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December 18, 2010

saturday night saloon ep 4

Do I need to tell you about the fourth episode of the Saturday Night Saloon?  I do not.  You already know about it, and you are already planning on attending.  "Jack O'Hanrahan and the One-Sided Window" was kind of a stupid name, now that I think about it, but at least I get that out of the way this episode.

Eight o'clock sharp, location in the link above.  We'll all be like, well me by moonlight.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:39 AM

December 17, 2010

we report, you motorboat noise

Now that it is scientifically proven that Fox News viewers are stupid, is it OK if we say that they are stupid out loud?

I know that this may be a prescriptive behavior problem, as it is certainly not nice to hurt people's feelings, but if I do opt in and call you stupid because you watch Fox News can we at least dispense with the IT'S NOT FAIR TO CALL ME STUPID because it's more than fair, it's the gosh darn unvarnished truth.  And as long as I'm here: I'M NOT STUPID JUST BECAUSE I WATCH FOX NEWS?  Actually, yes, you are.  Objectively.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:58 AM

December 16, 2010

hug it out, brothers and sisters

You know what I do not want to do?  I do not want to pick a side in the growing flame war between people who think that Julien Assange was definitely railroaded and people who think that Assange is a rapist.  Naomi Wolf has been catching hell for two weeks, and the conflagration has now engulfed some weird confluence of Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann.

The strange thing about the controversy is that to everyone is right and yet everyone comes out looking like some kind of jerk.  Those that feel that the allegations were kind of weak to be hunted down by Interpol are all of a sudden rape apologists, and then those that rightly point out that Assange is a little dickish and, if guilty, a legitimately bad person become shrieking single-issue banshees determined to start an internecine war.  And even more weirdly both of these sides would be considered "lefty", but seemingly have had some kind of grudge boiling for years because they certainly are no longer acting in a sibling-like fashion.

Everyone's right, OK?  Assange is almost certainly being held in custody because of pressures being exerted by governments that would like to prosecute him for espionage, plus also rape is a terrible thing, without even having to get into the rape-rape sidebar which is very head-scratching.  Let's all hold hands and dance in a circle and sing "The Greatest Love Of All", OK?  Because I believe the children are our future, and if we keep throwing chairs over this then we're going to turn on the Internet one day and see that Assange "committed suicide" and then oops!

Dudes, come on.  Think about Glenn Beck being a dick or something.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:05 AM

December 15, 2010

harry reid hates christians

OMG I'm as dumb as a senator, as pointed out by Chris M. from North of the Border, regarding the immediately previous post about dumbness:
I don't think your faith in Senators should be too shaken by this one -- he only said working would disrespect ONE of the two holiest days, not that those were both coming up this month. He was just giving Easter its due, despite that rabbit not having half the consumer clout of the big guy up there (in the North Pole, I mean -- bravely standing between us and Russia).

Which means my reading comprehension skills are not off to a racing start today.  And which also means that, since I got it wrong, the point Kyl is making is accordingly correct: Harry Reid hates Christians.

More mail from Canada, please, specifically concerning the relative merits of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is really good at crosswords, did I hear that right?

Posted by mrbrent at 10:59 AM

sen. jon kyl has secret holidays

Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is not only the man that bravely stands between us and a renewed arms treaty with Russia, he is also curiously informed on the Christian holy days:
"It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out," Kyl said today, "frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff."

I haven't been a Christian for some years, but I do still have my membership card, and through all my years of Bible study I cannot for the life of me figure out what the other holiest day could be.  Kyl is referring to Sen. Harry Reid's hinting that he will call the Senate back between Christmas and New Year's, so Christmas has to be one of the two holiest.  New Year's Eve doesn't have any particular resonance, considering that the modern calendar was not used in Biblical times.  Is Kyl counting Christmas Eve as the other one?  Is there a really cool Feast Day on, like the 28th?

