James Franco is just a smarmier Ethan Hawke

James Franco, the Hipster Zelig and member of the ubiquitous Judd Apatow dude factory (and all the mediocrity that entails), is the media’s wet dream. His bad choices, like hosting The Oscars, are rationalized as just another subtly brilliant Franco experiment that the rest of us are too dumb to understand.

He’s become the go-to celebrity for The New York Times, offering allegedly deep insights on everything from selfies (“attention seems to be  the name of the game when it comes to social networking” — brilliant) to Shia LaBeouf’s public meltdowns (“Performance art” allows a “film actor” to reclaim “a little bit of power over his image. Participating in this call and response is a kind of critique, a way to show up the media by allowing their oversize responses to essentially trivial actions to reveal the emptiness of their raison d’être.”) So that’s what the Unknown Comic was getting at.

In an appearance this morning on “Live! with Kelly and Michael” — chosen for reasons only he can comprehend — Franco acknowledged trying to hook up with a 17-year-old girl. But don’t blame him.

”I’m embarrassed, and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky,” Franco said sheepishly. “It’s a way people meet each other today, but what I’ve learned is you don’t know who’s on the other end. I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson.”

Actually, Franco did know who was on the other end — a teenage fangirl. But since it’s James Franco doing the perving …

“I promise I will not reveal our text messages,” Kelly Ripa joked after Franco’s mea culpa.

The joke’s on us, not that anyone seems to care. The brilliance of James Franco is blinding.


If Clintons get a pass, why not Mozilla CEO?

Excellent post by Andrew Sullivan on the inconsistency of the Petty Queer Establishment , which remains among the most ardent Clinton supporters.

If it is unconscionable to support a company whose CEO once donated to the cause against marriage equality, why is it not unconscionable to support a candidate who opposed marriage equality as recently as 2008, and who was an integral part of an administration that embraced the Defense Of Marriage Act, signed into law by Bill Clinton? How do you weigh the relative impact of a president strongly backing DOMA – even running ads touting his support for it in the South – and an executive who spent $1000 for an anti-marriage equality Proposition?


Nothing new about men of God living like kings

At least there’s outrage among Catholics over the fabulous lives of many of their church leaders, including Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory,  who lives in a  6,196-square-foot, $2.2 million Buckhead mansion. Most Protestants could care less.

In fact, it’s become commonplace for megachurch pastors to live among the affluent. Andy Stanley, who pastors to 30,000 metro Atlantans each week, lives in a “soaring, traditional, $1.1 million home surrounded by five acres of greenery in the horsey, new community of Milton,” according to a recent AJC profile.

God wants it that way, rationalize some preachers.

The wise men from the East made Jesus wealthy at his birth: The Rev. Creflo Dollar, senior pastor of World Changers Church International in College Park, says the Gospel of Matthew proves that Jesus was the recipient of wealth at his birth.

“In the book of Matthew in Chapter 2, the kings came to him, and they bought him gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Jesus had so much money that he needed a treasurer: The New Testament describes Judas as the “treasurer” for Jesus’ disciples. “Why would a band of 12 men need a treasurer if they didn’t have some treasures, ” says Bishop Johnathan Alvarado of Total Grace Christian Center in Decatur. “You need a treasurer when you have surplus.”

Jesus wore expensive clothes: In the 19th chapter of John‘s Gospel, the Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus are depicted gambling for his “seamless” undergarment. Alvarado says Jesus wore garments that were a “nobleman’s garments.” “If his clothes were a poor man’s clothes, why would centurions gamble for it?” Alvarado asks.

Jesus was an entrepreneur because he was a carpenter: Jesus had a well-paying job and could afford to build his own home.

The disciples didn’t think of themselves as poor, either: The disciples had lucrative careers and didn’t regard themselves as impoverished. “The disciples were absolutely not poor, ” Dollar says. “Peter had an overflowing boatload of fish that came in when Jesus called him. You’re looking at a doctor, a tax collector — you’re looking at guys who had jobs.”

According to Dollar, “People wouldn’t follow a poor man: Jesus couldn’t have attracted the crowds to follow him unless he had wealth. They would not have respected a poor man.”



Because gun fetishits are so oppressed

Gun rights activists need to follow in the footsteps of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, according to musician-turned-conservative pundit Ted Nugent.

“In 2014, gun owners must learn from Rosa Parks and definitely refuse to give up our guns,” Nugentwrites, in a column published Thursday by World Net Daily and flagged by Media Matters. “As Rosa Parks once said, ‘You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.’”

Paranoid and packing is an obnoxious mix.



Internment defender supports #CancelColbert

When Michelle Malkin, author of “In Defense of Internment,” joins your cause it might be time to reassess.

Dave Weigel dissects:

(Colbert’s) intent, in every case, was to shame Snyder or the owners of other teams with names playing on Native American stereotypes.

