Drooling on the Pillow

Saturday, January 08, 2005


I have to get busy with a web site I promised my brother for a club at the school where he teaches, so I'm probably gone for a couple of days. Unless I get that thing where you just have to flap your lips. You know what I mean.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Sir, You are a Knieveling Scoundral 

TigerHawk gives a righteous fisking to a wild attack on Michael Crichton's new book State of Fear which goes off the liberal reservation on the issue of global warming. Mr. Crichton's view, expressed in a lengthy author's note is that mankind's activities probably have a part in the slight warming we're undergoing, but that it's significance is unknown and unknowable at this point. He feels we do not need to start wearing banana leaves yet. This has made some people unhappy.

In the comments section I proposed that we need a new word. "Fisking" fit a need. The need now is one word to describe a vicious, scurrilous, dishonest, hysterical accusation of another person's viciousness, scurrilousness, dishonesty and hysteria. I propose 'knieveling' since the old guy came out of the courtroom after a judge dismissed his defamation suit and called the judge a 'bimbo'. I can't wait for the first post fisking someone for knieveling.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Closer to Home 

Roberto, at DynamoBuzz has two good Jersey-centric posts, the first about school spending, the second about Governor Codey's proposal to float bonds to fund stem-cell research. While you're there, vote on the scariest movie of all time and encourage him to keep up the drum beat on Christie Whitman's thick head.

Sluggos to the Movies 

The Goddess and I watched Stage Beauty last night on DVD. It's about the moment in Restoration English theatre when female roles were moved statutorially from male actors to female actors. Doesn't sound like much to hang a movie on, but it's fascinating. There's some murky rumblings concerning sexual roles, politics and psychology, but the movie seems to shake that off easily enough and get on with the fun. Billy Crudup plays the most famous and beautiful actor of his day who did exclusively female roles. There's two problems with Crudup. First, he most certainly does not make a beautiful woman. You could throw a brick in South Beach and hit a prettier 'girl'. Second, in the triumphal final scene when he finally plays a man he exposes his limitations. He could no more play Othello than I could get the lead in The Cary Grant Story.

I've said before how I love Restoration Comedy and the movie is stuffed with the fun, wit, decadance, energy and outrageousness of the era. It's also stuffed with fabulous Brit actors. Jesus, is there any limey who can't act? Rupert Everett made me laugh out loud a dozen times as Charles II. Edward Fox ("Whenever we're about to do something truly regretable we always say that the French have been doing it for years."), Richard Griffiths and Hugh Bonneville as Samual Pepys were great.

Three Slugs out of four.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Business or Pleasure, Mr. Ressam? 

The invaluable Mark Steyn tells a remarkable story in the London Spectator about how democracies protect themselves (or not) in an era of terrorism. To me, the questions about privacy and government intrusion versus security are difficult and complicated and need the vigorous input of all points of view to be resolved. What we don't need are idiots in charge.
Mr Ressam, incidentally, is a very instructive case of
how easy it is to proceed through modern Western "security"
systems. He was traveling under a false name on a genuine
Canadian passport which he obtained by forging a Quebec
baptismal certificate: the passport is high-tech, computer-
readable, hard(ish) to fake, but the document you need to
produce in order to get the hard-to-fake document is much
easier to fake. Mr Ressam was originally from Algeria and
when he landed at Montreal he was admirably straightforward.
He told officials he'd spent five months in jail back home for
being an Islamic terrorist. But Immigration Canada declined
to take him at his word. According to spokesperson Huguette
Shouldice, many asylum-seekers try to pass themselves off
as terrorists to "exaggerate the persecution they fear in their
homeland in order to impress Canadian immigration officials".
Read that again slowly: according to Mme Shouldice, claiming
to be a terrorist increases your chances of being admitted to
Canada, so immigration officials have learnt to disregard it as
no more than a little light resumé-padding. Yawn: here's
someone trying to slip in on the mad-bomber fast-track
admission quota again.
The front end of this article dismisses the notion, apparently still abroad in some parts, that the Clinton administration's vigilance at the millennium prevented a disaster.

Talk About Pimps 

Jim, at Parkway Rest Stop, notes the disturbing number of sightings of the Lov Gov in recent weeks. Our dearly departed ex-governor McGreevey is searching for his 'role' in public service and won't rule out running for office.

I got a role for you, McGreedey. Tataglia.

Has-Been Gets His Depends in a Bunch 

The NY Daily News has this story about "aging daredevil" Evel Knievel who was trying to sue the website EXPN.com for jocularly referring to him as a pimp in the caption of a picture of him with his arms around two young women. A Montana judge threw the case out and an outraged Knievel responded with "What good is law in the United States of America if five or six goddamn bimbos are going to rule against it?"

Apparently all those hard landings have rendered him irony-proof.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

38-10 USC 

Those of you from New Jersey who are as old as I am may remember Brick Township as the dominant football power downstate. Three straight division championships, close to 40 straight wins. I was on the freshman team in 1962 and we were beating up everybody like red-headed stepchildren. Then we got to Freehold. They had a guy named Herman Hill. I don't know whatever happened to him, but he was a guy a few levels above anybody we'd seen. I played on the defensive line and I remember a dozen times lining him up for a tackle and hearing this whooshing sound and looking back to see Herman Hill scoring 80 yards behind me. We could score okay, but we could no more stop that guy than the Republican Guard could stop the 1st Marine Division.

Me: Oklahoma. Herman Hill: USC.

I wouldn't watch an Orange Bowl halftime show with a gun to my head, so I think I'm done for the night.

