Archive for June, 2005

How Appropriate

I just read a post where someone started the sentence with the abbreviation, “IANAL”. WTF, right? So I thought about it in context to the sentence. “IANAL” seemed to be acting as a disclaimer. Ergo:

I = I

A = Am

N = Not

A = A

L = Lawer Lawyer (thanks for the heads-up, dad!)

And for a moment there, I thought Apple was releasing some sort of kinky porn software.

Tom Cruise Has Lost It

When Tom Cruise began dating Katie Holmes, we all just assumed it was some kind of publicity stunt. When they got engaged, we figured he was having a mid-life crisis. But recently, Tom Cruise was on the Today show and he finally let us see the cards in his hand. As it turns out, he was bluffing.

He’s fucking nuts.

Now, I don’t mean that in a “I’m going to sue you for libel” kind of way. What I mean is that some of the things he’s been saying and doing lately have left me (and a lot of other people) wondering about his sanity.

It all started back on Oprah. Tom Cruise was on the show talking about… Well, no one really remembers what he was actually there for, because the topic was completely overshadowed by his “couch surfing” antics. The event was the scuttlebutt of the nation and eventually (almost predictably), led to this video clip.

Next, Tom Cruise appeared on The Today Show, where Matt Lauer attempted to interview him. At first, the interview was quite light; they chatted about Cruise’s upcoming film and his engagement to Katie Holmes. Then, in a later segment, Matt Lauer brought up Scientology and Cruise’s recent condemnation of Brooke Shields and her decision to go on anti-depressants as a method of dealing with her postpartum depression.

Things turned very, very dark.

The formerly jovial Tom Cruise donned a mask of terror (did his face remind anyone else of his saggy face in Minority Report?) and attacked Matt Lauer for being uninformed. Lauer continued trying to ask questions and illicit some sort of logical answer from Cruise, but no answer could be found.

This is, I suspect, because no logical answer exists. As my friend Kris pointed out, Scientology, like many other religions, has some good ideas and some fucking weird ones (to paraphrase both Kris and Eddie Izzard). For example, Scientology teaches that many of our problems are caused by the spirits of space aliens that have become stuck in our bodies [SOURCE]. I mean, come on! I want to believe just as much as the next guy, but even Fox Mulder would be ashamed.

Cruise continued to attack Matt Lauer, making such ambiguous arguments as, “You don’t know…I do.” In fact, Cruise successfully avoids answering any of Lauer’s questions and merely preaches for the rest of the interview. He goes on accuse Lauer of being “glib” and irresponsible, “when you don’t know about it and I do”.

Cruise’s hypocrisy managed to shine through multiple times during the interview, but my favourite is the one that appears below.

Lauer: But a little bit of what you’re saying Tom is, you say you want people to do well. But you want them do to well by taking the road that you approve of, as opposed to a road that may work for them.

Cruise: No, no, I’m not.

Lauer: Well, if antidepressants work for Brooke Shields, why isn’t that okay?

Cruise: I disagree with it.

It’s clear that there’s just no reasoning with Tom Cruise. Lauer did an applaudable job and managed to remain professional in the face of Cruise’s rude interjections and unfounded accusations.

Cruise can do all the research in the world, but how can he truly judge until he knows what it’s like? Has he been diagnosed with ADD? I have. I was diagnosed before it was the popular thing to do. I was on Ritalin for years, by my own free will, and it =does= work. At least, it did for me. How do you determine how much Ritalin to give a kid? I imagine it has something to do with age and weight, but as a general rule, start low and work your way up from there. Has Cruise ever had postpartum depression? We know that answer is no. Being sad is different from being depressed, and while vitamins and exercise might work to cure depression, quite often victims of depression don’t have the luxury of time. Without drugs, those who are truly depressed may hurt or even kill themselves or someone else. Yes, I agree that Paxil, Zoloft, and the like are just a mask; but sometimes that mask is required in order for people to clear their heads and realise what they need to do in order to fix their lives.

