Thursday, November 23, 2017

How To Talk About JUSTICE LEAGUE at Thanksgiving

In the time-honored tradition of Thanksgiving, we are going to be faced with the terrible reality that arguments are unavoidable. That like it or now, somebody at the table is going to get offended about something.

So, in order to assist other families in keeping things calm while people hold carving knives in their hands, I'd like to offer some helpful hints in case anybody tries starting a Marvel VS DC debate as they pass the sweet potatoes.

Given how the Justice League movie just came out and is still in theaters, and in direct conflict with the current Thor Ragnarok for possible entertainment post-dinner, it's very likely that somebody is gonna talk smack about the lesser-received DC movie that is just too... grimdark about its own 'Verse.



So let's get this resolved by pointing out these key things:

1) Justice League (JL) isn't as bad as Batman V Superman.

Let's acknowledge the first film in this shared 'Verse was severely flawed. It focused so hard on setting up the Big Fight between Batman (Affleck) and Superman (Cavill) that it didn't do a good enough job fleshing out both characters to show how wrong Batman was to pick a fight against Clark, and how Superman wasn't more public in his need to atone for the damage caused in Man of Steel.  Also, Eisenberg's version of Luthor - while a nice departure from the hamminess of Hackman/Spacey - was too creepy and too smarmy to be taken seriously as an Evil Genius threat. BVS didn't do as good a job it needed to fleshing out the backstory of their being other Metahumans in the 'Verse, just tossing up hints about Diana and about the others without giving better context. Forcing a lot of that exposition into Bruce's Knightmares was heavy-handed at best.

JL went a long way towards cleaning up a lot of that mess. It gave Bruce motivation towards repairing the mistakes he made fighting Clark, and made it clear he knows he was in the wrong. It only gave us one big sequence of "the team fighting each other" element that's expected in superhero team-ups - when the team tries to contain a resurrected Superman - but from then on it focused on the prime threat of Steppenwolf, a New God vanguard for the Big Bad of the DC Universe (DARKSEID).

What Justice League does best is establish solid foundation of a superhero team involving characters that were earlier hard to take seriously - Aquaman in particular becomes the brawling badass he's supposed to be from the comics - or were hard to establish as characters who can helm their own solo projects - future Aquaman and Flash movies should be easy sells to the public.

2) Gal Gadot continues to hit it out of the park as Wonder Woman.

You can even roll with the argument that she's not in this movie enough to make it more enjoyable. There are moments where the filmmakers could have gone off a side tangent to show how Diana as THE Amazonian Princess was becoming a potent symbolic figure to women and girls. Every minute Wonder Woman is on the screen is a minute you're paying attention, not just to the fight scenes but also to the emotional drama.

3) Affleck isn't perfect as Batman/Wayne, but he does nail one key element for the DCU to continue.

Affleck is a bit stiff as Bruce Wayne, not conveying much emotionally as though he's focusing too hard on how direct/professional he tries to be as both a billionaire and Batman.

Something that crops up in JL is how old his version of Wayne is. Granted, mid-40s in this day and age isn't old old, but in superhero years he's getting close to retirement. His post-fight with a revived Superman examined the bruises and scars his already 20-year fight against crime has left him, and the battle against Steppenwolf likely added more. Affleck does convince as a vigilante growing aware of how he's no longer meant for this, yet remaining aware that the War (with Darkseid on the way) isn't over.

This sets up the sequel hook for Bats own movie in this 'Verse, one that's still reportedly delayed by creative conflicts, but one that sets up the possibility of Batman's Final Battle (most likely against a Darkseid-empowered Joker) and paving the way towards Dick Grayson/Robin stepping into the role of Gotham's savior as Nightwing. It all depends on how they work it out (Psst: Warner Bros, get in touch, team me up with Kevin Smith and we'll nail out a Batman flick on this inside of six months).

4) There are genuinely funny bits.

Thanks to Ezra Miller as this 'Verse version of Flash - a raw rookie to superheroing, literally taking his first steps even though he can go as fast as lightning - there is humor aplenty from his actions and reactions. Speedsters are popular characters in superhero films - just look at the two different Quicksilvers for Marvel and X-men - in that they play with slow-motion effects with charm and child-like wonder. Flash is the same way: Watching him pull off simple things with just a touch of a finger at super-speed gets the audience laughing. And the bit where Flash rushes in to fight a revived and angry Supes - only to see Clark turn his attention on him at the same speed he is, highlighting how Superman is canonically as fast as the Flash - got some of the biggest laughs with the audience I was with.

5) It makes me miss City of Heroes all that much more.

