7/29/2005 11:26:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
Now, I'm not trying to damn this movie with faint praise, but I think my favorite part of it was the title card. The lead characters are driving down a notably shitty strip of Tennessee highway, and one leans out the window, and the frame freezes and displays this giant yellow "Hustle and Flow" logo, like a transplant from a Russ Meyer movie.
This aside, it's still a pretty good movie. Terence Howard is D-Jay, a curiously erudite pimp in Memphis (apparently the asphalt and titty bar capital of the universe), who learns a Memphis rapper made good (Ludicrous) is coming back to town for a party and decides to make a demo tape for him. And, uh, that's it, but it's really quite funny and touching.|W|P|112269504968921782|W|P|"Hustle and Flow"|W|P|7/29/2005 02:40:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
OK, I'll write the column - just please, please put down the gun.|W|P|112266251313417594|W|P|Shorter Al D'Amato|W|P|7/29/2005 02:01:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oh, Tucker Carlson. It's bad enough your show is getting bounced back to 11 pm. But being bumped by former Fox News anchorharpie Rita Cosby? Ugly, just ugly.
And apparently the Rita Cosby show is called "Live and Direct." I would have let her name it herself. Something like "I Can Read! with Rita Cosby"|W|P|112266023518310760|W|P|Tomorrow night he's pretty Tucked|W|P|7/28/2005 06:18:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|It is a truth universally acknowledged that I enjoy "The O'Reilly Factor" way, way too much, and never more than when he's turning the show into some crusade against a vile child molester or liberal. His Monday episode was pretty much the best ever - I quote (via Lexis) from his opening "talking points."
Now there's no question that worldwide terror exists because people help these savages. Some actively, some passively, but help is help.
Target number one in the USA is the ACLU ...Etc etc. Equally scary and funny. But what would have been modestly amusing as a monologue became a cacophony of gut-busting when O'Reilly introduced two journalists he'd asked to write lists of "people and governments they believe are aiding worldwide terror." These were Robert Pollack from the WSJ and Stephen Hayes, the James Glassman of Iraq punditry. No one wants me to paste the whole stupid transcript, so here's the short version of their lists of fifth columnists.
POLLACK: Dick Durbin, whose "Gulag" comments helped terrorists because "every time I have an argument with a foreigner about this kind of stuff, they always point to Americans. They say I heard it from Dick Durbin, I heard it from Ted Kennedy, I read it in The Washington Post."
HAYES: Michael Moore, who is "still relevant because you don't see these Democrats denouncing what Michael Moore is saying."
POLLACK: The BBC, because when it doesn't refer to bombers as "terrorists," terrorists hear that and "they see that as weakness."
HAYES: Al-Jazeera, because "they enable people who incite terrorists."
POLLACK: The UN, which "seems to focus on Israel and the United States as the main causes of trouble in the world and pays scant attention to the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs."
HAYES: Cynthia McKinney, Jim McDermott, France (which "has not stepped up and been an able partner in fighting the terrorists.")
Why did this segment bother me? It's not that it's so uniquely stupid. It's that it's almost four years since 9/11 and these guys are trying to blame terrorism on a movie director, an international organization, a European country, two news networks, and three Democrats. Pollack is a high-powered editorial writer, and Hayes is a journalist with high-level sources. They have ten minutes on the top-rated show on cable news to discuss terrorism - they could spotlight developments in central Asia, or immigration and police tactics in Europe, or something else deathly serious. And this is the shit they want to sling. So pathetic.|W|P|112259096138528016|W|P|Fifth column is the charm|W|P|7/28/2005 06:14:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I actually saw this exchange last night, but I'll let Attytood uncork the rageohol.
If you live in Philadelphia, and you're the kind of person who knows about blogs, you also probably know by now all about the search for 24-year-old LaToyia Figueroa of West Philadelphia, who went missing 10 days ago and was ignored for 9 of those days by the same national media that's obsessed with missing white women, preferably blonde. ... MSNBC's bow-tied, right wing pundit, Tucker Carlson of the widely unwatched "The Situation," and local boy turned stock tipster Jim Cramer, managed to "cover" the plight of the missing woman in the most disgusting manner possible -- and without even lowering themselves to mentioning the name of the non-white woman.
CARLSON: People who don’t—people who don’t work in the press who look at this and immediately draw the conclusion that people who work in the press are racist ought to know there’s another dynamic involved here. And it is this. Things that are unusual or perceived to be unusual are the ones that are considered news.
It’s like planes that land safely aren’t news. When someone, not just a black person or a Hispanic person, but someone who lives in a tough neighborhood, is injured in a crime, the feeling, right or not—or wrong—and it’s probably wrong—is, this is a more common occurrence than if it were to happen in a suburban area.
MADDOW: But it’s the per—again, it’s the perception. We’ve got a woman who has been missing for nine days. She’s pregnant. She’s a young mother. It has all the components of the other stories that get covered. But because of the race, because she’s from West Philly, it’s not getting covered.
MADDOW: So, people are trying to drive...
MADDOW: ... the media...
CARLSON: But the truth is, we are covering it. It was on our air today. And it’s on our air...
MADDOW: Because of an enterprising blogger.
CRAMER: Where would you rather vacation, Aruba or West Philly?
MADDOW: West Philly has...
CRAMER: Forty-second and Baltimore is nothing like Aruba.
(LAUGHTER)Hah hah, poor people suck!|W|P|112258908748099260|W|P|3,2,1, aaaaaaand you're cancelled|W|P|7/28/2005 04:34:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
Herbertbot: ACTIVATE!|W|P|112258294424164392|W|P|Shorter Bob Herbert|W|P|7/27/2005 12:07:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|No one asked, but here's my opinion of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes - he brought it on himself. First off, when police told him to stop, he ran. Right there they're justified in shooting him. Secondly, if Mark Whitby is a reliable witness, Menezes was wearing a jacket. In July.
Unless police and witnesses are lying about the situation, there's no fault with police here.|W|P|112248096207598000|W|P|In case you were wondering|W|P|8/18/2005 02:13:00 PM|W|P|
Want to eat your words, Dave?8/18/2005 02:20:00 PM|W|P|8/19/2005 12:10:00 AM|W|P|
And you are a fool who jumps to conclusions.7/27/2005 12:00:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I concur with Atrios's assessment of this: !?!?!?!?
JESSICA SIMPSON wants to know where missing footage of her and husband NICK LACHEY's harrowing trip to Iraq got to - because she thinks Americans would like to see just how bad conditions are there.
The pop singers-turned-reality TV couple travelled to the war-torn nation to visit US troops as part of a recent ABC TV variety special, and they were both left shellshocked by what they saw.
But all the controversial moments and harrowing footage of the trip didn't appear in the fun-filled TV show.
Simpson says, "It was unbelievable. They didn't show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. There was so much stuff that went on and somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced.
"It put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice. I can't even fathom being out there right now. I was ready to come home."When can we expect Mike Gallagher's anti-"Dukes of Hazzard" concerts?|W|P|112248021700296583|W|P|It says "chicken," but it's really an IED|W|P|7/27/2005 11:56:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
Years of shrill editorializing have not saved feminism/abortion rights. Perhaps hypotheticals will do the trick!|W|P|112247987955210592|W|P|Shorter Katha Pollitt|W|P|7/27/2005 11:53:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
Is that a Hindrocket in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?|W|P|112247968723928246|W|P|Shorter Scott Johnson|W|P|7/27/2005 11:43:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
Leftists REALLY hate John Roberts because he's well-groomed, unlike feminists and Michael Moore, who is also fat.|W|P|112247950775565240|W|P|Shorter Tammy Bruce|W|P|7/27/2005 11:22:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Speaking of New York, is anyone else ... confused by the new cover of National Review?
