Archive for November, 2008

Graffitisville

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Spattered on various white spots on Mississippi Street there is this graffiti:

“Hipsterville Straight Ahead”.

Okay.  I see what that is getting out.  But the next graffiti reads:

“7/11 for Hipster Sluts.  —>”

Hey now.  But what is it referring to?

On the other end the arrow for this location points “<—-“, so the range is narrowed.  I suppose it might be this place?  This would pose an item of irony for everyone involved.  The proper response, though, is the word of the year, “meh”.

Prez’s Cabinet

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

I’m trying to remember.  Was Neil Young portrayed at the end of Ed Brubaker and Eric Shanower’s 1994 “Prez” (reviewed here, and with a quotation of regret here)– sitting alongside the ham-handed likeness of Kurt Cobain and a supporting band made up of … well, the comic book was kind of embarrassing.

I would like to call Brubaker and Shanower’s recreation of Prez ridiculous, but that would ignore that the original creation was rather ridiculous.  The first image on this page shows the teenage president’s Cabinet.  When I get a chance, I’ll save and post the second image, which shows the corrupt Political Boss, Boss Smiley.  I don’t know if Boss Smiley counts as a “bad guy”, but other “bad guys” battled by Prez — he’s more hawkish than you think.

In that sense, this was a more faithful to the spirit of the original than I’d suppose.  Brubaker has done better work.  The answer to the question “What?” would be roughly everything before this and roughly everything after — I’m particularly fond of the third issue of Lowlife, the DHP serialization “Here and Now”, and the Wildstorm comic “Point Blank”.  A caveat against the rule that everything else was better might be that weird and pointless tiny 8 page mini-comic “Bad Eggs”, a comic about the “Little Lowlifes” going out on a night of egging — which seemed to exist to run through a batch of green ink.

Actually, come to think of it, that weirdly haloed world of rock musicians might fit Prez into the same genre category as Sonic Disruptors … (hm.)  And Neil Young figures into Prez, if he did, because — as classic rock radio always said through the 1990s — he is the grand-father of Grunge  — (er… I … guess?  Because, as noted elsewhere, he looks a wee bit rugged… and is of the “crunchy” aesthetic as opposed to smooth).  The politics of the thing has something to do with the music as a force of uncorrupted good against a sea-shore of a corrupt political machine.

Hm.  I wonder how Liberality Now is doing in our new Obama led political epoch.

Barack Obama is not comedy gold

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

This is something which has been percolating around in the psyche in the post-Bush era: there is no obvious point of departure to parody Obama.  How bad is it?  Check out how this panel discussion is reported.

Will political comedy be easier or more difficult under President Obama? That was a key question discussed by a panel of experts here Wednesday night.

“The Daily Show” co-creator and political humorist Lizz Winstead, who hosted the debate, shrugged off the suggestion that the president-elect was too tough a target for real punchlines. She said likely jokes about Obama in the White House would revolve around how he handles power.

Roseanne Barr argued that the level of comedic sophistication will rise compared with the Bush era. “Obama is going to raise the level of intelligence (of jokes),” she said.

Cartoonist Ted Rall even predicted the age of Obama would be similar to the presidency of John F. Kennedy. “JFK was a good time for comedy,” he said. “Obama is so stuffed and uptight. Maybe he is asking for it.”

Conservative commentator Monica Crowley, however, said she has generally heard from comedians that they find little fun in Obama. She can’t wait to see how things will work out once Obama moves into the White House, she added.

Baratunde Thurston from “The Onion” and conservatve blogger and pundit Robert A. George also participated in the post-election debate that was part of the New York Comedy Festival.

The panel, under the title “We Have a Winner,” took place at the 92nd Street Y on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Good so far.  Even if I’d leave out Ted Rall if I had the chance.  But then things got ugly.

For a long time, the panel’s discussion revolved around the question of how the U.S. media covers the news and whether they provide a representative picture of the world around us. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also took up much time. Repeatedly, groups of audience members got up and left.

I note that this is a cut off where a lot of newspapers ended the story.  Which is a really strange conclusion, disconnected to anything.  Disconnected to this:

In an emotional moment during the Q&A session, one woman in the audience picked up on that and said that she enjoyed the comments, but she had expected more punchlines and fun. “This was marketed as part of the comedy festival,” she said and earned applause from much of the remaining crowd.

