Monday, February 28, 2005

Black Cloud Haiku

physical representation of job prospects

To hell with it all.
No job, no prospect of one.
Temp firm will not call.

Resume, letter.
Experience doesn't count.
No law review past.

Letter, calls won't work.
Contacts aren't sufficient.
Pencils now for sale.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Highway Madness

I know that the few people reading this blog are already aware of the execrable "Legacy Highway Hotsheet." If not, then please check it out. The state of Utah is contemplating/attempting to spend billions of dollars on a highway connecting two growing suburbs of Salt Lake City, and it has become very controversial. The local planners (I use that term liberally because it is difficult to discern that any planning went into the development of the area involved) of Davis County, Utah who advocate the road have started a blog to build support for it. It's an interesting read not only for people who like to read and talk about urban planning issues.

I think the most interesting thing about the Legacy Parkway Hotsheet is the way this blog is used as a tool of political communication. Sure, there are lots of political blogs, from the chattering-commentator set to campaign blogs to ordinary people who want to spout off into the ether. This site is different because you have town officials creating a blog, making arguments in support of their road (usually unconvincing aphorisms about growth), and yet utterly shooting themselves in the foot by their inability to confront their critics in the comments section. They have yet to respond to their detractors in any concrete, issue-oriented way, beyond limp accusations of leftward political orientation, unemployment and mental illness. I've enjoyed hours of entertainment seeing these people revealed as the unorginal, uninsprired, and until now unchalleneged, weak minds and intellects who would waste billions of our tax dollars to achieve visions like these:

road road2 road3 parking lot

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Next Generation in Lame Op-Ed Cliches

Journalistic Cliche of the Year equals Journalistic Cliche of 2004

Andrew Sullivan's recent column in the Times is a pretty clear indication of the direction in which writers and commenters will be heading with their cliches.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Bar Blogging Update

This is what's happening upstairs right now:

This Is What's Happening Upstairs

I mean, judging from the amount of noise that I hear, I'm pretty sure.

Bar Blogging

All Michael's Been Reading For Months Now

Not that kind of bar. I'm sitting at a desk drumming all nature of legal rules and pnemonic devices into my head. Here are some of my favorite:

MAD FIFI (Commercial Paper -- Real Defenses to a Holder In Due Course): Material Alteration, Duress, Fraud In the Factum, Infancy, Insolvency, Illegality and Incapacity.

MIMIC (Evidence -- Permissible Uses of Character Evidence): Motive, Intent, Mistake (absence of), Identity, Common Plan or Scheme.

WOSSUP (Commercial Paper -- List of Required Elements That Make A Negotiable Instrument): Writing, Order or Bearer, Signed by Maker or Drawer, Sum Certain, Unconditional Promise or Order, Payable on Demand, Payable in Currency.

This sucks.

Oh Wonkette...

angry lesbians

Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee member and Seymour Hersh target Richard Perle thought, for some reason, that it was a good idea to debate Howard Dean in Portland, Oregon. Why didn't he just meet Dean at the Young Lesbian Communists Summit with a big target painted on his ass?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Really? At 9:30 In the Morning?

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE:

The scene is an alley outside of Michael's bedroom window. It is 9:00 on a brisk Saturday morning.

Facing the alley, across from Michael's apartment, are the back porches and decks of five rowhouses.

The scene opens with rowhouse-dwelling, hippie neighbor/douchebag surrounded by a motley collection of wooden stumps and not-quite-tree-sized-logs, slicing and dicing them with a gas-powered chain-saw.


Hosting Of My Asshole Neighbor By ImageShack

CHAINSAW: BZZZZZZ!BBBBRRRRRRRRZZZZZ! BBBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!

(A half-hour later, at 9:30, Michael comes to his bedroom window. He has been lying in bed listening to someone using a chainsaw 20 feet away for the last 30 minutes. Now, he stares out at his neighbor in amazement before opening the window.)

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL: EXCUSE ME.

(Hippie neighbor/douchebag does not hear Michael over the noise from the chainsaw)

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL: UM, EXCUSE ME?

(Hippie/douchebag still does not hear Michael. This goes on for 3-4 minutes.)

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL: EEEXXXXCCUUUSSSEE MMMMEEE!!!

Hippie/douchebag neighbor's wife is out on their back porch and sees Michael yelling in his window, like a crazy person, in his underwear. She tells hippie/douchebag neighbor to cut the engine on the chainsaw.

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL: IT'S 9:30 IN THE MORNING, DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HOLD OFF ON THE CHAINSAWING?

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NEIGHBOR: (irritatedly, despite wife's sincere apology) IT'S NINE-THIRTY.

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL: YEAH. I KNOW. IT'S 9:30 IN THE MORNING ON A SATURDAY. SOME OF US ARE SLEEPING IN. DO YOU REALLY NEED TO DO THAT RIGHT NOW?

Hosting Of My Asshole Neighbor By ImageShack

NEIGHBOR: WELL HOW LATE WERE YOU PLANNING ON SLEEPING IN?

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL: COULD YOU JUST NOT RUN YOUR CHAINSAW OUTSIDE MY WINDOW THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING ON A WEEKEND?

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NEIGHBOR: sighs/exhales annoyedly

Michael at 9 am

MICHAEL:(closes his window, not quite believing the exchange he just had) WHAT A FUCKING ASSHOLE.

Someone who looks vaguely like Erin

ERIN: WHAT A FUCKING ASSHOLE.

SCENE


Are my hours so abnormal? Is it such a dyonysian extravagance to sleep in until 9:30 or so on a Saturday morning? Is it?

Another Pitchfork Moment:

generic hipster

I'm embarrassed to say I approached this Pitchfork article by William Bowers with some interest. That's not a photo of William above, but it's how I imagine he looks. I thought the piece was going to be a column, or an article, or whatever, on being a consumer of music at a time when choices of music, medium, genre, are overwhelmingly diverse. But, naturally (this being Pitchfork), it descended into hipster babble"

what does it mean to "consume" music? That you merely buy it? That you download it? That you burn it, label it, and shelve it according to your personal Brian-Eno-centric decimal system? No, you say, because you are not just some acquisitive tool, or blind collector; you are a "fan," an appreciateur, an officionado, a participant in a grander cultural discussion. To truly "consume" music, you say, would require some scholarship, some sacrifice, some slow digestion. To recognize the flowerpot-wearing band in a poster on the wall of a "nerd" during a Simpsons episode, or to have "Whip It" in rotation on your "Crazy Eighties" playlist is not to consume Devo, you say. To consume Devo is to know their ideological and geographical origins, to be intimate with their failures, to study their DVDs, to know that the Strokes and many others are citing them as an influence on future records, to debate about Devo and win, to weep when Wilco plays "Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy" in New York at the beginning of 2005, to type post-Freudian analyses of Booji Boy for an imaginary journal, to feel ambiguous about Mothersbaugh's soundtrack work, to debate about Devo and lose, to spend precious hours searching for that Neil Young movie they were in, to design a cluster graph that attempts to sort out the significance of their run-ins with Bowie and Dylan as well as their reconfigurations of the Carter Family and the Rolling Stones, and most importantly, to explain to idiots that they weren't wearing flowerpots-- "Obviously, those are energy domes based on Mayan ziggurats, asshole!"