Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Frodo where are you?

Yes, I was one of the geeky people who stood in line to watch "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" today. Before noon. On a weekday.

In my prior comparison between Star Wars and LOTR I was impersonating a nerdy fan

But I must now admit that I am a nerdy fan.

I could be nerdier...I could actually remember the names of the characters in the movies, etc. I am drawn in by the grand 'good v. evil' motif but must confess that I barely recall the names of the characters and usually, the actors who play them.

I never read the books. So either I am not nerdy or I am a bad and uninformed fan.

In my attempt to educate myself I began asking logical questions--like: Where do orcs come from? There don't seem to be any girl orcs. It turns out these lead to complex issues of textual interpretation.

The origin of orcs seems to be a matter of some controversy. The predominating theories seem to be that they were either corrupted humans or corrupted elves.

Some information on Elf sex...

from BA

So I spent the morning at the movies and the afternoon "researching."

I have a Ph.D. in something most people consider to be a very difficult subject...but this Tolkeinania intimidates me, man.

But do we need a Frodo? Yes. I'm afraid we do. If only getting rid of the evil forces threatening to destroy humankind were as easy as getting rid of the one ring of power. I think this fantasy is the key to my fan-dom.

Journalistic ethics

A message comes to multiple reporters from the Kerry campaign slamming Dean but then the campaign doesn't want the reporter to mention the source.

This is apparently often done. But this would be a veiled attack by one campaign on another. Nevertheless, many of the reporters reported the story without mentioning the source. Nagourney from the New York Times refused to report the story without the source and was attacked by the Kerry campaign.

The story's explained on the Daily Kos...

It interests me that Dean has become the 'anger candidate.' This is the sort of tactic that the other campaigns are using and it isn't working. Nothing they are doing is working. Dean says we are not safer now they've caught Hussein. No duh. Kerry attacks him for lacking "diplomatic temperment." What is that? The inability to say something you believe is true that might have sufficient content to draw criticism from ideological enemies?

That is precisely what Dean does and it fascinates me and heartens me that it works to increase his popularity. The received wisdom on the caution one must display as a candidate is clearly wrong. I say 'caution' to be nice. In fact, only the democrats have been 'cautious' in this way and apparently there are a base of voters who wearily went along with it but happily turned to a fiery candidate when one came along.

This says nothing about 'who will win.' I don't have the slightest idea who will win the presidency. It's beginning to look as if Dean will win the primary. It says something about politics. Dean isn't that 'radical'--he is only unique in this moribund political climate.

Oh, but I stand by my earlier statement: We're still doomed.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Some barely thematically connected thoughts...

Hey! Didja hear? They caught Saddam Hussein.

Just thought I'd throw that in.

I suppose I have more to say on the subject...I'll reveal more of my inside knowledge eventually. As you know, Saddam and I have a history together.

And speaking of that I was shocked! I tell you shocked! to hear Caspar Weinberger on the BBC World Report deny that the U.S had 'a relationship with Hussein.' "We did not have a relationship!" he vehemently declared. "It was only a weekend and we made it very clear that we were not ready for any sort of commitment. He knew we were using him. It was all about the moment."

Apparently, the weapons sales and hugs and categorical denials of genocide didn't count. They were really just trying to make Iran jealous, apparently.

A little help here and there and there and there...OK, a lot of help...doesn't mean a relationship.

The copy on this is silly...but it's about 'your placenta' and the 'six services it provides...' So cute when capitalist rhetoric permeates even our discussion of biological processes.

A scary and yet amusing look at new fatherhood...

Of course, I'm just in it for the baby pictures. Baby pictures are like porn to me now. In fact, I 'scope out' babies just like desperate young men do any woman with two breasts (and sometimes one)...

Actually, I'm more like a predator on the African veldt. I spot babies yards and yards away and it's as if my eyesight and all my senses hone in on the poor unsuspecting baby and its oblivious parents. It's almost like I can smell them. (Yes, sometimes they are a bit smelly.) And the rest of the world drops away--all I can see is that baby...

It's rather frightening.

But not as frightening as the Fisher Price catalog (which I refuse to link to). There are walkie talkies for newborns where you can speak to them "without entering the nursery!" and long distance monitors and weird vibrators for the mattress to 'soothe' the baby...And then there are about 20 other things containing electronics that apparently provide 'rewards' for baby for movement, etc.

Who works for Fisher Price? Do you need a degree in Skinnerian behaviorism to work in the infant product field? Apparently.

In case you've never heard of the Skinner box...

But the scariest thing is the happy, happy, happy, happy!!! look on the faces of the mommies as they gaze adoringly on their soothed and rewarded and uncrying babies. Underneath that happy look one senses the whiff of terror and desperation...

We're not worried. We've heard that you can attach styrofoam egg containers to the walls to soundproof a room. We've been saving them up for months.