Tuesday, February 28, 2006


In addition to Bryan's post about possible civil war in Iraq, here's FOX NEWS' take on the brewing potential. Classy as always:

The Long Halloween

Every once in a while, I just withdraw from the world and do very little but read. The last while has been one of those periods. I've been reading text books, fiction novels and lots of comics. Every once in a while, the storytelling you find will just knock your socks off, no matter how many times you may have read the material.

I picked up Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's "The Long Halloween" again. I've read it probably a dozen times, but it never ceases to amaze me. Loeb's cinematic style of storytelling is quite a sight to see in combination with Sale's stylized art. It's also fun to see which of my favorite gangster movies are obviously Loeb's favorite as well. (The first line of dialogue in the book has Bruce Wayne telling a mob boss, "I believe in Gotham City." Familiar?)

Jeph Loeb just manages to raise the bar on superhero comics. In fact, he's sort of ruined Batman for me lately. I've read Batman faithfully every month since Knightfall. After Hush, nothing seemed to stack up as well. And Judd Winicks run has done nothing but piss me off. (In Hush, Jeph Loeb brought Jason Todd back to life for a brief moment (it was really Clayface) because he knew how stupid it would be to really bring him back. Judd Winick really brought him back. Balls to that.)

Plus, the whole killing the Spoiler thing kind of pissed me off.

Anyway, long story short: Go read the Long Halloween. If you've never read it before, you're in for a treat, if you have read it before, read it again. You'll find that you can enjoy it on a completely new level.

On a sidenote: Does anyone know why they haven't created an IMDb sort of database for comics? I can't begin to tell you how useful and awesome that would be.

Things in Iraq Improving

No, really. Things are great there.

Regardless of political stripe, you'd have to be a fool to not agree that a civil war is brewing in Iraq. Regardless of political stripe, you'd have to be a fool to think that we can do a damn thing about it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


Here are some great videos (courtesy Crooks and Liars) that cover the current Dubai Port Security wackiness:

Bush's War on History

I thought this was an interesting editorial in today's Washington Post. I've known about this business Bush has been pulling for a while, but I never put much thought into it. I've been thinking alot about this lately and the editorial seemed to come at the right time.

I think all documents in the government, unless pertaining to legitimate, current National Security issues should be declassified after 10 years. Regardless of their content. "Documents" should also include phone calls, emails and any other type of communication. These officials, regardless of party, have been elected (or not) to do the peoples business. It's in our best interest to know what's been going on in our name.

I just think what Bush has done to prevent this innocent window into the actuality of administrations is particularly troubling. It's dangerous to suppress history like this.

Anyone else have any thoughts about this?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More updates soon

I've been flat on my ass sick for the alst couple of days. As soon as I'm well enough to once again form coherent sentences I'll write some original blog material.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I saw Sigur Ros in Denver last night. It was inexplicably the best live performance I've ever experienced. I've been a die-hard Radiohead fan for about 10 years now and I didn't think anyone could top the two Radiohead concerts I've seen. But, Sigur Ros blew me away. They performed in the Paramount Theater and everyone stayed seated during the show. This was great because I got to sit back, relax, and soak in the music instead of having numb-skulls jumping all around me. If you don't know Sigur Ros, then I'm not even going to explain what kind of music they play, because I can't. I have no idea how to explain it. It's just simply brilliant. The lead guitarist plays his guitar with a violin bow. They use huge 40 foot video screens that show bright and colorful images such as a little girl picking flowers in slow motion. If you mixed "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" with David Lynch's "Lost Highway", and had Jerry Bruckheimer produce it and Terrance Malick direct it, then you'd get the movie version of Sigur Ros.

Enjoy these 2 MP3s. They were the 2 of my highlights from last night:

GLOSOLI MP3 (off the TAKK album)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Borrowed Time

I just wanted to make a bit of an announcement here. Neal Shaffer, our friend over at the Leftwich Commitee for the Proliferation of Thought and Opinion, dropped me an email announcing his next graphic novel project with Oni Press.

