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October 22, 2004

sketchy mclugnut

Not only do I return a shout out to Monk, but I strongly recommend this, his or her latest post.  At first, I loved it, because Monk had discovered that excerpting Scott McClellan's press gaggles equals comedy gold.  But the real comedy gold is after the jump, there, as they say.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:05 PM

October 21, 2004

it makes me laff

I was wrong.  In this post, I neglected to link to Matt Taibbi's Wimblehack because I thought the links would expire.  I have discovered I was wrong.  How?  Because I see the links splashed all over Wonkette.

Go here for Round One, here for Round Two, and here for the most recent Round.  Matt is biting and deft and observant, and he's not afraid to call someone fat for no better reason than they are.  He's as good as the brilliant, viscious assholes that wrote for the NYPress in the good old days (before MUGGER choked the fucking life out of it by eating his young), and it's just what the doctor ordered for the youth of today.

Posted by mrbrent at 7:29 PM

dumb question in a series

I don't know if this makes me a dunce, but I don't really recall any kind of statement from an Al Qaida spokesman, or from one of their many publicists, or on any online forum, or as an Al Jazeera exclusive, or in grafitti or Al Qaida crop circles or anywhere, really, that set forth the Al Qaida desire to disrupt elections.

This doesn't mean that there has not been.  I am only one amateur writey man, and I can only devote so much of my websurfing to tracking down a statement that I believe that doesn't exist.  But, I'd think that if there was, it might have been splashed all over Drudge or some other useful home of lies and slander.  It's the kind of story that is shrill enough to get all the play in the world.  And I don't remember anything like it.

I'm just wondering because everytime I see some story how the nation's polling places are at risk because Al Qaida wants to disrupt our elections, then Gramma and Grampa start getting all Chicken Little and talk about how John Kerry won't protect our shopping malls from terrorists.  Maybe a predictible response, but shouldn't a more valid response be: "Says who?"

Oh, sure, the terrorists would loooove to disrupt some elections, or steal the Baby Jesus from Nativities, or maybe even send each and every one of our developmentally disabled citizens to some Klingon rape camp.  They're evil.  That's the kind of thing they learn, over there in their super-villain training camps.

I know, I know, it's just Republican code words used to give Kerry the metphysical endorsement of Al Qaida.  Other, more accomplished amateur writey types can talk about that.  But what about all them professional journalists out there?  Considering that this "disrupting the elections" trope has come out of the mouths of a bushel of adminstration sources, shouldn't it be forced to stand up to scrutiny?

And, hey, if there is a message out there saying, "Leave the Arabian Penninula or we will disrupt your heathen elections, by Allah," then, my bad.

Besides, the last shadowy, sinister, secretive group that disrupted our elections was the Supreme Court, and no one invaded Iraq over that.

Posted by mrbrent at 5:34 PM

October 20, 2004

they said gay

[Headline on Yahoo, 10/19/04, 11:30p:]

"Hollinghurst wins Booker prize for gay novel"

I'm sure Mr. Hollinghurst would like to thank the judges for reading his gay novel -- a gay novel he's quite proud of.  It was daunting at first, but, you know what they say... everyone's got a gay novel in them.

And somewhere, the bitter Vice Presidential tears drip down a craggy, snarling face.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:26 AM


Just as a sidenote to the Yankees/Sox suck content washing up on the digital shores of America this morning, let me recommend strongly mlb dot com's Gameday function for your supplemental baseball event watching.  It's a no-brainer at work, where audio is not an option, but I'm a big fan at home, as well, especially if games pass the four hour mark and you need to get some work done.  I'm convinced Gameday (or its eventual 3D successor) will replace AM radio as "sentimental baseball viewing favorite" in the hearts of the next generation of baseballs fans, once they have browsers implanted in their retinae, etc., etc.

But who does suck?  Well, I'll tell you this: back during the Big One, when our boys were off spreading liberty across Western Europe and the South Pacific, certain football teams had to combine for a season or two by reason of lack of players.  This team, which couldn't have been very good at all, considering if you're 4F you're probably no allstar football player, was called the Steagles.

The Steagles definitely do not suck.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:06 AM

October 19, 2004

the goldwater option

Dick Cheney is a sensitive guy.

