It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel "meh."

2012posterRoland Emmerich has destroyed the world so many times by now that it’s become blasé.

In Independence Day (1996), the writer/director had aliens raze the world’s major cities. In The Day After Tomorrow (2004), he flooded then froze the northern hemisphere. (By those standards, Emmerich’s destruction of New York City in Godzilla (1998) seems like such small potatoes.)

In his latest big-screen apocalyptic spectacle, 2012, Emmerich breaks apart the earth’s crust, rending the very continents themselves. But while Emmerich offers plenty of eye candy, his movie lacks any real “wow” moments. The end of the world never looked so cartoonish. Continue reading

Tournament of Rock – Legends: The Rolling Stones vs David Bowie

Results: We’re stunned. In perhaps the biggest upset so far, The Police led virtually wire to wire (although the margin was never more than a few votes) and dismissed the man who invented folk rock. The numbers: #4 The Police 55%; #1 Bob Dylan 45%. The Police advance to the Great Eight. Dizzamn.

Up next, our search for the greatest band of all time stays in the Budokan region for a throwdown between two of the most influential acts in history. Ought to be fun.

#2 The Rolling Stones: Listen #3 David Bowie: Listen

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Suck factor: the glory of violence, the horror of sexuality

by mentalswitch

There are three mainstays in today’s Hollywood:  sex, violence and special effects.

Special effects in movies, when well done, are fun.  They help us escape from our lives to enjoy tales of superheroes, mutants or alternate realities.  We travel to faraway or mythical lands and see dragons, dwarfs and trolls, tree-creatures battling orcs, wizards and sorcerers battling.  Oh yeah, and stuff blowing up.  (Thank you Michael Bay)  None of this really exists, of course, but that’s part of what makes it a good escape for the viewer.

It’s kind of hard to imagine a major blockbuster that doesn’t involve some form of death, shock, torture, shooting or explosion.  War movies can bring perhaps the most accuracy to this genre and this is especially true of those that don’t sugar coat it.  Saving Private Ryan was very graphic but not in an over-the-top, gratuitous way.  It brought home the realities of war.  Most action movies, however, take violence to a completely unrealistic level.

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It's not Congress. It's legalized corruption. Time to end it.

Former Rep. William J. Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat, is off to prison. In August, a jury told him that bribery, racketeering and money laundering were not acceptable behaviors for anyone, let alone a member of Congress.

As a felon, Jefferson has had equally despicable company: Rep. Andrew J. Hinshaw, R-Calif. (accepting a bribe); Rep. Charles Diggs Jr., D-Mich. (payroll kickback scheme); Rep. Michael Myers, D-Pa. (accepting bribes from FBI agents impersonating Arab businessmen); Reps. John Murphy, D-N.Y., Frank Thompson, D-N.J., John Jenrette, D-S.C., and Raymond Lederer, D-Pa. (Arab businessmen bribery scandal, a.k.a. Abscam).

And Rep. Mario Biaggi, D-N.Y. (extorting money from a defense contractor); Rep. Mel Reynolds, D-Ill. (sex with underage campaign worker, bank fraud); Rep. Walter Tucker III, D-Calif. (accepting and demanding bribes); Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, D-Ill. (felony mail fraud); Rep. James A. Trafficant, D-Ohio (bribery, conspiracy and racketeering); Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (accepting bribes from defense contractors) and Robert W. Ney, R-Ohio (Abramoff scandal). I’m sure readers can name more. Continue reading

Tournament of Rock – Legends: Bob Dylan vs The Police

Update 2: The poll is closed. For some reason PollDaddy is having technical issues and as a result you can still vote. However, we have a final tally as of 11 am MST and no further votes are being accepted. Sorry about this.

UPDATE: As much as we love The Police, we never expected this match to be so close. But here it is – 8am, neck-and-neck. We’ll leave the polls open until around 11, so if you haven’t yet voted, please step into the booth…

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Results: Can it ever be an upset when the favorite wins? Honestly, even though they’re seeded higher, it has to be a bit of a surprise that The Clash managed to beat “the voice of Generation X.” Or maybe it isn’t… The numbers: #2 The Clash 55%; #3 Nirvana 45%. I don’t klnow about the Casbah, but The Clash will be rocking the Great 8. Continue reading

The wellspring of a new, clear nuclear vision

Deproliferator1.0THE DEPROLIFERATOR — Few fields are as lacking in fresh perspectives as nuclear weapons. Entire decades have been spent by nuclear strategists deliberating which state would strike first and how many weapons the victim would have left to retaliate. Then they came up with deterrence. What a concept — as if equally armed forces had never arrived at a standoff before. Continue reading