What I'm interested in is D'Souza's insouciance in bandying Pascal's Wager about without really understanding the math involved in game-theoretic decision making (if he does understand it, his argument is just totally dishonest), so that he's incapable of making discriminations among different cases which are qualitatively alike, but which, on quantitative grounds, lead to divergent conclusions.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Did Than Merrill think of adding a FOURTH type of salsa to complement Mild, Medium and Hot? No, sadly the patrons of Mexicali Grille went pico de gallo-less for months, just as the patrons of Vienna's Opera House went without the light, airy, ethereal touch of The Magic Flute for so long. The list of my innovations goes on- the Cantina, the exposed kitchen, the CNN Headline News with closed captions.
And like Salieri, Than Merrill has been trying to take me down. It seems Merrill was whispering scurrilous lies about me and my restaurant into the ear of extremely influential Play Magazine food critic Joe Scarpano just as Salieri poisoned the ear of Emperor Joseph II with lies about Mozart.
But now Merrill, having been vanquished in the art of restauranteurage, has decided to move on to Real Estate. I hesitate to stoop to the level of such a coward, but to show my range of abilities, I will try to get on Flip This House as well. Let me tell you something, for a guy whose living is basically "Flip This Quesadilla," I don't imagine expanding on the concept will be too hard.
Here is the bold strategy I am thinking of for this project:
1. Buy a dilapidated house on Dixwell
2. Fill the refrigerator with some premium GUAC from the Double B. I'm talking guac in every crevice of that thing- veggie crisper, shelves, butter drawer, you name it
3. Matter of fact, put some guac in the freezer too.
4. BOOM- Flip that house for twice the purchase price
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I had it in Italy several years ago but then I totally forgot about it until a couple recent pleasant reminders. First I had it at the D.E. Shaw Christmas party. (Tom and I snuck a bottle for ourselves and chugged it like I did back in High School- ahhh, those were the days...) Then I had it at the 'Bucks in Puerto Rico, and it sealed the deal.
San Benedetz tastes minerally like Ev-ee-yawwwn, but it doesn't have that cummy aftertaste. In fact that would make a great slogan:
"San Benedetto - Tastes great, Less Cummy!"
Thursday, December 13, 2007
(Music blaring in background)
WORK IT HARDER MAKE IT BETTER
DO IT FASTER, MAKES US STRONGER
MORE THAN EVER HOUR AFTER
OUR WORK IS NEVER OVER,
WORK IT MAKE IT...
(I approach a group of randoms dancing together in a group)
Me (moving unrhythmically, yelling to be heard): HOW ABOUT THAT CREDIT CRUNCH! HUH! NEXT YEAR THEY'LL PROBABLY HAVE THE CHRISTMAS PARTY AT QUIZNO'S!
Me: SUBPRIME LOANS!
Me: FREDDIE MAC!
Me: FRED THOMPSON
Me (muttering to myself): That reminds me, can't believe I missed the GOP debate- even after AG reminded me....
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
NOTE: DON'T TRY TO LISTEN TO THIS IN FIREFOX- USE SAFARI OR INTERNET EXPLORER (sorry!) AND THIS WILL TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO LOAD
Monday, December 03, 2007
T.T. Nhu Miller: "Hello from Hanoi, I moved to Viet Nam following the 2004 election disaster, vowing not to live in the US as long as Bush/Cheney are in power. The Democrats might win back the White House, but I'm not holding my breath. Remember when we were growing up, we didn't even know a Republican, except the Javits family! Later when I lived in Berkeley for 36 years
Friday, November 30, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Hey web surfers and surfettes, sorry this blog was so hard to find. But it'll be well worth the effort. Basically the deal is this: over the next few months, I am going to travel to prisons all over America and get to have a few bites of various prisoners' last meals, and then I will review them for your reading pleasure. Whoops! Can't blog anymore today, I've got to catch a flight to Birmingham!
