Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday: As promised, a delightfully amusing juxtaposition of "high" culture and "low" culture

This was always the surefire formula for laffs in McSweeney's. Start with a shank of Wittgenstein, season with Cool Ranch Doritos or forgotten sitcom stars of the 1980s, and you've got yourself a McSweeney's List. You are now a published author.

A List Of Rejected McSweeney's Lists:
Characters In Gaddis Novels Whose Names Sound Like Major League Soccer Teams
Eight Sandwiches Leni Riefenstahl Enjoyed Eating
Heads Of State Whom I Could Beat In A Fistfight
Discarded Names For Godel's Incompleteness Theorem
Alfred North Whitehead's Favorite Sexual Positions
Track & Field Events In Which Nan Goldin Could Defeat Lou Reed
Brecht Plays Reconceptualized As Archetypes From The 1986 Celtics

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday: Deportes

Just in under the wire here. I nearly broke our appointment.

  • The Bears are who we thought they were. The 49ers are much worse than I thought they were. A man fitting my description was sighted around Baltimore Friday evening, drunkenly guaranteeing that the Niners would beat the absurd spread. I have since fired my offensive coordinator.
  • But what do I know? I don't add value. When it comes to football, I am merely a conduit for received wisdom. I might gussy it up a bit. Slap a little lipstick on the tart's cold sores, that sort of thing. But I can't do much more than recite things like, "This is the National Football League, and you can't turn the ball over five times and expect to djflkh; ab asfd ;kl etc."
  • A few utterly arbitrary names for you to savor, just to help you get through the autumn and winter before pitchers and catchers report: Charlie Kerfeld. U.L. Washington. Napoleon Lajoie. Billy North. Chet Lemon. Bump Wills.
  • Billy Beane doesn't want to, but he should hire Ron Washington anyway. Washington's endless carousel through sham interviews as the Token Negro is becoming embarrassing for all parties save Washington himself. He's managing to muster dignity from what must surely be a bottomless reserve. Hire Wash.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A new, flexible agenda

Uncle Grambo, the genial proprietor of Whatevs.org, came up with a rather clever idea... just as I was coming up with the same idea, honest. It's kind of like Darwin & Wallace, if Darwin were a popular blogger and Wallace were an obscure blogger. And if Wallace were dangerously handsome & lithe as a panther. With pretty good teeth. So anyway, I think I'll appropriate this idea for a week & see if it motivates me to blog.

  • Monday: Sports talk. Those indifferent to sports may use Monday to view other websites of interest to them, such as this one or this one.
  • Tuesday: A delightfully amusing juxtaposition of "high" culture and "low" culture, with surprising results.
  • Wednesday: A reference to an item in the news, followed by absurd embellishments.
  • Thursday: An enthusiastic recommendation of a book, movie, or album. With jokes.
  • Friday: Grab bag! Either 1) an offbeat anecdote involving a minor incident in my life, or 2) a sincere rant directed at the latest revelation of malfeasance by the current administration.

I hope you like the new format. Please use the comments section below if you object.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Corn Chips and... Fly!

You probably saw this story in the New York Times the other day. Maybe you read it on your laptop in the morning over a steaming latte, as your sexual partner did yoga & sunlight streamed in through the windows of your studio apartment. Perhaps a "hepcat" friend of yours emailed it to you-- a gentle jab, a sarcastic reminder of the predictability of your consumption habits. Perhaps your 42-year-old graphic designer pal emailed you the story because you guys hit Starbucks and "Akeelah and the Bee" together a few months ago. Or maybe you caught a glimpse of the story while stuffing crumpled newspaper into the package of crystal unicorns you're sending to the boys over in Fallujah. Whatever.

The point is that I've been meaning to do the same thing here. You know, to position myself as a "purveyor of premium-blend culture." You like Corn Chips & Pie? You'll love, uh, whatever it is that I'm trying to get rid of. Maybe old copies of Thucydides from freshman year, or a crappy Ikea colander, or some wadded-up paper towels I just found under the sink. How about the second Cibo Matto album?

