Tuesday, March 25, 2008

HIGH SCHOOL FIRE ALARMS...

WHAT?! You may ask... I don't object to smoke detectors, they can stop unsafe indoor behavior:

But it's REALLY STUPID to have these:in a high school. They might as well say "Pull for fun!" or "Class Disruption Creator."
Guess what, Mr. Fire Marshall...OBVIOUSLY kids will pull these things AT LEAST once a week. It's to the point where teachers don't stop teachings, kids don't even react, NO ONE goes outside...if it was a real fire...we'd all die. Take the stupid pull alarms out! If there's a fire, kids will scream, "FIRE!" and then we'll know. And we'll know who said it too...as opposed to campus security trying to track down whoever pulled a fire alarm...

...they never catch them. Maybe they need segways:

Monday, March 24, 2008

LEAFBLOWERS...

Those of you on the East Coast probably know what THESE are, but have not experienced their true awfulness.Banned in Los Angeles in 1998, nary a day goes by that I don't see, hear, smell, and taste a leaf blower. As a child, I remember desperately wanting my dad to buy one, my young mind imaging blowing our yard refuse into a pile in a matter of mere moments...and now, I loathe every inch of them. Let me enumerate the reasons:

1) Noise... no one uses the electric type, so we get the full gas screaming engine. My wonderful neighbors' gardener comes at 7am on Mondays...how do I know? Leaf blower. Would you like to be woken up at 7am by a loud metallic scream? Didn't think so.

2) Pollution... Yes, the gas engines produce reek and produce pollution, but the worst part is what is being blown into the air. I LITERALLY saw my neighbor's (the OTHER neighbor this time) gardener blowing a cloud of DUST AND DIRT in the direction of my building. No leaves. DUST AND DIRT. No grass. Just DUST AND DIRT. No wonder so many of us develop debilitating allergies when we move to LA. Every bit of filth; every allergen; every cancer-causing microbe, is blown back up into the air once it's settled. God forbid I don't inhale this horror the first time, it will be blown back up again and again until I do. And how fucking kind of them to turn the blower away when we walk by...there's still a cloud on awful sitting there!

Unlike the pic at the top which is clearly from the Northeast, where they actually get leaves, THIS is what leafblowing in LA is like:
3) Inefficiency... Rather than stumble around with a 40 pound leaf blower on their backs, maybe it might be more efficient to use a rake and broom. It might involve a but more immediate physical exertion, but it also might yield acceptable results. Here's the scenario: Gardener comes, straps on the leaf blower, blows everything up in the air, runs out the door before it resettles. And I'd think blowing dirt in the air doesn't just harm US, but might not be the best way to keep the grass and bushes healthy...which is, you know, a gardener's job.

Here's a Sacramento site with good details and info: http://www.nonoise.org/quietnet/cqs/leafblow.htm

Okay, so what can we do? Well, in LA, leaf blowers are illegal...so how bout reporting them:
http://www.zapla.org/
gives details on how to do so. I will ask my gardeners to stop using their blowers today. And I'll ask my neighbors to do the same...or I'll report them. :-)
Help me out, and together, we can ABOLISH LEAFBLOWERS!

NEW NAME!!!

I have renamed my blog, "Things That Should Be Abolished..." I stole it from an old post title and I think it can tie in with most of my postings...so here we go...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Re-WTF-ed...

Last night I watched Redacted, Brian De Palma's Iraq movie. His goal was to give a fictionalized first hand account of a group of American soldiers who broke into an Iraqi house, gang-raped and murdered a 14 year old Iraqi girl, and killed her family. This is based on a true story. Clearly, De Palma, like I am, is strongly opposed to this war and our presence in Iraq. However, this movie is SO vile (and if you know me, you know I enjoy some pretty rank shit), that it undermines his entire point. He shows these disgusting, disturbed, and utterly stereotypical soldiers in their mundane daily duties, with no redeeming qualities to begin with, and then GRAPHICALLY raping and killing. After that, they, of course, threaten their teammates and feel no remorse. He SORTA shows how the military tries to cover up the events, but the real focus of the movie is what heinous human beings these soldiers are. And you know what, a movie about how heinous people are teaches us nothing and completely misdirects our anger. Despite my utter disdain for this war and lack of any support for us being there (personally, I'd like to dismantle 80% of our military), this movie is wrong. Don't see it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Toilets And Hookers...

