"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that all stupid people are conservative."
- J.S. Mill
This just in:
Nice piece on the erosion of America's credibility in the world, and the bizarre
behavior of the press.
The Friedman camp's reasoning on "lies don't matter" is that Saddam
Hussein was such a miserable bastard that taking him out was worthy in and
of itself. As a human rights supporter all these years, I made that argument,
too. I even made it when the Reagan administration was giving Saddam WMDs.
But that was not the case made by President Bush. He said Saddam Hussein
was a clear and present danger who posed an imminent threat to the United
The reason Bush could not make the human rights case against Saddam Hussein
(as Tony Blair did) is because we're still supplying other monsters with weaponry.
There's a good interview
with Bill Maher over on AudioBooksToday.com.
On the book "When you Ride Alone, you Ride with Bin
The title and the poster on the cover is a direct lift from a WWII poster
that said, “When you ride alone you ride with Hitler,” because
they were trying to get people to carpool. That message is as relevant today.
Oil is certainly as much of a weapon in this war, because the people who are
attacking us are definitely funded by oil. Drugs do not fund them, as the
administration would want you to believe.
...I don’t know if you saw the most recent Redmond/Hart report but
Gary Hart and William Redmond put out the original terrorism report in March
of 2001, six months before the attack. They said basically, “We’re
going to get attacked. We have to get our shit together and we’ve got
to do it now,” and of course no one paid attention. They put out another
report [in December, 2002], which did not get the banner headlines it should
have in the newspapers, but it was reported and what that report said was,
“Now it’s after 9/11 and we’re still not doing anything.
Nothing has changed.” It’s so maddening that people in America
are not outraged. One of the posters says, “What has to happen?”
...the thing about this book is that there are a lot of things that the
people who buy Ann Coulter’s book [“Slander: Liberal Lies about
the American Right.”] would love. They would love that last essay which
is titled “Not Just Different,” which says that the United States
is not just different, it’s better. As much as I criticize this country,
let’s not lose sight of the fact that representative democracy and freedom
of religion and rule of the law and equality of the sexes and free speech,
these things are better than beheadings and stonings and autocracy and no
free speech and keeping women in those bee keeper suits and all the other
stuff that we see around the world. It’s a very sort of cold-eyed defense
of why America is the greatest country.
I wrote it because I get annoyed when I hear sentimental justifications for
why we’re the greatest country. You don’t need to sentimentalize
it or trivialize it. There are reasons why we’re the greatest country,
but we have to live up to them. We have to live up to the free speech part.
We have to live up to the part that says we’re so generous and we’re
a charitable nation, when the truth is we’re not. I do think we’re
the greatest country, but I also totally understand why people hate us.
On comedy as communication:
My favorite moment in any show is when I say things where I can feel the
audience withdrawing, when I bring up the premise and then I say the joke
and they laugh. And when they laugh they have to sort of examine the way they
feel about it because it was involuntary; they didn’t think they were
going to do it. Anybody can get up there and confirm prejudices. It’s
a lot more satisfying to unsettle people’s prejudices and challenge
them and say things that make them reexamine who they are and what they believe.
A lot of people don’t want to hear this shit about “get rid of
your SUV.” They love their SUV. But when you make the case and you make
them laugh, you can turn them around.
Bill's also got his own site,
with lots of reviews, articles and message boards.
I'm just shy of 2/3 of the way through Arnheim's "The
Power of the Center." It's a chewy read, but I'm definitely getting
a lot out of it. This is the kind of book that will yield even more on the second
and third time through.
Sitting on the subway yesterday, I noticed a square poster for LavaLife, and
began to apply some of what I'd read in the book --
The poster features a man and a woman sitting in two chairs, seemingly doing
separate activities, but definitely interested in each other. The man's sideways
posture suggests that he's interested, but not overt. Both of them are holding
newspapers, and she's also holding a coffee cup, suggesting that they're still
being a bit coy about approaching each other. They're making it look like they're
doing something other than checking each other out. The poster illustrates the
curiosity and attraction of the two without resorting to text.
The square shape imposes powerful constraints on composition. There are four
very strong vectors that come into play, just by virtue of the shape: up/down
(which also implies gravity), right/left, and the two diagonals starting in
the upper left and the upper right respectively. The poster also suggests a
dimension of depth by using scaling to suggest that the woman is sitting closer
to the viewer than the man. Her direct gaze draws the viewer into the composition.
The center of the image is actually empty, which creates a kind of tension
that emphasizes the two characters, and exerts a pull on them toward each other.
Their heads are located on the two diagonal axes, and the vertical center axis
is reinforced by the line of the back of the man's chair and the right edge
of the headline text.The outlines of the chairs slightly overlap, alluding perhaps
to the possibility of physical contact.
Their smiles curve toward each other, further enhancing the sense of attraction.
The atmosphere is established by a trail of stars that seem to waft from her
to him. There are also what appear to be faint beams of light washing over him
toward her. These beams roughly follow the diagonal from the upper right, and
return the eye back to her. The eye motion within the poster is largely circular
and clockwise. While the poster is mostly about the interaction of the two,
the setting illustrates a complete space -- I imagine it's a coffee shop or
a similar setting. You can clearly make out the two chairs, the table she's
sitting at, and the back of a person walking away from them.
Aah - Inspiration.
sent me a link to this
blog. It's an instant visual kick in the pants. Skimming the first couple
of entries, I'm interested. Might become one of my regulars.
Technology so correct...
I had to laugh when I spell-checked this entry. The dictionary flagged "shit"
as being misspelled.
I finished the principle construction of my friend's jewelry website yesterday.
I'm happy with how it's turning out. There are a few minor adjustments to make
before it goes live - edits, adding a missing picture and so forth, but the
major part of the work is done.
See it spin
"I am loath to think of an aircraft carrier being used as an advertising
backdrop for a presidential political slogan, and yet that is what I saw."...
"I do not begrudge his salute to America's warriors aboard the carrier
Lincoln, for they have performed bravely, ... but I do question the motives
of a desk-bound president who assumes the garb of a warrior for the purposes
of a speech."
- Senator Robert Byrd of West VA.
Ari Fleischer: "[Byrd's criticisms are] a disservice to the men and women
of our military who deserved to be thanked in person... Senator Byrd is a patriot,
but on this we disagree."
was a good show. Thank goodness Bill Maher has not reformed since being bounced
off ABC for being politically incorrect about acknowledging that being willing
to fly an aircraft into a building is not exactly a cowardly act. You can call
it a lot of things, but cowardly
is not one of them.
Yes, he says he'd have said it differently, if he'd thought about it, but it
was an off the cuff remark, just as Ari Fleischer's comment that "people
need to start watching what they say" was. He was surprisingly generous
toward Ari, saying that he'd give Ari a pass on that comment. Bill, on the other
hand, was the first to get "Dixie-Chicked."
Speaking of which, two DJs in Colorado Springs were suspended for playing Dixie
Chicks music in spite of the Station Manager's ban. Even though the station
has received a couple of hundred calls and 75% favored playing the music, the
manager had this to say:
"They made it very clear that they support wholeheartedly the president
of the United States. They support wholeheartedly the troops, the military.
But they also support the right of free speech..."
"I gave them an alternative: stop it now and they'll be on suspension,
or they can continue playing them and when they come out of the studio they
won't have a job."
"Most stations are starting to play them again... I just have a problem
with the way this was done... we'd like to do it on our terms."
Is he really making an argument against the right of free speech? Is he ignoring
the majority of his audience? It's clear that he likes to be in control of the
agenda, and he uses money to do it.