Friday, September 25, 2009

'Flashforward' has vision, but have we seen it before?

Flashforward, the first of the fall season's new hopefuls (hoped by me anyway) aired last night, and I'm a little torn.

The show sports a killer premise, an A-list writer/producer, and an uber-capable cast -- kudos to the ever-underrated Joseph Fiennes for maybe the best American accent from a Brit ever. Not to mention a bulletproof pilot that had me bumping it to near the top of my DVR timer queue.

But it's "near the top" because Lost still sits higher and, more to the point, got there first.

Comparisons to Lost are invited: Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer is the power behind Fastforward, and he freely admits he's a "huge, huge" fan of the Splash-proclaimed greatest TV drama ever.

The good news is, he understands what makes Lost tick. The pitfall becomes merely following the template. (Flashforward's kangaroo moment felt cheesily close to Lost's polar bear for me.) We've been down this road before, so those hairpin turns don't take us by surprise anymore. Meanwhile Lost is still barreling down the unmapped parts of that road far, far ahead.

So I guess I'm saying it might be a lightning-in-a-bottle deal. Lost's fan-based viral video and web sleuthing aspect sprung up organically, FF comes prepackaged with it, which rarely works.

And most of the fun last night for me came from the apocalyptic mushroom cloud hanging over the Event. Unless they sustain that, as opposed to the Prison Break-like whodunit this has the potential to become, we have another problem.

Or maybe just chalk it up to my own impossibly high standards. Compared to NCIS: Los Angeles the other night, this is the best show ever.

Encore showing of the pilot runs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC. Check out the promo below.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You're just a middle class Socialist brat...

I wonder if Danny Elfman had the Democrats in mind when he wrote "Dead Man's Party."


OK, some background: Before he was a big time movie composer, Danny Elfman had a little band back in the 80s and 90s that you may remember -- Oingo Boingo. Thoroughly alternative with layers of punk energy on stage. I liked the music, but I really warmed to the conservative message in songs like "Only a Lad" and "Capitalism."

With Michael Moore saying we need to end capitalism and the President doing everything in his power to make it happen, I've had 'Capitalism,' boinging around in my brain for a couple days.

I'm thinking somebody needs to cover this song pronto and get it into a lot of heads, because talk about a song ahead of its time...

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with free enterprise
Don't try to make me feel guilty
I'm so tired of hearing you cry

There's nothing wrong with making some profit
If you ask me I'll say it's just fine
There's nothing wrong with wanting to live nice
I'm so tired of hearing you whine
About the revolution
Bringin' down the rich
When was the last time you dug a ditch, baby!

If it ain't one thing
Then it's the other
Any cause that crosses your path
Your heart bleeds for anyone's brother
I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass

You criticize with plenty of vigor
You rationalize everything that you do
With catchy phrases and heavy quotations
And everybody is crazy but you

You're just a middle class, socialist brat
From a suburban family and you never really had to work
And you tell me that we've got to get back
To the struggling masses (whoever they are)
You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain
Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain
What the hell do you know about suffering and pain . . .

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism!
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism!
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism!
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism!

YouTube link:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dear Leader Speaks: the final word

Chalk up Obama's speech to the cheeelrens as another win for our side.

With a total conservative power outage in Washington, liberalism a raging wildfire, so it's all about containment right now.

So far so good.

With the Town Halls Gone Wild phenomenon, the Dems will have to punt on health care... Van Jones just had his czarist crown knocked off by Glenn Beck's September Revolution... Now, just before the big do-or-die speech to Congress, today's "how can we help the president achieve his goals?" pitch to American kiddos has been quickly toned down to "I pity the fool who don't stay in school!"

So are we actually kinda sorta winning? Without leadership? We're doing something. All we need to do is keep it up for another 1,229 days, 23 hours, 53 minutes, and 47 seconds.

My favorite moment in the Master Rhetorician's address today? The president says you shouldn't look to basketball for success in life...then holds up Michael Jordan as a role model. (Maybe you should put on some clothes if you're going to keep Emperoring today, sir. Little eyes are watching.)

But even with all the Cult of Personality warnings to avoid, did you notice how he still couldn't resist touching on the awesomeness of Being Barack? Has there ever been a president who self-referenced as much as Dear Leader Barry? This time we learned that because he studied hard at the dinner table in Indonesia, we can be somebody too! (Alpha...Omega! Alpha...Omega! Alpha...Omega!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

You too, John Piper?

Dawg be trippin'!

Ah, man... John Piper just made a poopie.

What's the point of praying kids "take their studies seriously" when those studies can only, legally be a 100% man-centered curriculum? And there's attitude here, too, which kinda baffles me.

I just took part in a major Facebook brawl -- with fellow Christians -- over whether or not believers should enlist their kids in a soul-flattening state education if there's an alternative, so this one felt like a bit of a knife in the back.

Clearly he's reacting to the level of vitriol against Obama's speech to the cheeelrens. But that doesn't fill me with confidence on his grasp of the bigger picture.

Amazing the lines being drawn in the culture war lately. Christians, Mormon commentators and secular Libertarians vs. Christians, Libs and Statists. (Not that Piper is on the latter's side, but suddenly I have to put him on my "Guys Who Don't Get It" watch list, and that's no fun.)

My take on the speech itself...

Charles Krauthammer had it right when he said the problem isn't what Obama is saying, which appears to be bland. Or even the (quickly amended!) teacher's guide that had asked kids to find ways to "help the President." It's the fact that school kids are being asked to have a special relationship with any president, regardless of affiliation. Time was, and wisely so, when country and Constitution were paramount in the civic education of young Americans. Now we're holding up elected officials as the heart and soul of the nation?


Afghanistan: getting ugly fast

What a mess. Forget "social re-engineering." That should never be the mission of the U.S. military, and the Founders would be livid. We were right to knock down the Taliban after 9/11, but doing anything but leaving immediately after that -- with the promise to return and make them glow like Chernobyl if they mess with us again -- is a recipe for Vietnam II, even if our motives are right.

Story here, courtesy of the inestimable Michael Yon courtesy of Big Hollywood...

New Afghan War: Frontline Correspondent Says Fight Has Morphed

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