Friday, June 28, 2002

CONSERVATIVE ANTI-COULTER SITE!
Peter sent me a link for www.anorexic-annie.com, which transforms into CoulterWatch, a site that claims to promote "the proposition that Conservatism can only endure as a viable and vibrant movement if it maintains a commitment to the core character traits of honor and integrity, honesty and virtue."

Part of the mission - which they admit is conservative in nature but fully capable of crossing party lines - is to rip Ann Coulter to shreds on a daily basis, not only mocking her "work" and her record, but also of her bit too thin presence. In fact, it seems the anorexia angle was the start of the site and there are many fine quotes from Ann such as It's never unhealthy to be too thin or this piece of gracious communication Why don’t they [fat people] just go on a diet? ... I’d be more sympathetic to them except on the fat acceptance website they’re always viciously attacking me. So I think they should all go on diets.

I can't say if this is really a conservative-run site or not. It might be the project of some disinformation operatives, but it is worth a read.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

YOUR SEARCHES LED HERE

Google Search: ann coulter slander sucks

Yahoo! Search Results for katie couric and ann coulter and transcripts

Google Search: ann coulter bitch

Yahoo! Search Results for ann coulter slander

Yahoo! Search Results for ann coulter lesbian

Yahoo! Search Results for katie couric ann coulter

Yahoo! Search Results for Free naked pics of Ricki Lake (Yech!)

Also getting a lot of hits for Kelly Osbourne, although none seeking pictures of her naked.
WHO BASSIST JOHN ENTWISTLE DIES AT AGE 58 OF HEART ATTACK


RollingStone.com: News: John Entwistle Dies

The Who bassist John Entwistle died last night in Las Vegas of a heart attack; he was fifty-eight. Entwistle was in Vegas for an exhibit of his artwork, which was to be followed by a Who performance at the Joint, on June 28th, the opening night of the group's U.S. tour.
WHO KNEW BOB BARR HAD FEELINGS?
Georgia Republican Senator and right-wing pitbull Bob Barr has filed a $30 million lawsuit against former president Bill Clinton, Clinton loyalist James Carville and politically active pornographer Larry Flynt "in excess of $30 million" for "loss of reputation and emotional distress" and "injury in his person and property" allegedly caused by these three -- who Barr claims conspired to "hinder [the plaintiff] in the lawful discharge of his duties" when he was Republican impeachment manager back in 1998. Bob Barr's Believe It or Not

In short, Bobby Poo's feelings were hurt! Ouch!

Can you hear me laughing?
MORE DUMPING ON ANN COULTER
Oh, it's fine, fine day when I can read articles like Charles Taylor's snappy When Right-Wing Fembots Attack at Salon.com. Taylor's got far more chops and research than I to substantiate his feelings about Coulter's "work," so I've just collected some choice bits below. But I implore you to go read the whole article.

From When right-wing fembots attack at Salon.com:

The views of the CFs (conservative fembots) emulsify like a perfect mayonnaise, but what they share apart from ideological consistency is a uniformity of attitude. I don't know the social background of Coulter, Ingraham, Conway or Pinto, but I've encountered their type before. They are the essence of the white, privileged kids at the small New England college I attended during the conservative heyday of the early Reagan years. What characterized those kids and what characterizes the CFs is that they seem unaware that not everyone shares their privileged existence, or seem to believe that anyone who doesn't has only themselves to blame. It's a small world, after all, and the CFs are absolutely secure about their place in it and the rightness of their views.

Nobody does smug like Ann Coulter. Like the other CF sorority gals, she is always ready to flash a look of incredulity at anyone stupid enough to hold beliefs different from her own. It's a look of self-satisfied disdain, and she's got it down as perfect as Edgar Kennedy's slow burn. For all of her jibes at the snobbishness of liberals who patronize the people they purport to be championing -- and she is often quite right about that -- Coulter doesn't project a sense that she is speaking for anyone beyond her little clique.

"Slander" is not an argument for balance in the media or for civility in political discourse, even though it pretends to be. "Instead of actual debate about ideas and issues with real consequences," Coulter fumes, "the country is trapped in a political discourse that increasingly resembles professional wrestling." If you can read that sentence coming from the Chynna of the far right and not wet your pants with laughter, you've got more control than I do.

Getting mad at Coulter is exactly the reaction she sets out to provoke. Debating her on her "ideas" does about as much good as kicking a retarded puppy. She has no ideas and she's not a thinker. Here are a few of the plums awaiting any Little Jack Horner who sticks his thumb into "Slander":

* The "religious right" is a nonexistent creation of liberal paranoia.

* There was no conflict of interest when Fox News allowed Bush's cousin to call election night results.

* Rush Limbaugh's epithet "feminazis" is accurate because it refers only to the women who prefer abortion over childbirth.

* Television, newspapers, and magazines can inflict liberals on the public because, unlike radio, books and the Internet, they don't operate in the free market.

* "Liberals don't believe there is such a thing as 'fact' or 'truth'."

We all know that liberals hate Ann Coulter and her sisters. But what about conservatives? Do they really want to be represented by this nonthought, this conscious shunning of history? There's no reason conservatives shouldn't be as susceptible to media glitz as everyone else. So it's no surprise and no sin that the notion of young, glammed-up women touting conservative ideology holds some appeal for them. But the smugness and conspicuous lack of experience and seasoning in these telebimbos should give conservatives pause. Coulter and her brood could benefit from a little conservative ideology themselves. Arguing with them is like paying attention to disobedient children. They should be treated like spoiled brats who mouth off. Put them over the knee, paddle their fannies, tell them to wipe that smirk off their face and to speak up only when they've learned something about the world.


One note - in college, I dated one of those privileged, white, conservative girls who worked hard to become President of NYU's Young Republican Club. She believed in a somewhat more liberal - dare I say Mayor Lindsey-style - of Republicanism. After a few weeks of her attempting to steer the group to the middle of the road, the rest of the Young Republican Club voted to impeach and replace her. I laughed and laughed. She fumed.
ANN CRIES FOUL
Another morning, another television show that delights in making fun of Ann Coulter as she attempts to pitch her new book. Oh joy, there is a God...

