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June 4, 2011 - May 28, 2011

Friday, June 03, 2011


Kick-Ass


Trailer NSFW. But funny.

THE WAY MOVIES SHOULD BE MADE. Somehow I missed all the controversy. Condemnation from the left and the right. I vaguely remembered the title as having been described as a comedy. So I watched on Netflix. Loved it. Clever script, well-paced, outrageous satire-cum-splatter flick, with some truly brilliant references to other movies ranging from Spiderman to Sunset Boulevard. And maybe the best sendup of the iconic Matrix assault scene (you know the one) anyone could ever dream up.

Now I find that the movie is a political litmus test:

How could a movie so offend both the Left and the Right? And how could that same movie be so entertaining to me that I’ve already seen it twice and demanded that every member of my post production staff see it this weekend?

And then, halfway through my second screening, it hit me. “Kick-Ass” may be the first truly Libertarian film I’ve ever seen...

I can completely understand why Christians would not want to see or support “Kick-Ass.” There is nothing inconsistent or revealing in that position. All I will say is that it is wicked cool and you’re missing out.

Ebert and critics on the left are a different story. Why would he be so offended by the “Hit Girl” character? After all, this is a man who recently gave a glowing review to Roman Polanksi’s latest film. Roman Polanski, of course, sexually forced himself on girl not much older than actress Chloe Moretz. Sure, Ebert will say that you have to separate the film from the filmmaker, but wouldn’t the same logic excuse an actress simply playing a part to make a larger thematic point?...

What Ebert is really offended about is the fact that the underage “Hit Girl” isn’t a victim. It’s okay to have young actresses brutalized sexually or engaged in salacious situations involving drugs and sex as long as they maintain the leftist party line that women are helpless victims. The movie “Precious” depicts a young girl who is brutalized by her family and must turn to the state for help. Awesome! Four stars. “Hit Girl” doesn’t take sh!t from anybody, avenges her family, drives a hot rod, and has $3 million in cash in a suitcase. She doesn’t need anyone or anything. My, my how offensive!...

At one point, in a hilarious riff on the main theme of the “Spider-man” films, Kick-Ass states that “with no power, comes no responsibility.” Isn’t that the central [tenet] of modern leftist thought? Why should they help others when the government does that? Why should they donate to charity when they patriotically pay their taxes? Why should they risk themselves when someone is in trouble because the police or military do that. Of course, “Kick-Ass” doesn’t reinforce this notion. It goes against it. Every human being is responsible for making the world a better place...

Yes, on the surface, “Kick-Ass” is morally depraved. It features wildly offensive language and breathlessly violent images. It does indeed have an eleven-year-old girl who could take down Van Dame and whose mouth would make Mickey Rourke blush. It features people having sex in public. It depicts drug use. But that’s not the whole story. At [its] thematic core, it’s about the struggle between good and evil, personal responsibility, and the importance of the individual. It is a solid, truthful message wrapped up in a morally questionable package.

And that friends, is Libertarianism in a nutshell.

Well, maybe. I have my own problems with Libertarians. They seem to think Christians are as monolithic and humorless as leftists. I would probably object to Kick-Ass if it were a drama. But it isn't. It's a satirical fantasy. I'm not going to let Mrs. CP see it because she doesn't like gore and the hundred or so arterial-spraying gunshots to the head in Kick-Ass do qualify as gore.

Truthfully, I'm getting concerned that Libertarians are becoming the sanctimonious poseurs they decry in the left. When I watched this movie, I didn't see any particular political agenda. I thought it was a delightful if uber-violent commentary on movie genres as genres. The coming-of-age teen comedy crossed with comic book imagery crossed with action movie cliches crossed with pretentious violence-justified-by-thematic-significance cinema (non)verite. It was, for me, a hybrid souffle baked with equal parts levity and blood. That was the attraction.

Why is it that Libertarians in particular are so disposed to forget that it was Christians who invented the novel, wrote all the best poetry that's ever been written, created most of the best music, paintings, and sculture that endures for more than a season, and delved into all the darkest shades of human character via fiction, drama, and philosophy anyone has ever dared explore? Do they really think they made up the concept of human doubt and rebellion and free-thinking and blasphemy by discovering Ayn Rand in a brilliant haze of pot and tequila that jump-started the true illuminati in 1967?

Please. Don't be an ass.

The Christians here will know exactly what I'm talking about. Those who defended Tarantino against my condemnations because I suspected him of relishing the gore too much, for example.