First of all, THIS is positively insane. You really must read it. I had to double check the URL to make sure I hadn't clicked on The Onion or something.

And secondly, I have to say a thing or two about Eliot Spitzer.

1) The hooker is cute


though the ginormous fake breasts are a bit much


and maybe not really $1000/hr cute


2) The truly sad part, though, is that Eliot Spitzer seemed, for a while, to be one of the only politicians actually interested in affecting important positive change for the people in New York State, and maybe at some point, the whole nation. He fought corruption, special interests, and organized crime. He tried to legalize gay marriage in NY. And, while he hit some roadblocks and made some poor choices in this early part of his governorship, I think he would have ended up making some positive change in the end. Unlike so many politicians (pretty much EVERY presidential candidate from either of the major political parties), Spitzer was willing to stand up and take action. As I talked about after seeing Sicko, we don't stand up to our government enough, and those who do try to enact positive change don't seem to have the balls to follow through. Spitzer did, and would have. But he made a stupid mistake. A stupid, personal mistake. And while I normally would say his personal life has no bearing on his political work, the hypocracy of going after prostitution rings while you patronize one yourself is pretty unacceptable...analogous to Nancy Reagan smoking pot, or radical Christians like GWB ignoring the teachings of Jesus (turn the other cheek?) and attacking other countries (oh, wait...). I mourn the loss of someone I hoped would make a positive change in our ever-declining society. I wish you could have controlled yourself, Mr. Spitzer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Safety, Amrrrrrca Style...

I know you've been saying, "why hasn't David taken on the TSA yet?!" Well, I meant to after a recent airport experience, but was sidetracked until I read THIS today. So, finally, here it is:

I was, as I do a few times a year, flying from LAX to Syracuse, NY. Going through security at LAX, I removed my shoes, jacket, hoodie, and laptop, laid them all out in trays and sent them through the scanner. The young guys working the scanner were DEEP in an important convo in slangy urban dialogue comparing the merits of the ORIGINAL (and FAR superior, I might add) Dawn Of The Dead film, to the lame "REIMAGINING." Due to the important nature of this discussion, I'm not sure they looked even once at the items scrolling by on the x-ray screen. In fact, I'd forgotten to take my baggie of "liquids" out of my carry on and no one noticed. At least I wasn't racial profiled as the Jewnibomber...I don't think anyone was. And save for the woman who was literally going INSANE at the check in counter and thinking that using all her toiletries in front of the check in agent would make them acceptable carry-on items (I just can't possibly do justice to the explaining the fits that this woman was having...it was truly incredible), it seems anyone could just sort of slide whatever through the x-ray.

A week later, on the way back to LA, I went through security at the Syracuse airport. This is not a TINY airport, but it is in no way a major hub for anyone. And yet, the stately, old, white TSA agents in Syracuse seem to think it's the Mecca (enjoy the pun) of the Islamic Terrorist movement. Every bag is meticulously scrutinized, tested for chemicals, sniffed, prodded, poked, licked, tossed, and tussled until not only have they confirmed that no contraband is present, but that they have also crushed your freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, greased up your undergarments with their sweaty fingers, and played seven games of solitaire on your laptop. I don't need security to be friendly and fun. I don't hold them to the presidential standard of "person I want to have a beer with." But I WOULD like some efficiency and moderation.

What can we learn from all this?

1) The TSA is utterly and completely devoid of enforcement for the standards they so highly prize.

2) Intelligence is not a factor in the TSA hiring process.