Today, it was MSNBC showing a repeat (a repeat!) of Ann's on-air time with Boston columnist (and George Carlin fan) Mike Barnicle where she whinned about being paired on-air with a "liberal" pundit capable of pointing out the lies and inaccuracies of her book. Despite Barnicle's natural conservative/right slant, even he found Ann's near-tearful complaints "disingenuous." She claimed that Barnicle's set-up was further evidence of media bias. "When you had Al Franken on promoting his book, you didn't have a conservative with him on camera to pick him apart!" she boo-hoo'ed.

Well, could that be because Al is an funny guy who wrote a political comedy book? Get some more good jokes Ann and you'll be playing the big rooms solo too.

More fun on this subject was found at Daily Howler, in an article called We Live In Very Stupid Times. Ann Coulter Proves It.. The writer noted Ann's "proof" that the New York Times was a liberal media organ - a LEXISNEXUS search that revealed the phrase "far right wing" was used by the NY Times 109 times, versus only 17 times for the phrase "far left wing." The Daily Howler did a bit 'o research himself and found a similarly overwhelming ratio in the not so liberal Washington Times (37 to 7. Reported by Ann? No, no, no. Also not reported was this extra bit o' research the Howler conducted, which demonstrates not every mention of far right wing is political in nature:

Here's one of the (far right wing) items which Coulter included. It concerns b-ball coach Larry Brown:

ARATON: Without a road victory in over a month, deadlocked at a game apiece with a vastly inferior opponent, the Magic trailed deep into the fourth quarter. Then Nick Anderson hit a 3-pointer from the far right wing. Brown remembered a defensive trap that caused a turnover, and the mixture of elation and relief on the Orlando players' faces as they huddled up for a few tender moments.

That may not be the "far right wing" you had in mind.

F*ck it--she counted it anyway.


Even my conservative-leaning but still sane buddy Warren feels the horror that is Ann Coulter. Yesterday, he wrote:

I have heard of her before, but never seen her in action. I found it remarkable as I watched her interviewed by the pleasant and non-confrontational Bridget Quinn that I am largely in agreement with her on issues AND I find her more-or-less physically attractive and yet I still wanted her to go someplace far away and never trouble these shores again.

This day is starting off right.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

STOMPING ON THE STEPFORD PUNDIT
I usually avoid morning televison on the major networks because it's just a bunch of dumb happy news. Katie Couric also reminds me of an ex-girlfriend too, and that doesn't help But I was glued to the Katie Show this morning as she sliced and diced conservative pundit Ann Coulter, there to pitch her book Slander (a subject she certainly knows quite a bit about).

Having forgetten entirely that Katie can be a newsperson and do a real inteerview when she gets a chance, I was delighted to watch her repeatedly correct numerous errors and factual distortions in Ann's book. For one, which involved a claim that Katie and her co-host Matt Laurer said something supposedly biased three days in a row, Katie actually said, "No, it was said just once. I can get you the transcripts if you'd like."

More astonishing to me was how utterly out of step Coulter appeared. Her pronouncements and claims seemed so middle 90s, so Newt G. She's still holding onto the belief that the US should march forth into the Muslum world and convert the them into Christianity because it would give them something better to do than "kill the infidels." Particularly annoying was the way when she was caught in a error, she would laugh and say it was no big deal. This, despite that fact that her book is basically a list of errors the "liberal media" has committed over the years. Her schtick reminds me a lot of Pat Buchannan, who's got nothing left to say on the national stage unless it turns out he was Deep Throat. Coulter too should realize her time is over and soon the only gig she'll be able to get is speechwriter for the Lester Maddox Fan Club.

So Katie has won my admiration for the day while Ann remains the Stepford Pundit who should have been on the plane that crashed into the Pentegon on 9/11.

...


The rain here has been Biblical in proportion lately. Rain in the morning, rain in the afternoon. Rarely rain at night, which sucks because I kind of like rain at night, but during the day, it just means Jake will be playing basketball in my room. It's a bit sunny today, so maybe things are looking up.

...

BTW - here's an interesting blog: blissfully bitter|weblog

Monday, June 24, 2002

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT WE HIT BOTTOM
Ever wonder about your home in the herafter? I'm not talking about your digs in Heaven or Hell, I'm talking about the box you'll be planted (or burned) in after you go. If the thought of a plain, oak box for eternity makes you feel a bit too ordinary, the good folks at UniqueCaskets.com have some suggestions for colorizing your trip over the River Styx.


For those with a sense of humor, there's this express package. And for a few extra bucks, somebody will return it to your relatives a few days later marked Address Unknown. Oh, the yuks!


Maybe you were one of New York's finest or you just feel their pain. Either way, this baby has all the bells and whistles you'll ever need in the afterlife. Remember, chicks dig firemen.


Good company makes any trip worthwhile. For the religiously minded, dinner with Jesus and the apostles will certainly be an eternity to remember!


Not into Jesus? No problem? Spiritually-minded Lilith Fair fans can make the trip with a box full of angels.


For the family's Tiger Woods wannabe, consider the enchantingly titled, Fairway To Heaven. Jimmy and Robert would be proud.


Or perhaps the family duffer would rather be planted in the more aptly titled Last Hole, a name which works on so many levels even I'm delightfully offended.

You might be wearing coins on your eyes, but that doesn't mean you can't go out in style. Check them out! UniqueCaskets.com

Saturday, June 22, 2002

SIGNS OF THE APOCALYPSE
Work Begins on 'Scooby-Doo' Sequel

I'll care when they admit Velma is a lesbian.

Friday, June 21, 2002

WEB RADIO REACTS TO BEING SHAFTED
As some of you know, there's been a huge debate going on about the possibility of non-commercial web radio stations being forced to pay ridiculous royality rates to the Recording Industry Association (RIAA) - on the order of two cents per song per listener. An original proposal was squashed, but a revised proposal is just as bad and could spell the death of the one area in broadcasting where free voices and non-formated playlists could be heard.

WFMU, one of my favorite web radio outlets, is already considering what to do. Below is an email the station chief sent out, and I think it outlines the case well, plus it goes in exactly the direction I predicted months ago - arranging directly with independent record companies so that their releases can be spun royality free.

