Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Part of "Illegal" Don't You Understand?

"Sí se puede" - Yes, we can... Ummmm you can what?
I am not surprised, however sad that is, that hundreds of thousands of Latinos took to the streets to protest against immigration reforms that would make being in this country illegally a felony. It's already against the law, but it's a civil offense, and our politically correct politicians, lobbied heavily by construction, restaurant, and agriculture interests have pretty much been looking the other way for decades.
Now, the illegals have the misguided idea that somehow they are supposed to be allowed to be here indefinitely - like it is an unalienable right. The thought that we might pass a law with teeth is scaring... who, exactly? The illegals? They are already illegal! How dare we enforce or stiffen our laws.
It doesn't help that some of our own elected officials can't draw the distinction between a legal immigrant and an illegal alien. Senator Diane Feinstein, no genius on any level, actually called them "good citizens" today. Someone drag that woman to a civics 101 class! She's ostensibly representing half of California!! OH wait, half of California is illegal aliens. I forgot.
The idea that actually enforcing our laws is somehow "unfair" or "racist" or "backward" in this day and age of ballooning deficits, a war, and hospitals going bankrupt everywhere illegals are is the perhaps the most stupid idea since "hate crimes".
If you're illegal, you're illegal. Period. If you get caught, you should be thrown OUT. Not in a prison where taxpayers feed, clothe and shelter you. Back to Mexico. The great country that you pour into the streets to chant the name of. The one you carry flags for on Cinco de Mayo. The one whose language you refuse to quit speaking. If it's so great, why'd you leave? If you came here "for a better life for your family", what a great example you set by sneaking in illegally. It's just easier to sneak in (since we won't do anything to stop you) than it is to go through the legal process. Wow. Such perserverance. Touching.
Now, we'll get to watch endless Democrats bluster on about "fairness", "compassion", "understanding" etc. Why? Pandering for the Hispanic vote, of course. Hopefully it will backfire. A lot of Latinos voted Republican in the last election because they are (supposedly) tougher on illegal immigration. Why should they go through all the hard work to actually become a citizen and then all these leeches come through the easy way?
This country is doomed unless people start throwing out encumbent "lifelong" congressmen, and actually hold elected officials to what they promised in their campaigns. And since that won't happen, well, we're doomed.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Holy Haters, Batman, there's no Holy Cities!

It occurred to me today, on this third anniversary of the Iraq war, that the press seems to be resting on its collective laurels a bit.
When the war got going, and we were seeing video bits of spectacular explosions, lighting up the Iraqi skies, the press constantly referred to every city in Iraq as "The holy city of ..." Now, if this was out of some sort of fawning reverence to all things Islam, or even out of respect for "the people of Iraq", they would still be using those four words in reference to the towns.
Since they have taken, over the last year or more, to merely calling the cities by their name, without the distinguishing preamble, one might ask why. I believe the answer is this:
The press couldn't care less if any city or site, in any country, is considered holy. I've never heard "The holy city of Tel Aviv was bombed today..." The reason they kept tagging on "The holy city of..." was to make it sound that somehow we were the bad guys, bombing "holy sites", not terrorists or the followers of a maniacal dictator (who were 'spiritually sensitive' enough to hide in mosques, often behind children, hoping to avoid their doom). Remember, Bush bad, any other world leader, no matter how murderous, good. So why not fuel the fire by pronouncing every military target "holy"? Now that they've done their job, they've made it look like only bad things happen in Iraq, there's an increasing anti-war (and anti-Bush) sentiment growing, there's no need to mention "holy" anymore. It probably came as a relief to not have to utter that word anymore. Because in America, when someone says "holy" the Judeo-Christian deity springs to mind. And we can't have that, now, can we.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Crash, Pimps, Sheepherders

Oh, the Oscars.
Had it not been for the fact that I belatedly drove to a friend's party to watch the last half, I probably would have dozed through the show. Partly because I wasn't feeling well, and partly because it was pretty lame.
Jon Stewart was passable, but if you watch The Daily Show then you've seen it all before: The rolling of the eyes, the timely raised eyebrow, etc. He must have brought his writers along so he could remain firmly in his routine.

