21 February 2010

The Internet: Helping Ugly People Get Married Since 1993

Congrats to the lovely Caroline, from USO Girls, and the not-so-photogenic but all-around good guy, TSO, getting married. The proposal was on This Ain't Hell and she said yes in comment #5. Way to go! Drop by and leave them an encouraging comment, or else they'll shake you down for a wedding present.

19 February 2010

The Bureaucracy is Expanding to Meet the Needs of Ray Lahood's Ego

The Imminent Threat Posed by the Cell Phone

With all that's going on the world, one would think the federal government would be a bit more concerned with the exploding deficit, flying Unabomber types, and other minor issues like the war in Afghanistan. But that line of thinking doesn't create new, do-nothing government jobs and pension plans for your friends like anti-obesity campaigns, and the latest, the War on Distracted Driving. From the Weekly Standard:
The most valuable term for LaHood is “distracted driving.” It is an expansive phrase that a deft government guy can play like an accordion, stretching or squeezing it as his argument demands. The immediate upshot of LaHood’s initiative, he said last month, is that he wants laws that will make it illegal for drivers to use handheld cell phones behind the wheel. State laws, local laws, federal laws, whichever, it seems not to matter to him—just so long as this little slice of unregulated human behavior is prohibited and punished.
Great. We bemoan our collective loss of liberty when the NSA listens in on Mr. Abdullah's call to his weapons-smuggling cousin in Syria, but when little Suzie texts her BFF that she just saw the cute guy from Bio class, we're supposed to treat her like a federal criminal. There's even a website dedicated to this national plague www.distraction.gov. Judging by Mr. LaHood's pork record, I'm sure it was taxpayer money well spent.

05 February 2010

Artistic License in War Movies

Kate Hoit, aka GI Kate, an Iraq vet and internet buddy has an article about The Hurt Locker in Huffington Post that has solicited 400+ comments. She criticizes the film for lacking authenticity, being over the top, and its inability to get simple details correct like rank and uniform. It's tough to go up against a movie with a tomatometer rating of 97%(and the tomatometer don't lie), and the competition in the genre of Iraq/A-stan movie is really crappy, so that fact alone makes this movie look like Citizen Kane.

Coincidentally, I saw the movie last night and thought it was pretty interesting: well-acted, well-shot, and tons of action. I don't know much about EOD, but it is obvious that Hollywood took some artistic license in the creation of this film. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because a true-to-life war movie would be more like the infamous Onion spoof: sitting around waiting for orders, waiting in line at the phone trailer to call your girlfried, etc. Crimson Tide is one of the more famous submarine movies, and it is quite enjoyable and therefore absolutely not at all a reflection of reality. A submarine movie that was based on real life on a submarine would probably be like watching a double-feature of Heaven's Gate and Ishtar...with Catwoman thrown in for an encore.

So, Kate, I'm not going to fault Hollywood for taking some liberties, as they never claimed this was reality. But, as always, I love your tendency to challenge the status quo on issues pertaining to veterans. I just hope for the day when vets use the GI Bill to become great screenwriters/directors/actors, then maybe there will be something in the cultural mainstream that isn't just another action flick.