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May 12, 2006

you will not forget new orleans

You know how some internet dudes will fashion a post on their website where the payoff is not explicit, but rather some hyperlinked piece of text?  I think I've done this sometimes.  I got to thinking, though, in the course of my morning surf, people just don't actually click those links.  I certainly don't (sorry, Atrios).  Sometimes you already know what the link refers, sometimes you can guess and sometimes you just don't care.

So, hypothetically, if I were to offer up a post along the lines of:

Hey, I know everyone's relatively comfortable in our righteous fight against overpowering evil, and the Mets are doing pretty good, and this summer is going to be the one we actually take a vacation, and oh my god i just got slapped inna face!

There would be a pretty good chance that you wouldn't click through.  So, in case you don't feel like checking it out, it is a link to a DailyKos diary that contains photographs taken recently in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans.  I'm sure you've seen TV news stories or read coverage of the rebuilding of New Orleans, but the photographs look like they were taken on the set of a movie about how a major urban center was destroyed by a hurricane and then abandoned.

It's just one of those things that outrages you in a way that makes all of the other outrages you occupy yourself with seem less outrageous and makes you feel stupid you haven't been keeping NOLA as your primary outrage all along.

Remember, not only is the Bush Administration the first to lose a city, it also, after eight and a half months, still can't fucking find it.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:29 AM

May 11, 2006

tony snow, enter pointing fingers

I know, you've barely gotten over Scott McClellan.  It's not going to be the same with Scotty gone.  I believe that we can all learn something from Scotty -- namely, that a doughy, imperturbable prevaricator can serve as an excellent distraction from the actual issues of the day.  So here, have one last taste of Scotty.  He gets no more ink until the inevitable shitty autobiography comes out.

And in case you thought that Scotty's successor, Fox News talking head Tony Snow (really, you can't type 'Tony Snow' without first typing 'Fox News talking head'), was going to continue McClellan's practice of absorbing all press corps attention so that it doesn't reach the President, you are mistaken.  First indications are in, and where Scotty was The Tree That Bends But Does Not Break, Snow looks to be The Mother-In-Law That Shrieks Like A Harpy About Your Unfair Coverage.  Snow has commenced with the whining to the news organizations about negative stories, etc.

I think that Fox news talking head Tony Snow will discover that an unabashedly conservative Fox News talking head can get away with all kinds of things that a White House Press Secretary cannot get away with, inasmuch as news organizations don't feel the need to respond directly to puny unabashedly conservative Fox News talking heads.  When a Press Secretary tries to go for the ticky-tack talking point "Your coverage is biased" bitchslaps, the press corps will (hopefully) slap back.

Which will bring much novelty, and novelty is about the only consolation we get these days to the atrocities the Bush Administration perpetrates on us, and those other atrocities the Administration commits in our name.

Please, continue engaging the press corps in such constructive communication, Fox News talking head Tony Snow.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:36 PM

corn mo

I ran into Corn Mo on the train this morning.  I used to participate in the live performance scene a bit more frequently a few years ago, and it was then that I met Corn Mo.  Corn Mo, unlike me, is still chugging along.  His website is here, and I advocate supporting Corn Mo in his endeavours, here in New York and around the country (for example, through the Midwest this June with the Pontani Sisters).

Why am I all, like, "You must love Corn Mo"?  His songs are mind-numbingly good, each a little rock opera nugget of super-condensed tune-craftery.  Also, his time-traveling Abraham Lincoln act is the only act I've ever seen that made me laugh so hard that my teeth hurt.

My teeth hurt, I tell ya!

It was the chicklets that did it, I think.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:19 AM

May 10, 2006

another unfortunate surname

Breaking, in the Yahoo! Headline Corral:
• Talabani urges unity among Iraq factions

Waitawhatsis, the Talabani?  Those Afghani bastards who were choking off the world's heroin supply?  The ones we invaded in 2001?  Now they're picking sides in Iraq, when they're supposed to be sulking around, being defeated and everything?

Oh, wait.  Not the Taliban.  Talabani.  Jalal Talabani, President of Iraq.

I propose a funny nickname for President Talibani to prevent further confusion (on my part).  How does "The Magus" sound?  Any nickname with a definite article is tops in my book.

Failing that, "Rerun"?

Posted by mrbrent at 5:54 PM

aren't you glad we didn't ice that little nutball?

Oh, how long for the days of last week.  Remember when the jury declined the opportunity to fry the "20th terrorist" Zaccarias Moussaoui, and the resulting storm of melodrama?  I don't about y'all's hometowns, but, here in NYC, local tabloids staged a pissing match to see who could puff their chest out the furthest while imagining the darkest date (excluding execution, natch) that would befall ZM.  Sturdy conservatives whipped out their metaphorical pitchforks and torches, and bystanders were picking righteousness out of their teeth.  Because that ZM cat was the only cat to stand trial for 9-11!  And he confessed!  Why won't you America-haters let us kill him already?

Yes, that was some fun-ass melodrama.

