Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Random Ten

Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra "Velvet Guitar" Por Vida: a Tribute to the Songs of Alejandro Escovedo
Jorge Ben "Ponta De Lanca Africano (Umababarauma)" Beleza Tropical
Elvis Costello & The Attractions "Mystery Dance" Live at the El Mocambo
k.d. lang "Big Boned Gal" Absolute Torch and Twang
The Blind Boys of Alabama "If I Had a Hammer" I Brought Him with Me
Alex Chilton "Downtown" Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic "I Don't Need No Crystal Ball" Faultline
Giant Sand "Saturated Beyond Repair" proVISIONS
Sam Phillips "I Need Love" Martinis & Bikinis
XTC "Outside World" Drums and Wires

Lucinda Williams "Fruits of My Labor" World without Tears

A suitably pleasing list that avoids too many grand great moments--fine for a day after much celebratory thankful fullness. 


Sunlight Bathed the Golden Glow

For Dog Blog Friday: The light is always special for Nigel.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Said Thanks but Yes Thanks

Stuck in the mental traffic that is a half day before the holiday, I'm actually glad that Rickey Henderson memed all over the internets. After posting a list of what he's thankful for, he said we all should do the same. Who am I not to listen to the all-time leader in stolen bases and runs scored?

So, first, of course, there's Amy. Can't be grateful enough.

But this year there's a close second, especially as he really hasn't had a chance to disappoint me yet. I say give the guy a chance, especially as he was smart enough to find a wonderful wife, too.

And now to a random list:

--the Mets yearly lesson in you can't get what you want
--pork belly (the food)
--Los Campesinos!
--so many restaurants, so little time
--friends near and far, old and new, in person, in blogistan, in FB-land
--Sir Francis Drake from Cowgirl Creamery
--Preston Sturges (just watched Easy Living again this weekend)
--screwball comedy
--the gorgeous music of a cocktail shaker in action
--the world's best in-laws
--Ben Sherman shirts on sale at the Rack
--the pain au chocolate at Renaud's
--re-reading Greil Marcus
--our loony, art deco dogs
--our very good vet and his caring staff
--the iPhone, or handy dandy, as we call it
--a house far enough out of fire and flood range (knock on its wood)
--a job where they trust me to know how to do my job (but the way things are going, any job is something to be thankful for)
--a paid hobby
--all writing that is funny
--anybody who thinks I'm funny
--not that way
--my sisters who are too far away
--not living in NJ
--ridgeback shrimp
--that the 2nd and 3rd entries on a Google search about ridgeback shrimp are written by yours truly
--that despite the world being in a terrible mess, even a cynic can feel some hope

And thanks to you, for visiting, for reading, for commenting. For putting up with INOTBB. Now loosen those belts and dive in to the food orgy that is Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Don't Tell Me to Do the Maths

I think I now know where it all went wrong in my childhood. When I was a freshman in high school the Algebra teacher let me work at my own pace cause I was all annoying and precocious and could handle advance math from figuring out the ERA of Nino Espinosa. So I'd steam ahead at the week's beginning, wait for the class to almost catch up, then blast through some more chapters again. So imagine my shock when I saw this headline today--"Study: Math teachers a chapter ahead of students." I guess that means I was ahead of my teacher. No wonder I abandoned doubling up on math courses as a sophomore, taking only Algebra II--Trig (the sequel sadly not as good as the original) and instead taking Honors English and American Lit. Indeed the AP article speaks directly to me:

Math is important because it is considered a "gateway" course, one that leads to greater success in college and the workplace. Kids who finish Algebra II in high school are more likely to get bachelor's degrees. And people with bachelor's degrees earn substantially more than those with high school diplomas.

For the unsaid is "and people who earn bachelor degrees in things called the 'Writing Seminars' didn't take enough math prior to college to figure out how things like income work." Nope, instead we just want to giggle because the Education Trust spokesperson who gets quoted in this article is named Ross Wiener. Especially when the semi-lengthy AP article near the end has to specify "Wiener, the Education Trust official," so we don't get confused with "Wiener, the wiener." I might go fuzzy when faced with figures, but on the other hand I'm over-cultured and the last sentence makes me think of both Stranger than Paradise and The Palm Beach Story. Your arcane allusion mileage may vary.

