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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"America is Addicted to Oil"

Wouldn't that make the CEO of Halliburton and the former owner of an oil company (Arbusto!) pushers...?

Staten Island Chuck


Being a Californian, I've only heard stories of the mythical pit of Staten Island, yet never experienced it first hand. As we all get ready for Thursday's Groundhog festivities, and cameras turn to Staten Island Chuck (the island's only newsworthy event, outside of mafia hits, garbage dump leaks and methane gas) I decided to take a gander at the Staten Island Zoo website. Let us explore.
Bronx Zoo Front Page: Features a rather snappy slideshow of gorillas, lions and tigers.
World Famous San Diego Zoo: Interactive Flash presentation featuring polar bears, orangutans, and a safari expedition at the San Diego Wildlife Park. A baby elephant, racing cheetah and baby panda (Su Lin!) also appear.
Staten Island Zoo: Apparently created by two eighth graders in 1998, that which the Staten Island Zoo lacks in charisma it does not make up for in content. The touted exhibits? American River Otters and Servals (glorified, oversized housecats). A cheap pic-art groundhog graphic also appears of Staten Island Chuck. There's room in SD for you Chuck, so long as you can hop the ferry off the island.

120 Days of Red State America


Some would call it callous to characterize the grieving mother of a slain American soldiero as a cry-baby--particularly when those doing the characterizing advocated, and often did not fight, in said war. Let's get one thing straight, however; cold hearted, soulless fucks often produce some of the most original, cutting edge, biting social commentary, and ladies and gentlemen, the folks of "Right Wing Stuff" are our contemporary Marquis de Sade. With witty slogans advocating violence against ideological foes, such as, "The Only Way to Change a Liberal's Mind is With a Rock", and, "I (heart) Gitmo", these fine red-staters defend our country in true American fashion: by making a buck off the families of those grieving the war dead. Mazel tov!

Could Things Get Any Worse?

I've been meaning to comment on this for a few days, but it's just too surreal. Tragedy aside, someone's getting a chuckle out of the fact democracy in Palestine is finally realized (a development Bush took credit for last year) and HAMAS IS ELECTED. ARE YOU SHITTING ME??? THIS IS HIS PLAN? Democratize the Middle East, and DEMOCRATICALLY ELECT THE MOST VIOLENT EXTREMIST GROUP, save Al Qaeda?! Un. Fucking. Believable.
I can't wait to hear how this one is spun.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Panda Hand Puppet Laughs at Your Misfortune

Bull Charges Audience

A bull leapt out of the bullring, into the stands in Mexico city, injuring two of the arena's most well-heeled spectators. Hmm...tie a string around a half ton beast's testicles, then wave red flags in front of him to piss him off even more, and people are somehow shocked that said beast went bat shit.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4663646.stm

New York Social Diary

More intrigue from the pit of the New York Social Diary. Apparently it isn't just the columnists who are intolerable--the folks they are reporting on (and pimping their rag to) are slightly less worthless than the writers themselves. Indeed, they are the writers, except with significantly larger bank accounts. I now know why my father despises the city so much. Don't get me wrong, I certainly found New York City to be the absolute shithole so proclaimed by my dad, between the giant subway rats, rude and obnoxious vendors, and belief of the citizenry that their mere wretched existence in a big, disgusting city warranted some social status. The New York Social Diary, however, offers the exclamation point upon the hell that is the city, offering portraits of the city's "elite"--a truly disgusting, shocking, and disturbing sight.



Let us begin with Baroness Von Langendorff--a woman who seems to have inherited a perfume fortune from her late husband Von Langendorff crops up at nearly all of the city's most 'elite' social gatherings. What. The. Fuck.









Next we have Prince Albert of Monaco alongside former San Francisco first lady and court TV Talking Head Kimberly Guilfoyle. Apparently since her split with SF Mayor Gavin Newsome, Guilfoyle has adopted a look that can only be described as 'Hooker-Chic'. You passed the bar hun, let's stop injecting ass fat into our lips.











Yikes! Women Entertainment's Judy Licht finds your soul delicious. Mmm...Souls....A sidenote. On this page (Found Here) I counted 77 white women (apparently "Ladies Who Lunch" is more appropriate than "Rich Crackers Who Are A Drain Upon Society") and one very out of place white man. Unfortunately no photos were taken of the help.





However, later in the afternoon, these white folks:

Did visit Negroes!





As Darcy Olsen of the Goldwater Institute once told me over wine at a very large mansion in the hills outside Phoenix, poor people find government handouts by liberals to be insulting. Trading computers for photo opps and to extinguish the guilt of white priviledge is apprently just fine, however.

