Saturday, April 10, 2004

The Bush Administration's Bad Attitude 

Condoleezza Rice said there was nothing the Bush Administration could have done to stop the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Not with that attitude, Missy!

In her session before the Sept. 11 commission, Condi displayed a mastery of evasion tactics and "exonerated" her boss and all his associates. "There was no silver bullet," she said, implying that only some sort of magic or superhuman effort would have been required to stop the supernatural "werewolf" represented by al Qaeda.

So. Condoleezza Rice expresses very little confidence in the abilities of the FBI and the CIA and the government in general to stop al Qaeda in the days before Sept. 11, 2001. I ask, what would it have taken, really, if you accept the idea that fundamentalists are human beings, not mystical and unstoppable creatures? A little more vigilance, a little less emphasis on Iraq, the observance of security measures already in place, maybe shorter vacations at the Crawford ranch. The Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by 19 al Qaeda operatives in the U.S. illegally, many of them previously noted by various U.S. security organizations.

Condi says there was no way the government could have stopped them. That fewer than two dozen religious fanatics had basically neutralized the nation's security forces.

I see something of contradiction here. If the U.S. government couldn't identify and control a handful of terrorists, and if that same administration couldn't see a looming and deadly threat like the one that knocked down the World Trade Center, then why should that same government be expected to magically acquire the wisdom and expertise to attack Asian nations, stop terrorism, bring freedom and democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, unify the entire Middle East and manage the whole thing so well that no unforeseen elements would add to the bloodshed and create a costly and horrifying quagmire? After all, the information that was used to justify the "pre-emptive" strike on Iraq was just as vague as the information trickling in before Sept. 11, 2001, that indicated an attack against U.S. interests was imminent. And the information about Iraq was not just vague, it was manufactured and intentionally misleading.

Do you see what I mean? The system that couldn't possibly have stopped Sept. 11 was anointed by the Bush Administration as the holy and infallible organization that would bring peace and prosperity and democracy to the poor, suffering people of Iraq who were eagerly awaiting the chance to be blown to bits by the U.S. military as a prelude to a U.S.-controlled "democracy." The system that couldn't keep track of fewer than a dozen terrorists should have no problem managing the fates of millions of Iraqis comprising numerous competing religious groups and ethnicities who might object to a U.S. invasion.

I also see a problem in the lack of accountability. If there was no way to stop the Sept. 11 terror attacks, then no one is accountable. Where does the buck stop? Apparently nowhere near the president or his inner circle.

If no one was responsible for the intelligence failures that made Sept. 11 such a walk in the park for the terrorists, then ultimately, no one is responsible for anything that takes place during the watch of the Bush Administration. And that's just how they act. No one has any shame about lying or twisting the evidence or withholding information from Congress.

It's one thing to lie about your drunk-driving record or your military service. But another thing entirely to lie about matters of global importance when the stakes are so high, when hundreds of young soldiers who put their faith in their leader will die, thousands of innocent civilians will be killed, and none will really know the reason why.

In the same political culture that says no one is accountable for the intelligence failures that led to Sept. 11, it is no wonder that no one seems the least bit self-conscious about the failure to bring peace or democracy to Iraq. No one, that is, except for a few people who have been booted out of the administration for standing up to Bush and Cheney and pals to say that their loyalty is to the people ... and not to the man who sits in the president's chair.


Thursday, April 08, 2004


Today was Condi's big day to appear before the Sept. 11 commission and fess up to the Bush Administration's negligence and manipulation and its shameless use of the Sept. 11 tragedy to promote its own political and commercial ends. The Bush Administration has talked big about protecting the country from terrorism, but when the time arrived to honestly assess problems with America's security policies and the myopia that caused the World Trade Center to become a symbol of triumph for "Islamic" fundamentalism, the Bush Administration dragged its heels every step of the way, opposing the very existence or need for the commission, refusing to cooperate, denying the prolongation of the commisson's deadline, and doing whatever seemed necessary to stifle its effectiveness.

At the coffee house where I hang out - the place is full of subversives and liberals and a bunch of people who obviously support terrorism - somebody said "Condoleezza Rice is the ugliest black woman I have ever seen."

I though that was kinda harsh! Condi is kinda cute, like a pit bull. She's just doing her job, ya know, and it can't be an easy job. Imagine having to spend all your time defending a bunch of liars and crooks with nothing but smear tactics and name-calling and "talking points" developed by a public relations staff that's not nearly as clever as you were led to believe.

So let's give Condi a break! She'd do the same for you! (Unless you're in one of those groups that supports terrorism, like the ACLU, the National Education Association, the NAACP or the Democratic Party.)

I hate to admit that I totally forgot she was testifying today. I read a little bit about her testimony on the Internet and she seems to have handled herself admirably with all those bloodthirsty subversive commission members who want to give aid and comfort to the terrorists by trying to find out how our government failed on Sept. 11, 2001.

