Tuesday, October 28, 2008

retro chic

For today's post, I am shamelessly stealing from my sister, who posted this photo of our family circa, what? 1970-something...

Mom and Dad were really young, Lori's hair was in a bizarre and mercifully temporary phase of Jimi Hendrix weirdness, and I am wearing... Well, the way my not-quite-3-yr-old niece put it was "nice pants, dude." The way I put it is that my outfit is simultaneously insanely out of date, yet could be found stitch-for-stitch on a Williamsburg hipster this weekend. And the way the gal in the next cubicle put it is "You look like Beck."


Monday, October 27, 2008

Genius? Or merely Brilliant?

Probably merely brilliant. Geniuses are really really Rare. Have we been down this road before?

And I'll want to write more about this man before long, but I'm very very short on time right now. However, I alluded to him last week, and I don't want to let another day go by before I devote a post to Mike Daisey.

He is a fascinating writer, performer, my new favorite blogger (do click on the link above, please) and one of the best monologists of our time, in my opinion. His new show If You See Something Say Something opens tonight at Joe's Pub, directed by his perennial partner Jean-Michele Gregory. I caught a preview a couple weekends ago, and I hope that this show gets the accolades it deserves. That would be nigh-unalloyed praise from the New York Times and Variety all rolled into one.

Ok, ok, I'm maybe getting a little overheated here. And I do have to run. But guys, for real: Go. See. This. Show.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Daily Show - Live!

Ok, I started writing this whole thing about Joe the Plumber and the fallout from all that; and the baseball playoffs and how the Red Sox had the big comeback that wasn't, but that it was still a good series and then it struck me - whoa, this is SO last week's post. Give it up!

SO - consider it given up. Moving on to this week.

On Monday (yes yes I know, that's still way behind. Leave me alone.) I went for the first time ever to see The Daily Show with Jon Stewart live and in person. It was very fun, though I have to say I'm not 100% convinced that it's worth the more than two hour wait between the time you show up and the time the show starts. I was with good friends and the weather was good, so it wasn't bad standing around on 11th Avenue, having some coffee and chatting it up with a guy I hadn't seen in a long time, but whoa - if it's cold or rainy, let somebody else have your seat.

That said - it was a very good show. He did a big segment on a notion that I was riffing on a couple of posts ago: the idea that people who aren't in love with the Bush administration are somehow not "Real" Americans, or that we may even be "Anti-America." Which is, to put it politely, bullsh*t.

*Asterisks are extremely polite

But there we had Senior McCain advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer going on about the "Real Virginians, if you will" who live away from the Sodom of Arlington and the Gomorrah of Alexandria, and we had the Candidate who Must Not be Named going on about the pockets of America "or as I like to call it, Real America" where people work hard and vote Republican. And Jon did a rather splendid job of skewering that notion - that those of us in Fake America don't work hard or have beliefs that we hold dear or love our country.

As he so aptly put it: Pfuck all y'all.

And then we got to see viddy of Jason Jones up in Wasilla, AK, where he got the opinion straight from the mouth of Dianne Keller, the current Mayor, that the job is "uniquivocally" good preparation for the office of Vice President of the United States. The good Mayor was then hard pressed to name a task that she is called on to do - AT ALL - beyond attending a staff meeting on Mondays, and writing some checks to pay the city's bills on Thursdays. And we found from a hard working local in a bar that 9/11 was a tremendous crisis to people in Wasilla, and that they had a great patriotic response to it, as opposed to the people who live in Fake America, who weren't as profoundly affected. Fake Americans like New Yorkers.

Take just a moment to wrap your minds around that one, would you please?

[Head. Explodes.]

And the featured guest was author/filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, who made the movie "Why We Fight," and was plugging his new book The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril. Among the many interesting-unto-brilliant things he said was a thrown off comment about how watching The Daily Show is one of the most important ways Americans can spend their time.

That would be Fake Americans, I guess.

I don't know about it being one of the most important ways of spending time (especially when we're talking about that 2 hour wait), but it's a pretty durn good show.

Stay tuned for an exciting and fun post coming up soon, about one of my new favorite monologist/writer/bloggers. And enjoy the Series, even without the Sox or the Cubs or the other Sox or the Dodgers...

Friday, October 10, 2008


Wouldn't you know, less than an hour after I posted that last semi-rant, along came a little remedy:

'A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles.' --Thomas Jefferson

This was sent to me by Cory, who was sent it by her friend Tepper.

Without wanting to go off on another kind of rant, let me say that this also touches on another little pet peeve of mine: the idea that Liberals, Radicals, any dissenters to the current State of Affairs are somehow not Patriotic.


I am actually very Patriotic, but the type of Patriotic revealed in that quotation: the Thomas Jefferson patience and reason and integrity kind, not the do-whatever-the-president-happens-to-say kind.

For instance, it gives me national pride (in a states rights kind of way) to know that the Connecticut Supreme Court just approved the legal right of gay couples to marry. Want to read the ruling? Here's the ruling.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oh Good Lord

I've only dipped into the reporting on the last presidential debate a little bit, and I must admit I've slacked off on my Election Attention in general the last few days (hey, it was my birthday - that takes some effort and planning!) But one thing that seems abundantly clear is that most people really have their minds made up already. And what people (candidates, supporters, campaign workers) say amongst themselves is pretty thoroughly different from what they say when they're in a debate or anything remotely official or bipartisan.

I mean - "palling around with terrorists"? Are you kidding me? Evidently not, because it's come up over and over. And when asked to defend her statements at her one and only sort-of press conference (an unannounced, unplanned-for visit to the press corps at the back of a plane for a few minutes), She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named said, and I quote:

“It is, though, about the economy about creating jobs and about resource development and energy independence here. It comes down to one ticket’s proposal that can be trusted, and another ticket’s proposal to deal with some of these issues and maybe questioning the truthfulness and the intention there. I think it’s very relevant there.”

Oof. That syntax. Whoops, that's one of those elite words, isn't it? Sorry about that. I meant "That way of putting words together that has nothing to do with sentences, complete ideas, or answering the f*cking question."

And I'm not even going to get into the Obama as Antichrist lobby.

But then at the debate, not only was there no suggestion at all that he might be a Winged Messenger of the Devil ready to bring on the End of Time, there wasn't even any mention of Obama's alleged Weather Underground side. Might it be that McCain didn't want to have the notion killed by being publicly humiliated with the truth of the matter? That being, that Obama served on a couple boards with a middle-aged guy who was once - 40 years ago - involved with a very popular movement opposing a very unpopular war, albeit in an extremist way. They worked together, barely, on matters of local Chicago policy, having to do with juvenile reform programs, and education initiatives. Radical things like that.

The answer to my hypothetical question would appear to be: Yes. Because if they'd dealt with these questions at the debate, then McCain (well, the RNC in this case) would have had a harder time selling jewels like this to the public.

But let's face it - the reverse is true too. Obama could have brought up the Ayers factor himself, and the deceit involved in the GOP's references to it, but he didn't. He won't come right out and call McCain old and out of touch during the debates either, though he doesn't hold back in his campaign appearances and some of his ads (and some of his supporters' blogs go right down the "dottering old fool" path.)

And while we're on it: since when is the assertion that the Weathermen were a 'terrorist organization' and nothing more, with no historical context discussed, something that we should just accept blindly?

Yeah, that whole blind acceptance thing rubs me the wrong way in general.