Saturday, December 10, 2005

Things That Make Me Dance Nekkid

Friday, December 09, 2005

Straight Dude's Guide to Brokeback

Way gay. Funny-gay. Funny-gay, I mean.

{COMMENTARY
By Dave White
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 7:26 p.m. ET Dec. 8, 2005

You are a heterosexual man. And you have no personal beef with gay people. You’re educated and fairly socially liberal and occasionally listen to NPR and you don’t like to see anyone bashed or discriminated against. You’re no homophobe. You’re proud of yourself.

But your girlfriend/wife/common-law/female or whoever loves that adorable Jake Gyllenhaal has already stated her intentions. When it’s her turn to pick the Saturday night date-movie, you’re seeing “Brokeback Mountain.”

“But I am a heterosexual man,” you’re thinking, “very, very, very, very straight.” And you’re kind of freaking out as the release date quickly approaches — and even the expression “release date” is making you kind of jittery. You’re hoping to remind your female life partner that, while you feel gay people are very wonderful, colorful, witty additions to the human population and that Ellen sure is fun to watch dance in the credit card commercial and that Tom Hanks really deserved that Academy Award for whatever that movie was where he died at the end, that you are very, very, very, very straight and that it should exempt you from seeing Adorable Jake…um… do “it” with Heath Ledger. You really don’t even want to know what “it” entails because you’ve lived this long without finding out.}

Frozen Hippo



Frozen Hippo has funny new vids, including everybody's favorite, Karate Bear.

I like this one, too.

Rumors Regarding Rumsfeld


The NY Daily News has this.

{WASHINGTON - White House officials are telling associates they expect Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to quit early next year, once a new government is formed in Iraq, sources said yesterday.

Rumsfeld's deputy, Gordon England, is the inside contender to replace him, but there's also speculation that Sen. Joe Lieberman - a Democrat who ran against Bush-Cheney in the 2000 election - might become top guy at the Pentagon.}

Oh. My. God.



{It is a seamless, stretchy, comfortable knit band pregnant women can wear over their unbuttoned pants to keep them on.}

I'll never get another erection for the rest of my life.

Here.

Not gay. Promise #3.


If you happen to see me and Peyton Manning at this, don't jump to any conclusions, 'k?

#12


If Alec and I talked politics, I'd end up giving him the verbal middle finger. But there is no one, I mean no one, better at hosting SNL. Set your TiVo's for Saturday and pray he does Tony Bennett and Pete Schweaty.

Lighten the Fuck Up!


Gay bashing, right? No. Watch the videos.

Fired for this? Come on.

New Jersey's New Senator



From today's NYT:

{There have been 75 corruption indictments in New Jersey over the last four years.}

Well, records *are* meant to be broken.

Solomon Amendment



The NYT has this op-ed.

{THE Supreme Court is now considering whether to uphold the Solomon Amendment, a federal law barring federal funds to universities that deny the military the same access that civilian employers enjoy to recruit students.}

Make Me


The Chronicle's got this.

{America's colleges and universities will not remain the best in the world if they do not become more efficient, more accessible, and more accountable to parents, students, and taxpayers.

That was the message out of the second meeting of the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which began on Thursday in Nashville and continues today.

From the start of Thursday's five-hour session, it was clear that the commission would not be satisfied with the status quo. The panel of invited speakers and commission members was unsparing in its criticism of academe, calling colleges complacent, resistant to change, and sometimes downright lazy.

As the commission's chairman, Charles Miller, put it, "We would not be here if there were not a lot of things to question."

The Bush administration created the commission this year to devise a "comprehensive national strategy" on higher education's future (The Chronicle, September 30). Exactly how the commission will seek to reform higher-education is not yet clear. However, it seems increasingly likely that it will propose standardized testing of college students.}

Count me in the What Gets Measured Gets Done crowd. But what will be the Make Me factor here? Incentive, people. Incentive.

Rebels without a Clue


The Claremont Institute has this.

{There have been two attempts to forge a transformative Left. The first, Communism, ended in tragedy. Heath and Potter say the second, the counterculture, is farce. It has "almost completely replaced socialism as the basis of radical political thought." Compared to Marx's relatively "modest" critique, the countercultural one "is so vast and all-encompassing that it is difficult to imagine what could possibly count as 'fixing things.'" Because the counterculture offered no goal to reform toward, "the concern for social justice became redirected and absorbed into an increasingly narcissistic preoccupation with personal spiritual growth and well-being."}

Westin Reply



I emailed Westin bragging on their new policy. Here's the reply:

{Thank you for your email to Westin Hotels & Resorts regarding the announcement of our brand wide smoke free policy.

