But what they're learning isn't good.
Corrupt them at a young enough age - when they're still developing critical thinking skills - and mold them to a specific way of thinking and presto! A Brave New World.
The fact that a growing number of kids think it's okay for the government to limit free speech is disturbing enough. What worries me isn't that schools aren't doing enough to teach kids about the right to free speech; what worries me is the possibility that schools are actually conditioning kids to believe that limiting free speech is good.
It's time to stop fighting the old fight with people too old to change their minds; we need to be concerned about the fight for the next generation. It's a fight that's already begun. And right now, it's a fight we're losing.
Monday, January 31, 2005
Posted by Benari at 2:02 PM
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Friday, January 28, 2005
"Aw, hell. How much longer is this gonna be? I got to get to a duck hunting thing."
Strange. Some people thought that the Vice President's choice of attire failed to show the proper respect on such a solemn occasion. The supreme irony here is, he doesn't even need to bundle up. Being a cyborg, extreme weather conditions have very little actual effect on the Cheney-bot.
Posted by Benari at 4:43 PM
Thursday, January 27, 2005
...that go great together!
Ringo Starr to become animated superhero 'Spider-Man' creator Stan Lee has
I know there's a lot of important things going on...and there's some other stuff I wanna talk about, but how can I NOT post about this?
partnered with Ringo Starr to turn the former Beatle
into an animated hero.
The man behind the comic books 'Fantastic Four', 'The X-Men' and
'The Hulk', will base his superhero on the personality of
Ringo Starr and Ringo will voice the character.
Although Ringo has been portrayed as a cartoon character
before in The Beatles cartoon and the 'Yellow Submarine' movie, the
only other time he has played himself in a cartoon was he
guest starred in 'The Simpsons'.
"This is going to be one of the most exciting adventures I've had all day"
said Ringo in a statement. "What a terrific opportunity to meet
and work with the great Stan Lee. I'm so excited to become a
'reluctant superhero." "We're in the first stages of creating this soon to
be masterpiece. Adding music to this adventure is something I am also looking
forward to. See you in animation land."
The premiere Purveyor of Wonder teams up with an ex-Beatle to create ... well, we'll see what they come up with, but I for one, oh fearless follower of fun, am looking forward to the first action packed adventure.
And I can't wait for the episode titles:
"With a little help from his friends!"
"Lo, there shall come a Starr!"
"Act Naturally...for justice!"
"Being a hero Don't Come Easy"
And you must take a shot everytime you hear the phrase: "...our hapless hero marches to the beat of his own drum..."
Ringo Starr to become animated superhero
'Spider-Man' creator Stan Lee has
Posted by Benari at 9:58 AM
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
From the AP wires:
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Iran should stay out of Iraq's elections, President Bush
said Wednesday on pan-Arab television.
"Let's be clear, the Iranians should not be in a position to influence the elections," Bush said of Sunday's polls in an interview with the Dubai-based satellite channel Al-Arabiya. His remarks were voiced over in Arabic and translated into English by The Associated Press.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have expressed fears that Iran, a Shiite Muslim-majority state on Iraq's eastern border, is trying to expand its influence through the elections, in which Iraqi Shiites are expected to win the largest number of seats in a transitional national assembly.
Iran has rejected accusations it was trying to influence the elections, saying thatIraqis have made it clear they won't take orders from abroad.
Bush said he does not think the elections will produce a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad.
"The future of Iraq is based on the Iraqi nationality and the Iraqi character and the Iraqi people. There's been a problem between Iran and Iraq for a long time and I am confident that Iraq's people, pride, history and traditions are what the new government will focus on," he said.
Ya hear that, Iran? You're next!!
Posted by Benari at 6:15 PM
Okay, that was a bit of a stretch for a terrible-and-obscure pun. But I amuse myself.
Arnold, the King Governator vs. Arnold Drummond
So, there's an upcoming tv movie based on Gov. Schwarzenegger's run for public office. And I don't think I have a problem with this. Seriously. Politics aside. Absurdity aside. Isn't he living the American Dream?
