Tuesday, January 31, 2006ch
Sunday, January 29, 2006michael
Return of the jew-di
A night of Chinese food has created gas where there was once coherence, so I can't promise much. In fact, I can only ruminate about two topics I hold dear to me: cats and British politics. Luckily, the two converged this winter break on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK. In case you missed this gem of a story, allow me to recap.
For those who don't know, "Gorgeous" George Galloway is the sole MP from a party called RESPECT: Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community, and Trade unionism. He made headlines in recent years after the Labour party expelled him and the Daily Telegraph implicated him in the Oil fod Food scandal (in response to a Senate investigation he called committee Chairman Norm Coleman a "lickspittle" of George W. Bush).
Earlier this month he starred on CBB along with Dennis Rodman, actress Rula Lenska, and other wayward souls. At one point the producers told Galloway and Lenska that one of them would have to act like a cat in order to secure food and drinks for their housemates. You can probably guess where this is going:
George: "Would you like me to be the cat?"
Rula: "Yes please."
[George proceeds to clamber down on to the rug beside Rula, and purrs throughout the exchange.]
Rula: "Here pussy, pussy, pussy, yes...more tickles it's OK...Oooh little pussy cat, there there pussy cat..."
[George slowly licks his lips.]
Rula: "You stay there, I'll get you some milk, you like that don't you..."
[Rula pretends to get some milk. George is now on all fours, lapping pretend cream from Rula's cupped hands.]
Rula: "Yes, good pussy cat...that's right, delicious! Good girl, good girl..."
[George licks his lips and moustache.]
Rula: "You've got cream all over your whiskers."
[She rubs his sideburns and says: "Good pussy cat." George nuzzles into her lap and starts purring. Rula strokes his head and behind his ears.]
Rula: "Oooh yes, has it been a trying day with all those people coming into the house, has it? You just like being alone with your mummy, don't you?"
Needless to say, it was something of a PR catastrophe. Labour MP Steven Pound assured Galloway that he would have "a saucer of milk waiting for him and a litter tray" upon his return to Parliament. Galloway was pleased that his appearance had raised money for charity, but conceded that his goal of "engaging with younger people" remains to be seen.
P.S. I bet this movie isn't playing at your theater back home.
Friday, January 27, 2006He Hate Me
7:00p: Brown Basketball v. Dartmouth @ Pizz
7:00p: Brown Basketball v. Harvard @ Pizz
Parties over Lee's and Mike Sa.'s
8:00p: 24 w/ a 40 @ 17 Thayer
State of the Union
just in case you wanted more...
Monday, January 23, 2006monco
Saturday, January 21, 2006He Hate Me
I have a confession. I have been cheating on the Grouse. A couple of weeks ago I started my own political blog - The Democratic Instant Message (theDemIM.blogpot.com). Basically the idea of the blog is to play out my fantasies of being the Democratic Party's Karl Rove. I'll continue to blog here, of course, but you will now be spared of my political ramblings on the Grouse.
On an unrellated topic, everyone should see "The 4o Year Old Virgin" at their earliest possible convenience. It is absolutely hilarious and interesting in its approach to meta-bigotry (AKA post-PC) humor. This a topic about which I've blogged previously that continues to intrigue me.
It might be that I am being overly-elitest or a result of going to school with a bunch of stupid racist white people but post-PC shows often make me feel uncomfortable because I think the vast majority of people don't 'get' the joke.
From a letter on AndrewSullivan.com:
At this point I really want to ask our readers if they "get the joke" or not but I doubt someone would volunteer the fact that they enjoy watching the re-enforcemnet of stereotypes. Besides me.
In fact, Chappelle himself cited this phenomenon as one of the contributing factors to him leaving his show midway through the 3rd season. Below from Time:
The third season hit a big speed bump in November 2004. He was taping a sketch about magic pixies that embody stereotypes about the races.
The black pixie—played by Chappelle—wears blackface and tries to convince blacks to act in stereotypical ways. Chappelle thought the sketch was funny, the kind of thing his friends would laugh at. But at the taping, one spectator, a white man, laughed particularly loud and long. His laughter struck Chappelle as wrong, and he wondered if the new season of his show had gone from sending up stereotypes to merely reinforcing them. "When he laughed, it made me uncomfortable," says Chappelle. "As a matter of fact, that was the last thing I shot before I told myself I gotta take fucking time out after this. Because my head almost exploded."
It's difficult to quantify, but the best example I can give is when I watched some Chappelle skits with some southern relatives of mine who would be charitably described as racist. I couldn't figure out why they were laughing at what was clearly a sketch written to make fun of people with attitudes and beliefs exactly like theirs (The blind, black KKK sketch). I noticed they were laughing not only at the wrong time, but for what appeared to be for the wrong reasons. Later, when they were quoting what they considered the "funny" parts of the skit, it wasn't what everyone "in on the joke" was quoting.
Friday, January 20, 2006ch
Life is Hard Enough When You Belong Here: Notes Towards an Investigation
We just got done sweeping the laundry room with a whole posse of folks, including among other people an umbrella-wielding Kartik, a Maglite-toting Nathan, and former Indy ilustrations editor Alison Brockhouse. My weapon of choice was a hockey stick jerry-rigged with hockey tape and a box cutter to form a makeshift bayonet.
