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Archive for February, 2004

Sunset over Springfield.

D’oh! Playmates announces the end of the World of Springfield Simpsons figure line, which should mean more petty cash-in-hand and shelf space in these parts.

Down in the Water.

Good news for big-idea sci-fi fans…Apparently, Darren Aronofsky’s mysterious The Fountain is back from the dead, with Hugh Jackman replacing Brad Pitt. On the other end of the sci-fi scale, Charlize Theron is signed for a live-action Aeon Flux, which I could really see being Tomb Raider-terrible.

Meanwhile, in Room 101.

Nat Hentoff files another dispatch on Guantanamo, and it ain’t pretty. “The authority to unilaterally keep a defendant locked up — conceivably for the rest of his or her life — used to be reserved solely for kings, who could ignore any part of the realm’s legal system. This monarchical power — as I’ve indicated in reporting on the indefinite imprisonment, without charges, of American citizens Yaser Hamdi and Jose Padilla — has been expanded by George W. Bush to include defendants at Guantanamo.

What did Dubya know, and when did he know it?

The Senate Intelligence Committee moves toward subpoenaing Bush for various documents regarding the lead-up to war, documents which the administration has tried to withhold on the grounds of executive privilege. Hmm, I wonder…will the shrill echoes of Dubya’s gay-baiting be enough to mask the whirring of the shredders? Somehow, I doubt it.

Gimli Sells Out.

“[Gollum] never hesitates to exploit a wedge issue, be it Frodo’s trust of Sam or the distribution of lembas bread, and is savage in combat until defeated, at which point he whines endlessly about how unfair it all is.” Salon ruminates on the current political applicability of Lord of the Rings, and notes how John Rhys-Davies, decrying the threat of Muslim civilization, is all the rage on the conservative circuit right now. Tsk, tsk, what would Sallah say?

Fab Four.

Today is Berkeley‘s fourth birthday, and, as you can see, there’s much rejoicing in these parts. Well, y’know, dog rejoicing.

Yet again, Fuzzy Math.

This won’t be news to most people out there, but nevertheless: The Bush White House has been lying about job creation for awhile now. “Over three years, the administration has repeatedly and significantly overstated the government’s fiscal health and the number of jobs the economy would create,” reports Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

“The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre.”

We’ve heard from the pope (sort of) (“It is as it was?” Jesus was a tall blue-eyed white guy?), we’ve heard from Harry Knowles, but now the “real” reviews of The Passion (which I’ll probably see this weekend) are coming in fast, and so far they all say the same thing: Too much violence and gore, too little charity and grace. David Edelstein sums up the emerging consensus view: “This is a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie — The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre — that thinks it’s an act of faith.” And even Roger Ebert, an admirer of the film (and one whom I rarely agree with these days), confesses: “This is the most violent film I have ever seen.” Hoo boy. I was afraid of that. Beware the packs of bloodthirsty bible-thumpers on your way out, y’all.

Hate and No. 28.

So, in an attempt to appease the stark raving Right, Dubya now wants a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Good God, what a colossally stupid idea. Since when did it become “conservative” to encode goofy prejudices into our founding document? And can someone please explain to me what jurisdiction the federal government has over the ecclesiastical institution of marriage anyway? Ridicky-goddamn-diculous. Surely Bush and Rove can find some other way to get out their base besides threatening to tinker with the United States Constitution.

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