Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

To the shores of Tripoli (if that’s all right with you)

Muammar and his all-blonde bodyguard.

Muammar plans a courageous last stand fighting his own citizens.

Well, I’ve been fighting the con crud all week and I have a doctor’s appointment in an hour and a half so I’m going to rush this in. Our favorite insane dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, certainly has his hands full this week. Seems his entire citizenry has said, enough is enough, and is not just demonstrating, but fighting for his ouster, with “rebel” forces fighting loyalist troops. Gaddafi ordered the troops to fire on protestors, bringing him not only the condemnation of the UN, but al-Qaeda and, finally, the US government. Pretty soon he’ll be down to Muammar and his all-blonde bodyguard. Now, I can appreciate a nuanced approach, unlike John McCain who seems to want to replay the Marine hymn and send them back “to the shores of Tripoli.” But there’s a difference between nuance and sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what everyone else is going to do. However, now that the world has given its permission, we are at last suggesting that Muammar step down. Before he’s given the Mussolini treatment by the populace.

Passing on to more important things, the feel-good movie of the year, “The King’s Speech”, won best picture at the Oscars. I’m so surprised. Other surprises included Natalie Portman for Best Actress and Colin Firth for Best Actor. Ho-hum. The most interesting moment in the whole thing (not counting Melissa Leo’s “bleep” and Banksy not showing up) was when “Inside Job” director Charles Ferguson used winning the Best Documentary award for his movie indicting the greedy bastards who caused our economic meltdown to deliver a scathing condemnation of the fact that none of them have gotten indicted by the justice system, but instead are living in the gated communities and off-shore retreats with billions of ill-gotten gains stolen from the citizenry of the United States. I hope you were watching the Oscars, Barry. Hollywood has spoken. Permission has been granted to at least get a few token bastards in jail. After all, we don’t want what is happening in Libya and Egypt and Tunisia to be happening here.

But if it does, you can bet we won’t hear about it. Seems the only backlash that gets any airplay is the Tea Party–you know, the chumps that wanted the rich bastards to get tax breaks as well? Over 100,000 people gathered outside the Wisconsin State House to protest the railroading of the unions by Governor Scott Walker and scant word was seen on the cable TV news programs. Scant mention on Fox, predictably, except for Shep Smith admitting the real issue was union-busting not a deficit, but CNN and MSNBC seemed to think that the Tea Party anniversary and Charlie Sheen’s meltdown were more important than the biggest rally held since the Vietnam war protests. The People Magazine-ification of News in America!

You know, sometimes I wonder if we get what we deserve?

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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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