Monday, July 30, 2007

A Relatively Uninformed Analysis of 18 Presidential Candidates Part: II

Editors note: This analysis is limited to the front page of the websites of the 18 main presidential hopefuls. For a further explanation see Friday's post.

Duncan Hunter: I honestly haven't the slightest idea who Duncan Hunter is. His name makes it sound like he has a 1:30 tee time at Winged Foot but his front page makes it look like he'll be carrying bags and figuring out distances.

Cheesedick campaign slogan: Lets Work Together to Make America Great Again...there are high school marketing teachers that would fail students for that anti-gem. Why not just go with America, Darn Right.

Front page grade: C-

Dennis Kucinich: The main image here has Kucinich asking God to make him two feet taller so that he can have a shot at the Democratic nomination. Unfortunately God doesn't believe in his policies.

Irritating ploy: The video implores us to text message the word "peace" (73223) to send a message to the White House. A couple things: one, it never tells us what number to send the text to; two, unless the text is being sent to the White House, I'm dubious that they're going to "get the message" (in fact, they're not getting the message regardless); three, the text message must be the laziest form of protest in the history of mankind, I'd be insulted if I were a Kucinich supporter.

Front page grade: C

John McCain: Straight talking his way to three campaign slogans: The courage to do the hard things needed to address America's most pressing challenges; Defeat is not an option; and Islamic Extremists are in this war to win and we cannot let them, McCain actually has one of the sleekest front pages we've seen - fitting for a one-time favorite who seems to be reminiscing about the good ol' days in his picture.

Strange "coincidence": I know McCain was a Navy man but his website logo and coloring look a whole lot like the more recognizable army symbols, hmm, that's curious.

Front page grade: B+

Barack Obama: Obama's the first candidate not to be prominently displayed on his own website's front page. I'm floored by this. Maybe he doesn't need to tie his face into his name because he's so well known (not to mention he's the only candidate who's skin shades past olive) but nevertheless I'm surprised. Otherwise the site seems extremely well conceived and links to all the social networks (almost 120,000 supporters on facebook as of publication).

Non-cheesedick ploy: The dinner with Barack promotion is a stroke of genius.

Front page grade: A- (they couldn't make room for the Obama girl?)

Ron Paul: Paul also has links to the social networks - not surprising for a candidate who essentially made his name via the internet - as well as a finely realized front page layout.

What?: A 14 minute front page video? A campaign as savvy in the ways of the internet should realize the attention span of their viewers matches that of a Saturday morning cartoon viewer on crystal meth.

Wha what?: I learned from the website that Ron Paul has a son named Rand Paul. I was not able to confirm the origin of the name but judging by Paul's politics, I'm wondering who John Galt is?

Front page grade: B+

Bill Richardson: Richardson's real experience and real accomplishments won't endear him to the American public nearly as much as his real weight problem. I think Richardson should push himself as the real "minority" candidate on the Democratic side. (Also note the undone top button and tie, he must have really worked hard during that photo shoot).

Email sign-up: These are just a really bad idea, especially for a candidate that's handicapped by region.

Front page grade: C

Mitt Romney: I was surprised to not see Romney's pearly whites on the front page, then the flash feature kicked in and there he was. I knew Mitt wouldn't miss a photo op. My favorite is the one of him in a ski jacket, I'll bet he went back and forth all the way down that mountain.

Campaign slogan: True Strength for America's Future...a clever play to the Republican base, there was some genuine thought put into this site.

Front page grade: A-

Tom Tancredo: Tancredo hopes to give Duncan Hunter a run for most obscure candidate to run on a major ticket and with this website he's got a chance.

Amusing headline: "Tancredo will crisscross Iowa, meeting more crowds and campaigning in more towns than ever, as we lead up to the Iowa straw poll." Oh, really? You mean he's going to campaign more as the election approaches? That's an unusual tactic, I wonder if he's also going to shake union workers hands and kiss babies, that might just do the trick!

