Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lost Bloggin Season 4 Preview

You asked for it, you got it. After an outpouring of support and angry letters from fans...well...at least people asking, "What happened to that Asian guy who wrote the Weekly Mog, 1/2 Man 1/2 Am-Asian makes his triumphant return to the Mog with the first new installment of Lost Bloggin' for Season 4.

DJGel: Well, sir, I have to be the first to say welcome back. I think it’s kind of funny how you still have the second-most posts in BlogMogger history despite your extended hiatus. Well done sir.

At any rate, nothing has really happened since last year’s epic close to Lost Bloggin’, other than a fairly amazing promo on abc, and a somewhat entertaining time-killing game over at find815.com.

However, I think that in light of the preview and having let the season finale soak in for a while, we might be able to piece together what is going to happen this (probably half) season.

My new theories basically revolve around Jack somehow getting back to the island before the end of the season. How or why he does it is anyone’s guess. I also think that Sawyer either turns and works for “the new Others” (TNOs), or becomes the leader of the newly-combined survivor/other alliance. This is based almost entirely on his limited quote in the preview, when Kate asks him something like, “What are you doing?”, and he replies, “What I always try to do: survive.”

Maybe I’m crazy, but it seems like it’s as good of a place as any to start. Any thoughts?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I certainly think Sawyer flipping is always a possibility. It really depends on what the New Others have planned. Based on the promos I've seen so far, it seems safe to assume that they're at the island to exploit or gather its powers. I've given it some serious thought and I still can't come up with a unifying theory for all the wild stuff that happens on the island so the New Others could be there for a variety of reasons. Off the top of my head, I'd rule out the Smoke Monster since it has been said to only have protective/security powers for the island. The island's healing powers are somewhat questionable as well as all the pregnant women die; besides, when has a nefarious
ne'er-do-well ever been interested in something altruistic like healing power? Unfortunately, Jacob as a concept is too new to predict if he would somehow have value to the New Others.

I suppose the most logical choice would be the energy source that the island seems to have, whatever it is that got activated or unleashed when Locke let the counter run down and Desmond turned the key. Of course, this is most ambiguous and least pointed mystery on the island. It's like there's this ... energy! And the energy is, like, totally powerful!

You know what? Here my prediction for this season and the rest of the series: one big allegory for religion. It seems like everyone loves doing this -- The Matrix, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings -- so why not those bastards at ABC? I mean, you've got the omnipotent energy. The Smoke Monster is Satan, conjuring up your most intimate insecurities. Jacob's the voice of God who only some people can hear. And Ben's the
pedophile priest. If there ever was a show ripe for cop-out religious metaphors, this is probably it, right? (Clearly, I just have no idea how to put all the pieces together.)

DJGel: Not bad at all, Dave. I think that it is really important to look at their motivation for coming there. My thoughts are that it is a re-vamped, more bad-ass version of the DHARMA Initiative, since they were had by the “Hostiles” (the Others), they realize that they need heavy firepower. Remember that Old Man Widmore was in with the DHARMA people, and he would have access to the picture of Desmond. Shit, for all we know, he put Des on the island somehow in the first place.

Basically, they would be going back there to “get” what DHARMA was there for the first time. Is that the Smoke Monster? Jacob? The, like, energy, man? Who knows?

Any quick final thoughts before the new season starts tonight?

½ Man ½ Am-Asian: I like where you're going. I think it should be interesting to see just how much the New Others know about the island. It didn't seem like DHARMA had actually figured out what was going on and they all got killed anyway. If this means a bunch of the New Others get their comeuppance from the Smoke Monster, I'm on board.

DJGel: Good stuff as always. Thanks Dave.

Questions? Comments? Hate Lost Bloggin' again already? E-mail the BlogMogger team at blogmogger@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Horse Race: Post Florida

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but I’ve been busy trying to craft a fairly manageable schedule for my last semester of school. Fortunately, I’ve now been able to do that, and since I owe you guys a column, and I’m pretty much fresh out of ideas, I figured that I would write another installment of “The Horse Race.” You can find the first installment here.

The Democrats

1. Barack Obama

It looked like he was slowing down for a little while there, what with the Clintons picking up some steam with their key victory in New Hampshire, but he came through with an impressive win in South Carolina on Saturday, and now is squarely in the lead once again. Apparently, he hates Hillary Clinton more than the Republicans do, judging by the recent debates. Also, after experiencing lagging poll numbers among black voters, he’s starting to rebound there, so that’s a plus.

