5/31/2004 04:45:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|PSA
If you have VH-1 Classic on your cable provider, turn it on. Today is devoted to 80s metal videos.|W|P|108603633403074430|W|P||W|P|5/31/2004 04:41:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|After August, I can die happy
Slacker on DVD!
Richard Linklater's Slacker presents a day in the life of a subculture of marginal, eccentric, and overeducated citizens in and around the University of Texas at Austin. Shooting the film on 16mm for a mere $23,000, writer/producer/director Linklater and his close-knit crew of friends eschewed a traditional plot, choosing instead to employ long takes and fluid transitions to create a tapestry of over a hundred characters, each as unique as the last, culminating in an episodic portrait of a distinct vernacular culture and a tribute to bohemian cerebration. Slacker is a prescient look at an emerging generation of aggressive nonparticipants, and one of the keynote films of the American independent film movement of the 1990s.If you don't know what I'm talking about, rent the VHS version of Slacker ASAP. |W|P|108603619682293022|W|P||W|P|5/30/2004 12:39:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Why I love America
Seriously, how pleasant is THAT?|W|P|108589199393862867|W|P||W|P|5/29/2004 03:19:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hide the kids
I found a silly insta-anagram feature on someone's livejournal and made use of it.
Name Acronym Generator
From Go-Quiz.com|W|P|108581519235656746|W|P||W|P|5/28/2004 05:12:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Self-promotion
I've held off on hyping the columns I wrote for NU's daily newspaper, mostly for reasons of tact. It seemed gauche. But since they published my final column, here are links to the stuff I wrote in Spring quarter.
- my introduction
- on Chicago's RedEye newspaper (see also: an editorial apology for my existence)
- on why rich college kids drink like poor college kids
- on the joy of ignoring student government
- on Alexandra Robbins' book "Pledged" and NU
- on a push to expand ethnic studies
- on selling out to Hollywood
- (in place of my column on mental health - not on the website - another editoial riposte toward me)
- on why college students shouldn't feel guilty about sitting out of elections
- on how the real world kicks college's ass
Many thanks to Jesse Abrams-Morley and Jaime Griesgraber for a fun and enlighting quarter in the newsroom.|W|P|108577923185228478|W|P||W|P|5/28/2004 04:31:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Consummatum est!
Great big candy-stuffed congratulations to the staff of the Northwestern Chronicle, my alma mater. They've completed their first quarter of publication with such highlights as
- catching the students who were seizing copies of the paper and throwing them out
- publishing on schedule despite my asbsolute and total lack of financial management
- making NUComment, The Passenger, The Protest, and The Daily all look like warmed-over rat shit. Although The Daily had its moments.|W|P|108577677868535930|W|P||W|P|5/28/2004 04:03:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|An oldie but goodie
I finally met the talented Jeremy Lott last night, and had the dust shaken off my memory of one of the more amusing blogwars of recent times. A brief guide:
3.)Ready? Now this.
4.)OK. Now this.
5.)*deep breath* Now this.
8.)Ha ha! Now this.
As my boss would say ... Thoughts as I sit at home with my blinds drawn:
- Blogwars are funny, yet usually pointless. What did anyone learn from the public ego-bruising of Rich Lowry? Did the imminent nuking of Mecca fade from the list of possibilities? Nah, never existed. And we could have guessed that there were dumb people out there who want to nuke things.
- Rich Lowry bruises easily, but not as easily as Jonah "Matthew Yglesias made a short comment disparaging one of my web columns, thus I must respond with 500 words" Goldberg.
- Seriously, nuclear weapons should never be used, in any circumstances, ever. Except one.|W|P|108577538851194592|W|P||W|P|5/27/2004 11:33:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Rare society blogging
For the third consecutive night I drove into DC, and for the third consecutive night I survived. Keep in mind, driving into the city from work is actually quite direct, and only - in theory - a 10-minute detour from my route home. But since I finished work early, I crashed right into the Thursday rush hour and spent 65 minutes getting across 8 miles of Virginia into the city.
Oh, yeah - then I parked. It took a solid 15 minutes of stopping, starting, and circling before I could slide into a space on the side of M St. The process was so stressful that I forgot where I actually had parked, which became slightly humiliating when I offered a ride to a journalist I really respected, then couldn't find the car.
But that gets ahead of my point. I was in town, again, to take advantage of the America's Future Foundation's monthly happy hour. It provided my first real chance to interact with journalists I've read from afar with various degrees of awe. I will refrain from using their names in the chance David Brock is reading this to extrapolate a new conspiracy.|W|P|108571886141909171|W|P||W|P|5/26/2004 03:18:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Wishful thinking
The Nation's Praful Bidwai had certain ideas about how India's new government might fulfill its mandate.
