Slowly Returning to Live Blogging

Greenlee Gazette is slowly returning to live blogging after moving over 2000 miles across the country. Please bear with me while I reacclimate, and find a new schedule that allows for regular updates. Thanks!

Friday, October 31, 2008

John Cleese on Countdown with Keith Olbermann

John Cleese, of Monty Python's Flying Circus, comments--like only he can--on the absurdities of the Presidential campaign, particularly the John McCain Campaign and "Joe the Plumber." Funny stuff.

Halloween Horrors: Guide to Halloween


Image from Wikipedia

This, unlike many posts in the last week, is not a re-run of a post from last year. In all of my horror movie lists, I neglected to post one devoted to the movie series credited with creating a whole genre of horror movies: the slasher film. I did run a brief piece when the remake came out, but it was incomplete, so here is a run-down of the series.

Halloween (1978) - John Carpenter struck gold with the original in the series. He created the faceless killing machine (Michael Myers), the "you're dead if you have sex/drink/party/do drugs" horror cliche. And Carpenter's score for the film is amazingly creepy. Easily the best in the series, in fact the best of the genre. And Jamie Lee Curtis was fantastic, as was Donald Pleasence. ****

Halloween II (1981) - Picks up immediately after part one, and holds very close to the tone and the quality. More gore, more violence and more inventive kills are a consequence of the other slasher picks being made at the time, and cause many to dislike this entry. Curtis and Pleasence still are in top form, and Michael Myers seems to meet his end. In fact, unless you're fanwanking, you can't really explain his later resurrection. Also noteable for the fantastic soundtrack, an improvement on the original. Great to have on the stereo to creep out the trick-or-treaters. ***

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) - The creators decided to drop the storyline, and try a different sort of Halloween movie, which was pretty good, but disappointed most fans. It had nothing to do with the previous films, other than the producers, and similar eerie music. Had it been successful, there were supposed to be other unrelated, Halloween-themed movies in the series. **

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) - They went back to the original story (and dropped the roman numerals), which continued the storyline of Michael Myers, and ignored the ending of the second movie, where Michael Myers clearly died. The great thing about Halloween 4 was that the characters reacted like normal people--trying to get the heck out of dodge--and died anyway. Very close to the tone of the first two, and a great performance by Pleasence. ***

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989) - OK, but weaker than the previous films. Continues the storyline from part 4, but adds a psychic angle, shifting the tone of the series. **

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) Dropped the number, and tried to add new elements that weren't in the previous films (Michael was a Druid?). The series was running out of steam. *

Halloween: H20 (1989) - 20 years into the franchise, this entry tried to reinvigorate the storyline. Donald Pleasence had died, but Jamie Lee Curtis was back, and much of parts 4, 5 and 6 were ignored. They even brought in Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee Curtis' real mother, and star of Psycho). H20 was an improvement, but the concept was really running on fumes. **

Halloween: Resurrection (2002) - The less said about part 8, the better. Updates the series for the internet era. Not an improvement. Don't bother. *

Halloween (2007) - I still haven't seen the remake, and have heard both rave reviews, and that it sucked. Buyer beware. *?


Halloween Horrors: Guide to Friday the 13th

Happy Halloween! If you have not yet picked out your scary movies for your Halloween weekend, here is another of my lists from last year, this one a run-down of the famous Friday the 13th series. When I originally wrote this, news of a "reboot" of the series was fresh. As far as I know, the new movie is still coming out, but I sure haven't seen much about it. IMDB says it is scheduled for a 2009 release.


Photo from Wikipedia.org

Sprinkled throughout this blog is ample evidence (even in the post below about Nancy Pelosi) that I am a horror movie nut. That's in addition to being a comic book/superhero nut, a 70s ABC-TV nut, and a far-left loony moonbat political nut!

With Halloween coming up, there will undoubtedly be a heavier focus on the horror movie nut side of me. Last month, I commented on how much I did not want to see Rob Zombie's re-imagined Halloween. I still don't, but I'm sure someday I'll get the DVD. Anyway, unlike the original Halloween, I'm not sure anyone would put Friday the 13th in the "classic" category. At least not good classics. The series is loved with a heavy dose of nostalgia, and not a lot else.

Sure, it's iconic, was amazingly influential, and made a whole lot of money for both Paramount and New Line studios. But the Friday the 13th string of movies was easily the hollowest, least plotted, acted and impactful storywise of the horror movie franchises (Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Hellraiser). Each Friday film pretty much follows a mindless killer, stalking stupid people.

There were variations along the way. And if you try to assign a real-world continuity to the films, you'll give yourself a headache that feels like a machete in your skull. Here are some short recaps (star ratings do not relate to the real movie world, only within the horror movie genre!):

Friday the 13th - The first film is by far the best. Jason does not appear (outside of a possible hallucination), but his storyline is set up. Notable for Betsy Palmer's iconic performance as Jason's mother. Sets the tone and atmosphere for the first four to seven movies. Plus, Kevin Bacon. ***

Friday the 13th, Part 2 -Almost as good as the first, though very short (especially considering the recap at the beginning). Notable for Amy Steel's strong performance, the VW bug scene, and the guy in the wheelchair. Struggles to find a reason why Jason didn't drown, and why he was motivated to start his killing spree. Though the explanation is weak, it is used as the basis for the rest of the series. **

Friday the 13th, Part 3 - This (originally) 3D installment is one of the weakest, with very little story, and shots that were intended for the 3D audience. Most notable for hand-walking guy's death, and Jason's acquisition of his iconic hockey mask. *

Friday the 13th - The Final Chapter - Yeah, right! Best of sequels, and could have served as the finale, but there was more money to be made. Jason ventures out of Camp Crystal Lake, and seems to meet his end. Plus, Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover? ***

Friday the 13th (Part V): A New Beginning - Close to as good as part 4, reviled by fans for its plot twist, but very much in line with the tone of the first four movies. And Corey Feldman only wishes he grew up to look like John Shepherd! **

Friday the 13th, Part VI: Jason Lives - Yeah, I guess he lives. Often considered one of the best sequels, it left me cold. It felt like a different studio picked up the reigns. This edition has a vastly different tone from the first five films, and the gory kills just aren't there. *

Friday the 13th, Part VII: The New Blood - They throw a psychic girl into the mix, and tack on a ridiculous ending, which puts Jason into the same scenario as the end of the last movie--making this one irrelevant. On the plus side the tone of the first five movies is back. *

Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan - The tone is still there, as Jason stows away on a cruise ship bound for New York. Most of the action is on the boat, and there are some great scenes. But it feels like the series is running on fumes. *1/2

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday - New Line Cinema took over the franchise from Paramount here, and it is very, very obvious this was made by others. Some of the feel is still there, and the film is undeniably fun. Adds a bunch of new story elements that wreck any (already strained) continuity from the first 8 films. Also ignores the end of Part VIII. Fun anyway. And it sets up the movie after the next one.**1/2

Jason X - Tenth installment puts Jason in space, with no context to the rest of the storyline. Continuity-wise has no home, and is akin to a comic book "elseworlds" or "imaginary story." Has its fun parts, but utterly skippable. *1/2

Freddy Vs. Jason - I loved it. They took the monster from the best horror franchise (though it had run out of steam) and the worst (but still loved), and pitted them against each other. Truly, one of the best outings for this type of movie in a long, long time. That said, not the least bit scary. Plays like gory comedy. ***

That was a long way to go to say that I'm THRILLED that Paramount and New Line have come to terms on a "reboot" of Friday the 13th. Unlike Halloween, the original is not sacrosanct. Sure, I loved it, but it could be vastly improved. So, I say BRING IT ON!


