Friday, April 10, 2009

Tabor's Top 10 roles for Actors

(Bill the Butcher demands to be ranked higher than #6)

I did my top ten best roles for actresses over a year ago. I’ve been putting off doing one for actors mainly out of laziness but partially out of the difficulty of ranking them. I asked myself the same questions I asked myself while doing an actress list.
1) What characters commanded the audience’s attention every time they are on the screen, regardless of the importance of their role?
2) Did they have the ability to move you emotionally?
3) Were they believable?
4) Were their mannerisms true to their dialogue?
I compiled a list of 20 of my favorite roles and grudgingly widdled it down to 10. I find the things I look for in my actresses is completely different than what I look for in an actor. The majority of the actress roles I selected were focused on women who were tragedy laden. Usually roles involving terminal illness, drug/alcohol abuse, inferiority complexes, etc.
However, when it comes to roles that I enjoy from actors they are much more abrasive, much more in control. Most of these characters are people that you’d never want to meet in real life. They are fun to observe, but quite frankly they are assholes in the purest sense. Here we go!

#10. Daniel Plainview- Played by Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood”

Starting right off with perhaps the biggest jerk on the list. Some of the other characters on this list may have some redeeming qualities but not Daniel. He hates everyone he has ever met and at the end of the film, nothing has changed.
Daniel Plainview begins the movie as a silver miner who accidentally strikes oil while blasting in his mineshaft. After becoming fairly wealthy he realizes people are very weary about helping him because he is such a cruel man. After he finds an abandoned baby in a basket he raises the child as his own, not out of love, but more because people will be more likely to do business with him if he takes this child around with him on business endeavors. He hates people in general and probably wouldn't have anything to do with them, but he needs them to make money. By the time the film is over Daniel has killed people, left towns in shambles, turned his back on his deaf “son”, and even made a minister renounce god to being a myth. He is infinitely mean but we can’t take our eyes off him for a second. Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for this role in 2007.

#9. Lester Burman –played by Kevin Spacey in “American Beauty”

It’s a hard job to make the audience fall in love with a married character whom, in his mid- 40’s falls in “lust” with his daughter’s 18 year-old best friend. He also blackmails his boss, begins smoking pot, and regresses back to his teenage years quitting his real job and getting hired in at a fast food restaurant specifically asking for as little responsibility as possible.
I guess it’s easy for him to justify his actions to the audience when we see how fake and bitter his wife is. His daughter hates him. He doesn’t have any real friends. He is forced to drone on through life as a zombie incapable of happiness. His conscious is awakened when he sees Angela Hayes a fellow cheerleader on his daughters’ squad doing a halftime dance. Apparently this reminds him that there is more to life than going through the motions. He uses his newfound lust as a springboard to his own happiness. Shunning the stereotypes of the American dream that he has strived for only to find emptiness. He begins living the life that he wants rather than what his wife’s expectations are. There is a quote he has in this film that rings so true “You’re never too old to get it back.” It’s a great mantra for anyone who finds himself or herself in the rut of the daily grind.

#8. Tony Montana- Played by Al Pacino in “Scarface”

Such a great role in such a mediocre film. I’ve always wished that screenplay writer Oliver Stone would have opted to direct his awesome script rather than handing it off to the unworthy hands of the horrendous Brian DePalma. This film could have been a masterpiece. But as it is the film itself falls short due to the directing but it is saved by one the greatest actors of all-time, Al Pacino. I didn’t know Al had it in him to be so aggressive, to flow from cool-headed Italian Michael Corleone in the Godfather films to hot headed murdering Cuban drug king pin Tony Montana so seamlessly. The accent he uses in the film is still used by everyone. Even people that have never seen Scarface have heard “Say Hello to my little friend!!” considering that line is quoted in at least 5 films per year since 1983. It’s a basic story of an immigrant that comes to America to achieve whatever the American dream to them. In Tony’s case it’s being the richest, most ruthless, drug dealer who takes what he wants whenever he wants it.
There is depth to his character as well. He does have a soft spot for his sister and children in general. He expresses remorse over killing his best friend. He’s also a hardcore cocaine addict himself, which blurs his judgment on more than one occasion.

#7. Walt Kowalski- Played by Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino”

The thing about Walt Kowalski that viewers must understand is that he’s from another generation. A generation where being a racist was as natural as breathing oxygen. I’m sure many of the people who read this can attribute some of his qualities to their own grandparents. A tough hard-working S.O.B. that values toughness and strength of conviction more than love and compassion. A veteran of the Korean War who has seen more than his fair share of tragedy has caused his own personal relationships with his children and grandchildren to suffer. Clint Eastwood glares and snarls at anyone that makes eye contact with him. He has become a widower in the beginning of the movie and refuses help from priests, neighbors, and relatives choosing isolation as the better alternative.
Walt hates what his Detroit neighborhood has become. Once a healthy a prosperous white area in the 60’s, has now become a mostly Asian dominated ghetto. All of his former neighbors have either died off or taken off for the suburbs during the great white flight. He has no problems dropping racial insults on his neighbors any chance he gets. As the story progresses Walt starts to realize he has more in common with these foreigners than he does with his own spoiled-rotten family. This allows for a wonderfully layered relationship between him and his neighbors, most notably Tao, the young man that ends up looking to Walt as the father he never had, and the son Walt always wanted.

#6. Bill “The Butcher” Cutting- Played by Daniel Day-Lewis in “Gangs of New York”

Like “Scarface” the quality of this movie wasn’t up to my standards but a dominating character like Bill the Butcher can elevate a mediocre movie to Oscar worthy if the academy is enthralled when he is on the screen. Once again here is me rooting for the bad guy. Another racist, another murderer, and another determined individual willing to do whatever it takes for his cause.
Bill “The Butcher” Cutting is the leader of the most powerful gang that ruled the “Five-Points” in New York during the 1850’s-60’s. This was a violent era in American history and the Five Points were the worst of the worst. His gang was called “The Natives” it was made up of men that were born in America. They despised the boatloads of Irish, English, Scottish, etc. immigrants that unloaded in their city everyday. To show their distaste they would murder and pillage from them whenever they had the chance or face them in large-scale battles. Bill is a master with knives and stabbing weapons. He is unforgettable in his battle attire as he clenches a long straight knife in one hand and a thick meat cleaver in the other. His mustache curls up at the sides and his hair is always grimy and gross. His nonstop barrage of insults and hate mongering speeches, as well as a very macabre sense of humor make Bill Cutting one of the most memorable characters of all time.

#5. Gust Avrakotos- played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War”

Those that know me, know that P.S. Hoffman is my favorite actor in the world. His consistency is amazing and his ability to pick scripts is second to none. He has become a leading man over the past few years so it’s surprising to see one of his supporting roles as my personal favorite from him.
Gust Avrakotos was a maverick CIA agent who paired up with Charlie Wilson to help the people from Afghanistan compile weaponry and training to defeat the Russians. He is a no nonsense personality that isn’t afraid to tell his superiors to shove it in more ways than one. He has no filter between what he is thinking and what he says. He spares nobodies feelings in the pursuit of making his point. He is the perfect compliment to Tom Hanks as the smooth talking laid back congressman from Texas. There is something that all working class people can identify with when a man openly calls his boss a douchebag in front of the entire office. To break the glass of a superiors’ office window with a monkey wrench and call him a “fucking child”. It’s not the kind of guy I want to hang out with, but it’s the kind of guy I could watch all day.

#4. Colonel Massoud Behrani- played by Sir Ben Kingsley in “House of Sand and Fog”

This is the quintessential role to show the price that can be paid if you have too much pride for your own good. Behrani is a former Colonel in the Iranian army that lost everything when he was forced to flee Europe with his family. As immigrants to America, Behrani uses all of his money to have his daughter married off to a good family. His family has no idea of the financial hardships that they are under because Behrani has too much pride to tell him that he doesn’t work on the board of Boeing Airlines. Instead he dresses in a suit and tie before he leaves his house then changes into construction gear in a hotel bathroom to work for minimum wage with other immigrants. On the way home he washes in the same bathroom and puts his business clothes back on to keep up the façade for his family.
Upon seeing an auction for a house in the newspaper he finally sees his chance to get some money to put his kindhearted son through college. The house is being sold for a fraction of the value and he sees an opportunity to quickly flip the house for 4 times what he paid. The only problem is that the house was put on auction prematurely and it forced the former tenant a young divorcee played by Jennifer Connelly to move out unfairly. As Behrani hears her argument he refuses to give in and continues to treat her unfairly with his smug arrogance. This sets off a chain of tragic events that results in attempted suicides, murder, and a misguided cop in jail for murder. Upon seeing him and his wife’s only option is to be deported back to Iran and face execution, Behrani does what is the only the option in his view.

#3. Anton Chiggurgh- Played by Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”

Anton Chiggurgh isn’t so much a character as he is an idea. The idea is the wave of violence sweeping the land in the 1980’s. He’s reason why small town cops all carry guns these days. The view that the days of “Leave it to Beaver” and Andy Griffith and Mayberry are a thing of the past. Nobody that has ever come in contact with Chiggurgh are not tainted in one-way or another. They are either left dead, defeated, greedier, scared, or with a new sense of coldness toward their loved ones. He is pure evil disguised in a human metaphor.
Every time Chiggurgh is on the screen the audience tenses up. He kills without discrimination. He verbally bullies everyone that dares talk to him. He threatens to kill family members of people if they don’t give him what he wants. Some may even call him the angel of death. He dresses in all black, his goofy Sir Lancelot haircut just adds to his creepiness. He talks in a deep but sinister voice. He knows what his goal is and goes after it. No matter if he’s shot or hit with a car he refuses to relent on his desire for chaos. Kinda like the Terminator except with principals.

