Sunday, October 08, 2006

Octo Bloggo

From Christopher Hitchens's MySpace profile
I am a man of the Enlightenment. Words fall from my tongue and you eat them up like a starving kitten on the street. We could have been living in a different world, and so could the people of Iraq, and I shall go on keeping score about this until the last phony pacifist has been strangled with the entrails of the last suicide-murderer.

No, it’s not really Christopher Hitchens.
By the way, is Bob Woodward the most uncharismatic man who ever lived? And reading his books is like chewing rope.

How to deal with loons: give them air time.
Talk show host Mike Gallagher gave representatives of the Westboro Baptist Church out of Topeka nearly an hour on the air, in exchange for a promise that they wouldn’t picket the funeral of the five murdered Amish girls in Pennsylvania. This is the church led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, whose members show up at the funerals of dead soldiers with signs that say, “God hates fags.”

Shirley Phelps-Roper (Fred’s daughter) told the radio audience that the killer “… did with one stroke on that day, sending a pervert in — because America is a nation of perverts — it’s appropriate he sent a pervert in to shoot those children. The Amish people were laid to an open shame because they are a false religion.”

Mr. Gallagher later claimed he was proud of the show. It was “able to do some good.”

From the Sunday New York Times:
“Smart celebrity satires are flourishing online — rarely anywhere else — and they do more than deflate the self-importance of stars. They also mock the gushing media that glorify them, and demonstrate that while taking tired potshots at stars is common (see any Britney-bashing episode of “Saturday Night Live” or “Mad TV”) satirizing TomKat or Brangelina so effectively that you expose the inane soul of celebrity culture itself is an art. In the form of artists’ blogs, fake news stories and tongue-in-cheek analyses of fame, together these sites function like an underground movement, subverting the cult of celebrity even as they feed off it.”

In other words, snarky fake gossip can be found all over the Internet. Stop the presses!

From the Sunday NY Magazine:
“All across Africa, India and parts of Southeast Asia, from within and around whatever patches and corridors of their natural habitat remain, elephants have been striking out, destroying villages and crops, attacking and killing human beings. In fact, these attacks have become so commonplace that a whole new statistical category, known as Human-Elephant Conflict, or H.E.C., was created by elephant researchers in the mid-1990’s to monitor the problem.”

In related news:
From the CCBC:

“People in California are being warned to take care when going for a walk in the park after reports that humans are being attacked by squirrels. A group of aggressive critters are being held responsible for six attacks in Mount View (sic) over the last few months. The most recent happened last week when a boy was bitten and scratched by one local grey squirrel. City rangers, who work to keep parks safe, have now set special traps to get rid of the pesky creatures.

Known as Human Squirrel Conflict.

Mark Foley news
From Time: “The FBI is apparently looking into reports that at least one boy responded to Foley's IMs only as a prank, to embarrass the Congressman.” In the same article Time described Mr. Foley as a “pathetic flaneur.” Flaneur is a word coined by Charles Baudelair, and means “gentleman stroller of city streets.” Kind of a man about town. And Time described his messages to the boys as “louche,” which means “shady.”

But what is it about Mark Foley that made Time Magazine lurch into French?

New spin: predatory pages!
Representative Chris Cannon of Utah, told KSL News last week: "You know, these kids are actually precocious kids. It looks like, just maybe, this one email was just a prank, just a bunch of kids sitting around, egging this guy on, you know. So, uh, the world's a complicated place, and we just have to do the best we can."

News from North Korea.
As the rest of the world gathers together to condemn North Korea’s decision to test a bomb, what are the media there saying?

The Korean Central News Agency: "The world admires the absolute power and greatness of our dear leader."

Rodong Sinmun: "Our great leader Kim Jong-il's leadership has written a history of strengthening the solidarity of our revolutionary spirit and creating a miracle of the century."

These were issued on the occasion of the anniversary of Kin Jong-il’s rise to power.

MSM News.
Jeffrey Johnson, the publisher of the Los Angeles Times who stood by his paper's editor against ownership's demand for staff cuts, has been fired by The Tribune Co.

Johnson was the guy who encouraged Michael Kinsley to leave the paper, and removed longtime columnist Robert Scheer from its roster as well.

Scott Palmer, Dennis Hastert’s chief of staff, is also Hastert’s roommate. I’ll bet they play a lot of cribbage. A LOT.

John Podhoretz in the New York Post:
“This column is directed entirely to the sleazy, scuzzy, unprincipled and entirely Machiavellian Democratic political operative who helped design the careful plan resulting in the fingerprint-free leak of Mark Foley e-mails: Bravo!”

Again, next phase: It’s Clinton’s fault!

From the St. Petersburg Times, 1998:
Speaking about President Clinton and Ms. Lewinsky: "It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

Oh, shut up. Just. Shut. Up.
Talking to Wisconsin Republicans on Monday, Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday accused Democrats of being soft in the war on terrorism.

All you unlawful enemy combatants in our midst:

Headline of the week: Man Apologizes for Courtroom Feces.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merle Kessler wrote:
> In other words, snarky fake gossip can be found all over the Internet. Stop the presses!
I've often wondered how one stops the presses in the Internet Age. Reboot the servers? Force an AJAX-driven content update? Ring up "George" down at the generating station and tell him you're going to need all the bits he can send you?


8:10 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

You CAN'T stop the presses. And that's my big gripe with New Media. Lie down. Take a nap. Have a tuna sandwich. Take a break. Shut up. Just for a minute.

9:43 PM  

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