Monday, July 26, 2004

More Bush/War Propaganda

Funny how the Republi-monsters call Fahrenheit 911 propaganda. The local ABC affiliate in DC just did a report on the propaganda machination that was the toppling of the Saddam statue. Props to ABC.

Thanks to DC Indymedia for the tip.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Darfur Genocide Protest - DC - 07/22/04

Went to a protest outside the White House this past Thursday from 12 noon until 1:30 pm.  At least a couple hundred people were there - all over the spectrum.  Thank God for black preachers - they were letting the powers that be have it - and kept us all in an energized mood - in the oppressive heat. 

Participated in my first 'die-in' - kind of like a 'sit-in', except you pretend to be dead for a while.

Check out the Darfur Genocide website.  They have lists you can sign up for to be notified of upcoming events/protests.

Not sure where I heard about the protest.  Possibly True Majority.   Congressman Rangel was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy the other day - where I think there are continuing daily protests at 12 noon, every day.  Props to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) for showing-up to voice her support of a resolution and more.  The House voted to pass a resolution stating that ongoing events in Sudan are, by definition, genocide.  Doesn't necessarily save any lives yet, but it's a step in the right direction.

The scariest part?  People are being killed because of the color of their skin - black skin.  Based on our world's history of violence and killing because of religion, I could at least have had a basis to understand how some lunatics could kill because of their twisted religious beliefs, but many of those being killed are Muslims - the same religion as their killers.

Below are some pics of the event.  Not great quality, but it's still documentation.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

ChampionsWorld Series (US Tour 2004)

It's like having the the New York Yankees of every country in Europe lined-up to play each other in a miniature tournament.  Most teams are jam-packed with superstars and it's just a rare treat to get a chance to see one of your favorite teams play on U.S. soil.  The teams are *good* and their stars are *big* and their club histories are *long* and storied.

Check out the teams that are here this year: AC MilanAS RomaBayern MunichCelticChelsea, FC Porto, Galatasary, Liverpool, Manchester United.
Definitely check out a game if they come to a city near you:
To give you an idea of how important these clubs are, in terms of reach and influence, FutureBrand had this to say:

Manchester United is currently slotted between two NFL franchises--the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins--as the second most valuable sports brand in the world. (The Yankees are fourth; the next two-highest soccer clubs are Spanish power Real Madrid at six and Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga at seven.)

And this, you have to remember, is a team in a country (Great Britain) with a population of only 60 million.  That's a lot for an not-so-large island nation, but it's not a lot compared to the size of, say, the US population, where the Dallas Cowboys (a.k.a.  America's Team) play - at 293 million.
Speaking of FutureBrand, a sport-branding-type company based in London, check out this PDF report on the top brands of European football - I think it's the nicest report on anything I've ever seen in my life.  Unreal.
And I had to steal some of the quotes out of it and list them here - they're just too darn good and they're so darn interesting (and funny!) because they give you an idea of just how intimate the relationship between football fans and the sport can be, especially in Europe.  The passion!  [Check out some of the names.  Totally cool!]
“Football is not about life or death, it’s more important than that”
-- Bill Shankly
“All human history moves towards one great goal”
-- James Joyce
“In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team”
-- Jean-Paul Sartre
“Each succeeds in reaching the desired goal by a different method”
-- Niccolo Machiavelli
“It is not just a simple game.  It is a weapon of revolution”
-- Che Guevara

“My idea of paradise is a straight line to goal”
-- Friedrich Nietzsche

To make things more interesting, Malcolm Glazer, U.S. entrepreneur and owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just upped his stake in Man U to near 20%.  This funky comingling of top-brand teams from both sides of the pond reminds me of a marketing deal Man U did with the Skankees a couple of years ago.  Where from here?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Spider-Man 2

Crap (Official Site).

I'm not sure how much I could have liked or disliked it because I walked out after about 20 minutes, right after a father and his about-10-years-old daughter walked out. I believe they walked about because dad didn't want his impressionable daughter to have nightmares.

I made it to just past the hospital/violence-porno scene where the soon-to-be-evil villain, Doc Ock, really comes to life and murders all the doctors and nurses in the emergency room in what could only be described as the most horrificly violent scene I've ever seen. I remember a terrified, screaming nurse fighting for her life. She is being dragged slowly by her feet towards her blood-spattered death as her nails carve deep grooves into the floor. It is...UN-believable.

I kind of remember being younger and watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Halloween, or something similar and having nightmares for a while - but I was shocked at the extremity and gratuitousness of this one particular scene. Maybe it was because I was expecting more of a kids' movie scenario, but perhaps I should have known better - with the PG-13 rating and all.

I really don't know what else to say. The horrificness of this one scene quite literally shocked me out of the theatre. A Spider-Man movie. I can hardly believe it myself, but it happened. Don't we get enough gratuitous violence in Iraqistan without having to get another fill from Spidey? Fudge...

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Bush Admin's Ideology Over Reality - Again

Bremer's decision, which apparently came from on-high, caused chaos and a lot of death and destruction - and continues to do so. We know the story, but I think that creating a stable, democratic Iraq was, and still is, very possible. The problem is the Bush Administration is incompetent, nor do they care about democracy - nor do his supporters care - as long as their boy gets re-elected. True Americans, every one.

