phamos: (bamababy)
I'm honestly not surprised that McCain didn't know that the Anbar Awakening began before the surge even started. Because, really, the man has recently demonstrated that he doesn't know that Iraq and Pakistan don't share a border, that Al Qaida and the Revolutionary Guard aren't exactly best buds, that Czechoslovakia hasn't existed in 15 years, or that Somalia and Sudan are different countries (themselves separated by a country that's approximately twice the size of Texas).

No, what I'm shocked by, and PISSED about, is that CBS actually edited this huge mistake right the fuck on out of the interview. They show Katie Couric asking a question about the surge, and then air McCain's response to an ENTIRELY different question. That is an egregious lack of journalistic integrity. Can we officially stop talking about the damn liberal media now? Or are we just going to keep piling on the New York Times for not letting McCain publish an op-ed with no actual content other than taking potshots at Obama?

I'm angry about the state of our political system these days, obviously. But I'm ashamed by the state of our media. Especially when Bob Novak's going around slamming into people with his Corvette. Douchebag of Liberty, hit-and-run perpetrator, indictment avoider, and gainfully employed Fox News commentator. God bless America. (Don't even get me started on Michael Savage and Jack Cafferty right now. Sheesh.)
phamos: (bamababy)
Earlier this year, I was doing a really good job at posting regularly about two topics near and dear to my heart -- politics and Lost. Since I became gainfully employed, this regularity dropped off. And now I feel like I should post about both of those subjects, but I don't know if I can. If I don't post about Lost immediately after viewing it, I kinda lose the intensity of my reactions. (Although my reaction this week can pretty much be summed up as "Ick, you two suck. DON'T CARE.") And the election has broken my brain. Everyone knows my feelings about the national news media at this point. But the blogs, though certainly not as bad as the MSM, have been falling into some unfortunate patterns that I'm not enjoying. Namely, the INCESSANT emphasis on polls. I swear to god, every day I have about 15 posts in my RSS reader about various different presidential polls. And they ALL SAY DIFFERENT THINGS and NONE OF THEM ARE RELIABLE OR MEAN ANYTHING, and yet EVERY DAY, it's all "oh, Obama's been affected by the Wright scandal" and then 12 hours later "Hey, Rasmussen says he's bounced back from the Wright scandal!" and I'm seriously like, WHO CARES?? Jesus, people, I understood it before Pennsylvania because there was a 6 week break and they needed to fill time, but this week has honestly been the worst week yet. You can't wait a damn week and just SEE HOW PEOPLE ACTUALLY VOTE? Polls of white people, polls of black people, polls of old people, polls of young people, polls of people with syphilis, polls of people with pet iguanas...and every polling outfit says something different from the rest, and the numbers change wildly from day to day. This reflects nothing. It's useless, and annoying, and I'm seriously about to track down the guy who writes for TPM Election Café and beat him about the head with my shoe.

Also, Hillary keeps saying things that absolutely infuriate me, and I don't actually enjoy being infuriated anymore. I used to, actually, a little bit -- something fun about righteous indignation. But now that this has dragged on for SO LONG, I'm exhausted by it. Like, there was a little brouhaha last week about Hillary on Bill O'Reilly saying, "Rich people...God bless us!" That was the quote that was everywhere. (And of course Wolfson put out a statement saying, "No, no, she said 'God BLESSED us' which A) no she didn't and B) how is that really any better?) I didn't really care too much about that part of the quote, but what actually got me pissed was what she said AFTER that, which was something along the lines of, "We deserve every penny of it." REALLY? You really think that all rich people deserve EVERY PENNY of that money? The guys who ran Bear Sterns into the ground -- they deserved their insane Christmas bonuses and immediately subsequent severance packages? You think Paris Hilton deserves every penny of the money she'll inherit because her grandfather built some hotels, or every penny of the surely exorbitant amount she earned for that Carl's Jr commercial where she writhed on a car sloppily eating a burger in wet lingerie that NEVER EVEN AIRED? And honestly, you think Bill O'Reilly deserves every penny of the millions he brings in every year spouting the same predictable bullshit day after day? All of these people surely deserve compensation for the work that they do. But I would contest the EVERY PENNY concept. I mean, seriously, Isaiah Thomas does NOT deserve the amount of money the Knicks have thrown his way over the past few years.