Front page grade: C-

Tommy Thompson: As the second most likely Republican - with the last name Thompson- to become president, Tommy Thompson is facing an uphill battle. Fortunately he seems confident of his ability to win one percent of the vote.

Front page grade: C

And until Fred Thompson throws his hat in the ring and hires some tech nerds to dream up a website for him that completes "A Relatively Uninformed Analysis of 18 Presidential Candidates," here's to hoping you didn't learn too much.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Relatively Uninformed Analysis of 18 Presidential Candidates Part: I

I've been casually following the candidates jockey for position in the run up to the primaries. I watch more for entertainment than information and I think the candidates prefer it that way. As such, after finding this website, I decided to break down the candidates based solely on their websites front page. What follows is analysis of the candidates' websites, totally (ie. partially) devoid of personal political leanings:

Joseph Biden: You know that creepy uncle who always seems a little too interested in his nieces? Well he's running for president!

Best Headline: I can't believe I didn't know that Biden's book is called Promises to Keep, as indicated by one of the flash headlines. Apparently Biden's Promises omitted "not plagiarizing"

Front page grade: B

Sam Brownback: Sam Brownback has a family. Sam Brownback tilts his head when he talks. Sam Brownback likes corn.

Front page grade: F

Hillary Clinton: A front page sign-up? This seems to be the work of a candidate who would pander to people and change opinion with the wind, maybe even take advantage of people who don't know better for his/her own personal gain. At least the picture doesn't make it look like she's waiting for her husband to take the stage.

Kickass campaign slogan: Let the Conversation Begin...can we start with "Is your vote on Iraq going to hinder your presidential campaign?" or do we need to establish the definition of is first?

Front page grade: D

John Cox: Yikes. Is that really the best picture John Cox's people could find? He looks like he just sat on his last name. (That joke was cheep and easy but absolutely irresistible). Otherwise this web page is about as interesting as a tree fossil.

Front page grade: C-

Chris Dodd: When two of your top headlines are "Chris Dodd's White Hair" and "Chris Dodd's White Hare," you are a senior senator from a small blue state who has no chance of winning the Democratic nomination.

Verdict: The front page is not bad but it seems a bit amateurish. The font should definitely be changed and the "Energy Independence" image needs to be seriously reconsidered.

Front page grade: B

John Edwards: Oh look, John Edwards has a family too! Am I the only one who would prefer a president not have a family. Isn't the pursuit of the presidency wildly selfish? To conduct such a pursuit with family members - especially young ones - seems grossly irresponsible. See Hillary for front page sign-up assessment.

Front page grade: D

Rudy Giuliani: Another front page email sign-up. Interesting that three of the top candidates have this function. I'm assuming Rudy's thumbs up is confirming the fact that he's tanking his candidacy.

Interesting campaign note: Giuliani's people have decided to push his first name in the campaign. All of his buttons, shirts, campaign info etc. says Rudy rather than Giuliani. Three potential explanations: using the first name personalizes Giuliani; using the first name reminds people of the lovable film by the same name; using the first name helps avoid reminding the racist elements of the GOP that Giuliani is an "ethnic."

Front page grade: D

Mike Gravel: Man politicians are ugly.

Pol Position: From the front page: "Gravel's campaign is based primarily on his ardent support for direct democracy"...what!?!spirit fingers?!?!? Our country is in the middle of an arguably unwinable war, the threat of terrorism is an everyday reality, the youth are underperforming in school, and Gravel's primary campaign goal is the elimination of the electoral college? At least he'll always have his looks.

Front page grade: B-

Mike Huckabee: Campaign contributions on the front page? I skull & bones Huckabee.

Front Page Grade: F

Be back no later than Monday with part II

Monday, July 23, 2007

Review: Mad Men

"Mad Men"

A term coined in the late 1950's to describe the advertising executives of Madison Avenue.

They Coined it.

