Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Big Lebowski

Wednesday Night Links

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* George Zimmerman in custody, charged with second degree murder.

* Dinosaur Times: probably a lot less fun than you think.

* Neal Kirby remembers his father, Jack.

* The Port Huron Statement at 50. Warning: this is primarily about the compromised second draft.

* The Fraiser theme song explained. Finally.

* Bad polling news for Romney in North Carolina, Colorado, and pretty much everywhere else. Who could have predicted that aggressively alienating 51% of the voting population would have turned out so badly?

* Tough primary season for God: Every candidate he encouraged to run has dropped out.

* Chris Christie lied about the Hudson Tunnel project he unilaterally canceled? Say it ain’t so!

* The headline reads, “National Review Fires Another Racist Writer.”

* Uncompromising Photos Expose Juvenile Detention in America. Just heartwrenching. Below: A 12-year-old in his cell at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. The window has been boarded up from the outside. The facility is operated by Mississippi Security Police, a private company. In 1982, a fire killed 27 prisoners and an ensuing lawsuit against the authorities forced them to reduce their population to maintain an 8:1 inmate to staff ratio.

Monday Night Links

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* The Dude—not Jeff Bridges, the original—visits Occupy LA. Aaron Bady has been all over Occupy Oakland. Chemical bomb tossed into Occupy Maine. MTV will air “True Life: I’m Occupying Wall Street” on Guy Fawkes Day. China is banning searches for “Occupy X.” And the tents come to Duke.

* Angus Johnston: “University of California Faculty Group Supports OWS, Silent on Student Protest at Home.”

* American exceptionalism: the death penalty in decline.

Capital punishment laws are on the books in 91 countries, but only 23 of them carried out any executions last year. The U.S. executed 46 people last year, and 37 so far this year — more than any other country, except for the dictatorships of China, North Korea, Iran, and Yemen. In most parts of the modern world, the practice appears to be in steep decline. Since 1976, a total of 123 countries have effectively abolished the death penalty as a barbaric legacy of the past. All signs point to an unmistakable downward trend, says Mario Marazziti, co-founder of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. “There is worldwide growth of a new moral standard of decency and of respect for human rights,” he said, “even the rights and lives of those who may have committed severe crimes.”

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Monday finalized a landmark settlement with Google in which the company has agreed to be audited for its privacy practices for the next 20 years.

* Vancouver to end homelessness by 2015.

* Wikileaks is broke. More here.

* 62% of Americans want to eliminate the Electoral College.

* And Flavorwire has your Surprising Hobbies of Famous Authors.

Franz Kafka apparently had an enormous collection of pornography, ranging from the run-of-the-mill (“girl-on-girl action”) to the more obtuse (“animals committing fellatio”). We imagine Franz as a meek, self-conscious man with a mind working a mile a minute, so we guess this makes sense, but we have to admit we’re surprised all the same.

I really feel as though I’m not surprised at all by this.

You Owe Money All Over Town, Including to Known Pornographers; Pay Each Player $50

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Tired of playing The Wire Monopoly? A new contender for your love has entered the arena: Big Lebowski Monopoly. Complete with Chance and Community Chest cards at the link…

Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Tuesday Night Links

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* The way the whole durned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself, down through the generations: Tara Reid Says She’s Going To Be Filming The Big Lebowski 2 Later This Year.

* It is snowing everywhere and it will never stop. PS: Tell your winger relatives extreme winter storms are perfectly consistent with rising global temperatures. Trust me; they don’t already know.

* Building a tunnel under the Hudson just can’t be done, and honoring contractual obligations to public-sector workers would of course be socialism, but at least New Jersey still has plenty of cash to blow on casinos.

* waxy.org has a huge list of metagames, proceeding from the abusive to the downright bizarre.

* These days Superman wouldn’t even qualify for in-state tuition.

* Great Recession watch: 11% of American homes are vacant.

* Nemesis watch: James Franco will be teaching a course about James Franco.

* When hippies ruined all the books. Why, hippies, why?

* And clowns are getting women pregnant. Stay safe out there ladies.

Strikes and Gutters, Ups and Downs

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Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you. It was obviously a tough night for Democrats but on some level it was always going to be—with unemployment at 9.6% and millions of people underwater on their mortgages the Democrats were doomed to lose and lose big. On this the stimulus really was the original sin—if it had been bigger and better-targeted the economic situation could have been better, but it wasn’t and here we are. Unlike 2000 and 2004 I think this election stings, but it doesn’t hurt; a big loss like this has been baked in the cake for a while.

Remember that as the pundits play bad political commentary bingo all month.

As I mentioned last night, overs beat the unders, which means my more optimistic predictions were 2/3 wrong: Republicans overshot the House predictions and Sestak and Giannoulias both lost their close races in PA and IL. But I was right that young people can’t be trusted to vote even when marijuana legalization is on the ballot. Cynicism wins again! I’ll remember that for next time.

