Sunday, July 23, 2006

Double Dutch Blog

Just wondering…
Is to “swift boat” someone the same as to “bork” someone?

Here’s a poem, inspired by recent events.
Holy shit! The president swore!
Stop the presses! God, I’m bored.

Little Green Footballs
The fine commentators at Little Green Footballs are in the habit of referring to Reuters, the wire service, as “al-Reuters.” Some kind of sarcasm is intended, I believe, suggesting that the wire service is a propaganda wing of al-Quaeda. I am reminded of the time, during the Viet Nam War, that George Jessel (the old comic, kids) appeared on the Today Show, and kept referring to the New York Times as “Pravda.” He did it one time too many, and wound up getting kicked off the show. Nowadays he’d be given a medal.

We few, we happy few…
There’s no doubt in my mind that Israel was provoked into its present Lebanese excursion. On the other hand, I am appalled by the unseemly glee with which the right wing seems to view the conflict. I mean, Hezbollah fires its missiles from behind a shield of women and children. Israel goes after Hezbollah anyway. We should be jumping up and down with enthusiasm about this?

Charles Krauthammer wrote in a recent column: “There is crisis and there is opportunity. Amid the general wringing of hands over the seemingly endless and escalating Israel-Hezbollah fighting, everyone asks: Where will it end? The answer, blindingly clear, begins with understanding that this crisis represents a rare, perhaps irreproducible, opportunity.” And dead children.

The opportunity is for Israel to do the nasty job the West and Arab nations can’t or won’t. As usual.

Iranian Propaganda!
According to TIME Magazine, Iranian television public service announcements are urging consumers to boycott American products – including Pepsi, Nestle, and Calvin Klein. One voice-over claimed that “Pepsi stands for 'pay each penny to save Israel.'"

But wouldn’t that be the acronym for, as the Dread Wife pointed out, “Peptsi?” And why would Iranian propagandists be running ads in English?

Another blank surface: covered!
US Airways may place advertising on its barf bags.

Dutch treat?
From the Associated Press:

A diner in Berks County, Pa., is poking fun at the English-only cheesesteak flap in Philadelphia.

The owner of Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia has posted signs stating, "This is America: When Ordering Speak English." The new sign at the Oley Legion Diner says, "Please Order in Pennsylvania Dutch."

The request isn't enforced, although some regulars said they often speak the dying Pennsylvania German dialect. One resident said, "Sometimes that comes out first."

Dutch uncles?
From an Australian newspaper, (The Australian, if you must know), last May:

DUTCH pedophiles were launching a political party to push for a cut in the legal age for sexual relations from 16 to 12 and the legalisation of child pornography and sex with animals.

The Charity, Freedom and Diversity (NVD) party said on its website it would be registered officially on Wednesday, proclaiming: "We are going to shake The Hague awake!"
"A ban just makes children curious," Ad van den Berg, one of the party's founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.

"We want to make pedophilia the subject of discussion," he said.

The party said private possession of child pornography should be allowed although it favours banning the trade of such materials.

The broadcast of pornography should be allowed on daytime television, with only violent pornography limited to the late evening, according to the party.

Toddlers should be given sex education and youths aged 16 and up should be allowed to appear in pornographic films and prostitute themselves.

Sex with animals should be allowed although abuse of animals should remain illegal, the NVD said.

The party also said everybody should be allowed to go naked in public.

The party's programme also includes ideas for other areas of public policy including legalising all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.

Dutch pedophiles, unite!
From AP, July 17, after Dutch courts allowed the party's formation:
“The party, which has only three known members, is very unlikely ever to win a seat in parliament - it would need around 60,000 votes, and pollsters estimate it would get fewer than a thousand.”

So boo hoo, Humbert. No drugs or free trains for you.

Finally, some good news!
The Federal Drug Administration has a new anthem! Here are its lyrics!

(Words and Music by Gerald Harris ©2006)

One century past, a people’s hope fulfilled
By an act conceived for safe medicine and food
Protecting rights that our founding fathers willed
To life and liberty, to happiness pursued.

We honor those who carried on before
O’er these hundred years, public safety to secure
For food, vaccines, drugs, devices, blood and more
They strove to see these goods effective, safe, and pure.

In field and lab, in workplace far and near
From both civilian and commissioned corps
A call goes forth in this centennial year
That this rich heritage continue evermore.

Now in this proud hour, a vibrant vision thrives
True to our mission, whate’er the challenge be
With science our guide, we rededicate our lives
To help create a future healthy, safe, and free.

Response to the FDA Anthem was swift and decisive.

From “While the FDA has roots in the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt, the four stanzas of lofty sentiments ignore more recent FDA setbacks, such as its handling of Vioxx, a drug pulled from the market after it was linked to heart attacks, say agency critics.”

Michael Jackson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest said, “It reads like it's out of a 1950s grammar school textbook where everything is just wonderful. It's a little disconnected from the reality of today's FDA.”

According to, "Sidney Wolfe, director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group, describes the lyrics as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘degenerate.'" Degenerate? Wha?

Wolf also huffed: "There's nothing in there, of course, about regulation. Don't they have any kind of self-consciousness?''

Further, claims, re the anthem: “Sen. Ted Kennedy was equally unamused.”

The Truth About Anthems.
Anthems are written to make us feel good about ourselves. That is why there is nothing about racism, or weaselly foreign policies, or corruption, say, in the American national anthem. Instead, it talks about a big flag, and how glorious it is to look at it, still streaming, after being bombarded all night.

In other words, the FDA song strikes me as being an excellent anthem. The line, “Now in this proud hour, a vibrant vision thrives,” for instance, is just the sort of thing you look for in a lyric, anthem-wise.

The songwritter is a 60 year old employee of the FDA. If the carpers want a protest song, they should seek out a disgruntled former employee, give him a guitar, and stand back.

Writing from the Summer TV Press Tour in SoCal, Lisa de Moraes of, informs us that Aaron Sorkin told the assembled journalists: "Television is a terribly influential part of this country, and when things that are very mean-spirited and voyeuristic go on TV, I think it's bad crack in the schoolyard."

After which, Ms. de MOraes says, “…critics in the section of the ballroom known as Power-Strip Village began madly throwing the quote up on their blogs.”

Sorkin, creator of WEST WING, has had substance abuse issues, you see. So that makes his comment about crack, um… well, what does it make it exactly?

Sorkin was there to plug a new show on NBC, STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP. According to Ms. DeMoraes it is “a wicked send-up of an ‘SNL’-esque late-night series on a network that smells a lot like NBC.”

Later two stars of the series, Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford, were asked to “comment on the fact that their characters bear more than passing resemblance to Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme.”

Perry said, "It's like bad Vicodin in a schoolyard."

After which, according to DeMoraes: “Manic blogging.”

Because, you might recall, Matthew Perry went into rehab because of Vicodin dependence, which again, makes his joke, I dunno, more jokeful? Less?

Later, Sorkin cracked (get it?) to reporters: "And, seriously, I'll give you each one hundred dollars if we can just get the crack quote out. It's just an expression; I didn't mean anything by it."

To which: “Manic blogging.”

All of which goes to show that Mainstream Media (The Washington Post) and the Blogosphere can actually get along when they feel like it, and there are enough molehills in a room to make into a mountain, if you squint at them the right way, and manically.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is America! Speak Navajo, or Cree, or Algonquin, if you're at a Round Table.


1:20 PM  
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