Hi, neighbor.

The Free Press ran a picture of the new mayor’s new house, and as soon as I saw it I knew exactly where it was, without even reading the story. That almost never happens; this city is still largely unknown to me, which is one reason I drive through it whenever possible.

In this case I knew it from the other direction. I took a rowing clinic a couple summers ago, and we rowed on the canals behind the Shore Pointe subdivision, a little slice of buppie heaven built on a landfill peninsula on the Detroit River. Afterward, I tried to drive back there to see the front side of the houses I’d admired from the back, but no dice, it was gated. Not surprisingly, the site has history to burn:

Bing’s subdivision sits on the site of the former Gar Wood mansion, legendary home of the famous race-boat driver that four decades ago became a communal residence for young people and, later, as it decayed, a biker hangout and party place.

This is what the rowing-clinic instructor said, too. A big abandoned house right on the river, barely bothered with by the police? What biker could resist?

It is just down a canal from the Lawrence Fisher home, which the Fisher family donated to the Hare Krishna movement.

I think this is not quite true; I seem to recall a hop-skip-jump between the Fishers and the Hare Krishnas that involved two scions of the industry, a Ford and a Reuther, both of whom were HKs, probably disappointing their parents terribly. The Detroit Women’s Rowing Association boathouse is on the grounds of this place, in a new building the Hare Krishnas used as a preschool. They’re still there, and have a big free vegetarian meal every Sunday. We took a tour of the mansion after we came off the water. There were several wax figures of the head H.K., whose name I won’t even attempt to find. It was startling to walk into an empty room and find him there:

IMG_0310

A couple stopped by after their wedding, to take pictures:

IMG_0322

I wonder if they’re still married.

On my way back out to Jefferson after being turned away by the gate, I passed the customary boarded-up squalor. It’s never far away in Detroit. But of course, that’s what makes the place so interesting, that one day you can be riding your bike down a crummy street and all of a sudden come across a bunch of people in saffron robes and shaved heads, feeding their flock of peacocks. Hi, neighbor!

My next thought was wondering if I could write a short story about a crime in the neighborhood, where the bad guys make their getaway by water. One of these days when I stop wasting my time on my stupid blog, maybe.

So, a little bloggage:

My patience with Sarah Palin and her sense of entitlement grows fades by the minute. Am I the only one who not only didn’t think CHILD RAPE over the Letterman joke, but barely noticed the offense? Granted, I am old and grizzled and a subscriber to premium cable, but it really didn’t seem beyond the pale for late-night monologue humor. And now he has apologized again. I’m still waiting for an apology from Governor Sensitivity and her real-America cracks, her silent witness to the “kill him” shouts from her audiences, etc. I think I’ll be waiting a while.

Oh, and look: Other party members are real sensitive, too. Caught red-handed, the excuse is still, “I sent it to the wrong mailing list.”

OK, that’s it for now. I’m off to the gym. The other day I was idly scratching my arm and came across a lump below my shoulder. It was a tricep! How the hell did that happen? I better try to keep things going.

Back later.

Posted at 9:44 am in Detroit life |
 

73 responses to “Hi, neighbor.”

  1. brian stouder said on June 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

    “My patience with Sarah Palin and her sense of entitlement grows by the minute.”

    This sentence made me say “wow”, and I re-read it. (I have been on the slutty flight attendant’s side through most of this, and was intrigued to see Nance sliding over, too)

    Then I read the following sentence, and pondered the context clues, and concluded that the proprietress disagrees with the women on The View.

    The Governor has over-played her response, to be sure – but then again such a boorish remark from Letterman (or anyone) pretty much requires an over-played response (if not a bitch-slap, right across his buck-toothed face!)

    Just sayin

  2. coozledad said on June 16, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I think Sarah and her family are the tiny, charred heart of their insufferable party. Let them run with her. The only thing I can figure is that in their minds, she’s some class totty, like you might find haunting the blackjack tables at Monte Carlo. A nice face to slap on whichever administration decides to whore our military out to the Kuwaitis and Saudi Royals again. But she’s really more about hanging on your arm after you crack fifty bucks with a scratch and win card at Munchin’ Marvin’s. The family is straight bodankey. STD incubators with a vengeance.
    And Letterman has to kiss this typing-school dropout’s ring? She couldn’t even handle the job of anchor-gash for a cable access sports program. Letterman has at various times stepped out of his role as a wheedling smartass comedian to say what Dave Gregory, Tim Russert and Cokie Roberts had their mouths too full of cock to say.
    If Letterman has to apologize to this skeeze, shouldn’t we also be placing a cordon-sanitaire around South Carolina to keep its puerile little fucks out of America?
    http://www.dependablerenegade.com/dependable_renegade/2009/06/maybe-south-carolina-should-secede-again.html

  3. alex said on June 16, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Disappointed to see Letterman wuss out. That bothers me far worse than the Palin jokes.

