Friday, January 30, 2009

Concern trolling after Bush

It's now reflexive to be pessimistic about Democrats' ability to get and keep power, as evidenced by letters on Salon's assessment of Republicans obstructing successful Democratic governance. searafin writes:

Wishful thinking, Mike

Mike Madden wrote: “That is, of course, exactly what Democrats want voters to remember when they go to the polls in 2010 -- that the Republicans' first instinct was to stand between Obama's agenda and success.”

Wishful thinking, Mike. Obama and the Dems now OWN the recession. If they solve it with this massive bailout credit goes to them and Obama. If they don’t blame goes to them and Obama. 1st real test will be 2010. If the Dems lose the House (they will NOT lost the Senate regardless) Obama is in deep doo-doo. This was a smart move on the GOP part, hang the whole thing around Obama, Pelosi, Reid et al. Removes W from the picture, although he was one big spender too and on stuff like the OTHER bail-out in October that did nothing.

The answer? Well if 2010 spells the doom of the Dems in the House I think Obama is smart enough to work with the GOP in a meaningful way and eliminate most taxes which will spur growth and bring back the economy. Obama will then win in 2012.

Solving the recession falls 100% to him now, and Reid and Pelosi.

The other issue that could screw him up is terror...if we get attacked again ala 9-11 he is toast. Especially if the terrorist is one of the clowns down in Gitmo.

READ THIS!!! SOME OF YOU SALON BLOGGERS…are crazy and sound like murderous dogs. When you advocate knifing someone and killing someone over political views you need to check yourself into a place where they can help you, or change your medication. You might hurt someone someday and end up in jail, not a good place. Relax, learn to think and speak and write like adults, not bratty children or stupid criminals. I know you get all hot and emotional and are yelling a lot but take it easy, go for a walk, relax. It’s only politics and you don’t know who is reading this. If the Secret Service gets wind of you calling for violence against one the folks they protect you might find yourself standing tall before a judge explaining why you wrote such creepy stuff
So even when Democrats win they lose. Concern trolling was cute in 2000, but the 08 elections were no briar patch for Republicans.

"Eliminate most taxes?" Ha! I get it! Continue breaking the government like the Republicans have, and you're assured to look smart in the future.

I certainly agree, though, that Democrats are going to have their hands full trying to unshit the bed they inherited. Cynics with self-fulfilling prophecies are children who won't take a look around and realize that being clever and knowing might be a good way to get in a zinger, but doesn't fix any problems at all.

What will contrarians do when the cw starts to have some relation to reality?

A black woman hosting a show aimed at a general audience

I have become a huge fan of The Soup. It's all the fun of terrible TV combined into a weekly digest, so you don't have to watch it. Its current host, Joel McHale, does a great job and I always end up laughing out loud when I watch the show. The show was previously called Talk Soup, and was hosted by Aisha Tyler, who Bust is hosting for a night of comedy.

When was the last time you saw a television show hosted by a woman of color that was aimed at an audience that was not primarily women? Maybe when Aisha Tyler hosted Talk Soup.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MTV, I do not trust you

I was pleased but alarmed to see that MTV has picked up a few episodes of "How's Your News?" a news show made by people with developmental disabilities. I first heard about How's Your News? from an episode of This American Life, where they pointed out that you rarely hear directly from people with developmental disabilities. You hear about them, not from them. MTV's HYN looks like it will have a reality TV-like setup, so probably by using devices like video diaries, we'll hear from HYN's reporters directly.

Says MTV's website about the show:
Our 6 episode series has the adventurous spirit of Jackass, combined with the music and quirky comedy of The Monkees.
On the one hand, I'm pretty impressed that they would compare HYN to Jackass, showing a level of comfort with difference that many can't seem to muster when it comes to developmental disabilities. The stars of HYN are different than most of the people who will watch, but this implies that potential audience discomfort isn't going to get in the way of HYN having a sense of humor.

On the other, I fear for what typical viewers of MTV would think of HYN, and especially what they might call it, colloquially.

On the third hand, if the show were horribly insulting, I doubt that its stars would have given it the ok for airing. I'll admit that I have in the past been very impressed by MTV shows like True Life and Made*.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pleasant surprises

You guys, we really have a Democratic president. As I was walking out the door this morning, NPR was talking about how Obama's putting an end to the global gag rule, and that the FDA is approving stem cell research, and and and uh, something else I don't remember.

I am extremely pleased with the tough rebuke of torture we've seen so far. I was waiting to get disappointed on the global gag rule thing, but wow, I was wrong! I saw this video a few months ago (I think) and thought it was very good, but my hopes weren't high enough that I wanted to post it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Be careful what you wish for

Readers of BoingBoing are really threatened by the idea of not owning their books, but having access to the information in them through, say, the internet. People keep asking "But what if the power goes out and someone wants to censor stuff?" Well, if the power goes out, we're kind of boned anyway, people. You'd like to read your book after 4:30 pm in February? Too bad, no light.