The press release is here.

Neal's writing is something that I've come to enjoy for a while now. I've severely enjoyed all of his published work to date and I don't think it's a secret that Elias and I have spent the last year-and-a-half adapting a screen version of One Plus One that we are in the process of getting produced with us at the helm.

So, when Neal sent me the press release for Borrowed Time I was intrigued by the idea and can't wait to read it. I've ordered my copy already. You'd all do well to do the same. And pick up his other stuff too. Pay particular attention to Last Exit Before Toll. I think if I had to pick a favorite Neal Shaffer book (aside from One Plus One, which I'm too close to, to count) Last Exit Before Toll would be it.

Seriously, even if you don't go out and buy any of Neal's books (which would be foolish) you should go buy a comic book of some sort, just to support the medium.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A New Hope?

I'm hoping that news like this keeps coming. I know it's just a show and it probably won't happen and even if it does Bush won't take things far enough. Either way though, its encouraging to see Goerge Bush working to build something instead of tearing it down, even if it is just for show.

Is this him worrying about his "legacy?"

When I heard his "addiction to oil" statements in the State of the Union, that's what it sounded like to me.

At the end of the day though, how can I villify Bush for doing what needs to be done here? It's not enough, but it's a step in the right direction. If he can press this issue and drop the Domestic Terror Agenda and maybe clean up the Iraq debacle a little bit, he won't seem so exceedingly terrible in the history books.

But if Bush heads for the environmentalist rhetoric, the Democrats will be up a creek. This is one of the few issues a couple of them had a spine about.

Let's be honest though. This is how he's going down in the history books, no matter how much he might pull his head out of his ass now.

Monday, February 20, 2006


In an effort to keep the videos and footage of abuse and torture of Iraqis by American and British forces in Iraq available despite U.S. government and Pentagon censorship efforts, we have decided to post them all. What you don't see here you can access through either SALON or SBS. Please note: No high-ranking officials have been held accountable for these atrocities against humanity. Not one.


Here are some pics from the WOLFS and VILE BLUE SHADES show at Starry Night in Provo on Saturday night. It was an amazing live show. There was no stage and so the audience and the band were sometimes just inches apart.

The Wolfs open the show.

Eli, of The Wolfs, sings "Doctor Death".

Steve and Michelle on the floor.

The Vile Blue Shades (who did soundtrack for THIS DIVIDED STATE) do their psychadelic, 3-drum set, trance thing.

After Party above Starry Night.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I've been busy working and doing re-writes (and I took a bit of a break to see "The New World" last night), so blogging has sort of taken a backseat to the heavy traffic of the weekend.

I'm sure I'm going to be posting something tomorrow, but until then, I thought you all might want to read this: I'm not blaming only the GOP for this. It's politicians in general.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Surprise, Surprise

Well, the White House succeeded in derailing a Congressional inquiry to the illegal wire-tapping.

Where the hell is Legislative Oversight when you need it?


[REUTERS/Larry Downing] U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) (L) stares at U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (R) as he testifies about the FY2007 budget for the Defense Department before the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on Capitol Hill February 16, 2006.


Bringing out the Dead

I just wanted to take this time out to shine a light on one of Martin Scorsese's underappreciated masterpieces.

Bringing out the Dead.

I watched it again after quite a long hiatus (a couple of years or so) and have to say that it's an achievement to be sure. The acting, the mood, the tone, the editing, the cinematography... all of it gives you the feeling you're going through Frank's "Hard Times" with him.

It's claustrophobic. It's dark. It's moody. It's scary. Above all though, I think it's hilarious. Bringing out the Dead is probably one of Scorsese's funniest movies. Each of the men Frank is partnered with during the course of the movie gives you a different sense of oddity and wonder through the film, it's almost as though we're watching three films that have one recurring character in them.

I don't know.

