Friday, May 16, 2008

Camera Obscura: Kingsport Mayor Hates Horror Movies; Cannes Cam

The mayor of Kingsport banned a commercial promoting a new locally hosted horror/sci-fi show called Saturday Night Grindhouse, a promo you can see here on this MySpace page. Why the mayor saw something offensive is beyond me. The ETSU newspaper says:

Kingsport city officials have demanded the first commercial for Saturday Night Grindhouse be taken off the air. The show is a horror movie showcase which began airing on MyTown Channel 16 in Kingsport on May 3, and is the creation of ETSU graduate Justin Simpson and Shannon "the Cinema Warrior" Wallen.

Simpson, 24, Kingsport, graduated in December 2007 as a digital media major.
During his last semester, he began interning at Elixir Media Group in Kingsport.
Elixir Media is contracted to provide programming for Kingsport's public television channel.

Although the city is a client, they provide the channel for the stations use.
There is still some speculation as to why that decision was made.
"All we were told was 'they didn't like the big guy yelling at the screen,'" Simpson said.

I just wish I could get this broadcast here in Morristown - I love these kind of shows. I remember the most recent show from Greeneville hosted by Dungeon Doug and Momar Cadaver. It was great fun and they showed some fine old movies.

Another favorite was the old WSMV show hosted by Sir Cecil Creape, aka the Phantom of the Opry. (Be sure and go to the end of the post to here more from Sir Cecil.) According to Nashville horror host Dr. Gangrene, Pat Sajak used to write the comedy scenes for Sir Cecil.

Maybe the Mayor is just scared easily? You be the judge:

Saturday Night Grindhouse Week 1 Promo


The Cannes Film Festival is underway, and your 'round-the-clock red carpet cam is here.


Sir Cecil Creape's intro to Creature Feature:

Each of us carries upon his shoulders this bony sarcophagus, the grinning face of death. Within it resides the human brain, encompassing within its pulsating grey mass the totality of the cosmic consciousness. What a delicate instrument; capable of thoughts of inexpressible beauty, but often enslaved in mindless terrors by monstrous horrors that the mind cannot fathom, and indeed, horrors that may not exist except within the bony confines of the human brain box. This is Creature Feature... exploring the realms of the unknown. And now, from deep within the catacombs beneath our studios, here is your master of terrormonies, Sir Cecil Creape."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Remember This Day

This Thursday is a special day, one in which you can take action and make a difference. Prompted by the ideas of sacrifice and service espoused by President Bush yesterday, I decided that starting this Thursday and for each Thursday through 2009, you and I can take action and take a stand.

Thank goodness I found a link to a web site which realized this need and sought to fill it. They offer a different theme each Thursday to turn the idea of increased awareness into a Day of Action.

Today's Call to Action offers this theme:

Today is Make Your Voice Quiver With Indignation Day.

Next Thursday is Wince and Fidget Day. (I'm really looking forward to that one!)

Yes, no longer will you have to feel uninformed or uninvolved, you'll have a Theme Day every week! No stickers to buy, no ribbons, no dangerous political views to embrace - just plain, simple acts which will let everyone know you're a little wacko and proud of it! America is depending on you.

Full list of Themes and Dates here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bush Lies About His Golf Sacrifice

I had to read the story a few times to make sure it wasn't a comedy skit from the Internets. Sadly, it is not.

Our fearless president claims that he gave up playing golf to show his solidarity and sacrifice due to the war in Iraq.

No word on what he gave up for the war in Afghanistan ... maybe Yahtzee?

And he lied about giving up golf ... or at best he is utterly confused about when and why he gave up the game. He told reporters:

I don't want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the Commander-in-Chief playing golf," Bush said in an interview with Yahoo and

"I feel I owe it to the families to be as -- to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal," he said.

Bush said his last round of golf was in August 2003 when he was informed that a truck bomb had wrecked the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22 people, including U.N. envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

"They pulled me off the golf course and I said, it's just not worth it anymore to do," Bush said.

But as the Washington Post reports it:

the Associated Press reported on Oct. 13, 2003, that he'd spent a "cool, breezy Columbus Day" playing "a round of golf with three long-time buddies ..."

Even the golfing blogs are appalled:

In an insipid interview with the web site Politico that featured no less than 20 questions about his daughter’s wedding, baseball, American Idol and who does the best impersonation of him, President George W. Bush was hit with a haymaker - Has he stopped golfing?"

He's never attended a military funeral.

Perhaps he has left the game of golf behind and instead sits idly in the course clubhouse, nursing a Near-Beer and saying "yeah, yeah, I'm The Decider".

SuperDad or SuperMom For President?

Last night's results from the Democrat primary in West Virginia (and yes I joked about that) gave a huge margin of victory to Senator Clinton over Senator Obama. But I almost spewed the crackers I was munching through my nose when I heard NBC's Tim Russert proclaim none could deny Sen. Clinton's "right" to stay in the race for the Democratic nomination:

"The magnitude of Senator Clinton's victory tonight will allow her tonight and tomorrow, the next day, to say to the Democrats and to say to Senator Obama's campaign: 'Let me finish this race. Let me take on these next five contests. … I have earned that right to continue to be a fighter.'"

