November 18, 2009
I love when others figure out, wow, Radiohead really sucks:
So we sit, wearing headphones and frozen grins, and continue denying that guilty, nagging feeling that actually, in some ways, when you think about it…Radiohead kinda blow.
Before 20,000 people. The song, “Cymbal Rush,” from his 2006 solo album The Eraser — titled in an apparent gearhead reference to some sonic effect or software patch (probably between “Amp Fuzz” and “Element Isolator”) — amplified the sense that this man was so far up his own formalist ass we might as well have not even been there.
My in-depth explanation for why I hate Radiohead is here.
November 17, 2009
Max Gross picks up my comments on Sarah Palin and translates her skipping of NYC on her book tour to being *afraid*. Oh yes, those scary NY liberals who can’t elect themselves a Democratic mayor with a 7-1 voter advantage, for, oh, the 5th election in a row, and have to get the president to send a message to the failing governor that he shouldn’t run again, which the governor then dismissed. Oh, and B T W, the current governor is only there because the one they actually elected, after several terms of Republican rule, the defender of all things good and noble, well, he got caught screwing hookers. WHILE IN FREAKING OFFICE. Ah yes, what a terrifying political coalition exists in NY. But hey, they sure can yell when they have to, I remember their protests against the Iraq war (that’s over, right? Because I don’t see any protests anymore. Must be over). Their yelling and $2 will get them on the subway. And, if they still follow the Giuliani rules on the trains, probably will get them kicked off the subway.
But anyway, enough about the laughable liberals of my home state, Max suggests that for Palin to win in 2012, she needs to broaden her appeal and come to NY. I mean, seriously. Yes, Reagan won NY, that’s true. But while Obama might be terrible, he’s not quite Walter Mondale in 1984 terrible. And the country might be in a bad place, what with our doofus leader bowing to Japanese royalty like an idiot and inventing numbers of jobs “created or saved”, but we’re not at gas lines and hostages in Iran, like 1980. NY knows how to save its ass and elect a Republican, but things need to get really bad first.
Max brings up her disastrous interview with Katie Couric to show she can’t hack being challenged. One thing that never gets mentioned about Palin’s interviews during the McCain campaign was that she was not supposed to be voicing her own opinions, but the opinions of John “I’m such a maverick, I take inconsistent stands on various issues, try to guess what I think about this one” McCain. I have no doubt, and it’s been very clear since the campaign, that when she doesn’t need to memorize and regurgitate the opinions of someone as random as John McCain, she does really well. I’ve written before: “She could probably tell you which Supreme Court decisions she agrees or disagrees with, but likely had no idea which ones McCain agreed or disagreed with, she just didn’t have the time to memorize all of his quirky opinions. She’s best when she’s being herself, she could not be herself as McCain’s running mate.”
But even having said all this, the truth is, despite my deep appreciation for Sarah Palin’s existence, and the fact that she remains my homegirl, I still think her political career ended when she stepped down as governor of Alaska. Could I be wrong? Sure, it happens sometimes (rarely). And if I’m wrong, and she comes on strong in 2012 or 2016, I still think she should skip NY. It’s a waste of money and resources to have her campaign in a state as blue as mine. Unless the world is coming to an end, of course.
Does the Anti-Defamation League even remember its own purpose anymore, beyond sending out press releases and getting in the news? Wasn’t it to stop the defamation of Jewish people? Or is Obama actually our first Jewish president now?
I’m quoted in local newspaper AMNY on Sarah Palin and why she’s not making many book tour stops in hostile territory. My larger point is that her book is already a best seller, what does she really have to gain by going where she is hated?
November 16, 2009
November 14, 2009
“‘We’re going to convict these alleged criminals.’ If you can guarantee it, why have a trial? If it’s alleged, how can you make a guarantee?“
November 13, 2009
Elaine Scarry, a Harvard English professor, said she supported Mr. Spitzer and would vote for him if he ran for office again. “I think there’s a difference between public corruption and private conduct,” she said.
No one tell Elaine that prostitution is illegal, I would imagine she’s easily made confused.