Thus began the premier episode of "Mad Men," a program I watched on Thursday evening (I couldn't find it on-line but here is the encore schedule or you can buy it on I-tunes for $1.99) with an acquaintance (my mother, hereafter, Mombo), who has very different sensibilities than I do. During each commercial break she and I discussed the program. As I became more and more interested, Mombo became more and more disinterested. Her primary complaint was that there were not any characters that she particularly cared for.

I found this assessment to be fair, as many of the characters seem to be morally flexible (particularly with regards to their sexual behavior) and virtually all of them have a world-view that extends only as far as their self-interests. It is for these reasons that I really enjoyed the program.

In a moment of drunken clarity last Wednesday evening, I wrote about Bob Dylan's fraudulent persona and asked how many of the rest of us would stand up to the scrutiny of an in-depth examination of our own personalities (or rather those that we display to the world).

I don't know the answer to this question, but I suspect an airing of the entirety of an individual's personality would do well to upset/disgust many of his/her friends and family.

It is for this reason that I find programs like The Sopranos, The Wire, and Mad Men compelling. These shows are not concerned with making its audience "like" their characters and as such they needn't compromise the authenticity of their decisions and actions.

The program is also very interesting because it allows the viewer to editorialize on the advances and missteps our society has made since the 1960's. The show provides a fair amount of commentary of its own but it's cloaked in the words and actions of the characters and can be seen by those looking for a validation of their assumptions. (Their's a gay character that makes several remarks that might be missed by those who do not assume homosexuality, although I suspect this will be a more major plot theme going forward).

I did a bit of research on the shows creator and was not surprised to find he had produced and/or written numerous Sopranos episodes (including, unfortunately the Johnny Cakes episode, which was the opposite of good - a more apt description than bad). He's a real talent and I'll be interested to see where he takes Mad Men from here.

Premier episode grade: A-

A couple links; This months Vanity Fair has a very thorough article on Barbaro, that reads more like Sea Biscuit than an obit. Also interesting from that issue is David Halberstam's final article on the incompetency of the Bush administration.

I tend to agree with Halberstam's analysis but I'm not here to tell you what to think so here is a WaPo article about how Bush's administration will be seen as a success. Interesting. Yfbfb reports, you decide.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Drinking Alone Redux

Editors note: This is the second installment of Yfbfb's diary of drinking alone. I edited the previous post but have left this entirely unedited. There are some links that I've posted along the way that were found/posted while sober. I woke up this morning on the couch next to my computer. Apparently I passed-out sometime after 12:46.

8:00: I am happy to report that this installment of the lone drinker has begun on time. Tonight’s drunkenness is being brought to you by a magnum of Talus Pinot Grigio. Talus: delivering brutal hangovers since 1984. Tonight’s cosponsor is Fris Vodka. Fris: damaging eyesight since 1989.

8:12: Just finished my first glass of wine, this is an aggressive pace. I also just learned that Planet Earth is on from 12-2 this evening. I have yet to see this show but have heard very good things, more on it later.

8:25: I watched the most recent episode of Entourage earlier today. Many people had been bashing this show’s recent efforts but I was hesitant to be critical. After this episode I’m on board. I found the scene where Drama and Turtle are smoking pot to be particularly offensive. Man that was cheesedick.

8:53: I was watching a bit of the Colbert Report (sober: couldn't find the video of this Colbert segment but did find this video, of Colbert at the White House Correspondents dinner) and he was talking about Senator David Vitter’s number being found in the DC Madam’s phone records. I’ll try to find this link tomorrow (sober: ) but apparently his wife, during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, said that she was more Lorena Bobbitt than Hilary Clinton – with regards to allowing spousal infidelity – this delights me (on glass four).

9:19: One afternoon when my friends and I were in an altered state we decided to give ourselves rap names. My name was Cervantes and my crew was the Extroditables. Cervantes says: if you haven’t copped that new T.I. shit you best do so stat. That record is fire.

9:32: Just watched Derek Jeter start a Yankee rally with a crucial single (not to take anything away from A-Rod, who’s hit was obviously huge, but it was important to get the first runner on and Jeter delivered). Anyone who loves baseball and doesn’t realize the value of Derek Jeter does not watch many Yankee games. He’s like God only he exists (glass five).

