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The World Needs a Hero: The Return of Captain Invincible
04.08.2012
11:06 am
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CaptainInvincible
 
Everyone loves a hero and even more, everyone loves a villain. The more broad chested the hero and luridly evil the villain, the better. This basic black/white viewpoint that people cling to like a spit stained security blanket is often the main impetus behind the superhero genre. A figure, often with extraordinary powers, becomes the pinpoint of hope for all that is fair and just. Real life is mired with red tape, corruption and the folly of our own nature. These are all reasons why the idea of a flawed superhero wasn’t terribly popular until recent years. (Though The Kinks get some major points with their song, “Catch Me Now I’m Falling” off of their album Low Budget.) But there was a film that predated all of them, way back in 1983 in the form of Philippe Mora’s The Return of Captain Invincible. Did I mention that it’s also a musical?

The Return of Captain Invincible stars Alan Arkin as our titular hero who is first introduced in a 1940’s style B&W newsreel, with our young, clean-cut Captain defeating gangsters, fighting the Nazis and representing everything that is good and wholesome about America. That is, until he ends up getting hit with charges of communism by The House of Un-American Activities, led by Joseph McCarthy. The witch hunt demoralizes our hero, who goes into hiding and ends up in Australia, liquor soaked and trading his spandex for stained, baggy clothes.

Better Days
 
To passersby, he’s just a liver-crying-for-help derelict, belting out “New York, New York” to the rural hills Down Under, when he’s not inadvertently saving lives, particularly of tough police woman, Patty Patria (Kate Fitzpatrick). It’s only a matter of time before the superhero within the man has to come back out, especially with his old foe, the devilish and devilishly handsome Mr Midnight (Christopher Lee), back on the horizon. But it takes an old promise to a young boy who has now grown up to be the President of the United States (the incredible Michael Pate), to bring the hesitant, rusty but goodhearted Captain out of retirement. The question then emerges, will the once strong superhero be able to defend the world from the evil megalomaniacal clutches of Mr. Midnight and surpass his own inner demons?

Mr Midnight's 42nd Street
 
The Return of Captain Invincible is a heartfelt, goony and surprisingly smart film. It is truly a strange creature, one that could have only be helmed by the same man that gave us the historical art film, Mad Dog Morgan (with Dennis Hopper) AND Howling II (with Sybil Danning’s shirt exploding breasts), Phillipe Mora. A wholly unique filmmaker who is never praised enough for his brass balls, not to mention creative flexibility, Mora pulled out all stops with this one. From the bright, comic-book style color schemes to the number of bizarre little touches,Captain Invincible is a superhero film like no other.

Daddy?
 
For starters, there’s our main character, played with typical perfection by Alan Arkin. Handsome and with a enough emotional gravitas to pull off a man who is solid in heart but whose spirit has been cracked by the very country he protected, Arkin’s Captain Invincible is a true hero with a human bent. We get to see him run the gamut from being your typical 1940’s strong-jawed hero to being a scruffy alcoholic suffering from the DT’s the night before he goes back into training, only to circle right back to being the chap that saves the day. On top of that, Arkin’s musical background comes into play quite nicely here, taking vocal duties on most of the songs featured, with the highlights being “The Good Guys & The Bad Guys” and “Mr. Midnight.” Arkin balances out the humanity and absurdity of it all so perfectly.

DTS
 
Speaking of absurd wonder, Michael Pate as the President is stupendously awesome. If he ran for office, my cynical booty would be hightailing it to the nearest booth in a hot flash of a second! A legendary character actor who had made his mark both in America and his native Australia, Pate is all Kennedy hair, Texan charm and big shouldered awesomeness, with the standout being the “Bullshit” number. This literally amounts to Pate saying the word “Bullshit” over and over again, set to an electronic beat. It is cathartic in its greatness.

The Man
 
Of course, there is the tall, cool, grim-in-his-beauty Christopher Lee as our villain Mr. Midnight. Lee is having a lot of great fun here, bringing a sense of intentional camp to his role. Lee is center point to the absolute musical highlight of the film with “Choose Your Poison.” Yes, Christopher Lee, in that wonderful Wagner-opera from depths of unknown bass voice of his, singing about the joys of drinking. It’s even better than “Bullshit!”

