Monday, November 28, 2005

Quote of the Day/Year

Let me set the scene. Two guys sit across from each other at Baja Fresh. They've received their order and then pray over their respective lunches. Baja Customer 1 is a guy in his late twenties (spiky hair, visor worn backwards). Baja Customer 2 is also this age and happens to resemble Sloth from The Goonies. Anyway, here's the quote:

Baja Customer 1: You see all this Christmas stuff? Where you can't say Merry Christmas. You have to say season's greetings or happy holidays. Because it's politically correct. Don't they realize this is why we haven't caught Bin Laden?

Baja Customer 2 nods approvingly. (When reading the above quote, please note that everything in italics is said with an angry sneer, as if the words themselves were sickening.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Q & A of the Day

I know, I know. I'm "on a break." Blah blah blah. I don't even take that seriously, as I'm sure you don't either. It's just one of those things you do, like put a hold on your mail or leave one light on so that the "Wet Bandits" don't pick your house out. ("That's the silver tuna, Marv.") Anyway, as a grammar snob, this shit cracked me up:

John (H-town, TX): The Rocket is very painful to watch this season. What are your solution?

Chris Sheridan: Fewer injuries for them, remedial English courses for you.

(From today's ESPN Insider chat with Chris Sheridan.)

The Annual "Break" from Not Blogging

Happy Turkey Day, ya'll. I promise to post about a repeat Gary Bauer sighting, if one occurs. Otherwise, I'll probably be in a full-on food coma. Gobble gobble.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

No, you'll shoot your eye out!

"Texans know that marriage is between a man and a woman, and children deserve both a mom and a dad. They don't need a Ph.D. or a degree in anything else to teach them that." - Texans for Marriage's Kelly Shackelford picking another fight with her son Ralphie over his desire to get a PHD in gayness.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quote of the Day/Cottage Comforts

"His blog shows frustration and fury over what seems like a hopeless cause. And I share this frustration. Creature comforts have made Americans complacent. Why rock the boat, when we can still go down to the corner and get our Starbucks and return home to television sitcoms, our lives fundamentally unchanged by the immoral acts committed by our countrymen? Why risk going to prison, because we have so much to live for back in our Brookyn studio apartments or our small Silverlake cottages? Well, guess what, it's all in jeopardy. For no other reason than our own selfish, materialistic needs, we have to fight back. Because the way the G.O.P. is gutting domestic policies like healthcare, destroying the environment and fueling anti-American sentiment around the world, the U.S. and our nice, comfy lives are being threatened bigtime.

What's it going to take, people? Gilroy and I can blog to the end of time, but there's a major blowback on the horizon and if we all don't take to the streets and demand moral action (an end to torture, an end to corporate givebacks, an end to Israel's occuptation of the Palestinian territories, an end to unilateral force and a call for a multi-national, Arab-led peacekeeping force in Iraq), it's all going to shit." - Anthony Kaufman, responding to filmmaker Tom Gilroy's piece at the Hugginton Post.

After a full day of blogging, I like to imagine that Kaufman jumps on to his magical pony and flies around the globe, delivering sweets to all the boys and girls unburdened by creature comforts. He has to do that as you know how slow and unreliable those Arab-led peacekeeping forces are. Kaufman and Gilroy both see the Paris riots as something of a template for what "we," and by "we," I assume he means the young, white and middle class living in Silver Lake cottages or apartments in Brooklyn, should be doing. It should be noted that violent protest frequently bears positive results (just ask Richard Nixon) and if the choice is made that such protest is the way to go to achieve ones political goals, a magical pony and a bag of treats will make the day a much more pleasurable experience, before heading home and watching Two and a Half Men, sipping on a latte, and wallowing in your own myopia.

Monday, November 07, 2005

It's all over now, baby blue.