And more here: FridayThe13thFilms.com

McCain Scaling Back Final 72-Hour Push


Image from source, FiveThirtyEight

This is good news for Barack Obama. One of the not-so-secret weapons of the Republican party is the "72-hour plan," which is a strenuous effort to get out the Republican vote, in the last three days of the campaign. It's probably what shifted the numbers (originally in his favor) against John Kerry in 2004, and also sealed Al Gore's fate in 2000.

But the cash-strapped John McCain campaign apparently thought that an ad buy was more urgent than the 72-hour push. Good.

[Excerpt]


. . .The vaunted, 72-hour plan that President Bush used to mobilize voters in 2000 and 2004 has been scaled back for McCain. He has spent half as much as Obama on staffing and has opened far fewer field offices. This week, a number of veteran GOP operatives who orchestrate door-to-door efforts to get voters to the polls were told they should not expect to receive plane tickets, rental cars or hotel rooms from the campaign. . .

Read more at: FiveThirtyEight.com

John McCain. . .Oh Who Cares, Look at the Picture!


I have no reason for posting this, other than the fact that I find it both funny and a little frightening. And it is Halloween, so why not?


Source: Wonkette

Barack Obama: Oh My Goodness, He's Black!


If you think you saw something in a political ad, chances are, you did. The people who produce these ads (and I don't mean the candidates themselves) are very, very skilled in messaging, from overt to subliminal. And I think it's a pretty safe bet that anything gleaned from one of these ads is absolutely intentional.

So what to make of this shot from a recent anti-Obama attack ad? I'm a graphic artist, so I have myself designed images to deliberately evoke a message. So I have no doubt that the composition of this shot, with the positioning of the letters giving us a quick "BLACK" read is meant to do just that. What do you think?

Source: Fire Dog Lake

Keith Olbermann's Campaign Comment: Guilt by Association

Any smack-down of Rudy Giuliani is worth watching. So watch!

Rachel Maddow Scores Barack Obama Inteview

I'm sure that some conservatives see Rachel Maddow's interview of Barack Obama as par for the course. A liberal interviewer giving a softball interview of the Democratic candidate. Sean Hannity does it all the time with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

But once again, I get to point out that liberals in general, and Maddow in particular, are not exact mirror images of conservatives or (shudder) Hannity. Maddow did not lob softballs, and Obama did not give canned responses. In fact, with this interview, you get to see an incredibly intelligent well-spoken interviewer and interviewee. It's a far cry from "you betcha, Sean!"




Ohio Court Rejects "Obama not a Citizen" Suit


A lot of right-wingers like to think that conspiracy nuts exist only on the left. I myself have dipped my toe in tinfoil-hat land once or twice, so it very easy for me to see how a person can get swept away by the conspiracy tide. But the current far-right conspiracy theory: that Barack Obama is not a "natural born citizen" and is therefore ineligible for the Presidency.

Obama was born in Hawaii to a mother who was an American Citizen herself. That ought to be enough right there to prove Obama's citizenship, official birth certificate in evidence or not. But the conspiracy theory says that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. Of course, still having been born of a citizen, Obama is a citizen himself. But is he "natural born?" I'd assume that if Mrs. Obama had a child in Kenya, that it was probably natural childbirth, but that's not what they're talking about.

They're talking about a line from the Constitution, one that the founding fathers never adequately defined. It's that fuzziness about the word "natural" that has given these wingnuts the idea that Obama doesn't meet the requirement. Why they think he was born in Kenya with--as far as I can see--no evidence, just shows how nutty they are. And when their own candidate, John McCain, was born in Panama, they're really treading on thin ice.

[Excerpt]

Obama challenge rejected

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner will not have to prove that Barack Obama was born in the United States or take his name off the ballot, a Warren County magistrate decided this morning. . .

Read more at: Cincinnati.com

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barack Obama Meets Jon Stewart on The Daily Show

I've got a dinner engagement after work, and will likely have little time for blogging, so here's a quickie post from last night's edition of The Daily Show with John Stewart, and Stewart's interview with Barack Obama.

Celebrities Say NO to Proposition 8

Celebrities get a lot of heat when they speak out politically. Unless they're Republicans. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger (now a Governor), Ronald Reagan (Republican deity), Sonny Bono (I don't know, he was something), or the other megawatt stars who support John McCain like. . .um, Janine Turner?

So, when people say that entertainers should just sing, or just act, and leave the politics out of it, they are clearly speaking to left-leaning celebrities. But why do we care what celebrities think, anyway? I don't know, but they do have an effect. There's something very cool about seeing Kathryn Joosten--"Mrs. Landingham" on The West Wing and "Karen McCluskey" on Desperate Housewives--forcefully speaking out for gay rights, and her gay friends. Classy lady.

90s Nostalgia: Melrose Place to Return?


Image from source, Pink is the New Blog

This blog didn't used to be all about politics. And it certainly didn't used to be all about the Presidential campaign. But like many other general-interest bloggers, avoiding the pull of it has been like trying to avoid a black hole. Still, I like to put some good old frivolity into the blog on occasion.

And how can you get more frivolous than Melrose Place? Spun off of Beverly Hills, 90210 back in the 90s, Melrose was a frothy, silly, sometimes downright stupid soap opera. And I never missed an episode.

I stuck with it through a boring first half-season, mostly for Matt, the love-lorn gay character (a rarity in those days). Then, to spice things up, they added Heather Locklear as a mean bitch (surprise!), and seriously amped up the storylines. Unlike many other serials, MP moved at lightning-quick speed, throwing two or three cliffhangers into almost every episode. It was seriously addictive, and by the time Desperate Housewives' Marcia Cross blew a gasket (and blew up the apartment building), I was a total junkie.

But, like the "Moldavian Massacre" on Dynasty, the show never fully recovered from that amazing rush of episodes. I still watched, as cast members came and went, and Locklear went through every man on the show. They killed off Matt, and still I watched, right through the ludicrous ending.

If they can build a following by writing a snappy, fast-paced show like classic Melrose, seasons 2 and 3, they'll really have something. I was never a 90210 fan, and haven't checked out the remake. But this one might just be worth a look.

