Stupid Blogspot. If you've direct-linked to anything I've posted today (and much obliged if you did), it's going to yesterday's archive page or something. I tried the archive trick, switching it back and forth, but it didn't work. Stupid Blogspot.
Well, better get back to the party. Ha ha, just kidding.
Which guy on FOX News is it that kind of looks like Ed Begley Jr. with bigger hair? He's almost an albino, big glasses? I don't know his name. Flipping around, I decided to endure a few minutes of FOX, and he was talking to somebody about Al-Jazeera reporters in Washington. He said something about standing near one as she filed a report after a press conference or something, and how she was "babbling away in Arabic" and she should have been kicked out of there. What the fuck? Why don't you just call her a rag-head, asshole?
Huh. I went to get a sandwich and I came back and now ISC is just a black screen. What time is it there? Guess it's not on 24 hours a day. Or maybe there were little babies near the transmitter and the U.S. found out about it.
Oh, wait! Now Iraq Satellite Channel (I'll just start calling it ISC) is showing a group of what I assume are American and European human-shield types, along with a Japanese guy with a mullet and a scarf around his neck. They're on a rooftop in, I guess it's Baghdad, waving signs and chanting in English: "Save Iraqi children! Save Iraqi children! Save Iraqi children! Save Iraqi children! No more war! No more war! No more war! No more war! Yes for peace! Yes for peace! Yes for peace! Yes for peace!" They do this for about 5 minutes.
Then it's another music video with another young man in a suit lip-exhorting the viewer to reckanize because Saddam is the shit. You know it's true, viewer of Iraq Satellite Channel, so don't even try to playa-hate. I think that's what he's saying, anyway, but of course I'm not as familiar with how the young people talk as I used to be. This guy is the best one yet. He's really committed to the premise, and he's emoting like R. Kelly, and he's making me start to think maybe Saddam isn't such a bad guy after all. Good gestures, too.
Wow, Saddam is on this channel a lot. And when he's not onscreen and people aren't singing about him, there are these man-on-the-Arab-street interviews where people talk about him. I can only make out "Saddam," "America," and "Israel." Man, they don't sound happy about two out of those three! Anyway, Saddam is great and all, but how about giving somebody else a chance?
Another music video on Iraq Satellite Channel. The lip-syncher this time is younger and slimmer, but he doesn't seem to know the words very well. And the images, the glorious images! Saddam in front of a group of dancing men, shooting a rifle in the air; Saddam flanked by guards, shooting a rifle in the air; Saddam seated at a desk cluttered with papers and such in the middle of a crowded outdoor plaza... shooting a rifle in the air. The rifle theme dominates.
I imagine the video editor lost at least a hand or two, because there's a bottle of water on that desk, and at one point Saddam almost knocks it over but catches it at the last second. Should have cut that part out, bud. If he'd actually spilled the water and they showed it in the video, you just know some dudes would be having a little chat with Mr. Shredder.
Addendum: In this blog entry, I originally wrote "cheap seats" with "cheap" in quotes, but it seemed too cutesy so I changed it. I figured everybody would know what I meant by that figure of speech. "Peanut gallery" was another possibility, but then I figured you guys would think there were actual peanuts in the audience, like Mr. Peanut or something. Mr. Peanut would never boo anybody, he seems too classy. Point is, I apologize for any confusion. (And besides, that was before I knew it was only five stagehands, and they were booing some other people who were booing. It had nothing to do with what Moore said or the way he said it. No, seriously!)
"Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator, and I hope he’s removed as soon as possible. But nonviolently."