Actually, a lot of bloggers sort of already do this. You know, the "Books read recently" or "Movies seen lately" section. But I think I'll market mine as premium compilations:
Corn Chips and... Jazz!
Corn Chips and... Chick Lit!
Corn Chips and... Race-Baiting Propaganda!
Corn Chips Goes To The Movies!
Cooking With Corn Chips!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Epidemiology jokes

Epidemiology jokes! This one's for all you epidemiologists, feverishly Googling the evening before your big seminar, searching for a little icebreaker-- a little nugget of self-deprecating humor to win the crowd over. Show them you're not some pointy-headed stiff. Do you like to laugh? Everybody likes to laugh! Laughter is the best medicine.

I get a fair amount of Google hits on this site for "epidemiology jokes" for some reason, so I thought I'd cater to this important demographic. Here is a comprehensive list of epidemiology jokes:

Fuck you, parasites. Make up your own goddamn jokes.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Halloween costume

sexy cat, definitely sexy cat
or maybe sexy devil
or perhaps sexy witch
something sexy

Mission statement

There is no excuse. Sure, I'm busy, saving lives millions at a time. Which really means saving disability-adjusted life-years, millions at a time, within a 95% confidence interval that includes near its lower bound "creating torture camps for disadvantaged children, millions at a time."

So the blog languishes. [Will "blog" go the way of "virtual reality" and "'zine" and "cyberspace" and "wraps" and "def" and "not so much"? If so, I will rechristen this an "avatar niche" or a "web-site" or a "narcissist habitat."] Where are my fucking priorities?

Here. That's where they are. It's go-time. Kick tires, light fires. Lock & load. I exist for the sole purpose of providing momentary diversion from unfulfilling lives. Time to embrace it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lazy blogger / Casanova

Pretty much all Trigger Happy TV is ok by me, but here's one of my favorites.

Ok, one more: Michael the Human Onion from a post-Trigger Happy show.

Via Slack LaLane, Hal McRae's "stupid-ass questions" rant. Bleeped, so perfectly safe for work.*

Colbert in Strangers With Candy.

*You're a dockside whore, right? I forget.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Poor man's Dust Congress

From a fascinating conversation between Nichole Argo and Omar Amanat in this fall's Bomb:

Argo: Rather than "I'll fight to win," a sort of rational cost-benefit strategy, the logic is moral-emotional: "I'll fight because it is the right thing to do; because what they are doing is wrong; because I cannot live with myself if I accept their actions." ...the data show that most jihadis did not come to the jihad through religion, or through indoctrination. They come through family and friends. The motivation is communal.

Amanat: ...the global fault lines in the "war on terror" do not fall along ideological, economic, or political lines but on emotional perceptions of humiliation of members of a group, especially as perceived and exacerbated through the lens of mediated reality.

On an entirely different note, the cover of Bomb features my new favorite photograph, a Tod Papageorge shot of Central Park in 1969 featuring three dogs sniffing one another's asses in an equilateral triangle of olfactory delight while a woman glares at them in pinched, glum disapproval. The thumbnail shot online does not provide enough resolution for one to fully appreciate the glory of this photo. If you're wondering what to get CC&P for the non-denominational holiday season, here's a hint: a giant framed print of that photo.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Andy Rooney Jelly Time

I got nothing. So, some suggested moratoriums:

  • On reading comment threads. On any website. It's just soul-crushingly depressing.
  • On a) cutesy self-deprecation or b) ironic triumphalism when pointing out one's animations and/or graphic embellishment in a Powerpoint presentation.
  • On the proper usage of "beg the question." Nobody uses it properly, and the true meaning isn't half as useful as the commonly intended meaning.
  • On wearing coonskin caps with jodhpurs. Um, hello? 2005 called. It wants its coonskin cap & jodhpurs back.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Road to 7-9, Week 5

The difference-makers need to step up & make plays today. There's no question that in the National Football League, you've got to play physically and execute. You gotta play to win, not to "not lose." The team that minimizes the run and sets up turnovers by opening up the penetration is gonna win 9 times out of 10. The crowd has so many weapons, and you've got to dominate the red zone in the National Football League. No question.

