Just vote for Ron Paul already.

Have you read this Rolling Stone article about how Bain Capital got bailed out by the (presumably evil, fascist) government?

Um, this makes me so mad. I’m not even sure I can work up anything funny to say about it. I can’t even pull a quote from the article, because they all make me want to… I don’t know. What would these people care about? NOTHING. They would just retreat onto their floating mansion islands and be like “LOL! Listen to this pleading letter from a grandmother of six who is eating cardboard to survive! Shoulda retrained in computers and had some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY amirite guys? Hey, let’s go out and club some fuckin’ baby seals.”

What is wrong with the American voter? Why do we keep being like “Well, okay… these extremely rich people buffered their private losses with public money, but BUSINESS IS FREEDOM!!!!”?

I don’t understand. It makes me feel totally bummed out. I can understand someone holding conservative beliefs about social and economic policy. I can understand someone believing that the only good government is small government. I can (sort of) understand someone believing that a deregulated economy is a healthy economy.

But I can not understand someone believing in small government and capitalist freedom and personal responsibility, but also voting for the dude who took a taxpayer bailout when his dumb business decisions blew up in his face. Why should we subsidize his losses? To put it in Fox News language, WHY SHOULD THIS CLOWN GET A FREE RIDE ON MY MONEY?

If we’re all going to stand around clinging to our own boostraps and being self-made men camped out in Galt’s Gulch, FINE, that’s one thing. But this nonsense where Americans insist on being the lone industrialized nation that refuses to admit that we’re in it together, sink or swim, and yet simultaneously we all must throw all our money at Mitt Romney so he doesn’t feel bad about himself for making a bad investment, boo hoo, his feeeeeeeeelings are so huuuuuuuurt, it must be very emasculating to bomb like that, EVERYBODY SEND HIM LIKE TEN DOLLARS IN AN ENVELOPE, HE’S REALLY SAD YOU GUYS.

What is that? Why can’t you just vote for Ron Paul if you don’t like big government? I will say one thing for Ron Paul. He may have fathered a crazy person who believes that low-flow toilets are one step from jackbooted thuggery, but he also seems like a guy who would be like “Mitt? It’s Ron. I’m gonna have to let you go down in flames, buddy. BOOM. CAPITALISM. IN YOUR FACE.”

Come on conservative voters. THROW OFF YOUR GOP SHACKLES. Vote for the guy who isn’t totally full of shit. RON PAUL 2012.

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Alpaca tapestry, the movie

Also, don’t worry about the length of your script; everybody in the industry knows that Bayeux Tapestry sequences run long.

-Husband Guy

I have been rewriting a project that is one of the most complicated things I have ever worked on, thick with complex worlds to set up and crazy, weird, complicated characters, and backstories and flashbacks and mythologies. Every time I tackle a new draft, this project makes me think “I CAN’T DO THIS!” and then I do, and (I mean, I could be deluded) I think the new draft is better, which I guess is a lesson of some kind. But also, every draft, I somehow find myself adding CRAZY THINGS. Last draft, it was an avalanche. This draft, a Bayeux Tapestry sequence. It came to me today. WHAT THIS SCRIPT NEEDS IS SOMETHING… YES, SHIPS! AND ODDLY LONG HORSES!!!!! And everybody should be wearing pointy shoes!

Please please please, possibly cold and unfeeling universe, please let this be the last draft. Lest the whole movie suddenly turn out to be about alpacas. Like BOOM, it’s the third act, it’s about alpaca pickup artists, SURPRISED?

Source: google.com via Patricia on Pinterest

Source: flickr.com via Matt on Pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Rarely has a chicken sounded so unpleasant.

Try raising the Aseel for a chicken breed with a prehistoric look. Known for its gaminess, the chicken produces a meaty carcass and lays a few brown eggs per week.