Tuscaloosa State Penitentiary, Tuscaloosa, AL
While baby-smotherer Jimmie Ray Scruggs's chosen menu of Fried Calamari, Pepperoni Pizza, Tuna Casserole, and chocolate covered pretzels lacked overall cohesiveness, I must say that the chef did a fine job of bringing the meal together. In an innovative twist, the inmates are the chefs at this rustic gem, and T-Bone is a regular Anthony Bourdain. Don't miss the fried calamari, which is both crispy and tasty, and is so fresh you'd swear they cooked it right on the electric chair! It's to die for!
Darden Federal Prison, Des Moines, IA
Jonas "the Bonus" Janovic presented quite a contrast with Jimmie Ray. Oh, quick note on Jonas's nickname- he saw Con Air in the late '90s and figured that "the Bonus" would be really menacing like "the Virus"; no one had the heart (or the spine) to tell this triple threat child molester/murderer/library book stealer that the name was a non sequitur. As it turns out, Jonas had worked for some time as a line chef at one of the fanciest restaurants in Dubuque, La Vache Folle. With "the Bonus" as my meal designer, I was in for a real treat. We dined on garlic crabs, steak tar tar and foie gras, and shared a bottle of 1988 Merlot. Magnifique! Since Jonas and I were on the same mental wavelength (though not electric wavelength!), I'll let Jonas describe the meal himself-- "My one complaint would be that the garlic crabs were a little garlicky, but at least they were flavorful. Other than that, the merlot was superb- I've always said 1988 was the best year- it was a very dry summer. The steak tar tar had just the right dash of salt to bring out the bouquet of flavors. Finally, the foie gras was so creamy, I think they might have been feeding the geese foie gras themselves!" Move over 'et tu, Brute'- THOSE are some last words!
Spokane State Prison, Spokane, WA
When I was told I would dine with Da'Wayne Buchanan, a 300-lb former Washington State linebacker from Louisiana, I figured I was in for some tasty soul/cajun food. Boy was I wrong! Apparently, Da'Wayne decided it would be a good idea to go on a diet- maybe he wanted to make sure he could fit through those pearly gates! Da'Wayne was in here in the first place for slicing and dicing a 10-year-old girl like a vine-ripened tomato, so it's fitting that the first item on the menu was a modified Cobb salad with vine-ripened tomatoes. The modified Cobb salad was actually surprisingly delicious, but I felt compelled to explain to Da'Wayne that "despite what Dr. South Beach might tell you, bacon is an important counterpoint to the avocado, and I read an article in the Science Times saying Dairy's not even that bad for you." For the entree, Da'Wayne chose a delicious cut of organic salmon. Though the warden's wife Margie, who was a really nice lady, offered to fillet the salmon, I chose to eat the whole body including its head (that's how they do it in CHINA- jowls and all!). Well something set Da'Wayne off, and maybe it was the overwhelming smell of death from the fish head (we'll never know), but we had to cut short this marvelous meal. Though the food was very tasty, obviously the experience left something to be desired- let's just say this was no Last Supper!
Chino State Penitentiery, Chino, CA
Today's dinnermate was Rico Manuel Gabriel Noriega Diaz Gomez Lopez- what a mouthful, almost as much of a mouthful as those grande burritos at the Chino cafeteria! It turns out that Rico read this blog before meeting me, and was very excited that I would be reviewing his meal, almost as excited as he was when he choked his 94-year-old grandmother to death with a bicycle chain! He chose a predominantly Mexican meal, not only because it is the food he was weaned on, but because he felt Eat Richly: Rural State Prisons Edition was lacking in Latin American options - good call, Rico. The aforementioned burritos were tender and tasty, and the salsa piquante drizzled on top had just the right amount of kick. The guac, on the other hand, left much to be desired. Especially considering that California is the land of the avocado, the Chino chefs were very stingy with their 'cados, making up the remainder of the volume with some sort of translucent liquid that I hope was water- I told them to hold the sodium pentathol! But all was forgiven when we finished the meal off with some flan that would make Jason Congdon weep like Dan when he loses to me in Wii Tennis. It was to die for!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Cops Say They Killed for the Thrill
Murder charges filed against two Detroit young men accused of brutally beheading, mutilating man for fun.