#2. Danny Archer-Played by Leonardo Dicaprio in “Blood Diamond”

I have no idea how Leo was able to take an accent like he used as Danny Archer and made it sound so believable. I’ve never heard anything like it in all my years. A Zimbabwe accent I suppose but the tone and slang were flawlessly realistic. He also dabbles in Rastafarian, and numerous African dialects.
A soldier of fortune forced to watch his family slaughtered at the hands of the African civil war when he was a child, has grown into a heartless yet resourceful diamond smuggler. He knows how to survive in war zones with cunning, brass balls, and enough know-how when it comes to weaponry that even generals give him a wide berth if they can help it. At the news that there is a pink diamond the size of a fist that has recently been found by a fisherman turned slave, Danny agrees to help the slave get his family back in payment for the location of the stone. Danny Archer’s resourcefulness and unflappable nature make us forgive him for being such an asshole in the first ¾ of the film. Great job Leo!! I finally forgive you for “Titanic”.

#1. Peter Evans- Played by Michael Shannon in “Bug”

A very hard role to describe, yet its complexity is probably why I like it so much. It’s even harder trying to describe without spoiling the film for people who haven’t seen it yet. So just in case: Spoiler Warning: Do not read unless you have already seen “Bug” or do not plan on seeing it.
Peter Evans is a drifter who is picked up at a bar by one of Agnes’ lesbian friends. She is worried that Agnes (Ashley Judd) hasn’t had any romantic relationships since her abusive ex-husband was locked up in jail over a year ago. Unfortunately Peter Evans is the very opposite of a healthy relationship. He is a paranoid schizophrenic with a drug problem. His paranoia only fuels Agnes’ own desperation and paranoia. He has her convinced that bugs are living inside his body and he has passed them to Agnes during intercourse. The bugs are a product of his meth abuse as well as military experiments that were done to him. His mannerisms and speech patterns give his character depth beyond what is expected in a horror film. It transcends roles from Brando, Bogart, and any other of the great actors in the history of film. To truly grasp his power one has to invest themselves in the film 100%. Then watch it again. It might not be everybody’s cup of tea but nobody can discount the fervor that Michael Shannon invested into the role.

Honorable Mentions:
-John Goodman as Walter Sobchak in “The Big Lebowski”
-Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro in “Casino”
-Don Cheadle as Paul Rusesabagina in “Hotel Rwanda”
-Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump
-Denzel Washington as Alonzo Harris in “Training Day”
-Mark Wahlberg as Sgt. Dignam in "The Departed"
-Brad Pitt as Detective Mills in "Se7en"


Friday, February 13, 2009

Mike Tabor vs. The Oscars "Best Picture" Edition

Well another February is here and that means 2 things for this guy. Sadly, football season is over. (But I’m proud of my Ravens taking 3rd place in the NFL this year) Yet I’m always happy about Oscar season!! I know most people don’t usually get into the Oscars. Most of the movies don’t do great money wise because they aren’t usually films dedicated to a wide demographic. Most of the time the films are slow on action, heavy on dialogue.
Comedies, Horror films, and Comic book movies usually bring in the cash for Hollywood. The Oscars spit on those movies. (Because they usually suck, and they are geared towards retards with IQ’s less than 50). This year is no different. “The Dark Night” and “Ironman” both grossed more individually at the box office than the 5 nominees for best picture combined.
However, this year is different for me than other years at the Oscars. I usually agree with at least 3-4 of the Oscar nominated movies every year but I have to say this year I don’t agree with any of them, nor do I agree with much in regards to the Best actor/actress, and supporting actor/actress nominations. Last year I agreed with 4 out of the 5 (No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Juno, and Atonement) I feel the Academy got it wrong this year and in the next few paragraphs I’m going to first start with What the Academy picked, why they chose it, why I didn’t like it and what will win. After that I will rank my top 5 in that particular category and why. Hopefully some of you will enjoy. I’m basically just writing this because it’s really slow at work right now and I need something to keep my mind occupied so I don’t go nutty.

#1 (and likely the winner) “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE”- Out of the five pictures nominated for best picture I would have to say this is by far the best. After watching it 3 times I can appreciate its brilliance more than I could upon my first viewing. It’s just such a unique idea for a film. An uneducated teenager from the slums of India goes on “Who wants to be a Millionaire” in attempts to be seen by the girl he has loved since childhood. After answering all the questions correctly except for one because they run out of time on the show, he is kidnapped and interrogated by police to find out how he cheated. To prove his innocence he begins telling the tale of his life in the ghetto and the life experiences that gave him the answers to the questions he was asked. This film is both heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. It’s directed perfectly by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him take home Best Picture and a long overdue best director trophy.

#2 “THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON”- This film was ok. I think its main drawback is that it’s a bit gimmicky for an Oscar winner. It also tries too hard to be emotionally heavy where as the characters don’t convey enough feeling for the audience to really care about them. Nothing happens in this film, it’s a story of love lost in a very untraditional way, but other than that, it’s really just pointless. Brad Pitt does a decent job with a script that was lacking substance. I hope director David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) can get back to doing what he does best, and astound audiences rather than boring them to tears.

#3 “MILK”- Another year for the Oscars and another year to honor anything rainbow colored. It seems the Oscars have an affirmative action rule that must include at least one gay themed film every year, and at least one holocaust film. Well this one is going to be the token Gay Film. It’s the true story of Harvey Milk the first ever openly gay elected official in the history of the United States. I don’t mean to sound bitter because I’m not a homophobe, and this movie actually was pretty good. In fact I usually say that director Gus Van Zant is the most overrated director in Hollywood and this is the only time one of his movies lived up to my expectations. However, I have to give most of that credit to his cast rather than him. Emile Hersch, James Franco, and Josh Brolin provide some of the best supporting work of the year. Top all that off with the enigmatic Sean Penn playing the lead role and you have a recipe for success. It’s about time a movie was made about this guy. He was the Martin Luther King of the gay movement and when he is assassinated because of hatred you really feel for this man who just wanted to love.

#4 “THE READER”- As I said in the previous paragraph, affirmative action for a gay film and a holocaust film. This one is the Holocaust film. Even actress Kate Winslet joked when being interviewed for this film saying “Do a holocaust film, get nominated. It’s as simple as that” Not that she needs any help getting nominated. This fantastic actress is nominated every single year. In this film she is naked for I’d say a good 1/3 of the movie. She is having an affair with a high school boy that has no idea of her former work with the Nazi party. Unlike Ben Button, that felt too gimmicky for an Oscar. This film seems to have been deliberately created to win an Oscar. For that reason it comes off as desperate and pandering. The acting is marginal at best from everyone other than Winslet. Even when it comes to Winslet, she’s good but I’ve seen her much better in films like “Little Children” or “Revolutionary Road”. In my opinion this was the least enjoyable of the 5 nominated films. It’s worth a watch, but I recommend not watching it with parents. I’ve seen softcore porn on “Skinemax” with less full frontal nudity.

#5 “FROST/NIXON”- The Academy loves (director) Ron Howard for some reason. They glorify everything he does no matter how trite and tedious. I enjoyed “Beautiful Mind” but even that was so lacking on the true events that made up John Nash’s life I found it unbearable to watch a second time. I think in Frost/Nixon he was forced to be more factual than other films he has based on true stories because Nixon was such a huge public figure and more than half of the world’s population was alive during these interviews between the two men. This film was somewhat like “Milk” in that the movie itself isn’t astounding, but there are great performances from it’s actors, namely Frank Langella as Nixon, and supporting roles from Kevin Bacon and the always under-appreciated Sam Rockwell. Political junkies will sing the praises of this film, but if you’re not someone that turns on the news as soon as you get home, then you might want to forgo this movie.


#1 “GRAN TORINO”- I cannot believe how badly this movie got snubbed. As far as I know, it didn’t get a single nomination. Not only was it the best picture of the year, Clint Eastwood easily deserved at least a nomination, especially since this might be the last time we see this American Icon on the screen ever again. He plays a Korean War Veteran living in an Asian ghetto in Detroit. He’s as racist as they come and he seems to hate everything from his neighbors to his church, and even his own children. However, upon a chance encounter with the neighborhood whipping boy he becomes a kind of surrogate father and mentor to him and they develop one of the best on-screen friendships I’ve ever seen without having to reach too far into reality to find. Just about everyone I’ve talked to agreed that this film is far superior to anything they had seen from the Academy nominated films above. The Oscars just don’t have much of a sense of dark humor that Eastwood displays so effortlessly on screen.

#2 “IN BRUGES”- This is the one I will call easily the most under-seen, and under appreciated film of the year. Two Hit men played by Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell flee to Bruges (pronounced “Brooje”) after a particularly messy assassination by Farrell. The older of the two played by Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody, for all you Pott-heads) Plays a gentle fatherly type to the hotheaded and pessimistic Farrell. This was easily the best acting I’ve ever seen by Colin Farrell. Maybe because this role he was finally able to play himself. A womanizing, drunken asshole that pokes fun of midgets right to their faces, he even berates some fat American tourists that are trying to climb the stairs to a tower for no reason other than to be a dick. Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort, for the Pott-Heads again) Is spectacular as the head mob boss. He swears like a sailor and threatens just about everyone he makes eye contact with, with a bullet to the head or a boot up the ass. A plot summary doesn’t do justice to a film such as this. When it’s funny, it’s better than any comedy of the year. When there is gunplay, it’s better than any action film of the year. It’s emotionally deep enough to keep on par with films such as “Gran Torino, Milk, and Revolutionary Road” In fact the more I write about this film, the more I’m realizing it’s the most well-rounded of any film this year.

