Sunday, December 31, 2006
Ford Owed Status as Oldest Ex-President to Gay Guy
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
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
- Two excellent DVDs for film buffs: Larry Cohen's God Told Me To (make sure to listen to the commentary, and look for sets and props from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and also a young Andy Kaufman as a NYPD cop who starts shooting people at the St. Patrick's Day parade) and IFC's The Spaghetti West.
- Interesting L.A. Times article on the nautically themed home of Hollywood writer Mark B. Perry.
- Here's the Bing Crosby/David Bowie Christmas classic, Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth), a few days late.
- Stephen Colbert vs. The Decemberists: Guitarmageddon! (Parts one, two, and three.) Tribune article here.
- Wikipedia vs. Google = Wikia. The winner? Everyone with a keyboard.
- Put your blog on paper? Why not?
Back From X-mas Trip
Among gifts received:
- Burned Adam-12 and Ultraman discs
- Heavy-duty handtruck
- Heavy-duty fireproof/waterproof safe
- Roll of duct tape
- Superhero stamps
- Shaving Cream
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
Labels: Merry Christmas
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Something to Get You in the Holiday Mood
Time Magazine Jumps the Shark
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.
Friday, December 15, 2006
- First, speaking of Atlantic Records, allow me to pay respects to the late great Ahmet Ertegun. Excellent Slate interview here, L.A. Times profile here, Rolling Stone here. Let me give you an excellent documentary to just hear this guy talk about the music industry -- Tom Dowd and the Language of Music, which, though primarily about one of his colleagues, Tom Dowd, had plenty of Mr. Ertegun's insights.
- The newly blogrolled Google Operating System has the top ten Google Apps of the Year. Excerpt: 7. Google Video -- Google Video has shifted its mission from searching TV shows captions to searching all the videos in the world, one by one (including user-generated videos). The video store wasn't successful, but Google Video continued to add features: popular videos, uploading videos online, ratings, comments, labels. But most of them were added a long time after they were included in YouTube, its major rival. Adding Google Video to Google's homepage didn't help it too much, so Google bought YouTube. Contextual video ads, launched this year, will have a big exposure, while Google tries to make deals with content providers.
- I remember one time former Texas Senator Phil Gramm was asked how many guns he owned. His reply: "More than I need, but not as many as I want." I have the same feeling about getting some of these.
Everybody Watch "White and Nerdy"
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
What I've Been Watching Lately
- 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.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Marvel / Peanuts Mashups
Friday, December 08, 2006
Fergie/Cake and Fergie/Stones Mashups
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Weblog Awards 2006 Voting Open
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
L.A. Times Article on Blogging Economists
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!"
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars
Update: If you're not sure where Sierra Leone is exactly, see how well you do on this quiz.
At Music Millennium:
Friday, December 01, 2006
Modern Inventions Predicted in Classic Science Fiction
Not bad for 1899!
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Via the newly blogrolled Annoyed Librarian.