You know what the best part of my day is? The ten seconds before the story loads, 'cause I let myself think maybe, just maybe it was Actual God and Mulatto Jesus. Now I don't know much, but I know that.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Then check out my clip here:
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Me: Hey AG, you know where we're going later tonight?
AG: Uh, Tom's House?
Me: OK, OK, but after that?
AG: a bar?
Me: OK, right a bar but WHERE?
AG: I think it's in the East Village, right? Tom is that right?
Me: OK, OK but what more specifically?
AG: Um, near the Astor Place subway?
Me: OK, right, but WHAT STREET?
AG: Oh, the Bowery
Me: You mean THE BOOOOOOO-ERY!
(Everyone laughs hysterically)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Other Cab Driver (Middle Eastern Accent): Fuck youuuu! You fuckin' guy.
My Cab Driver (middle eastern accent): Fuck Youuu! You ugly
Other Cab Driver: No you ugly. Motherfucker. You take my fare
My Cab Driver: You ugly, you Osama Bin Laden. (Cab driver looks back for my approval)
Other Cab Driver: Son of a bitch!
My Cab Driver: Big... big dick! (makes a hand gesture of a big dick)
And with that, my cab driver sped off down Lexington Avenue. As the ride went on, we spoke a little about this and that, where I was going and why, etc. Then, after a brief lull in the conversation:
My Cab Driver (pensively): I should have said 'cunt'.... Eh, he probably wouldn't even have gotten it.
I don't know about you, but I take comfort in knowing that people from all walks of life are thinking about comedy neurotically
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Let me first say that I enjoyed Knocked Up and Superbad and to a lesser extent The Forty Year-Old Virgin. That being said, I have to say that Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen are getting, in my humble European opinion, a bit too much credit for their accomplishments.
As the Mainstream Media would have it, Apatow and Rogen are really "alternative" guys who write/produce "edgy" comedies, and this whole group's rise shows that "alternative" comedy is on the upswing. And the idea is "the losers become the winners!" in their movies, which is a new idea (supposedly)
But something That Girl's dad said yesterday struck me as very appropriate here- he was talking about how we often have this notion of premium cable shows (HBO, Showtime) versus network shows, with the premium cable shows Obviously pushing the boundaries by being far edgier and more alternative. Yet as he pointed out, when you think about it, most shows even on HBO or Showtime don't push any real boundaries - they may curse or have some sexual and drug content, but those are really faux boundaries. He's completely right- getting to say "fuck" or showing some boobs or a joint being smoked hardly qualifies as challenging, revolutionary television. The Upper Middle Class already sees these things as not a big deal. Truly revolutionary, challenging shows, like The Wire for instance, actually question some of the Upper Middle Class's basic assumptions - that our society's institutions more or less work, that segregation ended 50 years ago, etc.
Which brings me back to Rogen/Apatow. On the surface you have several aspects of their films that might make you think "hey, these guys are really doing something alternative." You've got drugs being smoked, porn being shown, unattractive protagonists with Jew fros, etc. But when you look one level beyond the surface you realize a few things. As mentioned above, the whole drugs/porn thing is something the Upper Middle Class long became comfortable with, and even America on the whole is not terribly bothered by it. And the unattractive/awkward protagonist always gets the hot blonde girl in the end, which is exactly what any male protagonist in a mainstream Hollywood movie wants. Then when you really look at the jokes, for every trenchant observation about society, there are 40 dick jokes that you might cringe at if put in another context.
As for any of this being new at all, see Revenge of the Nerds from the '80s, for instance (though Apatow's are of course a little more highbrow). What has really been questioned about contemporary American society at all in an Apatow/Rogen movie? All of the various issues can be boiled down to the basic point that in the end, all of the Apatow/Rogen characters kind of "get their weirdness beaten out of them" and end up conforming to society's standards of normalcy in order to get the girl. Not to mention the question of "are these characters actually that weird to begin with?" They like to smoke pot and watch porn, they are very horny, and they have a tight-knit group of male friends- I'd venture to say this covers about 70% of guys in their early 20s. At least the characters in Apatow/Rogen movies seem real and are not being laughed at - more than can be said about a lesser work like Napoleon Dynamite.
