Sunday, August 27, 2006

First Annual Emmy Post-Game Analysis & Report

Maybe you're wondering, what in the hell is a post about the Emmy awards doing on this commie pinko liberal blog? Well, actually, this is the kind of stuff I've wanted to do more of, but we've gotten so bogged down in politics, video clips, and dead animal stories that I've kind of lost my ability to comment on anything else. I think I'll change that right about now. (Lots of links in this post -- feel free to click around.)

First off, I have to say that this is the first Emmy telecast that I have watched from start to finish in about ten years. It was comforting, I guess, to know that nothing really changed. Still lots of awards for miniseries that no one watched (Bleak House?!? Jesus...) and other stuff, although most of the 'technical' awards are relegated to the 'other' Emmy show (no, not the Daytime Emmys, the other one), so all of that stuff is missing.

I guess at this point I should say that I really like Conan O'Brien, and if he hadn't been hosting this year, I can't guarantee that I would have watched. I had to miss the Oscars since I was not really, ummmm...., available that night, but I wish I had seen Jon Stewart. I even thought that the opening production number (the song and dance) was good, basically talking about how much NBC sucks these days. The reference to Howie Mandel was cute -- especially in light of the DVD I saw a few weeks ago (from my daughters Fairie Tale Theatre collection), in which I was reminded of how incredibly gratingly annoying Howie Mandel was back in the 1980s (I had forgotten)! Realistically, Deal or No Deal is not a very original, or well crafted, game show -- it is basically Treasure Hunt with opportunities to bail out. The thing that makes it work is the contestant selection process (go to NBC's rules page and check that out!), and the fact that Howie Mandel has been able to pull himself together, get past some of the OCD that dragged him down for a while, and actually become an engaging personality, who doesn't have to hog the whole show.

Anyway, some of the awards were great (The Office for Best Comedy, multiple wins for The Daily Show, although I would have preferred The Colbert Report to take at least one), and stuff like that. I was also nice to see Cloris Leachman and Henry Gibson out there presenting. Good for some of us. I can't comment on 24 or Grey's Anatomy; I haven't seen them, so... what can I say? The award for the Directory of the telecast getting an Emmy for directing the Oscar telecast was rather idiotic. One of those awards for an awards show, which get a little cumbersome (2007: Best Performance in a Variety Show: the director of the 2006 Emmys giving his acceptance speech for the 2006 Oscars!)

Some of the awards were weird: Julia-Louis Dreyfus getting Best Actress in a Comedy for...what? The New Adventures of Old Christine?? Ok, granted, I am not totally on the ball with pop culture, and I'm not pretending to be, but, what??? Still, good for her. I've liked her ever since her SNL days, and it's nice to see someone shove something back in that Jerry-bastard's face!

Also great was the clip of Conan going into South Park and getting in the closet with Tom Cruise. He (Tom) can't be happy about that one.

Now, for the downers. The roll-of-the-dead is always kind of a bummer, but the worst came before that. I am a huge fan of Dick Clark. I was really upset when he had his stroke last year, and I knew from the news that was coming out that it wasn't very positive. I know what strokes do. I was raised by my grandparents and watched them deteriorate right before my eyes. No fun. We spent last New Year's visiting family in San Jose, and after we got back to our Motel 6, I caught the last few minutes of Ryan Seacrest's (gag) New Year's Rockin' Eve, when they had Dick Clark on to say goodnight. That pretty much trashed the New Year's celebrating for me, since he was in pretty bad shape. I'd seen the pictures of him, heard the non-sugar-coated reports, etc., but I was hoping for more positive things. Same thing this year: I knew they were going to have a tribute to Dick Clark (which is a bad sign at the Emmy's -- the other tribute went to the newly-dead Aaron Spelling -- so they were trying to get this one in before the inevitiable). So, they did the retrospective, and they introduced him, sitting down, and let him speak to the best of his ability. And, really, his speech wasn't bad -- even he was being self-depricating, but the reaction was muted, at best, and I really don't think many people could understand him. Then Barry Manilow sang and danced, and come over to Dick, but in the end, for me anyway, it was sad. It's been over a year of intense therapy, plus rehearsals, etc., etc., and that was the best they could get from him. I'm not blaming him -- quite the contrary -- I think he had enormous guts to even get out there (he's not deluded -- he knows what kind of shape he's in; the mind is still there, but the body has gone to hell). But... he's not coming back. Ever. Dick Clark, as a performer, is gone, forever. Damn it. That pretty much ended any good feelings I had tonight.