    EDIT: Cooze, you’re the best.

  4. jeff borden said on June 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

    There is so much to mock about Sarah Palin and her snowbilly clan that making fun of her looks is literally the lowest of the low-hanging fruit. The daughter joke also was lame. No one in their right mind would think Big Dave was riffing on 14-year-old Willow, when it was only a few weeks ago Bristol was posing with baby whatever (I can’t keep all the Palin baby names straight)on magazine covers. Still, it was just a cheap, easy shot. I expect a little more from Dave.

    But like a moth to flame, Sarah Palin cannot keep herself from flying straight toward the media light. The taste of national fame last fall clearly went to her head and she no longer seems to take much satisfaction in governing Alaska, which is borne out by her tumbling approval numbers and the growing number of Republican critics who are starting to grouse about her lack of leadership. And with the Republican Party in collapse everywhere but the Deep South and the Plains States, she probably figures she has as good a chance as anyone to emerge as the party’s leader. So, she has morphed from the moose-hunting hockey mom into a spoiled diva, who has traded her Carhart’s for the flashier wares aof Saks Fifth Avenue and Nieman Marcus. (Thanks, GOP donors!)

    And, man, is that a problem for the GOP. The Republican base loves Ms. Malaprop, but she is poison to moderates, independents and Democrats. And, honestly, she has no damned business even being talked about as a presidential candidate. We just endured eight years of indescribable incompetence and off-the-cuff public policy and look what it got us: two ongoing wars and a ruined economy. We do not need a lightly credentialed Bible beater whose unworldliness is matched only by her sense of self-regard.

  5. Joe Kobiela said on June 16, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I heard the Letterman joke, thought it was about the older daughter,which I also think Dave thought. Didn’t think it was funny. The problem, to me anyway is the media is so screwed to the left that Dave gets a pass, but let Imus say nappy head ho, or God forbid Rush say something about Chelsie,(which by the way,I thought was in very poor taste) and the media treats it like it is the end of the world.
    Pilot Joe

  6. LAMary said on June 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

    He didn’t need to apologize but I’m guessing he got some heavy pressure to do so. She’s a lame opportunist who played her older daughter’s pregnancy out on front pages and then pretended David Letterman somehow was a threat to the younger daughter’s virtue. Please. She’s Carrie Prejean in twenty years.

  7. Peter said on June 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I only saw a short clip of the apology, but I have read the transcript and I think it was a very classy, professional move. There are a lot of people in government, sports, and entertainment who should use Dave’s apology as a template instead of the old “If I have offended anyone…” routine.

    I just think that it shows that Dave has class, or is at least a professional, which is a lot more than you can say about Ms. Palin, Mr. Limbaugh, and their ilk.

    And Jeff, thanks a lot – “snowbilly” made me spray my monitor with the morning tea.

  8. Jen said on June 16, 2009 at 11:37 am

    At least Letterman is supposed to be a comedian. His joke was kind of lame, but I didn’t think it was anything to get too bent out of shape over. I didn’t think child rape, either – I thought it was a cheap shot at Bristol that perhaps wasn’t in the best taste, but certainly nothing to freak out about. But Sarah Palin hadn’t been in the news for a while, so I guess it made sense for her to call attention to it, and herself.

    I tend to agree that the children of politicians should be off-limits. It’s not their fault that their parents are famous. The mean things said about Chelsea Clinton were inexcusable, too. I do think that Bristol and/or her mother have thrust Bristol into the limelight, however, coming on TV and talking about her baby and teen pregnancy and stuff, so she is a bit more of a target.

    Personally, when I see stories like this on TV, I roll my eyes and change the channel. There are WAY bigger and more important things to be discussing.

  9. Joe Kobiela said on June 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    On Ken Levin.com there is a good reply about letterman, its about 3/4 ways down in the reply’s. author is Pat Reeder.
    Pilot Joe

  10. ROgirl said on June 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I’m sure her faux outrage is merely a tactic to whip up the flaming righties into hysteria. During the campaign a lot of comedians made jokes about her children and she kept silent, perhaps under the orders of the McCain people. Not only did she exploit her children during the campaign, including her handicapped infant, but her lack of seriousness became a major liability to McCain and contributed to his loss. She’s spinning this out to keep her name in the news and perpetuate her outsider victim schtick.

  11. velvet goldmine said on June 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I’ve done the Letterman move before. The old-fashioned expression for it is “heaping coals upon her head.” In other words, unexpected graciousness as a response to bitchery. It just robs Palin of ammunition. He’s making sure perception doesn’t become reality: Not so much that he’s a lecher, but that at 62, going up against the younger Kimmel and Conan, that he’d too old to “get it,” that he’s become tone-deaf.

