Another year, another post

I hope everyone reading this has been having a nice holiday! I'm at work today because our sales beasts wanted an extra day this year in which to squeeze in orders- or so the rumor mill has it- but I will get to leave early, and I'll have January 3 off. Still, it's supposed to be sunny and near 50 today, and listening to Remy play video games downstairs is not exactly conducive to worker productivity.

Our holiday has been enjoyable so far. The only gripe I have was being forced to endure Mamma Mia! at my mom's house, Xmas evening. Paying any attention to this movie is like witnessing your parents get drunk at a wedding, butcher ABBA songs on the karaoke machine, and drunk-seduce random bystanders. It leaves a stain of awkwardness and shame on your psyche that time is not quick to erase. The "story" of the movie is shit, too. I guessed the "surprise" ending before it happened. You know, when Nintendo remade Goldeneye 007, they swapped out imagery of Pierce Brosnan for Daniel Craig. Endure the ending credits of Mamma Mia!, and you will understand exactly why this was done. You have forever revoked your license to kill, Mr. Brosnan.

What the hell happened to musicals? They used to be so charming. Stuff like My Fair Lady and Singin' in the Rain? They just don't make them like that anymore.

Anyway, I hate to spend most of this post bitching and moaning when I've had such a good holiday and year in general. One year since we've moved into our house, which is crazy. We're looking forward to many more here; we really like where we are.

Also of interest is the Winter Classic this Saturday. It will be played in the 'Burgh this year, at Heinz Field. Hilariously, our forecast calls for highs in the low 50s and RAIN. Heinz Field can't have decent turf, and apparently it can't have decent ice either. I have no idea what rain will do to a hockey rink, but I'm morbidly curious to find out.

And, of course, GO STILLERS. I'll be more than happy if they make it to the AFC Championship game. I really don't expect them to end up in the Super Bowl, but if they somehow do, they'll have a fair shot against most of the NFC- i.e., any team that hasn't yet figured out how to shred their secondary (by constantly hitting the guy whom McFadden is no doubt failing to cover- ahem).

Happy New Year, everyone!
kitty general

I guess there's this other holiday after Festivus now?

It's time for one of the best carols ever!

MST3K: Let's Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas

Ah, Road House... 1980s cinematic coked-out absurdity at its peak. The movie that looked at Red Dawn and Top Gun before it and said, "You call that a stunning lack of self-awareness? Hold my beer and watch this."

Oh, and here's another MST3K carol while I'm at it:

The 'bots go a-wassailing
grim reaper

In Soviet America, safe feels YOU!

Dear Mr. President, Congressmen, and all others it may concern:

I am writing to add mine to the voices of protest in response to the newly revamped TSA security model at airports. The new backscatter scans are possibly a health hazard, mostly ineffective, and definitely a gross violation of privacy and personal dignity. The "enhanced" pat-downs are no better, and there have already been multiple reports of agents who have taken their responsibilities way too far. All this in the name of "security," when someone determined enough could foil either of these measures without much difficulty. To my knowledge, we have caught exactly zero terrorists with them, and have inconvenienced, humiliated, and violated the rights of thousands of people who just wanted to fly from one city to another.

Did I mention "rights?" Why, yes, the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution has something to say in this matter. I've inscribed it here in its entirety:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Can anyone kindly explain how buying a plane ticket and showing up at an airport constitutes "probable cause" of a crime being committed? Don't bother; you can't, because it's not. Almost all of TSA's agenda has been ridiculous, ineffective, and intrusive- but now, agents of the federal government may photograph passengers unclothed or touch them in ways that would make any reasonable person uncomfortable. This absolutely constitutes "unreasonable search." I know most of you, when you fly, are exempt from the indignities foisted on the little people, but please try to imagine how you would feel if you had to submit to one of these measures. Do you risk the dose of radiation, and the pictures of your naked body that can be stored indefinitely and transmitted elsewhere (there are already several such pictures circulating on the Internet)? Or, do you allow a complete stranger to cup your breasts or testicles, and, in some cases, stick their hand down the waistband of your pants? Now, which option do you choose for the small, trusting children in your custody?

So unfortunate is the current state of and regard toward civil liberties in this country, and so all-powerful is the profit motive, that I fear my next statement will move you more than anything written above. Until we transition to a model of airport security that is efficient, fast, effective, and does not begin by presuming the guilt of every ticket holder, I promise I will not be flying again. Neither will my husband, my sister, or anyone else I can talk to. I hope a hit to the wallet will mean something to somebody, since cries of "Security!" and "9/11!" have gained enough potency to crush the sacredness of individual liberty that once defined our nation.

If you've read this far, I sincerely thank you for your attention, and urge you to inject whatever rationality you can back into the screening process.


Good links for those interested...


Jets 'n' Guns OST

Ever rediscover a song you forgot about, and it's still awesome, so you're so jazzed that you listen to it 1,000 times in a row like a moron?

I'm doing that with this song right now, which is part of a video game soundtrack (The full soundtrack is here). The whole soundtrack is great, but this song is one of the best... and hilariously, it was used for the game's shop screen. You know, the spot between missions that's supposed to be a low point, a break from the action. But no, they went and put an awesome, energizing track there, which encouraged players to take their sweet time buying shit just to hear more of the song.

Also, remember to thank a veteran today!
grim reaper

O 4th Amendment, where art thou?

* This? Is retarded. Want to buy wine in the grocery store? YOU ARE AN IDENTITY-STEALING DRUNK UNTIL YOU PROVE OTHERWISE, CITIZEN. Oh, and give us an extra dollar. These "security" measures don't pay for themselves, you know!

Fuck that. I'll drive to Ohio or West Virginia for wine before I approach one of these stupid things. For the time being, there are still liquor stores in PA, and they don't automatically assume their customers are criminals. They will continue to receive my business.

* Not new, but also fucking ridiculous. The lovely naked picture scanners have been installed at our airport now. This strongly tempts me to fly out of Cleveland from now on... only, Cleveland probably won't be far behind.

You're allowed to waive the scan, but the alternative is a possible (probably imminent) pat-down. What, you don't want to submit to naked pictures that government-issue goons are free to copy and transmit at will? What are you trying to hide, citizen? Stand right there while I put on my gloves. No, I don't have any lube, and we've already confiscated yours.

Just wait until the first guy or gal comes along who tries to sneak past security with something illicit stuck up a nether region. Let's see what sort of knee-jerk, ineffective, humiliating "security measure" passengers will be subject to then.