Friday, May 27, 2005

Best. Blog Entry. Ever.

It speaks for itself. Eric, you rule.

Happy Birthday Christopher Lee!

Happy Birthday Count Dracula/Lord Summerisle/Fu Manchu/Dr. Victor Gannon/King Haggard/Saruman/Count Dooku!

Some things that prove that in addition to his film career, Christopher Lee is the COOLEST MAN EVER TO WALK THE EARTH:
1. He actually met JRR Tolkein
2. He's Italian Royalty
3. He was the original Grand Moff Tarkin (Van Helsing may have won that round, but your death scene is way better!)
4. He has his own website
5. He speaks 8 languages(!)
6. He fought in THE GREATEST WAR IN in the British SPECIAL FORCES
7. He rocked Fairy Tale Theatre's world
8. He's in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most screen credits
9. He looks great in a kilt
10. Mid-90's Nickelodeon!
11. He's killed a man(watch the Return of the King Extended Edition special features for details...)

I could go on and on about the number of movies from my childhood where he was the (always creepy, but soothing sounding) villain, but thank you, Christopher Lee, for being so awesome.

Um, sure.

"Women smell good. They look pretty. I love
women. I do." - Tom Cruise.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Just a girl?

I woke up this morning feeling a bit nauseous and couldn't figure out why. Lucky for me John Tierney was able to pinpoint it-I'm just not cut out for all the striving I've been doing. I'm glad that Tierney let me know that socialization doesn't have anything to do with inequalities between men and women in the workplace; I've been laboring under the mistaken assumption that there was a link between entrenched social norms and adult performance.
Still, for all the executive talents that women have, for all the changes that are happening in the corporate world, there will always be some jobs that women, on average, will not want as badly as men do. Some of the best-paying jobs require crazed competition and the willingness to risk big losses - going broke, never seeing your family and friends, dying young.

I tend not to get myself into situations that require competition-he's got me there. It's funny though-I've always avoided them because of what my family and friends can attest is an obsessive, borderline violent desire to crush my opponents. What would Tierney have to say about my impressive collection of yellow cards(from my decade plus of soccer games) and the long list of people who refuse to play me at Scrabble? Let's go through the things he thinks I'm probably not willing to risk:

Going broke? Already there.
Never seeing my family and friends? I live 1500 miles from my family.
Dying young? Isn't that subclause D of the "writer contract?"

Granted, trying to break into the writing world isn't the same as being a stockbroker, but I'm willing to live in poverty for years, focus on arcane topics hidden outrages-to the detriment of personal relationships, and all for a payoff that's significantly smaller than the ones Johnny boy thinks women are loathe to fight for. Doesn't that make me just as reckless as the boys? I call for equal pay for equal stupidity!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Grover Norquist channels Anthony Michael Hall

Tom DeLay(right) advises Grover Norquist on how to beat John McCain in a fight

What does the head of Americans for Tax Reform have to say about allegations that he's corrupt? Clearly, he's just being picked on by Senate Bully John McCain.
"McCain hates me," he said.

Somebody call the principal! This feels just like an 80's teen movie. The geek gets popular and the popular kids hatch a nefarious plot to sully his reputation. Can plucky little Grover learn the dance moves in time to get the girl and be crowned prom king? The investigation just started so we'll have to wait and see...

Friday, May 20, 2005


Why be excited? I quote my roommate, Nick: Jedi beheadings.

Hopefully, they, and it, will be good.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

New Scientist has reported what all iTunes users already knew-you are judged, often mercilessly, based upon the music in your library. In the microcosm of the world that is the workplace,
Participants confessed to forming judgements about co-workers based on the taste - or lack of taste - revealed by their music collection. Many also admitted to tailoring their own music library to project a particular persona, and some said they deliberately hid particularly embarrassing tracks from others.

At least this information is helpful. Now you don't ever have to wonder why you get those funny looks when you have your headphones on-you can rest easy knowing that all your office peers are sneering at you because they assume you're a vile, undiscerning Jesus-freak because you forgot that mix CD your psycho ex-girlfriend gave you had a Creed song on it.

Things get even wackier if you like to take your laptop to public places with wireless access. It's possible to find yourself peering into the music collections of complete strangers, strangers you most likely can't identify. And they can stare into your soul using the same network technology. You can judge, and be judged, without ever having to identify yourself or your victim-safe because even if you know someone else knows you love Styx, you're better than the asshole who's got all of Nickelback's albums.