From: Ken Freedman
Date: Thu Jun 20, 2002 09:31:18 PM US/Eastern
To: The staff at WFMU.org
Subject: Final Webcasting Rates Set



The US Copyright Office today announced the new rates for what amounts to a new tax on webcasters.

It's bad news, but in classic FMU tradition, it could possibly help us in the long run.

I had been very optimisitic after the Copyright Office rejected what were called the CARP proposals on May 21st. But today, the same office came up with new rates that are extremely close to the original CARP rates. The top rate of 14 cents per listener per song (a rate that applied only to the AOLs of the world) was reduced to seven cents, but all the other key rates remain the same. The record keeping requirements were also simplified.

But as far as non-commercial stations go, the rates are still outrageous = two cents PER LISTENER PER SONG, retroactive to October 1998. Meanwhile, the rate that NPR stations have to be is still a big secret. It's presumably lower than what we will be expected to pay. That makes perfect sense, doesn't it - the stations that already get handouts from the government are the ones that get the break. Them that has shall get....

We discussed this whole situation at the last staff meeting, but here is what this will mean for us now:

We're not going to abide by these rates. We will go into quasi civil disobediance mode. Here are the main changes it will mean for us.

1) We will encode our archives and streams so that they cant be captured onto people's computers. This may not happen till mid July.

2) ALL DJs will have to start keeping playlists which include record label information, so that in the event that the RIAA manages to get us to pay someday, we can demonstrate the huge amount of material that we play which does not fall under RIAA jurisdiction. If DJs prefer not to POST their playlists to the public, that's fine. But we will need everybody to keep a full computer playlist. I'm really sorry to the folks who will be inconvenienced by this. Perhaps we can get volunteers to help out in this department.

3) We will start seeking written permissions from independent US record labels who give us permission to stream and archive their
material. For example, SpinArt, Telstar and Soleilmoon have already indicated they would do this. Hopefully we can generate a long list of such labels. Any case of a song from these labels appearing on our playlists will be one more song that the RIAA cannot collect their two cents per listeners per song.

Now, how do we stand to gain from this? It is possible that so many webcasters will now cease webcasting (while we will not), that we will gain online listeners.

More info and details coming soon,

-ken

Thursday, June 20, 2002

FEELING BETTER
Thanks to everyone who wrote about this week's heart attack story. I feel better. Warren says I wasn't having a heart attack, I was having a panic attack. Me! Mr. Calm! I can't hardly believe it, but I do feel better now and have gotten through two more workouts, so I must not be on death's door.

Just to test the blood pressure, I got into a dandy shouting match this morning with some city workers today as they ripped up the curbs in front of my house. A guy driving a bucket loader would roar down the block at high speed and try to pick up 30 feet of broken curb from the street on one pass. He'd go so fast that curb chunks would fly and his 3-person crew would have to jump out of the way. Frankly, I thought it was dangerous, so I asked Hey, would you mind going a bit slower. This is a neighborhood and you might rip out somebody's sprinkler or hit a tree or hurt these people who have to stand in front of you. That set him off. He wasn't going to have some white suburban Daddy telling him how to drive his rig.

I said fine, and while they all shouted at me, I walked around the blocked, flagged down their boss and told him. He sent over the head guy who was nice as I explained If you tell me the way he's driving is okay, fine. But it seems reckless to me. I was ready to walk away, but the driver kept shouting at me. The head guy finally told me It's not his driving that's gonna get him in trouble, it's the fact that he won't shut up.

That's your thing to deal with, I said. Of course, I felt bad I might get the guy in trouble but that only lasted about ten seconds. Then I felt, Fuck him. He could have driven more resonably. He could have listened to my first complaint and said, Oh, I'm sorry. We'll tone it down Instead, like the man said, he wouldn't shut up. Fuck him.

I fully expect the idiot to come back at night and knock over our mailbox or driveway light. We'll see. Usually, the city workers here are great - helpful, efficient and friendly. But I refuse to take such shit. I refuse to be a witness at a future lawsuit where I'll have to hear some lawyer ask, If you thought he was driving recklessly before he sideswiped your car, why didn't you tell him? I did tell him and he acted like as ass.
EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ROCK BANDS BUT WERE AFRAID TO HEAR
Read the NY Times? If not, you missed Neil Strauss' stunning disection of a modern rock band business affairs with A Part of a Band as the Whole Band.

The band in question is Third Eye Blind who had a hit with "Semi-Charmed Life" in 1997. The tale starts when the pair at the center of the band - singer Stephan Jenkins and guitarist Kevin Cadogan - signed a record deal "as artists known as Third Eye Blind." Sounds like a democratic split of responsibilities, huh?

Not so fast. FIve days earlier, Jenkins had established Third Eye Blind, Inc and named himself sole partner. All royality payments were made through Third Eye Blind, Inc. Guitarist Cadogan claims that it wasn't until three years later that he learned he wasn't an equal partner in the group. After being fired and replaced in 2000, Cadogan sued. The pair reached an agreement on the day the case was set to go to trial.

Read the story for the rest. Read it to the kids or anyone you know who dreams of playing guitar. It is a perfect example how people are willing to screw over even their partners for the glory that is rock and roll.
UPDATES
Amazingly, I beat Tom Tomorrow on America's Shopping Bag answer to terrorism. Yes, I barked about this months ago and it seems just as stupid today as back then. The motivation is more transparent than ever, however, I now see it as a government operation more than a local business thing.

You see, I think Bush & All wants us to believe there's a shooting war going on whenever it suits their needs. But if we started to actually act like there's a shooting war - for instance, if we got depressed or worried and stopped buying consumer crap and and tried to conserve resources to support our boys and girls overseas - it would be revealed that the real war is keeping the economy afloat. If the economy goes further into the dumper, GWB will be back in baseball in a few years and a lot of corporate supporters will be pissed (not to mention those instituional investors who count on the dumb little guy's faith in the market in order to make a profit).

If there was a real war, people might start asking questions, Congress might have something to say, better enemies than Some really bad guys would have to be found. Maybe that's too much work?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

MORE TALES OF GETTING OLD
I thought I was having a heart attack this afternoon.


It was raining hard as I drove around town, still exhausted from the Film Festival and all the drinking that went along with it. My head has hurt for three days. I've felt weak, breathing heavy. My arms go numb at night when I sleep. As I watched the rain bounce off the Saab at a traffic light, I realized I was having chest pains. Not terrible, hammering pains, but an annoying grind in the middle/left of my chest.

