Sunday, December 31, 2006

White and Nerdy / Ridin' Dirty Next to Each Other

White and Nerdy played next to Ridin' Dirty:

And, the two videos with their audio and video flip-flopped:

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Ford Owed Status as Oldest Ex-President to Gay Guy

Open memo to Hollywood:

In light of the various tributes paid to the late President Ford this week, isn't it about time for a documentary or biopic on the tragic life of Oliver Sipple? (Just don't fuck it up, OK?)

Mr. Sipple, who scored a zero percent name-recognition score at the lunch table at work the other day, was the ex-Marine who happened to be standing next to Sara Jane Moore when Ms. Moore decided to try to "allow the winds of change to start" by taking a shot at President Gerald Ford in San Francisco in September 1975. This was only a couple of weeks after Manson Family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to do the same thing. Sipple was in a crowd watching the President and saw Moore aim a handgun at Ford. He lunged at her and forced her to point the gun elsewhere so that when it fired, the bullet missed its mark. He then prevented her from firing again until the Secret Service got to them.

In the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished tradition, Sipple was heralded by the media, and was soon outed as being gay by columnist Herb Caen. Caen's column was carried in the Detroit Free Press, which was read by Mr. and Mrs. Sipple, Sr. back home in Michigan. Despite the 1970s' Boogie-Nights image, John Q. Midwest was not necessarily as forward-thinking as he is today, and the national revelation of their son's homosexuality caused the senior Sipples to disown their son permanently, despite his being a decorated Vietnam Vet, and saving the life of the President of the United States. Sipple unsuccessfully sued the San Francisco Chronicle for invading his privacy, and eventually died alone after years of substance abuse.

What about this? I'm a huge fan of the First Amendment, but what about Mr. Sipple's ability to just live his life in elected obscurity? And how should Gerald Ford have handled the awkwardness of having a gay guy save his life? Ford is probably high on the "Presidents You'd Like to Have As Neighbors Because They're Great Guys" list, but part of being a regular guy in 1975 was that you'd be unlikely to make waves by giving effusive public accolades to a known homosexual.

One of the people involved in the outing was the openly gay San Francisco politician and activist Harvey Milk, who later was shot to death in a city council meeting his office in city hall, along with the mayor. Years ago I watched the fascinating documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, and I think I'm going to put it to the top of my Netflix queue to watch again.
Update, 1/5/07: We're watching TToHM right now, and it's almost to the end. Not word one about Sipple, which is kind of lame... I wonder if they tried to steer clear of making Milk look like a bad guy.
In any event, I think it's time to start work on putting the Oliver Sipple story up on the big screen. (Although, by suggesting this, am I falling into the same type of voyeurism about which I question Caen's judgment? -- I hope not, because all the principles except Moore are now deceased.) Philip Seymour Hoffman would be great as a lead.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays!

Superfriends + Office Space and Superfriends + Mallrats. Check 'em out!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blogging Catch-Up

Items of interest:

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Back From X-mas Trip

The ♥G♥ and I got back from my parents' house a couple of hours ago.

Among gifts received:

Back to work for a few days tomorrow, then a few days to catch up with the rest of the Blogosphere.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Gotta hit the road -- Lots more links and stuff to follow after X-mas. Happy Holidays!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ozzy! Ozzy!

The ♥G♥ and I are watching the Survivor finale. As of the 7:40 PM commercial, we are both rooting for and confident in the ultimate victory of Ozzy. Time will tell. If he doesn't win, honor system -- no blog revisions.

Update, 9:10 P.M.: Meh. Yul was OK too. At least it wasn't that numbskull Adam. (Don't feel bad for Adam -- maybe he'll have Parvati to entertain him.)

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Something to Get You in the Holiday Mood

Time Magazine Jumps the Shark

This is the retardedest thing I've seen all day! (True, I've only been up for an hour and a half, but during that time I've seen the cat try to eat the Christmas tree. Also, it's the retardest thing I anticipate seeing for the balance of the day.) Now I am all about the lower-case-"d" democratization of the spread of ideas, information, and consumer options made possible through recent technological advances, but my hope is that is a permanent change. Does that mean that next year's TMMPotY will be the same thing?

BTW, this means that G.W. Bush has had this distinction bestowed upon himself four times now: In 2000, in 2004, in 1966 for being part of "The Generation 25 and Under," and now for being himself.

A better choice, if they were going with this theme of de-centralization, would have been "nobody," or maybe anthropomorphized ones and zeroes. Why did they have to Dr.-Philicize their selection in this manner? (I guess the cover is supposed to reflect your face when you look at it. Reminds me of when they used to have these guys at the carnival who would take your picture and then you'd come back in an hour and they'd have you as TMMotY or some similar honor from Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Fortune, or whatever.)

I still think that if they were able to select Hitler, Stalin, and the Assaholla Khomeini in years past, that they should have had the balls to pick Osama for the 2001 version.

