Oh, the symbolism

Posted in Picture du jour on January 26th, 2010 by bill

Someone left the hope out in the rain:


Happy Anniversary, Mr. President

Posted in Whatever Else on January 20th, 2010 by bill

Barack Obama has been president for a year as of today, and everybody wants to know, aren’t you disappointed? Well, no, because I did not expect him to wave his magic fingers and instantly solve all of our problems. He has consistently succeeded at the one thing I most wanted him to do, which is not be George W. Bush. When the Haiti quake happened and Barack came on TV to talk about it, it was great to remember that we had someone in charge who is smart and actually cares.

Let’s try to keep things in perspective. Total financial apocalypse seems to have been avoided; things may be improving more slowly than anybody likes, but they are improving. Do you wish John McCain was president right now? And that’s not the worst thing that could have happened; in the days leading up to the election, I spent some sleepless hours haunted by a vision of McCain pulling off a miraculous upset and being so shocked that he dropped dead of a heart attack, making Dingbat president. The USA would have been a smoking hole in the ground by March at the latest.

So let’s count our blessings. By way of calming down, have a listen to this audio clip I found on the CD I Can Hear It Now: The Sixties, where John F. Kennedy talks about his first year in office:

JFK: The Problems Are More Difficult Than I Imagined Them To Be

1969, part 4

Posted in Audio transmissions on January 15th, 2010 by bill

Much more than the other mixes in this series, this one is constructed for pure pleasure, and I think it is fairly successful in that respect. See what you think.

Playlist and a few notes after the jump.


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Another old joke made new

Posted in Whatever Else on January 14th, 2010 by bill

Today’s morsel of schtick continues my project of updating old jokes for the 21st century, which basically just consists of adding the word “Google” to them. Try to hear it in your head in the voice of Chevy Chase.

Google announced today that it was pulling out of China.

A frustrated China could not be reached for comment.

A match made in…?

Posted in The sacred box on January 13th, 2010 by bill
The original Dingbat

The original Dingbat

Oh happy day. There I am flipping on Fox News for my daily dose of self-inflicted agony, and here’s Glenn Beck looking very serious with the Statue of Liberty over his shoulder, and he says something typically asinine. The camera cuts away, and sitting across from him is his network’s newest hire, HRH Sarah Palin. (Or as I prefer to call her, Dingbat. Is it sexist and wrong of me to call her that? Does it help that I thought our last president was also a dingbat?)

It’s pretty rare when I see something on Fox that I can 100% get behind, but this is an idea that has my full support. Clearly, this is where Dingbat belongs. It’s just like when Terrell Owens played for the Cowboys; a person I detest paired with an organization I loathe, giving me a convenient place to focus my dark energies. Honestly, I think this is going to work out great for everyone. She gets a job that plays well to her strengths, which are looking good and talkin’ funny in that scary/entertaining kind of way, and we get her on the TeeVee where we can keep an eye on her, instead of in an office somewhere fucking up the country even more. Beck gets to look positively statesmanlike next to Dingbat, who enthusiastically agreed with everything he said. (And that alone should disqualify her from ever again holding public office. Even the people who are on Beck’s side ideologically know that he is a dangerous lunatic, and palling around with lunatics is just not a smart political move.)

While we’re on the subject, I just had to post the following photo that I found while looking for Edith Bunker shots:


Doesn’t it kind of look like a publicity shot for a new Fox show with Bill O’Reilly, Sarah, and Beck? They could call it “Lunatic, Dingbat and Asshole.” Catchy, no?

My 166-Word Review of James Cameron’s Avatar

Posted in Moving pictures on January 12th, 2010 by bill

With all due respect to Cecil’s one-word review of Avatar, my one-word review would be “tragedy.” And not just the intentional kind, though there is plenty of that, wrapped up with a tidy Hollywood ending. I’m talking about the other kind of tragedy: a gazillion dollars worth of beautiful technology being deployed in service of a 99-cent script. What is this terrible hubris that prevents tech wizards like Cameron and George Lucas from hiring a co-writer to add some small element of soul to their opuses?

Honestly, the luscious visuals of this movie were quite involving for about 30 or 45 minutes; after that it was a matter of waiting for the trite, clunky mechanics of the plot to get very, very slowly to the obvious places they were going. It’s doubly tragic that, while Cameron’s ostensible agenda is on the side of the groovy, holistic blue Pandorans, it is fatally undermined by Avatar‘s apotheosis of technology and failure to connect with anything recognizably alive.

If this is the future of cinema, I’ll stick with the past, thank you very much.

Calvin Trillin, prophet

Posted in Whatever Else on January 11th, 2010 by bill

Because I’m several days behind on my compulsory TV watching, I only just saw last Thursday’s Daily Show, which ended with an amazing clip of Calvin Trillin back in 2006. I wanted to make sure that you saw this, dear reader, because it is awesome:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen – Calvin Trillin’s Prediction
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

1969, Part 3

Posted in Audio transmissions on January 6th, 2010 by bill

I may have gotten a little carried away with this one. I’ll buy anyone who listens to the whole thing a drink, or maybe two, because you’ll probably need them.


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