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April 15, 2006

you mistook us for some other city, adrian benepe

AP ran a story this afternoon about a wild turkey being released back into a NYC park.  It's not exactly CAT STUCK IN WALL, but it's the weekend newshole.  We make do.

Wait, what are city officials doing with a wild turkey in the first place?

"It appears that Miss Gobbler was jealous of the attention that Easter bunnies and chicks were receiving and, by taking a leisurely stroll at the Riverton Houses, decided to seek its own publicity," Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said in a statement.

Oh, right.

By the way, I'd like whatever portion of my NYC taxes that pay for the salary of Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe returned now, please.  At least until he returns to Candyland or wherever he learned to quote like that.

Posted by mrbrent at 5:13 PM

jared paul stern

I'm not really a member of the New York publishing establishment.  My paying work is now, and will always be, a generation or so removed from the sprawling, brawling NY newspaper/magazine/book industries.  Though I did read Spy back all those days ago, and even the New York Observer, as a precocious B&N floor manager.  And some of my fellow reprobates did actually land in legitimate media.  (Not to mention that my friends-who-"blog" keep getting poached by the cursed book agents.)  So I follow the gossip like a rotisserie league something-or-other.

So (at the reminder of Gothamist, who is busy with the liveblogging thereof) it was some a perverse fascination that I clicked over to Gawker, who gave accused extortionist Jared Paul Stern the guest-editor gig for the weekend.  (If you didn't catch the JPS/Page Six scandal from last week, then don't worry about it -- you're a better person for not knowing.)  I'd seen the byline of JPS around for the past decade or so, but nothing really made an impression.  I thought I'd give him a fair shake.

Well, I have, and now I have to go wash out the occipital lobe of my cerebral cortex.  While not particularly well-written, or funny, the posts of JPS are transfixing in terms of pure spite and bile.  Smacking on his "enemies", manly threats of lawsuits and a "bitch" slapped at some model he "made".  It's like a one man show interpretation of "Lord Of The Flies" in a fedora.  It's like Peter Braunstein minus the misogynist heart.

Sadly, Stern will probably get a push out of it.

No, I'm not going to link it.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:27 PM

April 14, 2006

joe biden (d-mbna)

Weird random thought on a late Friday night.  I was just fondly reminiscing on the bankruptcy legislation that passed six or so months ago, with bilateral support in the House and Senate.  Basically the legislation took certain debt-forgiveness aspects of old bankruptcy legislation and raised it out of the reach of the average consumer.  Maybe you've fallen victim to this.  Maybe you will someday.

Anyhow, in the sad march up to the passage of this, there was a barrage of outrage at the moral failure of prospective bankruptcees to live up to their obligations.  In a very clear "How dare they!" sense.  This came, predictably, from the financial service industries, and Joe Biden (please run, Joe, please).

Well, the thought that just now came to mind was, what about the moral failure of predatory lending practices?  What about the moral failure of usury?  Wasn't there something in some seminal religious text about moneychangers and a temple?  I forget, were they chased out, or were they given cold soothing beverages and a backrub?

Just a small thought for the next time you pay one of your three or four credit card bills.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:14 PM

bonds joins nuclear club

It was a slow news day this morning.  Apparently the Justice Department suspects that Barry Bonds may develop nuclear capability in the next sisteen days.  Oh, they're vowing to exhaust diplomatic measures, but everyone knows that within six months we'll be invading San Francisco.

I know that none of our news outlets are exactly BBC World Service, but when the local segment leads with CAT STUCK IN WALL, then I really oughtta find a better hobby than news-following, like trying to cook an egg between two cellphones.  Wait, a cat is stuck in a wall?  Dude, CAT STUCK IN WALL!  (Between you and me, in the wall was where we kept the cats, back when.)

I should just probably stop falling asleep with CNN on, is what I should do.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:01 AM

April 13, 2006

iran just kicked your dog

I've devoted a significant portion of braindrive to the question of Iranian nuclear development.  So much so that I've done little at work but push papers back and forth across my desk.  Oh, wait.  That's my job.

In doing a little research I stumbled over this excellent DailyKos diary, detailing the source of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's quote that Iran had "joined the nuclear club".  If you've seen u.S. news stories on the speech, the club-joining is painted very ominously, as if the speech was given in front of the World Crime League, with a bunch of bwoo-ha-ha-ing.  Actually, reading the transcript you realize that the tone of threat imbued in the quote is mostly propagandized.

Unfortunately, the same effect can be found in reading the translated transcript of your average Bin Laden speech.  Basically, if you only get your news from the teevee you get the impression that Bin Laden's rhetoric sounds something like the Iron Sheik's rhetoric from 1983, when actually it is a little more discreet than that, with a sprinkling of reasoned argument and a lot less "I-kill-you" than you'd expect.  Sure, his speeches are still ultimately troubling, but when you start spinning so furiously to paint the opposition as nothing more than homicidal crazy persons, well, isn't that what the bad guys do?

Aren't we supposed to be at least tangentially interested in the truth?  Or, at least, interesting in not being swayed by such dimestore attempts at propaganda?

Posted by mrbrent at 12:58 PM

April 12, 2006

it's all about thanksgivin

Some thank yous are in order.  I'd like to thank my fridge, for giving up the ghost in the middle of the night.  I'm looking forward to tossing all my now room temperature refrigerables once I get home from work.  I was going to try to get it done before I left in the morning, but I could not.  Which is why I'd like to thank my cat, Leonard, for leaving half of a dead bird in the tub and the other half in the toilet.  Cleaning up dead bird is much more exciting than eighty-sixing my rapidly spoiling food.

And I can't forget to thank the neighbors.  Oh, no.  God love 'em.

And then there's the nuke thing.  Imagine my joy to see in the news the vocalized desire of the Bush Administration to detonate a nuclear weapon in a preemptive manner.  Against an actor who has not so much as broken a traffic law.  That was a thrill to read that.  All those elementary school duck-and-cover drills come flashing back.  You'd think that the administration would at least consider the deployment of a nuke as bad karma if they were having a hard time clearing the "morally repulsive" and "planet threatening" hurdles.  But no.  So thank you, Department of Defense and your armchair tacticians and fighting keyboardists, thank you very much.

So not feeling so writey, no.  Maybe tomorrow.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:07 AM

April 11, 2006

darren daulton sees all

TV watching has finally bore fruit for me.  Yesterday Sportscenter ran a story that appealed to both my love of the baseball and my love of the tinfoil hat.  Accordingly, I refer you to the story of longtime Phillies catcher Darren "Dutch" Daulton.

Sadly, the SI story linked does not contain my favorite datum from the ESPN story -- Dutchie not only subscribes to time travel and astral projection, he also believes in the apocalyptic predicted events of 2012.

Hey, you got your fringe science in my great American pastime!  Yum.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:52 AM