Monday, October 16, 2006

I've got cramps

Well, CBGBs officially closed last night. If there was a cultural institution in the Village, this was it. CBGBs was as important to the history of culture in New York as Carnegie Hall. Their landlord should have his toenails pulled out. (in honor of this, I'm currently listening to a podcast of The Cramps plaing a set at CBGBs from June 10th, 1977).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Pachyderm Psychosis

Poor republicans!

They know the truth.

So do those disgusting, hypocritical talking heads who are trying to blame the donkeys for manufacturing the Foley scandal.

It doesn't matter if the information was held back. Too many republicans are coming forward saying the republican leadership knew about Folley years ago. It is always the same story in Washington. It's not the crime that gets you in trouble, it's the coverup.

And it doesn't matter how this plays with the swing voters (not very well, aparently), what really matters is how it plays with the conservative Christians.

Because if *they* feel betrayed they aren't going to vote for the democrats.

They aren't going to vote at all.

And that should be enough to win the House. Now that Jersey appears to be falling in line, maybe even the Senate.

Most people thought this election would be a refferendum on the war. Or that it would be a referendum on President Bush post-Katrina. Or that it would be a push for a divided government that respected the checks and ballances of the constitution. But I never really fell for that. All along I believed that it would be a referendum on the republican Congress itself--a referendum on their arrogance, the way they've been drunk with their own power for the past two years.

Teri Schiavo was supposed to be a rallying cry to their conservative base, but in the end it will prove to be the moment they went to far, when people began to see that they were out of controll. They let the Christians down with that one and ever since Conservative Christians have been getting more and more dissalusioned. They saw that as a cynical attempt to throw the Christians a bone. And now this.

How can the conservative Christians vote for the party that protects pedophiles?

How can the rest of us vote for a party that covers up pedophilia to protect its own grasp on power?

Americans are not that cynical. On the whole, deep down, the voters are smart people and they are good people and most of the time they really do know what's best for them.

And they know how to recognize a brothel when they see one (and by that I mean a House full of whores).

So I was wrong

Wow, was I wrong. So the Yankees are out. I abandoned the first rule of baseball: great offense can't make up for poor pitching. Charlie must be happy as a clam. :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I love O'Neil Outdoors, a hunting show on OLN, mostly because the host is one of those charming, funny rednecks who can really spin a yarn. Much of the time he hunts with one of those modern muzzle loaders.

Why? Not why do they use them: hunters will always use the most technology the law will allow. Why do we allow it. Why do we allow people to use high-tech muzzle loaders with saboted rounds and scopes and camo finish and speed loaders and powder pellets?

If your going to hunt with a muzzle loader, you should be using a Kentucky Long Rifle or a Hawkins. You should be dressed in buckskins and carrying a bowie knife and wearing a coon skin cap. You want to be Daniel Boone, BE Daniel Boone! Otherwise you might just as well use a bolt-action .30-06.

You want a real challenge? Tred Barta once killed a grizley bear from about ten yards using a longbow and home-made arrows. Yes, he had backup with rifles, but how fast do you think a grizley can cover ten yards?

But my point is that nostalgia sells. So sell it.

Outrageous Spin

I know most blogging is just regurgitating stuff from other sources, but did anyone see "The Daily Show" last night? They had the most bbeautiful, most outrageous example of of conservative spin I've ever seen.

In a segment where they covered Sean Hannity talking about Mark Foley, blaming the democrats, slandering Clinton, the usual stuff, Stewart showed a clip from a different Fox Broadcast in which the announcer was in no uncertain terms criticizing Foley's actions, saying for years he'd been sending explicit emails to teenage boys.

He was identified in a graphic as Mark Foley, Democrat of Florida.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Last Generation?

So I went to Christie's yesterday to see the items that were being auctioned for the Star Trek sale. Dozens of moddles, thousands of props and costumes. The great thign about an auction like that is that the costumes are just out there on racks. You can sort through them, examine thme closely, take them off the wrack and see if they might fit. They had everything: uniforms from every series and movie, plus special costumes like the britich naval uniforms worn on the holodeck by the TNG crew, and their Robin Hood costumes, and Q's judges robes (probably the nicest thing on the floor, estimated bid price $300-$500. If I was rich I'd bid on them and wear them to 12th night, and then to graduation. ). Of course, for me, the big deal was two of Captain Kirk's uniform jackets from The Wrath of Kahn. I've always been a Kirk fan myself. They also had Kahn's vest. Wrath of Kahn is my favorite "guilty pleasure movie," so I totally geekd out over these. They also had all the cool alien costumes. My favorites were not the Klingon uniforms but those wild Ferengi tail coats. They had a bunch. The other things I wanted were Picard's sextant and, of course, the replica first series captain's chair, the one used in flashbacks in TNG (the original original, which should be in the smithsonian, was sold for $250,000 a few years ago).

George Tekai was there shooting some video on the auction. I got to meet him for the second time. He continues to be one of the nicest men on the planet. All the fans used to love him I recall, becasue he loved them back. The minute he spoke his voice just filled the room and everybody went "hey!"

