Holy shit

Looks like Webb is going to hang on in Virgina (by his fingernails!) and take the Senate for the Democrats! The AP is calling it (although CNN is not, yet):

(CNN) — A Democratic takeover of the Senate is appearing more and more likely after an ongoing canvass of votes in the Senate race in Virginia produced no significant changes, sources told CNN late Wednesday.

With Democratic challenger Jim Webb leading Republican incumbent Sen. George Allen by about 7,200 votes and the canvass about half complete, the Associated Press declared him the winner in the race.
Democrats win control of Senate, AP reports – CNN.com

Thank you, Gillo Pontecorvo

[The Battle of Algiers] The Battle of Algiers is both a very good film, and a very very important one. I would recommend it even if it didn’t have tremendous parallels to the current invasion of Iraq, but it does so please check it out.

Gillo Pontecorvo, the Italian film director famous for “The Battle of Algiers,” a starkly realistic depiction of Algeria’s war of independence from France, has died in Rome, aged 86.
The documentary-style black and white film showed brutality on both sides of the 1954-62 war, including bombings of civilians by militants and torture by the military, and was banned in France for several years.

In 2003 the Pentagon screened the film to officers and civilian experts who were considering the challenges faced by the U.S. military in Iraq, the New York Times reported.

A flier inviting guests to the screening read: “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas.”

“Battle of Algiers” director Pontecorvo dies – Yahoo! News

655,000 Iraqis dead, and counting…

I woke up this morning to a story on NPR saying that a new scientific study says the Iraqi death toll is something like 10 times higher than the Pentagon’s count and even 5 times higher than the independent IraqBodyCount.net (which is responsible for those cool counters you see on people’s blogs and which I referenced in an anti-war screed/blog entry two years ago

This afternoon I got an e-mail from the Democratic Party alerting me that “The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010.”

And I suspect that even electing Democrats won’t make much of a dent in our illegal, racist, christofascist occupation of the Middle East at large. How can we get our troops home safely and quickly???

Best summer movie of 2006

Best summer movie of 2006
Everyone must see “Little Miss Sunshine.” Go now. You’ll thank me later.

This is the feel-good movie for anyone who has ever wanted to tell the world to just fuck the hell off.

In addition to the trailer and IMdB entry, I highly recommend the movies official site, which has all of your typical screensaver and chat icon downloads, as well as a ton of clever online grassroots marketing tricks including:

MySpace skins… Watch and Add Little Miss Sunshine video on YouTube… Threadless… Customize a new pair of kicks… Read about/Contribute to Little Miss Sunshine on Wikipedia… Dwayne’s browser homepage… Add your Little Miss Sunshine inspired photos here… 43Things: Dwayne, Richard… Rotten Tomatoes… Design your own VW bus… Frank’s favorite blog…

Feh feh feh

Here’s my personal guide to What Not to Watch from 2005 (in order of stinkitude):

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia. Made me want to wash my mouth out with the Fellowship of the Ring to rid me of the taste of sickly sweet poured over bad special effects. Made me want to shoot Santa (to be fair, it doesn’t take much). Did not make me want to re-read the book which I loved as a kid.
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha. Made me want to apologize for all the white people who still can’t understand that geisha are not glorified prostitutes, even when making a movie about this fact! After seeing this and the miserable Last Samurai (so bad, it’s not worth a link), I’d like to place a temporary restraining order on all American films about Asia, until we can get past our trendy fascination with eastern culture.
  3. King Kong. Is “because I can” a good enough reason to make an expensive movie? Peter Jackson loses all the cool points I gave him for Meet the Feebles lo those many years ago. What a waste.

Some films didn’t suck out loud, but were simply disappointing:

As an alternative I recommend either of the excellent poliitcal dramas made by George Clooney in 2005: Good Night and Good Luck and Syriana. I expect Capote to win some awards for it’s incredibly brilliant acting. Or for more action-entertainment, check out the fun and clever Serenity and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It was a good year for science fiction.

There are a few more I haven’t seen yet that I very much want to (Brokeback Mountain, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Me and You and Everyone We Know), so I may have to update…