Video-Philes: October 2007: Archives

October 27, 2007

Real Time With Bill Maher: New Rules 10/26/07 genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Bill Maher pans the newly packaged Old Spice cologne...calling it the scent of that uncle who molested you as a child. He lets us know that he could care less if Dumbledore is gay...he gives some tips for Halloween and dons his Halloween headgear to put an exclamation point on his concerns about global warming.

Maher closes with a reasoned critique of the ongoing effort of the GOP to frighten the public into voting for tough guy Republicans who promise to protect us from the impending threat of Islamic radicals while we seemingly accept the many examples of incompetence that surround us.

Tagged as: Bill Maher, Dumbledore, Global Warming, GOP, Islamofascism, New Rules, Old Spice

Daniel DiRito | October 27, 2007 | 8:19 PM | link | Comments (0)
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October 20, 2007

Bill Maher: New Rules 10/19/07 genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Bill has some fun with the new double-decker airplane by AirBus, Rudy's plan for protecting children from aliens, the myth of air fresheners, and this weekends GOP Values Voters Summit. Maher makes the point out that the states identified to have the most Christian conservatives also have the highest rates of divorce and teen pregnancy.

He closes with a pithy assault on the hypocrisy of values voters who accept torture, oppose health care for poor children, support an endless war in Iraq, and deny the existence of global warming in favor of being outraged at the revealing of a breast at the Super Bowl and focused upon the perception that there is a war on Christmas.

Tagged as: Bill Maher, Christian Conservatives, GOP, Rudy Giuliani, Values Voter Summit

Daniel DiRito | October 20, 2007 | 11:26 AM | link | Comments (0)
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October 18, 2007

Augie March - One Crowded Hour genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Every now and then a band emerges with more than an appealing sound. Augie March is one of those bands. The band hails from Australia and they recently launched their first major U.S. release titled, Moo, You Bloody Choir. You can find their MySpace page here.

The band is led by Glenn Richards who is arguably more poet than pop star. His songs tell stories...but the manner in which they are told makes them uniquely gripping and overflowing with emotion. Unlike many songwriters who seek to overwhelm the listener, Richards approach is subtle and somber, yet informed and inspiring. This magical mix sets Richards apart and left me struggling to identify a comparable contemporary as well as a list of identifiable influences.

Much of what is written about the band references Bob Dylan and while I hear it...it seems an incomplete description. My own take...less folksy than Steve Forbert's It Isn't Gonna Be That Way though equally poetic and poignant...more simplistic than The Waterboys though quite similar in the the use of muted imagery and symbolism...and possessing some evidence of the reflective angst found in many of the songs of Hothouse Flowers. Feel free to offer your own comparisons as I'm still trying to lock in on something more definitive.

The following video is Augie March performing One Crowded Hour, a song from the new CD.

Augie March - One Crowded Hour

Tagged as: Augie March, Australia, Glenn Richards, Music, One Crowded Hour

Daniel DiRito | October 18, 2007 | 12:56 PM | link | Comments (0)
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October 15, 2007

Bravenewfilms Releases Video: The Real Rudy: Radios genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Video-Philes

Many Republicans view Rudy Giuliani as the front runner for the GOP nomination and they do so based upon his handling of 9/11. If Bravenewfilms is successful in getting their message out to the public, voters may reconsider their assessment of Giuliani's tenure as the mayor of New York City. The group has recently released another short film which questions the leadership and decision making of Giuliani.

The following video is titled, The Real Rudy: Radios, and it explains the situation surrounding the failure of the New York Fire Department's radios on September 11th. The radios were the same ones used during the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center...the same ones which also failed to function properly during that prior event.

Even worse, in early 2001, the city awarded a lucrative 14 million dollar contract to Motorola for the replacement of the radio system. The radios were put into service without adequate testing and, after a week, the new system was scrapped and the Fire Department returned to the old radios.

Many believe that the high numbers of firefighters killed in the towers resulted from the fact that they were unable to hear the calls to evacuate the building. Evidence suggests that police officers received the communications and many were therefore able to move to safety.

