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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Think of the Child, Think of the Child...

This item just cracked me up. I was particularly amused the the defendant's lawyer who thought the complainant was being hard-hearted and indifferent to the child's pain that she would most certainly occur when she found out her biological dad was disturbed and upset by her birth.

True, so very true. Of course, the potential pain and suffering might be relatively minor compared to the existential pain she'll feel when she finds out how she was conceived...

(I was also able to come up with at least two or three tasteless joke ideas...)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Fearless, and often slurred, Speech: Hunter S. Thompson

Yes, i was one of those punk high schoolers who started writing for the school paper at about the same time as I was reading "Fear and Loathing." (Interestingly, I was also riding motocross bikes in the desert -- the "assignment" that serves as some sort of central conceit for the book was HST covering the "mint 400. I gave up defacing the earth soon after graduating from high school.)

What did Hunter mean to me? Fearless speech. Fearless questioning.

I grew up wearing hawaiian-print shirts, I worse sunglasses at all hours. I didn't inhale everything and anything that came my way. And I didn't smoke Dunhills in a cigarette holder. But, man, did I love Hunter's sentences. His visions/hallucinations could be tedious. His obvious love of language and the fact that he was a very intelligent man, was the foundation upon which all the weirdness was just slathered on like so much peanut butter.

I read in some typically superficial "media" blog that HST was "down" about the country's recent shift to the right. What cheap intellectual jerk-off. If we know anything about HST, we know that he probably was incensed about the turn to the right, especially since it has little to do with morality and much more to do with a sort of religious fundamentalism that plays off peoples fears, not their desire to be "good" people. Rather, I tend to believe a small element of the story link above: he was getting old and infirm. He was in pain. I buy that.

To think that Bush and Rove and DeLay et al drove him to his final end is not something I want to believe.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Maybe I really do need help...

I mean, look at this excerpt from my currently playing Rhapsody playlist RHAPSODY Link">here.
Johnny Hartman/John Coltrane's "Lush Life" "into" Iggy Pop and "lust for life?"
I'm sitting here at work trying to write something coherent and that little coupling popped out of the speakers.
Oh great, now the list has jumped to CVB's "Mao Reminisces about his days in Southern China."
Where's all my music from artists who might actually be considered new???
Green Day ("American Idiot" really is the work of an uncommonly good group)? No, they're not new. Maybe My Morning Jacket will come on soon...they're in one of these damn playlists...maybe they're on one of my iTunes lists...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Reporters being Reporters Under an allegedly Totalitarian Government...

"totalitarian" is defined by the Encarta dictionary as " . . . relating to or operating a centralized government system in which a single party without opposition rules over political, economic, social, and cultural life."

Do we live under a totalitarian government? Well, no, compared to what many folks consider totalitarian regimes, we've still got it pretty good. Running water (that's mostly clean), broadband, cars that can be bought with "...no money, no money down," credit cards and free pizza delivery. Hey, it's all good, right?

You tell me. Here we have a case where reporters doing their jobs are threatened with jail for not revealing sources. Haven't we gone over this one enough? As a former newspaper reporter who was threatened at least twice with subpoenas and who actually had to get up on the stand at a murder trial and refuse to hand over my notes, I was nervous but proud to invoke the shield law. And this was over a rather standard drug-related murder case.

Judith Miller et al were investigating the manipulation of intelligence data for base political reasons. Shouldn't she be protected? What, we're more concerned that Cheney and Bush will be thrown in a bad light? I mean, really , isn't lying to the world and manipulating intelligence data in order to invade a sovereign country at least as bad as having an intern give you a hummer in the Oval Office and then lying about it?

Throw her in jail and watch it hit the fan folks. It will be ugly.

While Miller has been hassled for being too eager to buy Cheney and Bush's (what are now obvious) prevarications about WAND, at least she and the Times were trying to make that right by closely looking at the screwed-up intelligence system. She SHOULD be protected.

Democracy is messy with a thriving fourth estate. Without it, it's not really a democracy, it's more like a totalitarian regime. Bring out the pearl-handled revolvers and the not-so-secret detention areas under sports stadiums!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Modern Living, Feb. 12, 2005
It's official: I'm an old guy

It's Saturday night and, well, we're not looking to go down to the nightclub. We just want something better than take-out food, but not something that requires anything dressier than chinos, a short-sleeve tropical-cut shirt and flip-flops.
So we decide to go to the California Cafe, near the Stanford Mall. (White tablecloth, but they consider flip-flops "shoes."
We want to chat. We want to enjoy conversing in a restaurant, accepting of all that can arise or be involved in such an environment.
Apparently our perspective on the restaurant-going experiece is not shared by at least one family. They'd found what they believed to be an adequate solution to what must be a universal parental challenge: taking the single-A kids (0-10-year-olds) to the restaurant: letting their x-year-old (I'd say 4-6 year-old) fire up the old portable DVD player and watch his favorite movie/show/whatever precious little pink-cheeked little boys watch these days. At least double-A kids (11-18-year-olds) either insert themselves into the conversation or just sulk.
Well, when I was a kid . . . Part of the test of being old enough to do whatever it was your parents wouldn't let you do at the time, was to act like a grown-up. To try to listen. Engage in conversation. Maybe just ACT YOUR F_____G AGE!
I guess parents these days really don't want to talk to their kids. Or pass along simple social cues/responsibilities.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

File Under:
"The thing about high places/is sometimes it's a long way down/And you feel like a big shot/so what happened to the big shot?"
(Los Lobos, "High Places")

Here's the thing, in my day job I've been able to watch Carly's progress at HP. I won't bother to pretend I have any inside knowledge about the merger etc.

What I found fascinating was that she developed a set of pathways for HP to follow that were aimed at moving to logical market adjancencies. In particular, I was impressed with her attempts to push the company into the digital entertainment space. Kind of like Apple.

Lots of folks apparently didn't like those pathways. And the merciless Wall Streeters -- who only care that a stock MOVES (doesn't matter which way because they have all positions covered) -- didn't seem particularly enamored with new direction and the expenses sometimes involved in following those new directions. And they really weren't happy with a stock price that hadn't delivered much. For them.

What I'm curious about is whether this is an indication that other tech companies are going wimp out in their attempts to move PC platforms etc. into the digital entertainment space.

My research partner, Allen Weiner, and I have been charting these directions in "media titans" work. Should continue to be interesting.

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