It depicts New York Sen. Chuck Schumer as a Spanish Inquisitor, a play on his aggressive, assholish pursuit of Bush judicial nominees. But ... Schumer is Jewish. The Spanish Inquisition was - how to put it? - really not kind to Jews.
I'm the last person to cry for political correctness, but after hearing a number of right-wing writers and talkers, in NRO and elsewhere, bleat about racism when Gary Trudeau had a Doonsbury character call Condoleezza Rice "brown sugar," this seems extremely hypocritical. Maybe Monty Python has just drained all the context out of the Inquisitors. (Well then, why can't "Fawlty Towers" do that for the Nazis?)|W|P|112247827724822502|W|P|No one expects it|W|P|7/27/2005 10:55:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|In honor of George Pataki's retirement as governor of New York, I give you: The Legacy of George Pataki.
UPDATE: Giuliani isn't going to run to replace Pataki. He's got a once-in-a-century shot (for a mayor) to win his party's presidential nomination and, it's expected, win the presidency. Why the hell would he give that up to run New York State, and delay a presidential run til 2012 or 2016?|W|P|112247624088665861|W|P|Pataki Agonistes|W|P|9/13/2005 04:16:00 AM|W|P|
While I personally approve of the tone your blog takes on the political and media circus, I am definitely not pleased by your use of the image leading of this, your Pataki-slamming post. Why?
a) you don't acknowledge the source of the image
b) you steal the bandwidth of the site from which you've taken this image: which is to say you've not bothered downloading the image to your server so it's YOUR server that takes the load of the image download. This is real salt in the wound of a) above. In short (and I think I speak for the other adminstrators of the images you similarly "borrow"), you are messing with the general concepts of courtesy, respect, fair dealing and ultimately moral rights.
While I am personally happy to release images for illustrative purposes, I like to be consulted first. In short, you're pissing away good will.
email@example.com/26/2005 04:44:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|
The cinematic equivilent of one of those promising high school NBA draft picks who enjoys a meteoric rise from modest beginnings then blows out his knee midway through the first season. Meaning: Holy crap, the first two acts of this movie are perfect. Adorable high schooler Mary (Jena Malone), a senior at the evangelical American Eagle school in some Jesusland outpost, has a gorgeous boyfriend named Dean and membership in a hot, musically talented clique called the Christian Jewels (led by Hilary Faye, played by Mandy Moore). While playing a swimming pool game in which they tell each other secrets underwater, Dean tells Mary he's gay (but he's an ice skater! Who knew?). Shocked, she hits her head on a water pump and has a vision of Christ telling her to un-gay Dan. She beds him, and thinks that everything's worked out. The next day she finds out his parents discovered leather man porn under his bed and have sent him to a gay rehabilitation center. A few weeks later, she discovers she's pregnant. The rest of the movie concerns Mary's descent from the school's popular clique to the athiest/Jewish misfit clique, and the love triangle between her, Hilary Faye, and the son of the school's principal/pastor.
Like I said, the first two-thirds of this unfolds in a hysterical, poignant way, and easily matches up with the best teen movies. Writer/director Brian Dannelly (with Michael Urban) creates five deep, sympathetic main characters and never goes for an obvious joke where black humor can work instead. For example, Mary figures out that she might be pregnant by watching a Lifetime Original Movie in which Valerie Bertinelli gets cancer. Bertinelli is seen tearfully explaining to a friend that she realized she was sick when she was puking in the morning and missing her period, and first thought she might be pregnant. Mary has puked and missed her period. So we see her opening a pregnancy test in the bathroom, muttering "Please be cancer, please be cancer."
And yet. And yet, the final act completely blows. It really feels like Sid Sheinberg got a hold of the print and decided to add his own idiotic ending, because it feels so different from the rest of the movie. OK, I'll SPOIL it. Hilary Faye vandalizes the school and frames Mary and her new friends, who are then banned from the prom. They crash the prom with evidence of the framing, but Hilary outsmarts then until one of the new members of her clique reveals that, yes, Hilary framed them. She has a nervous breakdown and destroys the school's Jesus billboard, while Dean and his new boyfriend break out of the rehab center to go to prom. Mary's water breaks and the whole happy group visits her and her baby in the hospital.
See? It sucks, and it's reeeally not well written or edited. A true shame, because the first 2/3 of this movie is highly worth seeing.|W|P|112241344491745044|W|P|Movie review: "Saved!"|W|P|7/26/2005 04:33:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|There's orientalism and then there's this.
So it may be a bit premature to form an Arab version of NATO.Well, no shit.|W|P|112241059817889874|W|P|Hotten Totten|W|P|7/25/2005 06:02:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Wow, is this column ever dumb. The gist - former CIA analyst Larry Johnson "has a pre-9/11 mindset." The evidence:
- a column he wrote on July 10, 2001.
- a PBS interview he gave in 1999.
Thus, before 9/11, Johnson had a pre-9/11 mindset. As did everyone. Because 9/11 hadn't happened yet.|W|P|112232938353733999|W|P|Past is past|W|P|7/25/2005 10:12:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|At some point in the late 1990s I was abducted by Shaolin monks and replaced with a Republican hack.|W|P|112230079101250941|W|P|Shorter Michael Barone|W|P|7/24/2005 01:37:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Here's a short allegory about moviemaking.
CRAIG BREWER: Well, I sure had a good time making "Hustle & Flow." Wha - holy shit! It cost $2.8 million and it made back that money in the very first day of release!
MICHAEL BAY: *snorts coke* Fuck, man. My new movie "The Island" cost $100 million, but it's totally going to be worth it. What? It only made $4.3 million on its first day, thereby predicting a $11 million opening weekend? In a sane world, I'd be ruined!
(Hooray to America gonging "The Island," too. The transition of Scarlett Johanssen from geeky dream girl to bottle-blond action skank was proceeding way too fast, and it needs to be scaled back some.)|W|P|112218374293577357|W|P|Happy/sad|W|P|7/24/2005 01:35:00 PM|W|P|Ellen|W|P|On a more depressing note, my dad (who is otherwise a fairly intelligent guy) was telling me he saw an interesting movie last night, and when I asked what it was, he said The Island. It took every ounce of effort in my body not to smack my forehead so loud that he could hear it over the phone.7/24/2005 11:36:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I've actually heard that the first half is very thought-provoking for a summer movie - basically, it rips off the juiciest elements of "1984" and "Brave New World" and makes them look really really cool.
In retrospect, the studio should have played up that angle of the movie and created a "What is ... The Island?" ad campaign, like "The Matrix" had. The "boobs 'n' fire 'n' revealing the twist" campaign has clearly fallen short.7/23/2005 12:16:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I hereby declare that "V for Vendetta" will be the best movie of the year. The evidence: The casting of John "Winston Smith" Hurt as a fascist dictator. Awesome, totally awesome.|W|P|112209226292110981|W|P|He DOES love Big Brother!|W|P|7/22/2005 07:18:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hot-a-mighty, how big of a girl do you have to be to enlist your mom in a PR campaign?
