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Posts Tagged ‘Tangents’

What do you call a dinosaur with wings that can’t fly? Um… a dragon, as far as I’m concerned!

Scientists call it a Gigantoraptor (really, that’s what it’s called) and…

Gigantoraptor appears in an artist’s reconstruction to have cut a menacing figure on the Cretaceous landscape. Rearing on its hind limbs, it spread out forelimbs tipped with sharp claws and prepared to pounce on prey with an open mouth and strong beak. Independent dinosaur experts said the description of the fossils of the half-complete skeleton appeared to support the discoverers’ interpretations. They said Gigantoraptor probably had some feathers, though none were preserved.

Ha!

gigantoraptor

Artists’ rendering of actual events. No really. This is the picture the scientists released with their findings.

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NY Magazine has some stuff to say about Britney, her hair, her self-mutilation, etc. They say, she “stripped herself, publicly (huh huh) of her sexuality” note: items in parentheses added by editor.

But one interesting thing they do say is about “Britney” vs. “Spears” – the fact that the media always calls her Britney speaks to their desire to cookie-cutter-Barbie-ize her, while calling her “Spears” would humanize her. Or maybe it’s just a cultural thing that I don’t get.

During Saddam Hussein’s initial ousting, a friend of mine was upset that the biased media was only referring to him as “Saddam,” rather than “Hussein” – he felt like that was a condescending move. But, as it turns out, in the Arab world men are often referred to by their first names, not as a sign of disrespect at all…but still. Pretty much everyone else, Arab or not, gets called by their last name in this media.

But anyway, back to Britney. Maybe she’s just telling us that it’s her prerogative and she is indeed a woman now and not that innocent and sometimes she runs and she’s a slave for us and we drive her crazy and she’s so lucky and outrageous and this is all toxic and…

Whew. Why were we surprised?

saddam.jpgYoung Britney

Saddam and Britney — both stars stripped of their last names by the media.

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Last night I had a dream – a flash of unconscious thought really. I was walking on a dark street and became aware that there was someone walking behind me. It was a tall, thin man, wearing a trench coat and clutching a shot gun. It was then that all my fear melted away.

I was safe in the sights of this psychopath, because he was Omar Little, Baltimore’s drug-laden Robin Hood on The Wire.*

Having dreamed about Omar, I thought it might be time to make my feelings about him known in the public sphere – or the “blogosphere” if you want me to vomit on myself.

First of all, Omar is a total badass and is admirable and exemplary in that way. Proof of bad-assedness: gigantic scar across face (which, admittedly, is the actor’s and not technically Omar’s), trench coat/shot gun combo, and the courtroom smack-down in Season Two.

Secondly, Omar is more than a character. He is a statement about agency. In the world of The Wire, there are two strong bureaucratic institutions that control the power – the Police and the Drug Trade. In both institutions, you see a very specific ranking system which at the low end features Hoppers and beat cops and goes all the way to the top, to Avon and the Mayor. The ranks are solidly established, although there is possibility of (limited) vertical mobility. Essentially, once you are in the system, your entire purpose is to perpetuate the institution and the circumstances which allow the institution to exist.

Omar is remarkable because he is not part of either institution, but is able to move freely between them, exploiting the institutions and the circumstances that they create. While others go on as cogs in either the law enforcement or drug machines, Omar is a vigilante, a free agent, going around and fucking things up. He can be compared to another floater, Bubbles, who putters about in both scenes, but is not part of either and wholly reliant on both.

Thirdly, Omar remains a pillar of moral fortitude – albeit the fucked up, killing-is-okay moral order of Baltimore. He is the most consistent character despite the fact that he is not compelled by any outside forces to act in a specific way. While the other characters – both the drug dealers and the cops – constantly stab each other in the back or undermine each other to get a sliver of the power available within their respective institutions, Omar adheres to a strict behavioral guideline from which he never wavers. It is something special to run around as both the most feared man around and the most morally righteous (which is why his face-off with BrotherMouzone is interesting – but a story for another time).

Finally, Omar is a poor, gay, black man and I’m going to go ahead and say it – members of this group do not traditionally hold a lot of power in society. This just makes it all the better that he is the toughest, most righteous, most powerful person on The Wire.

So, in conclusion I can say with little hesitation that if Omar were walking behind me with a loaded shotgun on a deserted street, I wouldn’t be scared. I would just wonder how I ended up in a TV show.

 

*Just to address one concern – yes, I often dream about The Wire, and no, I don’t think I need to get out more.

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In a surprising turn of events, American Idol has stopped sucking. Did you watch? You should have. It was a good one. I’m not ashamed to admit that a few of the contestants gave me the chills. One in particular. If you watched, you know who I’m referring to. ;] That wink’s for all my fellow A.I. viewers…we’re a tight knit gang. Anyway, I’m not going to go through the female contestants as I did with the males, because talking/blogging about people who are actually talented is boring. So I will discuss with you just one of the gals. The worst gal. She sang “Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” and I was embarrassed for her. Not just because of her song choice, but because she had to continue on till the end of the song even though, I’m sure, she was aware of how badly she was doing after that first off-pitched note escaped from her mouth. I can relate to her though. I think we all can. You know when you’re, say, interviewing for a job, and half way through answering a question you realize you’re talking about something totally off topic. But you’re already committed to the thought, so you have to follow through with it. All the while you’re scanning your brain for a link to a more suitable answer, only, you can no longer remember what the posed question even was, so you pray the interviewer recognizes that your tangential answer is in some way or another appropriate to the question asked. Then finally, you abruptly end with, “And, yeah.” Filling the subsequent awkward silence with a closed mouth smile, and if you’re lucky, a pair of glasses that are slowly, but surely, fogging up. Well, it’s too bad this girl couldn’t have just cut her performance with an, “And, yeah.” I bet it would have been easier than finishing her horrific rendition of an Armageddon song. If you ask me, American Idol should just go the Apollo root and “boo” contestants off the stage. At least it’s honest.

…..And, yeah.

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