It was days ago, after Sen. Obama won in North Carolina, that Russert said she should withdraw from the race immediately. Russert, like many political pundits, has bumbled this election from beginning to end. Of course, there are endless bursts of stupidity trailing the world o' campaigning.

For instance, also last night, noting the loss of another Republican seat in Congress from a special election, failed presidential candidate Mike Huckabee offered this nonsense:

"People ultimately don't buy the brand - they buy the cereal. … So what we've got to be able to do is to show that there are individuals out there that are worth supporting and worth electing. But they can't go out there and ride the elephant down Main Street."

Ah yes, the Cereal and the Elephant ... weren't they in Alice in Wonderland??

Something else I find surreal is the relentless and savage support some people have provided in the last few months for their choices of Super Candidate of All Time -- the daily humorless, shrill blogging for Candidate A or Candidate B, declaring all who oppose them are brutish thugs who expose their sexist or racist or some other -ist genetic code by daring to vote for the Wrong Candidate reveals to me a naivete' of politics.

I also marvel at the often illegal, unethical and incompetent campaign by Page Gardner and her Women's Voices, Women Vote organization which has been misleading voters across the country with bogus fears about being registered to vote. Facing South has been tracking this story with much skill, and also offered an interview with her in which she simply refused to answer questions about her group's often illegal, unethical and incompetent strategies to confuse women voters.

Likewise sad is BlabRadio's Rush Limbaugh, ever more irrelevant, proclaiming himself and his disciples The Deciders of the Campaign by urging his flock to cast votes for Sen. Clinton as part of something he calls Operation Chaos. I guess he rejected the name Operation Pay Attention To Me I'm Important!! He can only rally negativity, and is utterly impotent in rallying votes for the Republican Party he worships.

One wonders why so many Americans perceive the President of the United States should be our very own SuperDad (or SuperMom).

An interesting essay from Gene Healy from the Cato Institute called The Cult of the Presidency offers this:

The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He—or she—is the one who answers the phone at 3 a.m. to keep our children safe from harm. The modern president is America’s shrink, a social worker, our very own national talk show host. He’s also the Supreme Warlord of the Earth.

"This messianic campaign rhetoric merely reflects what the office has evolved into after decades of public clamoring. The vision of the president as national guardian and spiritual redeemer is so ubiquitous it goes virtually unnoticed. Americans, left, right, and other, think of the “commander in chief” as a superhero, responsible for swooping to the rescue when danger strikes.

"In a 2002 study tracking word usage through two centuries of SOTUs and inaugural addresses, political scientist Elvin T. Lim noted that in the first decades under the Constitution presidents rarely mentioned poverty, and the word help did not even appear until 1859. Nor did early presidents subscribe to the modern notion that it’s all “about the children”; they rarely even mentioned the little buggers. But Lim found that “Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton made 260 of the 508 references to children in the entire speech database, invoking the government’s responsibility to and concern for children in practically every public policy area.

Perhaps the reason so many Americans haul the President onto the pedestal is so they don't have to take any responsibility for themselves and to also have a handy scapegoat to tar and feather when any and every aspect of American life turns sour.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Vaudeville 2.0

Times are bad - no one ever thought West Virginia or Guam would be a vital part in becoming president. The price of everything is higher than boat dock gas. Take a break, people.

So open up this link and click the red button when you read these jokes.

Some samples include:

Q: What do you call a dinosaur with only one eye?

A: A Dyouthinkhesaurus.


A Buddhist walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "make me one with everything".


What's green and fuzzy and if it fell out of a tree would kill you? A pool table.


What's brown and sticky? A stick.


What do you call a guy who's always hanging around musicians? A drummer.


What's Snoop Dogg's favorite weather? (wait for it...) Drizzle.


Thanks, I'll be here all week. be sure and tip your waitress!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mandating Bible Classes In Tennessee Schools

As the fundamental needs of the state's education system face critical issues, some in the legislature have decided the state should, for some reason, teach a class about the fundamentals of the Bible.

Teacher pay is among the low end on a national scale, and a ranking based on student achievement shows that Tennessee ranks 41st out of 50 states, with a score of -8.48. Colleges across the state are looking at yet another year of ever-rising tuition costs, and without money from lottery ticket sales, many students simply could not afford to attend. The state's education association, TEA, offered a wish-list to the legislature for the past year in which needs for funding for everything from pay to building to having enough basic supplies are all mentioned.

The response from the legislature? Bible class.

A proposed bill mandates that every school district create a curriculum for an elective class about the Bible.

Backers of the bill, State Sen. Roy Herron and Rep. Mark Maddox, claiming that the current generation is the most "Biblically illiterate ever" offered some of their reasoning in this editorial from the Tennessean:

If young people do not understand the importance and impact of the Bible on literature and art, in history and culture, where do they get their values? The television wasteland? Internet temptations? So much musical mess? In our coarsening culture, why not let students learn from the world's best-selling book?"

Now in this great state of Tennessee, it is pretty much impossible to travel more than a mile without seeing at least one, and usually many churches. Our state is without a doubt the very conservative heart of the Bible Belt -- justifying this type of class in our state doesn't add up.

If families have decided on their own to not attend or join a church in Tennessee, should our educational system step in to provide instruction on moral and religious history?