Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer

November 10, 2007

RIP, Norman Mailer

Two weeks until Thanksgiving. Yawn. What a pointless holiday.

I would be perfectly happy to stay at home and be left alone. Then again, that is true of me every minute of every day, so why should Thanksgiving be any different?

I hope the people in my life know that I appreciate them, through my words and actions. We don’t need a day for it.

And I don’t like the food either.

“My family thinks of me as a schmuck with a pen.”-Saul Bellow

Currently listening to: 90 minute lecture about Saul Bellow’s “Herzog” produced by a Canadian television station. I love the Internet.

Instead of being the one to talk other people in off the ledge, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to be the one talked back in instead?

Great Bill Moyers Journal about the death penalty. There are few things more American than the death penalty-accomplishes nothing, but makes you feel better.

Bernard Kerik got indicted, apparently. Mr. Love Nest above Ground Zero was apparently mobbed up, as well. On KCRW’s Left, Right and Center, Robert Scheer makes the point that Giuliani and Bush, who, if nothing else, claim to be able to defend us, wanted to make this guy the director of homeland security. That being said, you have to question their judgment.
According to Mark Shields on the News Hour Podcast, 65% of Americans are satisfied with their own lives. That sounds really, really high.

I would obviously be in the minority on that one.

Another special, this time on NOW, about the SCHIP program. The moral outrage of denying children health coverage makes me so angry I can barely see. The Federal government has $6 billion dollars they can LOSE in Iraq. Lose, as in gone, as in went away and is never coming back. The Federal government has billions and billions of dollars for Halliburton and Kellogg, Brown and Root. But children’s health care? That’s “irresponsible”, according to the president.
No, Mr. President, what is irresponsible is sending Americans to die in the desert for no good reason at all. What is irresponsible is letting CEOs and hedge fund managers grow obscenely wealthy while poor Americans die in the streets like dogs. What is irresponsible is two things-everything you have done, and everything you have said.

I just wish corporations would make up their mind-either they are part of this society or they’re not. If they’re going to get tax breaks, they have to act like citizens, and be held responsible for the things that they do.

“The Great Gatsby” again on Studio 360. I’ve heard it before, but it’s worth listening to again. One of my favorite novels, and the way Studio 360 deconstructs and retells it, it is an engaging way to spend an hour.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fat Chance

November 8, 2007
Nothing good can happen during a conversation that begins with one of the following statements:
“You’re going to be mad at me.”
“I tried to clean it.”
“It looks like the condom broke.”
“Our young pitcher just left the mound holding his shoulder.”

David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush, on yesterday’s Marketplace, complains about the obesity epidemic, and, of course, blames the individual. OBESITY IS NOT A CHOICE. Yes, some people lose weight, just like some people quit smoking, and some people give up drinking. That doesn’t, of course, mean that the solution is everyone else should just buck up and follow their example. If we could, believe me, we would. It sucks being fat.

I’ve been thinking about what an example might be to help explain what it feels like. Jim Gaffigan has a joke about eating something, finishing it, and realizing that you didn’t even enjoy it. It’s kind of like that. Eating, for an overweight person, is much more than just eating. It’s sexual, in a weird way-in the sense that you don’t always do it for the right reason, or indeed for any reason, and that you sometimes regret it when it’s over.

John Dvorak reveals in today’s Tech5 report that the vaunted November 11 tech attack by Al Queda is an old crappy Trojan Horse virus that modern antiviral programs will chew up and spit out. I guess, if you’re reading this November 11, you know that turned out to be the case.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shooting Star

Horrible, horrible news, of course.

It strikes me that one argument we usually hear from US gun control opponents is that these sort of things happen in Europe, too, where gun control is more stringent.

If you read the story, Finland is the third most heavily armed country in the world.

Huh. I thought having lots of guns protected you?

Good thinking. Bring back the guy who was wrong about absolutely everything, and who is a crook to boot. Brought to you by the geniuses who brought you more than 3000 American dead for no good reason.

Thinner Shula Still Stupid

Don Shula was apparently quoted as saying the Patriots Spy Affair casts a shadow on their unbeaten record, especially if they run the table and dethrone his 1972 team, which is the only team in league history to go unbeaten.

First of all, the activity, whatever it was, was stopped after game 1, a game in which they hammered a Jets team that has proven to be woeful. It seems easy to argue that they could have beaten them with one hand tied behind their back. Second of all, it's a stupid rule. It doesn't give them an advantage that any other team can't get. Third of all, undefeated is undefeated-the Dolphins, great as they are, didn't play the caliber of competition that there is today-guys the size of Larry Czonka are wide recievers and tight ends, not fullbacks.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Love is a Mix Tape

Just finished a fantastic book, Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield. It's an autobiography, of sorts, about his late wife Renee and their love of music. It was wonderful, and highly emotional, and beautiful. I loved it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New England 24, Indianapolis 20

A very tight, exciting game which needed 14 unanswered points from Brady and the Pats to steal away a narrow win.

New England set a team record in penalty yardage, admittedly with a somewhat penalty-hungry gang of zebras, to go along with plenty of season marks-first Colt to gain 100 yards on the ground and in the air(Addai), first time New England trailed in the fourth quarter this year, first fumble Manning has lost at home since 2005, etc., etc.

To sum up, New England trailed 20-10 partway through the fourth quarter, but Brady put together two quick drives cemented by long passes to Randy Moss and (former Eagle) Donte Stallworth to steal away the win.

And giving up 14 unanswered, in the fourth, at home? Choke. No doubt about it.

And can we stop with the cheating business? New England is better than nearly everyone else. Period. And running up the score? Please. Both teams are professional.

The Nuge

Check him out.