Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally, March, Vote

"Any cretin can throw a bomb. It is 1,000
times more difficult to disarm one."
-- Hans Magnus Enzensberger, German author & poet
President Obama ended his appearance on The Daily Show wishing that a rally to restore sanity had happened two years earlier... Before healthcare hysteria, filibuster foolishness and an uprising of weapons-toting wingnuts armed not with facts, but rather Fox-fueled fears.

Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post added:
"Good luck trying to top the comedy of the campaign season...
You should have come sooner. The joke's already on us."
While the Christian Science Monitor asks if the Rally to Restore Sanity either would (or could) actually work and accomplish its stated goal.

In Seattle, among other cities, they're prepping to echo the DC festivities, which (at least pre-event) the Washington Post is covering as a mega-party... Complete with music from The Roots, Sheryl Crow & Mavis Staples w/ Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and a benediction by Don Novello (in full Father Guido Sarducci garb).

The line-up indicates the bulk of time will be devoted to silliness: Comedy Central is broadcasting the whole thing live, but so is
C-SPAN, whose typical Saturday fare is mostly serious and stodgy, so it's political, too...

But will it be completely and poisonously partisan?

Organizers of the annual Marine Corps Marathon have said they plan to keep rally attendees away from their porta-potties... Apparently they're not taking any liberal sh*t.

Semper fi, guys!

Fans of "fair and balanced" news doubt the event will be... Pointing out that the lone conservative they knew would be on stage Saturday will be a fake one: Stephen Colbert.

In the world view of TV booking, a sitting president is the ultimate "get." But to conspiracy-minded conservatives, President Obama's Wednesday Daily Show appearance points to Democrat domination of Saturday's Sanity/Fear festival... And worse yet, it was an infomercial-length closing argument to the campaign provided without charge for the time. How anti-capitalist can you get?

Wyatt Andrews of CBS with the "Daily Show"'s John Oliver

Watch for yourself. Decide. Vote Tuesday... Hopefully with lucidity.
“Lose your dreams and
you might lose your mind.”
-- Keith Richards, Rolling Stone / Ruby Tuesday (1967)

Space Invaders

Alone Together

Taryn Winter Brill of CBS explored boundaries of personal space.

Live version of the lead track from Zenyattà Mondatta (1980)

Auto-Complete Goes Nuts

Campaign Craziness Gets Googled

Screen shot from the Huffington Post

See a slide show of drop-downs showing what's been searched.

Accessory and Accomplice

Propagating Islamicist Ideology

Video: CNN

White Punks On Dope

It's Berger & Prescott on pot... What, again?
California's Proposition 4:20
Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook.

Week, Too Weak

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Recap - Week of 10/25/10
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Friday, October 29, 2010

Aiborne Assault On The Senses

How Effective Are Negative Campaign Ads?

Voters in a Philadelphia suburb who are inundated with campaign advertisements, mostly negative, sat down with NPR's Robert Siegel to discuss the depressing deluge of dissing... And whether campaign consultants' massive carpet bombing works to change anyone's mind.
Rare Bipartisan Agreement
Audio Embed: All Things Considered, 10/28/10.

Hurry, Final Daze!

Expensive Campaign, Eccentric Candidates

Sharyl Attkisson reports on last-minute big money election ads and then Nancy Cordes wonders at the panorama of weirdness it bought.

Videos: CBS News

The Center for Responsive Politics predicts the 2010 elections could cost nearly $4 billion. If the projection holds, that's the 3rd costliest campaign ever, trailing only 2004 and 2008's presidential contests.

Trapped and Sinking Fast

The Strategic Default Initiative

Millions of people could decide to stop paying their mortgage because their home values have sunk far below what they owe, economists estimate... For one California couple, whose home is now worth only 20% of what they paid, the temptation to call it quits is very real.
To Pay, Or Not To Pay
Audio Embed: Morning Edition, 10/28/10
Reporter: Yuki Noguchi

The NY Times Econimix Blog illustrates the shocking reversal in home equity between 2000 & 2009 with maps from the San Francisco Fed.

The Nation examines Bank of America's failure to help hundreds of thousands of homeowners ruined by Countrywide Mortgage; which it owns. Countrywide originated 1 in 5 of sub prime mortgage defaults.

The James Gang classic from Thirds (1971), when Joe really did quit the band.

Think Warm Thoughts

Video: CBC/Rick Mercer Report

TODAY hosts cozy up with Snuggies

Wearing The Wild Side

A model wearing the new Wild Side leopard Snuggie struck a pose on the runway at the Snuggie Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week. The sunglasses could be a fashion statement... Then they could be concealing the identity of the model who, like the earlier Matt Lauer, wouldn't be caught dead in a Snuggie.