    Palin just has that uncanny way of taking any sympathy one might have for her (in the campaign, it was the way in which her appearance and wardrobe choices were scrutinized, and the family rumors) and to dissipate it entirely by being so out-of-left-field vicious that it takes one’s breath away.

  12. velvet goldmine said on June 16, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    ROgirl — small disagreement. I think in Palin’s position I, too, might “exploit [my] handicapped infant.” I wouldn’t drape it in anti-abortion robes as Palin did, but I would probably welcome the opportunity to connect with Down’s Syndrome parents, to talk about funding special education, and to silently let photo ops bear witness to the fact that a DS was a clear blessing to the family.

  13. Jolene said on June 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Amen re Palin’s knack for turning sympathy against her, velvet. Did you see her response to Letterman’s apology? She said,

    “Of course it’s accepted on behalf of young women, like my daughters, who hope men who ‘joke’ about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve,” the statement read.

    “Letterman certainly has the right to ‘joke’ about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction. And this is all thanks to our U.S. military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America’s right to free speech – in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect.”

    I think she could have managed to accept the apology without wrapping herself in the flag.

  14. MarkH said on June 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Let’s be clear about one thing here, re: Palin/Letterman. The controversy, or “joke”, has gone this far because of Letterman, not Palin. On Monday, he lays out the joke, presumably talking about 18-year-old Bristol. Amid the building “outrage” by Tuesday morning, everyone on the planet knows that, uh-oh, it was the 14-year-old Willow at the game, not Bristol. What now? Tuesday night, he acknowledged the backlash, but only in a “what’s the big deal?” way. Why would you all think I was talking about the 14-year-old when I would never do such a thing, he said. Never acknowledging the mistaken identity, he lumped the whole premise in the trash heap of thousands of lame jokes over the last 30 years without an apology. The next three days showed he was aware of the ratings value vs. new Tonight show host Conan O’Brien (a soon-to-be-clear misfire by NBC, btw). He kept it going because, sure at s***, Palin would take the bait and counter, and she delivered, every hour, it seemed. He was in very tricky territory with the joke it IMHO, as his cover term, “knocked up” clearly insinuated a sex act in the stands, with, oops, a 14-year-old by a known horndog professional athlete. What bothers me about Letterman’s apology is the whole disingenuous nature nature of it. It took him watching (perceived) liberal PBS News Hour with Jim Leherer, and hearing (acknowledged) liberal commentator Mark Shields rail on him before he realized he better end it now, clearly and succinctly. If this angry attitude has so clearly penetrated the ranks of my liberal supporters, he realized, then I may be in trouble after all.

    I’m not a Palin supporter and feel she is as deserving a target of satire as any political figure, maybe more so, especially considering the fact that we’ll all have to deal with her from now till 2012, like it or not. If this last seven days of milking it was not a calculation on Letterman’s part, he could have and should have ended it by Wednesday night. I agree with Jeff B. last week that, while I have always like Dave as the best of the late night hosts, his political sensibilities lead him to take the easy way with cheap shots more frequently these days.

  15. jeff borden said on June 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    The more I see and hear of Sarah Palin, the more I’m reminded of a brilliant Garry Trudeau takedown of California’s resident narcissistic pol, Jerry Brown. This strip must’ve been penned decades ago, but it featured a television reporter asking Jerry Brown, “Governor, would you still exist if I turn the camera off?”

    If there is a camera or a microphone within 100 yards of the governor, she is drawn to it. She keeps her name and face in the public eye without costing her a penny. And it allows her to raise money off the perceived slights she endures from the media, liberals, Democrats, et.al.

    BTW, can you imagine where we’d be right now if McCain-Palin had won the election? You know the Maverick would be growling and threatening Iran, which would strengthen the repressive regime by casting the USA as an outside instigator. And there would be a flock of neocons in the West Wing, looking for new mischif to create in the Middle East. They’d be delivering everything Ahmenihijad (sp?) wanted on a silver tray.

    I’m disappointed in a lot of what President Obama has done and not done so far, but he’s playing this situation very intelligently. I’m thrilled to have a calm, analytical thinker in the Oval Office right now.

  16. Dexter said on June 16, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    The whole clown-car Palin clan is the joke here, and every comedic shot they take is deserved. I am sick of this unworthy newsmaker Sarah Palin, she who called our President one who “pals around with terrorists.” She can go to hell and stay there, the beady-eyed freak. And she can take creepy Glenn Beck and all the rest of them with her. Now everybody go straight to new york times dot com and read Frank Rich’s Sunday column and you will see who forms MY opinions.

  17. John said on June 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Yet in the same show Beck also said von Brunn was a symptom that “the pot in America is boiling,” as if Beck himself were not the boiling pot cheering the kettle on.

    Frank Rich is the man! Thnx for the tip, Dexter.

