The O-Pine Zone

Monday, April 25, 2005

War Is Hell ( ...Or So I've Read )

Nothing pisses me off like some half-assed soldier wannabe who's shocked and awed when he realizes that not only do people shoot at each other in war zones, but that sometimes people get hit.

"My life has not been about being safe," says actor-turned-Marine-turned-activist Sean Huze. "As long as we on the left are talking about anything other than Iraq, the right is winning."

That's because we are right. This guy came to L.A. from Louisiana, became an actor with an agent in early 2001. On September 12, 2001, he went into the local Marine recruiting station after returning from an all-night poker binge on Sept. 11 and learning about the attacks.

"Like probably most Americans, I experienced the entire range of emotions: despair, fear, powerlessness, rage."

A month later, he went to basic training and went through cities like Nasriyah, Kut, Baghdad, and Tikrit, seeing fighting firsthand.

"When you're in combat,"... OK, let's stop right there. He's trying to sound like a seasoned veteran. Other than his grandfather in WWII and his father in the Army from '68 to '74, he's had no association with the armed forces. But, he continues: "all you have time to think about is getting home and making sure that the man to your left, to your right, they get home too. You don't think about the dead child you see, or the dead man and wonder if he had children of his own."

No, jackass, you don't. If you do, you don't belong in the Forces to begin with. Think if regular cops were that emotional. Shit wouldn't get done. Cops are there to do a job: protect us from the real assholes of the world. The troops are there to perform a similar service: protect us from the MAJOR assholes of the world.

While in Nasriyah, Huze was injured and was sent back to Camp Lejeune. There, he heard President Bush's now-famous challenge to the Iraqi insurgets: "Bring them on." "I was outraged. It started me thinking critically about the war for the first time."

Let's stop there again. Outraged? President Bush made that statement because HE BELIEVES IN OUR TROOP'S ABILITY TO DESTROY THE TERRORISTS. I'm not fucking calling them "insurgents." That's a pussy media phrase. He knows what are boys are capable of. And thinking critically? Let him explain:

He began surfing the internet, and a new anger built. "Being in Iraq didn't mean that suddenly I understood policy. But, as I watched the justifications for the invasion dissipate, no weapons of mass destructions, no ties to Al Qaeda..." Huze interrupts himself. "Well, Iraq's got ties to Al Qaeda now (emphasis added)."

We've been over this, so I won't repeat. But Iraq's ALWAYS had ties to Al Qaeda. And why do we have to justify removing a madman who killed over 300,000 people?

The rationale for going to war was not, he says, "the rationale that the administration gave to the American people. To realize it wasn't true left me empty, with nothing but a lot of pain."

Like a bottle of drain cleaner. It'll clean you out... but leave you hollow inside. 12 years, 14 resolutions, he's used weapons before... THAT was the rationale.

Gradually, Huze began sharing his pain. His acting coach --

Fuck this, I'm stopping right there. Acting coach? I hate seeing these little imitation soldiers get all weepy because war wasn't holding sticks and saying "Bang Bang". That's why REAL soldiers do what they do.

Because they can.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Voices Of Protest

A few protest rallys were held on both the east and west coasts, commemorating the 2-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. Here are some protester thoughts:

"I am a patriot and I want my troops back."

You would think being a patriot means being behind the troops and what they are there for. We take the fight to them, before it gets here.

"I'm here to chastise the government for putting us in the middle of a bloody and disgusting war. Things are looking worse and there's no foreseeable end to this."

At least for the insurgents.

Regarding the police presence at the rallys:
"They don't want to show the size of the opposition. It's a free country if you agree with the government."

Okay. So if you disagree, what exactly do you have to pay? A fine? Please, Mr. Liberal, tell me.

"You've got to devote yourself to the struggle and find people who feel the same way. If I was opposing this alone it would be more disheartening."

But you'd still look as stupid as everyone else.

"If you're not active, and if you don't fight, it makes things much worse."

If you're not active, and don't fight, how the hell are you making things worse?

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Hollywood. It Just Doesn't Know How

There are many things I don't like about Hollywood and the entertainment industry. The constant back-slapping, the self-aggrandizement, the sycophants.
That fact that Hollywood considers itself so in the "now" has been burned into our collective psyche's so well that even today's youth forget Hollywood actually put out some good films. Kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? For every Memento, we get a Catwoman, Elektra, and a Fat Albert.

The worst examples are from the film reviewers, and particularly those reviewing Bruce Willis' new film Hostage. Apparently, Willis has a "fading" career and a "flagging" career, according to the New York Times' Stephen Holden and the New York Post's Lou Lumenick, respectively. It's interesting, though, that a
multi-million dollar action film can get made with an actor whose career is fading. How can this be possible?

If this film is a major hit (and it doesn't look too good; early returns show only a $10 to $15 million opening), critics will be talking about Bruce Willis' comeback, just like they're doing with Kevin Costner's role in The Upside of Anger.