The gauntlet has been laid, interns-what opinions have you formed by looking at the office iTunes? Come on, be honest...

Lessons from Life #205

Just because it feels like the holes haven't closed up doesn't mean your ears are still pierced.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

George Galloway to Norm Coleman: Shove It

As if George Galloway weren't cool enough already...
Senator [Coleman], in everything I said about Iraq I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 have paid with their lives, 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies.

one more for good measure-
I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns.

I highly recommend reading more about how much more hardcore UK elected officials are than US ones here.

Galloway gets extra extra credit for calling out uber-douchebag Senator Norm Coleman for the slimeball nutcase that he is. Keep it up in Parliament George!

(P.S. To Eric-I just went to your blog and saw that you posted about this. I promise I wasn't stealing.)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

For the boys...

I didn't realize I was such a girly girl until intern Lauren commmented on the number of men I have appreciated on this small publication. Since I'm currently unable to turn off the "Boy-crazy" switch in my brain(making it impossible to post often about more serious issues), I'd like to throw a bone to the guys out there in my own special way. If you don't already think Maggie Cheung is the most beautiful woman in the world, watch one of the movies she's done with Wong Kar Wai. I recommend In the Mood for Love.

Journalist Heartthrob of the Day: Simon Reeve


This crush goes beyond girlish travel-geek Anglophilia-I'm in love! Author and television documentarian Simon Reeve won my heart when he traveled to the Eastern European Stalinist theme park that is Trans-Dniester(also known as Transdniestria) for his BBC2 series Places That Don't Exist, but further investigation(ah, google-stalking) proved that this man is my soulmate. He's a globetrotter with leanings towards obscure locations, he wrote about terrorism BEFORE it became the hot topic, and one of his books became an Oscar winning documentary. Also, as you can see from above and below, he's a total babe! Articulate, too.

Simon, someday I will be a respected writer and we can have long conversations about Uzbekistan, your feelings about the West, and about the kindness of people in the poorest, remotest corners of the world. Perhaps we will meet in London, where you will be slightly uncomforable with the monotony of the first world. I will understand this and empathize, perhaps over a bottle of red wine. It will be lovely and memorable for both of us, I can promise you. Let's not wait too long to start our beautiful relationship. The delays are only causing pain...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Editor and Publisher has crushed my soul

No surprise-Cheney lied through his teeth about that whole President thing. I need to take a moment to curse the messenger on this one-Fuck you, Bob Woodward. You don't even deserve the immortality bestowed upon you by Robert Redford.

As if that weren't enough, the American public has reaffirmed its hatred of the Constitution. This is the sort of information that both makes me proud to be the sort of elitist who actually knows which freedoms the First Amendment guarantees and leaves me terrified of "the general public." Seriously, WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
A survey to be released Monday reveals a wide gap on many media issues between a group of journalists and the general public. In one finding, 43% of the public says the press has too much freedom, while only 3% of journalists agree. And just 14% of the public can name "freedom of the press" as a guarantee in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in the major poll conducted by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy.

At least now I know where all the high school kids are getting their miseducation. I add to Liliana's list a #7: Force all high school students to get tattoos of the First Amendment on their bodies, to be readable both to others and in mirrors. The 86% of adults who don't know that a free press is guaranteed by the FATHERS OF OUR REPUBLIC will be subjected to Kafkaesque torture. If they don't think we live in a free society, I guess they don't have to be treated quite so nice, now do they?

If one of these two stories had appeared today, I would have been outraged. Together, well, let's just say the third rail is looking mighty comfy right now.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I was delighted to find the other day that I am not alone in my obsessive love for Dallas. SoapNet has been showing Dallas for a little under two years now, and after extensive viewing, I state that the original primetime soap opera is the BEST TV SHOW EVER. It had more intrigue than The OC, Beverly Hills 90210, and Melrose Place put together! This is a show that successfully RAISED THE DEAD-saving us from the nightmare that was netowrk television without dreamy Buddhist pinup Patrick Duffy. It also proved to the world that Marc "The Beastmaster" Singer is more than just a loincloth-clad, jungle-dwelling Conan clone-by casting him as an oft-shirtless, jungle-dwelling diamond miner!

Do you know what else Dallas did? It protected Americans and defeated Communism. That's right-just look at the timeline. Dallas premieres in 1978 as a miniseries, then goes off the air. The Iran hostage crisis ensues. Dallas begins again. Crisis ends. As the Cold War continued through the 80s, JR, Sue Ellen, and the rest of the Ewings represented everything that was GOOD in America-all the freedom you could have in a capitalist society. The Russians longed for our shoulder pads, sequins, and for a chance to touch Victoria Principal's shiny shiny hair. When did the USSR finally collapse? 1991, the same year JR finally left us. Our friends at South Fork finally rode into the sunset after SAVING THE WORLD FROM THE RED MENACE.

Our world is once again in chaos. Where have you gone, John Ross Ewing? Why have you forsaken us in our time of need? The nation turns its lonely eyes to you...

APB: Hiro T. Protagonist

I'd like to go on record and say that I am not fond of guns. They're just too, you know, filled with leaden killing power. I want guns under control in this fair nation. Most civilized nations have such tight controls on guns that even police don't carry them. This should be a good thing, but instead of fostering peace and brotherly love, it seems to be creating a mini-epidemic of sword attacks. And axe murders. And still more sword rampages. I love machetes as much as the next person-they're such wonderful, and sharp, symbols of proletarian vigilantism-but I'm not excited about adding "is that a katana under your trench or are you just happy to see me" to my tired cliche vocabulary.

Post-Victory navel gazing ensues...

There isn’t anything new to be said about the diminishing returns of investigative journalism, but I promised my esteemed mechanical friend some in depth analysis of the Nation-related events of yesterday, so here goes.

Public statement to the contrary aside, Ayelish McGarvey’s expose of David Hager’s appalling actions clearly led to his departure from the FDA advisory board, so my esteemed employer/exploiter gets to take some credit for it, credit I take a smidgeon of. How long has it been since journalism has actually done something? I’m not sure either, but lets rattle off a few things that have happened in the last four years-unprecedented corporate access to the administration, corporate scandals, illegal wars, torture, civil right abuses, slashed funding for essential development programs, huge chunks of the world hate us. These stories have been covered, some seemingly ad nauseum(although that could be the fact that none of the reports on these issues include any real reporting), but Alberto Gonzales is still the AG, Bolton will still be confirmed, we’ll stay in Iraq, and Bush’s judicial nominees will continue to be unqualified and bonkers. Would it have been nice to see a Nation article take down one of the big fish? Obviously yes, but at this point I’ll take whatever victory I can get, especially when it’s a victory over a hypocritical rapist with influence over women’s health issues.

Something has been stirring in my brain, something that could be called consternation. Why, you ask, would I feel bad when good has come? This is another obvious and played out line of thought, but does it bother anyone else that it’s still the case that when it comes to massive policy fuck ups and crimes against humanity, no one wants to hear about it, but when deviant sexual practices are revealed, it’s the kiss of death? Sure, one could say that Hager’s gone because he wants to keep this as quiet as possible, that he would have been ousted after more stuff on this memo was revealed, but at some point I think our little country is going to have to go into some serious sex therapy. Who else is mad about this?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Travel Guide-Uzbekistan now the hot, hot HOT spot

The first time I was abroad, I encountered a special breed of traveler, the type who seems unnaturally obsessed with/tuned into(depending on your tolerance for "next big thing" devotees)spots on the globe that were the cheapest, friendliest, most debauched and least overrun with foreigners. As anyone who has spent an unhealthy amount of time around Western expats(I admit I'm guilty of this venal sin) will tell you, there is a fine line between adventurer and intolerable bore, and far too many individuals fall into the latter category.

Since 2001, I've had a running joke with a few friends about Uzbekistan, a place whose oppressive dictatorship, barren Central Asian landscape, and post-Soviet economy makes it a seemingly perfect target for these thrill-seeking locusts. Every time I hear one of these people relate their travel stories, I've fought the urge to say, "well, I hear Tashkent is the next big thing, man! Better get there before the Aussies play it out!" Finally, I feel like encouraging them might do more than make me feel superior-it might rid the world of a few of these insufferable asses.

