Take two.

I’ve had more conference calls in the last week than in the previous (mumble) years of my life, which is to say: Two. And they weren’t even for business. After failing to learn our lesson last year, our little troupe of Mickey-and-Judy amateurs is entering another 48-hour film challenge. This one. Possible genres: Buddy Film, Comedy, Detective/cop, Drama, Fantasy, Film de Femme, Holiday Film, Horror, Mockumentary, Musical or Western, Romance, Sci Fi, Superhero, Thriller/Suspense. Lord save us. If we don’t like any of these, we can reject them for one from the wild-card pool, which contains such agony as Martial Arts/Stoner, Silent, Tragedy. And so on.

Well, it is a challenge, after all.

For those who care, I’ll be tweeting the experience, with pictures when I can, which will update my Facebook status. It starts at 7 p.m. July 24 and ends 48 hours later.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the Mockumentary idea, probably because “Bruno” is all up in my grill wherever I look. The New York Times has a story this morning about male shaving, and reports that Sacha Baron Cohen had to endure “repeated waxathons” to get hairless enough to play his gay Austrian character. We know what his natural state is, so I hope he had Jackson-strength drugs to help him get through.

The story references the Gillette videos we discussed here a few days back; once again, NN.c commenters surf the wave first. I didn’t watch the one on male armpits, and it’s a good thing, too, because I don’t care what funny reason they give (“an empty stable smells better than a full one”), a man with shaved armpits is an abomination to women. Men should be men.

We don’t have a Sacha Baron Cohen for our movie. But we do have a female ventriloquist who can sing and has 22 dummies. I’m hoping we draw Horror. Nothing like a singing ventriloquist dummy for maximum creeps.

A lot of bloggage today, so let’s hop to it:

Not long ago a journalist of very close acquaintance, ahem, had to participate in the destruction of many, many copies of one of the sections he helps produce, because somehow a photo slipped through, in which an extremely sharp-eyed reader might notice that one of the people in the photo was wearing a T-shirt that read “Go Straight Edge or go fuck yourself.” They don’t do that in Nashville, evidently.

I posted this on my Facebook yesterday. It’s a story about the latest Little Photoshop of Horrors, a picture essay in the New York Times Magazine that turns out to have been substantially tinkered with. This has happened before, and it will happen again, and for the life of me I don’t understand why, but then, I never understood photographers.

Short version: Photographer Edgar Martins has an assignment — to travel the country and document the subprime meltdown. So he sets out, and finds some lovely pictures (which you can’t see, because the NYT yanked them all off the website), but he cannot resist tinkering with them. Now he and the paper stand embarrassed if not disgraced, having handed their enemies a big fat stick to beat them with. And for what? Some symmetry. Like I said, I never understood photographers.* *Although I do appreciate them.

Think of an American visiting France who believes that if he just speaks louder, he will be speaking French.the sublime Dahlia Lithwick on Sarah Palin.

Man on dog? A Fox News host tries to explain how Americans “marry other species.” I see so many of these Fox & Friends clips on Gawker, I’m starting to think they’re angling for the publicity. Funny.

Posted at 10:01 am in Uncategorized |

33 responses to “Take two.”

  1. LAMary said on July 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Between Sarah Palin and the idiot Fox guy, my head hurts and it’s only eight am.

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  2. Sue said on July 9, 2009 at 11:20 am

    1. Connie, if you haven’t left for ALA yet, can you tell us if you’re going to attend the panel discussion on the West Bend Library controversy? Apparently the founder of West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries is angry at not being allowed to participate, saying that City employees who are participating in the discussion are being “paid to trash talk the City”.
    2. Are any of our conservative commentors planning on “Calling in Conservative” on July 30? What kind of impact do you expect? http://www.teapartynation.com/

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  3. Connie said on July 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Sue, I have it on my schedule, which doesn’t always mean I will get there. The only one I never never miss is the panel of science fiction authors, complete with free books.

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  4. crinoidgirl said on July 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

    A quote from Sarah Palin’s interview in Runner’s World:

    “What has running taught you about politics?

    Same thing it’s taught me about life: You have to have determination and set goals, and you don’t complain when something’s hurting because no one wants to hear it. You get bummed and burned out sometimes in running and in politics, but if you’re in for the long haul and you’re in it because you know that it is a good thing, then you get out there and you do it anyway.”


    So much for sticking with your principles.

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  5. jeff borden said on July 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    It looks like the Sarah Palin Stupid-a-Thon will continue ad nauseum. I can’t even sign onto my Yahoo account without seeing a headline that a poll shows she remains a viable presidential contender and that the Iowa GOP wants her to come calling.

    Mother of God, how stupid are we as a nation when a large segment of people believe this inarticulate diva in fishing bibs could be a world leader? I wouldn’t let her plan a two-car parade. I know Americans hate “elitists” and “elitism,” except in our athletes, I guess, but does that mean so many of our fellow citizens want to embrace someone who is beyond mediocre? Palin needs a stepladder just to reach “average.”