Previously, I've shared my own half baked, contradictory thoughts on illegal immigration. I won't link to either post, as they both suck. Basically, my point is that endorsement of business practices that entrench a large portion of the population in poverty and, often times, atrocious working conditions, while at the same time (by the sheer nature of their role as illegal workers or guest workers or whatever) denying them basic benefits or forcing them into a situation which damages that system of benefits (i.e. the multitude of clinics that have closed in Los Angeles County), we have put ourselves in a situation where workers of all walks of life lose and scumbag companies eager to find cheaper and cheaper labor (to whom they have to afford zero protection) win. Anyway, anyway, anyway...this is all one half baked, contradictory way of me telling you to go and read something so xenophobic, racist and hysterical that it almost made me laugh. (Admission: I laughed a lot.) Who's behind such a piece? People...c'mon. Think. Who else, but Pat Buchanan, sharing his thoughts on the French riots:
Like the urban riots in America in the 1960s, which the Kerner Commission blamed on “white racism,” Paris’s riots are being blamed on France’s failure to bring Islamic immigrants into the social and economic mainstream of the nation. Solutions being offered range from voting rights for non-citizens to affirmative action in hiring for the children of Third World immigrants.

To understand why this is unlikely to solve France’s crisis, consider how America succeeded, and often failed, in solving her own racial crisis.
While, as late as the 1950s, black Americans were not integrated fully into our economy or society, they had been assimilated into American culture.

They worshipped the same God, spoke the same language, had endured the same Depression and war, listened to the same music and radio, watched the same TV shows, laughed at the same comedians, went to the same movies, ate the same foods, read the same books, magazines and newspapers, and went to schools where, even when they were segregated, they learned the same history.

We were divided, but we were also one nation and one people. Black folks were as American as apple pie, having lived in our common land longer than almost every other ethnic group save Native Americans. And America had a history of having assimilated immigrants in the tens of millions from Europe.
Doesn't segregation sound neat when Pat talks about it. Seriously, if I was the NAACP, "Black American as apple pie!" would be my new slogan. Double quick. Anyway, Pat closes with gusto:
The soaring Muslim population is a Fifth Column inside Europe.

Nevertheless, their numbers must grow. For not only do they have a higher birth rate than the native-born Europeans, no European nation, save Moslem Albania, has a birth rate (2.1 births per woman) that will enable it to endure for many more generations. The West is aging, shrinking, and dying.

Yet, to keep Europe’s economy growing and taxes coming in to fund the health and pension programs of Europe’s rising numbers of retired and elderly, Europe needs scores of millions of new workers. And Europe can only find them in the Third World.

Nor should Americans take comfort in France’s distress. By 2050, there will be 100 million Hispanics in the United States, half of them of Mexican ancestry, heavily concentrated in a Southwest most Mexicans still believe by right belongs to them.

Colonization of the mother countries by subject peoples is the last chapter in the history of empires—and the next chapter in the history of the West—that is now coming to a close.
Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Hot Enough to Make You Shvitz

A while back, I was challenged to name the 10 Greatest Jews...well...ever. (Jesus was #1.) And, now, another challenge from the same source: name the ten hottest Jewesses. Now, it wasn't explained specifically what kind of parameters I had to work within, other than that I could not include Natalie Portman (obviously, for those too dumb to realize, the hottest Jewess in Jewess history) and Shalom Harlow, because they were obvious, boring choices. Fair enough. (No disrespect to either.) With that in mind, I'm keeping things current (save for one deceased choice who is not Golda Mair). This is what the bar mitzvah is all about, kids...the ladies:

10. Bea Arthur - So not hot, she's hot. Once upon a time, friends and I discussed starting a clothing line. As part of said clothing line, we'd sell T-shirts adorned with a picture of Bea with "Old School" printed underneath. If you don't think this is the kind of shirt you'd wear, well, you're not part of our target audience. It should be noted that none of the other (goyim) Golden Girls made for good attire. Anyway, Maude makes it. (Other elder stateswomen considered: Lauren Bacall, Anouk Aimee)

9. Elizabeth Berkley - Strident fictional high school feminist cum fictional Vegas stripper. The best bad actress of our time. As committed to eating french fries, dramatically throwing herself into cars, and fucking Agent Cooper in a pool like no man, Jewish or otherwise, had been or will ever be fucked again, as she likely was to learning her Haftorah.

