Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bleak Blog

Damn you, Adam Smith, you and your invisible hand!
NYT: “Supermarket eggs have been stamped with the names of CBS television shows. Subway turnstiles bear messages from Geico auto insurance. Chinese food cartons promote Continental Airways. US Airways is selling ads on motion sickness bags. And the trays used in airport security lines have been hawking Rolodexes.”

Bleak Reports
NYT headline: “Analysis Is Bleak on Iraq’s Future”
Crikey! Stop the presses!

UK Telegraph: “The US government has called on the world's scientists to research using giant mirrors or reflective dust to slow global warming.”
And build us a death ray while you’re at it.

NYT headline: Science Panel Calls Global Warming ‘Unequivocal’
Oh but just wait. There are those who will find ways to equivocate.


The Guardian: Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Headline of the week
“Florida hunter bags a hermaphrodite deer”
Bags. That’s what they call it now?

Because he’s just my Bill
New York Post: “Clinton grabbed the mike and told the audience that the questioner wanted to know ‘what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men.’ She then smiled, raised her eyebrows and nodded knowingly at the questioner.”

My favorite story of the week!
Two guys put up a bunch of LED signs in Boston displaying the image of a Mooninite flipping the bird, as a promotion for the new movie version of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (the “cult” cartoon seen on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network). The Mooninites are 2-D low resolution digital characters based on Space Invaders (remember, kids?)

Even though these same thingies were displayed in other cities to no obvious effect, Boston freaked out, fearing the displays might be explosive device planted by terrorists.

The two guys were arrested, then let out on bail. They talked to reporters, in an hilarious press conference:

Some hipper Bostonians got to some of the devices before the police did. According to the Associated Press, they were sold on eBay, “ranging in price from $500 to $2,100.”

This story highlights my two least favorite characteristics of our times: (1) Unfounded hysteria around issues of “terror,” and (2) unfettered capitalism, in which every blank space (see first item, above) must be employed to sell us something. The two were bound to collide sometime.

I think Aqua Teen Hunger Force is funny, by the way.

Scary Flat World
From “Kremlin Inc.” in the current New Yorker.
“Vladislav Surkov, who is essentially the Kremlin’s chief ideologist, told delegates at a meeting of the President’s party last year, ‘For all globalization’s benefits, all the talk of friendship, the Americans count their dividends at home, the British count theirs—and we count ours. The majority count their losses. So when they tell us that sovereignty is outdated, as is the nation-state, we should ask ourselves what they are up to.’”

What ARE they up to? And when does the Iran invasion begin?


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