« December 23, 2007 - December 29, 2007 | Main | January 6, 2008 - January 12, 2008 »

January 5, 2008

sorry, monk/griz: wilford brimley is the new pirates

These days, I'm not so hot to be linking to DailyKos.  Sure, I'm still reading it, but I'm not anxious to advertise the fact, as the passage of time has left DailyKos with little but endless, tiny circular chairfights, with committed progressives arguing Edwards-this and Obama-that, while diary whores bark for attention like starving street urchins.  I realize that the purpose of DailyKos is not exactly to provide me with a good read, but the bloom may be off that rose -- at least for the duration of the primaries.  Another lesson in the fragility of democracies, or at least the waning batting average of the vox populi.

I am a nerd, and not the cool kind that's now running the world, but my vanity remains undiminished.

But I would be remiss if I did not at least link this little beauty right here, wherein, hey!  You got your Wilfred Brimley in my presidential campaign!

Waitaminnit!  You got your presidential campaign in my Wilford Brimley!

The best news for Sen. John McCain: he won't get any older, and he won't ever die.  The worst news: he will be trapped at a wrinkly 71 years old for all eternity.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:44 PM

January 4, 2008

and now iowa's motels shall lie dormant for three years

How odd.  I woke up this morning, and discovered that the primaries were actually happening.  I had barely started bitching about the seemingly perpetual state of the campaigns, and, kaboom, the end is in sight.

My collection of structured thinking on the various candidate is scant.  Much like most of my friends, I'm an anyone-but-Hillary Democrat who thinks that the Republican race is the best and most demeaning reality show ever.  Gov. Huckabee winning?  Even cooler.  Over the holiday I read a months-old magazine feature on John Edwards, which article described then-unknown Huckabee as a "greasy Rotarian", which is the best thing I've read since Jimmy Breslin's oft-cited (though I can't find where from) description of Rudy Giuliani as a "small man looking for a balcony".  Huckabee is the product of GOP-voters' race to the bottom, and I would be more than happy writing about him for ten months.

And Sen. Obama winning?  He's no Hillary, so I'm not unhappy.  Though reading Matt Taibbi's thoughts from last month, I'm beginning to wonder if Sen. Obama might not blossom into a full-grown movement:

Normally the sight of prospective voters muttering platitudes about "hope" and "change" would make any reporter erupt with derisive laughter, but at Obama events one hears outbursts of optimism so desperate and artless that I can't help but check my cynical instinct.   Grown men and women look up at you with puppy-dog eyes and all but beg you not to shit on their dreams.  It's odd to say, but it's actually moving.

I'm not necessarily one of the starry-eyed prospectives, but I can envision Obama as legitimately inspiring more easily than I could Hillary Clinton or, to a lesser extent, John Edwards (who I think has his moments).

I'm trying to remember -- has there been a legitimately inspiring candidate for president since Bobby Kennedy?

Speaking of which, Sen. Obama should probably be careful to avoid hotel ballroom kitchens, on a going-forward basis.

[Incidentallly, Taibbi's piece is much more than a hagiography of Sen. Obama and in fact nicely unveils his old-boy-network team of donors.  It is very much worth the read.  It even has a photo or two.]

Posted by mrbrent at 1:11 PM

December 31, 2007

2007 can kiss my ass

One last thought for 2007: why do we have to wait a whole year between Best Of lists?  Man, I could read them Best Of lists all day long -- and I would, too, if I had the money!

And as long as I'm here, 2007?  You were one shitty fucking year, and I don't mind telling you that to your face.  Now get the hell off my lawn, 2007, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, because I've augmented said door with barbed wire and rusty nails.

2008 -- hell-lo nurse!  Can I get you a soda pop, or a piece of cake?

Posted by mrbrent at 12:44 PM

December 30, 2007

boing boing won whatever game they didn't know they were playing

Ahhh, sweet holiday dead space.  How confusing it must be that, every time the planet hits this part of the orbit, a week or so past the solstice, a small group of navel-gazers turn to explaining their digital absences.

As for my part, too much travel mixed with limited access, as my family actually managed to purchase a home in a part of the country where the Internets are sparse, and those that are, are very very slow.

But!  In the hour or so that I've been trying to catch up with the world I've realized -- right now (and for some measurable amount of time), Boing Boing is the most comprehensive source for outside-the-mainstream news (let's call it "subnews") available today.  I gain more useful information from BB than I do from the aggregated newpapers-of-record that I consume on a regular basis, like this: while news of event [A] is obviously of some importance, at least as a point in the human narrative that may or may not have some causal relevance in the future, subnews event [a], being of an esoteric or fringe flavor, may seem less important, as it has no immediate geopolitical or economic or whichever implication, but actually is more important, because the shifting foundation of culture that subnews event [a] imputes will actually affect our lives in a more significant (although discrete) way.

For example, the Bhutto assassination is obviously a huge story, which has direct affect on an unstable Pakistani government, which in turn affects certain U.S. strategic allilances, which in turn affects our ongoing military deployments, and so on and so on.  And as this is such an important news event, it has lead coverage on just about every newspaper/television/net news venue.

Meanwhile, on the current frontpage of BB as of this moment, there are no less than four subnews stories that could have a bigger discrete influence on your day-to-day: the slow and unwitting suicide of the big box retail industry, the institutional impotence masked by the TSA's left-handed attempts to look busy, the feedtrough that the Smithsonian has been turned into by the Bush Administration incompetentocracy, and the final victory of the pornification of society, as they invade us with robots.

Of course, if the Bhutto assassination somehow leads to a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and whoever, then I'm wrong about this whole thing, or, at least, I picked a shitty example of news event [A] to demonstrate my point.  However, when your daughter leaves her boyfriend because she caught him fucking a robot (again!), you will look back to this moment as the moment when you first thought such things possible.  And then wonder maybe if you should get rid of your own robot, before it gets you into trouble.

Is there some kind of award we can nominate BB for?  Does monumental and continued success count as one?

Posted by mrbrent at 11:08 AM