Allstar Marketing Group, which makes the Snuggie, was introducing new looks for their much mocked backwards bathrobe, which went viral once Conan O’Brien mentioned it on the “Tonight Show.”

In Redding CA, it even replaced a raincoat! Police received multiple reports (Monday 10/25/10) that a man wearing a Snuggie was exposing himself to passersby... He was identified by neighbors who noticed him running nude through a nearby apartment complex.

The police report states that the man, who seemed to be under the influence of narcotics, was booked into Shasta County Jail on suspicion of public intoxication... And improper use of a Snuggie: he was only holding the Snuggie up to his body, possibly in an attempt to make people think he was covered.

Doing The Wild Thing

Humorist Lex Friedman and Megan Morrison (who actually owns one) have created the “Snuggie Sutra.”

It's covered-up coitus, undercover banging, bonking and boinking for those lovers who don't mind licking a little lint. The book contains graphic designer Morrison's very easy-to-follow illustrations for some traditional positions, including “The Manket” — where the man wears the Snuggie on his back while he covers his partner, keeping her warm — to more adventurous positions such as “The Banana Split,” which really has to be seen to be understood.

Their website says: You own a Snuggie & have sex. It was inevitable.

But Wait There's More!

Videos: MSNBC

Parental Screening Process

Do kids TV, games and computer screen time add up to problems?
Limited Time Only
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File, 10/28/10
A Second Opinion... For Older Kids

Video: CNN

CBS News asks if Facebook and texting are worse for teens than TV? Parents seem to fret over their kids becoming too dependent on gear & gadgets, but is it all that different from watching TV reruns?

Maybe not... With the possible exception of Jersey Shore.

Scrambling The Sleepwalker

Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal Is Now In Print

Videos: ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Work In Progress

Remember, whenever you hear the results of a poll which asks if the country is on the right track, that the people who answered "wrong track" include both Conservatives who think that we've gone too far... And Progressives who believe we haven't come far, or fast, enough.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barack Obama -- 10/27/10

Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

"He knows about your party
He is calling you 'DUDE!'"

-- Cake - Comfort Eagle (2001)
Governing Is Boring. No Kidding!
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 10/28/10
Keith Olberman presented a Special Comment on the tea party and things their candidates have said... And Rachel Maddow's 10/27/10 show originated from Las Vegas, where she spent much of her day pursuing elusive non-Fox media-evading bagger queen Sharron Angle.

What's Wrong With DC

OMG... Where Do We Start?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Extreme Makeover DC Edition: The Best F#@king News Team exposes Washington's systemic failings, John McCain plans a gut renovation, and Wyatt Cenac fights corruption at a cocktail party.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity
The Daily Show is in DC all week in advance of Saturday's rally.

It's So Bad, They Really Want To Be There

Video: MSNBC
Takedown Tactics
Audio Embed: Dave Ross, KIRO-FM/Seattle, 10/27/10

Out Here In The Fields

It's More Than Mines In The Desert

A Chilean farm, shot by student, blogger & amateur photographer Sabino.

Looking For Mr. Right

200 newlywed couples pose at the National Stadium in Beijing, Oct. 10, 2010.
Just underneath China's modern, shiny surface, many aspects of life are still very traditional. An obsession with date numerology is one (remember the Beijing Olympics started on 8/8/08) and marriage is another... Women (and in particular their parents) fret about not finding a suitable partner before they hit 30 and grow too old (太旧).
Labeled As "Leftover Women"
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 10/26/10,
Reporter: Rob Gifford
Rob Riggle - How We Roll
Read an interview with RobFunny JokesFunny Videos

Hiring Mister White


Paul Is Dead

Miss Him, Miss Him, Miss Him

Oberhausen's octopus oracle picked 8 2010 World Cup winners.

Video: ITN

The one and only Billy Shears Live on Letterman!

A Clematoons cartoon featuring Ringo's song from Abbey Road (1969)

An octo-obituary from ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live

Don't Go There, Dave

Young woman, expensive wood, massive stroke?

... Smell the ham, man.

Video: CBS/Late Night with David Letterman

She's Poised For One Of 2010's Biggest Sellers

Taylor Swift, one of the music industry's biggest money-makers, released a new album Tuesday. Her label is so confident that "Speak Now" will sell well that it's shipped more than 2 million copies to stores.

Analysts have speculated that the album could be the last ever to sell a million in its 1st week.