Flee an oppressive country, land in America, work hard, work out, become Mr. Universe, make an ass-load of money, make some movies, play a kick-ass Barbarian, play a kick-ass robot, play a kick-ass mercenary who kicks the ass of a kick-ass alien, star opposite Danny DeVito in a comedy, do some coke, marry a Kennedy, and become Governor of the most populous state in the Union. Seriously. If that doesn't deserve a made-for-tv movie on A&E, I don't know what does.
PS: Am I the only one who sees the edgy, Yiddish humor of Arnold's last name? It's like TWO racial slurs for the price of ONE!
Posted by Benari at 1:19 PM
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
First off, I must give an "inspired by" credit to Mssr. Rogers' recent blog post on Kung Fu Monkey, as well as to Tim McIntire for starting this Geek Council thread over on the Comedy Studio Kvetch Board.
I suppose this is how blogs and the internet work, where it's a big ol' stew of ideas and collective thinking, constantly inspiring, spring boarding, and feeding off of other e-bits of information and concepts. I apologize in advance for repeating things I have already posted on the Kvetch Board, but I am treating this blog entry as an expansion on a previously discussed topic. It's like a special addition with extended footage. Yes, I am just as passionate about my comic books as I am about politics. No, I don't see a problem with that. Yes, I am a geek.
Okay. Now are we all caught up? Good. Because here's what I want to talk about.
This is Dr. Doom? Dr. Doom. Supreme Monarch of Latveria. Rival to Reed Richards. The guy who stole the Silver Surfer's cosmic power and once kicked the Beyonder's ass. Possibly the baddest baddie of 'em all in the Marvel Universe. And he looks like he got his outfit from the Cooper kiddie's costume store.
Great. ANOTHER Marvel movie where the baddest-ass super-villain around looks like a Power Ranger villain. I don't feel like this really conveys the power and the majesty that is Doom. I mean, I always envisioned that a real-life Dr. Doom would look like he's wearing perhaps a Knight's suit of armor, with some Roman and ancient Japanese flourishes. Something regal, yet threatening. I know they have the whole Darth Vader thing going against them, which isn't their fault, but still. A little thought and creative brainstorming, and they could have come up with an inventive and frightening look.
Spider-Man was still a great movie, despite the Green Goblin looking like a Power Ranger, so I will reserve final judgment until I see the actual movie. But, for now, when I see the movie version of Dr. Doom, all I can envision is this scenario:
"And who are you supposed to be, little boy?"
"I am Doom. I demand candy."
"What an adorable plastic mask."
"Bah! Doom has no use for mere plastic, woman. Doom's METAL mask has been minted by the delicate hands of Tibetan Monks and crafted solely for Doom - for only Doom, alone, is worthy. Melted in the searing heat, shaped by my anger and thirst for vengeance, the fearsome metal that covers my scarred visage weighs heavy upon the head of Doom, with steel colder than Doom's icy heart. Doom is not adorable. Doom is power. Doom is master of his destiny. Doom is - -"
"Would you like a Snickers or a Baby Ruth?"
"Doom prefers the refreshingly creamy caramel and crunchy nuget of a Snickers."
Worry not for Doom and his shabby treatment at the hands of Hollywood infidels. For Doom endures, as he always has. Doom seeks the approval of no man, certainly not some insignificant dweeb with a laptop and a handful of useless links. Doom, ruler of Latveria and Master of all he surveys, scoffs at such plebians. Now leave Doom be, for tonight, Doom broods silently in his castle. And weeps. BAH!
* Above picture by comic book artist extraordinaire, John Byrne.
Posted by Benari at 1:48 PM
Monday, January 24, 2005
Okay. Now that you've all had ample time to discuss the story, I'm ready to throw in my 2 to 10 cents on the subject. I'd also like to point out that I find it hilarious to read the CNN.com caption that simply reads: "SpongeBob lives in a pineapple under the sea." I could not sum up my feelings any better.
Is SpongeBob SquarePants subversively turning kids gay with his wacky antics and his wacko message of tolerance? I think the more important question to ask is, "Why the fuck are Christian Conservative groups cruising the kids' channels looking for hot, young homos?"
