Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Godless Religion

I've never been a fan of Ann Coulter. She always has been a bit too sharp-tongued for my taste. I do not, however, put her in the same league with blowhards like Rush Limbaugh. Coulter is very intelligent, perceptive, and demonstrates personal integrity. I do admire her for these attributes. What I don't like about her is her need to lace her book titles and content with shock catchphrases. These phrases are obviously meant to anger liberals to such a point, that the inevitable retaliations give her the publicity she obviously craves. In this regard, Coulter is the 'Madonna' or Michael Jackson of political satire.

I feel a strong need to opine on the onslaught of anger that is being spewed at this insightful woman. The reason I want to comment on this is the backlash against Coulter's newest book Godless: The Church of Liberalism just seems to exemplify the whole liberal vs. conservative conflict.

The title alone obviously qualifies as a "shock" title. It is obviously intended to ruffle feathers and stir up controversy. The title implies that liberals don't believe in God and that the liberal philosophy is in itself, a religion. I haven't read the book although I intend to (I'll wait for it to come out on paperback.) but I have read of it and watched and listened to several interviews with the author. Here are some of the assertions she makes:

  • "No liberal cause is defended with more dishonesty than abortion...To them, 2,200 military deaths in the entire course of a war in Iraq is unconscionable, but 1.3 million aborted babies in America every year is something to celebrate. "

  • "The thesis of 'Godless' is: Liberalism IS a religion. The liberal religion has its own cosmology, its own explanation for why we are here, its own gods, its own clergy. The basic tenet of liberalism is that nature is god and men are monkeys. (Except not as pure-hearted as actual monkeys, who don't pollute, make nukes or believe in God.)"

  • Liberals believe we shouldn't use DDT to save people in Africa because "that might kill birds"

  • "It's one thing if it's 'Tookie' but it's another thing when it's Marines, who are always guilty"

  • .. And of course, the now infamous

  • "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."

  • I could spend much more time than I care to if I was to address each one of these comments. It is the last one that I'm going to discuss because it is the uproar concerning this statement that reveals the gross amount of liberalism that permeates the media.

    The statement strictly concerns four particular women, who lost their husbands on 9/11 and campaigned for John Kerry in 2004. Most of the reports I've seen on television, in the newspapers, and various web sites fail to mention this. They want people, who haven't read the book to believe that Coulter stated this about all 9/11 widows.

    I now notice that most web sites omit the first half of the quote. A week ago, the quote in its entirety was spread all over the Internet. Now, you will usually see just: "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much." Why is this? It's because the first half of the quote softens the blow as Coulter indicates how the widows have benefited from their celebrity.

    Ann Coulter was interviewed on the Today show by Matt Lauer. I could swear that whenever an author is interviewed on a show, the topic is going to be about the author's just-released book. This is similar to how actor's are usually on Jay Leno or David Letterman to promote the movie they starred in that is opening. So, you'd think that Matt Lauer would allow Ms. Coulter to say some things about her book. Instead, he begins the interview by challenging her on why Republicans are focusing on gay marriage instead of Iraq and gas prices. He persists in this kind of questioning and just plain hounds Coulter on this. Coulter clearly gets exasperated with him. Lauer clearly doesn't want to be a gracious host and seems to want to use this interview to just simply attack his subject. Coulter manages to sneak in a plug for her book 2 and a half minutes into the interview as she reminds Lauer that "there's an important book that comes out today, Matt." Lauer pays no attention to her and continues on with more challenges about Bush's approval rating, immigration, and more Iraq. He finally decides to move on to Godless 3 minutes and 45 seconds into the interview. Of course, he just goes on to attack her there too, particularly about the "broads" quote.

    I don't agree at all with Coulter's views on Darwinism. In fact, there's a lot of things she says I don't agree with. I do think she is cold dead on right on the "broads" quote.

    The thing about Coulter is that she is all about satire. Unfortunately, many don't understand this and choose to take her completely literally. That's not what satire is about. It's a semi-comedic form of expressing viewpoints by being extreme. George Carlin does similar stuff from the left point of view. It is common in Carlin's monologues to suggest that killing Republicans would be a good thing. Somehow, he doesn't get smacked around for his comments. I wonder why? (Just kidding, and by the way, Carlin is one of my favorite comedians).

    The real irony is that the more the Left attacks Coulter, the more attention she creates, and hence: the more books she sells. Godless: The Church of Liberalism has been a huge seller.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    The Adult Side of Pixar

    I have been a Pixar fan for quite some time. I remember being wowed by the Tin Toy short animation in the mid 1980's. In fact, Pixar's early work helped inspire me to get into 3D animation in the late 1980's. Toy Story and Toy Story 2 to me, represent the pinnacle of the art of combining great visuals with a great story. I thought A Bug's Life was pretty cute, but was a little too kid-oriented for my taste. The similarly-themed Antz from competing company Dreamworks, which came out that same year, was better in my opinion. I never bothered to see Monsters Inc. , Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles. I understand these are very entertaining movies. It's just that they seemed again, too kid-oriented, too focused on cute characters or on bratty kid characters. The beauty of the Toy Story movies is that they beautifully blended adult-oriented humor into simple stories that children would enjoy. While wild antics of Buzz Lightyear and Woody thrilled the kids, adults could enjoy the references, themes, and even the nostalgia of toys such as Mr. Potatohead and the army men.

    Michelle and I saw Cars this past weekend. We truly enjoyed it. As always, the visuals alone were spectacularly done. As one who understands what it takes to create 3D imagery, I can truly appreciate the efforts and attention to the slightest detail in the movie. The story was very straightforward. It's about an individual who is too full of himself and his celebrity status. He learns some lessons in life and by the end, is a much more rounded individual. Of course the fact that all the characters are cars is what makes it fun. It is full of car and Route 66 references (The original title was going to be Route 66). The characters see gasoline as food, tires as shoes, and racing stripes as tattoos.

    One thing I noticed though, is halfway through the film, the children in the audience (and there were many) were getting bored. I heard kids shouting across the theater to one another and a lot of general chatter among them. I could see why. All the car characters were adults. There was very little physical humor as most of the humor was in the dialogue. Most kids don't know or care what a carburetor or a gasket is, nor do they understand the "Route 66 culture" that prevails throughout the movie. There's a big racing scene at the end and I noticed the kids in the audience quieted down and regained their interest as the cars sped through the laps.

    I highly recommend Cars. Just think twice about bringing young children to it. They aren't going to relate to it.

    Monday, June 12, 2006


    It has always been my intention to create at least one blog entry per week and I do have lots of stuff I want to cover. I do spend time on writing my posts - often hours of writing and re-writing before I eventually post them. That's just how I do things. I'll find the time this week even though I am working 10 hours a day this week and had to work this past weekend.

    I do want to comment on Ann Coulter so that will be coming up later.

    Since I feel I must say something here, let me just say that if you are looking for a job with real job security, I suggest that you look into becoming a Canon printer repairman.