Westin is centered on renewal and offering its guests services, products and amenities that help them restore their mind, body and spirit. This philosophy touches everything we do, which includes providing a comfortable, clean and healthy environment for our guests and associates.

We value all of our guests and believe that smokers and non-smokers alike understand our motivation for this new policy. We are committed to offering our guests the best, so it only makes sense to offer them the healthiest, cleanest environment possible where they can relax, renew and refresh.

Thank you for contacting Westin Hotels & Resorts. We look forward to welcoming you on your next stay with us.

Best Regards,

Tracy Jibb

Specialist, E-Communications Department

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

www.starwoodhotels.com

Starwood Preferred Guest, winner of 17 prestigious 2004 Freddie Awards. Including Best Customer Service, Best Elite Level, Best Frequent Guest Program, and Program of the Year for the 6th consecutive year.}

God bless you, Tracy Jibb.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Another McSweeney List



{Socially Awkward Situations During Which It Would Be Acceptable to Mess With Texas.

BY BENJAMIN SUMLIN

- - - -

Texas shows up to the party already drunk with the girlfriend nobody likes.}

The rest here.

One last scan...


Instructions:

1. Pee.

2. Click to enlarge. The image, that is.

While I'm scanning...


Remember, we're all just kids, some more grown up than others. So don't buy gifts that suck.

Futurist Predicts


Click to enlarge.

From the Las Vegas Sun:

{80% of today's kindergarteners will work at jobs that have not yet been invented.}

A Message from the NAACP



In one of my favorite quotes of the day, NAACP President Bruce Gordon says about Tookie Williams, "A vote for clemency is a vote for hope, and we need to send that message to our young people." A message that they too can start a gang to murder and traffic drugs? A message that they too can kill four innocent people execution-style? A message that they too can rape the court system for nearly thirty years? A message that they too can become best buddies with the Hollywood Left? A message that they too can manufacture celebrity by committing murder? A message that they too can escape the punishment for it?

Great Expectations

The Chronicle's got this. (Sorry, non-subscribers.)

{AskTheStudents.com:

Do college leaders and information-technology companies know how — and how much — today's students want electronic media integrated into their learning and campus experiences? Do most students want the same things? Are they thinking about the issues that colleges see as important?}

Here's the mp3.

Don't Know Much About History



Inside Higher Ed's got this.

{Many colleges in recent years have eliminated majors or departments in relatively obscure fields, citing the need to focus on areas with growing student interest. Few, however, have taken the step Post University plans: eliminating majors in English and history.}

The MySpace Generation


MyStudents spend more time on MySpace than in studying for MyClass.

BusinessWeek has a decent story on MySpace (currently 37 million users), et al.

Larry Summers vindicated?


This just in: Boys different from girls.

{See Dick think. He is not like Jane.

Teachers see it — boys tend to fidget and flail in ways unlike a typical girl. Scientists see it, too — brain studies suggest boys process language and emotions less efficiently.

Talk of sex differences can ignite arguments in these gender-neutral times. But growing numbers of experts say society must face some politically incorrect realities.}

Most Likely to Not Show at Reunion


The New Yorker has a piece on OBL.

Al Thagher's Class of 1976 had a recent reunion at a Red Sea resort. About 50 alumni turned up. No word from class member Osama bin Laden.

{“Osama was an honorable student,” the schoolmate continued. “He kept to himself, but he was honest. If you brought a sandwich to school, people would often steal it as a joke or eat it if you left it on the desk. This was a common thing. We used to leave our valuables with Osama, because he never cheated. He was sober, serious. He didn’t cheat or copy from others, but he didn’t hide his paper, either, if others wanted to look over his shoulder.”}

The Other J.C.


On the wall of the new science center at John Carroll University: "Technology has given you a power of inquiry greater than thinking individuals have ever possessed. Not to use it would be like not breathing."

But the lecture would have been so popular


Comments from the HEAD OF THE RELIGIOUS STUDIES DEPARTMENT:

{Mr. Mirecki, who is chairman of the religious-studies department at Kansas, had proposed a course called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism, and Other Religious Mythologies." The title itself angered intelligent-design proponents, who objected to being lumped in with "other religious mythologies."

The professor also sent a message to a private e-mail discussion group in which he referred to fundamentalist Christians as "fundies" and wrote that the class would be "a nice slap in their big fat face." The message was leaked. Later, other messages that were insulting to Christians, and particularly Roman Catholics, came to light.

"We went through enough of the postings to know that there were other e-mails that damaged Professor Mirecki's suitability to teach the course," said Lynn Bretz, a spokeswoman for the university.

