Weigh in: No means no...unless it doesn't, of course.

A gifted motion picture director. A guy who'd been up and down the block a few times, especially after his wife's murder in 1969 at the hands of Charles Manson's wacky, cold-blooded friends. And unless you've been hiding under a rock the last few weeks, you already know he's a man who is currently the unwilling guest of a Swiss incarceration facility, by way of drugging and raping 13 year old Samantha Gailey in Jack Nicholson's guest room in 1977. Sex with underage people wasn't as big a deal back then, but it still counted as statutory rape. In this case, our person of great import gave her drugs then anally raped her, which means rape-rape, disregard the whole statutory thing. He cut a deal, went to jail for a couple of days, then fled the country like an idiot. Roman Polanski didn't do a hell of a lot right in 1977.

The young lady in question is certainly not a young lady now – she's 45 years old, and by all accounts she's doing just fine. She states clearly that she's put it behind her, and while she's no fan of Polanski she's forgiven him.

This situation has three issues of notable magnitude which make an otherwise uncluttered case of “get his ass over here and try him” a little unusual:

One: child rape is child rape, in 1977 as it is today. I just might say that myself, as well as “I'd shoot the putrid son of a bitch between the eyes, were it my daughter, and to hell with 'The Pianist'.” Additionally, fleeing the country in defiance of court proceedings is bad joss, no matter who you are. Remember though: Polanski pled. He won't be tried for rape, even though there's little question he did it. He pled guilty to a far lesser charge of “engaging in Unlawful Sexual Intercourse” which sounds about as bad as shoplifting a dildo, but with deportation overtures.

Two: there are 138 petition signers, Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese among the better known, who evidently think it's, you know, a “big deal” but not that big big deal. They say he pled, served 45 days and he split, and let it lie and drop the case. Not their call – a judge had a shot at slapping around a celebrity and that chance was lost – it seems the chance is born anew.

Third: finally, and no less important – Samantha Geimer (once known as “Gailey”) is, as I mentioned above, doing just fine. So fine in fact, she doesn't want to revisit the case – further, she wants the Los Angeles district attorney's office to drop the charges. Not for Polanski's sake: simply because this is newsworthy, and she is absolutely dead-set against being part of a (or: the latest) scandalous, stupid quagmire of media lunacy at the behest of bloodthirsty lawyers snapping at a famous case she herself refers to as an “...irrelevant legal nicety“ for them. I don't blame her a bit. If you suffered a sexual attack as a child, would you want Glenn Beck or Nancy Grace yapping about it?

So let's weigh in, people: is it time to let this outdated, painful fiasco go and forgive, forget, and allow the victim to quietly forge ahead; or should the legal system drive once again the wheels of justice in full view of a slime-addicted world and finish off the wormy but talented old bastard once and for all? Let's hear it.

Weigh in: Would you like to fly in my beautiful balloon?

Over the years we've all seen some deliciously concocted stories about horrible and/or wonderful things that have turned out to be BS: The Runaway Bride, telling scary tales of abduction to avoid the altar when it might have been a bit easier to just say “whoa, uh, dude? No thanks.” There was that whole “send this chain email to every human on the planet and Bill Gates will give you $245 dollars for each person it goes to!” thing that was so pathetically and obviously fake it almost sounded like it could be true. George Bush was rumored to have an intelligence quotient somewhere above room temperature, but it eventually became clearly evident he was somewhere around the mid 50's – run Gee Dubya, run!

Short-term urban mythology, hoaxes written for the ADHD set, and my God the things we'll believe.

Today I found myself reading – again – about Falcon Heene, the offspring of parents Richard and Mayumi Heene. You know - Balloon boy. Simple enough story: family, the willing victims of a TV reality show in the past, do meteorology as a hobby (really?) and like most people they have a weather balloon in their back yard. Boy is reported to have climbed in, and said balloon then loosed somehow, soared to 7,000 feet or so across the Colorado landscape, followed by helicopters and cops on the ground and evidently NORAD, just to crash on the ground empty. Boy is later located hiding in attic of the home, everyone breathes a Baby Jessica sized sigh of relief. Boy says, on camera “you guys said we did this for the show.”

Kids say the darnedest things, damnit.

The WTF factor in this isn't all that high – it seems people are unapologetic in their addiction to television which depicts stupid people behaving stupidly and rudely, and this family serves as a very good example of the fodder we make of ourselves when someone waves a couple dollars in our faces and implies fame and fortune are at hand and states”You're gonna be on television!” It would appear these five words have the capacity to reduce the common American male or female into drooling, doddering imbeciles willing to do pretty much anything, regardless the fact they appear to be aware it'll look, sound, and make them seem utterly grotesque.

So while Little Falcon Heene was napping in the box in the attic and a few dollars were splayed about the area in terms of aviation fuel and manpower to look skyward for him, many additional pairs of eyes were glued to their Plasma and LCD's in HD while tampons and Kraft Food products (which contain very little in the way of actual food) and airlines (who love to talk about helping us fly but hate to actually do it I suspect) flash briefly across their screens all across the nation. In a spasm of epileptic colorful horror, godawful ads burn buzzword-driven pathways into our souls, forcing us to get on Expedia and buy a ticket to pretty much anywhere, knowing the journey will suck but compelled to go anyway.

So complex, but so easy. Having said it, though, I want you to weigh in: would you do it? Would you swap your wife, or let a nanny come discipline your unruly child, or try to marry some bachelor bus driver who is rumored to be worth millions of dollars, or strand yourself on a desert island and let hipster jerkoffs treat you like roadkill, or audition in front of bored, disaffected judges in hopes of being the next Celine although you know full well you can't describe what a note is, much less sing one?