10:00: I’ve been thinking about a book I read by David Hajdu about Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mimi Baez, and Richard Farina. In it, Hajdu makes the claim (and substantiates it) that Dylan’s persona was essentially fraudulent. I wonder how apt that claim would be for the rest of us.

10:27: This wine’s starting to taste like caster oil. I don’t know what caster oil is, let alone what it taste like but I imagine it’s something like this. I have about a glass and a half left, I can’t wait till I can move to vodka. A friend of mine just called and told me (sober: this friend was McNuts, he didn't actually call, he texted) he’s at a boxing match that’s being broadcast on ESPN2, I love boxing.

11:14: Just finished the wine. Thank God (or his non-existent replacement). That shit really was irritating. I’ve been watching boxing for the last half an hour and I love that shit. I’ve boxed before and it is the most exhausting shit I’ve ever engaged in. I truly believe these people are sick athletes, plus they’re willing to beat the crap out of other human beings, it’s an interesting mind-set.

11:25: I’ve finished the wine and I’m now going to move to the vodka. I feel like I’ve been unextordinary thus far and expect interesting things to occur in the near future, we’ll see.

11:32: The thing is, the vodka/olive juice mix actually has too much olive mix in it. I don’t expect much more coherence.

11;38: I wonder how close I am to blacking out. This is something that is never understood in many alcoholics minds (including and most specifically mine, considering the circumstances) but I am not there yet, at least I don’t believe myself to be there (important aside: I’m writing this on microsoftword, occasionally I type words incorrectly, like microsoftword, and correct them because of the squiggly red lines.) I like to qualify myself under any and all circumstances.

11::59: It’s becoming difficult to type posts, I’m a magnum in and a solid slug of vodka, I’m going to watch Planet Earth, hopfully it’s as cool as I’ve heard.

12:10: Fuck you Gleeson. You’ve always thought you’re a progeneter (sober: I have no idea what this means). At least the Yanks won.

12:12: I’ve found people to be wonderously uninteresting.

12:14: I’m going to tackle my chair into my couch. This is is stupid.

12:16: It wasn’t so much my upperbody that suffered injuries it was my thighs and calfs.

12:17: Another cigarette and I’ll figure things out

12:25: My idiocy can’t really be describe in proper drunken speak. I only believe in feelings as they pertain to individuals worthy of feelings. When I don’t care it’s because I don’t care.

12:27: Let’s talk about existensialism: sure it means nothing (particularly to some one who can’t put together a sentence) but that’s important to a man who can’t put togethic existence.

12;37: wasted right now, we’ll see

12::46: I’m floored. Don’t really kknow why I threw myself into the couch, we’ll figure it out as we go along

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

On the Media

If you haven't seen this video, where t.v. anchor, Mika Brzezinski, burns the Paris Hilton story, it's worth a look. I think the video is instructive for a variety of reasons.

People often forget that the media is a business. There is a certain ethic by which journalists are supposed to conduct themselves created to help guide their decision making. But in the end the people who sign their paychecks are businessmen and women. As such, the decisions made by those responsible for content is often driven by those who do the viewing.

This past weekend I had a conversation with a family member about Gary Sheffield's most recent idiotic remarks. This family member blamed the media for publicizing Sheffield's views despite his history of misguided and wrong-minded statements. I agreed with him that the weight given to Sheffield's statements may have been excessive but the truth is that the public have an appetite for this type of hyperbole. Furthermore the media has a responsibility to deliver public statements made by public figures to the public. It would be far more egregious for media outlets to withhold newsworthy stories because they don't jive with the sensibilities of certain people or could offend others.

There is little doubt that Joe Torre is an innocent bystander. Many black players have played and thrived under Torre, and until reputable individuals like Cecil Fielder or Chili Davis come forward and corroborate Sheffield's views, I think they're nonsense. However, that does not make his views a non-story.