She also had that fun quote about how people need to decide if they are "are they with us or against us in standing up to the oil companies" with regards to that idiotic gas tax holiday. I rambled about that a little bit over at [livejournal.com profile] mtbandit's journal, and I'm gonna copypasta that over here real quick:

Honestly, I doubt this proposed tax holiday would leave consumers with any extra money in their pocket at all. As many people have pointed out, gas prices are pretty inelastic, because we're so dependent on oil that we're pretty much willing to pay any price. The gas companies know this. They'd pocket the money and not drop the wholesale price at all. We wouldn't even get our $40, and, like you said, the prices would then rise dramatically after labor day. Blech.

There's an article on Salon today that's all "But Obama voted for a gas tax holiday in Illinois!" that really pissed me off. The gas tax in Illinois was COMPLETELY different. The tax that they suspended was essentially a sales tax, tacked on at the consumer end, hence an actual difference in price at the pump. The tax Clinton/McCain are talking about is an excise tax at the production end on the oil companies. Not the same thing, especially given that I doubt the windfall tax she's talking about enacting to cover the difference would even get past Congress. So it's just a break for the oil companies. This is why her line about, "Are you with those of us who stand against the oil companies, or against us?" totally enraged me. She's driving me crazy.


So, now I feel much better that I've gotten a little bit of rant out of my system. I can end my lunch break with the knowledge that I've tossed my two cents into the vast well of the interslice, shouting into the void as so many of us do.
phamos: (bamababy)
It's very hard for me to comment on the Obama "bitter" flap, because I consider myself to be something of an elitist, or at least to exist in an elite situation. I went to a private high school; I have degrees from two of the finest universities in the country, as does my husband (and mine are almost vanity degrees -- seriously, a Human Rights degree isn't actually necessary for a productive career); I live in a lovely apartment (that we can barely afford, but still); I have a gazillion shiny consumer devices; I am able to spend a ludicrous amount of time running my mouth on the internet; I am at this very moment drinking overpriced locally-produced cruelty-free organic milk; I am personally acquainted with famous people; I can't bowl for shit. Sure, economically we're nowhere near the elitist-of-the-elite, and it's not like I have dinner with Bono all the time -- but culturally, we fit the stereotype just as well as Obama does. Well, Obama pre-book deal; we're not gonna be bringing in a million dollars anytime soon. I don't drive a Volvo, and I don't drink lattes, but pretty much everything else, yeah, I'll fess up. So it probably does more harm than good for me to say that I get exactly what Obama was trying to say, and I agree with it wholeheartedly. I'm just another elitist, right?

What burns me up is this ridiculous attempt by Clinton and McCain to position themselves as anything but elite. YOU ARE UNITED STATES SENATORS. YOU ARE MULTI-MILLIONAIRES. YOU ATTENDED TOP-TIER ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS. (Sure, McCain graduated at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy -- but it's still on his resume.) Hillary, your daughter went to Stanford and Oxford and works at a hedge fund. John, your daughter went to Columbia and wears designer jeans and posts Muse songs on her personal blog. (Actually, I think I'd probably like Meghan McCain in real life. Probably more than Chelsea.) You've written best-selling autobiographies. You live in mansions and drive fancy cars and I'm guessing have had a Starbucks or two in your lives. So SHUT UP. You are the very DEFINITION of the political, cultural, and economic elite in this country, and it's absolutely disgusting to pretend to be anything but. Hillary the lifelong hunter? McCain the populist? Give me a goddamn break.

