October 31, 2003

Greg Easterbrook, Boy Guru

Yeah, it's this guy again. Film criticism has apparently having lost its luster, he has chosen a new subject on which to pontificate. And it is... is... Well, I'm not sure what it is. Some kind of wafty, etherish blither about "spiritual planes" and "billions of dimensions" and some more stuff about science, or at least a (not very convincing) facsimile thereof. He reads here just like that scene in Animal House where the professor and the two college kids are smoking pot and waxing philosophic about tiny little solar systems in their thumbnails.

But I'm not going to get down on him for having silly new-agey ideas. I'd much rather kick him in the shins for writing about it and then posting it where people could read it and then get a really bad headache. I wonder about this guy -- and more, I wonder about all these Constant Readers he apparently has. I keep coming upon blog posts by Easterbrook fans who were shockedyesshocked at his recent verbal faux pas, wherein they keep flogging his otherwise killah mad writing skilz. But everytime I am introduced to yet another instance of Easterbrook prose I am struck by his adamantine mediocrity. Oh well -- I had never heard of him before, and I haven't read everything he's written. Maybe he saves his genius for his sports columns, or whatever it is he is best known for. Maybe he needs to stick to sports.

(PS: yes, I know it's just a post on a blog -- a blog his bosses at TNR set up for him and pay him to post to -- and I know that blog posts that jump all over the place and contain non-sequiturs, idle musings, and such are the rule rather than the exception, but where is the evidence of talent that should at least occasionally break through the anti-writer's block exercise that this blog/column thing of his resembles?)

(Via inappropriate response.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:53 PM | Comments (3)

Ghoul Evening

I'll be huddling in my apartment with my cat tonight, hiding from the insane Orlando Halloween celebrants (and their parents). But I won't be bored; I'll be downloading free fonts from the HP Lovecraft Historical Society website. Get 'em before they putrefy and sink into the hellish abyss! (And don't forget the props too.)

(Via Dave at Dave Does the Blog.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:06 PM | Comments (1)

October 30, 2003


Here's a link to a bunch of scary movie reviews and other things, 'cos tomorrow's Halloween, and Susan at Cut on the Bias sent me an email, and I'm in a gererous mood caused by a couple of glasses of wine. I don't think I've seen any of the movies talked about here in full. In general, I don't care for movies whose main purpose is to scare. I need more substance... Or maybe it's because I am a nervous person who gets all the thrills she needs from driving to work every day. (Orlando traffic is not exactly so much worse than Miami traffic as it is merely less aware of the realities of physics -- something I did not believe was possible. But then, Miami drivers seem to be aware of the rules of physics, they are just deliberately defiant of them. Here in Mouseville, on the other hand, people don't even seem to realize that two vehicles cannot occupy the same space in the same lane at the same time.)

But anyway, I have seen bits and pieces of only a few of the movies -- The Birds, for example. I never got into that one, though I loved Hitchcock's earlier work (which was lighter, and he seemed not to hate his actors and characters so much). Then I read the Arthur Machen story the movie was based upon, and read that it was his idea that the natural world would turn against the human race because of all the awful things we did to each other during World War I. Well, thought I, if only you knew.

I prefer mystery and fantasy (which can have touches of horror, such as Lord of the Rings proved) to straight horror. I think it is because straight horror seems to come from a viewpoint that is almost entirely hopeless. You will be scared! and then die in horrible torment! or be scarred for life mentally if not physically! seems to be the message of most horror films. Eh. I go to the movies to escape reality for a while, not to have it rubbed in my face.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:17 PM | Comments (1)

Throw mama from the train

I dunno who Polly Toynbee is -- some Guardian columnist, so I guess she's a "leftie" or whatever you want to call them. Anyway, Peter Briffa makes fun of her a lot. This article of hers that he quoted made my hairs stand on end just a bit. She's talking about some politician Over There:

True, you will have to charm the decrepit blimps and blue rinses from the shires into voting for you.

Ooer! That'll get them in the sticks. Here in the States grandma, gramps, and the attack dogs in the AARP that protect their every interest are still mostly sacrosanct to both sides of the political spectrum -- on the right, because that's where they get most of their votes, and no one kills the goose that lays the golden egg; and on the left, because lefties still want to be seen as "compassionate." Obviously the left in Britain has no such constraints... I don't know if that means our handling of the over-fifty-five constituent is better or worse here than in the UK, I just know that if I read or hear anything from any foreigner about how badly we treat our old people in the USA as compared with the ROTW I will have yet another reason to just giggle for hours.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:58 PM | Comments (7)

Better buy fresh carnations, guys

The Albright female is ready to start dating again. And she's a fashion critic too!

(Via Charles Austin.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:03 PM | Comments (4)

From the water is wet stuff dept.

Via dipnut comes this (unintentionally) hilarious example of Deep Political Thought, Berkeley-style. Short synopsis: did you know that conservatives use (gasp!) language to communicate their ideas in order to "dominate" political discourse?

Now, now -- calm down, I know this is a shocking idea. (Quick -- someone administer smelling salts to Oliver Willis.) I know that the traditional way to dominate political discourse has always been the way the "left" has done it -- by putting out awful teevee movies that "subtly" dis conservative icons and holding badly-attended parades featuring large papier-maché puppets. I mean -- language, ideas -- (shudder)... what horrid Dead White Male Europpressor (from Bad Old Europe, not New, Good Europe) concepts. What on earth is the "left" to do?

