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Am I The Only One?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

OK Computer's Tenth Anniversary

My iTunes library traveled to Radiohead's magnum opus, OK Computer, and I realized that the album just turned ten years old. Man, seems like I *just* bought it at the store! How is this possible?

"Let Down" will always bring a tear to my eye.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Taser-Happy Officer McNevin

There's so many taser-happy police these days, it's hard to pick on one. But after the bozos at UCLA, this fella McNevin may take the cake. I know it happened two years ago, but this video is just so much gosh darned fun that it's hard to let it go!

The Palm Beach Post has some good pro-McNevin commentary to go with their video of the incident. Clearly, the big white police officer faces an uphill battle against the small black girl in the car, but he's very generous and gives her all of about 12 seconds before he fires his taser and loads her up with electricity. After all, white men have no history of abusing black girls.

After shooting her many, many times, he sat chit-chatting on the radio in his car while the girl lay bleeding in the back seat (his own admission, by the way). What a lovely man.

Anyway, there are many good blogs about this incident, but on of the best is over at Macewan. It's the comments that really can't be missed, because McNevin's family members show up to defend him. What fun!

After one commenter says, "...Mr. Rich McNevin obviously can not handle authority. He will have to answer for his actions in the end", Kristy McNevin, the policeman's cousin, posts that the victim was "a complete bitch" and then instructs the poster to "keep your damn mouth shut".

Anyone see a family resemblance?

Survivor Cook Islands: Jonathan Still Alive

I don't think I've blogged about Survivor since Chris won Vanuatu, -- an entry so brilliant that it elicited comments with the phrases "mind blowing" and "I love you", but (ahem) I digress -- but there's just so much going on on the Cook Islands that I feel like a school girl at a sleepover with hot gossip about the latest boy band.

First of all, the blogosphere is filled with venom for Jonathan. "No one likes a mercenary" says TvSquad.com, but I sure do. Sure, Jonathan has changed alliances twice now, but let's take a look at why...

The first time, he was in a 4-way alliance with Candice as his primary partner and the Yul / Becky alliance as the other two. When Jeff offered the opportunity for mutiny, Candice immediately stepped off the mat, forcing Jonathan to either stick with his primary alliance and piss off the others on the tribe (including Yul and Becky), OR leave Candice high and dry and lose his only solid alliance. He made the choice to stick with Candice. Nothing back-stabby there.

Then, when Yul told him that he had the immunity idol and that if he didn't switch back that Jonathan would be the next to go, Jonathan even tried to tell the others to vote for anyone but Yul. They didn't listen. Parvati just flipped her hair and said, "naw, he doesn't have it... he was only on exile island one day." Really, Parvati? 24 hours ain't enough to dig in the sand a little? Faced with stupid alliance partners who didn't believe he was in danger, he voted against them, his only choice if he wanted to stay in the game.

So there it is. And the guy is a very hard worker in camp to boot.

Adam is maybe the most nauseating of the three on the outside, fancying himself a little playboy with Candice and Parvati on each arm. He snuggles with Parvati even though he's Candice's main squeeze, telling both that there's enough Adam to go around. Thumbs down for this loser.

Now, what is up with the popularity poll -- Candice as #1 with 38%? Thank heavens the Yul-led foursome had the smarts to get rid of Candice. "Since when don't we... share food?" Since you stopped doing anything to help the tribe survive, that's when. That woman was like a walking lazy whining machine, and she's going to make someone very miserable someday. Hopefully Adam, they're perfect for each other.

The next two votes *should* be Adam and then Parvati, but who knows. I really, really hope that Adam and Parvati get randy on each and Candice gets to watch it all on TV. Please, let that happen.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Does This Mean Michael Richards is a Racist?

I don't think it does.

Should he have pulled out the "n" word? Ah, no... that was stupid. But this *is* a comedy club, for crying out loud. There is terribly offensive stuff hurled at the the audience every single day at these clubs. You gotta check your offended-o-meter at the door.

To the self-important idiot who was yelling at Michael Richards: Suck it up, Alice. If you don't like when your particular diverse group is dis'ed, then drop the double standard and don't scream the word "cracker" at him.