I'm excited for the Budget Office's next initiative, "Protecting Lunch Money In A World of Bullies".|W|P|112207458892532444|W|P|Mother, please!|W|P|7/22/2005 01:33:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I don't have much commentary on the Patriot Act vote yesterday (I have written an upcoming article on the subject already), but it's interesting to look at how support for the Act - watered down by amendments by Bernie Sanders and Jeff Flake - has fallen.
The Patriot vote in 2001, in a House with 218 Republicans, was 357-66. Yesterday's vote, in a House with 231 Republicans, was 257-171. GOP support fell from 98.6% to 93.5%, and Democratic support plummetted from 67.2% to 21.6%. This wasn't a big enough sea change to defeat the bill, but it was a sea change nonetheless. And the Sanders and Flake amendments kicked ass.|W|P|112205479729972700|W|P|America, fuck no|W|P|7/21/2005 06:08:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oh hell yes. One of my favorite childhood books, the long-of-print D'Aulaires' Norse Gods and Giants, is being reprinted.
No amount of hyperbole can do justice to this book. I literally eroded my copy from overuse back when I was 11 or 12, and have been angsting at the sight of $150+ used copies since checking for them in 2000.|W|P|112198395538353466|W|P|Asgard, bitches|W|P|7/21/2005 12:57:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|If Jeff Jarvis is to be believed, dickless albino Bernie Goldberg gave a Jessica Savitch-quality performance on CNBC last night. God, I hope someone posts this video online.
UPDATE: And here we go.|W|P|112196513190399963|W|P|Goldbagged|W|P|7/22/2005 02:55:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|Jarvis is wrong. Goldberg comes off fine, especially considering the line-up of the panel. Donny Deutch comes off as a schmuck-and-a-half.7/22/2005 07:26:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Yeah, I think Goldberg sounds ridiculous but the panel definitely comes off worse.
Goldberg appeared on O'Reilly last night to commiserate about the CNBC thing, though, and skillfully shot down any goodwill I was willing to give him.7/28/2005 02:42:00 AM|W|P|
Apparently Goldberg isn't the only one who has issues with the way Donny runs his program.
Anyway, I'm going to be in Chicago for the next three years so if you're ever in town visiting your alma mater, give me an e-mail at wprothwell at uchicago dot edu.7/28/2005 09:26:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Holy crap! Sure I'll email you! Thanks for checking in with my truant ass.7/21/2005 12:59:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The saga continues.
Steve Howe (Yes)
Recommended: "Heart of the Sunrise," Close to the Edge, "Onward"
Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division)
Recommended: (in Joy Division) "Disorder," (in New Order) "Temptation," "Regret"
Dr. Know (Bad Brains)
Recommended: "At the Movies," "I Against I," "She's Calling You"
Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
Recommended: "Into the Void," "Supernaut," "Symptom of the Universe"
Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
Recommended: "21st Century Schizoid Man," "Starless," "Matte Kudasai"
George Harrison (The Beatles)
Recommended: (in The Beatles) "Within You Without You," "Here Comes the Sun" (solo) "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long"
Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Electronic)
Recommended: (in The Smiths) "Hand in Glove," "How Soon Is Now?," "Bigmouth Strikes Again"
Pete Townshend (The Who)
Recommended: "Substitute," "Armenia City In The Sky," "I'm One"
Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention)
Recommended: (solo) "Turning of the Tide," "King of Bohemia"
Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar)
Recommended: (in Husker Du) "Divide and Conquer," "Standing in the Rain" (Sugar) "Helpless"|W|P|112192359527313580|W|P|10 Favorite Guitarists|W|P|7/20/2005 11:34:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Part two of a five part series. Of course, my finger slipped on the mouse and gobbled six of my artist bios, so I'm not retyping them. You'll have to be satisfied with my recommendations and assume what I like about the other artists.
A prodigy from West Texas and Oklahoma who became a major pop songwriter in his early 20s before trying to make it as a country-tinged solo artist, and failing miserably. This makes some sense, as Webb's voice could make milk go sour. But even when he failed, Webb was tossing off literate, melodically layered songs with tricky key changes and startling lyrics. And yet his most famous song is "MacArthur Park." Oh, well.
Recommended: "Adios," "P.F. Sloan," El Mirage, Tunesmith: The Songs of Jimmy Webb
Pretty much peerless arranger of harmonies and "pop symphonies" - around 1965, he developed an ear for placing very strange, seemingly untuned instruments on the fringes of an arrangement, and then playing them back to discover they perfectly enhanced the piece. Equally adept at portraying maximum fun and maximum, wrist-slashing misery.
Recommended: "Surf's Up," "This Whole World," Pet Sounds
Not a particularly inventive writer, but an expert poacher of styles. From 1969 to 1983 I don't think he recorded two albums that sounded alike, and he was able to come up with catchy songs in every style - folk-pop, glam, soul, krautrock, 80s synthpop.
Recommended: Aladdin Sane, Low, Scary Monsters
He's declined sharply since 1995, but even since then he's excellent at maximizing the space in songs - building endlessly catchy melodies off a keyboard riff or a bassline. And when he wants to write a complex pop song, he excels even more.
Recommended: Dirty Mind, Purple Rain, "My Name Is Prince"
Recommended: Innervisions, "As," "Overjoyed"
Recommended: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Blood on the Tracks, Desire
Recommended: (as GBV) Bee Thousand, Isolation Drills (as Bob Pollard) Speak Kindly of Your Volunteer Fire Department
Neil Tennant/Chris Lowe
Recommended: "Always on my Mind," Very, Bilingual
Recommended: "The Ballad of Dwight Fry," Billion Dollar Babies, Welcome to my Nightmare
Recommended: (as The Velvet Underground) The Velvet Underground and Nico (as Lou Reed) Berlin, The Blue Mask|W|P|112187412195887628|W|P|10 Favorite Songwriters|W|P|7/23/2005 10:37:00 PM|W|P|
-Rich7/24/2005 01:33:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Here's why I included it - they totally transformed the boring Elvis song by taking out words that didn't flow (ie, the "have" from "should have") and adding hooks that never originally existed. Where did the DNH! Dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh-dnh-DNH! part come from? Tennant/Lowe wrote it. A lot of my favorite PSB songs are covers like this - "Losing My Mind," "Where the Streets Have No Name."
On the other hand, yeah, it's a cover. So you're probably right. Maybe "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" better represents that era.7/20/2005 10:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I don't suppose anyone will actually know this, but who is the husky-throated announcer who narrates Progress For America's TV ads? I just saw a new "Give Judge Roberts a FAIR Up or Down Vote!" commercial by the right-wing 527, and the narrator is the same guy who flogged their *cough* *ahem* Social Security ad campaign.
He's got to have an interesting job. In the Social Security campaign he was given progressively darker and darker scripts, and went from sounding like Dave Thomas ("President Bush has a plan!") to Darth Vader ("Fucking Democrats!").|W|P|112191429970175084|W|P|Actin’ like life is a big commercial|W|P|7/20/2005 06:14:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Most stereotypical Ain't It Cool News comment ever:
The only good thing about CONSTANTINE was Tilda Swinton's ridiculously hot performance as the androgynous Gabriel. I will get the DVD just so I can masturbate to those scenes.Unholy.|W|P|112189774043656452|W|P|You can't even tell if he's joking|W|P|7/20/2005 12:19:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|If I were Charles Johnson, I would not be playing the "look at the crazy commenters on that website!" game.