Ka-boomer Sooners.

ADDENDUM: I Googled Mr. Hill and was reminded I did know something of what happened to him. He wound up playing parts of two seasons with the Minneapolis Twins (24 ABs, 2 singles). Two things I didn't know. He was almost three years older than he should have been for playing freshman football. And in October 1970 he was traded to the Cardinals and in December 1970 he died (presumably playing winter ball) in Venezuela. Believe it or not, this web page lists the 10 major leaguers who have died in Venezuela. The only information I could find on how he died was this page which only reports that he drowned.

35-10 USC 

I should have been more specific.

28-10 USC 

One break before the half, please.

28-7 USC 

I'm wondering if there's one of those ladies 9-ball tournaments going on over at ESPN.

21-7 USC 

And quarterbacks.

14-7 USC 

My impressions of the first quarter: USC has much cuter cheerleaders. OU needs much smarter punt returners.



First Blood to the Sooners 

7-0. I hoping for a complete humiliation of USC.

Bring Back Roseanne 

Well, the national anthem sucked. She sounded like she was on helium and trying to sing while working a Thighmaster.

Hope the game is better.

Day by Day 

There's a link in my Toonroll, and Fausta heads her blog with it, but I want to do my part to make sure nobody misses todays Day By Day.

Anything Goes 

Via Tim Blair

I've been reading Mark Steyn for years, originally as the movie and theatre guy at the London Spectator. He's the best. He is always clever, funny and insightful and is (if you'll pardon the allusion) a tsunami of content providing.

I know it has nothing to do with David Gest, but here is Mr. Steyn on the ankle biting U.S. efforts have received in South Asia:

. . . you would think an unprecedented tsunami in a region
that has never been a U.S. sphere of influence would be
hard to pin on the Great Satan. And, to be fair to the
global rent-a-quote crowd, for an hour or two they were
stunned into silence. But it wasn't long before they were
back singing the same old song: Disaffected young Muslim
men in Saudi Arabia, devastated coastal villages in Sri
Lanka ... "These Foolish Things Remind Me Of U.S.A."
You really need Cole Porter:

You're The Pits
With your massive armies
You're The Pits
And you cause tsunamis


All David, All The Time 

Whew! I've gotten so worked up over the U.N. stuff the past few days, I've wobbled off my core mission -- the career of David Gest.

Apparently, Mr. Gest is responsible for a recent concert in Memphis starring Jane Russell, Gale Storm, Tippi Hedren and Dionne Warwick. Now, if you were given this lineup and asked, 'Which one is still alive?' you'd think 'Trick question. All dead." Wouldn't you? Check it out. All kicking. As of 10:20 this morning.

How much you would pay for a ticket to see them, of course, is a separate question.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Hollywood East 

Steve Kornacki at PoliticsNJ helpfully reminds us that Garden State wasn't the only Jersey-centric film of 2004.

For instance:

The Phantom of the Opera: The cinematic adaptation of
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway classic tells the story
of Jerry McCann, a bitter genius who lives in the sewers
of Jersey City , and his clandestine effort to sabotage the
front-runner in the mayor’s race so that his preferred
candidate, Lou Manzo, might land the leading role at
City Hall.
This might not have you rolling if you're not from Jersey City, but he spreads the wealth throughout the state.

Unnecessary Nuisence III 

At The Belmont Club, wretched takes a well deserved and erudite shot at the U.N. for attempting to clothe U.S. relief efforts in baby blue.

In the comments to that post there is a discussion of the security issues that will inevitably arise from having U.S. military personnel working long term in areas of Islamist activism. I'm sure there are people at the Pentagon and Foggy Bottom thinking about these issues. I just hope they're talking to each other.

Unnecessary Nuisence II 

Spear Shaker makes an interesting analogy between the U.N. and the Dot.coms of the '90s. He also remarks on the bizarre 'intervention' staged by Richard Holbrooke with Kofi Annan. I never wished the U.N. away before. I still think there are extremely useful roles for it. But it must change or we should wish it godspeed down the same chute as Pets.com.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Talking Back 

Here's an excellent summary from Chuck at You Big Mouth, You! on the facts behind the myth that the U.S. originally pledged $35M for relief efforts. He points out that the $35M was a drawdown account intended for use of the first relief workers on the scene and none of it, actually, was intended for distribution to victims. Even before this preliminary amount was announced battle groups loaded with supplies were steaming to the scene.

The debate over the U.S. response should be thus: granted the PR aspect of the American tsunami response was not handled in the way the media, the U.N. and many individuals would have wanted it handled. Should we give a crap? Is deft dishing of BS and seizing an opportunity for self aggrandizement the issue or is getting the job done what we should focus on? I don't know. What do you think?

Chuck has a related post which refutes the standard lines of criticism from the left on this issue.

Who's talking about the first response of the left? Find some way, any way, to use the deaths of 150,000 to discredit the administration.

UPDATE: Fausta at Bad Hair Blog summarizes the issues nicely.

Unnecessary Nuisance 

Wretchard at The Belmont Club wades into the sewage that the U.N. has become to report that they are peeved that the U.S. has formed a four-nation group (U.S., Japan, Australia, India) to head up relief efforts. The execrable Clare Short scolds that "Only . . . the U.N. can do that job. It is the only body that has the moral authority."


Moral authority.

Apparently, the U.N. has scheduled a meeting for January 11th to decide what to do about the unpleasantness in South Asia and feels that any efforts preceding this meeting are premature.

Flipping morons.
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