Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Tragedy of Our Lives

It is like watching a train wreck. Day in and day out. Morning, noon, and night.

Tonight during dinner, Megs and I discussed Blue's Clues, focusing on the the transition from Steve to Joe. Megs guessed correctly that the transition occurred because Steve went to college.

However, there are many questions that remain unanswered such as did Steve live alone? Where was the parental supervision? Where did Steve's brother Joe live before? How did Steve, and Joe, have the money to pay for the house and buy food? And how demented are they for talking to a shovel, a pail, a clock, a bar of soap, a side-table drawer, a salt shaker, a paper shaker, and numerous other items in the house. Why did Steve talk to these items but not mention his parents or other family members? Why can Blue, Magenta, and the Green Dog not talk but why can the Kangeroo, the Orange Cat, and Periwinkle speaking in English?

What about Steve's neighbor Miranda who is friends with Magenta? What is her story? And does she live alone? Talk to inanimate objects? Are there any other people in the town that think Steve or Joe needs to speak with the proper doctors?

I have said way too much. Hence, the tragedy.

I think to show respect, or to pity us more, our fellow rhetoricians need to share their stories.

Con-Air Part the Second: Remember This?

Now that it has been emphasized that Con-Air had the distinction of being the movie that Oxymoron and Mrs. Oxymoron went to see on their first date (clearly Oxymoron had some Rhetorically serious Dirt on Mrs. Oxy, to persuade her to go out with the likes of him).

Yea and Forsooth. Now that this Great Film has Personal value for Situationers to go with its Already Established Aesthetic Value, let us take a moment to remember this 15 second clip in which John Malkovich showed off a little acting flair of his own.

Sigh. But Malkovich, like Cusack, was brusquely snubbed by the Oscars people for his performance.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ode to The Situation

All of the talk about theme songs led me to the belief that The Situation should have one, too. Here is my offering:

"Why Couldn't You Put the Bunny Back in the Box?": Friday Nostalgia

Simply some of the greatest shit ever, that's all.

And, Hey. If you want to get sentimental with it, what's better than money shots of Nicholas Cage, set the the music of Leann Rimes?

File Under Hypocrisy

Megs sent me this from MSNBC:
A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."

The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote.

"Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein.

"Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation."

Let's put this in perspective, shall we. According to the priest, voting for Obama is bad when a pro-life candidate is running. However, our brilliant priest does not state that voters risk their "immortal soul" by voting for a candidate who supports an unjust war in which millions of innocent, living human beings have been slaughtered. Why, I would like to know, one sin worse than the other? Or is the War on Terror okay because "Christians" are not the targets?

The Catholic Church has a Just War Theory. The Church is against the Death Penalty. Why then do Priests not speak out against these controversial issues? I guess because there would be no one left in the pews for Sunday Services.

A Word on Entrance Music

Readers, what would your entrance music be? Yesterday Harrogate asked his students this "Question of the Day" and got several surprising answers.

One student chose this: an excellent choice indeed.

For Harrogate the answer is still what it always was and forever more shall BE.

You know, sort of like this guy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Election Post-Mortems on the Clintons

CBS News reports that if the presidential election were between Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Senator Clinton would have beaten Senator McCain by 11 pts, 4 more than the spread between President-Elect Obama and Senator McCain. In a completely unsurprising finding, Senator Clinton would have done better with older voters, white voters, and women voters.

As 538 notes, the hypothetical election should be taken with a grain of salt as Clinton did not campaign and the Republicans did not campaign against her. While Clinton would have done very well in the debates, would have done well during the economic crisis, would have done better in certain regions of the country (West Virginia, Arkansas), and would have won the election, there are a few problems with this analysis.

While Clinton would have won Ohio and Florida, maybe Arkansas, Clinton would not have expanded the map. Senator Clinton's campaign would not have developed an excellent ground-game as the Clinton team lacked basic skills in organization. We do not know how the personal attacks against Hillary, and Bill, would have altered the mood of the public. We do not know how the convention would have played out-- it certainly would not have been such a grand spectacle. She would not have handled the media well and the media would not have handled her well. However, even with these unknowns, conventional wisdom, for what its worth, would suggest that almost all Democrats would have one. Well, all but Kucinich.