But, once again, the real issue at play is the media, and the fact that every tiny misstep in this campaign is just fodder for more roundtable pundit idiocy to sell ads. That Obama has once again not backed down in the face of this silliness (seriously, the fact that he wanted ORANGE JUICE makes him an ELITIST? WHY ARE YOU STILL TALKING, FOX AND FRIENDS??) and let his campaign be shrunken into yet another soundbyte-friendly homogenous politics-as-usual vomitfest is just one more point for him in my internal tally. Again, you can disagree all you want with me about how sincere he is about his desire to do things differently, or how effective he'll be. (Or, you know, [livejournal.com profile] rationalpassion, about whether or not he will cripple this fine nation with his Marxist welfare statist Obama Youth personality cult and we'll all be speaking Farsi by 2012.) It's not like he's politics-free -- he's pandered to a certain extent on free-trade, on Israel, and with the bowling. (Personally, though, if I were stuck in rural Pennsylvania for a month and a half and someone suggested bowling might be a good photo op, I'd totally do it -- at least it was a fun way to spend an afternoon, even if he sucked. Hell, bowling's more fun when you suck! And there's rented shoes!) I just love that he won't play by the media's rules, and it is making their brains run out of their ears, and proving to the American public at large, more so every day, that our media isn't conservative or liberal, it is idiotic and lowest-common-denominator and entirely built around profit rather than any sort of journalistic responsibility to the citizenry. So that, at least, is helpful, if absolutely miserable to sit through.
phamos: (brain poison)
This is a placeholder for the eventual post to come about how ridiculous it is to write a book that depends entirely on a convincing definition of "fascism" that ENTIRELY SKIPS OVER THE YEARS 1922-1943 IN ITALY UNDER MUSSOLINI. I mean, that's just STAGGERING. "Let's write a book about fascism but not mention what actually HAPPENED UNDER FASCIST RULE!" That's pretty much the most intellectually dishonest move I've ever seen in a piece of historical writing -- and I've read the whole neocon canon, so that's saying something!

I would like to rant about this further, but I must go to sleep. So I will try to post a longer rant tomorrow that will also discuss Jonah Goldberg's complete lack of irony and possibly a comparison of Sorel's "myth" with Plato's "noble lie" and Leo Strauss and Abram Shulsky and OSP/intelligence gathering/nous blah blah blah. Possibly. But probably not, because I haven't actually read any Sorel and that would make me as intellectually bankrupt and disingenuous as Mr. Goldberg -- probably I'll just post more rants about my cat's effect on my sinuses, or a deconstruction of the recent South Park parody of Heavy Metal, wherein I try to decipher how much of the boob-scenery was actually in the original movie. (I really should have watched more Bakshi while I was at Kim's.)

Also, Weeds is a good show. Romany Malco is hot -- but I think he might be kinda crazy in real life. That's the impression I got from the 40-Year-Old Virgin commentary track -- and obviously I should base all my judgments of human beings on how they come off when being peppered with vulgarisms by Seth Rogan.
phamos: (dignity)
I'm finally reading Liberal Fascism, by Jonah Goldberg -- it didn't take very long for me to work my way to the top of the request list in the Madison Public Library system, which makes me think that a whole lot of people read about one chapter, realized the book was just as silly as all its publicity made it out to be, and returned it within a couple of days. So here we are. Most of my complaints so far are structural rather than substantive. It's actually kind of hard to read the book, because it is pages and pages of three word quotes taken completely out of context and nestled snugly inside Goldberg's overly florid verbiage, with no way for the reader to know whether or not the words are being used as originally intended without constantly flipping back to the endnotes -- which are insufficient and inconsistent and, indeed, often negate their very use. Example: The epigraph for chapter one is a quote from what he calls "an early version of the Cole Porter song 'You're the Top'":

You're the top!
You're the Great Houdini!
You're the top!
You are Mussolini!


The quote is footnoted, and as such I'm immediately suspicious of just HOW early this version is. So I flip to the back.

Many authors have referenced these lyrics to demonstrate Mussolini's widespread popularity, but it is a common mistake to ascribe these lyrics to Cole Porter, the original author of the musical Anything Goes. Porter almost certainly did not write these lyrics. Rather, they were probably added by P.G. Wodehouse when he helped adapt the musical for the British stage. It also appears that there were multiple versions of the song with the Mussolini lyric, which hopscotched back and forth across the Atlantic.


