Saturday, February 14, 2009


Joe the Plumber's New Book is Out

It's called: Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream.


Question of the Day for 2/14/2009

National Review Online today released its list of the "25 best conservative movies of the last 25 years".

The list, and the brief writeup attending each installment, will be sure to provoke opinions from Situationers and our Readers. Of course, NRO is defining "conservative" according to the very crayon-colored binary that has been part of our political discourse for a while now. But Harrogate, at any rate, is willing to let that slide, and let them have their framing.

And so giving them their framing, Harrogate finds himself agreeing with almost everything on this list: that is, he agrees that almost all the movies listed are thoroughly invested in Traditional Right Wing rhetorics of Free Market worship, US Exceptionalism, and the notion that "Happy Days" was a documentary.

A slight quibble, though, with The Dark Knight, in which Harrogate identifies a lot of political ambivalence. Certainly not a "Liberal" movie, but not a "Conservative" one either. At least, not in a clean-cut way.

And Harrogate quibbles with the "Conservative" moniker for Juno--Although ironically Harrogate's disagreement has nothing to do with the Abortion issue, and everything to do with the movie's totally ridiculous, and predictably "Liberal" vindication of the self-serving, callow Jennifer Garner character.

Question of the Day is Open-Ended: What is your opinion of this list?

A Valentine's Day Tribute

One happy consequence of the endurance of TRS is that it has now established numerous sub-traditions, one of which is Harrogate's posting of "My Funny Valentine" for the last couple of years, on Valentine's Day. Two years ago it was Linda Ronstadt, one year ago Harrogate went with the double dip, breaking out the Matt Damon version, and as a bonus, Tom Waits' video for "Hold On."

Tonight, Harrogate returns to Damon. Because this counts in the category of Stuff Harrogate likes.

Happy Valentine's Day, Situationers, and loyal Readers too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Musical sidebar

I don't play the straight "here's a cool song" game very often. So it is with great resignation that I offer this gem. I don't know what else to do with it.

This song has colonized me.

It has been this and The Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat" all day.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oh Harrogate...

Now, I want it.... The second generation Kindle.

This may make books obsolete. Not replaceable but obsolete, especially for urban dwellers.
At Amazon, we've always been obsessed with having every book ever printed, and we know that even the best reading device would be useless without a massive selection of books. Today, the Kindle Store has more than 230,000 books available, plus top newspapers, magazines, and blogs. This is just the beginning. Our vision is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds on Kindle. We won't stop until we get there.
I believe them. It may be my next purchase, in September.

The Michael Phelps Discourses: An Assy McGee Award® as well as a Tip of the Hat

The Assy McGee Award® for February 9th, 2009, goes to Baptist Press staff writer and Townhall contributor Kelly Boggs, who is OUTRAGED at Phelps, both for his visit to Pete's Couch and for his past DUI.

A Righteous Snippet:

Kellogg's has already announced it will not continue its endorsement deal with Phelps. A company spokesman said that Phelps' recent behavior is not in keeping with the company's image. Any company that is forking over big bucks to Phelps has every right to expect him to behave in a fashion that will not reflect poorly on the company.

As for Kelloggs. What banality that cereal company has manifested. Hopefully the consumer backlash against these asshats will be strong. American public opinion on marijuana use in general is surprisingly removed from the draconian laws and from the stigma that some in the media wish to maintain. So we will see.

Unsurprisingly, Seth Myers nailed the right way of looking at the Michael Phelps Rhetoric on the most recent SNL.

A-ROD, MLB's Newest Scapegoat

Well. Beseball Phenom Alex Rodriguez has just admitted to, and apologized for, using steroids during his stint with the Texas Ranger, from 2001-2003. His primary apology is to the Rangers organization and to the Rangers fans. Hmmmm. So on the strength of this confession, the hysterics about A-ROD's tainted legacy can drop all petense of moderation and kick into full gear.

Witness Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who for one is shocked...shocked! that such a thing was visited upon his pristine organization and that he himself was thus dealt so duplicitously:

I feel personally betrayed. I feel deceived by Alex," Hicks said in a conference call, according to The Associated Press. "He assured me that he had far too much respect for his own body to ever do that to himself. ... I certainly don't believe that if he's now admitting that he started using when he came to the Texas Rangers, why should I believe that it didn't start before he came to the Texas Rangers?"

Ummmm. Okay Tom. Whatevs. Screech all the self-righteous screeching that ye will, and A-ROD can join the ranks of Bonds, Clemens, McGuire, Palmeiro, etc. as big name scapegoats. But as Harrogate has been saying for years, such protests from an MLB owner reek of ridiculousness.

Soon. Oh soon. It will become manifestly clear to far more people than Harrogate and a few others, that Jose Canseco has been the sanest high-profile voice by far on this issue. When Canseco's book first came out, the MLB powers were able to write him off as a disgruntled juicer. Well, he may be disgruntled and he may have been a juicer, but he has still nailed Baseball's proverbial ass to the wall:

In his 2008 book, "Vindicated: Big Names, Big Liars, and The Battle to Save Baseball," Jose Canseco claimed he introduced Rodriguez to a steroids dealer. Canseco, who has admitted using steroids, subsequently said he had no knowledge of any drug use by Rodriguez.

"They are looking in the wrong places," Canseco said in a text message to The Associated Press. "This is a 25-year cover-up. The true criminals are Gene Orza, [union head] Donald Fehr and [commissioner] Bud [Selig]. Investigate them, and you will have all the answers."

When the money was good and the media was ignorant, the Baseball powers, still reeling from the 1994 Strike, had no problem with a practice that led to gaudy statistics and packed stadiums. So please, Readers, don't listen to any of them now when they wax concerned about the "integrity" of the game, or about the dangers of steroid use, or about "the children" who worship these players. Don't believe them, for verily and forsooth, they are the pigs at the trough who only squealed after getting real, real fat.

Harrogate is saddened by the fact that, as an institution, Baseball, a sport which Harrogate grew up loving and which he still on some level deeply loves, has been completely corrupted over the last 15 years. It is time to recognize this, rather than railing against individual ballplayers.

Monday Musical Tribute: Great Music is Happening Everywhere, Even if We Aren't Hearing It

So good to discover contemporary musicians you instantly love and want more of. The charts can be depressing at times, but if ye just explore the broader Rhetorical Situation a bit, ye realize that really great music is freighting the American pop scene, however so much of it may appear to only be operating on the fringes.

So this realization was for Harrogate, when he discovered James McMurtry, and recently celebrated the badassness of that guy on this very blog (Paperweight: Harrogate is still especially awaiting your weigh-in on McMurtry). And so it is with The Bittersweets, who definitely know something about the Rufusness. Here is a wonderfully intimate performance of "Wreck," off their most recent record.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

RNC Chair Michael Steele: Government Jobs Don't Count

Harrogate is glad the RNC selected Michael Steele as its chair. This brief, humorous clip is a very clear articulation of the rigid doctrinalism that has long infested the Republican Party.

Sunday Musical Tribute

Happy Sunday, Situationers and Readers!

Gotta. Gotta. Gotta check this out. Paperweight in particular may flip his lid when he hears the manifest heat in this, one of Harrogate's new favorite songs.