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February 11, 2005

if you wanna dance with the big boys you better buy a new dress

I'd like to send a big "hallooooo" to North Korea, who is just crying for attention.  It's cute, but, I gotta tell ya, North Korea, it's not gonna work.

Scream about your arsenal until you're blue inna face.  Until you can back that shit up with massive oil fields, North Korea, you're just a big ol' nobody with bombs, like France.

If you want to play the game, you got to be a playa, and you got to know by now that the Bush administration ain't gonna be moved by increasing nuclear capability.  You got to show a little leg, if you know what I mean.

Until then: No invasion for you!

Posted by mrbrent at 11:42 AM

February 10, 2005

adv. in journalism

Drudge is sadly one of the sites I visit.  I'm not proud.  It's a zeitgeist-meter.  There's no more convenient way to measure what people who aren't like me are getting as news.  And yet it makes me feel icky.  O that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, bla bla bla.

One headline today read:

'WHITES QUITTING CITIES' IN ENGLAND...

The link leads to this article published by the London tabloid The Sun, reporting on a report from Migrationwatch UK.  Which I'm assuming is an organization from the UK dealing with migration, probably either pro- or anti-.  Neither The Sun nor Matt Drudge assert anything about caucasions fleeing British cities.  The Sun merely reports on the report without commentary or rebuttal, and Drudge just links it, in all caps.

So, the casual reader, or at least the casual Drudge reader, will assume that "Whites quitting cities" is a valid factoid, a conversational nugget whose truth value equals unequivocal.  Of course, I'm simplifying any kind of ironic/skeptical distance the average Drudge reader may carry with them in their heads, because, for the purposes of this, they have none.  I'm happy to be wrong on that.  In the box of headlines residing in the brain of the casual Drudge reader, alongside with "North Korea admits nukes" and "Pope leaves hospital" is "Whites quitting English cities".

But, we notice that the actual reporting included nothing by way of criticism or verification.  It quoted numbers, but the numbers quoted were from the same report that generated the story.  No independent third party, and definitely no other side of the coin -- no "whites are flocking back into the cities" guy.  To my mind, this renders the truth value of the factoid neutral.  The story is not really a story at all.  It's a hypothesis.  Obviously, some "blokes" think that there is some alarming British white flight, but it really remains to be seen until this hypothesis emerges from the customary journalistic process of reporting and commentary.

So, before we, and the rest of the Drudge casual readers run around shocking dinner parties and scaring good children with stories of refugee exurban Subjects of Her Majesty, I thought I would try to apply one of these journalistic superpowers and see if it will work in the hands of a layperson like myself.  I will try this "reporting" thing, maybe ask someone residing in the UK if their observations confirm or deny the hyposthesis.  Someone like Kevan, who, coincidentally, goes by the moniker "Kev in the UK" around these parts. 

Kev?  Is it true?  You're white.  You live in London.  Are you on the lam?

Will update as response is received.

[UPDATE - Kev responds, with alarming alacrity:]

Actually, how is "City" defined?  Since 1851, most Briton's have lived in town.  Everyone in Britain is within 88 miles of the sea.  So "quitting the city" is actually quite difficult.  And very expensive.  What proportion of Blacks are quitting the cities?  What proportion of provincial Whites are moving into the cities?

I suspect more Whites are moving into the cities than blacks are quitting.  Provincial Britain is almost predominantly white, Rural Britain exclusively so.  Therefore anyone migrating citywards to escape rural boredom has to be pale by definition.

Whites escaping the city?  No, only the affluent chums known to the bigot who wrote the piece, I suspect.

To sum up, Kev doubts the science and drops the "bigot" bomb.  And what he says goes double for me, as I add that there is enough room in Drudge's arms for all you proud xenophobes.  An afternoon of fun for all involved -- definitely much better than being worried by giant Gambian rats.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:34 PM

February 9, 2005

history written as an obituary

Let us dispel all kinds of speculation and come out and say: we are not Deep Throat.  How many kinds of speculation?  Why, Mom just called this morning, with many uncomfortable questions about my early 70s whereabouts.  And some guy onna train was looking at me sideways.  That many.

As exciting as it is that Throat's cover may soon be blown, keep in mind that this excitement will most likely be mitigated by the fact that Throat was a guy who you've never ever heard of, who looks more like George Kennedy than Hal Holbrook -- just another nameless schmo who brought down a presidency.

Bottom line: reinvigorating the phrase "deep throat" in the common parlance is a gift horse in whose mouth we will not look.

Posted by mrbrent at 5:05 PM

February 7, 2005

more go read

Those who can't do, teach, and those who can't teach, teach gym.  I have my doubts about that one, as I've experienced gym teachers who also teach social studies -- a paradox that cripples the aphorism before it even has a chance to wander around a bit.

Yeah, so.  In lieu of anything actually entertaining written here, I direct your attention to Latigo Flint.  It reminds me a lot of Winky Shock, Inc..  Let's call them both little serial websites, or even literary comic strips.

Latigo was brought to attention by Kung-Fu Monkey, who is apparently a fellow named John Rogers, who seems like one of those old friends you had that actually got off his ass, moved to LA and made a little career for himself, a hundred years ago, just when you decided the liberating freedom of a job inna bar was what your own personal soul required.  Kudos to Kung-Fu Monkey!

And to bars!

And while we're going crazy with the linking, David Neiwert has been outdoing himself with thoughtful and timely posts, which themselves link to all kinds of wonderfulness, including further insight to Bush's bulge during the debates (you know, the debates... against that tall guy who was running for President).  Time well spent, especially if you're on someone else's clock.

Posted by mrbrent at 6:53 PM

kids would never throw hammer back, also

It seems that Yahoo and the Paris Review have swapped editors for a day.  No, you're crazy.  From the Box of Headlines:
• Super Bowl ads test limits of credulity

While one is excited to see the word "credulity" not only in a headline, but also in an electronic headline, reaching eyeballs all over the globe, one is also suspicious that the whole unit would be much more expressive and memorable is "test" was replaced with the more feral "strain".

Just for fun, I clicked the link.  It's a story from the A.P.  It's your standard round-up of the ads from last night's sporting contest.  Apparently, the hook is that the events depicted in some ads seemed a little implausible.  Why don't I provide this link to you?  I am evil.

As far as the implausibility of advertising goes: we're as shocked as the A.P. is.  Burt Reynolds?  Dancing?  Hopefully, some grassroots attention to this crisis will somehow bring freedom to the tyrannized peoples of the world quick, before the social security crisis brings the financial underpinnings of this great nation down like tenpins.

Tenpins, I say!

Posted by mrbrent at 1:16 PM

maybe a trash can was flipped somewhere

Extry, extry, read all about it:
• Boston relatively calm after Super Bowl win

You'd think after all those world championships, they'd be able to throw an at least passable riot.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:10 AM