Thursday, May 31, 2012
This photo is making the rounds on the liberal blogs so they can snark and throw rocks at it. I gather that's more fun than serious political discourse. The thing is, crazy people (a demographic to whom Mr. Herndon possibly belongs) have always run for office. The difference today is that more of these folks seem to be winning. But could it be that the constant liberal mocking motivates enraged conservatives to turn out in greater numbers at the voting booth to elect the Johnny Herndons of the world? Just sayin'.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:35 PM
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
convinced that online newspapers will be just fine -- if they can avoid becoming "click whores." He writes: "Sure, any fool can get a lot of page views by running photos of cute kittens, funny dogs, hot cheerleaders and bosomy models in bikinis. It might bring in a lot of money. It might be read all over. But it would not be a newspaper.” Ditto for serious, digitized magazines, presumably. But the allure of prostituting for page views is strong. Not convinced? I give you this tweet from The Atlantic Wire, a digital subset of the venerable Atlantic magazine: "Introducing Politwoops, the place to find awkward tweets deleted by politicians (http://theatln.tc/JAndCO)." Egads, talk about opening the digital kimono. Let's face it: The digital press wants to "love you long time," and they clearly can't help themselves.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 12:15 PM
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
noted today, the "right-wing jingosphere responded [to Hayes] with the kind of analysis you’d expect to read on a bathroom wall." Hayes was called everything from "a parasite" to a fop whose "right to menstruate” was being protected by the very soldiers he deigns not to call heroes. Vile stuff. It's worth noting that the pundits hating on Hayes the loudest have something in common with him. None have ever worn a military uniform. If they had, they'd know that soldiers and marines do not consider themselves heroes or call each other such. As Esquire writer Stephen Marche rightly observed about the military mindset: "To be a hero is to do the heroic, to reach above the call of duty. The men and women returning this year are just less selfish and privileged than everybody else. They have done their job. In a previous era we would call them something else — normal Americans." Exactly.
(Pictured Above: Sgt. Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War I and the epitome of heroism.)
(Pictured Above: Sgt. Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers of World War I and the epitome of heroism.)
Posted by EJ Perkins at 9:11 PM
Monday, May 28, 2012
Posted by EJ Perkins at 1:24 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Romney: A mirror with no reflection"). To egregiously quote myself, "Sometimes one can glimpse the inner man by perusing his bookshelf." Now that Romney is the de facto Republican nominee, it is worth revisiting. Mitt's favorite novel is "Battlefield Earth," the universally panned tome by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Besides the Bible (Romney's favorite book), let's hope there are other books on that shelf, too. Science fiction magazine Analog criticized Battlefield as "a wish-fulfillment fantasy wholly populated by the most one-dimensional of cardboard characters." Per Wikipedia, sci-fi critic David Langford trashed the novel's "plot, style and scientific implausibilities" and concluded: "From this, Battlefield may sound almost worth looking at for its sheer laughable badness. No. It's dreadful and tedious beyond endurance". Ouch. To be fair, acclaimed sci-fi author Robert Heinlein called Battlefield "a terrfific story." And Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction praised the book as a "rather good, fast-paced, often fascinating SF adventure yarn." But one freelance writer probably captured the novel best: "If you’re just looking for a good roller coaster of a ride without any depth and without learning anything new whatsoever, pick up Battlefield Earth." With a little tinkering, those words might well summerize Mr. Romney, too. You can't judge a book (or Mr. Romney) by its cover. But you can by its content -- especially if, as Romney's book pick suggests, there's nothing there.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:54 PM
And yet, even Wills is reduced to analyzing the latest shiny object in front of the political press: Mitt Romney's laugh. In his latest piece for NYR ("Why is this man laughing?"), Wills writes:
"Everyone has noticed by now the non-laugh laugh of Mitt Romney, a kind of half-stifled barking. But what does it mean? It is blurted out as abruptly as it is broken off. Is it a kind of punctuation, part comma, part full stop, part interrogatory mark? What, if anything, is it trying to convey? Why does it seem more like coughing or burping than laughter?"Wills speculates that Romney might be a living example of Dostoyevsky’s “Idiot.” Fine. Except we all know that Romney's cackle is utterly meaningless. It is not a window into his soul -- no matter how much pundits want it to be. What's worse, few (if any) normally smart observers seem aware that they're spinning nonsense. See Andrew Sullivan here and Paul Walden here. Like more than a few politicians, Romney is oddly awkward on the public stage. The laugh-like sound he emits in response to humor is a reflection of this maladroitness. Period. Wills' piece is still worth reading (he makes an intriguing point or two) given his erudition. But the endless discourse about Romney's jocosity speaks volumes about the current state of political journalism. You might say it's laughable.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:02 PM
Friday, May 18, 2012
perspective: "The right way to think about IPOs doesn't really have much to do with the fundamentals of the company itself. Who cares if Facebook is going to be either (a) a flop or (b) the biggest company in the galaxy five years from now? All you really care about is Facebook's stock price the day after the IPO. Or, at most, a few months after the IPO. What you care about is whether other people are enthusiastic about Facebook. That's it. It's purely an exercise in forecasting the madness of crowds." By the way, as of 4pm eastern standard time, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (age 28) is worth $20 billion. That's just over $714 million for each year Zuckerberg has been alive.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:06 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:55 PM
dead. And she was 63, too? How could that be? I mean, weren't the 1970s, like, yesterday? In fact, LaDonna Adrian Gaines, Summer's real name, was born in 1948 in Boston. And her breakout hit, “Love to Love You Baby,” debuted 37 years ago in 1975. For those of us of a certain age, the word "yikes" comes to mind. On the other hand, we who were of dating age at the time could partake in the fruits of springtide with the abandon of Caligula as Summer's sultry vocals pulsated in the background everywhere. Remember, this brief epoch was pre-HIV and pre-Girls (the culmination of our cultural angst/panic since the 80s). The polyester and the disco balls were more than worth the price of admission. Trust me, if you weren't there, you missed it. RIP, LaDonna.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 4:21 PM
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Yes, yes -- Rebekah Brooks, "a close confidante of Rupert Murdoch, was charged on Tuesday with interfering with a police investigation into a phone hacking scandal that has rocked the tycoon's empire," as Reuters reports breathlessly. But I find myself transfixed by her Edwardian Era looks. Only a corset or bodice topped with an embarrassment of jewels is missing from the imagery of this classical, fiery-haired English woman.