#3 “REVOLUTIONARY ROAD” – This film had me drooling when I first heard about it. Leonardo Dicaprio (my 2nd favorite actor), Kate Winslet, and Michael Shannon (The most underrated actor in Hollywood) starring in the next Sam Mendes film (American Beauty). Are you serious??!! This was a dream come true. Imagine my shock when critics didn’t quite rave about it. In fact, they all seemed rather lukewarm about the whole package. Some critics that I respect downright hated it. It deterred me somewhat from watching it for a few days but then I just hunkered down and said “I have a job to do and that’s to watch every single movie on this list of the top 150 movies of 2008 so I did.” Not only did I enjoy this film after watching it, I absolutely loved it!! A 20 something couple living as drones during the 1950’s just watching as their lives pass by before their eyes begin getting restless. They grow to hate each other passionately but because of the era, things such as divorce and abortion, simply aren’t feasible. Maybe this film had such a profound affect on me because I know a couple exactly like this. The things they say and do to each other are nearly identical. I also am part of the reason for some of their marital issues so between my own personal guilt and my feelings for them there were at least 4 scenes that had me in tears. A very heavy drama.

#4 “DEFIANCE”- Yeah, I was surprised that it made this list too. Like Winslet says, “Make a holocaust movie, get a nomination”. Unfortunately, “The Reader” had already been given the slot for holocaust film so Defiance ends up being the child left behind. An extremely gritty, film starring Daniel Craig and Liev Scheiber as Jews livng in Poland during WWII. They have been forced from their homes by the Nazis and seen their family members killed by the barrel load. The story centers on 4 surviving brothers fending for themselves. However, day by day more and more survivors flee to the woods were they are hiding out until they form a woodland society of their own. Much internal conflict takes place as the 2 eldest brothers have different views as to their course of action. Daniel Craig wants to stay low key and keep people alive until the war ends, whereas Live Scheiber wants the group to join a Russian battalion fighting the nazi’s in the same forrest they are hiding in. Bonds of family are tested remarkably effectively. The suffrage faced by the survivors in extreme cold and hunger with no medicine and no reinforcements makes this true tale even more remarkable in retrospect.

#5 “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE- What can I say, that I didn’t say in the top paragraph. This movie is a great achievement in directing, storytelling, acting, and it’s emotionally charged by one of the best movie romances of the past decade. Jamal and Latika are the new Kate and Leo, especially after seeing what happened to Kate and Leo’s post “Titanic” lives in “Revolutionary Road” Haha.

So that would be my list for best picture if I were on the academy board. Rounding out my top 10 would be.

#6 “Doubt”- Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep? Awesome!! And an unlikely Amy Adams stealing the show? The actors make this story work about a Priest suspected of molestation by a domineering head nun.

#7 Body of Lies- What can I say about this Ridley Scott epic? Leonardo Dicaprio once again dominates the screen, this time as an agent working undercover in Saudi Arabia. Russell Crowe is the mastermind calling the shots from the safety of his own home back in America and playing his own agents against enemies, allies and sometimes each other. The action isn’t over-the-top. It feels real not forced. The dialogue is amazing which isn’t surprising considering who the two lead actors are. Filmmakers will continue to take shots at the American government for unjust wars, manipulation of the public, and inside scandals. Usually those films come off as whiny overly liberal BS, but this one actually gets the message across without trying too hard.

#8 “The Wrestler”- Finally Director Darren Aronofsky has given audiences something watch able again. This is easily his best film since the 2000 masterpiece “Requiem for a Dream” that was robbed at the Oscars by the godawful and predictable Russell Crowe cockfest “Gladiator”. Mickey Rourke deserves to win the Oscar for his portrayal of fictional over the hill pro wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson. It’s heartbreaking, redeeming, and feels so real it could pass as a documentary.

#9 Forgetting Sarah Marshall- Yeah I’m not usually huge into comedies but this one was hilarious. I could watch it everyday.

#10 “Ironman”- My stigma that I attach to superhero movies all being terrible was shattered this year. Between this film and Dark Knight I was forced to eat my words. I think the reason I enjoyed this film so such was Robert Downey Jr. as a loveable Tony Stark. Spiderman is lame as Peter Parker, Superman is lame as Clark Kent, Batman is an absolute tool as Bruce Wayne. All of the X-Men and Fantastic Four crew can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned. The thing about Ironman, he’s the only character more entertaining in his day-to-day life than he is saving the world. His sarcasm and playboy demeanor is something that all superheroes could learn from. Kudos to John Favraeu for finally giving me a superhero movie that wasn’t going straight into my trash can after watching it.

Honorable mentions to “Changeling”, “Wall-E”, and “The Dark Knight”


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Faulty Expectations

A song I wrote about a former relationship. I changed who I was to make someone else happy. I was miserable in turn. I wrote music for it too. Call me sometime I'll sing it for y'all.


Verse 1:
I'm not a puppet, but with you it's like I have no choice
I might as well be a mute cuz when I speak it's not my fucking voice oh, oh
Every moment we're together it's a chore to coddle petty needs
My every want and desire is suspended second to your greed oh, oh
Your greed for attention, your greed to be right, your greed to have your way and my desire not to fight.
I act the way you want me to not out of love, I act like I do cuz when push comes to shove:

I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww
Maybe if I killed myself then you'd finally fucking see
oooh owww
That your expectations are fuckin pitiful to me
oooh owww
And I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww

Verse 2:
I could end it, but I'm too attached to leave
Years of working with you has left me hollow as an empty sleeve oh, oh
I was a very happy person til I met you then I was fooled
and I lost all my friends due to all your fucking stupid rules oh, oh
Your rules to be your servant, your rules to submit, your rules to control and make me feel like shit.
I act the way I do not because I want you near, I act the way you want me to because my only fear:

I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww
Maybe if I killed myself then you'd finally fucking see
oooh owww
That your expectations are fuckin pitiful to me
oooh owww
And I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww

I'm not ready to die, no I'm not ready by far
I'm not ready to die, I can't wish on my scars
I'm in a prison I want out, but where do I go
I'm in this cage behind locked doors as my hatred grows
I don't want to hate you but you're leaving few windows
I'm beginning to play my hate against you like a Nintendo
This mask that I wear for you just cracked under pressure
I feel alive and found myself, my inner treasure...

I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww
Maybe if I killed myself then you'd finally fucking see
oooh owww
That your expectations are fuckin pitiful to me
oooh owww
And I'd rather be dead than to be what you want me to be
oooh owww

(Bridge change, more intense drums, louder vocals)
But I'd rather be alive free of chains and live my life for me
oooh owww
I'd rather keep on living and have you just fucking leave me be
oooh owww
We will both be more happy when you open up your eyes and see
oooh owww
That we'd both rather die than live our lives as a fuckin' "we"
oooh owww
WE, OHHH WE, Ohhh Owww WE, OHHH WE!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Crow Just Sits

I love metal music. I decided to take a break from poetry and try my hand at writing a truly dark and brooding metal song.


Verse 1:
Can you feel the cold?
The crow stares down with malice
Are you what you are told?
The crow invades my palace

Verse 2:
All that I aspire to be
I need to don latex masks
To be the man of your dreams
The crow of nightmares stares and asks

Needing and feeding on your soul I’m breeding
Painful distrust and the façade is bleeding
I have to be told that I will soon die
To avoid this true yet rhetorical lie
Lying for life as I lie for my death
Vengeance rings out through my ice-laden breath
I'm forcing what's not, to hinder my knowing
The crow just sits as my insanity's growing

Verse 3
The crow stares with content
As I squirm and claw my skin
But why should I conform and repent?
The human soul must embrace its sins

Needing and feeding on your soul I’m breeding
Painful distrust and the façade is bleeding
I have to be told that I will soon die
To avoid this true yet rhetorical lie
Lying for life as I lie for my death
Vengeance rings out through my ice-laden breath
I'm forcing what's not, to hinder my knowing
The crow just sits as my insanity's growing

Fuck you! I never asked for your help,now accustomed, I need it more than life itself
So True!! I became a shell of me, and now my pity is a demon in the hell of me.
Why did I subject myself to you? How do you act so warm with skin so blue?
The crow will never get my forgiveness, it’s not like she wants it, so I’ll have to eat it!!…EAT IT!!!

Needing and feeding on your soul I’m breeding
Painful distrust and the façade is bleeding
I have to be told that I will soon die
To avoid this true yet rhetorical lie
Lying for life as I lie for my death
Vengeance rings out through my ice-laden breath
Tearing apart primal visions of hate
The crow must be killed to acheive my fate

Needing and feeding my heart is still bleeding
Needing and seething my mind is still screaming
Outscheming the crow as she dies, now I'm leaving
Acheiving my fate as the shattered come pleading…Pleading!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Election 2008

2008 Election results!! Congrats Michigan!! During this election I voted strictly based on a degree of moderate politics. I choose not to vote for a single republican or democrat. I voted strictly independant and although my votes may have been "wasted" on the politicians I pursued, I gotta say I was proud that my votes on both proposals passed.