Tall, Dark and Handsome
 
Kate Fitzpatrick doesn’t really get to shine quite as much as the others but is still good and realistically tough, as in you can halfway buy her as a real police officer. The aforementioned soundtrack, while a bit MOR in spots, has some absolute gems here. It should shock absolutely no one that the highlights, minus my much beloved “Bullshit,” were all helmed by Rocky Horror pioneer and flat out genius Richard O’Brien, along with another Rocky alumni, Richard Hartley, providing the music. His numbers, which include the title theme, “Mr Midnight” and “Choose Your Poison” are A+ O’Brien greatness.

Return of Captain Invincible
is not a perfect film and it will undoubtedly off-put some with its strange brew of social commentary and goofiness bordering on surrealism. The idea that a bourbon soaked derelict muttering to himself down the road could be a superhero gone to seed is a smart and thoughtful one. Our hero and concept here could fit in any time period. A little flea-bitten and hardened by a flawed world but at the end of the day, still hopeful and willing to fight for a better future.

Plus, “Bullshit!”

 

Posted by Heather Drain
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04.08.2012
11:06 am
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Tea Party II: Why America Loves You! The Social-Activist Coloring Book for Kids
04.02.2012
06:30 pm
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I’ve been waiting for the sequel to the 2010 Tea Party Coloring Book for Kids and, well…here it is: Tea Party II - Why America Loves You! The Social-Activist Coloring Book for Kids.

Oh, and it’s Rated: E for Everyone!

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.02.2012
06:30 pm
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Disturbing video morph of Britney Spears’ face through the years
03.05.2012
03:57 pm
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“A Child Lost” by Sarah Weaver

Whether you were a Britney Spears fan or not, like it or not, you were forced to watch her very public meltdown in every newspaper, magazine, entertainment website, and everywhere else. I always felt extremely sorry her. It seemed like the world couldn’t wait for some new tragedy or misfortune to befall the poor woman so they would have something new to gossip about at the water cooler or post on their Myspace page.

While watching the photos of her face morphing throughout the years, I noticed her eyes. When she was young, her eyes sparkled. She was happy, but as time goes by it’s like the massed machinery of the mediadrome sucked the very life right out of this young woman. Heartbreaking.
 

 
Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Tara McGinley
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03.05.2012
03:57 pm
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Trolling is his business: the world according to Dave Mustaine


 
So I was gonna sit here and write a long, rambling post about Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine and the amount of bullshit that’s been spewing out his tiny little mouth of late. You know, something about a guy with a shoulder length frizzy perm being anti-gay, something about a 100% no-homo-heterosexual dude feeling threatened by the sex lives of African women and other consenting adults. Maybe throw in a little reference to still smarting about Metallica here, or “small man syndrome” there, perhaps go off on a diatribe about the über-pseudo-macho world of heavy metal being just as “authentic” as that of drag queens, about how the biggest shit-talkers always reveal themselves to be the most immature, petulant little nerds desperate to live up to a false sense of masculine superiority in the end.

But I’m not going to waste my effort.

I mean, why should I bother? Mustaine is doing all that hard graft for me! Seriously. Here are a selection of quotes from recent interviews displaying the wisdom of Dave Mustaine:

Dave Mustaine on Bible prophecy:

Mustaine explained a biblical prophecy to LA Weekly. “Even if you don’t believe in God and you don’t believe in faith, you’ve got to understand, when Israel became a country again, that was a prophecy in the Bible that came true, and the Bible was written so many hundreds of years ago,” says Mustaine. Also, any of the stuff that it says in there about the end times — that stuff’s really happening right now. Look what’s happening over in the Middle East. It’s crazy.”

Dave Mustaine on Rick Santorum:

Earlier in the election, I was completely oblivious as to who Rick Santorum was, but when the dude went home to be with his daughter when she was sick, that was very commendable. Also, just watching how he hasn’t gotten into doing these horrible, horrible attack ads like Mitt Romney’s done against Newt Gingrich, and then the volume at which Newt has gone back at Romney… You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I’m hoping that if it does come down to it, we’ll see a Republican in the White House… and that it’s Rick Santorum.

