Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's next... War is Peace?

Now that the dust is starting to settle and at least one head is rolling following the phony FEMA press conference, I'm thinking that the Bush administration probably provided an invaluable service to journalism instructors everywhere. Of course, one hopes that it will always fall under the category of what not to do.

The news item that slipped by most of the English language media that most concerns me is the report that US Border Patrol agents were at the evacuation centers in Southern California looking for people without documents.

For those of you not in California, remember that a million people at one time or another had to flee the fires --at times leaving with no more than the shirts on their backs, sometimes in the dead of night. lf you were to turn your pockets inside out at this very moment, how would you be able to prove that you were in the country legally?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"I find it tedious to detail the savagery of the enemy..." -Ann Coulter*

NPR reported today on the proliferation of cluster bombs used in the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah rebels in Lebanon.

Most Americans are as yet unaware that the US government was the source of these cluster bombs as part of our $2.2 billion support in military aid. That's $21 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

So you, as it would turn out, are a terrorist. At the least, you --through your government-- are the reason that 'they' hate us. Among the most noted manufacturer of cluster bombs in the US is Alliant Techsystems of Hopkins, Minnesota. Their product doesn't exactly fall out under the category of Minnesota nice, does it?

As it turns out, most of the unexploded ordnance is about the size of a D battery.
In Viet Nam, some 300 people are still being killed every year from unexploded cluster bombs-- 30 years after the war ended! There are millions of them, scattered in fields and roads and even around houses, schools and hospitals, all over the world in over 70 countries. And all this time you thought the US was just giving out powdered milk or candy bars.

For those of you not faint of heart who can stomach the gruesome sight of children with amputated limbs, click on the header at the top for a link to the Cluster Munition Coalition.

*as quoted by the LA Times during remarks made Wednesday at USC. Ann Coulter was wearing that same old tired past-its-expiration date black cocktail dress that she's worn once too many times.
Halloween isn't until next week! Is that a Freudian cry for help or what? Seriously, girl, that dress is like week-old fish! The vampire drag queen prostitutes in my neighborhood dress better. Someone needs to do an intervention on her, but that's a subject for another day.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Turn off a light tonight, and pick up a book on November 1

My first thought was to suggest that fans send in their own scripts for their favorite television programs in light of the looming writers' strike.

Now, however, I'm more inclined to suggest that we all teach the giant conglomerates that own the networks a lesson by turning off the television set altogether, and pick up a book. Better yet, go to a reading at your local independent bookstore or library. Heck, do both. This is America, after all, and more is better.

The LA Public Library is offering an incredible array of lectures, readings, panels, performances and exhibitions. ALOUD at Central Library has enough going on over the next few months that I wont miss watching television ...maybe by then they'll have even caught up on filming all the Lost episodes for the season.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lights Out LA

Image: Dark Sky Association

This Saturday night, between 8 and 9 pm, the lights will go out in buildings across the country -and around the world- to focus on light pollution and energy conservation. Hopefully, I'll get home from the Miracle Mile Art Walk in time before the trannie prostitute goblins come out in my neighborhood (everyday is Halloween in Hollywood)!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ah, shucks, we've insulted China

So the Chinese have let it be known that they are insulted that the United States is once again honoring the Dalai Lama.

We, of course, are not the least bit insulted that there is no such thing as human rights in the People's Republic of China. That the organs of political prisoners are being sold to patients around the world. That they've tried (not on purpose, of course) to poison us with tens of millions of tainted products in the last couple of years --including foodstuffs. That they've somehow bribed the International Olympic Committee to host a travesty of an Olympic Games (ironic, isn't it, that athletes suspected of doping are subject to greater sanctions). That shortly after the I-35 bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, a bridge collapsed in China with hundreds of fatalities (think about that when you sit your ass down in one of their brand new stadiums if you should decide to attend the aforementioned games). And --this is my favorite-- one of their generals openly bragged how they could paralyze the entire United States with a push of a button, bringing down our entire power grid. Actually, as a child of the cold war era, I'm kind of glad that the computer age now makes those pesky ICBMs completely obsolete.


I've been zapping in and out of the parrallel universe created by delving into The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Putting down the book for a moment to hear on NPR about China being insulted strikes me as the height of absurdity. But then, I live in the most absurd of cities in the most absurd of countries in what must count as one of the most absurd of times in human history. I have to limit --severely-- my news intake these days because the doings of this human race on this planet is so absurd that it belies explanation. If there were to be contact with another form of intelligent life in the universe, how the heck could we explain ourselves? How we are conducting ourselves on Earth these days makes as much sense as the grammatical laws of the English language.

This is why I also have to limit my caffeine intake. And maybe take a nap. And when I wake up, sanity and order will have been restored.

Yeah, right.

Monday, October 15, 2007

On a foggy day like today...

Thanks to the fog, it felt like passing through the Laguna Honda Forest today. Amazing how many born-and-raised San Franciscans have never even gone by Laguna Honda, much least stopped there. Mention it, and most people will assume you mean the hospital.

If you ever doubted that San Francisco is a mystical, magical city, then go by there when the fog is swirling. You'd swear you stepped into the enchanted forest of A Midsummmers' Night Dream.

Since today called for some retail therapy, I treated myself to a book that had been long out of print that appeared without warning at Skylight Bookstore, an architectural study of Miami Beach Ocean Drive by ciudadcity.

Click on the header at top to learn more about Laguna Honda and impress your know-it-all-friends in the City with what you've learned of the history hidden-in-plain-sight.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

So, Turkey has a problem with the word "genocide"

Accused of, admitted to, or accounted with genocide:*

The Congo
The Dominican Republic
El Salvador
The Netherlands
Republic of South Africa
The United Kingdom
United States

*a very incomplete, partial list

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Aliens in America

I admit that I've become rather superstitious when it comes to talking about my favorites among new shows, but the new CW comedy, Aliens in America, needs all the buzz it can get.

NPR reported this morning that the pilot had a less than promising market share; yet it has been screened with great success around the country for a variety of community groups and even in college classes. And it's funny, clever and smart. And thought provoking.

Maybe, just maybe, Americans will stop for a moment to think about some of their less-than-well-founded ideas about other peoples. Perhaps they will even think about what other people around the world think of Americans --and why. And perhaps, if we can all share a laugh together, it will be a step in the right direction to getting people to understand each other.

At any rate, the folks behind Aliens in America have created something that helps television live up to its potential. They have every reason to be proud of what they've done.

A note of caution to the paparazzi

When Elizabeth I got pissed off, she imprisoned Mary Queen of Scots in this tower for nearly a year...

Now that Elizabeth II is mad at the paparazzi for chasing Prince William, they would do well to remember that the torture equipment reportedly is still in good working order.