Kick-Ass is no litmus test of secularist Libertarians versus Christian prigs. Christian prigs have their own problems but they're hardly the majority. The rest of us have no problem with stretching the boundaries, although some of us don't like gore.





Changing of the Guard

Old wounds are hurting.

TALK IS TALK, AFTER ALL. After something like eight years of posting, the original punks -- InstaPunk, CountryPunk, LocoPunk, and TruePunk -- are going on sabbatical for a while. Not that we won't check in every so often, say, once a week, but the con is being turned over to Brizoni and the punks he deems worthy to contribute to the site.

Why? Because it's possible the kids have more to say than we do at the moment, and although we'll be the judge of whether they do or not, there's no way to find out like making them responsible for talking to you every day, every week.

If you'll look back through the archives, and I encourage you to do so, you'll find that there's nothing happening now we haven't already commented on. Constant "I told you so's" is not a blogging strategy. It's likely Brizoni has a more energetic plan.

The kid is brilliant in his own right. More dazzling than the oldsters if not as sly and grim. Keep checking in. We'll be lurking in the Comments section, but we wouldn't be surprised if he attracted a larger audience than the old farts ever did. That would be all to the good.

Punk writers never say never, so don't imagine we won't be back when the election eipc turns really ugly, as it will. In the interim, don't hesitate to put your faith in the young punks led by the ingenious and spectacular paradox named Brizoni.




Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Bizarre
LESS THAN GOOD NEWS. What I don't get. Democrat "strategists" with Cheshire cat smiles about Obama's reelection chances. Since he's taken office, the entire nation and world have gone into meltdown. The president is a walking disaster area. Everywhere he turns, things get worse. He spends a trillion dollars for "jobs" and the only jobs he created are already gone. Even Republicans -- including John Bolton, for God's sake -- are talking about the "Arab Spring," as if it were Lexington and Concord instead of a bunch of street thugs shooting Kalashnikov rifles in the air because they can. By ANY standard, Obama is the worst president we've ever had. Nobody in any state is better off because he got elected. But the Democrat pundits smile and exude confidence. Because, presumably, we're all too stupid to know that we're worse off, the way we always are under socialist presidents.

The truth is, any Republican who is actually breathing (Romney excepted) should be a cinch to win the presidency by a couple hundred electoral votes. But what is the MSM roiling about? Sarah Palin's informal bus tour. What is she doing? What does she want? Is she even stupider than usual? Does anybody know? Let's ask EVERYBODY. Do they know? No,

But Romney's on record as favoring ethanol subsidies.

Why he'll never be president or even a nominee for president.

I have to admit we've been all over the lot here as well about who should be the Republican nominee. But if we've truly moved into Bizarro World, where people actually approve of a president who's made everything worse for absolutely everybody, what the fuck.

I'll go with the chick who hasn't bothered to establish a ground game in the key primary states, the one who just shows up someplace and says, "Hey! Could I be worse than what you've got now? I'm game and I've got the stretch marks to prove it."

It's. All. Completely. Insane.

I'm voting right now. Sarah Palin for president. I like her logic. It just couldn't be any worse, no matter who is in the Oval Office.

I don't even care if she never got her degree. Harry Truman didn't go anywhere but haberdashery school and look at how much the union label folks treasure him.

For the record. Harry Truman was a little piece of shit. If you're going to be president, you should go to college. Is that elitist? Sorry.




Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Is it just me?

I'm betting the house he'll be at the Army-Navy game this year too.

POST-MEMORIAL DAY. Mrs. CP wanted to see the Arlington wreath-laying ceremony. She always does. She admires Admiral Mullen, and she doesn't despise Secretary Gates nearly as much as I do. She's also prepared to appreciate a genuine presidential contribution even from Obama. So we watched.

It really could just be me. Honestly, it could. The president's speech was okay, especially after the predictably soporific intro by Gates. For once Obama didn't pretend that all of American history was simply a symbol portending his own arrival on the scene. (And I had a positive thought too. Michelle reached out to kiss the Doles, and I observed to Mrs. CP, "I begin to suspect that the First Lady has learned more about America and Americans than her husband has... I think she might actually be falling in love with her country." 

But as I told Mrs. CP in a completely other context this weekend, "I may be just a nasty, cynical, suspicious old sonofabitch, but..." (although she agreed with me in that instance; pursue in comments if you're intrigued), I had some issues with the Arlington speech. Here they are, enumerated:

1. I think he's learned that the Marine Corps is not pronounced "corpse." But he never did say the words "Marine Corps" in his paean to American military bravery. Omission at this level is proof of error, if not shame.