Seriously. If you're watching cartoons and you see a talking sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea and your first thought is "That sponge must love cock," you have issues. Every time some whackjob gets a chubby watching a kids' show, suddenly it's everyone else's fault. "Tinky Winky was totally hitting on me! Oh, please Lord, protect my lips from the throbbing, seductive sweetness of Tinky's winky."
Guys who go on "crusades" against fictional characters - who may or may not be gay - are the same guys who chloroform little kids like the creepy dad from "Happiness." These are the kind of guys that, if you came home early one day, you'd find them wearing leather pumps and humping their couches. Despite their holier-than-thou stances and incessant bible-thumping, these guys are really just attention whores and, yes, drama queens.
Let's hope there's a special section in hell reserved for the very specific type of poetic justice that they deserve. Preferably, in a pineapple under the sea.
Incidentally, living in a pineapple under the sea? Totally gay.
Posted by Benari at 6:14 PM
Saturday, January 22, 2005
As the snow piles up outside my apartment, I kind of miss being in school on a day like today. Because it would have meant a snow day. And there is no better feeling on earth than waking up and discovering that you DON'T have to go to school.
I've been waking up knowing that I don't have to go to school for quite some time now...but it's just not the same as the sweet morning surprise of a snow day. That invigorating feeling of waking up, rubbing the sleep from your eyes, peeking out the window, and suddenly discovering that there was indeed a Lord Almighty and by golly, He blessed you with a genuine miracle, Praised be His Name.
Now, a snow day means that I need to dig my car out of a snowbank, shovel out a path for myself, and continue on with my normal daily activities, freezing and shivering in Hoth-like conditions, but without the benefit of having a cool tauntaun. And I don't get the day off. Because I'm NOT in school. And it's Saturday.
Oh, well. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Posted by Benari at 5:37 PM
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Face front, true believers! This entry is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knees! It's a tale of two titans, boisterously battling for their beliefs in a raucous rumble roaring into record books and the awesome annals of austerity.
This is like when your parents fight.
On the one hand, I think it's awesome that Stan "the Man" Lee has won his case against Marvel. Even if Marvel plans to appeal the decision. On the other hand, it's one more way in which my childhood has been tarnished, as I must face the grim reality that Stan may have once called Marvel "the House of Ideas," but in reality, Marvel is nothing more than a corporate-owned entity, intent on turning a profit from my much-beloved characters. Which, of course, is their right. It just sucks when you have to grow up and see things for what they are. All I can do now is sheepishly ask, can I still "Make Mine Marvel?"
Posted by Benari at 5:25 PM
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Thursday, January 13, 2005
From his speech to the National Press Club, Ted Kennedy reminds us that "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
"I categorically reject the deceptive and dangerous claim that the outcome last November was somehow a sweeping, or a modest, or even a miniature mandate for reactionary measures like privatizing Social Security, redistributing the tax burden in the wrong direction, or packing the federal courts with reactionary judges. Those proposals were barely mentioned -- or voted on -- in an election dominated by memories of 9/11, fear of terrorism, the quagmire in Iraq, and relentlessly negative attacks on our Presidential candidate.
"In an election so close, defeat has a thousand causes -- and it is too easy to blame it on particular issues or tactics, or on the larger debate about values. In truth, we do not shrink from that debate.
"There's no doubt we must do a better job of looking within ourselves and speaking out for the principles we believe in, and for the values that are the foundation of our actions. Americans need to hear more, not less, about those values. We were remiss in not talking more directly about them - about the fundamental ideals that guide our progressive policies. In the words of Martin Luther King, "we must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope."
"Unlike the Republican Party, we believe our values unite us as Americans, instead of dividing us. If the White House's idea of bipartisanship is that we have to buy whatever partisan ideas they send us, we're not interested.
"In fact, our values are still our greatest strength. Despite resistance, setbacks, and periods of backlash over the years, our values have moved us closer to the ideal with which America began -- that all people are created equal. And when Democrats say "all," we mean "all."
"We have an Administration that falsely hypes almost every issue as a crisis. They did it on Iraq, and they are doing it now on Social Security. They exploit the politics of fear and division, while ours is a politics of hope and unity.
"In the face of their tactics, we cannot move our party or our nation forward under pale colors and timid voices. We cannot become Republican clones. If we do, we will lose again, and deserve to lose. As I have said on other occasions, the last thing this country needs is two Republican parties."
