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In the lead up to ‘unpresidented’ Presidential Inauguration, I have a suggestion to those attending the Women’s March in D.C. on 21 January 2017 or to any U.S. citizen, anywhere in the United States, especially those who desperately want to make a difference in the fight against in the incoming Trump administration, but don’t know how.

[Please note: At the bottom of this post are links and contact information; a guide on how to contact your United States Representatives. This post will be updated throughout the week – leading up to the 21 January 2017 march – as more information becomes available.]

When in D.C. – Marching and protests definitely send message, but while in Washington D.C. this week (or if you’re planning to visit D.C. anytime in the next 4 years) there’s an even more direct way to send a message to the government. Below is a reference on how to contact your state and district representatives in Washington D.C.

Find your representatives and talk to them about the issues that matter to you in person. Go in groups large or small, but go! Talk to other representatives too, especially Republican leadership like Paul Ryan (R-WI, Speaker of the House) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY, Senate Majority Leader). Thank Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for all the work they do on behalf of every American. If someone is not available on the day, talk to their staff and leave a respectfully worded note (written in advance) and be sure to include your name and contact information. I also recommend calling local news organizations; let them know your intentions and invite them to tag along.

The D.C. Residents Women’s March on Washington (WMWDClocal) had this to add to the discussion as well:

“If you plan to visit your Member (in D.C.), please schedule an appointment. It will be difficult to get on the calendar on short notice, but the fact that you tried will be noted. You likely won’t get to see the Member him/herself. That’s OK. The staffers are very knowledgeable and will convey your message. Speaking of your message…know your talking points cold. Be prepared to make your case concisely…3 minutes or less. Have information that you can leave behind. The Unity Principles document would be good for a leave-behind folder. Include your contact information for follow up questions.”

The WMWDClocal group have also assembled a comprehensive guide on visiting your member of congress in Washington D.C. Should be considered required reading when visiting the nation’s capital.

When in Home – And if you can’t make it to D.C., you can call representatives on the phone from home. Respectfully tell them (or their staff) your story of why the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Planned Parenthood, the environment, and the rights of minority groups are important to you! As with in person visits, have your talking pointings organized in advance and be sure to provide your name and contact information for any follow ups.

When in Seattle, WA – I will be marching in Seattle, WA on 21 January and encourage everyone in the area to join the nearly 40k of us (Women’s March on Seattle). Those living in, visiting, and marching on D.C. have a unique opportunity to speak for us all, but that doesn’t mean your voice should stay silent. Please share this information with anyone interested in making a difference and let all our voices be heard!

Thank you.

A GUIDE TO CONTACTING YOUR UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVES

How to contact U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

How to contact Congress
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

U.S. Senators’ Suite and Phone Numbers in D.C. http://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf

Visiting hours at the capital
https://www.aoc.gov/visitor-hours

(Closed on Inauguration Day, but contact them directly for the best day/time to visit representatives.)

Guide to Visiting Your Member of Congress (by WMWDClocal)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1NCJiym6AGmMVRpcXZtLXEyNGc/view

Paul Ryan (R-WI, Speaker of the House)
1233 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3031
Fax: (202) 225-3393

Mitch McConnell (R-KY, Majority Republican Leader of the Senate)
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499

Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
332 Dirksen Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-5141
Fax: (202) 228-0776

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
317 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4543

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, Democratic Leader of the House)
233 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4965

Chuck Schumer (D-NY, Democratic Minority Leader of the Senate)
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6542

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Senate and House Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi (Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

As someone who relies on, as someone with friends and family who rely on the Affordable Care Act (ACA a.k.a. Obamacare), I am, we are all terrified. What will happen if it is repealed without a viable replacement? Most of you should already know the answer to this one:

Millions of people will lose their health care. Millions may not be able to afford insurance without the ACA and many with preexisting conditions (approx. 52 million Americans under the age of 65) could be denied insurance even if they could. And, as if that weren’t bad enough, potentially tens of thousands of people who can’t afford their medications, who can’t afford to go to the doctor, can’t afford a trip to the ER in an emergency, who won’t get critical preemptive care, cancer screenings, and the like, will go bankrupt trying to manage or simply die without it.

This is not hyperbole. People will, quite literally, die.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), and the majority of Republicans seem to be pushing, so inflexible and sadistically, toward this goal they’re akin to a pack of rabid wolves finally released from captivity. They have no plan – other than to repeal as quickly as possible – and seem completely oblivious to the lethal consequence of their impulsive, almost instinctual actions.