How Soccer Explains the World: Globalization

How Soccer Explains the World : An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

Heard the author, Franklin Foer, at Politics and Prose. Semi-interesting. I figured if anything could make the topic of globalization interesting, it'd be my favorite sport. He seemed to know a lot about soccer, and the crowd seemed semi-informed, which was cool, but nothing made me want to plunk down 20-odd bucks for the book.

A couple reviews.

And an article by Foer stating that Kerry is down with soccer?

Orwell Rolls In His Grave

I can't keep up with all the anti-Bush independent flicks. Will have to check this one out when I get a chance.

Zarqawi Not Al Qaeda?

Ripped this post from JC - go there to get all of it:

David Wright, a former Defense Department analyst and former Army Reserve strategic intelligence analyst has sent the following letter to the Washington Post:

' In some of your reporting (but happily not all) you refer to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as "a top Al Qaeda operative", etc.

There is no evidence that Zarqawi, a Jordanian operating in Iraq, has ever been an Al Qaeda member - although Cheney and a few others in the Bush administration continue to try to paint him that way, apparently for political reasons.
Ironically, Zarqawi did go from Jordan to Afghanistan for training back in the Eighties, in the days when the U.S. wanted help in pushing the Soviets out - guess who provided the money for his training! But Zarqawi thereafter created camps separate from those of UBL; and has ever since been seen as a competitor, not a member of UBL’s team. 
Can you say 'blowback'? 
Don't forget that Bush had the chance to off Zarqawi, but nobody seems to care...

Before Sunset

Great flick (official site). A few reviews.

Probably helps if you're into Paris - which gets a lot of play. Probably helps if you're into good acting - which I am not, necessarily - but in this low-key flick, it's a necessity, and good acting is delivered in full, it seems. Probably helps if you like a little U.S. foreign policy bashing for humor. Probably helps if you've ever had that 'one lost love' or just like to imagine having had one. Probably helps if you can actually appreciate indy flicks, in general. Probably helps if you dig perfectly far-from-perfect dialogue (with more wit than you, yourself could ever muster) between a couple newly-reaquinted, trying to find the right thing to say, but mostly failing - just makes it that much more real. And definitely helps if there is at least one point in the movie when you would like to think and feel compelled to sigh aloud 'Oh my @!*&^%$....Gooooooooooosh!', and at once feel hopeful yet angry, but relieved that, alas, you are not the only one on this earth to be stung by the cruel irony of fate.

Somehow, after seeing Waking Life, I became an Ethan Hawke fan, so it was cool to see him do a good job here.

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Paris kicks ass.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

An Ode to Hershey's Chocolate Sundae Pie

I was always curious if anyone shared my intense love of Burger King's Hershey's Sundae Pie. The thing is just intense. Whatever problems you face - an HSP (or two) can take care of it. Trust me.

Then I stumbled onto this article in the Washington Post about the first Burger King - a slice of home - for GI's in Iraq:

The headquarters of the 1st Armored Division are across from the Burger King. Capt. David Gercken and Capt. Jason Beck, public affairs officers for the division, had lunch at the free dining facility one day recently, but their minds were clearly on Burger King and its storied Hershey's Pie -- a swirly mix of chocolate and whipped cream.

"It's $2 of heaven. It's the only thing getting us through this deployment," Gercken said in reverent tones.

"The perforated edge of that pouch, when you open it up it sings," Beck said.

"The pie completes the deal, the chocolate-crumb base," Gercken continued.

"It speaks for itself," Beck said.

Nice. Very nice...

Israel Knew!

I've pimped this conspiracy theory before, I link to it at the bottom of every email I send out, but I have to do whatever I can to keep this 9/11 Coverup in the spotlight. Every time I watch those Cameron Fox segments I'm just astonished - taken aback. I can't believe more people aren't excited about it. Unbelievable.

See for yourself.

Le Tour de Druggies

Le Tour de France is an awesome race, but I'm convinced that 99%+ of the riders are illegally doping. I'll still watch some of it anyways - we're all hypocrites at some level.

The Outdoor Life Network is covering the event - and they're doing a good job - live, taped, re-runs, etc. It seems like round-the-clock coverage. Nice.

I guess it helps that Lance is going for his sixth...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Nader to Debate Dean?

I usually don't sound off on breaking news, but this one is too much to resist. The WaPost is reporting that Nader is going to debate Dean on National Public Radio's weekly program "Justice Talking", on Friday, July 9.

Welcome to four more years for Bush. Can't believe the Dems signed-off on this. The *only* thing that can happen here is the obvious - Nader will gain more legitimacy, will reach millions of people with his very-sane message, and voters will vote for him because he has the best platform. I don't know how the Dems could come to any other conclusion - unless Dean just sort of manufactured this thing all by himself.

I'm all for the downfall of the two party system here in the U.S., but I wasn't overly committed to four more years of Bush and the possible end of our Republic as we now know it, just for my high-minded ideal of ending the two party stranglehold on our democracy. I can hear it already - the buzz of the Republicans backing Nader working furiously behind the scenes to promote this little Nader/Dean showdown. Too funny. With Kerry having friends like Dean, who needs enemies?! Hah! :D