(by KateDW on flickr)
(I realize this post is a bit out of character for me, but I wasn't originally planning on a post today at all. I just couldn't leave that last post at the top for Christmas. And I'm not even religious.)
The arrival of this trailer has been greeted with the predictable chorus of "Best. Trailer. EVER," statements. Judge for yourself (NSFW for language):
In response, I can only observe that anyone who considers this the Best. Trailer. EVER (in that way), has clearly never experienced the pure bug-fuck insanity of the trailer for Noboru Iguchi's RoboGeisha. If the Kick-Ass trailer is not suitable for all audiences, it is entirely possible that the RoboGeisha trailer is not suitable for any audiences. (It may be tempting to assume that I am simply engaging in a bit of ironic hyperbole here. I'm not.) Watch at your own risk.
Since I obviously messed up by not making that clearer, I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that that's the cow who went on to become Elsie, the symbol of Borden dairy products. Many people assume that Elsie was simply made up by some ad agency, but she was an actual cow, born at the Elmhill Farm in Brookfield, Massachusetts in 1932. Seriously, you can read all about her here.
Nah, I'm just fucking with you.* Of course it's about the young woman. And I will stipulate that the correct answer may be among the three guesses already submitted in the comments by Ms. Erin O'Brien (no doubt from the supportive comfort of her newly acquired Steelcase Sensor desk chair). As such, let's give Ms. O'Brien a day or so to return and select her final one answer. And, of course, everyone else is still encouraged to join in the fun.
"If there’s been a consistent narrative to this year and every other in this decade, it’s that most of us, Bernanke included, have been so easily bamboozled. The men who played us for suckers, whether at Citigroup or Fannie Mae, at the White House or Ted Haggard’s megachurch, are the real movers and shakers of this century’s history so far. That’s why the obvious person of the year is Tiger Woods. His sham beatific image, questioned by almost no one until it collapsed, is nothing if not the farcical reductio ad absurdum of the decade’s flimflams, from the cancerous (the subprime mortgage) to the inane (balloon boy)."
While it would be convenient (from a structural point of view) to be able to tell you that I snapped the phone cam photo below at the clinic today, it actually dates back to a completely different waiting room some months ago. It's been sitting in my phone all this time waiting for me to remember it, and todays' visit provided just that inspiration. So, without further ado, the plushie that only a very specific sort of plushie could love:
Given what's supposed to happen to him, I kind of wonder what he's smiling about. (Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.)
* Yes, I know that to be technically correct, that sentence should have had an opening "<sarcasm>" tag, but that would have broken whatever lame sarcastic rhythm it might have. So, to any HTML geeks out there, deal with it.
** And yes, I know autism is not in any way a laughing matter. However, the fucking idiots like Jenny McCarthy and all the rest of the anti-vaccination mafia (and, by extension, the egregious fools like Oprah and the crew at the Huffington Post who give them credibility by providing a mainstream platform for their toxic lies) deserve all of the ridicule we can manage to muster. They have the completely unnecessary deaths of children (and others) on their heads.
In about a half hour of figuring out how it worked, I came up wth this:
Maybe I'm just easily amused (actually I know I'm easily amused), but this is really pretty cool. (And the fact that you can do stuff like this entirely on a cell phone is kind of amazing.)
And oh yeah, fuck Joe Lieberman.
Are budding photographers and illustrators now regularly taught that art directors select freelancers based on the incomprehensibility (and Flash-ladeness) of their site's GUI?
Balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy. Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy; balloon boy; balloon boy; balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy.
Balloon boy:"Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy. Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy."Balloon boy!
(Somewhere along the way, I seem to have lost track of the source of this. If anyone involved ever manages to find their way here, let me know. I'll make it right.)
The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the “why” out of the equation — as in “why would I want this?” The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I don't want one of these new fangled devices.In the Wall St. Journal Market Watch on March 28, 2007, Mr. Dvorak wrote:
Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone... what Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it's smart it will call the iPhone a "reference design" and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else's marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures... Otherwise I'd advise you to cover your eyes. You're not going to like what you'll see.Mr. Dvorak has won a number of awards for technology journalism, including the Computer Press Association Best Columnist and Best Column awards, the American Business Editors Association's national gold awards for best online columns of 2003 and 2004, and the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in 2001.
Another perspective on those "new fangled devices" is provided by the inimitable Erin O'Brien. And, along those same lines, there's this.
Although it gets repetitive pretty quickly, you absolutely must stick with it to the very last second.
(via Danny Choo)
Maybe more tomorrow, but in the meantime, here are a couple of spreads from his hugely influential book Cowboy Kate & Other Stories from 1965.