The broad trend is unmistakable: The people have voted against pro-corporate, pro-rich neoliberal policies that impoverish the majority ... Naidu was ignominiously defeated by the Congress and Communist parties and a regional group in Parliament and state elections--a punishment for his unabashedly pro-investor policies and callousness toward his people ... Economic distress--and anger at collapsing services and privatization of public assets--is impelling a search for radical alternatives. Unfortunately, the Communist left (modern social democrats in practice) has refused to join the new government, largely out of timidity and fear that it won't be able to change the direction of the Congress-led economic policy.All right. So what do we know about new PM Manmohan Singh?
Mr Singh slashed red tape, simplified the tax system and removed stifling controls and regulations to try create an environment conducive to business.
The economy revived, industry picked up, inflation was checked, and growth rates remained consistently high in the 1990s.
The economy, under Mr Singh's stewardship, grew at a steady 7% per annum.
In recent years, he has lamented that the economy was not growing "fast enough" under the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, which lost the recent elections ... In his role as a technocrat, Mr Singh headed India's central bank, advised the government on managing the economy and was a governor with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). I'm unsure what planet The Nation is publishing from these days.|W|P|108559946748179750|W|P||W|P|5/26/2004 02:54:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oliver Willis vs. context
The newly-disenfranchised blogger has some typically shallow comments on a column by enviro-skeptic Patrick Michaels. I never really take OW seriously, but this post hit home because ... well, I work at USA Today, and I edited that column.
Luckily, commentor Dave Fitz said all that need be said.
The movie is based on claims made by Art Bell, which are utterly without support from anyone.
There simply is no support. It's like quoting from Timecube.
With that firmly in mind, i don't really give a damn if Patrick Michaels' resume says 'left-hand man of Lord Lucifer'.
My dog has more credibility than Art Bell.This is true.|W|P|108559814637532547|W|P||W|P|5/26/2004 12:21:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Update
In a stunning turn of events, I am busy. I've been getting home at 7 pm and working on assorted assignments until midnight, then waking up to do it again at 8 am. Tomorrow I'll be heading out to Georgetown to hang with a Delaware friend. I consider this a healthy course of action. Glenn Reynolds can goof off all he wants, but if I slack, a newspaper suffers.|W|P|108554557083697129|W|P||W|P|5/21/2004 05:04:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|New location
I am, as of Wednesday, a son of the South. Finally!
Hm. Maybe that's not entirely true. I'm actually in Arlington, VA, part of the leering morass of suburbs and highways that surround Washington, DC. I'm about 20 minutes from work, and further from a metro station than I'd like, but the actual area around me is quite nice - quiet, diverse, cultured. And driving in the DC area is much more fun than driving similar distances in the flat Midwest.|W|P|108517383997201867|W|P||W|P|5/15/2004 04:20:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|That's entertainment
I've been spending my last days in Evanston blowing off work and immersing myself in filmed entertainment. Surprised? Here are some capsule reviews.
The Decline of Western Civilization
A masterpiece. Penelope Spheeris's first (of three) explorations of the LA music scene is simultaneously thrilling, stupid and historic. Thrilling because the bands on display - The Germs, X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks - were the best of the early 1980s. Stupid because, well, have you ever heard these guys talk? Historic because this is probably the last filmed document of the Ron Reyes Black Flag or the living Darby Crash.
Recommended reading: "Lexicon Devil" by Bryan Mullen, "We Got the Neutron Bomb" by Marc Spitz
The Prisoner (series)
I found this legendary psych-out spy drama much less than its reputation suggested. It starts slow and has incredibly dry patches, probably because creator/star Patrick McGoohan settled for a 17-episode package after proposing a lean 7-episode series. Even as a mini-series, I feel it would have been a little doomed - McGoohan was rebelling against the conventions of TV drama, so every episode unfolds in a very unconvential, unpredictable, herky-jerky way.|W|P|108465515357418092|W|P||W|P|5/12/2004 03:17:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The whys
I have no explanation or justification for the 10-day vacation that was taken from this blog. I've been trying to soak up as many movies and assorted Evanston experiences as possible, and the weather has finally creeped up to survivable levels. But I should post some reviews tomorrow.|W|P|108434847644121075|W|P||W|P|5/12/2004 03:15:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Brave New World
Well ... while I've been neglecting my blog, Blogger went and changed its backend. Interesting ...|W|P|108434618705623310|W|P||W|P|5/02/2004 08:33:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Micah Ian Wright lies to Amy Goodman about his military service.
In the first draft of his mea culpa, Micah Ian Wright claimed that the "corporate media" was to blame for the ease in which his lies about military service spread.