OK, I have a NUMBER of issues with this footnote, starting with the incredibly lazy construction "Many authors have..." -- Seriously? That's the sort of thing you see in high school papers, not supposedly somewhat-scholarly works disseminated by major publishing houses. You're already in the endnotes, why not list a couple of examples of those "many authors" who make this incredibly "common mistake"? And if it's such a common mistake, then why are YOU basically indulging in that same mistake by quoting the damn line out of context as a stand-alone epigraph that you yourself contradict in the endnote? Because the endnote is basically saying 1) the line was written for comedic effect 2) by a British writer for non-American audiences, thus negating any relevance it has to an argument about American political elites. But OK, sure, it makes for a funny epigraph, you'll put it up there at the front of the chapter and then the pedants who bother to read the endnotes will know that you were really just kidding around by using it. Except then you cite the exact same quote in the text itself:

When Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, Americans finally started to turn on him. In 1934 the hit Cole Porter song "You're the Top" engendered nary a word of controversy over the line "You are Mussolini!" When Mussolini invaded that poor but noble African kingdom the following year, it had irrevocably marred his image, and Americans decided they had had enough of his act.


!!!! But! But! You just yourself said that the lyric wasn't IN the original "hit" version of the song, it was in the British version of the song! So what does it have to do with the American public's views of Mussolini? And don't even get me started on the incredibly infantilizing way he calls Ethiopia "poor but noble" -- it's like he's patting Ethiopians on the head, saying, "Look how cute you are with your 'emperor'. Haile Selassie is God? That's ADORABLE. Have a lolly."

So, yeah, he then spends a lot of time taking three-word quotes from articles of the time (like Ida Tarbell calling Mussolini "a despot with a dimple") and making it seem as though you can judge the content of any given article by a blurb pulled out from the middle. Anyone who's watched a movie preview in the past 20 years knows that's not true; did Roger Ebert really say that Daddy Day-Care was "hilarious" or did he say "anyone who thinks Daddy Day-Care is hilarious should be institutionalized"? The word hilarious is in there! Slap some quotes around it! Far too many years of higher education and a childhood subscription to Penny Power magazine have taught me to be inherently skeptical of quotes with no context. Whether this is unfair to Goldberg, I don't know -- it would be helpful if he had a footnote that cited the issue of McCall's in which Tarbell printed her supposedly rapturous toe-sucking of Mussolini. He doesn't. Like I said, the footnoting is incredibly inconsistent. I generally expect that from books published for mass consumption -- but then why bother having endnotes at all? Probably Ida Tarbell did write an incredibly flattering article about Mussolini in McCall's in 1926 -- but I'll never know for sure, because Goldberg quotes so selectively as to make me immediately suspicious, and then doesn't footnote properly. So, I'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt.

What REALLY got my goat enough to make me stop reading and come post this, though, was the following sentence:

Boasting 169 mistresses over the course of his sexual career, Mussolini was also, by contemporary standards, something of a rapist.


What? What, exactly, are our "contemporary standards" that make someone "something of a rapist"? How is someone "SOMETHING" of a rapist? Helpfully, though, Goldberg HAS footnoted this particular assertion. What might Mussolini have written in his autobiography that, by our CONTEMPORARY STANDARDS make him SOMETHING OF A RAPIST?

I caught her on the stairs, throwing her into a corner behind a door, and made her mine. When she got up weeping and humiliated she insulted me by saying that I had robbed her of her honor and it is not impossible that she spoke the truth. But I ask you, what kind of honor could she have meant?


Oh, Jonah Goldberg. I know you like to use 20 words when four would suffice, but in this particular circumstance your verbal diarrhea just makes me hate you. Try this edit on for size: "Mussolini was a rapist." Hey, look at that! It takes out all the offensive moral equivocating you just engaged in! HTH. HAND.
phamos: (bamababy)
Watching the Obama speech, I was struck by a couple of things. First, as much as I love hearing this man speak, I think this particular speech benefits from being read as text rather than watching him deliver it. It's too long -- he spends too much time at the beginning setting up what he has to say through the prism of the Jeremiah Wright brouhaha. But when he hits 15 minutes, it starts getting good, and around 23 minutes, it starts getting great. Unfortunately, I would say that that's objectively too long for people to wait to get to the meat of what he's saying. My second point, however, is tied directly to that. American attention spans are, probably and unfortunately, too short to ask them to wait 15 minutes before a speech starts having a real point. But part of what Obama is talking about is the need for nuance, the need for thoughtfulness in our political discourse -- and I would really like to hope that this country IS ready for that, HAS been waiting for someone to demand intellectual rigor out of them. But what does CNN do to completely contradict that whole facet of the speech? Well, CNN feels the need to run constantly changing slogans under the video, supposedly summing up what the speech is about. The whole POINT of this speech, however, is that you shouldn't be able to sum up political discourse in little soundbytes, that the issues we're dealing with are subtle and complex and we need to deal with them forthrightly and honestly before we as a country can really change and start to deal with the fundamental structural problems of our government. But CNN goes about its merry way, putting lines up that totally ruin everything he's saying, framing it first through the Wright filter, then as the speech starts to venture away from that pulling quotes about race out of context in an infuriating contrast to what is actually being said. My favorite moment was when Obama specifically talked about the role of the media in playing up race as spectacle to drive the news cycle forward and CNN thought it was the perfect time to summarize the message of the speech as:

