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January 24, 2007

SOTU - final word

I've had a day to read the aggregated opinions on the SOTU speech of everyone.  There's a few things that stuck out -- the President's failure to even mention the city he lost eighteen months ago, Cheney popping nitro pills and the eerie resemblance of both Condi Rice and the First Lady to Jack Nicholson.  But for me, the most incendiary aspect of the SOTU speech is the fact that it had nothing in it about our planned conquest of Mars.  Didn't he promise that last year or the year before?

My recollection is that the President promised that we would all be having boy-girl parties on the surface of the Red Planet by 2010.  He promised.  And now, he's all, switch grass, switch grass, switch grass.  No Mars.  No boy-girl parties.

If that's not enough to impeach a motherfucker, I don't know what is.

Posted by mrbrent at 6:28 PM

kerry not running; ap flabbergasted

This is the shortest AP story I've ever seen.  I'm sure it will be expanded/expunged as the day progresses, so I will reprint the piece in its entirety as of 1:24pm:
WASHINGTON - Sen. John Kerry has decided not to run for president in 2008, a Democratic official says.

I hope that someone wasn't getting paid by the word for that.

As for Kerry not running, I'm about as shocked by that as Dan was shocked by Hillary Clinton announcing her presidential bid.

Though, in true clumsiest-man-in-the-Senate fashion, he lets slip his non-intentions on the day that the "top story" is a tepidly-received SOTU speech.  I got nothing against Kerry (other than his stink of failure), but I sure would wish he'd hire a consultant or press agent to keep him from stepping on the Democratic Party's dick giving Fox News ammo to spoil a positive news cycle over and over again.

Posted by mrbrent at 1:23 PM

sotu fails to outrage

I'm a little let down on the SOTU the morning after.  (The SOTU speech, that is -- on the SOTU, I'm as bearish as credulity allows.)  The President didn't really do whatever the opposite of knocking one out of the park is.  He tread softly.  He got his first ovation for (awkwardly) praising Speaker Pelosi, who was surely sizing him for his political coffin as he did so.  Then he mouthed a bunch of meatless calls-to-arms on social issues (education! conservation!) that were so dulling that I must've dozed off somewhere around the part where we're chickenshits if we don't go back in time and invade Iran and Syria so as to prevent them from, along with Saddam Hussein, launching the attacks of 9-11.

So, yeah.  Meh.  I'm sure that the progression of the day will bring recollection of some inflammatory issue, some more-than-usually egregious mistruth.

Oh, and notice he didn't really haterize on the gays or the porno or anything?  I can think of a whole buncha holy rollers who are looking up "coup d'etat" in the dictionary right now.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:26 AM

January 23, 2007

crowded house

This a strange item to see culled for the Yahoo! homepage:
• Crowded House to reunite for world tour

I'm probably as big of a fan as anyone, or at least I was, fifteen or so years ago.  It's just that I usually presume that my fandom is glaring evidence of the target band/performer's unpopularity.  So, using those metrics, there is exactly one person (me) who would care about a Crowded House reunion, and hence, why news?

So, then, maybe Yahoo! knows I'm clicking.

If there are any Yahoo! headlines concerning William Powell or Buckaroo Banzai or Hamburger Helper in the next few days, I'm getting the tinfoil hat back out of the closet.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:52 PM

hot sotu action

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.  Tonight the President stands before both houses of the Congress and a buncha television cameras and gives his "State Of The Union" speech, which we refer to these days as "SOTU", as the laws of grammar were abandoned years ago for keystroke economy.  The President will do what he generally always does for the SOTU: rattle sabres, imagine Congressmen in their underwear, try not to snigger, etc.

And it's one of my favorite days because it's also the day when the President of the United States dumps a bunch of his fish in a barrel (only metaphorically, to my knowledge), and then people like me get to leisurely barehand those little suckers until everyone gets their fill of fish (only metaphorically, though fish is delicious and good for you).

