Monday, February 16, 2009

Agog Blog

Old news new again!
Not exactly breaking news, but last October the National Rebublican Senatorial Committee released a video with Hollywood celebrities apologizing about Al Franken. It was called “We’re Not All Like Al.” The ad is very amusing in a mutant kind of way (view it here:

For one thing, the celebrities are Stephen Baldwin, Robert Davi, John Ratzenberger, Pat Boone, and Victoria Jackson. Of course we all know Stephen Baldwin. He’s, um, one of the Baldwins. Robert Davi was one of the two FBI agents in DIE HARD, and was also the villain in the James Bond movie, LICENSE TO KILL. John Ratzenberger was Cliff, of course. Pat Boone was videotaped in a swimming pool. He said he liked ice fishing.

It took me a second to remember Victoria Jackson. She was the ditzy blonde on Saturday Night Live a hundred years ago. Apparently she is and always was a very devout Christian. So devout, in fact, that she wrote on her website: “I don't want a political label, but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti- Christ and I'm scared to death that un- educated people will ignorantly vote him into office.”

Wait a minute…. That happened! He’s President! Watch Obama for telltale signs of Satanic indwelling.

Meanwhile… the backlash begins!
Former Bush White House chief of staff Andrew Card appeared on INSIDE EDITION to lament about President Obama’s sartorial style: "There should be a dress code of respect. I wish that he would wear a suit and tie."

Stimulus package backlash…
I got this from Alexander Wolcott’s blog. He got it from AMERICAN DIGEST:

“What if, instead, this bill contains - since it is protean enough to contain almost anything - the actual items that outline the most deeply held beliefs of a man suckled at the breast of all the broken dreams that sent hundreds of millions of humans to the block in the last century? What if, as we root about in the endless paragraphs and pages, we do see the outlines, at last, of what this strange and obscure man actually believes and plans? What if nothing is accident and all is intent? And the intent is ‘darker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp?’”

If I follow this, and I don’t think I do, the poster apparently thinks that the ghostly outline of the “real” President Obama is hidden in plain sight in the words of the Stimulus Package, there for any student of the Kabbala to decipher. Watch for telltale signs of Satanic indwelling!

(The “darker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp” line, by the way, is from the Harlem Renaissance poet James Weldon Johnson.)

Thanks Irwin, for this!
From the Buffalo News: “Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.”

He was arrested last Thursday, charged with beheading his wife.

Science on the march!
Reuters: “A widely available blood pressure pill could one day help people erase bad memories, perhaps treating some anxiety disorders and phobias, according to a Dutch study published on Sunday.”

What if you forget to take the pill?

Book notes…
I just read NAZI LITERATURE IN THE AMERICAS by the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolano. It pretends to be a series of Wikipedia type entries on various thugs, smug aesthetes, hangers-on, would be dictators, poets, and novelists – all of whom have vague or strong right wing world views. Some are harmless, some are insane, some are scary, some are silly. They were all invented by Bolano, though real historical figures are sprinkled throughout the book. It put me in mind of Borges’ stories, only less aloof, more engaged. And though the biographies here are largely of fringe figures, there is a creepy overtone to the book: people like this could very easily become the central figures in a culture. I recommend this book highly. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

It inspired me to write this….

Aristocrats and thugs merge their flesh in a dream their stylish women endorse. Slim outsized books grace their tables, full of careful photographs of buildings and sparse chairs. They seek to reclaim a lost glory, and send scholars around the globe to find its traces. Hidden from public view, the artifacts gathered spin a tale both wispy and bloody. Poets fill in the cracks. Schoolchildren sing. Old myths are translated once more, but despite every effort, by the time the powers read them, every god is dead.

Nickname the Wee Wife heard for the crazy woman who just had eight children, and has inspired so much hatred from a controversy-hungry America.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mundi's blog is full of it.

Sic transit gloria mundi
I went to Portland last weekend to participate, with the Philosophy Talk radio program, in a seminar. That’s right. I’m an intellectual. Get over it.