Moreover, vitamins =ARE DRUGS=! Many synthetic drugs are modeled off of vitamins. Anything that you ingest that changes your chemical balance is a drug. Just because vitamins are natural, doesn’t exempt them. What about marijuana? Or opium? Or cocaine?

And just who the hell does Tom Cruise think he is, anyway? Just because he had us at hello doesn’t mean he’s qualified to dole out health advice or tell us we’re all wrong because we don’t believe the same things he does. What he’s doing is slowly committing political suicide. It was the American public that gave him his wealth and power and we can just as easily take it away. Some people have even begun to boycott Cruise’s films as a way to act against him.

You know else I want to know? Where the hell was Katie Holmes for the two weeks before her and Cruise publicly professed their love? There are some pretty suspicious things going on there. All we can do is hope that she comes to her senses and breaks off the engagement before she’s trapped forever.

You know, I’ve said a lot of bad things about Tom Cruise in this piece, but to be fair, we should remember that above all else, Tom Cruise cares.

Kickin’ Ass and Takin’ Names

Brazil is at it again. This time the Brazilian Ministry of Health is telling Big Pharma (in the U.S., of course) of make AIDS drugs (Kaletra, specifically) cheaper by almost fifty percent, or face the consequences. The consequences being that Brazil will break the patents and produce their own generic version of the drug.

MIT Survey

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Frontline

Frontline is a damn cool show.

Earlier this week I watched an episode they had called, “Private Warriors”. It was about how the U.S. government outsources certain aspects of the war to private security companies and how that’s really not the best idea.

You can watch the whole thing online.

Seth MacFarlane Owes Me $3.10

So, late Thursday night I =finally= received word from TicketMaster that the Seth MacFarlane show had been cancelled. I was also told that all of my money would automatically be credited back to my credit card, less $3.10 for processing fees.

Why did it take so damn long for them to do this? I knew that the show was cancelled weeks before it finally was. Tickets were on sale up through Thursday, and I’m sure there were probably people buying tickets that whole time. How many people are going to be out $3.10 for no good reason? And what about people like me who are coming in from out of town to see the show? Thankfully I’m staying with Kris and Lindy, but other people could have made reservations at a hotel. Morah and I drove, but what about anyone who bought a plane ticket? How much money are other people losing because of cancellation fees?

When I was living in Hawaii, there was a promoter who would advertise that big acts were coming to town, while knowing full well that they weren’t. What they would do is sell tickets to these huge concerts where several famous bands would perform (akin to the Vans Warped Tour), so people would buy tickets because they thought a band they really liked would be there. Then, at the last minute, they would announce that the band wasn’t coming. The idea was that people would think, “well, I already bought the ticket…” and still go, instead of demanding a refund. The promoter ended up getting caught and had to stop doing it. And I’m certainly not accusing Monqui Presents of doing this, I was just reminded of it from a previous experience.

Friday Funday XLIII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

Summer is officially here, but that doesn’t mean that I’m taking a break. Here are some links to last you all summer (or at least until next week).

Internet Archive’s Feature Films [del.icio.us]

With over 450 feature films available for download, you should have no trouble finding an excuse to spend all summer indoors. Okay, sure, most of the films are crappy (I mean, come on, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die?), but there are some classics (such as Night of the Living Dead). If you feel compelled to claw your eyes out, be sure to watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (for the ultimate in kitsch, take a peek at the AV Geeks section). If books are more your thing, here’s the Million Book Project. The goal is to digitize a million books by 2005. They have just over 10,600. Still, that’s more than Project Gutenberg.

All Girl Summer Fun Band [del.icio.us]

Their music sounds like that of, well, an all girl summer fun band!

Places to go Next Summer [del.icio.us]

Despite the fact this road trip around the United States starts and ends in Amherst, Massachusetts, you could easily start at any of the points on the map and go from there. A trip around the country is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Now if only I could figure out how to get 42 days off in a row…

Your Sky [del.icio.us]

Warm summer nights are well suited for star gazing, and Your Sky will help you find, well, your sky! Also be sure to listen to Stardate and watch Star Gazer to keep current on celestial events.

