“The confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for confederate generals. And the white guy is the one who feels like his country is being taken away from him? We’re bringing it on ourselves. And that’s the thing... al Qaeda, ISIS, they’re not shit compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”
Annnnnd... just bought all my clothes for 2015.
For the past four years I shop for clothing only on Black Friday online sales so I can purchase stuff I ordinarily could not afford (Lucky Brand, Banana Republic, etc.) or to get double the amount of stuff I would normally get (American Eagle, iTunes Cards, etc.). Amazing how putting aside $50 a month nets $600 that has buying power of $1000 to $1200 this one time of year.
Unlike the many, many people who profess to despise Black Friday as a blight on the holiday season and humanity in general... I am happy to publicly embrace this celebration of consumerism gone amuck. Not because I have some vendetta against the holidays (or whatever), but because I like to save piles of money.
Not that I would ever step foot in an actual store today.
I prefer the relative safety of my web browser to the madness of full-contact shopping...
Black Friday is also the time that I cash in all the pocket change I save up the rest of the year (so I have even more cash to spend on deals). It always adds up to a lot more than I'd expect...
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO DOLLARS AND SIXTY-SEVEN CENTS?! How do I accumulate that much coinage?
Fair warning... CoinStar does not accept foreign monies (or penis salad buttons) as legal tender...
Annnnnd... now that I've spent all my money, I suppose it's time to get back to work.
So I can earn money for next year.
It's a viscious circle, yo.
I mean, I know he was the bomb in Phantoms, but BATMAN?!?
Look, it's not like I have anything against Ben Affleck. He's a decent actor who has played several parts I've enjoyed, and I think a lot of times the criticism he gets is just because people like to hate on Ben Affleck, not because he deserves it.
He's also really funny, and not above poking fun at himself... or others, which gives him high marks in my book...
But he's NOT Batman.
He doesn't have the gravitas to pull off the Dark Knight.
He doesn't have the suave sophistication to pull off Bruce Wayne.
And it's not that hard to understand.
When playing the part of a man that is supposed to be taken seriously when dressed up as a big bat, the actor doing the job has to be able to ground that character in some sense of reality. He has to have the weight to make you believe that Batman is on the screen. Ben Affleck is not that actor. He's just going to come across as a guy in a suit.
And it's not like there's no precedent to see how this will play out.
Daredevil, which I enjoyed more than most people, has Affleck struggling to make a guy in a relatively "normal" looking vigilante outfit feel real. He never quite pulled it off. You could never get past the fact that it was Ben Affleck gritting his teeth in a red leather suit.
And now he's going to attempt Batman?
Again, this is a guy dressed up as a frickin' BAT.
I'm sure Ben will give it his best shot. I'm sure it won't be truly horrible.
But it's not going to be Batman.
I own thousands of DVD and Blu-Ray discs. This is a consequence of my love for movies and television, and my desire to own those videos I love so I can watch them again whenever I want.
But DVDs and Blu-Rays take up space, and I'm running out of room on my shelf. Now-a-days I am more likely to buy my videos from iTunes to watch on my Apple TV or iPad. Heck... I'm more likely to rent my videos from iTunes to watch on my Apple TV or iPad. But not always. DVDs and Blu-Rays often have supplemental material that enhances my enjoyment of the movie/series, and so I still find myself buying discs of my most favorite movies/series to get all the goodies I can.
Besides, most Blu-Ray movies are available in "combo-packs" which includes a digital copy of the film. This is the best of both worlds, because then I get the supplementary material to watch at home, and the film added to my iTunes account to take with me. Sweet!
But it was a situation too good to last.
Because movie studios stopped offering iTunes codes for the "digital copy" and switched to this stupid fucking "digital locker" scam called "UltraViolet." And, let me tell you, Ultraviolet is one of the biggest fucking turds to ever plague consumers. It's so bad that I categorically refuse to buy any Blu-Ray that has Ultraviolet attached.
The latest casualty? The Dark Knight Rises...
FUCK YOU, WARNER BROS. PICTURES! FUCK YOU UP YOUR GREEDY CORPORATE ASSES!