Again, though, I can’t help but harp on the fact that he’s a law professor. Seeing as though I’m back in classes and the professors are all boring as fuck, I can’t imagine what his State of the Union would be like. Everyone says that he’s so charismatic, but I just think he’s like the “hip,” or “cool” untenured professor who is trying desperately to impress his students and higher-ups to get tenure. That’s all fine and everything, but will he keep it up once he’s got it? Or will he become one of these dour, soulless sour-pusses who tries to make life miserable for students with things like “long reading assignments,” “cold calling,” and even the dreaded “attendance policies.” Eeeeee…

2. Hillary Clinton

I would not like to be Bill Clinton right now. He goes out all day telling everyone how awesome his “wife” is, trying desperately to preserve his legacy. Then, he goes home and gets lit into by Hillary for what I can only imagine is hours about her sagging poll numbers and other campaign-related problems, all while he rolls his eyes and sighs. No wonder he probably bags a different campaign groupie every night.

She obviously needs some big wins on Tuesday, or she’s in trouble. Of course, I said that about New Hampshire, and they went out and…er…”fixed the problems” there. So never discount the Clintons.

3. John Edwards

It’s over for him. Might as well go to Clinton and Obama rallies wearing a “Got a Running Mate?” T-shirt. Good luck, Smiley, good luck.

4. Mike Gravel

So Edwards drops out, but this lunatic is still in? Oh boy…

Republicans

1. John McCain

Much like The Terminator franchise, Mikail Bakunin of Lost, and John Travolta, it wasn’t but a month ago that McCain was left for dead. After getting the only delegates on the line in Florida, though, the old man is still right back in it.

This brings up a good point: Since McCain is almost 80, and the Presidency tends to age people at an accelerated rate (if you need proof, go back and look at Bush’s first State of the Union address compared with this last one), if McCain were to somehow win, there’s a good chance his running mate will be pressed into duty here at some point because of fatigue, illness, or even death. Consequently, it’s kind of a big deal as to who he picks. Just another storyline to follow…

2. Mitt Romney

This guy seems slicker and greasier every time I see him. He does seem pretty nice, in that politician, “I’ll smile at you while I fuck you and tell you how smart you are for letting me do it” kind of way, but I can’t imagine this guy talking tough with some mean-ass dictator who would just as soon behead him as try to “cut a deal.” He might do good things domestically, like he was able to in Massachusetts, but he could struggle in foreign policy, where a lot of times “negotiating” consists of grabbing the other guy by the balls and twisting.

3. Mike “Hyuckabee” Huckabee

Starting to flag a bit down the stretch, eh Mike? Not quite as many evangelicals in South Carolina as you thought, huh? It’s only gonna get tougher, big guy. Chin up—you still might be an attractive potential running mate for McCain, which, to be quite honest, would scare the living shit out of me. Still, there’s always the south, and if McCain and Romney cancel each other out in a lot of states, well, then who knows?

4. Rudy Giuliani

Cementing his status as the future example of why you should never ignore the early primaries, Giuliani dropped out today, even though he was the front-runner a few mere months ago. I mean, did his campaign manager not realize how long a month and a half was in primary terms? Was it really worth it to say, “Fuck Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, and Florida—we’re gunning for Super Tuesday!” Let this be a lesson to future candidates: though the rest of the country might not think the Midwest or New Hampshire matter much, they definitely do, especially when it comes to:

THE HORSE RACE!

Questions? Comments? Dislike the political turn this site has taken recently? E-mail the BlogMogger team at Blogmogger@yahoo.com.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Election 2008—The Horse Race (Post Iowa)

I know what everyone is thinking. “Oh no, here goes this wahoo off onto his political soapbox to rattle off all kinds of annoying shit about his own personal politics.” Not so, though in the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself a moderate.

What I do enjoy about these races, though, is the “horse race” that ensues, with most of the “pundits” either spouting off talking points from spin doctors in each candidate’s camp, or speaking directly out of their asses.

Basically, what I’m going to do with all of the election stuff is to poke fun at everyone pretty much equally, while offering my take on who I think has the best chance to be elected. Hopefully it will entertain you all. As always, feedback is appreciated.