2. Here we are at Arlington, and the underpaid, undermanned CSPAN crew is doing its best, but as we observe the proscenium awaiting the most moving, heartfelt, and nonpartisan of presidential  remarks, there are the inevitable teleprompter panels, so visible and out of place that they actually obscured the face of the president on the podium. (God bless the fat, pot-smoking CSPAN technicians.)

3. It's not the U.S.S. Naval Academy, which doesn't help the familiar, anecdotal, "I know what I'm talking about approach," does it?

4. Watching Obama speak has become like watching the world's slowest, most ponderous tennis match. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. It's called moving by the MSM. I know Well, if you worked for the Washington Post or the Providence Journal, you'd be moved to sustain your whole fake education and value system too. Even if you'd never heard of Bill Tilden.

5. Something that offends me a lot. Sorry if it's petty. "I love my daughters more than anything else in the world." I hate it, hate it, hate it when fathers talk that way. And these days, everyone does and we applaud it. Oh what great dads they are! Fuck them. The line should always read, "I love my wife and children more than anyone else in the world." If you can't say that, your wife is simply the dispensable vessel from which your children came, in which case I have absolutely no use for you. American Sharia.

6. Double down. Of all the losses our president cited in his sorrow for those killed in the military -- in his 2011 Memorial Day Address -- he conspicuously never listed the loss of a spouse, husband or wife. He talked about about brothers, sisters, uncles, fathers, daughters, grandfathers, but never husbands or wives. Hmmmmmm.  Check it. I'm right about this. And they ridicule us for thinking Obama has muslim sympathies. uh, what do you think Michelle thinks?

7. I couldn't help it. I didn't even express it to Mrs. CP because I was so sure it was my own bias. When we first heard the helicopters descending on the Arlington ceremony, and when we got word that the president was arriving, I could NOT evict from my mind the image of the president's golf clubs waiting in the wings or, at least, stashed on Marine One. I had this image of him reading off the teleprompter and then fleeing headlong for the links, leaving his gradually expanding wife for a DC golf course with appropriate amounts of shade and presidential libations. Was I wrong?

Can you imagine David Cameron enjoying a round of golf on Remembrance Sunday? It would be inconceivable for the British Prime Minister to do so, and not just because of the usually dire weather at that time of the year. Above all, it would be viewed as an act of extremely bad taste on a day when the nation remembers and mourns her war dead. I can’t imagine the PM even considering it, and I’m sure his advisers would be horrified at the idea. And if the prime minister ever did play golf on such a sacrosanct day he would be given a massive drubbing by the British press, and it would never be repeated.

Contrast this with President Obama’s decision to play golf yesterday, Memorial Day, for the 70th time during his 28-month long presidency. For tens of millions of Americans, Memorial Day is a time for remembrance of the huge sacrifices made by servicemen and women on the battlefield. The president did pay his respects in the morning, laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, but later in the day traveled to Fort Belvoir to play golf. The story has not been reported so far in a single US newspaper, but was made public by veteran White House correspondent Keith Koffler on his blog. Here’s Koffler’s report:

The business of memorializing our war dead done, President Obama headed out to the Fort Belvoir golf course today, finding his way onto the links for the ninth weekend in a row.

8.  The "Two Voices" problem. It's rare that you get a true one-two punch in presidential politics in two days. Here's his presidential voice at Arlington.



9. And here's his voice the day before:



President and Preacher. Are they anything like the same person, apart from their common paternalistic presumption? Or are they flip sides of the same Caesarian coin? And if they are, what does it mean and how are we to interpret a president who adopts polar opposite personalities depending on who he's addressing? Could it mean that he's trying to defeat Lincoln's truism about fooling all of the people by fooling them one demographic at a time?

10. Follow-on. The one thing in common between the Arlington and Joplin performances is the mouth at rest, which is invariably downturned. Look at the footage. I'm thinking "normal state." Which body behavioralists interpret as broadly negative.

Slight changes in the mouth can also be subtle indicators of what a person is feeling. When the mouth is slightly turned up, it might mean that the person is feeling happy or optimistic. On the other hand, a slightly downturned mouth can be an indicator of sadness, disapproval or even an outright grimace.

And which I interpret as utter contempt.

Does your mouth, at rest, turn into a fixed upside down smile?

Think about it.




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