Update: link to Ollie's site fixed. (I'm sure he won't mind me calling him Ollie. He's a liberal! They're tolerant!)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:38 AM | Comments (7)

October 28, 2003

Another book to add to the list

Oh look -- look what's finally available. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available through Amazon so I can't add it to my wish list. However, ordered through NRO shipping and handling is free. This will make up for the fact that I subscribed to the dead tree edition of that magazine exactly one issue after Miss King's last column (which column was the reason I subscribed to the magazine in the first place).

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:52 AM | Comments (3)

October 26, 2003

The Angry Left Behind

The Angry Left is stuck in the MAD era. What a sad place that is to be. No wonder so many of them seem to have learned their political philosophy from watching Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Two Tribes" video. ("Puppets! Puppets will get the people on our side!")

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:33 AM | Comments (4)

October 25, 2003

The Glamour of Evil

(Yes, I used the British spelling deliberately.) Speaking of the BBC, their cuted-up "dramatisation" of the British spy scandal is drawing all sorts of fuss. When even British teevee critics diss your show on the grounds that it was too kind to traitors you've got to realize you've slipped up somewhere, but the executive producer, one Mark Shivas, continues to justify the whitewashing. See, one still must have some sympathy for the views of Burgess, Philby, et al, because

''Maclean said it was dangerous for one nation [the U.S.] to have so much power, a monopoly on nuclear weapons, that that was a great potential for harm,'' he notes. "That has a certain resonance these days.''

Uh huh. If hating Amerikkka is wrong, we don't want to be right! I don't think it's working this time, boys. Perhaps you should stick to things like that show where they take a perfectly normal-looking woman and beat her down with insults until her self-esteem is totally destroyed and she consents to throw out all her clothes and let them dress her any way they want.

(Via Cronaca.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:28 PM | Comments (18)

Cowardly media tricks

Belmont Club has a few observations about the anti-American antics of media outlets like the BBC. I especially liked this passage, since it sums up my own disgust at what the pro-news creatures have been spouting lately:

There is something disgustingly craven about an entity whose courage stems entirely from the conviction that those who it reviles will be too decent to strike back. Perhaps the most appropriate fate for the BBC is simply to remain what it is. Still, it is comforting to know that if civilization should perish under the heel of Islam the destruction would encompass those who jeered loudest as the valiant manned the walls.

He suggests that it is ironic that the best thing that can happen to organizations like the BBC is for the War on Terror to succeed, since they are apparently so against every aspect of it. I suggest that this is because they seem not to realize that this is a real war, and that they are really in danger if we lose. I'm not sure what to base this on. Perhaps it was because our side, as it was then, lost (or rather, gave up on) the war in Vietnam and nothing much bad happened after all (to journalists, that is; a few million or so Vietnamese people did not exactly have a thrilling time). But I think it is because so many of these antiwar babies grew up on a steady fodder of World War Two movies. World War Two, see, was a real war, with clearly delineated sides, uniforms, an Evil Villain right out of central casting, and everyone back then knew exactly what he or she stood for and never deviated from that course. Or so it seems to people; the idea that there was -- gasp -- just as much grousing, backbiting, uncertainty, and appeasement-mongering during the Big One is shocking to today's crop of Mirandas. But leaving that aside, I also think that journalists such as infest the BBC and other networks show a condescending attitude of near-colonial proportions towards the people they report in areas of the world like the Middle East, and as we are always being told ad nauseum, memories are long in places like that. No one likes being treated like a stupid child, least of all crazy terrorists who want to kill infidels for Allah. Believe it or not, making war on these people is one of the nicest things any Westerner has ever done for them; it certainly has given them a sense of validation. Isn't that what life is supposed to be all about?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:51 PM | Comments (2)

The Revolution will take all major credits cards

Every picture tells a story. One told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

The law is a ass

I've decided to close comments on the "Horses" post. It's not that the conversation was all that vitriolic, but I am tired of people posting bloodless, mind-numbing comments about this and that court ruling, using all sorts of euphemisms and abbreviations ("PVS," "ANH") to conceal the fact that they are talking about starving a helpless person to death because she is an inconvenience to someone. I. Do. Not. Care. about what the law has to say at this point. I have no influence upon the goddamn courts, and thanks to the near-religious awe so many people seem to apply to the court system, neither does anyone else who isn't involved in it. Anyone else who posts anything about this or that judge's ruling in this or that case will have his or her comment deleted, whether pro or con. Sorry all those law people out there who read my blog; but my blog, my rules.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:58 PM | Comments (5)

America sews socks that smell!

Remember Matthew Engel? The guy whose furious complaint about a bad meal at Olive Garden, which was supposed to be some sort of indictment or something against American culture, merely gave the impression that he didn't know how to use an American phone book to find a decent restaurant? Not content to show how stupid he is when it comes to dining out in Amerikkka, now he displays, in this frothing spiel, that he knows nothing at all about the country that was gracious enough to approve his work visa, despite apparently having lived here for a number of years. There are too many of us. Our buildings are too tall. And he waxes hysterical about the environment in a manner straight out of the seventies; which makes me think that he must be too terrified to leave his apartment (except for that one fear-filled journey to Olive Garden), and that he thinks Soylent Green is a documentary. Oh well, let's not disabuse him of his fears! I figure he serves a useful purpose in keeping many foreign moobats* too frightened to come over here.