There were, in my opinion, some pleasant surprises, not the least of which was that "Brokeback Mountain" didn't sweep everything. Hell-bent as Hollywood is to rush to embrace anything 'bold', 'maverick', 'progressive', 'enlightening', (read: anti-family, anti-Christian, anti-American), not even the Academy of the Out-Of-Touch could grit their teeth and take it like a man. So, they split - giving Ang Lee Best Director honors and "Crash" Best Picture. I saw "Crash". It was tough to watch in many places (and I'll never think of Sandra Bullock quite the same again - Miss congeniality? More like Miss Opprobrious), but in the end, a well-done movie with a bit of redemption in the end.
I haven't seen and won't see "Brokeback" - there are plenty of great love story movies out there that don't involve M4M relations. I'm no prude, but the hype surrounding this movie was nothing more than a banner for the homosexual agenda -- the one that says that if you don't want your kid's scoutmaster to be gay, then you're the one with the problem. The one that says that if you define marriage as the union between one man and one woman, then you're the pervert. No thanks.
I've got homosexual friends, and have worked and socialized with several over the years. Fine people. But none of them ever tried to 'convert' me or to bully me into some sort of approval of their lifestyle. To the best of my knowledge, none ever walked in a "pride" parade or wore their proclivities on their sleeve. They kept their private lives private, and it didn't need to be the overarching topic of conversation. They were offended by obnoxious homophobes who called them names (or worse) - but then, who isn't offended by someone belittling you and degrading you. On the subject of that sort of morality, we agreed to disagree and let it lie.
But I digress.

It was nice to see Reese Witherspoon win best Actress in a Leading Role. I guess I've just read enough interviews with her to respect the way she and her husband are staying as non-Hollywood as possible. Kudos, and if you need a role model for your "I wanna be an actress" daughter, I think I'd start with Reese.

My favorite "You have GOT to be kidding me" part of the night, however, was a two-fold event. First, the "performance" (using the term loosely) of "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" from "Hustle and Flow"... immediately followed by that song WINNING for best original song from a motion picture... HUH? I don't care if a rap song gets nominated or even wins (Eminem did it with "Lose Yourself" what - 2 years ago?), but "Pimp" is a horrible excuse for even a rap song. Let's look at the lyrics (with some 'editing' by me):

You know it's hard out here for a pimp (you ain't knowin)
When he tryin to get this money for the rent (you ain't knowin)
For the Cadillacs and gas money spent (you ain't knowin)
[1] Because a whole lot of b****es talkin s**t (you ain't knowin)
[2] Will have a whole lot of b****es talkin s**t (you ain't knowin)

In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs in the streets
Gotta couple hoes workin on the changes for me
But I gotta keep my game tight like Kobe on game night
Like takin from a ho don't know no better, I know that ain't right
Done seen people killed, done seen people deal
Done seen people live in poverty with no meals
It's f***d up where I live, but that's just how it is
It might be new to you, but it's been like this for years
It's blood sweat and tears when it come down to this s**t
I'm tryin to get rich 'fore I leave up out this b***h
I'm tryin to have thangs but it's hard fo' a pimp
But I'm prayin and I'm hopin to God I don't slip, yeah


Man it seems like I'm duckin dodgin bullets everyday
Niggaz hatin on me cause I got, hoes on the tray
But I gotta stay paid, gotta stay above water
Couldn't keep up with my hoes, that's when s**t got harder
North Memphis where I'm from, I'm 7th Street bound
Where niggaz all the time end up lost and never found
Man these girls think we prove thangs, leave a big head
They come hopin every night, they don't end up bein dead
Wait I got a snow bunny, and a black girl too
You pay the right price and they'll both do you
That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly pimpin
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin change off these women, yeah

