October 15, 2006 - October 8, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
The Friday Follies
What would Jason do?
It's Friday the Thirteenth. Maybe that's why Air America is finally
. It's a special kind of folly to spend millions of dollars
trying to prove that the dumbest, dimmest creature at the party is
amusing enough to listen to on the radio day after day after day after
day... It makes you wonder, what kind of punishment would Jason mete
out for such an offense? I mean, apart from the obvious instant justice
of a knife in the gizzard. Wouldn't he, maybe, arrange for the creature
to be elected to the U.S. Senate, from some dumb state like Minnesota,
just in time for endless nationally televised hearings about the
illegal financing of the nation's worst talk radio network? Sounds good
I'm getting into the Jason frame of mind. It feels good.
Simplicity. No nuances. For example, ordinarily I'd be reluctantly
rooting for the National League to win the World Series and pay down
their huge ongoing humiliation by the Junior Circuit. But guess what?
This year, I'm a Detroit fan. Screw New York. The Yankees AND the Mets.
They're the rich bitch skinny-dipping in the lake with the slut
quarterback. Whatever happens to them is okay with me. Virtue is
obviously on the side of the team that so spontaneously celebrated
their playoff victory
with their own fans, as if they actually
cared about all those working class stiffs who don't make a million
bucks for looking at a month of called third strikes. More power to
them. Maybe next year I'll regain my sense of historical context about
the designated hitter rule that has magnetized all the great lazy
pitchers into the American League and destroyed the national pastime,
but this year I'm a Motown guy in a hockey mask. Go, Tigers!
And while we're on the subject of simple justice, I'll concede I can't
wait for the Democrats to win the November election and control both
houses of Congress. Think about it. Senate Majority leader Harry
"Snopes" Reid. Speaker of the House Nancy "Nip/Tuck" Pelosi. They'll
have two years to torture the American public with attempts to impeach
GWB and eviscerate the GWOT, while doing absolutely nothing about Iran,
North Korea, and France. They'll be lucky not to lose every single seat
in the House and Senate in 2008. This is the real Karl Rove plot. It
takes a Jason to understand his kind of genius.
What else? Yeah. Snow
Earliest on record in Detroit, New York and Chicago? I'm dying of
suspense waiting to hear how the Global Warming mafia is going to
prove that this is yet another symptom of how George Bush is
heating up the climate. Right after that press
conference, I'm going to get out my long knife and...
Well, you get the picture. Have a nice weekend.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Go ahead. Punish yourself. I'm sure
you deserve it.
WorldNet Daily is up in arms about YouTube
apparent attempt to censor David Zucker's lampoon of Dem
The short film by Zucker, who worked
with "Scary Movie 4," "Airplane!" and other comedies, reportedly had
been offered to the Republican Party for use as an ad, but it was
declined. Then it appeared on the Drudge Report and also on YouTube.
However, after a brief period of accessibility, the verification page
started appearing on YouTube. It asked that: "This video may contain
content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's
user community. To view this video, please verify you are 18 or older
by logging in or signing up." Today the verification page on the spoof
Some other YouTube videos on stripping or other explicit activities
have similar advisories; some don't. But the campaign video doesn't
contain any of those typically objectionable items.
It contains depictions and references to Albright and North Korea's Kim
Jong-Il, with Albright presenting the dictator with a basketball and
later singing Kum Ba Yah. At the same time, terrorists are sneaking
past in the background or foreground....
"The closest thing to an explicit image in the ad is a scene in which
'Albright' bends over and her skirt tears a bit in the seat, hardly the
stuff that sets FCC commissioners' hearts aflutter," said a comment
from Matthew Sheffield on the weblog Newbusters.org.
The commentator noted YouTube has "dismembered conservative and
politically incorrect speech" in the past, pulling videos critical of
Islam and even banning popular conservative blogger Michelle Malkin,
who is also a WND columnist.
Sexually suggestive videos were found on the site unblocked, as were
entire episodes of television shows. So was a clip from a movie
depicting the assassination of President Bush, "Death of a President."
I expect conservative bloggers will immediately start suggesting that
we boycott YouTube in favor of sites like BlipTV, just like they've
been campaigning for us to boycott Google
in favor of Ask.com.
I'm starting to have a problem with this boycotting schtick. I've been
known to withhold my patronage for the sake of a grudge. Because of the
Exxon Valdez, I don't buy Exxon gas unless I'm in danger of getting
stranded. I don't buy Ben and Jerry's ice cream because I think they're
hippie, lefty jerks. I don't attend or watch Jane Fonda movies. I don't
buy French wine anymore unless there's an occasion that absolutely
demands Moet Chandon. However, I don't pretend to myself that Exxon,
Ben, Jerry, Jane, and France give a rat's ass about what I do.
When the right-wing blogosphere got so het up about Google's deal with
the Chinese government, I looked into Ask.com as an alternative. But
there was a problem. Ask.com sucks. They don't turn up nearly as much
relevant stuff with their search engine. I also looked at BlipTV
because Michelle Malkin was having trouble with YouTube. BlipTV sucks
too. So I'm not going to boycott either Google or YouTube.