Not a great sales pitch, guys.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free Clint Eastwood squint with handgun purchase

Why is it that whenever there’s a shooting spree in the US, people who are into gun rights (I have no beef with you people aside from this, just not my bag) assume that everyone who carries a concealed weapon would respond to sudden unexpected gunfire in the dark like some kind of stone Special Forces badass?

(It’s like these scenarios trigger in our brains the kinds of fantasies I sometimes put on paper as part of my job as a writer of movies.*)

Instead of what I think would actually happen which is more like “HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I AM FREAKING OUT SOMEBODY IS SHOOTING AT ME WHAT IS GOING ON.” and then you fumble for your gun and forget how to load and your friend screams at you to GET DOWN! and you hide under a seat, sweating and crying in the dark.

Even actual soldiers who train for this like it’s their job (because it is their job) do not have 100% awesome response rates when fired upon. Are civilians, even civilians who train at the gun range a lot, going to be able to outperform working professionals in this type of situation? Especially when the crazy person shooting people in the movie theater is wearing body armor and a helmet? I find this so questionable as a line of reasoning. Like to be able to rescue this situation from the jaws of death you would have to be a SUPERHERO. You could have had SEAL team 6 in that theater and you would not have gotten the zero-casualty rate you’re looking for, because the SEALs would have been sitting in the dark, relaxing, cramming popcorn in their faces, waiting for the first appearance of that Bane guy they’ve heard so much about when all of a sudden POP POP WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING I CAN’T SEE. If even actual SF operators would have been TOO SURPRISED TO REACT LIKE THE BADASS HERO OF YOUR FANTASIES, you’re describing a no-win scenario that would not magically have been fixed because there’s one guy in the audience with a concealed-carry permit and some 2nd amendment stickers on his car.

Gun control is not an issue I can really dredge up a lot of outrage over at this point. If I had to rank my worries, it would be like

2. This economy is not sustainable.
4. Big money’s wholesale purchase of our democracy.
5. Health care reform.
6.-134. OMITTED.
135. Gun control.

So I am not frothing at the mouth about this and writing people letters or anything. But man, that kind of response, the IF YOU ALL CARRIED A GUN THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED is so strange and graceless to me. I don’t get it.

*You know why we like these fantasies, why we like to watch movies like TAKEN or movies about possibly-psycho drifter Jack Reacher? Because we know in our hearts that real humans aren’t like this. Real humans do not respond to sudden, unexpected violence, terrifying violence, by squinting and flexing our jaws and saying “You’ll have to come through me first… pal.” That’s why these fantasies are attractive. Of course they are. Of course it presses a pleasure button in our brains to fantasize about people who are always decisive, who never waver, who never doubt, who never fear, who never fumble or miss the shot or freak out and fail.

But those fantasies aren’t real. I feel like a good life rule is to ask yourself if Tom Cruise would do something in a movie, heroically lit, with an explosion in the background? Because if yes, then it probably isn’t a thing in real life.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Tomato disasters

According to analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of fresh tomato today has 30 percent less vitamin C, 30 percent less thiamin, 19 percent less niacin, and 62 percent less calcium than it did in the 1960s. But the modern tomato does shame its 1960s counterpart in one area: It contains fourteen times as much sodium.

from Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, by Barry Estabrook

Of course, those 1960s tomatoes were constantly smoking and playing grabass with helpless female bystanders (not to mention all the racism) so I think we have to ask ourselves if this is an unmitigated change for the worse.

I’m kidding. That’s pretty bad.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mennonite pee: better and more ethical than your pee, just as you suspected

Please enjoy this Mother Jones bit on BPA in Mennonite womens’ urine.

Too lazy? I totally understand. Bottom line is that the urine of studied pregnant Old Order Mennonite ladies, who lead a lifestyle not unlike the Amish – a lot of homegrown food, not much plastic – had much lower levels of BPA than the urine of other ladies. This is possibly relevant because nobody actually knows what BPA does and it’s in everything in your house. The FDA says it’s totally fine, don’t worry about it. Harshing the FDA’s laidback style, other people (like SCIENTISTS) think it may be an endocrine disruptor*.

