Open Thread

Just a reminder, the Pets of Balloon Juice 2013 Calendar is now available, and all proceeds will go to MARC, the Marion Animal Resource Connection. Make sure you pick up one- hell, pick up a couple and give them as Christmas gifts, knowing that not only will you make someone smile, but you will be rescuing dogs. Not to mention, all the mugs and other clothing and gear also go to help out animal rescue. Here’s the cover:

cover final review

In other news, I went and watched Skyfall this afternoon because I just needed to get the fuck away from the tv and the internet and the thought of a bunch of kids being killed in their kindergarten class. The movie was just amazing, and Javier Bardem should get an Oscar nomination. He was hands down he creepiest Bond villain ever.






62 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    The admissions department of my employer receives an unexpected package.

  2. 2
    zmullls says:

    We’re trying to feel normal here too; but we learned earlier that very close friends of ours are among the 20 parents dealing with the unimaginable. We were hoping all day to not hear the news we finally heard. Their older son was in the school but was not in the kindergarten class.

    My sons know the kids from when they’ve visited here — we had to tell them what happened. I don’t know how you process this when you’re that young. I barely know how to process it myself.

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    Mark Kelly tweeted:
    20 – 5 year olds gunned down in their classroom. When will we address this problem as a nation? The time is now!

  4. 4
    TG Chicago says:

    Looks like there’s a little glitch on the main page. At the very top of my browser (Firefox) it says:

    Open Thread | Balloon Juice

    You’d expect that on this page, but not on the main page. In fact, looking at the Page Source of the main page, line 5 reads:

    (title)Open Thread | Balloon Juice(/title)

    (using () instead of )

    Pretty sure you want that to be just Balloon Juice. Or maybe a revolving tag line.

    ETA: the “title” also shows up on the tab header, so that should definitely start with Balloon Juice.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    @zmullls: I am so sorry. There is no point in trying to return to normalcy right now because this is not a normal time.

  6. 6
    SatanicPanic says:

    I know it’s an open thread, but I’ve had a hard time thinking about anything besides the shootings today.

  7. 7
    Maude says:

    @SatanicPanic:
    I feel a kind of loneliness. I wonder if other people feel this also.

  8. 8
    dp says:

    OMG the fucking horror. It’s beyond my ability to process and comprehend. God bless all those families.

  9. 9
    Karen in GA says:

    @zmullls: Clicked “reply” on your post, and then just stared at the screen. I wish “I’m so sorry” was an incantation that could fix everything.

  10. 10
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Javier Bardem

    Ain’t he awesome?

  11. 11
    Helen says:

    I do not want to be Debbiedowner but we need to be practical here. Nothing is going to change.

    The left has lost this fight. The number of dead children does not matter. The surviving victims are not going to change. Please indulge me with a personal story.

    Two years ago this coming January, my beloved nephew Alex was gunned down by his “friend” Tommy. He was killed in a small town in western VA. My father and I here in NYC, liberals to the core, were devastated. We drove 8 hours down for the funeral. The whole time I tried to convince my father, who has buried his wife, his son, (those to other death causes) and now his grandson, to not bring up guns. And if someone happened to bring it up to not say anything. I said “Daddy, please if it comes up and you feel as though you cannot contain yourself, please walk out of the room.” Well, friends, it turns out that was not an issue. It never, ever, ever came up. It never occurred to those fucking hillbillies that guns were the problem.

    Tonight my sister (Alex’s mom) posted on her FB page “Let’s pray for those in Sandy Hook.” I love my sister. I do not like her but I love her. It took all my strength not to post “Pray? We’re too late to pray. Those babies are dead. Your God clearly did not give a shit. What we should pray for is death to all liberals. They are taking our guns away. If those babies had guns in their lunch boxes this would have never happened.”

    Of course I did not post it. I love my sister. I just do not like her.

  12. 12
    Dexter's new approach says:

    To all these assholes with gun-owner fantasies about aborting a mass killing, just say FORT HOOD. A fucking army doc killed 13 soldiers, injured 29 at a fucking army base. Either our soldiers are fucking incompetent or anyone can kill lots of innocent people with guns it that’s their their intent.

  13. 13
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Maude: Yeah, I don’t remember ever feeling this before when it comes to something I wasn’t personally involved in. I was out of the country during 9/11 and that just seemed too unreal and I was too wrapped up in my own life. I’ve become a parent since then too, which really changed the way I see these things.

