Gray Flannel Dwarf



Roger Ebert, however long ago, was verbally derided by Vincent Gallo, called “a fat pig”, following his sound criticism of Gallo’s film, The Brown Bunny. Ebert responded elegantly, albeit via a modified Churchill quote, stating that “I will one day be thin but Vincent Gallo will always be the director of The Brown Bunny.”

Now, I’ve never read a lot of Ebert’s reviews, so maybe this is something that he’s known for, but he tossed out another gem, in his review of National Treasure, although it was about the movie itself, but the book The Da Vinci Code:

That I have read the book is not a cause for celebration. It is inelegant, pedestrian writing in service of a plot that sets up cliff-hangers like clockwork, resolves them with improbable escapes and leads us breathlessly to a disappointing anticlimax. I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code.

I chuckled pretty readily when I read that.

In any case, lest anyone think I’m some Ebert defender or something, I totally disagree with his review of Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead… and I still think that Not Another Teen Movie was a minor work of genius.

cswiii @ 9:58 am


honey-dews and dewn’ts

We finally got our wedding pictures today. The wife was looking through them. Choice quote of the night:

“Here’s the one of the utility candle.”

She meant “unity candle”, but the more I think about it, the more “utility” seems apropos.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 10:56 pm

Spam strangeness…

I can’t figure out how it was done, but somewhere along the line, my email address was sold to a variety of well-known retailers. As of late I have been getting email from Bloomingdales, JC Penney, and a few others — and not just spam purporting to be from them, these are actual email being sent via their system.

But you know, sure as shit, the internet provider for these companies is not going to do anything about it.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 12:36 pm


Cop Killer Wha?

Good to see that in addition to his lyrics being as poignant now as they were then, that they’re no less controversial…

ABC News: School Talent Show Draws Secret Service.

The students told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver they are performing Bob Dylan’s song “Masters of War” during the Boulder High School Talent Exposé because they are Dylan fans. They said they want to express their views and show off their musical abilities.

But some students and adults who heard the band rehearse called a radio talk show Thursday morning, saying the song the band sang ended with a call for President Bush to die.

Threatening the president is a federal crime, so the Secret Service was called to the school to investigate.

Students in the band said they’re just singing the lyrics and not inciting anyone to do anything.

The 1963 song ends with the lyrics: “You might say that I’m young. You might say I’m unlearned, but there’s one thing I know, though I’m younger than you, even Jesus would never forgive what you do … And I hope that you die and your death’ll come soon. I will follow your casket in the pale afternoon. And I’ll watch while you’re lowered down to your deathbed. And I’ll stand o’er your grave ’til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Maybe they should’ve just stuck with making cracks about ladies’ undergarments.

But seriously, think this country is not divided? I love this choice quote from the article:

“These kids are being used to promote an extreme leftist point of view on the taxpayers’ dime,” Boulder resident James Lemons told KMGH.

One would think that with the GOP firmly entrenched, at least for the next few years, that you’d not see this sort of paranoia. Then again, the GOP is good at that – and I guess when you get down to it, paranoia is a pretty Machiavellian political concept, anway.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 4:58 pm


And the verdict on Scott Peterson is….

well, we know the answer. But as per usual, MSNBC prepared for either situation:

This is the one that showed up on the front page:

It had this URL.

Thus, it didn’t take many brains to figure out that the alternate artwork would be found here (still available as of this writing).

cswiii @ 4:42 pm



Gary nails it about perfectly, in my opinion, regarding this new weblog publicity service, BlogExplosion. The modern Internet has never been one of maturity, and as per usual, BlogExplosion looks to be the same puerile antics.

If I were in the same situation as Gary mentioned, would I get “mad” if someone rated me a one? No, and I certainly wouldn’t, in some weird revenge-laden moment, return the “favour” out of reciprocal spite, but at the same time, it’s still nothing I even need to get myself involved with, in the first place.

I’m a little smarter about these things now. It’s kinda along the same lines as what I said before about Friendster — I just don’t see the need to add more things to my agenda that can have the tendency to contribute to stress and animosity. I do find myself migrating, by choice, back to the outer edge these days, that’s for sure — even in times where I’m closer to the inner circle.

I’m sure there’s a little lesson of Dao in there somewhere, but I am not going to search for it.

