Friday, March 14, 2003
BEST OF THE WAR OP-EDS
posted by Eric |
“La Fallaci” has offered the following philippic.Her words are inspiring as always and once again she is the one person who seems to get it exactly right. Like her I have severe doubts about virtually all of the particulars of this war: the timing, how it is being promulgated, and what the exact consequences will be, but find no one staking out an anti-war position that isn’t naïvely pacifist at any cost, anti-American, anti-Semitic, or motivated by cynical self-interest (like France), or some combination thereof. Jonah Goldberg does a good job elucidating these particulars here. If you’re looking for a non-doubting, unqualified call to arms you need to go to Safire.
I only fear that the great Fallaci may not realize how bad off we are. When she writes of 9/11, “nobody questioned that another Pearl Harbor had been inflicted on the U.S. and that the U.S. had all the right to respond,” she is forgetting the Chomskys, the Vidals, and this guy once a leader of the tiny lunatic fringe who thought we had no right to respond to the attacks as the acts of war they were, and is now a leader of the current anti-war movement. The term “smart mob” that the NYT uses in this piece (one of the "Ideas of the Year" for 2002) above is intriguing. Does a mob become smart simply because its massed using modern methods of communication? Are the people recruited through the internet to join white supremacist or Islamic terrorist groups also smart mobs?
To do list: Read The Rage and the Pride by the great Fallaci.
Thursday, March 13, 2003
SUMMARY OF PUMA DEBACLE
posted by Eric |
I'm a little late on this, and too sleepy to give a proper update, but the Puma ad thing has moved onto a new stage which is another move in bringing the whole meme/blogging thing into mainstream culture. I first had it linked to me from the amazing ad-rag which has brought the group blog concept to a new level of meme spreading potency. The best summation of the story is by blogger Felix Salmon who also has a link to the brilliant/offensive/self-aware self-parody/non self-aware self-parody ads. Now the legal ramifications of blogging and its rumor mongering nature are being tested, with the outcome uncertain, a good summation of the legal ramifications is at the estimable Tech Law Advisor blog. The only thing that's certain is that this is the only time in my life I remember discussing Puma ads this much. The girl's bag and the guy's shoes are both really cool looking I think.
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
BEASTIE BOYS BREAK LONG SILENCE ON LIKE, WAY IMPORTANT STUFF
posted by Eric |
Before I posted this I watched it move from the 28th highest-rated meme to 2nd on blogdex in the space of about 5 minutes and its even hit the monitors in corporate elevators level of news by this point, but I can't resist posting on it. The Beastie Boys have released a laughably uninformed, painfully earnest, too-stupid-to-even-be-a-believable-parody little anti-war protest song. The song itself and the hilarious lyrics are available on their official site. This blogger does as good a job making fun of it as I think one possibly could, but really, it pretty much speaks for itself.
In The Onion This Week: Have the Bright Lights and Big City finally consumed The Onion’s staff? There were two coke references in the current issue. Consider this from News in Brief:
posted by Eric |
Man Offered Cocaine By Guy He Met At Urinal 90 Seconds Ago
NEW YORK—A minute and a half after using a urinal at the Manhattan hotspot Bungalow 8 Monday, Gerard Bouchard, 25, was offered cocaine by the stranger voiding his bladder next to him. "As I'm leaving the restroom, the sweat-soaked guy I was pissing next to says, 'Sure is crowded, but, hey, lots of hot chicks and you can't go wrong with that, right? Want a bump?'" Bouchard said. "I guess I didn't realize that taking your penis out near someone makes them your good friend." Bouchard declined the man's generous offer, bypassing a chance to strengthen their urinating-in-close-proximity bond.
And this from Horoscopes:
Cancer: (June 22—July 22)
Your long search for a viable alternative energy source may finally be over when you discover a potent, readily available white powder that goes up your nose.
One of the remarkable things about The Onion has always been the way its deviated from the currently popular “Its just an extension of my lifestyle” approach that’s overtaken so much of publishing, whether or not the publication is supposed to be a “lifestyle magazine” or not. Its always been difficult to discern exactly the habits and biases of the writers (always best discerned from News in Brief and Other News) but these two items, which wouldn’t seem out of place in VICE magazine together with a recent reference to Manhattanites’ overuse of the phrase “only in New York” make it seem like these Midwestern boys might be finally assimilating to the NYC hipster lifestyle, and are simultaneously attracted and repelled, Nick Caraway, blah blah blah. You know the drill.
That aside, it was an unusually strong issue: rich, varied, and funny, a return to form after a mini-slump. Though its probably unfair to complain, as their writing staff has even more of an “anxiety of influence” problem than the writers at The Simpsons. My only issue is this: What the fuck was one of these Wisconsin smart-asses doing at Bungalow 8? I hope that they just had an assistant research it, and it wasn't drawn from real life experience.
Tuesday, March 11, 2003
SPAM REFLECTS OUR FALLEN NATURE
posted by Eric |
The Slate technology writer Paul Boutin did a hilarious piece on spam-filtering, a welcome alternative to the vapid New York Times Sunday Magazine typically late to the party write-up of the same thing (sort-of) a few weeks back, which as Julia Turner memorably opined read “like spam itself.” Boutin does a really funny combination taxonomy/Cosmo quiz of all the various strategies and pretty much exposes them all as the province of either elitists or techno-geeks or both (not that that’s a bad thing). The underlying message, I believe, is that whatever more advanced algorithms or hoo-hah we can come up with we’re never going to fully win the battle against spam as long as humanity remains so pathetically, cravenly interested in our too small penises, dropped cell phone calls, wet, hot oiled teens and get-rich-quick schemes from Ugandan government functionaries.