Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Slumdog Governor: Bobby Jindal Casting Himself as the Anti-Obama

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal rebutted Barack Obama's first address to congress in a folksy, Andy Griffin-eqsue speech that did nothing to hide his 2012 ambitions.

Jindal's clearly trying to instill common ground with the popular president among voters. "Like the president's father, my own parents came to this country from a distant land," Jindal said shortly into the speech.

But Jindal drew the line there, accusing President Obama and the Democratic congress of irresponsibility. "That is precisely what the Democrats in Congress just did. It's irresponsible. And it's no way to strengthen our economy, create jobs, or build a prosperous future for our children," Jindal said.

Some of Jindal's criticisms were downright perplexing. "While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes $300 million to buy new cars for the government, $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, such as a 'magnetic levitation' line from Las Vegas to Disneyland, and $140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring,'" Jindal said.

So fuel-eficient government cars, long-distance mass transit, and keeping an eye on volcanoes like Mount St. Helens are all a waste of money? Well, I suppose volcano monitoring wouldn't be terribly important for a Republican, since Hawaii and Washington tend to bleed blue.

This isn't Jindal's first tussle with President Obama. Late last week, he announced that his state would decline part of its allotted piece of the stimulus package. The reasoning being that the federal money would eventually run out. Well, Governor Jindal, as a former House member, you should be aware of this thing called a sunset provision. Look into it.

In any case, Jindal will most likely be forced into accepting the money. Even if he refused it, what would be the practical purpose? The money is already out there, if he doesn't take it, someone else will. But there is no practical purpose, it is merely part of his plan to establish himself as the "Anti-Obama," a fellow minority with a message of hope that mirrors the president on every issue. There has been a recent power vacuum in the Republican party and Jindal isn't hesitating to step in and fill the void.

Governor Jindal, perhaps you should address of some of the problems in your own state before throw your hat in the ring.

Watch Jindal's Response to Obama

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Keith Olbermann: The Truth Behind the Desk

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

At least he wears pants.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top 5 Reasons The Oscars Don't Matter Anymore

So once again, Oscar night has come and gone. The big winner, as expected was Slumdog Millionaire, while Sean Penn pulled the rug out of favorite Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. While arguments abound as to who deserved what, in the end it doesn't really matter, and here's five reasons why.

1. They're Often Wrong

Out of the following, which would you say is the better film: Citizen Kane or How Green Was My Valley? Apocalypse Now or Kramer vs. Kramer? Goodfellas or Dances With Wolves? Raging Bull or Ordinary People? Fargo or The English Patient? Saving Private Ryan or Shakespeare in Love?

If you said the former to any of those, you would be WRONG, at least according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Yes, Citizen Kane, considered by some to be the greatest movie ever made, wasn't even considered the best picture the year it was made. Like most art, it wasn't fully appreciated until long after the artist was dead. Academy voters might have made what seemed like the right decision at the time, but to the annals of history, they'll always be seen as plain wrong.

2. They're Won for the Wrong Reasons

Was Sean Penn's portrayal of Harvey Milk really better than Mickey Rourke's broken brawler, or was it an excuse to give him a soapbox? Was The Departed, a remake of Internal Affairs, really a better film than Little Miss Sunshine, or was it simply making up for years of Scorsese snubs? If the results aren't actually skewed by politics, it often seems that way to the public. Combined with other issues, the public is having a hard time trusting the results.

3. They're Snobby

Heath Ledger sadly proved that you pretty much have to die to win an Oscar for a performance in an action movie, no matter how good it is. And how else could Brad Pitt's CGI aging reversal win Best Makeup over the actual makeup used in Hellboy 2 and The Dark Knight?

The fact that The Dark Knight was even considered for so many awards was a miracle in itself. Everyone has noticed that most Oscar-winning movies are tailored made for the awards, released just a few months prior to voting. Can they say with a straight face that the Academy Awards represent the best cinema when films pretty much have to be specially made to win awards? I'm not saying that Iron Man should necessarily have won Best Picture, but when they have crafted such a walled garden, it's hard for the public to take the Oscars seriously. It's no wonder ratings have plummeted so dramatically.

4. They're Secretive

A secret ballot is certainly justified, but secret tallies? Besides the obvious trust issues, it takes all the sport out of it. How much fun would sports be if you just knew the winners, but not the scores or stats? If the Academy really wants to bring people back into the show, then let us know the tallies. Show them during the broadcast. It'll be a whole new era of wasting time at water coolers!

5. They're Incredibly Flawed

And not just in the ways named here. Just like in the electoral college, not every vote is counted. In fact, it's set up in such a way that if everyone cast a vote for say, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Movie, it may not even be nominated. And to make matters worse, the system is so incredibly complicated that most members don't really understand exactly how the system works. The Oscar nomination process makes the butterfly ballot seem clear.


Fret not movie-goer. If your favorite movie or performer was snubbed of Oscar gold, it doesn't mean that s/he/it wasn't deserving. Maybe the voters meant to vote for it, but just didn't quite know how. Or maybe Hollywood just needed to make a point. Or maybe they were just misguided. Or maybe, maybe, the whole thing is just completely broken. In any case, unless you were eligible to win one, Oscar just doesn't matter anymore.