What would an actually "bold" comedy look like? Off the top of my head, South Park comes to mind
All of this is not to say that Weeds on television or Superbad on the big screen aren't good and funny. I think they are, i'm just saying they're not as "bold" as they are often perceived to be.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
"Similarly, Thomas had a well-known taste for the kind of extreme pornography Hill said he brought up with her. "Listening to her, it was as if I was listening to the guy I knew speak," said law school classmate Henry Terry. Washington lawyer Fred Cooke saw Thomas, while EEOC chairman, checking out a triple-X video of 'The Adventures of Bad Mama Jama', about the interracial sexcapades of an obese black woman."
For the Delino readership's pleasure, I present you with a link to the video cover for "The Adventures of Bad Mama Jama 2"- though I have to admit that real "BMJ" fans tell me the sequel doesn't really stack up to the original; it's kind of like the Matrix Reloaded of obese black woman interracial porn.
Next week: Which Strapping Septuagenarian does Rutabaga Ginsberg have a picture of tucked underneath her robe???
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
So as I sat in a diner this evening for a late dinner, I flipped open the Metro Section of this town's "finest newspaper"... only to be struck by the level to which that mainstream media rag The Washington Post has stooped to, in the hopes of more advertising greenbacks through SHAMELESS product placement...
Caption: Danny Jones, 15, spent three days in the hospital. He is still trying to regain full motion in his left arm. "It was terrifying," he says of the August attack.
In case you missed it, here are some helpful red ellipses to point out the "healing touch of mother's hand combined with the fresh, all-natural restorative power of Poland Spring."
If you (my fellow Zephyrhills Natural Spring Water fans) are as outraged as I am, by this blatant bias, I encourage you to contact Deborah Howell - Ombudsman for The Washington Post at at 202-334-7582 or at ombudsman[at]washpost.com.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
"I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer, no, no one. Alone. Where is my faith? even deep down right in there is nothing. I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart. I am told God loves me, and yet the reality of the darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul. Did I make a mistake in surrendering blindly to the Call of the Sacred Heart?"
OK, I'll cut through the theological mumbo-jumbo for you - Mother T. was down 'cause she wasn't gettin' freakay-freakay. I think someone could have used JDate...
UPDATE: I have just found out that MTizzle actually set up a JDate account but then backed out at the last second and never posted it- here is the info she filled out:
Friday, September 07, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
But I have the backstory here, which is that Dennis Miller almost didn't get the job, because his initial audition tape was deemed "too esoteric." I managed to get my hands on the audio portion of this tape, and I tend to disagree with that assessment, but I'll let my dear readers be the judges. Here is Dennis Miller's Grand Slam audition tape:
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?
So my friend Peter sent me a really funny video today on Youtube, from a TV show on the Sci-Fi network called Scare Tactics. If you haven't seen the show already... the basic idea is that so-called "accomplices" take their friends on certain activities, like going to the tanning salon, camping trips, or get them jobs as entertainers, etc. While the accomplices are in on the jokes, the friends, of course, are not. Each episode positions the "friend" in an extremely scary situation, where their death seems imminent. Hilarity ensues. Here's my point: I am appalled by how quickly people bail on their friends. That said, if I were in the same situation, I have no idea how I would respond, so perhaps I am judging them too harshly. However, in each instance, whether it was an alien abduction, Big Foot murdering people, or an escaped gorilla, every person that was being filmed had COMPLETE disregard for the welfare of their companion. Judge for yourself, how would you respond?
Here are two more examples:
Big Foot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlrU-BKk3lM
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
"In each of our recent investigations we've found men who have seen or heard about our "To Catch a Predator" shows and surprisingly, still show up to meet a young teen. I've gotten used to the fact that this will happen, but I have never seen anything like what happened in New Jersey.
There was actually one guy who came in and instantly recognized me. He told me that he was a religious "To Catch a Predator" viewer and that he never missed an episode. Before I could formulate my next question, he volunteered that he had heard me on a syndicated radio program and complimented me for doing a good job."