Just saying.|W|P|112187656072658558|W|P|A dangerous game|W|P|7/20/2005 11:33:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|This blog now has comments, powered by Blogger.|W|P|112187363139511389|W|P|Comments|W|P|7/20/2005 01:02:00 PM|W|P|Ellen|W|P|*gets out flamethrower*7/20/2005 02:18:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Just for that, I'm giving you a Nelson Muntz-esque byline in my blogroll. Preemptive strike!7/20/2005 06:07:00 PM|W|P|7/20/2005 08:29:00 PM|W|P|Ellen|W|P|Heh, awesome. And frighteningly accurate at the moment.7/19/2005 12:02:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Often the question is asked, why does Dave keep bashing conservatives and linking to liberals?
Good question. I definitely disagree with conservatives and the Bush administration on large swathes of important issues. But I don't exactly love liberals. There are some great liberal blogs, but some that still irritate me and send me running for the nearest Kristol. Keep in mind, I have nothing against these people - they're probably very cool in person. But their blogs rank are beloved by all the lefty blogosphere, and to that I must object.
- Steve Gilliard. I like James Wolcott, and he loves Gilliard, but the transitive property clearly has loopholes. This is a terrible blog.
Gilliard has three kinds of post. The first, and seemingly most frequent, is the kitchen sink post. IE, he grabs the entirety of a blog post or news article, posts it in a blockquote, and then adds some obvious, pithy aside. The example I link to is a long, very good NYT article about the difficulty of keeping a relationship together while a soldier is serving in Iraq and his wife is at home. Gilliard posts the whole thing and then adds: "Gee, you mean it's not all loyal, waiting wives? Jesus, people forget about this, but war doesn't just ruin lives, it corrodes marriages as well." Which is EXACTLY WHAT THE ARTICLE SAID, except without the work of travelling, interviewing, reporting, thinking, and editing. This kind of post reached its nadir last week, when Gilliard posted a lengthy article about gourmet coffee and commented - I quote in full - "Good coffee is really good."
The second kind of post is the rant - a blog classic, dipped in shit and swirled around by Gilliard. Sometimes there's a link to a small chunk of another article, and sometimes it's just a rant. 90% of these posts concern either the war in Iraq, "chickenhawks," or black people - black conservatives or black preachers, usually. They're typically unreadable. A recent Iraq post began: "The US Army cannot control anyplace where their troops are not. The Iraqi Army is useless and inefficent. More importantly, they have no one to fight for. There is only the thinnest of reasons, a paycheck, to continue fighting." Wow, what insight. The chickenhawk and black people posts are usually worse, since Gilliard has some expertise (apparently gleaned from books) on warfare, but mostly just anger about the latter subjects. Typically, if he finds an article about a black conservative - Ken Blackwell, Armstrong Williams - Gilliard mocks him with slave talk.
The third kind of post is the aimless travelogue or collection of thoughts. To wit, a recent post detailing a weekend outing with his girlfriend and niece and nephew climaxed with this hot action.
Then we went to Amy Ruth's for dinner. Jen, my nephew and I ordered chicken and waffles, my niece had chicken fingers and fries. Oddly enough, Jen took my niece to the bathroom and the staff was wondering what the fuck was up. Which amused me. The food there is incredible. I brought my mother the same things. For five dinners, it was only $61 overrall, which isn't bad.Yawn.
- DC Media Girl. Because she's a "DC media girl" who doesn't blog about DC MEDIA. Like Confucious said (I'm paraphrasing), names are important. You can't be a DC media girl if your last 5 posts (as of this morning) concern 1)a diplomats' press release about Joe Wilson, 2)an advertisement for "the Rude Pundit's" live performance in New York, 3)an article from the Washington Blade about anti-gay reverend Willie Wilson (Ok, that's DC media), 4)a Matt Cooper article from Time and 5)news of an upcoming Chow Yun Fat movie.
This is bull. Any blog can write about that stuff. A "DC media" blog should, I don't know, flood the zone on the kind of stories that Howard Kurtz writes about, and cover them better than he does. Also, the actual writing on DCMG is lame. To wit.
Exactly how many wives does Joseph Wilson have? How many did he have in 2003? How hard could it have been for Cooper to figure out that Rove was referring to Valerie Plame, given the clues? Talk about squabbling over what the meaning of the word "is" is.Wow. For punishing insight like this, you used to have to go to Alan Colmes.
- Amanda Marcotte. Years ago Jesse Taylor founded Pandagon, a very funny politics'n'stuff blog, and late in the game he got Ezra Klein to be a co-blogger. The result was a pretty hilarious and on-point blog that I checked frequently. After the election, Ezra quit for his own site, and Taylor asked Amanda Marcotte to be his new co-blogger. Marcotte was a graduate of her own blog, called "Mouse Words." Oh, good.
Marcotte was a tolerable blogger on her lonesome, but holy hell does she pale compared to the hilarious Taylor. Whereas you could get Ezra and Jesse posts mixed up - both guys were punchy and prolific - Marcotte grinds out the same topics again and again on a rusty organ. Blah blah, animals. Blah blah, Texans. Blah blah, feminism. Blah blah, my boyfriend. It's just not as fun as the rest of Pandagon has historically been.
Yes, I hate women.
- Michael Totten. Lefty bloggers have excommunicated him, so he may not be a perfect fit for this list, but he certainly passed the "bloggers who piss me off" test. Totten plays a two-string guitar and thinks he's Jimi Hendrix. He writes about two topics: the suckness of "the Left" and why he's left it, and the "Terror War." (Sorry for the scare quotes, but that neologism annoys me. It's like calling World War I the "Kaiser War.") He also posts occasional photos from nice trips he's taken, which leads to the interesting possibility that one day Justin Raimondo will hysterically accuse him of taking dirty Jewmoney from Likud to finance a lifestyle beyond the means of a freelance writer, but as amusing as this is it doesn't save Totten.
His topics are not inherently boring, but Totten's solipsistic anguish over them is just painful to read.
It seems to me that conservatives in general are more comfortable with centrists than are liberals in general. And I'm not just talking about myself here. I write far more about foreign policy (where my views are hawkish and "conservative”) than domestic policy (where my views are usually liberal) so I'm not an ideal test case. It’s not just me, though. I see a lot more denunciations of the center-left New Republic magazine on the left than I see on the right – and I don’t know what else could explain it except for a loathing of heretics.Blather, rinse, repeat 3000 times. We get it, Michael. You think the US should liberate the Middle East by Any Means Necessary and left-wingers (with whom You Used To Identify Until The Global Terror War) don't. Word up. Now get over yourself.
*(This post's original title was "America-hating Liberals of the Left," but people weren't getting the joke, so I changed it. The joke was, I was trying to save face with my conservative friends by imitating a WorldNetDaily headline writer.)|W|P|112181115100016027|W|P|Not everyone can be Norbizness*|W|P|7/20/2005 06:36:00 PM|W|P|DCMediagirl|W|P|Gilliard and I are "America hating liberals"? Where do you get off? And who are you again?7/20/2005 06:52:00 PM|W|P|Steve|W|P|Dave,
Try being interesting. Oh, and check your e-mail.7/20/2005 10:40:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|(I stick by my pithy criticisms, but I've changed the post title that offended these bloggers.)7/20/2005 11:42:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|Not sure I would have changed the title. In any case, did these two bloggers
A) Not read the post at all, or
B) Read it and still miss the joke?
