Drooling on the Pillow

Friday, June 18, 2004

Goat Retrieval 

James Lileks has asked for all of us to name the things that get our goats. Doing my part, I nominate Susan McDougal and the media that quote her version of events without noting that she is a shifty, weasely, convicted felon and a grifter. I guess, properly speaking, she gets my weasel, but since that could be misinterpreted, I'll go with the goat.

First of all, of course, Starr didn't put her in jail. A federal judge did. Because you are obligated to testify when you are subpoenaed before a grand jury.

What am I missing here? Either she had information about criminal activity on the part of the Clintons or she didn't. If she did she could testify to it or plead the fifth (although on second thought that's probably not true since Starr had given her complete immunity). If she had such information and testified that she didn't, Starr would be obligated to prosecute her for perjury. That is if he had corroborating evidence that she was lying. But it would be a very public trial and he would have to prove his case. By choosing to sit in jail for two years, while the President publicly holds out carrots for her to keep clammed up, all she's doing is trying to build up pressure on Starr to withdraw his subpoena. And pressure there was, an intense, unrelenting firestorm of pressure, because by that time everybody knows that she's a hero of fifth amendment rights and he's Torquemada.

If anyone has seen my goat, let me know.

Update -- Goat Retrieval II

Oh, yeah. Deconstruction.

I'll let Robert Detman at Bile Vent via Michael Blowhard at 2Blowhards handle this.

Take it away, Mr. Detman.

I'm getting an uncomfortable feeling that I'm blowing this assignment from James Lileks by registering bug-a-boos rather than goat getting. It's a fine point.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Take Five 

I picked up a curious CD at the garage sale for Grace's charter school. Curious in a curious way. It's called Private Brubeck Remembers. The second disc is a series of interview tracks with an 83-year old Dave Brubeck talking to Walter Cronkite about his childhood, going off to the war, coming home and getting started. He sounds like a very sweet man, with a kind of cowboy, or at least countrified accent. He's a guy who describes someone cussing him out by saying "blankity-blank".

The first disc is solo piano of the tunes he associates with the times he describes on the second disc. "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", "For All We Know", "We Crossed the Rhine" (a song he wrote watching the pontoon bridges being built), "Lili Marlene". While the sensibility of his playing is entirely conventional, it's an absorbing performance. There are jazz licks, but they are absorbed in romance and disciplined with effortless musicianship. His dynamics are thrilling, if such a thing could be said of dynamics. He keeps time independently with each hand, but in such a casual, unobtrusive way that, while you notice it, it doesn't distract. In fact, what he seems to be doing, beyond a memory exercise, is honoring the composers and placing their music in the context of the time of their creation. What more is memory? Honor, context, creation. It feels like you wandered into a cocktail lounge in Helena, Montana and a guy starts to play and you sit there till four because he plays better than you could imagine doing anything.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns Down to Austin 

Via Tim Blair

Kinky Friedman is running for Governor!

I am first in line for the campaign buttons.

June 14, 2004 

Gracie plays hooky for the first time. "Stomach ache."

Circling the Bowl I 

I believe I'll make this a regular feature because not many days go by without a story that makes me wish that the ethos and weltanschauung of The Strawberry Blond actually did exist at one time and that I lived there. I define my orientation as neo-libertarian which can be described as "The world is turning to crap and just leave me the hell alone about it."

The game at Camden Yards yesterday featured a real gem of modern life. Foul ball into the stands coming right down for an eight or nine year old boy. Ah, life. Ah Norman Rockwell. At the last moment a schlub from the row behind dives forward for the ball, knocking the kid away like a duckpin and begins rooting underneath the mother for the ball. Having retrieved his trophy he pushes the kid aside again and climbs back into his row. This is a big guy, maybe 220 or 240 somewhere around 30 years old. Not bad looking. Dressed like a twelve-year old, of course, but neat and clean. He starts to hear it from the crowd (he was really hearing it from the mother) and his response is to hold the ball aloft and pump his arms. I think he was really confused as to why everyone wasn't applauding his achievement. Now the director was as fascinated with this guy as I was and kept the camera on him. I assume they played the scene on the Jumbotron at the park because the entire crowd started chanting "give him the ball" and the look on this guys face was precious. A serene smirk. Even when another kid came over with a foul ball he caught and gave it to the first kid. Even when a ball player came up and gave the kid a bat. Even with 35,000 people united in their opinion of him, he was very comfortable with what he had done. I got the ball, man. Don't you get it? I got the ball.

Was I wrong to focus on the jerk instead of everyone else who still knew a jackass when they saw one? Of course, but I'm a Neo-libertarian. Leave me alone.
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