Saturday, March 15, 2008


William F. Buckley some more…
In the various adulations and good riddances accompanying the demise of William F. Buckley, there has not been much note made about what an alarming public figure he was, at least to me.

I grew up with this guy on television. I never quite knew what his politics were because his presentation was so esoteric and high-faluting that I paid more attention to his gestures and demeanor that whatever he was going on about. Lip-licking! Eye-popping! Pencil waving! Words unfound in Webster’s!

I do remember watching the famous debate between him and Gore Vidal however. Arguing about Viet Nam and protestors in 1968, Vidal called Buckley a "crypto-Nazi." To which Buckley replied: "Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi, or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered." Vidal later amended his appellation to “crypto-fascist,” and the two went on to sue each other for many years.

Why I love Parker Posey
From the ONION: “I was doing the red carpet thing for the Independent Spirit Awards, and all the paparazzi were going…’What are you wearing?’ And I was like, ‘My shoes are made of bark, my dress is made of grass, and my coat is made of air.’ They said, ‘Where’d you get it?’ And I was like, ‘It’s from heaven.’ And it was total – crickets. Crickets! No response, no irony. It’s really weird to be taken seriously for what you’re wearing. It makes me want to wear a uniform.”

A uniform, eh. Does that make her a crypto-fascist?

But what’s the official bear whiz of Missouri?
Missouri state Representative Curt Dougherty wants to make Budweiser the official beer of Missouri.

Facebook kerfuffle
Sarah Lacey, a writer for Business Week, and author of a forthcoming book on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, conducted an interview with him at SXSW, which stands for something or other (oh, okay: South by Southwest, in Austin, Texas). SXSW is a gathering of over-enthusiatic geeks, who are over-excited about breakthroughs in new technology, especially web-related technology.

The audience for the interview was packed, and packing – iPhones, Blackberries, etc. Apparently, they were all on Twitter, which is a kind of real-time blog/instant messaging web deal, in which folks can post comments which are seen be anybody else who is on the Twitter.
Dissatisfaction with Ms. Lacey’s casual interview style quickly rippled through the crowd. Muttering occurred, then catcalls. Ms. Lacey transmogrified from interviewer to moderator, and fielded questions from the newly pacified crowd.

Well, the blogosphere had a field day. The interview was called a “meltdown,” a “disaster,” and Ms. Lacey was accused of “not being a geek.”

The thing is, though, Zuckerberg wasn’t much more forthcoming even after the virtual coup. He responded to questions and even non-questions with whatever he was going to say anyway. He repeated himself. He blathered. In short, he was another inarticulate geek who’s made a lot of money with an idea that came along in the right place at the right time.

The real question is not what this guy has to say to us, but why would we want to talk to him in the first place? The only question I have for the 24 year old billionaire is, “Can I have some of your money please?”

Great news!
One in a hundred Americans is in prison. One in four teenage American girls has an STD. Bear Stearns is going to get a bailout! Desperate homeowners are going to get a bailout! Erm. Not.

Eliot! You idiot!
The mighty New York Times has used all its resources to track down Kristen, the high-priced call girl with whom Eliot Spitzer with-whomed. Her real name is revealed as Ashley Alexander Dupre (sure it is). From the NYT’s hard-hitting no-holds-barred subsequent article, we learn:

“Music is her first love, and on the MySpace page, Ms. Dupré mentions Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Christina Aguilera and Lauryn Hill among a long list of influences, including her brother, Kyle. (She also lists Whitney Houston, Madonna, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse as her top MySpace friends.) In the interview, she said she saw the Rolling Stones perform at Radio City Music Hall on their last tour after a friend gave her two tickets. ‘They were amazing,’ she said.”

She is 22, and likes long walks on the beach. Anal is extra. No bukkake.

Hooray for people like me!
New York Times: “Laggards have a bad rap, but they are crucial in pacing the nature of change,” said Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster in Silicon Valley. “Innovation requires the push of early adopters and the pull of laypeople asking whether something really works. If this was a world in which only early adopters got to choose, we’d all be using CB radios and quadraphonic stereo.”

