Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I think Brokeback Mountain is this year's American Beauty -- hugely overpraised, and hardly anyone is going to remember why in a few years. I went in prepared for a let-down, because there's no way it could have lived up to the hype, but boy, what a let down. I'm a little mystified by the effect its having on people. It wasn't even the best beautifully-filmed meditation on longing and regret to come out in 2005 (that would be The New World), let alone in Ang Lee's career (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was better). I didn't feel the passage of time -- Jack and Ennis acted like they were seeing each other every five minutes, not once a year or however long it was. It certainly didn't feel like twenty years passed during the film, no matter how many bad wigs or mustaches the actors sported. Heath Ledger is decent, as is Anne Hathaway, especially during her phone conversation with Ledger near the film's end, but Jake Gyllynhall is hopelessly out of his league when it comes to communicating anything other than blank expressions. But as a supporter of the Homosexualist Agenda, I'm glad it's doing boffo nubers, and I wish it all the success in the world.

I was pleased to see Terence Howard nominated for Hustle and Flow. I went and sasw it by mistake (a friend had reccomended "You, Me and Everyone We Know," and I got the titles mixed up). But it's a great movie (I'm watching it right now), and Howard did a great job. It's probably the only mainstream film I've ever seen in which being a pimp and a drug dealer aren't glamorized. Howard plays a seriously lower-economic-class criminal. It's refreshing.

I hope he wins.

I suspect this is how I'd be at Sundance. From Popbitch...

* Nick Nolte went to the Liz Phair VIP
room wearing a white suit, white top hat
and carrying a cane. He spoke to no-one,
stared at the wall and only moved off a
couch to make a trip to his limo every
twenty minutes or so, each time returning
to the same sofa to stare at the wall.
Looking forward to a new fascism...

Sweeping anti-abortion laws proposed

Jan. 31, 2006 at 9:28AM

Legislators in at least five states are proposing bold anti-abortion measures as the Bush administration reshapes the U.S. Supreme Court, a report said.

With the goal of challenging the Roe vs. Wade ruling that ensured a woman's right to an abortion, lawmakers in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee propose banning all abortions except when the woman's life is in danger, Stateline.org reported.

If enacted, legal experts said the laws would be the first absolute abortion bans since the landmark 1973 ruling.

However, some abortion foes worry that state bans could backfire especially since five pro-Roe justices remain in the Supreme Court.

It's as predictable as the sun rising that lower courts would strike down such state bans, said Americans United for Life Director Clarke Forsythe.

It would be better to pass legislation "that can be enforced," such as parental notification requirements and fetal pain warnings, the constitutional lawyer told the state issues organization.

According to the AP's tally, 19 Democrats voted in favor of cloture -- which is to say, against a filibuster: Daniel Akaka, Max Baucus, Jeff Bingaman, Robert Byrd, Maria Cantwell, Tom Carper, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, Daniel Inouye, Tim Johnson, Herb Kohl, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller and Ken Salazar.

I never liked her anyway.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well, now that I can blog from my cell phone, all my fans can expect more frequent updates. Both of you. I will have to figure out how to eliminate all that Verizon-crap from the bottom of my post, tho.

My first mo-blog!

Some punks decided to vandalize the carport at my apartment. I actually think it's not too bad. And I'm grateful they elected to not spraypaint my new car.

This is what it takes to get me blogging again...

Fairies stop developers' bulldozers in their tracks

By Will Pavia and Chris Windle

VILLAGERS who protested that a new housing estate would “harm the fairies” living in their midst have forced a property company to scrap its building plans and start again.

Marcus Salter, head of Genesis Properties, estimates that the small colony of fairies believed to live beneath a rock in St Fillans, Perthshire, has cost him £15,000. His first notice of the residential sensibilities of the netherworld came as his diggers moved on to a site on the outskirts of the village, which crowns the easterly shore of Loch Earn.

He said: “A neighbour came over shouting, ‘Don’t move that rock. You’ll kill the fa

iries’.” The rock protruded from the centre of a gently shelving field, edged by the steep slopes of Dundurn mountain, where in the sixth century the Celtic missionary St Fillan set up camp and attempted to convert the Picts from the pagan darkness of superstition.

“Then we got a series of phone calls, saying we were disturbing the fairies. I thought they were joking. It didn’t go down very well,” Mr Salter said.

In fact, even as his firm attempted to work around the rock, they received complaints that the fairies would be “upset”. Mr Salter still believed he was dealing with a vocal minority, but the gears of Perthshire’s planning process were about to be clogged by something that looked suspiciously like fairy dust.

“I went to a meeting of the community council and the concerns cropped up there,” he said. The council was considering lodging a complaint with the planning authority, likely to be the kiss of death for a housing development in a national park. Jeannie Fox, council chairman, said: “I do believe in fairies but I can’t be sure that they live under that rock. I had been told that the rock had historic importance, that kings were crowned upon it.” Her main objection to moving the rock was based on the fact that it had stood on the hillside for so long: a sort of MacFeng Shui that many in the village subscribe to.

“There are a lot of superstitions going about up here and people do believe that things like standing stones and large rocks should never be moved,” she said.

Half a mile into Loch Earn is Neish Island. From there the Neish clan set forth to plunder the surrounding country, retreating each time to their island. Early in the 17th century, the MacNabs retaliated from the next valley, carrying a boat over the mountains, storming the island and slaughtering most of the Neishes.

This summer Betty Neish McInnes, the last of that line in St Fillans, went to her grave — but not before she had imparted the ancient Pict significance of the rock to many of her neighbours.

“A lot of people think the rock had some Pictish meaning,” Mrs Fox said. “It would be extremely unlucky to move it.”

Mr Salter did not just want to move the rock. He wanted to dig it up, cart it to the roadside and brand it with the name of his new neighbourhood.

The Planning Inspectorate has no specific guidelines on fairies but a spokesman said: “Planning guidance states that local customs and beliefs must be taken into account when a developer applies for planning permission.” Mr Salter said: “We had to redesign the entire thing from scratch.”

The new estate will now centre on a small park, in the middle of which stands a curious rock. Work begins next month, if the fairies allow.