Dave Mustaine on Afircan women:

There’s so many houses without a dad that it’s just terrible. I mean, you know how they used to say there should be a license to have a baby? Well, as far-fetched as that sounds, I really think that, if the parents aren’t going to stick together, they shouldn’t make that kind of commitment to life. I watch some of these shows from over in Africa, and you’ve got starving women with six kids. Well, how about, you know, put a plug in it? It’s like, you shouldn’t be having children if you can’t feed them.

Dave Mustaine on gay marriage:

Do you support gay marriage, or is that something you oppose?

Well, since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no.

OK. What about for people who are gay?

Since I’m not gay, the answer to that would be no.

Would you support legislation to make marriage between a man and another man legal?

I’m Christian. The answer to that would be no.

All this is a real shame, because Megadeth were a fucking great band. It’s just too bad that if Dave Mustaine’s reputation ever recovers from being a “very conservative” über-douche who lets the TV make up his mind for him, he’s going down in the annals of history as the guy who wept for Metallica:
 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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02.24.2012
09:36 am
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‘We’re the official OWS group!’ ‘No, we’re the official OWS group!’ and so forth


 
This is (almost) funny: So the upcoming OWS convention in Philly that we’ve been reading about all day? Another OWS group is publicly countering the legitimacy of that group now, claiming that the so-called 99% Declaration Group is not endorsed by the “official” group and blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

What a bunch of pompous crybabies. Who gives a fuck? No one owns this movement. They can do it in their way, in their style and you can do it in your own way. Why try to hold this energy back in any way? What’s the point, you’re not on the same side?

Stop being such predictable Lefties!

Play nice! Thelemites get along better than these territorial children!

OWS PR working group statement on the 99% Declaration:

The 99% Declaration and its call for a “national general assembly” in Philadelphia in July is not affiliated with or endorsed by Occupy Wall Street, and the organizers’ plans blatantly contradict OWS’ stated principles.

Many news outlets are running articles suggesting that the Occupy movement is planning a “national general assembly” in Philadelphia in July. This initiative, referred to as The 99% Declaration, is driven by a not-for-profit corporation called The 99 Percent Working Group, LTD., and is not endorsed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street (OWS). The group’s plans blatantly contradict OWS’ Statement of Autonomy, as passed by the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street, where The 99% Declaration generated more controversy than consensus. The proposal was also rejected by the General Assembly of Occupy Philadelphia, which passed a resolution stating, “We do not support the 99% Declaration, its group, its website, its National GA and anything else associated with it.”

The people of Occupy Wall Street are doubtlessly animated by many of the same concerns addressed by the points in the draft 99% Declaration. However, the group’s plan to select delegates representing each Congressional District to ratify a petition to present to the U.S. government while threatening to run candidates for positions in this corrupted system runs counter to OWS’ commitment to direct democracy, grassroots people power, and building a better society from the bottom up.

When reporting on stories concerning the convening of national ‘Occupy conventions,’ registration of political parties and political action committees, and other high-profile initiatives, we strongly urge reporters, editors, and producers to vet these stories by contacting the official press relations working group of Occupy Wall Street.

From OWS’ Statement of Autonomy:  “Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.”

The Press Relations Working Group of Occupy Wall Street
press@occupywallst.org
347-292-1444

LAME!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.23.2012
08:01 pm
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Occupy Wall Street will elect delegates, hold July convention in Philly


 
An Associated Press report today about the latest stirrings of the Occupy movement indicates that this Summer is going to be a hot one indeed, for both Republicans and Democrats alike.

A group of protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement plans to elect 876 “delegates” from around the country and hold a national “general assembly” in Philadelphia over the Fourth of July as part of ongoing protests over corporate excess and economic inequality.The group, dubbed the 99% Declaration Working Group, said Wednesday delegates would be selected during a secure online election in early June from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

In a nod to their First Amendment rights, delegates will meet in Philadelphia to draft and ratify a “petition for a redress of grievances,” convening during the week of July 2 and holding a news conference in front of Independence Hall on the Fourth of July.

Any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who is 18 years of age or older may run as a nonpartisan candidate for delegate, according to Michael S. Pollok, an attorney who advised Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last year and co-founded the working group.