My outrageous lies were printed verbatim. They'd dedicated two full pages to a ridiculous hoax which could have been exposed with a half hour's work. My beliefs in the veracity of the corporate media had been shaken previously, but now they were shattered. I couldn't figure it out. How had this happened? I stared at the paper in shock. Then I realized that the Washington Post had only done what they normally do: run whatever anyone in a uniform or position of authority told them to ... No wonder huge corporations get away with Enron-sized ripoffs. No wonder Jayson Blair was able to get away with making up the news. No wonder that 55% of Americans still think that Saddam Hussein carried out the 9/11 attacks. The media was sleeping on the job. The Jayson Blair story exploded at the New York Times in April of 2003--the story about "Ranger Micah" ran in the Washington Post on July 6th, 2003. It wasn't like they had no idea that there was a problem or that they should check their sources. Why were they so asleep at the switch?No one can say that Pacifica Radio is part of the "corporate media." Its flagship show "Democracy Now" gives listeners this guarantee:
Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. We do not accept advertisers, donations from corporations, or donations from governments. This allows us to maintain our independence.Micah Ian Wright appeared on "Democracy Now" on May 28, 2003. Host Amy Goodman interviewed him for a segment on his book "Back the Attack." The audio is available here, and I have typed up the relevant portions.
GOODMAN: We turn to a former army ranger who has - who was in Panama - who has spent his last years doing something interesting, and that is putting together a book of war posters.At the 1:10 minute mark, she repeats the lie.
GOODMAN: After spending four years invading other countries as an airborne ranger in the US Army, Micah Wright moved onto the next logical step in his career - writing childrens books and animation.At the 2:40 minute mark, Goodman begins asking about military service.
GOODMAN: And then you have, on the back of your book, a poster of a US soldier in full combat gear, with helmet, and he is throwing a grenade, and the quote is: "What the expletive am I doing here? I only joined up for the college money.
WRIGHT: Yeah, that's actually my favorite poster I think I've ever done, because that's literally me. That guy right there - that's me. I joined the army to pay for college. And it did pay for college. And at the end of the day it was a very Faustian bargain that I did not feel comfortable with at the end of it.
GOODMAN: When did you join?
GOODMAN: And when did you go to college?
WRIGHT: 1991. So four years.
GOODMAN: And during that time, what did you do?
WRIGHT: I was an airborne ranger. I lived a life of danger. Uh - that's a Jody call, sorry. Things we used to say when we marched around. Um, the rangers are the first to fight, in the United States army. We invaded Panama, we took out their primary airforce base - just demolished it - and then spread throughout the country looking for Noriega, looking for his personal bodyguards, you know, it seems like all these dictators always have their "special" military units. We spread throughout the country to look for them, and then we kind of wound up back in Panama City just in time to watch it burn to the ground. So ...
GOODMAN: What effect did it have on you? What happened in the city?
WRIGHT: Well, you know, when you're jumping out of a plane and there's people shooting at your parachute, and you get to the ground, you don't feel real bad about shooting back at them. But, you know, when you're standing on a street corner and you're watching 80,000 people flee a fire, and they're dragging their two kids and their television set behind them, it gets kind of ... it kind of brings it home, that, you know, what the United States does overseas is not exactly all fun and games. And it's not always aimed at the people who are responsible. I mean, you know, there's a slum in Panama called El Chorrio, and we bombed their version of the Pentagon, a place called the Commandancia, and the fire spread from the Commandancia to the slum. It was just a built-up, huge slum with no fire safety and no modern, building standards and just fire raged for three days and burned to the ground and left 80,000 people homeless, and killed countless numbers of people in the fire itself, and just created this immense refugee crisis that we were completely ill-prepared to deal with because, again, we're trained to kill, not to take care of people. You see the same thing happening now in Iraq. You know, you have a military structure which ignored every possible warning that they had, that they would be facing a massive civilian catastrophe, and they didn't put any extra police units in, they didn't have anywhere near enough boots on the ground to make sure that they didn't have the rioting, and they wilfully refused to learn from the past invasions and from the past lessons of their wars.
GOODMAN: In Panama, where were you when Chorrio was burning down?
WRIGHT: Well, when the fire started I was actually still at Rio Hato, and then when it was winding down I was in Panama City.
GOODMAN: And what were other soldiers saying? Other rangers? Were you alone in your feelings?
WRIGHT: No, I don't think I was. I think I've always been a lot more outspoken about the way I feel about things, but I know a lot of people were just sitting there watching that and just shaking their heads, going, "What's the point of this? This is a war on civilians." And whether or not it was an accident, which many people say it was, it doesn't matter. It still, at the end of the day, there's tons of people dead and thousands, you know, tens of thousands out of a house.
GOODMAN: We have to break for 60 seconds. When we come back I want to ask you about some of the posters you've done and also about the effect of media consolidation on your work.
WRIGHT: Oh, sure.
GOODMAN: So, folks, stay with us.This ends at the 7 minute mark. Wright had told completely fabricated stories about his military experience for more than four minutes.|W|P|108354442647984208|W|P||W|P|