8. Sarah Silverman - You know how I like my Jewish girls? Casually racist, sex obsessed, and profane. Yeah, yeah, the Jimmy Kimmel thing's depressing and she might be a bit too comfortable with the casual racism as fodder, but whatevs. That rack could make you convert.

7. Maggie Gyllenhaal - I like to think she's the girl who intentionally made out with the Palestinian kid working at the Carvel, just to get under the skin of every yenta in Temple (fill in the blank) Sisterhood.

6. Sarah Michelle Gellar - Vampire slayer with seriously questionable taste in men. But isn't that always the way. Jewish girl goes for dumbass goyim. This goes both ways. Trust me. I know. (Just ask my mom.) But that's not what this list is about, now is it? (Honorable Mention: Selma Blair)

5. Shiri Appleby - Way cute star of parental favorite, Roswell. (My parents are nerds.) My mom would talk about this girl like she lived across the hall from me or something. How 'bout that Shiri Appleby, Tim? Huh? Huh? (You'd think she was Shana Brandt.) Whatevs. Definitely on the list, even if she's in Swimfan@. (Honorable Mention: Evan Rachel Wood, Mila Kunis)

4. Nigella Lawson - Domestic goddess. Jewess. Rumor has it, that with every egg she delicately cracks against the edge of a bowl, a young Jewish boy, for a reason he can't right then ascertain, gets a boner. It's a fact. Or so I've heard.

3. Marilyn Monroe - She converted for Arthur Miller. Best. Now, I know how some people feel about converts or Reform Jews...and I'm not going to resort to name calling, you fucking wackos, so don't even try to goad me. For example, Dr. Laura Schleshinger, whose absence from this list should come as no surprise to anyone who's seen her lizard neck, listened to her haterade, heard her refer to Reform Jews as "not real," or had a rock thrown at them for walking around on a Saturday afternoon. Converting is hot. Guys, if you're unaware of this, the ladies aren't. I dated a girl in college, who took it upon herself, at an intimate moment to inform me that she'd convert. Sure, sure, we broke up a few weeks later, on matters completely unrelated to religion, but it's not like her saying that turned me off. And she knew that. And so did Marilyn. Brains and beauty, people. Brains and beauty.

2. Jennifer Jason Leigh - Owner of the hottest bioport evs. You know what would happen. Hebrew school gets out a little early, and you and she take a walk over to the nearby baseball field. You're in the dugout...some heavy petting...and GOD NEURAL SURGED.

1. Scarlett Johansson - Jewish? Really? And, no, this is not some bogus, Jewish by proxy thing because she's Woody Allen's new muse. Nope. Her mother is Jewish. And according to blah blah blah and blah blah blah that means she's official. Seriously, do I actually need to explain it any further? Didn't think so.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Analogy of the Day

"We don't allow child pornography on the Internet. We don't exempt it from consumer safety laws...We don't because we think those laws are important." - Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA)

Meehan and his fellow House Democrats killed the Online Freedom of Speech Act yesterday, a bill which would have allowed for bloggers to be exempt from FEC campaign finance rules. The bill needed a super majority to move on to the Senate.

Still the one.

Gus Van Sant's Last Days is still going strong atop my 2005 Top Ten list. Now's as good a time as any to assess the year to date, right before the Oscar season barrage, which begins, in earnest, this weekend with Jarhead. So, I've shown you mine. What's yours?

Panic Mode

The Knicks have begun their season with a loss. A 114-100 loss to Boston, in overtime. An overtime period during which they sat down, counted their money, and then, as the final buzzer sounded, called it a day. Jamal Crawford, the team's "point guard" played like open ass. The rest of the team, a gaggle of overrated and overpaid role players played up to the highest levels of ragged mediocrity. One game does not make a season, but as is the case with so many things, the beginning means a lot. Larry Brown is sure to survive the season, unless it's revealed that Brown actually grew up in Denver, Minneapolis or Cleveland, and that his dream since boyhood has always been to shepherd that city's team to the promised land.

