Friday, March 18, 2005

Veiled Conceit Guest Blog

I just guest-blogged on Veiled Conceit. It's the post on the gay couple. Go check it out and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

No Talent Ass-Clown?

Entertainment Weekly had an interview with Michael Bolton and asked him the question on everyone's mind:

EW: "You're referred to as a 'no-talent ass-clown' in Office Space. Is there a legitimate defense to this?"

Michael BoltonMB: "Well, no, just Grammys and awards given by my peers...I have signed so many Office Space DVDs, and I have it, but I've never seen it. From what I've heard, they should do an Office Space 2, and I should meet Michael Bolton in it."

As to his first statement, the one about the Grammys and awards, was no doubt meant to show that Michael Bolton is an established and respected recording artist, thank you very much. But as far as I'm concerned, they tend to prove his being an ass-clown.

Otherwise, props are due to Mr. Bolton for displaying a general good humor about the drubbing he receives in Office Space. But who owns it on DVD yet has never seen it?

Monday, March 14, 2005

I Had No Idea

how great wedding-related events are. Erin had her bridal shower over the weekend and we have great new stuff. Here's my kitchen, now outfitted with said great new stuff:

My New Kitchen

I can already here the comments about "consumer goodies." Guilty as charged. But I can slice an apple in one swift motion...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

And Now For Sober, Serious Legal Scholarship

Courtesy of my friend Lew, who says, "consider yourself warned."

I Hope The Legacy Highway Guys Don't Read This

What's the new angle that Northern Virginia opponents to smart-growth regulation are pushing? "Snob Zoning." Because Northern Virginia doesn't have enough roads, strip malls and traffic.

I Knew There Was Something Wrong WIth People Who Played Dungeons and Dragons...

Great article. The Israeli angle only makes it funnier, somehow.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Before The Office

Ricky Gervais equalsRicky Gervais

Courtesy Andrew Sullivan. It took me a while to really believe that these are photos of the same person. Come to think of it, I think Ricky Gervais ought to play Andrew Sullivan in any movie based on his life story.

Slow News Day and Because There Hasn't Been A Shorty Post Yet

gratuitous dog photo

I hate to be one of those people, but it will happen to you, too, one day...

Miserable Day

DC Snow and Rain

Yuck! I had an interview today and had to walk through this crap* in a suit and tie, dutifully toting my resume/transcript/interview binder and wrestling with my umbrella (which I am now convinced is sentient and hates me, given how ferociously it was fighting with me the whole walk there).

Now, for the lighter side of unemployment. A few practice problems for my test tomorrow, and then an afternoon on the couch with Shorty and an old friend of mine:


*UPDATE: That auto-City-cam was embarrassing, with its stupid, beautiful, sunny vista (looking away from DC, oddly enough). Anyway, I've replaced it with a figurative representation of the walk to my interview.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

How Is This Man In A Position To Teach Anything?

This interview between Bill Maher and Ward Churchill left me more depressed than angry.

It of course comes as no suprise that Maher is a complete moron, a third-tier comedian who thinks his views have some kind of currency in the public debate. I am bewhildered that he his own television show -- it would make more sense to have Drew Carey discussing economic policy (except that Drew Carey might be more informed on that subject that Maher is on anything). If Bill Maher were someone I met at a party, I would dismiss him as a poorly read, awkwardly grasping fool aping the most recent Daily Kos posting.

But that's television, and I don't expect much from the people who throw this stuff together. For every "Chapelle's Show", there are 10 vanilla reality-forensic-makeover-investigation sit coms.

What really shocked me was Ward Churchill. I read dozens of articles and blog posts about his 9/11 comments, and as outrageous as they are, by now they are not a suprise. But utterly unexpected was how incredibly stupid, inarticulate and, well, uninformed he is. He sounded like a wino at the bus station:

Ward Churchill

Here are some pearls of wisdom courtesy of Ward:

-- the U.S. had it coming because of slavery.

-- the U.S. had it coming because of what happened to the American Indians.

-- the people in the World Trade Center were like Adolph Eichmann, because, like Eichmann, they were bureaucrats.

-- Adolph Eichmann was not a high-ranking Nazi, he was just a bureaucrat "who put together train schedules."

