Tuesday, September 27, 2005

You're Next, Galileo

Last year the Dover, Pennsylvania school district board ordered that students be taught about intelligent design. There is currently a trial underway to rule on that decision. If there was any doubt remaining that intelligent design is a pseudo-scientific front scheme for Christian wackjobs, check out this quote from a school board member in Dover:

"Nearly 2,000 years ago someone died on a cross for us," said board member William Buckingham, who urged his colleagues to include intelligent design in ninth-grade science classes. "Shouldn't we have the courage to stand up for him?"

There ya go - if you dare teach real science in the classroom, you'll make Baby Jesus cry.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"Sorry About That, Chief"

RIP, Don Adams, who not only was Maxwell Smart in "Get Smart," but was the voice of childhood fave Tennessee Tuxedo. (My viewing of Tennessee's show in the afternoon was too many times pre-empted by Watergate hearings - thank YOU, Tricky Dick!)

It's been years since I have seen an episode of "Get Smart," plus I've only seen about fifteen minutes of one Austin Powers movie. Needless to say - in the secret-agent-parody genre, "Get Smart" was about (insert number between twenty and forty) times funnier.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Using Such Comparisions Rocks Him Like a Hurricane

Strib sports columnist Jim Souhan is a big fan of using Hurricane Katrina analogies:

Wrting about the Vikings coach:

Tice is displaying the leadership skills that made New Orleans the tourist attraction it is today.

Writing about the Gophers offense:

When your running game covers more ground than the average Category 4 hurricane, the quarterback is asked to not mess up.

Witty stuff, Jimmy. Here's a reference in case you need to spark the muse.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Hello Hooray

Hot on the heels of my finding out about "The White Shadow" DVD, Migwire lets us know that Alice Cooper's Good to See You Again is also coming out on DVD ... the SAME DAY as "Shadow"! This movie occasionally would pop up as "long wait" and rarely as "short wait" in my Netflix queue, only to drop back down to the Saved section as "unknown." Must have been some quasi-official limited release. Hopefully this new release will correct that.

I love the original Alice Cooper band. (And have no doubt, they were a BAND with the former Vincent Furnier as the frontman.) ("She asked me why the singer's name was Alice / I said 'Listen, baby, you really wouldn't understand.'") Their Greatest Hits album is easily one of my all-time faves.

I'll be playing some Alice Cooper on my next podcast, which I hope to record this weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Couldn't Think of Witty Dylan Lyric To Insert Here

I've been looking forward to seeing "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home" for quite a while and was planning on watching it on PBS next week. But then I remembered that the only time I have ever seen any cool rock 'n' roll show (Austin City Limits aside) on PBS is during a pledge drive. During all other times of the year, that network is rock-free - only breaking out the riffage when they want to hit us up for some money.

So I put the Dylan documentary at the top of my Netflix queue - it's already available for rental. Even if PBS is playing this one straight, I'll have the pause and rewind options available.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Babs Bush Drunk Gene Lives On!

I'm guessing that Dubya and his kin get their drunk genes from his mom, the fugly former first lady. Pappy Bush ran the CIA and I don't think you can do that job while drunk, if only because you should be sober when negotiating with the Mafia to do your dirty work.

The Babs Bush Drunk Gene Roll Call:

Son and Momma's Boy, George W.

Granddaughter, Noelle Bush (Jeb's daughter)

Grandson, John Ellis Bush (Jeb's son) (Look - he's biting his tongue trying not to say: "Don't you know who I am??")

Granddaughter, Jenna Bush (Dubya's daughter)

Granddaughters, Jenna and Barbara Bush (Dubya's daughters)

And when while at the Astrodome visiting Katrina evacuees, Babs may have been drunk when she said: "Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."

But I suspect that she is just plain mean.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


"The White Shadow" is coming out on DVD. Awesome. Amazon.com is saying the release date is November 8th, but Netflix is saying that it is October 18th. Let's hope for October.

What's the starting lineup those first two seasons, before Jackson was tragically killed in that liquor store holdup? (Sadly ironic: Jackson had beat his drinking problem early in season one.)