Unusually for anything on the internet, the comments on the article are also worth reading, as a couple of people discuss the difficulty of actually avoiding substances like this in any meaningful way in modern life. You kid yourself that by avoiding canned foods, you’re doing okay, and then you discover that BPA is what that receipt your kid just ate is made of. Also your entire house turns out to be made of a combination of soft plastics and fire retardants.

*In my family, we use the sciency term HEADBALLS.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

dispatch from the house of nerds

Last night I had an extremely elaborate anxiety dream about homeless people.

(I stupidly read this (very depressing) article, The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America’s Middle Class right before bed. Part of my dream was about a couple of intense hipsters who lived in a really cool space that I slowly realized was not a FORMER school as they claimed but just a school, and that they were squatting during summer vacation. CHILLING.)

So it was nice when my husband came in to wake me up and say “I just thought you would want to know. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act!”

And I sleepily said “OH THANK GOD. What was the count?”

And he said “Five-four.”

And I said “Who was the swing vote?”

And he said “Roberts. Kennedy went the other way.”

And I said “ROBERTS?????”

And then I felt a certain peace come over me, and a sense, for the first time in several years, that maybe our fractured nation can get it together and join the ranks of other modern industrialized nations and everything doesn’t have to suck all the time. If Justice Roberts can go left, clearly ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

secret libertarian cell taking down NPR from the inside OR hipster economists

Do you listen to Planet Money? It’s a podcast from NPR, which I think most people would agree is a media outlet that makes valiant attempts to skew neither direction in particular but which is largely the preferred jam of white Obama voters in Volvos with “RENEWABLE ENERGY IS HOMELAND SECURITY” stickers. (People exactly like me, in other words.)

I like thinking about economics, although I am quite ignorant. And I like podcasts. So Planet Money fills a certain niche for me pretty well, were it not for two troublesome issues.

1. Zoe Chace’s voice, which is such a melange of vocal fry and uptalking and “I like to ferment foods in Williamsburg let me tell you about my vinyl collection!” that I cannot – can. not. – listen to the episodes she hosts anymore, even though I ALSO LIKE ECONOMICS AND THINKING ABOUT THE EUROZONE CRISIS AND FERMENTING THINGS AND VINYL ARRRRGH.

2. ARE THE PLANET MONEY PEOPLE CRAZED LIBERTARIANS???????? Were they sent to podcast their way into the hearts and minds of a new generation of voters by the Cato Institute? I don’t know how else to explain it. They’ll just be going along, talking about Greece’s debt crisis, very interesting, the whole thing where young hip radio journalists do conversational reportage about humans, it’s working. And then BOOM! Licensing requirements are unAmerican! Also killing the economy! Also a plan by manicurists to establish a beachhead of communism. Probably! VOTE RON PAUL 2012. What? We didn’t say anything. Now listen to Radiolab, you hippie.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

last lines

Two all-time favorite final paragraphs:

At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also a man or woman much older falls silent for a day or two, and then leaves home. These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl, man or woman. Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow-lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, Usula LeGuin

I saw a picture of a North Vietnamese soldier sitting in the same spot on the Danang River where the press center had been, where we’d sat smoking and joking and going, “Too much!” and “Far out!” and “Oh my God it gets so freaky out there!” He looked so unbelievably peaceful, I knew that somewhere that night and every night there’d be people sitting together over there talking about the bad old days of jubilee and that one of them would remember and say, Yes, never mind, there were some nice ones, too. And no moves left for me at all but to write down some few last words and make the dispersion, Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam, we’ve all been there.

Dispatches, Michael Herr

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Another problem with this stage of a rewrite is that you start to think things like:



They’re crazy sons of bitches, but they’re OUR crazy sons of bitches!


Are a good idea.

Posted on by Elana | 1 Comment