That’s not acceptable to the hashtag activists. As they explained in 140-character bursts, when a white comedian like Colbert joked about racism by playing a racist, he was still telling his audience to laugh at a racist joke. Anyone who disputed this was trying to “whitesplain” satire—an argument that can never be debunked. You can laugh at being told to “check your privilege,” but hearing that plants an idea that you can’t shake. (This is not necessarily a bad thing, even though this particular hashtag was born midair above a shark.) And if it brings fame and clout to activists who have not really done anything to win your attention previously, that’s a sweet fringe benefit.

dennis baxley

Big-government Confederates

Why am I not surprised this Confederate-loving state representative from Florida is a Tea Party Republican and former head of the state’s Christian Coalition?

A bill that adds a layer of government and takes away local control passed a House panel controlled by Republicans on Monday.

Yes, Republicans on the House’s Agriculture and Natural Resources committee seemed to contradict their own principles by narrowly passing HB 493 7-6 that would require Florida’s Cabinet to approve any changes to historic sites in the state park system if anyone objects. Currently, all changes are made by administrators working in the parks system or the Florida Department of Environmental Protection after considering local input.

It wasn’t a RINO who sponsored the bill, but Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, the House’s ultra-conservative behind the 2005 “stand your ground” law, among others. He filed the bill in reaction to a request by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to erect a obelisk honoring the fallen Union soldiers in the Feb. 20, 1864 Battle of Olustee. …

“I think it’s appropriate for someone to come in and question if a competing monument will detract from that historical significance,” Baxley said.  “There’s an expectation in historical monuments of permanency. If you’re going to change things, that’s a policy decision.

“It’s not Southern as much as it’s descendants and individuals who their families died there to avoid the strafing and burning of their state,” Baxley said. “They were defending Florida.”



‘Bama greeks still unsure about desegregation

This might as well have been written in 1964. Welcome to Tuscaloosa, 2014:

A modest proposal encouraging Bama’s fraternities and sororities not to discriminate or segregate on the basis of race died in the student Senate last week—after it was sunk by senators with Greek sympathies, according to several of the bill’s sponsors. …

The proposed resolution was tame as hell; after decrying the school’s longtime “stigma… regarding its legacy of segregation,” it stated that “the Senate supports the complete integration of all Greek letter fraternities and sororities at the University of Alabama, with respect to social diversity among its membership.”

Opponents used a parliamentary procedure to table the resolution before the Senate adjourned from its final meeting. 27 senators voted to kill the bill; 5 voted for it, and 2 voted “present,” according to the Crimson White.

No doubt The Machine played a pivotal role in killing the resolution. For more on the all-white, secret society that wields tremendous influence at the University of Alabama, check out this Esquire article from 1992. Typically that would be considered a dated source, but look who I’m talking about.

The day I visit Kappa Alpha [Order], someone has a Confederate flag hanging in a back window, and there’s a nervous feeling in the air. That’s because fraternity leaders are holding strategy meetings to plan their defiance of the school administration. The university is trying to force integration and other reforms on the fraternities and sororities through a self-evaluation procedure called the accreditation plan. The university has no timetable; but the threat is that stubborn fraternities will lose official recognition — and be forced, some say, to rebuild their mansions off campus.

Christopher “Boo” Haughton, the Kappa Alpha president, can’t really talk for a couple of days, not till the fraternity has figured out its plan of action. He has tousled reddish-brown hair and big, heavy-lidded eyes. He wears boots and jeans and a T-shirt.

He does tell me a little about tradition. Greek life goes back to the time after the Civil War, he says, when the plantation owners sought a place closer than Europe for their boys to learn how to conduct themselves. Boo grew up in Haleyville, a town of five thousand. He’s from old money and says so openly.

“Southerners are a very proud people,” Boo says. “My grandmother tells stories of her mother being a child and throwing day-old biscuits at Union soldiers walking by their house in Pine Apple, Alabama.” He shakes his head. “That sends chills up my spine to think of that. Any association with that war — with what they wanted and what they went through.”

Southerners are not a monolith, Boo. Some of us are embarrassed our relatives were on the wrong side of history. Unfortunately, rednecks like you continue doing your best to keep us in the Dark, er, White Ages.


Oliver Stone validates David Duke

Acording to Haaretz, Oliver Stone said U.S. public opinion remains focused on the Holocaust due to “Jewish domination of the media,” and claims his next film will attempt to put Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin “in context.” He claims he’s been able to “walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view.”

So the greatest mass murderers of the 20th Century are in fact misunderstood victims of a Jewish cover-up that involves the U.S. media.


This is what happens when you view everything through a conspiratorial lens — you end up sounding just like David Duke?

Stone should have been marginalized years ago, but just last fall he turned up the reality show Dream School teaching history to troubled students who had either dropped out or been expelled.

I guess Dr. Duke wasn’t available.


King Arthur gets his parking deck

The anticipated, not-so-hidden fees are already emerging for the Stadium Few Want and Atlanta Doesn’t Need.

The $17 million in state bonds to expand a parking deck near the new $1.2 billion Falcons stadium has emerged as one of the biggest surprises tucked into the state budget. Gov. Nathan Deal said Wednesday it’s been in the works for months. …

“We’re in the business of providing what’s needed for our World Congress Center campus and this would all be a part. And they tell me that parking is not adequate right now. I think the need is justified. We believe this first step is a critical step corporate welfare to our richest citizens,” Deal said.