The Republicans

Mike Huckabee

What a big win for “the Huckster,” though I’m tempted to use either “Hickabee” or “Hy-uck-abee,” as a nickname, largely because this guy comes off as a bit of a hoosier on camera. It always looks like he has a car (or a bridge) to sell you. He’s riding the religious right pretty hard right now—I’m not sure that can play in the more centrist states which, coincidentally, tend to have more delegates. It won’t really matter, so long as he locks up enough fundraising to become “the frontrunner” by that point. However, I think the GOP will try to nip this one in the bud pretty quickly for three reasons:

1. His super-religious platform won’t play well in a national election where the incumbent super-religious president is polling at around 30%

2. He sticks his foot in his mouth too often. There have already been several incidents when his campaign has had to come out and say, “no, he didn’t mean that. THIS is what he actually meant.” You can get away with that for a while, especially if you’re playing the “he’s a guy I want to have a beer with” angle, like the current President did. Huckabee doesn’t have that same “beer-gettiness” quality that Bush did, though, so it could backfire on him in the long run.

3. He has some really shady business dealings in his past, and you have to be as Teflon as Slick Willy Clinton to be able to be elected with a questionable history. His “squeaky clean” religious image could be soiled by this.

One final note on Huckabee: his victory speech was ridiculous. All he was talking about was not “attacking the people in front of him,” but rather “thanking the people behind him.” Whatever that means. Maybe before talking about “thanking those behind him,” someone should introduce him to Larry Craig so that he can tell him a little something about phrasing sound bites properly. Eee…

With a strong finish in New Hampshire, and South Carolina coming next, he’s in dam…err..darned good shape going forward. If not the front runner, he’s very close.

Mitt Romney

Despite what you hear from the talking heads, I think that it’s fairly impressive for a northeastern liberal Republican to go into the Midwest and get second place, even if he would have you believe that he’s the second coming of Pat Buchanan right now. I caught him on Meet the Press a few weeks ago, and he absolutely oozes “politician.” His big upside is that if he does secure the nomination, he can then play back to the center in the national election with his record from Massachusetts. He’s still in really good shape if he wins New Hampshire.

Unfortunately for him, he has also attacked Chuck Norris, which carries its own heavy risks with it. Don’t be surprised if the Governor disappears for a while, then shows up at a press conference a few days later dragged by Norris, spouting off Huckabee propaganda, all while Chuck winks with a big grin on his face. I’m just saying, don’t be surprised…

Rudy Giuliani

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. After a dismal showing in Iowa, Giuliani has to be considered in third place right now, behind both Huckabee and Romney (in some order). He wasn’t supposed to win—but he wasn’t supposed to lose this badly, either. I’m not quite sure what he’s trying to do right now, other than being the “uber-Romney,” saying, “Sure I’m from a liberal state, but I’m really a bad ass, no nonsense Republican.” Unfortunately, he’s not as slick as Romney, nor does he appeal to single issue voters like Huckabee. I’m not sure what you can do right now if you’re Rudy, other than hit New Hampshire harder than winter in September. Otherwise, he’ll have to continue eeking out a meager existence as a law partner/head of his own consulting firm.

John McCain

Though he beat Giuliani by a wide margin, his move to the right over the past 8 years has seemingly backfired on him. Younger voters he targeted back then don’t trust him any more, and more old-guard GOPers still don’t trust him. He’s really going to need a miracle to pull this one out.

Fred Thompson

Alright Mr. District Attorney, you’ve had a fun little run here, but no matter what your staffers tell you, you aren’t filming a new season of “The West Wing.” Think about it—the writers are on strike—if that’s the case, who’s putting those words on the teleprompter for you? Huh? YOU ARE ACTUALLY RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT, FRED! SNAP OUT OF IT! DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THIS? THIS ISN’T PROTECTING AN AIRPORT FROM TERRORISTS OR BEING PRESIDENT OF TEXAS STATE WHILE THE FIGHTING ARMADILLOS REBUILD! THIS IS THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES!

(Pause)

Let’s move on…

Ron Paul

I like this guy. He’s a hell of a scrappy little spark plug, and he’s starting to raise some cash. He has repeatedly said that he won’t run as a third party candidate, but I’m not sure if that means he won’t run as an independent. Republicans are praying that he doesn’t so that they don’t experience the “Perot Effect.” Still, his big “fuck you” to the establishment, be it Democrat or Republican, is kind of refreshing in this over-polished, totally fake world of national elections.

Duncan Hunter

Who?