I did notice that she was awfully kind to Richard Clarke. Last week, he was an opportunistic, disgruntled staffer who was "out of the loop" on terrorism, only interested in selling books and discrediting the president in an election year. Today, she called him a "very fine counter terrorism expert."

I'm sure he'll be putting that on his resume, Condi.

(Note: Mushtown Media Corp. will offer a longer analysis on Condoleeza Rice's testimony at a later date for readers who are interested in this liberal swill.)


Wednesday, April 07, 2004



So I went and saw "Dawn of the Dead" on opening day, the late show, at the Cineramadome, second row, center. The place was packed! There were no seats left, the crowd was buzzing, ready for the movie. It didn't seem like a particularly unruly crowd. But then the previews started and the place went nuts!

The first preview was "Van Helsing." I don't think this looks very good but I don't have any particular hostility toward it. About ten seconds into the preview, somebody started booing Hugh Jackman and his monster movie. Boooo! Boooo! Boooo! The whole crowd, laughing, joined in. We had a heck of a time booing "Van Helsing."

Then, they showed the preview for "The Chronicles of Roddick" (or whatever it's called). Again, this looks pretty bad but I had never heard of it. Again, somebody started razzing this movie (whatever it is). And everybody joined in, booing and hissing and laughing. We were having a great time!

The third preview started. It was the remake of "Walking Tall." I really hate The Rock so I started yelling the second the preview began, really screaming myself hoarse at this poor movie. Booooooooo! BOOOOOO! And everybody in the Dome joined in, even louder than before! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The Dome rocked with our critical discontent. You couldn't hear a single word anybody said during the prevew. The preview for "Walking Tall" ended and we all laughed.

Why did we laugh? I think it was because, as a group of film lovers, we were pleased with ourselves. We had made a statement against Hollywood and its stupid movies. One person had decided he or she was fed up with Hollywood's "product" and started in on "Van Helsing." That one person was probably just as startled as everybody else that the audience reacted so vociferously. We hated those movies! We hated Hollywood for making those movies! And we hated ourselves for going to those movies anyway because there's never anything good playing!

By the way, "Dawn of the Dead" was actually pretty good!


Tuesday, April 06, 2004


Considering the current puritanical environment and the lengths to which the purity police will go to protect their impressionable and stupid children, I have made a very important and drastic decision. I now leave my penis at home every day.

It is an obscene body part and it has the potential to be very offensive to some people. The Department of Homeland Security, the FCC, the FBI and the Attorney General himself could arrest me for my general impudent attitude, search me and find the obscene body part. I could go to jail!

The uproar over recent incidents like Janet Jackson's breast and Howard Stern's foul mouth has made me very nervous. Before I started leaving my penis at home, I could never relax when I was in public because I realized I was a potential threat to the easily offended because of my obscene body part. What if my pants were to fall down unexpectedly and my obscene body part was on view to feeble-minded conservatives and their stunted children? The shock might cause them to become serial killers, terrorists or liberals on the spot.

The potential for mayhem was too great so I made the big decision: Leave the damn, dirty thing at home during the day!

I think I made the right decision, despite the many problems I have to face without frequent consultation with my penis. Like most men, I do most of my heavy thinking with it, and being without my main thinking organ, I often find it difficult to get through the day. I don't know which magazines to look at when I go to the newsstand. I have trouble figuring out who to be nice to. I forget to laugh at bad jokes told by cute blonde girls.

Other problems are relatively minor. For example, the first time I tried to urinate without my obscene body part, I made quite a mess. (It was OK, though. It was only a McDonalds.) But it's all been worth it.

When I see the smiling faces on all the uptight Christians, I feel much better knowing that there is no chance I can accidentally offend them with my obscene body part. With my penis safely at home, knowing that I have done my part to protect easily offended people who I don't know, I get a warm feeling down there ...

Oh, wait a minute! I’m dribbling again!



(Note: This review was written on February 27, 2004, just a few days after "The Passion of the Christ" opened. The editors now feel that enough time has passed so that the painful experience of the film has receded enough and the review can now be released to a wider audience.)

I saw Mel’s Jesus movie. I went to the Cineramadome and sat down front row, center with my popcorn and my Coke, happily waiting for the film, good or bad. (And nothing is ever bad at the Cineramadome. Except “The Age of Innocence,” that was a dreary chore to sit through.)

The consensus?

It’s not as bad as you heard.
It’s a bad as you heard.
It’s worse than you could have imagined. (It’s not as bad as “The Age of Innocence,” though.)

The violence is not as bad as you heard. Oh, it’s pretty sadistic alright, and there is no lack of bloody limbs and ultra-gratuitous brutality. But they cut away a lot. Yeah, it made me wince a little here and there, but it’s not the bloodbath I expected. I am so disappointed!