Michael Richards later apologized, which should be enough to put it behind him but I'm sure it won't make any difference:

UPDATE: Upon re-watching the apology on Letterman, I must say that it is almost more awkward than the original meltdown. And Richards loses points in my book for trying to somehow blame his rage on Katrina and Bush. Just say you're sorry and shut up.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Football Numerology

Wanna hear something freaky? The Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Michigan Wolverines 42-39 in the biggest game of the year on Saturday. So naturally, many people went out and played the Pick 4 lottery with those numbers.

And the numbers 4-2-3-9 were drawn as the winner.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

No ID? Give 'em the Taser

America, are you ready for this?

UCLA is tasing students in the library that cannot produce student ID. This video was shot a few days ago, and I'm warning you, it's sick.

The cops have gone completely nuts in LA I guess. I mean, listen to the screams of this poor guy. Whatever happened to just cuffing a suspect and leading him out to a police car?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Senate Math

It turns out I'm not the only one that sees a problem with CNN's graphic. Fox News is displaying a more-sensible graphic, with 49 Republicans, 48 Democrats (now with Montana's results in), and 2 Independents.

Making Sense of Senate Majority Math

Like most of the world, I've been watching the coverage of the U.S. Senate races with fascination. And I suspect I'm not the only one who's a little puzzled by the talk of the Democrats taking control of the senate.

Let's take a look at CNN, a pro-Democrat news company. Their front page a few minutes ago looks like this:

Does that graphic showing the number of Democratic, Republican, and Independant senators in the lower-left look odd? Let's take a closer look:

So CNN thinks that the Democrats have 49? This will come as a surprise to Senators Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders, who both won as Independents. Without these two, the Democrats only have 47.

The assumption is that Lieberman and Sanders will vote with the Democrats, though that will not be true on issues of the Iraq war (which Lieberman supports), and possibly not true on other issues for Sanders. Regardless, CNN has a yellow bar for "Independents", with a zero beside it. If you're going to count the I's as D's, why show the third progress bar?

Now if you click on one of the articles, CNN gives you a different graphic:

Here they still show the two Independents as Democrats, but at least the Democrat thermometer is noticeably shorter. Are they starting to get it?

This distinction becomes important in deciding the Senate Majority Leader; the Democrats need 51 to control the senate in order to overcome Cheney's tie-breaking vote, and even if the races in Montana and Virgina go the Democrat's way, it's still 49-49-2 -- 2 short of the required 51. According to Senate rules:

"Elected at the beginning of each Congress by members of their respective party conferences to represent them on the Senate floor, the majority and minority leaders serve as spokesmen for their parties' positions on the issues." Source: Senate.gov

If only members of the "majority party" -- which Lieberman and Sanders are not -- can vote for a majority leader, then I can't see any way that the Democrats can elect one. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Electrics Cars

Sure, we all like the idea of a hybrid car. Higher gas milage, less emissions, a nice little whirring sound when pulling away from a stoplight. But before you buy, are you ready to have the "hybrid" conversation with your mechanic?

"Hi, I have a Toyota Highlander and I need to replace the do-whizzit."
"Yeah, hang on... that'll be $160, and I can get you in tomorrow."
"Really? Only $160?"
"It's a hybrid..."
"Eeeesh, I was afraid of that."
"Yeah, and bring it in a week from Tuesday, I'll have to order the part."

Friday, August 18, 2006

Quick Change: Piers is Clueless

OK, first of all I need to stress that I *DO NOT* watch "America's Got Talent" on NBC. I have a general loathing for Idol-style reality shows where the very format favors the 98 Degree-es of the world over genuine artistry. I am, however, a fan of good illusionists -- and the husband-wife duo "Quick Change" is absolute tops.

For those blissfully unaware, America's Got Talent puts a variety of acts in front of a judging panel consisting of David Hasselhoff, Brandy, and British bad-boy Morgan Piers. After their second performance, Piers asked them to make some changes before returning, and Quick Change obliged with a modified version of their knockout performance. Watch Piers get ugly afterwards:

What Piers doesn't understand is that changing the outfit *IS* a major change for an act centered around the illusion of changing outfits. As finals coach Steven Valentine (from Crossing Jordan) put it: "You don't applaud the world's greatest lion-tamer, then ask him to bring monkeys next week. I'm the English guy that gets it." Changing into a full-length union jack dress purely for Piers' benefit might very well be a monumental change, but Piers doesn't grasp that because he still has no idea how it's done.

Well, did we ever see some changes for the finals!

