“Observe and Report” explores the funny side of date rape?

I’m not a big Seth Rogan fan so the odds of me seeing Observe & Report are about as good as me seeing it’s predecessor, Paul Blart: Mall Cop.  Slim chance.  No chance.   He was okay in a supporting role  in The 40 Year Old Virgin, but as far as stuff like Knocked Up, Pineapple Express or Zack and Miri Make A Porno, I’m not in love enough with the guy to put down  money to see him as the star of the show.

Anna Farris is kind of cute, but the plastic surgery makes her look like a younger Courtney Love.  Farris  plays the  dumb blond in a lot of her movies.   However, maybe she isn’t playing.   In the film, after a night of downing shots of tequila and the meds Ronnie takes to keep him functioning, Farris’s slutty dimbulb character is barely conscious as Ronnie is humping away on top.  

“It’s like date rape — that’s funny, right?”   Farris said in an interview.

If you have to ask if something is funny, odds are it’s probably not. 

Observe & Report is passing itself off as a “edgy comedy” where  Paul Blart meets Taxi Driver.   If you like your mall cops racist, sexist, bipolar and one bad day from going postal, Rogan’s Ronnie Barnhardt is your boy.    The reviews have been decidedly mixed, but it’s a scene of possible—no—likely–date rape that’s got the attention of movie critics and the blogosphere (and probably the top slot over the Hannah Montana movie too).

Look, I don’t know if this is just another weak attempt at “humor” by a bunch of brain-dead, talent-deprived, hack screenwriters whom unable to tell a joke, think body fluids and molesting semi-conscious bimbos are  real knee-slappers.   I do know that this bullshit scene from a bullshit movie is getting a LOT of free publicity and that my friends, is great for it’s box office haul.  

The director of  Observe &  Report says Taxi Driver was the inspiration for his movie.   Yeah, sure,  because we all remember how freakin’ funny Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle was when he was gut- shooting pimps and blowing their hands off as blood splattered his face.

It annoys me when directors compare their forgettable farces to cinema classics. 

Audiences will laugh at horny teenagers screwing apple pies and being impaled by blade-wielding psychopaths.   Drugging and raping hot chicks was bound to come up as a gag at some point.    

It’s been said in politics, nothing happens by accident.  When a sudden “controversy” pops up out of nowhere over a slob comedy, you don’t have to be a cynic to believe the same principle applies to the marketing and advertising of a otherwise forgettable piece of Hollywood trash out to may a quick buck.

Bipolar mall cop seeks makeup counter bimbo for night of drinking, drugging, and deviant sex.

Bipolar mall cop seeks makeup counter bimbo for night of drinking, drugging, and deviant sex.

UPDATE:  Observe & Report pulled down a rather anemic $11 million and finished its opening week in fourth place,  pistol- whipped by Hannah Montana: The Movie.    

Which only goes to  show  America prefers their mall cops to be funny, not psychotic.

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A Good Little Man Beats a Bad Big Man.

My daughter thinks one of these guys is cute.

My daughter thinks one of these guys is cute.

Jason Whitlock, a sportswriter for the Kansas City Star and Fox Sports doesn’t believe you should kick a man when he down.  Maybe just stomp on his groin just a bit.

A week after I had my say about Allen Iverson, Whitlock gets his digs in.  Or more accurately, gets out a baseball bat and starts whacking away.

Time for another typical drive-by hit from Whitlock.  Let’s go down the checklist and see if he hits all his usual targets.

1.  Take a cheap shot at a dead rapper?

Mentioned Tupac Shakur who’s been dead for 13 years.  Check.

2.  Makes a wild leap in logic comparing an athlete to a greater social problem?

“We’re a nation of Allen Iverson, and the unchecked Wall Street greed that has us on the brink of collapse is nothng more than our chickens coming home to rot.”

Chickens come home to rot?

Check.

3.  Demonstrates he knows little to nothing about the sport he’s writing about?

“…Anthony and the Nuggets sitting at No. 2 in the West and the sexy pick to win it all.”

The Denver Nuggets the pick to win the NBA Championship?  Current Vegas odds say the Nugs are no better than 12 to 1.  What’s sexy about that?

Check.

4. Instead of adding anything close to a sober and reasoned analysis of Iverson’s career, Whitlock pulls out his butcher knife and starts carving.  Among his schoolyard taunts and insults are “Loser”, “the victim of a dysfunctional upbringing” and “ghetto warrior”.

You can’t pay for incisive analysis like that .  Which is probably a good thing you don’t have to.

Check.

Five years ago before he got canned from ESPN, Whitlock was singing a different tune about Iverson when this supposedly supremely selfish baller gave up his summer to represent his country at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

This team is being discussed unfairly in the media and being treated unfairly by American sports fans. There’s a lot of convenient denial going on. No one wants to deal with the truth because they’re having too much fun blasting a bunch of black millionaires for being lazy, unpatriotic and stupid. With the exception of adding the word “millionaires,” this is a very familiar tune.

What bothers me most are the charges that Iverson and Co. aren’t trying and don’t care. First and foremost, they do care and they are trying. They’re competitors. They know what’s at stake. They don’t want to be ripped at home.

The criticism of USA Basketball is borderline racist, is definitely unsophisticated and exposes a lot of super patriots as hypocrites. Allen Iverson is wearing our jersey — our red, white and blue — and playing the game the way we taught him to play it.

We owe Iverson support when he’s representing us abroad. Save the hatred for when he’s back home skipping Sixers practices and boring us to death playing a two-man game with Glenn Robinson.

...guess which one?

Guess which one?

That was Whitlock in August 2004 in an article entitled, “The Haters Can’t Handle the Truth.”   Two years later he would be fired from ESPN for publicly criticizing two other sportswriters.   He landed at Rupert Murdoch’s FOX Sports.com where he would reinvent himself as the Alan Keyes of sportswriting and go on television to blast other Black men with remarks such as this, “Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are domestic terrorists lighting fires and picking everyone’s pocket on the way out of town. Jackson should be down at Duke apologizing to those lacrosse players – he owes them an apology for stirring up that mess. Black America is tired of Jackson.”

Don’tcha just love it when guys like Whitlock who’s never put his big butt on the line for nobody steps on those that have?

But the most disturbing image isn’t the idea that a guy who was suspended from his column by his employer and was fired from ESPN is suggesting A.I. is a loser, it’s this deeply frightening and disturbing sentence:

“Picture me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.”

Jason Whitlock is one jelly donut away from 350 pounds (and that’s a estimate that’s probably kinder to the less than svelte Whitlock than he deserves).

Laughing his ass off? That’s a lot of ass.

If I had the millions of dollars needed to start up a newspaper or buy a pro basketball franchise, I’d hire Iverson to play ball before I would employ Whitlock to write crap.

Karl Rove is a flaming bag of crap, but what’s new about that?

Do I love Satan?  Yes I do.  Why do you ask?

"Do I love Satan? Hell, yes! Why do you ask?"

 

Barack Obama scared Karl Rove last week.

What did the President do that put fear in the black little heart of George Bush’s “Turd Blossom?”

Before the House of Representatives voted on the President’s budget, he went to the Hill to meet with Democrats and discuss some of their concerns.

Congressional Quarterly reported there was a interesting exchange between President Obama and a representative.

Rep. Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon, one of seven Democrats to vote against the almost $800 billion stimulus bill (PL 111-5) — he felt it didn’t include enough infrastructure spending — asked about getting more such spending in the budget.

In response, Obama joked: “I know you think we need more for that because you voted against it [the stimulus]. Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” the president added, to laughter from DeFazio’s colleagues.

“It caught everybody’s attention that the president knew who voted for and against the stimulus. Everybody said, ‘Whoa! He knows who voted against the stimulus,’” said one Democratic lawmaker of Obama’s riposte to DeFazio.

“At least, I got his attention,” DeFazio said, referring to his query to Obama. “I can vote for the House version of the budget because it increased the funding for transportation.” 

Got that?  The president made  a joke.  DeFazio’s colleagues laughed.  That was the extent of it.

Take a bite out of crime.  Send Rove to the slammer.

Take a bite out of crime. Send Rove to the slammer.

