John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Grouchy Sundance Rock

 a fellow grouch
This is a big week for films, flicks, movies, aka motion pictures.  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the 77th Annual Academy Awards show being broadcast next month, commonly known as the Oscars.

Best Picture Nominees:
The Aviator
Finding Neverland
Million Dollar Baby

Click on the above links to view trailers/clips.  If you think yourself a film expert, are just the betting type, or really want a 37" Plasma TV, go ahead and play the Oscar Prediction Game.

Sadly, I have not seen any of these films yet.  However, since they were nominated for an academy award, I'm sure they'll be in theaters around the country long enough to squeeze a few more final bucks from the film-going public for some time.  Have you seen any of these films?  Which one would you like to see win an Oscar?

Even if I don't get an opportunity to see any academy award nominated films in the next month, I'm fairly certain I'm going to bookmark my calendar to watch the award show.  Chris Rock is to be the Oscars host.  While I may be a stupid cracker from Detroit, Chris Rock is one of my all-time comedy heroes.  Chris is funny.  He rocks.

Or, you can check out the 2005 Sundance Film FestivalAtomfilms blogs Sundance and has viewable 2005 Sundance clips, besides their greatest hits film shorts archive. 

Since this is likely going to be my only ummy oreo cookie filling or fluffy bunny entry sandwiched in between two more serious topics of politix in Iraq and America this week, I'd also like to point out some fluffy bunny stuff around Thunderstorms.

First, I added some rotating banner linkage under my Phreeks on the left.  I found an HFD javascript to mod in order to rotate some 120x60 pixel grafix that I have so much fun creating and I'm just too damn impatient to wait for Duke to finish his classes and make stuff for me.  Right now, the majority of links go to the more popular internal Thunderstorms menu pages and my own stuff -- with the exception of fellow blogdrivers, Brandon Starr and Betamale, for whom I had already designed some sort of grafix.  I'll be adding more grafix and linkage as time and motivation permits.

Speaking of friends, I'd like everyone to head over to Scott Kennedy's blog and wish him happy birthday on Friday.  And, speaking of films, I am hopeful that we'll see Skennedy (who I usually refer to as Xavier, from the Imajica BBS daze back in the d-a-y) someday getting high recognition in the film industry.  He's very talented.  A little more than a year ago, Scott received the Lou Wolf Memorial Scholarship award from the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers.  So, go show him some birthday love.

Also, Friday is Sci-Fi channel TV night for me.  I'll be glued to the TV for about 4 hours getting my fix of Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and BSG.  I may have to watch BSG late into the night, as Monk is usually fresh.

Oh, FYISuperbowl Sunday is my birthday.

[Fullscreen] :: No Sex in the Champagne Room  (dial-up users)  Murble - Strippers are special - Chris Rock

Monday, January 24, 2005
The Hot Stove: What We Do Now

 Read more about WWDN
Read more about  What We Do Now
Despite George W. Bush's post-election pronouncement of a historic mandate, serious people who don't use Creationist Mathematics to enable a delusional sense of pride (like you and me) understand that the cumulative majority of the people in the United States did not vote to re-elect Bush.  This 70 percent majority of so-called citizens either voted for Kerry or another candidate like Nader; voted, but their vote was never counted; or sadly, the tragic majority-within-the-majority of people who did not listen to me to Blog the Vote, get off their apathetic asses and vote for anyone at all.

"But, Bush won the election.  I just saw a big $40 million celebration and parade on TV about it," you say, "and I listened to his speech outlining his big plans for all of us."

My only reply to you is, "What are you going to do about it?"

If you need some ideas -- besides faithfully following every link I lovingly code into my thoughtfully written entries and actually reading the off-blog information -- you can also check out the new book of essays now available by 24 different progressive, highly qualified and experienced authors called What We Do Now.  Here are some of the authors:
Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, and Greg Palast on voting reform ...
Lewis Lapham and Nicholas Kristof on how to re-organize the Democratic Party ...
Harper's Magazine publisher John R. MacArthur on supporting labor by fighting free trade
Tax attorney Maud Newton (famous, by the way, for her literary website) on tax reform...
Biologist Sandra Steingraber on renewing the fight for the environment...
Martha Nussbaum on improving international relations...
Cass Sunstein and Jamin Raskin on court reform...
Columbia history professor Eric Foner on keeping a historical perspective ...
Feminist Robin Morgan and Esther Kaplan on countering the rise of fundamentalism in our schools and courts ...
Danny Schechter and feminst Jennifer Pozner on media reform...
Earl Ofari Hutchinson on winning back the black fundamentalist vote...
Leslie Cagan, who organized the giant 500,000 person demonstration during the RNC in August, and Medea Benjamin, who disrupted President Bush's RNC speech, on what activists can do now...
Fiction writers Percival Everett, George Saunders, and Steve Almond, and poet Alicia Ostriker, on the cultural implications, and how to respond...
Billionaires for Bush on how really rich people can work to keep their money...
and more. . .
Shawn Carkonen describes what this book is about for us.
The topics covered include the direction and potential of the Democratic Party (with emphasis on formulating a coherent message), voting and election reform, the role and uses of the media, environmental issues, economic policy, international relations, and tax and fiscal policies. Though the book emerged in the wake of a defeat for the Left, there is much optimism here, signaling that the 2004 election may have brought about not the end of a movement, but a beginning.
However, I offer my own Hot Stove Metaphor to answer the more important question of the reasons why you should get this book and read it.  Every citizen in the United States, no matter what their political idealogy, can be placed somewhere within the Hot Stove Metaphor.  Growing up, we all learned at a very early age about the Hot Stove in our childhood home one way or another.  Politics is very much like that.

