Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Musical Tribute, and a Question (but not a "Question of the Day")

Harrogate's engine searches for this version of "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" has led to an odd conflict of information.

Hmmmmmmm. Is this version by Warren James (of whom Harrogate has never heard), or is it by Beck, or is it by someone altogether different?

Either way it is freakin awesome, and some might even go so far as to say it has the Rufusness.

Have a great weekend Situationers!!!

VA Tech

Given the events at Virginia Tech this week, as well as those of April 2007, it seems like the administration need to evaluate its policies to identify and help troubled students, particularly troubled graduate students who are also adjusting to live in a new country.

Friday, January 23, 2009

To Descend is not only Honorable, but also our Duty

Why you aren't cool enough. Yes, you. -or- "It's so strange, eye'm more comfortable around U when eye'm naked"

Whether it is the Santa-riding, the fact that he out-James-Browns James Brown, the entire deconstruction of "singing" and "clapping," or the utter chaos he leaves in his wake-- this is the sign you've been waiting for that you should try harder.

Yes, you.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Obama Presidency and Technology

I ran across two articles this morning about Obama, his presidency and technology. Given the unprecedented way the Obama campaign utilized technology, particularly cell phones and the internet, I've been interested to see if they can maintain their innovative techniques once Obama officially became president. It seems it may be more difficult for them than anyone expected. The first article, "New Staff find White House in Tech Dark Ages," focuses on how out-dated the White House is in terms of technology. Given how slowly the federal government moves, I have to say I wasn't surprised to learn this. I am curious to see how the new administration adapts to these challenges; will these technology hurdles alienate the young people and technofiles that responded so positively to the campaign? The second, "President Obama gets to keep is Blackberry," interests me more in terms of archival research than anything else. I get all the security concerns and agree they are more than valid, but I can't believe these can't be addressed. My interest is in how will any messages Obama sends via email, texts, etc. be recorded for the historical record? Again, this does seem fairly easy to accomplish, but it is a concern, nonetheless. This interest extends to my concern about how all the new forms of technology will affect our ability to perform archival research in the next 100 years.

Ben Stiller on Dodgeball: "It's layered--it was made like that."

Given Harrogate's love of Stiller's directorial virtuosity, and further celebrating Roof's triumphant return yesterday, here is a clip from the third episode of the first season of Extras.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Musical Tribute: A Dual Ode to Dr. Demento and the Great Freddie Blassie

On a kind of related note, Pro Wrestling posts will be returning in the not-too-distant future. So be ready when it arrives.

But to more pressing matters. This will make you laugh even if you are really pissed off about something.

Sorry I've been quiet.

I just don't follow the fascination on Scrubs. Not when this exists.

Something to make us all smile

I had to share this article from (yes, I still read the site; leave me alone!) entitled "9th-Grader Booty-Bumps with New Prez." I saw the newly inaugurated president dancing with this clearly thrilled young woman while watching the "Neighborhood Ball" last night. Given the tough road ahead, I thought we all could use one more thing to smile about.

Visual Rhetoric: Newspaper Coverage

A collection of newspaper covers from President Obama's Inauguration via Andrew Sullivan.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So did not catch the inaugural today as was in the middle of my grad seminar--think they would have been willing to stop to watch but were having some good conversation on the spectacle of Maya kingship. Had been thinking about the presentation of such ceremonies all day and logically have made correlations in my head to Mayan ceremonies and those that have occurred today and continue this evening (logically many differences). I came across this image on MSNBC that just sums up my thoughts of the deliberate ideological manipulation of space for public spectacle of office--must admit f'n impressive.

Here's another question for you all

Why is John Paul Stevens, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, administering the oath of office? Doesn't the Head Justice normally do that?

And can I add that I love that Joe Biden just kissed his grown sons on national television!

*So obviously, ignore that question.

Interesting. . .

Obama was just introduced as Barack H. Obama despite multiple news reports that he would, in fact, use his full middle name. I wonder what led to this decision. Oh, and I apparently am live-blogging the inauguration.