  18. ROgirl said on June 16, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Frank rules!

  19. mark said on June 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    For many here, it seems that no vulgarity is too great so long as it is directed at the people with whom you disagree. They are unworthy of simple civility.

    Letterman’s apology was well-spoken and seemingly heart-felt. Sorry he disappointed you by extending it.

    For those of you still searching for the high ground between jokes about a 14 year-old having sex in a public place with a famous adult womanizer and those that are aimed at an 18 year-old with an out-of-wedlock baby engaged in the same conduct, happy hunting. Your responsibility toward children only extends to those of the people you agree with and the others are fair game for you to use to make your very important, very adult, political points.

    Between the ‘let’s make fun of teenagers’ defense and the rave reviews for comments about gashes and cocks in mouths, this has been like a short trip back to high school.

  20. coozledad said on June 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Sarah’s dragging us all back to high school. She’s out of her element. She should have attended school if she wanted to play politics, and she shouldn’t have used her grubby little family for props. There is a bigger story here which is obscured by all the Republican whining. This cheerleader/Bill Kristol wank idol closed bidding for the Alaska pipeline to everyone except Transcanada because they fucking shoveled money into her maw. She’s Imelda Marcos, without the eastern charm. Her husband is a gatekeeper who keeps his eyes peeled for the flash dudes. A pimp. We nearly had these people selling the White House furniture on Ebay and you want to whine about naughty language.
    You want to know what’s really vulgar? Some slut egging the backwoods on to murder urban types, while she stuffs her party’s campaign contributions in her bra like a grand-a-night hooker. Then turning around and admonishing everyone with her semiliterate schoolmarm act.
    Fuck her.

  21. Joe Kobiela said on June 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Sorry Dexter, but I will form my own opinion.
    Pilot Joe

  22. deb said on June 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    well, clearly i waited too long to weigh in with my take, because now it’s taken a Sober Turn, but jeeze — didn’t it occur to anybody else that the joke wasn’t about either of palin’s daughters but that horndog a-rod?

  23. bo-regard said on June 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    “stop wasting my time on my stupid blog”

    What??? Don’t even THINK that. It’s my home page. First thing I read every day upon boot-up. I’m assuming you don’t REALLY think it’s stupid or a waste of time.

  24. jeff borden said on June 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Mark makes a reasonable point that what outrages us is often driven by where our politics lie. Letterman piling on the hapless Palin girls isn’t all that far afield from El Rushbo describing the 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton as the “White House dog.” Or John McCain cracking that Chelsea was ugly because her mother was Janet Reno.

    What bothers me is how this dust-up keeps an ambitious minor leaguer in the spotlight. Forget the jokes. Sarah Palin is a simple-minded nitwit adored by a significant and powerful portion of the Republican Party, who apparently thrill to her tortured syntax so long as she throws them the red meat they crave. The audience response to her appearances in the latter stages of the presidential campaign were nothing short of scary and she fed that fear at every turn. She’s one creepy lady. . .a hateful, small-minded, unread and undereducated hypocrite.

    Forget her kids. Focus on her. The more America sees and hears of Sarah Palin, the more they hate her. (And, folks, it ain’t just the media beating this twit up. Hell, they love her. She generates ratings.) When you can’t handle softball lobs from Charlie Rose and Katie Couric, you should recognize your severe shortcomings and go back to Wasilla. Sadly, Simple Sarah still thinks she’s a big leaguer. More sadly, so does a big chunk of Republicans.

  25. Dexter said on June 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Frank Beckmann hosts a mid-morning show on 760 WJR-AM Detroit. His topic today was “where are all the conservative voices? The liberals are the only ones being heard.” I had to shut it off pronto. WJR is a Limbaugh station. What the hell was he talking about?…well, I guess I could have listened and found out. After all, who has ever heard of a has-been out-of-office old former VP like Cheney becoming the leader of a political party? Why is anyone listening to Sarah Palin? Is she really a leader for the 2012 ticket? Dan Quayle is available for her veep slot…he’s experienced.
    Anyway, Warren Pierce is the only host I like on WJR.
    http://www.wjr.net/Sectional.asp?id=6552

  26. paddyo' said on June 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    deb’s absolutely right … this whole case is a classic example of the heaviest hammer in the toolbox of what passes for political debate these days: Taking things wildly out-of-context … and reacting melodramatically to them — followed by endless piling on via 24-hour cable “news” and the blah-blah-blahgosphere of talk radio.

    Dave’s crime, if anything, was subtlety, not bluntness. He’s been far more gracious in trying to appease Sarah and her harpies than he needed to be.

  27. ROgirl said on June 16, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    If Sarah Palin becomes the front runner for the Repubs in 2012, they’re in big trouble. If that’s how she’s trying to position herself, it will be interesting to see who pops up to battle against her (mitt?). As long as people are talking about her she’s ahead of the game. That’s her strategy.