  14. 14
    My Truth Hurts says:

    Ok, two comments

    1) I love the cover of the pet calendar. It suggests a calendar of pinups. It’s really a very funny picture.

    2) Skyfall was the best Bond film in many, many years. I also just recently saw it and was blown away by how good it was.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @zmullls:

    I’m so sorry — the ripple effect from these tragedies always goes further out than people realize.

    The one suggestion I will give you for your kids is to sit down with them sometime this week and help them write a condolence letter to your friends. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, but just saying that they’re sorry and sharing a funny or happy memory they have of spending time with your friends’ child will help both your kids and your friends.

  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I know Bond villians are supposed to be over the top, and I know about willing suspension of disbeleif and all that, but I just couldn’t get on board with him. Maybe it’s the dye job, I don’t know. Not “believable” in the sense that any Bond baddie is ever supposed to be.

    Now Bardem in No Country… *that* was creepy.

  17. 17
    kamalokitty says:

    I am going to say a lot of F-words.

    And I’m probably not all that sorry.

    I am bereft. I am confused over the conversations that I’ve been reading that any bans on assault weapons would not have changed today? Huh? Do I give a fuck over the reach of any attempt on gun control. Ban all the motherfuckers. I don’t care. And do not ever let me hear you cry over your fucking precious 2nd amendment rights. Fuck you. 20 dead kids. Fuck you and your rights. You are not the victim here. You are the fucking problem that we cannot as a goddamn nation address this in the 13 years since Columbine. How many school shootings since, huh? And that mother fucker in the white house thinks today is not the day to talk about control. Fuck Carney, too. It is too fucking late, mother fucker. 20 dead kids too late.

    And for the record, before you all get up in my ass, I’ve grown up with guns. My dad had guns galore. I’m from this rural island in the Pacific where my brothers shot wild boar and deer. I happen to enjoy firing a handgun at my friend’s gun club. Wahoo. Fuck that shit. None of it is worth 20 dead kids. Fuck you.

  18. 18
    zmullls says:

    I keep waiting for someone to point out that the 2nd amendment protects the right to bear *arms* not *guns*. If you take it to the absurd conclusion, you have the right to have a grenade launcher or flamethrower. The 2nd amendment doesn’t specify what sort of armaments it covers.

    So to suggest you are not allowed to have some sensible regulation as to what sorts of arms one can bear is pretty preposterous. As is the suggestion that the 2nd amendment is absolute without limit.

    I obviously have strong personal feelings today.

    Years ago I took my first drive out west. I was driving through New Mexico, in the middle of nowhere, hours from any city, and I suddenly wished I had a gun with me. I got it. I understand why there are some places in America where having a gun for protection is part of the fabric of living there.

    But we ought to be able to discuss whether or not owning a mass-killing assault weapon really adds to one’s right to either self-defense or forming a militia…….

  19. 19
    kamalokitty says:

    Oh and P.S., I want me that goddamn calendar. (That cover shot is hella awesome).

  20. 20
    Geoduck says:

    @Dexter’s new approach:

    To all these assholes with gun-owner fantasies about aborting a mass killing, just say FORT HOOD. A fucking army doc killed 13 soldiers, injured 29 at a fucking army base. Either our soldiers are fucking incompetent or anyone can kill lots of innocent people with guns it that’s their their intent.

    It’s my vague understanding that most soldiers while on base do not in fact carry guns.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    Our big dog, Caesar, is AWOL, whereabouts unknown. And the kid is due home from school tomorrow afternoon. This has the potential to really suck.

  22. 22
    piratedan says:

    @Geoduck: well that would have been dangerous, everyone knows that…..

  23. 23
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole:

    Javier Bardem should get an Oscar nomination. He was hands down he creepiest Bond villain ever.

    Presumably you’re referring to an Oscar for best “supporting” actor. As far as the nomination for “best actor”, it will be a travesty of justice if anyone but Daniel-Day Lewis wins for his astonishingly convincing portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    G is in the other room watching “Mel Brooks Strikes Back!” Because sometimes it helps. We watched “Mr. Show” reruns on 9/11.