Oh, sorry, this is me. Let's continue.

6) If you can't convince the others around the table about the merits of the Justice League movie, at least point out that The Last Jedi is coming out in three weeks (OMG) and that we all need to settle down and wait to go see that as a family/group. That should resolve all matters until later.

Just don't go talking rubbish about Hawk The Slayer.


Update: I kid you not! I did talk to my sister-in-law about Justice League today! I was right!

Pagan Turkey Sacrifice Day 2017

Before we all get into Black Friday before chasing after our Saturnalia dreams, we need to perform the ritualistic slaughter of turkeys to appease our Gods!

And so, let us look back on the greatest performance of the ritual in modern American history!

WKRP'S "Turkeys Away" An Oral History

Appease the Gods!!!!

Also, a clip:


Monday, November 20, 2017

This Place Has Gotten The Better of Me: November 20, 2017

So I've been dealing with THIS particular bullshit since morning:



Appearing on a CNN panel of Trump voters Monday morning, (pest control company owner) Mark Lee claimed that the president is standing up for the "little guy" and that no amount of negative press will change his mind.
"If Jesus Christ gets down off the cross and told me Trump is with Russia, I would tell him, 'Hold on a second. I need to check with the president if it's true,'" Lee said as his fellow panelists reacted with shock.

I've been in a goddamn rage since seeing this.

I know how bad it is. How the trump voter sees the world in a Fox-Not-News induced haze of ignorance that flips reality on its head. That the ill-informed GOP base - buying into the lies of the culture war, selling out for tax cuts to the rich that will kill their own jobs just because they've bought into the trickle-down hype - accept every statement from a confirmed liar as Gospel while the fact-checkers and reporters are demeaned as "fake".

But I've never seen it THIS bad before.

We're at the point the Far Right voters are so into the goddamn Kool Aid that they'll accept the word of a con artist over the WORD OF JESUS (straight off the Cross, for God's sake).

It has come to this.

For 47 years of my life. Me: Sober. Never wanting a drop of alcohol. Barely trying stuff like rum to see what it was like and shaking my head at it. Never understanding the urge or need to get a buzz going with booze in my system.

Well, you broke me, trump voters. You've driven me over the edge. You've FINALLY REALLY DID IT. You got me to say this in all seriousness.

OH GOD I NEED A DRINK.


Now I'm not crazy enough (always sober never sane was my motto. WAS) to go jumping straight into the super-heavy stuff. But I think apple cider has an alcoholic content of five percent, right?

I checked the local Publix. There were several brands but one stood out. ANGRY ORCHARD. Perfect. I WAS IN THAT KIND OF MOOD.


So a toast, to you damn muthafuckas who voted a lying bankrupt con artist into the White House.



Bottoms up.


This is all your fault, trump voters. You blew it up. Damn You. Damn you ALL TO HELL.

YOU WERE ON ACID, CHARLES MANSON

Reports this morning that Charles Manson, worst party crasher in California, passed away. While he had been slated for the death penalty for his involvement in the serial killings he had his "Family" cult commit for him, changes in the legal system in the 1970s altered his terms to life in prison. He'd been up for parole, but it's been obvious over the decades that the fucker's mind was just GONE man.

Lemme bring up Sam Kinison's take on Manson:



Of the people who die that make me feel nostalgic, or lost, or despairing, Manson ain't one of them. I despise mass murderers, so let this one pass while waiting on Henry Kissinger to kick the bucket.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Personal Note: Clermont Comic Con 2017

I hope to see you at the Clermont FL Performing Arts Center this Sunday November 19th!



I shall be selling my wares and crying under the table due to emotional stress. Let's have fun!

You Broke My Heart, Frankie, You Broke My Heart...

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you... for the 2020 General Election, because DAMMIT ALL OUR HEROES ARE DEAD TO US NOW.

As John Cole at Balloon-Juice puts it:

WELL THAT'S JUST FUCKING GREAT

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.
When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.
On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, “We need to rehearse the kiss.” I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’
He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.
I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.
I felt disgusted and violated.

Al Franken's response? Uh, it was meant to be a joke. Which is right up there with the "The Dog Ate My Homework."

Christ.

One thing I wanna make clear: my current ranting against Roy Moore is fueled by two thoughts. One, that son of a bitch as a prosecutor and judge should have known better than to chase after HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS; Two, His running on a Holier-Than-Thou platform is a massive act of hypocrisy and fraud.

With regards to ANY political or business or entertainment figure being a goddamn sexual predator, my stance is the same: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU GUYS THAT YOU HAVE TO GET OFF ON GROPING AND HURTING WOMEN?