  28. jeff borden said on June 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    ROgirl,

    You bet Sarah Palin is angling to be the frontrunner and she may have a shot. No matter how much Flip Flop Mitt Romney flips and flops, the hardcore evangelicals are not going to coalesce behind a Mormon. Bobby Jindal clearly is not ready for prime-time and he’s not white. Newt Gingrich is yesterday’s news. Rudy Ghouliani revealed himself to be empty of substance beyond “noun, verb, 9/11.” Tim Pawlenty is a cipher at the moment.

    Only Mike Huckabee might be able to pull it off since he is a pretty damned good campaigner and has the religious vote all wrapped up. Of course, other names will emerge over the next couple of years, but it’s easy to see why Simple Sarah keeps popping up on your TV set. She knows the field is weak.

  29. Scout said on June 16, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Does Sarah really know the field is weak? Or does she just genuinely believe that if she just keeps thrusting herself at any nearby camera and/or microphone between now and then, she’ll win by recognition factor? She’s a huge attention whore and it pisses me off every time I rise to the bait. Like now. On the other hand, the more attention she gets the less she appeals to sane people, I suppose.

  30. jeff borden said on June 16, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Ruh roh.

    Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev) is going public with details of an affair. He was sleeping with the wife of one of his Senate staffers.

    Classy.

  31. nancy said on June 16, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Wasn’t a certain Ohio governor famous for laying pipe with his staffers’ wives? He was like a dog peeing on fenceposts.

  32. alex said on June 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    For many here, it seems that no vulgarity is too great so long as it is directed at the people with whom you disagree. They are unworthy of simple civility.

    Yeah, we could all take a lesson in etiquette from Beck, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, those paragons of civility. Now you know how it feels.

  33. coozledad said on June 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    jeff borden: It would have stayed private, but the staffer wanted to hold Ensign’s wallet for awhile. My wife says the guy went about it all wrong: He should have S-corped and asked for a series of contracts.
    Maybe they could have worked together on DOMA. Because marriage is between a Senator, his estranged spouse, his staffer’s wife and the frothing wingnut base:
    http://ensign.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Media.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=f9bddfd1-c3eb-4551-9257-da9b945e42eb&Region_id=&Issue_id=7fb85906-844e-4cb4-b113-82f3ca2ccba4

  34. LAMary said on June 16, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Off topic.
    I read resumes all day every day. Today I saw some job experience that caught my attention:

    Nit Picker
    Hair Whisperer, Los Angeles

    I googled this and it’s a real business with branches in LA, San Francisco and San Diego. I’ve been itchy ever since I read that resume.

  35. jeff borden said on June 16, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Cooz,

    I thought I remembered Ensign as being a reliable rightwing hack. Naturally, he’s one of the many who have pontificated on the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman. Apparently, in his case, he needs two women. But don’t let those darn gay people try that marriage thing. No sir. Wouldn’t do, wouldn’t do.

    Ensign would’ve been better served following the lead of his fellow Republican, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). Vitter avoids all that nasty stuff by hiring prostitutes including the D.C. Madam. He must have a very toleratnt wife. Vitter, of course, is also a rightwing stalwart on the marriage issue.

    There must be some genetic strain that affects the conscience of people like Ensign, allowing them to lie about their own relationships while defending the sacred institution of marriage from the liberals, the secular humanists, the homos, whatever.

    Even though half of all marriages fail, it’s hard to find sympathy for a douche like Ensign because of his raging hypocrisy. I hope his wife takes him for every penny he has.

  36. LAMary said on June 16, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Dexter, I looked at the WJR website and in the upper lefthand corner is a constantly changing montage of photos of their hosts. That has to be the most retouched, ridiculously flattering photo of Rush Limbaugh on the face of the earth. He has never looked like like that.

  37. brian stouder said on June 16, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Well, let me say a thing or two, which may or may not be in agreement with anyone else.

    First, I have always supported President Obama 100%, (the 2004 convention speech was a head-turner, but a speech he gave on the altogther legitmate – if not indispensible – role of faith in the formulation of public policy, wrenched me right out of the GOP and into the ranks of Obama Democrats), and I cannot imagine supporting anyone else for president until 2016.

    Let’s stipulate that Sarah Palin is – at best – a 2-dimensional political figure, even moreso than the aforementioned “noun-verb-9/11” Rudy.

    And, let’s further stipulate that, like any number of vain male politicians before her, she loves the national limelight and is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Even leaving aside that she may well have lusted in her heart for national office before John McCain came knocking, still it should be remembered that she was yanked into the national maw – and she didn’t come into it on her own terms.