Comeback from where? Willis and Costner didn't retire from acting. But in the critic's world view, if you hadn't had a hit in more than two years, you have retired, not from acting, but from hit films.

Take a look at Robert De Niro. According to these critics, he's not doing what he used to, which is make good films, and I agree. But, they think the opposite here than they do of Willis and Costner. They think De Niro should go back to the "solid acting" films. But those films, like Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, etc., were not box office hits. So, although the Meet the Parents films are box office hits, De Niro's career is not doing well. The other films, well-made with good acting, weren't commercial hits. You need a damn instruction booklet to keep up with these critics.

No actor's career is ever one long hit streak. When an actor retires, THEN it's over. Like Paul Newman. He recently announced he wants to make one last film, then retire. At 80, he's had a distinguished career. He was a top box-office draw in the early seventies, but after that, he continued to make... good movies. His career didn't "fade" or "flag".

Critics are hired to review films and give their opinions. People can take them at face value, or use them as guidelines. But they need to refrain from voicing their opinion on whether an actor's career is over. It's over when the actor says it is. Or the fat lady sings, whichever comes first.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Liberal Two-Step

It's always fun watching the left make excuses for their most ridiculous members. In her weekly Newsweek article, Eleanor Clift tries to make some valid arguments against the Republicans and the right:

And this week, (Hillary Clinton) stood shoulder to shoulder with two of the Senate’s most right-wing members, Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback, to introduce a bill to examine the impact of the dreaded evil media on children, the kind of legislation that normally sends shivers down every liberal spine.

Nowhere else in this article does Clift refer to Hillary as a liberal or a left-winger. It's the liberal two-step. Make sure you identify the right, but go out of your way to avoid mentioning the left. And if you do, be sure it makes no sense whatsoever.

Keeping company with Hillary is frustrating for the right because she’s proving to be something different from the caricature they made of her.

If calling someone who curses and yells "fucking jew bastard" a curser and racist, how is that a caricature?

Her recent comments on wanting to find common ground on abortion and her appearance at a press conference with such avatars of the right as Santorum and Brownback show she has absorbed the lesson of the ’04 election more systematically than anyone else.

She hasn't absorbed jack. She's parroting the conservative lines because she knows none of her own lines will make it with voters. Does Clift really believe a few words and appearances with Republicans will erase eight-years of her "It Takes A Village" mentality?

And in regards to Hillary's possible election to the White House in '08:

Imagine Bill Clinton once again rattling around the White House “doing God knows what” in the words of one of the dinner attendees. But Clinton himself has become more of a beloved figure. His role in tsunami relief combined with his illness allows the American people to see him in a different light.

Bill Clinton... beloved figure. I don't know whether to laugh or laugh really hard. So now the ruddy-faced frat boy is a ruddy-faced teddy bear? Give me a break. I think the most shocking thing about Clinton going to the hopsital for heart surgery was the fact that he actually had one. He could bite his trembling lower lip like the best of them, but he never really felt your pain.

Seeing him in a different light is right. We're used to seeing him as a lying, adulterous, "Let's-bomb-a-camel's-ass" criminal.

The question for any woman seeking the presidency in the post-9/11 era is whether she can be a credible commander in chief. Rice has the resume, but can she stare down the North Koreans and the mullahs in Iran? Clinton gets rave reviews from Republicans for her work on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She is confounding them on a daily basis by defying the caricature they created. The lamp-throwing, cursing, calculating Lady Macbeth is gone, if she ever really existed.

So four years away from the Presidency is enough to not only forgive Hillary, but to absolve her from all wrongdoing? If it were just that easy. I only hope it doesn't take that long to show how great a President George W. Bush is.

Oh, wait...

Friday, February 25, 2005

This Tiger Can't Golf

So a tiger from someone's private collection went roaming around the Ronald Reagan library this past week. Wildlife officials shot and killed th 425-pound tiger, and then airlifted the animal in a large net. No surprise there. I don't think the tiger would have been as humane (pun intended) if someone were trespassing on its native soil. Yet, the bleeding-hearts came out for a look-see:

The park has become a gathering place for people mourning the tiger's death. Many expressed varied opinions about the event.

"I thought it was sad that they shot the tiger, but I think they did the right thing," said Arthur Sanders. "I thought that was mean," said another. One visitor said he was concerned about the tiger's presence near schools.

"It was a very tame tiger, from what I understand," another man told NBC4. "It was declawed. It was cowering in a ravine, which further kept it isolated. The net that they used to carry it out of here after they shot it, they could have used to drop over it and held it down that way."

Monday-morning quarterbacking. They coulda, they shoulda. It was a tiger. What the hell was it doing loose in the first place?

Moorpark resident Mike Lillis followed the tiger's last paw prints. He cast one of the prints in plaster. "Having him get shot, that bothered me and it bothered a lot of people," Lillis said. "In a way, I felt this was my way of honoring him."