Seriously now... Oscar-worthy? Nice to know that in the middle of forcing women to sell their bodies, our hero prays to God that he won't slip - so he can get rich. Priceless. Oh, and I have it on good authority that a Snow Bunny is a white girl, in case you're wondering. So... did somehow only men vote for this vacuous assault on women? In order to win, I'd have to say that plenty of female Academy members had to vote for this 'song'. I will wager that the vast majority of those who voted for this 'song' never even heard it - or if they did, certainly didn't understand the lyrics. That's one advantage of rap, rock-n-roll, and other pop music styles -- people don't generally get the lyrics until after several listens, if even that. Now that the song has won, I'm sure there will be some discussion about it... but I won't hold my breath waiting for the feminists to denounce it. They're too busy railing against South Dakota's abortion ban. Hollywood, I'm putting you on notice -- the next time the cops pull the body of a prostitute or a rape victim out of a dumpster, some of the blood is on your hands. You're standing by applauding the glorification of the degradation of God's most perfect creation, all in the name of 'diversity' and 'tolerance'. You sick freaks. I'm not for censorship (people are free to vote with their pocketbook -- don't by the crap, the crap stops flowing), but HONORING such a vile slime-fest is lowly behavior even by the hedonistic bunch that makes up the majority of the film industry today. Nice try with the cute comparisons to other "strange-sounding song titles" by both Ludacris and Queen Latifah (who, before presenting the award for best song actually said "How was I NOT in that performance?" I guess she hadn't heard the lyrics either. Or were all of her in-your-face, pro-woman rap albums just a way to get paid until her acting career took off and she too could leave her principles at the door) - but I will remain offended by "Pimp" and not too upset over "Bibbity Bobbity Boo". You can bet Verna Felton (voice of the Fairy Godmother) didn't have to be on a six-second delay so the producers could catch her profanity.

I don't know if I'll be watching the self-congratulatory, smarmy, holier-than-thou Oscars next year. Things tend to get worse before they get better, and I'll bet we haven't seen the bottom yet.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Live Music - On a Tuesday Night?

So, Tuesday night some friends from church and I went to see a band called "Family Force 5". I hadn't heard of them except for my friend Rob telling me about them (and showing some of us their "Kountry Gentleman" video). They were pretty hilarious! The most refreshing thing about them is that they are Christians, but not a Christian band. What does that mean? In my little definition, it means that they write songs about whatever they feel like, and in their case, goofy songs. It's not 'praise & worship' music. They don't preach from the stage. To me, that's refreshing. So many (OK, nearly ALL) of the bands purporting to be Christian have to go through the Nashville meat grinder, so that no matter what they used to sound like, they all come out neat, tidy, homogeneous, guitars and drums buried in the mix, etc. Family Force 5 may pass through Nashville, but only as a tour stop. They certainly don't fit 'the mold'. What do they sound like? I'd say... a mixture of Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, Beastie Boys... with a fat greasy side of Atlanta Hip-Hop and above all, a wicked sense of humor.
I don't think they (or the opening bands) were appreciated too much by some in our little group for many reasons, not the least of which was everything was way too loud. And I ain't saying that just because I'm getting old! I do sound. I know sound. This was laziness and apathy on the part of the engineer(s). When a room is practically empty, you're not going to "create energy" by slamming everything to 'eleven'. This night was especially egregious because even the opening bands were full throttle. Who does that? You always "save a little something" for the headliner. Thankfully, most of us were packing earplugs. A life-saver, albeit somewhat annoying. I have been threatening for years to get a pair of Sonic II hearing protectors, but never have. And, every time I've got a pair of foam plugs in, I remember -- "OH yeah, these things kill all the highs & high mids so I can't understand anything being sung". Bummer. Every once in a while I'd loosen one or the other for a minute or two, but... ouch. Stupid sound guy. Just because you've lost half of your hearing doesn't mean you need to inflict it on the rest of the world!
Well, anyway, we talked to some of the FF5 for a second after the show - great guys, very humble (hard not to be when only 55 people show up for your gig). I wish them well, and I guess I should mention local band "Type Nine" who went on before FF5. I think they could stand an infusion of energy, but their songs were pretty well-written and their musicianship was tight. A few technical difficulties marred the performance a bit, but they probably had a 0-minute soundcheck.