Meanwhile, back to the article:

Congress tried to fix the problem in the sweeping 2002 No Child Left Behind Law. The law insisted that all teachers in core academic subjects be "highly qualified" by 2006.

Side note: perhaps a vacuuming law would have been more successful than a sweeping one. I mean, should students use an abacus and not a calculator? Get with the times, Congress! (And while you're at it, do something about Michele Bachmann since Minnesota couldn't.)

But the most well-known aspect of No Child Left Behind is its requirement for annual state tests in reading and math, and the penalties it imposes on schools that fail to make progress.

The teacher requirement is less well-known, and also less onerous. States were allowed to come up with their own definitions of "highly qualified." As a result, most teachers in the U.S. today are deemed highly qualified.

We are all special now. Or perhaps all appointees of the Bush Administration.

When it comes to out-of-field teaching, state officials may be understating the problem, the report said.

Researchers compared two different sets of Education Department data, reports from state officials and a survey of teachers themselves. Teachers said out-of-field teaching happens far more often than states reported for highly qualified purposes.

For example, in Arizona in 2004, the state said 94.4 percent of core classes were taught by highly qualified teachers. But Arizona teachers told the federal government in 2004 that 58.4 percent of core classes were taught by someone certified in the subject he or she was teaching. That was the most recent year in which the teacher data was available.

At least we have insight into how John McCain, from Arizona after all, ended up choosing someone clearly out-of-field like Sarah Palin as his running mate.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Hannity Suffers Bad Hair Day--Colmes Over

As you more than likely have read elsewhere on the internets, Alan Colmes will be leaving his position as Sean Hannity's last weak link to sanity on the Fox "news" show they did "together." So INOTBB thought it would be good to run through the odds on the possible candidates who might replace Colmes as the liberal counter to Hannity's mighty rightwing might, assuming Hannity's show won't just cut to an empty chair and act like Colmes is still on the show even after he leaves.

2-1 Joe Lieberman
After all, he still caucuses with the Democrats, right?

5-1 Anonymous
Joe Klein resurfaces, just like so much of the rest of the Clinton era.

10-1 Dick Morris
First, Hannity, always wanted to say, "Dick, Dick, Dick, Dick." Second, Hannity, it turns out, also likes feet (at least both have learned the taste of their own). Third, if you pay him, he'll do it. Fourth, and you don't have to pay him much.

20-1 Chris Matthews
He's on that completely liberal MSNBC, so would be a perfect fit. Plus he never had an intern from his office die, like Scarborough.

50-1 Stephen Colbert
Hannity still trying to figure out if he's a put-on or not.

100-1 John McCain
Those on the right can go back to claiming McCain's not conservative enough for them. Maybe Rush Limbaugh will even take Hannity's calls after that.

500-1 Rudy Giuliani
But to make it seem like he's somehow liberal, he'll have to do the show in drag. Odds are so slim as Judy refuses to share her wardrobe now that she won't be First Lady.


$400 Million Doesn't Go As Far As It Used To

Since my tax money is helping to bailout Citibank, that damn well better mean there's a luxe box waiting for me here. I want Mr. Met to provide back rubs, David Wright to bring me hotdogs, and Johan Santana serving me beer.

UPDATE: And just in case you think I'm being mean to the Mets, it's just that I wanted to give them jobs I thought they could do. Finishing in at least the wild card position seems beyond them, after all.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Just Like a Woman

Maybe you've seen this one going around--the Gender Analyzer decides if your blog is written by a man or a woman. And what do we learn about INOTBB?


Silhouette of a womanWe guess is written by a woman (51%), however it's quite gender neutral.


The woman inside me is screaming mandate right now.


Next to Cute in the Dictionary

For Dog Blog Friday: You must have been a beautiful puppy...Mookie turns 11 this Monday.