Obama: Problems facing blacks don't "just exist in the minds of black people"

That was when my jaw hit the floor and I had to stop watching the speech and come write this. We have a serious problem in the country, and it's due in large part to the fact that our media thinks that people can't take the time to think things through in depth, in their entirety, and instead need to be fed drivel in tiny chunks. Maybe they're right. Maybe our culture, and our populace, really is that idiotic. But Barack Obama, in this speech, is imploring us as a nation to stop falling into that trap, to stop being as stupid as the media wants us to be, to realize that the people in charge play the rest of us against each other with stupid shit to keep us distracted while they run the economy into the ground and bomb other countries into oblivion. I watch this speech and I say, "You know what? Maybe he can't make a difference, really, in the long run. Maybe this is all just a pipe dream, and we've all got stars in our eyes. But these aren't just slogans and platitudes -- he's challenging us to be a better, smarter nation. He might fail, and he might leave us brokenhearted. But are we all so deeply cynical that we won't even TRY to see if there's a better way?"

But if America doesn't actually listen to this speech, if everybody really does just read the ticker instead of bothering to turn the volume up and listen to the words, then we will continue to get what we deserve. We will get Bush again and again and again, just with changing names. And we will continue to define ourselves by our differences instead of our commonalities, and we will point fingers at one another over stupid "gotcha" non-issues that distract us from what is really going on:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

But do we know for sure? I'm a realist, I'm a pragmatist, but I haven't quite given up hope yet. If there's a possibility for change, I'm going to shout about it. CNN and it's chyrons and its tickers and its talking heads haven't shut me up yet. Don't let them tell you what this speech was about. Listen. Read. And if you disagree with me about what Obama says, or whether he's the right person to vote for, or even whether he's actually sincere, that's fine. But decide for yourself. We, as a country, can't let them forcefeed us their pablum anymore, because it's breaking us.
phamos: (brain poison)
Do women have the RIGHT to flush their tampons if they damn well please?

Short answer: Uh, yes? I guess?
Slightly longer answer: But I don't see how this is a righteous-indignation-level issue. Are the tampon police hovering over you every time you go to the bathroom? Flush 'em if you want to. But, oh, and also, ENJOY CLEANING UP YOUR OVERFLOWING TOILET.
Even longer answer: Moe, please stop talking. This is why people hate feminists. Seriously. Flush your tampons and deal with the resulting septic mess, or put them the trash and move on with your life. Stop throwing a goddamn tantrum and realize that not everything is about the patriarchy oppressing you and by saying that it is, you undermine actual worthwhile causes.

End of Moe Tkacic rant for the day.
phamos: (ramona)
I have discussed this, probably excessively, over on my tumblelog, but I just want to say for the record, to Robin Morgan:

The majority of my female friends are voting for Obama. Not a single one of them is voting for him because they are "eager to win male approval by showing they’re not feminists," or because they "can’t identify with a woman candidate because she is unafraid of eeueweeeu yucky power," or because they "fear their boyfriends might look at them funny if they say something good about her," or because they naively think that "it’s post-feminism and whoooosh we’re already free." There are plenty of "glorious young women" out there who don't agree with you that Clinton is "better qualified (D'uh)." Also, using the word "duh" (and spelling it wrong) is not helping your attempt to bridge the "misrepresented generational divide," not that you've done a good job of it otherwise. If sisterhood is so powerful, what good does it do to pit one generation against another? Over on Jezebel, a commenter said she wanted the third-gen feminists to stop "sneering" at 2nd gens. I would posit that this essay sneers in the opposite direction.