And what the heck, their borderline disturbing video for St. Vincent's Actor Out of Work
If you like these as much as I do, you might want to watch the much better quality versions on the Terri Timely web site:
Actor Out of Work
Terri Timely is the directing team of Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasy. As rather bizarre coincidence would have it, I had been planning to post a particular music video today, but when I encountered the absolutely delightful commercial below over on Notcot, I decided to post it instead. It was only in doing a little research on Terri Timely that I discovered that they were also the directors of the music video I'd planned to post.
Anyway, here's The Office of Eden.
Tomorrow, the music video.
An Open Letter to the Terminator Owners. From a Very Important Hollywood MogulI'm not sure that this would be quite as cool as another season of Firefly (and I'm kind of disappointed about the "no musical" thing), but it's bound to be better than pretty much anything anyone else reported to be in the running would come up with. So, to Halcyon I say, it looks to me like an offer you can't (or, at least, shouldn't) refuse.
I am Joss Whedon, the mastermind behind Titan A.E., Parenthood (not the movie) (or the new series) (or the one where 'hood' was capitalized 'cause it was a pun), and myriad other legendary tales. I have heard through the 'grapevine' that the Terminator franchise is for sale, and I am prepared to make a pre-emptive bid RIGHT NOW to wrap this dealio up. This is not a joke, this is not a scam, this is not available on TV. I will write a check TODAY for $10,000, and viola! Terminator off your hands.
No, you didn't miscount. That's four — FOUR! — zeroes after that one. That's to show you I mean business. And I mean show business. Nikki Finke says the Terminator concept is played. Well, here's what I have to say to Nikki Finke: you are a fine journalist and please don't ever notice me. The Terminator story is as formative and important in our culture — and my pretend play — as any I can think of. It's far from over. And before you Terminator-Owners (I have trouble remembering names) rush to cash that sweet cheque, let me give you a taste of what I could do with that franchise:
1) Terminator... of the Rings! Yeah, what if he time-travelled TOO far... back to when there was dragons and wizards? (I think it was the Dark Ages.) Hasta La Vista, Boramir! Cool, huh? "Now you gonna be Gandalf the Red!" RRRRIP! But then he totally helps, because he's a cyborg and he doesn't give a s#&% about the ring — it has no power over him! And he can carry it AND Frodo AND Sam AND f@%& up some orcs while he's doing it. This stuff just comes to me. I mean it. (I will also offer $10,000 for the Lord of the Rings franchise).
2) More Glau. Hey. There's a reason they're called "Summer" movies.
3) Can you say... musical? Well don't. Even I know that's an awful idea.
4) Christian Bale's John Connor will get a throat lozenge. This will also help his Batwork (ten grand for that franchise too, btw.)
5) More porn. John Connor never told Kyle Reese this, but his main objective in going to the past was to get some. What if there's a lot of future-babies that have to be made? Cue wah-wah pedal guitar — and dollar signs!
6) The movies will stop getting less cool.
Okay. There's more — this brain don't quit! (though it has occasionally been fired) — but I think you get my drift. I really believe the Terminator franchise has only begun to plumb the depths of questioning the human condition during awesome stunts, and I'd like to shepherd it through the next phase. The money is there, but more importantly, the heart is there. But more importantly, money. Think about it. End this bloody bidding war before it begins, and put the Terminator in the hands of someone who watched the first one more than any other movie in college, including "Song of Norway" (no current franchise offer).
Sincerely, Joss Whedon.
WASHINGTON — In 2006 and 2007, Goldman Sachs Group peddled more than $40 billion in securities backed by at least 200,000 risky home mortgages, but never told the buyers it was secretly betting that a sharp drop in U.S. housing prices would send the value of those securities plummeting.You should read the whole story, but if you just can't quite find the time, this, from later in the article, should serve as an effective summary (emphasis mine):
Goldman's sales and its clandestine wagers, completed at the brink of the housing market meltdown, enabled the nation's premier investment bank to pass most of its potential losses to others before a flood of mortgage defaults staggered the U.S. and global economies.
McClatchy's inquiry found that Goldman Sachs:
- Bought and converted into high-yield bonds tens of thousands of mortgages from subprime lenders that became the subjects of FBI investigations into whether they'd misled borrowers or exaggerated applicants' incomes to justify making hefty loans.
- Used offshore tax havens to shuffle its mortgage-backed securities to institutions worldwide, including European and Asian banks, often in secret deals run through the Cayman Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean that companies use to bypass U.S. disclosure requirements.
- Has dispatched lawyers across the country to repossess homes from bankrupt or financially struggling individuals, many of whom lacked sufficient credit or income but got subprime mortgages anyway because Wall Street made it easy for them to qualify.
