Sunday, February 19, 2006

Magog Blog

Material Girl, er, Woman
Did you catch Madonna gyrating like a teenager on the Grammies? Me neither. Two days later she had hernia surgery. I didn’t catch that either.

From Henry Rollins’ web site
01-30-06 Melbourne Australia: 2139 hrs. I just got a letter from a nice woman who told me the man I sat next to on the flight from Auckland to Goldcoast Australia reported me to the Australian Government because of the book I was reading.

“I hope this finds you before you leave Australia as I think its something that won’t surprise you but might give you a smile when you are sitting in a hotel room. I work in one of those Government areas that deals with anti terrorism matters. A fine service is provided but unfortunately we get to read a lot of things submitted by lunatics. The Australian Government set up the National Security Hotline to report terrorists. The person who sat next to you on the flight from New Zealand does not agree with your politics or choice of reading and so nominated you as a possible threat. As they were too cowardly or stupid to leave their details I can’t call them to discuss their idiocy with them.”

Interesting that he and I exchanged nothing but polite hellos. I was reading Ahmed Rashid’s book Jihad: The Rise Of Militant Islam In Central Asia. He’s a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the book is on the Yale University Press. Didn’t Bush drink beer at Yale? Didn’t he not seem to learn much at Yale?

Of course I wrote the nice lady back.

“I was reading a book called Jihad by Ahmed Rashid which is a history of Central Asia. I didn't speak to the man next to me past how do you do. I think Ahmed Rashid is published by Yale University Press. Bush's alma mater. Please tell your government and everyone in your office to go fuck themselves. Tell them twice. If your boss is looking for something to do, you can tell him I suggest he go fuck himself. Baghdad's safer than my hometown and your PM is a sissy. You have a nice night.”

(FYI: Henry Rollins' hometown is Washington, D.C. If you're reading this, "Hi Henry!")

From the New York Times
“In his new book about Mr. Bush, ‘Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush,’ Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, ‘State of Fear,’ suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.”

Rebel in Chief? What does that mean?

Incidentally, earlier this February Mr. Crichton’s novel won the coveted American Association of Petroleum Geologists' annual journalism award.

Did you hear?
The Vice President shot a guy!

From Slate, speaking of Michael Crichton
Writing about blogs, Jack Shafer has this aside:

“…[I]n his 1993 essay ‘Mediasaurus,”… Crichton wrote that the New York Times and one commercial TV network would vanish within a decade and would be replaced by artificial-intelligence agents, skimming information and the news from news databases and composing front pages or broadcasts tailored to the interests and needs of individuals. Like Shamberg's guerrilla revolution, Crichton's infotopia failed to arrive as promised.”

But he sure is on the money about this whole global warming thing!

The guerrilla revolution that Shafer is talking about was begun in the 1970’s by Michael Shamberg and others, who formed a media collective called Raindance, and who predicted that the new video technology would turn every citizen into a videographer, thus spelling the doom of Mainstream Media.

Mainstream Media have so far eluded the dustbin of history. Mr. Shamberg went on to produce such films as ERIN BROCKOVICH, MAN ON THE MOON, GATTACA, and PULP FICTION.

The face of the enemy!
In court last week, Zacarias Moussaoui called France a "nation of homosexual Crusaders." He also referred to his lawyers as a "federal lawyer," a "KKK," and a "geisha."

Odd turn of phrase
Is anybody else taken aback when the words “cartoon violence” are used to describe the riots over the Danish cartoons? Are radical extremists dropping anvils on people’s heads?

From the Associated Press
Kelso, Washington-- The note inside the house made it clear to Cowlitz County sheriff's deputies that they had the right place: "Do not open door & let anyone in! Stolen Stuff visable."

Within a day, investigators confirmed that antiques, furniture, jewelry, credit cards and at least 19 guns found in the home of Gerald Levertt Mack had been stolen from at least 12 people, deputy Charles J. Rosenzweig said.

"Nothing like helping us figure out what's going on," Rosenzweig said.


From ABC Science News, a new occupational hazard.
“Priests who tear out the throats of live chickens in ritual sacrifices to voodoo gods may risk contracting bird flu….”

Finally, news from San Francisco, the city I call home, except when I’m too embarrassed to admit it.
San Francisco supervisor Gerardo Sandoval went on Fox’s HANNITY & COLMES to explain his opposition to having the battleship Iowa docked in San Francisco. He told the hosts, "We just don't want to put a 10-story gun on the waterfront where everybody is going to be looking at it every single day."

(For the record: I think it would be cool.)

He was then asked how he felt about the U.S. military.

"What good has it done for us in the last five years?" Sandoval asked.

Alan Colmes responded with, appropriately, "Are you kidding me?''

Sandoval then said, "The United States should not have a military. All in all, we would be in much, much, much better shape."

He went on to say that our nation could be adequately defended by police and the Coast Guard.

Hannity
Sean Hannity and other conservative talk radio hosts have been having a field day with Sandoval’s remarks, and making San Francisco once again a global symbol of feckless airheadery.

(Interestingly, they have also been railing against the media’s over-attention to the Dick Cheney shooting flap, even though, by doing so, they seemed to be over-attending it themselves.)

I happened to be listening to Sean Hannity earlier this week, as he raked San Francisco over the coals. This was understandable, but then, as conservatives tend to do, he overreached himself, saying that liberals just don’t understand - armies preserve the peace. Ships are really peace ships.

Well now, it may be that liberals are clueless in many ways, but this liberal at least can recognize doublespeak when he hears it. War is not peace, Mr. Hannity. The Iowa is called a battleship, not a lambs-lie-down-with-lions ship. Idiot.

One more thing….
Dick Cheney shot a guy! Speaking to the press on February 18, the victim, Harry Whittington, told the media, "We hope that he will continue to come to Texas and seek the relaxation that he deserves."

Amen to that. May we all seek the relaxation we deserve. Whether it’s strolling the decks of a peaceship or re-reading JURASSIC PARK for its delicate and nuanced prose.

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