Good idea! First we'll coax Saddam out of his bunker with a trail of delicious candy. Then, once his belly is full and he's all sleepy and happy, we'll calmly explain that we don't approve of what he's been doing and it's not very nice and we wish he'd stop. And he'll be like, "Whoa, I never thought of it that way. You guys are my friends! I like you!" And then everybody will hug and cry, and then get a little embarrassed about crying, and then make some jokes to cover up being embarrassed. And then a beautiful rainbow will appear, and a shy unicorn will walk down it, and Saddam will ride it to the North Pole, and he'll spend the rest of his life helping Santa make wonderful toys for all the good little girls and boys, and there'll be hot chocolate, and, and, and nobody will ever ever die again for any reason ever. THE END
[Insert hacky headline using pop-culture reference that has the word "rock" in it and replacing it with the word "Iraq"]
I just watched a few minutes of the Iraq Satellite Channel (instructions for viewing it on the Web here), and it's some interesting stuff. Just now they showed some sort of music video, with a rather portly gentleman who resembled Morris Day halfheartedly lip-synching to a peppy tune, interspersed with various clips of Saddam Hussein interacting with his loving subjects. There's Saddam smiling and waving from a balcony; there's Saddam smiling and waving in the middle of a cheering crowd; there's Saddam smiling and making "All this for me?" gestures to a line of dancing children; etc. I don't speak non-American, but I think the lyrics to the song went a little something like this:
Check it out, Saddam is here How can the infidels say he's not awesome Look at him in that shot right there Let's see George Bush rock a sweater vest and porkpie like that Please, Allah, I don't want to die Saddam says my family will be okay if I sing this Which goes back to him being awesome like I said earlier Here I am, rock you like my man Hussein
I'm often told that I look like what might happen if Brad Pitt and George Clooney had sex* and were somehow able to conceive a child. And if that child then subjected his body to several decades of abuse and neglect. But the raw genetic material is there, is what I'm saying, and I've got an exercise bike and a smoothie machine and I can get back down to fighting weight in a matter of months. You might need to make an investment in the old choppers, seeing as how I haven't had dental insurance since that backstabbing son of a bitch fired me. I hired him, is what gets me. I hired the man, I trained him, I listened to his pathetic sob stories about that stupid slut he couldn't figure out if he wanted to marry, I befriended the soulless fuck, and 18 months later he could just look me square in the face and tell me to hand in my access card. Eyes of a dead man. I'm getting off track here. The point is, I won't let you down if you make me a star like Matt Welch.
In the spirit of Bill Bridges, I've come up with an anti-war poem of my own:
Stop it, Mr. Bush. Taking lives is going to help? Unilateral murder of thousands? Preposterous! Is it easy to sleep at night, Mr. Bush? Do you care?
How does it feel to kill babies, Mr. Bush? Innocent little babies? Presidents shouldn't do that, but then, you wouldn't know. Pause and reflect, Mr. Bush. If you continue on this course, Elections aren't the only things you'll steal.
Freedom fries aren't the issue, Mr. Bush. All your bombs can't blow up the truth. George W. Bush, wake up! Smell the crying children.
Now it's getting entertaining. In These Times (link courtesy of TV Barn) rips the lid off the "Why in the world would anybody boo Michael Moore?" controversy:
Most of the Hollywood audience smiled and applauded, but stagehands, who were close to the microphones, booed loudly, making it appear to a television listener that Moore’s criticism of President Bush was not well received.
Well, I can't get their comments feature to work for some reason, but here's what I was going to reply:
A handful of stagehands drowned him out, that's pretty good. But why stop there? The real truth that the facist corporate-owned media is afraid to tell us is that the whole crowd was really cheering the whole time. Yeah! When Moore had the guts to speak out against "the fictition of duct tape," the crowd leapt to its feet! Ben Affleck clapped so hard he shattered his right ulna, Salma Hayek began ululating and manifesting the wounds of Christ, and several other major Hollywood stars were seen collapsing in a fit of near-Pentecostal ecstasy. But then those Oscar Nazis plugged in some canned booing, and replaced the footage of Moore's standing O with earlier shots of Harrison Ford sitting on his hands and Adrien Brody looking contemplative and achingly soulful during the award for Best Key Grip.
Why? So the Red states won't stop going to the movies.
I just got my copy of the new Achewood cookbook, Recipes for a Lady or a Man, and it's so awesome that I might have to go out and buy a pan. It's a funny book, of course, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have real recipes. It does. The recipes are real.
In an interview after the show, Moore said he did not hear the jeers. "I was extremely grateful for the response," he said. "I mean, that's not what I saw. I saw the entire place stand up and applaud. I mean, don't report that. Don't say there was a split decision in the hall because five loud people booed. Do your job and tell the truth."
Uh... I don't know if anybody bothered to tell you, Mike, but... YOU WERE ON LIVE TV ALL OVER THE WORLD. You weren't talking to a bank teller in Michigan, guy. You can't go into the editing room and fix it. You were accepting an Oscar in front of God and everybody. We all saw what happened, as it happened. It's one thing if you want to say the crowd was wrong to resoundingly boo you off the stage. (Not the whole crowd, of course -- not the big shots like Harrison Ford and, uh, Lou Gossett -- just the average joes in the cheap seats, the type of folks you claim to speak for.) If you want to say that they should have kept cheering even after you opened your mouth, best of luck with that. But when you just blatantly, reflexively make shit up like that, it only reinforces the idea that you're in your own little world. Talk about "fictition."