The Bob Newhart thing was cute and silly, but at least they didn't make it as stupid as they could have (smashing him out at 3:00:01, or something).

So, that's it -- if I think of more to rant about, I'll post it. I'm sure more important things happened, but I'm trying to take a break from important things right now. Sometimes, that's just how it works.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Something is Rotten in the State of Connecticut

I know, I know, I wasn't going to write about this anymore, but the latest poll numbers coming out of the political sewer that Connecticut has become are disturbing, to say the least. Check out this latest poll from the American Research Group (ARG). This poll is not an "outlier"; it's numbers are roughly the same as the latest Rasmussen poll.

The most disturbing part? Well, aside from the fact that Lieberman hasn't really qualified for the ballot yet, has anyone bothered to take a look at the numbers for the Republican candidate? No, the other one -- the one that won the Republican primary: Alan Schlesinger. His total percentage among likely voters? 3%!! Three! Considering the margin of error on this poll is +/- 3.5%, we can safely say that no one is planning on voting for Schlesinger!

Does this not strike anyone as a bit odd? Say what you will about the de facto two-party system, the silliness of primaries, whatever, but in this case you have the candidate who won the Democratic primary with 42%, the canidiate that won the Republican primary with 3%, and the candidate that lost the Democratic primary with 44%! Based on those numbers, I think it is a safe enough assumption to say that virtually every Republican in Connecticut is planning on voting for Lieberman instead of the candidate they selected themselves. Wow -- that makes me feel so much better about Lieberman.

And, again, I'm talking about pure numbers and procedure here. I'm not talking about issues like the rumours that Lieberman will become Secretary of Defense, Lieberman will caucus with the Republicans in the event of a split Senate, or things like that (even though I just did). Am I the only person that feels like this election is running off the rails, and taking a piece of our republic with it? Seriously -- Bush v. Gore already made the case that your single vote probably doesn't count, and now this race is taking it one step further: the primary election doesn't count! Lieberman lost -- but not really! Schlesinger won -- but not really!

I would hope that the Democratic response to this would be to start pimping Schlesinger as a great conservative, but I don't think I actually want that to happen either. What a mess.

Lost in all of this is that Lieberman has now completely lost his "commanding early lead" in the general election, which he never actually had anyway.

I stand by my earlier prediction. For now, anyway.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Go Read This

Seriously, just click this link and read this little essay by Athenae over at First Draft regarding how we got from 9/11/01 to where we are today -- not in a history-book-type of way, but more in a people-dealing-with-their-surroundings kind of way. Really Good Stuff.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes, Planes, & Automobiles

I hate to link to somewhere as basic as MSNBC, but they had a good "review" (if you can call it that) of Snakes on a Plane this morning.

I don't know how many people have actually been following the saga of this movie, but it seems like it has been anticipated forever. Snakes. Plane. Got it. No worse than any other crap movie, I suppose...

By the Way

Did I mention that we're back?


We're Back. The tubes are installed and the internets are whizzing around the house. Look -- there goes one now -- wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Post I Don't Want to Write

I hate to even get into this, but I feel like I should say something, because it's the most lurid story in the news right now, even though it is 10 years old. Of course, I'm talking about the JonBenet Ramsey murder, and the recent 'confession' of the man arrested for it. Let me summarize my position:

I don't think he did it. I think he's nuts.