Joe Torre is a public figure and when an individual places himself in the public eye he is subject to the scrutiny of those that hold public interest (I made a bet with a friend about how many times I could write "public" in a single post), however unfair that scrutiny may be.

And in the end the public (I win) has no one to blame but themselves for the news they/we choose to consume.

A couple of programming notes: In the Musicology post, I mentioned a conversation I had with a professor where we discussed alt-country and the bands Wilco and Son Volt. Shortly thereafter I discussed an essay in Chuck Klosterman's IV. What I did not realize (but have now that I've finished the book) is that in the last chapter Klosterman references alt-country and then Wilco and Son-Volt specifically. This is a strange coincidence (although more strange that he would mention alt-country than Wilco and Son Volt in reference to alt-country), but one I wanted to mention to clear my good name. Also, I will be repeating my chronicles of lone drinking tomorrow (Wednesday) evening and should have a post up sometime around noon on Thursday, hope to see you then. Finally, if you haven't seen Maddox's most recent post, I highly recommend you do so now, it's so choice.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Rock music hasn't died, it's just changed.

A month ago I had a conversation with a professor about the many people of his generation (he's in his 40's) who are caught up in "nostalgia" music - music from the 70's and 80's. He talked about his appreciation of alt-country, Wilco and Son Volt are two specifics, and he lamented the lack of interest his friends and co-workers have for current rock music.

This concept was also explored in an essay I read recently in IV: a Decade of Curious People & Dangerous Ideas by Chuck Klosterman. Klosterman attends a "Rock Cruise," on which Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Journey, perform. The cruise is filled with 30 and 40 somethings who are disillusioned with the current state of music and yearn to recapture the "glory days" of rock & roll.

I was thinking about these two congruous ideas last night at a Spoon concert in Battery Park in New York City. Spoon is a moderately popular band - their best selling record, Gimme Fiction, sold about 100,000 units - and is probably best known for a Jaguar commercial during which their song "I turn my camera on" played.

The concert was well attended - my friend Potter estimated somewhere in the 700 range which is good considering it was raining for most of the afternoon - but almost entirely by people who were born after the 8 track fell out of fashion.

I know that rock & roll is, and always has been, the province of youth but I think that there are greater factors at play.

In the 70's and 80's there were great bands ("great bands," in this sense means bands that sell a lot of records for an extended period of time and receive at least some degree of critical acclaim) that got a great deal of radio play. Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Clash, U2, AC/DC, Metallica, Aerosmith - all of these bands were not only very talented (I don't like all of them but credit where credit is due), they were very commercially successful. People from that era understood the radio to be the arbiter of good rock & roll music. They didn't need to look any further or pursue other avenues to find very good music by very good musicians.

Since the demise of grunge music in the late 90's there has not been a single great band to come out and attain consistent radio play. Bands like Radiohead, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Aerosmith, may get a fair amount of airtime but all of them originated in the 90's or earlier. Furthermore, all of the airtime attained by these bands is surrounded by music that is entirely foreign to veterans of 70's and 80's rock & roll (this is not a commentary on bands like Linkin Park or Fall Out Boy, just a fact).

This has lead many people to believe that there is no longer any good rock & roll music. This is not the case.

Rock and roll has simply become more fragmented over the last 20 years, creating less of a consensus as to what is good rock music and pushing much of the art form out of the mainstream.

Alt-Country for example, wasn’t even a genre of music 20 years ago. Uncle Tupelo is generally credited with having founded alt-country, their first record was released in 1990 and two of their members went on to found the bands that we had discussed (Jeff Tweedy with Wilco and Jay Farrar with Son Volt). Yet only one of their records ever made the Billboard 200 (their anthology released in 2002 scorched all the way up to 173 on the chart) and they certainly never received any mainstream radio play. This does not mean that they were not a great band in the artistic sense, it just means that they were not a great band in the sense that 70’s and 80’s bands were great.

