Saturday, August 28, 2004

Charles Herold performs (at last)

Well, it's been a while so I thought what they hell, why not do the singing
of the funny songs thing again. Details:

Date: Setember 7
Time: 10 p.m.
Location: Sidewalk Café (E. 6 St. at Avenue A)
Price: No cover but they want you to buy a drink (I think there's a two
drink minimum but when I've gone I'm never bothered for the second drink)

You can check out some of my songs at

Friday, August 20, 2004

Pacifists Save!

Now, you can make fun of Bloomberg's idea of offering discount coupons to people who promise to protest peacefull at the RNC, but at least it's a pleasant approach, although I expect things will get less pleasant once the enemy arrives. My problem with the offer is, there aren't discounts for anything I want. Now if 7A or Daffy's were part of the deal I'd sign right up, but for the present set of retailers I might as well start throwing rocks at Republicans right now. (Just kidding, I'm anti-throwing rocks at people, even Republicans.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

No, he's not

I only skimmed Tom Junod article The Case For George Bush, (i.e. what if he's right). It seems thoughtful and heartfelt, although even though Junod expresses disgust for Bush it's
hard to know what his politics are since the only articles I could find
listed by him were about celebrities. So he may be a conservative playing
the on-the-fence liberal, or he may be something very common on the
left, an open-minded progressive who bends to far over backwards to see the
other side that he winds up with his head up his ass.

Yes, we have to take terrorism seriously, and yes, there are hard choices to
make. Bush has consistently made the wrong choices and waged the war on
terrorism with grotesque incompentence, but Junod seems more concerned with
George's philosophical underpinnings (well, more likely Cheney's, since W
doesn't have a brain in his head).

And Bush's basic idea is, screw world justice, screw our allies, screw the
UN, let's fight this alone, our way, choosing enemies that seem at random,
with no clear cut goal or sensible policy. Let's create havoc and chaos and
hatred wherever we go. Bush is someone who would rid a house of termites by
burning it down.

But beyond that, I have a belief, which I'm sure many would label
wooly-headed liberalism, that the ends-justify-the-means approach to
politics is dangerous and ultimately counter-productive. Bush simply
believes that we have to do whatever he thinks we have to do, world be
damned, and that if we do all of it - suspend the civil liberties of our
citizens, attack countries with no provocation and lie when necessary to get
our policies past congress - then we will win the war on terrorism. He also
believes that if rich people and corporations don't have to pay taxes then
we will have a boom economy.

The guy is an idiot. His concepts are fundamentally flawed. He is wrong.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Monk and the Sassy Black Chick

Just saw the latest episode of Monk, a cute show that's gone way down hill.
I've been meaning to talk here about how one could have predicted Monk would
jump the shark from the moment they changed the theme song from their bright, appropriate one to that grating Randy Newman song, how it was a sign that the producers didn't really
understand their own show and what made it good, that from that point it was
inevitable that one day there would be a show where Monk had to babysit a
chimpanzee. But now I have something else to talk about, the tendency of
television producers of lily-white shows to make their rare black characters
fat sassy women, cool streetwise guys, or occassionally impossibly noble
black people apparently there to teach us all a lesson about the struggles
of the African-American. In the case of Monk's latest episode, "Mr. Monk
and the Girl Who Cried Wolf," it was the sassy woman.

Now, I know there are big sassy black women, I see them behind the counter
at ice cream shops or talking loudly in the subway, but I don't actually
know anyone like that, and I'm willing to bet the producers of Monk don't
either. I'm white, I'm not a streetwise clubbing kind of white, I'm a
pretty dorky white, and I meet black people at work or at friend's parties
or when I go swing dancing and the women aren't sassy and the men aren't
streetwise. In fact, they are all pretty much like the white people I meet,
well-educated, soft spoken, and often kind of geeky (trekkies and the like).

So when I see yet another sassy black chick, it once again makes me wonder,
where on earth are the black people who reflect my personal experience?
There are a few in movies who seem closer to the mark, like Denzel and
Halle, but television insists on pulling their black characters from the
black lower class.

The first time I met a black kid I was 10. And I was shocked, because he
was nothing like the black people I saw on television like J.J. Walker: he
was exactly like all the white kids I knew with darker skin. Same clothes,
same taste in music. Why is it virtually impossible to see anyone like that
on television? Do these television producers simply not know any black
people, are they going entirely by what they see on *other* TV shows? I
just don't get it.