I have been shocked in this primary season at how much casual sexism still exists in this country, especially in the media. But to me, the point of feminism is EQUALITY between the sexes. I'm voting for Obama because I believe both candidates should be judged on their merits, not on the color of their skin or the shape of their genitalia, and I personally think Barack Obama would make a better president than Hillary Clinton. And NO, that's not me being some retarded 3rd wave feminist girls-gone-wild bimbo who thinks that feminism is passé or icky or that all the battles have been won. It's me saying that I'm going to walk the walk if I talk the talk about EQUALITY.
phamos: (hotkarl)
I'm thoroughly aggravated by the coverage of the presidential campaign right now. I'm not SURPRISED by the way this is playing out, by the fact that the MSM (god I feel like a tool using that abbreviation, but it's useful in this case) creates a "narrative" for these campaigns rather than actually covering the FACTS and the ISSUES. Hillary's a cranky old witch and nobody likes her! Obama is the new incarnation of Martin Luther King and is UNSTOPPABLE! Oh but wait, Hillary kinda sorta almost cried a little bit and then the boys were all mean to her! Hillary pulls off a STUNNING upset of 2 percentage points; even though she was leading here in double digits for a year this is STUNNING and it's because all the women in New Hampshire came out and voted and burned their bras and spit in mean ol' John Edwards' pretty pretty face! (Did we mention that Edwards is stunningly beautiful? And Obama is, too? And Hillary is an ugly hag with LINES IN HER LIPS! Why can't the pretty men stop the unattractive woman?!?)

So, yeah, I knew that was how the papers and the stations rolled. I wasn't really expecting insightful coverage. I've been through the Dean Scream and the Gore Sighs and the Kerry Windsurfing Robot with the Foreign Ketchup Heiress Sugar Mama Who Dares to Speak Foreign Languages in the USA! USA! USA! I know. But I think it's almost different this time. In the past, I thought they did it all because it's a catchy way to sell papers, or get eyeballs on the screen for their eighteen different news tickers. But now...I think they're lazy. I seriously think the reporters on the campaign trail are writing things up this way because they really, really, REALLY wanted the campaign to be over in two states. It's so much easier that way. These reporters have already been following these chuckleheads around boring-ass Iowa and New Hampshire for a YEAR already, because the higher-ups decided that the race started as soon as the Diebold machines were being rolled back into the closets from the 2006 election. Can you imagine how boring it is to follow Mitt Romney around for a year through cow pastures? Or those poor people who had to stay up with John Edwards through his 36 hour tilt at windmills? The reporters want a break. If Obama had forced Hillary out last night, they would have gotten a damn nap. That's why there are so many Rudy-trashing articles right now. All the reporters are like, "You're kidding me, right? We've got to wait for your delusional ass to get whooped in FLORIDA before we can go home? Where can we find some more city-billed mistress taxi cab rides? Bernie Kerik probably molested children at some point, right? Can we dig that up?"

Last night I saw their laziness in action. I was reading through the New York Times lead article on the website last night after the election had been called for Hillary. STUNNING UPSET, yeah yeah whatever. But as I read down, I realized that they had just stuck a new lede graph at the top of the article they had written earlier in the day! If you continued through the whole article, you would find a paragraph that still talked about how Hillary's advisers were trying to regroup after her LOSS and whether or not she'd drop out! That is absolutely the worst editing, the LAZIEST editing, I have ever seen in the damn Gray Lady. If you were lazy enough to write out the post-election article hours (possibly days) before the election even took place, and then it turns out that you were completely wrong, MAN UP AND RE-WRITE THE ARTICLE. The media is not supposed to create the news, they are supposed to report the news. Do it right.