Nobody reading this site really needs me to clarify or correct these claims, because I think you know better already. The perpetrators of 9/11 weren't rebellious slaves or American Indians, nor were the victims slave owners or slave traders or cowboys. Adolph Eichmann was, in fact, an extremely high-ranking Nazi who did a great deal more than compose train schedules:

Adolf Eichmann (March 19, 1906 — June 1, 1962) was a high-ranking official in Nazi Germany, and served as an Obersturmbannführer in the S.S.. He was largely responsible for the logistics of the extermination of millions of people during the Holocaust, in particular Jews, which was called the "final solution" (Endlösung). He organized the identification and transportation of people to the various concentration camps. Therefore, he is often referred to as the 'Chief Executioner' of the Third Reich.

At the start of the Second World War, Eichmann had been promoted to SS-Hauptsturmführer and had made a name for himself with his Office for Jewish Emigration. Eichmann had even been sponsored, by the SS Race and Settlement Office, to take a trip to Palestine and study aspects of the Jewish Homeland. Ironically, through this work, Eichmann made several contacts in the Zionist movement which he worked with to speed up Jewish Emigration from the Reich.

Eichmann's office was expanded in late 1939 to cover the entirety of the German Reich and Eichmann was transferred from the SD to the Gestapo in 1940. He was promoted to the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer in late 1940 and, less than a year later, Eichmann had been promoted to Obersturmbannführer. He was assigned as the commander of the Jewish Division of the Gestapo Religions Department in the Reich Central Security Office (RSHA) with the code for Eichmann's position listed as "IV-B4".

In 1942, Eichmann was personally invited by Reinhard Heydrich to attend the Wannsee Conference where Germany's anti-Jewish measures were set down into an official policy of genocide. To this "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" Eichmann was tasked as "Transportation Administrator" which put Eichmann in charge of all the trains which would carry Jews to the Death Camps of Poland. For the next two years, Eichmann performed his duties with incredible zeal, often times bragging that he had personally sent over five million Jews to their deaths by way of his trains.

Eichmann's work had been noticed and, in 1944, he was sent to Hungary after Germany had occupied that country in fear of a Soviet invasion. Eichmann at once went to work deporting Jews and was able to send four hundred thousand Hungarians to their deaths in the Nazi gas chambers.
(from Wikepedia)

Sound like any bond traders you know? Sound like some middle manager in his shirt-sleeves writing up TPS reports, or whatever middle-managers do? Of course not. I doubt Churchill even gave the assertion much thought. Why bother, when all you need do on a crapfest like Bill Maher's show is blindly assert: "[insert infamous historical monster here] wasn't a big deal, he was just like [insert college-educated job holder's title here].

But how depressing that a university professor (with tenure, no less) can go on television and state as fact something that took me 10 seconds to look up online and disprove. How Ward Churchill came to teach anything to anybody is a mystery. Pathetic.

Next week's post: Michael vents about the assholes in the Bill Maher audience who actually cheered.

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis has a roundup of (mostly right-of-center) reaction to the Churchill appearance on Politically Incorrect. It serves to reinforce just how awful this show was on every conceivable level. There's also a Ward Churchill blog, if anyone's interested.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

"Maybe A Missionary, With No Religious Agenda"

Modest Mouse Interview

This is a really funny interview with Isaac Brock from Modest Mouse.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Heteronormative Monster Rears Its Ugly Head

Jada Pinkett Smith VERSUS angry lesbians

This is from a great Harvard Crimson article that must be read to be believed :
After some students were offended by Jada Pinkett Smith’s comments at Saturday’s Cultural Rhythms show, the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA) and the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations have begun working together to increase sensitivity toward issues of sexuality at Harvard.

Students said that some of Pinkett Smith’s remarks concerning appropriate gender roles were specific to heterosexual relationships.

Pinkett Smith was honored as the Foundation’s “Artist of the Year” at its 20th annual Cultural Rhythms show, which she also hosted.

BGLTSA Co-Chair Jordan B. Woods ’06 said that, while many BGLTSA members thought Pinkett Smith’s speech was “motivational,” some were insulted because they thought she narrowly defined the roles of men and women in relationships.

“Some of the content was extremely heteronormative, and made BGLTSA members feel uncomfortable,” he said.