A few ground rules.

If I ruled the world, no columnist would be permitted to refer to a sitting, former or aspiring mayor as “hizzoner.” No, not even if you asked really, really nicely. I’d also ban “Politics ain’t beanbag” and “All politics is local.”

Tomorrow: The ruler of the world takes on driving habits.

I’m so glad the economy is doing better. Now that I’m a subscriber to the Wall Street Journal, I don’t know what I’d do without their periodic Dispatches From the America I Don’t Know and Don’t Recognize. Today’s installment — which I can’t link to — details the latest in yachting trends: freighters.

Yes, these “SUVs of the high seas” are being bought by bored rich people, rehabbed to comfortably accommodate themselves and their trophy wives, and then hit the watery road with such new amenities as a topside basketball court. “industry experts say the demand for the mega-boats is growing in part because of their macho ‘Perfect Storm’ appeal — a big selling point for thrill-seekers.”

I wonder what your average New England swordfisherman — who invented “macho ‘Perfect Storm’ appeal” by going out and dying in same — thinks of this. Astonishingly, none were consulted.

Oh my, but it’s an overcast Friday — threatening skies after a week of Southern California-style sunshine. It re-orders the to-do list, which is fine, because “cut grass” has been replaced by “read three more chapters in ‘The Hot Kid.'” It’s a good way to limp into the weekend, and so to the bloggage:

And I don’t have any, or much. Want to be depressed on an overcast day? Check out the NYT’s story on young girls and AIDS in Africa. Man hands on misery to man…

PATRICE LUMUMBA, Mozambique – They met a year ago on the dirt road outside her aunt’s house, in this struggling township where houses are built from bound-together reeds and the only water comes from wells. Flora Muchave was 14. Elario Novunga was 22, nicely dressed and, Flora said, full of promises.

One stood out: Flora’s family had been teetering on the edge of destitution since her father, a miner, died of AIDS in 2000. Elario said he would change that. “He asked me to have sex with him, and he guaranteed everything I would need,” Flora recalled. “He said he would take care of everything for me.”

He lied. Elario gave Flora the equivalent of about $4 and a baby, whose impending birth has forced her to drop out of sixth grade. Before Flora’s mother died in May, apparently of AIDS, she forgave her daughter for ignoring her warnings about fast-talking men. But she sketched out a bleak future for her only daughter.

“Now,” Flora recalled her sobbing from her deathbed, “you are going to suffer.”

Jeez, let me just open a vein now.

TPM Cafe is sort of like the Huffington Post, with 99 percent less unembarrassed idiocy. It’s only in its third day, but I have hope.

And I have hope for the weekend. We may go sailing among the midges. I hope you do, too.

Posted at 9:52 am in Uncategorized |

6 responses to “A few ground rules.”

  1. Randy said on June 3, 2005 at 11:14 am


    As a fellow cyclist, I wonder if a SUV style bike is on the horizon? As a daily bike commuter, I’d feel a whole lot safer if my ride had barge-like stability. The basketball court would be sweet too.


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  2. brian stouder said on June 3, 2005 at 5:55 pm

    If I ruled the world, ALL commercials would have to have the company name and what they’re selling (or what the point of the ad is) in small but readable print at the bottom of the screen (or printed page) – just like they do the campaign commericals.

    For example, consider the Boeing commercials. What is the point of their televised ad campaign? – in 15 words or less?

    “Boeing. We make machines that kill people, but we’re really likeable”

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  3. alex said on June 3, 2005 at 7:05 pm

    McDonald’s–we’ll take thirty years off your life but it’s time you would have spent slaving over a hot stove.

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  4. harry near indy said on June 3, 2005 at 8:12 pm

    hey, the reporting in the wall st journal is solid. but i beseech you from the soles of my feet to stay away from its editorial pages.

    as for these freight barge-style yachts, i say that lenin was dead wrong.

    lenin said the capitalist will sell you the rope you’ll hang him with.

    instead, the capitalist will buy the rope he’ll hang himself with.

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  5. Maureen said on June 5, 2005 at 2:53 am

    Keep reading the WSJ, especially if you can’t personally relate to the articles or if you disagree with the editorials. Enjoy the kind of diversity that really matters – of opinion, of experience, of ideas.

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  6. Nance said on June 5, 2005 at 9:45 am

    I love the WSJ, even that wacky editorial page. I kid because I care.

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