And which option would be worse?7/19/2005 11:58:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|You're my friend, Dewers! I'm going to sneak you into the movies in my tummy!*
*This is, of course, a reference to Patton Oswalt's routine on liquor commercials.|W|P|112178891076615871|W|P|Shorter Christopher Hitchens|W|P|7/20/2005 11:37:00 PM|W|P|John Tabin|W|P|Hitchens drinks Johnny Walker.7/19/2005 11:54:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|You're Stephen Hayes. Some people think you've gone a little nutty on the "Saddam-Osama connection" beat. How do you open your new piece?
ON MARCH 7, 2004, Ahmed Chalabi ...C'mon, DUDE!|W|P|112178856636315113|W|P|Dept. of Unfortunate Ledes|W|P|7/19/2005 10:37:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Frank LoBiondo: American Hero
Knickers are twisting about the NJ Republican congressman's utterance:
Muslim terrorists, he said, were more evil than Hitler.
"Hitler, in his philosophy, was, you know, he hated Jews, he was murdering Jews, and there were some people he liked. But he never went to the level that these people are going to," LoBiondo said.LoBiondo has been apologizing ever since. And I ask ... why?
For starters, look at the ridiculous comment from Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters.
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) became the latest idiot to get impaled on a historical swastika when he attempted to paint Islamofascist terrorists as worse than Nazis.Did you see that? I'll highlight it again.
when he attempted to paint Islamofascist terrorists as worse than Nazis"Islamofascism"? What's that? I found Michael Totten commenting on a blog with a quote from Paul Berman that seems to define it.
The present conflict seems to me to be following the twentieth-century pattern exactly, with one variation: the antiliberal side right now, instead of Communist, Nazi, Catholic, or Fascist, happens to be radical Arab nationalist and Islamic fundamentalist.It seems to me like Berman and his copycats are ... comparing Islamic extremism to 20th century fascism. Which means Nazism. When you say "fascism" in an American context, that's what people think of. And it certainly is a comparison - I've never heard any Muslim group or terrorist or dictator calling it/himself "Islamofascist." It's a neologism meant to compare the threat and goals of Wahabbism to the threat and goals of Nazism.
It sounds like Morrissey realizes this.
When will our politcians understand that Nazi analogies amount to an almost-certain political jinx? We don't need to debate the relative merits of one form of fascism and oppression over another; they're all bad, grown-ups know it, and those who don't won't learn anything from sound bites like these.But if that's the case, why do so many pro-war writers through around the word "fascism" like so much Silly String? Perhaps it's because they want to make their point with a powerful and universal metaphor. Which is what LoBiondo (and Dick Durbin) did.|W|P|112178513604972338|W|P||W|P|7/18/2005 02:03:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Hoo-ray for Hollywood
I'm surprised. Twice this weekend I begrudgingly said "yes" to friends who wanted to see new Hollywood blockbusters. My expectations were low, and ... they were demolished! I actually enjoyed the hell out of the mediocrely-reviewed "Wedding Crashers" and the pilloried "Fantastic Four."
One of these movies has been out for 11 days and the other for four, so you'll excuse me for the SPOILERS in these reviews. I repeat: SPOILER SPOILER SPOILEY-SPOIL-SPOILERS BELOW.
When the history of the 21st century's first decade is written, 2001's "Zoolander" will appear in large, bold letters, connected to dozens of other movies via a spindly little graph. That goofball comedy starred Ben Stiller, a reasonably successful comedian who'd been acting for 14 years and only starting to get leading man roles. His costar was Owen Wilson, a Texas actor who'd had bit roles in big movies and was himself starting to win major parts. The villain was played by Will Ferrell, a Saturday Night Live alum who had stolen scenes in terrible SNL-based movies but wasn't trusted to open his own films. And there was a key minor role played by Vince Vaughn, a promising actor who had broken out in 1996's "Swingers" before devolving into crap like "Psycho" and "The Lost World." With this cast and a $28 million budget, Zoolander made a surprising $45 million. From there, its stars have become the biggest comic actors since the heyday of Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and John Candy.
In less than two years, the Stiller-Wilson-Ferrell-Vaughn bund has co-starred in "Old School," "Starsky and Hutch," "Dodgeball," "Anchorman," all huge hits, and the individual actors have scored movies like "Meet the Fockers" and "Elf," which broke genre records. "Wedding Crashers," their latest multiplex aggression pact, at first looked like their last gasp. Actually, despite a major flaw, it's their best movie yet and evidence that they might actually have a few more years of hits in front of them.
The first 70-80 minutes of the movie are more or less perfect. Wilson and Vaughn are horny divorce attorneys who, despite advancing age, crash a double-digit amount of weddings every year to sleep with vulnerable women. Vaughn is content, but Wilson is starting to feel empty, and he goes along with a final crash - the glitzy National Cathedral wedding of a Treasury secretary's (Christopher Walken's) daughter. He falls head over heels for a flower girl (Rachel McAdams), who's cute for starters, but then totally wins him over by laughing (at the altar) at the sickly self-written vows of the bride and groom (They've replaced "husband" and "wife" with "captain" and "first mate"). Vaughn beds another flower girl at the reception, who immediately becomes clingy and lunatic, and Vaughn wants to get out of dodge. But Wilson drags him into a weekend at Walken's house with the girls and their - hey - boyfriends.
This part of the movie is hilarious, with jokes coming in every beat, and the best ones coming from the apparantly ad-libbing Vaughn. The movie only slows down when they're found out and expelled from Walken's house. Then a full year passes as Wilson pines and Vaughn courts the insane flower girl. The resolution is pretty funny, but this final act drags and drags.
Sometimes critics hone in on a movie - usually a celebrity project, like "Gigli" - and decide to beat it to a pulp. That happened with "Fantastic Four," which escaped the modest-to-great reviews of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "Batman Begins," and "War of the Worlds" to get the worst notices of the entire summer. I don't understand why. True to the studio hype, this is the first fun superhero movie in years. Maybe since "Superman III," which doesn't prove my point, but let's keep going.
The makers of "Fantastic Four" had a simple mandate - create likeable characters, show off their superpowers, and create a conflict for them to solve. All of this is achieved. Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm, who turns into a rock-skinned monster while his friends remain physically unchanged, is shockingly good - funny, sympathetic, sarcastic, and able to emote with (I'm guessing) 600 pounds of makeup. Chris Evans, whose actorly resume was ... not long, makes an excellent Johnny "Human Torch" Storm - he's basically an MTV VJ who gets superpowers. He nails the ability to stunt or display some epic use of power and play it off as a cool new thing that'll bag him chicks. The other actors are - surprisingly - very okay. Jessica Alba would be fine if she wasn't introduced as a "director of genetic research" - lips aside, she's only five months older than me. It's like introducing me as "senior correspondent for WMD" at the Daily Planet, or something.
The script moves fast and has one-liners and power gags that mostly work. I'm fond of the way Chiklis boils up with hate when he discovers Johnny Storm, "the underwear model," is his captain for their mission to space. Chiklis remembers that Storm was kicked out of NASA training for bringing models into the flight simulator. Reed Richards (some Welsh actor) plays it off, and Chiklis elaborates: "He crashed it. A flight simulator." I was even fond of the way Dr. Doom is recast as a billionaire who goes on the Four's space mission and starts turning into metal and conducting electricity, which lets him face off against the team in the finale. Nerds can complain about this - must I remind them that Dr. Doom's first appearence in the comics dealt with his evil plan to send the Fantastic Four back in time to steal Blackbeard's gold?