(Oh, and side note to Mr. Engel: if you do venture outdoors again and you want to find a "discreet place to take a pee" in, you might want to look for these things we have called "restrooms." I know you have them in England; I've been there. So you know how to use a urinal, don't you?)

(Via The Edge of England's Sword.)

Update: and here's the Guardian's forum on this column.

*Really late update: "moobats"? what on earth are those? Perhaps they are what happens to cows after vampire bats have been feeding on them.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:34 PM | Comments (7)

Pictures worth a thousand words

They're from Return of the King, and they seem to give evidence that Jackson is going to follow the original of the third part of the story fairly closely, unlike the improvisations and "inspired by" additions that afflicted The Two Towers. How long until December? Not that long anymore. Drool, drool.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:59 PM | Comments (5)

More on what the road to hell is paved with

Reader Michelle Dulak sent me a link to Mickey Kaus' take on the Terri Schaivo case. Mr. Kaus has a stronger stomach than I -- he listens to NPR. Here is what he heard:

a) Melissa Block introducing Jon Hamilton's report and declaring that the governor's action "goes against more than two decades of legal and ethical decisionmaking."
b) A bioethicist who is "saddened" by the intervention to reinsert the feeding tube.
c) An explanation of "persistent vegetative state" from a neurologist who actually testified for the husband, Michael.
d) A representative of the American Medical Association who seems to support letting the husband decide.
e) Hamilton noting bioethicist (b)'s opinion that there is "little question the Florida legislature will eventually be overturned."

Here is part of his reaction:

Given the actual facts in the Schiavo case, I'm not sure which side I support. But I gag when NPR commentators glibly talk about upholding Terri Schiavo's "right to die" as if she herself had exercised that right--e.g. by writing a living will--as opposed to having her husband exercise that "right" for her when she's unable to contradict him.

I'm glad I am not the only one who noticed the pretense that Terri Schiavo is a conscious participant in this debate. The problem is, we are now in our culture so focused on the need for everyone's individual viewpoint to be important that we are incapable of dealing with someone who is... incapable of formulating an individual viewpoint. Unless they are babies or senile old people; we'll give in-duh-viduals a pass then. (Well, mostly.) But when confronted with a woman who is in what should be the prime of her life who is basically an infant, many people seem to go into a weird state of denial. The people who think she is better off dead seem (I say "seem" because I don't want to be accused of pretending to be a "mind-reader," but if I can't try to figure out human motivation from what I know and have observed, I may as well stop writing altogether) to be applying her case to their own lives and their own instinctive revulsion at the thought of being reduced to such a state.

There are what I will call evolutionary reasons behind the instinctive negative reaction that human beings have towards the weak and the helpless. Back in the good old days when we were small tribes of primitive humans wandering the African plains, having to tend to a crippled adult could be the difference between getting food and becoming food. Or was it? Some evidence suggests that the reasons humans evolved (if you believe humans evolved) into the dominant species is because we were physically (compared to the rest of the clawed and fanged animal kingdom) weak and helpless, so we had to grow bigger brains and figure out how to make tools and weapons to compensate. That being said, the problem of the strong both despising and exploiting the weak has been a problem throughout human history. The best of our culture has been the result of efforts to restrain this part of our nature. So what does it say about humanity when so many of us can look at a helpless person like Terri Schiavo, and condemn her to death for the crime of being useless? Because that is really the only reason I can see for people wanting her dead, once we strip away the self-protective verbiage about how "she couldn't possibly want to live this way," is the fact that she can't "contribute" to society in any way people feel is meaningful anymore. She can't be a wife or mother, she can't hold down a job; so she deserves to die. As Mr. Kaus points out, she isn't in any pain, and she isn't dying of a terminal disease (except for that terminal disease called "life"), so the only reason to kill her is because the very thought of her existence is a bummer to some.

Well, my pretties, she's not the only one in this condition. Why don't we kill all the vegetables? After all, it's unlikely that they will all wake up like this fellow did. And they are sucking up resources. (All that oxygen! You know everytime a braindead person breaths an African child faints. And those cans of Ensure could be saved for when our celebrities become senile. And all those people taking care of all those brain-dead relatives could be free to go on Mediterranean cruises or something.) So why don't we just pass a law that says if you get into a car accident, get sick, or sleep too long and someone attached electrodes to your brain and doesn't get a reading, off to the glue factory you go! After all, we have a Brave New World to build; we ain't got time for no gimps.

Update: here's some discussion on the law stuff behind this all. Visit while the Blowspot link works! And the first commenter noted something I hadn't thought to touch on (I can't do everything): the woman Michael Schiavo is with now wants to marry him why exactly? I sure hope she doesn't let him take out a life insurance policy on her.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:42 PM | Comments (3)

October 24, 2003

How to make friends and influence people

The two things our culture is obsessed with -- sex and intelligence -- are also the two most overrated facets of human existence. When it comes to the former, I'm with Florence King: "I've had sex and I've had food and I'd rather eat." As for the latter, just read some of the comments in the preceeding post. So much intellectual display; sometimes I think the birds are better off. At least the mating dances are pretty.

