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Iff You're A Wire Fan, You'll Enjoy This

Posted by Ogged
on 01.05.08

The final scene. No spoilers.


 

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Huck

Posted by Ogged
on 01.05.08

Such honkitude, such a perversion of youth. And yet, kinda catchy.

And from Red State Update, Huckabee? Fuck me! Awesome.


 

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Late to the Party

Posted by Becks
on 01.05.08

You know how every few years you discover a gadget or product or something that completely changes your life and you wonder how you ever managed to survive without it? Ladies and gentlemen: I have recently had one of those revelations.

Cetaphil.

Every winter was a search for the one true moisturizer that might save my dry and itchy skin but they all either felt gross and slimy or smelled bad or didn't work well enough. When I was the dermatologist's office a couple of weeks ago for my pale person mole check, she handed me a list of their recommended skin care products and so I figured I'd give them a shot and, holy crap, that might just be the best advice I've gotten from a doctor in years.

I'm sure many of you are laughing at me, having discovered this goodness years ago or seen your mother and grandmother use it since it's been around forever, but I didn't want there to be someone else like me out there kicking themselves for not hearing The Word earlier. And, no, I'm not getting any money for this.


 

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Imagine!

Posted by Ogged
on 01.05.08

It's a good thing that Obama's Iowa victory means that controlling black people isn't on anyone's mind anymore.

Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee -- and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged. I can imagine the fear of this social unraveling actually aiding Obama enormously in 2008. Forget Hillary's inevitability. Obama has a rendezvous with destiny, or so we will be told. And if he's denied it, teeth shall be gnashed, clothes rent and prices paid.

via greenwald, who has more


 

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Andrew Olmsted

Posted by LizardBreath
on 01.04.08

Olmsted was one of the posters at Obsidian Wings (first under his own name and then as G'Kar -- big Babylon 5 fan), and was also on active duty in Iraq. He was just killed in Iraq -- I don't know the circumstances.

I really liked arguing with him -- well to my right (probably about as close to the political centerline of the US as you get), but you never got that feeling that the ideological differences were keeping him from listening. Not that he was easy to convince, but I always felt that he was discussing things with the real possibility of changing his mind. I didn't know him terribly well -- a couple of discussions in blog comments, a couple of emails -- but I'm going to miss him.


 

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Oh, A Storm

Posted by Ogged
on 01.04.08

For some reason the phrase "hurricane force winds" didn't really register with me.

500,000 people without power, they say, including people in my town and the ones just north and just south of it. Not me though. I have a thousand years of power.


 

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Unprecedented

Posted by Ogged
on 01.04.08

I suddenly have a lot of work to do today, so go hang out at The Edge of the American West, where the young upstarts are trying to take over the world with their crazy posting regimen.


 

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Feeling Fine

Posted by Ogged
on 01.04.08

This was genuinely funny.

Background.


 

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What To Say

Posted by Ogged
on 01.04.08

I wonder if the Democratic candidates are prepared for the reaction if there's another terror attack before the November election. In a reasonable world, the Republicans might take the blame for not securing the country, but my guess is that fear and anger will rule and the Republican candidate would get a big boost; maybe enough to win. But I think the Democrats have enough time to establish a narrative that could turn an attack to their advantage (and you have to establish the narrative before something comes to pass). It's particularly easy to do this because it requires nothing more than talk, and the talk doesn't have to be Fatherland Security Uber Alles. I present bullet points in paragraph form:

"Tough talk doesn't make us secure. We need to be smarter about sharing information between agencies and about where we concentrate our surveillance. We're not funding IT projects or training translators because Republicans see these things as part of "Big Government," but we need the government to work if we want to stop domestic attacks; piecemeal local efforts won't make us safe."

They could also throw in something about "security theater" vs. real security, etc. Of course, this will be criticized for not enough kaboom and along anti-government lines, but it won't hurt too much and will look positively brilliant if there's another attack They need to say it just enough to be able to remind people that they saw it all coming.

More generally, I don't know why more candidates don't try to set up these "I told you so" moments for themselves. They're super effective (look at how much mileage Obama is getting from his Iraq war vote), but they usually come about by accident, when in fact they're not that hard to engineer.


 

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With A Bullet

Posted by Becks
on 01.04.08

* CNN.com now provides a bulleted summary of every story.
* They condense each article to three sentences.
* They think we're idiots.


 

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And, In More Important News...