    Steve Chapman, a Tribune columnist with a libertarian bent, lays out his premise that it’s all about the sex appeal and nothing else. He discusses a poll that shows Palin’s favorability among men is seven points higher than among women and comments on her recent photo shoot for Runner’s World, where she is wearing short shorts and a big smile. There’s nothing new about this, of course, which is why funny-looking guys with great minds such as Paul Tsongas and Paul Simon never got any traction while pretty boys of much less heft such as John Edwards did.

    I’ll repeat what I’ve said before. A pox on John McCain for the cynicism and selfishness that led him to give this not-ready-for-prime-time player a national spotlight.

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  6. Jean S said on July 9, 2009 at 11:48 am

    On the NYT photos…huh, I thought something was off. They were suspiciously beautiful, in a creepy sort of way.

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  7. basset said on July 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I have never been able to get my head around the concept of recreational running… it’s boring, it hurts, I don’t want no part of it.

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  8. MarkH said on July 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Jeff, I disagree with your take on McCain and the VP choice. He didn’t have the strength to be that calculating and push it home. Am I wrong, or isn’t it common knowledge that he very much wanted Leiberman for the ticket, and the hard conservative party base said, “no effing way. You do that and we’ll abandon you”? McCain knew he needed them (maybe), but didn’t fight very hard in the back room, gave up and left the VP nod to his handlers. They needed some excitement to counter the Obama steamroller, enter Palin. Trouble is, as with GHWB and Dan Quayle, no one was interested in the vetting process; she was a bright new populist star. And, as with GHWB, he ends up asking “what have you people done to me?” McCain is just guilty of not caring enough to take control and make a wise VP choice when he could easily have done so. Just my $.02.

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  9. 4dbirds said on July 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I’ll laugh if any of my co-workers call in conservative. Every single job at this company exists because of government dollars to conduct research. Every.single.one

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  10. jeff borden said on July 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm


    Duly noted. I understand the difficulties McCain faced because so much of the GOP base did not trust him. And I know after eight years of Bush that he was facing a brutal swim up a very swift stream. Still, if he is going to be man enough to be president, should he not have chosen someone he believed in? It doesn’t speak well of his strength of character that he would allow professional pinheads like Bill Kristol such a large say in his choice.

    Still, I understand the decision strategically. She definitely energized the campaign and rallied the base. But I cannot understand how a man who has built his entire public career on honesty, integrity, and who chose the phrase “Country First” as his campaign slogan, could foist so petty and unprepared a vice-presidential candidate upon us.

    Had he wanted to break the wall and have a woman on the ticket, why not Olympia Snowe or Kay Bailey Hutchinson? They aren’t as photogenic but they are accomplished.

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  11. MarkH said on July 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Agree completely, Jeff. McCain showed no stones in the whole process, that’s my point. That’s what he should be chastised for. Who knows what would have happened otherwise, given your interesting alternatives. But the Palin choice certainly brought nailguns to his coffin.

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  12. deb said on July 9, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    thanks for the dahlia lithwick link, nance. that pretty much sums up my feelings on palin quite nicely.

    i often wonder, would she be anywhere near as attractive (no pun intended) to the right if looked like, say, bella abzug? i think not. looks can trump a lot of stuff you’d rather not think about. i don’t deride palin for being beautiful. i deride her because she’s an intellectual lightweight, and i honestly believe her beauty keeps some people from seeing that.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on July 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm


    You make an excellent point. I teach public speaking and one of the more unfortunate things we learn is that looks matter to a ridiculous extent in how we perceive others. A great-looking speaker mouthing platitudes will sway more people than a homely speaker speaking truth to power.

    If Sarah Palin had taken the time to immerse herself in the minutiae and complexity of the many issues we confront, domestically and internationally, she could use her sex appeal AND her intellect to become a potent political force. Apparently, she is simply too lazy to undertake such a mission.

    Worse, she’s just a big liar. Even the reasons given for her resignation are falling apart like tissues in the rain. The state spent $268,000, not the millions she cited, to respond to the ethics complaints against her. And the Anchorage Daily News is reporting that the money was NOT coming from funds that might’ve been used for more cops, schools and roads. It’s money that already was budgeted.

    And if I hear one more commentator talk about her lowly economic status, I’m going to hurl. The Palin household makes more money than the vast majority of Americans. Now that she can really cash in, she’s going to be millionaire many times over. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a stretch to keep suggesting that she’s some kind of ordinary American.