HIllary's Red Phone follies
Larry David, Huffington Post: “I don't care if it's 3 a.m. or 10 p.m. or any other time. I don't want her talking to Putin, I don't want her talking to Kim Jong Il, I don't want her talking to my nephew. She needs a long rest. She needs to put on a sarong and some sun block and get away from things for a while, a nice beach somewhere -- somewhere far away, where there phones.”

Hooray for people like me! Part 2!
Feature in the New York Times: “I took a real day off this weekend: computers shut down, cellphone left in my work bag, land-line ringer off. I was fully disconnected for 24 hours.”

Well, give yourself a fucking medal.

Spokespersons in disgrace
The disgraced spokespeople, having misspoken, having issued their apologies, having been weighed and found wanting by the all-powerful, all-knowing League of Pundits, gather at the Spokesperson Bar and Grill, at an undisclosed location. There, they nurse their mojitos, and caress their CVs, and avoid each other’s gaze. The silence is deafening. At their sides the Blackberries rest, asleep, unringing.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Poor Britney
In the line at Long’s I saw Britney Spears’ face on three tabloid covers.

I have a theory about all this. Okay, we’re in Web 2.0, right? According to (a site I recommend by the way), Web One was people sharing their little gardens (i.e. websites), whereas Web Two is people SHARING gardens (social networking, etc.). The Web itself is “democratizing” media (Agh! Scare quotes!) in that media used to be tied to time and place – you have to be at the theater at 7:30 if you want to see the movie; you have to be parked in front of the television if you want to see your favorite story at 8:00. That has all changed.

And ANYBODY can make a movie. We can be the producers, the directors, the directors, and the audience. This leads to a lot of crappy video, but that’s not the point. The point is we can actually interact with people who make stuff, comment on it, share it with others. Any time. Any where.

Big media is scared of this. I don’t blame them.

But we (New Media, which is the world) should be scared as well. Big media is protected by lawyers, agents, public relations folk. We are not.

On the other hand, most of us post stuff as a lark. Then let it go. If it catches on, we high five each other, and that’s about it. Unless Big Media makes an offer….

Think about this: QUARTERLIFE (I won’t explain it to you; check it out) went from an Internet phenom to an NBC series to a series on Bravo (owned by NBC) in about two weeks. That is just weird.

What does this have to do with Britney? My theory is that we still crave celebrities, but now we have mixed feelings about them. Because we want them to interact with us. Because we are them now, after all, without the fame part. We can do what they do. So who are they? They're nothing. And yet everything!

We love you, Tom Cruise! Fuck you. We love you, Britney. Here’s a picture of her pussy!

The papparazzi gather, the last of a desperate breed, trying to get dirt on the last people who will ever be dirty, ever again. Well, from now on, all of us will be dirty, but we’ll only care for two seconds.

Oh, there’s an election?
I understand it’s about change. I like Obama. I think I’ve had enough Clintons for one lifetime. But “Change We Can Believe In?” What the hell does that mean? If you don’t believe in a change, does it still make a noise?

Back to dirt!
So Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, broke up with his wife, and hooked up with Rachel Marsden, the Canadian equivalent of Ann Coulter (I love her!), then broke up with her, posting the news on Wikipedia, causing her to spam the world with their hot IM chats, and posting the clothes he’d left behind at her apartment on eBay.

See? Geek scandal! Don’t even read about it. Two seconds from now it will all be over. Move on. Nothing to see here.

Watch out for Rachel Marsden, however. Google her. I think you will agree: you definitely don't want her as a girlfriend.

I fucked Ben Affleck. (Check it out on YouTube!)
A year from now, we’ll all be forced to watch hi-def tv. Do we really need to see Sarah Silverman, funny as she is no doubt, on a teevee screen the size of your living room wall? Which is she? Hi-rez, or lo-rez? Which are we all? Man that's deep.

I'm just waiting for the Rachel Marsden story on Lifetime.