Cover gallery here, Wikipedia here.
Update: Chrysler is the exclusive sponsor of this issue. Hahahahahaha!!

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Friday, December 15, 2006


Several things:

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Everybody Watch "White and Nerdy"

I've been telling everybody to check out Weird Al Yankovic's White and Nerdy video. It kicks ass! Here's its Wikipedia page. (And, here's the Wiki page for Atlantic Records, referenced in the video.)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What I've Been Watching Lately

Here are some things I've been watching over the past two or three weeks:
  • Barberland -- A nice little doc about all things tonsorial, including a tour of the Ed Jeffers Barber Museum.
  • Penn & Teller's Bullshit! Season Three -- The ♥G♥ and I love this show! Conspiracy theories, gun control, life coaching... all bullshit!
  • 49 Up -- This component of an excellent lifelong experiment in reality television deserves its own post.
  • Taking Sides -- Based on the play by Ronald Harwood, about Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler who may or may not have been a Nazi collaborator. Very thought-provoking!
  • The Brood -- Early Cronenberg. Worth watching for Cronenbergians, but if you're not one, you might take a pass. Best. Broad-daylight kindergarten-teacher assassination by a mutant-child. Ever.
  • My Best Fiend, Klaus Kinski -- This is a documentary by director Werner Herzog about his personal and working relationship with intense method-actor Klaus Kinski (father of nude-with-snake pin-up girl Nastassja Kinski), with whom he made numerous excellent films (Like Fitzcarraldo, for instance). Recommended! Interestingly enough, to the best of my recollection, Nastassja (or his other children) weren't even mentioned in the film.
  • Nastassja wasn't intervewed for the film, but the snake was.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Marvel / Peanuts Mashups

(I think this one is my favorite.)

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Fergie/Cake and Fergie/Stones Mashups

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Weblog Awards 2006 Voting Open

Voting is open for the 2006 Weblog Awards. I cast a number of votes tonight and will again tomorrow (you can vote in a category once every 24 hours). I hope to have a list of recommendations up this weekend.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

L.A. Times Article on Blogging Economists

Via 2 Blowhards, here's a good piece on the phenomenon of economists finding wild celebrity on the Blogosphere. Excerpt: "Most people are afraid of economics. It seems so technical," Becker said. "But what is surprising is that if you put economics in a simple enough phrase, people are very much interested in it." Most of the economists say their readers aren't students. Cowen describes his fans as "high IQ, possibly nerdy, looking for kicks or for something different." The something different comes into play when the professors and bloggers loosen up. A recent Mankiw posting, for instance, discussed the winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and then cited a joke about members of the elite circle throwing feces at one another. It doesn't hurt that the bloggers often choose controversial topics. Becker recently wondered online whether polygamy should be legalized and debated the idea of a "fat tax," which would levy higher fees on foods that lead to obesity.

I've been meaning to reorganize the blogroll; maybe I'll give economists their own section. In the meantime, here are a bunch of economist jokes. Excerpt: Three econometricians went out hunting, and came across a large deer. The first econometrician fired, but missed, by a meter to the left. The second econometrician fired, but also missed, by a meter to the right. The third econometrician didn't fire, but shouted in triumph, "We got it! We got it!"

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fun Videos

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars

This looks like a good documentary: Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars. NPR profile here, MySpace page here, Rosebud Agency page here, Calabash here, album here. (No, I wasn't watching Oprah today either.) It's about these musicians who were victims of the civil war in Sierra Leone who have called attention to their country's situation through music.

Update: If you're not sure where Sierra Leone is exactly, see how well you do on this quiz.

Movie trailer:

In Japan:

At Music Millennium:

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Modern Inventions Predicted in Classic Science Fiction

Here's a very well-indexed site about technological achievements from old science fiction that have become actualized in one way or another. For instance, H.G. Wells's prediction of the VCR/DVD player. (Hope it wasn't a Trutech!) Excerpt: He puzzled over this peculiar cylinder for some time and replaced it. Then he turned to the square apparatus and examined that. He opened a sort of lid and found one of the double cylinders within, and on the upper edge a little stud like the stud of an electric bell. He pressed this and a rapid clicking began and ceased. He became aware of voices and music, and noticed a play of colour on the smooth front face. He suddenly realised what this might be, and stepped back to regard it. On the flat surface was now a little picture, very vividly coloured, and in this picture were figures that moved. Not only did they move, but they were conversing in clear small voices. It was exactly like reality viewed through an inverted opera glass and heard through a long tube. His interest was seized at once by the situation, which presented a man pacing up and down and vociferating angry things to a pretty but petulant woman. Both were in the picturesque costume that seemed so strange to Graham.

Not bad for 1899!

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What Kind of Reader Are You?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Book Snob
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Via the newly blogrolled Annoyed Librarian.

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Snow Day!

Chicagoland is among those parts of the Midwest experiencing the first major snowfall of the year.

So guess what? I'm staying home! (Although I do have a couple of spreadsheets I want to work on... I'm an Excelaholic.)

This morning's commute.