However, one man that might not make it out alive is Isaiah Thomas, who, in this blogger's humble opinion, might be best to quit now, before things get even uglier. (Look, it's not that he's traded away great players for bad players. He's traded away mediocre players for more mediocre players, often times with terrible contracts. I don't buy into the idea, proffered by The Sports Guy, that Mike Sweetney is going to come into his own this year and become a mini-star or that Kurt Thomas will be sorely missed, but they haven't been replaced with anyone, unless Curry learns to devote himself to something more than contract negotations, that will make it easy to forget about the mediocre and less expensive players we used to have.) Because, despite my inappropriately modest hopes, Isaiah has put together a wretched team without an ability to do anything but make the playoffs. Not win a playoff game or series, mind you, but just make it. You don't get very far that way. You don't get a cookie. You get fired. Out on your ass. Like Dignan. Isaiah, after one game, I am officially putting you and every player you acquired on notice. The above may be more of a comment on the state of the league or the state of the game, in general, or maybe I just think that because my team sucks.

I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman

In 1999 Maureen Dowd won the Pulitzer Prize. Now, realize, the Pulitzer doesn't really work like the Nobel Prize. It's not like Dowd stopped writing for a couple of decades and instead devoted her time to being something of a nutjob activist and then won. Nope. It's worse. She actually won the prize for her writing. Anyway, Dowd has a new "book" coming out (Are Men Necessary?). If there's no Drano around the house to quench your thirst, you can read an excerpt here. But, if you're like me, and your ideas on Dowd are generally fixed, head over to Slate for a healthy dose of Haterade, courtesy of Katie Roiphe:
Dowd pushes every statement to its most exaggerated form; her column occupies a space somewhere in between the other columns on the New York Times op-ed page and the political cartoons that sometimes run there. She is, at her best, a brilliant caricaturist of the political scene, turning each presidency into vivid farce. As a caricaturist, she has a fondness for punchy one-liners strung together, and for the one-sentence paragraph: "Survival of the fittest has been replaced by survival of the fakest"; "We had the Belle Epoque. Now we have the Botox Epoch"; and "As a species is it possible that men are ever so last century?" Her style evokes a brainier Candace Bushnell, whose oeuvre she frequently refers to, but it is given extra weightiness by her position at the Times.
If I was Bushnell, I'd be pissed. Now, the best thing Roiphe does is not just attack Dowd. That's sort of easy. Instead, she attacks the whole construct, a tool frequently utilized to defend Dowd's supposed skills:
I don't mean to suggest that there is something inherently wrong with using one's own life in political writing. But one should use it honestly, rigorously, complicatedly, like critics such as Mary McCarthy, Rebecca West, Joan Didion, or Andrew Sullivan. Because the issues surrounding sexual politics are so emotionally charged, so laden with contradiction, so racked with ambivalence and irrationality, it is especially important not to neglect nuance. One of the failures of the feminist movement in the first place was a reliance on easy aphorisms, and the scematic worldview that such aphorisms implied. The famous line, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" did not prove to be a constructive or realistic contribution to the feminist cause. Replacing one set of rigid gender stereotypes with another did not allow women the full range of their desires and ended up sabotaging the movement. Dowd herself criticizes the feminists of the 1970s for imagining a sea of identical, sexless women in navy blazers descending on the workplace. Though she appears to be arguing for a new, more rigorous feminism, she is guilty of precisely the same intellectual fault—starting with the catchy, meaningless title of her book, Are Men Necessary?, Dowd's aphorisms, amusing and pithy in the morning paper along with a cup of coffee, are precisely what the conversation about sexual politics does not need.
Oh, one more thing. In the piece, Roiphe says the following, "One of Dowd's many admirers extravagantly compared her to Edith Wharton." Perhaps the person was being sarcastic. Perhaps they had forgotten to take their anti-psychotics and amidst drooling and smelling the colors, they thought this made sense or thought it would work as code for "get me my pills." I've never seen a more understated use of the word extravagant.