  25. 25
    kamalokitty says:

    @zmullis. We’re stuck with Scalia’s interpretation of the Constitution as not a living document. Per him, it shall be interpreted as of the time it was written. Swell! We all have the right to bear muskets! I’m all for the godamn muskets!

    Except no, his interpretation is one of convenience, and what is a dead constitution when it comes to everybody else, it’s all a living document in his world when it comes to the right to bear “arms” in all of its modern glory.

    I have serious problems with his interpretation of the 2nd amendment and the use of commas. Commas people! It has come down to dependent and independent clauses! It comes down to punctuation.

    But not really. Because depending on who is doing the reading, so shall the Constitution be interpreted.

  26. 26
    Bruuuuce says:

    @zmullls: Even more simply, I suggest no-restrictions-on-guns folks scream “fire” in a crowded theater, then try to argue that free speech is an explicit Constitutional right. It’s very clear that while rights may not be abolished, they can be restricted when they threaten the … what’s that phrase again? … oh yeah, “general Welfare”. Nice how the Founders provided such a resilient, LIVING document for the basis of the Republic, innit?

  27. 27
    Karen in GA says:

    @My Truth Hurts: Skyfall was indeed amazing. And it gave me ideas for some fun DIY projects around the house. (Who knew “M” stood for MacGyver?)

  28. 28
  29. 29
    aangus says:

    “knows”

  30. 30
    Gex says:

    Colorado has a conceal and carry law. Where was the conceal and carry hero we’ve been promised by the NRA when Aurora happened? If we can’t discuss regulating guns more strictly, and we already allow conceal and carry, where else can we go? MANDATORY carry?

    Not once. Not once has the fucking mythical NRA hero done what has been promised. Instead, it seems we just get more dead people.

    Ezra Klein’s article showed a graphic indicating how many of these mass shootings are the result of legally obtained weapons. It was the vast majority. It seems to me that many of those mass shootings were likely a result of the NRA’s decades of success in increasing gun rights. Congratulations, assholes.

  31. 31
    GregB says:

    There was a brief period after 9/11 where most Americans actually got it.

    We stopped being assholes for a short time.

    It only lasted a little while.

  32. 32
    Gex says:

    @GregB: Right now, I really hate us.

  33. 33
    Dexter's new approach says:

    @Geoduck:

    Right, most don’t carry, but it’s about as secure and armed a place as you can get in the US. If schools need to rise above that bar, were already fucked.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    Cain says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Oh goodness! I hope you find him. Well wishes your way.

  36. 36
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I was on a bus all day, coming home to Chicago from Columbia, Missouri. Didn’t hear about it until my parents told me at about 10:30 at night. I’ve tried to resolve to not bother getting into arguments with right-wing meatheads because they never listen and all I get is a headache and ground teeth. But this was too much to just keep shut up about. On the art site I post at, someone started a thread in the forum section about gummint takin our gunz blah blah blah, and, well, I lost it: http://comments.deviantart.com.....2860764937

    This might just be too angry to help people cope, but it helped me. I’m angry. Angry and sad and depressed.

  37. 37
    mandarama says:

    Javier Bardem has taken the crown from Ralph Fiennes for “Extremely Attractive Man Who Can Be So Damned Creepy You Don’t Know Why You Ever Thought He Was Hot.” It’s a great compliment to his acting, but whew.

    I’m trying to think about mundane, useless stuff. It’s not working very well. I have a lot of work due in the next 3 days and I can’t really care much about that, either. I’m following the policy a friend of mine put on FB: “I let my kids have ice cream for dinner. As far as I’m concerned, they can f’ing have it for breakfast tomorrow too.” And I’ll probably skeeve out my 11-yr-old with all my clinginess…but shit, I had to have a 45-min talk with both my kids today that we just shouldn’t have to be having.

  38. 38
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Gex:

    where else can we go? MANDATORY carry?

    That’s what they want. Some of them, anyway. The NRA exists to sell guns. They don’t care about anything else, just like Wall Street doesn’t care about anything but making money (maybe that’s the problem with our politics: we put our trust in the ‘wisdom’ of institutions that have some of the biggest conflicts of interests imaginable.) The true gun nuts are gimlet-eyed bastards who wouldn’t bat an eye if 2,000 children were killed today, and I would but money that at least one high-level muckety-muck in the NRA heard about this and was happy because he knows they can capitalize on it. Just send out some bullshit about how Obama is gonna use this to steal your guns and voila, rolling in the dough.