November 12, 2009
Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, currently in a recount battle where he’s about 500 votes behind, reflects on how he could have lost when he was so sure he was going to win. Ultimately, he says the voters have decided to vote their self-interest more than anything else. How novel.
I wasn’t near a computer all day yesterday so I didn’t get to say thank you to our veterans for all you have done for us. Thank you to all who serve. We’re not us without you.
Frequently teary Ken Wheaton sends along this super-cute link to dogs greeting their returning military owners. And if you’re not into dogs, the last video on the page are returning soldiers surprising their children at school. Still didn’t cry like Wheaton but there is something in my throat.
November 10, 2009
Apparently, Al Sharpton was planning to come to Iowa to campaign for Obama during the last election season. Obama said please don’t.
“As everyone here keeps saying: If a white Christian reader of this blog was in the military and began writing letters to White Supremacist groups and openly stating his first loyalty was to “his race” with his country and constitution placing a distant second and third, it seems rather likely that investigations, and dishonorable discharges, would ensue.
So why not this guy?
Because the Muslim lobby screams bloody murder and goes on lawsuit jihads whenever a correligionist gets so much as three seconds of Stink Eye from anyone.”
Read the whole thing
November 9, 2009
Part of what makes Mad Men so appealing is that we can watch bad behavior, whether it’s smoking and drinking while pregnant, sexual harassment of secretaries, rampant infidelity, or the segregation by race and religion, and sit back thinking “well, it was a different time then.” And it becomes fun to watch behavior that we would condemn (hopefully) if it were happening today, and in real life. The only person who doesn’t seem to get this benefit of the doubt is Mrs. Betty Draper.
If there was ever a woman of her time, Betty is it. She was, certainly, raised to be a wife. She was taught that the woman’s job is to support her man. She dreamed of living in the suburbs with her handsome husband and her quiet children. And yes, she did get all of this. But the condemnation because Betty dare want more, like a faithful husband or at least one that listens to her, is rather odd.
Through twitter and reading various blogs I know that Betty is hardly liked, mostly just tolerated, and often hated. She is considered dumb, weak, boring, and, in the last episode, somewhat evil. But why?
First of all, she’s no dummy. She is well-traveled, can speak Italian, can shoot a rifle, and knew Don was cheating on her well before Jimmy Barrett told her about Don and Bobbie. (And let’s not forget how she straight played Don in Season 1 when she learned her psychiatrist was reporting back to him). She has to play down her intellect so that she could be the adoring wife by her husband’s side. Taught not to show off, she seals away everything that makes her special and different and blushes when it is noticed. It is how she was taught.
Women tend to think her weak because she looked the other way on Don’s cheating but again, she was taught to do so! She was taught that is the woman’s role. Is it what we consider a woman’s role today? Of course not. But we also don’t consider Don’s behavior to be acceptable and yet no one gets a lot harsher than “lothario” or “womanizer” when describing Don.
But then, after learning she doesn’t even know her husband’s real name, Betty finally gathers all her courage and strength and decides to leave and is met with hostility from Mad Men fans. She’s not the purest, she had that random one-hour-stand with a guy in the bar and she has twice now kissed Henry Francis, but Don has slept with everything that moved for the past three seasons, yet somehow she’s the bad guy for walking away from their marriage.
As for the comments calling Betty evil, I find it hard to understand. Betty really loved Don. The episode that sticks out is the one where she says she waits for him all day. She says something along the lines of “I’m keeping busy, never letting my hands be idle. I brush my hair, drink my milk, make butterscotch pudding, put the kids to bed early, but this, this is all I can think about. I want it so badly.” And Don? Don’s like yeah, that’s great, basically rolls his eyes, turns away, and goes to sleep. Love fades, no one can keep that level of adoration if none is given in return.
Even a woman of her time must move toward the future.
Finally, let’s face it, a Don without a Betty is a loser. He’s a Roger Sterling chasing skirts and having everyone call him pathetic behind his back. Betty makes Don the man he is, she gives him his swagger. The defeated look on his face when she tells him she knows all of his secrets is proof that he needed her to love him and believe in him. Now that she doesn’t, he’s a deflated version of himself. What’s he going to do? Take up with the schoolteacher? Try to find Rachel? Go back to hippies and stewardesses and other men’s wives? Don has no respect for Roger and ultimately would have no respect for himself. Betty on his arm is the dream. And how can Don sell the dream unless he’s living it?
