Showing posts from January, 2010

Stephenie Meyer Sucks. And How?

We all have our guilty pleasures. I loved Hudson Hawk, the 1991 musical comedy starring Bruce Willis. That's right, loved it. This is the same movie Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers called "unspeakably awful." Not to stop there he says, "You want to throw things, yell at the actors, beg them to stop. But the film drags on, digging horrible memories into the brain." And yet, to me, that movie rules. It has characters inexplicably survive tremendous falls from buildings and cliffs. It has Sandra Bernhard in it (shudder). It makes cartoon slapstick sounds like those in Batman & Robin. The villains are named after candy bars. And, as if that wasn't enough, David Caruso as a mime!


I get it. I understand liking something fun and familiar and just a little bit awful. Stephenie Meyer books appeal to adolescent girls, and the occasional misdirected boy, because they are high-school-age fantasies in which new readers don't know the outcome. I ca…

Death Sentence?

I've struggled to reconcile my conflicting views on the death penalty. I wish for people to die. I would lie if I said otherwise. Some people are so wretched and warped that I know the world would be a better place without them. I'm speaking of serial killers and rapist/murderers not Greg, the guy who stole $90 from me in high school, or the guy who stole my stereo last year (these guys deserve to be kneecapped with a sledgehammer, not lethally injected).

I want serial killers dead. I don't just want them off the street, sucking at our tax money; I want them euthanized. I want to give Louisville Sluggers to the victims' families and let them beat murderers until their arms are too weak to inflict any more damage. They deserve it. I believe in vengeance. Those goodie two-shoes in movies that chastise a father that wants to kill his child's killer by saying, "Don't do it! You'll be no better than them!" don't know what the hell they're…

Best Films of the Decade

I was looking over the hundreds of comments on Roger Ebert's blog about his picks for the best films of the decade. Most people offered their own opinions about the best films, many of which disagreed with Ebert's. I found that my top picks were mostly different, as well. I was most surprised by some of the people's...disappointment? anger? about his choice for the best film of the decade, Synecdoche, NY. I do not consider it a masterpiece, but it didn't cross my mind to attack Roger for it. This inspired a great explanation from him about the purpose of his "best films" lists. To paraphrase: they are not intended to be predictions of widespread appeal, they are movies that "got to him" personally. Those films evoked an emotional response that elevated him from the audience and into a state of quasi-euphoria. I will work from this template when constructing my list. The following movies "got to me." They reached in me and tugged on all…

Gender Neutrality in English

If you're not an English nerd, you may not have noticed that English does not have a gender neutral third person singular. In other words, we have "he" and "she," but no hermaphroditic third option. This makes it difficult to explain hypothetical situations. For instance: When the owner of this car gets here, I'm going to give him or her a piece of my mind. See what I mean?

Since the beginning of the English Language, the rule was thus: If you don't know, use the masculine (he). Feminists weren't fans of automatically deferring to the masculine for reasons I will let you figure out. Some people (mostly men) wondered why the womenists got their plain comfortable white panties in a twist over this and decided it was easier to say he. This usage was eventually labeled sexist by women and marketers.

The politically correct pundits fired back with their gender-neutral usage: they or them. When the owner of this car gets here, I'm going to give them a…


I've long been impassioned about politics, law, and belief. It's normal, I suppose. I have read countless blogs and seen countless videos from people talking about what they believe is right, just, correct, virtuous, and of course, what is wrong with the world. Some people are confident enough to offer up their versions of solutions. Most of these people speak or write with certainty--a notion I have always found somewhat disconcerting. I believe people model themselves after leaders, and leaders can't let their subordinates see uncertainty. Leaders, and bloggers, and "news commentators" such as Bill O'Reilly must speak with such force to allay any doubt that what they are saying isn't pure, incorruptible righteous truth, even though their ideas could be untried and counter-intuitive. Most of the time, political ideas are based on logic and idealism, neither of which infallibly produce solutions to problems.

One of my favorite issues being tugged about by…