All I can say is, I have known plenty of smart people who were nasty jerks, and plenty of supposedly low-intelligence people who were nice as can be. The obverse is, of course, equally true. But the internet has a way of hiding all the wonderful things that make his parents and girlfriend put up with Mr. Brain. It's too bad so many "intellectuals" don't seem to know that.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:40 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2003

They shoot horses, don't they?

I had a post going about this, but it was getting long and unwieldy. I have cut it down to a few observations about "The Florida Vegetable Woman," and why I am trending towards the side of the Catholics in this case. Here they are:

First, about all the fuss over Jeb Bush's eleventh hour pen-stroke. They are saying the action is a misuse of government power, it sets a bad precedent, and so on. Well, misusing government power and setting bad precedents are politics as usual in Florida, I thought we had already established that eons ago. "Will this corruption be used in the service of good or the service of evil?" seems to be the way Florida politicos think. I don't know any other way to explain it, except for the possibility that Florida is the site of a Hellmouth.

People who are in the pro-death crowd don't seem to have put any thought into their conclusions. For instance, the "I wouldn't want to live like that" reaction has nothing to do with Terri Schiavo and what she may have or might now want. This, my individuals, has nothing to do with your wants and needs. If you are really concerned, do what Terri Schiavo apparently didn't and put it in writing, and have it notarized in front of witnesses. We don't allow oral agreements to take precedent over written ones in mere business deals, I don't see how something someone else asserted someone said (ie, the husband insisting his brain-dead wife had told him -- pre brain death -- she'd be all for euthanasia in case she became a drooler) gets to take precedence over our normal state of not killing people when they become "burdensome."

There happens to be a couple of other sorts of humans who, while breathing, pooping, and making sounds on their own can neither clean themselves, feed themselves, or discourse wittily upon the last episode of Joe Millionaire. They are: babies and senile old people. I don't read the newspapers all that much so I missed where we started exposing unwanted babies and Alzheimer's victims to the elements.

I don't see what the problem is with letting her parents take care of her if they want to so much. Probably money is involved somewhere. My solution -- which will not be implemented, of course, this not being a perfect world run by me -- is to give them what they want. The husband wants her dead, for various reasons; but I'm sure an adulterer can be bought off. If the parents balk at this, then they were never serious about taking care of their daughter, they were just doing all this for spite, so at least we'll have that out in the open. (And after the parents die, let the Catholic church take care of her. Make the Pope sign papers or something; no looking up hubby again years after the fact, none of that. And no taxpayer money is to be paid for this woman's care; I put that in for those of you who are keeping all your earnings under your mattresses and go off like a firecracker into anti-Statist™ rants every time you think you might have your taxes used for something you don't like.)

I think that all this brouhaha reveals that fear of 'tards is alive and well in the twenty-first century. "Ew gross, a 'tard! Kill it!" seems to be an almost atavistic reaction to the sight of a mental defective or the thought of becoming one.

Something in our culture just drains the humanity out of people; how else to explain the fact that starving someone to death is considered to be kinder than just giving them an overdose of morphine, or putting a bullet in their heads. The real reason this method is preferred, of course, is that everyone can pretend that Terri Schiavo isn't being deliberately killed; they are simply "letting nature take its course." Nature -- that we have spent the last ten thousand years or so trying to thwart. Now we let it win one?

It is also interesting how all these libertarian atheist euthanasia supporters suddenly seem to believe in something approximating a soul, since they are so so sure about what Terri thinks and feels, as if there is some sort of "Terri" separate from her physical body that is trapped like a rat in a coffee can and just wants to be "set free" by having the body killed. I am afraid that the "please kill me and release me from the horror of (some state)" is a civilized attitude that has to be learned, and I rather doubt that someone who is a vegetable is able to formulate this opinion. It is more likely that if Terri Schiavo is capable of thinking or feeling anything, it is at a very primitive level, and fear of death is the most basic of emotions. The least that could be done for her is to not draw out her suffering. If you really think she should "have peace" (be dead) then shoot her, you spineless wads of mucous. At least have the stones to do that much.

[Note: some content has been edited. -- A.H. 03/19/2005]

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:00 PM | Comments (88)

October 22, 2003

Doin' the Martha

I know what you all really want to hear about from me anyway: you want to hear about my home decor. Well, I finally found the cheap black plastic wastecan and black rug for the bathroom. On my second trip to SuperTarget I found the aisles where they have all the color-coordinated stuff. I could swear these aisles weren't there when I went to the store before; they must have been in some other dimension, or maybe I was. Anyway, I chose the cheaper make of rug, which turned out to be a different shade of black from the more expensive brand: the cheap rug was a kind of ashy black as opposed to blue-black. It worked out because I was trying to keep to the warm/neutral color spectrum for the bathroom. (Of course, I get home last night to find that my cat the slob had somehow thrown litter across the entire rug. But at least the apartment elves had finally fixed the door to the outside utility room, so know I can get my washer-dryer set out of storage and have it hooked up.)

I also found Australian Tree ferns on sale there, so I bought one. I've been wanting to own one for ages; I love ferns. Pictures are coming soon of all this domesticity as soon as I get around to taking some.