I have to say that this really isn't so surprising. Even if you knew you were about to be arrested for child molestation, wouldn't your first reaction be "Holy Shit it's Chris Hansen! Mega-baller! Actual God watches you all the time, he burned me a DVD of his favorite eps! Do the thing where you're like 'I'm Chris Hansen' - do it! Here's my question- what is the deal with the Decoy Girl? Is she an actor or something- do you put up a Craig's List ad for that shit, that must be weird? Does anyone have a camera I want to take a picture with Hansen? Wait what am I talking about there are three cameras right here filming us- duh!"
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Universal healthcare reform
It makes me warm
You tell the truth unlike the right
You can love but you can fight
You can Barack me tonight
I’ve got a crush on Obama
Well the real backstory is that - have you all seen Big Momma's House 2? Basically, what happened is that the latex makeup geniuses who made Martin Lawrence look like Grandmama applied the reverse process to our old pal political blogger Munz, making him look like a svelte brunette babe. Behind all that Latex, it is Munz singing those lines.
This is actually not Munz's family's first foray into the intersection of music and politics. I can't find it on YouTube now, but Munz's sister, Coretta Scott Munz, released a track in 1988 that was wildly popular. A lot of people actually blame the Dems' loss in '88 on Bob Shrum's decision not to use this as the campaign song:
You looked so good in that tank,
Yeah you can take that to the bank,
Tell George Bush to screw himself
But screw my bush yourself
please do bukakesss
with your cock-esss
on my stom-achs
p.s. in other political news, it turns out that Yasir Arafat died of the Super-AIDS. If only Beneficent Allah had warned him sooner!
Monday, July 16, 2007
"I want to remind the public that Dan is in a happy and healthy relationship with his girlfriend. And contrary to popular reports, Dan stocks his fridge with POLAND SPRING, a water he drinks while watching football and hunting deer. That is all."
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Volvic and Acqua Panna keep me pissy
Girls used to diss me
Now they write letters cause they miss me
Birthdays was the worst days
Now we sip Feej when we thirst-ay
So the "Juicy" remix was playing in my head in the shower this morning. I step out to dry off, walk to my window, and what do I see? A sign from the heavens...
"Tanks Gawd!!" I exclaimed. But before I went so far as to buy that truckload of Fiji bottles, I decided I'd listen to a debate over the societal benefit of Fiji water. On the Con side was a growing number of journalists and environmental activists. On the Pro side was Beneficent Allah. Here is how it went down--
Pablo Paster, Treehugger.com, CON:
Every bottle of Fiji Water goes on its own version of this trip, in reverse, although by truck and ship. In fact, since the plastic for the bottles is shipped to Fiji first, the bottles' journey is even longer. Half the wholesale cost of Fiji Water is transportation--which is to say, it costs as much to ship Fiji Water across the oceans and truck it to warehouses in the United States than it does to extract the water and bottle it.
That is not the only environmental cost embedded in each bottle of Fiji Water. The Fiji Water plant is a state-of-the-art facility that runs 24 hours a day. That means it requires an uninterrupted supply of electricity--something the local utility structure cannot support. So the factory supplies its own electricity, with three big generators running on diesel fuel. The water may come from "one of the last pristine ecosystems on earth," as some of the labels say, but out back of the bottling plant is a less pristine ecosystem veiled with a diesel haze.
Each water bottler has its own version of this oxymoron: that something as pure and clean as water leaves a contrail.
Beneficent Allah, beneficentallah.blogspot.com, PRO:
Feej is Straight Ballin', yo,
Espesh from tha Who-Fo!
Well, as you can see for yourselves, the winner of the debate was obvious. I bought the truckload of Fiji, and I'm sippin' one now 'cause I'm thirs-tay. The only sad part of this whole saga is that Biggie's lips never got to feel the refreshment of a cold Feej, since the company only started shipping to the U.S. in late 1997. R.I.P., Biggie -- I'll pour a couple millileters out for mah dead homie right now...
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
But we were recently discussing the idea of having insurance that paid back more than just the bare bones- it would pay you enough so that you'd be indifferent between a hurricane happening and one not happening. The newscaster would announce a hurricane warning and you'd be like (sarcastic voice) "Oh no! PLEASE don't let that HURRICANE hit, I'm SOOOO scared!"
