Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dr. Laura is an Idiot

So I'm driving back from my Barbri class, and I turn on AM radio to see which right-wing commentator is preaching at the moment. Ah, it's Dr. Laura. I listen for a while, and she seems to give pretty off-the-cuff advice, really doesn't seem to care about (or notice) the gray areas of morality -- i.e. the questions that go both ways, and are anything but black and white. Overall, she offers some sound advice but is mostly an idiot.

Yet, even KNOWING that she is an idiot, I was not prepared for the advice she was about to give. A woman calls in with a problem, which I shall paraphrase here:
Hi Dr. Laura. I have a problem. My husband feels insecure about the fact that I make more money than him. See, we both make a fair amount of money, but I make more, and he wants me to quit my job. We have four kids, and he knows that with my salary we will be able to send them all to college, but he still just feels like it's wrong that I'm out making more than he does, and he would really like me to stay at home. So I'm wondering -- I could quit my job, and give up that money, and stay at home -- but should I?
Of COURSE you should not quit your job! Your husband is a weenie! Oh no, he's insecure -- so? He should grow up, and learn to accept the fact that you make more than him, and that does NOT make him less of a man. You have every right to work, and your husband has the right to be insecure, but he has no right to ask that you quit your job because he can't handle it. Hopefully one day he will learn to be accepting and maybe even appreciate the fact that you are helping out so much with expenses.

Dr. Laura's response blew me away.
Men feel insecure when their wives make more than them, and it's because men like to be the breadwinners of the household. I think that quitting your job would be a very good solution. You'd get to stay home, you wouldn't have to worry about work, life would be less hectic, and you'd get to spend more time with the kids. (The caller pipes in: "It would be nice to make dinner for the kids.) And women generally have more respect for their men when the men are supporting them. I think quitting your job would be an optimal solution. (Caller: "But my income would help with sending our kids to college.") Not everyone is cut out for college, dear. A four-year degree is a waste for most people. Better that they get a 2-year associates degree that teaches them some useful skills, than a four year bachelors degree. (Caller: "Yeah.") Now go do the right thing.
Oh My God. I don't even know what to say. My jaw had completely dropped. Quit your job? Screw the kids' college fund? Just so your hubby could feel a little better about himself? Yeah, sure, there are benefits to being a stay-at-home mom -- but surely Dr. Laura would have questioned the woman about how committed she is to her work, how long she studied for it, whether she enjoys it, whether she ever thought about being a stay-at-home mom before... I am simply flabbergasted at the way in which this call was handled. I -- I can't type anymore -- I'm so angry! Dr. Laura is such an idiot!


Comments? Anyone?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Beep. BEEP! Beep. BEEP!

Thoughts on 24

• I loved the fact that Wayne Palmer is now president. I thought they were going to use that creepy vice president from last season, but Wayne Palmer is definitely great in that role. I guess President Weenie is currently trying not to drop the soap.

• I can't decide whether I like Chloe's new hair color. I think I do actually. And isn't that guy of hers a little out of her league? Poor Edgar.

• Where the hell do I know Mylo from? He was in another season, but which one?

• I get the feeling that this is gonna be one those slow to start seasons. Sort of like Season 1, where at first things are kind of slow, and then you get to the 5th episode and something happens that changes everything . And then you're like, "Wow!" And you can't wait until next Monday at 8/7c.

• Was it just me, or did the "Viewer Discretion IS Advised" guy get a little more into his role than usual?

• During the show, I found myself mordibly wondering just when suicide, er, homicide bombers (stupid Fox) were going to actually start blowing things up over here. Then I got freaked out.

• The whole "Jack can't DO this anymore!" theme is similar to Matt’s idea for an evil Jack Bauer coming back from China: sort of creates a conflict between Jack and himself, just in a different way.

• What is it about weasely presidential advisers that makes them so...weasely. Is the weasely presidential adviser the "new" mole in CTU?

• That First Sister is getting annoying. She reminds of every Michigan campus activist.

• Chloe's a playa!

• Yay! They nuked Los Angeles. Now they'll have to move CTU to SOME OTHER CITY.

My thoughts upon watching the first four hours of 24 can be summed up in one word: Facsimile. It seems like I've seen all of this before. I have, of course -- there was a nuclear bomb dropped in one of the previous seasons of 24; of course, it exploded harmlessly in the desert. (Note: Did they really nuke LA? They nuked Ventura. A quick Wikipedia search shows a population in Ventura of just over 100,000, with -- more importantly -- a population density of about 4,800 per square mile. Eek! Lots of dead people! And Jack saw the mushroom cloud from just a few miles away, and felt the blast on his face -- will he soon suffer from radiation poisoning?)