At the Target store they also had the neatest stuff: furniture that you can assemble without hammers or nails. It's a brand called Fasil, and the items are rather expensive, but I like the easy chair and the bookcase. I think Target is trying to get some of Ikea's customer's -- pretty easy considering the closest Ikea store to my area is the one in Virginia.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:53 AM | Comments (8)

Your moment of zen

There was a post between this one and the 1-800-fatwa one. I have taken it offline. I may or may not put it back, depending upon a number of factors.

Update: oh what the fuck, the post is back. Let this be a lesson to you, boys and girls: don't step on the flaming paper bag, because you'll get petty shit all over your shoes.

PS: clean off the stink with this handy lye-and-gasoline concoction.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:24 AM | Comments (3)

October 21, 2003


Dueling for top spot as the Weirdest Reaction to the Easterflap: fans of Easterbrook's retroactively disappeared column on ESPN are using this ancient post of Scott Chaffin's as a kind of forum to lament the loss of their favorite sports read; and Diana Moon (whose Letter from Gotham blog has apparently once again been consigned to the neverland of the Google cache) has declared (see the comments here) that Meryl Yourish is the "Jewish Al Sharpton."

Oh yes, and the DOS attacks just keep a-comin'! Which is why it took me several tries to post this. Also, I think I am playing another Brighthouse my-cable-modem-sucks game.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:29 PM | Comments (9)

October 20, 2003

"Allah on line one on the white discourtesy phone"

It would be so totally wrong and against the cause of Bringing Our World Closer Together© to call 1-800-95-fatwa and have "legal" rulings based upon sharia -- Islamic "Law" -- issued against your mother-in-law, that neighbor's dog whose barking keeps you up at night, Marvin the Martian, and so on. But as the song says, if buggin' Muslim fundy-freaks is wrong, I don't wanna be right. (Via Daimnation!)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:28 PM | Comments (0)

DOSsed again

This is getting really annoying. I hope someone somewhere finds the little fucker(s) perpetrating this and puts a foot up their ass. I'll donate my pointy, metal-studded 80s rock star boots.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:31 PM | Comments (3)

So you've got a... what is it again?

Blob? Plod? Slog?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:42 AM | Comments (5)

October 19, 2003

That Easterbrook thing

I've been writing this post in my head for about two days now. I wasn't going to post on the Greg Easterbrook flap, because everyone else (see the links) had already said enough. I was driven to comment in Michael Totten's post on it after reading what Dipnut had to say. (Scroll down for my comments.) My take on the matter is that Easterbrook is far from anti-Semetic, but that he is guilty of using an anti-Semetic stereotype to make his point. I believe that it is possible to use anti-Semetic stereotypes (as well as other racially or ethnically offensive stereotypes) without actually being a Jew-hater or any other kind of racist. Do I believe that this is the right thing to do? I do not. But people do it all the time. People are careless. People also make dumb decisions which seem good at the time; I am sure that Easterbrook thought that using this stereotype (money-grubbing Jewish Hollywood exec) would be a good way to get people's attention. Well it sure did that.

Therefore, I thought that the contention that Easterbrook was an anti-Semite was ludicrous. I think that the reaction he got from readers alone was enough punishment -- after all, his main crime, to me at least, was against the English language. (Why are so many lousy writers paid writers? Never mind, that's an argument for another day.) Firing him from ESPN and removing all his columns from their website was overkill -- as many people have pointed out (see the Instapundit link above), the sort of overkill you can expect from a Disney-owned media company.

And no, Mr. Hackbarth and Matthew, I do not agree that it is the fault of bloggers that Easterbrook got canned. What, we aren't to say anything about someone's stupidity for fear they might get fired? It was one thing to be cautious when someone's life was possibly on the line (remember peoples' fears about Salam Pax when Saddam was still in power?); it's another thing to insist we worry about every media writer's job. The media is a shark pond; if you get careless you'll get eaten. If Easterbrook didn't know it then, he knows it now. If that sounds heartless of me, too bad. Sometimes baby needs to get burnt before he learns not to touch the stove.

Be that as it may, I also agree with Dipnut when he says: "But it seems to me what's really going on here, is you can't use the word 'Jew' in a sentence anymore without being ridden out of town on a rail by a bunch of outraged pantywaists." He exaggerates only a bit. I can state that this is true because it happened to me. Read on:

Full disclosure: once in the long ago, BB (Before Blogs -- well, at least before I had my blog), I was an occasional poster on an X-Files discussion forum. Threads were pretty free-wheeling; the only rules seemed to be Stay On Topic and Don't Sign Your Posts. (It drives me crazy to this day to see people sign their comments when their name appears in the comment footer.) Anyway, one day discussion turned to David Duchovny's injunction against Chris Carter when the latter sold syndication rights for the show without giving the actor a cut (or a fair cut) of the profits -- or maybe it was for not consulting the actor beforehand, I don't remember. Anyway, I decided to quote (or paraphrase) the actor's comments from some interview where he said Carter should have known better than to attempt to mess with the finances of the son of a Scot and a Jew. (That would be Duchovny, whose mother is from Scotland and whose father is an American Jew.) Well, the thread went ballistic. I was labelled anti-Semite (natch), offensive, insensitive... The works. Despite the fact that:

  • These were not my words, but those of the actor
  • These were not my beliefs -- I have known plenty of Jews who were no more interested in money than any other person
  • Part of the thread had been a people wondering why Duchovny cared so much about syndication profits since he was "already a millionaire" and I figured that the actor's own words might give a hint as to his motives.

