Now where was I? Oh yeah…
The biggest non oil “Holy Shit, We’re Fucked!” moment: The Supreme Court’s decision in the case of “Citizens United Vs Federal Election Committee” which grants corporations the same rights as individuals and makes it legal for them to pour millions of dollars into elections. And at least one outgoing congressman makes a good case about this leading to a very noxious version of American Fascism! On the plus side, I can retaliate by becoming a corporation myself. Look for me to begin making a public offering on Sadgeekboy Inc later this year.
Most disappointing sequel this year. (And it still would have been disappointing even if we waited just two years for it, let alone Twenty Eight.) “Tron: Legacy”. Yeah, the Daft Punk score kicked oodles of ass. And Olivia Wilde in Latex guarantees I’ll buy the Blu-Ray. (I am a sad geek boy.) But the film spectacle can’t hide all the underdeveloped ideas. The Original “Tron” still feels more visionary than this newer version.
And the “Thank God I hedged my bets” award goes to… Jeff Bridges. Yeah, “Tron: Legacy” was a disappointment. But Bridges was smart enough to jump into a reunion with the Coen Brothers and yank the iconic role of Rooster Cogburn from John Wayne’s cold, dead hands and make it his own. Bonus points to the Coen’s for making the squarest film of their careers and getting away with it. And Hailee Steinfeld for nailing the role of Mattie Ross. She also wins the Destined to have a great career provided she stays the hell away from Lindsey Lohan award.
And the Charles Beaumont award for most effort extended for something that may have barely been worth the effort. The final Health Care reform bill which may be a good starting point but may exhausted the Administration and given the compromises, alienated a chunk of his base. The award is named for the famed “Twilight Zone” writer who once told Harlan Ellison that “Achieving success in Hollywood is like climbing an enormous a mountain of cow shit so that you can pluck that one perfect rose from the top. And you find after you’ve made that hideous ascent, you’ve lost the sense of smell.”
Replace “Success in Hollywood” with “Health Care Reform” and you have the perfect metaphor.
And the “And they call us Stalinists” award goes to… The Texas School board.
The Texas State Board of Education adopted a social studies and history curriculum Friday that amends or waters down the teaching of the civil rights movement, religious freedoms, America’s relationship with the U.N. and hundreds of other items.The new standards were adopted after a final showdown by two 9-5 votes along party lines, after Democrats’ and moderate Republicans’ efforts to delay a final vote failed.
In one of the most significant changes leading up to the vote, the board attempted to water down the rationale for the separation of church and state in a high school government class, pointing out that the words were not in the Constitution and requiring that students compare and contrast the judicial language with the wording in the First Amendment.They also rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D., and agreed to replace Thomas Jefferson as an example of an influential political philosopher in a world history class. They also required students to evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.
If there is a coming Civil War in this country, it won’t be between left and right, it’ll be between smart people and less then smart people who have been manipulated into a rage over the wrong things. It looks like the Crazification Factor is going to get ramped up.
And the “Yeah, I suck but who really gives a shit” award goes to… Michael Steele who besides being a walking gaffe machine has apparently mismanaged the RNC so badly that they are starting the next election cycle twenty million dollars in the hole. Not that it matters since because of “Citizens United”, most candidates can get money from outside groups. Michael Steele is is an amusing but irrelevant sideshow.
The greatest trick that the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that his minions are idiots.
A triumph for those who both ask and tell… The noxious seventeen year old compromise called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was finally repealed by the Senate during the Lame Duck session of Congress. Now Gays and Lesbians are now free to serve openly in the military and be shot at in needless wars just like straight men and women.
The Great White Hope for public transparency…Julian Assange of Wikileaks. Whatever you may think of the man personally (And I’m willing to concede he’s probably at least, a dick in bed.) or his motives, there is no denying that as more governments work harder to clamp down on their information while prying into ours, Wikileaks and organizations like them may become our only line of defense.
If this page takes five minutes to download next week, blame the FCC… The weak sauce “Net Neutrality” rules passed by the FCC last month are far from true Net Neutrality. Make no mistake. This is going to be a long drawn out battle.
Anger towards Obama from the Base. (Undeserved.) The Tax Cut compromise. Yes, it maintains a major structural component of the deficit. And an argument could be made that any stimulus that Obama may have gotten in return could be migrated by future House shenanigans. Having said that, the fault lies the The Senate Dems who pussied out on a vote, scared that the GOP might say bad things about them. The upshot? Less Senate Democrats.
Courage of convictions: Because they work, bitches!
Anger towards Obama from the Base. (Deserved.) Blocking Spain’s attempts to investigate Bush-era torture war was politically gutless, morally reprehensible and given Rep. Darrell Issa’s announcement that he’s holding hearings on “One of the most corrupt administrations” (i.e. Obama’s) shows that it was not worth the effort.
Accountability: Because it works, bitches!
The most accurate tweet of 2010: From William Gibson AKA @GreatDismal: “We’d be living in a William Gibson novel if we all weren’t so busy living in an Upton Sinclair novel.”
Best use of my Netflix streaming account: “Who is Harry Nilsson?” A terrific documentary about the famed singer/songwriter by John Schenifeld that a must for anyone who loves pop music.
“The Bed Sitting Room”. Richard Lester’s long unseen film version of the Spike Mulligan/John Antrobus play about a post Nuclear War great Britain. Watching a group of British subjects trying to cling to their traditions in the face of an annihilated world is at once darkly funny and oddly poignant. It makes one long to live in the Universe where Lester made the definitive film version of “Waiting for Godot” with Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.
“Babylon 5”. The complete series is available for streaming. If the phrase, “I am gray. I stand between the darkness and the light.” raises the hairs on the back of your neck, you know what to do.
The great saving grace of 2010: All of my favorite people on the Twitter.
This is a partial list. If I missed you this time around, my apologizes.
What I want most out of this next year: Survival.