3) Airport security is a joke, mostly in place to slow down our airport experience and torture us by making us juggle our shoes, coats, liquids, laptops, etc.

4) Stodgy old white people are more thorough, intense, humorless workers.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Too Much Lust, Too Little Caution...

Since I was asked, I finally finished Lust, Caution and found it a bit meandery. Lotsa lust, but bit too short on the caution (suspense). Similar to the reaction I had to There Will Be Blood, I was into the story and then for the last hour or so was waiting for there to be some pay off. And there never was. Characters were interesting, but I stopped caring about them halfway through. I'm also really not into sexual brutality for contrived reasons, so found some the sex perplexingly graphic and unnecessary. So there it is, since you asked.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Don't Mess With Caususes...

I've just been rolling my eyes at the stupidity of the Texas caucus, but I haven't really given it a second thought...BUT, I just stumbled onto THIS article detailing stupidity that could only come from the home state of our beloved Commander In Chief. To sum it up for you, a huge fight between a caucus precinct head and why she characterizes as an angry mob of Obama supporters occured, with the precinct head being pursued to the local police station by the angry mob. They may or may not have been carrying torches and pickaxes. No wonder the US is the laughing stock of the world. Pakistan's elections went smoother.

I Hate To Bring It Up, But...

I am an actor. I usually leave acting stories out of my blog, but I thought I'd share this one.

So yesterday I had an audition for an insurance company commercial for motorcycle insurance...playing a biker, not a cyclist, mind you, but a biker:



So yeah, the only way I can play this role is with a bike helmet COMPLETELY obscuring my face. And thankfully, they had a bike helmet there which completely covered my head and face. Also, thankfully, dozens of other actors had crammed their heads into this helmet throughout the day and expelled all their germs and bacteria all over the inside of the helmet. So NOT ONLY did I audition without my face (that's my moneymaker, people!), but I was subjected to LORD KNOWS how many diseases and infections that likely no amount of my later intensive disinfecting process helped. And you thought being an actor was all cushy.

FINALLY!

WENN has confirmed the question plaguing ALL our minds for years and years now! The answer...YES, Kelly Rowland (who?!) from Destiny's Child (oh, they're still around?) has BREAST IMPLANTS! Thank god for investigative journalism!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Don't Even Think About It...

I flew Virgin America Airlines in the first month they were in operation. While the seats offered no added comfort over normal airlines, the in-flight entertainment system was quite good and I liked that I could plug my laptop into the plug under my seat. Just driving through town, though, I noticed an ad for Virgin where a woman is BLOW DRYING her hair in her airplane seat. She plugged in her fucking BLOW DRYER and is BLOW DRYING HER HAIR on an airplane. I once had a guy eat Jody Maroni's garlic fries next to me on a plane and the utter inconsideration shown by bringing the smelliest food on earth onto an airplane almost resulted in my cramming his fries right up his fat ass, but I was able to restrain myself since it was a short flight. However, I gotta say, lady, if you pull out your fucking BLOW DRYER on a flight with me, neither a pesky sky marshall nor god himself could save you.

A Real American Hero...

