Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thong Girl Rocks Gallatin

The makers of the movie "Thong Girl 3" (anyone ever seen the first two?) were successful when they asked Gallatin Mayor Don Wright for permission to film a scene in his office at city hall. But now, other councilmembers are outraged - especially since they filmed on a Sunday.

From the article in the Tennessean:

The plot line involves Thong Girl's alter ego, Lana Layonme, who went shopping at a lingerie store one day and put on a pair of red thong underwear, which gave her magical powers. In the third installment, Thong Girl faces off against her nemesis, the Dark Widow, who's out to take over country music and turn its artists into rappers, the filmmaker said.

Weiss was working on a scene involving a fictitious mayor, and he said he was pleased with the "agricultural look" of Wright's office, whose executive chambers are decorated with Civil War memorabilia and state artifacts."

I suppose this means Thong Girl has visible plot-lines?

Like I said on Newscoma's post (she had this story before I did) why not use the filming to promote tourism? Wouldn't the tagline - "Gallatin - Home of Thong Girl" bring some cheeky tourists??

John at Salem's Lots was all over Thong Girl News on Friday. TG got a right pretty invite, too.

All things Thong Girl related are here.

UPDATE: It turns out that Mayor Don Wright, a former state senator, has a rather troubled past when it comes to women in general. The info was brought to my attention via a post from the Anti Jim Bryson web log:

This is the same Don Wright who helped squire Bryson around town during the Sumner County leg of his recent Big Double Talk bus tour. It’s also the same Don Wright who not long ago was reprimanded for making inappropriate comments to a woman about her breasts. Does anyone else see a pattern here?"

From the second link above
: "Gallatin Mayor Don Wright has been forced to take sensitivity training after a controversial remark he made this month to a female employee.

n a letter written earlier this month to city attorney Joe Thompson, a female city employee goes into detail about an incident where the mayor admits to asking her, "Do you have implants?"

Also worth reading are the comments on the Anti-Bryson page, where one reader points to comments in the press from Wright regarding how difficult it is for a man to hear "No" from a woman, and that his fictional Civil War novel contains some rather unpleasant rape/forced sex scenes.

I know, fiction is fiction -- it just seems that the Honorable Mayor may have a way-too-public sex fantasy life.

The one good thing from all this - it just shows ya that stupid politicos are not just in East or West TN. They're statewide! What was that bumper sticker I saw the other day?

Oh yes - "Tennessee - Not All Our Politicians Are Indicted".

Friday, September 15, 2006

Camera Obscura - Classic Short Films, New DVDs and Some Jazz

Cinematic marvels can appear in many shapes and sizes. I was lucky enough to see movies in giant palaces in the 1960s and 1970s, and remember the announcement being made that movies would no longer be preceded by cartoons or short subjects.

Mostly I recall the giant screens filled with an animated dusky expanse of desert and towering rock formations, a ribbon of black road threading through the wastelands and the sudden burst of a racing bird (a Roadrunner) hotly pursued by a coyote with a knife and fork (one Wile E. Coyote to be exact). Occasionally, I'd see some short film before the feature, usually a wildlife piece or a more rare behind-the-scenes reel of a movie about to be released.

For some years now, Turner Classic Movies have included short films and cartoons on their schedule and today the entire day is nothing but short films. Some are from many years past, but tonight some rare short films will be presented by the top name directors - David Lynch, Martin Scorcese, Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. So heat up the old VCR or program your Tivo or DVR and snag these rare films.

Other featured short films will be shown by Francois Truffaut, Ridley Scott and his brother, Tony, Jane Campion, Roman Polanski-- all starting with Lynch's short films tonight at 9 p.m.

A full list of the short films and the times they air are here.


I must urge you to spend the time (and/or money) to watch the newly released first season DVD collection for a show that didn't get much attention this year, "The Unit." Produced and created by award-winning playwright/director David Mamet, the show follows a group of elite soldiers as they take on missions around the world, and face challenges on the homefront as well.

A great round-up of the episodes and the DVD extras are here. The show is lean and muscular, tough and realistic, and very satisfying both as drama and as a more realistic look at how military squads operate. I am eager for the new season to get underway.

Landing on DVD shelves on Tuesday, September 19th is a new horror movie called "Left In Darkness". What I liked best about this new movie is the sharp eye of the director which provides an old-school approach - rich atmosphere, suspense and chills without heavy gore or computer generated effects.

The story centers on Celia (Monica Keena of "Freddy vs. Jason") whose 21st birthday is pretty dang lousy -- she gets drugged, raped and is killed by drug overdose at a wild frat party. But that is only the beginning of her problems.

She is trapped in a netherworld and in a battle between good and evil, battling the threat of Soul Eaters and searching for a way out. Actor Tim Thomerson plays her late grandfather to perfection. One never knows if he is helping her or leading her to an even worse fate.

The last third of the film turns up the confusion and fear a few more notches, and the result is a first-rate take on suspense and the macabre.

My thanks to Anchor Bay and M-80 for the screener copy of the movie. Definitely worth a viewing for fans of suspense and horror.


Since I started this post talking about the great old days of short films, I thought it a fine way to end today with a short film by filmmaker/photographer Gjon Mili, one of the best of the Life Magazine photographers. The short is called "Jammin' The Blues" from 1944.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Does U.S. Currency Contain 9-11 Secrets?

I noticed on Yahoo! News that a picture has been quite popular this week on their pages - an oddly folded twenty dollar bill which some say reveals an image of the smoking World Trade Centers just after being struck by terrorist-hijacked airplanes.

The caption for the photo says a "Palestinian man" is holding the bill.

Making new symbols out of the symbol-heavy U.S. currency is not new and according to the Urban Legends page, this particular 9-11 image first started popping up on the web in 2002. Folding bills and other items are mentioned in the article.