Posted by Ogged
on 01.03.08

Video.



 

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Evolution

Posted by Becks
on 01.03.08

10 AM: The Iowa caucuses don't mean anything. They're crap.

10 PM: WOOOOBAMA!


 

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Kansas-VTech

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.03.08

This game is hot.


 

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How One Becomes What One Is

Posted by Ogged
on 01.03.08

I keep having conversations like this.

Friend A: [Someone we know] makes [a lot of money].
Me: Really? What is she doing now?
Friend A: She's an executive with an insurer out there.
Me: Holy shit! She's The Man! You know this makes her Evil?

Friend B: [Someone we know] just bought a [$100k car].
Me: Holy Moly. That's a lot of money to spend on a car.
Friend B: And did I tell you that [someone else we know] bought a [Ferrari] 355?
Me: Jesus Christ. We know some bad people.

Of course, my first thought is that I should be making that much money and spending it on hookers and blow, but second, it's fascinating, in a genuinely dispiriting way, to watch people you know, who are decent and honest and hard-working and generous with their friends, etc., grow up to become types that always seemed alien and evil. (I'm not particularly virtuous here; I work for a regular old money-making enterprise myself.) In the first case, you can see how someone with a health degree, and way leading on to way, might end up working for an insurer. Life paths are weird, and you'd end up on Apo's hit list almost without noticing. The second case is much harder to justify; that's just obscenely conspicuous consumption.

And, of course, there's the psychological/friendship issue: I'll continue to like these people and think of them as good; it's not like they turned into John Yoo. But I did email the $100k car friend to tell him that he totally made the wrong purchase and he should have bought something else. It was the least I could do to turn some of that sweet horsepower to ash.


 

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A Thesis That Might Be Banal

Posted by Ogged
on 01.03.08

The basic animating principle that blacks in America need to be segregated and controlled hasn't changed or lost its force even through emancipation and the civil rights movement, with slavery having been replaced by Jim Crow and Jim Crow replaced by the regime of incarceration. Ok, this is banal, but maybe not bad to think about insofar as it helps keep alert for what the next iteration of control is going to be, lest we think that liberation is happening.

Of course, this isn't to say that things haven't gotten better at each step yadda yadda, and maybe the generous way to think about this is in terms of generations: five since the civil war? Hmm, that's actually plenty of opportunity for people to reflect on their nation's grave crimes. Oh well, keep killing whitey.


 

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So Then What's This "Voter Registration Card" Thing I'm Holding In My Hand?

Posted by Becks
on 01.03.08

A PSA: If you plan on voting in your presidential primary election, you might want to verify that you're actually registered to vote.

I, apparently, am not.


 

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Songbird

Posted by Ogged
on 01.03.08

The life of a modern internet addict is approximately 85% looking for new music. To that end, I've just started using Songbird, which seems like a very cool way to interact with music sites (it also serves as a music player/organizer). I'll use it and report back. If you know of other cool ways to browse/find music, speak up--bonus points if you're finding good bluesy/folksy stuff.


 

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Guiliani sure has the Gayatollah's number!

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.03.08

A people perverted!

This is hilarious but will stop being so when the G-man is sworn in.


 

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IA

Posted by Becks
on 01.03.08

Surely you've seen this NYT article on how the Iowa caucuses disenfranchise large numbers of voters linked around everywhere by now but, the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off.

Because the caucuses, held in the early evening, do not allow absentee voting, they tend to leave out nearly entire categories of voters: the infirm, soldiers on active duty, medical personnel who cannot leave their patients, parents who do not have baby sitters, restaurant employees on the dinner shift, and many others who work in retail, at gas stations and in other jobs that require evening duty.
As in years past, voters must present themselves in person, at a specified hour, and stay for as long as two. And if these caucuses are anything like prior ones, only a tiny percentage of Iowans will participate. In 2000, the last year in which both parties held caucuses, 59,000 Democrats and 87,000 Republicans voted, in a state with 2.9 million people.


 

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Wow, this book must be really bad

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.02.08

So I ordered Peter Singer's Rethinking Life and Death for my medical ethics course, and as I was procrastinating about the syllabus I noticed one of the blurbs on the back, attributed to Washington Post Book World:

Far from pointing a way out of today's moral dilemmas, Singer's book is a road map for driving down the darkest of blind alleys...Read it to remind yourself of the enormities of which putatively civilized beings are capable.

