Monday, May 2, 2016

Reviewing 'Going Red'



I've written a number of movie reviews in my short time blogging, but despite the fact that I am an avid reader, I've never had occasion to formally review a book.  This particular one is special though because it was written by my good friend Ed Morrissey of HotAir.com, and it happens to be his first.

The book is called Going Red: The Two Million Voters Who Will Elect the Next President - and How Conservatives Can Win Them.  Can I just stop here for a second to ask...what is it with political books and ridiculously long subtitles? Imagine if we titled movies like that: The Shawshank Redemption:  The Story Of A Man Who Crawled Through A River Of Shit And Came Out Clean On The Other Side.

Anyway, while I was helping to fill in for Ed over at HotAir, he was traveling the country talking to people about their their previous election experiences and their views on the Republican Party.  In particular, he visited counties in 7 states whose voters he believes are poised to determine the result of the 2016 Presidential election, and Going Red chronicles what he learned on his journey.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Final Warning About Trump

Well the Wonder Twins finally bumped their fists and activated their powers to try and take down Donald Trump.  I didn't watch that debate because I've seen enough of them now to know the score for all these guys so I don't know how it played out.  I suspect it was just another volley of impotent fire that will only succeed in growing the Dark Planet some more, but folks I trust that actually watched that donkey show think they finally did some 5th Element-style damage so who knows.



As I write this, the #NeverTrump hashtag has appeared and trended on Twitter, much to my amusement seeing as how this election started with people demanding Trump pledge to never ever ever go third party lest he split the Republican vote and give the election to the Democrats.The irony (and hypocrisy) is almost palpable.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tonight's Debate Preview

Moderator:  Mr. Trump, can you please fight with Ted Cruz? We would really enjoy that.

Trump: Ted Cruz is kind of a maniac, but that doesn't matter because right now China is ripping us off.  We're getting ripped off by so many people because our leaders are stupid. And when I'm President, I won't be stupid so we will make America great again.

Moderator:  Senator Cruz, would you like to respond to that?

Cruz:  Y'know...Mr. Trump is right that the Obama/Clinton foreign policy has put us at a serious disadvantage around the world, and we need to re-examine how we do business if we are going to compete overseas.

Moderator: Senator Rubio, how would you re-examine Cruz's statement to start a fight?

Rubio: I don't have to re-examine it because my parents came from abroad, so I have one of the greatest American success stories ever.  We can easily have a new American century, but it has to begin with somebody as charming and charismatic as I am.

Fiorina: Can I just jump in here?

Moderator: Go ahead.

Fiorina:  Why is it that even though I am the only female on this stage, I seem to be the only one here with anything resembling testicular fortitude?

Bush:  Hey now, I'll have you know my balls have never been bigger or more swollen than they are right now.  They're huge, really, and uh, I'm ready willing and able to show you just how absolutely enormous my balls are if th-

Kasich:  -if we're going to talk about balls, we should talk about my balls!  I will happily go into excruciating detail about my balls and explain how my balls once single-handedly saved the world.


Moderator: Hang on Governor Kasich, we'll get to you in a minute.

Kasich: But my balls-

Moderator: Just a minute, Governor Kasich, we want to bring in Senator Paul first.  Senator Paul, what do you think about all of that stuff?

Paul: I think Governor Bush's balls wouldn't be so inflated if we didn't let the Federal Reserve manipulate the currency to fund all these illegal wars in the first place.

Christie:  That's bull. Those wars were legal because I AM THE LAW on terrorism.  Not only that, but if we actually listened to the American people, we'd know they really want to bomb something. If I'm President, we're going to do just that.

Moderator:  Dr. Carson, as a medical professional, can you explain Governor Bush's genital issues?

Carson:  Well, there are many possibilities.  Some of them are good and some not.  I think it would help if we stopped fighting with each other and maybe his balls wouldn't need to feel that big in order to get anything done.

Trump:  I think we all know who has the biggest balls here, and it's obviously me.

CrankyTRex Tweeted "Right now Jeb! is kicking himself. He forgot to use 'cojones' so that he'd appeal to the Hispanic vote."




Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trump is the "Fuck You" Candidate

Today we're going to get the first GOP debates for 2016, and as it stands Donald Trump of all people is the leader of the polls.  For the last several hours, conservative media people have been running around with their hair on fire about how Trump is just a plant by the Clintons in some secret conspiracy to destroy the Republican party's chances of winning the election thanks to the fact that Bill encouraged him to run in a phone call.

They can't stand the thought of Donald Trump, and that's not really surprising.  Donald Trump is an egomaniacal asshole who could bankrupt the only lemonade stand operating in the middle of the biggest heat wave anyone's ever seen.  And if that isn't explicit enough as to whether or not I think of myself as a Trump supporter before we get into the rest of this, here it is in plain English: no, I do not think Donald Trump would be a good President. I don't think he's trustworthy. I don't think anyone should vote for him.

But he does amuse me, and every day I see the Right's reaction to him is another day that I find myself closer to cheering him on just on general principles.  Because with few exceptions the Right, and especially the GOP, still does not seem to understand what's happening here. They seem to think that this election is about policy and visions for America and who will be the best leader to bring us out of this seemingly interminable malaise.  It isn't.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ranking the Marvel Movies as of Ant-Man

IGN put up their list ranking the 12 Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date, and needless to say, I have to disagree with quite a bit of their list. So, I figured I might as well write up my own ranking and reasoning for your (and my) enjoyment.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why I Could Never Get Elected to Anything

"Mr. Rex, do you think President Obama is a Christian?"