It's not a great movie, and it could lose one Xtreme sports scene w/ Johnny Storm, but it's pretty damn fun.|W|P|112171433357797186|W|P||W|P|7/16/2005 10:59:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Race to the bottom
I braved the rain earlier today and stopped in Borders, where I leafed through the new Economist and read an article on the Venezuelan political opposition, Sumate. Briefly: These people are idiots. Having organized to propel a recall vote against leftist President Hugo Chavez - which he won with 58% of the (contested) vote - they've been roiled by revelations they they planned another coup in 2004 and took money from the National Endowment for Democracy. Their solution? Why, have their most promising leader meet with Condoleeza Rice and George Bush.
Can you imagine the Democratic party sending its leadership to meet with Jacques Chirac and Bashar Assad, who then promised them aid and full support? Yeah, this is roughly equivilent.
The art in this Economist piece indicated another seeming blunder. I don't like much of what Steve Sailer writes, but one of his recent columns contained some insight on South American views of race.
The American media doesn't understand Latin America’s racial divisions—or any racial divisions for that matter—so it has had a hard time understanding what has been going on in Latin America.
In some countries like Bolivia, the darker people are all Indians, justifying the term "indigenous movement."
But in Brazil, which elected the leftist populist Lula, non-indigenous blacks vastly outnumber Indians. Americans expect to find a color line, but there's only a color continuum. That makes it confusing even to name the opponents.
In most of these countries, there is a vast middle ground of mestizos, mulattos, or tri-racial "pardos." But the American press isn't sure if it's even allowed to use those terms.
The simplest description of the uprisings is that they are "anti-white." But that's another term that the American media are ill at ease with.
And even that isn’t an exhaustive description, since leftists have been winning in Argentina and Uruguay, two countries that are more or less all white.
The trend toward racial conflict and leftist populism is particularly acute in northern South America, but populists have been winning elections throughout much of Latin America.Since pretty much the inception of their democratic systems, Latin American nations had been governed by a well-off, white political elite, lording over mixed-raced Mestizos. Some part of Hugo Chavez's popularity - polls put it around 70% - comes from the fact he breaks that mold, and is himself a Mestizo who looks like this:
Knowing this, who does the VZ opposition send to the USA to become their new public face? Maria Corina Machado, who looks this:
I know, she looks ready to star in a terrible movie with Matthew Perry.
The Venezuelan situation is complicated, and the truth of it can probably be located somewhere between Greg Palast's hero worship and the Wall Street Journal's recreant bullshit. If you're hoping the opposition prevails, though, try not hoping so much.
UPDATE: Or, if the opposition fucks up, maybe they'll get an assist ...|W|P|112157094967642545|W|P||W|P|7/16/2005 03:04:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Top 10s, part one
I promised some exposition of my top 10 music post, so here it is. Part one: Singers. This is the toughest part, so bear with me.
10 Favorite Singers
- Roy Orbison
Songs and everything else aside, probably the most expressive male singer of the rock era. Massive range wedded to sad, country phrasing.
Recommended - "Running Scared," "In Dreams," Mystery Girl
- Ron Isley
A soul singer who's equally comfortable singing 9-minute rave-ups and, uh, 10-minute slow jams. That might be said of a few dozen singers, but Isley did it first with the easiest delivery.
Recommended - "Hello It's Me," "Pop That Thang," "That Lady"
- Bryan Ferry
Proved that crooning was the natural progression from glam rock. Went from ironic to pop and then back to ironic again.
Recommended - "Slave to Love," "A Song for Europe," "Just Another High"
- John Lennon
Even before he was officially iconoclastic and raw, he sounded like it. Does miraculous things with a modest range.
Recommended - "There's a Place," "#9 Dream," "God"
- Jello Biafra
The most frightening punk singer ever, with the most skill for wrenching the weirdness of the lyrics and melodies.
Recommended - "Holiday in Cambodia," "MTV Get off the Air," "Buzzbomb"
- Carl Wilson
Ironically, lunkish Carl was the Beach Boy who developed the best knack for interpreting their songs and their style of songs.
Recommended - "Where I Belong," "Feel Flows," "I Can Hear Music"
- Harry Nilsson
Sounds great on ballads, but has a unique way of drenching emotion out of his own goofy songs about puppies or desks. But mostly, he brings an unearthly level of emotion to those ballads.
Recommended - "Perfect Day," "Everybody's Talkin'," "Without You"
- James Brown
There's no rap without him, and no one comes across as energetic and gripping on his studio recordings.
Recommended - "It's Too Funky In Here," "The Payback," "Please Please Please"
- John Fogerty
Lots of people have tried to make screaming melodic, but Fogerty can do it with ballads
Recommended - "Wrote a Song for Everyone," "Lodi," "Born on the Bayou"
- Nanci Griffith
There are certainly country singers who can grab at more octaves, but none, to my mind, can carry off the storytelling that comes naturally to Griffith. When Emmylou Harris sings, I feel I'm hearing a very pretty sheen on a country song. When Griffith sings, the lyrics spring to life. Also, while her voice was sweeter and higher in her hit period - roughly 1986-1997 - a listen to her first records will convince you she had a broader range to draw on. She just chooses to stay within the range that's most evocative.
Recommended - Other Voices, Other Rooms, "Late Night Grande Hotel," "Ford Econoline"|W|P|112155997075471886|W|P||W|P|7/16/2005 01:40:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|PWN3D
This is pretty funny.
Today's big news in the conservosphere is a six-year old ABC News segment that's been heroically rescued from the "memory hole" and is now being trumpeted as proof — proof, dammit! — that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden used to be best buddies and Democrats have known it all along. It's only when George Bush became president that we started denying it. ... There's only one problem: this is nothing new. Nor was it new a year ago, the last time that Instapundit "discovered" this.I really don't get why war hawks are still trying to perform cardioversion on the Saddam-Osama links, especially when doing so transfers such large quantities of egg onto faces. For starters, if there was any solid information connecting Osama and Saddam, the administration would have been running it up the flagpole back in 2002 - and if there was NEW information, they would be hyping it like a Bruckheimer movie now. There's probably a good reason Bush didn't use his prime time Iraq speech to roll with Stephen Hayes' crack reporting about a 1998 issue of an Uday Hussein-owned newspaper that gave bin Laden a thumbs up.
This search for Osama-Saddam Pact of Steel is a quixotic endeavor, with Michael Totten as Sancho Panza.|W|P|112153667402651407|W|P||W|P|7/15/2005 05:59:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Gibson watch
I'm pretty sure I just heard John "My Word" Gibson claim that Valerie Plame was a rogue agent who sent her husband to Niger to cover up Saddam's nuclear deals.
He's like three "My Word"s away from pinning this all on the reptiles.|W|P|112146517473695338|W|P||W|P|7/15/2005 05:20:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|What the hell?
A press release ...
Smith and actor Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) play themselves in all three episodes of the three-part season finale. Alanis Morissette joins the duo in the second of the three half-hour episodes. Morissette plays the Canadian principal who accepts Jay and Silent Bob so they may graduate. The finale will roll out for three consecutive Friday nights -- August 12, August 19 and August 26 at 8:00 pm (ET).