- Was buoyed last fall by key federal bailout decisions, at least two of which involved then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former Goldman chief executive whose staff at Treasury included several other Goldman alumni.The firm benefited when Paulson elected not to save rival Lehman Brothers from collapse, and when he organized a massive rescue of tottering global insurer American International Group while in constant telephone contact with Goldman chief Blankfein. With the Federal Reserve Board's blessing, AIG later used $12.9 billion in taxpayers' dollars to pay off every penny it owed Goldman.
These decisions preserved billions of dollars in value for Goldman's executives and shareholders. For example, Blankfein held 1.6 million shares in the company in September 2008, and he could have lost more than $150 million if his firm had gone bankrupt.
With the help of more than $23 billion in direct and indirect federal aid, Goldman appears to have emerged intact from the economic implosion, limiting its subprime losses to $1.5 billion. By repaying $10 billion in direct federal bailout money — a 23 percent taxpayer return that exceeded federal officials' demand — the firm has escaped tough federal limits on 2009 bonuses to executives of firms that received bailout money.
Goldman announced record earnings in July, and the firm is on course to surpass $50 billion in revenue in 2009 and to pay its employees more than $20 billion in year-end bonuses.
And oh yeah, fuck Joe Leiberman.
“These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.Follow the link above. Look at the pictures.
To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.”
Good News on Wall Street Means… What Exactly?It’s literally amazing to me that our press corps hasn’t yet managed to draw a distinction between good news on Wall Street for companies like Goldman, and good news in reality.
I watched carefully the reporting of the Dow breaking 10,000 the other day and not anywhere did I see a major news organization include a paragraph of the “On the other hand, so fucking what?” sort, one that might point out that unemployment is still at a staggering high, foreclosures are racing along at a terrifying clip, and real people are struggling more than ever. In fact the dichotomy between the economic health of ordinary people and the traditional “market indicators” is not merely a non-story, it is a sort of taboo — unmentionable in major news coverage.
No one mentions here that this is a carrot-and-stick story — the stick being that ordinary people have been robbed of the interest they should be getting in CDs and ordinary bank savings accounts by the various bailout programs and lending guarantees, which have brought the cost of capital down to nothing for the big banks, and punished those people who have been doing the right thing all along by saving. The Fed lends its money to Goldman Sachs and BOFA for free, why does anyone have to pay Grandma a high rate for her CD or her bank savings?
“great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
"Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy. Balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy, balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy balloon boy."
As one might imagine, it's generated a lot of comments along the lines of "OMG, that's so wrong!" But apart from the characters, it's imagery that is so common in movies and, especially, video games (think Call of Duty or any of the Metal Gear Solid series) that it's otherwise hardly worth mentioning.
Ralph Lauren's response? A legal threat, via a DMCA takedown notice to Boing Boing's ISP (which wisely declined, based on the position that this was classic fair use). Cory Doctorow followed up with a post in which he said, in part:
So, to Ralph Lauren, GreenbergTraurig, and PRL Holdings, Inc: sue and be damned. Copyright law doesn't give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:
a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;
b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and
c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.
So yeah, things change. But the one thing that seems to be a given is that no matter what the standard of beauty du jour, there'll always be big bucks in convincing women that they don't quite measure up - unless of course, they'll just buy this product (whatever it happens to be).
Missy said...So, sorry Xeni (I guess).
My biggest LOL of an otherwise crappy day came from the subjective personal pronoun in the first line of your post.
Xeni Jardin has spent a LOT of time trying to quash those damn trans rumors... geesh, why'd you have to get all passive-aggressive?
I just saw one of the most disgusting stories on CNN that I have ever seen: they are actually debating whether or not we should let illegal immigrants die now.
They tell the story of a young man who was brought here by his parents at age 14 and has been working ever since then. He has kidney failure and needs dialysis, which he has been getting as a charity case up until recently. Now they are cutting him off and unless he can find a private clinic that will take him he's in big, big trouble.
The reporter asked him why he should get treatment since he isn't a citizen, (at which point I'm screaming "because he is a human being!") and he showed her his pay stubs going back to when he was 15 --- which showed that he's been paying taxes just like the higher orders.
Then the reporter calmly said, "he has about eleven days and then he'll die." Wolf Blitzer asked the reporter to keep us posted on what happens, so that's good.
It appears that it's now perfectly acceptable to debate whether or not people should die for lack of care in the richest country in the world. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Once a society accepts torture, it's only a matter of time before it drops this pretense about every person being precious entirely. Now we can get down to the nitty gritty and start talking openly and honestly about which people deserve to live and which ones don't.