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December 27, 2008

no, not that brent cox, the other one

As loathe as I am to self-promote, I got a little piece up on Maud Newton's site, if you're interested.  It's a little bit of memoir, which I also do reluctantly, but, there it is!  It was a response to a little contest she was running, which I won by virtue of being the only entry -- the same way, coincidentally, that I became editor-in-chief of my high school yearbook.

So thank you very much, Maud Newton.

Maud herself is an actual writer, and an excerpt of her upcoming is located here.  No, I've not read it yet, but I am a short-sighted jerk, and you all are not, so, go already.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:37 AM

scalia: i mean, come on

The local NPR outlets have been relentlessly promoting a rebroadcast of an interview that Nina Totenberg did with Justice Antonin Scalia (of your Supreme Court) back in April in which he decries the use of familiar speech.  The excerpt they run in their ads is as follows:
You wouldn’t expect the Gettysburg Address to have said, you know, we can’t dedicate, we can’t consecrate, we can’t hallow this ground.  Come on!

Not for nothing, but I'll take a sprinkling of contractions over a disposable "you know" and the utterly trite "come on!"  Any day.  Judge Scalia is not Jerry Seinfeld, and Judge Scalia is not performing a stand-up comedy routine.  Ix-nay on the Ome-on-cay.

Granted, the in context point he is trying to make is that such familiar speech should not be used in the context of legal briefs and moments of import.  However, to bust a "dude" out barely a breath later, why, that's ironical!  Point stands.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:24 AM

December 26, 2008

iyi 12.26.08

The usual purveyors of the New York Times near where I'm staying in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania were NYTimes-less this morning.  Gotta get there early, and I didn't.  Good news, I guess, that paper still sells somewhere, but I'm not sure if that news is good enough.  Also: bad for me.  If something actually happened, I'm gonna have to wait til I get back to Brooklyn this weekend to find out about it.

Furthermore: the SonicWALL employed by the Panera's Bread I'm sitting at believes that TinyUrl is a web site of objectionable content.  It may well be once I'm done with it.  (Once I get back to Brooklyn.)

And finally, amongst other wonderful things (the most important of which was continued love and appreciation of family, for which I am most grateful), I got a ukulele for Christmas.  I'm one bad-ass ironist, and my ass will be even badder once I figure out how to play that sucker.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:20 AM

merry spooky christmas

And here is a more sober take on the immediately previous post, which I left as a holiday greeting for those whose activities do not prevent them from surfing blogs.  Or reading newspapers or doing anything else other than shopping/wrapping/eating/driving.  And in this more sober take, Thomas Edsall discusses the implications of the oddly-timed death of GOP IT consultant Michael Connell that transcend said odd timing:
There is, however, a more immediate and relevant question: How much will Connell's death, even if the accident was entirely without malfeasance, impede congressional committee investigations into the more controversial activities of the Bush administration over the past eight years -- including the ongoing investigation into thousands of missing White House-RNC emails sent and received by some 22 White House political aides, including Rove.  These emails are believed likely to shed light on the political firings of U.S. Attorneys, and to show if the White House had any role in controversial decisions to prosecute former Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.

At some point, I did wonder if that was the most Christmassy thing to be posting on black-bag paranoia, and then the thought perished: everything is better with conspiracy theory, especially Christmas.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:00 AM

December 23, 2008

michael connell RIP

Not the most festive holiday link ever, but I received an extra ten minutes on the borrowed computer, and would like to take the opportunity to exhort everybody to remember Danny Cassolaro in what ever way they find appropriate.  Like maybe take a newsstory of the untimely death of the prospective whistleblower on the undisclosed White House email server and pushing said story to the moon.

No time to get into the particulars, but it's on my list.  But I just got out of the car listening to Glenn Beck's replacement (tomorrow, freakin Bob Lonsberry, idiot savant from my hometown, guest hosts), so I counter doughy gasbag iterations of "social engineering" with good old fashioned "black baggers murder whistleblowers".

[Via Boing Boing, so, merry Christmas to them to.]

Posted by mrbrent at 11:55 AM

i'm away from my desk and watching my sister's tv

Sometime in the last two years, since the last time I was here, Williamsburg, VA stopped having "stores" in lieu of having "outlets".  You get your gasoline from the Exxon Outlet, your breakfast from one of the famous pancake outlets that line Richmond Road, and your lightbulbs, lumber and latex paint all from the Home Furnishings Outlet Depot.  The one exception is Starbucks, which serves its lattes from a Coffee Barn.

And in other bad news down here, the gas station nearest my sister's house, where I would sneak out for the morning paper, is now newspaper free.  Not the Williamsburg paper, not the Richmand, not the DC and not even the USAToday.  Back home, it's easy to digest all the industry news about the death of newspapers (circulation down! advertising down!) and forget that the real demise of the industry is slow sad exit of the newspaper from the fabric of life, in places other than major metropolitan centers.

Yes, that's right, I'm on vacation, and this is the ten minutes where the web access and the free time coincide.

One last thought: Merry Christmas, people who read this.  You are strange in your tastes and largely anonymous, but I am grateful in advance for your time.

One final last thought: the Charmin commercials, with the cartoon bears wiping their asses?  That is destroying America faster than misogynist rap lyrics and violent video games, combined.

I already did the Merry Christmas thing, right?

Posted by mrbrent at 7:45 AM