Monthly Archives: April 2010

Art. I know it when I see it.

h/t crooks and liars


Thank you, Ma’am

GA Woman To State Judiciary Committee: DoD Implanted A Microchip Inside Me

You debate an odd bill, you hear some odd testimony. But this…

The Georgia House Judiciary Committee took up a bill last week that would “prohibit requiring a person to be implanted with a microchip,” and would make violating the ban a misdemeanor. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one exchange from the hearing could have been ripped right from Dr. Strangelove.

The Journal-Constitution reports that things started getting weird when a woman who described herself as a resident of DeKalb County told the committee: “I’m also one of the people in Georgia who has a microchip.” Apparently no lawmaker took this as a warning sign, and she was allowed to continue her testimony.

“Microchips are like little beepers,” the woman told the committee. “Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum or genital area, the most sensitive area of your body. And your beeper numbers displayed on billboards throughout the city. All done without your permission.”

“Ma’am, did you say you have a microchip?” state Rep. Tom Weldon (R) asked the woman.

“Yes, I do. This microchip was put in my vaginal-rectum area,” she replied.

No one laughed. State Rep. Wendell Willard (R), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asked her who had implanted the chip.

“The Department of Defense,” she said.

Willard thanked the woman for her input, and the committee later approved the bill.

Technical term for this device, we presume, is “the Sprite”.

Ill Fares The Land

This is from Tony Judt, a regular contributor to the NYRB, one of the smartest people around and an excellent writer. This is highly recommended.

Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed, this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.

The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural” today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation, the cult of privatization and the private sector, the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all, the rhetoric that accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets, disdain for the public sector, the delusion of endless growth.

full piece here


Regardless of all the rest of the cases, there are those instances where a male and female doing a song together just really works magically.  Here’s two.  The second has no visual but that will be easy to ignore.  Both real gems.

The changing times. Or not.

Here’s an interesting comparison of pro-labor posters from 1923 and now.

labor posters

These images are quite rich, really.  The main trope in both is also the same one that Reagan famously used with his “I’t s anew dawn in America!” slogan.  The rolled-up shirt sleeves is typically used by multi-millionaire politicians like Bush Jr. to hopefully draw parallels to da woikers .  And Brownie, of Katrina-failure fame, as he was about to give a televised interview in the midst of that crisis, was advised by the PR people doing the filming to roll his sleeves up for the sake of this imagery.

But an interesting difference here is where the dawn is rising – the city in the first and anywhere-but-the-city-please in the second.

h/t Andrew Sullivan

Addendum: Notice the differing scale of the humans and backgrounds.   The first figure is imposing over the background.  If this guy doesn’t end up doing something heroic, he’ll think himself to have failed (though his wife will forgive him).  The second fellow seems to be hoping that he might be able to turn things around with his new career in real estate sales.  And that second graphic looks rather like a brochure from a bank, don’t you think?  Whereas the first poster is THE visual representation you’d never find on a bank wall.

Michelle Bachmann, the Pink Elephant

Sarah Palin, in her joint appearance with Michelle Bachmann at a big fundraiser/cross-burning shindig in Minnesota, said…

“I knew we would be buddies when I met her [in Alaska] and she said that we should ‘drill here, drill now.’ And I replied, ‘Drill, baby, drill.’ And we both said, ‘You betcha.”

She also said…

“Someone had better tell Washington that that pink elephant is on the move, and Michele is leading the stampede,”

Let’s pull all this another way. This world we’ve woken up to here in modern America is too much like the one portrayed below…

It really is quite an extraordinary bit of animation and music composition to match the visual portrayal/subject, isn’t it?   (h/t Balloon Juice)

Not sure how to think about all this

Babe Ruth and George Bush senior in a photo taken the year I was born

I’d thought that by now I’d have built a railroad.  Or a time machine.