Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Not the America I know!



Not a question as such, but a bit of question-begging in the following (recurring) rhetorical statement: "That's not the America I know."

This phrase is on its way to becoming the new "...or the terrorists have won." It's just as useful, too, in the snappy-answers-to-stupid-questions department (a department which retails a lot of goods).

Started, obviously, with the little torture scandal that could (the thumbs-up sends the message: "My name is Pfc. Lynndie England, and I approved this torture").

We saw stage two with Republican congressional hopeful Jack Ryan (Ill.); Ryan’s friends in the party bailed on him when his interest in gentlemen’s clubs became public, saying: “that’s not the Illinois I know” (perhaps with a trace of regret…).

In stage three, the meme goes live:
“Seven bucks to park here? That’s not the Bethesda I know!”
“A movie that isn’t cheaply manipulative? That’s not the Tom Hanks I know!”
& one day soon: “That’s not the chapati I know!”

Strange that a phrase that disclaims knowledge begins with the Republican Party….

Monday, June 28, 2004

All Hail the Bearded Lady!

My colleague actually met this person.

Saving America and so forth

So for my inaugural post, I'm going to ask anyone who truly cares about the future of our nation for Kerry slogan submissions. Nick O'Rette's input is also welcome.

The crux of the issue, gents, is this. Kerry's current official slogan is:

LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN.

Which, upon cursory inspection, means nothing, but upon closer inspection...means nothing. So it comes from a celebrated Langston Hughes poem. I ask you: (1) Who celebrated Langston Hughes? I didn't. I'm sure I'm going to literary hell for this, but I find the guy a blowhard, a disenfranchised echo of Whitman with no faith in his readership. Like Steinbeck, he's the guy at the end of the bar who just won't shut up. For an African American voice appropriate to a campaign, try Gwendolyn Brooks, W.E.B. DuBois, Sterling Brown, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, hell, Huey Newton! If you're going to go socially extreme in a nationally broadcast campaign slogan, get angular, dammit. Put some hair on those balls. (2) Kerry really is "trying to go socially extreme" here, and the Republicans are going to smack this line around like a gin-soaked Koosh. Two counterpoints include: (a) Placed in context ("America never was America to me") the poem debunks American liberty and fairness; (b) Hughes was a black gay socialist atheist* - which is fine, Dems will retort, nothing wrong with that, but Kerry won't have swept swingvoting Ohio moderates off their feet.

And (3) -- more compelling than the first two -- it reinforces the kind of candidate that folks suspect Kerry may be: pompous, patrician, and vaguely circumlocutory. So let's get some better ones. My boss is on a bunch of writers' committees that are trying to do just this, and I bet we can come up with some sweet stuff. Three ideas:
1. I LIKE KERRY BECAUSE I'M SANE. (Young smart)
2. KERRY US BACK (Populist, "US" in red).
3. JUST FOR KERRY (Old School Dem (each word on top of the next, playing on JFK)).

+++ My first blog. Whew.

*Also, isn't this a carefully blanched form of pet primitivism?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Wobbling, Falling Down

Badger, Badger, Badger, Badger, Euro, Euro!

Norway? More like Snoreway!

The Singing Directive

Film as loop, or the soundtrack to a permanent break with reality. The cheery bloody bounce of these things is either resoluteness or mindlessness, or resoluteness in the face of mindlessness. Mindlessnessless. Hee. Badger.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

this almost sounds like it comes from the onion...

Monday, June 21, 2004

is this matt?

answers to rhetorical questions

q: who's afraid of virginia woolf?
a: i am

q: ooh lawdy lawdy who likes to party?
a: my friend fred likes to party. one time, he got so drunk, he tried to make sweet love to a spatula.

q: shall i compare the to a summer's day?
a: no.

q: where's the beef?
a: the newest beef is between goerge bush and kofi anan; the previous beef between biggie smalls and tupac shakur has been resolved.

q: can i supersize that for you?
a: no, supersizing is no longer an option at your place of repast. you should make yourself aware of your company's most recent policies, and adjust your closing questions accordingly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

this is exactly the kind of thing my mom might do...

