Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Hannuksolsticemas

I live in a free, gorgeous, tolerant, multicultural country. I have an excellent variety of friends, acquaintances, and readers of this little blah-blah-blahg. More than fifty percent of my family is in the Caribbean or in other parts of Canada this Christmas, which vastly simplifies my holiday plans. And I'm finishing up my last work project before the holidays. I am truly blessed.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Thingy, whatever your creed. Today's the shortest day of the year, which also means the longest night, which is a good thing cuz I have some serious sleep to catch up on. But you enjoy, light some candles, have a little drinkie and celebrate the fact that the sun will, as the orphan-girl said, come out again tomorrow.

Best wishes--see you post-Thingy.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sling, sling a schlong

It seems that everywhere I turn these days, there is talk of penises.

They're everywhere, often leaving a stream of heartache and confusion in their wake. They misrule some of the world's most powerful nations. They coerce men to buy gas-guzzling Hummers and shoot furry animals. I suspect they're even behind global warming. And now it seems the study of the male package--schlongology, dickistics, wangistry, whatever you want to call it--may actually heal this beautiful planet which said package has, for so long, uh, spat upon.

A few days ago, Kav shared this fascinating story about the epidemic of overisized condoms that has seized India. It seems men in India don't buy condoms because the standard condom size is too big, so their love-gloves are forever slipping off or breaking or otherwise wreaking havoc. Clearly, this is why is India so overpopulated. The BBC coverage was a little naughty, dwelling for instance on how the study measured dongs from the "full length and breadth" of India, etc., but it was nevertheless fascinating (not to mention surprising...I always thought that Indian men...well, nevermind.)

So by studying Indian penis size, condom suppliers will be able to better penetrate the Asian market, which may actually lead to safer sex and more flaccid population growth.

Then today, the NYTimes leads with this story about how circumcision HALVES a man's risk of contracting H.I.V. from heterosexual sex. HALVES. That's pretty significant. But I found this explanation of the phenomenon a little hard to swallow:

"Uncircumcised men are thought to be more susceptible because the underside of the foreskin is rich in Langerhans cells, sentinel cells of the immune system, which attach easily to the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS. The foreskin also often suffers small tears during intercourse."

Now, I'm no man, but already this article has mentioned 1. circumcision--the slicing off thing and 2. the foreskin-tearing-during-sex thing. I'm getting a little uncomfortable with all the ins and outs.

But then I see this:

"Circumcision is “not a magic bullet, but a potentially important intervention,” said Dr. Kevin M. De Cock, director of H.I.V./AIDS for the World Health Organization."

That is a direct quote. I did not change Dr.Kevin's name. Truly, there are forces operating in this universe which we do not understand. HOW could that be a coincidence? Unless the NYTimes is trying to stick it to us, of course.

If you've never conducted penis research yourself, I suggest you start here. Do you know what animal has the largest member in the world? Prepare to be disturbed yet strangely intrigued.

If you come across any other hard news stories about penises, be sure to shoot them my way.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Waaay back, at the beginning of my blogventure, I was into film reviewing. I especially enjoyed viewing and reviewing crappy straight-to-tv movies about the potential destruction of the Earth, but I won't say no to a good classic craptacular like Red Sonja (starring Eyore Schwartzamuffin and Brigitte "Supermullet" Neilson).

I thought the ironically titled Descent, starring 90210's Dylan McKay, was the absolute worst move I'd ever seen...until last night, when my eyes actually began to melt as I beheld the smorgasbord of shite that was the opening "graphics" of Earthstorm, starring Stephen Baldwin--the creepy drinkin druggin whorin Baldwin brother. Oh wait, that's not really enough to go on, is it? He's the chubby one. Er, he's blonde?

I was immediately rivetted to my sofa cushion. How is this film crappy? Let me count the ways. It is crappy to the outer reaches of the solar system. Its crapiness can never be destroyed...only changed into a different form... It is the Event Horizon of crap. Nothing--not plot nor actor nor character development nor special effects; nay, nor light itself--can escape its crapitational pull.