I was on Twitter for most of the night last night and most of my observations about last night have already been made there. A few highlights from the night:

* Who could have predicted: Democrats are already playing down the notion that they’ll get much done in a lame duck session. They’d rather punt to January particularly the big issues, like tax cuts. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Don’t even bother. On taxes, the outline of a compromise is there, having been floated by Vice President Biden: the rates might stay in place for a larger number of wealthier Americans. The Estate Tax, which jumps up to 55% in January, will probably be restored at a lower rate. Capital gains taxes will also be higher, but not as high as they’re slated to be. Supporters of the START treaty are very worried. Gee, maybe Obama shouldn’t have appealed DADT after all.

* Last night’s big Dem winner: implausibly, Harry Reid. Second place (of a sort): Howard Dean, whose entire happy legacy as DNC chair was wiped out in one fell swoop last night—and then some. Fire Kaine, bring Dean back.

* Last night’s big Republican losers: the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin specifically. The crazies cost them the Senate.

* An upside: most of the losses last night were from bad Democrats, especially the Blue Dog caucus, which was nearly decimated. The progressive caucus only lost three seats and now constitutes 40% of the Democratic House caucus.

* Most of the progressive online left is saddest to see Feingold lose, I think.

* Personally happiest to see Tancredo lose in Colorado. That guy’s completely nuts.

* At least losing the House means we don’t have to deal with individual Senate egomaniacs anymore.

* Weird proposition watch: Denver votes down UFO commission. Missouri prevents a feared pupocalypse. Oklahoma bans Sharia law, thereby saving freedom forever.

* The most important proposition, and the most important victory for the left, was probably California’s Proposition 23 on climate change, which went down. Quoting the HuffPo article: “California is the world’s 12th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and its global warming law, passed in 2006, mandates the largest legislated reductions in greenhouse gases in the world.” This was a big win.

* Sad statistic of the night: “Meg Whitman’s personal spending on her campaign: $163 mil. Natl Endowment for the Arts 2010 budget: $161.4 mil.”

* And Republican gains are bad news for higher education. This is probably especially true for state universities in North Carolina, where Republicans now control the state legislature for the first time in a century.

Anything I missed?

Misc.

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* A stage production of Two Gentlemen of Lebowski is already in the works.

* Asheville, NC, is one of the gayest cities in America.

* You said it: “The Senate is just a pain in the ass to everybody in the world as far as I can tell.”

* And if NBC screwed over Conan because they wanted me to watch his monologue on YouTube every day, mission accomplished.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Thursday Night

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* Every blog on the Internet is required to link to this Shakespearification of the entire script of The Big Lebowski.

BLANCHE
Whither the money, Lebowski? Faith, we are servants of Bonnie; promised by the lady good that thou in turn were good for’t.
WOO
Bound in honour, we must have our bond; cursed be our tribe if we forgive thee.
BLANCHE
Let us soak him in the commode, so as to turn his head.
WOO
Aye, and see what vapourises; then he will see what is foul.
[They insert his head into the commode]
BLANCHE
What dreadful noise of waters in thine ears! Thou hast cooled thine head; think now upon drier matters.
WOO
Speak now on ducats else again we’ll thee duckest; whither the money, Lebowski?
THE KNAVE
Faith, it awaits down there someplace; prithee let me glimpse again.
WOO
What, thou rash egg! Thus will we drown thine exclamations.
[They again insert his head into the commode]

* Sad news: New Jersey did not listen to Bruce. More here and here.

More on the heretofore unknown ancient civilization being uncovered by deforestation in the Amazon in the New Yorker.

* More zombie television: MTV has licensed Dawn of the Dead.

* Look At This Fucking Idea For A Blog-To-Book Deal.

* John McWhorter on the death of languages. Via io9.

* ‘Final Edition: Twilight of the American Newspaper.’

We will end up with one and a half cities in America—Washington, D.C., and American Idol. We will all live in Washington, D.C., where the conversation is a droning, never advancing, debate between “conservatives” and “liberals.” We will not read about newlyweds. We will not read about the death of salesmen. We will not read about prize Holsteins or new novels. We are a nation dismantling the structures of intellectual property and all critical apparatus. We are without professional book reviewers and art critics and essays about what it might mean that our local newspaper has died. We are a nation of Amazon reader responses (Moby Dick is “not a really good piece of fiction”—Feb. 14, 2009, by Donald J. Bingle, Saint Charles, Ill.—two stars out of five). We are without obituaries, but the famous will achieve immortality by a Wikipedia entry.

Via Kottke.

* And, for the first time ever, Fox News has been caught doing something dishonest.

Three More

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 30, 2009 at 1:33 am

Quick Links

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Quick links.