Bravenewfilms has released two other videos detailing Rudy Giuliani's service as "America's Mayor" which can be found here and here.

Those wishing to sign a petition to launch a new investigation can do so here.

Tagged as: 2008 Presidential Election, 9/11, Fire Department, GOP, Motorola, New York City, Rudy Giuliani, World Trade Center

Daniel DiRito | October 15, 2007 | 10:54 AM | link | Comments (1)
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October 14, 2007

Portugal's Mariza Performs On Letterman genre: Tuned Out & Video-Philes

Mariza is likely unknown to most American music listeners, as is her music genre. Born in Mozambique and raised in Portugal, Mariza is a consummate "fado" singer. Her MySpace page can be found here.

Fado has been around for many years and is frequently considered to be Portuguese folk music with a focus on the sea and the travails of the poor. Above all else, the music is richly emotive and representative of the feelings associated with the long absence of a loved one.

The first video that follows is from her recent performance on Letterman's The Late Show. The song is called, O Gente Da Minha Terra, which translates to "Oh People Of My Land". The song can be found on her CD titled Concerto Em Lisboa. I was mesmerized by this performance and her evocative stage presence. The second video is the actual music video for the same song.

Mariza On Letterman- O Gente Da Minha Terra

Mariza Music Video - O Gente Da Minha Terra

Tagged as: David Letterman, Mariza, Portugal, The Late Show

Daniel DiRito | October 14, 2007 | 11:59 AM | link | Comments (1)
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October 13, 2007

Bill Maher: New Rules 10/12/07 genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Bill Maher covers sex with robots, the prevalence of rehab as remedy, steam rolling the music CD's of anti-war artists, and the faux outrage at Barack Obama's "scandalous" decision to forego the wearing of a flag pin on his lapel. Maher appropriately calls it a "bullshit non-story" and proceeds to ridicule Fox News, Sean Hannity, and all those who jumped on the issue and turned it into the latest manufactured drama.

Tagged as: Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Fox News, New Rules, Sean Hannity

Daniel DiRito | October 13, 2007 | 12:07 PM | link | Comments (0)
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October 6, 2007

SNL Digital Short - Iran So Far...A Song For Mahmoud genre: Tongue-In-Cheek & Video-Philes

Here's another great Digital Short from SNL. Following the recent visit of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to New York, and his outrageous statement that there were no homosexuals in his country, Andy Samberg, Fred Armison, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5, have a little fun with "gay" Mahmoud in New York City.

SNL - Iran So Far

Tagged as: Adam Levine, Andy Samberg, Digital Short, Fred Armison, Humor, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Maroon 5, SNL

Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2007 | 1:47 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Faux News: Chirs Matthews Is Mean; NBC Is Biased genre: Polispeak & Video-Philes

Good news comrades. Chris Matthews has made the journey to the dark side...at least according to Faux News and a number of the loyal "Repeat-Agains" in wingnut world.

Matthews, while attending an event celebrating the tenth year of Hardball, his MSNBC program, is reported to have remarked that the Bush administration had finally been "caught in their criminality".

For me, Matthews is a mixed bag...sometimes I appreciate his candor and other times it's all too apparent that he has an axe to grind. Regardless, the fact that Faux News decided to weigh in on "fair and balanced" reporting is priceless.

Knowing as much, I may actually have to pay more attention to Matthews in the future. Poor Fox News...they must feel like the last man aboard the SS George W. Bush. That could be a dangerous place to be for people who still think the world is flat.

From The New York Post:

October 6, 2007 -- So, should viewers of Tuesday's Republican presidential debate expect an exchange of views between the candidates - or between the candidates and one of the event's moderators?

It's a fair question, given the jaw-dropping comments Thursday evening from MSNBC blowhard - and scheduled debate moderator - Chris Matthews.

He compared this White House's behavior with another one, saying, "Spiro Agnew was not an American hero."

Of the vice president, Matthews said, "God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We'd all be under a parking lot."

By engaging in this sort of intemperate rhetoric, Matthews has effectively disqualified himself as an "honest broker" for this coming debate.

