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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Michelle Obama's penis (and more). (Update: A Star Trek note!)

Skydancing directs our attention to the most bizarre "news" story making the rounds at this moment.

Reverend James David Manning is a black preacher who, in 2008, made quite an impression with his strident denunciations of Barack Obama. Although I can't really claim to have figured the guy out, Manning didn't seem like your standard-issue reactionary. But he did seem outrageous and over-the-top -- so much so that I never linked to his videos, even though I published all sorts of anti-Obama material from other sources throughout that year. More recently, Manning has said some rather awful things about Trayvon Martin.

Now, Manning offers his audience some explosive new revelations.

Last month, a woman named Miriam Carey crashed her vehicle into the Capitol Building; cops shot her. Manning says that she was killed under the orders of Barack Obama because she gave birth to Obama's daughter.

It gets freakier: Obama (we are told) met Carey -- a dental assistant -- in 2011, when he went in to have a bit of pistachio shell removed from his teeth (or his "back moral," as Mediaite humorously misspells it). Right there in that office, the President decided that he needed to do some drilling of his own. He needed sex very badly, we are told, because Michelle was born a man. "Case closed," says Manning.

So far, I see nothing wrong with this story.

Manning left out the most extraordinary part of this tale: According to my sources, Michelle Obama's severed penis -- petrified and inexplicably luminescent -- somehow fell into the hands of the Samburu tribe of Kenya, where the luminous lingam is worshiped for its alleged healing properties. Obama hired Josh Gates to retrieve this object (using his television show as a cover) -- and one member of his seven-person crew was none other than Miriam Carey, who functioned as the expedition's chief dental officer.

Perhaps Manning was wise not to mention that stuff. He might have injured his credibility.

On another topic... Skydancing also republished a cartoon which sums up nearly everything wrong with our society...

I'm interested in this image from an aesthetic standpoint. Why are the contours of the two arms and hands drawn with such a shaky line? Cartoonist Rob Rogers does careful hatching, and his line is very smooth in some other places.

Yet -- for some reason -- the shakiness makes the drawing work better. I don't know why.

Art's a mysterious thing, isn't it?

Finally, Glenn Greenwald. In this BBC interview, the embattled journalist lays it all out: The ultimate goal of the United States intelligence apparat is to end all privacy everywhere. I find it annoying that reporters like Greenwald must head to the UK if they want to speak freely...

Added note: Spoilers ahoy! I finally caught up with Star Trek: Into Darkness. It's a fun movie, but something about the experience left me feeling icky. It is possible, methinks, for a blockbuster to have too much action -- too much war-war when we need jaw-jaw. During pre-production, one of the producers jokingly suggested that the film be titled "Star Trek: Transformers 4." That's not really a joke.

What disappointed me most was the new characterization of Kahn. When we have a marvelous British scenery-chewer (and I mean that in the highest sense of the term) like Benedict Cumberbatch, we want the guy to say something, to spout long speeches which reveal much quirkiness of character. Alas, he is given just one major dialogue scene, and it's kind of flat. (Isn't it odd that a character named "Kahn" has been played first by a Mexican and now by a Brit?)

Where are the literary references? It ain't Kahn unless he's regaling us with snippets from authors recognizable to middlebrows who took a couple of English lit classes.

One of the great villains has degenerated into a stock movie psychopath. Kahn's sole motivation seems to be his desire to wipe out inferior stock -- but if I recall correctly, the very first Kahn story had him falling in love with a "normal."

Peter Weller does American-style kick-ass take-no-bullshit Evilness well. If ever someone makes a Curtis LeMay biopic, Weller's the guy. But why would his daughter have a British accent -- especially if she's going to turn into the woman from Wrath of Khan?

This script quotes Wrath of Kahn but does not provide any quotable lines of its own. That fact exemplifies the big problem with modern popular culture: Audiences demand modern variants of old characters, old stories, even old dialogue. We fear the new. (In comics, only characters created before 1975 seem to have a hold on readers.)

Also, I was really pissed off to learn that, 300-or-so years in the future, hipster bars will still be blaring really dreadful hip hop.
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So we have to be moderated but UK Political News' spambot gets straight through?

You Obama-fucks-around-due-to-hermaphrodite-wife3 thing reminds me of Clinton allegedly fucking around because Hillary is meant to be a lesbian (with the women who used Wiener as a beard, allegedly). But I never believed that one. The one about George Bush raping a black woman in Texas called Margie Schoedinger, that's also possibly similar.

Star Trek Into Darkness (no colon) isn't that good. I thought it was well set up, until Khan was revealed. Then it went right down hill, with JJ Abram's trademark clueless ending. Apparently they're making a third, in a Star Trek with interstellar transporter and a cure for death. The action was entertaining but stupid, especially where the ship is falling out of orbit. I like some of JJ's stuff, Fringe mainly (and Alias, in that it seems to be more-or-less a prototype of Fringe). His other stuff is characterised by mysteries with no answers, excessive lens flares and awful unsatisfactory endings.

Also, Star Trek could have done with less product placement. It's Star Trek! There's no money (animated series notwithstanding)! Motherfucking blasphemers.

That Star Trek movie was rendered unwatchable from a plot perspective due to Hollywoods bizarre insistence on "twists" and "big reveals."

Logically you would have Naveen Andrews play Khan and call the movie Vengeance of Khan or Return of Khan, etc.

There's all kinds of cool twists or nods you could put in the film to appeal to hardcore fans - but the dumb decision to keep Khan secret made that movie a confusing, stupid mess, no matter how well made it was.
JJ gas completely ruined Star Trek. I have never hated a movie as badly as I hated the first one. When you can't get the science right in science fiction, you are creating dreck. When you can't close gaping plot holes in a movie, you are a sloppy, juvenile hack.
The 2 "New" Star Trek movies are total dreck. I don't want a replay of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, or KHAAAAAAAAN!

Come up with a new idea.

I was especially annoyed with Kirk's "future" being changed to make him a petulant loner because of his dad's death, just so squinty faced Chris Pine could play him.

As for KHAAAAAAAAAN, ST:II is perhaps the pinnacle of the movies, IV and TNG: 1st Contact are also viable candidates, so Bennie Cumberbund's KHAAAAAN feels so derivative and cheap.

Finally, as to the bizarre BlameBarackCampaign, WTF? It reall sucks to live in a Nation which is controlled by Ultra-Reactionary freaks and Plutocratic Capitalists, I'm just glad I don't live in one of the nations they feel we should Shock & Awe...
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