Monday, March 3, 2014

Hey, World! Whazzup?

How many years has it been since the "Whazzup?" ads in TV were so ubiquitous? I think the last one aired during Clinton's 2nd term maybe? All I know is that even today, if I go "Whazzup?" to another guy, there's a very good chance that guy will reply "Whazzuuuuuuup?" 

But seriously, world: whazzup?


Vladmir Putin is partying like it's 1899 as Russia circles up its military around the Ukraine which is in a bit of a shake up as Ukrainians not really liking the leadership which the people put of a bus out of town (so to speak). This bothers Putin because he liked the leadership a lot. Putin could be in charge of the Ukraine as well as Russia but without actually having to do any heavy Ukrainian lifting. Nah, just let his homies take care of that. But now Putin's homies ain't home and Putin's all, "Great! Now I have to do stuff" because he really likes having the Ukraine in his back pocket. Hell, it's been in Russia's back pocket for years and no sense letting it go now, right? 

Over in the USA, Obama says he's not down with Putin doing that but apparently that's not enough for the GOP. Let's face it, Obama NEVER does enough for the GOP. If Obama puts out a fire with one bucket of water, the GOP wonders why he didn't use two; if Obama puts out a fire with two buckets of water, the GOP wonders why he's wasting water.  

Once more, the US finds itself looking at a political mishmash that we quite frankly don't want to be a part of and have precious few things we can do if we did. There are two things about this mess that are of concern. 

1) This is late 19th/early 20th century saber rattling at it's worst. We live in a global economy with access to near-global information. Yet this has come down to age old issue of territorial borders and control. Russia not only fears a more democratic Ukraine on its doorstep but, perhaps even more so, fears a loss of prestige and pride if the Ukraine shifts away from Russian power and influence. Valdmir Putin looks to a map and wants to see the circle that rings 'round Russia to be larger, not smaller. Putin is unconcerned with the global picture except how much of that picture is covered by Russia. And is it too far of a stretch to assume that Putin, in his century old ideology, sees "U.S.S.R." over that map? 

Which leads to a 2nd point of concern.

2) Sarah Palin was right.  Oh boy is she eating this up with "I told you so" (or "I toldja so") coming out at every opportunity. I could make the smart ass comment about how a broken clock is right at least twice a day but let's just say this: anybody who didn't see this coming has to have their head examined. So yes, Sarah Palin was right. So were a lot a of people who looked into the cold eyes of Vladmir Putin and clearly saw his very naked ambitions of advancing Russian power. There was no special wisdom that comes from predicting the outcome of what happens when an unsettled Ukraine comes up against the rigid discipline of Putin's Russia.  

The special wisdom comes in knowing what do do about it and sadly, that special wisdom seems to be a bit lacking in all corners. Damned if I know what to do. Me, I live in the 21st century with drones and cyber strikes. I'm a bit rusty in "rolling tanks across a border 101".  I trust Putin remembers to take out the telegraph poles on his way in.


And now we come to...


So how 'bout them Oscars last night, huh?

I almost went through the day yesterday without making any predictions. This is something I've done almost every year I can remember whether I had actually seen any of the nominated movies or not. 

Usually, I have not. 

But this year, I let the hour creep up on me until I couldn't stand it anymore so I began scanning the various entertainment media sites and slapped together a list of predictions which I posted here

So how did I do? 

Best Supporting Actor
I picked Jared Leto of "Dallas Buyers Club"
The winner: Jared Leto (for his amazing performance as Sigourney Weaver

Best Supporting Actress
I picked  Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"  
The winner:  Lupita Nyong'o! 

Best Actor
I picked Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club" 
The winner:  Of course it was The Matt Mack! (I have never, ever heard Matthew McConaughey called that. Well, he should! C'mon: "The Matt Mack" How cool is that?)

Best Actress
I picked Cate Blanchett of "Blue Jasmine"
The winner:  Really, in the war of words between Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, there can be no winners. Except for media gossip sites. And Cate Blanchett.

Best Animated Feature
I picked "Frozen"
The winner: "Frozen" (Everyone else, just "let it go". See what I did there? That's what we call in the blog biz a "clever bit".)

Best Adapted Screenplay
I picked "12 Years A Slave" by John Ridley 
The winner: Indubitably! Good show, Mr. Ridley.

Best Original Screenplay
I picked "Her" by Spike Jonze 
The winner:  Spike for the win! (I was disappointed to find out this was not about a surviving mother spider from the 1950's monster film, "Them".) 

Best Director
I picked Alfonse Curan, "Gravity"  
The winner: Alfonse, my man! 

OK, people! I am kicking butt! I am taking names! I am....

Best Picture
I picked  "Gravity"
The winner:  "12 Years a Slave"

What the....?

Hey I was doing great...until the very end. Dang! I was on the fence about that one. Yes, Best Director and Best Picture DON'T have to be for the same movie but one is usually an indicator of the other. And Alfonse Curan was trending very strong for Best Director. And there had been trends in other film award programs where "Gravity" seemed to be pulling away. 

But the powerful performances and the strong, heartbreaking subject matter of "12 Years a Slave" carried the day. Which in hindsight, I should've seen that coming.


Well, that's it for today. Thanks for dropping by; we should this again sometime. 

Speaking of which, what do I have in store for this blog?

Tuesday: It's been awhile since I've had a message from a sponsor. Doing this blog ain't cheap, you know. 

Wednesday: DC Comics and Me continues as I explore my DC reading days with Batman

Thursday: Part 2 of a very special episode of The Adventures of Knock-Knock the Interrupting Cow

Friday: What would Friday be like without Broken News? God knows I should probably find out. But not this week. 

Saturday: Doctor Who Saturday wherein the day is Saturday and there's stuff about Doctor Who. (Well, D'UH!) 

Sunday: The return of This (Non) Sporting Life

Y'all be good to one another now, y'hear?

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