For example, White House official Dan Bartlett went on record yesterday, giving a glimpse of what we can expect:

The power of the ideas requires people to take notice and take seriously important domestic initiatives.

Yes, tonight we can expect not only ideas, but copious amounts of delicate parsed sentences in the passive voice.

The potential for terrible ideas/locutions suggests that attention will be paid by me.

Good luck with the pinata speech, Mr President!

Posted by mrbrent at 11:45 AM

January 22, 2007

radiohole's "fluke"

I don't know why it took me five days to post this, but go see Radiohole's "Fluke" already.  You may or may not be familiar with theater group Radiohole -- they've been around New York (and all over the world) for coming up on ten years.  They make my favorite theater, pretty much ever.  Like unfailingly superb theater that is smarter than you are but also more fun than you are at the same time.

Last Thursday I saw their latest show, "Fluke".  It was superb.  I hear it would be much improved if you have read "Moby Dick" -- which I have not -- but it didn't affect my hero-worship of the evening.

What are they like?  Not gonna tell you -- any description on my part of their post-punk multi-media moving-part text distillations would not do it them the justice that your imagination/attendance would.

So yeah, those of you in the five boroughs she hie your asses out to see it this weekend.  You will not regret it.  In fact, over the years, I have brought along twenty-five or so different people to see a Radiohole show for the first time, and every last one of them gave it the enthusiastic thumbs up.  You're next.  Info below:


"in mysti-mation"

January 11-28, 2007
Thursday-Saturday 8:30pm, Sunday 4:00pm
at The Collapsable Hole
146 Metropolitan Ave. (at Berry St.)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Tickets $15 - information/reservations: 718-388-2251

Plus also, if you mention my name, you'll... well, you probably won't accrue any benefit at all, but my stock should rise significantly.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:38 PM

al gore is now officially too smart to be president

It's not enough that Al Gore is the only public political figure who's saying the things I want to hear about the government's future challenges.  That is to say, the fact that climate change is more dangerous than gays, Mexicans and terrorists by an order of magnitude, no matter what all the hatas and the cowards say.  Because, really, that's enough for me to jump on the "Run Al Run" bandwagon, especially considering his new improved "I'm not running for nothing" presence and charisma.  (Nope, not joking.  Go dig his shit before you start with me.)  It's not enough that I'm basically, exigencies notwithstanding, ready to quit my job and volunteer for Al Gore.

No, now I have to find out that, not only is Gore the shrewdist advocate of mitigating the effects of global warming, he's also willing to say out loud that the stock market is "functionally insane".  This he said at the Harvard Business School.  Now, he's not going as far as I would (as I believe that capitalism is pretty much good for one thing -- perpetuating capital), but it's close enough for me.  The Free Markets may goeth before the fall, my little young MBA candidates.

It may well turn out that the presidency is too compromised a platform for Gore to continue his advocacy -- which I only say to belittle the White House, of course.

Posted by mrbrent at 1:29 PM

ceci n'est pas une blogpost

File this under "For your consideration", as I'm not sure if my opinion is formed enough to set into print.  Boing Boing reports of an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in which, hey, you got your fair use in my surrealism!  Short version: special exhibit visually remixes works of Magritte, and then forbids personal photography thereof.  Accordingly, if viewed through the filter of current struggles over copyright law, the Magritte exhibit says to the end-user, "Why are you hitting yourself?  Why are you hitting yourself?"

(And further, I harbor doubts that the "No Photography -- Copyright Protected" prohibitions you see in museums and boutiques carry any weight at all, at least as far as US Copyright Law goes, but that's a whole 'nuther.)

Coincidentally, I decided to brush up on my Magritte before posting this, so I clicked on over to a fansite where -- what th-!!:

Our site is free and wants to inform the public about the news and work of the painter.  Unfortunately, copyrights laws do not allow us to represent Magritte's works on the Internet for free anymore.

First they came for the jpegs, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a jpeg.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:14 AM