My Father had a heart attack when he was 46. He was a smoker, had high blood pressure and worked as an Air Traffic Controller (not a great profile for health, hmmm?). He was shoveling snow one winter day when felt his arms go numb and his chest seize. Dad called his doctor, told him the details and the Doctor said Get off this phone and get to a hospital now. For some reason, Dad thought that meant Drive yourself , which is what he did, through a snowstorm, parking his 1973 Capri in the lot and walking into the Emergency Entrance. It was later learned that 3/5's of my Dad's heart was destroyed. I was such a snotty little eighth grade know-it-all that I actually stood by his bedside between the tubes and the machine that went BEEP said something like, I guess this means you'll finally give up smoking now, huh?

I ignored the situation by skipping out on wrestling practice and making out furiously with Christine Longo.

Funny enough, as all this happened today, I was on my way to the YMCA to work out a bit and try to get the blood flowing. I considered driving myself to the hospital in tribute to Dad, but instead, continued on to the Y, parked there, turned off the engine and watched the rain bounce off the hood. For maybe 20 minutes, I thought I'm going to die right here. I'm gonna slump over in my front seat and somebody's going to knock on the window and I won't answer and they'll have to get some of those annoying midday bodybuilder types to help pull me out of the car... . I got so tired that I started to drift off and it hit me that this was much more like death by freezing than heart attack. When you freeze to death, you get all warm and cozy and your body shuts down before you drift off to sleep forever. But I wasn't freezing. I was drifting off because I was exhausted and hungover and this was not about a heart attack. It was about being overweight, out of shape and too drunk for my own good for too long. Granted, all those things might lead to a heart attack, but it wasn't happening today.

So I got out, walked through the rain and worked out for a half-hour. I felt better afterwards. BTW - my Dad got out of the hospital and never smoked again. Even though his doctor told him he had 5 years tops to live, Dad's been kicking around for 26 years since his heart attack, outliving three of his cardiac physicians in the process (which makes him chuckle constantly).

(Photo by Ed Deasy - Black and White Dreams, a Photographic Gallery)

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

DIFFERENT BEDSHEET, SAME FUNDAMENTALISM
For some odd reason, this doesn't shock me at all - Islamic Bloc, Christian Right Team Up to Lobby U.N. Yes, anti abortion/gay foes are putting aside their petty differences to fight for what's really important. Oklahoma City? World Trade Center? I bet they'll agree on those details pretty soon too. Ohh...and they've got Bush's backing too. Jeeze, do you think there's room in New Zealand for me and the family to hide for the next decade? Here's the lead:

UNITED NATIONS -- Conservative U.S. Christian organizations have joined forces with Islamic governments to halt the expansion of sexual and political protections and rights for gays, women and children at United Nations conferences.

The new alliance, which coalesced during the past year, has received a major boost from the Bush administration, which appointed antiabortion activists to key positions on U.S. delegations to U.N. conferences on global economic and social policy.

But it has been largely galvanized by conservative Christians who have set aside their doctrinal differences, cemented ties with the Vatican and cultivated fresh links with a powerful bloc of more than 50 moderate and hard-line Islamic governments, including Sudan, Libya, Iraq and Iran.

"We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends," said Austin Ruse, founder and president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a New York-based organization that promotes conservative values at U.N. social conferences. "We have realized that without countries like Sudan, abortion would have been recognized as a universal human right in a U.N. document."
IT'S ENOUGH TO MAKE ME MISS AL GORE
Alexander Cockburn spins a great POV of the ever irrelevant Bush administration in Counterpunch - Bring Out the Booster Chair for Jr. THE INcredible Shrinking President. With fond memories of Tricky Dick thrown in for comparision, Cockburn takes sure aim at the born-again imbecil who currently call the White House his pad. From the piece:

Our spaniel press makes herculean efforts to pass over the fact in silence, but the fact is that George W. Bush is the laughing stock of the world, by dint of the obvious fact that his maximum level of competence was that of greeter at the ball park in Arlington, which as David Vest recently remarked on this site, is the only real job he ever had before he met Ken Lay.

Monday, June 17, 2002

FILM FEST WRAP
The Florida Film Festival is finally over and I am exhausted. I almost passed out yesterday during screenings of Bark and Sweet Smell of Success but held on with an infusion of chef salad and diet soda (one of the benefits of our local arthouse, The Enzian Theater is a full menu and table service, so one can eat and drink while watching the flicks).

Anyway, it'll take me a day or two to get back on track. In the meantime, the number of Google searches coming here has dropped since I haven't mentioned Lara Logan topless recently. There. That should fix that.

Friday, June 14, 2002

FILM FESTIVAL #2
I was going to write something everyday about the Florida Film Festival, but I'm just too damn tired. Besides, Steve over at the Orlando Weekly offers an excellent online column called The Rushes. Click there to find out all the adventures we're having in our little film fest - particular all the noise and threats from Artisan Pictures.

For me, it's mostly the normal weirdness. One of my "jobs" at the fest is to moderate an audience Q&A with celebrity guests onstage after a screening of their films. Last night, it was actor Graham Greene and the film Skins. Every word I heard about Greene was that he was very shy. While credits rolled, I chatted with him backstage and he was awash in one-word answers. That didn't bode well for a fun interview.

Amazingly, the moment the lights came on and we sat down in front of 250 people, Greene turned on - hamming it up with silly jokes, making fun of people's bad questions and generally having a grand old time. He was like a wacky uncle at a picnic Don't like that joke? Well stick around, I got more coming. He completely lacked the pretense of I am a serious Native American actor here to explain the problems of my people and seemed more concerned with his golf game and roles that pay him a lot of money. It was a strange but fun interview. This is not unusual with taciturn actors - they come alive in front of an audience. That's why they're actors.

The odd things about this festival is how it turns ordinary people into film junkies and stalkers. Give people a week of unusual movies and lots of filmmakers milling around at the bar and everyone's hidden ambitions bubble over and they imagine they're part of the industry. No matter what celebrity we have onstage over the years, there's somebody in the audience who wants to pitch their script. They choose the Q&A segment to do it and their idea inevitably sucks. Last night, after Graham explained over and over that's he's not just an Indian actor (whenever I'd say Indian actor he'd start jabbering like Akbar the convinience store owner). Even so, a lady in the audience pitched her script in which Graham would play a spirtual Indian Shaman. The script wall called White Feather. Graham snorted a laugh and said, Ohh, that's original!

After the event, an older woman cornered me to announce she'd been accepted into the producers program at Sundance and wanted to know how to pitch Graham on a film she's working on. I'm thinking, "You got accepted into a Sundance producer's program and you're asking me how to pitch an actor? Maybe this should be somemthing you cover in the program?

The fun continued this morning. I just got a call from some woman I barely know who tells me she has a story that would be great for Goldie Hawn. She asked How do I get a story to her? Firstly, why the fuck are you calling me at 9:00 am to ask how to pitch Goldie Hawn. Second, she hadn't even tried to find Hawn's reps on the Net? (she said Well, I typed in Goldiehawn.com and tried AOL keyword Goldie Hawn) I suggest she get a book and learn how to write a screenplay but she's not a writer and the idea is something she read in the paper. It's a bout a woman who joins the Army and then becomes a doctor Didn't Goldie make this movie already? Why am I dealing with this idiot? Finally, in the middle of her pitching the idea to me, I just look up Goldie's rep in whorepresents.com (or as I like to think of it, Whore Presents) and give the info to her.

How can people get to be adults and still be so damn clueless?

Thursday, June 13, 2002

BLOG ROLLING
I got linked by a lovely site call Blissfully Bitter, from a lady with similar tastes (she likes They Might Be Giants!). It's a cool read.
MTV NAILED
I've wondered it anyone sues those stupid prank shows on MTV which embarrass unsuspecting people. Turns out they do. Read Couple Sues Over Hidden-Camera 'Corpse' Prank and learn about one winner. A liked that a couple of girls in a studio audience sued over getting sprayed with human excrement by a performing troop called the Shower Rangers.

I guess for every Osboune Family, MTV has gotta produces dozens of out and out crap

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

KELLY GOES SOLO
As part of The Osbourne Family's current job as World's Greatest Marketing Scam, Kelly Osbourne, daughter of heavy metal Grandpa Ozzy, unveiled her debut video on MTV a few minutes ago (at least that was the first time I saw it) - a cover of Madonna' Papa Don't Preach.

Will you hate me if I say it wasn't half bad?

Firstly, this could totally be a hit for the TRL crowd. Produced by Kelly's smug little brother Jack, the track shamlessly rips off the distorted vocal sound used on Pink's last hit single ("Get This Party Started"). And if you're going to steal - steal a hit, huh? With backing from a couple of guys in Incubus - who I'm guessing are in minute 12 of their career lifespan - the song rocks righteously and Kelly, for all her lack of training as a singer, pulls off an attitude. She's kind of a punky, pudgy Petulia Clark - the voice of an emotionally cool white girl trying to hide her pain and cry at the same time. She succeeds with a lot of weird, self-conscious pouting, closed fist dancing and a costume rack that drag queens I know would kill for.

Kelly, whose look says Fuck you Supermodels - I'm having a cheeseburger!, is hot in a Monica Lewinsky sort of way - a bit heavy, but still attractive enough (and let's face it, more teenage girls today resemble Kelly than the uber thin types like Britany or Mandy Moore). Kelly could be a role model for post-Monica generation of confused but well-fed youth - kind of like Ricki Lake before she got dull (and thinner). Good God, let's hope Kelly never lands a talk show! And let's also hope that Osbourne Mama and mogul Sharon never runs out of ideas on how to exploit her family. The world is a much more entertaing place when she's at the party.
BLOG ROLLING
Most of blogs I mention in these pages are created by people whom I imagine are somewhat similar to me. But once in a while, Site Meter links reveal websites on which I never ever thought I'd be mentioned. Take for instance, the quirky and fobodding Demon's Realm, a gothic-inspired world that introduces itself with Read as I vomit forth the excrement of my mind- listen as the unrepentant Catholic rants on.

Yeoooww! Believe it or not, Suburban Limbo is on the lihnk list, just below Realm of the Faerie Dragon.

The blog's creator (Matthew Gomez) appears to be a strugging writer and D&D fan. The blog is a journal tracking his creative efforts and life. But similar to Chris Rattan's goth-kid/Cinnabon employee character on Saturday Night Live, Matthew's got a bit of a ying and yang thing going. In one entry, he's waxing vampiresque - Ahhhhh "Lucretia My Reflection" came on while I was working on a description of Nightshades... - followed soon after by the crunching boredom of reality - Another Monday, another day doing payroll. I think I'll go out and grab an iced coffee first, because it promises to be that kind of a day.

This isn't high art, but it's weird and original and I give the guy points for laying it down his way. Props to, Mr Gomez.
AT LEAST ONE GUY GOT THE JOKE
Dude... loved reading your blog. Need more pix o' Lara Logan, though. Topless would be good.

Berny

READ ROOSTER SPICE
I forgot to add Rooster Spice to my list of blogs worth checking out. Mea culpa, mea culpa, maxa culpa. Click the link and read his stuff. It's a worthy trip.

Monday, June 10, 2002

YOUR SEARCH LED HERE
Suburban Limbo is #12 at Yahoo for kissing muslim ass

I have no clue why.
COULD ASHCROFT BE ON THE WAY OUT?
Business Week seems to think so - How Much Heat Can Ashcroft Take? I can only hope, pray and dream that his replacement isn't worse.

(Props to Get Donkey for the link)
HELLO LARA LOGAN FANS!
Welcome to Suburban Limbo, which is a web blog. Not a War Blog, which you might have read about today in the New York Times. I wish I had those naked pictures of Lara Logan you're searching for, but I don't. I am offering a lovely photo of Lara reporting from Afghanistan, which is kinda hot if you have a thing for women wrapped head to toe in a blanket. Perhaps you'd like to read on and find something of interest here? We cover a wide range of...No? Gotta go find those swimsuit pics of Lara Logan? Okay, I understand. Well then, thanks for dropping by!


A SLAVE TO MY TOOLS
Something I've been thinking about recently - mastering an ever growing list of improved creative tools vs. actually doing something creative. I occupy so much of my free time upgrading home computers, fiddling with software demos and imagining the music I'll create once I install CuBase that I rarely sit down and play guitar, edit video or get out and speak to other creative people (or uncreative people!). Luckily, because of this blog, I still write often and that was certainly one of the reasons I strappped myself in for this ride. But I wonder, have I become a slave to my tools?

Years ago, I worked in a small NY advertising and marketing agency. We specialized in music equipment companies (Korg, Marshall, Yamaha, etc.). The head writer was a guy named JC Costa, who had spent a lot of years working in the rock press - Rolling Stone, Creem, that sort of book. I remember one day, I showed him the "final issue" of Spin Magazine. This was very early in Spin's life, when they thought the mag was going under. Anyway, JC, looked at the copy of Spin I held up and smiled.

"I am proud to say I never read single issue," he said. He considered it a huge step forward in his own growth that he had ignored a rock periodical for its entire life. That wouldn't have happened two years earlier. In a way, I guess it's like an alcoholic who gets through the entire party without taking a drink.

At the time, I thought JC was being snotty about my interest in Spin. He held a belief that the age of good rock writing was long-dead and although I didn't know it then, he was right. But now, I see that he was most pleased that he hadn't been distracted by a new venue for his writings. He hadn't become obsessed with a new tool at the expense of his current work.

Similarly, I am thrilled when I let two or three upgrades of a software product pass me by. If I'm not working in layout everyday, I don't really need the latest and greatest version of Photoshop or Quark (actually, I'd like a new Quark that was OSX-ready, but...). I've also started ridding myself of software and hardware which has been superceded by better products. And if I like the way something works, I don't look for a replacement. Dreamweaver is an excellent example. I like it, I know how to use it. I'm not even going to investigate GoLive or any other GUI-web page creator software until I find problems with Dreamweaver.

Improvements and upgrades are good, but I refuse to conform my schedule to the six-month upgrade path necessitated by industry. It especially galls me to watch as a companies release half-baked products with the intention of suckering in early adopters, then increasing the quality of the product while lowering the cost to move more mainstream (digitial camera are the latest players in this ruse). Hey, how about this - hold off on introducing a product until it's feature set justifies its existence? And how about starting at the lower, mass-marketed price, rather than scaming a few extra hundred bucks from those who've gotta have it now? Remember how much DVD players cost a few years ago? Think how much quicker DVDs would have become propular if the first Christmas they were available, they'd cost $200.

The funny thing is, people other than me are catching onto this trick. I now see many folks refuse to by Version 1.0 of anything because it'll be on sale next month and an improved version will be out next spring. It's great excuse to say "No." If industry wants to know why it's sales are slumping, maybe it's because people are tired of buying some product, only to feel three months later that there are many better and cheaper versions available.

We are becoming a world of technicians instead of artists because technicians spend more. Industry likes that, so that's who they appeal to (and by force of commerce, that's who they create in the marketplace). Artists work with what they have to say what they need to say. That doesn't spell big sales for many companies, but fuck 'em. I've been playing technician too long. Sure, it's comforting to piddle with the software and plug in the boxes and feel like you're doing something creative, but it's not. It's piddling with software and plugging in boxes.

Time to stop updating and start producing.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL REPORT #1
Sunshine State, the new John Sayles effort is a Floridian version of a Robert Altman flick - multiple story lines dealing with real estate developers speculating in a black beach community near Jacksonville (obviously based on the real black community, American Beach). Eddie Falco leads a great cast through a sprawling 144 minutes, or which only the first 30 or so are sluggish. In true Sayles style, there are no explosions or major characters turnarounds - just weird and wonderful Florida living on display (and Sayles nails the wackiness dead on). My favorite line - a guy dressed as a Civil War re-enactor tells his ex-wife You gotta stop living in the past!
BLOG ROLLING & TRAFFIC TIPS
Several sites sent out good words to Suburban Limbo this week or linked to us. I suggest you visit them all. Some I already link to on the left, some I will link to in the future. Thanks much to:

Every Little Thing I Do Is Magic

Bralack: My Life

XQUZYPHYR & Overboard Online

The Blowtorch Monkey Armada

Of All the Things I’ve Lost

Want more traffic on your site? I suggest this - type the name Lara Logan on your blog and let Google do the rest. According to the huge number of Google searches coming to Suburban Limbo, that Logan news babe could have a major career as a swimsuit poster model. Oh wait, that's what she was doing before "60 Minutes II" fired a real journalist and hired Logan for a million bucks.

Hey Lara, if you're reading this, I don't blame you. Grab all the bucks you can. Just don't expect anyone to care when you ask an interview subject, "How did that make you feel?"

Friday, June 07, 2002

BUSY WEEK AHEAD
Tomorrow starts the Florida Film Festival as well as the Orlando Technology Forums. I'm involved with both (interviewing actor Graham Greene onstage Thursday night at FFF) and will also be taking in 4+ films daily for the 10 days. Needless to say, time will be tight and blogging might fall by the wayside for a while. The festival has a fun art/ad campaign this year featuring renderings of movie fans like that fellow to the right. Check the posters out if you can.

My latest (and hopefully last) travel book - Eyewitness Travel Guides Top 10 : Orlando - is being published by DK (Dorling Kindersley, a British Travel publisher). I just got a copy in the mail and it looks quite nice, although much of the club information I wrote is already out of date (such is the Orlando club scene). Though not yet officially released, it's currently rated 1,465,276 at Amazon.com. Sounds sad I know, but that's a higher sales rating than my CD ever got, so wheeee!

Of course, I'll never see a dime from book sales, so feel free to snag it anyway you can. As for the CD, just ask and I'll tell you how to get one real cheap.

It's raining outside. I love it when it rains at night.

Thursday, June 06, 2002

MORE TV NEWS
Alice in TV Land linked me to this hilarious tale of a cheap-o local news operation - Morris Memories/Miseries. If the suits aren't paying too much for the babe (as below), they're usually trying to hide the money from everyone else.

THONG GIRL UPDATE
From CB in New Hope:
I tell Bren this morning about your Dad asscrack girl...and instead of laughing, she sez: "I know her!"

Seems there is a receptionist at her office. I'll try to recreate Bren's description: "Some chippie -- 18? 19? 25? -- with so many various venereal diseases she may have to get a hysterectomy." (And they really know that stuff when you work at an OB/GYN office.)

Anyway, young chippie walks around with red thong showing, ass crack hanging, and DAD proudly displayed.

NJ receptionist? NYC Chinese eatery? Coincidence? Hmmm...I don't think so.

Unless, of course, there is some down-with-the-crips Snoop Dogg thing the girls got these days with painting DAD on their ass that we're too old to know about.

I hope not, though.

And does that mean there are guys running around with MOM stenciled inches from their johnson?

good god in the morning.
WHY I HATE TV NEWS
Okay, here's a little test. Look at the pictures to the right and quick - guess who was hired and who was fired?

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the woman on the left, Carol Martin, an award-winning journalist, and her two Chicago-based producers did not have their contracts renewed by 60 Minutes II ('60 Minutes II' replaces Marin) CBS News chief Andrew Heyward told US Today last February "[They] just became a luxury we can't afford. Times are tight."

Luckily, Heyward did manage to find a million dollars in his tight little budget to hire Lara Logan (right) as a contributing correspondent for the show. Heyward called Logan "an intrepid journalist with tremendous curiosity, determination and a keen eye for good stories," then added, "She will add even more depth to our stellar cadre of international hard-news reporters."

Oh, right. And what happy coincidence! Logan, 32, a former swimwear model, is known in the British press by her nickname - 34D Lara. While covering British and American troops in Afghanistan earlier this year, she was reprimanded for wearing "low-cut tops" and "skimpy outfits" and for "shamelessly flaunting her gender." Yeah, I smell credibility all over this move.

Read the article for the rest of this story and prepare to gag. I just wanna add this...is it so hard to tell the truth? Especially when you're in the news biz? Why not just say, This isn't about journalism. It's about who looks good on camera. With the old broad, we'd break news. With the hot babe, we'll attract male viewers. Do the math and you'll see why we made the switch.

For God's sake, just say it. Everyone knows it already.

(Tip from mediabistro.com. Quotes and more from Sun Times article)
KIDS DO THE DARNEST THINGS


My friend Phil in Daytona writes:
I am getting ready to take the state Physics exam. My daughter comes in frequently to ask if she can help. She takes my white board and erases what I have on it then she writes on the board for a while and produces this. "Does this help Dad?" she says. "Oh yes it does."

Tuesday, June 04, 2002

SEX WORKERS SPEAK OUT IN NYC


Isn't it good to know that the people who toil day in and day out selling vibrators and lube can still figure out a way to voice their political opinions?



Every trip to NYC makes me remember how sophisticated the locals are - even in their vending machines.



Gigging with Otis was big fun. Here are the other 2/3s of the combo during practice at the Think Tank (Hoboken's finest rehearsal space). On drums, Chris Butler, one-time guru and songwriter of the Waitresses (I Know What Boy's Like, Christmas Wrapping). On guitar and rock star attitude is the man, Otis Ball. As Otis mentioned to me, the hardest part of these gigs wasn't recalling the songs after 12 years, it was the physical act of standing up and playing guitar for a few hours at a stretch. I fogot how much sweat was involved. Luckily, my back held out and Butler's Who-inspired drums saved the collective asses of Otis and myself many times during these shows.

If you go to Otis' site (link to left) you can download the somewhat crunchy version of "Fire Needs Oxygen", a new song Otis penned so that our "reunion" would have that authentic, we got together for the bucks and threw together one new tune feel that all the big rock bands have during their reunions. If we can't be huge, we can at least act huge.



THE SCENE: A Chinese restaurant, late at night. As my table chows down on a fine assortment of sauteed chives and seafood, a girl and her boyfriend sit at the table opposite. What's that I see? A red thong showing above her white pants? No big deal...but wait, what's that? A tattoo script reading Dad just above the crack on her ass? Look closely, it's there. I snap this picture and wonder - just what incident provoked that tattoo? Do I want to know? No. This picture will do.

Monday, June 03, 2002

MORE NYC TRIP


I put together several pictures to create the above panorama, which gives you an idea of what I was talking about last week when I said there's an big, bright open spot in the business district where once there stood the World Trade Centers. In this photo, I'm standing about 50 feet east of the intersection of Church & Vesey Streets looking West/Southwest. The World Trade Center occupied about 12 square blocks (4 x 3) right in the middle of this picture. The lower buildings started about 50 yards beyond that hanging traffic light on the right. The pit (which you can't see from this angle) is about 7 stories deep, ending (I think) at the PATH train track level.

The three large, white-capped buildings directly opposite are the larger structures of the World Financial Center. I used to work on the 9th floor of the one furthest to the left. The area that looks a bit like a Zeppelin hanger inbetween the two large towers on the left is the Winter Garden. It was a huge, lovely, glass-enclosed courtyard that had palm trees year-round. That was badly damaged and is now being repaired. Much of the rest of the World Financial Center is open.

On the far left of the picture, you can see a bit of the fence which surrounds an 18th century Church that remains directly across the street from the site (I believe it's the Church where George Washington went to pray after being elected America's first president). On all four sides around the church, the fence is covered with banners and flags sent from all over the world. If your local high school or fire department sent something, that's where it probably hangs today.

That larger building to the left covered by a black shroud and giant American flag is the Deutsche Bank building. Despite being badly damaged by falling debris and fire on 9/11, it remained standing. According to some newspapers, engineers want to investigate and figure out why that bland black box withstood that day's events better than some of its neighbors. After that, there's a chance it will be torn down, since fully renovating it might be cost-prohibitive.

This picture is still a bit small to give the proper impact, so I've uploaded a much larger view here (~270K). It gives a bit more perspective on just how large an area was devestated in this attack.

Tomorrow, I'll try to upload more lighthearted pictures from my trip and gigs.
RECOMMENDATIONS
The guy behind Blowtorch Monkey Armanda has been on a great roll lately. Check him out.

