Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If, hypothetically..

.. you were to pick a name for a black female lab, what would it be?

Some ideas ..

Olive / Olivia (black)
Diesel (black)
Poppy (black)
Coco (black.. ish)
Sasha (nickname for the female version of my name and, ugh, yes, the Obama daughter)

Any others?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Morning Kristolism.

On a regular Monday, this would have been the highlight of my morning subway ride to work:
"Conservatives have been right more often than not — and more often than liberals — about most of the important issues of the day: about Communism and jihadism, crime and welfare, education and the family. Conservative policies have on the whole worked — insofar as any set of policies can be said to “work” in the real world. Conservatives of the Reagan-Bush-Gingrich-Bush years have a fair amount to be proud of."
'Huh?' I thought, not knowing how to respond to that strange assertion.  And as I was getting all worked up about it, I noticed what became the real highlight, at least for me.

This is William Kristol’s last column.

I just hope that Billy K will be replaced by someone just as ridiculous, or else my Monday mornings will be much less exciting.  Or, who knows, maybe Times can find a conservative columnist who is not an ideologue?  Apparently, the paper has "some interesting plans".. How phenomenal would it be if they hired the pseudo-conservative Sullivan?  

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crying on the Subway

After listening to this.

"A good friend will tell their friends when they make a mistake. They will never give them a carte blanche to do whatever they want."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Real New Year.

Somehow it hit me today - while watching Jon Stewart's Credits for the Last Eight Years and reading Vanity Fair's Oral History of the Bush White House - that this is what I was subconsciously waiting for to consider 2008 over: the inauguration.  In a strange way, the year was a spectacular crescendo of those eight years, so it felt like it was still lingering until that presidency was finally over.  So, here's to a belated New Year.

Frankly, the inauguration doesn't make me as emotional as do the memories of the last eight years, triggered by the VF article linked above.  The period just ended and it's already so unbelievable what happened.. that it happened.  Some of it had already faded quite a bit, so reading about it is almost like catharsis of a long forgotten trauma.  More than anything, it makes me hope that the desire to move on and go forward doesn't triumph the crucial need for examining, investigating, and, yes, prosecuting.  

On an unrelated note, go see Justin Bond at Le Poisson Rouge.  As I was listening to him on Sunday, it occurred to me that in the event the world suffers from the vanishing of creative inspiration that the W presidency gifted the arts, the crappy economy, gender politics and ethnic wars will surely pick up the slack, so, you know, phew.  Not that any of those are particularly important in JBo's performance.. more just a random thought.  And in case you're wondering, that dress is made of pieces of tranny porn, courtesy of Machine Dazzle.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

America Anonymous.

Last night I went to a panel discussion about a book that my friend Brian is doing publicity for, America Anonymous by Benoit Denizet-Lewis.  In case you don't know him, some of you may remember feeling inadequate after reading his article about gay marriage in Massachussets in the NYTimes Magazine.  Anyway, the book is a good and interesting read and if you need a bit of a sneak preview, there's a piece that Benoit wrote for the Times last week about his sex addiction.

"I never kept my addiction secret from guys I had relationships with, and I was surprised by how little it seemed to faze them. When I told one boyfriend, he said, “Oh, aren’t all guys sort of addicted to sex?” It was only when I cheated on them for the third time, or slipped out of bed while they were sleeping to have phone sex with a stranger in the kitchen, that the seriousness of my addiction sunk in for them."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Morning Kristolism.

In our return to regularly scheduled programming, I recommend you go read today's column from Bill Kristol. 

Personally, I can't blog about Israel/Gaza.  There are too many things I don't know and too many people I don't want to offend by broadcasting my ill-informed half-baked opinion.  I also almost wrote that besides, it is none of my fucking business .. but seeing that my tax dollars are indirectly funding this war, that's not quite true, but I will let that go.

That mechanism, however, doesn't prevent Mr. Kristol from voicing his opinion.  Consider this: 
But Israel — assuming it succeeds — is doing the United States a favor by taking on Hamas now.
The huge challenge for the Obama administration is going to be Iran. If Israel had yielded to Hamas and refrained from using force to stop terror attacks, it would have been a victory for Iran. If Israel were now to withdraw under pressure without accomplishing the objectives of severely weakening Hamas and preventing the reconstitution of a terror-exporting state in Gaza, it would be a triumph for Iran. In either case, the Iranian regime would be emboldened, and less susceptible to the pressure from the Obama administration to stop its nuclear program.

But a defeat of Hamas in Gaza — following on the heels of our success in Iraq — would be a real setback for Iran. It would make it easier to assemble regional and international coalitions to pressure Iran. It might positively affect the Iranian elections in June. It might make the Iranian regime more amenable to dealing.

With respect to Iran, Obama may well face — as the Israeli government did with Hamas — a moment when the use of force seems to be the only responsible option. But Israel’s willingness to fight makes it more possible that the United States may not have to.
Even though he's no expert on the Middle East or anything remotely close to it, he has some pretty strong views about the current conflict.  I want to envy him his certainty; however, I suspect that in this case certainty is almost surely a sign of ignorance.  

Finally, just one more thing from the column:
An Israeli success in Gaza would be a victory in the war on terror — and in the broader struggle for the future of the Middle East. Hamas is only one manifestation of the rise, over the past few decades, of a terror-friendly and almost death-cult-like form of Islamic extremism. 
A manifestation.  So basically, we are treating a symptom..  Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this logic?

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Thinking about '08 in the movies, I am not sure how accurate my impression is, but it is this:  the year was a strange split between (a) cartoon and superhero movies (Batman, Ironman) (b) silly comedies (the Apatow bunch) and (c) little indie movies that could (Vicky Christina Barcelona, Slumdog Millionaire).  Oh, and the obligatory Bond movie.

I had always considered indie=good a terrible cliche.  There are things to be appreciated in the first two categories of movies.  The stunning thing is that it seems that the big studios completely gave up on any ambition to make movies with lasting substance, as if outsourcing that whole bit to the smaller production houses.  Which, I supposed is totally fine, as long as there's a way for obscure film makers to patch together funding to make movies.  I am just annoyed I have to go to old dirty subterranean Angelika to see them.

All of which is to say, Slumdog is as good as everyone says it is, and better.  For me, above all, it was a spectacular production of a terrific script.  Funnily, it closes with a Bollywood dance, as if to make light of all the horrific images of India which I suspect are truer to form than the movie would need you to believe.   And that's the clever thing about Slumdog:  it is not trying to make a statement about India or serve as a critique.  Instead, it is a love story, with the country - raw and ugly - as its backdrop.