This concept could be expanded even further; you'd get insured for any possible bad thing that could happen, and then you'd be completely fearless. "Oh, Mr. Bad Man, DON'T SODOMIZE me! You have AIDS too, oh NOW I'M REALLY FRIGHTENED". "Where's this train going? AUSCHWITZ? Nooo, PLEASE don't send me to AUSCHWITZ (wink at camera)" Come to think of it, that last one would make a good ad for Allstate Holocaust Insurance- "You're in good hands with Allstate"
"Ha Ha Ha! Fuck you America, I don't care anymore - I'll windsurf as much as I want!" screamed the Kerry-apparition. The Kerry apparition then bought a garlic press at Williams - Sonoma and
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
High/Low Chance of Horrific Sectarian Bloodshed Average Temp.
| 111°F |
| 111°F |
| 111°F |
| 112°F |
| 112°F |
| 114°F |
| 115°F |
| 117°F |
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
1. The Kids Aren't Alright >> The Offspring
2. Vietnow >> Rage Against the Machine
3. Swept Away >> Phish
4. What is Philosophy >> Bertrand Russell
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
The First Annual Tom Community Service Award. And the Tom Community Service Award goes to... JAMES SIMONS. If you read that Wikipedia page, you will learn that Mr. Simons is a major philanthropist to causes such as Autism research, education and the mathematical sciences. But that is not why he is receiving this award.
Mr. Simons is receiving this award from Tom because he was the highest-paid hedge fund manager of 2006, taking home $1.7 billion. Tom asks you, dear readers, what could be a bigger community service than making the markets more efficient? Answer- nothing! Now if only Mr. Simons would stop taking some of his money out of the markets to pay for this inefficient research and charity spending (we all know the market will take care of any diseases, scientific research and any other social ill or need- DUH!), he would have this award locked up for years to come! And as Beneficent Allah might put it, being a balla is a service to the community.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Read Any Good Books Lately?
From top left, Eric Brandon, Dave Eggers, Ursula K. Le Guin, Dan Berger, Edwidge Danticat, Alex Jacob, Tom Lehman, Richard Berger.
We asked a handful of bloggers what books they’ve enjoyed most over the last few months, and why. Their choices — from best sellers to poetry collections to a philosophy of science — are idiosyncratic and instructive.
“The Gotti Diet: How I Took Control of My Body, Lost 80 Pounds, and Discovered How to Stay Fit Forever” by Frank Gotti Agnello: Great suspense and New York ambience, headlong pace, brilliant dialogue.
“Hot Italian Dish: A Cookbook” by Victoria Gotti: It’s hilarious in a “Catch-22” way, but with an undercurrent of sadness that works counterpoint to all the absurdity.
These are both wonderful “summer reads.”
Joseph and Hadassah Lieberman, “An Amazing Adventure: Joe and Hadassah's Personal Notes on the 2000 Campaign” For a long while now, Senator Lieberman has been writing some of the greatest poetry-cum-prose you can find in American literature. “An Amazing Adventure” does to the contemporary political-industrial complex what James Agee did to poverty — it reacts passionately and lyrically (and idiosyncratically) to a sociopolitical abomination. This book, while angry and sorrowful and bewildered, has humor, constant levity and candor, and countless moments of incredible beauty.
“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. The kind of work that makes you gently worry for the author’s mental health. This collection of stories manages to crawl back on my nightstand no matter how many times I try to return it to the stacks. Subjects include a girlfriend with some glandular difficulties — she turns into a fat, short, hairy man at night — and parents who shrink as their son grows. Brown lives in The Vatican City, a country with its share of grief and uncertainty, but his tales are oddly buoyant, not to mention supremely addictive.
“A Night Without Armor: Poems” by Jewel. Jewel, one of the most dizzyingly accomplished of our writers, delivers that rarely spotted animal, a literary drama about families that is also a page-turner. Few writers can tread the oft-explored terrain of class and race with the sophistication, grace and wit of this author. “A Night Without Armor” explores the difficult friendship between two Barnard students in the 1960s; it also contains some of the most moving and devastating prison scenes to ever appear in American literature.
