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February 18, 2005


It seems the Stephen Minarik is my new best friend.  Or is that bete noir?  My French is atrocious.

Following up (!?!) on this post, NY State Republican chair Minarik, of my home town of the Greater Rochester Area, has decided that nothing tops off odiousness like a little slapstick [via Atrios].  He's evil!  He's bumbling!  Like Karl Rove channeling Fatty Arbuckle, or Don Knotts channeling George Bush.  Whatever.  I look forward to many, many more pernicious and amusing antics.

In defense of the old home town, House Representative Louise Slaughter, also from the area, is leading the charge on the White House on the many faces of Jeff Gannon-gate, which, if you haven't been following, hoo boy.  Slaughter used to visit our high school back when she was running for the State Assembly and would entreat us to call her "Gramma Weezie". : She's a smart and tough lady who would not be out of place representing my now native Brooklyn, so, give it up fuh huh, please.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:11 AM

February 17, 2005

the futah

Everybody knows I'm a freak for Warren Ellis.  Well, to be more accurate, anyone who knows me in that kind of way where enthusiams are discussed, they are the ones who know that I'm a Warren Ellis freak.  You can now count yourself in that number.

A few days ago he posted an article that he wrote but was never printed.  It's a about the future, and you can read it here.  [It does contain some disturbing imagery, so, all of the children out there, either no click for you, or please to explain the disturbing imagery to me, because it is also confusing.]  Warren, while being a polymath writer with an Asimovian work ethic, could also rightly be considered a futurist, as his brand of comix/sci fi comes more from speculative consideration of the present moving forward than it comes from Joseph Campbell watered down with George Lucas.  So, yeah.  Warren Ellis thinks real hard.

He also has the advantage of writing from Europe.  It's obviously a topic that requires research and many more pages, but I surmise that the texture of life, the zeitgeist, is entirely different from that here, which would make it a plus.  Different history, different society, different cultah -- I could be a crazy asshole, but I wager that the zeitgeist affects the words that come out.  Not to mention that the UK has been atoning for Empire, to swipe a phrase from Kev, for decades, while the US is busy solidifying its position as Evilest Country Ever, so Warren can imagine a future purely on the merits as we Yanks have to factor in the "which global subculture will rightfully want to kill us and when" quotient, which is unwieldy.  Finally, Europe has consistently been a year or two ahead of the US as far as the field of personal technology goes, because, well, they're better capitalists, I guess.  So Warren right now is playing with some gadget we won't get to play with until '07, which will by then be a ridiculous historical curiosity to Warren.  It's a good place to be a futurist, if you are hell-bent for tech.

Actually, double-thinking this -- the above paragraph definitely comes from a place of whining.  Somewhere in my lizard brain I believe that, for Americans, the future happens backwards.  We keep trying to reverse engineer some Platonic ideal while the actual future, the unraveling of events, happens behind our backs, slapping "kick me" signs on our asses.  So if this evinces some jealousy of Europe in me, well, I apologize, but remember that the first step is admiting that you have a problem.

Anyhow, I hope you find the piece as thought-provocative as I do.

It's Thursday!  Let's start smart and get stupid later.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:06 AM

February 16, 2005

he's also overweight

It's hard to read and write at the same time.  Even though it's the dead of February, and the news is supposed to come in little dribs and drabs, the dribs and drabs have been really interesting.  Ohh, I'm not going to run down all of the interesting stories -- there's at least a kajillion sites that link each of them to holy hell.

Except for this interesting story.

You might expect some shrill how-dare-theys and some general snark.  You might expect it because you've already read it, on some other like-minded site, and probably would've generated it yourself given the opportunity.

No, the reason I'd like to call your attention to this ad hominem bullshit from the chariman of the NY Republican Party is because said chairman, Stephen Minarik, is not only a McCarthyite ass who should indeed resign, he is also from my hometown.  There, he used to chair the local GOP, and his big accomplishment was to get a local news personality elected as county executive (which is kinda like state flower, but different).

So, Mr. Minarik, while Howard Dean calls on you to resign for your unrepentant political character assassination, I would rather call on all of the people of the proud, unbowed city of Rochester, NY to congratulate you on your rocketing ascent to Republican stardom!  A few "bin Laden"s and maybe a "Stalin" or two and you'll be the greatest thing to ever come out of Monroe County since Foster Brooks!

Or even Foreigner's Lou Gramm!

Posted by mrbrent at 5:00 PM

February 15, 2005

and the venal greeting cards are next

Yesterday, walking the subway station on the way home, Valentine's Day was suitably capped off for the year.  No, not that way.

I hear a trumpet, and it's playing "Amazing Grace".  A mournful version of "Amazing Grace", so, I wonder, basically, who died?  I spot the player, and it's a sad looking man, playing next to a sign: "Come back to the Lord".

And that to me is just what Valentine's Day has always needed: a concerted campaign against it by wackadoo street Christians.

And might the wackadoo street Christians be right?  Who doesn't deplore the secular sentiment and ungodly boy-girl relations brought on by the Papish Valentine's Day?  After all, haven't they already defeated every other heathenish holiday on the calendar?

So, wackadoo street Christians: you got it goin' on.  Believe me, I had repented of my worldly romantic heresy well before the train hit Union Square.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:47 AM

February 14, 2005

lane in stay

Circumstances forced me to take a bus to New York from Pennsylvania this morning.  It was still dark out, and the whole affair was kinda dreamy.  This really should be filed under IYI, but there was this: on many overpasses, more than a few, in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey region, some body, I'm assuming a private citizen, has affixed a single American flag, visable to the Interstate traffic below, on a pole so flimsy I'd call it a stick.  I wasn't never no Boy Scout, but I was a Cub Scout briefly, so I can tell you that the reason the flag looked so grimy and tattered has something to do with not taking the flag in at night, in foul weather, etc.

I'm sure that the irony of a heartfelt gesture resulting in a broken-down looking (some would say desecrated) flag is lost on most of the traffic.

I'm also sure that my observation of irony would be considered hateful and divisive to the same portion of traffic.

Which is why it's Good to be Alive in Two Thousand Five!  Happy Valentine's Day, Internets!

Posted by mrbrent at 10:54 AM