Martin Scorsese consistently blows my mind, so I guess this isn't all that big of a surprise. At the end of the day, this is just me reminding you to go pull it out of your DVD library and watch it again. And if you don't have it, you'd do well to get it.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Latest from the Domestic Terror Front

George Bush has outlined his latest plank of the Domestic Terror Agenda to a group of Wendy's (yes, that Wendy's) employees: Private Health Security Accounts they can't possibly afford.

I think this idea is going to go down the same way the social security privitization plan went down. The more he stumps for it, the less popular it will become. I don't think he's got the hint that people generally don't like this private accounts idea, no matter what social program he attaches it to. Next thing you know, we're going to have Pell grants replaced with Private Teenager College Investment Accounts and we're going to have Food Stamps replaced with Private Nutritional Investment Accounts.

People need Health Care. Not this free-market, voodoo economics tax credit crap. If you want more people covered by Health Care, give them Health Care.

Here's a funny piece from Jesus' General as well.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Getting Away with Murder

It comes as no surprise that if Cheney's hunting partner were to die, the "Vice President" would get away with murder. What comes as a surprise to me is that the White House has been playing a political game that's tantamount to political murder and it seems as though they're going to get away with that, too. It seems as though an independent inquiry in regards to the Domestic Spying Program (one small part of Bush's Domestic Terror Agenda) but it has lost significant steam in the congress. Why, you ask? Well, it seems as though the White House has taken a page out of the Abramoff playbook and lobbied members of Congress into not caring.

Both of these stories, the "accidental" shooting of a man and the unchecked eavesdropping on American citizens, represent the problem with the current regime squatting on the throne in Washington. The problem is an inherent feeling that they are above the law. The problem is that they feel that they don't even need to address the people, the law or anything else. In both cases, the administration was mum about everything until it became public.

What else is there that we don't know? What else could there be that they aren't telling us until the press figures it out?

This is scary.

Not so scary because of what the administration is doing behind closed doors and not telling us. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they were raping and torturing the children of terrorists in the oval office and not telling us about it. I just expect immoral and unethical behaviour out of these people. What's scary is that we have to rely on the press to tell us what this administration is up to and they have hardly proved themselves up to the challenge.

Take, for instance, the Domestic Spying Program. The NY Times had that information MONTHS before they published it. Why did they publish it? To coincide with a book that was being released by a reporter. When should they have reported it? When they found out. Why should they have published it? Becuase it's newsworthy when the "President" breaks the law and oversteps his boundaries.

If you ask me, the media is the key to the administration getting away with all of this horrible stuff, especially the Bush Domestic Terror Agenda.

We need to, somehow, force the media into paying attention and caring again. Maybe we should organize free screenings of "All the Presidents Men" for them. Especially Bob Woodward.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


As you may or may not know, I made a documentary film entitled THIS DIVIDED STATE. The film chronicles Michael Moore's controversial visit to Utah Valley State College 2 weeks before the 2004 presidential election. Protests, bribery, and death threats descended upon the school in a fanatical effort to cancel Moore's speech. One of the key players of the documentary was Joe Vogel. Joe was the Student Body Vice President and was ultimately responsible for inviting Michael Moore. In the end, Joe was forced to resign from his office and lost a scholarship because of his involvement in the Moore fiasco. As facts began to emerge about Joe's resignation, it became clear that it was because of a "tell all" book that Joe was writing that caused many people in the college administration and Utah legislator to get all pissed off and punish Joe. You see, Joe had been present in many secret meetings and had heard first hand the corruption that lied under the surface of the quiet Utah town of Orem. Now, that book, full of explosive facts and extremely frightening accounts is hitting book shelves nationwide. Joe has called it FREE SPEECH 101. Not only does it talk about the Moore controversy, but expounds on the growing trend of colleges and universites becoming corporations owned and controled by those with money, power, and agendas. A very important book...

Check out Joe's BLOG here.

Check out the website for FREE SPEECH 101 and ORDER AN ADVANCE COPY.