Prop 1 was the bill to legalize medical marijuana. Many people say this bill will lead them to legalize marijuana outright, then open up a pandora's box that will allow other drugs to be legalized. I say, "so fuckin' what?" The decriminalization of street drugs would reduce violent crime by nearly 60%. I don't necessarily condone selling heroin and crack in your neighborhood supermarkets but I think by decriminalizing them you're giving the police an option to turn a blindeye and focus on the "Protect and Serve" slogan that they claim to uphold. Mandatory minimum sentences for drug possessions are purely a means to violate human rights.
By keeping drugs illegal we are giving criminals more power. Is little Johnny gonna drop out of school in the 10th grade to sell weed if he's not turning a ridiculously high profit? Probably not. If Marijuana was available at stores then he might as well be going to Sam's club and stocking up on Bubble Yum, because he's gonna have the same margin of profit. Right wingers try to make the point that legalizing drugs will create more addicts. I believe this to be false as well. I have studied countless hours on addiction, I myself am addicted to alcohol. I've spent a month in in-patient rehab, 2 years going to AA meetings, group therapy with alcohol counselors. The same fact remains within all of these circles. There is no higher percentage of people with chemical dependancy now than there was 10, 20, 50, or 100 years ago. 1 out of every 9 people are predisposed to addictive behavior whether it be to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, etc. And that's way it will remain. Legalization of drugs is safer for our communities, it's better for our economy, and it takes the power away from crime lords and and violent smugglers.
During the prohibition era, Al Capone was the richest and most powerful man on the planet and organized crime was at an all time high. After prohibition was relenquished, Capone was just another thug. Did our country go to hell in a handbasket during this period? No, in fact it's probably looked at as the golden age of our countries' history. We'll be just fine with legal pot and decriminalized hard drugs. If the government was really corcerned with people's safety on the issue of drugs, cigarettes would have been made illegal long ago.
Now as far as proposal 2 goes...I have been a staunch supporter of stem cell research for years. I voted yes on this proposal to further expand the research to find cures for many ailments. Mainly diabetes, because my dad has diabetes and I know it's something that will affect me years down the road. I will say however, if I was on the fence about this issue, I probably would have voted "No". They simply had a much better ad campaign on tv. I felt that the "Yes" supporters merely preyed on people's sympathies and did little to describe the facts of their proposal. Whereas the "No" crew did a very good job illustrating the higher taxes that could be enforced on Michigan's citizens, and went on to also describe the other avenues to stem cells that would exclude the usage of human embryos. They also avoided the hellfire and brimstone approach that I was almost positive would be the primary deterant of their ad campaign. One of the ads that did have me laughing was the one that showed all these huge corporations that would use this bill to begin human cloning, even though there is a stipultion within the ammendmant that denies any action of cloning.
Personally, I have nothing against cloning. Ask yourselves this, would the world really be any worse off if there were 2000 more Scarlett Johansson's walking the earth? Probably not. Boom!! Case closed. It would also help us answer the nature vs. nurture debate once and for all. But that is for another blog I will write in the near future.
Overall I have to say I was much more optimistic about this country, and our states' future after this election than I was in 2000 or 2004. I think Obama will do well for our economy and right now that's the main thing. I know that people get bent out of shape about all the small issues but if you look at the history of any country, after the economy is back on the rise, all those little things seem to fall into place.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Return of the Nightmare Deer

September 2nd I posted a blog about a nightmare I had about a twisted and disfigured deer that I tried killing multiple times to no avail. It ended by just laying on the floor screaming and growling at me. This seemed to be the aftermath of an all-out drinkfest the previous weekend that resulted in me blacking out, drunk dialing people I respect, spending too much money, and just falling into the abyss that my life was in 3 years ago. I felt guilty and this was apparantley something in my subconscious. It used to be rather normal for me to drink until blackout status 3 or 4 times a week. However, I haven't been drinking liquor lately and by switching exclusively to beer and only drinking once a week during college football I was happy to be blackout free for the past 2 months. But last Saturday I regret to inform you that I found my limit in beer and suffered similar guilt-ridden feelings that resulted in the return of the deer on Sunday night. This blog also involves 4 dogs from my past that represented different parts of my life and I'm sure there is some symbolism there too.

Here's how the dream played out this time around. I was at my parents house in Williamston right behind the Middle School. I had 4 dogs with me. Cinder and Tiber who belonged to my parents, and Woody and Sammy who belonged to the neighbors I grew up next to in Byron when I was a child.
Sammy was the strangest dog within the dream. He was actually a dog I feared from the age of 3 to 6 or so in real life. He only stood about 18 inches off the ground and he was a mangy white and black mutt. However he made up for his small stature by being extremely mean. Everytime I needed to go down to the lake I had to walk past Sammy's house and everyday he'd growl and come at me full tilt nipping. I was too young at the age of 3 to 6 to just stand up to him so I'd always run away and sneak past him later. He was actually the only thing in the world I was afraid of at a young age. However, when I was 7 or so I began standing up to him and just ignoring him and he'd stop dead in his tracks if I didn't run away. It even got to the point were I could bend down, scratch his throat and he stopped barking at me soon after. I was probably about 12 when Sammy finally died, He was about 17 years old I would guess.
Woody was also a dog that belonged to those same neighbors. He was a purebred Golden Retreiver. He was my favorite wrestling buddy when I was growing up at the age of 8 to 11. He was much more rambunctious and active than the dog my parents had at the time. We would wrestle for hours in my backyard and during the emmergence of Street Fighter II he was great to have a around for pulling off karate moves while I was pretending. Woody had a screw loose in his brain though. For some reason everytime he got out when my other neighbors had their dogs outside he would run right at them and attack them. He gave one of them severe nerve damage, and almost killed the other. After being threatened by lawsuits my neighbors had no choice but to give Woody away to some people on a farm and he was never seen again. Sometimes I wonder if was given to a farm or euthanized. It may have just been a story to keep me from crying because I loved that dog more than the owners did.
Tiber was my favorite dog we ever owned. We got her in the summer of 1992, I was 12 at the time. She was a yellow lab with a dark reddish-gold coat. She had the coolest personality of any dog I've known. She didn't care what you thought of her and she knew she was superior to everyone. She was smart, cunning, and extremely agile. She was also a klepto and she made a habit of stealing all the neighborhood children's hats, shoes, food, etc. Tiber was recently put down this past February at the age of 15. It was a pretty hard pill for me to swallow because she had been the dog that always slept in my room and favored me to anyone else throughout my middle school and high school years.
Cinder is the only dog listed that is still alive, I was 21 when my parents got her but I'm still very close with her because I still lived with them when she was a puppy and I moved back into their house for 3 years between '04-'07. She is a black lab that is very loving toward her family but she is shy around strangers and won't hesitate to growl at other dogs that come up to her. She's about 8 now and she has been recently diagnosed with cancer this past Spring.
There, that's the backstory on the cast of characters. So anyway...I was taking them all for a walk behind the middle school in Williamston. None of them were on their leashes, I was letting them run free as I usually do with dogs. Tiber, Cinder, and Woody were all running up ahead sniffing the ground, being dogs, and peeing on stuff. But Sammy was hanging behind with me. Everytime I looked at Sammy he looked different. Sometimes he looked like the mangy little bastard I remember, other times he looked much more beutiful. His coat would turn different colors, his facial features would change and strangest of all, he was talking to me with the voice of David Letterman. We weren't talking about anything in particular just making small talk. Then after trotting up to the treeline of the woods that bordered the middle school soccer field, all the dogs returned to me and just sat there staring into my eyes. I asked them what was wrong but they just sat there and stared at me.
Then I heard a sound coming from the woods, it was the sound of a little girl crying and begging for help deep into the forrest. I tried to see into it, but "I couldn't see anything for the trees" which may have been a metaphor. Because I realized that is one of my personality traits earlier that night via a phonecall. I was terrified. I thought that some violent criminal may have been in there raping a girl at gunpoint or that maybe a girl was trapped by a bear. Either way, I was petrified with fear for a long time. Whatever it was I knew wasn't good. The dogs continued to stare at me, and I continued to debate whether I should go into the woods and face my fear or walk the other way back to the house and to safety. After a few minutes passed I knew that if a girl was found dead in the woods later in the week, I'd never forgive myself for turning a blindeye when I could have saved her. The dogs I had with me gave me the strength and confidence to finally make up my mind to enter the woods.
The trees and vegatation were thicker in the woods than they usually are in there, in fact it wasn't even the same woods at all. It felt more like a jungle with the prospect of unknown danger around every tree and twisitng trail. I had the dogs walk ahead of me for safety reasons I also wanted them to find where the location of the girl screaming . Sammy was in the lead, followed by Woody. Tiber and Cinder hung back a little with me. I saw a long sharp stick that I picked up to use as a weapon on the rapist I was confident I'd find.
We came to a large downward slope, looking down, there was a large patch of shubbery, trees, and vines surrounded by nothing but fallen leaves and it seemed there was a trail that went around in a circle around the patch of shubbery. There I saw what was making the terrible screams. It was huge grey deer the size of a moose trapped in the shubbery and vines and fighting to get out. I approached the deer to help it, and Sammy and Woody began running towards it barking Cinder and Tiber followed soon after. The deer became even more startled and broke through the vines and took off and ran out of sight. At this point I turned around and looked back on top of the hill that we walked down and there stood another deer just as massive with twisted antlers that came to menacing points. The deer charged toward me grunting and screaming, I had no mobility, I couldn't move my feet and I just leaned slightly to the left as it ran right past me and down to the right side of the looping trail were Tiber and Cinder were. The deer put its head down to gore my dogs as it ran the circle. I screamed out and cried for my poor dogs. Somehow the deer didn't make contact with them, or it went right through them. Either way my dogs were unharmed. The deer then circled around the loop and ran at me again, once more missing contact with me. Then it stood atop the hill and bellowed through the woods before turning around and running the other direction.
I was so happy that the deer hadn't hurt my dogs, I felt a such a feeling of relief it made me cry. I realized I didn't care what the deer did to me as long as it didn't hurt the dogs. I rounded the dogs up and we began to walk through a clearing in the woods to get get to the road that would take us home. Woody and Cinder wanted to go back the way we had come. Tiber wanted to go the way I was going. Sammy stood in one place as we walked. Soon Cinder and Woody came with me and Tiber. But Sammy just stood there. By the time we got to the road I called for him. He said "I can't believe we just saw the Grandfather Deer." I let the other dogs walk ahead and waited for Sammy to catch up to see what he meant by "Grandfather Deer". When he finally caught up with me his coat was a beautiful multi-colored fleece and he had the head of a purebred pitbull with a huge smile on his face. Before he could explain anything to me about the Grandfather Deer I woke up. I was pissed that I didn't hear what he had to say.
Why did the deer threaten me and my dogs with violence then let us be? Why would the deer charge us when we were trying to help his trapped brother? Why would my earliest memory of fear (Sammy) be a voice of reason in my dream, and why the shape- shifting? Why did the deer have the voice of a human child? Did the dogs represent loyalty or friends perhaps? I'll leave that stuff up to interpretation. I guess I'm just baffled as to why the last two times I've felt guilt-stricken about overdrinking I dream about deer.