I'm not a huge fan of Bill Clinton because of this (if I ever side with him it's strictly on the issues, and because his attackers are worse SOBs). I still kick myself for ever buying into John Edwards as a viable candidate for the Presidency. And trump, GODDAMN YOU 62 MILLION AMERICANS AND PUTIN THAT SHIT IS UNFORGIVABLE.

Part of me worries, really really worries, that even Obama could behave like this. GOD NO PLEASE NO, NOT HIM...

As of right now, no male authority figure from Hollywood to Washington DC to the Vatican are safe from the worst realizations that the men in power are just a bunch of goddamn scuzbuckets.

The only sane solution to all of this is, obviously, VOTING MORE WOMEN INTO ELECTED OFFICE AND HIRING MORE WOMEN AS CEOs.

'Cause right now, I am absolutely terrified we're going to find out that (Insert incredibly popular and well-liked public male figure here) is into Vorarephilia. And that is not a made-up word, BUT PLEASE DON'T LOOK AT THE DICTIONARY OH GOD YOU LOOKED I AM SO SORRY...



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Trespass

So there'd been stories about Roy Moore told around his hometown of how he'd stalk teenage girls at the local shopping mall back in the late 1970s.

When I was branch manager at Centennial Park Library, I had to issue a handful of trespass orders on unruly teens who hung out in the area, hassling library users and stuff.

It's a huge process. You have to call in the cops, file the trespass, file an incident report for the county gov't, and then when the banned person showed up calling the sheriff's office to hurry over and confront the violator about that trespass.

Most of the ones who got trespassed stayed away. There was one who kept violating it but sneaking off - the library was in the middle of a neighborhood, so it was easy - before the cops showed. They finally got him, and enforced the trespass order complete with arresting him and dragging him off in handcuffs.

It turned out they had that teen on more than just trespass. He'd been a suspect in local break-ins and acts of vandalism (there were other things, but I can't verify those charges), bad enough to where they were holding him without bail. The last time I saw the kid, this was 2008 maybe, it was in a courtroom on a preliminary hearing about his charges (I was called in to provide witness. I found out the prosecutor's office had triple-charged the teen on that trespass, so I told them it was just the one charge, but that probably didn't help him considering the more serious stuff he was facing).

I'm rehashing all of this today because of recent news about Senate candidate Roy Moore: how an investigating reporter dug up story after story about how Moore back in 1979 had been banned from a shopping mall because he was there all the time trying to pick up teenage girls (this was when he was in his 30s!). To get banned from any place to where the police were notified and scanning for you is a big fucking deal. That Moore kept doing this - that he kept showing up even after the ban trying to pick up girls - highlights how obsessed he was chasing after them, and how problematic it had to be if a sizable number of witnesses STILL REMEMBER HE DID THIS STUFF 30 YEARS AGO.

Remember, kids: a Sexual Predator does not stop at one victim, or four, or forty. He keeps going until someone actually stops him and he goes to jail. And even then, he'll likely keep trying, because it's all he knows to do.

That he stalked a shopping mall while he was employed as a District Attorney - even after being warned, even after being banned - points to the horrifying truth that Moore could not be trusted to uphold the laws of his state. Moore placed himself above the law.

How easy do you think it is for a bastard like that to place himself above God?

Such trespass should not be accepted by the faithful or skeptic alike. What the hell, Alabama. What the hell, Republicans.

This is insane.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

One More Thought About Those Who Are Defending Roy Moore's Unethical Behavior Towards Teenage Girls

Even space cowboys understood that child molesters rank low on societal norms.


Are you beginning to understand just what you are defending, Republicans?

You are defending a man in Roy Moore who took advantage of teenage girls. A man who is clearly going to the Special Hell they reserve for child molesters, and people who talk at movie theaters.

It's a level of Hell so deep even Satan, trapped in that lake of ice, is gonna look at Roy Moore and say "Damn, son, even *I* didn't fall that far into Hell."

And just remember, Republicans, there's room in Hell for those who side with such false prophets and betrayers of God's Grace.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

This Is the Republican Talking Point Concerning Roy Moore

As of this afternoon, this has been the most common response I've seen on Social Media defending Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore over accusations he stalked and dated HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS while he was in his early-to-mid 30s:



If you're wondering who Eric Dondero is, and if you can't see his Twitter Bio in the bottom left corner, here's a copy of that Bio:

Liberty-Identitarian. Social Darwinist, Rugged Individualist, #MAGA Republican, US Rep Ron Paul '97-03, Travel 25 nations/5 conts, Spk 5 langs, US Navy Vet, FSU

Dondero is one of those hard-core Far Right "Individualist" #MAGA types. Who probably sent a ton of FEMA funds requests after getting flooded out this hurricane season.

