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July 21, 2006

keep making the good spaghetti

Charles Barkley hits the reverse.  You may be familiar with the profound Republican tendencies of NBA Hall-Of-Famer Charles Barkley, or, Sir Charles Barkley, or the Round Mound of Rebound, if you will.  Proving that once you hit seven or eight figures the GOP makes personal sense to you, Sir Charles was once rumored to be considering a run for governor of Alabama.

Apparently Sir Charles is a Republican no longer and has come to Jesus, or run away from Jesus, or however you'd like to characterize.  I doubt Sir Charles and I would agree about much, but it is heartening to see the Bush base erode down to the crazified people.

(My love of Charles Barkley derives pretty much solely from the words that come out of his mouth -- nothing against his career, but I'm much more of a point guard kinda guy.  For example, when cornered by a camera crew at the '92 ('96?) Olympics with the question, "Mr. Barkley, do you have any words for the people of Italy?" Charles leaned down into the camera and replied, "Hello, all you little Italian people.  Keep making the good spaghetti!"  End of reminiscence.)

Posted by mrbrent at 9:38 AM

July 20, 2006

goodbye box of headlines

It is with a sniffling tear that I write this.  The Yahoo! Box of Headlines is the latest victim of the uphill march that is progress.  The world-dominating warlords at Yahoo! decided that their mainpage needed a little redesign, and now, where the aggregated headline with a line around them used to be is a bunch of radio-button drop-down content teasers that I guess are all bright and shiny.  Me, I like driving stick.

The new page does still have headlines, but it's in the middle of the page and titled "In The News" and, most importantly, no longer in a box.  Not the same thing at all.

So, no more fun to poke at the wacky ways of the Yahoo! copy editors and their headline writing.  More importantly, no more convenient gimmick for me to flash my grammar/syntax-fascist charm across these Internets.  Seriously, those "Box o' Headlines" posts pretty much wrote themselves.  It's time for a new thing.

Which will be, I think, the novelty analysis of the stochastic deployment of idiom.  In the English language, at least.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:18 AM

July 19, 2006

trestle on tenth

We applaud Gawker for ill-wishing progress.  Yes, NYC's storied Village Idiot (kind of like Coyote Ugly but terrifyingly not kidding) shuttered up a couple years ago and is being replaced by some swankhole that will make you wish we could eat the rich.  The Idiot was not exactly the neighborhood hangout, but it was an experience you'd put yourself through once or twice a year, just to prepare for the eventuality of the Apocalypse (which, BTW, I am against).  And while you'd think that opening an overpriced and useless lounge two years too late to horn in on the Meatpacking District boom would be punishment enough, I say actively hoping for an embarrassing failure is more like it.

And while we're at it, let's tip our glass to the lost Chelsea Commons, a mere ten blocks uptown.  Before the building got bought out from under it, the Commons was the post-work, post-show hangout, excellent and humble bar food, home to regulars who peopled the place for decades.  When they announced their shuttering in 2004, we asked the bartender what the deal was.  No rent hike, no bad business -- the story was some dude bought the entire place out so a swankhole restaurant could be opened.  Goodbye neighborhood bar, and hello pretentious American resto too expensive to eat lunch at.

No, the new place is open.  It is called Trestle on Tenth.  Wheee.  From its website:

We hope you'll let discussions abound like fish in a creek, your minds wander happily like a flock of chickens.

Well, we hope your business dries up like a mineral water spilled in a desert.  Nothing personal, but closing down a fine local as you did will bring you worse juju than my mean words.

Also, please let us know where to find a chicken wandering happily.  Wasn't aware that "happy" was a chicken-option for locomotion.  Gotta see that.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:42 AM

in which i intend to hurt the brittle feelings of the president

Just can't stop thinking about President Dr. Octopus.  He really does comport himself like a man whose only success has been as the pawn of others, as a man who has never not needed bailing out.

I know, I'm being mean.  As is Cardhouse, who shares this link with us, which is further evidence that the President of the United States is a creepy jerk that you would never ever want to date your sister or borrow your car, let alone lead the United States.  (England concurs.

Which screws are loose in the heads of the citizens that honestly feel that the President is a charismatic man?  Is it just a ploy so that each person of low moral character can know, in their black hearts, that they are a better person than the President?