While I find arguing these type of hypothetical is an exercise in futility, I find this story to be entertaining for a second reason. Tonight on Countdown, Olbermann reported that Senator Clinton is under consideration for Secretary of State. This seems odd since Senator Clinton is not known for her foreign policy experience (insert Sniper joke here), she may not be the right person to handle the bureaucracy of the State Department, and if she were to be considered for any cabinet position, a position that concerns domestic policy would be a better fit for her. However, she is a more appealing choice than Senator Kerry. Of course, the good Reverend John Todd or Kucinich would be a better choice than Sen. Kerry.

But why did the Clinton as Secretary of State story develop? A post-primary compromise? Maybe. Are there any other reasons? Maybe.

On Tuesday, Politico reported that there were still hard feelings between the Clintons and the Obamas, especially over the Obama camp not doing "enough" to retire the campaign dept Senator Clinton ran up when she chose not to exit the race even though she knew she would not win. I wonder if this information is a PR move to alleviate some of the tension between the camps and heighten the importance of Senator Clinton in the Senate.

Or, was the "under consideration" information made public to reduce tensions between the Obama camp and Women's groups over the potential selection of for Harvard President Larry Summers as Treasury Secretary? Politico suggests that identity politics trumped competence, again, and Summers may no longer be favored for the position. This makes sense because of Obama's rejection of any drama. Besides, identity groups should be happy that the Gov. of Arizona Janet Napolitano, who has a very good shot of being a US Senator when Senator McCain's tenure ends, is a favorite to be Attorney General.

As Rachel Maddow just said on her program: "I can imagine Senator Clinton being a Secretary of State. I cannot imagine Senator Clinton being Secretary of State under an Obama administration." It will be interesting to see how the wounds of the Democratic Primary may or may not heal. If the relations between the Clintons and Obama are not good, why is this under consideration?

Well, that was quick

CNN reports that other GOP Governors were jealous of the Palin Experience and did not like the fact that the press conference was staged to make it seem like Palin was the de facto leader of the party.

I wonder which McCain supporter Palin will attack for these comments or how she will attack the media for the comments of the other GOP Govs.

Let the Vetting Begin!

According to, "the Obama transition team" has sent a very lengthy questionnaire to all candidates for high-ranking positions in his (future) administration. And we academics thought our job application process was all-consuming...

More Funny Than Funny

Stop me if you have heard this one before: (with help from CNN: The Most Trusted Name in Late Night Comedy). Here I Go Again.

For the first time since being selected as the VP for the Republican Party, Sarah Palin held a press conference during which she was asked four, yes that is 4, questions. The first question concerned why she held a press conference now but not when she campaigned on the McCain- Palin ticket. She spoke words but failed to provide an answer.

Heightening the contradiction, Palin argued against hyper-partisanship. Instead she declared everyone must focus in what's best for Americ. Unfortunately, she did not state if she referred to the real or fictional America.... Hey, Gov. Palin, you had the opportunity, what did you do? What changed? Oh... you don't say.

One thing we do know: Palin is no longer wearing outfits from the RNC. Instead, she chose to receive clothing donations from Whitesnake....In the Still of the Night, Sarah Palin haunts me.

The (Post Election) Sarah Palin Chronicles

It us the interview that keeps on giving. Another snipit between Larry King and Gov. Palin:
KING: One of the most frequently asked questions I had, and I don't like to use the word "I," was, when are you going to have Sarah Palin on? And we never got a good response. It's kind of sad. Anyway, it's good to have you now.

Katie Couric, by the way, said last night that she thinks you should keep your head down, work really hard, and learn about governing before contemplating a presidential run. What are your thoughts about her saying you should learn about governing?

PALIN: Well, thank you, Katie Couric, for your advice. And I won't reciprocate in giving her any advice, that's for sure, because I have respect for her and the profession that she is in. I would have greater respect though for the entire profession called mainstream media if we could have great assurance that there is fairness, that there is objectivity throughout the reporting world.

