Friday, June 29, 2012

Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole

First off, to Rachel (if that is your real name) from Cardholder Services: No buttsex from me! Not going to the back of that very long line.
Someday somebody will listen to your entire message & pay enough attention to send men with guns & axes to your door. Won't be me. I have plenty of other minor annoyances to deal with. One that has become quite minor is Megan McArdle of the Daily Beast. This is a site that reminds me of why I decided to post lots and lots of pictures. It's BORRRRING! Sure, many decades back in a small town in England, Evelyn Waugh was kind of fun to read. Now? Bad graphics & 15 writers saying nothing much just doesn't cut it. We have Thomas Friedman if we want to read utterly empty wordstrings. Still, there is something to be learned from any McArdle post: 3. Some people, maybe including me, will be helped by the bill. Even if you think that this bill will, on net, make more people worse off, you should still be glad for the people who are being helped. For those who wondered whether McArdle's move from Senior Editor at The Atlantic to Special Correspondent at The Beast was a move up or grabbing onto something after getting canned, this gives the answer : She's not even on the company health plan now. Since this is a catch up post, remember Hang Up & Pedal? The latest impediment to biking is the Rolling Enforcers of Etiquette.
Biking a route I've taken for 24 years, some punk starts telling me how it should be done. Life is brutal. So I pull some dodgy (but safe & legal) maneuver to get away. Does it help? Of course not! They catch up & start ranting. It's happened twice. Maybe time for the Italian solution. Anyhow, this is where we leave with some cheesecake. Judge Parker for the last 3 weeks has featured a character who seems to be based on the Jack Weston Fed from Gator. Gator was a pretty good flick, especially the scenery. And by scenery, I mean pictures of the rural south - fields, water, shacks. Only for the poster, they had to add a curvy wench. Trouble was, the female star was Lauren Hutton.
Stick in the middle was her. Which is why all the posters were drawings, not photos.
Seacrest out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oh, Barbie, Barbie it's a wild world

Today we are confronted by insanity on all sides. From the Supreme Court of this benighted land, declarations that Corporations derive from a Supreme Maker, not state charters, (because Shut UP, that's why) and from elsewhere, that big headed child skeletons found in caves must be aliens because their DNA is only 99% normal, at least according to a basically incoherent decription of it from a raging nutter. How else to explain?
Actually, that covers it pretty well.

Since most of this is nothing new, the temptation is to just wobble around, mutter, and suffer the latest symptoms of aging. Is there an alternative? Of course. Just ask Barbie.

NO NO NO! Not reality TV Stereotype Role #2 - Angry Black Woman of Marginal Talent.

Back to the basics. Barbie, the Sweet Plastic Princess

Thank goodness.
Time to go watch some morons trying to cook without burning their hands.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

They don't make 'em like they used to

So I'd sincerely appreciate anyone telling me which, if either, of these is worth watching.

Not sure that either actress was exactly born for the part. My skating experience consists of being 12. I fell down on the ice. The insanely beautiful Alexandra McGuire somehow managed to not hit my flopping scrawniness.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I went down Virginia

Some of you may remember that the laser like focus of this blog is combatting the administrative model of Universities and stopping the growth of tuition.

OK, so it's been a while. To recap, for the last 40 years, there has been unchecked growth of Management ranks, to the point where they are driving out faculty and bankrupting students.  Apparently, not fast enough for some people.

Teresa Sullivan, recently dumped as head of UVa, is a model administrator. She's raised tuition about 8% a year, introduced a budgeting system where popular departments keep their revenue, and generally stuck to the standard model.

Then the board of visitors struck, with Strategic Dynamism.

She could see no reason.

There was no reason. What reason do you need?
Only Lady MacBeth's sister's lonely plea, which unfortunately lacked any actual explanation:
My sister has not shared with me any of the specific reasons why President Terry Sullivan was removed, but if you know Helen like I do, you would undeniably trust her judgment and forethought. She would not have removed an effective, efficient president for unnecessary cause. She and the board are privy to information that we in the public are not.
You can imagine how few people that convinced, or you can click through. So, that's the basic story.  We've reached, a little earlier than expected, the breaking of the center. Just pandering to the donors while still trying to run the Standard Model won't work .

