Archive for May 17th, 2005

Tuaregs & Strife!

Well, I just got back (new definition of just = 90 minutes) from a lovely man-date of dinner and Sahara with a friend, and am still full of Cantonese scallops and banana spring rolls (Mmm…). Unfortunately, the objective was to see Sin City before it departed the big screen (it was inexplicably sold out on our previous attempt a coupla weeks ago), but it’s been relegated to a single 9:05 showing, which is just way too late. Sigh.

Thankfully, Sahara turned out to be not so bad. Some observations:

  • Is there anyone more comfortable in their own skin than Matthew McConaughey? Only other person I can think of off the top of my head is Queen Latifah, who I consider Poise Incarnate. Perhaps this is something I’m attuned to because I’m not especially comfortable in my own skin, although I’m light years better than in, say, high school (then again, who isn’t?).
  • I enjoy movies where the main character is a master of improvisation, and this certainly qualifies. It’s a big part of the appeal for the James Bond movies for me. Totally not the hot chicks at all. Nope, couldn’t care less about ’em, nosireebob.
  • McConaughey’s sidekicks were amusingly feeble, almost childlike at times, which was kinda endearing. On the other hand, much as I like Steve Zahn, I’m not really sure I buy him as an ex-SEAL…
  • The opening sequence with the battle between the Union cannons and the Confederate ironclad was way cool, although a bit murky.
  • Tuaregs are cool, Penelope Cruz has a very thick accent, Delroy Lindo seemed out-of-place and uncomfortable, William H. Macy is always great, and is Lambert Wilson ever gonna play a good guy?
  • I really like banana spring rolls.

9 comments May 17th, 2005 at 11:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Movies


One of the letters to the editor in response to Kristof’s column about Bishop Spong’s book offering a liberal (i.e., compassionate) interpretation of the Bible:

Nicholas D. Kristof must have a different version of the Bible than I do. Mine calls for individual responsibility and action, not for a government to take money from people who produce and distribute it to others to make liberals feel good about themselves.

*splutter incoherently*

*use sextant and compass to re-acquire fix on location of reality*

Hello??? Charity? Do unto others? As you do unto the least of these, so you do unto me? The meek shall inherit the earth?

Driftglass was right – they really are using a completely different version of the Bible from everyone else. I think the moneychangers in the temple may have written it, actually…

2 comments May 17th, 2005 at 01:05pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Religion,Republicans,Wankers

Question Of The Day

Harvard cognitive science professor Steven Pinker asks, “Why didn’t evolution shape straight men to react to their gay fellows by thinking: ‘Great! More women for me!'”

Damn good question, really… His own answer boils down to something along the lines of “Because straight people find the thought of sex with their own gender icky, they automatically conclude that it must be immoral and evil as well,” which sounds like as good an explanation as any, although it probably doesn’t go far enough in the direction of backlash against any behavior outside of accepted social norms, by which I mean Wally and the Beave, not Wally and the Steve. Um, or something.

Another observation that I found intriguing:

Cultural conservatives like the talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlesinger ostensibly condemn homosexuality for another reason – that it is a “biological error.” Actually, it is she who has made the biological error. What is evolutionarily adaptive and what is morally justifiable have little to do with each other. Many laudable activities – being faithful to one’s spouse, turning the other cheek, treating every child as precious, loving thy neighbor as thyself – are “biological errors” and are rare or unknown in the natural world.

I think this is interesting more for what it says about fundamentalism than what it says about homosexuality – namely that while the New Testament advocates the vast majority of admirable but maladaptive behaviors, the fundamentalists use it as cover to let their atavistic flag fly, as they give in to their most primal and “adaptive” reptilian impulses of selfishness, hate and bloodshed. (Please note, I am specifying fundamentalists, not Christians in general, many of whom actually take the New Testament seriously.)

They may or may not realize it, but perhaps the fundamentalist extremists are acting as agents of strictly-defined biological adaptiveness, instinctively lashing out at anything and anyone that would not advance the species in a perfectly Hobbesian state of nature (See also: Afghanistan; Iraq; Sudan; Libertarian Heaven).

Or they could just be cynical, power-mad assholes. Whichever.

1 comment May 17th, 2005 at 12:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Religion,Republicans,Science,Wankers

Random Observations

Just some random thoughts, some fresh, some not-so-fresh:

1) I have no problem with people praying by themselves in a public space, but please, if you’re praying with your eyes closed, don’t try to walk at the same time.

2) If your conversation is echoing, you are too loud.

3) While scrolling through a list of PC/server accessories, I think my favorites are “butt splice” (listed right after “blower”, of course) and “nibbler tool”. The POS proximity sensor sounds like something that could come in handy, but I’m not sure I’d want a POS accelerometer.

Mmm… butt splice…

1 comment May 17th, 2005 at 10:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Technology,Wankers,Weirdness


This sounds like a brilliant idea:

Celebrating clunky sentences and mixed metaphors, self-indulgent prose and just plain old bad writing, Lit Lite, a weekly literary series, invites performers to select and read from their favorite bad books. And so one evening last week at the Chelsea restaurant Elmo, Greg Walloch, a stand-up comic, chose to deliver passages from two novels by the actor Ethan Hawke, “The Hottest Stat” and “Ash Wednesday.”

“Man, when I first met Christy – and this is no joke, a cliche but no joke – it was like my heart was literally stuck on my esophagus,” Mr. Walloch read from “Ash Wednesday” as an audience of more than 40 groaned and giggled. It was soon revealed that Christy is a woman with a posterior so “dynamite,” that, “if you looked at her from the back you’d swear she was a black chick.” Mr. Walloch, who is white, deadpanned, “That happens to meall the time.”

….Earlier this month, in keeping with the theme “Women’s Problems,” performers read excerpts from Rosie O’Donnell’s free-verse poetry blog (, “Yvonne: An Autobiography,” by the actress Yvonne De Carlo, who played Lily Munster in the television series “The Munsters,” and Eve Ensler’s “Good Body.” Tonight, under the banner “Difficult People,” Jodi Lennon, a comedy writer, will present “Hold My Gold,” a hip-hop how-to guide for white girls.

I envy all of you who are in NYC and have the opportunity to partake of such giddy entertainments. I especially approve of anything that mocks Ethan Hawke for the pretentious, fatuous twerp he is.

Also, Flotilla DeBarge may be The Best Drag Queen Name Ever.

May 17th, 2005 at 09:06am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Books,Coolness,Favorites

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