Well, that doesn't sound like a full-throated endorsement, does it? Googling seems to reveal only slightly more of the full review but enough to show that Singer is being compared to Mengele. Yowsers! Was someone in the office just having some fun with this?


 

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I'm not sure Jonah will come out well in this exchange

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.02.08

I wrote this a few hours ago but decided to post it only after seeing PGD's note about the Goldberg review in comments....

I enjoyed this Holbo discussion of Liberal Fascism but I was surprised to see it linked at The Corner. True, Holbo's reconstructing the book's contents from snippets, but they are truly awesome snippets and I'm not sure how they can be squared with LF's goodness unless they're all prefaced by a giant negation sign.

I was surprised by the Times review because (a) uh, why? and (b) its generally amused tone is hard to reconcile with its contents, which contain the seeds of a hatchet job:

...for Goldberg, fascism is strictly a Democratic disease. This allows him to dispose of the politics of the 1920s in a single sentence. "After the Great War," he writes, "the country slowly regained its sanity." What Goldberg may not know -- or is afraid to tell us -- is that the 1920s were anything but sane. This was the decade, after all, that contained the largest state-sponsored social experiment in the nation's history -- Prohibition -- and it lasted through three Republican administrations before Franklin Roosevelt ended it in 1933. The 1920s also saw the explosive spread of the Ku Klux Klan in the Republican Midwest, a virtual halt to legal immigration under the repressive National Origins Act and an angry grass-roots backlash against the teaching of evolution in public schools.

Goldberg briefly enters the Eisenhower 1950s to tease liberals for whining about the supposedly trivial impact of McCarthyism. "A few Hollywood writers who'd supported Stalin and then lied about it lost their jobs," he says. What's the big deal? For the Reagan 1980s there is near-silence -- hardly a word. I had entertained the slim hope that Goldberg might consider the "fascist" cult of personality surrounding Reagan's 1984 "Morning in America" hokum ("Prouder, Stronger, Better"). But, alas, such scrutiny is reserved only for the Clinton presidential campaign of 1992, with its "Riefenstahlesque film of a teenage Bill Clinton shaking hands with President Kennedy." Indeed, even George W. Bush's spectacularly staged landing on an aircraft carrier in full battle regalia to declare "mission accomplished" in Iraq escapes notice here. It doesn't take a village for Goldberg to play the fascist card; a single Democrat will do.

I'm guessing that what's going on here is: the reviewer is using a polite academic tone to say that the thesis of the book is false and a little crazy; however, the tone makes the review seem more positive than it is to readers from other contexts. There's been a lot of discussion at Leiter's blog and elsewhere about Colin McGinn's* vitriolic review of Ted Honderich's recent book, and while I'm generally opposed to doing things McGinn's way I suppose this case is an argument in favor.

*I would have posted about the review controversy but I couldn't find the only thing that would make such a post worthwhile, namely, this great photo of McGinn (I think it ran in the Atlantic?) where he's got no shirt on and he's gazing down at a plastic brain while the backlighting illuminates his shoulder hair. Spectacular.


 

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Danger To The Community

Posted by Ogged
on 01.02.08

I'm not saying America is a police state, but the amount of unreviewed power we give the police, and the deference we're expected to show them, really can't be healthy in the long run.


 

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Peace Out

Posted by Ogged
on 01.02.08

I need to talk about Shanti Carson. I know of her because she had the most goddamn radiant on-screen orgasm of all time (guess what? NSFW) in Shortbus. And for a little while now, she's been chronicling on YouTube her romantic adventures in NY. Trouble is, she's kind of annoying (I'm sorry, Ms. Carson!), because her chronicle is approximately 98% about her self-satisfaction with her own fabulousness. Of course, she is fabulous--hot and fearless--and I do wonder why we're so insistent that people demonstrate humility. Especially when, as in this case, the lack of humility doesn't seem to be coupled with haughtiness or disdain, but just a sort of wonder at how awesome it is to be oneself.

Anyway, don't be too mean, as I've linked to her site.


 

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Obama For Hicks

Posted by Ogged
on 01.02.08

The Apo has the annual 50 Most Loathsome People In America list.


 

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Funtime

Posted by Becks
on 01.01.08

As a child, I had a very hard time falling asleep. It wasn't insomnia but a fear that my parents or other adults who were still awake were having fun in the other room and I was missing out.