Honoring... a tiger. For braveness in combat? Please. Ask these morons what they thought the wildlife officials should have done after it bit the head off a loved one.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Timing Is Everything

Jennifer Beals, one of the stars of Showtime's lesbian drama The L Word, has decided, since her show is about to have its second-season premiere this Sunday, to speak out in favor of gay marriage:

"I'm always shocked that gay marriage is such a big deal. You have to realize how precious human life is, when there are tsunamis and mudslides, when there are armies and terrorists - at any moment, you could be gone, and potentially in the most brutal fashion. And then you have to realize that love is truly one of the most extraordinary things you can experience in your life. To begrudge someone else their love of another person because of gender seems to be absolutely absurd. It's based in fear, fear of the other, fear of what is not like you.

OK, hang on there, Jenn. We've gone over this. The phrase "gay marriage" is an oxymoron. Marriage, by definition for thousands of years, is the joining of a man and a woman. Not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman. It's the word, not the joining.

Fear? There are gay couples that are out there, and I have no fear of them. What two men or two women decide to do in the privacy of their own home, car, or hotel room, is none of my business, just as my privacy is my own. Everyone should be different from everyone else. That's what makes us unique.

But when you are able to see lives on a day-to-day basis, rather than reducing it to politics, then it humanizes a whole community of people that were otherwise invisible."

Invisible? Will & Grace, The L Word, countless characters on countless shows.... what is this invisible crap?

Yale-educated Beals credits popular culture, such as her TV show, with breaking down homosexual stereotypes as it enables "people to see another side of life".

Oh, so her comments mean something because she's from Yale. Well, excuse the hell out of me.

I guess she felt her show needed that extra boost of publicity.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Smart as a Rock

OK. Chris Rock needs to stop. And I don't just mean with the following stupid comments:

"What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one. And they don't recognize comedy, and you don't see a lot of black people nominated, so why should I watch it?"

Here's a partial list of the nominees:
Jamie Foxx, Actor
Don Cheadle, Actor
Sophie Okonedo, Supporting Actress
Morgan Freeman, Supporting Actor

Um, last time I checked, all four of the actors listed were black.

And this, right before the "black man" comments:
"I never watched the Oscars, except the Halle Berry / Denzel Washington year. ..... Come on, it's a fashion show. No one performs, it's not like a music show. Nothing against people who aren't straight, but what straight guy that you know really cares?"

Right, Chris. Like you absolutely knew Denzel and Halle would win. And his typical comments that show his homophobia. Just like racists. "I'm not racist, but... " What moron thought he would be "edgy" enough to be the host of the Oscars? Actors and other crew are there to show off gowns and praise fellow actors and crew. That's it.

The left is just losing it. And I love my front-row ticket to the insanity.

Always Bet On Black

I've been holding back on this subject for a week, waiting to see how it plays out. And it played out as predictably as I thought it would.

After a 13-year-old boy went joyriding in a stolen car with a friend last week, at 3:30 in the morning, cops spotted them and gave chase. The car crashed into a fence, the friend got out and ran, then the 13-year-old backed-up and hit the patrol car. The officer got out, fired 10 shots, and killed the boy.

At this point, the question becomes, "Did the officer over-react?" In my opinion, no. They are in South Central Los Angeles, where crime is a major problem. But of course, the citizens never blame themselves:

Community activists blamed racism. "There seems to be a complete disregard for black life," said Danny Bakewell, head of the Brotherhood Crusade.

How are these people certain the cops were 100% certain themselves that the occupants were black? At 4 in the morning? Do these people think the cops were actively hunting for blacks? They were looking for people breaking the law. The fact that they were in South Los Angeles gave them a high probability the law breakers were black.

Fault in the Brown incident wasn't entirely clear-cut. Officer Garcia shot Brown after the boy apparently backed the car directly into the side of the police cruiser; Garcia was crouched behind the door. LAPD policy allows officers to shoot into moving cars, but only if the vehicle threatens the life of a cop or bystander.

And many citizens, black and white, wondered why the cops were shouldering all the blame for an incident that started because a 13-year-old was driving illegally, in a stolen car, at 4 in the morning. "We see young, innocent kids killed by gangbangers, and we don't see [this much] outrage," says white City Councilman Dennis Zine.

Councilman Zine makes my point. I've even read an article that states that joyriding is a rite of passase for young men. They see beer and car ads and want to drink and drive as early as they can. To me, that's a bunch of horseshit. The first time I tried beer, I was 12. I took one sip, spit it right back out. Never tried it again until I was 30. As for driving, none of my friends ever took a car in the middle or the night, or even the day, and went joyriding. We knew the value of patience.

13-years-old, driving a stolen car, 4 in the morning. And when the cops spotted them, they chased him for three miles. That's almost the length of 53 football fields.

Cops in L.A. are constantly chasing idiots driving 90 miles an hour on our multitude of freeways. When these people stop, there is no telling whether they will try and attack the police with their cars until they are completely out of their vehicle.

Bottom line in the blame game: try the parents.