"What?"

"Do you think the President is a Christian?"

"Why the hell are you asking me? I'm not the Pope. It doesn't matter what I think of the President's personal religious values.  What the President thinks is his religion is none of my damn business, and even if it mattered in the least as to his particular policies, he'll be out of office in short order anyway so it's a moot point either way. The fact that you would even formulate those words in that order is insulting to me, the President, and your entire profession.  All the stuff that's happening in the world and you're going to sit there and ask me the journalistic equivalent of 'Oh my God, did you see what Tiffany was wearing last night!?' How the fuck did you get this job in the first place?

See this is why people hate you people and everyone in pretty much every political office from dog catcher up to the President.  Instead of having reasoned debates over actual pressing issues to the nation using facts, logic, and reason, everyone spends all their time sniping at each other over stupid bullshit because you idiots in the media are so desperate for a headline you're going to sit there and ask me something as monumentally irrelevant as 'Do you think the President is a Christian?'

The economy blows, we've got chronic unemployment, the health care law has managed to fuck up just about everything it touched, and the rest of the world is being overrun with a mob of psychotic religious fanatics, and that's your question. Fucking idiot."

Later:

Mr. Rex's spokesperson released a statement saying that of course Mr. Rex thinks the President in a Christian and sincerely apologizes for the profanity. He had just come off several days with no sleep from meeting his fellow American citizens and hearing their very real concerns about the state of their nation...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Tale of Two Kirks



Star Trek has had a profound effect on my life. I grew up watching the original series in reruns and seeing the movies in theaters. As Star Trek: The Next Generation matured into a great show, so did I mature through my teenage years. The ethical debates we had in college classrooms had nothing on heated arguments I had about Captain Janeway’s decisions in Star Trek: Voyager. Even when I finally developed an interest in politics, I was more concerned about the reboot of Star Trek than I was about Obama’s attempt to reboot America.

Such is the world for people who don’t have time to follow the minute by minute machinations of Washington. It’s why politically savvy people my age spend so much time trying to impress upon conservatives just how important it is they engage in the culture. Not only does it inform our politics, it reflects what we value as a nation. In fact, the difference between the original Star Trek and the rebooted version demonstrates how drastically American culture has changed. For the sake of brevity, let’s just focus on the two versions of Captain James T. Kirk.

America of the 60s was racing to the moon. Not just on a whim, but to defeat the evil empire of the Soviet Union. To get there, America needed smart, strong, courageous people willing to risk their lives in the pursuit of knowledge. As such, “Classic” Kirk was the perfect self-actualized geek. He was well educated, physically fit, cool under pressure, good with people, and loyal to a fault.

Described as a “walking stack of books” at the academy, he would often show off his breadth of knowledge and ability to use it under stress in the show. He could quote the Constitution from memory, talk hostile artificial intelligences to death, and construct a rudimentary cannon out of a bunch of basic elements in the middle of a death match.

Classic Kirk also had a penchant for bending the rules and making out with alien babes, which reflected the building free love movement and anti-government sentiment that would mark the period. Of course the pop culture remembers that as Kirk doing whatever he wanted and boinking every woman he met, but Kirk’s romances ended prematurely because he recognized his duty was always to his ship, its crew, and their mission. So while he was willing to violate his orders to do the right thing, he was never reckless with ship or his crew’s lives, and though his need to “make a difference” kept drawing him back to the captain’s chair, he still lamented that it cost him a chance at settling down with a family.

Speaking of lamentations, America of today is headed nowhere fast, just like New Kirk is when we meet him as an adult. He’s a lecherous loser wasting the potential others see in him chasing tail and getting drunk. While his counterpart had a strong sense of duty and a thirst for adventure, New Kirk’s so jaded he has to be taunted into joining Starfleet at all.

Like the youth of today, New Kirk is frequently described as special and told he has a grand destiny, but he never seems to demonstrate excellence of any sort. Classic Kirk sheepishly admitted he “changed the conditions” of the Kobayashi Maru test, but New Kirk is absolutely insufferable as he blatantly cheats on it.

From the richest Wall Street bankers and the most prominent government officials to the lowly idiot that spills coffee on himself, escaping blame and shifting responsibility is par for the course these days, so New Kirk does too. He’s not punished for cheating. When he’s finally busted down from captain later for numerous poor choices, it’s reversed almost immediately, and his decision to heroically sacrifice himself to literally kick his ship until it works again is undone a few minutes afterwards when he’s revived by magic blood. It should be noted that last bit is a role reversal redo of a famed sequence in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and in that movie the resurrection of the dying party takes another full movie and ultimately results in the destruction of the Enterprise, the loss of Classic Kirk’s admiralty, and the death of Kirk’s son.

In an era where success is demonized as merely a product of blind luck, nepotism, or graft, New Kirk doesn’t ascend to the captain’s chair after years of distinguished service like his predecessor. He is leapfrogged from cadet to first officer because he knows Captain Pike, and then he’s promoted to captain by default after he badgers the acting captain into a mental breakdown.

So, if you really want America to return to reaching for the stars and striving for greatness, you may want to look into figuring out how to make the guy I grew up idolizing the standard for our cultural heroes again.

*this post cross-posted at http://www.theirfinesthour.net