Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Respect them! now!
Rodney Dangerfield passed away, at the age of 82.

Earlier this week Janet Leigh passed as well. When the news paid the obligatory ten second tribute to her on the news the other night, the producers in their wisdom showed the clip from PSYCHO in which she is stabbed to death in the shower, as the newscaster solemnly intoned: “Janet Leigh, dead at 77.” Yes, they even included the violins going “scree scree scree.” One can only conclude: now that’s tasteful!

Mt. St. Helens
Also on the news, a seismologist referred to what was going on there as a “steam and ash event.” An “event?” Like a “sales event,” or the school prom? I’m not up on my science lingo, but is there something wrong with calling it a volcano?

Annoying technology breakthroughs, x in a series.
The Nokia 3220 camera phone lets you select a message or image (or create one of your own). When you wave the camera from side to side, 12 orange LEDS flash your message in the air. Like, um, “Fuck you?”

Debate Lite
So John Edwards and Dick Cheney went at it tonight.

I am of mixed feelings. I thought Edwards won the debate, mainly because Cheney didn’t really play.

But before I get to that, what is the deal with the New Pointing? Didn’t people used to jab a finger in the air to emphasize a point? Now, politicians make a little fist with their fingers and rest the thumb on top of that and stab at the air when they’re trying to emphasize something. I guess somewhere along the line, handlers and spin doctors decided that pointing was too aggressive. I remember Clinton would put his index finger and middle finger together, press them against the thumb, and fold the other two fingers back. Then he would jerk them up and down in the air when he wanted to drive home a point. This is one of the many reasons I did not care for Clinton.

Still, all things considered, he was a pretty good president. George W. Bush is not.

Debate Lite2
There was also Edwards’ relentless branding of himself and “John Kerry,” which I found irritating.

With his endless gesticulating, pointless enthusiasm, and constant “staying on message,” I found Edwards annoying. My wife remarked that he looked like Frank Sinatra. Hmmm. A little bit. If Frank Sinatra was a Mormon.

Debate Lite2
But Cheney….

He was ten times as annoying, with his implicit assumption that he is God, or someone like Him. He seldom even bothered to address the question posed by the moderator, (whom he always politely if condescendingly called “Gwen.”). I have read that Dick Cheney is supposed to have “gravitas,” but as I have written before, you can’t be “Dick” and still have gravitas. You just can’t have it both ways, people.

The turning point for me (well, there was no turning point for me really – I always thought the guy was a jerk) was when he suddenly (for no apparent reason) went after Edwards for his attendance record in Congress. Attendance record? What is this, junior high?

Remarking on Edwards’ career, he said, “Frankly, it’s not very distinguished.” Meaning: I am distinguished. I am the benchmark by which distinction is measured. Now, please quit your uncivilized yapping and vote for me.
My wife remarked that Cheney seems like a Human Resources Director from hell. That's about right. He also seemed incredibly bored and smug, as if the entire experience was beneath him. As irritating as I found Edwards, at least he was paying attention. And making notes! Like a good boy! Cheney, apparently, has nothing left to learn.

Watching television, I saw a promo for something or other urging to watch because it was going to feature "an exclusive Clay Aiken recording of a deleted song."

These are truly the end times.


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