And you know, Larry, there, too, if there is anything that I can do in terms of assisting there and allowing the credence, the credibility that that great vocation, that cornerstone of our democracy called the press, if I can help build up that credibility in the press and allow the electorate to know that they can believe everything that is reported through the airwaves and through print, I want to be able to help.

I started out as a journalist. It's that important to me that that cornerstone of our democracy is given the credence and credibility that it deserves. But we have to have a two-way street here going where reporters are fair, objective, non-biased.

We get back to the who, what, where, when, and why, and allow the viewers and the listeners and the readers to make up their own minds and not so much commentary I think being involved in mainstream media's questioning and reporting on candidates.

I would like to kind of help build back that credibility in that cornerstone of our democracy called our media, allowing for the checks and balances that government needs.
All of this comes from a person who knows little about the role of a free press in a democracy; who demonstrates that she knows nothing about the first amendment and its case law; who refused to give a full press conference as the V.P. nominee for the Republican Party; who is factually challenged herself; and who consistently lies to the public and to the reporters who interview her (and why the reporters challenge her, no one knows).

I would also love to know how Palin believes (and not thinks) the persuasion process works. She states that the media "reports" and people are helpless to make up their own minds or, even worse, she implies that they are incapable of finding other information or rejecting the information the audiences receives. So there are "real Americans," and the there are helpless automatons that fall victim to the deceptions pf the mass media. The second group could be "real Americans" but only if the media were "fair" and "objective."

I fear that the checks and balances she desires means no criticism of her for that would be unfair. I hope she never attains power to bring credibility to the press. Soon she will start arguing that G-d told her to shut down the "liberal" media...

Thursday Muical Tribute:

To the Supreme Court from Douglas Adams and Marvin the Robot: "So Long And Thanks For All the Fish."

To see the song without the graphics, and without the explanation, click here.

I attempted to ensure that "Once in a Lifetime" by The Talking Heads would be the song of the day. When the Trailers for "W" first played on the tele, Sweet Toddler J. loved the song. On a trip to a friend's house, we played the entire song for her and she continued to bob her head and sing along to the nonsensical lyrics. However, when posting this morning, Sweet Toddler J wants nothing but dolphins....

Supreme Court: "Fuck the Dolphins"

Reported by McClatchy Newspapers:
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Navy could use sonar in submarine-hunting training exercises off Southern California without heeding restrictions imposed by a lower court to protect whales and dolphins.

The high court didn't question the scientific basis of concerns about harm to marine mammals, but ruled that the Navy's need for the exercises was more important.

The (Post Election) Sarah Palin Chronicles

Though Palin hates the media, she continues to make the rounds to save her public image, speaking in code to secure the vote of the Republican base-- the Religious Right. When asked about her political future on Larry King Live last night, Palin responded:
KING: We're almost out of time. So quickly, do you pledge to the people that you will serve out your term?

PALIN: I pledge to the people of Alaska, I will do anything and everything that I can to progress the great state of Alaska. I will do what the people of Alaska want me to do.

Larry, if they call an audible on me, and if they say they want me in another position, I'm going to do it. I'm not going to -- especially here, today -- tell you, tell anybody, what some crystal ball is going to show me because we don't know what that crystal ball has within it.

And there again, there again, my hands -- my life is in God's hands. If he's got doors open for me, that I believe are in our state's best interest, the nation's best interest, I'm going to go through those doors

Well, G-d directs state and national interests. How Blasphemous!!!

But what gets me is the loss of human agency and responsibility. There is no need for democratic accountability for it is G-d's words that guide the actions of the state. What if the demands of the people of the people and G-d conflict? Who demands should Palin follow?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On the subject of Pink Floyd covers.....

Sparklehorse, with Thom Yorke: "Wish You Were Here."

This version follows the essence of the song: this version sounds as if someone is listening to it on the radio just like the guitar track on the chords in the beginning of the "Wish You Were Here;" the beautifully haunted nature of the song; the disconnect between the different tracks of music and disconnect between the music with the lyrics; the odd guitar "feedback" as well as its separation to the rest of the music.

