September 25, 2006

A tale for Jessica's birthday

CSI: Log-Walloping Division

Even before getting to the crime scene, Caine knew how it had gone down.

Specifically, he knew what the murder weapon had been - without even seeing the victim. He could feel it in his guts. God damn these maniacs and their logs.

He moved through the trees towards the policemen ringed around the victim, stepping carefully through the brush. He seethed as he ducked under the yellow tape, and moved towards the big guy at the edge of the throng.

"Evening, Captain," said Caine, timing the removal of his $500 sunglasses for that moment. "I didn't peg you for the outdoor type."

The joke fell and died - not that Caine cared. Captain Baker, hard-edged Miami cop and no friend to Caine, barely glanced over. "This is a Miami PD matter, Lieutenant. Nobody's called you."

Caine smouldered. This was HIS case; he knew what had happened. The tips of his red hair quivered with rage. He moved closer to Baker, blocking the man's view of the sheet-covered body on the ground. When he spoke he did his best to keep the fury out of his voice. He'd save that for later.

"I just got one thing for you, Captain," said Caine, not looking directly at Baker, instead focusing his eyes somewhere out on the horizon, which was obscured by all the trees. "You look me in the eyes and tell me there's no evidence of wood or bark residue on that body. You do that, and I'm out of here."

Baker put on his best "bored" look, and it was all Caine could do not to strangle the bastard. Later he'd light up an expensive cigar and peer through the smoke out into the distance.

"Caine, I'll level with you. There IS wood residue. It's all over this girl's body. And there's probably evidence of wood and bark all over ME, too. And on you, and every poor beat cop out here. And you know why?" Now it was Baker's turn to move closer.

"It's because we're standing in the middle of a forest. NOT EVERYBODY IS KILLED WITH A LOG JUST BECAUSE IT'S YOUR SPECIALTY, NUMB-NUTS," spat Baker.

Caine, who in one month would have a mild yet dramatic stroke when an artery in his brain burst during an extended session of seething, gave a small nod to give the impression that he'd expected this sort of answer. Then he allowed a small smile to spread over his face. He hoped it creeped out Baker and all the others who had stopped to look.

So. Business as usual with the Miami PD. Not only was he going to have to find the killer, but he'd also have to prove to everyone that it was no regular crime - this poor girl had been walloped by a log. But GOOD.

The End
Posted by Chris on 09/25/06

September 22, 2006

Black Dahlia

From what I've read about this notorious crime, there's not very much to hang a story on anyway. Even the James Ellroy novel centers not on the victim so much as the two L.A. beat cops who obsess on the case (and each other). There just don't seem to be that many facts to use for a story, despite how the gruesome details seem to suggest there was one.

Of course when you get down to it there are not very many solid details about Jack the Ripper, either, (although the number of victims was higher) and there has been many an entertaining yarn about that case.

So if only they'd taken MORE liberties and made more flights of the fancy with this case. They make a start at this - but only after about 80% of the film was over. And by that time I had FAR too many people to keep up with and was making audible Moe Szyslak "WHAAAA-?" sounds.

There was not even a lot of the DePalma flash and style to distract, either. In "Raising Cain," for instance, it was as if he knew how bad the script was and decided to have as much fun as he could anyway. He even takes us into a wild lesbian bar, complete with fantasy floor show - prime DePalma material - and doesn't linger very long.

The acting - Hillary Swank was far better than I thought she'd be. I don't see what everyone's problem with Josh Hartnett is. But Scarlett Johannsen? Not that anyone cares or it will change a thing, but I have not seen anything I thought she was good in since "Lost in Translation."

For the same kind of story but done much much better, rent "8 MM" and "L.A. Confidential" again for a double feature.

Posted by Chris on 09/22/06

September 19, 2006

Free Mumia with Regular Purchase of $5 or More

TBOGG says something today which has roused me to my keyboard to say AMEN.

There's a protest march in NY today to coincide with a visit by the President, and TBOGG has politely yet firmly asked all those other causes who might wish to throw their lot in with the march - like the stalwart "Free Mumia" crowd or the dedicated college kids who want ANARCHY NOW - to please stay away.

I understand from experience how lame it can be; you're angry enough that you've decided to take to the streets with your fellow citizens, and then you turn around and somebody's holding a MEAT IS MURDER sign right next to you, angry tears streaming down their cheeks.