“I’m not disappointed!” yelled a man in the audience, and he also got some applause.

They needed to break out their Obama impersonations.

Today in Bridge; Today in the Glorious Republic; Today in Paulville; Today in Ziggy

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Bobby Wolff has crafted another masterpiece!

They play a strong club, but despite the limited nature of the North hand, Cohen (South) could easily envisage a slam making. Improve North’s diamonds a little and six diamonds might play well. Hence, the quantitative four-no-trump call, which got his side uncomfortably high, as the cards lay.

West, Norberto Bocchi, led a heart to East’s king and South’s ace. Cohen returned a heart, hoping that the defense would not find a club shift, and Bocchi duly won and led a third heart, leaving Cohen unsure who had the 13th heart. He won dummy’s heart 10, cashed his diamond K-Q, and was severely disappointed when Bocchi pitched a spade. At this point, though, Cohen could infer that Bocchi had five spades. He led the spade nine (hoping for a cover from West) to North’s king and was delighted to see East’s 10 fall. Then he passed dummy’s diamond eight to Michael Polowan (East) as Bocchi pitched a club. Cohen won the club return, crossed to the spade ace, and took the diamond ace.

In the three-card ending, West was squeezed in three suits. He had to keep his heart and two spades, so let his club king go. Cohen now threw West in with the 13th heart to engineer a spade lead from the J-7 into the Q-8.

Another demonstration of why Bobby Wolff is the King of the genre of Beat oriented Bridge poetry.
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Some news updates from The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea:

General Secretary Kim Jong Il’s works were briskly studied and disseminated in at least 40 countries and regions and international organizations this year.

His works including “On the Fundamentals of Revolutionary Party Building”, “The Juche Philosophy Is an Original Revolutionary Philosophy” and “Songun Revolutionary Line Is a Great Revolutionary Line of Our Era and an Ever-Victorious Banner for Our Revolution” were published and issued in pamphlet by political parties, organizations and organs including the Communist Party of the Soviet Union(*), the Mongolian Mt. Paektu Association for Independent Development, the Natun Katha of Bangladesh, the Brazilian Photograph Publishing House and the Canta Clara Publishing House of Venezuela.

Foreign papers including a Lao paper, a Mexican paper and a Bulgarian paper carried his works with his photos.

His works were edited in bulletins and posted on Internet homepages by organizations and regional and international organizations including the Switzerland-Korea Committee, the Peruvian Group for the Study of Kimilsungism, the U.S. Solidarity Committee to Support the Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front and the South Korean People’s Struggle, the Asian Regional Institute of the Juche Idea, the International Alliance of Societies for the Study of the Juche Idea and Songun Policy in East European and Central Asian Regions and the Korean Friendship Association headquartered in Spain.

Seminars, lectures, reading sessions, briefings and others on his works took place at a total of more than 60 units in different countries including the Party for Unity and Progress of Guinea, the U.S. Group for the Study of Songun Politics and the Finnish National Committee for the Study of the Juche Idea.

That’s why Kim Jung Il is an Internationally Respected World Leader of Culture and Statecraft.  (*) Is it me, or does that organization no longer exist?
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There has been no news from the Paulville Movement since March 28.  What is wrong with the hardcore Ron Paul fans?
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A description of the enduring appeal of Ziggy.:

Poor Ziggy. He’s perpetually one step behind, one nickel short, one lane away from the fast lane. But we love him for it, because everyone feels like Ziggy now and then.

As for today’s edition of Ziggy, we can all relate to wondering who is drawing mustaches on Garfield — our cat, or our dog.

the two election overtimes and a foreboding of a possible Matthews senate run

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Have you heard?  Chris Matthews is planning a run for the Democratic Senate seat in Pennsylvania.

I don’t know my Pennsylvania Democratic constituency, so I have no clue how that would play out.  But … he’s kind of everything that is wrong with the world of punditry — a dashless display of and horse racing untethered to any outcome.  Also with a politics which shifts way too readily — as with his wistful proclamations on Election Day 2002 and 2004 on the “Real American values” carrying the day with perhaps dumb but ultimately morally sound Country Music sentiment — compared with Election Day 2006 and 2008 about the “Blue Values” imbedded in Greater America … civil liberties, and “not a center right nation”.