The notion that since there are only one hundred senators each of them must be a paragon of exemplary-ness is taking a long time to die for me, even with all the evidence to the contrary.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:54 AM

December 14, 2010

gawker hack wind-down

Post-script to the Great Gawker Hack of 2010 — at the very end of this interview by The Next Web with three members of "Gnosis" (the group alleged to have hacked the network of Gawker Media) , when they are asked if there's anything else they'd like to add (interviewer in bold):
T: I’d just like to point out that the disclosure of source should be taking a lot more of the stage.  Other than that, it’s been fun.

T, can you elaborate?

T: I feel that the fact that _full_ source has been released, Gawker may as well go opensource, which would be _very_ interesting, and would love to see how that plays out for Gawker and the open source community.

N: I actually agree on one point, I am reading a post by Fox News now and the source is not mentioned once, which is a shame.

So then I agree with the perps!  Not that Gawker's tech should be open source, of course, but that the dumping of the source code, containing all kinds of proprietary code, is the biggest implication of the event, and one I'm not seeing repeated.  Though of course resetting your password is very inconvenient.

Posted by mrbrent at 2:28 PM

david brooks: has, eats cake

I know that I'm trying to limit my David Brooks to only Fridays, I missed last week (which was a big beige I TOLD YOU SO on the tax compromise) so I get to do today's, which was an homage to the middle class and its utter cultural dominance over the years.

Oddly, Brooks left out two things.  First of all, from this list of values adopted and promulgated by the middle class:

...bourgeois values — emphasizing industry, prudence, ambition, neatness, order, moderation and continual self-improvement.

...he left out punctuality.  Never mind the implication that the values of the non-middle classes (higher and lower, I guess) are somehow antithetical to these values, if you don't have punctuality then you never are on time and then what use is your ambition, moderation and neatness?

And the other glaring omission from this mash note to the middle classes and the magical world they represent is that the primary result of the so-called Reagan Revolution was the utter destruction of the middle class.  Upwards redistribution of wealth to Gilded Age levels, evisceration of the manufacturing base whose unions created the middle class as we know it and the shredding of the social safety net (and even the idea that such safety nets are a good thing) have left the children of the great Golden Age of the Middle Class over-extended and under-employed, facing the prospect that, for the first time in generations, their children will not do as well as they did.

I know that Brooks only gets a couple hundred words and can't be expected to cover everything, to give the middle class a backrub while tacitly approving of policies that threaten the middle class is at least a small exercise in hypocrisy.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:31 AM

cliff lee

Brief baseball sidebar:

There is this specific kind of baseball fan who believes two things: First, that their team must win the World Series every year, every single year, and anything less than that is failure.  Second, any player that is considered the best player at his position must automatically play for this team — so it is written and so it is so.  Obviously, these fans are not always the best companions with which to watch a game, as if their team loses a game they generally want to fire the manager, plus also their messiah complex keeps knocking over the beer nuts.

These people are, of course, Yankees fans, and on this morning I want to give them a little shout out.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:08 AM

December 13, 2010

gawker media hacked

If you thought that last week's obsessive rambling about how the digital landscape got rearranged by the multilateral chair fight between Anonymous (whoever they are) and mulitnationals (and their sympathizers) and then also computer-literate patriots (PJs-punchline omitted) was too inside baseball, then please get a load of this: Gawker Media was hacked over the weekend, meaning that if you had an account with them, your ID/password is now available to the public.  And if your Gawker account was tied to one or more of your social media profiles, then that info too is available to the public.

Also swiped and posted were a bunch of lines of code, which could be potentially damaging considering that the sites use proprietary web publishing software, and which tech is a big part of the upside of Gawker Media.

Gawker Media, outside of the context of the NYC media industry, is not much of a story.  But there are now a million compromised accounts, and that's a big drag for a lot of people, and ultimately, the NYC media industry is the global media industry, at least until they realize that the rent is cheaper elsewhere.

So on top of last week's lesson that cyberwar is no longer that far away from war-war, now consider this week's lesson that there are a rash of online burglaries because the locksmiths are having a hard time keeping up with the burglars.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:12 AM