by trying something different and going in another direction than the other local news lemmings. However, I would bet the farm that the majority of local news viewers could charitably be described as “ancient”. Like Methuselah. If he ever really existed. Which he didn’t.

An extension of the “MeeMaw and PawPaw” demo is the delivery of the content. Channels 4 and 5 do well because they talk to their audiences like they are retarded, or in this case, just really old. WKRN has done a good job in regard to not talking down to the viewer. The consequence of that is the people who watch the news don’t like new fangled things and need to be spoon-fed a daily digest of shootings (preferably involving minorities and convenience stores), fires, car wrecks (preferably involving rural teens) and missing persons (preferably involving hot young white girls).

When you adopt an anti-“If it Bleeds, it Leads” stance, you better be able to bring your A-game in this environment. You have to win with the personalities you have. WKRN hasn’t done that. Many of the current video journalists are, well, pathetic. Jennifer Moran’s stuff is barely news, but more info-mercial than anything else. As far as Andy Cordan is concerned, what is messed up is that anyone thought his shtick was a good idea. Jamey Tucker’s Judeo-Christianist (heavy on the Christ) contribution reminds me of the line from The Blues Brothers.

Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.

Fire all three and you might lose three viewers.

As for new morning anchor, Julie Kroenig, she is not liked. Mrs. Sarcastro loves Jesus, puppies, rainbows, children and doesn’t have a cross word about anyone.

She fucking hates Julie Kroenig.

Maybe the Mrs. feels her to be a usurper of the sainted Heather’s rightful place. I don’t know. But from the sound of her voice to the way she blinks her eyes, her every move she makes from 5 am til 6 am is critiqued and mocked in my house. This makes me want to flip it over to Channel 5 just so my wife will shut her yap about how much she hates Julie Kroenig.

Speaking of Channel 5, you should hire that Amy Watson as soon as you can. She may also be the mom of smoking hot Jolene from Nashville Dodge, but I’m not sure. You should also grab the underutilized Tom Randles from WSMV. He’s too good to be doing the weekend gig over there.

On the plus side, most of your on-air talent is loved by this city. The Ornes, Allison Hatcher, Joe Dubin, Jeff Ray, Bob Mueller, John Dwyer and the many others are embraced by the community. One of the reasons for that affection is the blogs that they have. It puts them a little closer into the lives of the audience. The blogs let them connect with the viewers in ways that aren’t possible with traditional media. It builds that viewer loyalty. The Orne’s daughter was born down the hall from my son this past March. Mrs. Dubin gave us a very nice baby shower gift. Needless to say, we are WKRN viewers because of those connections. We watched with much anticipation the arrival of the Carly Orne and were both happy and envious of Heather’s decision to stay at home. Kristin Priesol’s baby story, not so much.

Here’s the bottom line, the ultimate fate of Nashville is Talking isn’t the issue. The issue is how you view your audience. We can get the news from anywhere. You need us more than we need you. Your competitors have proven that.

Think about brand loyalty. What is that worth? What does alienating a vocal and somewhat influential segment of your viewership gain you?

There are no easy answers ahead. I would give you more advice, but I don’t Media Consult for free.

After all, it’s not personal, it’s just business.

I’m A Free-Born Man of the U.S.A.

July 4, 2007

I got nothing today but a glass of 1792, a Simpsons avatar and a mix of vaguely “American-ish” tunes.

How life-like!

Enjoy your holiday.