Happily advertising himself as a Social Darwinist is pretty much all you need to know about how racist a son-of-a-bitch we're dealing with right off the bat.

This is Dondero's position: He will happily back child molesters into one of the highest offices of the nation all because Democrats are even worse.

Just to clarify, there are roughly 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States as of 2012. The number may well be higher but for the most part it's under one million. Given the overall population for the US is 310 million, that's about 0.002 rounded up, in terms of percentages that's 0.2 Percent of the population. Less Than One Percent.

Meanwhile, there's roughly 96 MILLION registered Democrats across the nation. Not every state lists actual numbers, so we have to extrapolate from the number who self-identify in polling, which is around 31 percent of Americans polled.


Alabama does not list voter registration by party, so at best guess based on the 2016 Generals there were 729,000 who voted for Hillary. There are almost as many Democrats in Alabama as there are sex offenders across all 50 states.

This Dondero fellow is saying he and his partisan side of the aisle will happily accuse 96 MILLION AMERICANS of being WORSE than pedophiles/sex offenders. This sentiment is similar to other Tweeters I've seen online.

Because this is how low the Republican Party has sunk into partisan madness.

They've been told for 40-50-80 years (probably all the way back to FDR) that Democrats were the enemy: A bunch of hippie pot-smoking tree huggers who hate our troops and want to steal everyone's candy under the catch-all nightmare of DREADED SOCIALISM.

This hatred of Democrats, of Libruls and Progressives and Feminazis and Soros-backed Black/Latino street gangs has been hammered in through an increasingly fact-less Right Wing Noise Machine, where their side of GOD GUNS AND TAX CUTS can do wrong and THE HILLARY-OBUMMER CONSPIRACY WILL KILL US ALL.

Rather than concede the likelihood that their Senate candidate in Alabama is an Ephebophile (new word for the day, kids! Now you know what to call those creeps who pop up on your Snapchat) who broke Statutory Rape laws by dating/molesting a 14-YEAR-OLD when Moore was 32, rather than consider Moore's own conflicting excuses as the stories pile up, The Republican and Evangelical faithful would rather let a man they shouldn't ever trust their daughters/granddaugthers with in private get elected to the Senate instead of a Democratic candidate in Doug Jones who just 1) happens to be successful prosecuting the KKK, and 2) not a sex offender.

In only one way can I even understand WHY the Republicans are acting like this: It's because they are stuck on their obsessed mission to pass a tax-cuts bill for their super-rich SuperPAC backers, and their hold on the Senate is tenuous at 52 seats out of 100 (with Pence as tie-breaker). They lose this seat to Jones, they will have only enough wiggle room to lose ONE Republican Senator - because the Democrats are lock-step in opposition to any tax-cuts for the rich - to any upcoming tax bill. Given how not every GOP Senator agrees with what should be cut (moderates like Collins are not on board with eliminating the Estate Tax or giving cuts to those over $1 million in income)  the Hard Right that wants those unpopular cuts will never get that agenda passed. So they NEED Moore - who will gladly sign off on those tax cuts to appease his "Fuck All Those To the Left of Barry Goldwater" mindset - to win at all costs, even at the costs of their own reputations as moralists and Godly Christians.

You always wonder where the Moral Event Horizon is for certain people. How far they will go into that black hole of Total Evil just to destroy everyone else in the process.

Well, we are finding that Moral Event Horizon right now for the Republican Party. They are perfectly willing to cross this line and stand before God and America as Pro-Pedophile.

Goddamn them.

And Goddamn the voters of Alabama if they close their eyes to this and vote for a Goddamn Child Molester.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Indefensible

Sickening.

Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.
It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing...
Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.
“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Just to note, the age of consent in Alabama was and still is sixteen. Leigh Corfman was fourteen when this started. No matter how you excuse this, it was... it IS statutory rape.

And Moore was a district attorney at the time. HE'S SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE LAW. HE'S SUPPOSED TO UPHOLD IT.

Two of Corfman’s childhood friends say she told them at the time that she was seeing an older man, and one says Corfman identified the man as Moore. Wells says her daughter told her about the encounter more than a decade later, as Moore was becoming more prominent as a local judge.
Aside from Corfman, three other women interviewed by The Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s, episodes they say they found flattering at the time, but troubling as they got older. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.

Moore may not have forced them, but he went after them sexually. An older man, chasing after HIGH SCHOOL AGE GIRLS.

