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January 2, 2009

new year's day two

You know what was wrong with 2008?  Principally?  Too many plural gerunds.  Yeah, the economy was a mess and everything, but that was just God monkeying with the means of production, and I have no millions to lose, so hurrah for temporarily cheap gas.  Mostly, it was plural gerunds.

Musings this and ponderings that.  Ramblings.  Meditations.  Oh, and contemplations, God help us.  Even feelings, which I'm hating on just because feelings should be more often felt than talked about, unless you are Glenn Beck.  (Because his feelings are not "hurt" or "angry" but rather, "You are a terrorist.")  Just too many of them, like everyone figured that a plural gerund was like wit in a box or something, heedless of the fact that they are wrong.

And I'm as guilty of gerunds as anyone.  Or at least I was, in high school, back when everything was either a mirror or a cage.

So we got this nice new year now, fresh and unspoiled.  Let's try to keep it plural gerund-free.  Come 2010, you can have your perambulations back, and spread your pontifications wherever you please.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:29 AM

December 31, 2008

here's to another god-damn new year

That's it for this year.  I'd give thanks, but Thanksgiving was a month and change ago.  This year wasn't the worst year ever, but it sure shows some room for improvement, which improvement will hopefully happen in the next trip around the sun, if I say my prayers, eat my vitamins and hang and bang in the gym.  Oh!  And believe in myself, of course.

Be safe and happy and I'll see you on the other side.  And let me throw my hat on the chopping block along with everyone else w/r/t this best NYE song ever.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:27 PM

zune die-off

Now this is an interesting phenomena -- it seems that every Zune of a specific model committed suicide at the same time.  And as of right now, 2:30p EST, it seems that no answers are forthcoming.  If this were a scene in a movie, it would have to be one of the Micheal Bay blockbusters wherein the rising action is dramatic but ultimately implausible.  Maybe it's something to do with

I checked my own personal music warez, and it seems that the CDs I haul from apartment to apartment are doing just fine.  Not that I'm unwilling to be at play in the fields of the DRM -- make me an offer.  Nothing wrong with a little uncertainty.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:29 PM

welcome back alberto gonzales, and then seeya later

The wit and wisdom of deposed/dishonored AG Alberto Gonzales, as culled by the WSJ from a two hour interview with Gonzales (which was distilled into an article only 900 words long, shockingly):
There's a narrative about my service and that narrative is wrong.  I am very proud of my service.  My family and I have given much.  It's been a privilege to serve.  I didn't leave in disgrace.

As a lawyer, people have this misperception that we as lawyers were responsible for creation of policies that they don't like.  [After the Sept. 11 terror attacks] The president asked the FBI, the CIA to tell us what we need to do to prevent another attack.  They turned to the lawyers and asked can we do it.

Mistakes were made by me and others.  But how successful we were, the measure of that is whether we've been attacked again, and we haven't.  That's a very good measure of the policies.

If you recall (and it was over a year ago, so I certainly don't), Gonzales, as Attorney General, took the Administration water-carrying he perfected as White Hosue Counsel to new heights as he presided over a Department of Justice that almost exclusively chose politically tainted activities over the enforcement of law, in addition to rubberstamping all kinds of domestic spying/torture so that the administration could prosecute its War on Terror like the Spanish Inquisition.  And now he views himself as collateral damage in the whole struggle between the Bush Administration and the Constitution, which struggle he somehow thinks that Bush won.  Whether Gonzales is short-sighted or just plain stupid, the stench of the pathos is cloying.

I don't know if the WSJ is cherrypicking from the interview and excerpting only the most self-pitying and obtuse moments, but if the interview represents the desire of Gonzales to rehabilitate his reputation, he's about to find out exactly how far whiny unrepentance will get him.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:48 AM

pecked to death by best-of lists

This does not quite count as a headline appearing in the Yahoo! Box of Headlines, but since it appears on the Yahoo! mainpage, which has all sorts of 2.0 user-customization functionalilty, it is close enough for government work.  From the Yahoo! Featured News Thingamajig:
Deaths that shook the Internet in 2008

I think we all agree that list/listicles/best-ofs are overdone but harmless, as in, I damn their eyes but can still easily avoid them.  I'm not sure if their evil is necessary or not, but it is certainly a learned behavior, if not genetic.  When was the first best-of list, and who will be the Mel Brooks-like figure that will construct a routine around it?  Not me.