It's funny.  Barbara Bush always seemed like the kind of mom that would slap the taste out of your mouth for impertinence or bad manners.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:22 AM

July 18, 2006

president dr octopus

I had some interesting conversations last night concerning our suave and debonair President of these United States.  The topic of these conversations boiled down to: "George W. Bush: Foreign Policy Retard or Merely an Oafish Lout?"

Of course, the bottom line is that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive -- one can be rude and an idiot at the same time.  But we were all talking more about the significance of the live camera feed.  Which of the implications was more of a shock, or which one might effect more change.  Basically, which one you would rather sleep with?

I personally am not as scandalized by his lack of geopolitical deftness.  I was a little taken aback that the rumors were true, but his sentiments were really no worse than the dogma of the dudes whose actual job it is to advise the President on these issues.  You can pretty much imagine Cheney and his snarling coterie of fellow travelers explaining to the President that, yes, the Syrians just need to tell 'em to cut the fucking shit.  No, it's not his lack of expertise that gets to me.

Fucker's creepy, that's what gets to me.  He's not just awkward and vulgar, he comes on like the awfulest man in the world.  He sniggers, he talks with food in his mouth, he browbeats the help over a Diet Coke.  He's not just out of place in the international community, he'd be out of place at a VFW pancake breakfast.

You think I'm exaggerating?  Dig this.  The President inappropriately touches heads of state.  In fact, it looks like he was in full mack mode.  Hopefully the crazified 28% out there that still do not regret their vote can expect a similar backrub, soon.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:42 AM

July 17, 2006

oh shit

The tubes of the Internets will be filled with this link soon.  To further demonstrate the President's shrewd understanding of the theory and practice of international relations, and the understated statesmanship that the administration uses to lead the world like a shining beacon of all that is good and bacon-flavored, I give you a barnyard epithet.

The President's timing, as usual, is spot on -- in times of crisis, make a laughing stock of oneself.  All he was missing was a birthday cake and a guitar.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:56 AM

July 16, 2006

hello, korea

Have any of you who run your own little Internets concerns noticed the abatement of linkspamming?  Shuffling through the Titivil stats, which two months ago were stuffed with a couple hundred referring links from spammers ("online-poker-for-me.com" and the like), I see that all the garbage cialis/mortgage chaff has ceased.  In its place is a meager two links, one from a Korean pop singer, and one from a Korean medical newsletter.

Did maybe some linkspammers take a little business trip to South Korea before the bottom dropped out?

Posted by mrbrent at 4:11 PM

it's the end of the world, like we know it

So I been sitting around trying to figure out something cogent to say about military actions in Lebanon.  You know, something a little more gripping than, "Holy fuck."

Sadly, no.  Holy Fuck it is then.

Though I have come around on one issue -- no more silly talk about the end of the world.  It's flashy and cool to predict one's own demise based on geopolitics, and therefore I no longer want any part of it.  Sure, there are an armful of scenarios positing how tensions successfully spin out of control like a modern-day assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but there are just as many that don't.  Hopefully the players in this drama have the attention span of the average American, and in a month this will all be a distant memory, like that time we lost an entire city.

The Apocalypse, if impending, certainly doesn't care one way or the other if I'm wasting my breath inviting it.  So I'm this point forward decidedly anti-Apocalypse, and unafraid to say so.  Somebody smart and ambitious print up some Ts -- I'll take two or three.

There are places for earnest discussion of how to heal with substate actors, and sad nausea of the US's current international influence, but this place isn't one of them.  This is the place for worrying about the growing prevalence of high fructose corn syrup, and haterizing on fools, and endless iterations of, "If I knew then what I know now".

In the grand tradition of speaking my mind through linking, go read defter, deeper analysis, like Wolcott discussing Larry Johnson, and Josh Marshall.

[LATER, THE NEXT DAY.]  I want to add this TPM post to the list of accumulated wisdom on matters of the Middle East.  It's another shortie, but it hits on two points I think important to keep in mind.  First, the arc of conflict over the past decades has not been a straight line -- there was a period not long ago where tempers had cooled and peace was being negotiated.  Secondly, the current Middle East skirmish is the "has-no-clothes" moment for the "post 9-11 mentality".  For a buncha old white guys who spent the past six years implementing their plan to remake the world, starting in Iraq, they sure seem awful quiet/nervous right about now.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:11 PM