Scrubs: Healthy Rhetorics of Gender, Healthy Rhetorics of Race, and a Healthy Wag of the Finger at Supadiscomama and Mrs. Oxymoron


As Harrogate and Supadiscomama plunge down the final homestretch of Scrubs Season 7, Harrogate finds himself casting his thoughts still a bit backwards to the Tour De Force that was Season 5. Don't get Harrogate wrong, Season 6 is filled with memorable moments and Rhetorical Zingers of all stripes. And, Season 7 is even better than Season 6, in Harrogate's humble opinion.

But there was just something about Season 5, y'all. Yes, all you television addicts know of what Harrogate speaks: for lovers of any telvision show, there is always that Season where things crystallize and the viewer realizes: "here, here is exactly why this show speaks to me so powerfully."

And so the first of these clips is a final Tip of the Hat to Season 5. What a great JD moment this is. Additionally, the Scene vindicates Oxymoron's Love of the band Toto. And finally, this clip is a good example of why Harrogate thinks that when it comes to the prickly discourses of Gender, the Writers and Actors for Scrubs do exactly what Harrogate wants done.

Just check this out and tell me if it isn't the way to go:

Now for this second clip, which is from Season 7. In addition to its reflection of Scrubs' consistently good treatment of Race, this clip has vast personal importance for Harrrogate and Oxymoron. Harrogate, in fact, insists that Oxymoron have Mrs. Oxymoron watch this second clip and be reminded of a certain incident that took place shortly after Oxytoddler was born. Verily, Oxymoron and Harrogate were on the cusp of the same experience that JD and Turk have here, but we were preemptively cut off by the Mrs. Oxymoron and Supadiscomama. Hmmmm. Something about propriety.

And finally. Why such apolitical postings on this historic day? Because to get through the murderous semester that is now upon us, Harrogate is going to need to hold close the things that calm him and spread cheer through his soul. In other words, this is no time for conventional politics in the Mind of Harrogate.


The Obama girls

No, I'm not live-blogging the inauguration, but I am watching parts of it while I eat my lunch. I just want to say that I find it highly amusing that Mrs. Mary Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother, had to remind Malia Obama, the elder Obama daughter, to stand up while everyone else was seated on the dais. She may be one of the first daughters, but she's still just a 10-year-old girl.

Breaking News....

President Elect Obama to be sworn in on Lincoln Qu'ran. Developing.....

Just wondering . . .

Why does Al Gore get a seat on the main stage for the inauguration?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday Musical Tribute as Well as a Question of the Day for 1/19: On Loving Songs We Do Not Understand

Harrogate celebrates the Yes song, "Shoot High Aim Low," which comes off of their practically forgotten late-80s record, Big Generator.

But today's Musical Tribute raises a question that Harrogate suspects all Situationers have dealt with. Even those who pay little attention to song lyrics tend to have a handful of much-loved pop songs, the lyrics to which they do not understand. Such has always been the case for Harrogate with "Shoot Hight Aim Low." Clearly some sort of story is being told here, perhaps even two stories being interwoven with one another. But damned if Harrogate can put it together coherently in his mind.

And yet just about every time he listen to this song Harrogate finds it mesmerizing. Yes (no pun intened), part of it is the sheer sound of the Song. Something about "Shoot High Aim Low" proclaims: Take Me Seriously Because I Deserve to Be Taken Seriously. Granted, part of it is the absolutely devastating guitar work that takes place beginning with the 3:50 mark of the video provided below: guitar work that will drop a plummet line into the depths of your ear and cause, as it were, an eargasm. But yet, there is something more.....

So here are the lyrics, followed by a very tight version of this wonderfully enigmatic song.

And it brings Harrogate to his Question of the Day: What songs if any, Situationers, come to mind as Songs Ye Love, but for the LIfe of you have no idea what the hell it is doing?