Mr. Mirecki canceled the course last week.}

"Professor" al-Fuckface



If the government can't get a conviction on this useless fuckin' fuck, what hope does America have?

51 counts! 51 COUNTS!

I'll sleep okay though...because I know he'll soon be in hell, getting raped by the devil for all eternity. Yay.

Library of the Future



Today's Chronicle features an mp3 of this:

{One of the panels at the Higher Education Leadership Forum focused on the library of the future — and the future of the library. Some reports to the contrary, the academic library is not deserted. It's not dead. It's not going to be replaced by the Internet next year, and probably not the year after that. But it is changing.

At conferences, librarians are talking about the way that the library's role is changing, the way that its space is changing, and the way the profession that serves it is changing. Their conversations are charged with the excitement of a field that is moving and active, but they are also filled with a good deal of anxiety.}

Here's the mp3.

Christmas, er, "Holiday" Vacation



As Christmas, er, Holiday Break approaches, my students are all smiles about StudentUniverse. The travel blackout dates on StudentUniverse, however, make my students want to crap in a sock and throw it at StudentUniverse.

Classy!


Pinter was surprised to have won and had no speech prepared, so he used an old one Michael Moore had dropped.

{The playwright Harold Pinter turned his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on Wednesday into a furious howl of outrage against American foreign policy, saying that the United States had not only lied to justify waging war against Iraq but had also "supported and in many cases engendered every right-wing military dictatorship" in the last 50 years.

"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless,..." Mr. Pinter said.

The literature prize has in recent years often gone to writers with left-wing ideologies. [Indeed! Name a time when it hasn't!] These include the European writers José Saramago of Portugal, Günter Grass of Germany and Dario Fo of Italy.}

{In its citation, the Swedish Academy made little mention of his political views, saying only that he is known as a "fighter for human rights."}

Unless of course those human rights are for, oh, I don't know, say, Iraqi women.

Ho, Ho, Hello?



Today's Chronicle lists gifts professors want. Here's one.

{Cellphone Jammer: Interrupt their signal before they interrupt your lecture. (Note: Illegal to use in the United States.) $292 at http://www.globalgadgetuk.com}

No Smoking! We Mean It!



Let this be an ad for Westin, who announced today that they are going smoke-free January 1, 2006, and that customers who fire one up can expect to see a $200 charge added to their bill. Jen and I will be at the honeymoon suite of a Westin Hotel soon.

DNC Times



I'm no fan of El Rushbo, but he's on something, er, onto something calling the NY Times the DNC Times. To wit, today's ed:

{Searching for their lost mojo, Democratic Party leaders are preparing to fiddle with the presidential nomination calendar in an effort to tap into greater voter diversity and avoid an early rush to judgment that can wear thin with voters. Good idea...}

Can't they even feign objectivity?

Final 3!



I heart Jen! I heart her and I love her! I heart her and I love her and I l-u-v her!

Final 3! It's time for Sasha to go.

Today in History



No, Lennon was before my time. But I'll be listening to some Rubber Soul today in his honor.

And the NYT has this op-ed.

{TWENTY-FIVE years ago today, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This previously unpublished photograph was taken a little more than a month before his death.}

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Stop Gap Loss



Sure, you can question the Gap's leadership. But this ad is almost as cool as those girls in my high school who wore white jeans.

DFW Tour



Got these tour dates for David Foster Wallace from the publicist at Little, Brown:

{He'll be in NYC on 1/11 to read/sign at Strand Bookstores

He'll be in LA on 1/15 to read/sign at UCLA's Hammer Museum

He'll be in SF on 1/16 to read/sign at Booksmith}

Since he is in academe now too, when we meet I'm certain it will be not unlike in movies when two brothers separated at birth are reunited. Because this is my blog and I get to say what's true.

Didion Deux


And here's Joanie accepting the National Book Award.

The NYT reports that the next award her YOMT wins might be a Tony.

Ms. Didion



Sure, I had other photos of Joan Didion. But this one's my favorite. It's genuine.

Read her Year of Magical Thinking on the flight to Vegas and back.

{You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends. Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.}

Now look at that picture again.

What happens in Vegas...


Could that be the mysterious professor in the center? Elvis strikes deal with Namewithheld to make public appearance together?