NBC needs to replace him as a debate moderator immediately. The job - by definition - requires an attempt to display objectivity going into an event.

Given Matthews' outrageous rhetoric - and if MSNBC doesn't haul him off the debate forthwith - the GOP candidates would be well within their rights to stay home, too.

Otherwise, viewers should just change the channel.

________________________________________________

Frankly, I think the Post is making a mistake in calling for GOP candidates to stay home or for viewers to change the channel. I think it will only send more viewers to their TV sets...and I think Matthews may have more credibility that the Post may realize.

If this trend continues, we may not be able to find a moderator for any of the debates. After all, these poor candidates are fragile little flowers who shouldn't be put to the test by a partisan pundit with an opinion...that would be cruel, wouldn't it?

I suspect voters are feeling increasingly insulted when networks, newspapers, and internet pundits tell them what to think and what to watch. In the end, aren't the debates supposed to get candidates to share their positions with the voting public? If not, what purpose do they serve?

The following video is a segment from Faux News where they discuss the "appalling" impartiality of MSNBC and Chris Matthews.

H/T to Cliff Schecter

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Chris Matthews, Debates, Dick Cheney, Fox News, George W. Bush, GOP, Hardball, MSNBC

Daniel DiRito | October 6, 2007 | 10:05 AM | link | Comments (0)
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October 4, 2007

Actor Vs. King: Fred Thompson Slams James Dobson genre: Hip-Gnosis & Video-Philes

Cancel the honeymoon...the wedding is off. After waiting for months for Fred Thompson to enter the GOP presidential primary, it appears that the bloom is already off the rose.

OK, I know it's wrong to enjoy watching the spats of others...but I have to admit that the brouhaha between James Dobson and Fred Thompson has me giggling. The dust up began with the following statement by Mr. Dobson in which he unequivocally states that he can't support Thompson as the future "prime time" president.

From CBN News:

"Isn't Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won't talk at all about what he believes, and can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?" questioned Dobson.

"He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent 'want to,'" the Focus founder continued. "And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!"

"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for, but I don't think he's a Christian, at least that's my impression," said Dobson before commenting that the presidential hopeful would have a hard time tapping into the Republican Party's conservative Christian base to win the GOP nomination.

____________________________________________________

In the video below, Thompson, during an interview with Sean Hannity, basically tells Dobson to get lost...adding that he hasn't spoken with Dobson, but he would take the Focus On The Family leader's call if he wanted to offer an apology.

I've written about Dobson in the past and it is my contention that he is all about James Dobson...and not much else. The following is from a posting this past may following the GOP's dismal performance in the 2006 election. Dobson had just issued a terse rebuke of the Giuliani candidacy.

From Victory Is Coming Sayeth The "Lords" To The Hordes:

I view Dobson's words to be an anticipatory shot across the bow at the politicians who could damage the standing of the far right...but more importantly I view his words as an acknowledgment that 2006 put his power over those he leads at risk. If my hypothesis is correct, those aligned with Dobson will counter intuitively draw a much clearer line in the sand with regard to the 2008 election. Losing the election is secondary to losing the hold they have on their followers.

Conceding doctrine in order to win an election is far worse than losing an election. As long as the adherence to doctrine is maintained, rightness can be affirmed. If rightness can be affirmed through leadership’s unwavering and willful demonstration of faith, (even in the presence of predictable defeat) then that faith can be extrapolated to and embraced by the flock. That negates the risks associated with the possible negative attributions that may result from the previously identified human frailties and that might befall the individual followers should they perceive that their cause is lost (and their beliefs invalidated).

Therefore it is essential that the enemy remains clearly identified as well as the need to persevere. In order to achieve the promised victory, the wrongness of the opposition must be magnified in order to allow momentum to intervene and sustain the faith of the followers. Victory will have been postponed but never conceded. That leaves the identified and established fundamental beliefs and their absolute premise intact and available to employ in the maintenance of unquestioned and unchallenged power.