Naturally, the words of Romeo spring to mind:
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty, starv'd with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity.
She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair,
To merit bliss by making me despair.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 10:40 AM
Friday, May 11, 2012
semi-famous stripper-reporter formerly of the Houston Chronicle. The appellation "stripper-reporter" is a dead giveaway for homo domesticus kardashia. (By the way, guys in Houston, take a long look into those big, seductive, manic eyes. They spell t-r-o-u-b-l-e. Unless you're into the girlfriend-from-hell type, don't even think it.) Apparently, Ms. Tressler is suing the Chronicle for her firing, claiming gender discrimination. Lemme get this straight. Are we to seriously believe that the Chronicle would not have fired a male reporter upon discovering he moonlighted as a Chippendales hip-grinder? Really? For the love of Mike, Ms. Tressler, it truly is time to get off the stage -- at least the one not featuring a stripper pole.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:40 PM
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The people who work for the wire services and the news networks are physically incapable of writing sentences like, "This election is even more over than the Knicks-Heat series." They are required, if not by law then by neurological reflex, to describe every presidential campaign as "fierce" and "drawn-out" and "hotly-contested." But this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it'll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it.I could be wrong, flat wrong, but I've long held this view -- minus the colorful Bangkok "hand job" analogy. Heh.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:30 PM
driven Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) from office. Lugar is a member of the moderate conservative species being blasted to extinction like the buffalo on the Great Plains of American politics. A while ago, former Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.) said, "If Dick Lugar, having served five terms in the U.S. Senate and being the most respected person in the Senate and the leading authority on foreign policy, is seriously challenged by anybody in the Republican Party, we have gone so far overboard that we are beyond redemption." Yesterday, Lugar lost his reelection bid in Indiana's GOP primary by 20 points. Conclusion: The GOP is beyond redemption. But I hold the minority view that before the GOP can reverse its march on the Road to Perdition, it first has to burn its own house down. Lugar's demise is the latest bucket of gasoline being thrown on that fire.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:25 PM
adopted an amendment to its constitution banning same-sex marriages. The state-wide voting wasn't even close. The amendment won 61% to 39%. Tellingly, however, the amendment lost in the state's largest metropolitan areas -- Charlotte, Greensboro, Asheville, Raleigh, and Durham. Ergo, this was a resounding victory for the rural, Bible-thumbing hicks. Yes, that's a politically incorrect way of saying the inmates are running the asylum in the Tar Heel State.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:15 PM
Monday, May 7, 2012
banned E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" from its public libraries. Officials say it is "too erotic." Never mind that Henry Miller's "Tropic of Capricorn" and Nabokov's "Lolita" are still available for check-out. FSOG, part of a burgeoning genre called "mommy porn," features graphic BDSM scenes. This, I suspect, is behind the pearl-clutching. Per Forbes, the the book catapulted to the top of the New York Times best-selling e-book fiction list in March. Ironically, banning it from libraries will only add to its sexy allure. Good.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 7:34 PM
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Posted by EJ Perkins at 2:42 AM
Friday, May 4, 2012
reported, Associated Press correspondent Edward Kennedy was among a small group of reporters taken by Allied military officials to witness the May 7, 1945, surrender by German forces at a schoolhouse in Reims, France. The reporters were sworn to secrecy and could not report the news before the Allies had given the green light. The Germans reported it anyway. Since the jig was up, Kennedy quickly picked up a military phone (thereby avoiding the censors) and filed his dispatch to the AP's London bureau. The story -- the biggest scoop in AP history -- was broadcast over the wires within minutes. Allied commanders had a conniption fit and expelled Kennedy from France. Piling on, the AP condemned his actions and then fired him. Today, the AP apologized for the WWII-era incident. Kennedy, who had long sought public vindication from his old employer, died in 1963. Thanks AP, you're only 24,469 days late and a dollar short.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 5:06 PM
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
reality check from Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein: "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges." The prosecution rests.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:30 PM
new poll. The poll, by the way, was conducted by Ipsos Global Public Affairs for Reuters. Which naturally begs the question: Really, Reuters? You actually squandered money on this? But I digress. Anyway, the manufactured poll discovered that people with lower education "were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect." Gee, what a shocking surprise.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:27 PM
eulogy to Newt Gingrich: Let it be woven into the tapestry of human events that on this Second Day of May, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Twelve, American Colossus Newton Leroy Gingrich graciously bowed out of the race to become President of these United States. And a nation wept. Not from sadness, but from laughing out loud uncontrollably. So endeth our (latest) national nightmare.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 3:19 PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
testified in court about the matter. Writing for the Daily Beast, "investigative journalist" Diane Dimond described Cheri Young this way: "The tiny Mrs. Young, dressed in a red-and-white patterned cotton sleeveless dress, commanded the jury's attention." In one sentence, Dimond reduced Young to a mere object. I doubt if Dimond is even conscious of her sin. Which, alas, is the problem.
Posted by EJ Perkins at 11:59 PM