I have reached a point in life where the announcement of a ridiculous remake or silly spin-off doesn't phase me. Making a live action Transformers? Whatevs. Cleveland getting his own Family Guy spin-off? Sure, great, fine. Justice League live action movie? Did you guys SEE THIS? I bet you can't improve on that too much, but what the hell. Now, making a movie out of one of my favorite childhood toys and comics, GI Joe? Okay, cool, lame, whatevs.....hang on a sec. When I think back, GI Joe in 1980 was fun...there was little actual killing, particularly of main characters. The bad guys were bad, but in a slightly Snidely Whiplash way, more so in the TV series than the comics. But the basis of these characters is really intense. Cobra is a terrorist organization. TERRORIST. The word has a different meaning now than it did back in my youth. These are homegrown terrorists with ENORMOUS financial resources who attack their own country. Heavy shit. Is this GI Joe movie for kids? It really can't be. But will adults sit through a war movie with characters such as Dr. Mindbender (so demented, he doesn't wear a shirt!), Shipwreck (wasn't he in the Village People?) , Cutter (who looks like your uncle who wants your 4 year old to sit on his lap a lot), and Recondo (who appears to have just stumbled out of British occupied Africa circa 1923)? GI Joe seems lost between deathly serious and utterly ridiculous. So how can you make a movie? According to Hasbro's (who clearly has no interest in the success or franchise potential of this film) recent MTV interview "I don't think you'd see this movie as wacky, I think you're going to see this movie as being inspirational for younger kids and totally in the sweet spot for the guys who grew up on G.I. Joe." Well, okay Hasbro, but I'm not convinced. AND, I don't think war toys are not what we need to market to kids right now. If it's something like Power Rangers, which are utterly ludicrous and unrealistic, fine, but an elite fighting force taking out terrorists...too close to home. You will either trivialize our current crises or assasinate our intelligence. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The End Is Nigh!

I just had to zip from work to an audition and learned that the apocalypse may be on it's way. A landslide in West LA (I guess traffic CAN get worse!), a Metro Bus leaking natural gas, Times Square exploding...thank God I am back safe at a Los Angeles school amid the largest resurgence of gang violence in 10 years!

And DOUBLE thank God I'm here, because there is a serious issue we need to discuss. The smell at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. EVERY time I go there, it reeeeeeks of BO. And yes, OCCASIONALLY there's a homeless guy, but rarely. For the most part, Sherman Oaks is homeless-guy-free. But this library just has heinous BO. It IS possible that it's one of the librarians. He doesn't look super dirty, but I could imagine him not showering and he's usually there. I don't think it's book-rot. I just don't know. But SOMEONE needs to bring a giant stick of deodorant to the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library and leave it on the counter. And, in our current unmotivated society, seriously lacking in proactive politicos...please feel free to join me at 4:37pm today as a attempt to deodorate the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. If you have not heard from me by 5:30pm, please send bail to the Van Nuys Police Station, 6240 Sylmar Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91401.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Linking To A Star...

This blog filled me with joy!!! So I link to it here. Looking forward to checking out the rest of the site!

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2008/03/the_12_smuggest_pricks_in_hollywood.php#more

Shopping With Champions...

Last night I went to the grocery store. The guy behind me purchased the following:
1 Banquet Brand "Spaghetti & Meatballs" Frozen TV Dinner (like Mom used to make!)
1 40oz Bottle of Miller Brand Beer

And when you saw this small, stout, shaved headed, middle aged man purchasing his groceries, one can vividly picture him settling down with his dinner, popping in the latest pornographic digital video disc, and kicking back for the rest of the evening. I shook my head at his sad situation and drove home, where I settled down, alone, on my couch to watch Ang Lee's latest epic, Lust, Caution, while eating Dreyer's Loaded Brand Toll House Mint Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream directly from the carton.

Something I Should Never Do Again...

This morning, I read the newspaper. I now want to shoot myself in the face. A sampling of the stories I was subjected to:

1) First, after the obligatory election coverage, I read THIS article, where the classy online gun dealer who sold guns to the Virginia Tech and the more recent Northern Illinois U rampagers discusses his solution for the campus shooting problem...MORE guns on campus. That way students can shoot the crazy people before they kill too many. They can also shoot mean professors, jilting lovers, bullies, racial groups they don't like, cars that cut them off, small woodland creatures, and little old ladies who cross the street to slowly. Awesome. Actually, the article presents the "more guns" idea in a fairly sane manor, but...no, not getting behind this one. We shouldn't have guns ANYWHERE.

2) Then I read THIS article. Let me explain the LAUSD "must place" procedure. You cannot be fired or laid off from LAUSD. If you run a school into the ground, if you steal computer equipment, or, like this fellow, Mr. Rooney, apparently a supporter of the man in the first article, you threaten a parent WITH A GUN, you will not be fired. You will be a "must place," meaning that you will be moved from your school to another school and this new school has NO ability to interview you or accept you...they are stuck with you. After being placed at his new school, Mr. Rooney, vaguely described as "on voluntary leave," abducts and rapes a 13 year old student. Awesome.