In the end, leadership reassures the flock that victory remains the goal and that it remains attainable...but only through blind adherence to the doctrinal interpretations of the leadership because they are the individuals who have exhibited sufficient will and faith to sustain the flock. The end goal has been delayed but the ending remains unchanged. The movement lives on and the benefactors [James Dobson] live well in the here and now. Everyone else is asked to be patient, to contribute [money] to the cause, and to anxiously await the rewards of the afterlife.

____________________________________________________

Essentially, Dobson is focused upon preserving his cash cow and what he perceives to be his empire. Keep in mind that recent reports suggest that Focus On The Family's fundraising has declined and they have also laid off a number of employees. I've never fully believed that Dobson sought to be a kingmaker; he's far more interested in being the king of his own empire and receiving the spoils that accompany the role.

Therefore, I contend his foray into the political arena is simply the means to maximize his ministry and the millions of dollars that he can be raised under the guise of promoting a family values political agenda. So long as the flock thinks Dobson has significant political influence, he will be able to continue picking the pockets of the pious.

If Dobson believes the evangelicals cannot swing the 2008 election, I suspect he would prefer to be seen as having sat it out. In doing so, it becomes difficult to measure any diminished power. In fact, if the GOP were to lose in 2008, Dobson could use that as evidence of his capacity to decide elections.

Anyway, I expect to see more fireworks before the GOP chooses a candidate. Time to make some popcorn.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Evangelicals, Focus On The Family, Fred Thompson, James Dobson

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2007 | 5:26 PM | link | Comments (0)
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Mitt Romney: He's Never Met A Position He Didn't Take genre: Gaylingual & Polispeak & Video-Philes

During the 2004 presidential election, much was made of John Kerry's statement, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it". The remark was said to be evidence that the Senator was a flip-flopper...although one could clearly argue that the Senator simply used questionable language to explain his reasons for voting for one bill and not the other due to the provisions contained in each bill. In the end, the GOP succeeded in depicting the Senator as a flip-flopper.

In my opinion, Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts and current GOP presidential candidate, by comparison, provides a text book representation of a flip-flopper...one who has been willing to change his positions on social issues as if it were no more significant than the simple act of changing his socks. Romney has suddenly become a social conservative whose values are now magically aligned with those evangelical voters who form a significant segment of the GOP base.

The following video was just released by the Log Cabin Republicans...an organization of gays who remain members of the GOP despite the fact that the party platform advances positions to their detriment. In the video, Romney espouses his support for abortion rights, the upholding of Roe v. Wade, and opposition to the NRA. Romney has also been supportive of gay rights. The following is from a letter he wrote to Massachusetts Log Cabin Republicans.

"As a result of our discussions and other interactions with gay and lesbian voters across the state, I am more convinced than ever before that as we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent [Ted Kennedy]."

"I am not unaware of my opponents considerable record in the area of civil rights, or the commitment of Massachusetts voters to the principle of equality for all Americans. For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponents record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will."

"We have discussed a number of important issues such as the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which I have agreed to co-sponsor, and if possible broaden to include housing and credit, and the bill to create a federal panel to find ways to reduce gay and lesbian youth suicide, which I also support. One issue I want to clarify concerns President Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" military policy. I believe that the Clinton compromise was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation's military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share."

Now I've spent years listening to the GOP assail Massachusetts liberals...particularly Ted Kennedy...and if Mitt Romney feels he would be better suited to serve the interests of gays and lesbians in Massachusetts than Ted Kennedy, just what does that make Mitt? Did I miss our sudden entry into a Seinfeld episode of the "Bizarro World"...or is it possible that Mitt Romney has simply never met a position he didn't take? I'm betting on the latter.

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Abortion, Flip-Flopper, GOP, John Kerry, LGBT, Log Cabin Republicans, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, Roe v. Wade, Same-Sex Marriage, Ted Kennedy

Daniel DiRito | October 4, 2007 | 11:44 AM | link | Comments (0)
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October 3, 2007

Move On Folks: Nothing To See Here But Us Humans genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Nouveau Thoughts & Six Degrees of Speculation & Uncivil Unions & Video-Philes

OK, let's face it...we live in a divided country. While it seems intuitive to believe that the events of 9/11 would bring us together (and it did for a while), in the long run, it may have helped to further divide us. Let me be clear...all American's abhor what happened on 9/11...but differences have emerged with regards to how to best address the threat of terrorism.

