Thursday, June 17, 2010

Small people got no reason to live

Say what you will about Obama’s handling of the oil spill, that he got BP to put up not only 20 billion for spill-related claims, but 100 million for unemployment compensation in advance is brilliant. Hopefully the deal is structured in such a way that BP can’t split and pawn its debt obligations onto some unprofitable subsidiary, whilst taking the profitable part somewhere else.

Oh, that’s right, BP cares about small people, so they won’t do that. I forgot.

The Republicans have been falling over one another trying to show how much they are on BP’s side in this whole thing. It’s a little puzzling until you remember that the Republican political strategy since 2008 can be summed up in 2 words: Batshit Crazy.

And speaking of batshit crazy, what about the residents of the Gulf, whose feelings about this disaster can pretty much be paraphrased thusly: I can’t believe Obama let the oil companies jeopardize our livelihoods with that dangerous deep water drilling and…you’ve suspended deep water drilling – how dare you! 

Pro-deep water drilling Louisiana Parish President Charlotte Rand has proclaimed to the media that her community is being used to promote the president's agenda.   Shocking!  Except, wait, what is that agenda, again?  Oh, it's energy independence and lower emissions and more green jobs and um, really good things that we all want?  For shame, Mr. President!

Is anyone else getting the feeling that it is not possible for Obama to win? Americans want government to be smaller but do more things. They hate deficit spending but don’t want their (fill in the blank with any government benefit program) to change or run out. They want unfettered capitalism, and they want the government to force private industry hire more people and treat them better. They decry the nanny state, except when they need Washington to come in and clean up the messes that others have made. It reminds me of the old engineers joke: You can have it good, you can have it cheap, you can have it fast. Pick two.

Well, America, you can have a government that is effective at doing what you want them to do, or you can have a Libertarian government that leaves you to fend for yourself. YOU CANNOT HAVE BOTH.

In fact, considering that the Supreme Court has already let it be known where they stand on the whole small people vs. big oil deal, I’m surprised that they haven’t declared that BP’s oil spill is protected free speech, and it is unconstitutional for the government to limit what they spew.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

My bad

I have friends who will go see any dumbass vampire whatever that comes along. I have friends who went fucking apeshit over that ridiculous Harry Potter hoo-hah. I have friends who think nothing of forking over their hard-earned money to watch lame CGI car-monster things blow up other lame CGI things. I know people who just want to watch movies where cars are driven fast and that’s all. I know people who will go to see any comic book-inspired movie, no matter how lame, and will insist that these movies are really, really good, and even that the actors in them should win Academy Awards.

Everyone’s entitled to their own peculiar brand of Crap That They Happen To Like, and I’m no exception. But I take pride in at least knowing that the Crap That I Happen To Like is crap. I don’t try to pretend that it’s not crap. I know it’s crap, but it’s Crap That I Happen To Like, and so leave me alone and let me enjoy my crap and I promise I won’t bore you at some party or in your cubicle by waxing rhapsodic for twenty minutes about how some actor of middling talent has elevated the franchise.

So here’s the Crap That I Happen To Like: Sex and the City. Yup. It’s bona fide crap, but I like it. And, yeah, blah blah blah it was a pretty funny tv series but the movies suck blah blah blah. Believe me, I, unlike the people who think Watchmen wasn’t awful, harbor absolutely no illusions about the level of crapitude that I am endorsing every time I shell out to go see SATC on opening day, or pre-order the latest DVD on Amazon. The scripts are awful, the filmmaking is beyond hacky, the plots are just the worst, and the costumes are, well, they look like they were the product of some kind of dare. I don’t care. Well, of course I wish it were good, but it’s not good, and I’m still going to see it any way.

What I object to, is not any legitimate criticism of any of the above. I could read reviews that complain about the implausibility of the characters’ dialogue and wardrobes all day long and it would not bother me a bit. I would probably agree with them on all of their points, in fact. (Speaking of which - Michael Patrick King, if you are out there somewhere, please – I beg of you – please bring back the series writers for the next one.)

What I object to is the hate. My crap isn’t hurting anyone, and it’s certainly none crappier than most of the other crap out there, so why make it so personal?

Because when reviewers ridicule the aging faces and bodies of the women in the movie, and express disgust at the thought of them having sex, I have to take it personally, because I AM THE SAME AGE AS THEM. I am hanging out there myself, about halfway between Carrie and Samantha, so if the thought of their middle-aged lady parts is grossing you out, then fuck you. You’re a hater, and you’re not even an imaginative one, because it’s the easiest fucking thing in the world to make fun of women who are not as young as the women that you think are hot.

Older women have always been Hollywood’s reliable punching bags, and so it’s no surprise that critics are particularly hostile to movies where the joke is not on us. Normally, when we’re not being mocked for daring to still possess a sex drive, or for having the gall to believe ourselves to be still vital and sensuous, we’re being told to make ourselves invisible, because once the cooch dries up and the skin goes “leathery,” as one reviewer so tactfully put it, then what the fuck are we still hanging around for?

Holy fucking shit, y’all, why do you think so many women happen to like this crap, anyway? Because it means someone cares about us. Because someone still thinks we are worth the bother of making terrible, shallow, mindless crap for. Someone still thinks we are worthy of a hilariously relentless product placement assault. Someone still thinks that there’s a sliver of market that would rather look at a really expensive impractical shoe than a really expensive impractical piece of automobile nonsense. It’s because someone out there knows that for us, “Lawrence of my labia” is way funnier than some pimply young dork fucking an apple pie. I know, hard to believe. But then, you’re not a ridiculous gross old dried-up wrinkly-faced cougar like me.