Current rock bands like Spoon, Arcade Fire, The Hold Steady, The Walkmen etc. play rock and roll in the tradition of bands from the 70’s and 80’s and are very good at what they do, it’s just that the market has been fragmented to the point that they no longer receive the attention their predecessors did.

Rock and roll has not died and never will, it is too dynamic to ever disappear. For now, rock music is still out there you just have to listen a bit harder to find it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Radically Honest Drinking

(Editor's note: The idea of this post was to do a running diary of drinking alone. It was also intended to be in the radically honest format. It turned out to be somewhat amusing but I'm going to do it again in the near future and at that point I won't edit for spelling or grammar mistakes. The editing I have done was minor (I regretted doing it after I realized that editing is antithetical to my purpose) but I also left some critical mistakes alone.)

I wanted to start this post at 8:00 but I got sidetracked by an Uncle’s 50th birthday party. This post is the documentation of the consumption of a magnum of wine with a bottle of Jack Daniels as my backup in case I finish the bottle and want to stay up longer (the Jack will definitely be consumed at least in part). This post is also going to be in the radically honest format. I am concerned that this may lead to stream of consciousness thoughts, which it almost certainly will to an extent, we’ll see what happens.

1026: Three glasses of wine into the night. Just got off the phone with my former roommate, Joe Han, talked for allot longer than I had expected. Our talk focused on the Government and its potential flaws (he works for the department of defense). Interesting to me, probably not to most, I expect to have more compelling thoughts over the next several hours, we’ll see.

10:38: I find an article based on Malcolm Gladwell’s study of war games. I had mentioned that to Joe Han but had thought it to be an article in the New Yorker, my experiment in alcoholism must make a turn in the near future otherwise I’m not even going to be willing to read it again.

10:41: I’m thinking about how boring this blog post is, I am also thinking about how I have Diet Coke rather than Coke for my Jack Daniel’s mixer, this is definitely not cool.

10:51: Fifth glass of wine: I just watched (apparently) 10 minutes of Man vs. Wild. I enjoyed this time but I am lacking anything insightful to say about it. I’m going to scour the internet and see if I find anything worth of my (and your) time for a while. But first I’m going to smoke a cigarette.

10:59: I just smoked a cigarette and have been thinking about the racial divide. I believe it to be a product of people’s perception and an unfortunate outgrowth of our history. While we’re continually willing to accept that a difference exists (which I believe is primarily proposed by people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and white supremacists) we will continue to endure the wrath of racial suppression. I am drunk. I believe this.

11:03 I just looked at the couch my parents bought to my right. It is one or the most hideous couches I’ve ever seen. I wonder what they were thinking when they bought it. I’m about to watch Bill Stone’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, I’ll let you know what I think.

11:03: I just tried to watch Bill Stone’s Journey to the Center of the Earth: but it was wildly boring, I’m concerned that this may not actually be a post, it’s possible but I’m hoping that I have some important drunk Ideas over the next hour or two. We’ll see (six glasses).

11:15: I just finished my sixth glass of wine. I’m really concerned with the idea that I proposed before that talented individuals only have a certain amount of time to produce something superior. I just started in the spring and I’m certainly willing to accept the fact that I’m not there yet. I mean citizen cain was made by a 26 year old that shit freaks me out. Yesterday I wrote about a girl finding porn in her boyfriend’s bathroom.

11:19: I don’t know how but I saw allot of Hispanic speaking dudes telling me what to do. (Radical honestly, I really did). But I’m going to refocus, and create something good.

11:23: Apparently there are not people after me. I’m drunk and have allot more drinking to do but that seems to be a safe assumption (eight glasses)

11:25 I’m going to drink a fair amount of water, after that, I’ll experience drunkenness proper, we’ll see what happens.