On the way from the airport to the hotel, I spotted this sign: Airport of the Year. On the way to the airport from the hotel, I spotted this sign, for Horizon Air, Regional Airline of the Year. I did not note the years.

Michael Phelps
The Olympian wunderkind was photographed smoking a bong, igniting both amusement and outrage from an easily amused and more easily outraged nation. I say as long as he doesn’t try to burn a blunt while swimming, America is safe.

Stephen Fowler
On a recent WIFE SWAP, a supercilious Brit (now living in San Francisco) and partner in a bioenergy firm got, in exchange for his “weight loss coach” wife, a housewife from Missouri whose family loves paintball.

In the course of the program Mr. Fowler called his swapped wife fat, stupid, and less of a person for living in a podunk town. He told her the only way her children would ever see the world would be to join the military. He called her a stupid hillbilly, redneck and the stupidest person he had ever met on the earth. He added that he earns more in one week than her husband did in a year.

He was a complete asshole, in other words. And America agreed! The blogosphere ignited. Pretty much every bit of information that could be found about the guy was posted – his job, his address, his email, his phone number, his board memberships. He had to hire security to watch his home.

And, on several blogs, this was posted: “Stephen Fowler has resigned from Pacific Environment’s Board of Directors and is no longer associated with the organization in any way. Please note that he was never an employee of the organization; rather, he was a volunteer.”

Well done, blogosphere, I guess. You may have destroyed a man’s life, just because he was rude to a woman on television. That's social networking in action!

But then there’s…
Christian Bale, caught on tape, tearing a DP a new one because he was fiddling with lights or something while he was trying to do a scene. America found this amusing. Seemed like a run-of-the-mill temper tantrum to me. It may even have been justified. Why for the life of me this tore across the Web is beyond me.

And then there’s…
“David After the Dentist.” Look it up on YouTube. A cute kid is all drugged-up and says druggy kid things. It is pretty funny. He says things like “I have two fingers,” and “Is this real life?” Okay, ha ha. But there are already mashups, and reenactments, and animated versions, much like what happened with the zombie kid who likes turtles (Remember that? Oh, how quickly we forget!). What is with us? Don’t we have anything important to do? Or at least find something trivial to do that doesn’t involve turning a minor episode in a child’s life into a life-defining searing soul trauma? Just asking.

And then there’s…
President Obama. Boy, that honeymoon period was quick!

But, armed with his well-stocked cabinet of tax evaders, he staggers on, into our glorious future!

My dream
I had a dream last night that I was performing at some college somewhere (as I did so many times back in the late seventies and early eighties) with Duck’s Breath partner Jim Turner, and Jonathan Winters (that’s right, him, but younger). But then a troupe performing a show with giant puppets showed up, and everybody dashed out of the audience to go see the giant puppets. I emailed Jim about this, and he emailed back, “That wasn’t a dream.” Thanks, America. Thanks for nothing.

And then there’s…
From NYT: “… …takes the names and ZIP codes of people who donated to the ballot measure (the notorious Proposition 8) — information that California collects and makes public under state campaign finance disclosure laws — and overlays the data on a Google map.”

“Some donors to groups supporting the measure have received death threats and envelopes containing a powdery white substance, and their businesses have been boycotted.”

And then there’s this…
From Slate: “Last November, an inebriated 24-year-old with the woefully apt name of Kyle Drinkwine was found by police in the back of a Wisconsin alley, his hands covered in blood. According to testimony compiled by the Smoking Gun, Drinkwine had spent the evening unwinding at Emma's Bar, a local watering hole that was hosting a karaoke night. Shortly after performing an Eminem song, he allegedly became so enraged by another patron's version of ‘Holy Diver’—the 1983 anthem by heavy-metal patriarch Ronnie James Dio—that he assaulted the singer and his friend and fled when police arrived.”

The story was called “Karaoke Rage.” Add it to your list of things to worry about, won’t you? Thanks.

My Facebook "25 Random Things About Me"
(1) I don't make lists.