August 29, 2008

Human Shield

Given the verbal smackdown he received at the hands of Obama last night, isn't McCain's selection of Gov. Palin kind of the equivalent of The Macho Man Randy Savage pulling Miss Elizabeth between himself and the Ultimate Warrior and saying "you wouldn't hit a girl, would you?"

Of course, if he'd picked Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the GOP version of Sensational Sherri, it might be a different story....

What You Got To Say NOW?

Watching that Obama acceptance speech tonight, I kept thinking back to the end of "8 Mile", with Eminem in the final MC battle against his nemesis, Papa Doc, the head of the so-called "Leaders of the Free World" clique.

Now, for those of you who've never seen an MC Battle before, it's basically a competitive performance where two rappers are given a fixed period of time in a hip-hop club to mock each other with rhyming lyrics they make up on the spot, i.e. freestyle. The crowd decides which one dissed the other the hardest, and awards him the victory.

By this point in the film, Eminem, who lived in a trailer park with his broke down mom (Kim Basinger) had just gotten his ass kicked by the entire Free World crew in a team beatdown, after one of them had had sex with his new girlfriend. And his own crew were so lame that one of them had even shot himself in the foot trying to be tough.

But watch how it all plays out. It's profane, but, man, is it worth it.

 After that total tongue lashing, where Eminem basically threw every attack he knew was coming right back in Papa Doc's face, he as completely speechless and was booed off stage. Eminem wins.

I'm saying all of that to say, what could John McCain and the Republicans possibly say next week in response to Obama tonight that could have any weight or value?

Obama just asked McCain and the Rovians "Is THAT the best you've got?"

The balls in your court, boys.

August 22, 2008

Saving Superman

Warner Bets on Fewer, Bigger Movies -

I think the WSJ article above is somewhat encouraging to me, as both a movie fan and a comic fan on a number of levels:
  1. I think we can all finally agree that "Superman Returns" was a failure.
  2. I think we can all finally agree that a "JLA" movie as a spin-off spaminator is a bad idea.
  3. I think we're all starting to agree that comic book movies do not have to be aimed at small children, since comic books themselves stopped being aimed at them at least 20 years ago.
I'm still a bit antsy about this "Green Arrow/SuperMax" movie, because I'd rather see Green Arrow as Green Arrow, not as the superhero version of Tom Selleck in "An Innocent Man". I'm also concerned that the studio may be making the same mistaken assumption about superhero storytelling that the comic industry made in the late '80's in the wake of the success of "The Dark Knight Returns" and "Watchmen": namely, that all superheroes need to be dark, grim, and gritty. Yes, it can work for certain characters - Batman, Wolverine, The Punisher, Green Arrow, even Wonder Woman to an extent (I mean, the S&M aspects built into that character from the very beginning are just too rich to ignore).

But Superman is different.

And, frankly, all this talk about how Superman is no longer relevant in today's world is a bunch of B.S. In fact, I think Superman is even MORE relevant than ever.

What most don't seem to get is that the best Superman stories are, essentially, morality plays. When you can do ANYTHING, it's not the physical obstacles that are the challenges, it's the CHOICES you must make.

Moreover, Superman's purpose is not just to save us physically, but to save our spirits by inspiring us to be better.

Honestly, in my dream version of "Superman Returns", he comes back and finds that the Earth has turned into....

naw. Can't give that one away. I may still get the call. :-)

Point being, you don't hire Paul Greengrass to direct a Superman movie. With the right script, I actually really like the idea of Tim Burton - the Tim Burton who did "Big Fish" and "Mars Attacks", not "Nightmare Before Christmas" Burton - making it into a sort of modern fairytale.

On second thought, the guy who could REALLY do it right would have been Luc Besson from about 10 years ago - Leelo Dallas was basically a female version of Superman.

In short, I'm cautiously optimistic. I'll relax when I see someone with real DC Comic street cred step up to be the Warner's equivalent of Avi Arad.

August 10, 2008

The Half-Way Mark

According to the CDC, as of 2004, the average life expectancy for a Black Man in the United States is 69.8 years.

Three days ago, I turned 35.

It's sobering to know that my government now considers my life half over.

Especially since I feel like it's really just getting started.

But then, I suppose I've been beating the statistics since the day I was born. A girl once pointed out to me on a date some 15 years ago, I was young black man from Baltimore who'd never been to jail, had no children, and was in the process of receiving an Ivy League education. "You don't realize how unique you are", she said.

Wow. 15 years ago.

My best friend just pointed out in his birthday wishes on my Facebook page that we've been friends for nearly 30 years. I can barely process the fact that I can measure anything over such a long period of time.

I can vividly remember my brother pumping his fists in the hospital the day that his son was born. Three months ago, that little baby just graduated from college. In the pictures from my recent trip to Comic-Con, my young cousin the photographer made a point of acknowledging me as "his older cousin".

But, for all of this talk about age, why can't I stop smiling this week?

Why do I feel so.... alive?

I feel like I've waited my entire life to be this age.

All week long, as people ask me how was my birthday and how do I feel to be another year older, I keep telling them the same thing:

I feel GRAND. In every sense of the word.

This has been a great year. And the next one? Even better.

Thank you everyone for all of the calls, emails, notes, well wishes, free drinks, cards, unmentionables, and everything else I've gotten in tribute this week. You all make every single moment sparkle like new money, and I appreciate every second.

Now, time to get back to it!

August 08, 2008

I should have listened to my mother

Last Christmas, when we were all sitting around chatting about the upcoming election over some Yultide dessert, my mother, a fairly reliable progressive Democrat, said that, while she was a Hilary girl who found herself falling head over heels for Obama, under no circumstances whatsoever would she vote for John Edwards.

I was shocked.

That's when several of my cousins also nodded in agreement.

"Why?" I asked my family. "Why not Edwards?"

The response?

"There's just something about him. He just seems shifty".

I couldn't see it. I'd been a fan of Edwards from back in '04 - he was actually my choice before I became a Deaniac. He seemed to be the guy who'd be forceful in his defense of progressive beliefs and values, almost to the point of recklessness. No one could deny how passionate he was. Surely no one could doubt that, given the chance, he'd be a good advocate for that other America he kept talking about.

No, let's be honest.

I didn't WANT to see it.

Not even subconsciously.

This election has been a real education as to how so many negative traits aren't just inherent in members of a given party.

Because a man who'll do anything for a given cause, no matter how noble it may be, is, by definition, a man who cannot be trusted. And it's just as true of John Edwards as it is about George W. Bush.