Sunday, January 31, 2010

Societal Confusion Over Sex

Last night I watched "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, in which Bullock's nasty New York editor character blackmails Reynold's executive assistant character into pretending to be engaged to her so she can avoid deportation. In contemplating the movie afterward I realized that there was a major, glaring hole in the movie--other than the other obvious ones called the plot.

Hollywood is the current champion of free love. They would have us believe that sex is just another past-time like walking the dog or eating chocolate ice cream. They laugh at traditional Christian morality that holds sex to a higher standard. It's as natural as breathing, they would have us think, and there is no reason why anyone shouldn't have sex with anyone under any circumstances, at any time. Love--even familiarity or cordiality--has nothing to do with it.

So why is it that these two characters, while visiting his home, sleep separately? She gets the bed while he gets the floor. These two are going to be pretending to be married for awhile. So why don't they at least share the bed, even if they can't stand each other enough to have sex? It's not like the movie can't go to elaborate, near-Rube-Goldber-ian lengths to get the two to bump into one another stark naked. Why should they have any trouble sharing a bed?

Because this is a romantic comedy. These two character who can't stand one another are destined to fall in love by the end of the movie. Therefore they must NOT under ANY circumstances have sex before they at least realize they are in love. No matter how much Hollywood would like us to think sex and love have nothing to do one another, the viewing audience still cannot separate the two--at least not the female viewing audience, the main consumers of rom-coms.

No, the intended target of this movie still thinks it's romantic that these two obviously are falling for one another, and yet are still denying themselves a little physical gratification. It is sexual tension, not consummation that drives romantic comedies.

The movies just don't work any other way. Can you imagine such a movie about two people who are sleeping together purely for the satisfaction who slowly start to realize they are actually in love? Nope. It doesn't work, does it. The viewing public may have tossed out the notion of saving oneself for marriage, but they can't quite toss out the notion of sex without love.

Oh, I'm sure there may be one or two such movies, but they probably didn't do well, or weren't really romantic comedies.

Perhaps there is hope for America yet.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Obama, the State of the Union, and the Bully Pulpit

Is there anyone Obama didn't attack? He continues to pummel away at the financial sector, as if they weren't a large part of the key to getting the economy back on track. He took a stab at the Supreme Court, eliciting a mouthed "not true" from Justice Alito.

He blasts Washington, seemingly without realizing that he is Washington now. He controls Washington. He took a stab at "climate change deniers" even while the IPCC is falling apart from its own bad science. He took an off-handed swipe at middle-America for not being smart enough to recognize how wonderful his health care reform was. And he sends a warning to Congress members who are starting to think that listening to their constituents instead of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi might be a good idea after all.

He continues to insult our intelligence by promising more of the same, tired "we will go through the budget line by line to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work. We've already identified $20 billion in savings for next year" rhetoric. He spent $700 billion on a questionable Recovery Act, and he expects us to get excited about $20 billion? We're not stupid. We have been paying attention.

Oh yeah, and he takes a stab at the oil companies. Of course there's the obligatory attack on "the right" using staw men and subverted logic. He continues to blame Bush for everything, as expected.

Oh, this was a good line: "Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it's time to try something new. Let's invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let's meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here. Let's try common sense."

In short, he wants to undo the last year of his administration while making it all sound like someone else's fault. He wants to hang on to his horrible ideas for America because that's what he was elected on, regardless of how people feel about his policies now. In short, he's still not listening.

Ah, and of course he punches the lobbyist button. That's like only blaming the drug dealers, Mr. President. It takes politicians who allow themselves to be bought to make lobbying worthwhile. I seem to remember Nancy Pelosi promising to clean up that swamp when the Democrats took over three years ago. You know, the last three years of the eight years that supposedly brought us where we are today? You'd like us to think that you've only had a year to undo the past eight, but the reality is your team was at bat when the problems began. Some could even say you helped cause it.