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

wouldn't a much more logical

way to lay out this website be that whenever you add a comment to one of the blogs, it automatically jumps to the top of the post list? that way it's easier to keep track of what's new, as opposed to constantly scrolling through old posts?


and why doesn't 'sake' rhyme with 'clambake?'

i bought a new computer on saturday...

well, ok, if you want to be exactly '''''accurate''''' you'd have to replace 'bought' with 'stole.' and i suppose you'd want to go ahead and sub out 'new computer' with 'bagel' and replace 'saturday' with 'this morning,' but that's only if you really want to grasp this elusive notion we call ''truth.'' the situation is that my colleague left a bagel on his desk, and i, being hungry, ate it when he went to go buy coffee. my reasoning is that if he were really hungry, he would have bought TWO bagels, instead of one, in which case he almost definitely would have shared one with me. since he didn't, i can only assume he wasn't hungry, and didn't want the bagel anyways. i detailed this untrammeled train of thought while he was making little aggressive motions with his recently cream-cheased knife, and let me tell you, bridge over the river kwai he ain't.



so how exactly does this work? i see ellis asked this question earlier, but does someone start a thread, and then we basically keep free associating on that topic until it somehow ends up with jad vommiting somewhere gross?

Monday, June 14, 2004

No Moles Were....

Whack-a-Mole, now divorced from its boardwalk roots.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Funeral bragging rites

    "In the most general sense, taking care of a president in death is not unlike caring for an average deceased person...."

Sure. Sewing up the anus of a president would probably go pretty much the same as any other.

From the San Francisco Chronicle, via Wonkette.

Seely Shoulder Straps, Planters Peanuts, Miss Weber Millinery

Here's a nice collection of those turn-of-the-century, fading ads you see painted on buildings (NYC).

Fading Ad Campaign


Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Find Parsley, Win a Prize

Matt Lewis, like his nicknamesake, plays an important decorative part in meals. So this post raises two questions:


    1. Where, then, is he of Parsley? If we were to find him, could we convince Parsley to grace our table?

    2. And speaking of that table, when, exactly, are we going to meet for that super-swell summer meal? And is this really #13?

Typical Washingtonese

This, the typical demotic from Ana Marie Cox's site, Wonkette. Cox used to work for the first website I fell in love with, suck.com, an early '90s satirical source for morissey-esque 'plaints & cartoons. Needless to say, I was looking for another site, but the damage was done. Good stuff, and I miss it. There just aren't enough jokes about crack-smoking squirrels these days.

    Earnestness Is for Young Persons

    MTV -- who, by the way, broke T-ShirtGate -- has joined forces with the Democratic National Convention Committee and Republican National Convention Committee to pry old people's gnarled, yellow-stained fingers off of the voting booth. They're gonna make voting seem hip, radical, and fun; they are going to -- to coin a phrase -- "Rock the Vote." How? They're putting on an essay contest! Two, actually. Because, really, nothing says "cool" like spending your summer vacation doing extra school work. Unless, of course, it's doing that extra work in order to go to a national political convention!

    And, sho' nuff: Winners of the contests will speak at their ideological cohorts' convention. Hipublicans (we've heard so much about them!) 18-24 are invited to bumrush the RNC's "Stand Up and Holla!" show, answering the question, "Why is the president's call for community service important and how have you demonstrated it?" Liberal hep cats in the same demo can scribble on the DNC's topic, "Why politics is important to the younger generation" -- which, admittedly, sounds like the title of a 19th century chautauqua oration, but try to imagine it set to a Danger Mouse track. Edgy. The kids are going to have fun with this. It'll be like "Pimp My Ride," but with words instead of cars!

    So dust off your laptops, open up your Strunk and White, and get down with your grammatically correct and rhetorically persuasive selves, boys and girls. Participizzle in the shizzle!


Hee-hee! "which, admittedly, sounds like the title of a 19th century chautauqua oration"! If I could write that cleverly, I wouldn't have to track and kill all those who do.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

summer blockbusters

Harry Potter in IMAX 3D. I hate to admit it, but that is going to be very cool.

The alternatives this summer don't seem to do it for me.
1.Troy- From what I understand, basically 3 hours of Brad Pitt's butt. No gods, Menalaeus dies, Paris gets the girl. To top it all off, they have set up for two sequals (odyssey and anead). How can you have the odyssey when Menalaeus is dead?

2.Some movie where global warming causes the gulf stream to expire and a week later we are buried in a new ice age. Americans flee south, but in a dramatic twist of irony, the Mexicans close the border. Please.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Ass points for Beer can chicken

As per Leland's suggestion, I have tried beer can chicken, and it is good. Very good. Perhaps photos to follow. If anyone is skeptical of the wisdom of sodomizing your uncooked poultry with a budweiser, put your fears to rest. The result is pure eatin' heaven. Insult to injury for the bird, however.