Another web site goes much further. It shows how certain newly revised U.S. currency contains images of the burning buildings, the buildings in mid-collapse and on the $100 bill, a rising column of smoke is all that is visible. The pictures and text are all on a web site called "Armageddon Online."

I had no idea the End of the World had it's own web page.

But, after all, we are in the modern age. Dire warnings of the End Times have likely been in existence since humans gained the powers of speech and communication. Secret signs and wonders, cryptic images, predictions and such are always hovering on the horizons for some people - they'll find conspiracy anywhere and everywhere. (and the site mentioned above has a whole zoo of endtime scenarios and provides some extra fuel for your Fear-filled fires).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Corker Popped?

In an already too-close-to-call race for the open Senate seat in Tennessee, GOP hopeful and former Chattanooga mayor Bob Corker lost an attempt to delay a lawsuit regarding the transfer of property and it's conservation management. The property in question went to Wal-Mart, and if Corker had his way, he would have delayed a deposition in the case until after the election.

Chancellor Howell Peoples said no to that, so the case will make much news in the weeks just prior to the start of voting.

Alice pointed out this story, and another report on trouble for Corker via Daily Kos over the 911 operations which challenger and Democrat Harold Ford Jr. has been hitting hard in recent TV ads.

Tennessee Ticket has more on the poll numbers and the Wal-Mart case.

I have also noticed that while the president arrived to do some fundraising for Corker, one face absent in his run is the current office-holder, Sen. Bill Frist. Call me cynical, but given that Frist is still under investigation by the Securities and Exchange officers and was also recently outed for faking information about his renewal of his doctor's license, then the two men together just might create more negative press than Corker could hope to overcome.

Hard roads are certainly ahead for both candidates, but the last stages of the campaign matching up with lawsuits a-go-go might give Ford the edge to win the race.

Changes For The Coming Days

Time moves swiftly here on the internets and I know my posting has slowed somewhat for the last few days. The reasons are sadly, grim ones.

On the one hand, I am proud to be the semi-adopted son of a family here in East TN, a family with much compassion and talents too numerous to mention, which I have known for 15 years. On the other and more immediate hand, the family is facing and coping with the failing health and apparently terminal cancer of the father. I'm not giving out names for privacy reasons. A full diagnosis is still underway.

His health turned quite bad late last week so the last few days have been brutal for his family and for him. He is in the great and caring hands of several doctors and nurses and I know he has been resting well and his pain is being managed well.

Words to describe all these recent events fall far short of the reality. I am not one to tiptoe around the topic of Death, but when It is a part of every breath, it starts to slur my speech and stun my thoughts. And I'm the fortunate one in this time. I know for the family and the critically ill father, breaths will not bring much relief for months and months to come.

For constant readers here, I felt compelled to explain the sporadic posts and the likelihood that the pace of this page is going to be slower than I want, simply because my attentions and thoughts are a part of this family's very painful present.

Their dad is my family too, and, as important, he is my friend. So my strengths and attentions are all with them. Whenever I have time and thoughts coherent enough to post here, I shall.

Send your best thoughts his way, and many thanks to readers for your patience. I hope this post finds you and yours well and happy, and please take some time to consider how fortunate you are and to explore the rich luxuries of Time and Health and the family and friends you care for and who care for you.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Update on 9-11 Aftermath

I was pleased that overall interest in a faked docudrama about the events prior to and on 9-11 on ABC this week pretty much tanked.

Same for CNN's re-broadcast of their coverage on 9-11-01 to hype their Pipeline service - my own indignation and questions about that has even garnered the attention of Slate writer Sonia Smith (scroll down for mention of this humble blog and thanks for reading, Sonia).

While many bloggers in Tennessee offered opinions, ideas and more on thoughts five years after the original attacks, I liked the post from Kevin at Lean Left:

Osama Bin Laden is still free.

That, five years after the fall of the towers, is as good a symbol for the failures of the Bush Administration as any. As I mentioned earlier today, not only is Bid Laden till free, but the US government has lost all trace of him after bungling the operation to catch him at Tora Bora because it shifted focus to Iraq. Even worse, there is no one single person responsible for finding him; the various bureaucracies have been left to fight it out among themselves. Bin Laden’s freedom is hardly the only failure of the last five years."

I am convinced if Bush leaves office without capturing the living or deceased body of bin Laden, then most Americans (and perhaps many of our allies) will see his responses to the terrorism of 9-11 as a large failure.

A Real Sunsphere Report?

I had noticed the story and was not alone as even R. Neal at KnoxViews expressed surprise that some actual reporting has occurred on the massive eyesore and financial boondoggle that is the Big Gold Golfball, aka The Sunsphere in Knoxville.

Meant to symbolize the source of all Energy, it is an Energy Hog, and has never been a practical or useful piece of architecture. Leasing the site has nearly been impossible due to utility costs alone. It's a leftover symbol of irony from a failed Energy-themed World's Fair, where plans for alternate energy to run the pavilions resulted in huge electrical bills.

Objective and plain reporting? Yep, a good story was written. Sadly, though, I found the bulk of the stories in the Knoxville Voice too generic, and it needs a few more local reports - but I think the paper is working on it and the future is theirs if they wish it.

The print media is hard pressed in my opinion to compete with the information and views available via blogs like this, for just one example. If you run through all the links on this Cup of Joe, I think you'll find tons of local and national information.

And if you know of a site I should add as a new blog or news link, please offer your suggestions in the comments today.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A 9-11 Question

What is your reaction to the constant coverage in news and other media (movies, documentaries, etc.) being provided for the five- year mark of the terrorist attacks of September 2001?