The Times has written a puff piece on every one of the major candidates at this point (John McCain bonded with his children at barbecues so it's OK that the rest of the time he was a totally cold PTSD-ed out dad; Mike Huckabee plays the bass in some kind of Christian rock band with Chuck Norris so let's ignore that his son rapes puppies and smuggles semi-automatic weapons onto planes or whatever...), but only ONCE have I seen them actually finally write out a chart of where each of the candidates stands on, you know, the myriad of issues at play in this election. If you read just the front page of the Times for the past year, you would know absolutely nothing of use about any of them. You would know that one or the other was grumpy and defensive at a debate, or that somebody spent a ludicrous amount of money on some sort of cosmetic procedure or luxury transportation, or that Bloomberg is maybe running but not necessarily but maybe and then wouldn't that be interesting and awesome and it could be three New York candidates vying for the legacy of 9/11 and then we can have some sort of flag graphic. YES. Oh, and don't even get me started on this new, ridiculous speculation that Lou Dobbs might decide to run on an independent ticket. The Xenophobic Hair-Dye-Addict party! Let's make Lou Dobbs a candidate, and let's have Chris Matthews talk some more about how he wants to make sweet gentle love to Barack Hussein Obama, and let's just make the campaign all about the cable newscasters and how they personally relate to the candidates, rather than about anything of substance. It's easier for everyone that way. Writers won't actually have to write anything beyond Mad Libs-level fill-in-the-political-blanks, and the newscasters can look pretty and advertise their next "Live Your Life Like a Campaign" or "Liberals are Doodyheads" book currently on the front table at your nearby Barnes and Noble (10% off for Barnes and Noble cardholders!), and the candidates can stop worrying about any ideological heavy lifting and just protect their rear flank against 527 neo-Swift Boating. And the rest of the country can watch American Gladiators and get their homes repossessed. And I can rock here in the corner in the fetal position. Everybody wins.
phamos: (bruce)
Why are consumer electronics such crap? Our Logitech USB headphones, which came highly recommended, are dying. It's not like we've done anything even mildly abusive to them -- they sit on our desk and then periodically we put them on our heads. I've looked at the cord, and it doesn't appear that the cat has been gnawing on it while we sleep. So I have no idea what the problem is. They're about a year old. This is bogus. (Though it has been interesting to find out what it would sound like if Kele Okereke sang while dunked in a swimming pool.)
phamos: (superpower)
Not bad for the guy from SportsCenter. I doubt Craig Kilborn could come up with that level of literate vitriol.
phamos: (goth)
I. Am. HORRIFIED.

Oh, was the 10-year-old wearing a thong? Well, then, yeah, it's TOTALLY fine for those grown men to rape her twice.

What is WRONG with people?!?
phamos: (regent)
Generally Jessica Valenti and I tend to disagree on a lot of things (see a comment on another Feministing thread where she compares FGM to "designer vaginas" -- a similar comparison to the one that made me lose all interest in my Gender & Human Rights class a couple years ago), but I think she sums this one up right: People are assholes.

I mean, seriously. Jordin is not fat. She's certainly big, but she's big the way I'm big -- she's 5'10" and broad shouldered and kinda thick. Obese?? Not by a long shot. And to have that little twig of a blond woman say that Jordin's handlers are probably going to make her lose 40 pounds like that would be a GOOD thing makes me want to vomit. "I look at Jordin and I see diabetes, I see heart disease..." Christ, woman, you want to know what I see when I look at three-quarters of the girls in Hollywood? I see osteoporosis, I see drug addiction, I see bradycardia, I see amenorrhea, I see tooth decay. I see Mary Kate Olsen and Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie. Should they be "allowed" to win American Idol for the example they set?

Also, in the video clip they show pictures of LaKisha before they show pictures of Jordin. This pisses me off in a whole "They all look the same" kind of way -- seriously, the editors at Fox News can't tell apart the black girls on the show?
phamos: (bitch)
Joe Francis got sentenced to 35 days in jail today. (I love that Fox News seems to be the only major outlet who thought this AP story was worth picking up.) He apparently cried all through the sentencing. Good. It's nice to see that slimy fucks don't always just get away with everything. The charge was contempt of court -- and I would agree, he's pretty damn contemptuous. And contemptible.
phamos: (political)
this makes me sick.

plus, there's this lovely tidbit:

To stem criticism that the measure protected fathers guilty of incest, Republicans joined Democrats in approving an amendment that says a parent who has committed incest and transports a minor out of state for an abortion will also face a fine and jail time.

so, okay, if the father rapes the girl and then tries to get her the abortion, then he goes to jail. shouldn't you just be putting the dad in jail because he raped his daughter in the first place? what the hell is the point of that amendment? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE 14 DEMOCRATS WHO VOTED FOR THIS BILL?