[Excerpt]
Andrew Shue, call your agent. A spokesperson for The CW confirms what has been buzzed about for months: The network is developing an update of Melrose Place. Details remain sketchy, but it’s believed Melrose 2.0 would launch next fall. The move comes as The CW has enjoyed some measure of success with its 90210 reboot. Despite modest ratings, the show has brought attention to the struggling network at a time when it sorely needs it. The suits no doubt figure a Melrose rebirth will generate another round of mass hysteria. (And they’d be right!) Earlier this month, Darren Star, who created both Melrose and 90210, admitted to TVGuide.com that a Melrose resurrection “would be a fun thing to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened — if it can be put together in the right way. . .”

Read more at: Pink is the New Blog

Buyer's Remorse: McCain Supporters Kicked out of McCain Event!


Image from source, Iowa State Daily

Wow. Remember the old adage from the 60s and 70s, "don't trust anyone over 30?" Well, it would seem that at a John McCain rally, they don't trust anyone under 30. In an effort to keep McCain from being heckled by unruly whipper-snappers, they ended up throwing out some of their own supporters.

[Excerpt]

Pre-emptive ejection: Audience members removed at McCain rally in Cedar Falls

Audience members escorted out of Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., campaign event in Cedar Falls questioned why they were asked to leave Sunday’s rally even though they were not protesting.

David Zarifis, director of public safety for the University of Northern Iowa, said McCain staffers requested UNI police assist in escorting out “about four or five” people from the rally prior to McCain’s speech. . .

Read more at: Iowa State Daily

New Barack Obama Ad: Endgame

There has been a distinct difference between the negative John McCain and Barack Obama ads. Ads against Obama have tried to allege countless "guilt by association" ties, and. . .well, really, some crazy shit. Obama's ads against McCain have stayed closer to the facts, using McCain's actual quotes and appearances. Little to nothing has been made of the Keating Five, of McCain's marriage troubles, Mrs. McCain's drug and theft problems, all of which are real events that could have been used in some real doozy ads.

In short, while both campaigns use eerie music, bad photos of the other guy, and other political ad tricks (as virtually all candidates for anything do), the Obama campaign has practiced some real restraint. Up until now, they haven't even said much about Sarah Palin.

Until now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Barack Obama's Prime Time TV Special

I watched tonight's Barack Obama prime time special, and thought it was pretty good. It was designed--apparently--to introduce himself to the undecided voters out there. And it probably was trying to change a few minds, especially those trained by right-wing hate radio to see Obama as a monster.

For me, there wasn't much new in there, I kinda knew all of this stuff. Still, it had great production values, and a great message. I'm sure right-wingers will find something in there to howl about, and John McCain will find a way to cut out some soundbites for a negative ad.

Judge for yourself!

Bill O'Reilly Spins the Electoral Map


Image from source, Daily Kos

Everyone knows that FOX "News" is being disingenuous with their "Fair and Balanced" motto. But only Bill O'Reilly takes it further by declaring his show, The O'Reilly Factor, a "No Spin Zone." That can be disproven nightly by just watching the show and having a brain.

Keith Olberman takes delight almost nightly in deriding O'Reilly's spin, and has christened him "Billo the Clown" and "The Big Giant Head." To me, he's just that big splotchy guy who hates Al Franken. But he loves spinning like a hurricane, while pretending not to.

Here, O'Reilly presents his United States electoral map. The map is unique, in that it doesn't reflect any current reality. It may be O'Reilly's wished for reality, hell it might even turn out to be reality on November 4th. While I certainly hope not, we Democrats have been disappointed before (and how). But where does O'Reilly get off presenting this as the way things are today?

[Excerpt]

O'Reilly's map, and ratings

Oh noes! We're behind! Yeah, Oregon, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and New Mexico are tossups, but Indiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Dakota and Montana are not. Got it.

To be fair, if you're Bill O'Reilly, you've got to make shit up. He can't help it. And how else is he supposed to show McCain in the lead?

Read more at: Daily Kos


Halloween Horrors: Guide to A Nightmare On Elm Street

This is the latest in a series of re-posts from last year, to help you with your Halloween weekend scary movie viewing. With a few tweaks and edits.


Image from Wikipedia.com

This is of course October, month of Halloween, and season of the horror film. I've been a fan of horror movies since I was old enough to stay up all night on Fridays, and watch Chiller Theater with Dan Immel on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio. I grew up being fearless in the daylight hours, and terrified at night to go past our attic in the dark--because I knew there was a Frankenstein pull-string doll in there.

Arguably the best of the horror movie franchises of the last 25 years is A Nightmare on Elm Street. Sure, John Carpenter's Halloween jump-started the "slasher flick" in 1978, and Sean S. Cunningham's Friday the 13th kept it going in 1980. But Wes Craven's Nightmare injected originality, humor, and the undeniable (and almost limitless) possibilities of nightmares. Anything can happen in nightmares, and everyone can relate to them.

I have watched all of the movies in this series multiple times (some more than others), and all of them have something to offer. Well, except part 6, unless you like Roseanne and Tom Arnold cameos. . .

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) - The first, and best in the series. The movie follows a group of teenagers, all experiencing the same bogeyman in their dreams. The seeming protagonist bites it early in the film, surprising the audience (oops, sorry!). Another protagonist (Heather Langenkamp as Nancy) emerges, and becomes the icon of the series. Robert Englund (Fred Krueger) is far creepier in this film than in the sequels, and you're never quite sure what is a dream and what is reality. Johnny Depp did very well in this introductory role, and the only flaw in the film is the really bad performance by Ronee Blakley. Awesome. ****

A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 2: Freddy's Revenge (1985) - The obligatory sequel ditches the "is it a dream or reality" hook of the first film, and tries to bring Freddy into the real world. Freddy becomes a little more of a quip-master, and there is a disturbing anti-gay undercurrent to the film. Fortunately, the protagonist (Mark Patton) acquits himself well, and easy on the eyes. This movie is sort of a stop-gap, a quickie cash-maker for New Line, before the superior sequel. **

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) - They pulled out all the stops for this one, and what a fun movie it is. Even though Freddy has become almost an anti-hero, this film is nearly as good as the first--better maybe, except the novelty is gone. Patricia Arquette (of Medium) did a great job, and the effects are top-notch. Several teenagers (in a mental institution) discover that they have powers in their dreams, and can band together to fight Freddy. Heather Langenkamp is back as the iconic Nancy, and the nightmare/reality scenario is played to the hilt. This film begins filling in Freddy's back-story, a theme that would continue in further sequels, sometimes to the series' detriment. ****

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988) - Another goodie, with the power of protagonist shifted from Patricia Arquette's character (now played by another actress) to "The Dream Master," Alice, who has mastery of the dream world. Follows the setup of the last movie, with characters having powers in their dreams. The "is it a dream?" vibe is back. Very good, but Freddy's jokes are getting a little too calculated. ***