If he can't sneer your vote into submission, or give you that flatline "my robotic heart can withstand any number of cheeseburgers" stare thiry-five seconds after lying on national television so that you are mesmerized into not only voting for him but also storming any possible recount that might happen in the next four weeks, then he's perfectly happy to point a metaphorical gun at civilians and say, "Vote for me or your cities get it."

You know, the funny thing is that the most likely WMD threat in my little poisoned weltanschaung is a tactical deployment by a nation-state already possessing WMDs in eventual response to situations arising as the result of a certain super-power's fucked up international policy.  And even if you are the sort to think the threat is more likely from terror-type individuals, then you have to remind yourself that, besides our ally, Pakistan, the most readily available source of catastrophic materials is the independent states comprising the former Soviet Union, and this administration has done jack shit to secure any of these materials.

So with his hunched back up against the electoral wall, the dickweed has to go around trying to scare all my aunts and uncles that might give any measurable amount of credence to his gravelly words as a last ditch effort to blackmail people into voting for him, in case anyone remembers that other terrorism attack that his manipulating ass failed to prevent.

It just burns my ass that I have to read that fucking wire story without ever reading anything from anyone actually paid to write about these matters calling bullshit.

Which bullshit is the other fucking elephant in the room that no one is talking about.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:37 PM

halley's comet returns

This can be filed under things that are not of universal interest, but, that what's keeping me young.  Ish.  That, and the four demandments of Hulkamania, of course.

Here in the greater NYC area, there is this magazine.  It is not widely spoken of, but a small number of people talk about about it with such intensity, you sometimes get the impression that everyone is talking about it.  Maybe that's how these things work.  It was called "Radar", which, coincidentally, was the last cutting edge general interest magazine title available in the dictionary.  It is kind of the Flying Dutchman of the magazine industry, because it published two issues some months ago, and now is only seen on misty nights in the full of the moon.

So today's NYT ran a little story about Radar today, about how they've raised money, well, "raised" in the sense that the money should come through, you know, unless it doesn't.  This is just background.  The following quote is what is actually the meat of this post:

To help Radar forge an identity, [its editor] said, its Web site will incorporate some of the voice and style that has developed in blogs.

That's a really "fly" idea!  I'm sure all the "peeps" will be "down with that".

Posted by mrbrent at 10:43 AM

October 18, 2004

four out of five voters agree

Not that I kept count, because it was the weekend and I was busy raking leaves and mowing the sidewalk, etc., but between the internet, AM radio and the short moments of television to fall asleep to, I noticed between six and, um, seventy-five stories about the polls tracking the Presidential election, and each of them had a different spin.  Many spoke of a small lead for the President and others mentioned the same small lead and said that it was a "statisitical tie". : Some mentioned "registered voters", though the wonks that walk among us much prefer the "likely voters", because... I dunno.  Some fortune tellers use a tarot deck and some use tea leaves (though the one around the corner from my house only has to magically stare at the $20 bill you hand her).

None of the stories used the word "whoop-ass", and none of them told me what I really want to know: which way is the hippie vote going this year?

It's not so much that I mind news stories disagreeing with each other.  In my world, there's room for both Edwards and Gephardt on the Democratic ticket.  But I would like to take exception with the idea that polls constitute an event that is in any way newsworthy.  I have trouble even calling a poll an "event".  Questions were asked!  Answers were taken!  More at eleven!  Eat my shorts.

Bad journalists.  No junkets for you.

This is not to say that polls are wrong.  Nor is it to say that polls are right.  I don't care.  Polls could be always correct and smartly dressed and a good conversationalist, or they could be the wrongiest thing in wrongyland, and they still don't belong in my newspaper.  Or, if they do, they belong on that page in the car ads in Friday's edition that charts the picks for the next NFL week, by sportswriters and local celebrities.  They'd look real good there, all brought to you by your local Volkswagen dealer.

Frank Rich wrote a conceptually interesting piece in yesterday's NYT Arts & Leisure section (to which I shout out), suggesting that the arrival of a new Woodward and Bernstein is required to cap off the past couple of years of shit government.  To identify them, zeitgeist-wise.  Well, when these new guys come, they'll make all you poll-covering hacks look all the more hacktacular as you slink back to "Cat Fancy" or wherever it is you learned to report like that.

And the good children of the world will dance and sing.

Posted by mrbrent at 8:52 AM