    Really, what could be politically worse than being literally fitted for a fashionable strait-jacket for one’s first venture into the non-stop mosh-pit of American national politics; being “in the arena” – risking (and realizing) all sorts of embarrassments and challenges – and on top of everything, having to march where the main candidate’s team says, there to do precisely what that team instructs – with all the inevitable mis-steps and sniping and so on, at every turn?

    Agree or disagree – but I think she is more than a little admirable for having come through the ordeal as well as she did.

    I wouldn’t vote for her for City Council, but she has been in the arena and lived to tell the tale; she dished out lots of hits, and she took her full share, back again.

    David Letterman’s joke was stupid and offensive, and she hit back – and he whined and equivocated like a balky 12 year old.

    He’s made it right now, but consider – he has contributed to the continuing coarseness of our political culture. If one defends him, one cannot complain when, for example, women we agree with – and their daughters – are ‘jokingly’ called “sluts” on national media.

    I don’t like this sort of invective from righties or centrists or lefties.

  38. Guyot said on June 16, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Random thoughts…

    Sarah Palin – I don’t care.

    David Letterman – I don’t care.

    I’ve never known of any politician NOT obsessed with the limelight and media attention.

    Nancy – blogs are a waste of time. Every word written on a blog is a word that could have been put toward a novel, screenplay, short story, etc. It’s why I quit blogging. These days bloggers have become incredibly self-righteous. It seems as if people believe that simply starting a blog makes you the equivalent of Jimmy Breslin or Tom Brokaw. It does not.

    But as blogs go, yours is one of only two or three I ever look at anymore. So what do I know?

  39. nancy said on June 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    But…but…I AM Jimmy Breslin. Aren’t I?

  40. LAMary said on June 16, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    You are, but without the broken blood vessels in your nose. At least I don’t think so.

  41. Catherine said on June 16, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    And with triceps.

  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    If Jimmy Breslin had slept with Dorothy Parker, and their love child had been raised by Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, with Patricia Highsmith as godmother . . . yeah, that’d be you!

  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 16, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    On topic with LAMary’s off topic — we’re about to lose our county “lice lady” and trust me, the attendance officers and juvenile court diversion officers and mediators are NOT happy about this penny-wise, pound-foolish act. That woman’s work, directly into homes where lice and nits are often an index for [insert your favorite social ill here], let alone with happy households who are bewildered that the unthinkable had landed and started digging in their Precious’ scalp, and all of the above are utterly at sea as to what to do, fliers sent home be demmed (as the Pimpernel would say).

    Anyhow, my point is a sincere “God bless” to nit pickers. Mayo and RID are first steps, but not the whole program. And lice take a whole program.

  44. nancy said on June 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    There’s a franchise business in nit-picking. I learned this after lice swept through our neighborhood last year. The Hair Fairy is one. I believe hair fairies charge, and get, $100/hour. Not bad.

  45. beb said on June 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    “I’m too good to blog?” As a famous person says today. Right. Has said famous person inserted new words into the language the was blogger Atrios has (Friedman Unit)? Or make a major corporation change their personnel policies the way John Aravosis has? Or explained complex issues is simple clear language like Digby does on a regular basis. Or make ordinary life seem interesting the way Nancy does? I don’t think so.

  46. Ricardo said on June 16, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Palin had a lot worse joked about her and her family on SNL and still went on the show to join in on the fun a week later.

    Today at the teabag rally of two dozen outside the Ed Sullivan Theater, Palin’s handler was asked about this and other jokes that didn’t make her indignant. Her handler said that was different, she was campaigning back then.

    And I thought, “well what is she doing now?”
    I also thought, “you mean I can get a handful of people to protest someone, I can get them fired?”

    Sarah, don’t ask America to chose between Letterman and you, you won’t like the outcome.

  47. basset said on June 16, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    OK then, Guyot, let’s see your novel, or your screenplay, or your short story, or whatever other superior form of expression you have chosen to pursue now that you have risen above mere blogging.

    Everyone else, go here:

    http://overheardinthenewsroom.com/category/overheard/

    and read quote 1410.

  48. nancy said on June 16, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Um, Basset? Don’t want to go there.

    On the other hand, that’s a great overheard. My contribution:

    Editor: A suicide? Pills? What did she take?
    Me: Coroner says anti-depressants.
    Editor: Huh. I guess they didn’t work.

  49. CrazyCatLady said on June 17, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Sarah Palin’s suddenly a feminist? Crying out for all women everywhere about an injustice done to her by a comedian??? WTF?? If she really wants to get her panties in a twist, she should see how she’s depicted in the latest Eminem video where she’s cavorting in bed and on her office desk with a shirtless Marshall Mathers. Woo-hoo! Anyway, she makes Bush look like a rocket scientist.

  50. Danny said on June 17, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Guyot, your mini-biography on IMDB sucks (as in, “it doesn’t exist”).