Well - what are you going to do? Move away from them in the crowd to disassociate yourself? You can, but then you're just standing closer to the STOP USING OIL NOW!!! guys. And bottom line, from a distance, you're just one writhing mass of FREE MUMIA NO OIL GET OUT OF (OR INTO) CUBA NOW BUSH IS HITLER jerks anyway.

Well - as my friend McFall said when I complained of this at a march, nuance is often lost at these things.

Look, I can certainly understand why the disaffected would want the company of others. And I'm not sure there's much to be done. However, I would wish those folk dedicated to Mumia's vindication, or those who demand our immediate invasion of Cuba, or those who demand that all government be replaced with Socialism, would for a moment note that being on message has worked very very well for those in power right now. One, unified message. Would it hurt to have a little unification?

Posted by Chris on 09/19/06

September 15, 2006

The internets provide joy that removes bitterness

Let me wipe away the memory of last night's contempt with some internetual joy:

  • Ami showed me this wonderment: PICASSOHEAD! Now I, too, am a master. Note: maybe take a screenshot of your painting when you are done, as when I tried to save n' send my masterpiece, it was lost.

  • As always, the fabulous site We Make Money Not Art. It makes me wish I was an eccentric artist and inventor.

  • And, thanks to friends Simon and Macy, the most hilarious show I've seen in a while, the kind of thing that makes me want to simply stop trying to be funny: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. When you are done with that clip, watch the entirety of Episode II: Hell Hath Fury.

    Don't just standing there daydreaming about lipstick - go watch it!

    Posted by Chris on 09/15/06

    Thanks for passing along Mr Picassohead, brilliant!

    I love the spacious head room in Darkplace, and Thornton Reed's sudden rifle and cigar continuity errors. Funny stuff indeed.

    Posted by: simon at September 15, 2006 1:46 PM
  • September 14, 2006

    Late night contempt edition

    What a proud day for our country; Dear Leader is doing his best to overturn the substance of the Geneva Convention, which for years has represented a last thin thread of civilized conduct amidst the horrors of war. Despite the fact that people within his own party worked successfully to overturn it, the dilluted message that works its way overseas will be clear - Americans will claim the moral high ground about everything they do, no matter how much the plain facts show we have no right to or don't care anyway.

    I think it's important to put the blame for this where it correctly lies - on we the people. There will always be politicians like Bush and his Neocon controllers, cockroaches who will get away with absolutely every single thing they can. There is nothing uniquely evil about them. But what they have been allowed to do is astounding. I hate generalizations about generations, but I can't believe Americans of just a few decades ago would have stood for this.

    I'm afraid at this point my contempt for some of my fellow countrymen is permanent. Never mind that the polls show Bush is sinking; if it takes people around seven years to come to this conclusion, then their mental capacity is not even that of a child. I almost have more respect for the REAL zombies that stick to their guns and claim everything Dear Leader does is divinely sanctioned.

    Three years ago Johnny Depp was widely criticized for comparing the United States to an aggressive, dumb puppy - but if you take issue with this I challenge you to tell me how we are not.

    Posted by Chris on 09/14/06

    This is the same dear leader who referred to the Constitution as just a "Goddamned piece of paper", remember. (I wonder if anyone bothered to point out that he took an oath to protect that Goddamned piece of paper.)

    Maybe it's part of a grand strategy to destroy the need for the ICC (which our leaders, yet not the majority of Americans, oppose). If it's okay to commit atrocities, why charge anyone with crimes against humanity?

    War is capitalism with the gloves off, and we're better at it than anyone else. These conventions were helpful when we had competition, but now we don't, they're a hindrance. What baffles me about the "spreading democracy" line is this: democracy is the replacement of force with laws, yet we are using force to "spread" it. Cynicism at its finest. Oh wait, there's a game on, never mind...

    Posted by: simon at September 15, 2006 1:27 PM

    More thoughts around the eyebrows

    I think the men in particular have to be very careful with the eyebrows. I am not saying no grooming should be done but much caution is required when you let the women at them.

    A certain demon barber of Fleet Street gleam gets in Wife Ami's eyes when she looks at mine, which are perhaps unkempt but certainly not at Uni- or Romanian Thug levels as she would have me believe. She swears she would only pluck a very little, but I think in her heart (of hearts) she's hoping to make me one of these well-groomed Buffed n' Plucked fellows I see walking around.

    The king Buff n' Pluck is one Mr. Tim McGraw, at least as pictured in the "Flicka" trailer. I am humiliated on his behalf. Is there anything as pathetic as a male country singer that's allowed his eyebrows to be professionally plucked? No one who sings about trucks and dawgs and cheatin' women should ever let themselves go under the tweezer.