But some attitudes don’t change. Huckabee met in the spring with Pat Toomey, then the president of the Wall Street-backed Club for Growth, which had attacked him during the 2008 campaign for raising taxes in Arkansas.
“It wasn’t very productive,” he said of the meeting. “I realized then that these guys are just what I thought they were — they’re pay for play, and they do it anonymously on behalf of people who don’t want to be known as the funders of these hit operations. I find that repulsive.”
Here’s the thing, as anyone who has spent any time around the conservative movement, and specifically around campaigns, can tell you: the Club for Growth endorsement is very coveted. It is coveted because CFG is a trusted organization, you know they’re not going to support anyone without the small government/low taxes bonafides, even in primaries, even if that person will probably not win.
But the other well-known reason why the CFG endorsement is beneficial to a candidate is because with it comes CFG’s financial support. What Huck is saying here makes no sense. CFG only endorses candidates who pay it? And then, what, turns around and returns that money to the candidate? It makes zero sense, much like Huck himself. I get it, we all get it, he’s still bitter about Mitt and CFG not supporting a tax-hiking Arkansas governor who thinks the government should be responsible for things like getting illegal immigrants a college education (G-d told him so, remember). But to take such a ridiculous shot at CFG is, as they say in Britain, not on. If it’s Huck vs. CFG for the heart of the conservative movement, my money is on CFG.
November 8, 2009
“I never thought I’d hear myself say it,” one Democrat told me. “But Obama makes you feel that at least with Bush you knew where he was on something.”
More serious perhaps was Mr Obama’s strange disconnectedness over the Fort Hood massacre of 13 soldiers by an Army major and devout Muslim who opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, had praised suicide bombing and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire.
Maybe Mr Obama had been reading the American press, much of which somehow contrived to present the atrocity as a result of combat stress due to soldiers going on repeated war deployments (though Major Nadal Hasan had not been on any) and therefore, no doubt, Mr Bush’s fault.
When the television networks cut to the President, viewers listened to him spend more than two surreal minutes talking to a gathering of Native Americans about their “extraordinary” and “extremely productive” conference, pausing to give a cheery “shout out” to a man named Dr Joe Medicine Crow. Only then did he briefly and mechanically address what had happened in Texas.
On Friday, when most of the basic facts were available, Mr Obama tried again. It was scarcely any better. He began by offering “an update on the tragedy that took place” – as if it was an earthquake and not a terrorist attack from an enemy within – and ended with a promise for more “updates in the coming days and weeks”.
Completely missing was the eloquence that Mr Obama employs when talking about himself. Absent too was any sense that the President empathised with the families and comrades of those murdered.
The article makes the point that Obama is cold, and not able to convey emotion, but I don’t think that’s really the problem with him. It’s that he really doesn’t get it. It’s not that he can’t express things, it’s that he truly doesn’t understand the magnitude of something like a terrorist attack on a military base in the United States. He’s so conditioned to find the P.C., anti-American angle in events that he genuinely didn’t understand what a huge deal it was that a Jihadi soldier opened fire on our troops. Bush had the opposite problem; he never seemed able to convey all that was going on inside him. The look on his face when told about 9/11 was unforgettable though of course he went on to give a stilted comment about it that many found lacking. I would love to see similar footage of Obama finding out about the attack. I suspect his would be a blank look and serious nod, all the while thinking: “why do they hate us?”
November 6, 2009
Obama gives a shout-out, and a rambling thank you on another topic, before talking about the shooting at Fort Hood during yesterday’s press conference. It is so bizarre, there are no words for it. Who behaves this way? And don’t give me the comparison of Bush and My Pet Goat on 9/11. Bush was trying not to alarm children, and reacted to news as it was given to him. Obama had time to think about what he will say about the shooting of our soldiers and THIS IS WHAT HE CAME UP WITH. Sick.
November 5, 2009
Sky over Brighton Beach, Brooklyn on Monday (Comment by my brother as I snapped this shot “act like you’ve been here before”):
Central Park, Tuesday: