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Maybe He'll Get Voted Off The Cell Block...Imagine If It Had Been An Atari 2600?What's That In Your Pocket, George?Oh W., You Slay Me!!Shine On You Crazy Diamond

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July 24, 2006

Maybe He'll Get Voted Off The Cell Block...

Behind bars.jpg

From the department of "how dumb do you have to be?" reality television poster boy Richard Hatch was sent to federal prison last week, for failing to pay taxes on his Survivor winnings.

Let's do the math: He won a million dolllars on television, and his victory received more media attention than a presidential election. At some point, he figured, 'what are the chances the IRS will figure out that I have this additional income?'

Godspeed Richard. Enjoy the ride.

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July 21, 2006

Imagine If It Had Been An Atari 2600?


The two dunderheads accused of murdering six people in a revenge killing for an Xbox video game system have offered this as their defense: Yes, we hit them with baseball bats, but we didn't intend for the blows to be "fatal."

Hmm. I guess they were just using the heavy Louisville slugger bats to say hello. Perhaps bats are the new form of greeting. "Good day, kind sirs. Mind if we pop in for some tea?" Working against them, of course, is the inconvenient fact that they hit their victims them repeatedly about the head and face, and then went back to stab them with switchblade knives.

No word yet on whether Sony will try to turn this incident into a role-playing action game for 2007.

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July 19, 2006

What's That In Your Pocket, George?

The president is expected to use the FIRST veto of his tenure today, which is cause for a posting. And just what is he going to stop with this potent Constitutional power? Increased funding for a pointless war? The destruction of natural resources in otherwise protected geographic locales? His own misguided admistration? Nope.

Instead, the President of these very United States is going to put a stop to legistlation that would ease the limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Never mind that stem cell research is a scientifically viable method for saving lives and potentially one of the greatest boons to medical research since the discovery of the microscope. Never mind that the majority of Congress (and, thus, the people, via their representation) believes that this legislation should pass. Never mind that it is the only logical thing to do.

To W. and those on the religious right who oppose stem cell research, it is murder. Not 'akin to' or 'the moral equivalent of' but murder, per se.

And because no nation should tolerate murder, W. has his big red VETO stamp out, and he's going to set back the progress made thus far by a year or so. All for what? Votes in Congressional off term elections this fall? Surely. But I actually think for Bush it goes much deeper. It'd almost be acceptable in a very callous, sickening way if it were merely about playing poltical hardball. But what is most frightening is that Bush actually believes that it is murder, in his heart.

Let's just hope for his sake that his heart never gives out on him, since without stem cell research, finding viable cures for heart disease (not to mention cancer, Parkinson's diseaes, Alzheimers, etc. etc.) is going to be a lot harder.

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July 16, 2006

Oh W., You Slay Me!!


Here is what George W. Bush had to say about the current situation in Israel, showing his usual diplomatic brilliance:

"Our message to Israel is, look, defend yourself," Bush said. "But as you do so, be mindful of the consequences. So we've urged restraint."

Um, isn't this the same gramatically-challenged Texan who has this country engaged in a massive war effort on several fronts that is showing absolutely no restraint whatsoever? Has anybody in the Bush administration been mindful of any consequences with regard to Iraq, apart from what they believe will appeal to voters?

I don't know about you, but that awkward sense of discomfort I feel whenever I see Bush speak is increased tenfold when he begins to prattle on about foreign policy. Bush could probably find Israel on a map, but he certainly doesn't show much comprehension of the subtleties of the situation there. Israel, by definition, shows restraint in its very existence. It could literally wipe Lebanon off the map in an afternoon (thanks, of course, to U.S. supplied arms). Israel constantly sits on the knife edge between defending itself and using "appropriate force."

Terrorist organizations don't do the same math. And it's awfully hypocritical for Bush to use "ridding the world of evildoers" as the impetus to unilaterally invade whatever countries he chooses while at the same time urging others doing essentially the same thing (on their own soil no less) to stand down.

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July 11, 2006

Shine On You Crazy Diamond


Eccentric English rock stars--particulary those who consumed as much LSD and Mandrex as was taken by Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett--are not expected to age well. And so the news of the passing of Mr. Barrett, the man who named Pink Floyd, was not altogether unexpected (he died of diabetes). And while his run with the band was relatively short lived (due, mainly, to his reported bouts with insanity), his larger influence on rock and roll is enormous. As per his Wikipedia entry: One of Barrett's trademarks was playing his Fender Esquire guitar by sliding a Zippo lighter up and down the fret-board through an old echo box to create the mysterious, otherworldly sounds that became associated with the group.

But for all of his ingenuity, the strongest element of Barrett's rock god status was his obscurity. He hadn't played for nearly thirty years, and he'd scarcely been seen in just as long. His run with Pink Floyd lasted all of two years, and then he was gone, back into the green English countryside from whence he came.

It is tempting to call Barrett the British Brian Wilson, which many have done. Wilson, of course, has "recovered" and begun to make public appearances. Barrett, it seems, never got back on track.



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