    The one bright spot for me is that it gave me a good idea for a dystopian sci-fi story. A guy in a rural area mentions casually that he doesn’t own any guns, and his neighbors hear about it, break in at night and kill him and his family, and then argue in court that he needed to die to show people what happened when you don’t own guns-they get acquitted, and are hailed as heroes for not allowing the subversive idea of non-gun-ownership to spread. Peh. Probably already been done.

  39. 39
    mai naem says:

    I am flipping channels trying to find something interesting and not about the shooting. How can you have 200 channels and nothing interesting to watch? The other evening I was flipping channels and I ended up on a PBS channel where they were running a doc on the Mumbai shootings. I didn’t follow that when it happened. I didn’t realize that there were a bunch of people in a hidden section of the Oberoi or Taj who were safe until some dumbass politician who was among them,gave away their location on a live interview with a teevee station.How fvcking stoopid do you have to be to,first interview and, second,have the teevee station run it?

  40. 40
    mandarama says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I went and read this and love you more than just a little for it.

  41. 41
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    And, um, as far as Skyfall goes, I thought it was a good movie on its own, but I couldn’t shake the feeling afterwards that I’d just watched a shot-by-shot remake of The Dark Knight. As the hero’s usefulness and legality are being questioned, a smarmy and nihilistic villain arrives to convince the hero that he’s not really a hero. A woman important to the hero dies, but the hero eventually realizes that the world still needs him and goes back to work. Even smaller stuff, like the scene where the villains both get caught on purpose to further their plans.

    I dunno. I think we’ve done about all we can with grim, deconstructive superhero/action flicks where the hero is hated by the public and spends the movie’s whole second act swimming in self-doubt and manages to eke out a bittersweet victory almost in spite of himself. I would honestly not mind if the next James Bond movie was about him trying to stop a Nazi colony on the moon from turning all the world’s food into diamonds. There’s nothing wrong with a little silliness. Hell, it would at least be something different.

  42. 42
    mandarama says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I went and read this and I love you more than just a little for it.

  43. 43
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    And, um, as far as Skyfall goes, I thought it was a good movie on its own, but I couldn’t shake the feeling afterwards that I’d just watched a shot-by-shot remake of The Dark Knight. As the hero’s usefulness and legality are being questioned, a smarmy and nihilistic villain arrives to convince the hero that he’s not really a hero. A woman important to the hero dies, but the hero eventually realizes that the world still needs him and goes back to work. Even smaller stuff, like the scene where the villains both get caught on purpose to further their plans.

    I dunno. I think we’ve done about all we can with grim, deconstructive superhero/action flicks where the hero is hated by the public and spends the movie’s whole second act swimming in self-doubt and manages to eke out a bittersweet victory almost in spite of himself. I would honestly not mind if the next James Bond movie was about him trying to stop a Nazi colony on the moon from turning all the world’s food into diamonds. There’s nothing wrong with a little silliness. Hell, it would at least be something different.

  44. 44
    mandarama says:

    @mandarama:

    It’s taken me 4 years or so to get to say it, but FYWP!

  45. 45
    hg says:

    Umm, just curious… whose cat is that?!? And whats the story behind that picture??

  46. 46
    Jebediah says:

    @mandarama:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I went and read this and I love you more than just a little for it.

    Me, too.

  47. 47
    TG Chicago says:

    @Calouste: Thanks for this. I went to the wiki page, then went to Maurice Clemmons’ wiki page (the shooter). The latter page had said:

    During his sentencing on the charges, a circuit judge told Clemmons that he had broken his Liberal heart, to which he responded, “I have broken my own heart.”

    That sounded awfully odd to me, so I checked the citation. In the original article, it said “mother’s”, not “Liberal”.

    Some wingnut apparently tried to turn wikipedia into conservapedia. I changed it back.

  48. 48
    PsiFighter37 says:

    How do I get moderated because the harshest word in my last post rhymes with ‘bass’ minus the ‘b’?