You see, there's a question of marginal utility involved. If some
behavior that I intend to be punishing to someone else actually
punishes me more than it does them, I don't do it. It's called cutting
off your nose to spite your face, or, more simply, girlcotting. (Those
of you who have teenage daughters will understand the reference without
falling into a fine sexist fury.) I also
think it can be directly counterproductive in absolute terms. I never
bought into the "Buy American" reflex that kept so many well intended
folks in Ford and GM cars when they really did hunger for a BMW or a
Honda. That misguided loyalty is a big part of why Ford and GM are in
such desperate straits today. Deep down, they just never got it that
they had to compete. Can a million angry conservatives keep Ask.com
afloat? Maybe. But they'll still die eventually if they don't rise
above the mediocrity that characterizes their product today.
And what about all those angry conservatives? I have a vision of them
ostentatiously ignoring Google, YouTube, and God knows what other new
media sources while they slowly perish of information starvation,
always finding less than their lefty opponents and showing up too late
with their handicapped arguments. It's a kind of voluntary solitary
confinement and far too much like a poor relation of political
correctness to suit me.
I'm going to keep on using the products and services I find helpful.
It's certainly not news to me that a lot of the new media barons are
leftist idiots when it comes to politics. I can take that into account.
I don't generally go to YouTube looking for pro-Republican videos . But
if I want to see a video of Django Reinhardt playing jazz in Paris way
back when, I sure as hell won't be thinking of BlipTV.
I also have no problem at all with maintaining my purely symbolic
boycotts of products I don't like or find helpful in any way.
Boycotting the New York Times is a particular pleasure. Ditto with
Detroit's giant gas-guzzling SUVs, lilke the Cadillac Escargot and the
Lincoln Nasticator. I haven't decided about the Hummer yet. I mean, I
know it's a fuel hog and all, but if I get the assault rifle I asked
Santa for this Christmas, it would look super cool mounted on the dash
of one of those leviathan Hummer truck things.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Our new Secretary-General Elect
It's (almost) official
NEW YORK -- The U.N. Security Council
unanimously selected South Korean diplomat Ban Ki-moon to be the
organization's eighth secretary-general yesterday, acting just hours
after North Korea declared it had tested a nuclear weapon.
The 192 member-nations of the U.N. General Assembly are expected to
affirm the choice later this week or early next week, giving the
low-key South Korean foreign minister more than two months to prepare
before beginning his five-year term.
I know we all got a little numb during the final blitz of campaign ads,
whistle-stop tours, and the nightly hype of the MSM about the dread
possibility of a "September Surprise," but in the end the system
worked, as it usually does in a democratic enterprise. Perhaps the
overlong (I mean,
who can even remember all the way back to those endless primary debates
in February and March?); yet there's no getting around the fact that
voters wouldn't have had the ability to choose meaningfully among the
competing U.N. reform agendas put forward by the candidates if we
hadn't seen them under fire from one another and in the blizzard of
(arguably too) negative TV ads that saturated worldwide television in
August and September. Back in midsummer -- be honest
here, please -- could you
really have explained the differences between Ban Ki-moon's 5-point
"Reform Roadmp," Ahmud Ti Ranh's 10-point "Reformist Jihad," Bill
Clinton's 28-point "New Deal for the U.N.," George Galloway's
4-point "Fatwah against Israeli Control of the U.N.," and Kofi Annan,
Jr.'s 7-point "Five-Year Plan for Creating a Path to the Selection of a
Committee to Carefully Consider the Framework of a Reform Process"? I
know I couldn't.
And as unpopular as it may be this morning, I'll even speak up in
defense of the extremely negative tone of much of the campaign, from
the media echo chamber of scurrilous allegations about Ban
Ki-moon's supposed ties to the Reverend Sung Moon's religious
cult to the unbelievably personal TV attacks on Kofi Jr. based on
nothing more than his blood relationship to the outgoing Secretary
General. Like everyone else, I winced at the ugly thread of
anti-Arabism that finally sank Ahmud Ti Ranh's hopes, but in the final
analysis voters do
feel confident that whoever is running the U.N. is putting the welfare
of the entire world above narrow allegiances to individual regions,
religions, and non-state entities. If Ahmud's integrity is as spotless
as he kept claiming it was, then he should be able to use the name
recognition he received this time around to mount a more successful
campaign in 2010.
Finally, I will admit that I too am relieved that the whole circus is
over at last. The ubiquitous clamor of a campaign like this one is
always fatiguing. In its wake, one can't help feeling drained and
exhausted. Still, with so very much at stake for everyone, the
exhaustion is the good kind, imbued with the knowledge that all the
energy consumed was the worthwhile sort that ends in real
Congratulations, Secretary General Ki-moon. We pledge our support for
the promises you made and look forward to the "100 Days of Reform" that
will kick off your period of "honeymoon" with the Security Council and
the General Assembly. With the popular mandate you've received, you
should be able to make some serious progress at last, not only on U.N.
reform, but also on the other issues you pushed so tirelessly during
the campaign: ending the genocide in Darfur, de-nuclearizing Korea and
Iran, restraining the violence and chaos of international jihadism, and
ensuring that Hamas and Hizbollah either recognize Israel or disband.
Remember, they know
Good luck on all that. To you. And to us.