January 3, 2012 - December 27, 2011
. So doleful, glum DRV is
complaining about an absence of uplift. Never mind posts about
inspiring cats, cheesecake and YouTube clips of Elizabeth Taylor, a Puck Punk tour de force, and an open thread designed to
invigorate our in-house political savants. Not enough for DRV:
Sure thing, DRV. Something literally
about uplift. A movie called Sky
Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Thing is, it won't be
everbody's cup of tea. A user review at imdb.com sums it up
I said, "pretty well." It's obviously not
a great movie because it was a dud at the box office and most of you
have never heard of it. But the Sin
City comparison is apt. It's much more art design and
cinematography than a rip-roaring action movie, which it also is. Sin
City's provenance consists entirely of comic books and pulp noir
detective novels. Sky Captain's provenance is much more far-reaching,
deliberately evocative of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, H.G. Welles's The Shape of Things to Come, the
original King Kong, and the War of the Worlds, as well as early
twentieth century science fiction, the romance of the art deco
movement, and, um, heroes who save the day.
There's lots that's annoying. From almost the first scene you wish the utterly talentless Gwyneth Paltrow could have been traded in on Cate Blanchette, and Jude Law on Timothy Olyphant or Barry Pepper. And the annoyance keeps getting worse with every leaden line delivered by Paltrow and every simpering affectation of Jude Law. But the compensations are enough for me. The hero's weapon of choice is a P-40 Warhawk (scroll) painted with the famed, bloody shark mouth on the cowling employed by Chennault in Burma and China. The clothes and everything else in matters of style are late thirties glamour. And I have always loved old-time visions of future technology, monstrous robots coupled with squealing vaccuum tube radios, sleekly voluptuous cars, flapping flying machines, you know the kind of thing. And there's still the Empire State Building, where the Hindenberg III docks majestically in the opening scene, the Chrysler Building looking new, and the Flatiron Building looking beautifully like itself, all done up dramatically enough to look like an Atlas Shrugged movie that veered suddenly sci-fi. Visually, it all works amazingly well, a curious amalgam of atavistic black-and-white, semi-sepia, and startling technicolor. I'm sure not everyone will share my assessment of this. But it's mine, and honestly, they had me at the first closeup of Sky Captain's vintage faceted pilot goggles and that heavily modified P-40. (Yup. It's also a submarine with a back seat big enough for a long-legged blonde. Cool.)
The story? Who cares? Sky Captain is a standard issue comic book hero who just might have been brought to life by someone else. Gwyneth Paltrow is an anachronistic feminist journalist with no scruples but nice pencil skirts. Angelina Jolie wears an eyepatch. Why not?
It's a thrill ride, definitely fun to watch, and not depressing, unless your existential angst goes very deep.
Have fun not thinking about Obama for a couple hours.
P.S. Or, if you'd rather see a really good movie that isn't necessarily rah rah, you could take the hint embedded above in the mention of Barry Pepper. The link is to The Snow Walker. It's also uplifting, but not like a story about the Bugatti Veyron. More like, "We really are all in this together, and not all of us are going to make it through to the other side." Is that a downer?
Maybe. But not to me.
who got it from Jonah Goldberg. I have nothing to add.
. Here's the thing. Everybody -- and I do mean everybody --
that Obama is a disaster. Think about it. Everything he has done has
made everything worse. Without exception. He spends close to a trillion
dollars on a stimulus that stimulates nothing but government jobs and, oh yeah, cataclysmic debt.
Unemployment has hit a seemingly permanent high we haven't seen since
Jimmy Carter. He passes a healthcare bill so expensive and
bureaucracy-laden that a year later people still don't know what's in
it, except that everyone with lobbying clout (remember, there would be
no lobbyists in this administration) is seeking a waiver to bail the
hell out of it. His first foreign policy initiative was to run around
the world apologizing to everyone in sight about how horrible America
is, especially to muslims, who can't possibly be behind the
terror attacks that bear only muslim fingerprints. Result? All the
muslim nations in the middle east are in meltdown because the American
cop has quit walking his beat. He bows out of any involvement in Iraqi
politics, after the victory was won, and sits as a bystander while
sectarian divisions paralyze a people yearning for a clear way forward.