I will leave it to you to check out what his family and neighbors and everyone else has to say about him, but my reasons have actually very little to do with him. Mainly:

  1. Patsy Ramsey (JonBenet's mother) died about six weeks ago of cancer. Now, suddenly, this guy gets arrested for the murder? I don't entirely understand that connection, but I can speculate (in my head -- you speculate in your own head, please).
  2. John Ramsey made an unsuccessful run at the Michigan State House of Representatives a couple of years ago. Undoubtedly, his campaign was tainted by the large numbers of people who believe he had something to do with murdering his daughter. Finding a 'murderer' now could really bolster his future election chances.
  3. This guy, John Mark Karr, is basically out-to-lunch. He has been obsessed with both the Ramsey case and the Polly Klass case, and has researched and written about them, but he seems to be really loused up on the timeline regarding JonBenet (he picked her up from school on Christmas Day, or the Day after Christmas??).

Yes, this is all speculation, and I'm sure there are LOTS of things we don't know. But... something just doesn't smell right about this whole deal.

More to come, unfortunately, I'm sure.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Blogging Forecast

The National Blog Forecasting Service of Life's Rich Pageantry has issued the following statement (reprinted in its entirety):

Blogging will be light to non-existant for the next several days to a relocation of the LRP World Headquarters..... After relocation over the weekend, certain technological advances and upgrades must be made to the new site..... Electricity, running water, and other generated utilities must be diverted south to accomodate the new offices..... Blogging to resume shortly after relocation..... End transmission.

I think I know what that means. It means that we are moving, again, and it's going to take a while to get things functional. Mainly, that means getting internet service up and running again. I hear that this time, Ma Bell is going to come to my house personally and install the tubes. I don't think you all understand how serious this is -- you know, the internet isn't just a truck, people! You don't just, I don't know, dump things on it! My own personal internet could be delayed by days, and if someone sends me an internet, I might have to discover why it takes so long to get to me! Damn you kids and your streaming movies!!

Life Imitates.... whatever

People who talk to me for any length of time (brave, but sad, people) have probably heard my 'solution' to the problem of insane security checks at airports. Walking through the slow 'parade of the shoeless' in an airport is enough to make you start thinking about alternatives. My solution, for the last few years has been this: If the government wants to be serious about stopping people from bringing weapons, explosives, and other things that could possibly, maybe, might be able to used as some sort of weapon or device that could threaten others, then the only real solution (that I see) is rather drastic --

1) No more carry-on luggage. Sorry. Too bad. No laptop, no cell phone, no purse, no wallet, no overnight bag, no makeup, no diapers for babies, no food, nothing. Just you, nothing with you.

2) Virtually no clothing. It would probably be enough to make people strip to their underwear, but that would lead to all sorts of new issues, so... I think the solution there is to require everyone to strip and change into a hospital-type dressing gown (like a paper gown). No pockets, no useable material for anything other than coverage.

3) X-Ray all passengers at the gate to ensure nothing has been 'kiestered', or smuggled in any other body cavity.

Harsh? You betcha.
Silly? Yeah.
Effective? Definitely!

Yes, I understand that I am being ridiculous, but, so are the current security measures in place. Take off your shoes, turn on your phone, turn on your computer, empty your pockets, etc. There are thousands of ways (I'm sure) to get something on a plane if you really want to. The only way to stop that is to stop everything.

This morning, the UK instituted MOST of #1 on my list. It's a start.

The point of terrorism is to scare the hell out of people. It does a pretty good job, especially when you start with something most people are already afraid of -- flying. Rather than trying to promote the illusion of safety, which the TSA (here in the U.S.) is now, we could actually, you know, be safer.

'But', you say, 'if we do this, then the terrorists will have won!' I've got news for you: they already have. You don't notice a few changes since 9/11/01? Things aren't a little more difficult to deal with? Airlines, banks, identification cards, etc., etc.? We are a nation (many nations, actually, not just the U.S.) living in fear.

Terrorism, as it is currently defined (which, as near as I can figure, means just about anything that harms, or tries to harm or scare, anyone or anything) has existed forever. That's just how people operate. People get ahead by intimidation, fear, and inducing cowardice and/or foolhardiness. An animal backed into a corner will come out attacking, but that's not always the best plan. Yes, we can be vigilant, but we really need to go on with our lives as well. That, or we can just sit in the house all day. (And, no, you won't be able to sit inside and play the ponies all day, because, first of all, the internet tubes will be shut down so you don't send any threatening messages, and secondly, your bank account will be locked for electronic transactions so you don't fund any terrorists. Sorry about that.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Programming Note

That previous post may have been the last political post for a while. So many blogs, real blogs, unlike this one, cover politics from both sides and do it very well. We have lots of other nonsense to focus on here, and I think we need to focus on our priorties (Cats, stupid videos, gambling, and, of course, philosophy).