Cry Havoc, & let loose the dogs of war.

And in conclusion, almost forgot!

UPDATE : LGM on the cast of characters, ACTA & guilt by association.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shooting fish

So theres a movie on Sundance tonight that I may watch out of sheer exhaustion and lack of good options for the slow parts

The guy on the bottom looks sort of familiar. Don't want to look up anything about it, but it looks like the kind of thing that, though mindless, might be bearable.

UPDATE : Post Show semiotic analysis, with spoilers : It sucks donkey balls. And the producers, too dim to realize this, keep Kate Beckinsale looking like Alfalfa, without the sexy voice.                                                                                                                                                                          Sad. Grim. Pathetic.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What's the matter? I don't give a damn

So I'm watching Rio Bravo, and trying to remember what it was that made a 1959 Western completely different from a 1969 Western. Which is not all that different from a 2009 Western. There was definitely a discontinuity there. Not just Wayne. Ricky Nelson was somehow owned by the System. So was Elvis. Face it, his movies sucked. Yet somehow they had something to do with the overthrow. Which might have something to do with the reconquista. How the hell did the overthrow of the old order leave us deeper in the hole to the aristocracy than anybody since pre-revolutionary France? Politics is about interest groups fighting for power. Somewhere along the line, the working class got separated from their interests. Many millions of words have been written about this. The people involved (in the sense a hog is involved with bacon) have not read any of them. So, I have one question to ask you : Are you stupid enough to be a Senator?
In summation, Fuck You, David Brooks.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Snooze Alarm at The Atlantic

As you may have heard, the greatest problem of our generation is finding a way to spend summer vacation. Which is about as real as anything else you may have heard these days. In a world destroyed by and still ruled by bankers, where the notion that bankers should be bailed out & everyone else should suffer is universally accepted by the Just Authority David Brooks says we should all heed, serious discussion is rather rare. Lets run down the boring shit at the thankfully McArdle free but somehow unimproved Atlantic Monthly:
James Fallows Soft-Power Watch: China and Norway, America :Boring stuff about China, and something about the TSA that reminds me of the flight to Iceland. Some jokers in Iceland decided to have us do the whole shoes & bottles circus after we got off the plane. It was only marginally stupider than getting on, and since there was nobody in charge to complain to, we were cattle.

Jeffrey Goldberg Your Friday Afternoon Horror Show - About Palestine. If you think I have something to say, you are wrong.

Derek Thompson Forget Edison: This is How History's Greatest says that inventions happen when the conditions are right, not so much as bolts of genius. Duh.

Garance Franke-Ruta Obama's Game Changer on Young Illegal Immigrants shows that sex & violence can be boring.

Clive Crook says Obama's Speech in Cleveland was a bit dull and offers ways to make it even duller.

Robert Wright Obama's Drift Toward War With Iran sounds convincing until you remember Jeffrey Goldberg is still out there.

Alexis Madrigal It's Terrifying How Easy It Is to Airbrush Photos shoots & misses.

Steve Clemons Bleak Streets: Johnny Cash Meets Eminem in Tunis has a neat picture, a good video, & some discussion of Tunisia. I like it. It has 2 comments.

TNC posted a story somebody sent him.

Either Bradley's checks are bouncing, or they need somebody to get them motivated. OWS where are you? I'm thinking that the barrage of calls from Cardholder Services, chimney sweeps, and "Take a survey, win a free cruise, on controversee-all issues" are not really a sign of economic recovery. Also too, a medical payment systme dependent on old people not realizing that all bills follow the "What I tell you 3 times is true" system, so the first 2 should be ignored, may not be optimal, unless you think medical care should be funded by essentially an estate tax. (Unless the pure scammers get there first) So, in summation:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Central Square has fallen to the Invasion