Monday, November 3, 2008

The Day After...

Unseen is that which goes bump in the night
Intangible thoughts on this untamable fright
I sniff till I smell the odor of my failure
My mind in the grasp of this livid torn jailer
I look to the numbness that I need to cope
Put a smile on my face as if there is hope
But reality tells me that I'm wasting away
By the day I just stray from the reasons to stay
Still there it sits with an ominous presence
Taunting and mocking my pleads for some pleasance
I'm walking on eggshells trying to rest on my laurels
But it remains on my thoughts and it's bending my morals
I must stay in place like my feet have been planted
And wait for selfish needs to be disenchanted
There are moments of clarity in this tightrope act
And fact is, this act has no measure for tact
I am playing chess with my life thinking 5 steps ahead
Only if I don't win I'll most likely be dead
Or I'll be wishing for death and release from my pity
I never knew this would be both so great and so shitty


Friday, October 31, 2008

Mr. Neevers the Beaver Slayer

Hey here he comes, it's Mel Greevin Neevers
He owns 13 pelts made from 500 beavers
The most bloodthirsty trapper in the lower southwest
Killed his one and only son in a pie eating contest
He keeps mangling the skins with his bowie knife
Can't turn a profit to save his own damn life
He's always really wasteful, and he's covered with blood
Can't afford soap, so he washes in mud
This fucking guy without a pot to piss in
Was offered 3000 dollars to sit and listen
But he had no time to hear the sales pitch
Cuz he was wrasslin beavers in a drainage ditch
He killed 5 of em bastards with his sharp brown insisors
Severing corrodded arties and making blood geysers
The beavers fought back, he was getting ate like cake
The beavers were treating Ol' Mel like a Salisbury steak
He had to flee then bail on back to his village
To load up some supplies that he'd have to pillage
Held the shopkeep at gunpoint as he stole all the dyno
Stabbed the man with a horn like a albino rhino
Went back to the ditch and packed it with boom boom
Then lit the match and blew the beaves into a flamed mushroom
But he was blown to fuck too because he had to witness
His hatred of them beavers gave him lack of mental fitness
Legend says he was reborn as some blocks of wood
And beaver's continue to gnaw him, as they rightly should

"That's a story about Karma folks" Did I just blow your mind?


Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Lost Red Sock

Rip tip tibbles, top shelf kibbles
Eating on lunch like Skip von Dribbles
Waxin that shoe like Ogenslarsh Larry
Munching on people that are overly hairy
Cannibals, Hannibals, creatures of fear
Are much less scary after 17 beers
Flyin through space is like sliding on trash
Both are really fun until the bonejarring crash
Lets skip town then set it on fire
Lets put some flames to the Discount Tire
Roast some marshmallows on Paul Bunyans' beard
Then fondle his cattle till it makes him feel weird
Babe the Blue Ox was a mythical beast
So lets all eat her in a mythical feast
Pass the chittlins and fetus gravy
Sailing in a gravyboat like the meat-soaked Navy
Shootin peas and beans and green-type biz
Avoiding them vegtables like a virgin avoids jizz
Especially on the floor because it stains
Tug the shit off with rope and chains
Graham cracker shennatigans and a dog's red cock
This has been a story about my lost red sock
What is the metaphor? Where is the keyword?
It's all right there in the acoustic "Freebird"
But that song sucks, it's not even metal's
But sometimes we settles for less distortion pedals
Some Tiger's have down syndrome, look at that pic
I bet he eats fruit snacks and publically plays with his dick
Sometimes I hate myself more than Hitler hates Jews
When I don't think things through and see what it do's.
But that's just life, we live and we learn
It's like blending oil and water in a butter churn


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Alienated and Unforgiving, Last becomes First when the Dogs come Living

Alienated and unforgiving
Last becomes first when the dogs come living
Wanting satchel searching starve for the hunger of redemption
But looking at those reptile ashes is just too real to mention
Where was that man when wanted you to ride those trains of gravy
Not to be found was him in which green demons made him crazy
The eye is found in not the face but rather in the mind
Mountain slopes fuel shattered dreams cushioned by buds of kind
Channeling the Kurt Cobain is freeing at the time
But he is lost, and rock is dead, and I don't even have a "Dime"
Rivers flow on vodka proofs to further make us dumbing
Filthy bricks on raped landscapes is cause for greater numbing
Ripped and tattered human waste, hard hats and shit adornings
A rabbit howls into the night a consensus brutal warning
My realm is gone for now and ever, never to be redeemed
Dreams are dreams and hopes are dreams so I dream the real thing
Sewing closed the mouths to silence is no longer a pressing issue
I'm in your mouth, I'm puppeteering, no one will ever miss you
Ugly sounds and morbid visions haunting our housing mess
When last comes first and first comes last, the dogs will tear our flesh

--Tabor, October '08


Friday, October 10, 2008

Same Old Pacman

Some people just won't change. After multiple arrests due to drunken fights in strip clubs, possession of firearms, and other typical thuggish behavior. Pacman Jones was reluctantly reinstated into the NFL after having to miss the entire 2007 NFL season.

Even though Pacman has loads of talent as one of the finest CB's in the NFL, no teams were willing to take the risk of his distractions and teams but one. Enter the wily redneck bastard Jerry Jones and his stable of criminals and malcontent thugs otherwise known as the Dallas Cowboys.
Yeeee Hawwww!!

Other than the Oakland Raiders and their senile owner, Al Davis. The Cowboys and Jones seem to thrive on flash more than substance. Get the guys with big names, big stats, and a long history of screaming at coaches, teammates and long arrest records. Is it no wonder why the Dallas Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game in 12 years? Big statistics pale in comparison to team chemistry. This is FOOTBALL we are talking about. Otherwise known as the ultimate team sport. This isn’t a sport like basketball where one guy can dominate the entire game by himself. 22 players on on the field per snap in football, everyone has a specific job, and if you aren’t adhering to that system you should be benched. Because talent doesn’t make a bit of difference if you are out of your position and can’t do your job.

The New England Patriots haven’t been the best team in the NFL for the past decade because they spend big money to grab the headlining free agents. They never draft the high profile picks even if they have the opportunity to do so. In fact, they make a habit of trading down in the draft and scoring multiple less known players that will fit into their system. Usually these are guys with good heads on their shoulders that may lack breakaway speed or national hype. But it works. Dallas and Oakland on the other hand only view the short term. I respect their passion and “win right now!!” attitude but someone needs to step in and help these aging starfuckers.

Back to the Pacman situation, Jerry took at least some measures to prevent Pacman from falling back into his old habits. He employed 4 bodyguards (Babysitters) to keep an eye on Pacman at all times and make sure he didn’t do anything stupid. However old habits die hard and less than 7 weeks into the NFL season, Pacman already snapped yesterday and physically assaulted one of the bodyguards (babysitters) hired to help him. Of course, to hear it from Pacman’s interview with the media today, he says he’s a “victim” of racial profiling. Really? Is that honestly the excuse you’re going with? We are a month away from having a black president, and you live in a city that treats the Dallas Cowboys players like God’s amongst mortals and you’re gonna use the “racial profiling” excuse? Dude, you aren’t Arabic, you’re also surrounded by many other African-americans in the city of Dallas. Take some personal responsibility.

