Saturday, August 19, 2006

Laguna Beach 3: They stand up, we stand down.

We'll start with a quiz of the Drudge-advertiser variety – match the
gender to the Laguna Beach Season 3 character:
Answers below

I can't think of a rational link between our Iraq adventure and the
social narrative of MTV's Laguna Beach, but after the debut of Season
3, I'm convinced there is one.

Season 1 was the invasion and the illusion of success. The locals
appeared friendly, sort of, and there was reason to believe that peace
and good intentions might win out. The fabulously rich and spoiled,
it turned out, were good hearted, eclectic, curious, quirky and
occasionally bright (also, Lauren and Kristen were Bond-girl hot in a
two-piece, which they habitually wore). They were like us, and when
they weren't exactly like us, they behaved like we hoped we might,
as when Steven juggled the affections of Lo and Kristen, and actually
looked for a decent option to spare the loser with a fair peace.
These kids did normal things like beg their parents for cars, fail
algebra, look lost when they visited the big city and get drunk when
their parents weren't looking.

But was this whole experiment breeding a new generation of terror-kids?

Season 2 was the slow slide to anarchy as the locals and the influx
of new blood lost respect for authority and realized that – in the
vacuum of the power left by the invasion – they could do anything they
want, anytime they wanted. They got drunk in limos and around their
pools in the middle of the day. They deployed sex in more and more
ruthless, haphazard ways, and the body counts piled up. Dignity and
brains (and any semblence of 'normal' high school behavior)
disappeared as ruthless, cruel kids rushed in to grab turf, all
orbiting militia-head Kristen, who was rumored to be dating people
like Nick Lachey Matt Leinart, the King of LA, where EVERYONE said
they were moving. Like all Khans before her, Kristen ruled with
cruelty, ruining enemies and friends alike almost every week.

Had we lost control? Was it time for a different course?

It's legacy at stake, MTV pushed on.

Now it's Season 3 and regardless of what Tony Snow might call it,
we're in open civil war. The insurgents are now the only power, and
their only voice is violence. Like Al Zakahir, Kristen is gone, and
rival groups are now inventing new ways to be horrible to each other.

Like this Kyndra. Holy crap. DO NOT get caught out alone in any
sector of the city her loyalists control. One minute you're getting
sushi with some water polo buddies, the next minute you're blindfolded
with dudes holding swords behind you.

This week's season debut culminated in a pool party at Kyndra's
house, with key lieutenant Cami, the kind of pool party where all the
girls wear jeans and corsets (?), playing tough to the normal
distribution of skinny jocks.

(sidenote: Cami must REALLY be easy, because despite huge tits she's
the worst looking central character to date)

In walked Tessa and her bestest friend Rocky. Kyndra was Super pissed.
Glares, pointed fingers, fabulously fake hugs. Nothing new here.

Then we saw just how bad its got.

The two camps – Tessa's and Kyndra's – separated into groups across
the pool deck, and, after a few minutes of glaring and cattiness,
began openly yelling taunts at each other. "Yeah, I'm talking about
you, bitch" etc.

An unthinkable break of the social norms in previous season (plus:
nobody hated each other THAT much, at least not until Cabo).

Soon enough, Tessa and Rocky retreated – "Whatever" "I'm so over
this" – out of the pool to the Green Zone, I guess. And Kyndra and
Cami declared it bikini-time.

And finally, back for more abuse this year, is Jessica Chalabi, whose
ineptness in the political arena is getting so ridiculous, she may
soon start getting fan mail from Christopher Hitchens.

The central Himbo this season is Cameron, who unlike last year's
human trash can Jason, at least looks the part, something akin to a
water polo-version of Trev Alberts.

Now stop me if you've heard this: the season opens with Jessica
having just hooked up with Himbo, bragging to Alex M (who rejoins with
muscle-for-hire Alex H (!) in reprising their award winning 'I wish I
was as pretty as my friends'-roles) that she and Himbo are on their
way to being a couple. Cut to Himbo talking shit with his boys,
making fun of Jelabi for, essentially, being enough of a slut to hook
up with him.

Where's this going? Anyone want a stab?

Yip. As the ads are already telegraphing in next week's episode
"Summer Gives Way To Fall-uja," Kyndra is about to lay siege to Himbo.

(I may have gotten my Alexs switched up above. Who can keep up?)

Published accounts have said the entire town turned on the show last
year as they filmed, running them out of public places and ruining
shoots. As a result – and this is a key parallel with Iraq today –
anything here that might be presented as "normal" (ie, rival groups
of girls attending the same pool party; meaningful elections) can now
be assumed to be a carefully scripted and delivered act, with no
relation to reality. And for the second straight year, the cast just
isn't as good looking as the first go-around, and why spy on rich kids
if they look like us?

But I suppose I'll watch for a while, even if we're unlikely to see
any of those adorable

Like Iraq, we broke it, we bought it.

Kyndra (F), Kel (Kelan, M), Lex (F), Rocky (Raquel, F), Cam
(Cameron, M), Tessa (F), Chase (M) and Cami (F).

Friday, August 11, 2006

Terror: "Can't Stop. Won't Stop. Bad Boy. Uhhhh."

Deep Breath.

We had'em WAY before Hello.

Way before 'going operational.'

Way before 'dry run.'

Way before 'gel bomb.'