He off-handedly ramps up the war in Afghanistan without articulating
any definition of victory, single-handedly bringing about the quagmire
most feared by his own political base. He handles this problem by not saying a word about it ever, not even through his omniscient teleprompter. His domestic budget doesn't even
exist, and he wants no part of the discussion. He commits American
troops to a Keystone Kops miltary adventure in Libya, ignoring what
everyone who has worked with Europeans has known for decades -- they
don't want any responsibility, can't take orders from one another, and
absolutely rely on America to run things and save the day, which can't
happen this time because the American president is too busy with
brackets and posh
excursions on Air Force One to buckle down and do his fucking job.
Everybody knows this. Democrats in the Senate are sending him letters begging for guidance on the budget crisis. The general populace is mystified and scared about skyrocketing gas prices and vague threats of nuclear contamination from Japan, a longtime ally that has suddenly been plunged into near-apocalyptic crisis at a time when no one can afford the collapse of the world's third largest economy. About which he is mostly silent, except for the supposedly reassuring photo ops of him playing soccer with schoolkids in Brazil. And does anybody remember that he shut down oil-drilling in the gulf in defiance of court orders to the contrary and has absolutely no policy for developing our own national resources in the areas of oil, refineries, natural gas, and coal, except to shut them down and pray for wind farms, solar panels, and electric cars nobody wants or can afford? All while intimating at every turn that opposition to his bizarre agenda is somehow, however obscurely, racist in intent.
He's a clown. But that's not even the real problem. We've survived bad presidents before. The real problem is that the MSM machine which elected him is still unwilling to tell the truth about a bad president. Last night, ABC News led its nightly news broadcast with twelve minutes about Elizabeth Taylor. Really? There was nothing more important and dire than that to talk about? Elsewhere, Kirsten Powers is still defending Obama on Hannity ("I can't see anyone who can beat Obama," she said with a straight face), Andrea Mitchell is proposing an inane "Obama Doctrine" intended to make sense where none exists of his foreign policy, media watcher Howard Kurtz is just now starting to wonder whether the MSM should be, perhaps, a mite more skeptical of the Libyan comedy, and Brian Williams is making unapologetic excuses for the president's "Let's get the hell out of the Oval Office" approach to the most important job on the planet.
We've already seen that the conservative
elites have no stomach for taking on the president. How long can
this farce go on? It reminds me of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, when
the whole country was frozen in place for more than a year by a
set of talking points based on the idea that "everybody lies about
sex." It was during that time, don't forget, that the preparations for
9/11 got underway with no one to monitor or stop the gathering threat.
Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. It's potentially a stake in the heart of the nation. We're not in a business-as-usual mode. We're in freefall in every possible arena. Talking about this as if it were business as usual is every bit as criminally negligent as having elected an unvetted state legislator to the presidency in the first place.
We got sold a turkey, never mind how. It's time we started recognizing the error and making sure we correct it before it's too late.
God damn all the whores who are deliberately turning a blind eye to the biggest electoral mistake we have ever made in this country.
. Mrs. CP is supposed to be the sensible one in
this household. Normally she is. Like when we go to Petsmart to spend
our weekly king's ransom on dogfood, catfood, birdseed, etc, she won't
let me even walk by the cats in the Pet Rescue booth. (I do anyway.)
But on Friday she called me to say she'd seen a cat at Petsmart she had
to have. We have four dogs and three cats, and the deerhound is still
just one year old, a handful more demanding than a human infant,
because he's one and one
hundred pounds of trouble. What can you say? "Sure."
We went and got him on Sunday. After all the calls. Cat rescue people are, well, anxious and hyper. They had it in mind that this new boy might be too much for us to manage. He's an "alpha male," they said. He might attack and maul our other cats because he's such a bad dude in the cat universe. Mrs. CP knew how to handle it, which is good because all my instincts were (as usual) wrong. I'd have told them that our Bengal Izzie could kick his ass with one hand tied behind her back, and our feral Mickey is so huge he could simply sit on an an "alpha male" and forget about him. Which doesn't even address the real issue, meaning Raebert, who continues to think cats are mysteriously mobile toys, still unaware that one tap of his gigantic paw can send a cat to the hospital. Izzie doesn't care because she's Izzie, friend of Psmith and becoming friend of Raebert...
Mrs. CP just told them she could take care of it. Adoption approved. So on Sunday I spent the longest eighteen hours of my life in the sixty minutes it took to complete the paperwork in that claustrophobic booth and get the new boy into the carrier and into the car. (Occasionally, even the most enlightened male understands why so many men tune all women out completely. Jesus. Do they NEVER shut up?) His foster mom was worried that the 50 miles we had to drive to get him home would be too much for him. He meowed exactly three times en route. I think he was as glad as I was to get out of that place where all those women, in an incredibly confined space, were talking over each other continuously like lunatics. Never been asked the same questions so many times with no comprehension or memory of the answers. Enough said.