Friday, January 27, 2006

iPod Video


I received a gift certificate for an iPod Video to celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus (little known fact: the Messiah LOVES Duran Duran). I bought it online (free engraving and student discounts) and just tracked its shipment; apparently the little bugger is at a FedEx facility in Shanghai. I’m all for that wacky “Globalization” shenanigan, but couldn’t some asshole in Cupertino just engrave this $300 8-track player for me?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

As the World Turns

An update: Still in Phoenix, still doing research on education policy for nice people, still nearly getting in accidents while gawking at ASU sorority girls as they prance down the streets of Tempe. The wife and kids are doing well, thanks for asking. Do make sure to check out writing at the new gig, www.phoenixnewtimes.com.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Phew

They just don't make reporters better than Marla Dickerson of the LA Times:

MEXICO CITY — A potential crisis in Margaritaville was averted Tuesday when U.S. and Mexican trade officials signed an agreement ensuring the continued northward flow of tequila.

That, kittens, is how to write a catchy hook.

Article Here

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sandy Shanks: Idiot

I read Al Jazeera's English site pretty frequently and am often surprised at the objectivity of the headlines. The site seems to present the biggest news stories in a rather straight forward fashion, and the website seems credible until one takes a gander at the right column--the "opinions" and "interviews" sections which amount to little more than unqualified shmoes mouthing off and spewing the latest party line. The grand pooba of this nonsense is Sandy Shanks, a Southern California based columnist for Al Jazeera.net who describes himself as an "avid historian". While I may not be a huge fan of Paul Krugman's work, at least the guy is a professor, with an actual degree and credentials which amount to slightly more than a library card and a creepy photo of himself sitting in front of a computer.

Shanks, in a June 2005 article, believes he answers American's question of, "Why Do the Terrorists Hate Us"? in under a thousand words. He skips over rather important sections regarding the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, focusing instead upon the Crusades, the Balfour Declaration, and the Suez conflict. Three historical events do not a Jihad make. More importanty, however, the fact Shanks posts such nonsense on AlJazeera--the Arab world's most popular news site--lends credibility to his arguments merely by being an American. Indeed, unqualified folks with a self indulgent and egotistical belief of their intellectual greatness will always spout off, yet Al Jazeera--by hiring such a hack--illustrates its inability or unwillingness to find a qualified American to act as a columnist regarding uniquely American topics.

Regarding the "Interview" section, Aljazeera.net recently interviewed Nayef Rajoub, a Hamas candidate for the Palestinian parliament. Ironically, Rajoub illustrates that politicians have trouble answering questions in any language, instead falling back upon fallacious logic rather than critical inquery. My favorite exchange:

AlJazeera: Will Hamas ever contemplate recognising Israel?

Rajoub: Will Israel ever contemplate recognising Palestine?

AJ: But Hamas is dedicated to Israel's destruction.
R: Isn't Israel also dedicated to Palestine's destruction?

Touche indeed, Mr. Rajoub.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hook 'Em Horns

UT Athletics Disloyal, Bad with Numbers.

Bill Plaschke is the best narrative sports writer in the country. His article today regarding Scott Wilson, a University of Texas fan who has attended every football game for over thirty years--and nearly every game for five other UT sports as well--is captivating. Yet Plaschke misses the point; the University of Texas is not heartless for ignoring fans such as his protagonist, giving the best seats to big donors rather than big fans, but rather that UT is stupid for doing so. Wilson donates $800 every year, along with purchasing enough merchandize to cover his entire home in burnt orange and season tickets to six sporting events. UT may be a quality university, but the accountants in the athletics department don't seem to be too bright; such consistent, and generous giving does make an impact to an $80 million athletics department. Assuming, for a each game (at 80 games, which certainly seems reasonable for 6 season tickets, as well as every away football and baseball game), Wilson purchases a $20 ticket ($1600), $5 parking ($160), and another $10/game for concessions ($800) as well as $1,000 per season in merchandise, added to his $800 annual donation, Wilson sends $4,000 per year to UT. Scott Wilson, thus, provides a consistent .005% of UT's athletics operating budget. That doesn't seem like a lot? If UT--a school which graduates approximately 20,000 undergraduates and graduates per year--cultivated only 20,000 Scott Wilsons, it could halt fundraising altogether and pay for its entire athletics department through the generosity of such fans. Over 30 years, UT would have to instill such loyalty in only 3% of all graduates per year.

Perhaps such fanaticism is brought on by psychological trauma (Wilson's overzealous passion for UT athletics kicked into high gear at the age of 27, after the death of both his father and brother due to heart attacks). Some find God, others find UT athletics (in Texas, most need both). Thus, recruiting 3% of your graduating class to hold UT sports as dear (and expecting them to "sacrificed several jobs and relationships to remain faithful to UT") is not realistic. Yet not rewarding such loyal fans who consistently contribute a noticable sum to UT sports is bad economics. Cigarette companies grasped the idea decades ago, rewarding loyal smokers with trinkets in return for sending in old cigarette boxtops. The fact UT cannot track its most loyal ticket purchasers through a similar system seems to be squandering an amazing opportunity to easily increase their bottom line while ensuring not to alienate their most loyal and consistent donors who--as an added bonus--require the least amount of resources, outreach and prodding to contribute to the university.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Islamic Sorority

Seriously...what's the point of a Greek society without beer pong and chants of "bros, bros, bros"?

Islamic Sorority