Posted by Benari at 6:53 PM
Very interesting 8-minute clip.
Prescient parable of portent? Or brilliant viral marketing? Or is it something even more revolutionary?
It's hosted by www.broom.org which links to the Free Net Project website.
However, the clip itself was created by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson. Sloan works for IndTV. INdTV is Al Gore's new media company.
Is this the first strike from Al Gore against a bloated, corporate controlled news media? Is it a clever underground recruitment strategy? Is it a test case for information sharing and customized online marketing? Are we in the Matrix? And if so, does that make Al Gore Morpheus?
There is no spoon ...
Posted by Benari at 11:56 AM
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
So, what's wrong with Howard Dean chairing the DNC?
He was a terrible Presidential candidate. And sure, he's a polarizing public figure. But the DNC chair isn't the president nor is he running for the presidency. Dean has already done that. And while he was terrible at being the short-lived front-runner, he was great at running an insurgency campaign, gaining attention and momentum, and energizing the BASE. Which is something the Dems need right now.
He embraces the Party platform and has worked to build upon it. Which is what the DNC chair should do.
He attracted NEWand YOUNG people to the Democratic Party last year, and he has demonstrated an ability to continue attracting NEW and YOUNG people to the Party. Which is what the DNC chair should do.
He is an extraordinary fundraiser, able to raise huge amounts of small donations from a variety of sources. Which is what the DNC chair should do.
He ran a revolutionary e-campaign, finally bringing the internet to the Dems and getting the message online. Some would say that it should have been done years ago, but he was the guy who stopped talking about it and actually did it. And that is what the DNC chair should do - stop talking and act.
Dean is hardly an outsider. BUT. He does think like an outsider, which is the best of both worlds. A guy who knows the system and knows how to work around the system. He's a centrist who acts like a liberal and knows how to shape his own image, rather than wait for the Republicans to shape his image for him. Why WOULDN'T the Dems want him as the DNC chair? Because he screamed at a rally? Because the Republicans would make fun of them?
Newsflash, hippies: the Republicans hate you. They will make fun of you no matter what you do or who you choose. The GOP controls everything else - do they really need to call the shots for the DNC now, too? And please ... please, don't seriously consider pro-life/anti-abortion Tim Roemer. Anything that further destroys the distinction between the 2 parties will just piss off the base and turn new people off from wanting to join a party that doesn't even want them as members.
Dean has essentially wrecked any chance of himself ever actually holding an elected, public office again ... but he is a high profile, no-nonsense, straight-talking, politcally savvy guy who might just be exactly what the DNC chairman should be right now: a public figure who can take the heat, who's been there/done that, and who can actually generate some sort of excitement and emotion from people who AREN'T political hacks. An insider who walks and talks like an outsider - a player.
I was never a Deaniac. I was a Kerry guy all along who thought Gen. Clark would also have been an excellent choice. I'm a "the right man* for the right job at the right time" sorta guy. Dean wasn't the right man for that job at that time. But this - this might just be the right job for him. And now's definitely the right time.
The Democrats have always been the party of the people - so, let's let the people decide. So far, the establisment has done a pretty piss poor job of choosing chairs ... with their recent track record of failure, maybe can we try it a different way? If it doesn'twork, we can always go back to the safe, status quo choices. But the Dems aren't supposed to be about the status quo - ever. And if the Democratic Party is concerned about shaking up the statu quo, then perhaps that's exactly what we need to do right now - upset the status quo.
*I know, I know. But saying "the right man or woman" or "the right person" just didn't have the right flow. But I'm still sensitive and understanding. And I love the ladies.
Posted by Benari at 9:30 AM
Monday, January 10, 2005
Ya can't see the forrest for the trees if you're standing too close. You need to take a step back to see the big picture. So, take a deep breath and step back ... step forward. Step back. Step forward. And now we're doing the cha-cha. To quote Chris Knight.
