Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finally finished watching Dollhouse

And I gotta say, I liked the second season a whole lot better than the first. I know, Wheadon was trying to make a point about consent but there was just too much porny "look at me in my short skirt being a sexy, empty headed doll" in the first season.

And I realized something tragic. Tahmoh Penikett is a stunningly pretty man, but his acting is wooden and not great. Compared to the guy who played Boyd, Harry Lennix, Penikett's Ballard was wooden and became superfluous. Compared to the amazing Olivia Williams, who played DeWitt, Penikett was like a bowl of pudding that hasn't set yet, occasionally slopping over the sides when jostled into action. But I still like looking at him.

Did it make the point I think Wheadon was trying to make about bodily autonomy? Not really. I think it was much better at showing the problem of corporate domination (see the episodes with the senator, for example). Maybe if the show hadn't been cancelled, Wheadon wouldn't have hamfisted so much of it. But he's Joss Wheadon, he's got to know by now that his shows have a 50% chance of getting axed right when it get's good. (See Firefly, for example).

I don't think Dollhouse is nearly as good as Firefly or Buffy. I won't be rewatching it anytime soon. But it's still better than most of the schlock on TV*. Perhaps that's why I haven't actually turned on my TV in months.

*Those of you with cable probably have better TV options. But us poor folks with our antennas are shit out of luck.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I was having a really good day

and then I read some nooz....

A Colorado woman is suing the city of Denver and the state because their crappy computer Medicaid program meant her son couldn't get the life saving asthma meds he needed, and he died. I am familiar with the Medicaid prescription run around. It sucks. I was lucky that I just needed meds that make me function, not that keep me alive.

But it doesn't have to be that way. When Medicaid works, it's like being on the NHS in the UK. You don't have to worry that you don't have the co-pay to go to the emergency room if you get hit by a car or that the out of pocket expenses from your monthly prescriptions cost most than your grocery bill.

Medicaid sucks only in that it's a poor people program, and you all know what they do to programs that are only for us poor folk.

So that was enough to take me from "w00t w00t it's Friday!" to "fucking government fucking assholes killing kids fucking fuckers but at least I live in a blue state"

Yeah, so much for progressive cities.

San Francisco, worried that their citizen-killing cops might start a protest riot ala London, jammed (or had companies jam) cell phone service where the protest was supposed to happen. Democracy at it's finest!

And now I am going to go down a bottle of Advil because I have an abscessed tooth and my work health insurance doesn't kick in for another 3 weeks. Sure, I've got Medicaid still, but that doesn't pay for dental for adults, and barely pays for dental for kids- that is if you can find a dentist who actually takes it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If the world was just, Arthur Silber would be a national treasure

Arthur, quoting himself:

Equality was not granted, to the extent it was, primarily in recognition of an unspeakable, deadly injustice that whites had committed, although a few whites were aware of that. For the most part, equality was granted, to the extent it was, because the cost for failing to do so had become prohibitive.

We must make the cost of continued economic, political and social state sponsored terrorism prohibitive.

I am with Arthur on violence. I don't care for it. But I can't condemn people for resorting to violence as self-defense when all other options have failed.

For example:
Yes, said the young man. You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?

Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you

Eavesdropping from among the onlookers, I looked around. A dozen TV crews and newspaper reporters interviewing the young men everywhere.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Austerity Creates Chaos

More neighborhoods in London, as well as in Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool tonight.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the countries experiencing mass riots and/or protests are the ones that have enacted the roughest austerity measures. Ours have been bad, so far, but the worst is on it's way. When you demolish the tiny safety net, you also demolish any good will the people might have had for a government under duress. At the same time, you stretch the police system to the brink.

And I have to wonder, since the fact that austerity and chaos go together is like peanut butter and chocolate- an old and oft tested remedy- what do the tacky little men in tacky blue suits think is going to happen when you cut and cut cut at the poor and the newly poor? I can't believe they are really too stupid to know that their actions will have consequences. They are nothing if not opportunists. So what opportunity do they think this will create?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The most appropriate song for this particual Sunday

If you haven't heard, the neighborhood of Tottenham in London erupted in riots yesterday. It was sparked, as these things so often are, by police officers killing a local. This problem, the problem of giving a tiny fraction of the underclass a badge and a gun and some power and turning them loose on the populace, is so old there is a phrase for it in Latin- Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or who guards the guardians?

It helps if you think of the police* as serving the same function that the Tea Party does. While the rhetoric may be all "patriotism, protection, freedom and justice" the result it generally more "kill the poor, rape the women, keep property in the hands of the wealthy".

*Sure, there are some police officers who aren't rage-aholic little dictators with batons. Some. But the psychology of the group as a whole often mitigates the best intentions of the few.