A Nightmare on Elm Street (5): The Dream Child (1989) - A logical extension of part 4, but a little thin. Some great moments, and unfairly maligned as a bad entry. Plays like an extended addition to part 4. Still enjoyable, if you liked parts 1-4. **

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991) - By far the weakest of the series, but still a must if you are a fan. Freddy's killed all of the kids, and must now branch out. Adds more mythology to Freddy's history, and feels a little shoe-horned in. Freddy "dies," but he's died in every installment. Still, Robert Englund is great. Finale 3-D sequence--rendered 2D on video--is lame. Johnny Depp has a cameo. Joins Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter in the "false title" game. *1/2

Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) - Wes Craven is back, and it is obvious. This film takes the Freddy character into the real world, with the "spirit" of the character haunting the makers of the original film, including Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon and Wes Craven. Very well done, inventive and original. I love me some Heather. Where is she these days? A must for fans. ***

Freddy Vs. Jason (2003) - The inevitable (after New Line's acquisition of the Friday the 13th series) match up of Jason and Freddy. Much better than you might think (as I reported in my Friday the 13th reviews). A heck of a lot of fun, and the Freddy character has so much more to offer. You almost forget he was a child molester/murderer to begin with! Heh. ***

I hope that helps with your Halloween movie rentals! Stay tuned for more!

A final note: This is one franchise that would be utterly spoiled by a "reboot," like Halloween or Friday the 13th. Nobody, but NOBODY could play Freddy like Robert Englund. Only if he should pass away should any other actor play the part.

UPDATE:
It would seem that Hollywood has not heeded my advice from last year, and the Nightmare series is on for a remake.

More on John McCain's Association with Rashid Khalidi


Picture from Washington Post

When I heard about the "missing tape" of Barack Obama at a party for Rashid Khalidi this morning on good ol' right-wing radio this morning, I had a brief "uh-oh" moment. October Surprise?

The tape was actually shot, and reported upon back in April, and is apparently the latest "scandal" to burble up from right-wing blogs and talk radio. Sean Hannity did it with William Ayers and Reverend Wright. Fringy, pointless stories keep somehow wending their ways into the actual campaign. And Hannity's already hyper-inflated ego must be barely containable these days.

But I should have known better. First, Obama's association with Khalidi seems tangential at best, and actually less than John McCain's association with the man. Of course. And on a side-note, are people like Khalidi and Ayers able to sue for the treatment that they've been given? I mean, however bad their past actions may have been, they appear to be law-abiding people these days. And yet they are being cast as the worst kind of villain today. I don't doubt that both men, and several others slimed in this campaign have had their lives rocked by this campaign.

Anyway, more on the story, here.

[Excerpt]

The Khalidi Gambit: McCain Attacks Obama for Connection to Palestinian Activist Whose Work McCain Helped Fund

. . .McCain today said, “The Los Angeles Times refuses to make that videotape public...I’m not in the business of talking about media bias...but what if there was a tape of John McCain with a neo-Nazi outfit...I think the treatment of the issue would be slightly different.”

But McCain has his own connection to Khalidi.

In 1993, McCain became
chairman of the International Republican Institute. He still chairs that respected organization. . .

Read more at: ABC News

Guilt by Association: What About the Bushes?


Just a quick post to point something out that has floated right over the heads of the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign, and all of their followers. You guys are so anxious to point fingers at Barack Obama for his past associations. It doesn't matter how well he knows them, only that they are "figures in his past," and "say something about his character."

Mmm hmm. Forget that all politicians have probably been in a room or on a board with many people with unsavory pasts. It's the nature of politics, unfortunately, and I'm sure John McCain is not exempt from it (Keating Five, anybody?).

But if you really want to go for the gold in a "guilt by association" game, how about the Bush Family, and their long-standing relationship with the Bin Laden Family? I'm not saying that there's anything sinister there, but if you follow right-wing logic (and Jeebus help you if you do), what is the difference here?

[Excerpt]

War or Peace? The World After the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

. . .In September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in New York City were attacked by airplanes flying into them, followed that morning by an air attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Terrorists from Al Qaeda, an organization of Islamic extremists associated with the Afghan mujaheddin, and a Saudi figure, Osama bin Laden, alleged to be their leader, were blamed. The wealthy bin Laden family had close ties to the U.S. and the Bush family. . .

Read more at: Global Research

Another Missing Obama Tape Riles Right-Wing

A while back, the right-wing blogs and radio shows were ablaze with speculation about a missing video tape, showing Michelle Obama railing against "whitey." Despite the incredible implausibility of the alleged tape, I have no doubt that there are still wingers out there anxiously awaiting its unveiling. Forget that if such a tape exists, Mrs. Obama is likely saying "why'd he" or even quoting something with reference to "whitey," and that she'd have to be completely insane to use such a slur on purpose. They're convinced she and her husband are evil, and there is simply nothing they believe they wouldn't do.

And now, there is another "missing tape." But this one actually exists. It is of a "going away" party for some Chicago professor, attended by Barack Obama. The professor is apparently affiliated with the PLO, or at least was decades ago. And the wingers are frothing mad that The Los Angeles Times has a copy of it, but won't release it. They're just certain that Obama is on that tape, agreeing to light Molotov cocktails, and throw them into synagogues. Or something.

Trouble is, John McCain is also associated with this professor, Rashid Khalidi. Whoops. But you know what? Until this tape is revealed in all its (likely) anticlimactic glory, it will be another right-winger Holy Grail.

[Excerpt]



Woops: McCain Funded Rashid Khalidi

I guess some are tempted to file this under the category of "October surprise," a blockbuster the McCain campaign tucked away for a rainy day:

"A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi," said McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb. " . . . The election is one week away, and it's unfortunate that the press so obviously favors Barack Obama that this campaign must publicly request that the Los Angeles Times do its job -- make information public. . ."


Read more at: Fire Dog Lake


Keith Olbermann's Campaign Comment: Joe the Plumber

Several posts on this blog have already covered my exasperation with the John McCain campaign's use of "Joe the Plumber." Casting aside all of the problems with Joe's story (such as his name not being Joe, and his not actually being a plumber), the whole Somebody the Something metaphor sounds so childish to me. I feel my intelligence being insulted every time the campaign uses it. And now they've got the guy campaigning with them.

But there's so much more going on with Joe, who is cashing in on his insta-celebrity in a very big way. Tonight's Countdown with Keith Olbermann details it all. It's good. Watch.

Why I'm For Barack Obama


Barack Obama image from: ObeyGiant.com

There are a lot of arguments being made for and against Barack Obama and John McCain. The reasons against McCain are detailed extensively in the posts below, and in the archives, should you care to read them. The case against Obama so far has consisted of innuendo, lies, attempted guilt-by-association, and lack of experience.

But who is the most experienced person in the race? McCain has been in the Senate for 26 years. He was also--as has been drilled into our heads endlessly--in the military, and held captive for five years. Those are notable credentials for anybody, and I do not care to try and diminish them. But what exactly do they show us about the experience needed to be President of the United States?

