Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

my shirt’s been inside out, all day

I read this slick article about the changing political landscape in the Washington Post. man, have I been cheerleading for the Post recently.

“There is a realignment going on here. It’s a long-term shift that has to do with the economic decline in some areas in the modern economy,” said Larry Bartels, a political scientist at Princeton University.

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the article goes on to suggest that the Democrats increasingly will not represent labor and the poor. to be honest, I can’t imagine the Democrats without labor. who the fuck would the party be for? the upper middle class, and twentysomethings with liberal arts degrees? I can barely hold a job! we can’t support shit!

the thrift store just got a new load of shit

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the newspaper ran a story about the Supreme Court decision — on a 5-4 vote — to bar the death penalty in child rape cases.
I oppose the death penalty on principle. but executing someone who rapes a genuine child sounds about right, doesn’t it?

that story eventually led to a discussion of last meals.
I think, I’d go, with coconut cream pie. also, couple of hot dogs. and pickles.

Sauget, Ill.

edit: below is about 600 words of me talking, some would say, “straight out of my ass.” good thing the occasional reader has always been around to set me straight.

Vanity Fair’s website makes my computer shut down. and that really grinds my gears.

I just watched “Michael Clayton.” it was really, really good. in the last few days I’ve seen “American Gangster,” which was a solid B. “The Devil Came on Horseback,” which was a poorly directed documentary about an American military observer’s time in Darfur. and then, just now, “Michael Clayton,” which will require your undivided attention, but it’s sooo good. it’s good.

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more bullshit about oil

last week Democrats took a swipe at fixin’ America’s problem with surging energy costs, and they came up with windfall taxes on Big Oil …
So we take away their profits to, what, make sure Billy Bob has enough money to fill up his pickup truck after all and vote for those nice Democrats in the fall, until the next big price shock and we’ll do it again for our hard workin’ American families and still not have a sustainable energy policy and whatthefuck Washington.
… said Ashley.

after such a huge fart, you’d think the Republican party would be all about making up for the Democratic miscue. come up with something good, make the other party look like assholes. it isn’t hard at all to make a Democrat or Republican to look like an asshole.
so they came up with:

Bush Calls For Offshore Drilling

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In a Rose Garden appearance, the president challenged Democrats to drop their “obstruction” of proposals to expand domestic energy production. “Americans will rightly ask how . . . high gas prices have to rise before the Democratic-controlled Congress will do something about it,” he said.

A major uncertainty is the economic impact of offshore drilling, which by Bush’s estimate could result in an extra 18 billion barrels of oil – equivalent to the nation’s current oil production for the next 10 years, according to the White House. Hennessy said he thinks that oil prices might fall as markets began building in the expectation of a growing supply. “We would expect it to have an effect on the price; it’s very difficult to quantify,” he said.
But the federal Energy Information Administration estimated that if leasing began in 2012, “access to the Pacific, Atlantic and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.”

gas is $4 a gallon. the country continues to need an energy policy. both parties use it for political points …
eh, fuck. I’m tired.
many would argue that George Bush should be impeached, prosecuted for war crimes, blah blah, etc.
it’ll never happen, and I’ve got no beef with people like Dennis Kucinich going after it, but really, I’d settle for a video of George Bush getting an unexpected kick to the groin. that would do it for me. the Bush administration, all of the bullshit it’s pulled, the international embarassment its been … I just want Bush to get a shot to the groin. then he can walk.

I got something for that ass

man, Star Trek is the bomb. isn’t Star Trek the bomb? come get it, Cardassia.

A Flashy Facebook Page, at a Cost to Privacy

 Oh look! Oh, looook. your Facebook page is collecting your information and selling it to advertisers. surprise!

A year ago, Facebook started allowing outside developers to create small software programs for members to download. Since then, the company said, about 24,000 applications have been built by 400,000 developers …
Applications have grown so much that venture-capital firms have formed exclusively to fund their development, and there is a Stanford University course devoted to creating them.

 

Parties Do Battle Over U.S. Forces’ Future in Iraq

Iraq is the new Japan and Germany. only with more violence. also, Jim Webb has that constipated look of a middle-aged Irish American.

The Bush administration is trying to hammer out bilateral agreements governing the future status of U.S. forces in Iraq, to take effect when the current U.N. mandate expires at the end of December. The two accords … have come under sharp criticism in Iraq because of administration proposals to retain unilateral control over U.S. military operations as well as the ability to detain Iraqi citizens while providing legal immunity for U.S. security contractors. Iraqi politicians have also charged that the United States plans to maintain up to 60 military bases there.

 

Judge suspends L.A. obscenity trial after conceding his website had sexual images

people are freaking outs about a federal judge in Los Angeles who had a bunch of porno on a personal Web site.

In an interview Tuesday with The Times, Kozinski acknowledged posting sexual content on his website. Among the images on the site were a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal.

but really, I’m OK with that. as long as it wasn’t him.

Senate Republicans block windfall taxes on Big Oil

it’s hard to believe and just as hard to muster, but I loathe almost everyone named in this article.