The Democrats

Barack Obama

Big, big win for “Baraka” (come on, you Mortal Kombat II fans out there…). He relied heavily on young voters, which tells me that a lot of the old guard Democrats are either dying off or don’t give a fuck anymore (in Iowa, at least). A lot of people have described him as a “breath of fresh air.” Unfortunately, I know for a fact that he used to be a law professor, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a law professor who I would describe as a “breath of fresh air,” though they do tend to have plenty of breath. I’m surprised every time Obama gets up there and doesn’t read from some thick, dense leather-bound book, or when he doesn’t just start every speech by blurting out, “Mr. _________,” while some scared-shitless staffer or audience member raises his hand and furiously shuffles through papers.

Alright, enough law school jokes. I don’t think this win necessarily makes Obama the front-runner of the Democrats. What I do think it does is it bloodies Hillary’s nose a bit, and shows that he can actually win this thing. He’s a very serious threat down the road for the Clinton camp. If he does pull off the nomination, it will be an historic event for democrats, not only for the obvious racial connotations, but also because it would mark a clean break in the direction of the party from the old guard Dems, and more towards an almost European style of New Democrat. He’s in it for real.

Hillary Clinton

Not great. Not the end of the world, but not great. A few things stick out:

-This should be a wake-up call. Hillary kind of thought she could surf through these early parts of the campaign and just make her big entrance at the Democratic convention. Now, that all changes. She’s going to have to spend a lot more of her resources gaining traction in these early primaries—especially entering a state like South Carolina where both Edwards and Obama tend to have more support.

-Obviously, she needs to show better in New Hampshire. What doesn’t bode well for her is that she and Obama were polling neck-and-neck in New Hampshire recently, and Obama’s victory will almost certainly spur more uncommitted voters to vote for him. She needs to get that message out to her supporters so that they can counteract the Iowa bump. The problem is, nobody fucking lives in New Hampshire. Believe me, I know from experience. She’ll be lucky to dress up a few moose as people, then try to teach them (read, beat the shit out of them with cattle prods) to speak enough English to bullshit their way through the voting process. Actually, depending on who’s working the polls that day, this isn’t a half bad idea. I’ve got more ideas if you want them, senator…

-Even if she can scrounge up more support, the demographics from this election should scare the shit out of her. All it’s gonna take is a medium-grade snowstorm (read: a foot) in New Hampshire to skew the voters younger, as older voters would be less willing to brave the elements than younger voters, who favor Obama almost universally.

All she can hope for is a win in New Hampshire. If Obama can sweep through to South Carolina, she will be in really bad shape.

John Edwards

This was a pretty good night for Edwards, though he was expecting bigger things. A second-place finish keeps him in the race, but he really needs a win in New Hampshire (not likely) or South Carolina (more likely) to remain in the race. Otherwise, he would do well to position himself for another Vice Presidential run. I don’t think he’ll resort to too much mudslinging, especially tasteless mudslinging. Still, if he doesn’t want to play second fiddle again, he could pull out all of the stops and wage a filthy, filthy campaign, which would really be unfortunate.

Bill Richardson

No chance.

Joe Biden

Dropped out. While we’re on the subject, shave it already, Joe. Bald can look okay. Slicked-back, thinned out hair cannot. You aren’t fucking Pat Riley. Stop acting like it.

Mike Gravel

This guy just flat-out scared the shit out of me when he was on Bill Maher’s show a few months ago. Yikes…

Chris Dodd

Hey, it was worth a shot, right, big guy? It’s okay, this guy is still a senator. He’ll land on his feet.

Dennis Kucinich

Is this guy still running? Really? I don’t want to make any short jokes here—those are too easy, and quite frankly, I find them rather tacky. Hmm…what about commie jokes? Do kids still get those? The problem is, he doesn’t come off as one of those really tough son-of-a-bitch commies like Brezhnev or Stalin. He’s more like Gorbachev’s rebellious son who chose to go to art school against his father’s wishes. He’s there, yelling and screaming, begging for attention. Actually, wait a minute. I know who he’s more like. Britney Spears!

No, that’s not fair.

He’s not nearly big enough to be Britney. (Ba-doom-ching!)

I’ll be back later with more stuff. Remember to give me some feedback here—I hope it was ed-u-taining enough, and not totally a pain in the ass to read.

Questions? Comments? Want to hit me in the face with a sack of wrenches? E-mail the BlogMogger team at Blogmogger@yahoo.com