Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

And the Winner is…what, Sarah Palin took the envelopes too?

Barbra Streisand explains to Kathryn Bigelow that she would get an oscar statuette if Sarah Palin's entourage hadn't walked off with it...

Fortunately, only Ben Stiller was blue in the face...

Last night was Hollywood’s annual self-love fest…not that I watched it. I usually have more important things to be doing than spending 3-4 hours of breathless self-congratulatories…but perhaps I’m jaded after so many years of circus antics both on the stage and on the red carpet. There didn’t seem to be many moments of actual tastelessness this year, unless you count Sarah Palin and her entourage swooping down on the hospitality suite earlier this week like a swarm of locusts and carrying off anything that hadn’t been tied down. Silver Spoon (host of the gifting suite) partner Melissa Lemer insists it wasn’t true and published a “debunking” on Conservatives4Palin, but for some reason, this retraction doesn’t appear on the Silver Spoon site itself. The Latimes issued a retraction–believe what you will :)

Sandra Bullock made history by being the first actress to receive both a Razzie and an Oscar in the same week. She showed up for both awards–way to go, Sandra! Ben Stiller got all blue in the face with a misguided Avatar parody–might have worked better if there was an Avatar sweep. I was kind of surprised that The Hurt Locker swept as much as it did, however. I kept hearing all sorts of divergent opinions on it–that it was too patriotic, not patriotic enough, it was pro-war, it was anti-war–frankly, I thought that the opinions would split the vote. I haven’t seen it yet. I understand it’s an intense experience and when a movie is that intense, I prefer to watch it in the safety of my own home where I can pause it or turn it off if it gets to hard to handle. It’s interesting to read the blogs on the Directing win. You get the feeling that it was more important that a woman won the Directing award than that Kathryn Bigelow had won it for directing the movie. Ah, the burden of being a symbol! Congratulations, Kathryn.

I did see Avatar, and while there was a lot to admire in it and I enjoyed it a lot, I had to agree that it really wasn’t “Best Picture” material. My big disappointment tho’ was that Coraline did not win the Best Animated Feature, which was won by Up. Up had to win, since it was a Pixar production about an old coot, voiced by an old coot, whom we’d better give a statue to before he dies, whereas Coraline was a dark fantasy that really didn’t leave you feeling warm and fuzzy when it was over.

Back in the real world, I sort of lost out on Jim Bunning’s holding the unemployed of the United States hostage to his own dark fantasy about balancing a budget that had gone to hell the first year George Bush had entered office and hasn’t seen the light of day since. You would have thought his escapade would have been thoroughly condemned as an act unworthy of a Hall of Famer, but then you’d be reckoning without the Calvinist underbelly of the Republican Party. In this Calvinist reading of the way things are, the rich are rich because they deserve to be and the poor are poor because they deserve to be, this having been pre-ordained by God. It’s very much a “cynical” strain of Stoicism, which I’ve always believed to be the philosophy of the rich and powerful: it is my fate to be on top and your fate to be on the bottom. Tough s**t!

So instead of condemning the perfect gamer for the perfect asshole that he is, we heard that old refrain about how unemployment insurance ENCOURAGES being unemployed–in an economy where one in six adults is either unemployed, underemployed, or too depressed to find a job when there aren’t any available. Tom Delay even praised Bunning’s action as “brave”, showing that he has no conception that there is a difference between bravery and bravado. It might have been a brave stance if Bunning had not already announced his intention to retire as of the end of his term. But it seems that Jim wasn’t putting anything on the line, except the food and shelter of a bunch of OTHER people. As he himself said, “Tough s**t!” A true Stoic!

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Oh, We Were Just Trying To Find Stolen Laptops–SURRRRRRRRRRE!

School administrators are spying on kids with school-issued laptops.

It's a wonder the kids haven't been charged with child pornography--oh wait, that already happened.

While there are so many more important things going on in the world, like earthquakes, tsunamis and killer storm systems, not to mention Hall of Famer Jim Bunning singlehandedly delaying unemployment extensions during “The Great Recession”, it may seem trivial to pay attention to Pennsylvania and New York school administrators spying on kids through school-issued laptops. After all, like priests, these school principals and teachers ONLY have the students’ best interests at heart. They were merely trying to gain clues to the whereabouts of missing computers. And what about kids using drugs? Isn’t it better that school administrators be able to monitor their charges to possibly prevent them from dangerous dependencies and lives of crime? And of course, there’s the old bugbear of underage sex! Don’t you want your kids protected from … THAT?

There’s the old adage, you have nothing to fear from surveillance if you have nothing to hide which has always been used as the rationale behind the secret polices of authoritarian regimes. But, everyone has something to hide, even if it’s just their youthful bodies from the stares of pervy elders. Even in the relatively free United States, we are used to treating kids as if they had no rights. Parents, school teachers, clergy, police, all act as if kids had no right to privacy–unless there’s a reason to charge someone ELSE with the crime. But the ability of these school admins to invade the privacy of these kids while they’re not in school, in their homes, and the glee with which these pervs have boasted about being able to do it, astonishes me to no end.

As I said, we often treat kids as if they have no right to privacy. Kids regularly are subject to searches at schools–for their own protection–their Facebook pages are scrutinized, and now they cannot even change their clothes in their own rooms without the fear of some asshole spying at them through the computer the school system issued them for use in schoolwork. Just this year, some youngster was charged with child pornography for sending sexy photos of herself to her boyfriend. I wonder just how many of these computers have been used to gather pictures of students in revealing situations in the so-called privacy of their own homes? You can bet that if some admins are using the computers to spy on whether kids are using drugs, others of them are collecting pictures and videos of kids while they’re naked–or masturbating–or having sex–and using these stolen moments for their own perverted pleasures.

I am disgusted. If kids don’t have any privacy, what about the rest of us?

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