The Wall Street Journal's Christopher John Farley discusses his recent interview with Swift and what happened to award-grabber Kanye West since the two became linked in pop culture.
Bare Shouldering An Entire Industry
Audio Embed: All Things Considered 10/26/10,
Host: Michele Norris
Kanye's 'Runaway': Bizarre, Brilliant or Both ?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series, Seriously

Major League Baseball’s World Series begins tonight and we know this: one of the game’s longest championship droughts will come to an end. The San Francisco Giants haven’t won the World Series since 1954 when they were still in New York. The Texas Rangers have never made it to the fall classic, let alone won it all... This should be good!
Manly Men Play Ball
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 10/26/10,
Host: Robin Young with Ted Keith of Sports Illustrated

Game 1: Texas Rangers @ San Francisco Giants, 7:57 ET (Fox)

Seriously LPGA... Man Up!

The LPGA may find itself in the same position tennis did in 1977, when Renee Richards won a court order that allowed the transsexual to play in the women's bracket at the U.S. (Maybe Not That) Open.

Lana Lawless -- a 57-year-old retired cop who had (cross your legs now) gender-reassignment surgery in 2005 -- has sued the LPGA over a rule that says all competitors must be female at birth.
Sex Change Or Not, It Takes Balls
To Play With The Pros

Audio Embed: Berger & Prescott, podcast via Facebook...
They're teed off, but not the men they used to be, either.

Stomping The Opposition

Wasn't "don't tread on me" a tea party slogan?

Down to the wire... Down in the gutter.

Said View co-host Joy Behar, on Tuesday: "I’d like to see her do this ad in the South Bronx... She’s going to hell, this bitch!"

Sometimes It's Funny

Videos: CNN, MSNBC &

Bomb Threat Prompts Precautions

By Glynnis MacNicol of

NPR reportedly received a bomb threat yesterday amidst a week of controversy over the firing of news analyst Juan Williams. From the Washington Post:
Sources at the news organization said the threat was received via U.S. mail and was immediately turned over to local police and the FBI. The organization did not publicly disclose the threat or release details, on the advice of law enforcement officials.

The letter didn’t reference the Williams firing specifically, but people at NPR, who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity, said the timing and tone suggested it was sent after Williams’ widely publicized termination.
The organization, which is based in Washington D.C., said:
“We’re taking extra precautions today,” NPR spokeswoman Anna Christopher said Tuesday, without saying what prompted the precautions. “We’re being more aware of who’s entering the building” and generally being more vigilant. She said the organization’s security staff has been making extra checks of the building’s garage.
The Rally to Restore Sanity seems to have gotten an endorsement in Tuesday’s New York Times crossword, courtesy of commie hippie editor Will Shortz.

His ability to boost the event's mojo may not match Oprah's, but be on the look out for "word nerds" in Saturday's crowd.



The cheese previously available here has passed its shelf life.

Don't Miss The Message

New York governor hopeful's 'Rent Is Too Damn High' platform.

Video: SNL/Weekend Update

Innuendo & Out The Other

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Indecision 2010 - Sean Bielat and Ken Buck can't help being politically opportunistic election year gay-baiters -- they were born that way.
The Word - Midterm Erection: A large number of lady politicians say it's time that America ditches the ballot box in favor of the measuring stick.
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

Disney = Religion For Kids

An Opiate for Young Masses says Dave Cotright
I was at a conference in Anaheim, CA recently. I was staying at a hotel that was literally right across the street from Disneyland. The hotel was teeming with Disney-going families, and boy were those kids excited! They talked about the rides, and the shows, and the food, but what struck me the most was the awe and reverence when they talked about meeting Mickey or Jack Sparrow or one of the princesses. That was clearly a highlight.

My brother has two girls (8 and 5) and they've been to Disney World in Orlando, FL. They stayed at a hotel where you can have breakfast with Cinderella for the low, low price of $36-$60. For them it was the highlight of the trip. They couldn't stop talking about it.

When I was in Anaheim overhearing the boys and girls talk about it, I couldn't help but think it was like a religious experience for them. These characters that they see in books, watch on TV, wear on their shirts, carry around on their lunchboxes... these characters that they so look up to are like religious figures to them (dare I even say, gods).

And the adults all go along with it. In fact they encourage it. They want their kids to experience this unbridled joy. It's what Disney is selling, and American families are buying it in bulk.

Eventually the kids grow out of it. There's probably no one point in time where they realize these characters aren't real. They just lose interest. They move onto other things. And without mom and dad to encourage them, there's no pressure to stick with it.

But with organized religion, there's constant pressure to stick with it; to keep the fantasy alive. The leaders in America all perpetuate the belief in god, just like parents perpetuate the belief in princesses and pirates. But here's the thing about American leaders: they never let up. They keep the fantasy alive throughout our childhood, into puberty, and all the way through adulthood. All the while, we're over-paying for every meal we eat to be in the presence of these fictional characters.

