Saturday, February 28, 2004

Quoth Judy Blume

Haiti, our latest misadventure in hemispherical democracy extirpation:

The White House on Saturday suggested Jean-Bertrand Aristide should consider stepping down in a harsh statement that placed much of the blame on the Haitian president for the deadly crisis gripping his poverty-stricken Caribbean nation.

Given that, I’ll wait here patiently for all of the war bloggers out there who fulminated about us nasty liberals and how we all hate democracy and just don’t understand our Heroic President’s commitment to same—probably because we can’t get over our elitist disdain for his rib-eatin’, God-worshippin’, language-manglin’ ways—I’ll just wait here patiently for all of them to get back to me with photographic evidence of massive crow and hat ingestion.

“Then again, maybe I won’t.”

Filed under: politics

Friday, February 27, 2004

All wet


In answer to your questions: Yes, the cat is in the shower. No, I did not put him there. Yes, he does it every day. No, I don’t know why. Yes, he is a weird, weird cat. No, I can’t comment on scurrilous internet rumors about the licking of shower curtains. You were told that that question was out of bounds. This interview is over! Over!!

Filed under: cats

Monday, February 16, 2004


One cruelty of death, among many, is that it is inevitable and yet always surprising. Especially when it takes someone too violently and too soon. Even when it's someone you never expected to see again, it's a bitter and miserable thing.

We were never close, and had been in touch only a little since I left the playpen of evil for happier work. It would be generous to describe our lives as touching on the periphery. I only know a little bit what his friends, bandmates, and family have lost -- I don't know at all what they are feeling. How they figure out how to go on with lives that changed forever in an instant.

Maybe that's why I feel so selfish and so terribly sad all at once. Because what have I lost? The pleasant illusion that another's life is scooting along happily out of sight and mind, maybe. Or memories of a happy, decent, dorky kid that are now occluded by imagined collisions of steel and skin and pavement, pain and fear and ultimately -- erasure. (In the lunch room, he read the Sun Times and I read the Tribune. That's how I found out, this Sunday morning: one paragraph in the Metro section.)

Goodbye, Chris. I wish you could know how sorry I am. You had so much less of life than you deserved.

Update: Chris's friends and family have set up a nice page here, with plenty of photos and remembrances. If you can measure a man by his friends, I'm pretty sure Chris was 11 or 12 feet tall.

Filed under: life

Friday, February 13, 2004




xxx world exclusive xxx

Well-known internet celebrity Linus the cat has unseemly hygiene issues, the Tired Parody of Itself Report can reveal. “You can only tell from close up, but he is not the cleanest of cats,” a top source says. “He’s got dandruff, and he’s always covered with dust from crawling around in things. And I think he’s getting more white hair!”

Another top source claims that rumors of “fur eating” and “shower curtain licking,” while unconfirmed, are “almost certainly true.”


Filed under: cats

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Breaking the story

Bush AWoL blah, blah, blah. The national media has been hashing and rehashing the same set of allegations, accusations, and evasions for four years. They have developed or discovered absolutely nothing new in that time. Was it because there is nothing new to discover—or because they can’t be bothered to investigate or report on the facts when they don’t fit the script, or when there’s a juicy he-said-she-said to recount?

I think it’s clear beyond doubt that our mass media are in a period of appalling decadence. They have largely ceased to commit journalism: instead they photograph celebrities, rewrite press releases, and bloviate. They do not do the people’s business. And their hyperinflated egos prevent them from recognizing their failings themselves, or heeding their many critics—on the left and the right—who do recognize them.

Fortunately, we are no longer entirely at their mercy. Here is a damn fine piece of original reporting masquerading as a blog entry. Kevin Drum has found out more about Bush’s Guard service than all of the reporters of the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, UPI, Knight Ridder, and Reuters combined. Is it the end of the story? No. But it looks like a trail marker that will lead us there.

I was going to close by asking, rhetorically, why am I not reading this on the front page of the New York Times? But the more imporant point, I now see, is that I’m not reading it on the front page of the Times—but I am still reading it. The mass media monopoly, whether they know it or not, got a taste of the future today. I don’t think they’ll like it. But we will.

Filed under: culture/blogs

Friday, February 06, 2004

Quiz time!

Hey kids!

Win exciting prizes* by playing our game! Can you guess: who is more likely to reveal the truth about the WMD intelligence and the Bush's manipulation thereof?

  1. Chuck Robb, adulterous cokehead who owes his non-jail address to Bush I?
  2. Larry Silberman, the "judge" who let Ollie North go scott free?
  3. John McCain, who has already declared that it's all the CIA's fault?
  4. Linus.

My money is on the cat. But what do I know?

* There is no prize.

Filed under: cats

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Seven's heaven?

It was a good night for Democrats.

Best news: Lieberman is taking his toxic, go-nowhere, wannabe-Republican bullshit back to Connecticut, where I hope it will stay.

Second best news: Edwards stays alive. Now, I don’t care for him, personally. But he’s running a decent campaign with a positive message balanced by a cogent critique of Bush. He makes Democrats look good. And the longer the race is competitive, the longer the national media will pay attention, and the more people will see a bit of Edwards’ stump speech (or Kerry’s, or Clark’s, or Dean’s), the farther Bush’s poll numbers will fall, and the harder it will be for him to bring down his $200 million hammer. It will hurt if the race goes undecided all the way to the convention, but that aside, the later Kerry gets to 50.1% of delegates the better.

Third best: Clark and Dean are probably still alive, too. They both need to lay off the meaningless negativity—criticizing Kerry for raising money? Give me a break—and get back to full time the Bush bashing. That’s the best contribution they can make at this point. Clark, for example, should be all AWOL all the time. He should shove that story right down Peter Jennings’ throat, while Dean beats him with a copy of Bush’s ridiculous budget “plan.”

Over all, it’s just about exactly what I was hoping for.

Filed under: politics/2004