At least until Rove got his piggy little fingers on the remark.  Then he twisted it into not a joke, but a threat.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Rove said,  “A few weeks ago, Mr. DeFazio voted against the administration’s stimulus bill. The comment from Mr. Obama was a presidential rebuke and part of a new, hard-nosed push by the White House to pressure Congress to adopt the president’s budget. He has mobilized outside groups and enlisted forces still in place from the Obama campaign.”

Members of Congress should also worry about how Mr. Obama is “keeping score.” He is steeped in the ways of Chicago politics and has not forgotten his training in the methods once used by Saul Alinsky, the radical Chicago community organizer.

Alinsky’s 1971 book, “Rules for Radicals,” is a favorite of the Obamas. Michele Obama quoted it at the Democratic Convention. One Alinsky tactic is to “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” That’s what the White House did in targeting Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer. (The president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, went so far as to lash all three from the White House press podium.) It may also explain Mr. Obama’s comments to Mr. DeFazio.

After all, Alinsky’s first rule of “power tactics” is “power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” Team Obama wants to remind its adversaries it has plenty of power, and it does. The question is whether the White House will wield it responsibly. The jury is still out, but certain clues are beginning to emerge. “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” even if said with a wink and a smile, isn’t quite the “new politics” we were told to expect.

Read what was said in The Congressional Quarterly and it comes off as good-natured humor by the president.  Read Rove’s malicious spin and Obama sounds more like Al Capone.

It’s not just a slight distortion of the meeting.  It’s a out-and-out LIE. 

Thanks for reminding me Karl why I never read Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and why I stopped reading NEWSWEEK when they hired your chickenhawk ass. 

For a blind partisan scumbag and political hitman like Rove to deliberately lie and distort President Obama’s remarks comes as no surprise at all and it’s only slightly less surprising the Journal would  whore  what little journalistic integrity it had left before Murdoch pimped it out.

Would it be to much to ask for Rep. John Conyers slap a contempt of Congress charge against Rove’s refusal to testify so we could hurry up and lock him away so he can pay a visit to the prison gynecologist?

Prison orange looks good on you, Karl!

Prison orange looks good on you, Karl!

Let’s make our streets safe again.  Send Karl Rove to jail.  Or back home to Satan.  I don’t care which.

The Question is “Who Wants ‘The Answer’?”

The question for The Answer is where will he be next season?

The question for "The Answer" is where will he be next season?

These days I’d just as soon play a NBA video game than watch a NBA basketball game.   I don’t have a favorite team though I have a sentimental attraction to the Philadelphia 76ers. 

What I do enjoy is watching certain players.  Guys like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard and the little big man, Allen Iverson.

The thing is unlike James, Wade and Howard, three  young players whom are just entering their prime, A.I.  is on the downstroke.   He’s bounced around from the Sixers to the Denver Nuggets to now the Detroit Pistons, in what is the unhappiest and least productive season of his 13-year career.

The problem is Iverson, the guy with the ankle-breaking crossover  who fearlessly threw his body around, thinks he’s still an elite player.  He is.  But only for short bursts of time.  The rest of the time he’s holding on to the ball too long, dribbling too much and not getting his teammates involved as they watch him jack up a bad jumper than clangs off the rim.

Iverson was shut down for the remainder of the season by the Pistons due to a back injury he’s struggled with, but it’s just as likely the team figured they were better off not dealing with the distraction of a aging superstar who had publicly declared his unhappiness with coming off the bench.

After a 111-98 loss on April 2 to the absolutely awful New Jersey Nets, Iverson said about his new role as a sixth man, “I won’t do this again in my career.  I’ll retire before I do this again.  I would leave the game before I’d do this because I can’t be effective like I know I can (by) playing this way. ”

“It’s just that I’m not used to it.  It’s just not someting that I’ve ever been able or had to do.”

Immediately, the same haters who have always hated Iverson because they didn’t like his tattoos, didn’t like the way he spoke, didn’t like the way he dressed and didn’t like the way he played jumped up and said he was being “selfish.”

Some nobody named Mike Perry wrote on his blog,  “The NBA will be a better place if Allen Iverson retires after this year.”