“Naming and Necessity” by Saul A. Kripke. One of the world's literary masterpieces. Probably most of us come to feel what the text suggests: that we contain more potential lives than real life permits us to realize; that imagination is both blessing and curse; that idealism offers both vindication and mockery; and that art's particularity liberates such generalizations (and, perhaps, people themselves) from the empire of platitude.
“Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” by L. Ron Hubbard (coming this fall). This brilliant portrait of an artist as a dying young man fictionalizes the last days of Stephen Crane and also contains a novel Crane never quite got around to — the chronicle of a disastrous love affair between a wealthy banker and a “painted boy” in turn-of-the-century New York. With a sure hand Hubbard ranges over the twin tragedies of love and death, while gleefully roasting literary luminaries like Henry James and Joseph Conrad.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Ideas for future season hunks: Goran Ivanisevic,
Hat tip to STM
Friday, May 25, 2007
Norman Chad: So Al, how does it feel to win the World Series of Poker? The BIG ONE! The Big Kahuna!
Al: Pretty good, I guess.
Norman Chad: And now our very own Monica Starwood will put the silver bracelet on Alex's wrist.
(Enter Monica Starwood- stunning blond bombshell who has a ton of cleavage showing. She has an ample bosom and is literally spilling out of her dress)
Al: Looks like the Dairy Section is open.
Al wearing a "Looks like the Dairy Section is open" T-shirt, holding a "Looks like the Dairy Section is open" mug, smiling and giving a thumbs up. The catchprase has
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Ms. Florida (former Ms. South Carolina, future America's Hottest Mom contest winner)
Since Dan has been too consumed in his Urban Planning studies to post Bulgarian Member of Parliament Babes of the Month recently, I am temporarily creating a new feature called "State Governors' First Lady Babes of the Month." This month's babe is Kelly Crosby Heyniger. She speaks English, she's not married and she's an actress - Dan, go for it man!
Monday, May 21, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Finnegan (shirtless, has a German accent for some reason): I am Dahn, and I am hee-ah to pump (clap) YOU UP!
Upper East Side Trophy Wife (UESTW): Fantastic! So I was thinking we'd do a little treadmill and then maybe some Stairmast...
Finnegan: No cahhdio! You will lift two refrigeratahs! One in each hand!
UESTW: Sweetie, on my diet I barely open a refrigerator- haha!
Finnegan: Stop it! Stop whining! I vill staht you out with just one fridge!
(Finnegan places a fridge in UESTW's hands. She promptly drops to the floor due to the weight. She is writhing on the floor, with the fridge on top of her)
Finnegan: Goood. Now do foo-ahty reps- GO!
UESTW: AHHH!! I can't lift it off me! Ahhh it hurts! You fucking asshole, why did you do that?
Finnegan: Do you think I CHOSE to hand you daat fridge?
UESTW: No one put a fucking gun to your head so yeah! Goddamnit, I can't feel my fucking toes!
Finnegan: NONSENSE! They-ah is no such thing as free will! All of the following four statements jibe with intuition but at least vahn of them must be false on pain of contradiction:
(1) Vee have free will.(4) is simply an instance of ze law of ze excluuded middle. If you-ah prepared to deny (4)...you-ah not actually prepared to deny (4), vatever you-ah protestations. You live by assuming de law of de excluuuded middle.
(2) If the uuuniverse is deterministic, vee don't have free will.
(3) If the uuuniverse is indeterministic, vee don't have free will.
(4) The uuuniverse is either deterministic or indeterministic.
UESTW: FUCK! SO MUCH PAIN! Alright, I want to get this fridge off of me, so I have decided I'm going to do it and I can do it!
Finnegan: Vaht! Have you been listening? I am in de middle of proooving you have no free will! You have no decisions to make! Let me continuuue... So vahn of (1)-(3) has got to be false. But (2) and (3), while not truths of logic alone, look pretty sound. The denial of (2) and (3) is compatibilism, and to cut a long stooory short, it doesn't vork. So that leaves (1). It's not in whole or in part a truuuth of logic. It's not a statement with any empirical confirmation of ze sort admissible in science behind it. It's an intuuuition, just an intuuuition. "It's not just an intuition," squeals ze freeee-vill dogmatist. "I actually have ze expeeerience of acting freely." Indeed.