But there is some hope. In the early hours of Thursday, 12 January, while the U.S. Senate was taking votes on the repeal, Democrats, in an impressive show of passion and fortitude, not only cast their votes against the repeal, they made a statement.

“This is not business as usual! You are stealing heath care from Americans. I vote no.”
– Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington State)

Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), Maria Cantwell (D-Washington State), Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois), and more defied procedure and stood up for Americans who cannot afford to lose their insurance under the ACA.

Whether you support the ACA or think it’s a disaster, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or an Independent, the ACA has saved lives. Repealing it now – without a replacement organized, agreed upon, and ready to go – will not only rob millions of Americans of their health care, but could very well be a death sentence for thousands. Contact your senator, Hell, contact every senator. Tell them that, until there’s a suitable and immediate replacement available, they must vote NO! And hold the President-Elect accountable too.

  • How to contact U.S. Senators: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
  • How to contact Congress: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
  • How to contact Donald Trump: Donald, I’m told, doesn’t believe in email, but you can post him your grievance here: Donald Trump, C/O The Trump Organization, 725 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10022 — Then, from 20 January 2017 until he’s voted out or impeached: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500]

Need help with your message? Use the one below and fill in the blanks.

Dear (Their Name),

As a citizen of this great country and with respect to my fellow citizens, I urge you to cease the dangerous repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until such time that a suitable and immediate replacement is made available. Beginning the process of repeal without a replacement puts millions of Americans in danger of losing their desperately needed health care and will potentially kill thousands who will die without access and/or the ability to afford their medications, doctors, ER visits, and therapies: People undergoing chemo treatments and those who need surgery; people with chronic conditions and family histories of cancer who require regular screenings; children with diabetes, on dialysis, and with disabilities; seniors who require nursing care and medications; human beings, millions whose lives are now literally in your hands.

Stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act now! Until there is a replacement, you are putting the lives of millions of innocent people in danger. It’s the right thing to do.
Thank you,

(Your Name)
(City, State)

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Image by Nicolas Raymond

By NATINA NORTON — 

Post the presidential election of 2016, in an attempt to find solace and commiseration, I found myself reading a lot of posts, comments, and commentaries. There has certainly been a great deal of anger, that the lesser evil did not prevail, fear of what is to come, and confusion as to how our country became so divided, and – worse – a disunited and ugly place.

And I mean really, really, to a profound degree, no alibi, U-G-L-Y.

One such perspective I came across, in regards the ugly America factor, came from a blog titled “Danielle’s Thoughts.” The author, I felt, encapsulated well this uneasy epidemic of ugliness.

“We have become complacent with putting others down and being hateful to one another. […] Now before Trump has even taking office we have condemned him, blaming him for all that is wrong with this country. He is already our new excuse for our problems. This is absurd we have no idea what he holds in store for this country. I myself was not a Trump supporter, but I also do not know what he holds for us as a nation and I personally refuse to condemn someone before even seeing what they are going to do. I will hold my judgment until I see actions personally. He will not be my new excuse to sit idle and hateful without action. We have got to stop this cycle, we have got to stop allowing our hearts to be so polluted and making excuses for spreading this ugly disease.”

The President to Blame by danielleremainstrue

I wholeheartedly agree with her sentiment. We have become, not only complacent in this country, but flippant about treating each other like the enemy. Every individual is responsible for his or her own actions. If we don’t like the way things are, we should stop blaming Democrats, Republicans, and those who voted for one side or the other. If you don’t like the direction of our country or even your own life, stop condemning everyone else and do the work yourself; vote, take a stand, fight for what you believe in. Look at the situation in Standing Rock as a prime example.

As far as condemning Trump goes, however, I’ve got zero qualms doing so.

Donald Trump and his ilk are not an excuse for the current epidemic of ugliness in the United States; they are the contagion.

We already know what he has in store for this country, or at least what we wants to do. He already told us.

He wants to build a wall.
He wants to kick immigrants and Muslims out of the country.
He wants to take away our healthcare (including the pre-existing condition rule).
He bragged about sexually assaulting women.
He is open to using nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation.
He wants to kill the families of terrorists and bring back torture.
He thinks climate change is a hoax.

And, in addition to all of the above condemnable stuff – even when digested individually – he has a long, sorted history of making inflammatory judgments, statements, tweets, bullying, racism, sexism, (every isms really) and generally being an hateful instigator of inexcusable ugliness.

