Saturday, August 30, 2008

That's *My* Sister

My 70-year-old sister down there in Tennessee writes:

I have thought and thought about this before e-mailing anyone. I am not insulted as a woman by McCain's choice........I am insulted as an intelligent, thinking HUMAN BEING. How can anyone equate someone having a vagina, uterus, etc. with a Hillary Clinton. I voted for her in the primary and to this day still believe that she was/is the most equipped to be president of our United States. Palin is a slap in the face to all who have a brain and not just hormones. I cannot even write of my indignation at this point and time. He is an idiot!! MB

That's my own Lady Reb.

And while we're at it a little Samantha Bee.

Happy Talk with McCain and Mrs. Palin

It suddenly occurs to me exactly what the McCain and Mrs. Palin pairing reminds me of. They look like a typical local news anchor pair back in the day. For some years, I taught a course called News Media. We did lots of simple eyeball research. We wrote various news stations in local markets and asked them for photos of their anchors and then we tacked them up on the wall.

And the most common pairing back then was: old white guy and perky female half his age. The subtext was sexual, of course, but also involved dominance of the female by the male -- though perhaps you will respond that the sexual subtext already implied male dominance.

Even ten years ago, a common variation on that pattern was old white guy/young Asian female, so McCain and Mrs. Palin are certainly an older variant. But that's what they remind me of, an Action News team, the old boy curmudgeonly and familiar, the gal half of things so bright, perky and filled with smiles that you wondered what she was on.

Oh, another part of our analysis of local TV news underlined just how much of it was nonsense, so obsessed with the trivial that it seemed more a diversion from rather than a description of the day's important events. So McCain and Mrs. Palin have that working for them, too.

Late Saturday night: Brother Pat Daugherty points us at a clip of Mrs. Palin's days as a sports anchor. Nicely vapid, I'd say, just a very pleasant empty pants suit.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Mrs. Palin a Problem for Democrats

Criticizing her is like poking a kitten with a stick. You can't believe how much snark I've flushed in the last 15 minutes.

But wait till my wife gets home at which point you can fasten your seatbelts.

Ernest Hemingway, Political Reporter

Would his first story on the Republican ticket refer to:

The Old Man and the Squeeze

And, hey, look what I found. What seems to be an anti-McGovern cartoon from 1972. Ink in McCain's face and it still works.

Some May Forget That a Third Presidential Candidate Exists Whose Personal Narrative is Second to None

Thursday, August 28, 2008

About $2,500. Cool.

Here's a link to what claims to be the Obama Tax Cut Calculator.

And also my reaction to Obama's speech. His manner, his mode, his affect was strong. Strong. STRONG.

Remembering the Runs, the Hits, the Errors

Brother Bob Wieder sends a heads-up link to this story from CJR making light of all the working journalists who appeared in Denver like alligators from the sewers. Writer lists the various occupations of the 15,000 gathered, noting:

1,026 are drunk. This is as it should be.

The AP Stylebook tells us that first sentence is wrong, but the second is pure redemption.

I'm Not the Man I Once Was

Back in the day, I would have preened if I'd done such a story. But now it seems just a little mean. Of course, more often than not such a story is adored by its subjects.

Results 1 - 10 of about 3,060 for gwinnett daily post waffle house wedding. (0.15 seconds)

Search Results

Waffle House Wedding - 2k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Oh, it was my sis in Tinasee who sent the link. She's a good old girl, but not quite this good.

Why We Love Us Some Terry Gross

This morning on NPR interviewing Joshua Green of The Atlantic about the performance of the Clintons in Denver, she considered the quality of their remarks and the response of the Obama supporters to those remarks as and compared that interaction to:

make-up sex.

Which was brilliant and left Mr. Green nonplussed, probably recalling from personal experience (one hopes) of how the zest and sparkle of make-up sex sometimes, even a considerable fraction of the time -- help me out here, gentle reader -- justifies and perhaps even encourages the fight.