The anti-Semitism is as bad as you heard. I really don’t know how anyone can see this movie and say that there are no grounds for the charges of anti-Semitism. Yeah, there are some “good Jews,” but the emphasis on the culpability and the savagery of the Jewish mob and the Jewish priests is overwhelming. Worse, there is no attempt to describe any kind of a motive to the actions of these blood-hungry Jews. (This lack of motive extends to MOST of the characters.) Mel’s emphasis on the suffering of Christ seems to just kind of barrel along without any real rhyme or reason and everybody plays his part ... and the part of the Jews is they hate Jesus and want to see him dead because ... uh, Mel (oops, I mean God) says so.

Worst of all, the movie is deadly dull at times. There are flashbacks and a bunch of running around by the rest of the players and a lot of the time it isn’t really very interesting. Even the torture scenes just go on and on and on ... and I didn’t want it to stop because of the violence. I wanted it to stop because I was so fucking bored!

(Which isn’t to say there aren’t good moments. A lot of the actors really cared about the film and some of the characterizations are very nice but all too fleeting. Some of the acting is pretty bad though, but I’ll get to Jim Caviezel in a minute.)

I can’t decide what the best title for the film should be: “The Passion of the Plastic Baby Jesus,” “The Greatest Story Ever Sold” (Or “The Dullest Story Ever Told”), “The Last Pretension of Christ,” “The Codswallop According to Mel.” (Somebody stop me!)

William S. Burroughs once wrote “Does Christ never tire of bleeding?” The real question is “Does Mel never tire of filming Christ bleeding?” Which brings us to Jim Cavaziel. He acts like he was born to play Christ. Oops, I said that wrong, it should be he acts like he thinks he was born to play Christ. Oh, boy, does he really lay on the agony! It’s quite embarrassing at times. I was a little uncomfortable for his sake, and for the sake of his family.

Oh, well, he’s a shoo-in for best performance by a bloody rag at next year’s Razzie awards.

I could go on. I didn’t have a pen with me, so these are only the jokes that I actually remember.

I hope you all have a good weekend, which means try to avoid this sadistic, self-indulgent, self-righteous, pointless, boring garbage.



(Editor's note: The following commentary was written the week before the opening of "The Passion of the Christ." The editorial staff at Mushtown Media Corp. decided that Mel Gibson is still an arrogant ass and that this opinion piece is still timely and should be seen by a larger audience.)

The definitive Jesus movie of Generation Z moved into theaters this week and I feel a little left out of all the controversy because I can’t get riled up by the violence (it’s impossible to have too much violence in the movies; violence is the whole point of cinema) or the allegations of anti-Semitism (not that anti-Semitism isn’t a reason for concern but plenty of people are more qualified than I to address this subject). Still, I have been following the media avalanche and I have noticed something that nobody else seems to have caught on to.

Mel Gibson is such an idiot.

Yeah, we knew he was an idiot, a homophobe and an arrogant ass, but who would have guessed he really could be that big an idiot?

I keep asking myself, did he really make the following comment with a straight face?

“I’m subjected to religious persecution, persecution as an artist, persecution as an American, persecution as a man.”

I would like to see Mel Gibson put his money where his big mouth is and offer up a SINGLE EXAMPLE of persecution for any of these four aspects of his arrogant, privileged life.

Persecution is being herded into a boxcar and shipped to a death camp in Poland.

Persecution is trying to learn in an inferior educational facility because of laws that segregate people based on the color of their skin.

Persecution is living on a poverty-stricken reservation after centuries of abuse and greed and the white man’s blatant violation of every treaty ever forced upon Native Americans.

Mel Gibson does not suffer persecution when a critic writes a bad review of one of his precious films.

It is also not persecution when poor Mel has to endure a little criticism for being an idiot and an arrogant asshole with a colossal ego.

If poor, poor Mel has been suffering “persecution” when somebody with a little perspective dares to suggest that he is not a great artist or a great prophet (and maybe that he might benefit from a little humility), then we will just have to find a new word to describe real “persecution,” you know, the kind where the subject is actually persecuted. The kind where persecution actually takes place.

I find it very hard to work up any tears for poor Mel Gibson.

But I am not a totally heartless creature. If Mel feels persecuted, then I suggest that the people of the world should start a movement to help him find a place where he can go and feel secure, a place to call home where he can be safe from persecution.

That’s right, we should all come together, evoking a global spirit of unity and peace, to find a homeland for Mel Gibson (and his family, if any of them actually want to go). Some place in Idaho or Montana where he can make friends with like-minded egotistical homophobes among the white supremacists and the polygamists.

Or some place in the South where his homophobia and his potential anti-Semitism won’t be out of place. There is even a little town in Mississippi, a little town with a lot of churches, called Port Gibson. We could set aside Port Gibson as a homeland for Mel and they wouldn’t even have to change the name.

And with any luck, the rest of us would be spared Mel’s whiny martyr complex.


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