Friday Random Ten

Giant Sand "Increment of Love" proVISIONS
Space Negros "Sweep" Dig Archaeology
Beck "Motorcade" The Information
Calexico "Woven Birds" Feast of Wire
Youssou N'Dour "Hey You" Set
Pine Top Smith "Pine Top's Boogie Woogie" Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues
Maximo Park "Books from Boxes" Our Earthly Pleasures
Patsy Cline "A Stranger in My Arms" Golden Hits Collection
Wilco "Box Full of Letters" A.M.
Liz Phair "Bionic Eyes" Liz Phair

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles "Tears of a Clown" An Introduction to the Motown Elite 9000 Series

Worse things to end on a classic after a decidedly non-classic list, even in a semipopular way. Still, both Giant Sand and Calexico, a favorite early Wilco, a Maximo Park I want to think is informed by Walter Benjamin, and if it is in my ears, that's enough.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

They Pilted Us with Rocks and Fauxssils

Fifty-five years ago this Friday one of the greatest hoaxes (hoci?) in scientific history was finally debunked--it was revealed that Newton was conked in the noggin by an apple, and not a fig, despite Nabisco's claims to the contrary. Seriously, on November 21, 1953 they carbon dated Pitldown Man, the supposed English missing link fossil, and discovered he was a woman for the dating didn't work--turns out even fossilized women won't reveal their age. Even more seriously-er, they found out the remains were of a relatively current homo sapiens skull, an orangutan's jaw, and a chimpanzee's teeth. Of course the orang and chimp were bitter, but this was in the day before laws banned practical jokes that hurt animals. It is surprising that people believed in Piltdown for four decades, especially when Feltup Man was so quickly goosed out of the scientific literature. It is particularly odd as Charles Dawson, the person who made the "discovery," was famous for discovering other things that weren't really science, or really real (little known fact: the Creationist Museum in Kentucky is named after him). The list of Dawson's fraud's include the Pevensey bricks (allegedly the latest datable "finds" from Roman Britain, when, evidently, people dated bricks: "do you come to this patio often?"), Paulson's bailout (just checking to see if you're reading), the Bulverhythe Hammer (the remains of the career of former Rookie-of-the-Year Bob Hamelin), a fraudulent "Chinese" bronze vase (the "made in China" stamp on the bottom was a giveaway), the Brighton 'Toad in the Hole' (while people could believe in a fossilized sausage, no one believed a Yorkshire pudding could survive through the aeons), the Uckfield Horseshoe (after all, what horseshoe hasn't been in a field of uck?) and the Lewes Prick Spur (scientists found it too hard to contemplate this object without flinching).


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Place Where Even the Old and Used Can Hide

At long last got around to making my birthday tape, even though that day was almost exactly 8 months ago. I figure if you're using semi-archaic technology in the first place, why rush. (Here's last year's, which links to the year before that.)

Just Practicing My Absence

side a
Truckee Brothers "Planning for the 21st Century"
Los Campesinos! "We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed"
Portastatic "Sour Shores"
Ian Hunter "When the World Was Round"
Alejandro Escovedo "Sister Lost Soul"
Elvis Costello "45"
Fountains of Wayne "New Routine"
Okkervil River "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe"
Matthew Sweet "Time Machine"
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks "Gardenia"
Andrew Bird "Darkmatters"
Magnetic Fields "Courtesans"

side b
New Pornographers "Adventures in Solitude"
Shout Out Louds "Impossible"
Rilo Kiley "Silver Lining"
I'm from Barcelona "The Painter"
The Mekons "Give Me Wine or Money"
Kathleen Edwards "Scared at Night"
Jason Isbell "The Magician"
Bright Eyes "If the Brakeman Turns My Way"
The Mendoza Line "Aspect of an Old Maid"
Colin Meloy "The Engine Driver"
Calexico "Fractured Air (Tornado Watch)"

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Everyone Knows Whom the Saved Envy

Let's face it, there's nothing natural about a disaster*. The world shouldn't be able to turn so violent, so quick. As if it were simply waiting, lulling us with its goddam beauty into a sense that it didn't want to devour us whole. Then the very beauty, all that gorgeous green, all that majesty in mountains, it's what wants to get us. We get left fumbling with words, trying to locate where breeze turns to wind turns to deadly, where growth flowers into over-grown.

Of course for me this is easy, it is all word play, as I was luckily directly untouched. Didn't even have to leave my house in a hurry, like so many. Instead, it was fascination, watching the red worm do its wiggle down the hills. Then, of course, guilt, too, for simply being one of the spared when so many lost everything. And we say "it's merely possessions," but that's before we wonder if we possess them or they possess us. And I don't even mean that as some simple anti-materialist swipe; I couldn't as someone who sips from a cocktail glass his parents once owned only to think they're dead now but they drank from this. After a fire that glass would drink itself. That's just one example, but there are children's drawings, teenagers' poems, grandmas' recipes, so much memory to burn.