A good parent wouldn't take their kids to Disneyland every year, even through their teens, have them eat breakfast with princesses and pirates, all the while claiming these characters are real and worthy of awe and respect. They know when to stop; when it's time for their kids to grow up and face reality. I wish I could say the same for the leaders of our country.
Dave Cotright's "philosophical musings from a geek-tech viewpoint in the heart of Silicon Valley" appear on his blog, KPAO, which is the source of this article.

Tricks Of The Tail

Look Who's Talking To Oxford Union

Pamela Anderson's 11th Playboy cover will be the January 2011 issue.

Look Who's Walking Off Of Oz

Videos: ITN

Listen To An Overlooked Classic

Phil Collins' debut as lead singer of Genesis (1976)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Look Behind The Leaks

What Happened

What Happened?

Videos: MSNBC & ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live

In a way, they're both torture to hear.

Further Firing Fall-Out

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
NPR Staffing Decision 2010: The Best F#@king News Team is there as NPR brings a tote bag full of David Sedaris books to a knife fight with Fox News.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity
Rebecca Jarvis and the president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser discussed the controversy surrounding fired N.P.R. analyst Juan Williams on Saturday's CBS Early Show... Jasser's positions sharply contrast with the larger Council on American-Islamic Relations, which encourages social and political activism.

There probably isn't anyone worth anything in broadcast media who hasn't been fired, or won't be. It's almost always arbitrary, capricious and poorly handled. Communications executives can't communicate.

But it's all at will employment. No matter how long you've played an enjoyable role, you're a temp... And your next job is looking for work. Performers know that it's part of the game... You can be dismissed with a change of wind direction, and you trust only your own talent.

NPR's Schiller Apologized, Kinda... But Not To Juan

In an internal memo issued Sunday 10/24/10, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller conceded the firing of part-time news commentator Juan Williams (10/20) was poorly handled and poorly timed, but still stands by her decision.
"I want to apologize to you for not doing a better job of handling the termination of our relationship with Juan Williams. While we stand firmly behind that decision, I regret that we did not take the time to better prepare our messaging and to provide you with the tools to cope with the fallout from this episode. As I’m telling our Member stations in a separate memo today, I also regret that this happened when the staff and volunteers of many stations were engaged in pledge drives."
Schiller also said NPR is reviewing how Williams' firing was handled:
"We have already begun a thorough review of all aspects of our performance in this instance, a process that will continue in the coming days and weeks."
Major Garrett, now of National Journal, voluntarily departed Fox.

More: Major's Scoop On Mitch

Videos: MSNBC/Morning Joe & Countdown

Are Athletes Overpaid?

NBA Commissioner David Stern says the league must become (even more outrageously) "profitable" and needs to reduce costs... Front offices around the league want to cut player salaries $800 million.

Dave Zirin contends owners are ruining the games we love. It's the subtitle of his book, "Bad Sports."

A rogues gallery of billionaires has used the threat of pulling up stakes and moving their franchise as a form of legalized extortion to publicly subsidize the expense of facilities while privatizing profits outside public view. They won't open their books to independent scrutiny, but insist that despite income from major media, luxury boxes and naming rights sales, the business of athletic entertainment is suffering to the point of needing to slash player salaries... They're planning labor lockouts.

Prove it! Open the books! If their poverty claim were true, wouldn't more owners be selling teams instead of selling out over-priced seats?

Maybe Not, But Favre Is One Overexposed Freak

Videos: CBS/Late Night, MSNBC &

What Business Wants

Public Position: Back Compromise,
Donate Secretly to Support Gridlock

While posturing about seeking "certainty" in government policy, the stock market desires the greatest gains it typically makes during times of political stalemate... One party in the White House and the other controlling Capitol Hill seems ideal for business as usual.
It's Really Divide and Conquer
Audio Embed: CBS Radio's Osgood File 10/25/10.

Caving To Anti-Social Media

Tweaking "The Man," Tweet By Tweet

Criticism can pack a lot of power when consumers use Twitter, Facebook or YouTube to launch social media campaigns to protest something a company is doing.

Recently, Gap caved to complaints about its new logo, after thousands of its Facebook fans protested the switch from the iconic blue denim box to a new kind of look... Sun Chips found itself forced to pull its eco-friendly, but extremely loud bag from store shelves... And who can forget the (damaged) case of “United Breaks Guitars,” when a Canadian country musician created a YouTube video to protest United Airlines baggage handlers smashing his axe... Something usually reserved for rockers.

“Anti-social media” is a growing trend on sites where there's also a reaction to the character changing co-opting of creeping corporatism.
140 Characters & Out
Audio Embed: BBC, PRI & WBUR's Here & Now 10/25/10,
Host: Robin Young & communication professor John Carroll