Bush's Domestic Terror Agenda

The image “http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/ALLPOLITICS/06/12/bush.terror/txtop.bush.bio.terror.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
I was just chiming in to offer a proposal. I vote that we begin to refer to all of Bush's Domestic Budget cuts and damaging reforms for social programs (privatizing social Security, Health Care savings plans, etc.) as Bush's "Domestic Terror Agenda."

If the Democrats are able to succesfully convince the American people that what George Bush is doing to the Domestic affairs of the country is tantamount to terrorism (and I think it is) then they could really turn it into a campaign issue with legs.

The first step in this direction is "branding." We need to brand Bush's proposals as what they are: the "Domestic Terror Agenda." Then we'll be heading in the right direction. And if you think about it, this isn't all that different than telling liberals that they hate freedom because they think PATRIOT Act is bad.

George Bush Is A Sicko

Just read this in The Washington Post. This is completely baffling. How can Americans still get behind this guy?

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the article:

"President Bush has requested billions more to prepare for potential disasters such as a biological attack or an influenza epidemic, but his proposed budget for next year would zero out popular health projects that supporters say target more mundane, but more certain, killers.

If enacted, the 2007 budget would eliminate federal programs that support inner-city Indian health clinics, defibrillators in rural areas, an educational campaign about Alzheimer's disease, centers for traumatic brain injuries, and a nationwide registry for Lou Gehrig's disease. It would cut close to $1 billion in health care grants to states and would kill the entire budget of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center."

George Bush tells Christopher Reeve to burn in hell.

C'mon, America, this isn't rocket science. Could a fear-mongerer such as George Bush be any more obvious? Less money for the people. More money for the machine.

Also, you should know already that Michael Moore is making a documentary about the American Healthcare system.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Jesus' General

The General (JC Christian, patriot) has posted a letter he wrote to President Sederburg about the Vagina Monologues in response to the essay that Phil wrote and I posted here.

It's good times.

Torture at Gitmo

I read this over at the Raw Story and it's sort of good for Cheney that he shot a man in the face because that will get all of the media attention instead of this.

Apparently, the US is going to get reported to the UN because there is torture and human rights violations happening in Gitmo.


These guys love their torture.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cheney Shows True Colors


It's been a busy weekend. I was busy reminding my kids they still have a father.

Anyhow, I got an email from Phil Gordon, one of the Producers of This Divided State and he's published a couple of essays lately and I wanted to link to them so everyone could check them out.

This first one was an essay about the Vagina Monologues published in the Daily Herald.

This next one is an essay about Dr. Steven Jones' visit to UVSC. I was working otherwise I would have been there. I have been told by a number of people that it was the speaking engagement of the year at UVSC. It's an amazing scientific look at how the two planes could not have possibly taken the Twin Towers down. If anyone is paying attention, this is probably going to be the next big credible theory that people are looking at and giving attention to in the near future.

So. That's it for this update.

Friday, February 10, 2006

In Memoriam

Phil Brown

"He'd better have those units on the south range by mid-day or there'll be hell to pay."

Outrageous news roundup

I want to make up for the infrequent posts the last couple of days I wanted to comment on a couple of the news stories that have come out and offer my opinion (as though anyone but me cares about that.) And the picture I chose for this post was chosen because it's newsworthy, not because I want to offend.

1) Cheney told Scooter to leak the info: First off, this just illustrates this administrations over-zealous nature when it comes to dealing with information they don't like. Secondly, this coming out could be very bad for Cheney vis-a-vis Patrick Fitzgerald. It doesn't seem as though that guy misses a beat and I'm wondering if a Grand Jury indictment isn't in the offing for Cheney as well as Rove. That would be good times.

2) Bush Administration mis-led the public to justify the war in Iraq: Yikes. That's all I have to say. Even when you know in your heart something is true but you can't be 100%, it's still a kick in the groin when you find out with certainty that it was true plus some all along.

3) George Washington and Abe Lincoln had broader reaching electronic surveillance programs than Bush: Alberto Gonzales is the Attorney General of the United States. He should be smarter than this. I've shown this to quite a few people and they don't actually believe it's real. I assure you, the Attorney General of the United States is this stupid.