“In the middle of what some are calling the biggest energy shock in a generation … they proposed as a solution, of all things, a windfall profits tax,” Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky chided the Democrats.

you know, he’s actually right. McConnell is actually right, that it’s pretty weak that this is the best the Democrats could come up with. but that doesn’t make him any less of a dick. fuck you, Mitch McConnell. $36 billion in the first quarter of this year.
$36 billion.

they call me the wolf

I ate at Baja Bean today during my lunchbreak. I think it’s a chain.
the tacos weren’t bad.

I feel very full when I return from dinner. that’s two tacos, refried beans, rice. half a pitcher of beer. I slump into my chair and prepare to start cranking out news pages.
boss walks in. “there’s a whole wall of green on the radar screen coming this way.” so I go outside and roll up the truck’s windows.

it rains, very hard, for about 25 minutes. torrential downpour kind of rain. rain in sheets, swirls, nearly nonstop thunder. lightning nearby – like, when everything shocks white for a split second and you know it hit somewhere close.
when thunderstorms hit the newspaper, beware. it’s a very fragile electrical and computer system we run on, and as soon as this motherfucker pulled into town, the lights started flickering.
and then off. and then on. and then off. then, still off. it is 7:30 pm.
there’s a backup generator that’s supposed to kick in in the event of emergencies, but that fails, too. all of the little backup drives underneath all the little computers in all of the little cubicles start chirping, like in some Radio Shack-inspired zoo. and even after the storm has gone, dusk settles in, and eventually, it’s pitch black in the newsroom. can’t see the person in front of you. so I drag a chair out to the sidewalk, and everyone follows suit. someone volunteers to go to Wendy’s. we all have Frostees.

editors and ad people and publishers and the crazy survivalist IT guy all show up, and he gets to running around the office in the dark in a military vest with two giant Maglites attached to him, looking menacing. great debate ensues about what is to be done. not only do we, but a smaller affiliated newspaper publishes from our press. but the press has no power. so the big press in Richmond will have to publish all of ours, and ship them back to us. but we can’t build the newspaper – all of the computers are down. nothing is working. the building is completely dark.

slowly, the lights come on in all of the establishments surrounding the newspaper. the bicycle store. the rug emporium. Domino’s. the newspaper remains off. it is finally decided that we’re gonna caravan to Waynesboro, our smaller affiliate, and use their computers and programs to layout a barebones edition of our own newspaper, and send it to Richmond electronically to be printed there. I don’t know how to get to Waynesboro. I’ve never been. so I hitch a ride with the managing editor and one of my co-workers. we talk about Weezer, and Virginia. we get to Waynesboro at 11:30 pm, four hours after the storm knocked the electricity out at our own newspaper.

all eight of us get out of the three cars we took and mass at the door of the Waynesboro paper. no one seems to be there. so we start knocking, and knocking. a Civic hatchback bumping gangsta rap from bass-heavy speakers pulls up to the blinking red light on the corner, and my boss yells to it, “yeeeah, East Side!” and flashes what he assumes is a gang symbol to the driver. he then laughs at his joke, while everyone comments on how he’s gonna unintentionally get us all killed. the managing editor leans into me and says, “I’m OK with that, because I know I can outrun him.” see, my boss weighs about 300 lbs.
a Waynesboro newspaper person comes to the door and lets us in. he’s not especially friendly, and when we all file into their newsroom, there isn’t a whole lot of talking between the two groups. as Waynesboro prints on our press, has a smaller circulation and (as it’s a smaller paper with a less accredited staff) is a little more poorly put together, we tend to gather round and ridicule their design choices every night. now, these people are standing in front of us. do they know what we say about them?

while our boss talks with ad types a half hour east in Charlottesville, the Waynesboro editor strikes up small talk with, yep, with me. “so we’ve got a Pirates fan,” nodding toward the baseball hat I’m wearing. “that must be tough.”
“yeah, it isn’t easy.” I try to leave it at that. but then he asks, “how is it that you’re a Pirates fan?”
and then, well, no. I’m not from Pittsburgh. and I explain to him that it’s just a hat that I happen to have that fits on my giant melon, which is exceptionally large even when I don’t have a ridiculous mess of hair growing on top of it.
the Waynesboro editor just looks at me, until our sports editor jumps in and starts talking about the Michigan State penant he sees on someone’s desk.

at 12:15 AM, after floundering about with Waynesboro’s design templates for half an hour, we’re alerted that the power is back on in Charlottesville. as we’ve gotten absolutely nothing done in Waynesboro, the decision is made to take everyone back home to just crank the paper out there. at this point, the entire Entertainment section, the business page, comics, horiscopes, and about a dozen other “unnecessaries” have been killed out of the paper. we will drive back to Charlottesville and just rip out a barebones necessity paper.
so we all get back in the cars, and we drive back.

we get back to the newspaper at 12:50 AM. all of the lights are on, and all computer systems are running. the entire copy desk is there, as well as the managing editor and two city editors. we rework the page flow sheets, split the pages up between the four of us, and go to work.

printed the paper at 3:15 AM. I arrived at work at 4 PM. seven of those hours, approximately, I did absoutely nothing.

and, I managed to write a headline for a feature story about organ donation: ‘What’s an extra kidney between good friends?’

the end.

got a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style