* Is McCain’s unvetted VP pick really associated with the Alaskan Independence Party (actual self-description: “No longer a fringe party”)? Really? Is this a joke?

* Johann Hari tries to game out the partisan political implications of Hurricane Gustav. I’m reserving judgment—you can’t underestimate how much Americans love kitsch, and I think McCain’s political opportunism in heading to the disaster zone could play really well among low-information voters. You and I know that a high-profile visit like this draws needed resources away from rescue efforts, but sad to say most swing voters just aren’t that savvy.

* So what if Kafka enjoyed porn?

* And, via Cynical-C, Steve Buscemi on The Big Lebowski.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 1, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Three or Four More

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* Cracked has 7 insane conspiracies that actually happened.

* MetaFilter has a fun post on irrationalities in the stock market like the January effect, the weekend effect, and the Halloween indicator.

* Via Boing Boing, Scientific American tackles the science of orgasm.

But when a woman reached orgasm, something unexpected happened: much of her brain went silent. Some of the most muted neurons sat in the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex, which may govern self-control over basic desires such as sex. Decreased activity there, the researchers suggest, might correspond to a release of tension and inhibition. The scientists also saw a dip in excitation in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, which has an apparent role in moral reasoning and social judgment—a change that may be tied to a suspension of judgment and reflection.

Brain activity fell in the amygdala, too, suggesting a depression of vigilance similar to that seen in men, who generally showed far less deactivation in their brain during orgasm than their female counterparts did. “Fear and anxiety need to be avoided at all costs if a woman wishes to have an orgasm; we knew that, but now we can see it happening in the depths of the brain,” Holstege says. He went so far as to declare at the 2005 meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Development: “At the moment of orgasm, women do not have any emotional feelings.”

We here at Gerry Canavan Industries are watching this research with great interest, as our G Spotter™ and CliMax 3000™ products have not yet caught on in the way we might have hoped.

* I forgot to link to Waxy’s great compilation of obsessive fanboy supercuts, including such gems as every “What?” ever uttered on Lost, every “Dude” and F-bomb in The Big Lebowski, and every murder from the Sopranos. Below: Sen. Clay Davis.

‘If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable’

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Things coming across my radar screen this morning: the Port Huron Statement (compromise second draft).

Our work is guided by the sense that we may be the last generation in the experiment with living. But we are a minority–the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally functional parts. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox; we ourselves are imbued with urgency, yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. Beneath the reassuring tones of the politicians, beneath the common opinion that America will “muddle through,” beneath the stagnation of those who have closed their minds to the future, is the pervading feeling that there simply are no alternatives, that our times have witnessed the exhaustion not only of Utopias, but of any new departures as well. Feeling the press of complexity upon the emptiness of life, people are fearful of the thought that at any moment things might be thrust out of control. They fear change itself, since change might smash whatever invisible framework seems to hold back chaos for them now. For most Americans, all crusades are suspect, threatening. The fact that each individual sees apathy in his fellows perpetuates the common reluctance to organize for change. The dominant institutions are complex enough to blunt the minds of their potential critics, and entrenched enough to swiftly dissipate or entirely repel the energies of protest and reform, thus limiting human expectancies. Then, too, we are a materially improved society, and by our own improvements we seem to have weakened the case for further change.

Some would have us believe that Americans feel contentment amidst prosperity–but might it not better be called a glaze above deeply felt anxieties about their role in the new world? And if these anxieties produce a developed indifference to human affairs, do they not as well produce a yearning to believe that there is an alternative to the present, that something can be done to change circumstances in the school, the workplaces, the bureaucracies, the government? It is to this latter yearning, at once the spark and engine of change, that we direct our present appeal. The search for truly democratic alternatives to the present, and a commitment to social experimentation with them, is a worthy and fulfilling human enterprise, one which moves us and, we hope, others today. On such a basis do we offer this document of our convictions and analysis: as an effort in understanding and changing the conditions of humanity in the late twentieth century, an effort rooted in the ancient, still unfulfilled conception of man attaining determining influence over his circumstances of life.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm

History’s Largest Carbon Footprint

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Who has history’s largest carbon footprint? Fox Sports makes the case that it’s soccer’s David Beckham.

The former England captain logged over 250,000 miles last year as he flew back and forth between the U.S. and Europe for England’s European Championship qualifiers, while also participating in a Galaxy tour of Oceania in the latter part of the year.

Beckham and his wife Victoria also collected over 50,000 frequent flyer miles for advertising obligations around the globe.

Collectively, Beckham flew farther in 2007 than a trip from the earth to the moon.

At home, Beckham owns a fleet of 15 cars, including a Porsche, a Hummer and a Lincoln Navigator.

In other carbon footprint news, I’ve decided to use what remains of my personal carbon allotment to purchase Big Lebowski action figures.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 24, 2008 at 2:23 pm

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