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June 17, 2005

will fuck for power

You may admire the Forces of Righteousness for their tenacity.  For their willingness to keep fighting a fight that they lost a long time ago.

I choose, however, to hate them for their vindictiveness and their smallness of spirit.  The governor of Florida has asked a State Attorney to investigate the actions of Michael Schiavo during the time of the events that put his wife into a persistent vegetative state.  You know, fifteen years, umpteen lawsuits and a couple thousand hours of television coverage ago.

The abuse of office by Gov. Bush, the sheer wrongness of it, is overpowering -- so overpowering that I am reminded of rampant allegations of the Governor's dalliances with then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris and her trowels-full of make-up.

Not that I would impeach an official for an extra-marital affair.  I just think that if you're going to have an extra-marital affair, and you have it with Katherine Harris, whose mere visage bespeaks political golddigger, well, that's just icky, icky, icky.

Oops!  I changed the subject!

I swear to God, the forces of righteousness are forming a human chain across the nation, spelling out the phrase "pride goes before a fall" that is visible from the moon with the naked eye.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:53 PM

hey

The spammers have taken our language from us.  I remember, back in the good old days, the late 90s, how we were all so drunk with this new "electronic mail" that we took to the task of writing subject lines like a seven year-old -- half the time dreaming up sugar-mad absurdist masterpiece subject lines, little ironic laff bomb titles to each e-mail, and the other half the time peevishly churning out endless subjects of "hey" and "hello".  And as time passed and the novelty grew threadbare it seemed that every second e-mail got sent with the generic "stuff" subject line, with the replies awkwardly coming back "RE: stuff".

But that was then.  Now, the "hi" and "what's up" subject lines are exclusively the domain of the spammers.  I've even seen a couple of "hey man"s and once a "dude".  Which is why I've had to give up on the "stuff" and pretty much settle for "not spam it's me" if I'm pressed for time.

Not a complaint -- an observation.  I'll take a hundred fake "what's up"s over one "blank-hungry blankity blank".

And without e-mail, I would not have Warren Ellis's listserv, which delivers all kinds of mixed goodness -- details on his projects, heads ups, think pieces and sometimes drunken (and post-drunk) nothings:

I command the grain and the grape. Not a hint of a hangover.  I win.

Still slightly disappointed by the lack of nurses.  I thought you all loved me.  Pigs.

I swear, a truck just went past owned by a haulage firm called RIP SWIFT.  How does a guy called Rip Swift not have his own spaceship?

It's like sharing a mad genius uncle with the entire township.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:50 AM

June 16, 2005

today i am cheeky blogger!

A few words from the President of the United States:
Today, America is ruled by men who suppress liberty at home and spread terror across the world. Power is in the hands of an unelected few who have retained power through an electoral process that ignores the basic requirements of democracy.

Except, ha ha!  I fooled you!  He actually said "Iran" instead of "America"!  You see, I skillfully employed the old trick where you change only one word of the text of someone's speech to illustrate (wickedly!) the irony contained therein!

Because, as you can plainly see, it would be very ironic if the President were to attribute those qualities he intends to attribute to Iran to America instead!  Because then it would seem that he was saying something that his critics could substantively agree with, which would be very ironic indeed!

Ha ha!

Er.

I still don't see why they won't let me write for Buzzflash.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:50 PM

good morning invisible robots in my teeth

This morning we trot out the geek, whose chickenhead-biting will brace us for a long day's work.

Ladies and gentlemen, Bill O'Reilly, whose meandering paranoid nonsense has left Al Franken behind for the much more inviting target of New York Times.

Bonus points to O'Reilly for the description of his parent network as a purveyer of "pro-America news", proving that bias equals unbias in the name of the march of freedom.

Coming up next (hopefully): O'Reilly takes on the real source of all these liberal slander and slurs -- the continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and South America.  Oh, and the top and bottom parts of North America.

[Via FishBowlNY.]

Posted by mrbrent at 11:37 AM

June 15, 2005

yes, the naked zorro

Weird bit of general interest synchronicity this afternoon.  The excellent Boing Boing linked to a story that caught my eye for reasons that should be obvious -- the Naked Zorro story, and how a gentleman that the phenomenon of the Naked Zorro -- which is just what it sounds like, er, kind of -- is actually the phenomena of a bunch of unrelated individuals caught up in Naked Zorro fever.

It turns out that this gentleman is Loren Coleman, who I am familiar with thanks to a misspent youth of reading about the field of cryptozoology, of which Mr. Coleman is the dean.

Basically, my sasquatch-lovin' past in inescapable, thanks to the Naked Zorro.  You can keep the dork away from "In Search Of", but you can't take the "In Search Of" out of the dork.

Posted by mrbrent at 6:04 PM

tom cruise

Maybe it's just me, but I have a lot more affinity for Tom Cruise now that he's batshit.  He keeps this up, I just might turn into an actual fan.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:49 AM

flathead

Thomas Friedman has successfully made the transition from NYT columnist to pinata. 