If Moore really wants to end the war -- and not just boost the spirits of his Upper West Side neighbors -- then mightn't he also want to win over people who oppose the war and yet don't believe that Bush is an illegimate president swept into office by skullduggery? Is he so insulated that he doesn't realize people like that exist? Or are people like that simply not simon-pure enough for him to want them in his antiwar movement?
...A lot of smart people agree with you. But if someone disagrees with you, are they not worth allying with against the war? Would you rather have a war in Iraq than pass up a chance to bring up Florida again?
Come to think of it, Fametracker puts it even better than that:
"Hi, I'm Michael Moore. It's a good thing you gave me an award for Best Documentary Feature and recognized the one thing I do better than anyone else: championing popular causes in such a way that even those people who agree with me fundamentally despise me for acting as their public spokesman. But I don't care! 'Sense of occasion'? What's that? 'Speaking persuasively and making cogent arguments instead of screeching slogans'? I've never tried that before -- why start now?"
Holy shit. I repeat: Holy shit. The only way to keep from completely freaking out is to make stupid jokes.
So far I'm liking MTV's war coverage the best. It sucks that they've postponed their Spring Break Snatch-and-Package-Fest '03 until next week, but it's kind of cute how they keep referring to "shock & awe" as "shizzle & ah-ight."
Holy shit, it's like Apocalypse Now with a news ticker. Are they making sure to hit all the little bitty babies? They need to make sure to target all the little bitty babies, or else the puke-protests will have been in vain.
I don't know anything about how the Emmy Awards committee chooses new categories, but I think next year they need to recognize the CBS News CGI technicians who manage to cover up the puffy yellow stars, tweeting bluebirds, and pink elephants that whirl around Dan Rather's head at all times.
Elsewhere on the world television premiere of Three Kings 2, FOX News is reporting that something called "Shock & Awe" has finally begun. Brit Hume responded to the news thusly, and I quote: "UUUUUUNNNNNNHHHHHH." He then wiped himself off with a faintly crackling bath towel and took a 45-minute nap.
Wow, looks like you're safer in the Iraqi desert than in downtown Chicago. The hell with sending soldiers and tanks and planes... we should just put a McDonald's sign on every building in Baghdad and send some protesters over there. Well, I guess there'll be plenty of time for that after the war.
You know, here I was thinking there were good arguments on both sides. But now that the people of San Francisco have spoken, I realize that George W. Bush is worse than a million Hitlers with AIDS buggering altar boys while talking on cellphones in their SUVs.
Subj: Is 2003 "The Year of the Blogger"? Date: 3/19/2003 12:00:42 PM From: *****.****@Heritage.org To: [Me]
You've been discovered! Tim Rutten's Media column in today's edition of The Los Angeles Times is the latest example of the traditional media's newfound appreciation of the growing influence of bloggers on America's public policy debates.
Our job at The Heritage Foundation is to provide useful resources - objective data and conservative analysis and commentary - to journalists, analysts and commentators of all stripes. But we aren't quite sure how to do this with the blogger community.
So this email is an invitation for you to participate in an experiment. For the next month, we will periodically email to you short notices about significant Heritage studies, publications and events. At the end of the month, let us know if these notices were helpful. If not, tell us at any time, and you won't get any more. If you find you only want those notices regarding specific issue areas - foreign policy, welfare reform, etc. - we'll limit our future emails to you thusly. If you want to continue receiving all of the notices, let us know that, too.
Regardless of your perspective on the issues of the day, we are confident you will find Heritage materials useful in your effort to provide the kind of incisive, immediate and thoughtful commentary and analysis made possible by blogging.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Laura Bodwell Marketing Manager The Heritage Foundation
Mark Tapscott Director, Media Services The Heritage Foundation
Subj: Re: Is 2003 "The Year of the Blogger"? Date: 3/19/2003 12:05:25 PM From: [Me] To: *****.****@Heritage.org
I've been mildly annoyed by all the France-bashing lately (you're wasting perfectly good booze, you idiots!), but as I was half-watching some French diplomat yapping away on CNN a little while ago, the phrase "soap-dodging appeasement poodles" popped into my head and I liked the obnoxious sound of it. So never let it be said that I'm unwilling to share.