I, however, was of the minority opinion that ZM was at worst the terrorist who couldn't fly straight and at best a crazy insane person whose only connection to Al Qaida was that of World's Biggest Fan (face it, there's no better way to meet new people and make new friends than by fighting the imperialist yankee running dogs).  ZM's courtroom outbursts and convoluted statements were not so much of the evil genius variety, but more the petulant empty aggression of a thirteen year old whose folks won't buy him an XBox 360.  Yeah, sure, he confessed and all that, but, dude, confessions have to be the least reliable evidentiary device of all -- worse than hearsay, worse than circumstantial evidence.  I could confess to any number of things that I didn't do (oh, let's say the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK), and my confession would have pretty much nothing to do with my guilt.  Of course, a confession is quite effective is the confession is from the guilty, but trying to determine someone's guilt based on a confession is absurd.  How absurd?  Well, is it any easier or harder to say "I did it" than it is to say "I didn't do it"?

Hell, let's ask ZM, who, after months of "I did it", decided to take "I didn't do it" out for dinner and a movie.  Not only that, but ZM, after reviewing his most recent verdict, is a big, big fan of the U.S. legal system, and may he please have a retrial?  Well, no, he may not.  But it's great that he is a convert (albeit a late convert) to the jury by his peers.  Though, if you think about it, a jury of his actual peers would have to consist of a dozen or so actual crazy insane people.  Should be easy enough to scratch together here in New York, but, alas.  Maybe next time.

Suffice it to say that the invisible robot that used to live in Ross Perot's teeth have taken up new residence.  Hopefully, the invisible robot will keep ZM company in the years to come, as he contemplates new crimes to confess to, and then not.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:55 PM

super heroes will save world after all

It's funny how a little news of masked vigilantes with an altruistic bent can brighten my whole day.  Workday, even.

News from Hamburg:

A GANG of anarchist Robin Hood-style thieves, who dress as superheroes and steal expensive food from exclusive restaurants and delicatessens to give to the poor, are being hunted by police in the German city of Hamburg.

Europe always has us beat for the flashy social statements.  They get Dada; we get hippies.  Sadly, if a baby-carrying rocket from Krypton ever does crash-land on Earth, it'll probably hit somewhere in Holland.

I can only hope that the Hamburg polizei are bumbling and inneffectual, as all cops chasing down Robin-Hood-do-gooders should be.

And I hope the poor of Hamburg are enjoying their Kobe beef, which is delicious.

[Via Boingity Boing.]

Posted by mrbrent at 10:48 AM

May 9, 2006

wonkette does not lynch rich cohen

I concur with Wonkette entirely concerning Rich Cohen's digital lynch mob:
We’d do it, but, you know, we’re getting our digital rope and going after a guy who digitally looked at a white woman.  With email!

I didn't know who Rich Cohen was before this small kerfluffle initially generated by the Colbert Incident.  But now I do.  Rich Cohen is a columnist for the Washington Post.  He is like a cross between Andy Rooney and Cal Thomas, without the politics and/or charm.  Also his feelings hurt easy.

And Cheers to Wonkette for vastly improving.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:33 PM

run from cell phones, cowards!

Perhaps you have someone in your life that sends out the alarmed e-mail mass forwards?  In my life, it's a co-worker.  This morning I was greeted with another one in my inbox, with the subject line "FW: Yikes!".  Yet another victory for cynicism.

The e-mail contained a link to this story.  Basically, it details new kind of pollution -- "electronic smog", which is basically the invisible background of electromagnetic radiation (generated from radio transmissions, satellites, the electricity humming through your home, etc.) present in all our lives.  Researchers are surmising that this phenomenon has ill effects on the health of homo sapiens.

While I'm grateful for the concern for the welfare of the workplace, I'm not quite sure what we're supposed to do, other than de-grid and Grizzly Adams it on some mountain top.  This "smog" is not just about talking too long on a cell-phone.  It's most basic source is the very power you use to juice your A/C and the tiny little hum coming from the CRT you're staring at.  Is this some Promethean joke God is playing on us -- he will give us technology, but it will ultimately kill us?  I've always said that technology is a bitch-goddess.

I shall remain on the "shall not panic" side of the issue.  Remember that one of the more prevalent forms of electromagnetic radiation is visible light.  No way to escape visible light.  I'll take my chances.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:12 AM

May 8, 2006

good morning keith richards

The Yahoo! Box-Containing-Headlines keeps it as generic as possible:
• Keith Richards undergoes head surgery

They did not just say "head surgery".

Was this just a sop to ageing Stones fans, promoting surgery of the head instead of the much-scarier "brain surgery"?  Or was it instead to avoid use of the even-scarier "face surgery"?

I hope that Keith, and his head, pulls through.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:51 AM

May 7, 2006

bush, merkel, soul

I'm not sure where the President keeps hearing the purple prose that he, like a cute eighteen month old, appropriates at inappropriate times.  But I wish like hell they would quit it.  Sure, I like my novelty, but how can you impeach someone who's been taking public speaking lessons from Dana Carvey?  What am I talking about?  Yahoo! Headline Box, if you please:
• Bush says he had glimpse into Merkel's soul

For background, "Merkel" is the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.  "Bush" is our President, George W., who we all wish would stop peeking into people's souls and go back to listening to that voice in his head that he thinks is the voice of God.

Is it just me, or does the President have some gender issues?  Between staring at Angela Merkel's soul and knowing Harriet Miers' heart (all those months ago), it seems that the President has been watching a little too much Lifetime.  Is he campaigning for Best Boyfriend Ever or something?

Hopefully this is all a precursor to the President's Carnak The Magnificent routine.  "I have glimpsed into Chancellor Merkel's soul, and the answer is 'Rip Taylor, a three-legged elephant and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir'."

Posted by mrbrent at 2:56 PM