So, it began with a nifty little article from Slate explaining the difference between the Reserves and the National Guard. And the article included an interesting link to a recent memo detailing concerns with the current approach to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
Last month, OCAR (Office of the Chief, Army Reserve) sent out a very thought-provoking memo which warns of the dangers of creating a "broken force" should the US continue its current policy of hobbling together its force in a patchwork manner. The current system uses financial incentives to entice "volunteers", creating something more akin to a group of mercenaries, rather than relying on the natural cohesiveness inherent in deploying entire units. In short, current DoD policy favors filling slots with warm bodies rather than experts or specialists. In addition, the "anyone's guess" approach to deployment lengths and mobilization creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and needless stress.
Currently, DoD seems to be taking a short-term look at the war(s) and isn't seeing the big picture. Sometimes, in order to take two steps forward, you need to first take one step back...
Posted by Benari at 9:52 AM
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Well, at least some Democrats have grown a sack and are willing to spotlight voting problems in states such as Ohio, despite the fact that it won't change the outcome of the election.
Maybe - just maybe - this will lead to actual electoral reform. I doubt it, but a fella can dream.
Posted by Benari at 3:33 PM
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
So, I was all set to post about John Rogers - a comic whom I only know through 2 degrees of separation and a guy who has one of the greatest jobs ever - and how his current blog should be mandatory reading for any aspiring writer... but the venerable Tim McIntire has already beaten me to it. So, check out what the good Reverend has to say and then check out John Rogers and his Kung Fu Monkey and get yo'self a little taste o' education and learn yo'self sumthin'.
When we were doing the Geek Council, John Rogers is exactly the kind of ideal panelist we envisioned: funny, experienced, and geek-tacular. The fact that he had a hand in the Catwoman movie is of little consequence to us, since even he had no control over what they finally made. I'm just happy that SOMEONE worthy made some money from it. Plus, he worked on the tv adaptation of Global Frequency and could tell us whether or not Warren Ellis really is a miserable bastard, or if he's a cuddly teddy bear, as I suspect he might actually be.
And for the record, John's screenplay of Mage is awesome and should be made into a movie immediately. Ya hear me, movie producers? IMMEDIATELY!
Posted by Benari at 10:41 AM
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
England hates Israel.
Yeah. I got that already. But seriously. Israel is the worst country out there right now? It's the least deserving of international respect? Seriously? Britons can't think of any other country that might just possibly be worse? Or less democratic? Seriously?
Of the roughly 2,000 British subjects polled, apparently most of them just plain hate Israel. Of course, the mess with the Palestinians in the Middle East is kind of their fault. You know. If you actually look at the history. But why take responsibility for its own failures when Britain can just hate Israel? Oh, those wacky British!
Posted by Benari at 3:44 PM
Comic Book legend Will Eisner has passed away at the age of 87 years old. Newsarama has the details.
Eisner remains one of the most influential creators of all time, impacting all areas of visual design and sequential storytelling. He was a master of his craft and I'm sad that I never had the opportunity to meet him personally. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Ann, and his family, friends, and colleagues.
Posted by Benari at 11:35 AM
And I thought the GOP was all about being tough on crime. Only if it's the crime of being poor, I guess! But if the Majority Leader breaks the law and gets caught - and indicted - well, people make mistakes.
Today they seem to be reversing their initial stance of eradicating the rules. At least the House of Representatives has maintained a little dignity. Sort of. In a way. If you look at it right. And squint.
So, the GOP is backing off their proposed rule change. For those who don't know, the short story is this:
Right after they took control of the House, the GOP passed a set of rules that was tough on House members and forced members who had been indicted to step down from the leadership post. Which was actually a good idea. It was a strong signal that the House was not above the law and could police themselves. So far, so good. Until their own guy broke the law. Now, all of a sudden, the rules are too strict and ill-defined. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that crooked, lying, thieving thugs are running things. As the Times reports, the GOP has once again changed it's tune and they're not going to OVERTLY protect Tom Delay by eliminating the rule. Even though they're still protecting Tom Delay.
Why am I still cynical, despite the fact that public pressure and moral conviction won a small victory this morning? Perhaps it was this telling quote from the spokesman for a pompous and bloated elderly man, as reported by the AP:
"It would have been the right thing to do, but it was becoming a distraction," said John Feehery, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., referring to a relaxation in ethics rules - including one that would make it more difficult to rebuke members whose misconduct doesn't reach the level of specific rule or law violations.