Or, more to the point, positions on Bush — up on him when Bush was up; down on him when he’s been down.  Also: well — this clip is cut a little too closely cropped, and would be a bit better in context if it included the serious minded analysis which preceeded it.  I’m gathering that Matthews would have to hope for a three way primary contest, to scoop up the flagrantly sexist male demographic.

Right now Al Franken (.”…[momentary and tangeantal comic relief moved to more relevant post.]) is dwelling with a protracted ballot recount.  Al Franken has a great deal more to recommend him for both a Senate seat, and for a Democratic nomination.  Oddly enough, the fact that his radio program was somewhat studiously labored into policy is a key difference which recommends Franken over Matthews.  It always seemed to me that Franken was intent on using his program to get firmer grounding in matters of policy to be a more serious Senate candidate, and presumably Senator.

But there is an apt comparison here.  Do you want Al Franken as a Senator?  Not really, but I’d want him over Chris Matthews.  Interesting to note, had the Minnesota DFL party nominated some conventional Democratic politician — Mike Cirsea — they Democrats would probably have that senate seat right now.  As it were, we have a pretty tedious slog — one which reading the comments in the NY Times post here makes me shake my head.  I hate the sort of stratified sloganeering.  And the only reason I’d just turn this over to a “Just flip a coin” is to circumvent the Impatience Mongerers get to me and their demand would end it here with Coleman ahead where the coin flip gives it a 50 – 50 shot and probably about what a mythical angelic vantage point of Election Day “Intent of the Voter” canvassing brings us as Franken mulls yesterday’s set-back.  A similar problem existed when a North Carolinan I know (or “Internet know”) expressed disappointment that the state had not been called yet — the hurry, particularly in calling North Carloina which bears not at all on outcomes, is what?

But the sheer mind numbing cynical politics of a recount, and what it brings two candidates to argue in terms of Challenged Ballots — is a game which ends up having to be played for the same reason you have to slice up re-districting to suit your party:  the other side is doing it.

Al Franken in the Senate.  Chris Matthews in the Senate.  Perhaps the Republicans can get in the act and send in Charles Krauthammer, Ann Coulter, and David Brooks… have them carpet-bag the proper states of electibility.

Meanwhile, the Georgia campaign goes.  Jim Martin trails by three points to Saxby Chambliss.  Which is interesting, because that was what he trailed by since the Day of the Great Hank Paulson Panic, and that’s what he was beaten by in the Election.  As a sidenote, in 2002 when Mary Landrieu was losing on the day of the Election run-off in Louisiana, Bill Clinton came in and did a giant robo-call which spurred the margin of victory in Landrieu’s favor by bringing out the black vote.  Unfortunately the Democrats don’t have a high profile politician in 2008 popular amongst black Americans, so…

The Republicans have Zell Miller.  He’s campaigned for Chambliss.  That’ll get their vote out, right?  Zell?  Hm… Challenged Matthews to a dual… maybe Matthews wouldn’t be too bad after all.

Seen Enough?

Friday, November 28th, 2008

After watching the Obama Administration in action, I think it’s time to come forth and say what everybody’s thinking.  The nation is suffering from a bad case of Buyer’s Remorse, he’s shifted behind bad catch-phrases of “Change” and “Hope”, and everything in the hand-basket is still on the route to Hell.

The Barack Obama Administration has proven to be a complete and abject failure.  The economy has not significantly improved, the Terror Strikes in Mumbai have underscored that Obama has not significantly dealt with the threat of terrorism, and not only that but I don’t see Barack Obama wearing a flag pin.

That last point underscore just how correct his fiercest critics have been: his associations with radical elements such as Jeremiah Wright and Father whatshisface and Bill Ayres and on and on and his growing up in a Madrassa and all these deep suspicions everyone has suspected, have pretty much been confirmed.  He put on a flag pin to hide all of this.

I guess we just lick our chops and sit through the rest of Obama’s disasterous tenure.  Impeach him, and bring in a wise grown up replacement.  Somebody like Jeb Bush.  Jeb Bush will get out us of this disasterous experiment and put the nation back into steady hands.