I don’t condemn Trump for our country’s problems, of which obviously there are many. That said, I will and do blame him for his actions; not just over the course of the presidential campaign, but his entire adult life. At best, he spent the whole of his run for president fanning the flames of an ugliness in this country for personal gain. It’s the equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, only in this case Trump was shouting bigoted rhetoric to a theatre full of the armed, uninformed, and angry; xenophobes who needed their own “other” blame. And he gave that to them. He told them they were justified in blaming everyone else for their problems. That’s what a demagogue does. That’s who Donald Trump is.

We know who he is, we know what he wants to do. He should be condemned. Anyone who behaves as such should be condemned and held accountable. His wholly uneducated view of the world puts all of us in danger; our environment, our health, our safety, our right to religion (all of them), love (e.g. who we choose to), speech, press, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

SoMany. FuckingReasons. To. Be.  AngryConfused. and Afraid.

Those of us who did not vote for Donald Trump, who do not subscribe to his divisive hyperbole, have a right to be afraid and to condemn him. But then as citizens of this country, we also must do whatever we can to make sure this ugliness never has a chance to fester long enough to infect our entire nation. We must protect our rights – and more importantly each other – and protect the ideals that have always made this country great. Make our voices heard.

Donald Trump and his ilk are the contagion. Those of us who recognize this ugliness – not only in them, but in ourselves – we are the cure.

Recommended reading & watching:

viva-la-resistance-a-rebel_s-guide-to-overcoming-resistance-1By Natina Norton —

After the results of the 2016 presidential election, it’s easy – as a reasoned observer – to be angry, fearful, and confused. Maybe even a little hostile. But as much as I don’t, I can’t comprehend what has happened as I write this so close to the finish, my stomach still so filled with vitriol and acidity, I know there is hope just over the next horizon.

If our country, the United States, is still standing, the heart of it still beating in 2 years – and we’re not on the verge or deep in the grips of a nuclear winter – enough time will have passed for the consequences of this egregious error to be laid bare; for the choice of more than half our country to prove its lack of quality.

[Correction: As of Wednesday afternoon, 11/9/2016, despite losing the electoral college 228 vs. Trump’s 279, Hillary Clinton was actually leading the popular vote by more than 200,000; 47.7% to Trump’s 47.5%. Also, according to the United States Election Project, nearly half of eligible voters (231,556,622 people) did not vote in the 2016 presidential election (46.6% of the population). This means, when it comes right down to it, Donald Trump was not the choice of “half our country” because only 25% of eligible voters actually voted for Trump.]

In all likelihood, in 2 years, our economy will be tanking, employment struggling, healthcare in shambles, and our international reputation an embarrassment; point being, it’ll be abundantly clear to everyone, including Trump supporters that – either from a true lack of power or complete incompetence – all the things Donald promised he’d do or could do will not have materialize. And, pending this fact, as a united states in 2 years we can fight together for a common purpose.

We all let this happen. We were indifferent or oblivious to the building of an almost literal white noise. We assumed the ignorance and ugliness of our past was in the past instead of simply lying dormant.

Nevertheless, in 2 years we will vote again. Assuming that right isn’t removed by some kind of totalitarian tactic, on November 6, 2018 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate and all 435 voting seats in the United States House of Representatives will be up for grabs. As a country, as a collective, we will have the opportunity to vote and start the long process of undoing this absolute clusterfeck of an election.

In the meantime, however, we must be diligent and dissident. We should react to this, not with violence and hatred, but with strength. No matter his title, his position, or is words, Donald Trump cannot change who we are or silence our voices.

And, once I’ve recovered from my shock and disgust, that the next American President will be a racist, sexist, misogynist demagogue, you can be damn sure I’m gonna make my voice one of the loudest.

Fuck Donald Trump.

Vive la résistance!

A little light reading and inspiration..

Baby Trump

Image by grobles63 @ Deviantart.com

By NATINA NORTON —

It all started June 16, 2015. Donald J. Trump slithered down an escalator to declare his candidacy for President of the United States. Since that fateful day, the Republican nominee has been called an awful lot of names.

Racist, bigot, xenophobe, sexist, conman, and – one of my personal favorites – demagogue, just to name a few.