And Sparklehorses' version has Thom Yorke singing back-up vocals via a telephone, as well as giving us a taste of what he was watching on the tele while signing-- how Pink Floyd of him.

It's strange, we know, but this is what makes the song so damn good...

Listen here. Listen Now. Listen Often.

Our favorite gay-bashing homo is back!

Ted Haggard recently delivered a few sermons at an Illinois church. He talked about his fall from grace. The highlights include

(1) his inability to accept responsibility for his actions ("some of the things that were buried in the depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade [a sexual experience with one of his father's business associates] started to rage in my mind and in my heart"); and

(2) his criticism of Christian leaders who refused to live by the gospel, by which I suspect he means showing compassion and love ("I believe that He gives us opportunities every few years to communicate the Gospel worldwide through secular media and we consistently blow it. A Congress person in trouble, that's the time. A family member gets himself in horrible trouble, that's the time!! A preacher gets himself in awful trouble, that's the time!!!!")

My favorite is #2, especially since Haggard was always so quick to fuel hatred against homosexuals.

Happy Wednesday Musical Tribute; and a Word on Covering Great Music

Back to that famous conversation between Oxymoron, Solon, and Harrogate, on the way to the bar, discussing what is wanted, and what is not wanted, out of musical covers.

The record on which this song appears is just so awesome. Harrogate loves it so much. Perhaps some would say that bringing a country-western flavor to Pink Floyd, without harming the Greatness of the Original, is a task tantamount to bringing a Stanley Cup to Buffalo. But years ago, Luther Wright & the Wrongs proved it could be done, in what has now become a cult classic album: Rebuild the Wall.

Here's a general rule about cover songs: if they give you a renewed appreciation for the value of the original, they have done good artistic work.

Shirley Manson is a Badass

Harrogate has been meaning to post this for a couple of months, but now seems a good time, given his featuring of Garbage earlier in the week. Shirley Manson on stage with Blondie performing "Call Me," seems an odd combo, but they pull it off well.

Hmmm. Ever comfortable with his abundant raw masculinity, Harrogate celebrates the fact that this video has the Lifetime Channel written all over it.

A Crazy Wednesday Story

Chris Nolan, director of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, is being sued (along with Warner Bros.) by the mayor of the city of Batman, Turkey--for using the city's name without permission.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The (post-Election) Sarah Palin Chronicles

(Rhetoricians, Please Don't Fear......)

Well, that settles it.

G-d is on Palin's side and s/he will let Palin know if the good and honorable Gov. will run for President in 2012. From the Times (UK):
Surprisingly, Mrs Palin didn't shy away from talk about 'Twelve'. Asked if she'd run, the answer was essentially yes, with the qualifier being that she’d do it only if God told her to. "Faith is a very big part of my life and putting my life in my Creator’s hands — this is what I always do," she said. "I’m like, 'okay, God, if there is an open for me somewhere' — this is what I always pray — I’m like, 'don’t let me miss the open door, show me where the open door is, even if it’s just cracked up a little bit, maybe I’ll plough right on through that, maybe prematurely plough through it, but don’t let me miss an open door.'"

Just think, when, I mean, "if" ("nudge, nudge; wink, wink; say no more, say no more; a nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat,") Palin decides to run, I mean G-d opens a door for Palin, that will mean she received G-d's blessing to run. And, if you vote against her, you will vote against G-d. And, if you vote against G-d, you will end up in hell, or in NYC or D.C. with all those elites who think they know more than others, such as who G-d will support in 2012.

And just think: there is no need to understand issues, such as NAFTA or the role of the government in the U.S. economy, or our political structures, such as the meaning of the first amendment or the authority and responsibilities of the Office of the Vice Presidency. Instead, Palin can gain G-d's blessing and, hence, receive the authority to cry out "Socialism" or "people do not have a first amendment right to attack me, especially if those attacks come from the press." Who needs knowledge or Constitutionally protected rights when you know what G-d thinks.

