It has been busy busy at work as usual…but that’s a good thing. It keeps you sharp…and employed, which you know has been a pretty important thing the past year or so. The snow yesterday was really just a warm-up for this weekend where we’re supposed to get a foot or so. Also, some of the locals are telling me that Smarch is snowiest month around these parts. “Brrrrrrrr, lousy Smarch weather…” We’ll see if this interferes with my Film Festival plans…but I’m optimistic as always.
Last night I watched “Law Abiding Citizen” starring Gerard Butler & Jamie Foxx. When it came out a few months ago, like most Gerard Butler movies, I was interested in seeing it in theaters…but didn’t…and nobody that I know saw it either. It’s weird. Did anybody out there see this movie, “Gamer” or “P.S. I Love You” in theatres? Did you see them on DVD? Anyway, back to the movie. It’s about a man (Butler) whose wife & daughter are brutally murdered…and through the trial, one of the guy makes a plea deal with his lawyer (Foxx) because of a technicality and he may get away completely if he doesn’t. So once again, the Justice system fails. Ten years later, the two criminals die horrible deaths (finally) and of course the suspect is Gerard Butler. Well, he’s playing a game now with the Justice system and trying to bring the whole system down through judges & lawyers dying, explosions all over the place, and all while he’s already locked up in prison. The city of Philadelphia goes into a state of martial law (okay, probably not what would really happen…but hey, I’m not a screenwriter) but overall, it’s a pretty good action flick…and of course, you know my opinion of the legal system…and it’s a cerebral action movie based on that premise. Oh…and it’s directed by F. Gary Gray whose other movies include “Friday”, “The Italian Job”, “Be Cool” and Outkast’s “Miss Jackson” video. So yeah, give it a shot if you like those kind of action movies. It’s not astounding…but it’s not horrible either. It may even give you some ideas for your own brand of vengeance. Oh wait, did I say that out loud? Ugh…here’s the news…and some tales of the law…
Bikini Barista - Pierce County prosecutors filed a charge of unlawful public exposure against a 19-year-old barista accused of wearing only a thong bottom and X-shaped pasties on her nipples (if you want to convert me to a coffee drinker, this is a good start Starbucks). Prosecutors filed the misdemeanor charge Tuesday against the woman who worked at the Bikini Bottoms espresso stand in Puyallup, Washington. A passer-by had complained last October about seeing the woman topless (yes, one passer-by, four months ago, you read that correctly). When a sheriff's deputy went to investigate the woman went to the back of the stand, took off the pasties and put on a bikini top. The News Tribune of Tacoma reported the deputy confiscated the pasties as evidence (after taking a few pictures as well…you know, for evidence). My sweet Jesus, a topless coffee shop. That would be amazing. I feel like I've had this thought before. “Hey $teve, want another lapdance?” “No thanks.” “How about another iced caramel macchiato?” “Sure, better than a cold shower.” “Want an extra shot of milk with that?” “Ugh… Could you be more specific as to the source of said milk?” Don’t judge me. If she’s lactating, not only is it already warm…but perfectly suited for my human physiological needs…and maybe I get to help squeeze it. Again, don’t judge me. I don’t even drink coffee. Yet. And the law should just stay out of my theoretical coffee shops.
Everybody Hates Clowns - A Tampa man faces charges after a deputy spotted him walking in a clown mask. According to jail records, the man was arrested Tuesday and charged with wearing a mask or hood on a public road over the age of 16 and resisting arrest without violence (both real charges). The man, who turned 19 on Wednesday (happy birthday?), has been released from Hillsborough County Jail on $750 bond. The St. Petersburg Times reported that a deputy saw the man wearing a clown mask and bright wig as he walked down a street with two other people. The group fled when deputies tried to question them, but were later located. Okay, so granted clowns are just creepy. Clowns don’t even like clowns…and it’s the only think that a large group of children will ever agree on. But here’s the thing, it’s illegal…and a jailable offense…to wear a mask or hood…on a public road…for anybody over the age of sixteen…in Tampa, Florida. Now, hoods aren’t a big fashion thing in Florida for the most part. But let’s say, it’s October 31st, or the weekend before or after. Hypothetically speaking, if you’re wearing a Halloween mask…and are over the age of sixteen, you don’t even have to be driving home drunk to be in lockup for a few hours. Technically speaking. Not only that…but if you resist arrest by NOT resisting, just sitting, then you face additional charges. Odd, right? So yeah, everybody hates clowns. It’s a proven fact.