UESTW: See - uhhhh....(drifting in an out of consciousness) .... there is free will
Finnegan: STOP INTERRUPTING MEEE- YOU HAVE ZEE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRENGTH OF A SMALL CRUSTACEAN! (composing himself) And many people do not have zat experience, after reflecting on it just as thoroughly as zee upholders of freee-will. And vat's more, given zee absence of free vill, dee alternative theories do indeed predict zee datum of the experience of free will. If duh uuuniverse is deterministic, then zee laws of nature and zee states of fundamental pahhhticles at duh time of zee Big Bang determine zat in 2006, Peter Johnston vill have zee experience of having free vill. If zee universe is indeterministic, then by quantum coin flip, Peter Johnston had zee expeeerience of having free will. Zee expeeerience anyone has of having free will is therefoo-ah uttahhly irrelevant as evidence for or against it. So de intuition is just raw assertion.
UESTW: Please... Call an ambulance... I beg of you...
Finnegan: Veey-ah ahh you-ah mannahs, little lady? So it might have utilitarian backing of some sort---pehhaps societies flooorish vhere belief in zee existence of free will is dominant---but zat tells us nothing about vhether or not free vill exists. Hence, of (1)-(4), (2) (3) and (4) have varying degreeees of objective backing, (1) has none. And vuhn of (1)-(4) must be false. So the only varranted conclusion is zat (1) is false. QED.
(Finnegan lifts the refrigerator off of UESTW and throws it aside. He helps UESTW up so she is standing now)
UESTW: Oh... my... God! You have taught me so much, Dan. You're right, I DON'T have free will. And despite my complaints, what a great workout too! I must have burned 500 calories under that fridge. How much do I owe you?
Finnegan: It is twooo hundred dollahhs- to be paid in eithahh cash oo-ah in protein shakes and philosophy textbooks!
(UESTW pays Finnegan $200 cash)
Finnegan (nudging UESTW): Tell all ya friends to CHOOSE me foo-ah they-ah training needs!
(Finnegan and UESTW have a hearty laugh together)
(Finnegan snaps UESTW over his knee)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Serbian Woman who just got off boat: Vat... heat... today?
Retarded Congolese boy: HOTTTT!! Ice cweam!
FBI Undercover Agent: So you guys want to blow up an American Army Base? Right, right. (nudges)
Serbian Woman who just got off the boat: Vat? Amereeeca- yes!
FBI Undercover Agent: And you're going to blow up this army base for Allah, right, right? (nudges)
Retarded Congolese boy: All.... ahboard! TWAIN!!!
FBI Undercover Agent: That's it, you're under arrest for plotting terrorist activities!
Monday, May 07, 2007
NB: This could actually be a Fox News tidbit as part of their frighteningly large "rich white people are society's victims" beat
Friday, May 04, 2007
But I'm not the only junkie around the blogosphere. When I was staying with him in LA, AG and I got up extra early to watch Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (AG AG - interesting) testify before the Senate. Here is a poem I wrote inspired by those events:
Twas the night before Alberto Gonzales's testimony, when all through the house
Not a gadget was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the TV with care,
In hopes that Alberto soon would be there, live via satellite from Washington, DC.
The bloggers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Monica Goodling danced in their heads.
And AG in his ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long spring's nap.
When right on the TV there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Close to the screen I flew like a flash,
Turned the volume up high and my joint i ashed.
The California sun made the plants outside grow,
giving the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the Attorney General, his face full of fear.
His eyes darted around, so lively and fast,
I knew in a moment it must be the White House Counsel from the past.
More rapid than eagles his inquisitors they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Leahy! now, Feingold! now, Kohl and Cardin!
Now Feinstein! Now, Schumer! Now Kennedy and Biden!
I'm giving my best, my best effort to stall!
But please stop your questions, please stop them all!"
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as smooth as the snow.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He sprang to his SUV, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Merry Senate Testimony to all, and to all a good-night!"