    Come on, Tim - stand up to Faith. Just say no.

    Posted by Chris on 09/14/06

    Tim, be a man, have the balls to take off the hat and admit to being bald!

    Posted by: Vickery at September 14, 2006 2:57 PM

    September 13, 2006

    A question for the ladies about the eyebrows

    Assuming that your eyebrows not being there is an accident of grooming, would you not then endeavor as a part of your morning ritual to draw them back in place somewhere very close to where they were originally?

    Of course, you might seek to improve your lot in life a BIT, maybe adjusting for desired thickness and whatnot - but you wouldn't, for instance, re-situate them quite a few inches north, giving you a permanent "arch" expression, would you?

    If I am correct in this, someone inform the girl who just checked me out at the Ralph's. Due to an unfortunate placement of her new brows, she wore an expression of constant surprise. As if she couldn't BELIEVE what you were buying, and just couldn't BELIEVE you intended to pay for that in cash, then couldn't BELIEVE you didn't have the Ralph's card, then couldn't BELIEVE how you wished her a good day.

    And what if it's NOT an accident. My morning toilette consists of four simple steps and even THAT is beyond me sometimes. Imagine if I had to also draw on a basic facial feature every day? I think I'd simply give it a miss some days! You'd have no idea what my emotional state at any given moment was because I'd be missing some vital facial component!

    Posted by Chris on 09/13/06

    Remember how thick and lush my eyebrows used to me? Warning - do not over pluck - they will not grow back. I have to walk through life with a rainbow shaped thin cresent over each eye. It ain't pretty.

    Posted by: Vickery at September 14, 2006 2:57 PM

    September 12, 2006

    "Shut up," he explained.

    Fantastic. From Sadly, No! -

    Matt Lauer: And yet you admitted that there were these CIA secret facilities. OK?

    President Bush: So what? Why is that not within the law?

    Matt Lauer: The head of Amnesty International says secret sites are against international law.

    President Bush: Well, we just disagree with him.

    International and domestic law really is that simple. One can simply... disagree. And presto, you've opted out of the system.

    Posted by Chris on 09/12/06

    September 11, 2006

    The Unloving Camera

    There was another Camera Incident this weekend. And by incident I mean, someone took my picture, and I saw it.

    Now, look - I don't want to turn into one of these "I don't like to have my picture taken" people. But if every time I see a photo of myself I have to have a stiff drink afterwards because my GOD how could my body image be so far removed from what I actually look like - well, maybe it would just be easier to claim that I have some religious objection to it.

    I will clarify to say, I'm not one of these self-loathing people. I may not be the best person I know but I can certainly stand to have me along on a road trip, and I've helped me move on many occasions. But I may have to seriously put a moratorium on this "images of me" thing. Once I saw an extended video of myself and I swear it took me about a week to recover. That's some awkward-looking dorky shit in those pictures.

    When someone is taking a picture of me the camera seems to automatically switch to a SUPER-wide angle, so that my nose and face seem about 20% wider. I appear to have an excess sweat issue. My hair - is a problem. If I am in California when the picture is taken all the worse, because then I stand out in contrast to all the other, more visually-appropriate people.

    It's like every camera that comes near me is a Magical Realism camera from Mexico.

    Posted by Chris on 09/11/06

    This is a common occurance with Cylons and cameras from earth. When Cylons are photographed or visually captured using cameras from earth, it appears as if super wide angle lens ar ebeing used, wheras it's normal when other humans are photographed. In earlier times, the cameras used to function as crude Cylon detectors. We now know your secret!!! you're a frakkin toaster!!!!!!

    Posted by: Rage against the Cylons at September 12, 2006 6:47 AM

    I happen to think you're a good lookin' lad. I'm not just saying that to blow smoke up your ass; cuz you feel bad about how you photograph. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Posted by: klugula at September 12, 2006 6:48 PM

    But remember... Mr. Klugula "plays" for the "other team."

    Catch my drift?

    Chris = ~

    Posted by: Big Fat Brian at September 13, 2006 7:48 AM

    Brian - how dare you sully this warm moment between friends.

    Klug, you are a kind lad. I swear I was not fishing for that compliment, but thanks. As the desert nomads say, may the credit of a thousand PayPal transactions grace your Cafepress store.

