Saturday, July 19, 2008

Odd Man Out + Baby

Oxybaby completed her second week of daycare this week. When I picked her up on Friday, she had an invitation to a birthday party for one of her schoolmates. Well, obviously Oxybaby and said acquaintance have not had ample time to form an everlasting friendship. This will take at least another five days. But she received the invitation just the same, as the daycare requires that no child in a particular class be excluded from events where other classmates are invited. Fair enough.

When I got home that evening, Mrs. Oxymoron was there. I told her about the party, and she simply reiterated the policy by which Oxybaby likely received her invitation. I then picked up the phone and called the child's mother to RSVP for Oxybaby and me. Mrs. Oxymoron gave me the strangest look, and when I got off the phone, asked if I was really going. "Sure," I said, "you'll be in Austin for a girls night out, and we've nothing better to do." She acknowledges the truth here, but still says it's a bit weird: "you don't even know these people, they don't even know you, and Oxybaby was only invited because everyone in her class was invited."

I just got back from the party. We were there for about forty minutes. And I will admit, it was a bit awkward. Everyone was nice, but I knew not a soul. And Oxybaby and the birthday boy didn't seem to know one other from Adam (a strange expression if you ask me). Perhaps I should have listened to the Mrs. But then again we got some cake. And Oxybaby loves cake. Although we could have purchased several cakes for the price of a birthday gift.

I should also add that Mrs. Oxymoron teased that I was going to the party to check out MILFs. No comment.

Happy Saturday Music Tribute

In honor of my first Neil Young album, 1972's Harvest, purchased just one day before the now-infamous and well-attended Pancake Sunday a few weeks ago. Here is a BBC performance of the first cut on the disc.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Hasselbeck "Meltdown"

Harrogate finally decided to watch this clip, given the bruhaha. Now, he reports what he saw.

Many no doubt see it as the same old tired argument. And in a sense, it is. Why do African Americans say the "N-Word." The Moral and Intellectual Juggernaut known as "The View" (on television, perhaps only "The Situation Room" and "Hardball" surpass "The View" in terms of Moral and Intellectual Juggernautness) tackled precisely this, and the real showdown featured:

In The Blue Corner: A Caricature of Liberal Smugness and of Self-Righteous Identity Politics......

Whoopi Goldberg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And in the Red Corner: A bastion of spoiled, privileged white womanhood. She married a Quarterback! Her opinions really, really, really matter! But, the fly in her $3,000 a jar ointment? Blame America Firsters!!!!!

Elizabeth Hasselbeck!!!!!!!!!!!!

Between Goldberg's smugness and Hasselbeck's intellectual woodenness, this particular conversation didn't have much to recommend it going in. But then came Hasselbeck's "meltdown." This made an otheriwse banal experience suddenly a bit "worthwhile."

Harrogate's Verdict: The pampered one "wins" on account of seeming most like a human being in the clip.

And oh yeah. Barbara Walters is a tool.

What are Raisins, Alex?

Happy Friday Musical Tribute Redux; A Synthesis, and a Tribute to Larry "Thunder Mug" Craig

Because Harrogate's "Happy Friday Musical Tribute" Fell Short of Expectation...

I want to remind him that there's always tomorrow.

Happy Friday Musical Tribute

A great musical experience this fair Friday afternoon, as we ease into the weekend.

It has been more than a year since Roof Almighty introduced Harrogate to the music of Joanna Newsome. Let this also be, then, a Tip of the Hat to him.

Speaking of Bumper Stickers...

A bit of fun for you all:

Obama/Hagel: The Rumor Just Won't Go Away

Fairly emblematic of Harrogate's despair at this election season is that, though this probably won't happen, if it did, the choice on Obama's part would not be at all out of character with the race he has run thus far.

That the idea is even floating out there, that one of Obama's surrogates if not (GASP) the candidate himself has not shot this down as silly, is itself something of a fitting "Fuck You" to the easily duped, and apparently entirely disposable progressive impulse in the United States of America.

Query: What will it take for political progressivism to get a fair shake in our electoral process? Is there any hope at all for such a phenomenon, in the foresseable future?

Morons in the Morning

Jamie Garrett and Brian Brown, also known as Those Guys in the Morning on Central Texas's Eagle 101.7, were discussing the many ways that all the other counties in the world suck. This talking point soon led the morning zoo dipshits to complain about all the people in America who complain about America. Their solution, of course, was "if you don't like America, if you don't like Texas, then get out."

Now this is where it gets really fun. During said discussion, they note that what really irritates them is when women complain. And here's why:
What do women have to complain about. It's not they're oppressed in America. Who cares if you make 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes. It's not like we tell you what to wear. Well, sometimes. It's not like we tell you what to think. Well, sometimes. If you think you have it so bad, try moving to Egypt or Iraq. You'll realize then how good you got it.

