Video from the red carpet at the premiere. Not my kind of movie, but I'm related to the interviewer. :)


Cover Up on Galveston? And FEMA Fucks Up Again

I evacuated from Houston before Hurricane Ike hit, and I've been watching my local news online ever since. Just saw a news conference with the Governor and Michael Chertoff and FEMA people, and the reporters and local politicians are raising hell. This is what I got out of it:

No one is allowed to fly over the west side of Galveston. The Governor won't say why but he says it's not his responsibility. The local investigative reporter for the station, who was on Galveston through the storm, said yesterday that he wasn't told officially, but the unofficial info he was given indicated that there's a huge number of deaths - he hinted that it's New Orleans all over again. I got the feeling that there's probably bodies floating everywhere. During the news conference, he was giving them hell about it, but they're not releasing any information yet.

FEMA told us the day before the storm that they had trucks in place outside the city full of ice, water, etc. As of right now, 3:30 Sunday, those trucks have not made any deliveries. They are sitting on the edge of town, burning diesel, but not delivering anything. A local senator or congressman, I didn't catch his name, is throwing fits because our first responders have no food or water. He threatened to "pound on" the head of FEMA.

FEMA has buses available on the outskirts of town to evacuate people whose houses are uninhabitable. Those buses have gone back and forth to San Antonio twice - empty.

Typing this on the fly, so apologies for any typos. To watch local Houston news:


New Music

After a long dry spell, lately I've been running across some interesting new music: 

First, believe it or not, is Glen Campbell. His new album is full of covers, but not what you'd expect. He covers Tom Petty, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and others. My favorite so far is the cover of Green Day's "Good Riddance." Couldn't find a video of that song, but you can hear it on his website. And here's a little behind the scenes video from his website.

Next, the new Everlast song. Another unusual cover - Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues".    He's sampled one of his own hits on the song - House of Pain's "Jump Around".  As bizarre as that seems, I think it works really well. I'm not crazy about the video, though:

A better version of the song is on Everlast's MySpace page.

Next up, Alejandro Escovedo's new single, "Always a Friend":

As with the others, there's a better version of the song, sans video, on his website

For those of you still hanging in there with this post, here's the coolest one of all: 
DJ Shantel feat. Orkestar Bobana Markovica - Bucovina Club

My understanding is that this is Serbian Gypsy music as interpreted by a German House DJ.
Here's his website.  And here's another video by Shantel - "Disko Boy"


Before you jump on the Obama Bandwagon...

..take a look at this article from the very-liberal Houston Press. All that legislation that Obama's being given credit for passing in Illinois wasn't really his. From the article:

From that article:

"Then, in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers. The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James "Pate" Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills."


Smoke on the Yangtze

Wow! This is the kind of thing that reminds me how much less interesting life was before the internet.


I knew I didn't trust those Dove ads

..the ones where they try to convince you that they are protesting all the pressures society puts on women to look perfect.

"Part of Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign, this commercial shows a wide-eyed little girl being barraged by ads promising to make a woman "younger, smaller, tighter" and ending with the line, "Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does." It's a compelling 60 seconds that makes a gal want to lather up in gratitude. Unfortunately, Dove is owned by Unilever, which advertises its Axe body spray to men using a lingerie-and-stiletto-clad girl rock band called the Bom Chicka Wah Wahs. What do we tell our daughters about that??"



This is unbelievable. They are selling underage girls as "brides", and it's legal?

Age 14 1/2, $27,995 - "..while she has little direct experience with the opposite sex we have made sure she is aware of everything she needs to know to be a good wife and mother."

Age 16, $49,995 - "She likes parties and has spent more time with boys than we’d have liked her to....She’s a bit fiery but worth it."

Age 16, $5,995 - "Cheyenne has had trouble with unchristian desires... "

Age 15, $29,995 - "She knows God put her on Earth to serve her husband like it says in the Bible and we’ve made sure she knows exactly how to do that."

Age 13, $49,995 - "She got an A in Home Ec. and has read up on what else would be expected of her as a wife and is looking forward to it."

Marry Our Daughter

Update - Whew, it is a joke.


I'm embarrassed by how many I recognized

Fishy Fetish

Sounds fishy to me

This headline ought to get me some traffic. Anyway, this article, which may or not be legit, claims that all Japanese fisherman have sex with...manta rays.

Dept. of the Obvious

Food additives may cause hyperactivity: study | Health | Reuters.com

This is not news to anyone with a brain...


A Star is Born

This is beautiful. Just stunning.

"Abstinence" performed by Robert Breaud

The way he sings "Human Papillomavirus" will drop you to your knees. And then towards the end, he throws in a little gay-bashing, just to make sure you're paying attention.


Things I miss about New York...

...even though this is supposedly in Paris. A group known as Naturally7 starts singing and beatboxing on a subway line full of passengers.