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  14. Dexter said on July 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    OK…Connie’s off to American Library Association in Chicago…at first I thought she meant
    ALA Academy of Linguistic Awareness (fictional)

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  15. paddyo' said on July 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    That’s IT, Deb — Sarah Palin’s next gig HAS to be as the latest Pantene shampoo model.
    With apologies to the brand’s ’80s spokes/hair model Kelly LeBrock:

    “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful …”

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  16. Sue said on July 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    … not when there are so many other reasons…

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  17. jeff borden said on July 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    I thought it was Ruhla Lenska (sp??) the alleged international film star who said that!

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  18. LAMary said on July 9, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    It wasn’t Rula Lenska. She was the Alberto VO5 Hairspray lady with the vague accent and the international film career no one had ever heard of.

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  19. Scout said on July 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I don’t think McCain went with Palin for the win, but rather for a less humiliating 2nd place finish. He knew Obama was going to win and he sensed he was about to be extremely embarrassed by how wide the margin of defeat. So he was talked into allowing this flash in the pan on the ticket to at least secure the loony toons evangelical base and save some face. Ironically it backfired even from that standpoint because while he didn’t get completely swept by a landslide, he ended up with her stuck like a booger to his legacy. He is probably aware that the plan didn’t quite pan out.

    Lithwick’s piece is dead on. It is the complete inarticulation of Palin that is so difficult to articulate, and Lithwick nailed it.

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  20. brian stouder said on July 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    FerGIT “Rula” –

    Carfagna RULES!!


    The Italian prime minister has asked a former topless model turned government minister to stand in for his estranged wife.

    The 72-year-old premier has chosen Mara Carfagna – now Italy’s equal opportunities minister – to take care of the likes of Michelle Obama and Sarah Brown.

    Miss Carfagna, 33, is an ex-glamour girl whose sultry looks and portfolio of lingerie calendars earned her the title of the world’s sexiest government minister from men’s magazine Maxim.

    I second the motion!

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  21. Catherine said on July 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    Dahlia Lithwick’s piece is very eloquent about Sarah Palin, but my take-away image is Scout’s: “…stuck like a booger to [McCain’s] legacy.”

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  22. moe99 said on July 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I find the intensity level from all these adultery stories to increasing as we’ve moved up to homicide/suicide and bribery and tax evasion. One wonders how it could get much worse….

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  23. ROgirl said on July 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Whatever justification/rationalization McCain made when he decided to ask Palin to be his VP, he has to realize now that she would have been a nuclear disaster if he had won. Her good looks give her a free pass on the first view people get, and extends some good will to her beyond the introductory consideration she receives. But she doesn’t hold up under scrutiny, and if McCain and his people knew that to be the case and thought that enough people wouldn’t or couldn’t see the truth, then they should be excoriated for making such a cynical choice.

    He fired up the base and everyone else realized that the idea of Sarah Palin potentially becoming president scared them shitless.

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  24. basset said on July 9, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Meanwhile… the Gannett paper in Nashville, same one that “don’t do that,” laid off 31 more today, including several who’d been there over thirty years:


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  25. Jolene said on July 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    A little humor: The prez got caught lookin’.

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  26. Dexter said on July 9, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Fucking awesome photo, Jolene! Look at that old houn’dog Sarkozy a-smirkin’!


    This new artist , Nicole Atkins, seems to really “have what it takes”….give her a listen :


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  27. MarkH said on July 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    And why the sterile photo caption, especially when Sarkozy is CLEARLY enjoying te whole thing?

    EDIT: What, Dexter, like Nicholas is the ONLY “houn’dog” there?? BTW, you beat me by three minutes.

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  28. basset said on July 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Looks like a normal level of lechery to me… but the Australians had the better caption:


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  29. Jolene said on July 9, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Well, this photo was on the Reuters site, Mark, but I suspect others will be less circumspect in what they say about it. TMZ has it up already, and it’s definitely Letterman bait. I love the thought of Obama slapping his forehead when this was shown to him, as I’m sure it was.

    Of course, we already knew that the prez appreciates what a woman can do w/ her hips.

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  30. Jolene said on July 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    basset, that caption is hilarious. I suspect it’s the first of many to come.

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  31. MarkH said on July 9, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    You can quit laughing, Dexter. After my post, on the way home, I got it. (sigh) 🙂

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  32. Dexter said on July 10, 2009 at 2:25 am

    I just caught Lance and Levi at breakfast via Twitter…blood doping officers checked them…Lance said “…good thing”…Levi Leipheimer wanted to know how the Versus coverage was and I told him about the “Heidi moment ” Wed. when , with 300 yards to go and Thomas Voeckler sprinting for a stage 5 win, Versus went to a 3 minute commercial.
    Yes, I am a Tour de France NUT! I fucking love tweeting these guys, too. No direct responses to me, but I betcha they read my tweets.
    Lance Armstrong’s tweet:
    “lancearmstrongAt breakfast. UCI antidoping inspectors just walked in. Blood control for Levi, klodi, alberto, and myself. This is a good thing..”

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  33. moe99 said on July 10, 2009 at 10:36 am


    That is some fine cross examination there.

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