And so...no $24.96 Blu-Ray for me. I'm instead going to pre-order the iTunes HD "Extras" version for $19.99. I don't know if it contains all the "extras" that are on the Blu-Ray but, as much as I want a physical copy on my shelf, I seriously don't give a fuck. The future is DIGITAL... and if movie studios aren't going to give me what I want, i.e. digital copies in iTunes... NOT shitty "Ultraviolet digital locker"... then the physical disc I covet isn't worth having.
And what's next? iTunes copies of the movie will be "edited for content" and you'll be forced to buy the Blu-Ray Ultraviolet crap if you want to see the entire film? I wouldn't be surprised. Any money-making plan, no matter how fucking insane, seems to be fair game to greedy executives. If movie studios continues this downward slide, I'm not going to "buy" movies at all. There are so many better alternatives to paying a company to fucking shit on you.
What the deuce?
As anybody who has read Blogography for any amount of time already knows, I positively loathe Pat Robertson. The bastard is bat-shit crazy, and regularly says stuff so outrageous that you have to question his sanity. Except I don't question anything. I know he's insane.
He's so insane that I put him at the very top of my "Are You Insane?" self-diagnosis chart back in 2006...
And "crazy" is the least of his sins. In January of this year, I wrote "It's not just that Pat Robertson is a stupid, hypocritical, uncaring, opportunistic, lying piece of shit, it's that he's just plain evil." This was in response to him saying the Haitian people made a pact with the devil in order to end French colonization, and that's why God decided to devastate the country with an earthquake. Like I said, evil. He's right up there with Nancy Grace and Ann Coulter...
Then today something astounding happened.
Pat Robertson took a time out from being an evil lunatic, and actually had a moment of lucidity...
Like I said, what the deuce?
Much like Pat Robertson, I don't condone drug use. I honestly think it leads to more problems than it will ever solve for the vast majority of the population. But, so long as people don't abuse it by driving while high... and so long as they smoke their marijuana in the privacy of their own home where I don't have to inhale it... who gives a shit? Should we really be spending billions of dollars to incarcerate those who would rather get high off pot than drunk off alcohol? If people want to get high and aren't harming anybody else, then they should be able to do that. It's called "freedom."
And who knows? Not only might the legalization of marijuana save us on prison costs... it might also save us tons of money in the "war on drugs." Maybe if people can get legally high, they won't have a need to turn to harsher drugs that are harmful. That would be swell.
And let me tell you... if pot were legal, I'd be buying some right now.
That's about the only way I can deal with the fact that I am actually agreeing with something that Pat Robertson said.
I've misplaced some photo negatives and have spent days trying to find them. All to no avail. They're gone, and I have no clue what happened to them. Needless to say, I'm not in the happiest of moods this Bullet Sunday.
• Translate! For a long, long time I've wanted to provide some kind of translation service on my blog for my non-English reading visitors. But all the options I've found have been kind of cheesy, and didn't work very well. Until now. The lovely people at Google have come up with a brilliant "overlay gadget" that can translate a page into dozens of languages easily. I've added it to my sidebar and it's pretty sweet. If you're interested in adding it to your own site, you can grab the code here.
• Obama! I am sharing a WTF?!? moment with people around the globe now that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. I think it's laughable considering that Obama hasn't really done anything to deserve it and, like many people, feel that it was awarded based not on deed but on intent. Or maybe it was awarded solely for entertainment value. The Nobel Council could have felt that giving Obama the prize would completely freak out Right-Wing America (it's just so easy now-a-days), and wanted a good laugh at their expense. Naturally, total dumbass douchebags like Rush Limbaugh are so fucking stupid that they took the bait hook, line, and sinker... but, much to my shock, one of the more radical Conservatives was smarter about it...
Now, I hate Bill O'Reilly with the fiery passion of a thousand suns... he is an opportunist douchebag who exaggerates, lies, and gleefully divides this nation (all while professing to love it) on a daily basis. He's inflammatory and destructive for no other reason but to keep people angry so he can make a lot of money. I find O'Reilly reprehensible in a way I find ALL political extremists reprehensible... on both the Right and the Left. But, for reasons I cannot fathom, O'Reilly took the high road this time and is basically saying "I don't agree that President Obama deserves this award, but having a US President honored with a peace prize is good for America."