How exactly would it have been the right thing to do? Seriously. What is right about it?
I just can't stand hypocrisy. It's one thing to break the law or to make a mistake or to just simply be wrong. It's another thing to re-write the laws as you go, as if the Constitution were written on an etch-a-sketch.
I have a feeling that we're not far from the day when we see a deranged Tom Delay, tommy gun in hand, perched defiantly atop the roof of the US Capitol shouting, "Top o' the world, Ma!"
Posted by Benari at 9:41 AM
Monday, January 03, 2005
Turns out, it wasn't Sho'nuff, after all. It was Leroy Green.
I say this, because that movie is 20 years old. That's right. Twenty. Years. Old. Berry Gordy's masterpiece, Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon, came out in 1985. I know I have more important things to think about at the dawn of 2005, but perusing this morning's headlines and retrospectives has led me to one conclusion: years are ultimately defined by their movies.
Slate proudly announces "The 13 best Movies of 2004" as their top headline. Because, I presume, that's what the people want.
Disinformation, that bastion of subversive culture, leads off with a profile of experimental theatre, followed by a link to the aforementioned Slate article.
Is this what we've been reduced to? It appears to be a reaction to unhappiness in the world we live in. And so, in the face of mounting discontent in the real world, liberals/subversives/assorted undesirables must escape to the safe haven of fantasy. It happened in the 60s; it happened in the 80s; it's happening now. Music, comedy, satire - these things are getting better, just as other things seem to be getting worse.
If there's a prediction that can be made for 2005, it's most likely going to be a continual increase in artistic output. Rage/anger/energy converted into creative endeavors. It's almost an exponential mathematical equation between social unrest and artistic expression. In crude terms, from shit comes Art.
Anyway, I think we need look no further than 1985 to give us a pretty good indicator of what 2005 holds in store for us. Just take a look at the top grossing movies and you'll get a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. Hell, look at ALL the movies from 1985.
1985. The year that gave us The Breakfast Club, Real Genius, Fletch, and We Are the World.
1985. The year when Marty McFly almost made out with his mom.
1985. The year when a rag-tag band of kids uncovered the treasure of One-Eyed Willy, stopped the bad guys, and saved their town.
1985. The year when John Rambo became our "worst nightmare" and Rocky Balboa avenges Apollo's death - while simultaneously defending America's freedoms - by taking on Ivan Drago. I don't need to tell you that his speech at the end ("...if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!") single-handedly ended the Cold War.
1985. The year when Harrison Ford witnessed Kelly McGillis naked.
It's the 80s all over again and we've gotta get...Back to the Future! Take a good look at what 1985 gave us, and then think about what you can do to take back 2005. And then I'll ask you again. Who is the Master, Leroy?
Posted by Benari at 11:49 AM
Sunday, January 02, 2005
I'm not big into profiles. And by that, I mean I hate writing profiles for myself. You'd think it would be easy. I mean - who knows me better than me? And who would enjoy writing shit about me more than me? No one, that's who. Aye, but here's the rub: I'm indecisive. What shall I include as my favorite movies? Should I include all of them? I mean, I have like my top 5 movies...but those are my top 5 today. That could all change tomorrow. Or maybe I'll forget one. Do I switch some out as my tastes shift from day-to-day? Or do I continue adding to the profile. But then, suddenly, I've listed 100 movies...they can't all be my favorite, can they?! 'Tis a dilemma. For me. I'm sorry that anyone else had to read that.
But, I also feel the narcissistic need to express some aspect(s) of my personality and provide some sort of context for this exercise in futility (that would be this blog). So. An attempt at the conventional profile has been made. I'm sure it will change. Often. Or maybe not. Something to look forward to.
And don't even get me started on music. I'm fanatical over the Beatles. But including the Beatles in my favorite music catagory seems so...so...common. Everyone loves the fucking Beatles. I mean, not as much as me, but still. Of course, I thought I loved the Beatles. Until I met Lukas Haas. He fucking LOVES the Beatles. But that's a story for another time ...
Posted by Benari at 5:04 PM
Work in progress. Nothing to see here. Yet ...
