Tuesday, May 27, 2008

what the fuck is david brooks yapp--

i started reading today's column for the "newest" platitude plus requisite eyeroll, but brooks stymied me with this opening:

My first thought on the running mate question is that to balance his ticket, Barack Obama should pick a really old white general. Therefore, he should pick Dwight Eisenhower. John McCain, on the other hand, needs to pick someone younger than himself. Therefore, he also should pick Dwight Eisenhower.

hahaha! you can't go wrong with a good "just how old is mccain" joke in my books. so maybe i don't hate george packer for his repeated references to brooks in his otherwise engaging article.

in any case, i stopped reading after that opener bc i just didn't want to ruin a good moment. next time, brooks. next time.

The Candidate, The Bodyman, and the Bull

Obama, Reggie Love, Chris Duhon.

Okay, I've finally come around. I accept Obama as my Lord and Saviour. Btw, a convergence this blog-worthy comes around only every so often.

Sydney Pollack and a Film Recommendation

I just took a look at HuffPo and was struck by the news of Sydney Pollack's (pictured on the right) death--just two months after the passing of his collaborator, Anthony Minghella (pictured on the left). Thinking of the two together and their oeuvre, I suddenly remembered the final scene in Tom Tykwer's Heaven, which they co-produced (as I recall from the DVD extras) and which very few people watched. No youtube is available, but in that scene a helicopter, framed from below, ascends into the sky and out of view as members of the always ill-fated carabanieri try to shoot it down. It's really a tremendous, perfectly wrought moment, and is to Tykwer's credit, of course, not Pollack's or Minghella's, but I'm reminded of it now, and thought I would recommend the film anew, especially since our post-September-11th collective catatonia made it difficult to give the film, which on some level is about terrorism and redemption, its full due when it first came out.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Music Video of the Day, You Conceited Bastard

Like you, I worry about our nation's faltering commitment to the cause of justice; I worry about the perversion of bedrock constitutional principles occurring in that sleepy Caribbean Bay; I worry about the fact that no national political figure has been able to talk about solutions to the cataclysmic horror of the Iraqi occupation without invoking one side of that sad, bullshit troops-out-now/fight-till-we've-won binary.

We live in supremely unjust times--though I look to our forebears and I don't see too many models of societal equity that I think we should emulate--but from the burning embers of our governing documents, one man rises to choose the hard right over the easy wrong, if I may steal from the Episcopalian boys' school mantra drilled into my ears years ago. That man is David Paterson. He is semi-blind, but by all measures as capable--rather as able--as any other. He has affairs, but he is frugal and conducts them at a modestly priced Days Inn that is also near his office. And now Governor Paterson has his Civil Rights Act: He has freed eye-patch connoissuer and performer of "La Di Da Di", Slick Rick, or rather he has given him a full and unconditional pardon, in the wake of Slick's full remittance of payment to Society, remittance of debts following an attempted murder or two. And now we celebrate because in 6th grade we called for justice for Slick Rick, and also we likes to party. We don't cause trouble, and we don't bother nobody.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Music Video of the Day: Emerson, Catharsis, and Bitching, Bitching BMX Jumps

So, life is very self-reflective and self-indulgent these days, but not in a way that makes for good blog copy. I toil in the office whilst simultaneously mourning the fact that I'm no longer wearing this lawyering gig for shits and giggles. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like the job has become who I am; I still resist. And by resistance I mean I continue to be constitutionally incapable of small-talking up my cases at lunch, or shaving on the regular, or doing good work, and God knows, I emphasize the casual in casual Friday. But still, today, despite my low-level resistance campaign--which, it should be noted, is just a concerted effort at retaining a semblance of Emersonian identity in a world of corporate personhood-- I inched just a bit closer to the corporatization of my own soul, or maybe I moved an inch closer to the door out of this place. I don't know.

I took out summer associates to lunch, and they were stiff and boring and fretted over ordering the right things, and I realized that I was sitting with people who saw me only as an agent of a firm they wanted to impress. We were not human beings sharing a meal. Even my desperate attempts at steering the conversation away from the relative merits of different practice groups to whether or not the new Indiana Jones is going to be awesome or really fucking awesome was met with stunted, calculated politeness. Like, if they didn't say the right thing about Indiana Jones maybe they won't make partner one day. Now, I can understand this behavior if you're sitting with somebody who's expressed even the slightest interest in maintaining the corporate charade--God knows I've been on those lunches--but I am not such a person, and I couldn't make it any clearer that I am not, and yet they just forged ahead.