(Gel bomb? Really? A Gel Bomb? They have those now? I hadn't heard
of the Gel Bomb. I'm going to remember that. Gel. Bomb. Got it.)

I think my wait-a-tick alarm went off with this picture:

those are Mass. state cops - 'fawkin staties' as Ben Affleck might have
put it to Damon, but we can't put it that way today because Freedom Is
At Stake.

First question: how many tires did he put on the sidewalk when he
parked it right outside that door? I say 3.

But take a close look. Pretty much your prototype 1 - overmacho cop and
2 - overbored cop, huh? I mean - seriously.

See those guns? You might recognize those as MP5s. You might want to
remember that, too, because if you can talk "MP5" to people, you've
got a good chance of passing yourself off as a SEAL. Seriously. A
little technique I like to use - throw in: "SD4-mod, with the
three-round burst."

Go ahead - feels good to be a gansta, huh?

Fortunately, these two have the kind with built in silencers (that's
the SD-mod part, Killah). 'Suppressors' they call them in the biz.
Sure, they slow down the bullet and make it less stable so you're more
likley - emphasis on 'more' - to miss, but when you're watching people
huck their bags at Logan, do you want to be without it?

He's also wearing what we call "a combat sling." Too bad its wearing it wrong. How wrong? Its adjusted so that the rifle is hanging straight across his
pistol, which he'd need if his high-speed, low-drag,
as-seen-in-The-Rock MP5 malfunctioned, which kind of defeats the
purpose of the Combat Sling.

And I'm sure I don't have to point out the Vest. Probably spotted
that before the forearms, huh?

So he's incorrectly wearing more rifle than he - and certainly she - knows what to
do with, with a silencer in an airport, along with
the i'm-a-dick Vest in the country where the terrorists aren't.

AND not helping that dude with his bag.

But at least you know where your Homeland Security dollars are going.

So a quick checklist:

- Local Yokels of every kind breaking out their Big Big Toys and
standing around with a supreme sense of importance and not shit-all to
do? Check

- Almost immediate emergence of Something New To Fear (blue gel -
run!)? Check.

- Orange Alert! No, Red! Check?

- Dubya: "Islamic fascism" and leave me alone about Iraq? Check.

Yip - the Captain has turned on the "We're Overreacting" Light. As
always, the "They're Lying To Distract You" Light will be on
throughout the flight.

So let's take a step back here, and ask ourselves, Just What Have We
Got? What the hell exactly have we got here?

Here's what: 24 (24!) london Kids who have spent at least the last
year talking about pulling off a series of bombings that would be - on
technical grounds, tactical grounds and strategery grounds -
absolutely unprecedented.

Again: Incredibly complicated. Unproven methods. Reliant on perfect
timing. And makes no sense.

They have a word for plans that combine all those elements: That
word is 'bullshit.' And oh, yeah, all of your
chemist/commando/spy/planners did not grow up in Saudi Arabia and
spend the last five years in Chechnya.

They've been in London, which, since their muslim, probably means
half of them secretly wish they were Ali G.

So Ladies and Gentlemen, Victims and Vicettes, put your
hands together for "9/11 part II"!!!! Give it up!

Or if you prefer, "8/10" as some british papers are
solemnly calling it today.

8-slash-10. For 24 London kids who talked up a big fuckin' game,
for at least a year. And how do we know it was a year?

Because, as Sam Kinison might have put it, they were onto them A

And consider: they gave themselves away a year ago, ERGO they were
being watched for a year AND DIDN'T FIGURE IT OUT!!!!

You've been such a great crowd, how about another big hand
for "Even More Spectacular than the World Trade Center Attacks!" What
a night its been!

For this parents are forced to eat baby food in the line to prove
its not Death Gel?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!? "8/10"!!?!?!?!?! MP5s IN THE


These were the worst terrorists ever! I think half of Hezbullah
quit shooting Jews yesterday. "What's the point?," they all said,
shrugging their shoulders and tossing their Iranian-supplied rockets
to the ground. "If we're gonna get lumped in with these guys, I say
we just go to Jordan and get laid."

these were the suckiest terrorist who ever sucked!

these were like the terrorist version of that Friends episode where
Courtney Cox's boyfriend swears he's going to be an Ultimate Fighter
and ends up in a body cast!

these were like the terrorist versions of the answering machine
scene in Swingers!

My God, do you know what this means? these were like the terrorist
version of John Favre TWICE!!!!!!!

Pardon me while I decline to shit my pants in fear.


I WOULD like to know where the money came from. Actually, first I'd
like to be sure there actually WAS money, and then I'd like to see
where it came from. And then I'd like to bomb that place (aside: I
bet its not Iraq! Come on, anybody wanna bet? I'll give you the
whole country and kuwait at 2 to 1! Bet it's not there!)

Pakistan, a few reports have said, which is odd, because I thought
that they were our friends, except for the whole
hiding-Bin-Laden-the-last-five-years thing and the
thing, and that generally not helping us at all thing. but except for
all that, their on our side!

And can you really blow up a plane - BLOW UP A FUCKING PLANE, MADE OF
HURTING ITSELF - with bleach, blue gel and (did I get this right?) the
flash from a camera or a vigorous rubbing?

Are we committing mass murder or sticking balloons to the wall?
Would this really work?

Questions remain. Attention is merited. Good for the Brits, good for
the Staties and good for Islamic Fascism, war-against-ily.

but let's all take a deep breath.