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« AIDS and Immune Systems | Main | Art and Entertainment, Or Maybe Art Vs. Entertainment »

February 01, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Click here and help celebrate some upbeat news from the Fredosphere.

* MD muses her way serenely from politics to movies to handbags ... It works somehow.

* Many Americans are now drinking soda pop for breakfast.

* Keven Cure thinks that change can be overrated.

* Air America wasn't able to sell one single ad in Santa Cruz.

* California may ban incandescent lightbulbs. (Link thanks to Reid Farmer.)

* Reid himself has been interested in the fabulous Western painter Maynard Dixon.

* White-guy Doug Anderson writes about what it's like to have a black significant other and a black soon-to-be-adopted son.

* Here's a man who really knows why he watches TV and movies.

* Has popular culture neglected you for a few minutes? Courtney and Lindsay show how to steer the spotlight back to She Who Really Counts. (NSFW)

* Yet another reason to feel old: Roman Polanski slipped out of the U.S. to avoid incarceration 30 years ago today. I'm OK with "a while ago." But 30 years?

* Rod Dreher and commenters compare notes about eating greens. Is eating turnip greens, kale and such a black thing? A poor thing? A southern thing?

* Tyler Cowen and visitors muse about a new study indicating that women are just as gifted for chess as men are.



posted by Michael at February 1, 2007


The worst: soda pop for breakfast. :^(

The best: slurping down those turnip greens. 8^)

Posted by: ricpic on February 1, 2007 9:06 PM

There's nothing weird about soft drinks for breakfast. Diet Pepsi's been my morning libation of choice for years. As for coffee or tea, I usually have such things in the afternoon or at night.

Posted by: Peter on February 2, 2007 9:22 AM

Air America wasn't able to sell one single ad in Santa Cruz.

One of the quotes in the article was "It's an angry, nasty, pissing and moaning format where the only thing they say is 'Bush stinks' or 'Bush is bad'," he said. "No commercial advertiser wants to be associated with that".

Personally, I love to hear smart people talk about complicated things. But, whether it is a conservative in the 1990s going on and on about Clinton (and nothing else) or a Liberal today doing the same with is so boring. And pathetic.

I can't say whether that was the case with Limbaugh during the Clinton years, I did not listen to his show. But you need to have a variety of topics.

When I remembered, I used to watch a show on Fox News that covered the News. That is, they would talk about journalists and reporters and newspapers. Well, the moderator would always ask this question to the panel, "What story SHOULD we be talking about, but no one is". In other words, what story is not being covered by any major news source?

It always got such interesting answers. Smart people talking about a variety of complicated issues. Awesome.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on February 2, 2007 9:38 AM

Drinking soft drinks rather than coffee in the morning is nothing new. I first noticed it when I started working in the mid-70s, and thought it was disgusting. I still do.

Posted by: Michael P on February 2, 2007 11:00 AM

Ricpic -- Turnip greens do the soul good!

Peter -- I think your clueless-American-bozo side may be showing! Hmmm: we all have our clueless-American-bozo sides, god knows ... Maybe that'd be a good blog-game, asking people to volunteer in what ways they're clueless-American-bozos ... I really like "soft" ice cream myself. And flannel shirts. Despite a little experience with them, spending time on a topless beach still makes my head explode. Had a blast when I spent an evening watching dirt-track racing live. Kind of enjoy Michael Bay movies ...

Ian -- That does sound like a great strategy for a news show. I wonder why more news outlets don't let themselves get rowdy and open in that kind of way. Many of them seem ... overdetermined or something to sell a very sleek news product. Yet a lot of what's fun about the news is how various it is ...

Michael P -- People were drinking soda pop for breakfast back in the '70s? Wow, that's a trend that completely passed me by. I dimly recall seeing an individual or two with a can of soda on the breakfast table, but it never seemed to me like a general thing. Sigh: so much to notice in the world!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on February 2, 2007 11:35 AM

I for one can vouch for the sodas for breakfast trend, as I have drunk diet Coke in the morning for years since they discovered Nutra Sweet and diet drinks don't take like medicine anymore.

The Fox News Show is still on, I think on Saturdays, and it is still somewhat interesting, but they have too few minutes and too many commenters so it can seem frantic.

I like "soft" ice cream, too. And garlic cheeseburgers. And big traditional "colonial" style houses with white picket fences around the front yard--like the house in "Father of the Bride." I go for the cliche hook, line and sinker.

Posted by: annette on February 2, 2007 12:37 PM

RE: California’s proposal to ban incandescent lightbulbs.

Remember the good old days when the controversy was just over banning smoking in restaurants and offices? From the recent proposal to ban spanking of young children to this proposed law, California seems to be in a race to introduce the greatest amount of stupid legislation. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is also getting into the act, picking up his predecessor’s idea to sue major auto manufacturers for their vehicles' emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

RE: Roman Polanski.

In many ways, I think it only fair that he continue to have to look over his shoulder and worry about being returned to the U.S. I note that some think you have to separate the artist from his work, and I generally don’t care about an artist’s political ideas or consensual adult behavior, however outrageous. I note that some of the more serious charges against Polanski had been reduced, and he feared that the judge would go back on a plea deal that would not include jail time. I also note that his victim, who was only thirteen at the time, does not want Polanski to go to jail.

Still, I have not seen any of Polanski’s latest films, and probably won’t do so until after his death. This is my personal compromise with his crime. I came to this conclusion after viewing some of the unsealed grand jury testimony (thanks to the Internet site the Smoking Gun). His behavior toward the girl seemed particularly despicable and predatory. Even though he appeared to engineer her seduction (getting her alone, plying her with drink and drugs), he had a number of opportunities to stop, to change his mind. But even after asking her if she remembered when her period was and worrying about her becoming pregnant, he decided that everything would be all right if he forced her into anal sex. A thirteen year old girl.

Details here:

By the way, some have suggested that she was a wise-beyond her years nymphet, or that she and her mother had planned some casting-couch entrapment (even though the court testimony suggested that Polanski had phone calls with the mother where he went out of his way to keep her in the dark that he was setting things up to be alone with the girl). Also, to me there was something particularly sad and innocent when she was asked whether Polanski had put his mouth on her genitals. She answered yes, and confused her questioner a bit when she described the act, presumably trying to describe cunnilingus. Instead, the thirteen year old described it as “performing cuddliness.”

Posted by: Alec on February 3, 2007 5:15 AM

A quote from the Air America link: "Taking Air America's place is oldies music — artists such as Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Chuck Berry and The Platters — with local, live disc jockeys."

Sounds good to me. The good people of Santa Cruz can listen to something positive over the air, rather than political windbags. Also, through the station's dumping the syndicated show, local employment oppurtunities open. Win-win for Santa Cruz.

Posted by: phil on February 3, 2007 11:35 PM

RE: California’s proposal to ban incandescent lightbulbs.

I sure hope Assemblyman Lloyd Levine doesn't get his way with forcing everyone to use those evil fluorescent light bulbs! I'm all for energy-saving, but Levine is obviously unaware of all the suffering he'll cause to autistic people! (Hint: many of us can see all -- and I do mean ALL -- of the flickers -- it's really, REALLY annoying -- to the point of being physically painful for many autists):

"Fluorescent lighting (yeah, even often the new stuff) can result in total shutdown in autistic people, trigger migraines, and all kinds of other nasty things."

The effects of fluorescent and incandescent illumination upon repetitive behaviors in autistic children

Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism

Considering there's a rather sizeable population of autistic people in California, I think he ought to (be made to!) think twice about this propsed legislation of his!

Posted by: Theresa on February 9, 2007 2:19 AM

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