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May 26, 2003


About to leave to take pictures at a school as the buses roll in. At 7:00. Oy.


In light of the previous entry, I must admit that I've had Chumbawamba's Tubthumping playing real loud in the car last week. And loving the heck out of it.

May 17, 2003

Department of Uncomfortable Hindsight

"Do the Bartman" is way up there on a list of Worst. Songs. Ever. But the line "Bart" sings, "You can do the Bartman just like Michael Jackson," takes on a remarkably bad connotation years later.

This horrid realization brought to you by an evening reorganizing my music files, and going through the "Le Bad Music" folder, wherein I'm archiving the Pepsi Blues of music.

Worst offender: Tom Jones and the Cardigans remaking Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House." Ay, caramba.

May 12, 2003

Department of Nonstandard Beverages

This should
not be.

Pepsi Blue was, and is, an absolute debacle. There can be no excuse for a beverage which resembles windshield washer fluid actually tasting like windshield washer fluid, unless it is windshield washer fluid. I have not discounted the possibility. I keep an almost-full bottle of the stuff on my office windowsill as a personal object lesson. PepsiCo should have realized that the reason Mountain Dew Code Red worked is that (a) it kept the caffeinated geek target demographic nicely hydrated and (b) it did not taste like a--.

Having actually tasted the vile Pepsi Blue, I now have an irrational compulsion to try every other Weird Variant Carbonated Beverage to see if it can get any worse. I can report that 7-Up's new "Remix" with citrus flavors merely tastes odd and sugary, like transparent cotton candy. Mountain Dew's new orange "Live Wire" soda tastes like -- orange soda -- with maybe a hint of Mountain Dewishness in the background.

I'm a meat and potatoes guy. I like my lawns grassy, clean and devoid of pampas grass. I like my clothes simple and my entertainment as David Lynch-free as possible. I really ought to work on that, and develop more sophisticated tastes.

But is it too much to ask for a 7-Up to taste like, well, 7-Up?

The "Shock and Awe" Cliche Goes Domestic

Radio-surfing while running some lunch-hour errands last Friday, I heard Rush Limbaugh guest-host Roger Hedgecock crowing about the Bush Administration's domestic political machine. He said that it would be "Shock and Awe" on an incredible scale -- that the "you're either with us or against us" approach toward state sponsors of terrorism would also apply to domestic politicians -- and Hedgecock was loving it.

I shouldn't be surprised. Politics is, after all, the practice of applying power. And if you've got a lot of power -- a compliant legislature; high approval ratings; a national media easily distracted by bright, shiny things -- the only reason to hold back is the fear of overreaching.

But damn, it's uncomfortable knowing that my politics are the deer in the headlights.

For more on the subject, Boston Phoenix columnist Dan Kennedy has a column about "The GOP attack machine" which, while laying its biases on the table, covers several examples of the current application of "shock and awe" politics.

I'd be really interested in seeing some counter-examples: was the Clinton Administration in 1993 and 1994 sufficiently organized or clever to even attempt to steamroller its opposition? I honestly don't remember...

May 10, 2003

Artistic Travesty!

Eminem won't let Weird Al Yankovic do a video parody of one of his songs.

Be Careful What You Wish For, Nawlins

New Orleans basketball fans are discovering, after one year, why Charlotte's reaction to the Hornets' departure was "Don't let the door hit you on the way out":

NEW ORLEANS -- Hornets owners George Shinn and Ray Wooldridge, reviled in Charlotte when they moved the team from there last summer, barely made it through one season before their first public relations debacle in New Orleans.

Last weekend's firing of popular coach Paul Silas has been widely received with disgust by fans and in the local media.

Times-Picayune columnist Dave Lagarde declared that the honeymoon was over.

"The needle on the popularity meter just made a major shift in the wrong direction. The NBA novelty has worn off in an ugly hurry," he wrote.

A similar tone resonated from fan comments in office elevators, talk shows, bars and in letters to the editor.

"I'm glad we got an NBA team after so many years [23] without, but it looks like we?ve been cursed with yet another ignorant owner," Tom Henehan of New Orleans wrote, making reference to former unpopular Saints owner John Mecom.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.