All entries for February 2008
February 14, 2008
February 12, 2008
Earlier today the CIA stated that they had used American Idol on prisoners. This is the first time that the organisation has admitted to using the controversial technique in the War on Terror. While he was being interviewed by Congress Michael Hayden, current CIA head, stated that American Idol had been used on 3 subjects who were imprisoned at Guantanamo bay, but not within the past 1 week.
The British foreign secretary, David Miliband, recently stated, “We would never do anything like that”, when asked about the use of American Idol. The television show is considered torture by several human rights groups, including Amnesty International, and the US congress has considered banning it, however, President has made it publically known that he would veto a bill, stating, “I particularly like the early rounds, when there are more of what we texans call, ‘shit singers’”
Kuwaiti-born Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has been accused of planning the september 11th attacks, claims that American Idol was used on him. Both of the other two detainers who were forced to watch American Idol were also suspected of being high level Al-Quaeda operatives.
The technique itself involves forcing the detainee to sit through an entire episode of American Idol. This can range from 23minutes, to a whole hour for a final. Public opinion has turned against the show after people released the contestants were all boring, and fat.
When asked what he thought about the technique Seth McFarlane, Family Guy creator, replied, “not good meg, not good.”
February 05, 2008
When I originally started bloggin the republican race was looking vastly more interesting than the democratic one, several series candidates, from different wings of the party all competing with each other. Originally strong candidates were looking incredibly weak (Guiliani, McCain at the time) and Huckabee was riding a strong wave with practically no money or support. Since then the tables have turned. The republican race has settled down, with McCain a clear leader in both support and pledged delegates, whilst the democratic field has narrows with the loss of Edwards, in many ways Obama’s rise has made it less predictable.
Whats worth noting is that Obama is coming good at the right time – 2 weeks ago he was nationally behind Clinton by 12%, one week ago that had dropped to 6%, on Sunday he was listed as 3% behind, and today CNN released poll figures showing that Obama was ahead by 3%. This is the first poll to show Obama ahead of Clinton nationally, and also the only poll showing that! Super Tuesday could really be the end of the line for the Clinton campaign – that is to say if she doesn’t win here its only downhill. Even a close 2nd for Obama will be perceived as a victory for him, and might possibly give enough momentum for the nomination.
Due to the sheer size of uber tuesday I have decided to present the results in a different manner to previously. Firstly I have prepared a spreadsheet that approximates the total number of votes I believe each candidate shall receive. I believe I will be massively more inaccurate today than previously, since as well the sheer size of the event Edward’s dropout has left massive numbers of undecided voters in the polling numbers.
Now the first thing to bear in mind about my figures are that Obama trails Clinton – this isn’t because he is behind nationally, but because many of Clinton’s strongest states (California and New York for example) vote on uber tuesday. If Obama can survive this, then he is likely to take major delegate hauls on, for example, Feb 12th (Maryland, Virginia and DC). The totals, for those who can’t be bothered to read are 871 – 816.
I expect Clinton to take her home state of New York, where she is senator by a significant margin, whilst Obama will take votes upstate, I believethe city will be highly pro-Clinton. New Jersey seems a lot closer, but still goes for Clinton. Its a similar story in Massachusetts. Conneticut I believe will go Obama, due to a recent flood of new voter registration, especially amongster younger voters.
Minnesota appears to be favouring Obama, in light of backing from a pair of house representatives, the same with North Dakota.
In the south Obama leads in Georgia, and I would expect him to take the state on the back of African American support. i essentially believe white southerners will vote for Clinton and against any sort of change at all. So Alabama is a tie, and Tennessee (with its lower black populace) goes to Clinton. I also believe she will take Arkansas by a high margin, as Bill was a popular govenor there, additionally she has strong backing by the states’ current leading democrats. Oklahoma neighbours Arkansas and seems to be favouring Clinton. Arizona used to be a Hillary lead, but Obama has been endorsed by the governer and a house representative recently, so I expect it shall be close.
I’ve listed California as a Clinton win, though large margin has been wiped out by Obama’s strong campaigning. His strength amongst black minorities and college educated white voters will be cancelled out by women and the elderly. Unfortunately, about 1/2 of democrats in California tend to vote by absentee ballots, and a lot early, this gives Hillary the edge, because of her past lead here. I believe New Mexico will go to Hillary, governor Richardson sat heside her at the super bowl, and her strength with hispanic voters will do her well here.
I have no idea what the hell will happen in Alaska, American Samoa, Kansas, and Democrats abroad. I believe Alaska to go Obama but its a large state with no polling data, a small populace and a republican bent. Basically I’m pissing in the wind and guessing that they hate Hillary. The last poll in Idaho was conducted in mid december and shows al gore in the lead – I’m going for Obama, since Hillary seems to admit that he is in the lead there. I’ve given Obama a small lead in Kansas due to the strong support by State Senate members.
I can’t be bothered doing a proper Republican rundown, since McCain will win and the democratic race has become far more exciting. I might write something on it tomorrow.
February 04, 2008
With Lost returning to the television screens, and its mass fans worldwide, its easy to ignore the fact that its an inconsistent program. Sometimes its plotting drags, and whilst most characters are well developed now, both Hurley and Charlie started out as joke figures in my mind. With this in mind I decided to list a few programs that I feel ought to be viewed by anyone interested in serious drama. This is by no means an exhaustive list – since I generally don’t watch much tv drama (too much crap around).
Now complete family crime drama, the show juxtaposes the family and business interests of its main character, Tony Soprano. This allows for in detailed characterisation, and the opportunity to bring a variety of characters together, from his daughter’s university friends to hardened criminals. Tony is a fascinating study in and of himself – my personal favourite is the manner in which he eats, it has a very special idiom to it. He plays with his food obsessively, then eventually his takes his fork, stabs one element of it, and eats it – swallowing quickly. Often it seems as though his eating habbits are a compulsion, a comfort for a man who has difficulty expressing his emotions. The strong supporting cast and character driven nature of the show are also highlights.
The show is set from the point of view of its serial killing title character. Fascinating insite is given to the relationship between people, through Dexter’s description of how he ‘fakes’ human emotions. The show is driven forward by his discovery of how Dexter became the way he is. Another point of interest is they way his moral code guides the way he acts and the judgements implicit and explicit within its development.
This nineties prison drama, set primarily in the experimental wing of the Oswald State penitentiary. The fast moving plot frequently focusses on the infighting between different ethnic groups within the prison. Overall narration is done in the style of classical greek theatre – with interludes where the key theme of each episode is discussed. The show deliberately chooses to offer ambiguity in response to key criminal issues – such as the debate between reforming and incarcerating prisoners.
House of Cards
Miniseries from 1990 that charts the rise of its lead character – Francis Urquhart – in a post Thatcherite conservative party. The series had the good fortune to be aired at the same time as the internal struggle surrounding Thatcher’s departure, however, it still stands the test of time. Urquhart is portrayed as a Machavellian political machine, only interested in his own political rise. The show depicts the corresponding fall of those manipulated by Urquhart’s underhand dealings. There are frequent parallels with Shakespearean work, notably Richard III. My favourite aspects are the short solliloques, and frequent glances to camera given by Urquhart that reveal his true intent and the brief shots of rats that increasingly appear at times throughout the show.