    ..and he calls himself a writer…hmmpf.

  51. basset said on June 17, 2009 at 1:23 am

    Sorry, never heard of any of those shows, not “Talk to Me,” not “Judging Amy,” none of them. Still looking for the novel and the short story, assuming “Level 9” and so forth qualify as screenplays.

  52. moe99 said on June 17, 2009 at 2:23 am

    My we are crabby tonight. And all of you without the benefit of the 19 year old back from a year of screwing up at college and into fouling the nest, yet again…..

    Did I mention that vodka goes right well in lemonade?

  53. Dexter said on June 17, 2009 at 2:44 am

    The dust that Pancho bit down south
    Ended up in Lefty’s mouth
    The day they laid poor Pancho low
    Lefty split for Ohio
    Where he got the bread to go
    There ain’t nobody knows

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtzgwNDZAs4

  54. Guyot said on June 17, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Wow, I am so sorry I had such a visceral effect on basset.

    But you’re right, B. I’m a fraud. I have not written a word beyond the comments section here. I feel ashamed.

    Danny, I’ve never added a thing to IMDB ever. I have no idea who put up any of that stuff for me. Interesting note – a couple of years ago, the Hollywood Reporter did a check on the accuracy of IMDB, and found it to be only about 60% accurate. See, anyone can register and literally put any credit they want up there for themselves or others. Sometimes it gets checked, sometimes it doesn’t.

    IMDB’s response to the story was that if you buy IMDB PRO, then you get the “real” credits and stats.

    Which brings me back to basset’s piercing challenge. Obviously, my IMDB page is 40% BS… see, I’m really not a writer. I’m a nighttime toll booth attendant.

    I’m sorry I deceived you all.

  55. nancy said on June 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

    None of you people are qualified to be journalists. The most intriguing thing about Guyot’s IMdB listing isn’t the writing — hey, any shlub could have written for “Judging Amy” — but the stand-in work. Were you really a stand-in on “Body of Evidence,” Paul? Did you get to actually see Madonna in the flesh? Watch her act? You talk about writing; that’s a story I’d like to read: I Peeked At Madonna And Willem Dafoe’s Sex Scene And Got Away With My Vision Intact!

  56. brian stouder said on June 17, 2009 at 11:19 am

    I’d read that, too! Although, given the severe angularity of both Madonna and Dafoe, a sex scene with them would be like watch a cantilevered bridge collapse – and the story would probably put an eye out

  57. beb said on June 17, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I’m surprised that no one has said anything about Monica Conyers. Charged with accepting bribes and offered a plea with five years in jail or court with the possibility of 20. Also she said, on community television that she was “a child of God” and God would see her through all this. How do people who are so publically religious fail to follow the simpliest of bibical commandments? I’m pretty sure that taking bribes is a violation of the “Bearing false witness” and “Coveting thy neighbor’s ass” sections of the ten commandments.

    Guyot’s slam on blogging is a crock as is readily apparent once one start’s substituting other activities for Blogging. Every minute spent weeding a garden is a minute not spent writing a novel. Every minute spent vacuuming the house is a minute not spent writing a screenplay, etc.

    written around 8AM today, had trouble posting until noon.

  58. Guyot said on June 17, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Except that I did not say that, beb. I said every “word written” is a word that could have been written elsewhere.

    But hey, it’s my opinion, and I don’t dare claim it’s gospel, nor do I tell anyone else that their POV’s are crocks. I have too much respect for most people.

    Nanc – on BOE, I managed to have a few conversations with Madonna. She was being herself – which was a very nice, intelligent, rather quiet person. Not the marketing version we all know. A genius, that woman.

    The sex scene was closed to stand-ins, though I did have to crawl around on that car hood with Madonna’s stand-in for several hours while they lit the scene.

    And word from the hair and makeup people – who know EVERYTHING in Hollywood – was that Willem’s unit was of colossal magnitude.

  59. Danny said on June 17, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Guyot, I don’t blame you for not springing for the pro version. I bet it has very little influence on whether one gets a gig as people in the biz probably don’t even look at IMDB.

    Yeah, Nance, I noted the stand-in work. Funny aside: We have a friend who does stunt work (and some stand-in too). She emailed us a while back to tell us that she had to go to a “gag.” Robin and I chuckled, thinking she meant to write “gig” and chalking it up to a language barrier thing because she’s Asian. Well, she set us straight about stunt work gigs really being called gags and when we told her that we thought it was a language thing, we all got a good laugh.

    It still remains an inside joke between us. She’ll come over for a visit and pretend not to understand something obvious and we’ll tell her not to worry, it’s just because she’s Asian.

  60. nancy said on June 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Willem’s unit was of colossal magnitude

    See? This is why my comment section? Is the best comment section.