Wendy Miller says she was 14 and working as a Santa’s helper at the Gadsden Mall when Moore first approached her, and 16 when he asked her on dates, which her mother forbade. Debbie Wesson Gibson says she was 17 when Moore spoke to her high school civics class and asked her out on the first of several dates that did not progress beyond kissing. Gloria Thacker Deason says she was an 18-year-old cheerleader when Moore began taking her on dates that included bottles of Mateus Rosé wine. The legal drinking age in Alabama was 19.
Of the four women, the youngest at the time was Corfman, who is the only one who says she had sexual contact with Moore that went beyond kissing. She says they did not have intercourse...

I actually started writing this blog entry last night, but I've been so enraged by this story and the expanding revelations that it's taking me this long to compose myself to compose this.

And before any of you lot jump on me for being a Bill Clinton fan considering all the sexist shit he's pulled, I have condemned Bill's sexual dalliances as folly and wrongheaded. And for all the accusations aimed at him - especially a possible rape allegation that has some teeth to it - Clinton's never been a teen stalker (His affair with Lewinsky happened when she was 22).

I have no love for sexual predators. I really have no love for holier-than-thou religious hypocrites who eagerly bash everyone else for being sinful while they themselves commit greater sins.

And in the time it's taken for me to write this out, OF COURSE there are many Republican political figures at the Alabama and National levels who are making the immoral decision to BACK Moore even as these stories threaten to expose more sordid tales.

I came across this on Twitter this afternoon:

Replying to  
I'd rather have a pedophile in office rather than a democrat any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Pedophiles only screw kids while democrats screw everyone.

THIS IS coming from a self-proclaimed arch-conservative (yet proudly) INDEPENDENT VOTER who seems to genuinely think that Democrats are the ultimate scourge of humanity.

THIS is how low the Far Right have sunk. Their hate and disdain for Democrats, progressives, and essentially EVERYBODY NOT IN THEIR CLOSED CIRCLE have gotten them to where they will proudly, eagerly vote in corrupt, contemptible, violent monsters all because they've been taught that Democrats are worse.

This is how trump got into the White House. Enough voters bought the Fox Not-News Narrative of DEMOCRATS BAD that when caught between the choice of A) the corrupt and bankrupted failed businessman with no experience or intellect and who bragged about being a Pussy-Grabber assaulting his own partners' wives or B) the Democratic candidate who just happened to be Hillary Clinton the MOST HATED DEMOCRAT THE REPUBLICANS AND FAR RIGHT EVER HATED SIMPLY BECAUSE SHE EXISTS, they sided with the corrupt and failed bankrupt businessman who SURPRISE SURPRISE is incapable of governance and has been committing impeachable acts in office since Day One (not to mention mismanaging the nation into a chaotic mess that will collapse on itself. It's not a question of IF it's a matter of WHEN).

The Republicans would rather vote in criminals, sexual predators, con artists all because those dark forces offer them the fantasy of power and control, of being lords of the realms rather than the poor unwashed masses they deem parasites.

There may be sexual predators and con artists among the Democratic ranks - Anthony Weiner, John Edwards, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer - but when exposed for their sins they fall out of favor/power and even wind up in jail (save for Clinton, whose predatory nature balanced out with a persona that presented itself as pro-women even as he skirt-chased them). Republican campaigners and voters excuse their monsters - Bill O'Reilly just got his job back even after public exposure of his harassment of women, David Vitter got re-elected after getting caught hiring call girls, Newt Gingrich never goes away after getting caught committing adultery, Mark Sanford may have lost his governorship but South Carolinians voted him to Congress, and for the love of GOD they voted trump - and eagerly push them higher into elected offices or bigger book deals.

This is insane. The Republican Party keeps claiming they are the "Family Values Party" but the only value they see in families is how much they can shred those families into poverty-stricken, emotionally scarred, and physically abused wrecks. Family Values, my ass.

Their ongoing support of a monster like Roy Moore by using twisted interpretations of Biblical teachings is proof the Republican Far Right - self-proclaimed moralists who praise themselves as God's Chosen thumping those Bibles as though they were weapons - are no true Christians. They're just selling another lie about their faith, because they ONLY THING they believe is winning elections and destroying innocent lives.

When I wrote that the Republican Party was dead, this was what I meant. There is no soul here, no empathy or morality or ethical practice that would make a political party work. Just cons and criminals, issuing lie after lie and committing sin after sin, a shambling zombie infecting the nation and the world with their taint.

What the hell, America.

What the hell, Alabama, that you should side with the child rapist to represent you. What the hell.