Another thing that has me laughing to myself is that all the Pacman supporters out there always said, “He’s worth the trouble because of his talent” All those supporters seem to be falling by the wayside now because through 6 weeks of football, Pacman hasn’t done anything. He has looked slow on the field, he has mishandled punt returns resulting in turnovers, he has been burnt by just about every wide receiver that has lined up across from him. He has even lost his jobs to 2 rookies. Felix Jones has replaced him on punt returns and Mike Jenkins has replaced him at CB. The only upside for him is that top CB, Terrance Newman will be out for a month or so with a sports hernia so they will need Pacman for Nickel and Dime packages. The best part of this whole mess is that the guy who replaced Pacman in Tennessee named Courtland Finnegan is looking like the best Cornerback in the NFL this year.
Through 4 seasons Pacman has 4 Interceptions total!! Courtland Finnegan had 4 inerceptions this year by week 3!! Score one for the Titans!!
Also history seems to be on Pacman’s side because Jerry Jones loves criminals. Since he’s been the team owner Jones has embraced dregs of the NFL and bad character guys like Michael Irvin, “Bullet” Bob Hayes, Deion Sanders, “Hollywood” Henderson, Keyshawn Johnson, Lance Rentzel, Leon Lett, Terrell Owens, and who can forget Nate Newton being arrested for 213 lbs. Of marijuana in his van. The following week when he was out on bail he got pulled over on interstate 45 with 125 lbs. of pot this time.
The landscape of football is changing Mr. Jones. Coaches are smarter, the talent pool is deeper, and team chemistry has proven to beat your flash and dash every year in the postseason. Get with the times, shed your tunnel vision, and for the love of god get rid of your lockerroom cancers... Or don’t, I could give a shit less if the Cowboys suck.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

That Tabor Guy's Top 50 Films of All-Time

(Above Picture: Donnie and Frank take Gretchen to the movies)

I have always intensely enjoyed movies. I think my earliest memory was going to see Return of the Jedi in the theatre when I was 3 years old. A great film can always touch a spiritual cord in me that I can't get from day-to-day life or even football for that matter. I usually avoid blockbusters. (Movies that are created for making money rather than being genuine or creative.) I tend to lean towards movies that hinge on symbolism, tragedy, and the human condition. Most of the great movies that fit into this group for me have been created within the last 15 years or so. So that means you aren't gonna see many classics, musicals, or dumbass comedies from the 80's. I hope my readers will give this list a chance and perhaps give you some rental ideas for a rainy day. I recently had to expand this list to 52 in order to make room for the new additions from 2008 (Gran Torino and Revolutionary Road)

Mulholland Dr. (2001)
starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Haring, Justin Theroux

Darker than any horror movie even though it's a drama. Every scene is so tense we always know that something wicked is brewing even though it can't be seen. Naomi Watts owes her carreer to this film. This movie is part dream, part nightmare, but the events that take place in the real life section of the story are the darkest of all. Metaphors and symbolism are strewn throughout so multiple viewings are nesscessary to truly grasp its genius.

No Country for Old Men (2007)
starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

A perfect blend of dialoge, violence, and symbolism. There is no question why this film cleaned up at the 2007 Oscar's. Anton Chigurgh is easily the greatest villain in film history, and his cat and mouse chase with Josh Brolin is phenominal. Many are turned off by its abrupt ending but I applaud it for being so bold and true to the novel. The Coen Brothers have made it impossible to top themselves after this masterpiece.

Munich (2005)
starring: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig

The true story of the 1972 Israeli Olympic team that was kidnapped and eventually executed at the hands of a terrorist group named Black September. The story follows the aftermath of a 5 man Israeli assassination squad to hunt and kill the Palestinean leaders responsible. We never really know whether the main characters are doing good deeds or bad...and neither do they. The duality of man is the focus. Speilbergs best work, and definately his most controversial.

Donnie Darko (2001)
starring: Jake Gylenhal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gylenhal, Patrick Swayze

Hard to explain, but that's what makes it work. I still find new twists with every viewing. Is it about time travel? Maybe it's about death and what happens after we die. Either way, Jake Gylenhal's troubled teen Donnie keeps us intrigued, entertained, and guessing way after the credits are done rolling. Gotta love the cheesy 80's soundtrack too.

Magnolia (1999)
starring: Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Maybe the best ensemble cast ever assembled. The kaliedescope of characters and their insecurites power this movie. Trenmendous performances by John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, William H. Macy and basically everybody else involved. Paul Thomas Anderson first earned his noteriety for "Boogie Nights" and "There will be Blood" but "Magnolia" is the film that puts him in my highest regard.

Pulp Fiction (1994)
starring: Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, Harvey Keitel

Stylish, gripping, sensual. An innovative masterwork from Quentin Tarantino. Filmakers still steal from this movie to this day. Perhaps the most influential movie of the last 20 years. A plot summary wouldn't do justice due to the fact that there are about 7 separate plots throughout the film.

Bug (2007)
starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon

Beautifully tragic. Desperation never felt more haunting. Odds are, if you didn't like this movie, then you didn't understand what it was really about. Meth addiction, codependant psychosis, and the clouded judgement that can occur when tragedy and lonliness are all that a person has left.

American Beauty (1999)
starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning, Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Mena Suvari

"You're never too old to get it back" --Lester Burman. It's a great movie for people that find themselves in the rut of the daily grind. Also has a great sense of dark humor. I truly hope that director Sam Mendes is able to duplicate that type of suburban magic again. Winner of the Oscar for best picture in 1999 as well as many others.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)
starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayons

What would have been just another drug movie was directed flawlessly by Darren Aronofsky to bump it up to masterpiece status. Also shows the parrellels of illegal drugs and perscription meds in the fact they are equally dangerous if not moderated properly. I still think it's a crime that Gladiator beat this movie in the Oscar's for best picture in 2000.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
starring: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen

The original 1974 version is the greatest and most terrifying horror movie in american film history. Insane, brutal, and disturbing. Anyone that thinks the remake was better should have their movie viewing privledges revoked. The sequels all sucked ass, it's better to remember the original 3 crazies from this first installment before Tobe Hooper shit all over his legacy.

Blood Diamond (2006)
starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Dimjon Honsou

Leonardo Dicaprio's character Danny Archer has to be one of my favorite characters in any film. There is enough action to keep the plot moving at a breakneck pace. Dont let the film's title mislead you, although blood diamond's are shown as being corrupt on a certain level. Even more unsettling is the use of Africa's children stolen from their homes at a young age and being forced to kill entire villages of innocents.

12. Gran Torino (2008)
starring: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood stars and directed this ghetto masterpiece. So often movies that take place in ghettos focus on the gangsters but this film takes that idea and flips it. Showing instead a man that has lived in Detroit since the 1940's in a predominantly white neighborhood but over the years has been transformed into a mostly Asian neighborhood. Eastwood's Walt Kowalski is rascist and onery and he doesn't care who knows it. However he finds friendship and peace in his life from some very unlikely people and his transformation isn't over the top with sentiment but subtle and realistic.

The Godfather (1972)
starring: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton

Best mafia movie ever. Michael Corleone as the reluctant son and his eventual rise to power. One of the most complex and layered characters to ever be put onto film. Out of Francis F. Copolla's many masterpieces, this one stands out at the best. Other great performances by the always great Robert Duval, Marlon Brando, Diane Keaton, and James Caan.

21 Grams (2003)
starring: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro

Before Babel and after Amores Perros, Alejandro Innaritu peaked out with this out of sequence downer complete with a bravura performance by Naomi Watts who loses her husband and 2 little girls in one tragic accident.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Sonny Chiba

Most critics seem to like vol. 2 more, but vol. 1 had so much more to offer. Better cinematography, anime sequences, more fighting, and great original songs by the RZA. Everything about this film is first rate. Quentin Tarantino proves he can do more than the typical american crime flicks with guns and switches gears seemlessly to swordplay with a great sense of Japanese feel.

Casino (1995)
starring: Robert Deniro, Joe Peschi, Sharon Stone, Don Rickles, Frank Vincent

Not quite as critically acclaimed as the Scorcese film that came before it, "Goodfellas". Perhaps because Joe Pesci's character seems nearly identical in both films. But I promise if this movie came out before Goodfellas this is the one that would go down as a better acheivement in film. My personal favorite of Martin Scorcese, perhaps the greatest American director in history.

The Big Lebowski (1998)
starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buschemi

Jeff Bridges slacker protagonist "The Dude" is one of the more memorable characters to ever grace the movie screen, not because he's a hero, more because of his loser qualities and indifference to everything. My favorite comedy by far!! Long live the Coen Brothers who consistantly prove they are more than a one trick pony and can do drama, action, comedy, or even the occasional arthouse flick.

Juno (2007)
starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Olivia Thirlby

A unique and bubbly 16 year old girl played by Ellen Page has found out she's pregnant. All the baggage that comes with the pregnancy is explored through a modern viewpoint rather than the usual hellfire and brimstone approach. However, this films true power comes from the dialog and interaction between characters due to Diablo Cody's amazing screenplay. The soundtrack also creates a great atmosphere for the film.

House of Sand and Fog (2003)
starring: Ben Kingsley, Jennifer Connelly

Depressing? Sure. But no movie better illustrates the price that can be paid when petty squabbles spiral out of control. Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly have an unparalleled chemistry on screen as neither one will back down. They argue over who is the true owner of a small house in Pennsylvania. Tragedy insues, and it stays with you for a while especially because of Ben Kingsley's greatest performance to date, even better than his Oscar winning role in Ghandi.