What I'm really concerned about is this:

I don't often make jokes on this blog, so I should explain that I don't think it's completely paranoid to believe that centralizing all media would be dangerous, but there are a lot of things we take for granted when it comes to accessing media that we already have. Oh, and I'm stealing a joke from Futurama. I couldn't find a video clip, but if you've seen the segment to which I'm referring, you'll recognize the image from it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes, We Can Swoon

I had planned on going down to the law school with Andy to watch the inauguration speech, but I couldn't convince my body that being awake before 8:30 was in its favor whatsoever. We piped hulu into the teevee and curled up on the couch to watch the proceedings, and then made some breakfast. I thought it was a horrible misuse to have Aretha Franklin sing "My Country 'Tis of Thee." Her hat was totally sweet, though. hulu was depending on Fox News' coverage of the event, and I was a little startled to hear the announcer speak of the new president as "Barack H. Obama." To contrast, W. was "George Walker Bush."

I wonder which middle name is going to live in infamy longer...

It was really a wonderful moment, and I thought his speech was good and inspiring, but not one of his best. To think that John McCain would have deprived the nation of this moment; I'll bet he feels kind of dumb now.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hmm, maple bar or abortion donut? My doctor suggests the one with RU486 sprinkles, but I'm just not sure about it.

Emily Douglas of RH Reality Check caught a great wingnut overreaction today, where the American Life League is worried that Krispy Kreme is supporting the pro-choice cause by offering a free donut to any customer on Inauguration Day.

Sez ALL:


The following is a statement from American Life League president Judie Brown:

"The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama's radical support for abortion on demand - including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20. [...]

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Doing my female humorist homework

Moscow's public library is terrible; I knew that before, but I hoped it had gotten better since I last . went there. When I saw Guns, Germs and Steel on the new books rack, I knew I was in a real no-man's land. I've never taken advantage of its networking with other local libraries, but when the only book I could get excited enough about was Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore, I had to request a couple of books from area libraries. When Gore's book first came out in '04, (and who wasn't sick to death of Gores by then?) I didn't even consider reading it. But then I started watching Futurama, and figured that she had some good humor cred from that. I was afraid it would be a Primary Colors-esque satire of the Clinton administration that would fly over my head, since I was pretty young during that era. I'm a couple of chapters in, and it seems so far like run-of-the-mill self-deprecating female humor set on Capitol Hill. (She goes to work with two different shoes on! How outrageous!)

I've never actually read anything Dorothy Parker wrote, so since my book arrived today, I'm about to start.

In the same vein of audacious female authors, I got ahold of Emily Hahn's autobiography. I read and was very moved by a biography of her a few years ago, but I'd rather get the story in her own voice. I'm wary of her colonialist adventures in Congo (I believe) and Hong Kong, but if I can't stand some racism in my white, 20th century female authors, I'm cutting out a huge amount of potential reading.

I'm going to get a card to use the UI library, which is really very decent, and could use some recommendations, since there are so many books I should have read by now and have not. I had a borrower's card for UI a few years ago, but was so embarrassed that I lost a book of theirs that I never went back.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Good cop/bad cop

I really really liked Amanda Marcotte's post about what liberals are projecting onto Obama. A comment there got me thinking about how easily politicians can play good cop/bad cop with the public. Obama did it with "change," and had a perfect bad cop to play off of. Commenter Andrew says:

Honestly, what everything since the election has really reinforced for me is how much I would never ever ever want that job.

I am not up to that level of responsibility. I’m not sure anyone is. Of course Obama will disappoint people from time-to-time. Of course he’ll make mistakes.

George W. Bush didn’t make mistakes. The - oops! - lack of WMD in Iraq? A “disappointment.” Abu Ghraib? A “disappointment.”

One of the things I like best about Obama is his apparent willingness to say “I made a bone-headed mistake.” To learn from errors, to adjust his preconceptions when reality intrudes.

I don’t mind a President making mistakes or disappointing people. I mind a President pretending (or worse still, honestly believing) that the mistakes never happened, that nobody was disappointed, that reality didn’t have a different opinion.

The one thing I really hope Obama does, and the one thing I think will really combat cynicism, is simply being honest about things, including mistakes. To say “this is what I’d *like* to do; this is what we *can* do.”

People actually like being leveled with.

"We're wearing the same uniform, but I'm not like that guy. I am like you, so listen to me."

The act works on me almost always, so I find it particularly insidious and unkind.

As to when/how Obama will disappoint: I've grown up with no reason to believe that a president will or can do much to make this country into what I think it can and should be. I'm open to a pleasant surprise, and will consider it one if he delivers on eliminating don't ask don't tell. I am pretty comfortable believing that Obama can't possibly be as bad as Bush. I always said that a random number generator would make a better president than Bush: it would at least be right sometimes, instead of wrong every time. He has a worse track record than a broken clock.

Insight into constrictive heteronormativity FAIL

Oh failblog, why do you have to do this to me?