Star Trek is the most popular TV show ever and, with the possible exception of Star Wars is the greatest marketing franchise ever. Christie's and Paramount are going to make a bundle off this sale. But as I walked through looking at those 40 year old pollyester tuinics (which, compared to the later costumes, were horribly constructed), it occured to me that this may well be it. On Star Trek, everything got recycled. They used stuff over and over again. If they are getting rid of all the old props and costumes, it seems likely that they are getting rid of the franchise as well. Yes, they could make all new stuff if they decide to do something else, and I hope they do. And there are still some good ideas floating around out there. I liked the two series they passed on--the "Space Marines" idea and the one about students at Star Feleet Academy ("Star Fleet 90210?" "Dawson's Fleet?"). I thought they should do a sitcom with Tekai and Nichelle Nichols as a pair of old, married, retired Star Fleet officers living in San Francisco. After all, tragedy and melodrama always break down into farce in the end. But none of that is likely to happen now that Paramount is selling off its stock. Now I suspect the only stuff that will be produced is are the fan films (some of which are pretty entertaining). Star Trek may finally be over.

Or not. Maybe selling all this stuff off is a marketing prelude to launching a new Star Trek venture. Or maybe it's an attempt to pur creativity. If you don't have all this old stuff you can't keep writing flashback--or flashforward--storylines.

But I doubt it. The books will go on, and the conventions, and the fan films, but as a TV series I think Star Trek is dead.

Folley Vision, part II

So now Mark Folley has come out saying he was the victim of abuse. If it's true it is an obvious ploy for sympathy. But does being the victim of abuse give someone a blank check to abuse others? THe fun thing will be watching the hypocritical gyrations some of the conservatives go through over this. THey are always accusing the liberals of using upbringing or childhood abuse to excuse felonious behavior. Thes law and order types hold to the line of personal responsibility. How many of them now (and, let's be fair, it won't be all of them for sure) will now start showing sympathy for Mark Folley in a pathetic effort to maintain their control of congress?

If Folley's abuse story is true he deserves our sympathy. But it's no excuse. And whether or not he was abused has no bearing on whether or not congressional republicans ignored or possibly even covered up the issue for a year.

Mom says it's not about governing or what's right. It's all about power. I'm not quite as cynical as her, but in this case I think she's right.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I'm watching Current right now. They are among the coolest things on TV. Right nwo they are shwoing a pod on Iraq that includes a DVD of the plotting and execution of a car bomb. It is a chilling piece of propoganda, showing the determination and sophistication of Jihadists. It is also a brilliant use of technology to further the terrorists cause.

As we discussed in class the other day terrorisim is a form of communication. It has a message (definace, resistance, hatred) a medium (the victim) and a receiver (the public). It's purpose is to frighten the enemy into capitulation. But it is also used to inspire those sympathetic to the terrorists. Al Queda was already sophisticated in its use of press releases and video tapes messages. But this is even more. This is a viral internet marketting bonanza. These videos are sold on websites. They spread the terrorists message while at the same time making money to further their cause. It is pure market branding.

And it is very scary.

Folley Vision

I was going to avoid the whole Mark Folley thing. I mean, what was there for me to say? He had already huanged himself (remember: meat is "hung." Men are "Hanged.") But one thing ahs come out of all this that I find interesting. It has really separated the chaff from the grain among the conservative press. A number of the talking heads, their allies among the "expert comentators," and of course in Congress and the white house are actually trying to defend Mark Folley for sending sexually explicit emails to teenage boys. I mean, I've read these emails. They are fellonious. He is going to jail. And some of these family values yahoos are actually defending him. Not good christian forgiveness sort of defending either but typical political defenses: things like "we don't know the whole story," and of course accusing the democrats of manufacturing the controversy.

The talking heads though have been divided into two categories on this, and it's interesting. On the one side are the true assholes like Bill O'Reily and Matt Drudge, who are squarely in Folley's corner and defending him against these partisan attacks. On the other side are men with some integrity (about whom I have railed elsewhere on this blog) like Tucker Carlson and Joe Scarborough, who have strongly condemned not only Folley but also the House Leadership which (much like the Catholic dicese of Boston) rallied around the accused trying to hush up the scandal, not so much to protect the pedophile as to protect their own hold on power.

Scarborough, a friend of Folleys, a former Florida Congressman who, along with Folley was elected to Congress in the Gingrich revolution, has gone much farther. He acknowledges (we all have to) that the timing of this announcemnet is obviously political, and he scorns the democrats for politicizing the scandal, his greatest scorn is heaped upon his own party for covering this up (read his blog for today). On his show last night he said they are drunk with power, doing the same thing the democrats were doing when they had power, before Scarborough and Folley entered congress.

That's integrity. The rest of the equivocating republicans are digging a grave for themselves, and Scarborough knows it.

October Fest

Well, here we are. The Giants finished...what? 40 games out? Here's my prediction for the World Series:

The Yankes win. The-uh-uh-uh-uh Yankees Win.

Sorry Charlie.