The gist of the reaction was I should have just let this comment of Duchovny's slide down the memory hole, since the mere action of repeating it could cause offense. The underlying theme seemed to be that by quoting someone you are therefore and always espousing the beliefs revealed in the quote. Bizarre, to say the least. In any case, for some reason I lost interest in participating in the forum -- oh, let's be blunt, I don't talk to people who can't think, it's a waste of my time. By the way, no one came to the defense of the poor Scots I offended, so I guess we can let fly at drunken, angry, penny-pinching Scots as much as we like.

PS: Easterbrook was wrong about his assertion that Jews should be against depictions of violence in the movies because of what happened to them in the Holocaust. If you ask me some violence on the Tarantino scale would have kept lots of Jews off those trains. Is he really suggesting that Jews should be pacifists? Yeah, that will impress their enemies.

Update: "Monsters from the Id!" Heh.

More: here's some more cogent commentary from E. Nough.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:31 PM | Comments (7)

October 18, 2003

A new Iraqi blog

It's called Healing Iraq and it's run by a 24-year old dentist named Zeyad who lives in Baghdad. He posts from the many internet cafés that have apparently sprung up in that city. (Via Jeff Jarvis.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)


Finally got around to straightening up (somewhat) the walk-in closet in my new apartment. So many shelves, so many places to hang my clothes... I got rid of half my stuff, and I still am running out of hangers. Well, it's 88 cents for a dozen at Vile-mart. Soundtrack: Swinging at #1, a cd of WW2-era swing hits I picked up at the aforementioned retail mart; seems somehow appropriate to accompany housework. Now, of course, I am taking a breather, and I'm listening to the playlists of random songs I have stored on my hard drive. Currently playing: Love and Rockets "Judgement Day."

Posted by Andrea Harris at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)


Add me to this list as well. Why? Well for one thing, this is how it will read to the ROTW: "Hello. We've invaded your country, dropped bombs on it, killed lots of you, and we would now like you to pay for all the damages." I'm no advocate of the "we need to make the world like us" nonsense, but this is ridiculous. All that will happen is that the debt will never be completely repaid, it will cripple Iraq's economy, and we'll end up having to endure yet another Jubilee "Drop the Debt" campaign by aging rock stars. Do these fucks in the Senate want things to change for the better in the world or don't they?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:32 AM | Comments (5)

October 17, 2003

Hostmatters matters

Yeah, I couldn't get to my own blogs because of this either. My email and ftp service was also unreachable; it was as if the entire server had vanished. I was pissed, but I figured either it was some sort of DOS attack (as dipnut says) or a power outage of some sort. There was nothing to do about it but go to sleep, so I did.

Update: apparently it was a DOS attack, on a pro-Israel weblog hosted on this service. Well well well.

Update to update: more on this.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:42 AM | Comments (1)

October 16, 2003

Protest stew

These pictures are so dying to be Farked.

(Via Random Nuclear Strikes.)

Update: here's my little effort (hey, it's the best I can do at 6 in the morning -- click for larger):

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:04 AM | Comments (4)

October 15, 2003

Power to the People?

In the meantime, there's been all sorts of fun in Bolivia. Miguel, who blogs from that country, points out something that members of the tear-it-all-down school of thought tend to glide past:

The saddest thing's that this will only affect the poor, not the rich. At worst, people in the Sona Zur are going w/o their café or ice cream (although we still went out for ice cream in San Miguel last night). We have plenty of food; we're essentially safe w/ our well-stocked fridges. But the people in El Alto, who live day-to-day, are suffering from the protests. The pressure's all on them, not on the sureños.
Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:34 PM | Comments (0)

Why I am not a libertarian

Because I really don't care to associate with a group that has so many nasty shitsouls belonging to it. At least, that seems to be the sort of "libertarian" creature that feels compelled to seek me out. They all have three characteristics, all of which this latest 'droid, who calls himself "24601," displayed in fluorescent colors in the comments to this post and this: 1) they think that calling me "stupid" because I don't immediately offer to fellate them for their deep intellectual insights is a brilliant argumentative tactic; 2) they are ostentatious about their libertarianism (note to NuLiberts: it's not really necessary to go around shrieking "Ha! I'm a Libertarian and you're not!" because, well, no one cares, and it just makes you look like you picked Libertarianism to piss off your Marxist ex-girlfriend); and 3) they are the most cynical, misanthropic little fucks on the face of the universe. Compared to this 2468419704 -- whatever -- bloke, Saddam Hussein was a people person. (To my rather obvious statement that the only way to stop terrorists is to stop them -- ie, to kill them dead -- he went off on a froth about how that's all too expensive and just an excuse for [SCREAM]The State™[/SCREAM] to take our money, yesss Precious we must never let them have it never!!!)

In any case, at first I didn't even think this dweeb was a real libertarian, and that he was just using "libertarian.org.au" the way other trolls used "whitehouse.gov" or "georgebush.org" as fake urls in the comment headers. Then I decided to visit said site, and lo and behold 248976352211154.5071212135478 is a main member of this apparently respectable blog. So I sent a little email to Mr. John Humphreys, the "executive" of this organization. Go straight to the top, I say.

