m a r k a n d e y a

Archive for August, 2005

Poor Michelle

Posted by Brian on August 20, 2005

I'll be honest… I've enjoyed watching Michelle Malkin get hammered from the right and the left over her disgusting exploitation of Cindy Sheehan's pending divorce as yet another arrow in Malkin's quiver. Malkin loves to attack the amorphous "left" with a degree of spite that leaves you wondering just how she would live her life if there weren't any liberals in the world to hate (hell, she should cut us all a check for providing her with a cushy job). The left hates her in return, obviously, but this time, she has a principled conservative colleague telling her she has gone too far: John Cole at Balloon Juice (link above).

I view Malkin has perhaps the worst blogger ever. My disgust with her site began last year when, after a post bad-mouthing the "liberal" city of Seattle, several of her readers left comments saying that hoped that the terrorists would nuke Seattle (she has sinced closed down her comments, and I read recently that now she won't even permit trackbacks from liberal blogs like this one). Her writing is nothing but hate, hypocrisy, exaggeration, and poor logic, which, for the powers-that-be on the right, is enough to get her on cable TV and the right-wing speaking circuit as a sort of back-up Ann Coulter ("we need a crackpot conservative woman, but Ann Coulter is busy. Call Michelle").

To close this post, I want to quote at length from Arthur Silber. He gives some superb commentary on Malkin that deserves a wide hearing (with apologies to fourth assistant bookkeepers around the globe):

All the attacks on Cindy Sheehan noted above are bad enough, and they are very, very bad. But then Malkin went further: she used the Sheehans’ impending divorce—as a means of casting doubt on Sheehan’s position. The divorce and the reasons for it, whatever they may be, are not only entirely irrelevant to any consideration of the Iraq war and occupation: they are intensely private concerns. Yet Malkin made these issues the subject of everyday conversation—in connection with a mother whose son died in Bush’s war. More to the point, Cindy Sheehan has articulated the reasons for her opposition to the Iraq war on numerous occasions. But Malkin can’t address any of that satisfactorily. Malkin’s intellectual impotence and unspeakable crudeness impel her to treat the most private of concerns as “fair game,” and as a means of destroying her opponent.

I have my own limits. That was too much for me. So I identified Malkin for what she is in fact. I stand by every word, and I do not retract or modify any of it.

In a world which was even marginally more sane than ours, Malkin would be a fourth assistant bookkeeper to the fifth assistant director of nothing important at all. Except for her family and friends, no one would ever have heard of her.

In our world, Malkin has a widely-read newspaper column, she writes books which become bestsellers, and she makes countless media appearances. She gives speeches. People take her views seriously. These facts tell you a great deal about our culture, and none of it is good.

In far too many respects, our culture today—and especially our political culture—is a sewer overflowing with filth. Malkin provides much of that filth, and she swims in that sewer. She and the sewer ought to be condemned as intolerable hazards to our moral and political health.

If you give a damn at all about respect for other human beings, decency and the rudiments of civilization, shun Michelle Malkin. Civilized people should have nothing to do with her. She should very rapidly find the oblivion that is her deserved fate.

In our world, that will not happen. And that is terribly sad, and a terrible judgment on our country.

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Movie Review: Fantastic Four

Posted by Brian on August 14, 2005

After a great lunch with my girlfriend, her older sister, and her sister’s two kids, my girlfriend and I, with her 9 year-old nephew tagging along, went to the Lotte Cinema in Myungdong to see the new Fantastic Four movie.

I was never a big fan of the Fantastic Four comic when I was a kid. If I remember correctly, the only time I ever saw them in action was when they bumped into one of the groups I did follow (mainly the X-Men and Alpha Flight).  I guess I found them to be a bit too old and stuffy, like Captain America. They were old school good guys, and their schtick just didn’t grab my attention compared to Wolverine’s claws and Nightcrawler’s mysterious background. Whoever said the heroes had to be good?

But nevertheless, if it’s a new movie based on a comic book, consider me there (except in the case of Elektra). I wasn’t nearly as excited as I usually am when I see comic movies, nor were my expectations all that great. But I was happy to sit down for 90+ minutes and dive in to the world of the FF.

The verdict? Well, my girlfriend liked it (she liked The Thing the most), and her nephew liked it (Mr. Fantastic). But as for me… no. First of all, there was an astonishing lack of comic book-style fights… there was the climax at the end against Doctor Doom and one set piece on a bridge where the team toe-to-toe against an out of control fire truck and a mob of rubberneckers. That was it.  Sure, there were glimpses along the way of the four using their powers, but really, where’s the excitement in watching Reed Richards use his super-power to write on the far side of a very long blackboard? For some reason, the director and writers decided to drag out Victor Von Doom’s transformation over the course of the entire movie, so the team didn’t have much to do until he really was the evil Doctor.

The other problem was the casting of Jessica Alba as the Invisible Girl. I’m not the first to point out that that the mixed-race Alba is a poor fit for the all-American (read: blue hair, blonde eyes) super mother-figure Sue Storm. But beyond that, Alba just can’t act. Yea, she’s hot… but I’m at that age where I like to see actors in movies, not models.

(And as an aside, I’ve  never quite understood the way The Invisible Girl’s powers allow her to turn invisible and create force fields. What’s the connection? I got the impression that the latter was devised as a buff to make the IG more powerful in relation to her teammates. After all, while turning invisible might be cool for sneaking into the women’s dormitory at night, when your butting heads with the likes of Galactus, what good is it? “Uh… I turn invisible and run away.”)

Other than those two problems, the movie was just OK. I liked The Thing, and the scene where he stood his ground against the oncoming semi-truck was one of those “hell yea” scenes that give me a real kick. I thoght Ioan Gruffudd was pretty good as Mr. Fantastic (and he did look the part). Johnny Storm was more annoying than I ever remember him being in the comics (if I had Mr. Fantastic’s powers I would have reached through the screen and slapped him).

But despite the stuff I did like (Alba’s tits, The Thing), the lack of comic book-style action just killed the film for me. I’d recommend it for the die-hard comic fans out there, but if you don’t have any sort of interest in the group in its original incarnation as a comic book, save your money.

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