“We feel it’s appropriate to go back to what our founding fathers did and have another petition congress,” Pollok said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We feel that following the footsteps of our founding fathers is the right way to go.”

In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and cited King George III’s failure to redress the grievances listed in colonial petitions as a reason to declare independence.

Interesting that the OWS iconography is now dovetailing with the Tea party movement in a congruence that I can’t decide seems forced or organic. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. In Bill Moyers’ fascinating interview with former Ronald Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett, Bartlett expressed his prediction that a lot of former Tea partiers might come to decide that the OWS aims were more in tune with their actual beliefs.

One man and one woman will be elected from each of the 435 congressional voting districts, according to Pollok, and they will meet in Philadelphia to deliberate, draft and ratify a “redress of grievances.” One delegate will also be elected to represent each of the U.S. territories.

Organizers won’t take a position on what grievances should be included, Pollok said, but they will likely include issues like getting money out of politics, dealing with the foreclosure crisis and helping students handle loan debt.

Details of the conference are still being worked out, Pollok said, but organizers have paid for a venue in Philadelphia. Pollok would not identify the venue, but said it was “a major state-of-the art facility.” Pollok said the group planned to pay for the conference through donations.

Once the petition is completed, Pollok said, the protesters will deliver copies to the White House, members of Congress and the Supreme Court. They will demand that Congress takes action in the first 100 days of taking office next year. If sufficient action isn’t taken, Pollok said, the delegates will go back to their districts and try to recruit their own candidates for office.

Being able to hold this event right before the parties throw their respective conventions was a stroke of scheduling luck for the movement. Hopefully the media will be all over this—it’s hard to imagine they wouldn’t be under any circumstances—and the politicians will be forced to respond.

The Republicans are beyond being a lost cause, but the Democrats can be pushed to the left (it’s what happened before the New Deal). It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

I think there’s a misconception that this was going to be a predictable election cycle. Whereas the outcome (more Obama, not that this is necessarily a “good” thing, it just is) seems like a foregone covclusion, that there will be extremely high drama until then is starting to look like an inevitability. Bring it on.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.23.2012
12:09 pm
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F**KED: The United States of Unemployment
02.21.2012
05:52 pm
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Salon’s got a great series of videos exploring the lives and coping strategies of “the 99ers”—no, not the 99%, although they are certainly a part of that, too—the people who have exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment insurance and have nowhere else to turn.

In this most recent installment, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Immy Humes listens to members of the longtime unemployed tell how the Occupy movement inspired them. There is something in the emotional core of this short film that captures perfectly, I think, the life-affirming realization of “Holy shit, this is really happening and it’s wonderful” that went on for those few months last Fall. Almost more than any other document I’ve seen about Occupy Wall Street, this one really speaks to the kind of experience I personally had there. It captures what it inspired in many people.

For our 99ers, an informal group of jobless New Yorkers who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, the Occupy Wall Street movement came as a dream fulfilled.

As the protests took root in Zuccotti Park, the 99ers found a mass of people who care about the plight of the jobless and want to do something about it. As seen in last week’s episode of our video series, “Occupy Meets MacArthur’s Tanks,” Occupy Wall Street is just the latest in a long line of American protest movements demanding economic justice. The emergence of the Occupy movement, one 99er said, felt “like the early stages of a revolution.”

And then the question arose: What do America’s jobless want? As the video shows, the 99ers have some answers.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.21.2012
05:52 pm
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Rebel Alliance takes on Goldman Vader: Occupy the SEC!
02.21.2012
03:43 pm
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In a Mother Jones piece that is starting to gain traction across the liberal blogsphere today, Josh Harkinson writes about the Occupy the SEC group that includes “financial insiders with the education and regulatory vocabulary to challenge high-powered lobbyists at their own game.”

Yesterday, a group affiliated with Occupy Wall Street submitted an astounding comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Point by point, it methodically challenges the arguments of finance industry lobbyists who want to water down last year’s historic Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. The lobbyists have been using the law’s official public comment period to try to kneecap the reforms, and given how arcane financial regulation can be, they might get away with it. But Occupy the SEC is fighting fire with fire, and in so doing, defying stereotypes of the Occupy movement.