11:46 I’m watching Man vs. Wild. I wonder how many of the women I’ve been with hate me. I don’t expect many of them to appreciate me much more than the species that Baer isn’t allowed to kill

11:49 There’s some sort or snake frightening Bear, he’s a harder mother fucker than me, that’s self evident, we’ll talk about this later

11:58 I can’t believe I’m still writing. I’m wonderfully drunk and writing like a retard. Hopefully my ex[ressopm wo;; be understandable/

1:48: The idea that I’ve been unable to convey, the idea that is unable of conveyance is existence. This is cheesedick but it’s the truth. We’ve lived; I’ve lived with an understanding of my own inabilities. This is wildly traumatic to me but if I’m not one of you, if I’m not one of us, I would be a liar. So we’re all the same and thus we are. Drunk or sober there’s no difference. Something I’ve always feared is not being Salinger or Fitzgerald. I’m not them. I’ll never be them, or even Klosterman or Simmons or Gladwell, I’m just a drunk, and I’m okay with that, sort of

2:05: I’ve spent the last 20 mins trying to figure out if I’m going to post any of this. I figure I’ll drink a touch more and figure it out from there (it took me 10 mins to type that scentence properly, fuck you English douches).

Monday, July 9, 2007

In Vino Veritas

Saturday afternoons in college are a time of recovery and preparation. A time of remembrance and hope. A time of wife beaters and boxers.

It was in this state that my roommate T'Bot's girlfriend, the Wicked Witch of the West(ern part of New York), found my other roommate Joe Han and I, on a sunny Autumn day in the midst of our Junior year.

We had just eaten a late lunch and had settled in for a couple hours of college football before the topics of "showering" and "alcohol" were to be discussed.

WWW walked into our common room with conviction in her step and hatred in her eye (although this was omnipresent). She immediately started cleaning our rundown apartment for undetermined purposes. Joe Han and I were baffled by this behavior but were certainly not interested in bringing it to an end. We didn't question what was going on until the football game was turned off in favor of some adult contemporary radio station.

This served to rouse our anger and further our curiosity. We finally asked WWW what the deal was. She told us that her and her sorority sisters were having the pre-game to their formal in our apartment.

I almost threw up on her.

This bitchy chick was going to have her equally bitchy friends over to our apartment (with their dates) to pre-game to a formal we weren't even invited to? It was so preposterously ludicrous that I recall looking at Joe Han and breaking out in laughter. Anyway, she continued with her cleaning as we tried to figure out how this had happened.

About a half an hour later, WWW moved to the bathroom where she removed all the reading material she deemed to be objectionable (all of the reading material). It was with this step that we knew the Witch must die.

We went to the local convenience store where we picked up a copy of Big Black Tail, a monthly publication not known for its articles. On the cover was a portly woman wearing a thong, bending over, and looking back a the camera. We put this as the only reading material in our bathroom.

The looks on the faces of these wildly stuck-up sorority girls as they stepped out of our latrine was what Kodak moments are all about. Never has such horror given me so much pleasure. It was perfect and in short-order they would be leaving the pre-game and heading off to their formal never to return (hopefully) to our apartment.

The WWW made mention of leaving several wine bottle for the post-game.

When they left I looked at Joe Han and vowed not to rest until the remaining wine was finished. Two and a half magnums of red wine, or five bottles of regular wine, remained. I grabbed one full magnum and ran upstairs to where I knew drinking games had commenced. I put away the magnum in about an hour and returned to my apartment to pick up the other bottle and a half.

When I returned, our common room had filled with a bunch of friends watching a movie. The Dr. asked me what I was up to and I rehashed the story of the evening. I then told them that I had finished the first magnum and had another bottle and a half to go. This was met with protest, claiming that there was no way I could drink that amount of wine in one night. Already feeling a bit of the effects of the first magnum I met their scepticism with the only response I thought reasonable. I pounded the half bottle of red wine in one motion.

To this day I have no idea how I was able to chug that much red wine and frankly, it makes me a little queasy but it was quite a spectacle at the time. I remember seeing my friends look in awe (or disgust) as I started to get towards the end of the bottle. I then finished it, flicked it into the garbage to my side and walked out speechless.

The next thing I remember is waking up naked in the bathtub. I didn't really know how I got there, or why I was naked but I do remember who woke me up.

