Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Danger: Meme Approaching!

My antennae are up - I just heard Andrew Cohut, the pollster, talking about John Edwards. Now that he is out of the running, where will his voters go? Cohut says that white males are the x-factor here because they look at the remaining choices and, well, they don't have anything in common with them. (Edwards biggest block was white males.)

I was a little taken aback by this. And just now I read that Dick (el chupacabra) Morris was happily chatting up the same idea on HANNITY AND COLMES. I'm certain that they'll trot out Juan Williams to assure us that there's nothing wrong with a LITTLE bigotry. It will be their version of balance.

Me, I think enough of white male democrats to believe that they won't vote for McCain by mistake. I'm plenty cynical; but I think people's knee-jerk hatred of Bush's policies will trump the other hatred. But watch for more "those racist democrats" talk. It's good for a few easy points.

By the way; if we're so racist why have we driven all the white male candidates out of the race?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Fun With RNC Talking Points

Hey great news! Remember John Bolton? He was the furious moustache with a man attached who was our UN Representative until everybody in the government except the president forced him out. Well, he says that "the mullahs in Tehran" are hoping for a Democrat to win the presidency.

You may recall that the prevailing talking point before the 2006 election was that if Democrats became the majority in Congress, we'd fail in Iraq and terrorists would be everywhere here at home. However, now you can't hear a Republican speak without mentioning that we're winning the war in Iraq, and there hasn't been a major attack on American Soil since a Republican ran the White House! So given that predictions are dubious but results are rock solid, it stands to reason that Bolton's suggestion will have the opposite effect - Tehran is as good as destroyed once a Democrat gets the presidency.

While I'm at it, I might as well address the rumor that Barack Obama was a Muslim but has converted to a Christian; a few right-wing columnists have suggested that electing him would thus infuriate the Muslim world, who would hate the President and put out orders to assasinate him. As always with the RNC talking points I'll take the conversion thing as fact; but how would it be any different than the way the Muslim world feels about the current guy?

And by the way, I'd like to see a definition of "the Muslim World" which doesn't assume ALL the Muslims are bomb-weilding terrorists. I don't have figures, but I do know the majority of them are not, just as I know the majority of Christians aren't picketing Heath Ledger's funeral.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Maybe These Two Killed Music Video

I just ran across the two most incredible music videos ever. Look at this!

The thing that amazes me about Terri's little effort here is even though it's clearly a vanity project NOBODY involved seems the slightest bit interested in it. Maybe her husband paid for it. Maybe she's one of the Shaggs, all grown up. But I defy you to come up with an explanation of this that makes any sense.

Post this to all your blogs - I want to see it go viral, like it should have in the eighties. Never too late!

On a related note, maybe this one is the lost dream sequence from ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. Thanks to MySpace friend and real life friend Anna Borg for calling my attention. Happy Birthday, Anna!

Friday, January 25, 2008

His Name Is Either Chuck Or Herb, I'm Guessing

Ouch! Check out the last line of a comment from the previous post:

No wonder no (one) comes to your blog. Useless drivel.

Compassionate conservatives! Well, dude's got a point: even by blog standards, I'm not setting the world on fire. I average about 37 visitors a day, and most of them are looking for pictures of the ugly dog pageant winner. And I haven't had an entry syndicated to Reuters since November! I'm a slacker.

Useless drivel? Yeah, I'll cop to that too. Unless you absolutely refuse to form your own opinions, you really don't need mine. I hope you're entertained by the way I present them, but I'd hardly call them useful. In fact GWK, I'd call your opinion more useful than mine, because it provided a springboard for this post. Then again it's useless drivel that no one reads anyway, so I suppose we're both outta luck.

Anyway GWK, since this is spillover for a comment fracas we're having over at WHERE ARE MY KEYS, I certainly apologize if you took my remarks as personally insulting. I was only trying to attack your ideas, not you, and I must have crossed a line somewhere. You're usually a classy guy. 

Beating a Horse Which, While Not Dead, Is Accruing Crippling Hospital Debt While On Life Support

I've been having that universal health care argument over at WHERE ARE MY KEYS again. Great White Knight insists that the high number of uninsured people is misleading because so many of them are unemployed; and then most of them don't WANT insurance. He has friends who are saving the money they'd pay for insurance premiums and intend to use THAT for medical bills. Presumably, that's what everyone else is doing too.

So let me just reiterate my position here about the handful of poor people in the nation who AREN'T saving up and cannot afford health insurance. I know it's only a handful; and they are all poor because they want to be. But if there is some untoward epidemic or plague, who is going to get shots? The rich, because they can afford it. Who won't? The poor. The more people who can't get health care, the more to spread disease. Check out Africa some time. They don't have universal health care, they got plenty of poor people, and they're dying of AIDS in record numbers. And that's a non-airborne contagion.

Bird flu, typhoid, something new - the poor are going to kill you unless you protect them. More importantly, they're going to kill ME, and I'm not for that at all.

Why The Surge Is Doomed

It doesn't matter how much progress we make - our enemies still have weapons of mass destruction. Thus, once we have delivered the fatal blow to Al-Quaeda, they will simply dig 'em out and destroy our troops. We should therefore pull out now.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Embarassment of Riches

Twice this month I've gone out for drinks to find impeccable, beautifully executed jazz combos. Perfect Chet Baker style bands, just chugging away with their five minute solos, playing their standards. For the record, if you're in the San Fernando Valley, call The Back Room at Henri's in Woodland Hills, or check out JAX in Glendale.