Now Santa Barbara has a gap-toothed grin above it, the odd spots to the left and right where the Gap Fire and the Tea Fire did their damage. Nature knows what it knows without us--the end is coming. We don't know enough to save us, even if we are those who are saved.

*Even leaving aside the Tea Fire that blew through the Santa Barbara hillside last week seems to have started because ten kids didn't put out their bonfire from the night before like good scouts


Somewhere, Cover the Rainbow

So the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Andrew Bird, Stephin Merritt, and your local Ace Hardware had a baby. And the little tyke goes something like this:

I'm always behind the times on things.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Joe Joe He Won't Go

John Kerry, not satisfied having run a shitty spineless campaign in 2004 and therefore leaving us with four extra years of Bush crapitude, was one of the major supporters for Joe Lieberman today. Kerry said, "To be honest, I was sort of frightened by the gains my party seemed to make in this previous election. By allowing Lieberman to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee, it guarantees more of the non-action that people have come to expect from a Democratically controlled Senate. I wouldn't want the country to get out of its comfort zone."


Monday, November 17, 2008

That's Some Lift-Off, Rocket!

So NBC Sports offers the headline:

McCready: Sex with Clemens lasted a decade

And I thought if an erection lasted four hours you needed to consult a physician. No wonder he was such a hothead on the mound--his whole blood supply was busy elsewhere.

But I bet he won the Sigh Young Award.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Random Ten

The Schramms "Tell Me Again and Again" Dizzy Spell
California Guitar Trio "Train to Lamy Pt. 4" Invitation
Cornershop "We're in Yr Corner" When I Was Born for the Seventh Time
Amy Rigby "Year of the Fling" Little Fugitive
The Skids "Scared to Dance" Sweet Suburbia: The Best of the Skids
Blondie "One Way or Another" Best of Blondie
Andrew Bird "MX Missiles" The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Alex Chilton "No Sex" High Priest (plus)
The Submarines "Vote" The Submarines
Liz Phair "Why Can't I?" Liz Phair

Bill Nelson "Call of the Wild" Chimes & Rings

Not a bad list--sort of sneaks up on me. That's a great Schramms cut to kick off, and I barely remembered it at all. An anthemic Chilton cut. And that's Phair from her pop move that is mostly dreadful, but god that's a catchy song. It's only bad if you know who is doing it and can then think how the mighty have fallen.

As a bonus, here's a Skids song I've always liked, but then I might be the only one. I don't know how they don't do arm thrusts for the "heys," though.


Hot Under the Collar

For Dog Blog Friday: Nigel has a message for the Tea Fire.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tea Fire

This iPhone photo from the street in front of my house isn't 1/1,000,000 as scary as it seems live--there's a huge, growing fire off in Montecito, maybe 5 miles (I hope) away from our house. The air is smoky and warm.

Here's hoping we've got good news soon, but it doesn't look good right now. Friends of ours have had to evacuate. If you want to see more, check out KEYT, Edhat, and the Indy.

UPDATE (11-14 11 am): Incredible Flickr slide show here.


The Bigots of Madison County

Here's a story from Rexburg, Idaho that will re-affirm your faith in the next generation:

Matthew Whoolery and his wife aren't blaming the school district for what happened on the bus but they do think all parents need to be careful about what they say and teach their children.

Whoolery and his wife couldn't believe it when their second and third graders got off the bus last week and told them what other students were saying.

"They just hadn't heard anything like this before," said Whoolery. "They were chanting on the bus, 'Assassinate Obama. Assassinate Obama.' Then adding in a name sometimes of a classmate on the bus, 'Assassinate Obama and Kate.'"

Let's assume there's not some odd, brewing breed of Aryans in Idaho. So that means the kids learn from, oh, I'll guess their parents. And who are the parents in this area of god's (not my god, mind you) country? Raw Story quotes a Salon article that says:

"You've heard of Jesusland, but Rexburg, Idaho, is something more. It's not just a small town in rural Eastern Idaho. It's a small town in rural Eastern Idaho completely dominated by a fast-growing Mormon college, Brigham Young University-Idaho."