Guess what. He is an alpha male. Alpha plus. He doesn't need to kick ass. His thing? He's completely unafraid. Mickey stalked him, Izzie did her scary, warbling danger voice, and Raebert did his "Wow, a new toy I can paw and boot around." What did this guy do? Nothing. No retreat. No threat displays. He just sat there, plainly saying, "I am Elliott." The perfect answer. Meaning he was utterly unimpressed by any possibility of harm.
And meaning that Mrs. CP knows what she's doing when she bonds with a cat in a nanosecond through a plexiglass window at Petsmart. She just knew. Instantaneously. Maybe I'll learn how to fully appreciate this women before I die, but it's going to take some time. A lot of time.
Some key facts about Elliott. He's supposedly an orange tabby. He isn't. Anyone can see he's a blond cat, just like his new daddy. He knows his name, which came with him, and he responds to it just like a dog, coming at a trot from wherever he is. There's a lot more to him than dignity. He likes to play with all the toys, he will sleep with his head on your hand, and he investigates absolutely everything with a kind of patient resolve.
Truth. I sat up with him all night the first night. He didn't want me to go to bed. He knew he was home at last, and his whole attitude was, "I've been waiting and waiting, and now here you are."
The missus and I are still getting used to his implacable calm. Raebert paws him and he simply bats lightly at the paws. Incredible because Raebert's affectionate pawings still hurt me.
I know I've talked a lot about dogs and cats here over the years. I've never suggested that Instapunk.com needed a mascot. But maybe Elliott should be our mascot. Did I mention that Elliott is slightly lame? A hind leg that might have been broken in the past. Who knows what rescues endure before they fall into human hands? But I put it to you: Isn't this guy the essence of us? Standing there, calm and observant, somehow immune to the onslaught. Too cool to get violent. Too confident of his own destiny to let temporal provocations get in the way of his enjoyment of life.
Well. No pressure. We don't really need a mascot at Instapunk.com. But I'm sure those of you who don't hate cats will extend a warm welcome to our newest boy. His name is Elliott.
. For the last half of her life, she became a
totem for gay men. But that's not how it began. She was an
extraordinary actress and a great great beauty. Mrs. CP urges you to
take another look at Raintree County
and A Place in the Sun
(Dreiser's American Tragedy).
No two ways about it. She was just
Whereas I remain enthralled by her promise in National Velvet.
No, nothing creepy about it. I'm old enough to see her in that movie as
a daughter -- and heartbroken to think that all her talent and beauty
would lead her to so much internationally celebrated unhappiness. Her
real husband was Mike Todd. He died in a plane crash. I don't
think she ever got over that. Why I prefer to forget about all the
soap operas with Richard Burton, Cleopatra,
infatuation, and so forth. It doesn't matter. She had violet eyes.
I also thought she was magnificent as Rebecca in Ivanhoe.
Oh well. She left her mark. She is immortal. She was a star. I hope she
has found peace.
again, mes amis. I am once again so
happy to meet you here, by invitation of the Punks. My good grief.
There is so many things in the world going on it is enough as to
make my head spin! In fact, the number of things that happen in the
events is so large, it is difficult to make the decision on which is
the best topic to start on. However, I know it is in the spirit of The
Punks to fight a challenge. Therefore, I accept and will do a good job.
So, sans plus adieu, I will
Anyfell Season in Review - I make a promise back in the preseasonings that I will follow this anyfell season all the way. And I keep this promise. Even though I do not write about it until now. This is because I must drink while I watch the anyfell, and while I drink I soon feel the bite of nostalgic and I go to the computer and start watching old clips of my Quebec Nordiques. But still I take a notes and can present a review to you so I do not break my promises.
So I think that the Green Way Packers win all of the Superbowls despite that I am still many confuse about how they get to that game. There is the university minor league of the anyfell, called I think the NAACP, and it has what they call the BCS system. They play about one thousand Superbowls for some reason instead of make only six or eight teams have the playoff, and all of this Superbowls are spread in a time of four months. In start there are twenty four games to play every day and the number is smaller and smaller until, in the month number four, they play this last game alone very late at night. I think it is only that I am Canadian so I do not have l'comprehension about this idea, but to me it seems if you have one thousand Superbowl games it will make the experience feel not as excite. Also the team they say is university champion of the NAACP is made cheap because they did not have to fight in a playoff and only are include in the champion bowl because Tony Kornholer and a computer vote for them. And yet I must make the defend for the hockey when a critics say the anyshell playoffs are too long?