In the Degrassi season finale, Smith travels to Canada to film a fictional sequel to the cult-hit Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. For the ‘sequel’ titled, Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!, director Kevin Smith has chosen Degrassi as the perfect Canadian high school for the shoot. In the Degrassi / J&SB storyline, Jay and Silent Bob (played by Mewes and Smith) come to Canada to get a high school diploma since no high school in the United States will take them. Smith said, “The plot of the movie within the show is so funny, it almost makes me want to shoot the flick for real.”Again - what the hell? Wasn't it like eight years ago that Kevin Smith promised he was retiring his New Jersey settings and the Jay and Silent Bob characters? Well, he made a (pretty lousy) New Jersey movie in 2004 and he's still dining out on Jay and Silent Bob.
Good lord. At least Lucas's sweaty obsessions make money.|W|P|112146277472270317|W|P||W|P|7/15/2005 11:26:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Favorite things
Re-reading one of the web's trusty old music sites, I got inspired to make some music lists. Details coming later ...
10 Favorite Singers
- Roy Orbison
- Ron Isley
- Bryan Ferry
- John Lennon
- Jello Biafra
- Carl Wilson
- Harry Nilsson
- James Brown
- John Fogerty
- Nanci Griffith
10 Favorite Songwriters
- Jimmy Webb
- Brian Wilson
- David Bowie
- Stevie Wonder
- Bob Dylan
- Robert Pollard
- Neil Tennant/Chris Lowe
- Alice Cooper
- Lou Reed
10 Favorite Guitarists
- Steve Howe (Yes)
- Bernard Sumner (New Order, Joy Division)
- Dr. Know (Bad Brains)
- Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
- Robert Fripp (King Crimson)
- George Harrison (The Beatles)
- Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
- Pete Townshend (The Who)
- Richard Thompson (Fairport Convention)
- Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar)
10 Favorite Bassists
- Paul McCartney (The Beatles)
- Simon Gallup (The Cure)
- Peter Hook (New Order, Joy Division)
- Geddy Lee (Rush)
- Dee Dee Ramone (Ramones)
- James McNew (Yo La Tengo)
- Bootsy Collins (James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic)
- Jerry Casale (Devo)
- Chris Squire (Yes)
- Walter Becker (Steely Dan)
10 Favorite Producers
- Phil Spector
- Giorgio Moroder
- Todd Rundgren
- Steve Lillywhite
- Brian Eno
- Stephen Hague
- Steve Albini
- Rick Rubin
- Bob Ezrin
- The Bomb Squad (Hank Shocklee, Keith Shocklee, Bill Stephney, Eric Sadler)|W|P|112144147782577109|W|P||W|P|7/14/2005 06:08:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|For Godwin's Sake
I have a new article at Reason.com advocating the end of Godwin's Law and the right of all Americans to compare things to the Third Reich. It was a response to the Dick Durbin controversy, but the theme's a little more universal.
If you only read one article this year that pillories both Charlie Chaplin and Victor Davis Hanson, make it this one.|W|P|112137968657315164|W|P||W|P|7/14/2005 05:11:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|News judgment
I don't want to hear another damn word about that shuttle that won't launch unless they find Natalee Holloway hiding in the cockpit.|W|P|112137559296653703|W|P||W|P|7/14/2005 05:07:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Irony III: Army of Darkness
Hey everybody, there's a new Republican National Committee press release on Joe Wilson!
Joe Wilson's Top Ten Worst Inaccuracies And MisstatementsAnd in the middle of the list - the list from the Republican National Committee - you find this.
6.) Wilson Claimed He Was A Victim Of A Partisan Smear CampaignI'll leave you to noodle the irony in that one.|W|P|112137540716537913|W|P||W|P|7/14/2005 01:53:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Irony II: Dead by Dawn
Sidney Fucking Blumenthal? OK.|W|P|112132044489062356|W|P||W|P|7/14/2005 01:08:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Oh, now you tell us
I do believe this is the most ironic statement ever to appear in the American Spectator.
The second-term scandal has become a fixture in modern American politics. Watergate, of course, started it. In Reagan's second term it was Iran-Contra. With Clinton, we got Whitewater/Monica. (Notice a descending curve of dignity and seriousness here?)Arkansas Project, Shmarkansas Project.
(Yes, I'm aware the ArkProj was launched in Clinton's first term, but the idea that Clinton's scandals weren't serious is really, really weird coming from the organ of R. Emmett Tyrell.)|W|P|112131787688900812|W|P||W|P|7/13/2005 02:32:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Wilson picky
I didn't much care about this Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame story until Matt Cooper's email was released, and I'm still not following it intently. But watching Fox News, I get the impression there is something to all this. The tip-off is that the pro-administration crowd is lying so fast it's affecting the Earth's rotation around the Sun.
Here's what I've been paying attention to. Some people are claiming the REAL issue in all this is how Wilson got the Niger assignment, and whether Rove mentioned his wife's name because she, as a CIA agent, made the recommendation.
John Gibson, Fox News:
... Wilson was opposed to the war in Iraq, opposed to Bush policy, and pointedly and loudly said so.
Consequently, it was of some interest how he got chosen for this sensitive job which people at the time might have thought would be a fulcrum point for a decision about the war.
You wouldn't send a peacenik to see if we should go to war, if we need to go to war, now would you?
Let's just assume that spy Valerie Plame knew her husband's attitudes about the war in Iraq and George W. Bush's policies. Sending him off to Niger could be regarded as an attempt to influence national policies.This is - how to put it? - utterly, barking-at-the-stars insane. Wilson was sent to Niger in February 2002, when George W Bush had been president for 13 months, and the war in Iraq wouldn't begin for another 13 months. It would have been impossible for Wilson to "oppose the war in Iraq" when/if Plame recommended him.
Here's Robert Novak.
That's where Joe Wilson came in. His first public notice had come in 1991 after 15 years as a Foreign Service officer when, as U.S. charge in Baghdad, he risked his life to shelter in the embassy some 800 Americans from Saddam Hussein's wrath. My partner Rowland Evans reported from the Iraqi capital in our column that Wilson showed "the stuff of heroism." President George H.W. Bush the next year named him ambassador to Gabon, and President Bill Clinton put him in charge of African affairs at the National Security Council until his retirement in 1998.
During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, Wilson had taken a measured public position -- viewing weapons of mass destruction as a danger but considering military action as a last resort. He has seemed much more critical of the administration since revealing his role in Niger.That last graph about the "run-up" to war doesn't get Gibson off the hook. Bush didn't define the pre-emption doctrine until June 2002, and didn't address the UN on Iraq until September.
Perhaps it's not necessary to unpack everything here. The point is, Gibson is claiming Wilson was an anti-war "peacenik" when he was sent to Niger 13 months before the damn war started. You've got to wonder what the anti-Wilson, Rove-defending forces are hiding if they're willing to abandon logic like this.