50 Cent Update - A Florida woman has sued rapper 50 Cent in New York City, claiming he unlawfully distributed her homemade sex video over the Internet after editing himself into it as a wig-wearing narrator. Lastonia Leviston filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Manhattan claiming unauthorized use of her name or image and emotional distress caused by the public release of a video she made with a lover in 2008. The lawsuit claims 50 Cent posted the video on his Web site last year after blurring out the lover's face. It also claims the rapper appears in the video wearing a wig and robe and can be heard narrating throughout. The rapper's real name is Curtis Jackson. His lawyer hasn't responded to a phone message seeking comment. Okay, first off, how the f**k did 50 get the video to post? Was it like an audition tape sent to his website? Also, I may have to check out 50 playing the mumbly Bob Costas of Coitus on his website. (spoken through clenched teeth) “Yeah, he positioning himself all up inside her now. He’s got pretty good technique for an amateur. Looks like he’s keepin’ it safe by using one of my Bulletproof condoms. G-G-G-G-UNIT!!! (pumps a few into his fake Jerry curl) Oooh, he’s beatin’ that ass like it owe him money now. Now a word from our sponsor…” It’s no Morgan Freeman talking about the sexual habits of penguins…but hey, I’m sure it’s mildly entertaining. Oh…and as for the law being called into this, yeah obviously if it’s unwarranted or whatever, he’ll probably end up paying a ludicrous sum of money…but again I ask, how did he get the video?
IT’S CALLED A KILLER WHALE!!! – So I assume you’ve all heard about this already…but if not, here you go. Despite calls to free or destroy the animal, SeaWorld said Thursday it will keep the killer whale that drowned its trainer, but will suspend all orca shows while it decides whether to change the way handlers work with the behemoths. Also, VIP visitors who occasionally were invited to pet the killer whales will no longer be allowed to do so. "We're going to make any changes we have to to make sure this doesn't happen again," Chuck Tompkins, chief of animal training at SeaWorld parks, said a day after a 12,000-pound killer whale named Tilikum dragged a trainer into its pool and thrashed the woman to death as audience members watched in horror (I assume the family vacation videos are a lot like the gruesome Discovery Channel epics that I love). Talk-radio callers, bloggers and animal activists said Tilikum (which was involved in the deaths of two other people over the past two decades) should be released into the ocean or put to death like a dangerous dog (don’t get me started on Michael Vick, okay?). Tompkins said that Tilikum would not survive in the wild because it has been captive for so long, and that destroying the animal is not an option either, because it is an important part of the breeding program at SeaWorld and a companion to the seven other whales there (Conjugal visits? Put him out to stud?). Dawn Brancheau, a 40-year-old veteran trainer who adored whales, was rubbing Tilikum from a poolside platform when the 22-foot creature grabbed the woman's ponytail in its jaws and pulled her in. Witnesses said the whale played with Brancheau like a toy. "He kept pushing her and poking her with his nose," said Paula Gillespie of Delaware, who saw the attack from an underwater observation point. "It looked like she was just totally caught off guard and looked like she was struggling." She added: "I just felt horrible because she's someone's daughter, mother. I couldn't stop crying." The killer whale shows (what kind of whale?) have been put on hold at SeaWorld's three parks in Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego. Tompkins said they will not resume until trainers understand what happened to Brancheau. He also said trainers will review safety procedures and change them as needed. He would not give details on what might be changed, but he said he does not expect visitors to the theme park to see much difference in the killer whale shows, in which trainers swim with the animals, ride on their backs and jump off of them. There is virtually no contact between visitors and the orcas at SeaWorld shows, said Fred Jacobs, a spokesman for the SeaWorld parks. But in the past, VIP guests occasionally were allowed to come down to the edge of the pool and touch the whales. That will no longer be permitted. Because of Tilikum's size and history of aggressive behavior, visitors were not allowed to get close to the whale, and trainers were not permitted to climb into the water with the animal. They were only allowed to work with him from a partially submerged deck. Tompkins defended SeaWorld's use a whale that had already been blamed in the deaths of two other people. "We didn't ignore those incidents. We work with him very, very carefully. We did not get in the water with this animal like we do with other killer whales because we recognized his potential." Brancheau's older sister, Diane Gross, said the trainer would not have wanted anything done to the whale. "She loved the whales like her children. She loved all of them. They all had personalities, good days and bad days." In a profile in the Orlando Sentinel in 2006, Brancheau acknowledged the dangers, saying: "You can't put yourself in the water unless you trust them and they trust you." It’s truly tragic…but at the same time, you can’t possibly be surprised. I’m surprised that it doesn’t happen more. They’re wild animals. Watch the Discovery Channel (or the posted videos coming to YouTube shortly, possibly narrated by 50 Cent). It’s the same thing that happens when you play with tigers (RIP Roy) or dogs once in a while. As I’ve mentioned probably hundreds of times on this blog, I went to the Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu a few years back. Oh yeah, pandas are cute cuddly creatures. No. They are bears. With long sharp claws. And teeth that do nothing but crush bamboo 12 hours a day…and then they sleep. They had these beautiful young Asian girls that would bathe the toddler pandas at the center…and almost all of them had very visible and very defined scars about their face, legs and any other skin that you could see. Why? Because they’re bears with claws & teeth. Even when they’re just playing, they’re bears with claws & teeth. And in keeping with the theme of this entry, you can't go against the Laws of Nature & expect a perfect record. Not until they're extinct, that is. Again, it’s tragic…but not surprising. She did what she loves though. My condolences to her family.