The Post-Game Show

Compare and contrast:

Dick Tuck, 1964, after an unsuccessful run for the California State Senate: "The people have spoken, the bastards!"

Joe Lieberman, 2006, after an unsuccessful primary campaign for the U.S. Senate (paraphrasing here, obviously): You said it! Screw them -- it's not like their votes matter anyway!

The difference? Dick Tuck was a political prankster who ran for office. Joe Lieberman is an incumbent U.S. Senator who is desperately clinging to his political life.

Prediction: The Lieberman campaign will start with a bang and slowly run out of steam, garnering no more than 20% of votes in the general election, leaving Ned Lamont the victor, with Alan Schlesinger running second.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Friday Night Videos Special: Ashley's Mommy's Birthday Edition!

Here we go with another exciting episode of LRP's Friday Night Videos! This week we have a special event as today is Ashley's Mommy's Birthday, so we have arranged a special show in honor of this momentous occasion!

First off, let's start the party with the traditional singing of Happy Birthday!

Now, let's bring on some people who know how to party to get everyone in the mood for a good time:

(Lest anyone think I have making fun of the people above, I should disclose that I, Marsupial, actually own an autographed photo of Myron Floren, complete with kilt.)

Next, we have a story: On Ashley Mommy's 30th birthday, I took her to a concert at the (then) Universal Ampitheatre to see a couple of bands, including the Pretenders, one of her favorites. And this is her favorite song by them:

And now, for some comic relief, some cats:

And something equally as stupid, your preznit:

Finally, one more song, in all seriousness:

And that's it for tonight! See you next week for more of LRP's Friday Night Videos.


An Unabashed Plug

Normally, I wouldn't be too thrilled with people leaving unsolicited links in the Comments section, but this one I will actually promote to the front page. Here is a comment, from an earlier thread, by reader Scarce:

Ned Lamont is the most visible poltical figure at YouTube. The unoffical group "Nedheads" now has over 1500 members and comprises over 300 short video's.

I have no problem with picking up another Ned Lamont link.

As for the commenter who said something along the lines of this election having ramifications for the Democratic Party, I believe that you are correct -- good ramifications. This is the exact kind of shake-up the party elite needs. Yes Joe, you have been in office for 18 years. No Joe, the office is not your property and you can't barricade yourself in it. Sorry Joe, but you are still, at least in theory, bound to the wishes of your constituents. And, if things turn around, and Lieberman does win the primary on Tuesday, then I wish him luck in the general election. A DINO is still better than R, since he sits on the left side of the aisle.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Must Resist.... NO! Power...too....strong....!

In tonight's Colbert/Lamont/Lieberman news, we have a new Colbert Report clip, courtesy of Atrios.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Follow-Up (All Lamont, All the Time!)

Not to get too serious here, or become just a bunch of links (oops, too late!), but there is a good piece in the Hartford Courant regarding Ned Lamont's appearance on the Colbert Report (below) and the aftermath.

Programming Note

I know that a lot of you are reeling from the postponment and eventual shelving of last week's LRP's Friday Night Videos. I want to take this time to assure you that this Friday will be a Special Edition of LRP'sFNV, in honor of Ashley's Mommy's birthday. We promise, we will make it up to you.

(Unfortunately, depending on the quality of the show, we may then have something else to make up to you afterward.)


Well, crap. No sooner do I post something when I find out that it's (partially) crap. The Stephen Colbert Wikipedia page was not locked down for "vandalism", as they said, but rather because Colbert discussed Wikipedia on the show on July 31 and asked people to make a few changes to some articles. The changes were made in seconds, several times, and several pages had to be locked down.

Not just a testament to Colbert's popularity, but also to Wikipedia 's fragility. Bear that in mind.