Or as that venerable political pundit and marriage counselor Ralph Kramden put it: "To the moon, Alice, straight to the moon."

At Which Point McCain's Advisors Said, "POW and Make That PDQ."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Clinton AND Biden

We will accept testimony on content and manner because we were in Alameda at a farewell dinner for the Cowboy Troubadour Michael Koppy, who after some 20 years of below-water rent in San Francisco lost his apartment when the new owners moved in their dad, who (Koppy says) spent the last decade living in a tent.

Why do we love our friends? Because of their stories, of the twists of their lives -- the ups, downs, sideswipes that make such good stories, true or not, pruned or not, pumped up and glossed over or not.

Koppy always tells a good story, but he is not autistic. He asked us all what our weirdest jobs were which so enmeshed us all in memory and introspect that *he* never told his. Which I bet would have been odd, and that he got fired from it, too.

I'll miss him, which is my current default emotion.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary Thoughts

What more could she have done for our cause? Expose her breasts like Isadora Duncan? Well done. Kudos.
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Modest Man with Much To Be Modest About, His Prayer

.... and peace in our time and special peace and rest for the children and the baby animals. And also grant me remembrance at those moments when my opinions are at their most ferocious that I not only supported John Edwards and planned on voting for John Edwards but also gave money to John Edwards. Help me remember that, occasionally, I am wrong and that the world is blessed when it does not follow my lead.

By the way, did I mention the children and the animals?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Rest (Like the First) is Silence

Didn't watch or listen to any of the Democratic convention tonight. Since nothing was likely to be said that would change my mind or give me information I could use to change somebody else's mind, listening would be an exercise in instance triangulation. That is to say, I would be trying to listen with somebody else's ears, the ears of someone who might be drawn into the Obama camp based on what she/he hears.

I don't know how to listen so tactically. There is no point in doing this, at least on the first night. But curiosity is strong. I'll use my own ears on Hillary and Obama. Still, in the background I've be looking over my own shoulder, like a nurse in an epidemic taking the temperature of imagined others rather than tending my own fever.

And the value? Interesting conversation with like-minded friends about how *they* think the Great Unconvinced will react. And then the sport of matching my conclusions with those of the pundits.

And then we will look at the polls, as if all the spin and filtering hadn't turned them into a kind of Heisenberg exercise.

Just Checking Out an 'On the Media' Embed about Twitter

John McCain to Guest Star on Houses

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Am the New Chair of Media Studies By the Way

Duty, honor, university.

The Answer My Friend is Biden in the Wind

All I know is Brother Greg Pabst points out that Biden has hair plugs -- though they filled in nicely -- but I recall that Proxmire had them first.

Boil these insights and disappear. My opinion of the Biden choice is manic/depressive. However, I feel about it right now, if I put you on hold, I'll feel different when I pick up again.

I just don't know.

Political junkies are like protectors of the snail darter. We are not to be fooled by the trash the other side puts out, and we understand that the other side is hard-core and will not be budged by anything we put out. As we scan the day's political news, both of us hover over those few millions of weirdly undecided -- so strange a species -- who actually don't know what to do but inevitably will break one way or another.

Which bits of nonsense our enemies spew will somehow break through and move them?? What are they listening to, these true undecideds? We try to imagine them. We wonder how we might reach them.

So each morning I wake up to some new Republican lie, distortion or artful framing of something that happens to be true -- though most of the time irrelevantly true -- and I am furious because *I* can't be fooled but out there somewhere are those....

Who really don't seem to paying attention. Who might as well be from another planet when it comes to my understanding them. Who lo0k at the monstrous difference and are inclined to split it.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Gospel of John McCain from His Sermon to the FatCats

John 14:2

In my Father's wife's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


Okay, I'm forwarding this to people and right there on the subject line a new joke emerges:

John McCain, the one-man suburb

Though ... the instant suburb works, too!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In the Distance a Speck Against the Sky: The Wanderer Returns

Might as well start the blog up again. I'll be making the kiddos do it in reporting and advanced reporting. Time to stave off the encroachments of brain rot by writing long Henry Jamesian sentences that twist, bend, ends collide, dissolve on the night air.