"Through this conservative convergence, Rexburg and surrounding Madison County may well be the rosiest place in all of red America. Need numbers to prove it? In the 2004 presidential election, 93 percent of Madison County's votes went to George W. Bush or minor-party conservative candidates -- arguably the reddest result of any county in the entire country."

The population of Madison County is not only heavily Republican but also 97.7% white. One of Rexburg's lone Democrats, a professor at the university, told Salon that "she remembers the time when a group of classmates followed her third-grader home, shouting out 'baby-killer' all along the way. She took it up with the teacher, who didn't seem to mind."

Good to know the same people who brought us Prop 8 are hateful to other groups besides gays.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Is Word Science

This is a story out of England, so is very proper. For it seems Oxford--where the dictionary comes from--compiles a list of the Top 10 most irritating phrases, somehow leaving out both "Top 10" and "maverick." What do we most learn from this list? That everyone wants to add to it--the Telegraph story has over 2400 comments already. That includes the guy who managed to work all ten verboten phrases into his response to show how clever he is. (I'm not bitter he beat me to it.)

But isn't irritating in the ear of the be-hearer? Republican loyalists still fear that "yes we can" sounds more chilling in the original Spanish. Democrats probably wanted to fight for their Second Amendment rights for the first time ever just to stop John McCain for calling them "my friends" one more time. I've got this thing where I twitch when I hear the name Shane Victorino. Your mileage may vary. (That's likely to be on next year's list, but I guess since it's Oxford it will be "your kilometers may vary.")

It's better, after all, that we fight about language than not care at all. I mean, did all the attacks calling Obama a Socialist fail because:

a) people didn't believe them;
b) people didn't care if he was;
c) people don't know what Socialism is;
d) people do know what Socialism is and know he isn't that;
e) people like being social and don't understand what all the fuss is about?

We may never know, as the correct answer is f)doesn't matter--John McCain was an absolutely stinky candidate, but only 23/6. And I mean that with no due respect.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Entire Delight

I’m trying to remember the name of Hank’s nine-year-old son, a name that sounded older than Hank, but Hank was older than me, nearly doubly so, yet scratching at poetry for something, and he had something to say. Hank knew what James Wright knew, that language clear as water still lets us see ourselves, lets us see through to a world of shimmer. Hank wrote plain.

It’s not really his writing I remember, though, or his touching tousles with his son, or the exotic Mexican food his girlfriend-then-wife Addie cooked up, or the way he could pull off wearing a nerd band on his black frames and still hold his dignity, or the way we smuggled plastic milk gallons filled with beer into Memorial Stadium and drank it by the third inning before it went flat. It’s that plum dusk light that descends on Baltimore houses, the white-siding ones you can glimpse out over the fence from the upper deck, where we always sat, knowing Three Buck Night was a good thing, and that poetry was everywhere and random, like foul balls arcing into the stands.

(written well over a decade ago, but tonight I've got nothing and I miss baseball)


Monday, November 10, 2008

Paris on 13 Blog Entries a Day

Wishing I was elsewhere on a crazy Monday, hearing a friend is off to Paris, made me realize I never indexed all the Paris write-ups in one place, and given it took 5 months to get the whole trip chronicled....

Here it is, in order, with a hint as the that day's major attraction:

Day One (Eiffel Tower)
Day Two (Louvre)
Day Three (Montmarte)
Day Four (d'Orsay)
Day Five (Notre Dame, I'lle St. Louis)
Day Six Day Seven (Pantheon)
Day Eight (Rodin, Pompidou)
Day Nine (there is no day nine--I counted wrong!)
Day Ten (Opera, cassoulet)
Day Eleven (Versailles)
Day Twelve (St. Chapelle)
Day Thirteen (shopping)
Day Fourteen (atop Notre Dame)

Bonus separate article summing up eating Paris.


First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Unless the Mormons Come with $20Mil in a Baby Carriage

Originally uploaded by adaenn

OK, Prop 8 supporters, this photo begs the question--do heterosexual marriages count if the celebrant is gay? If not, a good half of the weddings held in the Roman Catholic Church should be invalidated.

Monday random Flickr-blogging explained.