The point is this: even though I do my best to separate myself--physically, mentally, emotionally--from this place, while at the same time cashing the checks it so graciously provides me, and, hopefully, doing well enough that I can to become a better lawyer in the process, those summer associates will only ever think of me as that associate who took us out for sea bass. Try as I might, try as I did, to them I will never be snarky guy with 80's fetish. I don't know why that bums me out more than say the actual work that law firms do, but it does.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying it's Memorial Day weekend, and the sun is smiling graciously on the Bay, and we can all, hopefully, unchain ourselves from our shackles--so let's celebrate by soaking in Cut Copy's pitch-perfect electro-retro track, "Far Away," set against the action-laced pivotal scene from 1986's definitive follow-your-dreams, BMX masterpiece, Rad. The only way this audio-visual experience could be any better is if it featured cameos by Soleil Moon Frye and/or Bea Arthur.

I may be associate who took us out to lunch to some, but you, my precious blog readers, will always know me as snarky guy with 80's fetish, and that's why I will never leave you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

big ol jet airliner

classic wall street journal. american airlines decided to charge $15 to each of its customers per checked bag each way and what does the journal have to tell us?

Before you get too upset about airlines slapping a $15 fee to check just one piece of luggage one way, know this: Oil prices are just killing airlines.

um, no. you know why? according to this article, The chief executive of American Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, got a 21 percent increase to $6.6 million in compensation in 2007, the company's best year since 2000, according to information disclosed in a regulatory filing Friday.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

uncanny valley

wow, hello kitty was named japan's tourism ambassador to china and hong kong. i'm more of a tuxedo sam woman myself, but why not korea?

i have mixed feelings about this video. i thought the whole appeal of hello kitty was her diminutive nature. look at her! she looks like she's going to attack the japanese minister of transportation with her cuteness. btw, is she going to be traveling with her boyfriend, dear daniel? quel scandale! and why does she live in london?

anyway, this news led me to the sanrio website and, more specifically, to their hall of characters of yesteryear. my favorite are doki doki yummychums: Dokidoki Burger is always smiling and is everyone’s favorite! Don’t forget to check out his friends Dokidoki Fries, Dokidoki Shakes (Vanilla, Banana, Strawberry and Chocolate) and Dokidoki Chickenchums.

and also pandapple, who, as beta alex points out, is literally a panda with an apple for its head. creepy, scary!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

there goes the neighborhood

oh noes. if you thought you couldn't afford the BK now...but y'know, why not east new york? doesn't get much real-er than that.

in other brooklyn news: ikea's coming! ikea's coming! and sugarpockets, it appears that they are offering the new york water taxi for free.

Friday, May 9, 2008


i haven't seen that tina fey movie yet and probably won't, considering that she didn't even write it. anyway, i just read about this woman. holy fuck. i suppose you can check out their tv show. i love discovery health's idea of "fun facts," including such "fun" as:
  • Michelle’s been pregnant for 135 months of her life.

  • Average number of months between Duggar births is 18.

not sure why she doesn't have her own wikipedia page, while her husband (apparently a former politician in arkansas) does. anyway, i think she's 40 or 41-years-old.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Jerk Store Called...

So, yesterday I was coming back from the Mission, somewhat late (for us fourth-decaders anyway). The train was pretty empty when I sat down, and I pulled out my book and got to business. Now, I was sittting in the seat closest to the train door. This is just a habit of mine. I like to be near the exits. What this says about me I'm not sure. Of course on trains, buses, and other modes of public transport these seats are designated for the disabled and elderly. Now, I was raised right. If the train is crowded, I get up and offer my seat--no matter where I'm sitting--to the infirm or impregnated. In this way, I am like Jesus.

Anyway, I'm sitting in my seat, kind of engrossed in my book, and I don't notice that the train has started to fill up and in front of me is a pretty old lady talking with two of her friends, themselves in the designated seats directly opposite me. My head in my book, I feel a rough poke in my shoulder and I look up to a 30-something guy with a "what the fuck" look on his face, pointing to the old lady and then pointing to the the sign printed above my seat. My immediate reaction was embarrassment: I apologized. To the guy. And he still didn't say a word as I got up and moved. But here's the kicker. The guy was himself sitting in a seat five feet away from me, one not designated for people with special needs, granted, but one that was no less convenient for that old lady than mine--meaning, instead of offering his seat to the old lady who was standing equidistant from us both, he thought the best course of action was to shame me in a public train, and smug in his good citizenry, reassume his comfortable chair, as others stood around him. As I relocated, I noticed the train really wasn't totally full, and there were three or four other seats I could sit in. I took up one of them and stewed. I turned around, and saw that the old lady didn't sit down in the seat I'd abandoned.

I spent the next fifteen minutes to MacArthur thinking about what I'd say to the asshole good samaritan as I exited the train. Something like this: "You know, I'm the kind of guy who gets on an empty train, sits down and gets caught up in his book, and doesn't realize there's an old lady who maybe needs a seat. You're the kind of guy who can't be bothered to give up his own seat, but violently pokes strangers and embarrasses them for not following the letter of the law. Between us, who's the bigger asshole?"

But when my stop rolled around. That guy wasn't sitting there anymore. The train had pretty much cleared out (at 12th Street-Oakland), except for a few stragglers. Including the old lady, who was still standing, contentedly, as I left.