  61. brian stouder said on June 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    She was being herself – which was a very nice, intelligent, rather quiet person.

    I can recall Madonna bursting onto the scene, and utilizing MTV (etc) much more effectively than, say, Cindi Lauper (who appealed to me very much more), and then being impressed by her ability to remain “on the scene” and at the front rank. One supposes that becoming fabulously famous has certain mimimum requirements (usually), which some number of folks will inevitably satisfy; but that staying fabulously famous (as opposed to merely infamous) must be an enormously complex proposition.

    The Rolling Stones managed that feat for decades, too

  62. Danny said on June 17, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Madonna and The Stones. Totally different. Pop icon versus real musicians. One is a manufactured thing of smoke and mirrors, the other is not.

  63. brian stouder said on June 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Madonna is as real a musician as ever there was; and she also has a sense of what an audience wants – and how to make them beg for more.

    And anyway – there’s nothing wrong with the theatrical use of smoke and mirrors; in fact it can add much more than it obscures. (just ask David Copperfield)

  64. Danny said on June 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Go ahead, Brian. You just keep posting opinions like that and Eddie Vedder is going to ask you to turn in you PJ Fan Club card.

  65. nancy said on June 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Why are we talking about Madonna? I thought we were talking about Willem Dafoe’s endowment. Where my ladies at?

  66. MarkH said on June 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    As I said when Guyot first showed up here and pointed out the varied stand-in work noted in imdb, forget Madonna; when it comes to BOE, I wanna know about Julianne Moore, who added some real class to the film. Her all-too-brief romp with Dafoe carried much more than heat than anything her madgesty did. And, judging from Guyot’s Dafoe anatomy lesson, Julianne may not have had to tap into her estimable acting skills for that scene after all.

    Brian, your post #37 here was well-put, says it all re: Letterman/Palin. It ends the discussion as far as I’m concerned; thanks.

    EDIT – Brian, please. Let’s not go overboard on Madonna’s musical talent. She has something that sells, sure, and has the wealth to prove it. But, after say, 1995, that doesn’t prove her fans have taste anywhere but their mouths.

  67. deb said on June 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    well, nance, i noted the willem dafoe comment and am still pondering it. guess it’s a chick thing. years ago, when i reviewed “i’m with the band: confessions of a groupie” for a Major Metropolitan Newspaper, the male book editor refused to let me include even an OBLIQUE, incredibly tame reference to don johnson’s, um, gifts.

  68. deb said on June 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    this also reminds me of one of the best inadvertently funny headlines ever, at a different newspaper, written by a friend of mine: “rabbi endowed.” my friend was mortified, but the rabbi loved it. he said he hadn’t seen attendance like that at temple in years.

  69. brian stouder said on June 17, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Mark – regarding Madonna – and all other beautiful women (which pretty much includes all of them, by my lights!) – I hereby recuse myself. Hell. I used to look forward to the Anna Nicole Smith show; despite her faux Marilyn Monroe schtick – she had a lot goin’ on (and then, she had the Marilyn-style exit from the earth…and come to think of it, she had all the acting ability that MM had…)

    I’ve heard about Don’s johnson – but I hadn’t heard about Dafoe’s nether regions.

    On the other hand, I remember – many, many years ago – my mom gabbing with the other moms in the neighborhood one evening, and she said something like “Milton Berle is hung like a horse”; whereupon another mom laughed and said she’d read something similar – something about reaching half way to his knee.

    To which I say, grilled cheese is the great equalizer

  70. basset said on June 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Hanging around on blogs saying you don’t blog anymore because it’s a waste of time… is a waste of time.

  71. brian stouder said on June 17, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    True enough, basset, true enough.

    For me, the reason I will never ever RUN a blog is because I’m lazy (not even to mention that I cannot, you know – write!) and hanging out in the cheap seats with the peanut gallery is lots easier – and much less time consuming – then actually producing a blog.

    You’ve heard the saying “Sorry for such a long letter – I didn’t have time to write a short one”, yes? I subscribe to that; I can dash off many sentences of mindless blather (such as this post), responding to this or that bit of ephemera – and then go on.

    I think this might have been the point that Nance’s impressive visitor was making; more aimed at the Proprietress – and the massive (and entertaining and enlightening) exertions she makes, here, for us.

    Some day this site won’t exist anymore, or at least not in its current form, because Ms Derringer will be busily promoting her great American novel (or movie, or whatever)….or maybe I have that backward!

    And we the peanut gallery will be busily nattering at someone else’s establishment

  72. Guyot said on June 18, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Wow, I’m stupid.

    I thought this was… eh, my bad.

    I hate always being the dumbest guy in the room.

  73. beb said on June 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Normally I don’t look at comments from a thread once Nancy posts again. I’m surprised and astonished to see comments going on for an 24 hours after Nancy started a new thread.