We hit the blue fields
In the blue sedan we didn't get much further
Just as the sun was rising in the mist
We were all alone we didn't need much more
So fast this expidition
So vast this heavy load
With a touch of luck and a sense of need
Seeing the guns and their faces
We look around the open shore
Waiting for something

Shoot high break low
Aim high shoot low
Break high let go
Shoot high aim low

This was to be our last ride
With the steel guitar and the love you give me
Underneath the skin a feeling, a breakdown
Well we sat for hours on the crimson sand
Exchanges in the currency of humans bought and sold
And the leaders seem to lose control
Shall we lose ourselves for a reason
Shall we burn ourselves for the answer
Have we found the place that we're looking for
Someone shouted "open the door"

Shoot high break low
Aim high shoot low
Feeling of imagination
Break high let go
Shoot high aim low
Shoot high aim low
Nothing you can say
Shoot high let go
Takes me by surprise
Shoot high aim low
Who says's there's got to be a reason
Shoot high let go
Who says there's got to be an answer
We were all alone, we didn't need much more
Shoot high aim low
The sun's so hard on this endless highway
Shoot high let go
Shoot high aim low
I've heard the singers, who sing of love
Shoot high let go
In the blue sedan we never got much further
Shoot high aim low

Pre-Inauguration Assy McGee Award®: Harrogate's Favorite Muckraker Manages to Attack Obama and the Academic Humanities in One Fell Swoop

Brent Bozell's column on Friday made a strident case
that there ought to be controversy over Barack Obama's choice of Yale
African-American Studies professor Elizabeth Alexander, to recite an original poem at his inauguration.

This is a doozy of a read, Situationers. He manages to attack not only Obama and Alexander, but Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou, aspiring poets, English professors and PhD candidates, and of course the far left mainstream media alll in one hysterical rant.

A snippet:

Many remember Maya Angelou in 1993, proclaiming in grandiloquent tones some nonsense about a river, a rock and a tree. It was a flop. If the poem is too opaque, it will suggest to the millions watching on television that poetry is a high-faluting art best saved for gatherings of tenured professors and Ph.D. candidates sipping their lattes.

In today's America, poetry is either high art or lowbrow commerce. It comes either from avant-garde poets, writing only for a snobbish elite and ignored by the broad public; or from commercial sources, assembly-line verses crammed into a Hallmark card, written for the masses and spurned by the tastemakers. In today's culture, the most popular poems are usually song lyrics, from rock anthems to rat-a-tat rap songs about the thug life. They're not the kind of poetry you read on marble platforms for presidents and Supreme Court justices.

What a deserving recipient of the Award. Banality trebeled. Yet another believer in the Before Time. When Men were Men, Women were Women, and Furry Little Creatures from Alpha Centauri were Furry Little Creatures from Alpha Centauri.

Scrubs' "The Todd" as High-Level Rhetorical Theorist

Hard to tell what is the best thing about this brief clip. JD's announcement that after having just watched Hoosiers, he now likes sports? The wonderously relatable concept of a "Who Cares Award"? Or The Todd's Screamingly Awesome Shirt?????

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Humorous Political Rhetoric, circa 2000

I remember receiving this email in November of 2000, right after the election. It says it is from John Cleese but who knows at this point. Here it is:


To the citizens of the United States of America, In the light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. (Except Utah, which she does not fancy.) Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminium". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and 'neighbour', skipping the letter 'U' is nothing more than laziness on your part. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters. You will end your love affair with the letter 'Z' (pronounced 'zed' not 'zee') and the suffix "ize" will be replaced by the suffix "ise". You will learn that the suffix 'burgh is pronounced 'burra' e.g. Edinburgh. You are welcome to respell Pittsburgh as 'Pittsberg' if you can't cope with correct pronunciation. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary".

Using the same twenty seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed". There will be no more 'bleeps' in the Jerry Springer show. If you're not old enough to cope with bad language then you shouldn't have chat shows. When you learn to develop your vocabulary then you won't have to use bad language as often.

2. There is no such thing as "US English". We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of "-ize".