Friday, May 11, 2007

George Harrison was a Libertarian Hero

Song:           Taxman 
Duration: 2.37
Track No.: No. 1, Side 1 Revolver
Composer: Harrison
Vocals: George Harrison
Year: 1966


(One, two, three, four, one two)

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

(If you drive a car car) I'll tax the street
(If you try to sit sit) I'll tax your seat
(If you get too cold cold) I'll tax the heat
(If you take a walk walk) I'll tax your feet


'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

Don't ask me what I want it for
(Ah, ah, Mr. Wilson)
If you don't want to pay some more
(Ah, ah, Mr. Heath)
'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

Now my advise for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes

'Cause I'm the taxman
Yeah, I'm the taxman

And you're working for no one, but me

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


Has there ever been a more incompetent administration than the current Bush Administration? In George Bush land, somehow it is possible for people like Paul Wolfowitz and Condi Rice and Alberto Gonzales to be completely wrong and erroneously put the country into an unneeded war with Iraq and yet Rice gets a promotion to Secretary of State, Gonzales becomes Attorney General, and Wolfowitz gets a sinecure running the World Bank.

Apparently, in Bush Bizarro World, Affirmative Action, Bad! Nepotism, Good!

At least, the President should have known that the Europeans were going to be fuming mad at Wolfowitz because of his misrepresentations regarding the war in Iraq and would look for any means possible to exact some revenge on Wolfowitz. And now they have it.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Spider-man 3

I saw Spider-man 3 yesterday and I thought that it was pretty good, although not as good as the first two Spider-man flicks and probably not as good as either the last Batman or the last Superman, but those movies were all excellent, so there is no shame in being only "pretty good."

One thing that might be a little disappointing for some of us fathers out there is that I found Spider-man 3 to be much scarier than the first two Spider-man movies and I cannot really recommend it for children under 8 years old. I decided to screen it before taking my sons and I think this one is much darker than the first two. The Venom character, especially was pretty scary looking and the violence seemed much more hardhitting than the first two. I do think that watching at home on DVD would be much less scary as the film just wouldn't quite have the same impact.

Here come some plot spoilers.

Spider-man 3 was unique in that at the end of the movie, Spidey is left without any bad guys who still have issues with him. Harry apparently returns from the dark side to save Spidey and then, once redeemed, appears to die, although in the comic book world you never know. Venom seems to have been blown up, but I doubt it. This is also without mentioning that Venom, in the comic book, ultimately becomes a hero anyway.

Finally, Spidey and the Sandman, who was ret-conned as the killer of his uncle, basically reach an understanding and go their separate ways, with the Sandman becoming an advocate for universal health care for children. I am not kidding! Although it was a nice statement about not seeking revenge and all, it still was a strange way to end the movie, given that the Sandman had just tried to kill Peter, MJ and Harry.

Another problem with the movie was Mary Jane Watson. In the comics, MJ was an energetic gal, who was always chasing Peter and calling him "tiger". In these movies, she is basically a shy pouting type who keeps getting in the way. I know that in the comics, Superman and Spider-man had to save their women from time to time, but it didn't happen each and every issue. Now, in the Spider-man trilogy, all three movies have ended with Spider-man arriving to save Mary Jane. Please, if there is another sequel, no more MJ saving and if there is another Superman, no more kryptonite. These plot devices have become boring and hacknyed.

Ditto for Aunt May. In the comic book, she was afraid of Spider-man. This was good because she was a boring character who basically was a burden to Peter/Spidey, so we weren't subjected to so many boring speeches by her. Here, she always has to give Peter pep talks. It gets kind of old.

It seems that Sony has left things at the end of Spider-man 3 so that they can either go forward with more sequels or stop. I have to believe that there will be more, given the amazing gate that Spider-man 3 has garnered so far. My prediction is that the next movie will have Dr. Connors, Peter's physics professor as his new villain. Dr. Connors, who is lacking his right arm, attempts to re-generate his limb and is successful, but unfortunately, the process also turns him into a powerful lizard-man. If not Dr. Connors, then I predict that the next villain will be the Hob Goblin and look for Venom to pop up again, perhaps as a scary-looking good guy.

Finally, we will all have to watch for the revenge of Gwen Stacy. Will she capture Peter Parker's heart on the big screen after being unceremoniously killed by Marvel and the Green Goblin some 35 years ago, with MJ stepping into her shoes as Peter's main squeeze.

Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield used to have a great bit about not ever getting any respect. We usually think that such a fate only befalls the truly mediocre among us, but there truly are some interesting stories involving individuals ultimately considered truly great, but who were overlooked at the beginning. I guess Vincent Van Gogh might be one of the more well-known examples. Another would be Johnny Unitas, the great quaterback for the Baltimore Colts, who was unable to even make his hometown team, the perennially-awful Pittsburgh Steelers.

Add the Beatles to this category. When they originally tried to get a recording contract, they were turned down by virtually all of the studios in England, and were finally only able to get a four song deal with a comedy label run by George Martin, who had so little faith in their abilities that he had them immediately fire their drummer. Out went Pete Best, in came Ringo Starr and Martin still wouldn't let Ringo play on the Beatles first single, Love Me Do.

Then, after the Beatles made it big in Britain, they tried to duplicate their success in the U.S. and virtually no one wanted to carry them, not even Capitol Records, which was Parlophones' corresponding American label. The Beatles ended up issuing their first American album on something called VeeJay Records, called Introducing the Beatles. Only a year or so later, would Capitol recognize its error and come out with a similar title called The Early Beatles.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Richard Starkey

People have often derided the Beatles' solo careers, but each of them was hugely successful as a solo artist during the first five years after breaking up. Compare Ringo, for example to any of the former members of Pink Floyd, the Who, Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, none of whom had anything close to as much success as solo artists....

Drug War

Will Republicans and Democrats ever wake up and realize that the war on drugs is in actuality a war on people, most of them black and hispanic. In spite of the most draconian penality scheme this side of Indonesia, the drugs just keep pouring in and the only response that any of our brilliant people in Washington have is to up the penalties even more, and put Sudafed behind the counter. If they ever re-make Midnight Express, they are likely to use the United States as the locale, given that our current drug war policies make Turkey look lenient.

Really, the only hope is for the unheard voices of the American people to stand up and say to the mediocre politicians who run this country for their own benefit rather than ours, "Listen, we've upped our standards, so up yours.