4) This Danish cartoon controversey is just silly: I have to say though... The reaction to these cartoons is only half a step further than Kay Anderson's battle-cries against Michael Moore. I mean, there were death threats, protests, bribes...

People really need to stop getting offended by words. They don't mean much of anything. I mean, if the Danes were killing Muslims, then I'd say, "be my guest, storm the embassy." But a cartoon? That's just silly, man. It's important for me to make a distinction between most muslims and those that are extremists like Kay Anderson. The majority of Muslims are moderate, reasonable human beings. It's the crazy fringe groups that are storming embassies....

New Short Story

I've posted a new short story over here.

Check it out and let me know what you think. Read the rest of everything there too and leave some comments about that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Last year, plans to build a $30 million digital learning at Utah Valley State College was suddenly cancelled by the Republican Utah Legislature because of the college's decision to invite liberal filmmaker Michael Moore and, later, its production of "The Vagina Monologues". The learning center was, obviously, meant to help students learn. But, the legislature decided that UVSC was becoming "too liberal" and so they punished the students by taking away something that would help and strengthen them. SEE: THIS DIVIDED STATE OFFICIAL SITE

So, this year, UVSC has behaved like a good little boy and it seems like they'll be rewarded, finally, with the digital learning center. True, "The Vagina Monologues" were still performed, but it had to be censored. UVSC did not allow the use of the word "vagina". The event is now referred to as "The Monologues" or "The V-Day Monologues".

So, the message is this: If you want something in life, sell out to whomever has money and power. Even if that means sacrificing free speech and academic freedom. Keep it up, UVSC! You are owned!

New York Doll

I went to a discount movie theatre last night and viewed New York Doll for the second time. I have to say it actually packed a larger wallop. I'm amazed at how good, yet decidedly unknown out of certain circles, this movie is. If I could see a movie this good every week at the theatre I could die a happy man. It pleases me to think that there are movies this good that actually get released and it pleases me doubly so to think that they can make it into discount movie theatres where some people catch their movies exclusively. But this movie just speaks to people (mormon or not, I'm not) about a lot of things and it's also a well-structured history lesson and it's a fascinating character study of an amazing character. Arthur "Killer" Kane is one of the most lovable on-screen characters ever filmed, fact or fiction. It's just fun to watch him.

In fact, I think this film has actually changed from "Runner-up" to number 4 on my top five favorites of 2005 list. (I can't decide which film I should take off the list though.)

If you live in the Utah County area, there's only until tomorrow night to see it on the big screen and then it's gone. It's my considered opinion that you need to go see it tonight or tomorrow. If you don't, then God will hate you.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Oh, SNAP! Bush Gets A Proper Smack Down...

Bush got a serious smack down during the funeral of Coretta Scott King from both a Reverend and a former president. Here's some excerpts (Remember, Bush was sitting right there):

The outspoken Rev. Joseph Lowery, co-founder of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, ripped into President Bush during his short speech, ostensibly about the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.

"She extended Martin's message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions way afar. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," Lowery said.

The mostly black crowd applauded, then rose to its feet and cheered in a TWO-MINUTE-LONG standing ovation!

A closed-circuit television in the mega-church outside Atlanta showed the president smiling uncomfortably.

"But Coretta knew, and we know," Lowery continued, "That there are weapons of misdirection right down here," he said, nodding his head toward the row of presidents past and present. "For war, billions more, but no more for the poor!" The crowd again cheered wildly.

Former President Jimmy Carter later swung at Bush as well, not once but twice. As he talked about the Kings, he said: "It was difficult for them then personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated as they became the target of secret government wiretaps." The crowd cheered as Bush, under fire for a secret wiretapping program he ordered after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, again smiled weakly.

Later, Carter said Hurricane Katrina showed that all are not yet equal in America. Some black leaders have blamed Bush for the poor federal response, and rapper Kayne West said that Bush "hates" black people.