“The Detroit Pistons knew what they were getting this year when they traded Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets.  They didn’t acquire Allen Iverson.  They acquired his expiring contract.  Allen Iverson’s expiring contract is worth more than Allen Iverson.  When Iverson becomes a free agent this summer, he will quickly find out his services are not wanted anymore in the NBA.  There is not one contending team or playoff team that will sign him.”

“He is a cancer.  He is a plague.”

I have a sister and sister-in-law that have both fought cancer and I really don’t appreciate idiots who throw that word around casually and where it doesn’t apply.   I feel the same way about stupid sportscasters and jack-ass jocks who call their games, “war” and other gross exaggerations like that.

Who says no playoff or contending team wouldn’t sign Allen Iverson?  Is The Answer the answer for a team like the Celtics or the Spurs?  Probably not.  But for a team that lacks a dynamic scorer and a player who can still put fannies in empty seats in NBA arenas, A.I. could be exactly what they’re looking for.

Don’t tell me talent-starved dead zones like the Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves wouldn’t happily pay A.I.  Maybe not  $20 million a season for a beat-up 34-year old shooting guard in a point guard’s body, but the dirty little secret of the NBA is there are a lot of teams that don’t have much talent or any reason to watch them. 

Most of the teams that do make the playoffs won’t be there for long.  They’re just there as speed bumps for the likes of the Lakers, Cavaliers or Celtics.   Nobody is expecting to see the Chicago Bulls last very long or go very far.    If nothing else Iverson sells tickets and never underestimate how important selling tickets are.

I don’t know if Iverson is being selfish or not.  I had dinner with a couple of friends this week and they double-teamed me until I finally admitted that even if Iverson is on the down escalator he’s still better than Rodney Stuckey who is starting at point guard for the Pistons. 

All n’ all,  the Pistons and Iverson were just a bad fit.  They were just looking to rent him for one season and then dump his contract and free up cap space.  I saw a few games where Iverson was feeding the ball to his teammates and trying to set them up.  Of course, I also saw him jack up some lousy shots, dribble the ball down to 22 seconds and make some half-hearted attempts at playing defense.   Nothing new about that.   He’d done the exact same thing with the Sixers and Nuggets.

The probem isnt A.I. falls down.  It just takes him longer to get up.

The probem isn't A.I. falls down. It just takes him longer to get up.

I fully expect to see Iverson in the NBA next season and starting for somebody.   Even in decline, he’s still more exciting and entertaining than some of the has-beens, never-weres and never-will-be’s running the backcourt of NBA franchises. 

I also expect the haters who have always hated everything about The Answer to keep hating.  It’s what they do best.

Look Back at the Past. Look Forward to the Future.

While the nation’s first African-American President is overseas strutting his stuff with the Brits, Germans, French and other major players on the world stage, 41 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr., arguably the most important African-American ever was assassinated in Memphis.

Life.com is featuring a photo essay of never-before-published photographs taken at the Lorraine Motel after King’s death.  Photographer Henry Groskinsky was on assignment in Memphis with writer Mike Silva for LIFE magazine.  They went to the motel following the announcement that King had been shot.  Much to their surprise, they found they had access to King’s room.

In a story on Salon.com, Groskinsky explained how he happened to be there at that critical time,  “I was very discreet. I shot just enough to document what was going on. I didn’t want to make a nuisance of myself,” the 75-year-old Groskinsky said in the caption to a photo showing a group of King’s associates, including Andrew Young and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, assembled inside the room.

“It’s very somber, and there I am with a flash camera. So I took a couple of pictures and just kind of backed off,” Groskinsky said.

Salon also features a wonderful photo essay of their own by Lauren Hermele featuring some of the numerous unsung heroes of the Civil Rights era today and what they think of the election of Barack Obama to the presidency. 

Dion Diamond, who was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was quoted, “When we were doing voter registration we  had hoped to elect some county commissioners or city council persons, perhaps in years to come some representative to Congress.  But we never gave a thought to electing an African American president.”

Despite looking back in sorrow at the grim images taken at the Lorraine Motel after King’s death, it is poignant to consider the words of some of the thousands of largely unknown veterans of the struggle he helped lead.

I’ve never understood people who say history bores them.  Depending on who’s telling the story, nothing is more fascinating to me than what those who made history have to say about the part they played in the creating.