Major Feminist Rant

So there's this article on a UK feminist web site about the evils our patriarchal society thrusts on women. You can read it here. It's the sort of thing that's been surfacing a lot lately - how the media is filled with images of an airbrushed perfection that is impossible for women to obtain in real life, and the horrors of women trying to live up to that standard.

This is all true, but lately, these articles are going completely overboard and simply making the problem worse. They're truly turning it into a Battle of the Sexes.

Personally, I like men. Not boys; not the twits who leer at you as you walk across a parking lot; not the assholes who think that women were put on the earth for the purpose of pleasing males; but actual men who, after all, are simply human beings with different appendages than women.

So I posted a comment that turned into a rant (via StumbleUpon, rather than on the actual site), and after I was finished I decided I should put it here as well, because I said a few things that no none else seems to be saying. Also, because they didn't allow enough room for my full rant. :P

So here it is - let the hate mail begin:
This (article) starts out okay but then veers over the edge. Yes, it's true, society puts completely unrealistic pressures on women to achieve a level of perfection that's simply impossible without artificial help. And it's wrong, and it's making it impossible for men and women to have normal relationships, and it's screwing up a lot of women's lives and destroying their self esteem. And it's making younger women and girls think that the only thing that matters in life is having men find you attractive. And it's indirectly causing a lot of college age women to pull all that Girls Gone Wild crap in an effort to attract men's attention. These things are all true. However:

There's been a lot of similar articles lately decrying the trend of women wanting to be a size zero. Oh, the horrors! Um, hello, people? Size zero of today is what was called a size 8 or so a few years ago. Size zero is not anything close to emaciated, it's just slim and healthy. Size 8 - and I'm going to probably the only person with the balls to say it - the size 8 of today is FAT. Unhealthily fat. I am SO tired of everyone making excuses for not taking responsibility for their own health. You're not curvy, you're fat. Sophia Loren in her heyday was curvy, but you there with your blob of blubber hanging over your low rise jeans - you're not curvy, you're fat. Put the fork down, and go out and get some exercise! The shape your body is in from eating lots of crap and sitting in front of the computer or TV all day is neither healthy NOR attractive. And no matter how much you trash people who DO take care of their health, deep in your heart you know that they look and feel much better than you do. And guess what? If you actually took care of yourself, your self esteem might increase to the point where you didn't feel like you need to take your clothes off for random strangers just to prove to yourself that you're attractive.

And the bit about plastic surgery - oh, please! I am so tired of the myth that women who have plastic surgery should only do it for themselves. WTF? For themselves? Of course it's not for them...what the heck does any women care about breast size or wrinkles? She's not the one who has to look at it. Women (and at the risk of being non-PC, for this rant, I'm speaking only of straight women) don't get boob jobs because they want to stand in front of a mirror and play with their new big boobs, they get them to look more attractive to men. Whether or not that's a bad thing is a whole separate issue, but don't delude yourself into thinking that you're doing it for yourself. You'd be totally at peace with your B cup breasts if it wasn't for knowing that most men like big breasts. You wouldn't care about a few wrinkles if men didn't have a biological preference for young women. Get the surgery if you want, but be honest about why you're doing it. Personally, I've always had more tolerance for someone who said she was getting a boob job "as a birthday present for my husband" than for someone who said it was something she was doing for herself. Those "for my husband" women always seemed to have a lot more self esteem, frankly. I think that being okay with your body the way it is, but understanding that men are visual and wanting to please one particular man that you love, whether its a boob job or face lift or whatever, is a lot healthier than deluding yourself that you're doing it for yourself. And how can it be sexist, when men do a lot of things to improve the way they look to women? True, it's not been pushed to the same extreme, but the basic desire of people to look more attractive to someone they'd like to be with is there in both sexes.

Then the article goes on about how we should all go around with hairy armpits. Um, right. Yeah, that's empowering. The same way men's hairy armpits are empowering. Yep, that's why they make more money than women - it's their hairy armpits. Did you know that there are porn sites specifically devoted to "hippy chicks"? They feature pictures of naked women with hairy armpits. So...do you shave in order to please the majority of men, or not shave in order to turn on the subset of men that find hairy armpits arousing? Personally, I shave because I'm not a big fan of body hair, period. Deal with it.

They also mentioned that the women being interviewed in the article they were referencing had been asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10, and that they had rated themselves a four, and isn't that horrible that they don't have better self esteem. Two thing going on here - first of all, of course they're not going to rate themselves very high; these women are apparently a pop group, and they undoubtedly don't want to appear arrogant. Secondly: how can anyone rate themselves? It is still true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and what one person rates a ten, another might only give a two. If you look like someone's ex-husband, I don't care how hot you think you are, she's only gonna give you a 3 at best.

The basic premise of this article is well intentioned, but they take it to extremes, and all that does is create friction between the sexes. I have said this before - it is possible to both be a feminist AND to like men.

So there it is, with some additions that I didn't have room for in the original post, and now I'm off to shower and shave my legs.