Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Important Message From Conan O'Brien

My Favorite Movie

More than twenty years ago, I first saw Chuck Workman's short film Precious Images. I've been a movie lover all my life, and this masterpiece really got to me. It went on to win the Oscar.

I begged everyone I knew then or had ever known before to nab me a VHS tape of it. I finally got one, and in the last twenty years I've watched that tape over a thousand times. It always inspires me.

Well, yesterday I realized the tape was finally, officially, a goner. Thank goodness for the Internet, because now I have a non-deteriorating copy, and a corner of the Web in which to store it and share it.

Now if Workman's Writers Guild Foundation tribute, Words, were only available online, I'd post it, too. Precious Images and Words make our argument better, I think, than the picket lines do.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Darker and Darker

There was once a show on MSNBC called Morning Joe, where a casually-dressed, funny and genial Joe Scarborough ruminated on the events of the day with John Ridley and Mika Brzezinski and Chris Licht.

Then the show moved to 30 Rock, John Ridley became an unperson, Chris Licht moved into the control room, and Joe started wearing suits and ties and sitting -- or is it floating? -- in front of a weird, moving background of coffee stains (you have to see it to know I'm not kidding)... and now he is more shrill and table-thumpingly wrongheaded than ever before.

Friday he went more than a little berserk. First he started screaming what he thought the White House should have said about the NIE scandal: that it was a strategy for peace all along. Which would be fine, except it's a lie. The White House can't claim to have a months-old strategy for peace that Bush says he only learned about last week.

Then he went off about how moved he and all Evangelicals were by Romney's speech. How real Americans are touched by such inspiring rhetoric, despite what New York cynics say. How Romney was truly Kennedy-esque.

But, Joe? Kennedy said the separation between church and state was absolute. Romney said those who say it's absolute are wrong. He said secularism was a religion... and apparently the only religion not allowed in America.

(Whenever Joe defends some nonsense by saying we city folk don't need to understand it because it was being said directly to Evangelicals, it makes those decent religious folks seem like a secret, racist cabal. They should ask Joe to stop "defending" them.)

Joe said all Romney was saying was that for our Founding Fathers faith and freedom were intertwined. David Shuster valiantly tried to point out that there is a difference between "intertwined" and "freedom requires religion".... that it was like saying it doesn't matter what football team you root for, but you better like football if you want to live in America.

Joe would have none of it.

When Shuster quoted the New York Times, Joe was scornful. Wasn't this the same New York Times that once said Bush would drag us back into the Dark Ages?

Joe said in the next segment he'd be defending waterboarding. Which seemed ironic to me, since waterboarding was big back in the Dark Ages. I don't think Joe meant it to be ironic. I deleted the show without finishing it, so I'll never know.

This morning Joe wasn't on, and Morning Joe was a pleasure once again. I won't be watching the show any more once Joe returns from sick leave.

MSNBC, can there please be such a thing as Morning Joe without Joe? Maybe a Decaf Morning Joe?

"Mr. President, We Have Big News About Iran..."

If you were President, you'd reply:

(A) Super. Adios.

(B) Thanks for stopping by.

(C) Back at ya whenever.

(D) Tell me more.

If you're me or you or any other multicelled creature, you say (D). But Bush wants us to believe -- seriously -- that his answer was one of the other three. Seriously, that's HIS explanation.

And Cheney knew the contents of the report, but didn't tell Bush. I'm not kidding, that's the official story!

Of course they're lying. They tried to lie us into another war, and got busted. And apparently, may still get us into the war anyway. Because this issue is fading. Amazingly.

I'm begging you, Congress: Hearings. Now. Seriously.

See Mock, Paper Scissors for a synopsis of what Congress seems to be unable or unwilling to admit: Bush has finally committed an impeachable offense that even a third-grader can understand and for which there is no defense. And if he didn't, he's not competent to continue in his job.