I've got to say, they really don't let us know much of anything. The office of the President is unique. Nobody has experience there, unless they've already been President. The only people who have it and are eligible are Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, both well past the age of interest or viability. You could even argue--as she did--that Hillary Clinton had a leg up as First Lady, having lived the life of a wife of a President. It really did give her more experience in what the job is all about than any of the other candidates in the primaries.

The only thing either candidate has in the experience department is life experience. And John McCain has had a longer life, so I guess he gets an advantage there. But his very long life in Congress has also tied him into the political machine. And the GOP political machine is a rusty, creaking, eeevil device.

Casting aside the positives and negatives of both candidates, one of the strongest reasons I have to vote for Obama is the rejection of that GOP machine. All of the Karl Roves and Rick Davises absolutely need to go. The ones who are young enough will surely pop up again in the future, but they seriously need a time out. And the older ones, the ones who came back from Ford's, Reagan's and H.W.'s tenure will finally be put out to pasture.

Another reason, again outside of the merits of the candidates, is the Supreme Court. The court has teetered ever closer to a hard-right leaning bunch, and I simply don't like that. Roe v. Wade is not a pet issue of mine, but for anyone who counts that as an important one, a McCain vote would surely put that decision in jeopardy. But my view is a little broader than that.

George W. Bush already got a couple of appointees in there. Several others are ready to retire. A McCain Presidency might get several appointments to the bench, and I just think that would be a horrific idea. Justices are supposed to be impartial, but we've all seen that they are not. And Supreme Court Justices outlast their Presidential appointers by decades. No, there needs to be a more equal balance there.

But back to Obama. And I'll be brief, because I've been windy thus far. He's very obviously smart. More than that, he's smarter than me. He's calm, cool and collected in harsh situations. He doesn't blow his top like a roman candle when he's attacked. He's an scholar of the Constitution. He was first in his class at Harvard. He can focus on more than one issue at a time. He doesn't try to insult my intelligence (like with the whole sorry "Joe the Plumber" and "Drill, Baby Drill" memes). And to tie it all in a bow, he is not a Republican. That's enough. It's more than enough.

So, yeah, I'm for change. Change in direction. Change in attitude. Change in policy. But mostly, change from the behind-the-scenes, neo-con, arch-rightwing group of politicos in Washington. I don't think they'll be resting quietly. . .they'll be up to the shenanigans that dug up dirt until they found it on Bill Clinton. But at least they'll be out of power. I hope.

Has-Been Hollywood Stars Against Al Franken?

I'm a big fan of Al Franken, as I've stated on the blog before. I've enjoyed his writing and acting in the classic formative years of Saturday Night Live. I've enjoyed reading his books like, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and Rush Limbaugh is a Big, Fat Idiot (and Other Observations). And I really enjoyed his Air America Radio program.

But, I'm a realist. I know that Franken was never an A-list star. Though he did have a pretty major hit as writer and producer of When a Man Loves a Woman, his most famous role was in the flop Stuart Saves His Family, which is better than you think, by the way. He also was the star of a brilliant but cancelled sitcom, LateLine.

But B, C or D list, Al is. Still, if you're going to run an attack ad against him using Hollywood stars, you think you'd scrape up a better roster than John Ratzenberger (Cliff from Cheers), Victoria Jackson (also from SNL, during the Dana Carvey years), Robert Davi (a bad guy in The Goonies) and the least of the Baldwin brothers, Steven (a super-Jesusy guy these days, though his biggest role was in the kinky Threesome). I mean really, is that the best they could do? These folks should get together for My Life on the Z-list. Maybe on FOX "News?"

By the way, Victoria Jackson was a favorite of mine back in the day. Very funny, but not known for her intellect. I'm just sayin'. . .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Horrors: Top 10 FUNNY Horror Movies

Last October, I ran a series of Top 10 lists of different types of horror movies for Halloween. This year, since my blog traffic has quadrupled, I thought I'd re-post some of those lists for the people who likely missed them. So, if you're looking for some Halloween horror, but you'd like it tempered with a bit of humor, here are ten options for your movie night!

Image from Wikipedia.org

Yes, horror can make you scream and laugh. Some of these films are straight-ahead comedies with horror thrown in. Some are horror with comedy thrown in. And some may be unintentionally funny. But if you like your scary movies cut with a little bit of humor, these are the films for you.

Greenlee Gazette Top 10 Funny Horror Movies

1. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - This movie is a horror spoof, but it doesn't spare the shocks, or the gross-outs. It's probably the best horror spoof ever made (I don't count the fantastic Young Frankenstein, which is more spoof than horror). It helps if you like British humour.

2. Fright Night (1986) - This film isn't quite a spoof, but it is surely an homage to the old "chiller theater" TV programs of years gone by. Excellent performances, lots of laughs, and a shock or two. It does suffer a bit for its obvious 80s fashions, though.

3. Army of Darkness (1992) - The third of the Evil Dead series was the most mainstream, and more straight-ahead comedy. I recommend getting Evil Dead 2 (which is sort of a higher-budget remake of part 1) in tandem with this one. A classic.

4. Final Destination 2 (2003) - This horror film isn't exactly a comedy. But try not to laugh (maybe nervously) at the inventive and gory kills in this one. Better than parts 1 or 3 by a long shot. And some genuine thrills.

5. Critters (1986) - Riding the Gremlins and Ghoulies wave of the 80s, this New Line Cinema (A Nightmare on Elm Street) offering offers thrills and laughs--most intentional. Actually manages to be cute and scary.

6. Psycho II (1983) - The sequel to the all time classic is not the fright-fest it could have been. Tony Perkins is clearly playing it for laughs. And he gets them. Avoid any further sequels and remakes.

7. April Fool's Day (1986) - One of my all time favorites. Every holiday got its horror movie in the 80s, and this one has a novel twist. Gamely played by actors a notch above the typical horror flick. I recently re-watched this one, and it still holds up. I haven't yet seen the remake, though I've heard nothing good about it, so look for the date on the box.

8. The Car (1978) - James Brolin fighting a car possessed by the devil. This one could have made my "BAD" horror list, but it does have some shocks. But, just try not to laugh when The Car kills the tuba player. . .

9. Freddy vs. Jason (2003) - The terror is long drained out of both of these series, so the kills are mostly for laughs. A good time anyway. But who really won?

10. The Blob (1986) - I've blogged about this one before, and it is one of my favorites. Funny mostly for Kevin Dillon's mullet, and the general 80s vibe. Still has a few shocks and is most enjoyable.

PREVIOUSLY:
Halloween Horrors: Psycho
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 FUNNY Horror Movies
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 SCARY Horror Movies
Halloween Horrors: Overlooked Horror Films
Halloween Horrors: A Nightmare on Elm Street
Movies I Can't Wait to See: Friday the 13th
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 BAD Horror Movies
Halloween Horrors: Top 10 CLASSIC Horror Movies



Keith Olbermann's Campaign Comment: Palin is a Fraud

"Special Comments" and lately, "Campaign Comments" on Countdown with Keith Olbermann are appointment viewing around chez Greenlee. And as much as I enjoy the host's righteous indignation and fury when railing against the powers that be, I like it more when Olbermann is having fun with his comments. And here, he looks like the cat that swallowed the canary. Watch.