And I'm marvelling at the technical skill of these house bands. If you put them up against a typical house rock band, it's like comparing (my new favorite metaphor) Apples to Lobsters.

What the hell happened to jazz, that people this good are playing gigs this accessable? Seriously, if it were the same in rock I'd be seeing U2 playing an accoustic set at the local coffee house.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thompson Seedless

Yesterday Fred Thompson, a damn good actor, dropped out of the presidential race. In some ways I can make even less of this than I could of his candidacy in the first place.

They guy clearly wasn't really trying. Compared to the monomaniacal efforts of Clinton, McCain, Obama, Guiliani (yes, Thompson was putting even less steam into his race than Guiliani, who to date has only campaigned heavily in one state) Fred just wasn't bringin' the heat. In fact, until I read a Warner Todd Huston piece I didn't even know what Thompson represented.

He represented, as it turns out, grass roots conservatism.

Thus his departure worries me. The one thing I have found valuable in Republicans is conservatism. Some times it is useful to progress; but sometimes it's wiser to maintain what you have. If Thompson was that guy, and he's out, then we got no force to balance the urge for radical change.

Thompson, with his nebulous voting record and relative lack of experience, was also the Republican Barack Obama. I'm not sure what kind of omen is implied by this, because as the anti-conservatives, Democrats view lack of experience as an opportunity to think outside the box.

Of the Republican candidates, the one who least scares me right now is John McCain. Even with the pandering to the evangelicals, he still mostly seems to say what he believes and act on it. I don't trust Huckabee because he ain't panderin' - he really IS evangelical. I don't trust Romney because he panders to everyone simultaneously. And both of them are scarred by they ridicule they received in grade school due to their ridiculous names.

Giuliani? Fascist. What's worse, he acheived his greatest success applying fascist tactics, circumventing established law to clean up New York City. And it did work, undeniably; not onlike the way the trains were so much more prompt under certain other famous Italian leaders.

I'm starting to warm to Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama. The experience she keeps touting won't help her govern directly, but it WILL help her defend against the increasingly shrill and crazy attacks from Republicans. Maybe we need a Democrat who is out for revenge in that position. Because, you know, Obama will get eaten alive. Yes he should guard against assasination, but the real danger to the body politic is character assasination. Whatever Democrat gets elected they're going to throw every crazy accusation in the book at 'em; maybe we need someone who is ready to jump in the mud with 'em give 'em a good kidney punch while she's down there.

I know there IS a John Edwards, but I just don't trust him. He's our Mitt Romney.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Commuting by Bicycle - An Overview

Top 5 upsides to bicycle commuting
1. You don't have to feel guilty about not exercising.
2. You don't have to feel guilty about not carpooling.
3. Exposure to the elements, which is surprisingly good for you.
4. You attract the attention of hippies -nice people!
5. No gas, no noise, no carbon footprint.

Top 5 downsides to bicycle commuting
1. Sidewalks: frequent level changes, slow pedestrians, cars tend to wait in driveways by blocking sidewalks.
2. Helmets: dorky but necessesary.
3. Most motorists ("piston jockies") would just as soon kill you as slow down.
4. Wherever you go you arrive soaked in your own rank sweat.
5. The nagging feeling that you are becoming a hippie - annoying people!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'd Say I Was "Elitist", But Most People Don't Know What That Means

Right now, as I write this, AMERICAN IDOL is embarking on its seventh season; and like in previous years, it's taking off without me. I have never seen a full episode of AMERICAN IDOL. The only reason I've ever seen any of it is because I set my DVR to start two minutes before HOUSE so I don't miss anything.

It's hard to have a beef with a show I've never seen, but I'm managing with this one. I know I'm in the minority. When the TV ratings come out next week the top slots will be filled with American Idol. If they have three shows a week, they will be numbers one, two and three. What's wrong with you people? How did Simon and company suck you in? 

As I've written before, the show is less entertainment then it is a money-making strategy, squeezing dollars out of the audition process (on some shows it's prep, on this one it's the show) the voting, even the hosts' beverages. Then an idol is picked, and Simon's record company puts out an album which you will want to buy because you just watched a season-long informercial for it. It's sinister! But also - the music is crappy and unimaginative, the judges are insufferable, and Ryan Seacrest isn't a personality: he's a dotted line into which you are supposed to insert a personality.

But most importantly, AMERICAN IDOL is a reality show. It's a little late to nip this trend in the bud, but for Pete's sake, when will people stop watching that crap? Scripted television is less inauthentic than reality shows! Professional wrestling is more convincing than THE GREAT RACE or THE APPRENTICE. Of all the reality shows, AMERICAN IDOL is the reality-est. That is to say, the most staged. How much weight do you think your fifty-cent vote carries, eh?  I like to think that last year's contestant, Sanjaya, the kid with the bad hair and inconsistent performance, was the public's unconscious attempt to see how far Simon would listen to the public before he simply pulled the plug. 

So you guys watch, I'll blog. When I run out of blog material, I'll make a sandwich and maybe play a little solitaire, or download TORCHWOOD from the BBC and watch that. It's only five months... I can hack that.