Plot speculation aside, after watching so many seasons of this show, I can't help but compare this season to the other ones, and it just seems kind of boring in comparison. Even in other seasons where it started off slowly, at least there was a good reason: building character. We were learning about Jack's family. We were seeing real relationships develop, and learning about these people, and so we were that much more disturbed when those people were held hostage / killed / blown up / infected with a virus that caused their insides to melt / etc. In contrast, the pacing in this season seems slow, but we're NOT really building characters that seem true and multifaceted and all that; we're building characters that seem very one-dimensional. Let's go through it:

• President: Wants to do the right thing, but lacks the gravitas and charisma of his dead ex-president older brother. How he ever became president is anyone's guess.

• President's wily adviser: He's basically the same exact character as the scowling Dick-Cheney-esque vice president from last year, although younger and with more hair. We always know what he's going to say. "I strongly disagree, Mister President. These people are bent on destroying us. We can't negotiate with them." Etc etc.

• President's annoying sister: Talk about a flashback. You're right -- this is a University of Michigan activist incarnate. My favorite line last night was when she talked about how the U.S. is based on freedom and the rule of law and individual liberties, and evil presidential adviser responded, "I agree! That would make a great law review article."

• Family taken hostage by Kumar Goes to White Castle Boy: We've seen this all before, but BETTER. The hostage boy was not memorable at all. The mom was cookie-cutter. The dad, well it was admittedly pretty neat when he killed the bad guy by hitting him with a lamp and smashing his head against the floor several times ("Just TAKE the MONEY!"), but that's about it, and what does it matter now? He went boom.

• Chloe's new boytoy: Were the writers smoking crack? Sure, this show is pretty tense, and sure, some comic relief would help, but this guy is a joke. And the scenes between him, Chloe, and Chloe's old fling are ludicrous. They feel as though they were written by a high school student.

• Curtis: What happened to Curtis?! In past seasons, he seemed far more three-dimensional. But from the beginning hour on Sunday night, he was just fuming about Assad. I know, I know, Assad did some bad stuff. But that's not Curtis. It seemed like a total change from the character we had come to know and admire. And the Curtis death scene was almost silly. Curtis is a smart guy: If he wanted to kill Assad, he would have first pretended to drive him back to CTU, but then pulled off somewhere and shot him. He wouldn't have pushed Assad up against the car with a chokehold, and talked about his intention to shoot Assad for 2 minutes, while trusty Jack Bauer was standing RIGHT THERE, for God's sake!

Jack Bauer seems to be the only character with depth. The "I can’t DO this anymore" line (repeated at least twice over the past couple days) is nice, but I was hoping there would be more visible results from the 20 months in the Chinese prison. Of course, the season has just begun and hopefully more will come of this, but I was really hoping for a brainwashed Evil Jack plotline. Kind of like the upcoming Spider-Man 3, in which Peter Parker's costume turns black, as does his soul!

So, basically, it seems to me that I've seen all of this before, except it was better in the past. That said, I wonder if I would enjoy this season more had I not just seen the DVDs of five other seasons in a row. However, Season 4 was the first one I saw, and then I went and saw Season 1 on DVD, and Season 1 was far better -- so maybe it doesn't matter if I have seen other seasons before. Maybe good writing will shine through no matter what, and maybe Season 6 suffers from a dearth of good writing.

PS -- Did you see the preview for next week? They were questioning the Illuminati guy from last season! Finally, some plot threads *might* be tied up!

A lot of it is due to the Law of Diminishing Returns, and how the show becomes far less cool once you've seen all the badass things Jack Bauer can do. Granted, seeing Jack kill a man by ripping into his jugular, much like a bear or a wolf, was pretty darn cool, but still, we've seen Jack try and save a guy on an operating table, and come back from the dead three times, and so it doesn't surprise us so much that Jack is in fact a werewolf.
Still, while it would seem cooler if we hadn't seen the other seasons, it still wouldn't be AS good as the older seasons, which were just put together better.
And yes, it appears that Illuminati Guy's uppance is about to come!

Monday, January 8, 2007

You'll See...

* * * UPDATE, 1/13/07 * * * New director's cut posted -- be sure to watch to the very end

For weeks upon weeks, hours upon hours, our standard response to the question, "What are you wearing to the New Year's Party?" was, "You'll see..." At 11 p.m. on December 31st, 2006, they saw. Now, everyone will see. (Assuming you have a high-speed connection.)

The video that follows is kinda big (170 megs) and requires a pretty modern computer to play it smoothly, but the good news is that it should start playing before it's fully loaded up.

So sit back and enjoy the 16-minute long Director's Cut of "You'll See -- or -- Donnie & Nate: The Musical!"