    So that ye late-night insomniacs don’t miss my post, I’ll do it again. Remember, bass minus the ‘b’:

    Dude, Skyfall was mediocre. Javier Bardem was only good if you are accepting Bond as a cheesy-bass B-film franchise series. I feel bad for Daniel Craig – Casino Royale set expectations so high that he never has a fair shot of meeting that. After finally getting around to seeing the majority of Quantum of Solace, I’d argue that Skyfall was even worse than that.

    Anyways, I’m off to bed. +2 Speakeasy Prohibitions, +4 wine glasses (2 reds + 2 whites) +1 Sierra Nevada Torpedo + 2 Grey Goose mixed drinks.

    Yeah, tomorrow’s going to be a rough morning. As our good friend six feet under Charlie Heston said, you’ll pry my disapproval of your stinkeye looks from my cold, dead hands.

  49. 49
    PsiFighter37 says:

    MODERATION SUCKS HAIRY HAMSTER BALLS, COLE

    PF37 +MAD NOW

  50. 50
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I just saw “The Dark Knight” for the first time. Not too bad, but really, fistfights?

    Also, too, ever since I read that the directors are colorizing movies to orange and cyan to punch up flesh tones I’ve noticed it. It’s really off-putting. Every movie I’ve seen in the last few months is blue and orange and that’s it.

    Please, can we have a little red and green? And maybe yellow?

  51. 51
    Yutsano says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: You. Rule.

  52. 52
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I clicked on it. Fantastic and righteous rant!

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    I love the calendar’s cover.

    That cat gots attitude.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    I hope your rant gets frontpaged with you as a special correspondent from the sane world.

    Well done, sir.

    from Spaghetti Lee: We’ve accepted the proposition that 13,000 murders a year by firearm is an acceptable price to pay for living in a free country. Actually, we didn’t decide it. You decided it for us, and eventually we gave up because we’re sick of listening to you squeal like stuck pigs whenever someone broaches the question. This is the status quo, and it’s not going to change. Ever.
    __
    …No, you know what’s fucking tragic? Dead children, that’s tragic. Grieving parents, whose children died before they even lost their fucking baby teeth. A once-normal elementary school that will forever be known as a graveyard. A town that will never be the same. You assholes popping up and whining about how someone hurt your feelings by bringing up gun control, that’s not tragic. You guys didn’t pull the trigger, yes. I get that, I’ve been told so millions of fucking time. But you’re not the victims. You’re not even within shouting distance of the victims. And I’m fucking done with pretending you are. How about you have some human fucking decency, and shut your fucking whiny arrogant traps until they’re done putting the bodies in the morgue before you turn this into yet another reason to act like self-righteous dicks in your unending and pointless battle with your own imaginary gun-stealing bureaucrats

    You can write.

  55. 55
    Wally Ballou says:

    Kind of small beer compared with what happened in CT, but there was actually *another* public shooting yesterday claiming innocent life:

    http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/1771023

  56. 56
    Wally Ballou says:

    Kind of small beer compared with what happened in CT, but there was actually *another* public shooting yesterday claiming innocent life:

    2 dead after shooting at Las Vegas hotel

  57. 57
    hep kitty says:

    I can’t get over how awesome that picture is. And after yesterday, I NEED to see it again!

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Well done, sir.

  59. 59
    jacksmom says:

    Spaghetti Lee that is one of the most righteous rants I have ever read. Thank you

  60. 60
    Amir Khalid says:

    I thought Skyfall was pretty good, myself. Even though, when I was thinking about it later on, it seemed to me that the plot had more than a little resemblance to that of Johnny English Reborn. (Some of you might know of Rowan Atkinson’s James Bond-meets-Mr Bean comedy franchise).

    I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey today. Ignore the critics who have denounced it as slow-moving because it only gets a third of the way through the book. They are full of shit.

    @Spaghetti Lee: You, sir, speak righteously.

  61. 61
    Insomniac says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Righteous rant, Spaghetti Lee. Absolutely righteous.

  62. 62
    Pangloss says:

    Tonight, the Loyola University men’s basketball team plays Mississippi State for the first time since the all-white Mississippi State team snuck out of Mississippi under cover of darkness to avoid an injunction against them playing an integrated team in 1963. Loyola ended up winning the NCAA Championship that year with four African-American players.

    More here: http://e-five.hubpages.com/hub.....hip-Season

    Mississippi State was the last major college to sign an African-American basketball player… in 1973… in a state that’s 35% Black.

Comments are closed.