Monday, June 29, 2009

don't bother the rich people

It is possible to be convicted of first degree murder in this country and get a 15 year sentence. But if you make rich people poor you can get 150 years.

The dead can never have their lives restored to them, but it's conceivable the newly poor could be rich again someday.

I'm not saying Bernie Madoff doesn't deserve his punishment, but there's quite a paradox there in the punishment-fitting-the-crime department even if we dismiss the possibility of anyone's riches being restored.

I'm going to guess that the people most horrified at their losses are the ones who didn't really earn their money from scratch. Inheritance or by an over-paid job landed from connections rather than merit. These people know they don't have the skills to get back on top again and that's why they are horrified.

They do have the advantage of still being here to press for the criminal's punishment; something a murder victim can never do.

On the other hand, a dead person doesn't know he's dead anymore, but the new poor have a long stretch of poor to look forward to.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

serendipity awkward

So I go to Amazon to look up a book and what do they happen to be promoting under their banner tribute to Michael Jackson?




-Magnificent Corpses: Searching Through Europe for St. Peter's Head, St. Claire's Heart, St. Stephen's Hand, and Other Saints' Relics

-Relics: The Shroud of Turin, the True Cross, the Blood of Januarius...History, Mysticism, and the Catholic Church

-Weird Europe: A Guide to Bizarre, Macabre, and Just Plain Weird Sights

-Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto

They say they are "Selected for You" but I wasn't signed in yet

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the exact day in history...

... when it all started to go wrong.



The day that the President of the United States gave Michael Jackson an award for...

-decoding the human genome? No.
-ending communism? No.
-preventing a space shuttle disaster? No.
-rescuing kittens from trees? No.

It was for allowing a brief snippet of a song that he had already thoroughly cashed in on to be used in the background of a public service announcement.



I think this is the moment when Michael Jackson started believing that anything he did, no matter how small, was of monumental benefit to humanity and therefore he should do anything he wants and as much of it as possible.

farrah dead




You can't overstate how huge Farrah was in the 1970s. I can't explain it.

Certainly pretty girls have always been in ample supply in this country. Maybe it was a reaction to the flat-haired hippy look of the late 60s (which was a reaction to the bouffant look of the early 60s, which was a reaction to...). Maybe people were in the mood for something big and obvious again, I don't know. I remember trying to watch "Charlie's Angels" several times and not "getting it".

But EVERY girl in my high school HAD TO HAVE Farrah hair. There wasn't a pony tail, a bob, a flip or a page boy cut to be seen. It was as if a law had been passed. Somehow she represented a dream self-image that every girl wanted.

And many of them are still trapped in that look much as middle-aged women of the 60s adopted Jackie's pill box hats and continued to wear them even after she didn't.

I'm sure that when I'm 90 I will still see some of my female contemporaries with Farrah hair.

So good-bye Farrah. Farrah is gone but her hair lives on.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

small ears




I don't know how I'm going to pay the mortgage on the farm with a corn harvest like this.

No, I did not mistakenly plant "miniature corn".

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

if donald duck sang "shout"



No, really... close your eyes and try to tell me it isn't so.

I'm not previously familiar with Lulu. Apparently one of many one-named wonders from the UK.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

fathers! lock up your daughters!

Adam Lambert reveals the crazy things that can happen when he's had a few drinks in him...

Monday, June 15, 2009

he'll never work in this town again

(photo Getty Images)

It occurs to me that if you were making a Hollywood movie about the Iran election, and one of the extras you hired for the big crowd scene jumped up in the middle of a shot wearing an "OHIO STATE" sweater, you'd fire the guy and then have to reshoot the the scene.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

unbounded thoughtfulness



I think it's very considerate of the riot police in Tehran to write "POLICE" in English on their uniforms so that Americans across the seas looking at pictures of them will know they are police.

It's rather like the old "Mission:IMPOSSIBLE" show where the team would be in some non-english speaking country deep behind the Iron Curtain, but all the important signs were written so you could sort of read them. Like "PRIZON" and "GAZ" and "SEKRET DOCKUM3NT".

I'm not sure how that works out for the local population, however.



"Call the police! Some guys with nonsense written on their uniforms are attacking us!"

Sunday, June 07, 2009

the likely result of his efforts

I suspect President Obama's attempts to reach out and speak intelligently with North Korea and Iran will be about as successful as his attempts to reach out and speak intelligently with the Republicans were since North Korea and Iran have about the same interest in the common good as the Republicans do. I'm just sayin'.

Actually, Iran may be the more feasible of the three. Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria has an interesting article out in which he asserts "everything you know about Iran is wrong".

I recall Zakaria doing the talk show circuit in 2002 promoting the notion that overthrowing Saddam Hussein would "end Islamic terror". So you know he has experience in everything he knows being wrong.

Friday, June 05, 2009

the mother of all bongs

I'm not sure whether it's good or bad that the Egyptians get out their hookah to listen to Obama's speech.





It's only relatively recently that I learned this device is not a musical instrument.



If you ever doubted the middle east was the land of miracles just look at the people running the place. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 81 years old, not a gray hair on his head:



Saudi King Abdullah, 84 years old, not a gray hair on head:



Holy Mr. T, look at the gold chain Obama got! And that's just for talking sense. But perhaps that's in short supply these days and is worth its weight in gold.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

conan the obviouser



If you ever rent an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie and it doesn't have a commentary track by him, I can tell you what it would have been like.

I just watched "Conan the Barbarian". Half of his comments are "oh, I remember shooting this scene" or "here's the scene where I..."

The other half are him interrupting the director who was about to say something interesting.

His "Terminator 3" track was like that too.