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December 10, 2005



Richard Pryor and Eugene McCarthy on the same day.  That is a very odd confluence that makes total visceral sense.

RIP.  They both left the world better than they found it.

Posted by mrbrent at 5:01 PM

the braxton beast

Is there anything that washes the taste of current events out of your mouth like cryptozoology?  No, there is not, especially when it comes to your basic bigfoot-type creature.

A stationary camera has captured a picture of a big ol' something down in my native state of West Virginia.  And while you scratch your head wondering what it may or may not be (giant hominid? stuffed animal?), keep in mind that this stationary camera is located in Braxton County, which is the home to one of the most seminal US ET incidents of all time, the Flatwoods Monster.

That's just the way I like my world, nice and weird.

[Via Boing Boing]

Posted by mrbrent at 3:51 PM

December 9, 2005

stop, or i'll shoot again!

Nobody saw this coming, did they now, Yahoo! Headline Box? • Passengers: Alpizar didn't say 'bomb'

Actually, he said, "Bong!", and then what followed was like a Cheech and Chong movie directed by Mel Brooks, except that Cheech gets gunned down in front of his wife.

I've got no problem with making mistakes, even when the mistakes are made by people with weapons.  Yeah, it's a well-known drag, but there is no such thing as a mistake-free environment.

I do have a problem with the lionizing of a peace officer who kills an innocent man, especially when the heroic circumstances of the shooting slowly shrivel away, just like they did in London last summer.

There is such a thing as regret, and such a thing as contrition.  They are both sometimes appropriate, if you don't mind putting your flag down for a moment or two.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:08 PM

i'm margaret thatcher's daughter, get me out of here

Old friend Kev in the UK responded to rumours of Margaret Thatcher's impending demise noted earlier this week:
Actually, if you want to know what I think, Thatcher's condition is little more than pique!  On Monday evening Thatcher's daughter Carol was the surprise winner of television's "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here", voted the Queen of the Jungle by the watching public.  I believe that Thatcher was so aggrieved to have the spotlight fall upon her least favoured off-spring (Carol is the twin of the sainted Mark), that the old Dame took a dive.  And the more I think about it, the more I believe it.

I kind of thought that Kev was joking about the whole reality show victory of the Thatcher-spawn, but, sadly, no.  These days we are all factcheckers: Bam!

Besides, I think it's generally true that the evil live longer just to spite the good.  Thatcher is not yet 100 years old.  Don't get your dead pools revved up just yet.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:38 AM

December 8, 2005

harold pinter

Somebody just kicked "playwright" a few notches up the Blackjack Mulligan Scale of Badass:
The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them.  You have to hand it to America.  It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good.  It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

That would be Harold Pinter, of course, accepted his Nobel Peace Prize.

He is a bad, bad man.  I mean, sucka please.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:00 AM

December 7, 2005

tramp the dirt down

Again I am foiled by my apprehensions.  I saw this bit of news about a visit by Margaret Thatcher to a hospital, and thought to myself:

"Hmm.  I bet that the eventual death of Margaret Thatcher will not be met with mourning millions and beautifications and the general renaming of public works like Ronald Reagan's death was."

Then I thought of writing about it, or e-mailing Kev in the UK for comment, but then I figured that the glib talk of a person's impending death was bad mojo.

After reflection, and synchronicity, I have changed my mind.

Yes, even given my limited knowledge of England, I am sure that the death of Margaret Thatcher will be met by a general celebration of a different sort, which is as it should be.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:45 PM

condi rice made me sputter ineffectually

This is the story about the post that wasn't.  Sure, it's a little "inside baseball", as they say, but sometimes the lesson we learn comes from the forest and not the trees.  And of course this whole post-that-never-was process happens like a few times a week, so there's that too.

On the way to work yesterday, I was reading a NYTimes article about our Secretary of State, Condi Rice, visiting Europe.  She's all trying to "improve relations", and Europe's like, yeah, you torturing liars have rendered detainees to secret prisons in our countries, which is so so not cool, and Condi is all, "Whaaaaa?"  If you are interested in this bit of "news" and have not yet read up on it, then here, go crazy.

And this NYTimes writer was trying to make a point that Rice's public statements have reflected a shift in policy, and I read the two statements cited, and realized that the reporter had misread Condi's lawyer-ese, and the two statements were in fact identical, content-wise, and I got all hepped up to titivil all over it.

And in the course of the day, waiting for the lunch break to write the item up, this weird doubt hit.

Not the self-doubt, the doubt of one's ability to write in a concise and entertaining manner, but rather the doubt of "Nothing matters and so what if it did".  Say I write this post about this one paragraph in a NYTimes article on page A16 or something.  Say it's the best post ever.  Even the NYTimes reads it, issues a correction, redoubles their forensic analysis of Rice's public statements, etc.  Would it really change anything?  Would it bring to justice the fuckers who've perverted our security services into SMERSH or some other ominous international network devoted to evil acts?  Would it leaven the arrogance of an administration that treats the rest of the planet like the kid's table at Thanksgiving dinner?  Would it make anyone, anyone at all, including me, feel any better about anything?

And so I didn't write nothing, like a punk.

Though the funny thing is that the answer to those four questions is not unanimously, "No."  Sometimes the bigness of the whole thing gets to you, and you freeze up like a bear in the headlines.

Okay, okay, again enough about me.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:25 AM

December 6, 2005

24 Hour Plays

There was no posting on yesterday, Monday.  That is because I was involved in the project entitled the 24 Hour Plays, whose online presence is located here.  So my daily diet of light posting and intermediate media-guzzling was replaced with rehearsing and, ultimately, acting.

I only bring this up because I don't recall many shouts-out to the 24, which is a very cool project run by very cool project -- I project to which I have given, in fact something like forty days of my life.

So maybe you're interested in things like that.  Maybe you like the ice hockey.  I dunno.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:27 AM

December 4, 2005


Last night I spent a quiet evening having my mind blown.

There is an original series on Showtime called "The Masters Of Horror".  The title is happily self-explanatory.  But this is a very cogent explanation of some of the wonderfulness of the series.

You may also note a mention in there of the episode written by Sam Hamm and directed by Joe Dante called "Homecoming".  It's a very zeitgeist-shattering little thing, plus also a lot of weeping was induced, though I am a softie.  And that wasn't even for the zombies.

I feel silly hitting the "you're missing good TV y'all" buttons, because I watch nearly zero.  But it's on Showtime, which is like the Beta tapes of cable channels.

So you go watch now.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:12 PM