And why are you so bent on making lobbyists disclose everything when you and your party have not only NOT kept your campaign promise of greater visibility, but actually gone the opposite direction? You promised us no legislation going to a vote without being published online five days before the vote. Secret debates and secret guest lists is what we got. Thousand-page bills voted on after mere hours is what we got. You want to keep your faith with the people who got you there? That's a good place to start. Open sesame, Mr. President!

Another gem: "Now, I am not naïve. I never thought the mere fact of my election would usher in peace, harmony, and some post-partisan era." Really? So that's why you rubbed the Republicans' nose in it with the "We won" Crack? That's how you work to bring about post-partisanship? You let your Congressional leaders exclude the Republicans time and again and call that working toward peace and harmony? No sir, you either expected exactly what you say you didn't, or you simply didn't think you needed the other side's cooperation. Not give up on changing tone? No sir, you have not even begun. Get to work already.

Ah nice, he blames all our cynicism and disappointment on business, media, and lobbyists. The finger always points everywhere but at himself. It's our cynicism that's the problem, not his bad policies. If we weren't so cynical we'd see how wonderful his policies are! Stupid people!

Well, I didn't expect much, and I didn't get much. He intends to keep hammering away at the same ol' same ol'. Heaven help us all because he knows better than all of us what we want.

I think Chris Muir puts it best:

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm Still Standing...Yeah Yeah Yeah

There is much I would have liked to have blogged about in the past few weeks, not the least of which the interesting little development in Massachusetts. It's an interesting little bit of trivia that the first major victory for the Tea Party came in the very state in which the event for which it is named occurred. But I'll leave it at that for now.

I mainly just want to say I'm still here. And that starting a business of any kind--brick-n-mortar or online--is work! Work WORK WORK!!!! Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

But I am making progress. You can see the results at, where we sell food dehydrators, vacuum sealers, and ice cream makers. And right now we're having a sale. There's free shipping on orders over $100! Check it out!

The idea behind the site is that with the economy being what it is, everyone is looking for new ways to cut costs while still being able to connect with family and friends over food. One way is to buy food in bulk, preferably in season when it's cheaper, and preserve it through dehydration or freezing (or both!) And the ice cream makers? Well, they're just for fun! We all need a little fun now and then! And ours will make ice cream without having to use ice or salt!

Anyway, I'm still here, and I'm trying to get on top of things enough to post more. See you around!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

eBay Hack

One of my eBay auctions may be experiencing technical difficulties, so I'm posting a picture here for someone to see.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Actors and Movie Stars

"An actor is someone who pretends to be someone else. A movie star is someone who pretends someone else is them."
--Nicolas Meyer, director of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

I was watching TWOK with the commentary track tonight and that quote leapt out at me to the point I had to pause the movie and write it down.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Mislaying Blame

I find it laughable that the Obama administration is trying to blame the nearly-successful "underpants bomber" on the Bush Administration. This is not to say that policies established during the Bush Administration didn't contribute to the failure--they may very well have done.

But the reality is that the Obama administration has been the team at bat for nearly a year now. They've managed to cram through some of the largest pieces of legislation in history over the protestations of their political opponents. Surely, if they saw holes in the homeland security system, they could have passed some legislation to fix it. It would have been a slam-dunk. Even the GOP, who still holds the high ground on national security, would have had a hard time not going along with that one.

But the reality is that tightening homeland security just wasn't that important to this Administration. They didn't make any changes because they believed the current system worked--or they just didn't care. They own this failure, no matter how much they may try to pass the buck.

Nor can they continue to blame the economy on Bush. If the largest spending bill in history couldn't get the job done, then they clearly had no idea what they were doing. It's not Bush's fault. It's Obama's. He had his shot and he blew it. Whether it was picking the wrong people to solve the problem or failing to recognize the depth and extent of the problem, it doesn't matter. He failed to fix it, when he promised he would. It's his problem now.

The fact is that this administration has not accomplished anything of any positive significance in their first year. Not only have they failed to implement the will of the people, they've done many things entirely against the will of the people. I guess it's time to award Obama another prize.