Monday, April 28, 2008

Shark Frenzy...

Those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE sharks. Have since I was a kid. In my bedroom, I have a big poster of a picture I took of a great white in South Africa...fascinating, beautiful, powerful...sharks are incredible creatures that should not be feared. Your chances of being killed by a shark in any given year are about 1 in 280 million, according to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. 1 in 280 million! You are MUCH more likely to die in car crash, get killed in Iraq, or be eaten by a hippo. And yet sharks are considered fierce predators who must be killed. Some people actually work as shark hunters...
...like Quint in Jaws! That's fucking stupid! Sharks live in the ocean...we VISIT the ocean. These are beautiful creatures who hardly ever bother humans. JAWS, while one of my favorite films of all time, is just that...a FILM. Sharks do not hunt people, they do not EAT people. If they attack you, it's an accident...they think you are a seal or something. As I mentioned, hippopotamuses kill WAY more people than other animals in Africa, but we don't kill them. Lions, tigers...we don't kill them. It's considered poaching, and is illegal. Sharks are killed for food all over the world...particularly for the Chinese (yes, yet another reason China is inherently evil) "delicacy" shark fin soup. The Chinese apparently believe that dried shark fins prevent disease. This is bullshit. Everyone should see the documentary Sharkwater, a fascinating and extremely upsetting look at sharks' treatment around the world. These animals deserve the same protection as the countless land mammals we protect. And if you are that 281,000,000th person who gets attacked by a shark, that's unfortunate, but we are swimming in their home. If you camp in the mountains, a bear MIGHT attack you. It's a risk we take. The family of the man who was attacked this weekend are already back surfing and swimming. Wish everyone else would get over it too.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Starbucks New Logo...

I like Starbucks. As I've mentioned previously, I think they take good care of their employees and their coffee is tasty, so I have no problem with the company. But WHAT were they thinking going back to their old logo:
It's a fat, deformed mermaid. 2 tails? No wonder they got rid of it! But now they brought it back, sans exposed breasts, but to what end? To show how pleasing the current logo was?

Movie Review: The Visitor

If you live in a major market where you can see The Visitor, you really should. It's a wonderful character piece about a depressed widower who finds an immigrant couple unknowingly squatting (they think they are renting it) in his NY apartment and ends up befriending them. There are a few plot points that don't quite connect, but three exceptional performances are worth the admission price and it's really one of those indie films that transports you...you leave feeling as though you were on a trip with a group of characters. I'm not much for ruining movie details, so just check it out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Taxation With Bad Representation...

It's tax day and there's an election coming up, so lots of news about taxation today. McCain and Obama are accusing each other of continuing Bush's spending plans (who knows if either or both will) and Glenn Beck, who I don't usually read, has an apt metaphor here:

Democrats burst through the front door of our convenience store with a gun and tell us to empty the contents of our cash register into their little bag with the dollar signs on it.

Republicans walk through the store and smile at us while shoplifting furiously when we turn our backs. When we catch them on surveillance cameras, they just claim they learned their lesson and won't do it next time. Either way I'm being ripped off, and both parties seem to have the attitude that we should be lucky they graced the store with their presence.

I certainly believe taxation is necessary. I also certainly believe it should be spent more wisely. And I DO think large corporations have a responsibility to our society and should contribute more...but Beck makes an interesting point that our already high corporate tax rate does not entice business to be based here. And requirements to provide healthcare are not going to bring the AT&T call center back from India. And yet, it is infinitely frustrating to see these companies raking in the dough and passing it right along to their CEOs, ignoring the workers. As much as people bitch about Starbucks, and yes, they are everywhere, I gotta give them kudos...they offer healthcare, paid vacation, and stock options...even to part time employees. Every company should be required to take care of it's employees. Do that and then lower the corporate tax. Sounds good to me.

And outlaw these bullshit commercials. Chevron, you ain't part of any solution. And Campbell Scott, I respect you a LOT as an actor/director, but you should be ashamed of doing these commercials.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pregnant "Men?"

I continue to believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger movies are not real. Yes, he's the governor of CA, which is disturbing, but really...can we expect a new game show where professional wrestlers KILL prisoners? (American Gladiators meets Guantanamo Bay! Love it!) And yet, that classic knee-slapper "Junior" is suddenly a true story? Well...Good Morning America shocked me with the lead in that a MAN IS PREGNANT! I had to leave for work, but once I got here, I immediately investigated. Here's the deal: this woman had a "sex change" and is now a man. Well, duh. Of course a MAN can't be pregnant. But how could someone with a sex change operation still get pregnant? How bout if he STILL HAS A VAGINA?! I'm all in support of sex reassignment, but in order to CHANGE GENDER, you need to go the whole nine yards. Keeping your vagina, skipping hormone therapy, and getting pregnant DOES NOT make you a pregnant man. And you know what, I resent being told that you are a pregnant man. Cause it's not true. And you are just being a media whore...or media pimp. So, thank god, Arnold's films are still fantasies. Though if someone wants to send him to Mars, preferably SOON, I'm all for it.