(For mornings, mots as crisp as bacon.)

Here's a mot:

"That John McCain. Pulled himself up by his wife's bra straps."

Call this one wit for an older audience.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Summer Crumbs

A friend emailed saying she had been afraid to ask how Oliver was doing, figuring no news was a death knell, and I wrote back, reprising. Some of you know this and some of you don't.

Actually, little boy has regained the ability to control his bladder. He was sleeping on the "Depends sheets" we were buying at the drugstore and one day we saw him trying to urinate on one of them rather than sleeping on it, which he had learned to do. In less than a week, he was no longer leaking. We kept expressing for another couple weeks because I thought perhaps that was part of the retraining/healing/whatever actually happened. Then we quit that, and he's been fine ever since, even though boy does he piss a lot because he is on steroids.

There's a lesson here. Sometimes holding on and refusing to give up actually work.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pedants on the Prowl: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid ... of Laughing Out Loud

I was reading a wine column by Eric Asimov of the New York Times (his sister is a Friend of the Blog)and foolishly blundered into the comments:

7 comments so far...

August 1st,
8:07 pm

To Mr. Asimov, whose email address is not shown:
You write “It was the kind of wine you could sniff all evening without ever drinking, so compelling were the aromas …”. Be careful about falling into the trap of accepting trendy but incorrect meanings for words. Compelling is an adjective related to the verb compel that means “to drive or urge forcefully or irresistibly ” [Merriam-Webster]. Thus, it relates to action. It doesn’t mean “wonderful”or “delightful”. It means “having the quality to cause action”. A robber’s gun would compel you to hand over money. It is compelling. In that sense, if the aroma were compelling, one would definitely be driven to do something such as taste the wine.

— Posted by Lance
August 2nd,
2:04 am

Lance, that’s nonsense. I’ve definitely experienced wines that had compelling aromas. They caused me to salivate, reflect, and return again and again to the glass.

— Posted by Rajiv
August 2nd,
2:47 am



Compel enters in 1380

[a. OF. compeller and compellir (14th c. in Godef.) to compel, ad. L. compell-{ebreve}re f. com- together + pell-{ebreve}re to drive.]

1. trans. To urge irresistibly, to constrain, oblige, force: a. a person to do a thing (the usual const.).


com{sm}pelling, ppl. a.

f. as prec. + -ING2.]

a. That compels: see the verb.

b. Of a person, his words, writings, etc.: irresistible; demanding attention, respect, etc.

I think Eric has a solid command of his English usage.


— Posted by ac
August 2nd,
7:54 am

To Lance, whose email is also not shown. To continue the off-topic nature of your didactic response, please put periods inside of quotations unless providing an in-text citation after the sentence. Typically, colons and semicolons are the only punctuation that always reside outside of the quotation mark.

— Posted by James
August 2nd,
9:24 am

How about compel one to smell the wine over and over? I’m sure many readers have experienced this urge.

— Posted by TWG
August 2nd,
12:03 pm

To James: as long as this didactic discussion is continuing, you may find that the placement of periods relative to quotation marks is not entirely standardized. In Commonwealth countries in particular James’s punctuation is becoming the prevalent practice. Would you now care to comment on my apostrophe use in “James’s”?

To everyone more generally, I think Rajiv and TWG have certainly hit on ways that aromas have been compelling to me. Sometimes the compulsion to keep smelling one more time can be stronger than the compulsion to taste.

— Posted by Mark
August 2nd,
3:45 pm

I dropped in for some wine talk and am shocked to find an english lesson. Gentelemen please stay away from my blog
( ), I’ve never cared about winning a spelling bee.

— Posted by Jerry D. Murray
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