Dirndl I Shall Play, It Has a Lovely Body

Originally uploaded by Digital Simian

A horny tart at that.


A Podium too Far

Originally uploaded by ClaudiettaCD

Just released shot of Sarah Palin on Tuesday night during McCain's concession speech.


Friday, November 07, 2008

So Much for Mr. Freeze on Taxes

October 9, 2003 from

Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger says his first action upon taking office will be repealing the car tax, one of the factors in Gray Davis' demise as California's leader.

Schwarzenegger, speaking Wednesday at his first news conference since sweeping to victory in Tuesday's recall election, also promised not to hike taxes. "I campaigned that I will not raise taxes and I say this again: I will not raise taxes," Schwarzenegger said.

November 7, 2008 from the LA Times:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan Thursday for a steep sales tax increase, new levies on alcoholic drinks and the oil industry, and deep cuts in services to wipe out a budget shortfall that is expected to swell to more than $24 billion by mid-2010.

The linchpin of the plan is the sales tax increase -- 1 1/2 cents on the dollar -- that could raise $10.8 billion through fiscal 2009-10. In Los Angeles County, where voters Tuesday appear to have passed a separate half-cent sales tax hike to fund transit projects, the rate would shoot up to 10.25%. The statewide sales tax rate is now 7.25%.


The plan also calls for extending the sales tax to appliance and furniture repairs, vehicle repairs, golf fees, veterinarian services, amusement parks and sporting events. Schwarzenegger proposed a 9.9% tax on the extraction of oil within the state, the expansion of sales tax to some services and a 5-cent-per-drink tax on alcohol. His plan also includes a $12 increase in annual vehicle registration fees.

Somehow the article fails to point out not only is he breaking his no new taxes pledge, but he's also specifically raising the very tax that got him the job and got Gray Davis recalled.

Ah, politics.

I won't fail to point out that taxing alcoholic drinks and veterinarian bills is hitting me where I live.


Rib for Your Comfort

For Dog Blog Friday: It's only fitting that for Halloween the dogs got bones.


Friday Random Ten

The Four Tops "I Can't Help Myself" Heaven Must Have Sent You
Tommy Keene "Don't Sleep in the Daytime" Real Underground
Fountains of Wayne "Bought for a Song" Welcome Interstate Managers
The Velvet Underground "Cool It Down" Peel Slowly and See
Bill Nelson "Radiant Spires" Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights: The Angel at the Western Window
Pere Ubu "Go" Datapanik in the Year Zero: 1980-1982
Gavin Bryars "Tramp with Orchestra IV (full strings)" Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me
Billy Bragg "The Price I Pay" (demo) Workers' Playtime
Eurythmics "Missionary Man" Revenge
William Bell "Share What You Got (But Keep What You Need)" The Complete Stax/Volt Singles: 1959-1968

Peter Murphy "Blind Sublime" Love Hysteria

Well, that was mostly pop. Plus it's nice to celebrate Levi Stubbs, and then have a Billy Bragg cut later. Two cuts from CDs that were Amy's--can you spot them?

I also want to nominate "Share What You Got (But Keep What You Need)" as the national anthem for the new SUSA (that's Socialist United States of America).


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Do the Collapse

68 years ago this Friday Galloping Gertie galloped its last, taking a dramatic tumble into the Puget Sound, a failure since unrivaled, except perhaps by John McCain's campaign. The bridge was a victim of aeroelastic flutter, something that I, too, often suffer from after Mexican food. Oh, the humanity. Rumors the Tacoma Narrows Bridge was knocked off by a conspiracy between the Bay Bridge and the Whitestone, both hoping to move up the list of longest suspension bridges, is a joke too far. As you know if you've seen the famous film (some of which is below), it's merely a two-lane bridge, despite being 2800 feet long (if it had stood, it's nickname might have been Olive Oyl). It's a shame it couldn't withstand its "dancing," for at some point a second bridge would have been built (as did happen with Gertie's replacement, Unbudging Bernice) to permit traffic. (Of course in SB, extra lanes would never have been built and the bridge would have had a stoplight mid-span.) Imagine how cool it might have been to see two bridges hip check each other. Ah, for the days when major structures could collapse and it could all seem like innocent fun.


Brian Williams Is a Big Skinny Idiot

Now this is a president I can believe in [link from the Huffington Post]:

I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me ... answer it.' Instead of being appropriately [the tape is garbled]. So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."