This is the first time that I've listened to this particular show. (The reception was bad on my usual morning show, the Dudley & Bob Show, on Austin's KLBJ FM.) But I don't think it will be the last time I flip over to this channel. "Those Guys" are addictive in there ignorance. This morning they also complained about Christian Slater being arrest a few years back for pinching a strangers ass in public. "He's a star, for crying out loud," they cried. "How far has political correctness gone when you can't even pinch a girl or cat-call her from a construction site without getting in trouble?"

The thing that bothers me most about the show and these sorts of on-air conversations is that the target audience of "Those Guys" are soldiers at Fort Hood in Killeen, TX. This is seen in their many discussions of things happening on base, and call-ins from people talking about military events in the area. Combine this with their macho, mans' man personae, and they do a great deal to promote and perpetuate the sexist, chauvinistic, and sometimes abusive culture of the military. The message is, if you want to be a man in a man's profession, then you need to act like this.

Why is masculinity so often displayed through misogyny? Man, I sound--. I mean: Person, I sound like a feminist.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Thunder Mug Throwback Moment: And a Double Tip of the Hat

Harrogate heartily thanks Jeralyn at TalkLeft for calling public attention to this wondrous post by Crooks and Liars, in honor of which blog Harrogate not only Tips His Hat, but also hereby proclaims the accompanying caption: "Presented without Comment," to be class-A blogwriting.

Harrogate, ye will be kind enough to remember, posted copiously on Larry "Thunder Mug" Craig, when the iron was hot. Now the Senator testifies to the practical advantage of studying the principles of the Rhetorical Situation.

Harrogate's been looking for things to make him laugh out loud, lately. He needs it. This did it.

Wherein Harrogate Sees Oxymoron's "Nice Find," and Raises Him A Few Chipmunks

Speaking of Nice Finds. Harrogate was touring around some animated film Soundtracks, and realized the sublime, divine, soothing existence of Alvin and the Chipmunks' Cover of "Bad Day."

This aint bad, O Readers. Yea and verily, 'Taint bad at all. It does what a good cover must by definition do: capture the spirit of the song, but make it thine own.

A Nice Find...

from Charlie's record shop in Oklahoma City a few weeks ago. Bobbie Gentry's Ode to Billy Joe. Here's a clip of her performing the title track.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said...

Monica Lewinsky's ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Campaign Approved Jokes

The Borowitz Report received recently a list of "official Barack Obama" campaign jokes that comedians can incorporate into their routines. Since they are free, I will post them all:
Barack Obama and a kangaroo pull up to a gas station. The gas station attendant takes one look at the kangaroo and says, "You know, we don't get many kangaroos here." Barack Obama replies, "At these prices, I'm not surprised. That's why we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil."

A traveling salesman knocks on the door of a farmhouse, and much to his surprise, Barack Obama answers the door. The salesman says, "I was expecting the farmer's daughter." Barack Obama replies, "She's not here. The farm was foreclosed on because of subprime loans that are making a mockery of the American Dream."

A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Why the long face?" Barack Obama replies, "His jockey just lost his health insurance, which should be the right of all Americans."

Q: What's black and white and red all over?
Barack Obama: The New Yorker magazine, which should be embarrassed after publishing such a tasteless and offensive cover, which I reject and denounce.

A Christian, a Jew and Barack Obama are in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean. Barack Obama says, "This joke isn't going to work because there's no Muslim in this boat."

Okay, back to work. Kid B is on the way. Well, he/she will arrive sometime this summer. Maybe in two weeks, maybe in six. You can just never tell....

For Wild Man, Et Al

If I remember correctly, M mentioned that Wild Man loves Feist. Sweet J is over her lately, but I'm hoping this brings her back:

Jon Stewart on The New Yorker Piece

Just when Harrogate was starting to lose hope that he would see anyone on television say something about politics that makes good sense, he realized he'd forgotten about Jon Stewart.

If ye love Stewart, or have thought stuff about the New Yorker cover, this clip is definitely for ye.

This segment about the New Yorker fiasco hits on about twenty important truths about the current climate. Reminding us once again, that the truest and hardest hitting social critiques most often involve comedy.

Thanks, Jon. Harrogate needed that.

Because You Know He Reads All My Posts

A tip of the hat to Barack Obama, whose response to Larry King's question about the New Yorker cover directly addressed the insult to Muslim Americans:
You know, this is actually an insult against Muslim Americans, something that we don't spend a lot of time talking about. And sometimes I've been derelict in pointing that out. You know, there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things. And for this to be used as sort of an insult or to raise suspicions about me I think is unfortunate. And it's not what America is all about.