Elayne Boosler on the Threat of Gay Marriage


Photo from ElayneBoosler.com

Whatever happened to Elayne Boosler? She used to be everywhere, on talk shows, on comedy specials, subbing for Stephanie Miller on her radio show. I miss her, she's danged funny.

So, I was glad to find an op-ed of hers on The Huffington Post. It's against gay marriage in California, which you would think is a bad thing, except that this is Elayne Boosler. And she's got her funny bone on.

[Excerpt]


. . .Marriage takes work and practice, and that is why gays will never get it right. How can they hope to compete with the knowledge earned by doing? With the expertise gained by Rush Limbaugh and his three sacred marriages? Newt Gingrich and his two sacred marriages? Ronald Reagan, John McCain, Prince Charles, Rudy Giuliani, all pillars of society and all married over and over to hone the sanctity and commitment necessary to maintain the bedrock of a society, marriage between a man and several women. . .



Media Treatment of Obama vs. McCain


Image from source, ABC News

Are there two sides to every story? Yes, though they are not always equally weighted. For instance, Person A might say, "The sun always rises in the east." Person B might say, "So far, the sun has always risen in the east, but who knows, it might rise in the west some day." You'd think Person B was kinda nutty, and that his argument isn't as important as Person A, right?

Of course, if you're like me, you don't neatly fit into a box, and you might be Person C: "The sun doesn't actually rise, it is the Earth's rotation that makes it appear that way. And it will continue to appear that way until the Earth stops spinning, or the sun burns out." I'm weird that way.
But the news these days--unless it is a commentary show like Countdown with Keith Olbermann or the entirety of FOX "News"--people expect two equal sides on everything. And when the news doesn't seem to deliver? Media bias!!! John McCain has been covered in X number of negative stories, and Barack Obama in considerably less? Liberal media bias!!!

No one ever seems to stop and consider that maybe Obama didn't have as many things currently going on that were negative to warrant equal negative coverage. This happened back in the Democratic Primaries too, when the math for victory became virtually impossible for Hillary Clinton. Though this ended up being borne out by history, at the time the news media was declared to be "in the tank" for Obama. This despite the fact that there was simply more negative news to be reported for Clinton.

In the following article, the author goes on at considerable length about the media being "in the tank" for Obama, versus against John McCain. I don't buy it. At this moment--though I hasten to add that it could change--Obama is in the lead. There is simply more negative news to report about McCain right now. His running mate, Sarah Palin, has provided new nuggets every day.

But where is the converse argument? How many times have you seen a positive news story about Joe Biden? How often have you heard anything about Biden lately? When he makes one of his infamous gaffes, that's when. And practically, only then. What does that say about the media? That they're reporting what is newsworthy. Or at worst, they are reporting what is scintillating. That's it.

[Excerpt]

Media's Presidential Bias and Decline

The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game -- with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I've found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer. . .

Read more (it's a doozy) at: ABC News

Stuck on Stupid: Joe the Plumber Campaigns


Photo from source, Raw Story

What kind of whacked-out world do we live in, where a guy like "Joe the Plumber" becomes not only a theme and rallying cry for the John McCain campaign, but is actually campaigning? I suppose they figure that Sarah Palin--who was completely uneducated on what Presidents and Vice Presidents do--did all right, so why not Joe?

Well, some of the problem for me, is that right out of the gate, we discovered that ol' Joe was a fraud on several fronts. Least of these is that he's not named Joe (it's his middle name) and he isn't really a plumber. The question he asked Barack Obama that brought him--via McCain at the last debate--to national attention, was riddled with inaccuracies. Also, for a guy so worried about taxes, Joe was in trouble for not paying his. And finally, it turns out that Obama's tax plan would actually benefit him more than McCain's would.

But, forget all that! Facts have rarely gotten in the way of a good GOP storyline, and they're not gonna start now! I mean, Stephen Colbert even had to coin a term for their M.O.: truthiness. A story doesn't have to be true, it just has to feel true. Add to that America's capacity to turn an "ordinary Joe" (or Sam) instantly famous, and you've got an instant celebrity.

But if you were McCain, would you really want him to campaign for you? See, Joe might make a great mascot, a good sound bite, but he's a little nutty when it comes to politics. For instance, he agrees with the thought that "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel." Really?

There's more. . .

[Excerpt]

Fox host berates 'Joe the Plumber' after McCain surrogate says Obama vote means 'death to Israel'

The all-out effort from John McCain's presidential campaign to scare voters into backing the Republican candidate continued apace on Tuesday as McCain surrogate Joe the Plumber agreed that a Barack Obama presidency would mean the "death of Israel" and end democracy in America. . .

Read more at: Raw Story

Don't Speak for Me, Sarah Palin: Hockey Mama for Obama

Not every political parody song is blog-worthy. But this one is. Enjoy!

Obama Supporters: Don't Get Cocky! VOTE!



Found at: AmericaBlog

Could This Really be the End of the Bush Era?


The following excerpt is from a post on Democratic Underground that really speaks to me. Over the course of the 16 months or so I've been writing this blog, many of the things that liberals like me have always supposed to be true have turned out to be true. Things that earned bloggers like me slurs like "un-American," "moonbat," "liberal loons" and "tinfoil hatters" have turned out to be reality.

Karl Rove really is a devious bastard. The GOP really does actively try to suppress liberal voters. We really did torture. There really were no weapons of mass destruction. We were lied into war. Ted Stevens (and countless others) really are criminals. And at the rate things are being uncovered, maybe we really will learn the truth behind 9/11.*

We liberals have been disgusted with the state of our government for a very long time. Somehow, we found the strength to continue paying attention, and continue being engaged after the dumbfounding (and very likely stolen) re-election of George W. Bush in 2004. We held on patiently when the Democrats took both houses of Congress in 2006, even though they didn't go nearly far enough in writing the wrongs of previous years, or fight the obstructionism of the GOP anywhere nearly hard enough.

We've tried very hard to unfog the false, spun reality put out by the likes of right-wing talk radio and FOX "News," entities that somehow made the leap from fringe nuts to mainstream in the Bush era. And I've gotta tell you, I for one am very, very tired of it. November 4th will either cause a widespread sigh of relief for liberals, or it will cause a stunned catatonia. Things look pretty good for the former, but I've been disappointed enough in the past to expect the latter. I'm a cynic like that.

This writer has a slightly rosier--if no less cynical--view. And she puts into words all of my frustration, and puts them into a pretty solid context. Take a look.