According to this in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, they weren't the only ones hiding in Sin City:

{Britney Spears' latest Las Vegas visit has 'em guessing.There's paparazzi buzz that she's in town for Tuesday's Billboard Awards at the MGM Grand. Her hubby, Kevin Federline, flew in, apparently hoping to reconcile their bumpy marriage. But that might not happen after reports that she had a towing company return the Ferrari he purchased to a Los Angeles dealership.OTHER SIGHTINGSWayne Newton, joining Toby Keith and the group Night Ranger on stage for a long jam of "Gimme Some Lovin' " at Keith's I Love This Bar (Harrah's) on Saturday. Newton and Keith, who had never met, talked about teaming up on a USO tour for the troops. ... Federline, partying with pals at Tao from 2-4:30 a.m. Sunday. Also in the house: Mike Tyson, Joy Bryant, 50 Cent's co-star in "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," and boxing ring voice Michael Buffer. ... At the Gwen Stefani show Saturday (Aladdin/Planet Hollywood): Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, Elaine Wynn, and Jeff Beacher among the contingent with Aladdin/Planet Hollywood honcho Mike Mecca and his wife, Sandy. Actor Scott Wolf, dining at Tremezzo (Aladdin/Planet Hollywood). ... Unbeaten middleweight champion Jermain Taylor, arriving with entourage at OPM (Forum Shops at Caesars) after his unan-imous decision over Bernard Hopkins on Saturday at Mandalay Bay. Also there: fellow boxers "Sugar" Shane Mosley, Antonio Tarver, Lamar Brewster, ex-NFLers James Hasty and Natrone Means, MTV's Ed Lover, and rapper Yuk Mouth in a full chinchilla. J. Prince, CEO of Rap-a-Lot Records, and his large entourage were turned away for not meeting the dress code. As he left, he threatened to return and "buy OPM and fire you all!"... At Light (Bellagio): Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield of the New York Yankees, members of Third Eye Blind, Charles Barkley and Charles Oakley. ... Pro golfer Nick Price, dining at Hank's Fine Steaks & Martinis at Green Valley Ranch. ... At Body English (Palms) on Saturday: Actor Mario Lopez, Tommy "Hit Man" Hearns and Jason Giambi. ... At Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce (Mandalay Bay) on Friday: "Superman" Dean Cain, with his family; Joe Francis and Lopez. ... Reichen, half of the married male duo that won "The Amazing Race" on CBS, at Hash House A Go Go on Sunday.}

Miscegenation!



Missed this too.

I'm Baaack

Whew. Survived this. Here's the full report.

Here are some quick posts I missed:

1. TUITION LIMITS: The president of the University of Missouri System, Elson S. Floyd, has dropped a proposal to freeze tuition rates for new students so that they would pay the same amount for at least four years. Some students had objected that such an approach would hurt those now enrolled and would have disparate effects on different classes. Mr. Floyd offered instead to tie any tuition increases to inflation, provided that the state's support for the system increased at a rate that kept up with inflation.

2. How would the ability to tell a lively story or sing a lovely song have contributed to anyone's survival? How, for that matter, would imaginative fictional worlds, or imaginary numbers, or speculations about what might be found on the other side of the moon contribute to subsistence? Spending the night singing or telling stories is more likely to interfere with tomorrow's hunt than to help. A hard-working, reliable, but unimaginative man, one who is never distracted by frivolities like song and dance or the urge to create a magnificent carving, ought to be a woman's best choice to supply the genes to mix with her own, and then to help her to support their children. Except that human women are no more attracted to such a dull but hard-working man than a peahen is attracted to a male with an efficient but scruffy tail.

In a species where a male's contribution to reproduction ends as soon as he has donated his genes, a female's choice is much more important than the male's. He needs to be more pleasing than all the other males. All she needs to be attractive is the ability to produce his children. In a species where males and females form long-term partnerships, however, male choice matters. ... This is why human beings spend so much time in courtship. We need the time to assess the quality of the candidates. We still make mistakes, but we do better than we would in a random shuffle.

Music, art, humor, and elaborate language are all prominent among human displays. They are our peacock's tail, ornaments that are wonderfully useful as displays even if they interfere with the more mundane matter of making a living. Women are attracted to men who are musical, artistic, funny, imaginative, and interesting conversationalists. Men, it turns out, are attracted to women who are musical, artistic, funny, imaginative, and interesting conversationalists. Women also like men, and men like women, who are kind, thoughtful, and helpful, and these qualities, too, could have been promoted by sexual selection. ...

If sexual selection is so efficient, why are we not, by now, all thoughtful paragons of intellectual brilliance? One answer is that a suitor must not only persuade a potential mate but simultaneously defeat the competition. For this, a certain ruthlessness may be needed. Too much kindness and generosity might reduce the competitive edge.

— Robbins Burling, professor emeritus of anthropology and linguistics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, in The Talking Ape: How Language Evolved, published by Oxford University Press

3. Elf poop rulz!

4. How much do these guys make?