Bush's Budget

We live in a country where the vital social safety net programs that we've put in place help those most down on their luck and some, like me, hope that we could help more. We live in an world where we are taught to take care of each other. We live under the auspices of World Religions that preach the unconditional love of your fellow man.

But today, we also live in George Bush's America. In this dark place come fears that the poor might get too much and the rich might have to sacrifice a little. In this hell, money is merely an imaginary tool, used to keep wealth in the hands of the very few. We live in a time where the economy is closing factories and shipping jobs out of the country as fast as you can say, "Bob's your Uncle." We live in a time where all of the social programs we've set in place to make sure that the poor don't starve and the elderly don't get sick are at risk because the rich don't care.

From the Washington Post:

Although the budget's overall shape traces the patterns Bush has drawn in past years, it contains one major new theme: curtailing expensive entitlement programs that provide a safety net for the poor, the elderly and the disabled. In his written message to Congress on the first page of the budget, the president calls those costs "unsustainable" and says they represent "in the long term, the biggest challenge to our nation's fiscal health."

I counter-propose that the biggest challenge to our nation's fiscal health is the War in Iraq (not to be confused with the War on Terror. Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (S.C.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said: "A budget is a statement of moral choices, and this budget makes the wrong choices." Increased is spending on war-making programs and materials, decreased are the programs to keep us healthy and fed.

On top of this budget (which purports to create a $423 Billion deficit) considerations haven't been made for the extra $120 billion that the administration has asked for, once again, to cover the costs of war in Iraq and rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.

Add to that Bush's refusal to let go of his ill-advised tax-cuts and we have a major financial crisis looming over our heads. His tax-cuts, his war and his budget cuts just can't work together.

I think one of the other major considerations people aren't taking into account is that there are people who can't survive without these social safety net programs. If Bush starts axing people from them, it will be left up to the states to deal with. Some states can't take care of themselves as it is, imagine what will happen when they receive an extra burden because George Bush is morally bankrupt. Sadly, the only by-product of his moral bankruptcy is the financial bankruptcy of this nation.

Huffington Post article

Steve got a guest blog spot over at The Huffington Post. They published it today.

Here's the link.

It's a good essay if you ask me.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Prestige

I got finished reading Christopher Priest's "The Prestige" which is the basis for Christopher Nolan's next motion pitcure of the same name. I have to say, I really think the film is going to be dynamite. I hope, anyway. There are a lot of different ways this material can be adapted and if the adaptation was as skillful as it could/should be, then this film will be one to watch. Doubly so when you consider the amazing cast Nolan has assembled (Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansen, Michael Caine, Andy Serkis, David Bowie, etc.)

I was fascinated by the style of writing in the novel as well. It's framed around a story in the present and ancestors of the two lead characters reading their diaries from the 1870's to 1904 or so. It was a terribly interesting exploration in points of view.

I'm still not sure about the ending, but I'm going to re-read it pretty soon, but I would say that it's worth reading. It's an interesting excercise in perception.

Alberto Gonzales

I've been listening to the hearings on NPR or watching them on C-Span as I've been working to today and I have to say that Alberto Gonzales can "bob and weave" like nobodies business. The problem that I have about his arguments is very simple. Whatever any law, statute or FISA document says, he's still butting his head against this:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The fourth ammendmant doesn't really offer any wiggle room about doing anything without a warrant. If you're in the US, this doesn't not cover you if you're talking to someone not covered by the Constitution.

I don't know, it seems as though a bi-partisan consensus agrees that FISA should have covered this. It seems as though a bi-partisan consensus agrees that Bush has "most likely" broken the law here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006



Me and Roger Donaldson, Director of The World's Fastest Indian

Roger Donaldson introduces The World's Fastest Indian

Me and Kristi at Gothenburg Harbor

Me with my Scandinavian Distributor, Smile Entertainment

Street signs of Gothenburg

Oldest Building in Gothenburg, from the 1600's

Caviar for breakfast?