Just as a PS to those who might be thinking that I am being a wimp for complaining about this, I repeat that when people like this "contact" me and claim to be libertarians (or Libertarians -- whatever), it certainly does not give me a favorable impression of libertarians in general. Instead, it puts me into the sort of frame of mind I get when I find out someone I like or admire is a Marxist -- "Oh well, I guess I can still like them despite their reprehensible political associations. I guess."

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:56 PM | Comments (13)

Keeping them confused

I'm a right-wing fascist. I'm a typical leftie. The dingbats can't seem to make up their minds. My plan continues to wreak havoc... Muahahahahahaha!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:26 AM | Comments (5)

October 14, 2003


Well that fizzled. I didn't see anything in the MT-Blacklist documentation about not being able to post an entry once it's implemented. The "rebuilding your site" message just sat there and sat there. It was like posting on fucking Blogspot. I can't figure this out, and I'm too tired to try. I guess I'll just stick with closing comments after fifteen days and deleting stupid viagggggraa spam by hand.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:50 PM | Comments (4)

test 3

oh yeah, another test

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:35 PM | Comments (1)


Test post, please ignore.

test 2

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:15 PM | Comments (1)

Destroy all spam

Well, some spambeast left some crap in the comments on one of the blogs here at Spleenville, so MT-Blacklist has been applied, and I have also added Kevin's lists of spammer websites to the configuration. We'll see if this stops the junk.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:07 PM | Comments (0)

Look who's back

It's Happy Fun Pundit! Their archives seem a little wacked, though; but maybe it is just a glitch. In the meantime, their main page seems to work okay.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2003


Everyone needs some cute hobbit pictures. Caution: I rather doubt this is work-safe.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:20 PM | Comments (10)

Flying Pigs

Okay, just this one little thing set off a synapse: via Astonished Head I discover this product for toddler-liberals to toss across the room for imagined slights against Their!Civil!Rights!™: a copy of the Bill of Rights printed on a piece of metal, designed specifically to set off metal detectors in airports, thus setting off a manufactured crisis that will give the diaper-brains carrying them the Center of Attention moments they all crave daily. It is marketed by these tools. I think I have seen my Christmas Present for Assholes. An owner of one of these cute things wonders if he should "leave it behind," before he starts moaning about the awfulness of this "thing" we have "done to ourselves." Terrorists? What terrorists? As far as noodleheads like this guy (and Web Presence™ Cory Doctorow) are concerned, the only terrorists that have ever existed and will ever exist are the nineteen guys who died in their attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Since they are dead, obviously there is going to be no more terrorism, so what are we all doing this security stuff for? It's such a bummer, having to face up to your mortality every day, isn't it, Mr. Liberal World Traveler?

Posted by Andrea Harris at 01:12 AM | Comments (18)

Where is my mind?

So much to blog about, so little brain with which to blog. Back tomorrow, hopefully with a fully loaded brain.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2003

Clouds in my coffee

There's nothing like grocery shopping to put me in a foul mood.

Unless it is grocery shopping on a Sunday evening, when every brat-intensive family unit is also out chasing down provender while ignoring their loose little ones ping-ponging and skidding down the aisles, when they are not thrashing and shrieking in the kiddie chair of the grocery cart behind you.

Unless it is all that and the fact that I could not find the one simple thing that I saw in all the stores not two weeks ago -- I swear. See, I want a small black rug and small black plastic wastecan (not one made out of lucite or porcelain and which therefore costs the earth) for the bathroom, to go with my beige-with-black-and-gold-patterns shower curtain that I bought at Linens-n-Things two years ago. Of course now that I want something in black that isn't three feet tall and made of wire mesh (I am so going to put wire mesh in the bathroom on the real stone tile, yeah right) I can't find it. I drove so many places my ass went numb and I used an entire quarter tank of gas. There were tons of gold and beige and similar shades, but the shower curtain already uses as much of those two colors as I can stand.

So by the time I gave up and decided to go home I was too pissed off to go to the food store -- and then I was even more pissed off when I remember I still had to go to the store anyway because I needed some things that could not be put off. So away I goes! to Vile-mart, where it was raining bratty kids and their deranged parents whose grocery-cart-piloting skills did not reassure one as to their driving-in-the-parking-lot (or on the road) skills.

And hey, mister, how's about you get your fat ass out of the center of the aisle? Yeah, you there, leaning on your empty grocery cart, staring into space. I don't know what you were doing there, and I don't care, but I didn't appreciate having to squeeze around your well-fed posterior.

Anyway, that was my day. Huzzah.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 09:00 PM | Comments (15)

Philadelphia Freedom, I don't love you

I think Elton really meant: "You want to know why I hate Americans? Because so many of them say my career jumped the shark after Rock of the Westies." (Via Porphyrogenitus, who has been driven to near-despair by the intractability of the self-hating Western liberal intelligentsia. And -- full disclosure, I first left this comment here, but I wanted to share. And -- yeah, Elton John was my he's-all-that back when I was in high school. But that thing he did with Kiki Dee, what was it? Whatever -- and then the Sassoon jeans commercial were it for me. Westies was the last album I ever bought of his.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 12:22 PM | Comments (10)

October 11, 2003

"Everyone looks the same when they're on fire"

Before I start posting my oppressive, fascist opinions I have to run off to the store for some necessities. In the meantime, read this column by Jake Ryan, who was injured in last year's terrorist attack on Australians (and anyone else near them) in Bali. Then ask yourself (if you are one of the doubters) if there is any other way to stop terrorism than, well, stopping terrorists. (Via Tim Blair.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 05:29 PM | Comments (16)

Back in black

I'm ba-aaaack.... Regular posting to resume forthwith. First I have to catch up with my reading.