If there's ever a time to drop an f-bomb, that's it. It must be hard being smart among the mental midgets of the press. I guess Obama is just going to have to get used to it.


Back on the Cheney Gang

I'm sure he'll fix this soon, but a wonderful Freudian slip on Eric Alterman's blog today by George Zornick:

He [Stephen Hayes] also wrote a hagiographic biography of Dick Cheney, Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial President. If you have any doubt about the book's attitude towards its subject, the back cover features enthusiastic blurbs by Rush Limbaugh, William Kristol, and Paul Gigot. [emphasis mine]

Bye-bye W.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Here's the Door Coming to Hit Them on the Ass

A sign of the times. Of times past, that is.

Had to do some rubbing it in, especially since we seem willing to admit people of color are our equals but not people with a different sexual orientation.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It Seems We Have Nothing to Fear But Homosexuality Itself

OK, if Prop 8 wins, I vow that if I ever win the Lotto, I'm financing an initiative campaign in Utah to outlaw Mormonism. I won't care if I lose. I just want to make lots of really really mean TV ads.



So there might be hope for the US of A after all.

And notice that McCain, in his quite gracious concession speech, gives some good oratory. I guess it's just easier to deliver the truth and he hasn't had the chance to do that in a while.


OH, Yeah, MSNBC Is the Liberal Network

If Chuck Todd says that the Obama campaign "manipulated" the states with early voting one more time--and he's done it twice now--I'm going to reach through my TV and slap him around.

P.S. I never liked Ohio this much before.


Behold the Only Thing Greater than Yourself

Thirty-one years ago I could sit in English class at my Catholic high school and have our teacher, one of the few nuns on faculty, ask Larry, the only black kid in our class (not just the English class but our whole class of 108 students), "So, how does you family like Roots?" Even then, as a 14-year-old with little experience of the world beyond his very white part of suburban New Jersey, this seemed a horrible thing to do. Sure, then most of that was sensing the embarrassment factor, for there's no greater judge of embarrassment than a teenager. But I also sensed that this Bride of Jesus might not have taken to heart the lord's message about loving your neighbor as yourself. That my unfortunate fellow student would always have his sense of the world colored. That even in a comfy middle-class private school it wasn't easy being African-American.

Today I got to vote for an African-American man a mere two-years older than I am for President of the United States. There's hope just in that, no matter what happens.

And speaking of hope, may there by so much of it tonight there'll be enough to go around for even the people for whom despair is just what is.

Except for O'Reilly and Hannity and Coulter and Rove and that crew. Tonight is a night I want them to know their sad shit is up.


Goodbye and Good Luck to All the Rubbish that You've Spoken

Oh please oh please oh please....Billy Bragg sings one for John McCain, Sarah Palin, George W., and Dick Cheney. May the door hit them all on the ass, hard.

Hey, go vote. (Like I need to tell my readers.)

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Is That Your National Anthem or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Freaky--seems Yes on 8 (AKA Let's Constitutionalize Hate) has bought up ads on every website and radio station in the world today. Driving into work, hoping to find out what was going on with the gunman on the highway overpass, our local "Progressive Talk Radio" station aired a Yes on 8 ad. Checked stuff, as always every morning, on Talking Points Memo--another ad.

And now, weirdest of all, looking up the reviews for Shortbus, which Amy and I finally watched (and enjoyed) last night, there's a Yes on 8 ad on the page.

Shortbus, a film that Adrew O'Hehir calls "a sad, sweet, openhearted work, a New York tragicomedy of manners that resembles what Woody Allen might make if he were 35 years younger and interested in the pansexual orgy scene."

Shortbus, about which the Village Voice writes: "In what should be the movie's most outrageous scene, Jamie, James, and their boy toy Ceth (Jay Brannan) spontaneously erupt into 'The Star-Spangled Banner' during a convoluted three-way, using each other as human bullhorns. It sounds like a sneering provocation. But in performance, it comes off unironically jubilant, even patriotic—is this a great country or what? As long as one man remains free to sing the national anthem into another man's asshole, the terrorists haven't won."

I have a feeling they're not hitting their target audience here.

Say Yes to Shortbus, no to Prop 8!

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