In a previous post, I lamented the fact that this hadn't happened yet. I'm glad to see Obama relocated his manhood in time for my love to remain strong.

Time for Some Campaigning

Yeah, we've all seen the new JibJab video already, but it's damn funny. And I did a version in which I inserted Harrogate's photo and it was even better. Unfortunately, you can't post the personalized version.

The best line? "Like the change we must change to the change we hold dear."

Ode to M, Our Resident Feminist

Per your request...

Christian Values Trump Academic Freedom

When I work (when!), one can find me in Townsend Library at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. I do not attend this Baptist university; I just do my reading and writing there.

Earlier today, sitting in said library, I published a post on this blog about gay marriage in Massachusetts. As I prepared to write the piece, I ran a Google search to find the source story whose headline I saw earlier that morning at Starbucks. My first query did not return a link to the story I was looking for. But it did return a link to the following website: I clicked on the link, as the two-line excerpt provided by Google looked interesting. To my surprise, I was not taken to to the website. Rather I was redirected to a page that said this:
Access Denied

Why has this site been blocked?

The content of this site may not meet UMHB's Christian principles and beliefs or it may violate University policy. Because of this, President's Council has determined that this site should be blocked in order to uphold these fundamentals.

. . .

Reason: The Websense category "Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual Interest" is filtered.

So much for academic freedom and critical inquiry.

I understand that the university doesn't want students surfing porn, but COME ON! This was a just a gay and lesbian website. I guess the Christians at this institution of higher learning don't want any opinions on gay marriage or homosexuality to be formed by sources other than the Bible.

Supadiscomama and Nightfox: Facets of Smoothness

To bookend megs' recent "Ode to Solon," Harrogate herein offers the following in honor of Supadiscomama.

Quoth George Clooney: How, O how, did Fran├žois Toulour get through that laser field in the Great Hall?

Massachusetts: "Visit our bay; get married if gay"

I've heard some proponents of gay marriage claim that politicians largely oppose gay rights in an effort to protect the economic interests of their big-business supporters, most of whom do not want to contribute money for spousal benefits for same-sex couples. I've also heard that the federal government wants to save money by denying death benefits, social security benefits, tax-free inheritances, and joint tax filings to millions of homosexuals living together in monogamous relationships.

I don't know if these economic concerns really shape the moral positions that many of our politicians have on the issue, but it seems that economics is enough to overturn a Massachusetts law that prohibits the state from marrying out-of-state couples whose unions would not be legal in their home states.

According to the NY Times, Massachusetts has taken notice of the economic boost seen in California's tourism and wedding industries since the west-coast state invited out-of-state gay couples to "come and get married here" last month. Recognizing the potential economic benefits, Massachusetts will extend the same invitation to same-sex couples as California.

It's nice to see economic interests break down the walls of discrimination for a change.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

An Ode to Solon

"Happening now: Somebody, somewhere, listening to 'Mambo No. 5.'"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Selling America by the Ounce; Or, What's Next, Apple Pie?

Today the undisputed King of Beers and most patriotic of all domestic brewing companies has given up its American citizenship.

Budweiser is now a Belgian beer!

Christina Aguilera, Patriot; Wherein Harrogate is Made That Much Stronger

For those who have been considering sitting out this coming election: your self-justification just got a lot more problematic thanks to one the great political thinkers of our era, Christina Aguilera.

Just watching this clip made Harrogate feel, as it were, that much stronger, and made him work a little bit harder, and made him that much wiser, so that he wants to thank her for making him a fighter. (The clip also, by the by, made Harrogate learn a little bit faster, made his skin a little bit thicker, and made him that much smarter.)

Goodnight Moon, George Bush and Parodies

Thanks to Lilian at Mama(e) in Translation for bringing Goodnight Bush to my attention. Since most of us who blog regularly at the Situation have children, I know we're all familiar with Goodnight Moon; it is certainly a favorite of Wild Man's. This parody made me laugh out loud, and I think I just might have to order a copy.

Texas Teens Like Sex

The Associated Press reports that a recent survey reveals that Texas high school students like to have sex.

Yes, it's true! Even though Texas spends more money than any other state on abstinence-only sex education programs (a whopping $17M), federal statistics show that 52.9% of Texas students in the ninth through twelfth grades have had sexual intercourse. This figure is 5% higher than the national average.

There is no word as to whether intercourse with sheep and various other livestock figure into the statistic.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Obama and Christianity

A lot has been made about Barack Obama's religious views and his use of religious rhetoric. I'd like to urge everyone to take a look at Newsweek's cover story this week: Obama's Christian Journey. I like this article a lot, but I'm not quite prepared to say why yet. I'm planning a longer post on it for later in the week, but in the mean time, I thought I'd take the time to share it with everyone who visits the Situation.