Sadly, the current anti-government demonstrations and the escalating violence mean that Uzbekistan is now a legitimately interesting spot for the "danger zone" enthusiasts, and if some sort of democracy emerges, a tchotchke laden free market nightmare a la Prague. Either way, I have to find a new city to represent my disdain for travel junkie decadence.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Andrea Dworkin was right

And that's something I never thought I'd say. Not about the porn, or about the inherent violence in all male-female relations, but she was right on the money when she said women should be able to kill their rapists. Since I'm generally a pacifist, I think I'll settle for public character assassination. This makes me proud to be a Nation intern.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A question

While I'll leave the Friedman-bashing to the pros, I find myself confused by something-
the Iranians will dicker over their nuclear carpets forever.(emphasis mine)

What, exactly, is a nuclear carpet?

Follow-up: if it's what I think it is, will someone PLEASE stop this man?

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Family Research Council wants to give women cancer

Google-assisted ramblings around the internet led me to some disturbing discoveries. Not only are deaths from cervical cancer set to explode in the next 50 years, but our virtuous friends at the Family Research Council oppose the use of a vaccine that would protect against Human Papilloma Virus infections(the main cause of cervical cancer) because it might lead to people having more premarital sex.

If having premarital sex leaves young women drenched in sin and headed towards eternal hellfire, why send them down that road with something that is now potentially preventable? Right, it's because this isn't really about protecting virtue and raising moral young people-this is about controlling women and punishing those who don't want to submit to your restrictions. Considering "half of all sexually active women between 18 and 22 are infected"(a pretty horrifying number in itself), and the fact that the virus causes no similar problems for men, it's hard to read opposition to this vaccine as a statement that the sluts get what they deserve. And these people say liberals don't respect life?

If the Family Research Council succeeds in preventing the distribution of this vaccine, it'll join, among others, the clinics starved by the Global Gag Rule on the list of important medical care denied to the women in the world who need it most due to toxic moralism. How can these people be so self righteous when they so happily condemn others to suffer and die, all for falling short of a completely arbitrary set of ideas?

Friday, May 06, 2005


There are hours of amusement here. Now I'm even more confused, however-what makes Scotland vote so heavily for the Lib Dems? Why is Aberdeen the only Labour friendly city?

In other news-Welsh is "much weirder than Klingon." HIja', Liliana, HIja'.

"You don't understand anything, but you'll still go to the factory."


Labour-gonna Live Forever(or as long as my Oasis titles last)

Tony Blair and company won, to no one's surprise. Their majority in Parliament shrank by around 100 seats(as of right now), which would have been good if the Lib Dems had picked them up. Alas, Michael Howard and his Tory forces of Darkness are on the rise. There are some pissed off people in Britain, and they showed it by voting out Labour in a whole bunch of places. Wouldn't it be great if Americans did things like that? Yeah, it would. Wait-why doesn't it work that way? Oh yeah, America is filled with apathetic morons. The anti-war party even managed to pick up a seat. I hope Galloway's as vocal during the Prime Minister's Questions as he was tonight-that'll be some great CSPAN!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The future of romance

Many of my friends have complained that dating has gone the way of the dodo, having been replaced by the "hook-up, shack-up" form of relationships. The rules of courtship(what date do you sleep with them on again?) are confusing, conflicting, and downright annoying a lot of the time. What's a girl to do? Well, we could avoid all the hard choices by moving to Kyrgyzstan and making ourselves available for a "grab and run" wedding!

In an age where both women and men buy books to help them navigate modern love and spend absurd sums on lavish weddings, who hasn't longed for the simplicity of an old-fashioned "club and drag to the cave" elopement? Metrosexuals and Superwomen have turned gender roles upside down; can't we return to the days when "Men steal women to show that they are men?"

With all the hubub over the runaway bride in Georgia, it's clear that preparing for weddings is just too stressful. If that woman had been in Kyrgyzstan, she'd have used all that energy she spent running on fighting off her future husband's family and be happily married right now! This advice might have come in handy:
"Every good marriage begins in tears," a Kyrgyz saying goes.

Just think of all the trouble we could save ourselves, girls-no more waiting by the phone, no more sleepless nights spent wondering if we missed "The One"(he'll find you!), no more awful chick-lit and Oprah appearances by former Sex and the City writing douchebags.

Guys, this helps you too-what a way to prove to your girl that you're the ultimate in spontaneity and grand gestures! How masculine!

Come on kids, let's save our precious L-O-V-E from its own neurosis and bring it back to its savage roots! Welcome the Viking raiders!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Maybe politics really are a matter of black and white

It looks like after 50-odd years of simmering tension, China and Taiwan have finally agreed to give peace a chance. It looks to be an especially cute, cuddly, endangered peace.