I wonder if WWW was more horrified by my naked body or the near naked body of Big Black Tail's cover woman. I'd lay about even odds. Regardless, of the bet, we were all winners that evening.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Bloggin Like it's Temperate

I haven't been posting as much as I should and that is going to change. Starting this week, I'm setting a goal of three posts a week with two as the bare minimum. Hopefully they'll be worthwhile.

Meanwhile, I have a bunch of recommendations and some links.

First, I found this article to be really interesting. It essentially explains human behavior (particularly human behavior that is seen as inappropriate/stereotypical) through the lens of evolution. Much of the article (actually just about all of it) explains human behavior as an outgrowth of our (supposed) overwhelming desire to procreate. I honestly don't know if this idea is depressing or reassuring but its definitely one of them. I do think the idea falls apart when applied to the 10% of humanity known as "homosexuals". I don't know why they didn't address homosexuality in the article but it seems to be a glaring flaw in their position. Regardless, it's still worth checking out.

Second, I've posted the link to watch tons of tv shows on the internet before but I just recently realized that there are hundreds of movies on that site as well (the icon is on the top right of the page). I watched Oldboy the other day (it's gone now but it'll likely be back, the site seems to lose links sometimes and then has to replace them), it's a Korean film about a guy that is kidnapped and forced to live in a single room in solitary confinement for 15 years with just a television. He then escapes and seeks revenge. Excellent flick.

Third, that tv links site has recently added an episode of Man vs. Wild, also known as Your Favorite Blogger's Favorite Blogger's Favorite New Television Show (in Georgia, the former Soviet satellite). That show is badass. I'm not one to be skeptical about how "real" the danger is on shows like that. Even if there isn't a great deal of peril it still makes for great tv and entertainment's all about fantasy anyway right?

Forth, it occurred to me recently that the term movie comes from the term moving picture. I am uncertain as to whether I'm a retard for not knowing that or if that is a useful insight.

Fifth, I'll likely be back tomorrow. If not, definitely Tuesday.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


I recently moved. The move required a lengthy drive through rural Pennsylvania. After suffering through a broadcast of yet another Yankee loss, I decided to scan the AM dial to see what type of talk radio programming was available. Three stations registered, one was ESPN radio, one was some form of religious programming and one was a conservative talk show host by the name of Mike Gallagher. Gallagher is author of the book Surrounded by Idiots: Fighting Liberal Lunacy in America, as well as a contributor to Fox News Channel and according to his website, one of the most unfortunate looking men ever to talk on the radio.

I enjoy listening to conservative talk show hosts because their lunacy tends to be less predictable than their liberal counterparts. So I settled in and listened to Gallagher bash Bush's immigration bill for a while then move seamlessly into bashing John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein for suggesting the "fairness doctrine" be reinstated.

What happened over the next half an hour was one of the most ironic endorsements of the fairness doctrine I could possibly conceive.

Gallagher explained to his listeners that the reinstitution of the "fairness doctrine" would require radio stations to give equal time to liberal and conservative voices. So for instance, if Rush was on for three hours then he would have to be followed by a liberal for three hours. Gallagher ranted about how this was abhorrent to the concept of free speech and it was another way the liberals were trying to control the media. He then took calls from his listeners who were appalled by this concept and who thanked him for informing them about the FD and for being a voice of reason on the radio.

The only problem is that Gallagher is grossly mis/uninformed as to what the FD actually was. The fairness doctrine was an Federal Communications Commission policy that required all broadcasters to offer opposing views on their channels/stations. However there were never any stipulations as to the duration of time or when that time must be given. So Gallagher's 45 minute long, drive-time, tirade against the immigration bill could be met with two minutes of pr0-immigration speech at 5 in the morning on a Sunday and the station would be in compliance with the fairness doctrine.

Or for instance, Gallagher's 30 minute long rant opposing the FD could be met by 30 seconds of me explaining to him what the FD actually is and the station would be in compliance with FCC policy.

But I guess that's what happens when you're surrounded by idiots.