The financial industry is trying desperately to wriggle out of the controls that Dodd-Frank imposed on them. Occupy the SEC, a very, very smart bunch of current and former financial industry executives weigh in with critiques and suggestions concerning the government’s implementation of the “Volcker Rule” that limits the kind of derivative packaging that caused the financial meltdown. Since the meltdown, Goldman Sachs has been trying to get their little grubby hands back on the money faucet.  They’re spending Romney-type money on lobbyists, including hiring Barney Frank’s former staffer that got the reforms passed to help overturn those very reforms!

The most common complaint about the Occupy movement is that it does not present a clear and coherent position.

This 324-page letter blows that contention sky-high.

“Occupy the SEC is a group of concerned citizens, activists, and financial professionals with decades of collective experience working at many of the largest financial firms in the industry. Together, we make up a vast array of specialists, including traders, quantitative analysts, compliance officers, and technology and risk analysts. Like much of the 99%, we have bank deposits and retirement accounts that are in need of protection through vigorous enforcement of the Volcker Rule. Our experiences working inside the financial industry have informed our answers to the questions proposed, making us well-suited to understand and anticipate how the proposed implementation, should it stand, will affect us and the rest of the general public.

The United States aspires to democracy, but no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power…”

That last sentence should be the first line of the Declaration of Independence 2.0

Here’s the best mainstream overview, from TIME. If you read between the lines—and the wipe off its condescension—the truth appears… which is that the fuckers at Goldman Sachs and the champagne drinking overlords on Wall Street are being countered by experienced folks who know the financial industry grimoire inside and out.

Meet the Financial Wizards Working With Occupy Wall Street (Mother Jones)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.21.2012
03:43 pm
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Newt gets a flat tire in West Hollywood, does not have a gay old time


Photo by @ImChrisHughes via Twitter

Of all of the places in America for that slimy amphibian’s tour bus to get a flat!

It’s really a pity this didn’t happen in front of Rage!!!

Via KPCC radio’s website:

The presidential hopeful who recently called gay marriage a “perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism,” set off a Boystown brouhaha last night when his Newt 2012 campaign bus broke down in West Hollywood. 

Newt Gingrich’s bus, missing a tire and flashing its hazards, was stranded half in a lane of traffic near Sunset and Crescent Heights for hours. It was unknown if he was on the bus at the time of the incident. Calls to Newt’s headquarters were not immediately returned.

Gingrich, who is in Los Angeles campaigning, did not receive much sympathy for his vehicle’s mechanical difficulties. Instead, locals took to Twitter with red-white-and-blue language, unsolicited advice, claims of voodoo, musings on karma, and at least one mention of a glitter-bomb:

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.16.2012
10:28 pm
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Run, Sarah, Run: Sarah Palin (apparently) has BIG plans for the GOP convention


 
It would be the defining moment of recent American history if the dingbat who recently spoke this jabberwocky…

[Obama is] underestimating the wisdom of women. Because women understand there is access to preventative care and contraception out there, and we don’t need government to tell our employers that they must provide that for us.

Truly, it is a war on our religious liberties and that violation of conscience that he would mandate that is un-American because it violates our First Amendment in our Constitution.”

... were to accept the Presidential nomination at a deadlocked Republican convention this summer.

On Fox Business Network’s Follow the Money program the other day, host Eric Bolling tossed Sarah Palin a softball when the two discussed a brokered convention. She took the bait like a fish chomping on a hooked worm. Quite like that, in fact…

Via Politico:

“If one of the nominees, one of the GOPers, doesn’t get enough delegates, it could go to a brokered convention,” said Fox Business Network’s Eric Bolling in an interview. “If it does get to that, and someone said, ‘Governor, would you be interested,’ would you be interested?”

“For one, I think that it could get to that. … If it had to be closed up today, the whole nominating process, then we could be looking at a brokered convention. … Nobody is quite there yet, so I think that months from now, if that is the case, all bets are off as to who it will be, willing to offer up themselves up in their name in service to their country.”

“I would do whatever I could to help,” she added, her voice rising.

“That’s, that’s fantastic,” replied Bolling.

Oh yes it would be! Run, Sarah, run!

The money shot happens in the last two minutes. Priceless her messianic megalomania, isn’t it?
 

 
Via Wonkette

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.16.2012
02:00 pm
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