My guess:

C - Coolidge
G - Thorpe
G - Hayward
F - Jackson
F - Reese

Or was Jackson a guard and Hayward a forward? I don't remember well enough, nor do I know basketball well enough. I just know that "Cool" was the center and that Thorpe ran the offense.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

"This Is Show Business, Baby. No Business, No Show."

I finally watched The Harder They Come last night. I didn't think it was possible, but now the soundtrack sounds even better. As Greil Marcus once wrote: "The Rolling Stones would have killed to make this album."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"Def Leppard is not a song."

Here's a brief audio clip from a Ryan Adams show in the 7th Street Entry in October of 2000. This was a great show - unlike his show the next year, which sucked.

The second guy who yells "Two Minutes to Midnight!" was me. I actually wasn't copying the first guy to yelled it. Adams had earlier been talking about the new Iron Maiden album and I had wanted to yell it for a while. He responded. I remember him pointing in my direction and cracking up after I yelled it.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I Love Keith Olbermann (Part II)

Keith Olbermann's editorial on "Countdown" this evening:

The "City" of Louisiana

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it all, starting his news briefing Saturday afternoon: "Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater..."

Well there's your problem right there.

If ever a slip-of-the-tongue defined a government's response to a crisis, this was it.

The seeming definition of our time and our leaders had been their insistence on slashing federal budgets for projects that might’ve saved New Orleans. The seeming characterization of our government that it was on vacation when the city was lost, and could barely tear itself away from commemorating V.J. Day and watching Monty Python's Flying Circus, to at least pretend to get back to work. The seeming identification of these hapless bureaucrats: their pathetic use of the future tense in terms of relief they could’ve brought last Monday and Tuesday — like the President, whose statements have looked like they’re being transmitted to us by some kind of four-day tape-delay.

But no. The incompetence and the ludicrous prioritization will forever be symbolized by one gaffe by of the head of what is ironically called “The Department of Homeland Security”: “Louisiana is a city…”

Politician after politician — Republican and Democrat alike — has paraded before us, unwilling or unable to shut off the "I-Me" switch in their heads, condescendingly telling us about how moved they were or how devastated they were — congenitally incapable of telling the difference between the destruction of a city and the opening of a supermarket.

And as that sorry recital of self-absorption dragged on, I have resisted editorial comment. The focus needed to be on the efforts to save the stranded — even the internet's meager powers were correctly devoted to telling the stories of the twin disasters, natural... and government-made.

But now, at least, it is has stopped getting exponentially worse in Mississippi and Alabama and New Orleans and Louisiana (the state, not the city). And, having given our leaders what we know now is the week or so they need to get their act together, that period of editorial silence I mentioned, should come to an end.

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the "chatter" from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn't quite discern... a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Mr. Bush has now twice insisted that, "we are not satisfied," with the response to the manifold tragedies along the Gulf Coast. I wonder which "we" he thinks he's speaking for on this point. Perhaps it's the administration, although we still don't know where some of them are. Anybody seen the Vice President lately? The man whose message this time last year was, 'I'll Protect You, The Other Guy Will Let You Die'?

I don't know which 'we' Mr. Bush meant.

For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been — as we were taught in Social Studies it should always be — whether or not I voted for this President — he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are wondering how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government — our government — "New Orleans."

For him, it is a shame — in all senses of the word. A few changes of pronouns in there, and he might not have looked so much like a 21st Century Marie Antoinette. All that was needed was just a quick "I'm not satisfied with my government's response." Instead of hiding behind phrases like "no one could have foreseen," had he only remembered Winston Churchill's quote from the 1930's. "The responsibility," of government, Churchill told the British Parliament "for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate. It is in fact, the prime object for which governments come into existence."

In forgetting that, the current administration did not merely damage itself — it damaged our confidence in our ability to rely on whoever is in the White House.

As we emphasized to you here all last week, the realities of the region are such that New Orleans is going to be largely uninhabitable for a lot longer than anybody is yet willing to recognize. Lord knows when the last body will be found, or the last artifact of the levee break, dug up. Could be next March. Could be 2100. By then, in the muck and toxic mire of New Orleans, they may even find our government's credibility.

Somewhere, in the City of Louisiana.