There Will Be Blood (2007)
starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano

The most recent film from director Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) is unlike any of his other films. It's dark and brooding both from the soundtrack and the ominous cinematography. The story focuses on an oil mogul that gets his start in the late 1800's named Daniel Plainview played flawlessly by the always spectacular Daniel Day Lewis. He draws the audience in with his underhanded politicking and desire to accumulate money no matter who he hurts or kills.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
starring: Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Marlon Brando, Harrison Ford, Dennis Hopper

To me this was always more of a horror movie than a war movie. I think Copolla's point was to make war seem like horror. I've always thought Brando was ovverrated in this movie and Martin Sheen was overlooked. But the eery symbolism and madness captured by Francis Ford Copolla is what makes it a triumph.

Se7en (1995)
starring: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gweneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey

Best ending ever? Maybe. Plus ya gotta love the chemistry between hothead Brad Pitt and even-minded Morgan Freeman. The characters dominate the story so much that the plot seems secondary, and it's a hell of a plot. "What's in the box?"

Grindhouse (2007)
starring: Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell, Freddy Rodriguez, Bruce Willis

A throwback to the exploitation double features from the 1970's that played in drive-thru movie theatres. Although it may not be fair to count this as one film considering it's actually 2 films with 5 trailers for false movies, I saw it at the theatre as one feature and I admit it was the most unique experience I've ever had at the cinema. I wasn't alive in the 70's but this feature made me feel like I had found a genuine time capsule.

The Constant Gardener (2005)
starring: Rachel Weisz,
Politcally driven story with great characters. Rachel Weisz proves she's a force in Hollywood, picking up a best supporting actress trophy in the process. Perscription drug companies finally get exposed for some of their attrocities. Basically a pharmaseautical company is intentionaly infecting africans with strains of AIDS, Tuberculosus, as well as others and trying out their cures on them like lab rats so they can be FDA approved. The pace is slow, but effective.

Raging Bull (1980)
starring: Robert Deniro, Joe Peschi, Frank Vincent

More than a boxing movie. Scorcese and Deniro team up once again to floor audiences with such a visceral portrait of Jake Lamotta that it leaves us breathless. A great fighter with more than his share of personal demons, Jake's life is a roller coaster ride that once it reaches its peak, begins to decline rapidly. One of the eeriest scenes in film history is when a 250+ pound Robert Deniro is reciting Marlon Brando's "contender" speech in front of a mirror, obviously punchdrunk.

Halloween (2007)
starring: Sherri Moon Zombie, Danny Trejo, Daeg Faerch

This is the more recent Rob Zombie version. It pains me to put a remake onto this list because usually I'm anti-remake 100%, especially because I have such high regard for the original. But because Rob Zombie is a director that truly understands and loves horror films he doesn't disappoint. It sticks with the qualities that made the first so great but adding a back story of Michael as a child and his sessions in the asylum with a passion for making masks are magnificent.

American History X (1998)
starring: Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Charles S. Dutton

Few films have explored rascism in this depth. We have a chance to get inside the characters and see the perspective from every possible angle. Edward Norton shows us why he is a skinhead and speaks with such conviction that you start to feel for his cause. But in the 2nd half of the movie he moves us with equal passion back to tolerance and loving your neighbor. The ironic ending is tragic, however not necessary to get the point across.

Lucky # Slevin (2006)
starring: Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Stanley Tucci
Josh Hartnett plays Slevin Kelevra, a sharp tongued fella that seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is being pulled in 2 seperate directions by the citiy's 2 biggest crime lords, one played by Morgan Freeman the other Ben Kingsley. Complete with a brutal and brilliant twist ending. Josh Hartnett proves he's more than a pretty boy and the depth of his character's smart-ass nature is contrasted toward the end with perfect malice.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Rupert Grint

Saw this movie before I read any of the books...I've been a "Pott-head ever since" Goblet of Fire is my favorite of the books, but the first movie installment is the most loyal. So far this is the only film on my list not rated R...weird? A great leadoff movie for one of the highest grossing franchises in history, by the time the 7th film comes out, my guess is that only the Star Wars 2 trilogies combined will have grossed more.

Traffic (2000)
starring: Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Don Cheadle, Erika Christensen

The line of politics and family life are blurred in this dismal portrayal of the drug war. We are left feeling hopeless and more confused about what needs to be done about drugs in America, as well as the corrupt Mexican Drug Cartel but still eyeopening nonetheless. Traffic has an amazing ensemble cast featuring Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and a breakout role for the young and talented Erica Christensen...who seems to have dropped off the map as of late

The Departed (2006)
starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga.

Finally Scorcese gets his long deserved Best Picture and Best Director academy awards after being nominated what seems like every film he's done in the last 40 years. This movie is great, but it's not higher on my list strictly because it's a remake of a Japanese film called "Infernal Affairs". Therefore the creativity is second hand. But the plot is cool. A cop posing as a mobster vs. a mobster posing as a cop. The pace never relents.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
starring: Steve Buschemi, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen

Quentin Tarantino's first and grittiest film. It's currently ranked the #1 Indie film of all time by most lists. Doesn't offer the same humor filled violence of his other films. This one is realistic, brutal, sadistic, and doesn't seem to stop being so until everyone is dead. Steve Buschemi and Harvey Keitel both provide their best roles to date.

Revolutionary Road (2008)
Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates

Fans of marriage should steer clear of this one. The story centers on a young couple in the 1950's trying to be the perfect American family. They buy a house in a nice neighborhood with a picket fence and everything. They have two children but it doesn't take the audience too long to discover that their lives are merely a facade. Tremendous performances by Winslet, Dicaprio, and Shannon fuel this heart wrenching tale of people who get trapped in the rut of 50's culture when things like divorce, abortion, and mental disorders are judged with extreme predjudice. The director of this film, Sam Mendes (American Beauty) was criticized for this film for reasons I don't understand. Apparantly it wasn't subtle enough, but I thought the ferocious and passionate hatred the characters had for one another was the best part about it.

Halloween (1978)
starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence
Probably the best slasher film of all time. A definate "cut" above the Friday the 13th series. Most people are still creeped out when they hear the soundtrack some 20+ years later. Not to mention the Captain Kirk mask spay painted white of the expressionless Michael Myers. Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis is the type of protagonist that every horror movie could use.

Braveheart (1995)
starring: Mel Gibson, Brendan Gleeson
Yeah, it's official Mel Gibson is friggin' crazy! Has anyone ever noticed how every single movie he's directed has included some extremely depraved torture sequences? Nonetheless he's pretty good at his craft and the Oscar he won for Best Picture on this film is well deserved. Who cares how historically accurate it is? It keeps you enthralled for every second of the 3 hour feature.

The Godfather Part II (1974)
starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Abe Vagoda
Considered by many better than the original. Possibly the greatest sequel ever made but still not better than the original in my opinion. Jumps from the 1930's with Al Pacino as the top dog in the criminal underground as well as flashbacks of his father making a name for himself in Sicily and his eventual trek to America. Michael having no choice but to kill his dim-witted brother Fredo is one of the most tragic events in film history.

A History of Violence (2005)
Starring: Viggo Mortenson, Ed Harris, Maria Bello

Viggo Mortenson landed a great role for displaying he has range by literally changing his persona right before our eyes. In the beginning, his character is a mild mannered owner of a diner but as his past catches up with him and he accidently tastes blood again by saving a woman from killers we see him morph back into his former self leaving his family terrified of the man they thought they knew.

Taxi Driver (1976)
starring: Robert Deniro, Harvey Keitel, Cybal Sheppard, Jodie Foster

Not too many films can influence a presidential assassination but this Scorcese movie was the the catalyst for John Hinkley's bullet into Ronald Reagan. Robert Deniro gives such a great performance of a guy that has been shit on by life, one too many times finally culminating in a bloody rampage across New York leaving pimps dead, politicians dead, and Deniro just plain crazy, covered in blood, and with a shaved head.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
starring: Mark Hammill, Harrison Ford, Frank Oz, Carrie Fisher

The diamond of the 6 Star Wars films. We meet Yoda, We find out Luke is Vader's son, The Hoth battle is phenominal and best of all NO FUCKING EWOKS. Apparantley I went to the theatre to see this when it first came out, unfortunatley I couldn't see it because I was inside my mom's womb.

Thirteen (2003)
starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Holly Hunter

Evan Rachel Wood breaks out in a big way in this unsettling tale of teen angst and the price of popularity. The range of her character is so wide. She starts off as a loving daughter and good student. But quickly descends into a monster that her mother and brother dont even recognize. She shoplifts, picks pockets, does drugs, sells drugs, has unprotected sex, and when she gets really depressed, she cuts herself .The fact that it's the true to life tale of co-star Nikki Reed adds to it's power

In the Bedroom (2001)
starring: Tom Wilkenson, Sissy Spacek, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei

Nick Stahl plays a high school senior that falls in love with a divorcee played by Marisa Tomei. She has a child and an unstable ex-husband. When tragedy strikes and Stahl is killed, his parents are left coping with the loss of their only child. Sissy Spacek and Tom Wilkinson are so believeable in their roles you can't help but shed some tears. The ending is rather shocking for a slower movie like this, but it feels completely natural. It's the only way the audience wouldn't have felt jipped.

Any Given Sunday (1999)
starring: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Lawrence Taylor, Dennis Quaid

I'm a huge fan of football, but normally I hate sports movies because they focus more on personal life than the sport itself. However this film focuses almost entirley on football. Even when we see the personal lives of the football players the story still seems to linger about the game itself. Al Pacino as the head coach is great, plus this was the breakout role for the future Best Actor winner, Jamie Foxx as the talented yet disillusioned starting QB that goes from 3rd string to starter.