With live singers, confetti, quick changing Brandy, and tons of costume modifications, the act was a huge overhaul; but Piers apparently want them to change *everything*, right down to the concept of changing clothes. He's trapped in a mental non-sequitur, where a yodeller yodelling a slightly different country song is thumbs up, but a quick change artist that still performs a quick change is just a tired retread.

Piers has decided that he just doesn't like these guys. Maybe it's because David has the guts to challenge Piers ridiculous expectations -- something I do not recommend to anyone trying to win over any kind of judge.

In any case, I don't think Quick Change had what it takes to win these kinds of contests... namely, an 11-year old singing voice.

Friday, July 14, 2006

When The World Has a Bad Day

Just take a look at Yahoo's World Headlines at this moment:

Let's try again fresh tomorrow, world... :(

The Bottom Line: Politics Ain't Funny

You know, I've been thinking about Jon Stewart's series-killing appearance on Crossfire, and Robert Novak's walkoff on Inside Politics, two events that seem to share a common thread. And no, the thread isn't CNN.

It's that no matter how much you laugh, politics just ain't lighthearted stuff. Witness the demise of Politically Incorrect host Bill Maher: when you step on political toes with irreverance in the name of comedy, eventually you will find a majority of the nation staring at you with a slight frown and a sore foot.

Political comedians would love for you to believe that they are above the fray, uninvolved in the political discourse, that everything rolls off their back. But the truth is that the political landscape makes them angry. Every one of them. And the anger piles up until they, like Mr. Maher, say something... stupid.*

And then it isn't funny anymore.

Witness Jon Stewart, the hero of the cynics a couple years ago. As a guest on the award-winning political free-for-all Crossfire, he ambushed hosts Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson with a serious-as-a-heart-attack dissection of the show. Many political cynics hailed the performance as "honest" and credited Stewart for Crossfire's ensuing cancellation, but I think time will show that it was the end of Stewart has well. For he showed that for all his lighthearted words, politics weighs on him. It makes him angry.

And he wasn't funny. Not even a little.

In fact, the video clip still makes me cringe. For a small minority that loves this kind of awkward public skewering, the rest of us would just rather that the TV folks like Stewart and CNN work these things out off camera.

As for Robert Novak, I suspect that his short temper on live TV had a lot to do with the pressures of the CIA / Valerie Plame scandal, but was probably due in no small part to 23 years of political arguments on TV.

* See 2nd Quote concerning cruise missiles -- the quote that ended his career on Politically Incorrect. I could discuss for quite some detail how that statement was stupid and nonsensical in every way, but that's another entry...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Some People Shouldn't Parachute

We shouldn't laugh at this. But we all will.

"Nobody's Watching": The Show That *Everyone* Is Watching

For those of you that are soooo last May right now, the big news in TV's off-season is the emergence of a quirky little sitcom pilot that has turned up on YouTube after two networks passed on it. "Nobody's Watching" is the brainchild of Bill Lawrence, the principal writer for Scrubs, plus two other writers from Scrubs and Family Guy. Here's a news article with more background details from Ohio.com, and another version of the story at Engadget. (EDIT: An even better article can be found at the NY Times.)

You can watch the show in three parts by clicking below. If these embedded videos do not work, links are found below the videos.

Nobody's Watching pilot, Part 1

Nobody's Watching pilot, Part 2

Nobody's Watching pilot, Part 3

Direct Links:
Nobody's Watching pilot, Part 1
Nobody's Watching pilot, Part 2
Nobody's Watching pilot, Part 3

Some initial thoughts... I think this is a great concept for a show, with pretty good writing and very good acting. I wouldn't have thought that a scripted show about two guys being pulled into an unscripted reality show about creating a new scripted sitcom would work -- but it does.

It's flaws are minor -- after Derrick delivers Chandler's signature "Could this *BE* any cooler?" line on the fake Friends set, it's completely unnecessary for him to point to himself and say, "Chandler". We all got it, and those that didn't get it right away won't know who Chandler is anyway.

It will be interesting to see if the show now gets picked up, and more interestingly, what other failed pilots find a second life on YouTube...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Overheard at a Baseball Game

Woman 1 was holding an infant and talking to Woman 2 at a youth league baseball game today. I was standing right behind.

Woman 1: "...So he said to me, 'Hon, it's been six weeks, are we ready to start up again?'"
Woman 2: "Heh! What did you say?"
Woman 1: "I told him I'd pay for a hooker."