You might recall that exception has been taken with Mr. Friedman, as a thinker and a writer, for a couple months now, ever since his latest book, "The World Is Flat: A Mixed Metaphor For A Five Year Old Century", was published this April, making Malcom Gladwell not the only clown-ass working the "deep thoughts" beat.  Friedman is, as characterized by James Wolcott, the "groovemaster of globalization, a man who has never met a cab driver he couldn't quote to his prove his own point," which sums up both halves of why beating up on Friedman is sport and not a silly game of "gotcha" -- a) his rah rah globalization only works if you sweep a couple billion poor people under the carpet, and b) he's not a very good writer.

Friedman's column today in the NYT -- you can find it here, but you might not want to if you don't like the whole registration process -- is filled with sentences that are poster children for "Actually Published Sentences", which are, as conceived by an old friend of mine, sentences so bad that the only fitting punishment for having written them is to have them read aloud, followed by the name of the offending writer.  Shame, rinse, repeat.  Here's a few from today.

This is no time to give up -- this is still winnable -- but it is time to ask: What is our strategy?
But we are fooling ourselves to think that a decent, normal, forward-looking Iraqi politics or army is going to emerge from a totally insecure environment, where you can feel safe only with your own tribe.
The Kurds have been great.

If the pronoun abuse doesn't get you, then the Iraqi decency and normalcy might, or even the definition of an "insecure environment".  "Great."

That's just the aesthetic side.  Others here in the Internets have much more violent reactions to Friedman's trademark mix of blowhard free market whack-assery and Strunk & White violations.  Atrios is quite agitated, leading us to ScoutPrime, who gets hung up on a Gladwellian phrase, and a nice spoof by Arthur Silber.  And finally Alexander Cockburn delves to the heart of the argument against Mr. Friedman.

You, too, can try this at home.  It shouldn't be any harder than writing Ben Stein jokes.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:29 AM

June 14, 2005

that's what it says

"Worldy".

Posted by mrbrent at 3:58 PM

follow the money

If you have a moment or two, I strongly recommend that you give this piece by Billmon a read.  It digs into Iraqi war profiteering as it intersects with GOP patronage, so it's not exactly laff-a-minute, but it is some solid research/reportage outside the envelope. 

I remember years ago trying to read everything I could about the so-called "Octopus" as reported by Danny Casolaro, but, you know how it goes.  You start with a nice conspiracy freak lifestyle, but then you get older, settle down and all your conspiracy friends get careers and children, and then you're back to collecting butterflies.  That's not me, of course.  But it is the saddest story in the world yes?

The beautiful difference between fringe investigative reporting now and back when Casolaro mysteriously died is that now the tools have become a bit more accessible, thanks to the Internets.  As you'll notice, Billmon was Nexis/Lexising from the comfort of his own home.  Doubtless, actual shoe leather probably works better, but electronic searching offers an opportunity for cursory amateur research, which everyone should do all the time.

Also see the postscripts as an example of my new favorite phenomenon of the Internets -- something I'll call "mobdigging".  Readers of a post detailing a bit of amateur research pile on with amateur research of their own, kind of like a modern day Newsboy Legion.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:15 PM

already too many michael jackson jokes

The most disappointing element of yesterday's Michael Joe Jackson verdict had to the the forewoman.  She had no voice at all.  Verdicts are public events, just like hangings used to be in 17th century England.  Of course, it's difficult to get a lot of experience as jury forewoman, but still, she read that verdict with all the verve and elan of Mike Bloomberg.

If it was important enough to interrupt Oprah, it was important enough to have James Earl Jones.  That cat can read a verdict.

Or even Allison Janney.  I love her work for the Architect's Institute of America.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:25 AM

June 13, 2005

bitch and whine

I suggest that you think twice about renting cars from Enterprise.  Yes, I know that consumer advocacy is not exactly my strong suit, but I just got screwed by Enterprise, and a little research reveals that it was not a case of my bad luck.

They pulled the old "that tiny dent wasn't there before you rented the car" trick on me.  Well, unless someone snuck up on the vehicle (w/ 29,000 miles on it) in the middle of the night and attacked it with a balpeen hammer, that dent damn well was there.  I've been renting cars for fifteen years, and it's the first time I got played with that one.  Quite the buzzkill.

And I thought something was hinky when I got the cornpone used-car salesman schtick during the pick-up visual inspection, when the guy practically got down on his hands and kness to crawl under it, all the while spieling bad joke after bad joke.  I must've had mark written all over my face.

Instinct tells me that this is a nickel-and-dime-the-sheeple-to death company policy and not one bad apple.  So, yeah.  Go to Budget instead.  They've never done me wrong.  Or Alamo.

Thanks for indulging me.  I feel a teensy bit better.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:15 PM