The situation in Iceland

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I have been meaning to read up on the currency crisis and complete freeze of Iceland, which I suppose in a paranoid reading of events — and what with a looming $1 Trillion deficit as a necessary evil — a harbinger of things to come.  The oh so subtle alarmist Matt Drudge decided to pair that article with this red- bullet headline — which elicits the big “meh” for me.  The one item on the Icelandic situation I have tucked away is a little too broad for its own good — starting with an exploration of the golden age of Iceland in the age of the Vikings — which, strictly speaking, isn’t particularly useful in understanding immediate concerns.

I half want to be a teenage pageant contestant — Miss Teen South Carolina — and be handed a question about how to deal with the Icelandic currency freeze.  I want to give an answer, “My solution to the problem is to freeze Iceland and thaw Greenland — that way Iceland will be icy and Greenland will be green, which will settle confusion amongst prospective tourists and boost the Tourist Industry for both nations.”  Well, global warming has gotten us half way there for Greenland.

New Canadian LYM Recruitment Techniques unveiled

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

I am mildly uncomfortably leaving my last post before the Thanksgiving Day weekend on this blog in the category of esoterica into the “Lyndon Larouche Challenge”, but those Larouchies have left me no choice.  Tell me if this isn’t just a little … disarming…

So, I see that there’s this blogspot.  “Larouche Club”.  It appears to be an attempted building block for a Canada “movement”.  Take it for what it is.  But run down the list in the archives.  A warning for anyone who pops in to talk to a card table shriner in Ottawa:
Prospective members will be listed soon. Those who turn it down will also be listed– with the reasons for the turndown.

How will this list read?  “Name:  John Doe, 879 6th Avenue.  Reason stated:  “You’re f’ing Nuts.  Real reason:  Psychological breaking at Tavistock Institute inflicted by the Cheney — Brzezinski Cabal.  Also addicted to his Mother’s Milk.”

I guess is an interesting means of recruitment, though it strikes me as either approaching a vague status of quasi-criminality in and of itself or an item of circumstantial evidence to toss into a profile for the Jeremiah Duggan Inquest.  (Incidentally, I had forgotten about Alan Osler’s blog post on the topic until I looked over some things yesterday, so incidentally the last two Alan Osler comments found here have some hilarious lines“Even though he prints pictures of the Queen of England to make his point.”  Hilarious.)  The Ottawa comments also serve as an answer to the question posed here for the Burlington club:
Where can we find new members? What should be member be?
And I’m not entirely sure what this means, but sure… advertise away.  Another interesting spot for potential recruits, a favorite spot of the leader of the “Larouchian Cryonics Movement” and this random commenter, “Real Jew News“… maybe they read it in Canada?

And now I invite anyone and everyone to take the “Leatherstocking Challenge” (as from the wikipedia discussions here ) — Leatherstocking being an… um… impartial observer… interested in maintaining balance… not a Larouche advocate, you understand… right?:

Here is how I would handle the problem of keeping fringe viewpoints out of the intro to this article (the word “fascist” in the introduction): take a sampling of how “newspapers of record” like the New York Times have described LaRouche over the past decade or so, and use that as a guide for how the intro should be written. (By the way, there was a big push by the anti-LaRouche team to say that LaRouche was not an economist, and I found this: [2].)

What world does he live in? How, exactly, does he think a “sampling of Larouche descriptions” from “newspapers of record” “over the past decade or so” reads? I gave it a whirl, with a few newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Associated Press news service) and heading backward from 2008, I got as far as 2003 before deciding I had had enough.  I didn’t get too many straight up “fascists”, but I didn’t get “economist” either.  Both, I’m sure, if you were looking for them would turn up.  “Fringe” sort of dominated. Connected to “Perenial presidential candidate”. I did find one particularly artful phrase which I’ll mention if pressed.  I’ll keep the listing to myself — I wish to inflict the suffering of enduring fifteen minutes of this to anyone who has such an interest in surveying this landscape of throw-away lines. 

Mental note:  go back and review Larouche’s history of playing around with suppositions on presidential assassinations.  It’s a trope, rehashed, noise emitted signifying nothing.

 (edited.  I opted for a weasel phrase in there.)