It will be interesting to see just how much BlogExplosion takes off, or if it collapses under its own weight. The whole weblogging thing, to me, has seemed kind of “organic”, very much meme-based, where loose meshes of content are created by discovery. I don’t really mind ping services. and even things like Daypop kind of collects URLs and does a bit of statistical analysis, but still leaves it up to the reader to explore. BlogExplosion, however, does the discovery — if you can even call it that — for you. It’s like a 24-7 pizza buffet or something. It’s like people-watching at Wal-Mart — or perhaps more like dropping the same Wal-Mart down, smack in the middle of the Redwood Forest.

It is far too early to say whether BlogExplosion will have a big change on the weblog world, and admittedly, if it doesn’t, something else like it will, in all eventuality, succeed. It does signify a big change in how weblogs are accessed, however — though this sort of thing has, arguably, been evolving for a while now — and whether I necessarily like it or not, it’s going to happen.

In any case, when I first started weblogging in 2000, I said I was writing for me, and although it is fun, simply for the statistical side of things, to see how people encounter this weblog, I guess I don’t actively seek out a smorgasbord of readers, either.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 8:46 am


More cheerful

MasaManiA has to be my new favourite weblog. I first learned about it, having been sent this link about Japanese businessmen, but the whole site is fantastic.

Update: The site may not be 100% SFW. Oops.

Tags: — cswiii @ 2:25 pm



Today is an ugly, gray day, with nonstop, cold rain.

On the audio stream right now, though, there is Janis Joplin’s rendition of “Me and Bobby McGee” playing, and it’s reminding me of sunny Curaçao. One woman sang this song, with varying success, mentioning that it would be the last time that she could sing the song as she was getting married the next day. I could’t figure that part out, but none of that matters. I just keep thinking of the sun and sand down there.

cswiii @ 11:44 am


In 2004… it was a very bad year.

Can someone just pinch me, wake me up, and let me know it’s 2003, all over again?

There are nearly two months still left in this year, but it’s been pretty shitty. Nevermind the fact that the crook got elected this time around, by the mandate of the people, no less. I’ve known too many people, friends or family, who’ve passed away this year. My employer has announced an impending round of deep job cuts that will keep us all in suspense, and surely productive, through sometime just before the holiday season.

If it weren’t for the fact that I got married, I’d say this year was a total throwaway.

I think it’s time for me to do what everyone else does: sit around, get fat, run up credit card debt, listen to boy bands and watch the steaming piles known as “Sitcoms” on TV. Maybe if I try hard enough, I can be as complacent as the rest of this country, just smiling and nodding along…

cswiii @ 5:19 pm

well, shit.

We’re fucked. That’s all I can say.

Looks like I got a lot of predictions wrong this year. I’ll admit it.

But here’s an early one that will hold true: 2008 is going to look like 1958 by the time we get there.

What a stupid fucking electorate.

cswiii @ 1:28 am


Don’t forget…

So Gary, a US citizen living in Poland, over at matching tracksuits notes that he, like most people living outside the US, cannot access Chimpy McFlightsuit’s website. He muses,

There is just no logical reason for this blockage. If Bush’s team can’t “defend” his web site, what makes people think Bush and his gang can defend the country? Setting up a firewall is a lot easier than keeping out terrorists, I would imagine.

It was Darshu on #dailykos, however, who got the best quip of the day:
“are you saying that forgot poland?”

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 1:19 pm

CNN: Fair and Balanced


You see, if CNN had any political bias, that would read, “Hit the Road, Jack” ;)

It is, indeed, far too early to be smug, but if this series of headlines I pulled from is any indication, they’re running scared…

“Why I Will VOTE to Re-elect George W. Bush!”
“Laziness is Not Disenfranchisement”
“Could Kerry be the ‘Hitler of the Unborn’?”
“Calling all FReepers in and around the Ford Library in Michigan – RESEARCH KERRY’S DISCHARGE!!!”

And finally… more from CNN: Federal judge in Ohio bars voter challengers. In this case, perhaps the neocons are indeed “praying for rain” to suppress turnout. Anyway, I guess the court saw through the guise used by the GOP there, which challenged many address based largely on certified mail reciepts… and mail that “could not be delivered” — since people refused the delivery.

cswiii @ 1:06 pm