Is there a limit? $10,000? $50,000? What? Is this fun? Is it serious? Do you care?

Me? Oh, boy – I gotta tell you I could sure use an extra few bucks right now, but...I mean, damn.

I cannot imagine parading myself and my wife and my kids around in highly-edited fashion, camera crews asking if they can tape me peeing, presenting only those worst family moments, all to make a few dollars at the complete expense of my current and future dignity. Just seems like a big “no!”

Your thoughts?

Until next time – Cheers! =^oo^=

Creatio ex nihilo? No?

"Creatio ex nihilo."

That means “create from nothing.” It's Latin. I don't speak Latin, but I have assurances this is a good translation.

I do speak English, though, being as I am American. Also as an American, I both am aware of and have some significant distaste for the Westboro Baptist Church. And in that light I have a better translation of creatio ex nihilo: it means “well shit-dang boys! We got us a pissin' contest right here!"

See, Telegraph.uk.co posted an article back on the 8th of October stating a professor and scholar of The Old Testament, Professor Ellen van Wolde, states that the first line in a relatively popular series of books was translated incorrectly. The line was: “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth.”

Professor van Wolde says that's not the correct translation, deducing from the way the verb was used, the context, and the period it was written all conspire to make the first sentence of the bible read thusly: “in the beginning, God separated the Heaven and the Earth.” All these years and now this comes out?

The article at one point mentions that this finding would likely spark a “robust debate.” Uh huh. I have a funny.

See, all this stuff transpired over in Europe, where they have open marriages and girls don't shave their armpits and they all speak funny languages and make really, really good bread and beer and they typically (recently, anyway) discuss their differences before they amble off and bomb the bloody bejesus out of some third world heathen nation to protect their business interests. I imagine they might be able to have a robust debate about it, so long and the Vatican isn't involved, because let's face it: news like this could really fuck up their business model, you think?

The real outcome? Oh, God I can see the CNN footage now: sixty, seventy of those funky mean inbred people from Topeka, all tithing for tickets and flying in tow of Fred Phelps to the Netherlands where the good Professor van Wolde will be delivering a thesis on this subject, marching through Radboud University with those awesomely unmissable neon signs, each saying something like “God hates fags and Europeans!”

Which all totally makes me want to sing “I'm Proud to be an American.”

Meanwhile, this could put a large caliber bullet in that whole Genesis thingie, I think, at least until it gets swept under the carpet. I mean, someone had the audacity to speculate that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was of Jewish ancestry – yeah, try to keep THAT one going. He could have a Torah and a yarmulke hidden in his broom closet, but THAT ain't coming out soon. The truth may set you free, but political nature abhors the truth.

I'd like to see this one generate yet another version of whatever bible would adopt it: Jesus would have a rather different view of dad in this version, with a few new family squabbles. “You made this ass I rode into Jerusalem, sure, but you didn't make the water I can walk on now did you? Embarrassing, isn't it?”

Creatio ex nihilo? How about creatio ex calamitas?

They just give those things to anyone?

Barack Obama got a phone call yesterday, early in the morning, notifying him he'd won the Nobel Prize for Peace. This doesn't happen often, I hear - fairly big honor one should think, and made all the more interesting for a few notable reasons:

First, Bambam was completely unaware he'd been nominated, or so he says. Whatever, we all learned a Nobel can be given to people who are completely unaware of it, like a guerrilla award. As an aside I have to admit I'm a little pissed I wasn't selected. Seems the only time I get surprise phone calls these days it means there's a funeral or I have to go look for a job again.

Second, the conferment of this historically arguable honor has brought, as could only be expected, a flurry of partisan responses that are just as varied as they are inevitable: the guy who was slated to end a very unpopular war in Iraq hasn't quiiiiite managed to do that yet, and is leaning toward expanding another in Afghanistan. Obviously peaceful efforts. Maybe I'm out of line, but this sounds a lot like my favorite peace rally poster: "fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity." I'd think so august an award for peace would have gone to someone...I dunno...peaceful?

The Right is up in arms about it of course, because it's their job to be and they're very good at that job: if the spirit-form of Gandhi himself popped up and was handed another Nobel he'd be blasted as "that skinny liberal" and endlessly dissed as a cause of AIDS or whatever other blather could be rapidly and histrionically invented. Similarly, The Left is stuck wondering what the hell to do about PETA, those hysterically pathetic hippies on YouTube crying in the woods over dead trees, and scratching their heads as well; that SNL "Jack and Squat" skit spoofing Obama's two great achievements, or notable lack thereof, rings a little too true.

Third and last, and most telling for me, is the question that sprang to life within hours of the announcement on every blog, in every paper, on every web news outlet ever made: if they didn't give it to Obama...who the hell would they give it to? This planet isn't exactly swimming with peaceful people these days. Ahmadinejad, too busy spinning up uranium to accept. Putin shirtless and wrestling a bear, plotting something new in Georgia. Berlusconi? Gawd - a quick one to wipe off the list because he'd he'd try to nail the presenter.

Do they really give those things to anyone? I mean, it's not that I dislike Bambam. He was and remains my pick, and if he can overcome the bizarre spate of home brewed anti-intellectual torpor splattered on the front pages, he's far, far more likely to be a deserving recipient than, say, his predecessor...and let's face it: G.W. Bush was probably nowhere near the list of finalists, was he?

It seems to me that he wasn't picked: the Nobel people simply had no one else to give it to.