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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Thursday, July 29, 2004


*tap*tap*  Is this thing on?

Friday, July 23, 2004

A word that must die!


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Michael Moore makes an idiot of himself

(I know, not newsworthy, but certainly blogworthy.)

In a letter filled with serious errors of understanding, Michael Moore criticizes Bill Timmins, the owner of the Aladdin casino, for daring to exert control over his own property.

My proposed response for Mr. Timmins:

"Dear Mr. Moore:

I'd address this letter 'Dear Fat Slob,' but I don't believe in ad hominem attacks, of the kind you do by attacking my intelligence in passages like 'What country do you live in? Last time I checked, Las Vegas is still in the United States.'

I am glad to hear you stick up for Ms. Ronstadt, as you are wont to do in free speech situations. I clearly remember you coming to the defense of Rush Limbaugh when he exercised his right to free speech by saying sports pundits overrated Donovan McNabb due to the color of his skin. Oh, wait, you didn't speak up then.

I would like to refresh your memory by quoting the First Amendment to the United States Constitution: 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.' As you know I am a British citizen, you must realize that I am not a member of Congress, let alone the Congress as an entity. However, I am honored that you think I am as important as Congress. In case you need a refresher course, it is Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2 and Article 1, Section 3, Clause 3 that clarify that only US citizens can be members of Congress.

Ms. Ronstadt was hired by my hotel as an entertainer, specifically, as a singer. I agree that she is one of America's greatest singers, and that is why I hired her. We had certain expectations that she would reflect just what it is that made her one of America's greatest singers in her performance at my hotel, namely, her collection of timeless songs. In other words, we would not judge her performance to be in line with expectations if she chose to perform Serbo-Croation war chants or compositions for kazoo. Nor was she hired as a juggler, comedian, or political pundit. She was hired to entertain by singing the songs she's known for.

By choosing to interrupt her performance with political comment, Ms. Ronstadt alienated a significant number of attendees. As an employee of the Aladdin, she angered valued guests. Such poor customer service cannot be tolerated in this business, and thus I had no choice but to fire her. Would you tolerate someone insulting blacks, women, or slovenly pseudo-documentarians, even if half the crowd applauded this insult? I hold the employees of the Aladdin to high standards.

You will note, Mr. Moore, that the political commentary embedded in Ms. Ronstadt's songs did not attract the ire of the crowd. The audience came to hear songs, whether political in tone, or classic love songs like 'It's So Easy.' They reacted much as audiences would have had you broken into a soul-tinged rendition of 'Poor Poor Pitiful Me' during 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' You might have heard some political commentary in the performances of some comedians that have played here in the past. However, they were being funny, and the crowds approved because they came to laugh.

Before you express your ignorance further, I would suggest you refer to Nevada law concerning right-to-work and Ms. Ronstadt's contract, although the latter is a private matter. I would also like to highlight that casinos are private property. It is the fact that casinos are private property that allows us to ban card counters from our tables, under threat of being charged with trespassing. I very much had the right to remove her from my casino.

I appreciate your offer to screen 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' but to quote our standard rejection letter, 'your proposal does not suit our needs at this time.' If you wish to purchase a casino, then it would be your privilege to hire Ms. Ronstadt to sing, and to screen 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' In addition, the Thomas & Mack Center is just one of many performance venues available for rent in beautiful Las Vegas.

In summary, Mr. Moore, I admire that you stick up for those you care about. I am sure you have dozens of Ms. Ronstadt's recordings, and have had them for years. Ms. Ronstadt certainly can speak her mind on her own time. She simply exercised very poor judgment by doing so when she was supposed to be entertaining the wonderful guests at the Aladdin.


Bill Timmins”

Monday, July 19, 2004

The comics have a lot of catching up to do?

(No link, as it will expire)

The July 18th Baldo comic strip features the father character saying that by 2050, the majority of Americans will be people of color. Gracie responds "Looks like the comics have a lot of catching up to do."

Let me do a quick summary of the topics that are overrepresented and underrepresented in the comics today.

  • Business Life: Underrepresented.
Everyone works, but where are the comic strips dealing with humor in the office? Dilbert is a huge presence, but few other strips deal primarily with the workforce (On the Fastrack comes to mind). Cathy and Sally Forth, among others, address work life along with other topics.

