samedi, mars 08, 2008

No, we won't

At her wit's end with the constant bickering in her home, mother Nancy has brought in her quarreling children, Hill, the older sister and Barack, the archetypal younger son to spend some time in family therapy. Hill's boyfriend Bill has invited himself.

Counselor: We all know that diagnosing the problem can help us find a cure.

I'll allow you all to have your say-no, you cannot have your surrogates speak for you.

Remember to use "I" language.

No spitting, scratching or biting.

Barack: "She called me Ken Starr! Can you imagine how traumatized I am!"

Counselor: No, I can't. Oh, sorry, I'm not supposed to say that.

Hill, you may have your say.

Bill-I can speak for her, your honor...I mean, Doctor.

Counselor-No, you can't. Oops, sorry about the negativity.

Hillary: One of his friends called ME a "monster!" Do I seem like a monster to you, Dr.?

Counselor: Not like some I've seen. Caligula, Darth Vader, the Cat don't hold a candle to them.

Mother Nancy: I've got other children at home, and they can't concentrate on their studies, with this constant nah nah nah stuff going on all the time. Not to mention, we've got big tests coming up. How do I get them to behave, play nice, share their toys?

Counselor-Why don't you send them to travel around Pennsylvania for a month or so? A fascinating state. Given the vast expanse between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, they may not be seen, or heard from, for months. Which is what you want, isn't it?

I know it's what I want. After five minutes of listening to them fight, I'm ready to bring in Uncle John to kick some butt.

Make sure that obnoxious Bill goes with them. There's a university somewhere near the Pennsylvania Ohio border that's looking for an adjunct in governmental affairs. He's just the ticket!

Mother Nancy: But these are my children! How can I set them loose in a state famous mostly for a baseball team that blew one of the biggest leads in league history-and hasn't won a championship since?

Doctor, we can't do that!

Doctor: Yes, we can.

She escorts them to the door-and shuts it firmly behind them.

jeudi, mars 06, 2008

High Risque Behavior

NB-This post is in the PG category.

Not as blue as the one I wrote on avatar sex-or as errr...contemporary. Our topic today takes a short excursion through old territory- guys trying to find new ways, by using mass marketing, of getting women to go to bed with them.

See the linked 'blog post (from the WaP0) above.

The Mystery Method ( is supposed to "put beautiful women under your spell." Based on the work of a former aspiring magician who changed himself into a Dr. McSteamy, the course, the book, the resources are supposed to help men date and seduce, or seduce and then date, beautiful women.

Best of all, ladies, this phenomenally popular course is supposedly based on a male understanding of female psychology.

About time guys tried to understand us, you say? But to what end?

Appear vulnerable, feign candor, men are told, with the use of various scripts-and women will fall into your boudoir like a line of dominoes. Or maybe you can lift them up and carry them.

The WaPo blogger, who has recently taken this course (research??) used this topic as a conversation starter. He got a range of reactions.

Some of them are hilarious.

I love the guy who posted about the downside of nerd reproduction.

Many are thoughtful. Having been the topic/ target of newspaper commenters, I was taken by the general quality of the posts.

As to the idea of teaching guys to act candid and open to pick up women? I wonder what they really learned about a woman's inner self-perhaps nothing more than that there are beautiful, dumb females everywhere.

mercredi, mars 05, 2008

Publishing as entertainment

Read the Slate satire above, and laugh-0r cry.

Maybe if we accept that all memoirs are at least in part works of fiction, we won't be as irate when someone makes up the whole story.

St. Augustine? That was really a tough one to take...


The Democratic race continues. If Hillary ends up as the candidate, do you wonder if Obama will blame Saturday Night Live?

The show's critique of the media for being hard on her has been echoed many times in the mainstream press recently.

Candidates complain politics is now entertainment, but then they can't wait to appear on SNL and Jon Stewart.

Wake up and smell the ratings! Politics is entertaining-the handicapping, the horse race itself, the photogenic anchors and reporters (I like Bill Schneider's wisdom on the races, but I love to watch John King-he doesn't have to be saying anything).

It's about time that we get a little more real about the fact that in our skeptical, post ironic culture, entertainment is also politics.

What the heck is a "post ironic culture"?

lundi, mars 03, 2008


Check out the link above for an article on whether objectivity in political journalism is possible.

Those who write about the news are compelled by many of the same forces that drive their readers.

Inconsistency fascinates, as does drama-the good, the not so good, and the purely ugly. Like most of us, journos love a good yarn-particularly when they are the first ones to write it.

How do you spell P-A-N-D-E-R?

Senator McCain may be another George Bush in "straight talk" clothing. The linked story reveals a man who tailors his positions to fit his audience.

We are shocked, shocked shocked.

Bush, who ran as a compassionate conservative, was not the man who took the oath of office.

This time one hopes independents who find the Arizona Senator appealing will do their homework.

The question is how indebted McCain is going to be to the right wing of his party, should he soften his hard edges enough to win against the Democratic candidate.

It will be interesting, too, to watch the debates and see whether he can restrain his allegedly volatile temper. Perhaps I am not resigned enough to the idea that, in Presidential campaigns as in other job searches, appearance is often more persuasive than truth.

Tearing each other apart

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

St. Paul was so right when he kept admonishing his flocks about bad behavior. The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures are so down to earth, direct, concrete about our ability to tear each other to pieces.

The Psalms are a mirror-in some ways, the author (authors?) might have been writing for you, or me-and for our denominations.

Unfortunately, our congregations can be Petri dishes for the foul fruits of bickering, criticism, indifference and anger.

Right now the Anglican Communion is being roiled by just such spiritual warfare-waged by very human beings. No point trying to blame this on a supernatural agent. The spiritual arrogance, backroom accusations and gossip emerge out of the murk of our own very human sin. We will, we are, being judged for it.