Subj: Is it really the country music INDUSTRY doing this to Natalie Maines? From: [Me] To: [Stephanie Zacharek]
I thought it was the country music FANS who were "forcing" her to apologize. Sure, they're wildly overreacting, but they're the ones keeping her in lip gloss, and it's in her own self-interest to make nice. The only reason anybody even knows about what she said is because she's got a whole lot of fans, and the only reason she's apologizing is because she doesn't want to lose them.
And what's with the "Manchurian Candidate" stuff? Haven't you ever had to make an apology you didn't really mean? Or didn't the teachers do that when you were growing up on Mars? (Just kidding. Channeling Bill O'Reilly. Anyway.)
The whole thing is just silly, and I don't see how overreacting to the overreaction is going to help. Of course Maines has the right to say what she likes. Just as her fans have the right to completely freak out over it. It's dumb, but it's not censorship. And it's not like she's going to be "disappeared" for speaking out against her government.
"I remember when I used to watch cowboy movies [as a child], and the Indians would drink and they'd crawl over a wagon filled with hooch and be riding the wagon, cracking open the cases of whiskey and drinking it. I remember thinking to myself that I couldn't stand the taste of whiskey, so the movie was ruined for me, so I would imagine they were drinking orangeade, which I really loved. Yeah, orangeade! Hah, hah!"
In the TCJ thread about that "feather-headed douchebags" Maakies strip that's causing a fuss, Tony Millionaire passes along the following e-mail. Just to set the scene, Terminal City is a free weekly in Vancouver, BC that publishes the strip:
kakilani brigoli wrote:
This email is to inform you that we are taking action against Terminal City for it's editorial cartoon that promotes racism against North American Native people indigenous to this continent. as well, it takes advantage of, and abuses, the right to freedom of press, freedom of speech.
We are asking Terminal City to print a retraction or an apology, as well as, the name of the cartoonist. If this is not forthcoming, then we will fax all post secondary student unions, First Nations student union offices, First Nations bands and political organizations and other activist organizations to boycott Terminal City's advertisers and we will pull all Terminal City newspapers from all drop off spots. Notices are being sent out to all advertisers with a copy of the 'cartoon.'
We understand that you have already been approached by a staff member of one of our First Nations organizations and your reply that the cartoon was simply comedic in nature (not the exact wording).
Today, post-September 11 and with the possible advent of war, there is no excuse for this type of descriminatory editorial hidden by a pseudonym, hidden by use of caricature.
All that over this? So now I guess somebody's going to do a counter-protest over this... (I'm still trying to figure out what "the '80s, the White People Hair Decade" means. Were the '80s the decade of white people with hair? People with white hair? Or "white" hairstyles? The decade when white people who currently do not have hair had hair?)
I was going to blog something about that Return to the Batcave thing the other night, but Kevin Parrott beat me to it. Oh yeah, and check out this artist's rendering of the dynamic duo locked in a freedom kiss. I think the lead-up might have been something like:
Wow thank-you so much for running that cartoon depicting Indians as "Feather loving douche Bags" you really are person of high education and values. If only we could all step back to ignorance like you have, I am sure this world would be a much better place to live. Why did you run this cartoon? I don't know, just realize it just truly shows the type of person it takes to want to print something of this trashy nature in that issue. I wish you the best of luck in the future because I know you are going to need it with your racist views on our multicultural society.
Linsey Ernst Employment Counsellor, ACCESS Aboriginal Community Career & Employment Services Society
You think that's bad? You should see Ted Rall's strip about "Terror Wigwams"!
Note to Ted Rall: When even Bill Freaking Maher says he's sick of you bringing everything back to "Bush stole the election," maybe it's time to get some new material. Or, as your fellow panelist Larry Miller put it, "Perhaps a hobby would be good." (Is that where Danny comes in, Ted? Expensive hobby. I guess your lawyers are getting all the money you would have spent on a decent suit. Also, what's with the Peter Lorre impersonation?)
By the way, Maher's idea to put up a Why They Hate Us Pavilion at the WTC site is great. I know if somebody I loved was horribly murdered, I'd want a big sign at the crime scene that said, "They was askin' for it!"