Also, Warren from LA turned me on to the excellent rantings of comedian Larry Miller, gathered in essay form on a regular basis over at The Weekly Standard. Do a search for Larry Miller and you'll find them all. He's way right of me, but also funnier, so that evens out things.
AS THE SHINE WEARS OFF
GWB is starting to embarrass me (that would be me as a citizen, not me personally, though I'm sure he could do that too). I've been quiet for a while about national politics because I figured, Hey, give the guy a chance with the terrorist war and such. We all appreciated the patrician resolve shown by Cheney, Rumsfeld and others in that time of crisis. But now, nearly a year later, the act is wearing thin and Bush is starting to look like a goofball, ex-frat dud who sobered up into a bad salesman.

First...what is the deal with this war? If we're in a war, shouldn't Congress be involved? Shouldn't there be some declaration of War? A marshaling of resources to combat the enemy? What I see is a White House shouting at the nation BE AFRAID! BE VERY AFRAID! But not so afraid that you stop shopping. Unless of course, some media outlet asks embarrassing questions of the Bush administration, like Why did John Ashcroft (on Sept 10 of last year) refuse the FBI's request for more funds to combat terrorism? Why couldn't the FBI put together the many clues they rounded up and offer a cogent review of Bin Laden's interest in aviation? When those questions come up, notice how the Administrations vague spewing of possible terrorist threats increases dramatically? How much would you like to bet that all this talk of war and implied terror threats will roll right on through Election Day in hopes of re-seating GWB at the head of the table?

Not to cast doubts on our fine troops overseas, but have you noticed this - Every few weeks, we get big headlines that American troops raided some Afghan compound, killed a half dozen people and taking 50 suspected Al Queda suspects into custody. Soon after, there are much smaller stories further back in the paper reporting that Afghan locals deny any terrorist connection and in fact, those people killed were at a wedding/farming/sleeping over a friends place. Then a few weeks after that, even further back in the paper, there's a brief saying the US has released all 50 people arrested during that raid. If this was happening in America, wouldn't that just a wee bit upsetting? Again and again, Americans in Afghanistan appear to attack Canadians, allied Afghan soldiers or innocent Afghan citizens. There's something very wrong with this that Fog of War doesn't begin to cover. Somebody should be taking the blame for that.

The whole FBI thing is a comical fuck-up, but more so for the lack of leadership and truth by management than anything the field agents did. It appears agents tried to get the word out and research the incidents. Second-guessing the possibilities of what might have been if the FBI and CIA played nice and returned phone calls doesn't do much good now, no mater how much fun that is for the media. To me, all this shows is that having a Republican in charge is no magical elixir in a war on crime or terrorism. And it makes me realizes the silliness of that question heard so often on cable news last year - Now aren't you glad Bush is President? Well, frankly, no. I think Gore would have gotten the same advice from the pros that Bush got and and the battle portion of the War would have gone much the same as under Bush. And under Gore - who for all his faults was a smart, worldly guy - our President might not be regarded as such a jingoistic bo bo by the rest of the planet's leaders.

I still think the real question to ask is still this - Would Republicans have stood behind Gore in the War On Terrorism the way Democrats stood behind Bush? I'd like to think so, but I wonder.

BTW - War on Terrorism...isn't that odd. Is this our nation's first sanctioned war against an idea instead of a people or country?

Finally, there are Bush's droning media appearances, where if he's not glued to his speech, he's veering dangerously off base, such as when he asked the President of Brazil "Do you have black people too?" or when he chided an American reporter for daring to ask a question in French to the Prime Minister of France (while in France). Yes, these incidents appear to be true and you can read about them here, at This Modern World

There's a persistent suggestion of dyslexia regarding Bush's daily torture of the English language. Some suggest this is a matter of lowering expectations, so we can all be as thrilled as GWB when he finishes a sentence with lots of multi-syllabic words. I don't buy the dyslexia pitch. I prefer to re-cast a Chris Rock line which to me via Warren "Fuck dyslexia. What ever happened to stupid?"

Veering a bit...speaking of Bush's speech patterns, I found a great interview at The Nation with Mark Crispin Miller who wrote The Bush Dyslexicon. He offers witty observations about GWB's speech patterns, such as this nugget:

If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything.
If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything.
      -Austin-American Statesman, November 2, 2000

This logical tic betrays the perfect emptiness of much that Bush says off the cuff. A wholly televisual being (although startlingly untelegenic), Bush often uses speech not to say anything, but merely to depict himself as saying something, "boldly" and "decisively."


Miller has much more good stuff in the interview, including notes on my favorite argument - the myth of the liberal media. Read it.

So anyway, all this goes to say GWB is starting to creep me out again. When I see him on TV walking briskly through a military graveyard in Europe, I think shameless exploitation of the military for a photo op.... Sure, Clinton did the photo ops too, but he knew how to strike up a conversation and make it all seem a bit more real. Bush doesn't even look interested or connected. In fact, he looks kind of medicated.

Somebody better check on Cheney's heart.

Saturday, June 01, 2002

PRAISE
Just got word of this nice little honor and to Mr. EBench's credit, he has a good explanation of what Suburban Limbo is all about (except maybe for the Donald Fagen reference, which confuses me, but that's cool). Anyway, here's Mr. EBench thinks he's reading here.

the EBENCHBLOGOFTHEWEEKEND(cue:fanfare of Mice/Mouses) is suburbanlimbo

Ive been reading this blog faithfully (2~3 times a week...well! thats MY idea of being "faithful" OK?)for months now. I don't really understand WHY i like it......it just has a calming effect.The BLOGMEISTER has no axe to grid.He just reflects his world. Can be funny/serious/wry/whatever......Reminds me of reading a short story about middle~American...sort of RAYMOND CARVER without the booze & angst...perhaps listening to DONALD FAGEN on a good day????The Internet makes such feelings of mine so accessible..As a kid/teenybopper/aspiring hippie...US seemed so remote and exotic....I can now read it as it happens & send the character an email.

We are back to my William Burroughs fantasies again? Imagine reading "The Naked Lunch" ,putting it down halfway through, and sending Ol'Billy an email! Wow...what a strange youth i must have been!!!!!!

Anyway, MR LIMBO jumps his blog ,Gently, off at tangents all the time. Its always interesting (eg at the moment a personal reflection on a visit to the World Trades site in NY...makes more sense to me than DUBYA.) ENJOY