To justify all of the above name-calling, there’s a virtual smorgasbord of scandals to choose from. A few examples:

If in need of further data, on September 13, 2016 noted journalist, Keith Olbermann, host of GQ’s The Closer, offered a comprehensive list of “176 shocking things Donald Trump has done.” Olbermann’s 176 (plus a sequel of 74 more) were then followed by Trump’s 5 A.M. Twitter tirade against former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, and the self-professed respecter of women impotently bragging how celebrity allows him to get away with sexual assault.

So, based on the evidence, it appears the name-calling list thus far is accurate, and we can also add misogynist.

With most of his deplorable behavior well covered, some have added supplementary names to the list using his above behavior combined with his apparently Everest-sized mountain of lies. Again, just a few examples:

With reference to Trump’s documented lies, Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC’s Last Word called Trump a pathological liar, meaning his lies are compulsive. “He knows you know he’s lying […], but he simply cannot resist […].” Conversely, Fareed Zakaria of CNN and the Washington Post believes, at his core, Trump is instead a bullshit artist. “Liars and truth-tellers are both acutely aware of facts and truths. […] The B.S. artist, however, has lost all connection with reality. He pays no attention to the truth.”

So, whatever way you cut it, based on the evidence, Donald has told a myriad of easily exposed lies. This means we can now reasonably add to our list pathological liar, bullshit artist, or just plain ole liar, liar pants (made in China) on fire.

Seriously. Name-calling Trump is exhausting.

Every day it seems the Republican candidate for President provides us with yet another scandal, another lie, which ultimately lengthens this already extensive list of unflattering names. But when it comes right down to it, what does all this name-calling accomplish? We already know – and have known for some time – what this tangerine-faced, tiny-handed, Twitter meltdowning, dictator-loving, deeply narcissistic, profoundly insecure bully with the temperament of an infant, racist, bigoted, xenophobic, sexist, conman, demagogue, misogynist, pathological, bullshit shoveling, liar has always been…

Donald Trump is an asshole.

It all started June 16, 2015. Donald J. Trump slithered down an escalator to declare his candidacy for President of the United States. Since that fateful day, the now Republican nominee has said and done plenty of abhorrent things to warrant being called an awful lot of names. He didn’t just cross the line with his comments about Mexican immigrants, Muslims, women, veterans, the disabled, the media, the President, or any number of people, places, and things; he crossed a thousand lines a thousand and one times proving himself over and over and over to be the most unqualified, undignified, insufferable a-hole to ever darken America’s doorstep, not to mention a presidential election. When this all comes to a merciful end, November 8, 2016, it is my hope, as well as the hope of millions of other rational people around the world, that Donald J. Trump will finally be called the only name that truly matters.

Loser.

(This blog may contain spoilers from Season 1 of the HBO series, Game of Thrones. That said, if you haven’t started watching it by now, read on anyway and I’ll save you the trouble.)

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So it’s Saturday. My day off-ish. I finally decided to binge-a-thon Game of Thrones t­­­o see what all the fuss is about.

After two episodes, the story was building at such a snail’s pace (interlaced heavily with uninspiring acting, cheap nudity, and incest) I could barely keep my eyes open. T­he cliffhangers, however, of episodes 1 and 2 (an attempted murder of Sean Bean’s son and the son waking from an apparent coma respectively) peaked my interest just barely enough to forge bravely on to episode 3.

Then I finished episode 3.

Good LORD. I cannot take any more boobs and boring.

In regards to the boobs, don’t get me wrong, in general they don’t bother me. It’s the completely random, pointlessness of the boobies on this show. It’s as if the director, while filming, asked, “When’s the last time we had some boob?… Ten minutes?!? We’d better throw a couple topless chicks in here then.” And don’t get me started on the one-positional sex scenes. Seriously?

As for boring? The writing is boring. The wolves are boring. The blond chick with the dragon eggs is boring. The hot warrior dude is hot, but still boring. And, bless him, but Sean Bean is BORING BORING BORING.

I don’t care anymore if winter is coming. I don’t care if dragons are coming. I tried. Even a zombie apocalypse couldn’t save this show for me. I know there’s (at least) 5 more seasons left, and maybe it does get better, but I’d prefer to save the rest of my Saturday, my time, my sanity, and just imagine my own ending right now:

Winter finally comes. Sean Bean’s son pushes the icky queen out a window. All the douche bags on the show (and there’s A LOT of them) all fall on their swords. And the rest of the kingdom (or whatever) freeze (with “Let It Go” flare) in their stupid, fur coats bringing a swift and satisfactory, non-doggy style climax to Game of Drones.

The end.