And of course, if any future intruders get through me and my Civil War-style weaponry, they'll have to deal with the MORAY EEL!
Tuesday, January 17, 2006He Hate Me
beep BEEP beep BEEP beep (Completed)
3:23:21 - The 6th seed (and Cleveland Browns archrival) Steelers are beating the 1st seed Colts 21-3 after 3 quarters. If you don't know what that means, just trust me that it's a really big deal and a really big shock. I'm talking to Eddie over IM:
Colo KUNTry kid: i was an asshole, got into a bar fight, got detained by the cops--officially i was not arrested
Colo KUNTry kid: only cause charges werent pressed against me
Sounds about right.
4:20:18 - Steelers 21, Colts 18. 1 minute, 33 seconds left. The Colts have one last shot to drive down the field and take the lead but turn the ball over on downs. If the Steelers just sit on the ball, they'll win the game. My mom begins dreading the inevitable phone call from my Steelers-loving Uncle to gloat.
4:24:13 - HOLY SHIT! Steelers running back Jerome Bettis fumbles the balls and the Colts return the ball to midfield. The Colts would've scored but the Steelers quarterback makes the game-saving tackle. Me and my dad argue whether the Colts guy could have scored if he cut back to the sideline.
4:32:27 - Former XFL MVP and Steelers backup quarterback Tommy Maddox consoles Bettis for blowing the season for the Steelers as the Colts get ready to attempt the game-tying field goal.
4:35:31 - HOLY SHIT! HE MISSED IT! COLTS LOSE! HOLY SHIT!
4:47:07 - I check my cell phone and I have three missed calls. Two from Nathan, one from Chris. I check my voicemail and recieve the following cryptic message:
FIRST MESSAGE, URGENT MESSAGE - Uh, hey, Brandon. It's Nathan. Uh, you should call me or Kartik. Uh, it's pretty important. Uh, so, yeah, as soon as you getAt this point, I realize that Mike is pretty seriously injured and just hope that he's not dead.
this, call. Bye.
4:47:36 - I call Nathan and he doesn't pick up. I call Hu and ask him for the news. He tells me that someone has broken into the house. "Is anyone dead?" I ask, he says no. I finally start breathing again. In fact, he and Lisa are going to go bowling with Mike later that week. I tell them to tell him I'm glad he's not dead.
5:13:27 - I go with the 'rents to the upscale grocery to get fish food for Woony. He's doing quite well in his new home and has been very playful and active. My parent's buy Newman's Own (named after Clevelander Paul Newman) organics dog food for Eddie. Frankly, I think that's a bit much.
6:28:47 - I have to leave the room while watching the other NFL playoff game because my mom has driven me completely nuts. You know how people say a "tie" in sports is like kissing your sister. Well, spending a week with my mom in the Bahamas is similar except replace 'sister' with 'mother' and 'kissing' and 'realizing why women are so fucking stupid and annoying and won't shut the hell up and constantly wanting to strangle.' We had a good time.
8:08:14 - 24: Season 5 is about to start. I start having trouble breathing again.
8:13:17 - President Palmer returns! Great, I missed him. This season's gonna be awesome.
8:13:27 - OH SHIT! They shot Palmer!
8:15:11 - Well at least Michelle and Tony are back.
8:15:49 - OH SHIT!
8:19:41 - As the show goes to commercial, I recieve a phone call:
Nathan: WHAT THE FUCK! HOLY SHIT! WHAT THE FUCK!I hear Annie screaming similar thoughts in the background.
Nathan: By the way, I'm drunk. We've been drinking awhile.10:34:27 - I recieve an e-mail telling me my Facebook wall has changed. I recieve the following IM from my favorite LaCrosse playing Republican:
Patrick Ryan wrote at 10:23pm January 15th, 200611:00:17 - The craziest Boondocks episode yet has me alternately laughing hysterically and doing some uncharacteristically deep thinking (from TV.com):
The Following Message takes place between 10:21:17 p.m and 10:22:48 p.m. Dude Jack Bauer, hes so pimp its unreal...so pissed President Palmer got rocked cus he was my fave, and your boy Tony doesnt look so hot but he'll pull through. Gunna be Siiick!!
"When Martin Luther King comes out of a coma after 32 years and finds himself thrust into the 21st and life in the post "September 11th" era, his "turn the other cheek" philosophy quickly takes him from beloved national hero to dispised terrorist sympathizer."If you missed it, it comes on again Saturday at 11 on Cartoon Network. Shit is crazy.
Monday, January 16, 2006monco
so far it seems we were lucky. at least as lucky as the burgled can be. my 3:30am trip to the kitchen wearing nothing more than boxers may well have scared the person off as it looks like he(?) left in a hurry, never making it upstairs, and seemed to have committed limited - though not insignificant - damage and theft. we'll see what futher investigation reveals, however.
that hasn't stopped me from locking myself in my room as i wait for the propo to arrive and dust the place for prints (seriously! who knew they really did that?).