I hope this new era of cooperation is not contingent on successful breeding...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hating on the help


I had plenty of complaints during the year I worked as a full time nanny. Luckily "knowing my former employer got paid to resent me in print form" was never one of them.

This article really touched me deep down inside, spoke to me as a woman who wants children, who, dare I say it, wants it all. There was one paragraph in particular that warmed my heart with something I can only describe as a rising tide of blinding proletarian rage:

In this sisterhood of mothers with nannies that I had unwittingly joined, mutual grievances were shared and a sort of homespun, do-it-yourself legislation was constantly in flux. "Why should I pay my nanny when I go on vacation?" asked one. "My nanny needs back surgery and has no health insurance. What happens if I don't pay for it?" asked another. Among the talk, one horror story inevitably emerged that set off a tsunami of paranoia. A child drowned in a pool while his nanny looked on. It was her fault because, as one woman put it, "the nanny didn't know how to swim." I found out that Marta didn't know how to swim either and, wondering what else she might not know how to do, I immediately enrolled her in a Spanish CPR course. It was an ironic gesture because I'd never taken one myself, and God forbid I should have to, say, perform the Heimlich maneuver. But Marta was now spending more time with my daughter than I did (a sobering reality), so what if Celeste plummeted down a cliff? Or got burned? Or needed mouth-to-mouth?

I have a suggestion for Debra Ollivier: instead of pondering the ironic ramifications of parenting classes, dissecting the "weighted sense of loss and displaced motherhood," and cataloguing all the wrinkles and aches you've saved yourself by contracting out your biological duty, why don't you try not being so selfish and actually raising your children? If you write, and you and your husband live a transatlantic existence(inherited a house in California?), why do you need two incomes?

There is clearly a market for books by and for women who feel like it's just so hard to be a mother these days since books featuring selfish rich women whining about their nannies being better mothers than them are published at a rate of 1 every 20 minutes. I think there is probably a bigger market for a slightly different take on this story-books by and for the women who put up with these bitches. Where are those books? And no, The Nanny Diaries doesn't count. Publishers, why don't you do a good deed and save one or two or twenty of these poor women from having to toil in So Cal for these evil "modern women."

Florida not yet bombworthy

Following a psychological evaluation, the judge who blocked the 13 year old girl from getting an abortion has changed his mind. Thank god. Just as it happened in the Schiavo debacle, the judiciary in this otherwise hopelessly backward state got it right. Most Floridians are still worthless.

Jeff Gannon, meet Bruce Heffernan

I'm not the only person to think that the Jeff Gannon/James Guckert thing is just a little too much like an Onion article. It wasn't until I saw this New York Daily News gossip item(thanks to Wonkette) that it all came together. Mr. Gannon, this vintage article could be of assistance to you when you meet another gaggle of amorous "gay activists."

(note to The Onion: you were funnier back in the day)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Too Angry for Pith-Florida Sucks

The Florida government really thinks it knows what's best for everyone, and what's best for everyone is months and months of physical suffering against their expressed wishes.

A state judge upheld an injunction requested by the FL Department of Children and Families against a 13 year old girl who wanted an abortion, saying that she was too immature to make the decision. The inevitable outcome of this will be that the girl has the baby, not because she will change her mind, but because the court battle will continue until it is too late to terminate the pregnancy.

This is such an old question it shouldn't even need to be asked, but how is she too immature to decide to terminate a pregnancy but old enough to deal with the physical and mental ramifications of carrying a child to term and giving birth? I refuse to even entertain the response that since she was old enough to have sex she is old enough to deal with the consequences. That's bullshit, and anyone who thinks that either doesn't have any daughters or is a profoundly cruel person. Abortion is legal(and has been for 30 years-news flash!), and since one of the consequences of sex is pregnancy, then terminating that pregnancy is a perfectly reasonable method of dealing with the consequences. Forcing women to have babies against their will is tantamount to rape. What kind of monster thinks it's okay to rape a 13 year old girl? Right, that would be Tom Coburn. I pity your grandmother, Senator.

New resolution be damned, if I had any means whatsoever I would happily take this kid to a state that would let her do what she wants. What the state is doing to her is just wrong.

Update: David Beckham 30, still Earth's Prettiest Man

You're still stupid, but happy birthday nonetheless.