Being John Malkovich (1999)
starring: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Joan Cusack, John Malkovich, Catherine Keener

Charlie Kaufman is known for his overly strange screenplays and this one probably stands out as his strangest. John Cusack finds a portal in his office that lets him see life through the eyes of John Malkovich. It's like a drug and the more people he tells about it the more they want to stay inside Malkovich to escape their own boring lives. John Cusack's character is a puppeteer and after he realizes his only chance with the woman he loves is through Malkovich, he takes his body over with mixed results.

Boogie Nights (1997)
starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Paul Thomas Anderson's first film. Mark Walberg gets his breakout role as a shy teenage kid that is recruited by the ultimate porn producer of the 70's played by Burt Reynolds. It's fun and fresh and never loses its true message of how empty and shallow the life of the pornstar truly is.

Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
starring: Nick Cage, Elizebeth Shue

Nicolas Cage is a goofball, and usually he just picks any piece of shit script that comes to his house. But this particular role had me actually believing in him as an actor. He plays a man who is a hardcore alcoholic that decides to empty his saving account, move into a hotel in Vegas and proceed to drink himself to death. While there he befriends a prostitute played by Elizebeth Shue and continues to break our hearts with his own self destruction. Very Powerful film.

Schindler's List (1993)
starring Liam Neeson,

Speilberg's holocaust epic that won him an Oscar. A man who is so unnerved by the Nazi's genocide that he risks his life and huge sums of money to get Jews out of the death camps and into a factory where they can be treated as humans again. Liam Neeson's performance is a tour de force, especially toward the end of the movie.

Psycho (1960)
starring: Anthony Perkins

Considered by nearly every critic over 55 years old this is the greatest horror movie of all time. This film set the bar in the psychological horror rather than the saturarted market of monster films at the time. Thank you Alfred Hitchcock, every great horror movie of my lifetime has borrowed something from this film.

Apocalypto (2006)
starring: a bunch of tribesman

Another Mel Gibson work. This film didn't get seen by many people because it came out less than a few months after Mel Gibson's anti-semetic drunken ramblings. But make no mistake, this was one of the top 5 films of 2006. Nevermind the subtitles and unfamiliar subject matter. A great history lesson of the Mayan culture and its downfall.

Lord of War (2005)
starring: Nick Cage, Jared Leto

Nicolas Cage might not have been my first choice for the role of Yuri, but it seems to work for the most part. Arms dealers are exposed as well as the US government and their role of helping 3rd world countries continue their genocides. Once again Africa seems to be the main victim.

Clerks (1994)
starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith

Renegade filmaker Kevin Smith threw together this indie circuit gem for next to no money at all. Black and White cameras, no name actors, and absolutely no special effects made this a marvel in profit margin. In the process of making money, it also is one of the greatest cult classics of the 90's. The acting isn't that great but the conversations between Dante and Randall are some of the most shockingly funny conversations that true nerds as well as well as cool kids could all find the brilliance in.

My Life Without Me (2002)
starring: Sarah Polley, Scott Speedman

Sarah Polley shines in this touching portrail of a woman who has never really lived her life for herself. Living in a trailer with 2 kids and a husband that spends more time unemployed than working, she gets a drastic change in the form of tragedy. After being diagnosed with a terminal illness she is told that she only has 2 months to live.She decides not to tell anyone, but rather make a list of things she wants to do before dying finally discovering a lust for life that she has never known. It's the best role for an actress I've ever seen.

Memento (2001)
starring: Guy Pierce, Joe Pantaliano
Quentin Tarantino perfected the "out-of-sequence" storytelling with movies like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, but even he had to be in awe of Christopher Nolan's genius of filming the entire story backwards (the first scene of the film is actually the last event chronologically) The only way he is able to keep the audience guessing is to give the main character a rare type of amnesia that prevents him from remembering anything more than the last 5 minutes.


Derf Nosferatu

A poem I wrote about a handicapped vampire.

You thought you knew vampires, well look again
Derf Nosferatu always trips,and lands on his chin
Got punched in the ear, and blew out his drum
Equilibrium lost, and his feet went numb.
Since he's already dead, there's no chance of it healing
So he breaks into Red Cross and resorts to some stealing.
But more times than not, he stumbles and crashes
And gets beat the fuck down by anti-vampire fascists.
No one takes him serious enough for a stake through the heart
Just a few facial kicks and some jabs with a dart.
He used to be the "Alpha" in Transylvania
But he now gets less respect than the 2nd Wrestlemania.
He has avoided mild pains by dressing in Nerf
This stumbling has-been that all know as Derf.
To "derf" means to fall and land on your face
Just run away from him he wont try to chase
He fears humiliation more than he fears death
And if he were to run he'd look like a retard on meth.
He opts to sit in his castle to keep people from knowin'
Jacking off to pictures of the "goth queen" Rose Mcgowan.
He eats rats and bats and whatever he can trap.
Compared to human blood it all tastes like crap.
He keeps holding out for scientific advances.
So he can flirt with some jailbait at middle school dances.
But he'll never be badass, he'll never be scary
Just a dumbshit vampire, who acts like a fairy.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The state of Michigan: Marijuana and Stem Cell showdown

Ok so I've established that I'm neither voting for McCain nor Obama. I'll probably write Ron Paul in and hope that many other people do the same. The larger the percentage for a non republican or democrat, the better off we'll be. So if people like Paul, Nader, and Leiberman can successfully steal 15% or more votes from the 2 main parties I think we may finally have a shot to get some moderation and rational thought in Washington.
But enough of the presidential election. This blog is dedicated to the 2 proposals we are currently being told to vote on in the state of Michigan. I would like to shed some light on what voting yes or no on these proposals would mean for us and they are probably the two issues I feel the most strongly about.

Proposal 1 is referred to as the "Michigan Medical Marijuana Act" It would allow patients suffering from debilitating ailments such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS to be granted the legal right to use and grow marijuana after being approved through the department of community health.
I am always amazed whenever I look at the death toll in the world from cigarrette related deaths in the millions and the marijuana death toll sitting strong at "0". Then realizing that marijuana is the one that we have deemed illegal. Scientists have been forced to run biased studies by the American government since the 60's to find proof that it is as dangerous as they say but the results have been so diluded that the arguments tend to fall flat. Marijuana is less deadly than most Americans diets. (and that's excluding fast food)
The real reason Marijuana is illegal in America has a great deal to do with the Mexican Drug Cartel and having a reason to pull over trucks full of Mexicans and send them back to Mexico. I guess this is a double edged sword for me considering I want America to take a harder stance against illegals but I also think Marijuana being criminalized is a travesty. I'm going to vote "Yes" on this proposal, not because I'm a pothead, but more because of common sense and less government control.

Prop 2 if voted yes upon, it would add an amendment to the constitution to expand the research endeavors for stem cells in Michigan. Stem cell usase has always been a passion of mine ever since I heard about them. I feel that they are the key to curing AIDS, Diabetes, Infertility, bad organs, etc. However the right to life crowd is against them mainly because of their old testament witch doctor mindset. They'd rather have human beings die painful deaths or live less than satisfactory lives than use human embryos that would be thrown in the trash regardless to help people. I mean the people who are opposed to this proposal call themselves the "Right to Lifers" but they are taking the right to life away from people that are dying.
I want to take this opportunity to reassure you that I'm not in favor of skinning babies alive, I simply think that if that little puddle of sperm and eggs can be a miracle for someone else, then it's better that we put that little puddle to use. If scientific advances find a way to turn that puddle of sperm and eggs into a living and breathing human being then I'd say that the Pro-lifers might actually have an argument. But if they are just going to be flushed down a toilet, then who's the pro-lifer now bitches?
The folks against this bill have also used bold-faced lies in their ads; saying that the Stem cell research would cost the state oodles of cash which is proposturus. If anything, this research will actually bring jobs to Michigan. The pro-life group publically admitted that they were full of shit and pulled the ad off the airwaves. This type of underhanded jibberish just shows how much they are lacking a logical leg to stand on. Once again illogical religious views are trying to trump cold hard facts.
Of course there is always the natural paranoia for some people in regards to human cloning and genetically altered mutant men, also the black market selling of human embryos for profit. Here's the ammendment in it's true form to hopefully put your worries to rest.
(1) Nothing in this section shall alter Michigan’s current prohibition on human cloning.

(2) To ensure that Michigan citizens have access to stem cell therapies and cures, and to ensure that physicians and researchers can conduct the most promising forms of medical research in this state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any research permitted under federal law on human embryos may be conducted in Michigan, subject to the requirements of federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:

(a) No stem cells may be taken from a human embryo more than fourteen days after cell division begins; provided, however, that time during which an embryo is frozen does not count against this fourteen day limit.

(b) The human embryos were created for the purpose of fertility treatment and, with voluntary and informed consent, documented in writing, the person seeking fertility treatment chose to donate the embryos for research; and

i. the embryos were in excess of the clinical need of the person seeking the fertility treatment and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research; or

ii. the embryos were not suitable for implantation and would otherwise be discarded unless they are used for research.

So there ya have it, a little bit of info on the proposals. It's a no-brainer for me to vote "YES" on both props. I'm not saying that you have no brain if you vote "NO" on either one of them...but it does make you stupid. Face!!!


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