oh, and let's also gut sex education programs, because that's really a FAMILY matter. don't congresspeople realize that not every family is this leave-it-to-beaver picture of perfect happiness and tranquility that all these laws seem to presuppose? what sort of sex education are parents providing when they sodomize their kids? because THAT HAPPENS. you may not want to think about it, you might think it's distasteful, but it's true.
phamos: (goth)
time magazine's helpful hints on cutting down your credit card debt:

"do you really need that third car?...perhaps this summer you could vacation at home instead of spending $2000 for a week at the beach, or trade two weeks for a seven-day getaway."

yeah, thanks. that's good to keep in mind. i didn't realize my magazine subscription changed over to fucking forbes or something while i wasn't looking. any tips on how to pay for $750 of medication a month plus groceries, rent, student loans and the occasional bit of fun when you bring in $250 a week gross? get back to me on that. kthxbi.
phamos: (dignity)
i have little patience for sloppy grammar in what purports to be a journalistic endeavor. chicago maroon editors: proofread your op-ed pieces before publishing them! when the second sentence isn't actually a sentence but a dangling dependent clause and therefore a SENTENCE FRAGMENT, i'm not going to read the rest of the piece. it's just another garbled hoo-hah diatribe from some sheltered upper-middle-class 19-year-old who wrote it while running late for self/culture/society. actually, does chicago even offer that sequence anymore? maybe if the core hadn't been gutted even further than it was during hugo's tenure, second-years would know what constitutes a fucking SENTENCE FRAGMENT.

that's just fucking remedial sophomore english class crap. it makes me want to fish-slap the admissions office. and the whole article makes the left look bad through its defiant illiteracy! an entire university to choose from, you couldn't find a civil libertarian to write a more coherent 400 word essay on ashcroft than that? bah!

yuck

Jun. 12th, 2002 04:13 pm
phamos: (dignity)
newsflash for the people in charge of catering our training session:

if you leave milk for coffee out in the room filled with hot computers all day, IT WILL SPOIL! and SMELL BAD! and i'm TRAPPED IN THE ROOM WITH THE SPOILED MILK SMELL! so when you bring in the lunch, TAKE OUT THE SPOILING MILK! because I CAN'T DEAL WITH IT!
phamos: (Default)
ah, the literacy of today's youth.

the following sentence was in a quiz i took earlier:
You're band is making it's first music video.

*tearing hair out*

given, i've been known to misspell words, make grammatical errors, certainly to leave out a space or two (given that the space bar on my computer at home is broken). but everyone remembers the day in 6th grade where they do the it's/its/their/there/they're possessive versus pronoun thing, right? is it really that difficult? i mean, friends even helped out with its own version of a pneumonic device. "Y-O-U'-R-E means you are. Y-O-U-R means YOUR!" front and back!

everyone screws it up now and then. but to fuck both up in one sentence, on something you're inviting people to peruse repeatedly? either proofread or, if you don't know the rules, don't attempt to write in the english language.

/grammar bitch
phamos: (Default)
okay, i have a question i need to ask of the metropolitan transportation authority: do you hate me? do you want me to cry? is that what you want? do you want to see. me. cry????

you are totally at the mercy of the mta every time you get on a train these days. you have no idea where the train may or may not stop. local? express? who can tell? going to brooklyn? terminating in manhattan? why let us know?

you know, i understand that being a train engineer is hella boring. you drive the same route all day, stop when the light tells you, blah blah blah. but wouldn't actually announcing to your passengers where the hell you're going at a screwed up time like this maybe liven the job up a little bit. you know, so that, like, when i get on the train, TELL ME the goddammned thing is ending at chambers street so i could, i don't know, CATCH A DIFFERENT TRAIN THAT ACTUALLY TAKES ME WHERE I'M GOING, which isn't even really where i want to be going in the first place but it's where i have to go because thousands of tons of steel are poking into the line i USED TO take and it's going to be 2 years before that's fixed.

god, i hope it doesn't take them that full two years to resume some sort of consistency with the train lines. someone in my office yesterday got on the train in brooklyn heading for manhattan. except the train didn't STOP in manhattan and swung him all the way back around into brooklyn. useful. thanks. maybe tell the passengers that in queens, though? ok.

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March 2009

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