Seriously, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Because I am tired of the Extreme Right's constant need for Obama to fail. They would rather see this country go down in flames than for Obama to gain even the smallest amount of political ground. Case in point: The Olympics. When Chicago lost it's bid to host the games, the Extreme Right was nearly orgasmic with joy because Obama had been promoting his home city. They saw it as a "major loss" for Obama, and were celebrating his "failure." Which is about the most astoundingly fucking stupid thing I've ever heard. Obama didn't lose anything... he's still the president. It's not like he got his salary cut because Brazil won the prize. It was Chicago that lost. Illinois lost. America lost. Jobs were lost. We all lost. But the Neocons don't care about any of that, they'd rather Chicago explode than for anything even remotely associated with President Obama to win anything.
To say I don't understand this kind of self-defeating schadenfreude thinking is putting it mildly. Even though I despised President Bush's policies, I never once wished for him to fail (well, except for his second-term election). When he invaded Iraq, it's not like I was thinking "I hope he fails in Iraq!" On the contrary, even though I vehemently disagreed with the war and felt it would be a total failure, I wished Bush nothing but success for the sake of our troops and our country. I felt the same way about Hurricane Katrina. It's not like I was happy Bush's administration was so pathetically incompetent in dealing with the situation... I was mortified. I would have been much, much happier had Bush's people handled the situation so well that the entire country was rallying to congratulate the President on a job well done. Regardless of who is in office, I want these United States of America to do well because I am an American and this is my country.
But, alas, this kind of rational thought here in the USA seems to be over. For eight long years I had hard-core Conservatives telling me that I should "love it or leave it" when I disagreed with President Bush. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, these same people can't take their own advice. Now they consider it "patriotic" not only to disagree with President Obama, but to hope and pray that he fails in everything he does (then laugh their asses off when they perceive even a hint failure on his part). "United we stand, divided we fall" is no longer a rallying cry to seek commonality amongst diversity... it's become a sad harbinger of the future of this nation. We are indeed falling, and I can only hope that we come to our senses before we hit bottom. Watching Bill O'Reilly have a moment of sanity gives me hope.
• Kitty! My adventures with Kitty Spangles Solitaire are well-documented. It's the best solitaire game for the Mac, which is why I was intrigued when Swoop Software announced Kitty Spangles Sudoku. I'm not much of a Sudoku fan, but have to admit they've done a pretty good job of making it work...
If you've got a Mac and like Sudoku, you can download a demo directly from Swoop!
Blargh. I should probably try and get some sleep tonight since I have a very long day tomorrow...
There's nothing quite like being trapped in a room where the television "entertainment" is Live With Regis and Kelly. I had never seen it before, and was shocked... absolutely shocked... at how stupid it is. I have no idea if Kelly Ripa is just acting crazy, or if she's a raging crazy person in real life, but I'm dumbfounded as to why anybody would want to watch this show. After just five minutes I was hoping a fire would break out so I could escape. Unfortunately, I wasn't that lucky.
I managed to write a plea for help on the back of an envelope with a purple crayon, then tried to convince a cat to carry it to the outside world...
Alas, the cat would have none of it*, and so I had to sit there until my name was called.
I don't think I suffered any permanent damage, but I have experienced a few trauma-induced hallucinations where I see Regis Philbin standing over me with a bowl of red Jell-O. I'm not sure what to make of that.
But don't worry about me. Eventually I will be able to put the horror of Live With Regis and Kelly behind me and move on with my life.
Until then, I'm avoiding morning television. And Jell-O.
*The cat, having been exposed to Live With Regis and Kelly every weekday for years, seemed to be afflicted with a kind of psychosis. He wouldn't stop licking himself the entire time I was there... and was still doing so when I passed back through 20 minutes later. "Unclean! Unclean! Unclean! Unclean!"