PS: dipnut is the only one to get the meaning of the title to this post. Are there no other Eighties "new wave" music fans left in the world? Sure, a lot of music during the Reagan years sucked, but you will pry my U2, Simple Minds, and Echo and the Bunnymen LPs out of my cold, dead fingers.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 04:34 PM | Comments (3)

October 09, 2003

That old black magic

Art vs. evil. Read.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2003

Just checking in

Saturday the cable guy arrives. Yay, three days to I-Day. (Internet day.) Watch out, world!

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:33 AM | Comments (2)

October 05, 2003

Come in come out of the rain

Well hi kids. I've finally moved into my own place, so I have no internet access currently. (I am typing this at the Apple store in Millenia Mall.) It will take me at least a week to get back on line -- the way things always seem to go for me, probably longer. Until then I probably won't be posting much unless I can squeeze in a minute to blog from work. In the meantime, er, have great lives and all that.

PS: my new apartment is much nicer than any apartment I have lived in so far. For the first time in my life, I have a dishwasher for my exclusive use. Also sliding glass doors and central air as opposed to window units. My cat is happy -- she hates living with other people; she barely tolerates me.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 03:16 PM | Comments (13)

October 02, 2003

Join the cabal

In this article on the so-called "neoconservative cabal," Joshua Muravchik reminds us of the way we were, and why it changed:

But this brings us back at last to the question of the neocons' alleged current influence. How did their ideas gain such currency? Did they "hijack" Bush's foreign policy, right out from under his nose and the noses of Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice--all members of the same team that, to hear the standard liberal version, was itself so diabolically clever that in the 2000 election it had stolen the presidency itself?

The answer is to be found not in conspiracy theories but in the terrorist outrage of September 11, 2001. Though it constituted a watershed in American history, this event was novel not in kind but only in scale. For roughly 30 years, Middle Eastern terrorists had been murdering Americans in embassies, barracks, airplanes, and ships--even, once before, in the World Trade Center. Except for a few criminal prosecutions and the lobbing of a few mostly symbolic shells, the U.S. response had been inert. Even under President Reagan, Americans fled in the wake of the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, then the largest single attack we had suffered.

Terrorism, we were told, was an accepted way of doing politics in the Middle East. More than a handful of the regions governments openly supported it, and the PLO, an outfit steeped in terror, was the poster child of the Arab cause. Any strong response to this scourge would serve only to make the people of the region angrier at us, and generate still more terrorists.

On September 11, we learned in the most dreadful way that terrorists would not be appeased by our diffidence; quite the contrary. We saw--they themselves told us--that they intended to go on murdering us in ever larger numbers as long as they could. A sharp change of course was required, and the neoconservatives, who had been warning for years that terror must not be appeased, stood vindicated--much as, more grandly, Churchill was vindicated by Hitler's depredations after Munich.

(Via Damian Penny.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 10:47 PM | Comments (3)

Toys for Iraq news

Via Michele, news that the first shipment of toys has arrived in Iraq.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)


Ian Wood has an important question. I don't know why people glom onto disaster porn (which is what I call the endless feast of doom-'n'-gloom news reporting coupled with all those true crime shows) myself. I can't stand watching the news anymore; it's all about the reporters -- the actual events and the people they are reporting about are just props. And don't even get me started about "reality tv."


By the way: to my trolls who seem to think that they are making some sort of cogent point by droning on and on about the "hypocrisy" of the US going after one dictator while leaving others unbothered (which the trolls call "supporting" them) -- I will expect then that when this or some future administration decides, for whatever reason, to go after the next thug nation's psycho regime, that you will wholeheartedly support this action. After all, it's what you want us to do, isn't it?

Oh, it's not?

So what do you want us to do, exactly? (This is a purely rhetorical question, of course -- I am sure the answer is something similar to that answer the alien gave to the president in Independence Day when he asked that very same question. For my foreign trolls, the defeat and destruction of America would please them because they imagine that it would somehow enrich their own native land -- it wouldn't, but they aren't smart enough to figure out. For my American trolls, the defeat and destruction of America would give them a chance to live a real-life version of Fight Club, which they imagine would be neato-keano... Of course what they don't seem to realize is there is only one Helena Bonham-Carter, and she won't be available after the apocalypse.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at 06:45 AM | Comments (2)

October 01, 2003

Mystery solved

Lt. Smash rips off the mask.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

That Seventies feeling

In this article on watching The Exorcist, Kathy Shaidle has the best description of the Brady Decade that these eyes have yet beheld:

...a decade-long, morning-after mourning of the innocence it had wasted the entire Sixties trying frantically to lose.

Maybe it was because my father took the air-conditioning out of our South Florida home during that decade, but for me the main sensation I get when I think of the years of Earth Tones, Leif Garrett, and Dodge Darts is a greasy, sweaty feeling.

Posted by Andrea Harris at 07:24 AM | Comments (4)