3) And then THIS less menacing but no less stupid story about yet ANOTHER memoirist who LIED. This one made up her whole story. Lady, can't you just write a novel? What the hell is wrong with people?

and so I have decided to stick with the Calendar section from now on. OH WAIT, but there's MORE...online, I find...

4) THIS Dear Catholics, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Leave the poor guy alone! Can't he RIP? Maybe he doesn't want people gawking at his shriveled remains! Ugh! As antireligious as I am, you don't see Jews and Muslims exhuming corpses to look at. It's disgusting and disrespectful. Shame on you, Catholics, shame.

People suck, man. Seriously, what the hell?

ADDENDUM: The NY Times proves that the crazy guy from #1 is not alone...HERE

Monday, March 3, 2008

Apprenez Du Fran├žais!

So I finally saw Michael Moore's Sicko this weekend. And yes, Michael Moore is very effective at driving his message home...often to a fault, I think. He's usually amusing, which is great, but one can definitely see the filmmaking in his work as he ratchets up the tension, using reversals (ie Sara is an American, fully insured and taken care of with no problems whatsoever...BECAUSE SHE LIVES IN ENGLAND! BAM!) and forcing dramatic situations like taking a group of uninsured 9/11 workers to Guantanamo Bay, where the prisoners get healthcare (come on Mike, if we don't treat their health problems, they will die...and then we can't WATERBOARD THEM! BAM!). But ultimately, Moore really does shine a light on our government and forces us to wonder why they WON'T care for their constituents. I think the most effective moment for me, one that I've thought about a lot over the past two days, comes during one of the least dramatic parts. A French doctor explains WHY he believes France has socialized medicine. He explained that the French people are willing to stand up to their government...if they are unhappy with policy, they protest and make their voices heard. The French people really CAN enact change in their government. One of the ways our government has succeeded in avoiding this is by keeping US citizens poor, uncared for, and frightened. If we DEMANDED healthcare, they would give it to us. If we DEMANDED that our children receive the education they deserve, they would get it. But instead, we are a country that complains quietly and feels unable to do anything about it. Don't just vote for the political candidate who has the nicest tie...tell them, "THIS IS WHAT I WANT, AND YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME OR I WON'T VOTE FOR YOU!" This is America...we're supposed to set a standard for "freedom," and yet we have one of the worst mortality rates IN THE WORLD!

There is one group, however, that DOES stand up for what they want...evangelical christians. The only real protests I ever see are pro-life or anti-gay. They have yet to, and hopefully will never, succeed, but they do know how to protest. If only they were more concerned with being American citizens before religious zealots, perhaps the evangelicals would see that Republican fiscal policy hurts most of them. That a lack of quality, affordable healthcare HURTS them. That THEIR children are more likely to end up in Iraq than the CEO of Exxon's is. I am endlessly confused at why ANYONE would vote for a president based on religious or personal moral convictions. And not just evangelicals....the Obama campaign talks about CHANGE...vote for CHANGE...but it's no more rational to vote for Obama just because you want "change." GWB was a CHANGE from Clinton and look where that got us. You have to look at how a candidate's substantive politics will effect you. And then get the fuck behind them. It is a disgusting travesty that the government in this country has become so utterly corrupted by big business...and folks, that's what healthcare IS in America. Blue Cross, Kaiser, Signa, United...these are HUGE CONGLOMERATE COMPANIES! And our bipartisan system falls right into line with them. Just as we Americans do for oil companies, military companies, school lunch providers, Walmart, cell phone companies, and countless other businesses, we're bending over and taking it in the ass from insurance companies. And no, I don't mean getting a colonoscopy...cause that's only 50% covered once...you've met your $5000 deductible.