But anyway, the anyfell playoffs start during the BCS superbowls until there is one last superbowl after the university superbowl championship bowl. So I do not make the confuse, I will call this last anyfell game the Big Superbowl. This game is won by the Green Way Packer man Rogers who makes a throw of the ball so good, even the man with all the pubic hair flowing from the helmet cannot stop him. And I think there is some of the irony because the Green Ways are from your state of Wisconsin which brings me to...
More strikings - Mes amis, I must be clean with you in this moment. I know so many of you do not like the hockey despite many of my effort to show you how good it is. That means you do not know a lot of news of the hockey and I must make la admission of misleading you. Long times ago I tell you the anyshell has LOCKOUT, NOT STRIKE. Well, I lie about this. Actually, we do have a strike during that time and it is cause by the anyshell union of the players. And every player, even moi, must make the participation in it, even if many player already is OK with their contract. The union says to us: "Le commissaire Gary Bettman is the devil. We must fight him and we win for you 20 million dollars U.S. and pensions for the tropical islands." Instead, I lose my job playing the hockey and never see even one of the million dollars U.S. And the only island I see is for two months when I live some with cousins in Ellesmere Island, where I catch the frost bites.
The problem always in our STRIKE is that the anyshell owners already have even more than 20 million dollars U.S. And they will keep their dollars even if the hockey season is missing. However, the players of the anyshell only will get the dollars U.S. if the season can be occur. And it is not very terror to say to Americans, "Give monies to us or we will take away the hockey!" It is maybe like when you say to a bad guy, "Stop being bad or Barack Obama will have many anger!" No body cares.
These thoughts are in my head when I hear about many other unions that make a protest against Wisconsin. They talk about many teacher and student to make a strike for la solidarité, but I think they are only enjoy to not be in the school. But also I have the curious of how many teachers have the job in Wisconsin and do not want to be in the unions but they do not have the choices? But one good thing comes from this. I mention before I am force to stop my job at the census, but still I am friends with my boss from there as he is so smart about how your government works. We are sad for the end of the census because, like my boss instruct me, the unemployments insurance we get is bad for it does not pay "the livable wage" (what he always names it), but one day he announce to me that we have a new job:
When I first get off the bus from union charter in Winconsin, I think I
have not the right clothes. But then my census boss (he is always so smart), he say to me that
my dress is not import, only the count of my body in the people. Also
think of my mask that it is the strong support of a teevee station
called PBS. They think I dress as a puppet named Homo,
it is le obvious
thing my mask is of Youppi.
like the most about this time in the protesting is the unions
pay for my work in Molson, and addition I get
for vicodin! I have such a gran
time it feels like the
vacation. What I like the worst is that two fat
girls in picture above are many arouse by my support of the PBS Homo
and follow me during this whole time. But there is not
enough Molson in all of this world! I can not believe!
And now the anyfell has a LOCKOUT, NOT STRIKE. I suppose because treasure rookies such as Jamarcass Russel do not make enough money for making zero contribution to team or the sport. HAHAHAHAHA!! Stupid anyfell. I hope all these players also lose the dental insurance. But for truth, I am jealous at the anyfell player union because I know they will get what they want because the fans of anyfell are always so happy to pay more money. I miss playing the hockey.
Other Current Events - Let us see. I think about talking of Libyia. Or Japan. Or maybe the new scandal of the U.S. soldier (who are all guilty with no question anywhere) treating people so badly. But I am already bored with the talk of current events. I want to talk about...
The Hockey - Did you know that the anyshell playoffs start soon? They start so soon. I can not wait. I go ahead now and give you my picks for awards:
Stanley Cup Champions: Montreal Canadians.
Hart Trophy (MVP): Tomas Plekanec (MON)
MVP For Girls: Sidney Mary Crosby (PIT)
Vezina Trophy: Carey Price (MON)
Conn Smythe Trophy: Brian Gionta (MON)
I can go on, but I think you are getting this picture. If you are not a fan of the Habs, you will be so sad during the anyshell playoffs because your team will LOSE. Even the InstaPunk Phylers, which I change my mind about.
Well I have been drinking many Molson while the writting of this post, so as I mention I now only wish to see old clips of my Nordiques. So until next time, my name is...