    Posted by: Chris at September 13, 2006 1:16 PM

    September 8, 2006

    Pre Hysteria?

    I hope the liberal world, in which I include myself, isn't getting pulled into a vortex of pre-hysteria on ABC's "9/11" miniseries; it definitely SOUNDS like something deserving of a loud cry of foul, but who knows - this could end up being another "Reagans" mini-series that comes and goes.

    There will probably be many, many 9/11 movies to come. And let's not forget that anyone that would take this as solid evidence that Bill Clinton is personally responsible for 9/11 because of Monica Lewinsky - probably already thinks that and cannot be dissuaded with facts or logic.

    Either way Tristero at Hullabaloo has some great thoughts:

    Let's get this straight. I have no doubt that every official dealing with al Qaeda in the Clinton administration wishes they had done at least some, if not many, things very differently. I'm sure each official has his or her personal and profound life-long regrets over their mistakes, "What if I had just done X instead?" In fact, Richard Clarke, to his credit, said as much in his eloquent public apology to the families of the 9/11 victims. It's not partisanship to recognize that the Clinton administration was far from perfect in its hunt for bin Laden. ** That's simple fact that no one disputes.

    But those mistakes, as awful and as dangerous as they turned out to be are in no way is comparable to the willful denial of reality, the inexcusable refusal to listen to warnings, the insane obsession with non-existent threats that characterized the Bush administration in the first nine months of his presidency. Whatever the Clinton era mistakes were, these were not among them and they were (and are) far worse. That, too, is not partisanship. That's simple fact.

    ~ ~ ~

    ** And let's not forget that bin Laden predates Clinton. His grandiose delusions were directly stoked by the failure of Bush I''s Defense Secretary to honor his word to Saudi Arabia - the SecDef was a man named Dick Cheney by the way - and withdraw American troops immediately after Gulf War I.

    Posted by Chris on 09/ 8/06

    September 7, 2006

    Quote of the Day - hell, Quote of the DECADE

    From CNN.

    ...At a watermelon festival in Chickamauga, in the mountains of northwest Georgia, substitute teacher Clydeen Tomanio said she remains committed to the party she's called home for 43 years.

    "There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe George Bush was placed where he is by the Lord," Tomanio said. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a Republican through and through."

    All the kids love it when Miss Clydeen comes in to sub. She doesn't bother with the science quiz and thinks book-learnin' is uppity anyway.

    Posted by Chris on 09/ 7/06

    Thanks for posting this. I was recently going a bit soft, starting to think the Bush supporters were merely duped (as were many non-supporters) by the continued lies and the echoing megaphone media, and not willfully ignorant.

    This person isn't a Republican at all but a Royalist/Monarchist. Monarchs were also placed there by the Lord and received blind support from people who didn't care how they govern. Cripes.

    Posted by: simon at September 12, 2006 9:05 AM

    I agree. I'm starting to think that based on what this sort of person seems willing to turn the clock back on (most civil rights, women's rights, certainly most scientific evidence accumulated in the last century), what they are REALLY after is to go back about 100 years in time. I'm guessing they'd probably be most comfortable under William IV - maybe Victoria.

    Posted by: Chris at September 13, 2006 2:13 PM

    September 1, 2006

    Though the truck be small, it still shall not be had

    Sometimes the truck I won't have with something is not really a big rig - but more of a Ford flatbed. But these must be dealt with as well.

    I will not have a flatbed's worth of truck with:

  • Magazines that advertise exciting articles on their cover and then you can't find it inside. Maybe the actual title is something completely different, and then of course the table of contents itself is often hidden in several ads.

    EDITORS: Please include either the title or the page number of the features right on the cover. I hate to get pedantic with this thing but I've flipped all the way through twice and I'm starting to wonder if you just forgot to include the article.

  • Mixing the date of future releases in with today's listings in the movie times. Note to and whoever else does this: I reside in the third dimension and currently experience Time as a linear, one-way flow. It does me no good to see what movies will be playing in the future when I go to NOW PLAYING.

    There's another section for that, it's called COMING SOON.

    Posted by Chris on 09/ 1/06

    I have no (Tonka-sized) truck when magazines hide the table of contents behind a wealth of glossy ads. I understand the idea is you tour the ads, the way a store with an escalator makes you walk around the floor before going up/down. But why have the ads? You pay a cover price, so why the ad punishment? That'd be like having commercials on cable, when you pay for cable. Unthinkable!

    Posted by: simon at September 1, 2006 6:52 PM