Boom Boom Volleyball [del.icio.us]

With Candi and Missy! If you make it to level 5, you get a secret password (*cough* getumout *cough*) that allows you to play topless! Work safe (unless you play topless, obviously).

Where is Seth MacFarlane? – An Update

Some will recall my previous post about Seth MacFarlane not coming to Seattle despite everyone saying that he is.

Well, they’re still saying that he is.

This morning I got an e-mail from TicketMaster reminding me of the upcoming event. The upcoming event THAT’S NOT HAPPENING! So I forwarded the reminder to Seth’s assistant’s assistant and she said, “Thank-you, his manager is aware of the situation and is correcting it.”

I wonder when I get my money back.

Anyway, Morah and I are still going to Seattle to see Kris and Lindy (Seth MacFarlane was just a convenient excuse to pick a date). Perhaps while I’m there I can goad Kris into setting up his blog.

Side Note: The spell-checker doesn’t know “Morah” or “Lindy”. Hmm.

UPDATE: I just got an e-mail from Monqui Presents (the company organising Seth’s visit), which said, “This show was officially cancelled this morning.” Of course in order to find anything out, I had to e-mail them first, but at least I know that everyone is finally climbing onboard with the whole “cancelled” thing. Now how do I get my money back?

Friday Funday XLII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

Video killed the radio star, and now television is fast being replaced by the internet (in high school I re-wrote the lyrics of Video Killed the Radio Star to be Internet Killed the Video Star. I’ll have to see if I can find them). So, in case you couldn’t already tell, this week’s theme is TV on the internet!

RocketBoom [del.icio.us]

When I first starting watching RocketBoom, I really enjoyed it. Lately, however, the content hasn’t been that great. I enjoyed “news can be funny, too” approach that I first saw, but the ill-written, ill-produced sketch comedy attempted as of late has left a bitter taste in my mouth. Perhaps even sadder is one viewer’s recent praise: “Looks like you’re getting back to the good old Rocketboom roots.” Be sure to check out their sister site, Apollo Pony; a collection of odd videos from around the inernet and not wrapped up in the same increasingly-crappy package as the clips on RocketBoom.

Current [del.icio.us]

According to the site, Current is, “a new, independent cable and satellite TV network that’s presenting information about the world in a new way,” which is the fancy way of saying that users upload crap they make themselves, and Current plays it on their site.

Broadcast Machine [del.icio.us]

The Participatory Culture Foundation says, “Internet TV is open and independent.” Perhaps the only truly open and independent “network” on the list. Want to start your own TV channel and play whatever the hell you want? Go ahead. Want to watch what other people are broadcasting? You can do it with PCF’s free software and the magic of BitTorrent.

NOVA Science Now [del.icio.us]

Not only one of the coolest shows on TV, but also one of the coolest shows on the web! Each episode is available online, segment by segment. If you’re interested in bleeding-edge science, don’t miss this one.

Systm [del.icio.us]

Super-cool tech show from the creators of thebroken. After watching the first episode (there are two at the time of this posting), Phoenix remarked, “I did grab the torrent for the first SYSTM episode, and finally got around to grabbing the torrents for This Week In Tech. Now I just need to get the torrents for the Canadian version of Call For Help, and I can pretend that the G4-TechTV tragedy never happened.”

Not That I Can Sing Either…

You know those Vonage spots that have that song from Kill Bill? You know, Woo Hoo by 5.6.7.8’s (actually, it’s by a Swedish band called The Rock-A-Teens and was originally released in the late fifties, but who’s counting?). Everyone and their damn dog starting using it after Kill Bill came out. Anyway, today at work one of the Vonage spots was playing and this guy was singing along with the song. Except not. Honestly, how hard is it to sing in time to the song? Or, better yet, to not sing along in public places to begin with? Karaoke bars aren’t really an excuse…

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