  • Ethnic groups: Underrepresented.
I agree. There are few comics focusing on a group of minority characters as the main focus, although there are minority characters in most strips. There's a big dearth of any non-minority ethnicities: I can't think of any strips focusing on a white family for whom their Irish or Swedish or German heritage is a main theme.

  • Families: Represented.
A large number of comic strips deal with families. Many people are part of families now, and almost everyone grew up in one

  • Historical Times: Overrepresented.
We all live in the present, but strips set in past times, such as Hagar the Horrible and Prince Valiant, are still on the comics page.

  • Kids: Represented.
Like families, many people have kids, and we all were kids once. We can all relate to these strips.

  • Special Interests: Way Underrepresented.

In the world of webcomics, you can find techies, gamers, and many other special interests. On the main comics page? The closest thing is the obsessions of Jason Fox and friends. Why, in a world with thousands of interests, don't we see any on the comics pages?
  • Talking/Intelligent Animals: Way overrepresented.
In the real world, there are no talking animals, or animals displaying human levels of intelligence. Yet they're all over the comics page! What's up with that?


I hope this discussion will lead you to consider how silly the issue raised my Mr. Cantu and Mr. Castellanos is. I would prefer the comics be funny, more than they be an accurate reflection of America. I bet most people agree. That's why comics are focused on entertaining large audiences!

On the other hand, if you really want to do something about the lack of diversity on the comics page, why don't you question the inability of editors to retire comic strips? Even if the creator quits or dies, the strip continues with a new artist. Blondie will go on forever, at this rate, preventing a new strip with a diverse view from taking its place.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Harry Potter discussion

I did enjoy the book. It was a quicker read than the last, which makes sense, because it's a lot shorter.

First of all, Harry Potter is no longer the angry, angst-filled git he was at the start of Book 5. That alone made this book more enjoyable.

Chapter 1 features a first, a chapter told from the perspective of the Muggle world, with the Prime Minister seeing the impact of the war in the wizard world.

Chapter 2 features another first, but not one I like. It shows Snape in the company of Peter Pettigrew and two Death Eaters (kin of Draco Malfoy), all doing the bidding of the Dark Lord. In other words, instead of leading us to believe Snape is the bad guy, as in past books, we're shown it directly. I kept waiting for him to be shown to be a double agent, but as of the end of the book, Snape is clearly on the side of Voldemort. He's the one who kills Dumbledore. Now, either it's a two-book lead-on, or Snape has gone bad, and we knew it from the beginning.

Draco Malfoy is also revealed to be a Death Eater, replacing his father. Again, we're led to believe this early on, yet it's not a ruse. Draco is shown to have been given the task of killing Dumbledore, but is unable to do so, so there's a good chance he's being set up to turn back to the side of good in Book 7.

Relationships: There are many, but by the end, Ron and Hermione recognize they're made for each other, as do Harry and Ginny. These relationships are, I believe, the ones most desired by fans. Poor Cho Chien has basically no screen time.

The Weasley family is portrayed as terribly poor, but I can't see that lasting. The twins have a thriving business, and the other kids who are out of school seem successful enough. How, then, did the parents' generation go wrong?

The revelation in this book is that Voldemort's soul is split into 7 parts, one in himself, and six others in horcruxes. While one survives, Voldemort can't be killed. Two of the horcruxes have been destroyed (a ring, and the diary seen in Chamber of Secrets). Dumbledore spends much of the novel off-camera searching for these, and when he finds the location of one, we find only that a servant of Voldemort, "R. A. B." took it. There's a clear indication that these must be found, so it's unlikely the next book could even be set in Hogwarts. (There is uncertainty over the fate of the school as of the end of the book.)

Unfortunately, we're now left for a couple of years before we find out how it all ends.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

My, how times change!

It's amazing how twelve years will change a man. In February 1992, John F. Kerry said the following to the Senate:

"We do not need to divide America over who served and how," Kerry said. "I have personally always believed that many served in many different ways."

Currently, I'm trying to figure out how fleeing the country and protesting against your nation is serving, even in a different way. But I guess National Guard service, or staying at home to support an infant, isn't serving, even in a different way.