Reviewing crap movies isn't as easy as you'd think. I know they seem an easy target, but there's always the question of where to begin? and what to include? That's just for your average shit heap. But something of this calibre...well, it's an issue of how to pare it down to a manageable 4,000 words, really...

Okay, that's enough preamble--here's the basic plot:

Asteroid hits moon. Moon is thrown off its orbit and starts to crack in half. Moon's orbit shift has devastating effects on Earth's weather, including like a really bad rainstorm in L.A. and lots of gratuitous satellite graphics of hurricanes. Massive moon-rock debris starts falling to Earth, thankfully in expendable cities like Baltimore.

Meanwhile, "John Redding" (Stephen Baldwhine), the world's leading building blower-upper, is somewhere in, oh God, I don't know, a Hollywood special effects lot for all they tell us, trying to demo a building. Except there's a hobo squatter inside disconnecting all the dynamite, see? So John runs in, rescues the hobo (who uncermoniously cracks him over the head with a bag of what looks like feathers but is supposed to be hammers or something hard)--thereby establishing his hero status.

Meanwhile, (it's a multifaceted plot) Dr. Candy Kane (or something like that) played by an actress not listed in any info I can find on the film--despite the fact that she's the female lead (probably had her name deliberately disassociated with the film)--is aahh...some kind of space rock scientist whose dead father PREDICTED THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN. And died WITH NOBODY BELIEVING HIM. Even though HE WAS RIGHT, YOU KNOW. She traipses through the film scowling angrily and staring at his photo softly in turns, while throwing in the occasional bossy remark about how her father was right all along so they need to listen to her whinging. Oh, and she helps save the Earth from imminent doom.

And even more meanwhile still, cities around the world (well, okay, Detroit and Mexico City) are being levelled by falling moon detrius. Somebody has to stop this. People at the relevant government acronym, "ASI" for American Space Institute, are putting their coiffed and shellacked heads together to figure out a solution--because only the U.S. perspective is relevant in a civilization-ending event like the DESTRUCTION OF THE MOON.

There's a bad guy who hated Dr. Kane's dad and, illogically, acts as monkeywrench to all proposed solutions until finally someone decides to call "John Redding" (aka Billy, I mean Alec, I mean Stephen Bladderwin). See, they're going to get him to help them strategically blow up the big hole in the moon that's causing all these problems. Yeah, that should do 'er.

At first, the building demolition expert is just going to consult with them. But by the time I get back from loading the dishwasher, he's suiting up for a space shuttle tour of duty. That's right, he trained for space shuttle flight in the span of 10 minutes, or by my calculations, 5 hours in movie time. In mere moments, he'll be droppin' a sweet payload of pain on that old bitch.

After a bunch of snags, including a power outage at the film equivalent of NASA ("Someone get me a flashlight!"), the mission is successful. In the last scene, "John" randomly begins making out with Dr. Kane, I vomit violently, and ...fade to black.

When good ideas meet low budgets

The basic premise of Shitstorm is a good one. It's just so very sad that nobody saw its potential but a low-budget production company. Imagine what Will Smith and Roland Emmerich could have done with this one. I mean the Americanocentricity would still have been there, but they would have at least included a few shots of London and Tokyo being flattened by debris...

The dialogue was actually not bad in this film. The plot structure--well, you could see there was potential there, but all the good was edited out and we were left with a sort of Frankenstein Monster of story development. The acting wasn't complete poop, except the hobo, who was comically bad.

The special effects? Think Pong. I mean, if you're making a low-budget sci-fi flick, put all you've got into the effects. That's the money shot. But no, they pour the money into faked building demo scenes. Star Trek Voyager has better special effects. Gah...

I feel for the actors, the film crew, the director, the cities mentioned in this disaster, and the Moon. What did they do to deserve this? Mostly, though, I feel for the writer(s). If this is the best you can hope for when you pour your heart and soul into a screenplay...well, why bother? Like I said, the writing actually wasn't that bad.

More importantly, people should visit Stephen Baldwin's fan site, "formerly the Stephen Baldwin admiration circle." Oh man, that is some funny stuff.