Nobody cares about this game. If the Niners don't win, I think I'll just watch old clips of the glory years on YouTube for the rest of this season. (1981 NFC Championship game: The Catch. Montana, Clark, Walsh, Landry, some fans at Candlestick in serious pimp garb... and Vin Scully calling the game.)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Small sample size

The thing about the Yankees: sure, a $200 million payroll can buy you the best lineup ever assembled, and this can help you win during the regular season. But this approach just doesn't work in the playoffs, which are all about intangibles like, uh, chemistry & grit & clutchiness & streakiness & leadership & smallball & dark matter. That's why the A's are going to the ALCS.

My condolences to Yankees fans like PD, the knowledgeable non-gloaters. To the others, I offer a commemorative pink NY cap and a punch-me-in-the-throat smug smile.


Buck O'Neil.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Viva Foley!! Viva Foley!!

Have you had enough Foley? I haven't.

  • I'm excited today, because I am only two degrees of separation from Mark Foley (R-FL). My friend ZG's friend, a former congressional aide, reports meeting Foley at a party & subsequently receiving suggestive emails from him. This aide was 24 at the time, with a lean, muscular frame and a cute, puckered asshole. The Democratic Party owes much to this brave aide, who-- in resisting Foley's charms-- denied Foley the opportunity to transfer his erotic energies away from minors and toward a healthy, consensual gay relationship.
  • This is pretty funny (via Lindsayism).
  • The longer Hastert fights this one out, the better, I think. Good to have Republicans backstabbing & fractured as long as possible before the election.
  • There are some truly desperate suggestions & accusations being floated by Republicans right now-- it reminds me of a dying soldier firing his M-16 wildly in the air. My favorites: 1) This is the Democrats' fault for coddling gays. 2) This is the pages' fault. We need to abolish the page program. 3) George Soros is to blame.
  • Actually, CH points out that while these suggestions may be ludicrous, it might be time to re-examine the nude, greased page program.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


  • So it seems Hastert is toast.
  • It should bother me that the Foley flap gets much of its fuel from good ol' fashioned gay panic, but it just doesn't. It makes me even happier. Some of my reasons are outlined here.
  • What kind of country is it when a right-wing Christian congressman can't stroke his chubby whilst IMing with pageboys, cabin boys, houseboys, pool boys, tallboys, highboys, batboys, bellboys, busboys, choirboys, ploughboys, schoolboys, flyboys, homeboys, & Perth Amboys without people gettin' all up in his grill about it?
  • I'm sorry I set your nephew on fire & then invaded a geopolitically volatile country with no postwar plan in place. I'm checking into rehab. Are we cool?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

We have much to discuss, you and I

  • Mark Foley (R-FL) has lent credence to SS's longtime view that all Republicans are pederasts, and that they will make your children gay. There is no reason for the Democrats to employ any other message before the midterm election.
  • Felipe Alou is leaving the Giants, leaving the managerial position open for Denny Hastert.
  • The 49ers were destroyed, devoured, digested, and defecated by the Chiefs. I maintain that they're better than they looked, and that they will rise like a mighty 7-9 phoenix.
  • It has emerged that Condoleeza Rice was given a Powerpoint presentation by Mohammed Atta that presented every detail of the 9/11 plot, down to the date & time. Unfortunately, he employed too many unnecessary transition animations, his slides were overly detailed with a tiny font, and he read directly off the slides. Consequence? The core message was lost.
  • I'd like to thank Michelin for awarding my restaurant three stars again; who says fellatio don't pay?
  • Right now, anticipation of the Borat movie is the only thing keeping me alive. If it meets my impossibly high expectations, then it will have exceeded my meta-expectations.