Since no one is reading this just yet, I figure I can proceed at my own pace. But at some point soon, I also figure that I need to offer something unique to this thing they call the in-ter-net. Just what that unique something shall be is yet to be determined. Oh, but it shall be glorius.
Posted by Benari at 10:28 AM
Saturday, January 01, 2005
It's nice to see so many people concerned about the rest of the world. It appears that there is still hope for humanity. That being the case, I, too, encourage everyone to do something good. For people who want to help, there are some great reference sites out there that list important numbers and info regarding the South-East Asian tsunamis.
Help is just a click away.
So, click away!
Posted by Benari at 3:41 PM
Welcome to the first day of the rest of 2005.
Since it's a new day in a new year, I've decided to finally join the e-volution and do up a fancy-schmancy blog. Since all the cool kids seem to be doing it. And I wanna be cool, don't I? Of course I do.
So, next week, I'm sure I'll think this blog was a terrible idea since I don't know what I want to say. But then again, I won't know what I want to say until I've said it.
2 years ago, I was ringing in the New Year in the sweltering heat of Guantanamo Bay (I'd say I was on the right side of the fence, but these days, who can tell anymore). Last year, while I ushered in 2004 in the crowded streets of NYC, my father was enduring the jarring strains of Jay-Z and 50 Cent in the Kuwaiti desert. The hip-hop/gangsta music part was a result of being surrounded by young men and women who desperately needed a little easing of tension. The Kuwaiti desert part was due to a little-known war that happened to be going on. Which also still happens to be going on. I mention this only because I have many friends and colleagues who are scattered throughout the world right now, celebrating the holidays far from their homes, families, friends, and loved ones. And while I appreciate how fortunate I am to be home and to have my father back home, I look forward to the day when everybody's home safe and sound.
Jay-zus H. Keee-riiist, Benari (is what you may be shouting at the monitor right now. Or you may not. It's your world) - why such a downer on New Year's farging Day? Well, I'm getting to my real point.
Which is this: Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year celebration last night. Sans Dick Clark. Millions of lives have been impacted by the tsunamis in South Asia. War is raging in Afghanistan and Iraq. Revolution has gripped the Ukraine. But in the good ol' U.S.of A., our thoughts and prayers were with Dick Clark. Now, clearly, I appreciate Dick Clark's contributions to our pop culture as much as the next red-blooded American citizen. I ain't no Commie. But. Maybe, just maybe...in the big ol' grand scheme of things, MAYBE we should have had a little more perspective on things. I'm just sayin', Dick Clark's failing health, while definitely sad, maybe wasn't the most distressing part of New Year's. Except, to America, it was.
War? Revolt? Natural disaster? Terrible. Wait? What? Dick Clark's not hosting the New Year's Eve spectacular?! NOO!!! Please, no! Please, I'm not a praying man, but please, don't shatter the stable monotony of my New Year's Eve. Please bring Dick Clark a full and healthy recovery so I don't have to ponder the fragile and fleeting nature of my own mortality! Why, if death can stalk even the immortal Dick Clark - Dick Clark, the Eternal; Dick Clark, the Ever-Lasting - if death can take him, then what chance do I have?! Please, Lord, LET DICK CLARK LIVE!!!
At least, that's what I took away from last night's telecast. I just felt vaguely uneasy watching the stars sending Dick awkwardly taped well-wishes, as intro'd by our own Regis Philbin, who must certainly be a member of the Illuminati. Of course, this did lead to my favorite line - and probably the most surreal moment - of the evening. They interviewed an Army Sgt. who had just returned from Iraq and he wished everyone well. Then, they cut back to Regis in the booth, who - without any sense of irony - uttered the following:
"Thank you, and of course, our hearts and prayers are with all those brave men and women in Iraq. Hey, Dick, here's Madonna!"
I think that pretty much sums up our country in a nutshell.
Resolutions (subject to change):
1. I resolve to do something important this year.
2. I resolve to kiss a pretty girl this year, for no other reason than I find her to be pretty.
3. I resolve to make someone laugh this year.
4. I resolve to do something surprising.
5. I resolve to come up with better resolutions next year.
Posted by Benari at 1:58 PM