Actually, it is not the pointless iterative nature of stupid puny best-of lists that is so galling.  Rather, the fact that "shook the Internet" is a phrase that can easily be classified as ironic.  Actually, let's make it less fuzzy around the edges and just call it sarcastic.  So, unless the deaths listed are in some way funny, presumably in their lack of importance, then someone needs to have their copy-editing license revoked.

It's like running the headline "Top Ten Who Fucking Cares Deaths of 2008" -- someone might run that; probably not Yahoo!

Posted by mrbrent at 7:25 AM

December 30, 2008

we will have chip saltsman to kick around?

Based on this HoffPo wrapup of GOP response to the flap over RNC Chairman-Hopeful Chip Saltsman's inclusion of "Barack The Magic Negro" on a holiday CD, it is plausible that in the near future that GOP talking heads will demonstrate how harmless the song is by calling themselves, others, inanimate objects, etc. "[X] the Magic [Y]", where X = the name of the object person/thing and Y = an identifiable characteristic of said person/thing.  Because, of course, if Sean Hannity can take being called a Magic Blowhard, and Mitt Romney doesn't mind being called a Magic Haircut, then why can't any of you take a joke?  And so Chip Saltsman's stock is up, no matter what you crybabies think.

Of course, "Barack The Magic Negro" is patently offensive, and the kind of patent offensiveness that will be lost on those that need it explained.  And the issue is not whether anyone can take a joke, but rather if trafficking "BTMN" should be included in the consideration of the fitness for a candidate for a proto-national office.

As Steve Benen puts it:

So, to summarize, a leading candidate to lead the Republican National Committee promoted a song calling the next president a "magic negro."  This has improved his chances of getting the job.

To which the customary Internet response is, "Wheee," I believe.  Maybe, "Heh."

Posted by mrbrent at 11:17 AM

meet the newest member of mama's family

Part of me (the part that is losing) doesn't want to touch this with somebody else's ten foot pole, but I am stupid in these matters and would like to improve myself: in the case of a child born to unmarried parents, is it unorthodox for the child to take the father's surname?  Or is it more of a fielder's choice?

We can all agree, however, that 300 large is a whole lot of cabbage, even for someone as talented and hard-working as Bristol Palin.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:59 AM

December 29, 2008

helloooooo chip saltsman

I can't see a single thing wrong with GOP functionary Chip Saltsman sending a CD to his friends/business associates containing the parody song "Barack The Magic Negro".  What on earth could be wrong with a song called "Barack The Magic Negro"?  What's so objectionable about magic?  Everyone loves magic, especially children.  So, if this Chip Saltsman did indeed distribute a CD with "Barack The Magic Negro" on it, that should in no way disqualify him from running for the chairmanship of the RNC -- there is nothing about magic that is incompatible with the Republican Party.

If Al Qaida Executive Vice President Ayman al-Zawahri can hoot and holler about the president-elect being a house negro, then why can't Chip Saltsman send whatever CD he wants?  Everyone should just simmer down and quit hating on freedom.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:31 AM

wherein i tell the pod-teens to get off my lawn

The worse part of the ill-advised trip to the mall the day after Christmas was getting gridlocked in the parking lot to the tune of an hour and ten minute exit.  Few things feel so frustrating as to be hemmed in amidst a sea of autos all going different directions, within thirty yards of a highway moving freely.

The worser part (and the wife may disagree) was the sudden invasion of the mall by deadeyed teens slow-walking like robots.  They were like some locust/kudzu hybrid genetically engineered to exude borderline psychopathy, with the boys in expensive sneakers and team-logo apparel and the girls dressed like undead five-dollar whores.  I know that kids been hanging in malls starting about two days after the inception of the first mall -- I'm familiar with the phenomena.  But the sheer number of them and the weight of their ennui was unprecedented to my personal knowledge.  Either things are Going South (or maybe things are Going South in the particular region of PA I was visiting), or I am cranky and whiny.  And OLD.  Or both.

(Bright side: the teens exhibited a veritable Rainbow Coalition of ethnicities that you could only find in a Benetton ad, back in the day.  The future is here now.)

Posted by mrbrent at 9:05 AM