The invasion of Iraq seems to have been the primary catalyst in advancing the divide. While one could rehash all of the reasons, it actually serves little purpose at this point. Additionally, debating the war in Iraq doesn't alter the underlying issues. Terrorism does exist...it comes from hidden corners...and the hatred which facilitates it is real.

At the heart of any reaction to terrorism is an element of fear given the absolute uncertainty with regard to personal safety. Mothers want to protect their children...husbands want to protect their wives...and no one wants to witness another 9/11. How that is best achieved naturally creates conflict...and it also creates a degree of irrational expectations.

Fighting the school bully is a straightforward proposition; fighting a terrorist movement is anything but straightforward. Yes, both can be identified as the enemy...but one has a face and the other doesn't. That frustrating reality leads many of us to look for ways to simplify the problem.

For some, it's a call to secure our borders against all who may attempt to enter illegally...for others it's a condemnation of Islam as a violent religion which has as it's goal world domination...for some it should be a heightened level of intelligence gathering, law enforcement, and persistent vigilance, but by no means a suspension of civil liberties...and for some it is a call for the indiscriminate elimination of those nations which foment terrorists.

All of these views are flawed because they seek a solution to a problem which may never be eliminated. So where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us in disagreement as well as permanently burdened with our fears. It shouldn't leave us at each others throats...but it often does. May I suggest that while we may not agree, no one view is all right or all wrong. At the same time, our differences of opinion are natural and should be expected since we are not a nation of clones.

Unfortunately, we tend to vilify those who possess different views and beliefs...all the while ignoring the fact that wherever humans gather, differences will emerge. Hence, we endeavor to identify types of people...seeking to create a finite list...one that will inform us of all the possible kinds of people we may encounter. Sadly, life isn't that simple.

With that in mind, I decided to post the following videos. Each of them is relative to this topic and they demonstrate our efforts to understand each other in simplistic terms and types which I contend is a futile process but one that seems to bring us some level of comfort...even if that comfort results from blatant denial.

The first video was taken at a College Republican convention (by a Democrat) and it seeks to convey that these young Republicans are in favor of war but unwilling to serve in the military (the chickenhawk hypothesis). No doubt the videographer sought to prove his point and likely edited the footage accordingly in what I would remind the viewer is an attempt to bring certainty to an uncertain world.

The second video is from Real Time with Bill Maher and it is also an attempt to identify and portray those individuals who can be labeled as "chickenhawks"...those individuals in favor of an aggressive approach to terrorism but unwilling to serve in the military. Maher, like the prior videographer, seeks to prove a point and provide a level of certainty...albeit through humor in his case...but with essentially the same goal.

The last video is perhaps the most informative with regards to our futile attempts to bring order to a world which lacks order. This video posits that there are ten types of Republicans and then sets out to define each one. Again, it looks for certainty in hopes of understanding all of the people we might encounter...a task which cannot be achieved.

What each of these videos provide is a tangible representation of the fears we embrace as human beings who are afraid of death. Whether one is a Democrat or a chickenhawk or one of these 10 types of Republicans, the answers we seek will not be found and the certainty we prefer will not emerge.

Notwithstanding, these videos do provide some certainty...the certainty that we are all human, we are all flawed, and we are all different. Perhaps its time we focus upon what we can know and forego our efforts to discern and define what is beyond our capacity. What we share ought to be more important than what we don't. There is little to be gained in the attachment of labels. If we continue down the current path, it seems likely that all that will remain is the killing.

At The College Republican Convention

Bill Maher: New Rule - Chickenhawk Down

Ten Types Of Republicans

Tagged as: 9/11, Bill Maher, Chickenhawks, Death, Democrats, Republicans, Terrorism, War

Daniel DiRito | October 3, 2007 | 3:52 PM | link | Comments (0)
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