Oh, and it's also been said (often on Fox) that Wilson wasn't qualified to go to Niger for this assignment. So, how many people in the foreign service have been ambassadors to both Iraq and Niger? Maybe they should have chosen one of them for the mission ...|W|P|112128150011722969|W|P||W|P|7/13/2005 01:22:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Little, Green, Fatuous
Charles Johnson, July 2:
The Hidden Hand of Rove
MSNBC Democrat operative Lawrence O’Donnell said last night that the source of the leak in the Valerie Plame case was ... wait for it ... Karl Rove. The amazing thing about this story is that Lawrence O’Donnell still has any credibility left, after his bizarre meltdown during the presidential election.Charles Johnson, July 13:
Karl Rove, Whistleblower
The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the latest stupid manufactured MSM controversy: Karl Rove, Whistleblower.One might wonder: When Johnson wakes up and takes a shower, does he use a special kind of brush to scrape off the slime?|W|P|112127559419901314|W|P||W|P|7/12/2005 05:59:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Buy the book
Reporter Barry Seaman has published a new book on college life, Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You. Seaman uses my piece "Welcome to the Fun-Free University" as a source, and interviewed me for one chapter.
Yes, it's not as impressive as the works of some people I know, but it's fairly cool.|W|P|112120907668436460|W|P||W|P|7/09/2005 07:54:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Book of Saturday
Had a 25% off coupon at Borders, redeemable with any CD, so I chose this:
In a word: Holy shit.|W|P|112095332462181733|W|P||W|P|7/08/2005 03:28:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|iTunes madness
I hit random and this is what I got.
1.) "Galaxy Bounce," The Chemical Brothers. One of the better songs off "Come With Us," a pulsating pop song that was nearly ruined by usage in "Tomb Raider." In fairness, it's a difficult song to hear without picturing oneself jumping backwards into a crevasse, emptying two 9mms. (7/10)
2.) "Every Day of the Week," The Students. Joyous doo-wop fronted by Frankie Lymon's strong-voiced older brother. (8/10)
3.) "Cabinessence," The Beach Boys. A "Smile" track first released on the underrated "20/20" album. One of Brian Wilson's better melody collages. (8/10)
4.) "The End of Medicine," The New Pornographers. Typical offering from "Electric Version," with sweet Neko Case harmonies and more hooks than a pirate's handshake. (7/10)
5.) "Made of Stone," The Stones Roses. The most arena-friendly of the awesome songs on the band's debut album. (8/10)
6.) "Be My Wife," David Bowie. The catchiest pop song on the first side of "Low," which is saying a lot. (10/10)
7.) "Fire and Desire," Rick James w/Teena Marie. Take a decent slow jam off "Street Songs." This is a Rick James song. Make it seven goddamn minutes long. This is a Rick James song on drugs. (5/10)
8.) "Love is a Sign," The Go-Betweens. Robert Forster at his loveliest, vying unsuccessfully to pen the dreamiest song on "16 Lovers Lane." He gets close, though. (9/10)
9.) "Molly's Lips," The Vaselines. Fragile Scottish indie rock later covered by Nirvana. Nirvana skipped the bike horn section, though. (7/10)
10.) "You Baby," The Turtles. P.F. Sloan + The Turles = automatic 10/10.|W|P|112085163124478492|W|P||W|P|7/07/2005 03:56:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Shorter Justin Raimondo
*drops to his knees and raises his fists in the air*
"JEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWS!"|W|P|112076625488827456|W|P||W|P|7/07/2005 02:06:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|7/7
(Because when I think of why I love Britain, I don't first think of the Union Jack.)|W|P|112075967363135947|W|P||W|P|7/05/2005 02:20:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Go fuck yourself, San Diego
So the news networks are breaking into their coverage of piddly matters like the Supreme Court and war in Iraq to alert us of developments in the Idaho Missing White Kids case. This is to be expected. But I'm disappointed that I can't find any record of the insane broadcast I saw on Fox early Sunday afternoon. Lexis doesn't have transcripts of weekend programming.
But anyway, this is what happened. One of the Fox newsbots broke into political programming to announce that Shasta Groene had been found. The Groene kids' grandmother was on the line; the newsbot started interviewing her. First question was something like, "after all your prayers and hope, how do you react to this news?" And the grandmother said, "it's wonderful, and they found Shane, too!"
This was untrue. They hadn't found Shane. Today we learn that Shane is probably dead. It's unclear what the grandmother had heard to give her this impression, but she was blissfully saying it on national TV. And the newsbot - ran with it! She started asking followup questions about this Fox News exclusive that both Idaho White Kids had been found.
Confused, I flipped over to Google News and other networks to see what they were reporting. Nope - Shane had not been found. And then back to Fox, where the anchorwoman was interviewing this confused old woman and reality could find no purchase.
As frustrated as I am with the Missing White People stories, my frustration exploded when I saw this segment. Why, for Christ's sake, would you backpedal real hard news and run with these pathetic human interest stories with their unreliable human sources and slow turnaround?|W|P|112058844029571109|W|P||W|P|7/05/2005 01:44:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Shorter Michelle Malkin
Deuuhrr, Vanity Fair published a photo of Valerie Plame in July 2005. This is exactly the same thing as exposing Valerie Plame's identity when she was a CIA agent in July 2003.
(Note: I don't actually care much about Plamegate, but the "Joe Wilson is a dickhole" argument, true as it may be, is a shameless cop-out.)|W|P|112058579973852562|W|P||W|P|7/03/2005 02:06:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Groovin'
Some weekends you want to party, and some weekends you want to lie prone and take in all the stuff you bought on your trip to San Francisco a week ago. This weekend is of the latter mold.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is immediately one of the best video games of all time - up there with Final Fantasy III and Pac-Man. By far it's the best game in the series.
Briefly: You're Chris "CJ" Johnson, a Los Santos (the fictional version of LA) 'banger who left five years back to make it in Liberty City (the fictional New York of Grand Theft Auto III). When you get word that your mom has died, you high-tail it home where you're greeted by two cops (Sam Jackson and Chris Penn!) who rough you up and drop you off with your homies (Clifton Powell! Ice-T! Faizon Love! The Game!). It seems that their gang has lost its turf since you left, so you plunge back into the thick of it and start committing crimes.
Those two words - "comitting crimes" - need some unpacking. As CJ, you have free reign over Los Santos. You can run on foot, you can steal cars, motorcycles, boats, kids' 2-wheelers. You can beat up or kill anyone, and steal their money, weapons, whatever. You can break into houses, jump fences, swim from the city to another island. There's an immense, realistic map that you can manipulate for any purpose. The only way to get ahead is playing assigned missions, which eventually unlock TWO more cities (a San Francisco-alike and a Las Vegas clone) and little hick towns and suburbs to commit more crimes in. My favorite mission thus far involved breaking into the home of a crazed Vietnam veteran and stealing his guns to sell on the black market - when the deed was done, the computer helpfully informed me that I could break and enter other homes under cover of night if I got a black van.
I'm lucky I'm not an impressionable 13 year old playing this - as an adult I can pull myself away after, oh, 4 hours or so, but as a kid I could easily see me melting my eyeballs.|W|P|112037167466821519|W|P||W|P| |W|P|About frickin' time. |W|P|As much as I love the PSB's take on "Always on My Mind," I'd be hesitant to include a cover as an example of why Tennant/Lowe are great songwriters. Which they are. |W|P|Hey Dave, even though I'm a shitty e-mail pen-pal, I still check the blog occasionally. I didn't see the Bernie Goldberg segment, and I don't know much about him or Deutsch, but this isn't the first complaint I've read about the show: |W|P|Yo Dave! |W|P|The police were lying. |W|P|Ever been in London in July? It ain't Virginia in July. I was there a week after Menezes was murdered, and it was around 50 degrees the morning we landed with a high of 58. Jacket weather. |W|P|Menezes deserved it!