Today, I discovered something called "Tavern on the Square". Central Square has always been special : Where the Men are Men, and the Women are Moreso. Dive bars, failing deparment stores, lots of Indian restaurants and hippies. What's not to love?Anyhow, this place seemed at first to be a little fancy. Looked like Eastern Standard. Turned out to be a little lower brow, sort of a chain. Much like when the Glandore, which poured a fine breakfast, was replaced by Irish Eyes, which was exactly the same but inauthentic. Like when Vergies became something else, before beoming Madisons. Not like when it turned into Highland Kitchen and finally got what none of the other versions had - customers. Of course, none of this has anything to do with anything. If you live around here you knew it already. If not, why in the world would you care? I ate at Picante.There is something very basic at stake this year, and nobody seems able to express it clearly. Do we go back to trying to build a rich nation for everyone, or an aristocracy, where most of us are forced to tip our hats and the swells toss us a coin after they crush our children?Neither choice is perfect. Both promise major conflict before 2014. Only one of them involves turning machine guns on mobs of starving citizens. It isn't really a difficult choice. Just don't expect flowers. Not real ones anyhow. To flesh this out : Linda Katehi is still in charge, still using the legal system as a club despite not following the law. And the official policy of the Republican Party is : Take from those who have nothing. Today it's "skin in the game", tomorrow, Welcome to the Organ Bank.Over the top? It's not like people are being murdered by police. At least not everywhere, yet. Unless you live in Denver. Cops there live for this stuff.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Cowboy Movies, with Poll

Lots and lots of westerns - to a first approximation, all of them - are about the transition from a lawless state where some powerful jerk rules to civilization. Is there a genre about the reverse? We may be entering an era where decent folk are outvoted by selfish assholes. It's kind of an odd situation in that individuals are as gentle, if not quite as generous (It's about fear, yes?) as they've ever been. Problem is, for a long, long, time, the cult of the Savvy, or Glibertarians, or Nihilists, or Evil Fucking Plutocrats (your choice, #1) has dominated the National Discourse. Anyone who still mouths the basic communitarian wisdom that was obvious to Calvin Bleedin' Coolidge is now a Soshulist DFH. So, Baby steps. To start the move back to sanity, think about preferences. Do you prefer to live in a gentle egalitarian society, or to be better off than that jackass nextdoor who would slit your throat for $17? Consider 2 videos (Your Choice #2): Take a short break. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Lemme know which touches you : Teh funny one or the deep one. Ignore the ad on one - or don't, if it bugs you. I swear on a stack of Quran, this is scientific.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Who's the fairest? You're just jealous

One virtue I think is important, possibly because it's one of my few virtues, is the ability to rejoice in, rather than resent the success of others. I used to think this was normal. When someone says something is "unfair", meaning that somebody else has more than they do, what's the point? The really nasty thing about this form of resentmnt is that it has limited range. People resent the neighbor who has a better job, better pension, sweeter wife. They don't, for some reason, resent the billionaires who're keeping us all down & laughing about it. This is the only thing I ever intend to write about the recall election in Wisconsin. It's just too depressing.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Local Bush Pilot Mike Harris x10,000

So, like me, most of you have spent the last week enthralled by the emergence of Clown-9 in the Spiderman newspaper version, and Mark Trail's visit to a remote cabin of a murder suspect. If you missed them, you can find them at the Seattle PI, or the Comics Curmudgeon in the links list.
Which was a good thing to focus on as the stock market melted down, stupidity & greed ruled the world, and the net new jobs of 69,000 in May only exceeded the downward revisions of the last 2 months by 20,000. Work is serious.
20,000 is twice the round number of pageviews this site is about to hit after 5 1/2 years of indolence & 4 months of reasonably frequent but pointless posting. Of course, most of those views were people who wandered through here looking for pictures of the buttocks of a 38 year old Oxford dropout. For them, one last picture:
Until 20,000! And hoping like crazy, but not expecting, that the job numbers will have turned. Because we know what needs to be done - hire people to fix & build stuff. Instead, because dumb analogies are easier to repeat than fight, government is cutting back. Because we should listen to our betters.