I'm still like that -- I hate the idea that there is something fun going on that I'm so close to being able to participate in but can't do it. There are many times I'll drag myself to a concert or art show or movie that I'm just "meh" on because I know I'll kick myself if it turns out to be awesome and I missed it. And if I have to miss a party or dinner or gathering because I'm out of town or sick or something, I worry that something fantastic and memorable might have happened at that occasion that I missed out on.

I guess it's good because it does get me out of the house and trying new things but, in a way, it's its own source of constant anxiety.


 

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Labs Beat Me To The Juno Post

Posted by Becks
on 01.01.08

I think it's getting more praise than it deserves but my biggest issue is that I was distracted the whole time with the thought: "She's pregnant. She can't get more pregnant. You've got nine months of unprotected sex that neither of you are taking advantage of. What a waste!"


 

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Hallelujah

Posted by Apostropher
on 01.01.08

Instead of wishing everybody a happy New Year, I'll just say anus door bolt chicken feather.


 

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Small world

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 01.01.08

Maybe you all knew this, but via Lemieux and wikipedia I learned that Juno was written by Diablo Cody or Cody Diablo or whatever she called herself, the author of the beloved Pussy Ranch blog.

Since that archive page had a picture of Ric Flair, I'll mention how odd it was to see the Nature Boy make an appearance on Family Feud a few days ago.

Things I should blog about later: (a) how my trip to the bathroom with B involved neither sex nor drugs but only laundry tips; (b) the surprise answer to "who did Labs end up in bed with, anyway?"; and (c) the question of whether or not my irritation at Marxist paraphernalia (e.g. Che shirts, theme parties, etc.) is a legitimate beef or only yet another instance of my inexplicable attraction for right-wing toolishness.


 

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2008

Posted by Ogged
on 12.31.07

2007, like so many of the Bush years, has been one of civic despair and dark humor. To those who are doing the work that allows the rest of us to have hope: deepest thanks. To everyone, wishes for all the good health you and yours can get, the love of those you love, and kindness, friendship, and good humor all around. Happy new year, folks.


 

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Only Two More Years Of Those Annoying Glasses

Posted by Becks
on 12.31.07

I don't see how I'm supposed to get dressed and primped for tonight's festivities when I haven't even been able to muster the energy to put on a bra all day.


 

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So Then What Do We Call It Now?

Posted by Becks
on 12.31.07

Smasher and me, returning the keg:

Smasher: I think those people are having car trouble.
Me: I think it's just a Chinese Fire Drill.
[pause]
Me: Are we still allowed to say Chinese Fire Drill?
Smasher: No.

 

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Kristol

Posted by Ogged
on 12.31.07

I confess to being more consternated than anticipated by the Times hiring Bill Kristol. It seems to validate every suspicion that the left likes to be kicked, that imperialism is the true bipartisan bedrock of America, and that what we do and think here in left blogistan has very little effect on the discourse, given that the much-maligned NY Times remains the paper of record and is, in addition, deaf to our complaints.


 

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I crave your emails

Posted by Ben
on 12.31.07

So remember this nonsense? It appears as if some of the people who were interested in making and distributing physical mixes in the physical mail to physical persons (uh huh) don't make their email addresses known. So I can't email them to solicit informations from them. Thus I hereby solicit email, one each, from all such persons [it has been pointed out that this is unclear: "such persons" are persons wishing to send mixes out, not persons without visible email addresses. My apologies and contrition to one and all.], with the following information: (a) your email address (one that you don't mind being posted on the front page); (b) the tracklist to your mix and its name if it has one; (c) how many mixes you are willing to send out if your generosity is meagre and stingy. The third is optional, and I suppose the second is as well.

This needn't be done right away or anything, not least because I haven't finished mine yet, not having access to my library here in the south, but I suggest shooting for readiness by January, I don't know, let's say tenth.

I also crave email from md 20/400. And nearly everyone else. Crave.

Just to, you know, cause trouble, I'd like to suggest that bitch's boyfriend is more dapper than I've ever witnessed slolernr to be, and that F. Labs's supposed dapriety has been, in my experience, entirely mythical. I'd also like to propose that "if I recall correctly" be preplaced by "unless I recall incorrectly", which can be shortened to "uiri" and further obfuscated by being written "men".


 

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Brunch

Posted by Becks
on 12.30.07

Sunday post-UnfoggeDCon brunch 11 am at Beacon Hotel at 1615 Rhode Island.

RSVP in comments if you can.


 

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