Oscar

“For the 83rd consecutive year, celebrating the gems in a sea of mediocrity.”

There’s always quite the brouhaha about the Oscars this time of year. Which million dollar masterpiece will be honored with best picture? Who will win the bald, golden statue for best actor/actress? What hideous gown will make the best and/or worst dressed list this year? (For the record, Cate Blanchett’s bizarre, pink frock – she looked like she’d been exposed to an alien virus – gets my worst dressed vote.) Yet, while I can fully appreciate the abstract artistry of a Black Swan or a brilliant script à la The Social Network, I can’t help but look passed the Hollywood glitz and glamour to reflect on the overwhelming number of awful movies I was exposed to in 2010.

While the minds behind the Academy Awards saw fit to recognize 10 films in the best picture category this year, in retrospect they seem to be rare cinematic gems in a sea of mediocrity. For every good to great film I watched in the last 12 months, at least a half dozen appeared to warrant a refund after the first 20 minutes. Some were presented using useless, over hyped 3D technology. Some insulted your intelligence. Some made you think about hunting down the actors to retaliate for retinal abuse.

We go to the movies to escape, to be entertained and, despite Hollywood rumors to the contrary, that desire was more lacking in 2010 than ever before. In fact, the more I investigated the topic, the more bad movies I discovered to add to my hit list. So before this rant gets any longer, in honor of the 10 official Oscar nominees of 2010, I give you…

The Top 10 Worst Movies of 2010!

Ah, Steve Carell. The accidental genius, God bless him.

#10 – Dinner for Schmucks
Steve Carell is no leading man, but he still has this amazing ability to take garbage and make it, at the very least, smell like a taxi cab air freshener. He’s fantastic in The Office. I watched him work miracles in Evan Almighty. Even in Dinner for Schmucks, Carell manages to portray Barry as an endearing idiot savant… in a creepy, stuffed rat posed in 1950s Americana sort of way. Unfortunately though, it’s not enough to dilute a weak script and poor execution. Schmucks is a lot of wacky people being overtly weird, the same jokes playing out ad nauseam, and a hapless Paul Rudd as the biggest loser of them all.

Crazy stalker in your house? Don’t call the police, sit back and enjoy the chaos! Your girlfriend thinks you’re cheating? Don’t immediately try to explain the situation, drag the nonsense out for another hour until the explanation happens unintentionally!

Obviously Dinner for Schmucks was never going to be an Oscar contender, but when your viewers find themselves angrily shouting “WHY?” at the screen while simultaneously searching for the exit, that’s never a good sign it’ll sell a lot of DVDs either.

#9 – Hot Tub Time Machine
This could’ve been a funny movie… if I was drunk, stoned, or both. Maybe then I would’ve felt like I had something in common with the characters or the state of mind of the writers. It also has cringe worthy dialogue that suggests those delivering the lines think they’re being clever; a Jerry Seinfeld, who laughs at his own jokes, effect. A poor excuse for comedy.

“You want me to turn it sideways and do what with my career?”

#8 – The Tooth Fairy
I love The Rock. He’s one of the greatest professional wrestling personalities of all time. As his performances in both The Rundown and Walking Tall demonstrate, he’s also not a half bad actor either (he blows John Cena out of the water on both counts). However, if I have to sit through another child friendly flick where a sickeningly saccharin People’s Champion is forced to prance around like a ballet dancer (see The Game Plan for an equally excruciating experience… on second thought, don’t), I may be forced to give up on supporting his movie career altogether.

#7 – Iron Man 2
Note to the Iron Man. You’re not immortal. Your special super hero suit does not come customized with internal airbags. Nevertheless, you can be whipped around like a crash test dummy and plummet hundreds of feet to the earth without turning into an iron bucket of broken bones? The errors in logic from this movie hurt my brain.

Just keep walking, honey. You and you’re fancy heels wouldn’t last five minutes.

#6 – Leap Year
When it comes to the reasons why co-star Matthew Goode choose to do this film, it should be no surprise that he said, “It wasn’t because of the script, trust me.” One hundred minutes with a whiny, spoiled redhead complaining, played infuriatingly well by Amy Adams, is not my idea of fun. Then there’s the added bonus of her trying to get to Dublin, Ireland from Wales (a northwest route) by taking a boat traveling southwest to Cork, which was then diverted to Dingle, which is roughly 100 miles passed Cork on the other side of the country? Did the writers, actors, director, or anyone involved in the production of this film ever look at a freakin’ map? Where exactly do you think Dublin is? Iceland? She would’ve needed more than the luck of the Irish to make it to Dublin by 2012!

