MetaFilter analyzes the AP’s captions of people, um, moving goods from a store into their possession.
August 31, 2005
August 30, 2005
August 26, 2005
August 23, 2005
Love thy neighbor? Aw, screw that! Alleged Christian Pat Robertson calls on-air for the assassination of leftist President Chavez of Venezuela.
August 15, 2005
These are the issues that need solutions now, and Christopher Walken is not afraid to address them. He wants his supporters and opponents to know that he is clear in his ideals and will fight to lead America to a better place.
August 12, 2005
I forget where I’ve seen this video before; I want to say something on Comedy Central. It’s still hilarious. Well, except when you realize that Bush’s lines are all real. Then it makes me want to weep for 51% of America.
After a month of watching him and other members, I get the strong impression that even the idealists in Congress have learned to accept the body on its own terms. Congress isn’t the steady assembly line of consensus policy ideas it’s sold as, but a kind of permanent emergency in which a majority of members work day and night to burgle the national treasure and burn the Constitution. A largely castrated minority tries, Alamo-style, to slow them down — but in the end spends most of its time beating calculated retreats and making loose plans to fight another day.
America both celebrates and studies its wars with its movies. Sometimes they are litmus tests of public opinion, and sometimes they shape it. WWII’s uplifting, we’ll-get-’em pieces clearly bolstered our national spirit, while you can look at Three Kings as reflective of our sense that the first Gulf War left things unfinished.
Vietnam, of course, has been covered numerous times in numerous ways, as befits such a scar on our collective psyche. Which is why I think Green’s Day’s latest video is worth attention. (Click “Videos” from the main menu.)
“When September Ends” is about the Iraq war. It captures a lot of our national sentiment – and not the uplifting kind. This reminds me of a lot works about ‘Nam, except that unlike with Vietnam, this video’s coming while the war is still ongoing.
The video is directed by Samuel Beyer, who in addition to doing a lot of other Green Day videos also did Nirvana’s legendary “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video. He told MTV he thinks it’s the best work he’s ever done, and he may be right. (Side note: the male lead in the video is the kid from Billy Elliot!)
I’m pleased to see Green Day’s politicization. “American Idiot” is a great album, and it’s heartening to see a band with such a wide reach taking the stance they do.
August 5, 2005
Americans’ approval of President Bush’s handling of Iraq is at its lowest level yet, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that also suggests fewer than half now think he is honest…
Approval of Bush’s handling of Iraq, which had been hovering in the low- to mid-40s most of the year, dipped to 38 percent… Bush’s overall job approval was at 42 percent, with 55 percent disapproving…
The portion of respondents who consider Bush honest has dropped slightly from January, when 53 percent described him that way while 45 percent did not. Now, people are just about evenly split on that issue — with 48 percent saying he is honest and 50 percent saying he is not.
The drop in the number of people who see Bush as honest was largest among middle-aged Americans as well as suburban women, a key voting group in the 2004 election. A further erosion of trust could make it tougher for Bush to win support for his policies in Congress and internationally.
Almost two-thirds in the poll described Bush as strong and likable… But the portion of respondents who view his confidence as arrogance has increased from 49 percent in January to 56 percent now.
I figured that rather than post about Novak’s tantrum on CNN, I’d post the Daily Show’s coverage of it instead, as the latter is, of course, even more entertaining than the original.
August 3, 2005
Personally I actively like several of the Dems in congress (Teddy K, Boxer, Byrd, etc) but loathe the party as a whole. The problem is we have only the two and while both are awful and full of criminals and/or total dumbasses, one is actively fucking up both the country and the world. Voting Green, Libertarian, Reform, Communist, Nazi, Insane Clown Posse or whatever is quite simply not a viable option if you want the current crop of jackasses (who are, btw, demonstrably worse than the previous passal of jackasses) removed from a position of authority.
The Dailykos/Atrios plan of “taking over” the Dems and mysticaly transforming them into a party of idealistic warrior/scholars classically trained in Rocking Your Fucking Socks Off is mildly funny in a sad way and totally unworkable. The same rich amoral fucks who currently lobby the GOP for jillion dollar gimme’s will simply sink their teeth right back into the Democrats if they ever regain the throne (although admittedly minus some of the more egregious Flat Earth/Creationist assholes and their Flat Tax kin)
That said, the GOP is run, at its heart, by a bunch of flat-earth believing, regressive tax wanting, deficit loving, jingoistic, amoral biblical literalist xenophobic sociopaths. Replacing them with Democrats at least removes most of those problems even if it creates a host a nanny-state issues that then have to be dealt with.
So practical upshot: Voting for the lesser of two evils really does make sense in the current context. The 14th century legal statues, totalitarian government reforms and, most of all, the ridiculous body count all prove that. Whining about how “both sides are criminals” is a complete waste of time because, quite frankly, under a Democratic administration shit like Iraq would simply never have even come up as a response to 9/11.
If anything, our situation is more like the Hoover presidency, only we have no FDR and the American people are completely asleep at the wheel, driven comatose by Hostess Ding Dongs and Cable News.
At our essence, Americans (like most if not all of the rest of humanity) gladly follow strong leaders. These leaders can either be real-life people with vision and tenacity (John Adams and Teddy Roosevelt come to mind) or they can be created by circumstance (Lincoln or FDR) or they can be mythologized into greatness by good PR or the right collection of circumstance (the current President and Churchill both fit this bill).
Beating the current GOP down requires two things: laboriously knocking down the pyramid of mythology currently surrounding the man; and finding someone who is, can be made, or is ammenable to being mythologized into the level Greatness required to supplant the Republicans.
In this, at least, Kos and Atrios have the inkling of the first part of the plan: those of us who dislike the President need to get bad news about him onto the airwaves wherever possible. This is an awful thing and requires playing a game with Democracy that is revolting to say the least (but it is the same game the Rovians are already playing, and have been for some time).
I dunno much about the second part, but putting that knapsack of asshole John Kerry into the drivers seat was ceertainly a bad opening move.
What makes the Onion so good is their ability to write satires that come awfully close to seeming like real news… like this one.