[Excerpt]

So Now EVERYONE Knows

Those among us who have recognized the hypocrisy of the GOP over the years – a charge which, when made, often fell on deaf ears – have now been fully vindicated, thanks to the McCain campaign, its supporters, its defenders, and its hard-core adherents.

While Republican voters screamed for McCain to take off the gloves, what actually slipped off was the mask that Republican powers-that-be have hidden behind for decades – and the face that was exposed for all the world to see was, to say the least, not a pretty one. . .



* 9/11 Note: No, I do not believe all the "Loose Change" and other associated stories about September 11. They certainly point out the holes in the story, but I'm not sure I buy their explanations. I'm just certain that we've been told everything, and that some of what we've been told isn't true. I find the "official story" to be just exactly as implausible as some of the loonier theories out there. Given the history of the (still) sitting administration, do you put it past them to lie about elements of the story?

Greenlee Gazette Milestone: 50,000 Hits!


This post is purely vanity. My blog will have received 50,000 hits in just the next hour or so. It's sort of like waiting for your odometer to roll over to an even number. You get so excited, but in the scheme of things, it's no big whoop.

Many large blogs like The Huffington Post or AmericaBlog (the two main inspirations for this blog) can get that many hits in a day--a very bad day. But for a guy who started his blog with this sentence. . .

"This blog will never be found by anybody."
. . .I think it's quite impressive! And 50,000 doesn't tell you everything either. I've had over 70,000 total page hits, which is when somebody comes to the site, and then clicks on archived stories while they're here. And then there is the RSS reader. Now, RSS subscribers are a fickle bunch. I've never been able to hang on to more than 30 or so for more than a day. Right now, it stands at 15. Tomorrow it might be 25. But the point is, those people get continuous feeds that aren't logged in my hits. According to Google, I've had 82,764 total page views.

But it's the daily hits I've been watching with anticipation. Back in August, I had a surge of visitors over two days due to a link in one of The Daily Kos' posts. That spiked my usually much lower monthly numbers to over 6,500 hits, which was a little bit of a thill. And then a funny thing happened in September. My numbers were not surprisingly lower, but not all that much: just over 5,400.
So, I've been drumming my fingers, waiting to see if I'd get to 50,000 hits before election day. Could October reach more than the inflated August number? Well, the answer is yes to the former, and the latter remains to be seen. But we've got four days of October to go, and the number at the moment of this post is 6,418. So, yeah, I'm gonna hit it and go past it. It should top 7,000, which is about the total number of hits I had from June to October last year!

These admittedly small potatoes numbers mean nothing to anybody but me. But one of the things you can do when you have your own blog is, when your odometer turns over, you can write about it! Thanks for reading, and bring your friends!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Young Turks: More Voter Suppression in Georgia

Why don't you find any stories like this on The Drudge Report, FOX "News" or FreeRepublic.com? Gee, I wonder. . .

Oldest Trick in the Book: Flyer Sites Election Date as Nov. 5



Image from source, Think Progress

Good grief. All of this false hysteria from right-wingers about ACORN and nonexistent "voter fraud," and the real bad stuff is being done by Republicans. But of course you knew that.

The oldest trick to discourage opponents from showing up at the polls is to tell them their voting place has changed, or the voting date has changed. The latter is being tried again in Virginia.

[Excerpt]


The Virginia Pilot reports today that a phony Virginia Board of Elections flier is being distributed in Hamption Roads, VA telling Democrats that they are now scheduled to vote on November 5. . .

Read more at: Think Progress

Barack Obama Assassination Plot Foiled


Photo from source, MSNBC

Yikes. Glad it was foiled. I can't imagine what stirred those folks up. . .

[Excerpt]

ATF: Plot by skinheads to kill Obama is foiled

Law enforcement agents have broken up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 88 black people, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday. . .

Read more at: MSNBC

Keith Olbermann's Campaign Comment: McCain, Step Up!

Another Countdown with Keith Olbermann "Campaign Comment," another contented blogger. I love when he gets fired up, and he's right. It's high time John McCain stood up and shouted down the worst elements of his party. The frenzy the right-wingers were thrown into by the Ashley Todd hoax just scratched the surface of their irrational hatreds. McCain should say something about it.

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Guilty (X7)


Image from source, MSNBC

Ted Stevens, Senior Senator from Alaska--and Sarah Palin political BFF--hasn't just been found guilty, he's been found guilty on seven counts. But being a felon, amazingly enough, is not enough to keep you out of the Senate, or even from running for another term.

Wouldn't you think that at 84 years old, he'd just hang it up?

[Excerpt]

Stevens defiant after guilty verdict

A defiant Sen. Ted Stevens, convicted of corruption charges, said Monday he will fight the verdict "with every ounce of energy I have." He added he will not give up his bid for re-election.

Read more (with video) at: MSNBC


Apple Computer Pledges $100K to Fight Prop 8


Image from source, Qweerty

I was happy to see that Apple Computer has pledged $100,000 to fight Proposition 8 in California, the resolution that would take away same-sex marriage. Since I am in one of those marriages, I have a vested interest in the subject.

But being a Mac-phobe, I'm having an internal conflict (does not compute!). I mean, Apple is spending all this money and time to get us to swtich to their product. What if I was born a PC? Heh. But then again, they did have a rainbow colored logo for 20 years or so.

Anyway, good on you, Apple. And I'd really like to see the conservo-bots ditch their iPods. . . They'll have to go back to playing their Lee Greenwood on 8-track!

[Excerpt]


Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. . .

Read more at: Qweerty


Lady at McCain Rally Thinks She's Sarah Palin

Wonkette is one of my favorite sites if I need a (political) laugh. They express themselves over there in ways I usually don't, but often want to. And I particularly liked the way the described this video:

Lady At McCain Rally Thinks She Is Sarah Palin



Some hobo cat lady must have forgotten her meds this morning and, as a result, thought that she was Sarah Palin and needed to show up beside her “running mate,” John McCain, at an Iowa rally. Because here she is, behind and to the right of John McCain, acknowledging the cheers as Walnuts says nice things about Palin. Or maybe John McCain has started keeping a (very bad) Sarah Palin lookalike with him at all times, so as to draw crowds?

Source: Wonkette

Halloween Horrors: Top 10 CLASSIC Horror Movies

Last year, when this blog barely got 50 hits per day, I ran a series of Top 10 Halloween horror movie lists, to help people find some videos to rent for a fright night. Since we're around to that time of year again, I'll be continuing to rerun those lists, with some sprucing up and updates.


Photo from Wikipedia.org

All right, I've covered my favorite scary horror movies, my top funny horror movies, even the bad horror movies., and now it is time for a list of all-time classics. These movies may no longer scare as much as they once did, but they must not be missed, if you are a true horror fan. If you haven't seen any of the movies in this group, do yourself a favor, and add them to your Halloween viewing list!

Greenlee Gazette Top 10 CLASSIC Horror Movies

1. Psycho (1960) - Already reviewed here, this movie still ranks as the all-time classic. It's very nearly perfect. It may not have the unrelenting gore of Hostel, or the outright laughs of Shaun of the Dead, but this movie still contains enough humor and horror to qualify for all three of my lists. A must see, but avoid the remake.

2. Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Another of the best 60s horror films. Very high-brow, and stylishly shot. And Ruth Gordon is one little old lady you do not want living next door.

3. Jaws (1975) - Not strictly a horror film, but has more scares than some whole lists of movies. It might not work for Halloween, but wait a few weeks, and then pop this one in for a refresher on what a good scary time you can have any time of year. The sequels get progressively worse, so stick to this one, and maybe Jaws 2.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1969) - In a slightly different league from the first three on this list, this low-budget, black and white film still deserves a spot on the list. George Romero squeezed every last cent out of his budget, and delivered a film that can still scare (and disgust) you, almost 40 years later. This film is in the public domain, so watch out for bad prints. Also avoid the colorized version, and the remake. The sequels though, are pretty good, particularly Dawn of the Dead. The ending of this film might tick you off though.

5. Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - The first movie set the tone, but the sequel hits it out of the park. Outstanding, nearly flawless horror film. Trust me, if you haven't seen it, it is a must. And if it weren't for this film, there might never have been a Young Frankenstein!

6. Alien (1979) - You might have thought it was just a sci-fi film, but don't be fooled. This is top-shelf horror, it's just that the haunted house is a space ship! Even better that it sets up one of the best sequels in history, Aliens.

7. Suspiria (1977) - Creepy, and moody and very, very foreign in tone, this movie will wig you out. A little astray from the other movies in this list, and not for all tastes, but still a classic.

8. Carrie (1976) - Possibly the best strictly horror adaptation of a Stephen King novel. Piper Laurie is an anti-religionist's worst nightmare. Also started the "surprise ending" motif for horror movies for years to come.

9. The Last House on the Left (1972) - Another low-budget cheapie that delivers a wallop. Seriously, you will have a pillow in front of your face during some parts. Wes Craven is the master.

10. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1986) - Yes, I know, a sequel. But part one is in my "scary" list, and this one is so good, I still consider it a classic. Eerie, moody, and Fred Krueger isn't quite an anti-hero yet. Plus, once again, Wes Craven is at the helm.

Previously:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

John McCain Pulling Down Entire GOP?


Photo from source, Washington Post

My original title for this post was, "Still Worried About Counting Chickens. . ."

Damn, I'm on pins and needles. I wanted Al Gore to win, and arguably he did, but the argument is irrelevant. He didn't get to be President. I really wanted John Kerry to be President, but less for the man himself than the ouster of the Bush Administration and their horrendous policies and activities. That didn't work out too well either, and for a time I was politically depressed.

But this time, I don't just want Barack Obama to be President. I'm desperate for it. For the man, and for who he's running against. I don't think I can stomach another Republican Administration, and let's be honest: if a Democrat can't win in this environment, when could they ever win again? If the dirty tricks and lies work again, if the Karl Rove machinery--rusty and missing some parts--manages to crank out another win, just what the hell are we Democrats fighting for? I tell ya, it would be crushing.

Fortunately, nine days out, it looks like that dark scenario isn't going to happen. But I'm far too jaded to think this is a sure thing. It should be. It almost has to be. But I'm afraid. . .I don't know. . .that I'll jinx it if I get too excited.

Stories like the following one make me feel a little better about the whole thing. I sure hope they're right.

[Excerpt]

Sorry, Senator. Let's Salvage What We Can.

. . .I could pile up the poll numbers here, but frankly . . . it's too depressing. You have to go back to the Watergate era to see numbers quite so horrible for the
GOP.

McCain's awful campaign is having awful consequences down the ballot. I spoke a little while ago to a senior Republican House member. "There is not a safe Republican seat in the country," he warned. "I don't mean that we're going to lose all of them. But we could lose any of them. . ."

Read the whole article at: Washington Post



New DNC Ad: John McCain More of the Same

For all of the alleged times that John McCain has differed with his party, they sure are not evident in his economic policies. He may well have been a "Maverick" in the past, but what about lately? And what has he argued with President Bush about?

Sean Hannity, One Man Anti-Obama Army


Don't ask me why, but I left FOX "News" on this evening while I was trying to win at Spider Solitaire. I caught a little of Huckabee, the part politics, part folksy discussion, part Hee-Haw show hosted by Mike Huckabee. I disagree with his politics, but he seems like a genuinely nice guy. I'm just glad he won't get any say as it pertains to my civil rights.

But after that fairly inoffensive show, came Hannity's America. Now, I have a passing familiarity with the show, not as much as Hannity & Colmes, or his radio show, but I've had it on for noise before. It's basically a televised version of his radio show, with no Alan Colmes counterpoint like he usually has on TV. It's usually garbage, but the last couple of weeks, it has gone over the line.

Worried that Barack Obama might win the election, Hannity's America has focused almost exclusively on tearing Obama down. And over the last three weeks or so, the program has gotten increasingly brazen in it's arch-conservative viewpoint. Tonight, Hannity gave his "Top 10 reasons you should not vote for Barack Obama." And it was a doozy.

The program was presented as something of a documentary, if it was genetically spliced with a political attack ad. Sinister music was accompanied by a voice-over by Hannity, with a documentarian tone, rather than his usual cadence. He presented every negative thing you've ever heard about Obama, paying no head to debunked stories, extenuating circumstances, context or rebuttals. Quotes from Obama were edited to reveal only the portions Sean wanted us to hear. It was a 60-minute attack ad for John McCain, pure and simple.

This was presented in prime time on a national news network. Excuse me, this is FOX "News," so it isn't really a news network, but they present themselves as "Fair and Balanced." For all the hand wringing and whining I've heard about Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, for being too partisan, for diluting the news. . .well, they're both impartial straight arrows by comparison.

Hannity did say on occasion, in my opinion, but only when ranking his top 10. Everything in the program was presented as fact. It was appallingly bad, as were several of the RNC and NRA anti-Obama ads during the program. Venomous, nasty, snide, and guaranteed to provoke the right-wing base's emotions. I am hopeful this show only played to the hard-core converted, and to skeptics like me. Because if a naive voter--not knowing FOX "News" and Sean Hannity's reputations--were to watch this program, they'd think we're about to elect a monster.

Shame on Hannity and FOX "News." As though they weren't buried under shame already. I'll say this, if Hannity's nightmares come true, and we get an Obama Presidency (and hopefully the House and Senate too), I hope to see anything branded "news" to actually be news. On both sides, I don't care. If Hannity's America must exist, disclaimer it with "The following is political commentary, and the opinions expressed in the program are those of the host, and not necessarily the network." Or just label the whole damned channel FOX "News" Commentary Channel.

And as a side note, does anybody remember that conservative talk radio used to be fringe? They were not mainstream. Sean Hannity is not a journalist, this was not a documentary, and it is absolutely far right fringe lunacy. How nice it would be if he were back there.

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