#5 – Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
If the length of a movie title were any indication of the time spent on character development, then perhaps Percy Jackson would’ve been worth the financial investment at the cinema. Alas, within the opening 10 minutes we’re treated with dialogue akin to:

Percy: “Oh! A creepy bat thing is trying to kill me! What the hell is going on?”
Some Dude: “It’s because you’re the son of Poseidon.”
Percy: “What?”
Some Dude: “Now we’re going to send you to a special camp where you’ll meet other kids whose parents also come from mythology.”
Percy: “That explanation is perfectly logical. Okay then. Let’s go.”

#4 – District 9
I assumed, incorrectly, with LOTR director, Peter Jackson, at the helm the unique story of District 9 surely would provide an interesting evening of entertainment. Boy, was I wrong, wrong, wrong.

As part of a DVD double feature night, I picked this movie to trail a viewing of Babe; a sweet, heartfelt tale about an extraordinary pig to be followed by dead pork carcasses being used as projectile weapons. This was a poor choice to be fair. I also didn’t appreciate the enormous gap left open at the end for a sequel. Really? You’re that confident viewers will give a crap whether or not your extremely unlikable “hero,” will ever be saved? If they were trying to make a statement about human misery, they should’ve worked a little harder on presenting a coherent story, rather than psychologically torturing their audience.

My thoughts exactly.

#3 – Clash of the Titans
The subtitle of this film should’ve been “FX Overkill: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

The trouble begins when they laugh off Bubo the owl. (I hate this revision from the original almost as much as I hated George Lucas changing the Ewok party theme music at the end of Jedi.) Then there is, like most films these days, the pointless addition of 3D nothing. They also fail to deliver on the eerie characters of Calibos and Medusa (she’s meant to be hideous, not a supermodel with snake hair), turned killer scorpions into rodeo arthropods, and then went completely overboard on the special effects.

It takes what feels like an HOUR to “release the Kraken!” for gawd sakes!

It’s as if the technical geeks thought, “let’s turn him into an Octokraken with a thousand legs and show 15 minutes of CGI footage for every individual limb!” In the time it takes for the beast to emerge from the sea to wreak havoc, the townspeople could’ve evacuated and rebuilt an entirely new city from scratch!

There are rumors a sequel is in the works, but I say you should save yourself the hassle and check out the original Harry Hamilton version instead.

#2 – Piranha 3D
No plot, lots of cursing, and more! A multitude of extended montages of bikini clad, gyrating, booby jiggling sluts? They’ve got it! Repeated blasts of loud, headache inducing music? It’s like being in a nightclub where everyone’s drunk, but you! An excessively gory shot of a half Jerry O’Connell, half bloody, spinally skeletal legs? It’ll make you long for the days when he was overweight and a reasonably respectable actor! And what was the icing on this disemboweled cake? They’re talking sequel! “No plotline has yet been decided,” according to reports. That’s okay. Something tells me they never came up with one for the first run either.

Just let go, Sly. It’s for the best.

#1 – The Expendables
With all its star power, including Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and WWE’s “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, I walked into The Expendables with high expectations. That was my mistake. From beginning to end, this movie filled me with such disdain, I considered hunting down Stallone, hitting him with a rolled up newspaper, and snapping, “No! Bad Rocky!”

The plot (if you can call it that) is beyond weak, the acting is atrocious, and the dialogue is the verbal equivalent of chicken scratchings. Poorly trained monkeys could’ve produced a better movie. And to make matters worse, the entire thing was filmed using awkward, shaky, and nonsensical camera shots as well. Do we need to inspect every pore on Mickey Rourke’s face or zoom in spasticly whenever someone takes or throws a punch? For all the constant, unnecessary motion, they should’ve offered dramamine at the box office.

Finally, after hours of killing and bloodshed, we come to the anticlimactic battle between Stallone and one of the main evil villains. This is where Sly, using an array of maneuvers unfit for even a roided up 60-year-old man, chooses an armbar submission hold. Really. After thousands of rounds of spent ammunition and merciless, murderous warfare, he decides to go for a tap out? There’s a sequel rumored to be in the works so perhaps we’ll be treated with the dreaded Bob Backlund chicken wing in part two! Then again, do I really want to risk another $12 on this? Unlike Stallone’s dwindling career, my money’s just not that expendable.