First of all, if you did not vote in this last election, you are a person that does not care what manner of life-giving nourishment or life-draining poison the grown-ups in the rest of the country are cooking on the stove.  The busy cook could be boiling up a huge steaming pile of shit in a pot large enough for you to bathe in, but you don't pay attention or care because you'll eat anything that is set in front of you.

I know this may come as a terrible surprise to some of you, but I have to say it because I care and I have grown fond of some of you.  It's time to for you to friggin' grow up now.  Right now is the time for you to act like a big boy or a big girl.  It's time for you to learn to cook for yourself by paying attention, learning the issues and the political process in your country, and putting a stop to your steady, apathetic diet of cold shit sandwiches.  Luckily for you and sadly for some, you have nearly four years to mature beyond your political puberty.

I describe that one large boiling pot on the Hot Stove as sad -- because while the rest of us in the country may have to eat from it again for the next four years -- more tragically, the brave men and women of our armed services are courageously swimming in that steaming Iraqi pot of shit, trying to keep their heads up, and trying to come back home without any physical or mental disabilities.

I won't bore you with more examples and descriptions of the Hot Stove Metaphor.  You know that there are more Bush Administration dishes cooking on the All-American stove.  The newly-appointed cabinet members of Bushworld 2 (theatrical aside: I'm tempted to call this Dubya Deux, by the way) will be busy creating their own misguided meals on the stove, whether you like it or not.  I'm predicting that our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights will continue to burn in spirit until we can restore the forefather-like name of Ben Franklin on it after removing the name of George W. Bush from the Hot Stove of U.S. politics.

I haven't burdened you with very many serious topics for a while.  Traditional conservatives, not the cultural/moral/social conservatives so recently accused of the culpable outcome of the last election, are already starting to taste some bitter regret.  This book of essays will have a progressive voice for any conservative whose political opinion is bolstered by negative corporate cable news meta tags of anything not fashionably conservative, but it's still worth two fivers to hear all 24 voices.

Often, a conservative person of any stripe hears progressive and thinks liberal.  I have patience, though, because it took me quite a while to differentiate between a stereotypical neo-con and a social conservative.  Sometimes, a person can display the identifiable traits of both segments from the same conservative vector of political ideology.

Without advancing any dreaded moral relativism, not only should a conservative read these essays, but also any progressive who is currently twiddling their thumbs or being politically active.  No matter what you think your self-actualized political meta tag really happens to be, I hope you get What We Do Now and read the essays.  Should some of the issues discussed in it matter to you and yours, I hope you can use it as part of your own recipe book for change in the post 1102 era.

[Headphones] :: Evil Stevie: Activate! - JfZ

Saturday, January 22, 2005
Bugs n Cheese 001 - Which Godzilla?

More Bugs n Cheese

More BDKv1.0 MP3s

[Headphones] :: Godzilla - Blue Oyster Cult @ Bob's Garage

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Four More Beers!

I woke up early on Dubya's big day.  It wasn't an intentionally respectful thing for me to do.  I had fallen asleep at my normal pre-dawn racktime with the soothing, monotone sounds of the C-SPAN Book TV programming droning away at my vampiric subconsciousness until someone on the TV started yelling about Bush during some pre-inaugural protest rally that C-SPAN was broadcasting bright-andfriggin-early.

get itThe A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition activists were rallying their sign-wielding troops for their anti-inaugural protest in the crisp Washington D.C. morning air.  I think the Emperor's Secret Service must have confiscated all their pitchforks and torches, but some people crafted some eye-catching slogans on their placards.  Also, I quickly realized that yelling and chanting slogans must be their second best way of staying warm in the 30-degree fahrenheit weather.  At the same time, I was using the absolutely first best way of being miserable on the big, BushWorld second-half kickoff day.  I was rolling over and curling up further into my down-filled comforter and staring at the annoying TV through my one half-opened bloodshot red eyeball.

While I may have been in the mood to hear other people tell me why they individually hate George W. Bush some other time, I wasn't quite in the bright morning mood for people yelling into the C-SPAN podium audio feed microphone and irritatingly out into the living room of my Dark Day of Despair, Dante n Dubya.  I mean, if I wanted to watch American Idol winner Ruben Studdard standing in front of me in a sub-zero Carhart jumpsuit and a flourescent road crew warning vest and trying to elevate my adrenaline level, I would still be a union bricklayer in Detroit.

Many people called it a coronation day, instead of an inauguration day.  I watched the generations of anemic and DNA-challenged Bush family members take their seats as they were announced to the throngs of serf spectators on the west lawn by the man with the WWF voice and a few warning quacks of noise by the official Navy Herald Trumpeteers.

The Bush daughters looked fetching in their own scary way.  I think it was quite appropriate for their father's inauguration sequel for them both to look like dark Reese Witherspoon clones in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde.  Ex-presidents Carter and Clinton were also there.  Seeing the Bush girls, I could only think Chelsea Clinton didn't show up with her mom and dad because she's still as horribly homely as she ever was in college.

get itDubya quickly gave Karl Rove's inauguration speech soon after being sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Rehnquist.  While it seemed to be a little early for a Dubya drinking game, Bush's repeated invocations of Rove's words of neocon empire made me wonder how this little girl heard Bush's theme of world liberation planned for the next four years of BushWorld.

[Headphones] :: Crazy - Gruntruck @ Bob's Garage

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Bugs n Cheese - Inaugural Issue 000

More Bugs n Cheese

More BDKv1.0 MP3s

[Headphones] :: We Can Do Better - JfZ

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