To be honest, I am quite relieved. I wondered where G-d stood on this question; it is especially more important to know where G-d stands on Palin's political future rather than helping the poor or the sick. We have no idea what G-d's position is on those two issues but I think we can be fairly certain on Palin's future.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kairos Olbermann, Kairos

On Countdown, Keith makes an existential case against Proposition 8 in California. My question: Why now when the vote was last week?

Maybe, if you took notice of the situation, you could have delivered your message before the vote.

I'm a little bit more in love with Barack Obama now

Seriously though, I don't want to diminish the really important work that Obama and his administration are planning with the U.S. detainees in Guantanamo Bay. As Obama points out, this is a sad chapter in our nation's history. Many of these men have been detained since shortly after 9-11, and few, if any, have been charged with any crimes. It is about time someone jumpstarted the justice system for these individuals.

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs

To honor the 233rd birthday of the USMC, I offer below media footage of the first 48 hours of basic training.

I remember all to well my first two days of boot camp, the stage referred to as "receiving." Just as the reporter says, recruits go with little or no sleep during this time. Having not slept the night before my trip to MCRD in San Diego, I was so tired on my second day that I remember nodding off (or "bobbing for cock," as the drill instructors liked to say) when I should have been filling out my tax documents.

To celebrate the anniversary of our birthday, I will spend the evening talking to former members of my supply unit on the phone, a ritual that has persisted over the last ten years.


And even though he spent some time in the National Guard, Mr. P-Duck is still one of us. So Happy Birthday to you, too.

What Harrogate Is Talking About

That's right. This is, indeed, what Harrogate is talking about!

Preseason rankings, or even rankings throughout the regular season, don't play nearly as determinative a role--thank God!!!!--as they do in the world of College Football. Still, it is nice to start things out on top; it leaves open the tantalizing possibility of a wire-to-wire championship run.

Happy Monday Musical Tribute

Harrogate hopes, Readers and Board Members, that the end of the weekend finds ye well.

For a moment Harrogate broke the Seal on Christmas music, but then changed his mind and re-sealed it. When it comes, it will come a'plenty. Meanwhile, here's a tune that's been on Harrogate's docket for a while now.

"I sign my name across your chest"

Important Presidential Decisions

Gentle Readers, I believe that Mr. DeRogatis brings up an excellent point regarding a Very Important Presidential (Elect) Decision:
"Who Should Rock Barack?"

This Humble Author also Casts Her Vote for a Kanye West/Lupe Fiasco new hip-hop ballot, as these two gentlemen, among the others mentioned in this article, are revolutionizing hip-hop and returning to its more poetic and poignant roots. What better way to begin a presidency that promises to revolutionize our contemporary understandings of presidential and return it to its more poetic and poignant roots?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Supa's New Crush

While no one can really replace Harrogate in Supa's heart, she still has warm feelings for Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker and the way he luxuriates in the delicious diversity of this country.

Oh yeah. Maher's comment re: "They're pretty good at this. We should get another one" is awesome. :)

Quote of the Day....

"Some of the Republicans' afflictions are self-inflicted. Some conservatives who are gluttons for punishment are getting a head start on ensuring a 2012 drubbing by prescribing peculiar medication for a misdiagnosed illness. They are monomaniacal about media bias, which is real but rarely decisive, and unhinged by their anger about the loathing of Sarah Palin by similarly deranged liberals. These conservatives, confusing pugnacity with a political philosophy, are hot to anoint Palin, an emblem of rural and small-town sensibilities, as the party's presumptive 2012 nominee.

"These conservatives preen as especially respectful of regular -- or as Palin says, "real" -- Americans, whose tribune Palin purports to be. But note the argument that the manipulation of Americans by "the mainstream media" explains the fact that the more Palin campaigned, the less Americans thought of her qualifications. This argument portrays Americans as a bovine herd -- or as inert clay in the hands of wily media, which only Palin's conservative celebrators can decipher and resist."
George Will, The Washington Post

At least one conservative writer understands the process of communication unlike so many others, and the former Republican V.P. nominee, who seem to argue that the media just promotes propaganda and hence pure persuasion. This view is just contempt for ideological diversity and for democracy itself.