Saturday, January 14, 2006ch
I have had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others...
It's something that has to be seen to be fully appreciated--trust me, just watch it--but here's a brief political background: Sir Menzies Campbell is the interim leader of the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third-largest political party (Charles Kennedy, their former leader, having been deposed a couple weeks ago), and as such gets to ask two questions of the prime minister during Question Time. The Liberal Democrats are in the midst of a chaotic leadership election, with I think four or five candidates announced already. This is why, when Menzies Campbell asks why "one in five schools do not have a permanent head teacher," the Labour and Tory backbenchers point and laugh at him, and the prime minister proceeds to openly mock the Liberal Democrats for the remainder of Question Time. Heartless Lib Dem–bashing is one of Blair's favorite Wednesday pastimes, but here he is at his most ruthless. And of course, my favorite 'character,' Chancellor Gordon Brown, is sitting on the Labour front bench smirking and pointing.
Thursday, January 12, 2006monco
get your act together michael smallberg!
well, things are quiet here on the east side and i'm getting a lot done. at least it feels like it. perception and reality often differ in this area.
while i've been here i've done various errands, today i went to buy a new pair of pants. two of my usual pair sprouted inconvenient holes within a week of each other. after finding an appropriate replacement at the store, i thought i might look at non-tshirt shirts (oh my!). there were some i might wear but most every shirt at this place cost $70 or more!
if a shirt costs $70 it damn well better come with a steak dinner and a rollercoaster ride.
this isn't the first time i've reached this conclusion.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006ch
A post laden with links.
I had dinner with my family at Souplantation, a restaurant which is about as close to the opposite of Bugaboo Creek as is possible: it's extremely vegetarian-friendly, but there are no amusing Canadian robo-animals. As some of you with long blog-memories will recall, Lisa, Brandon, and Nathan graciously took me to the Creek this summer for my half-birthday.
* Warning: alarming sound clip contained within. At the very least, I enjoyed the venue, which is best known for being the site of River Pheonix's death.
Sunday, January 08, 2006monco
the eggs are still good!
i got into providence today. i immediately found myself playing the game i call "find that smell."
this quickly turned into two main sub-games: "throw-out the dairy products and fry-day leftovers" and "guess why this room smells!"
i think i won at all games and sub games. the apartment is largely free of unpleasant scent.
i meant to be well on my way to REM stage about now, but i found myself all caught up in del.icio.us especially the tags of marisa olson whose stuff i've been interested in before.
but seriously, to someone like me, this page is near-porn.
pop-culture? emergent media? kittenwar? deleuze? damn!
Friday, January 06, 2006He Hate Me
We Need A Resolution****
Secondly, welcome to the blog Kartik. It's about time. Mike: get your act together.
Third, I'm leaving in 7 hours to go to the Bahamas for a week... with my mom. It's sort of like eating General Tso's out of a porta-potty.
Fourth, I've finally found a post-college plan that I think might work. I don't feel a passion for either of the Democratic senate candidates in Rhode Island (Matt Brown and Sheldon Whitehouse - pictured, respectively) and sort of like the incumbent Republican (Lincoln Chafee). In Ohio, I can't decide which of the Democratic senate candidates I like the most (Sherrod Brown and Paul Hackett) and I hate the Republican incumbent (Mike DeWine). Instead of actually making a choice between the four, I've decided I'll just work for all four.
I am going to apply to work for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee in Washington, DC. In addition to the job opportunity, nearby Maryland will allow me to pursue another of my favorite pasttimes:
The Hu particularly enjoyed the phrase "distasteful but legal." I think I should adopt that as my new slogan -- Brandon: Distasteful but Legal
Mooning deemed 'disgusting' but legal in Md.
Man who exposed his buttocks during an argument walks free
WASHINGTON - Acquitting a Germantown man who exposed his buttocks during an argument with a neighbor, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that mooning, while distasteful, is not illegal in Maryland...
Debelius made clear his disdain for the defendant, calling the alleged act "disgusting" and "demeaning." The outcome could have been different, he suggested, if the man had been on trial for "being a jerk."
Finally, last year my New's Year's Resolution was to stop "hating." Lo and behold, only a few weeks later I discovered that I would be living a few feet away from a rich, white, Republican lacrosse player from New Jersey. Ain't that some shit. However, we (I) overcame our differences and now he's not only my best Republican friend (outside of when Eddie has his 'conservative days') but a guy I like and respect. Level One Complete.
So this year I have two resolutions:
- Be More Repsonsible - I'm fucking 21. I still plan to be a dumbass, an asshole, and generally ass-obsessed but its time I actually get my ass to places on time.
- Be Less Racist - I still plan to make problematic assumptions and point out stereotypical traits in people but I resolve to not let that determine my initial opinion. Basically I plan to more of a meta-bigot this year (shout out to Annie who is the Infamous Grouse commentor of the year, 2005, in my book).
I've written previously about how I feel the Black view of race is much more about someone's core identity while other races just sort of see it as a cultural disorder to be dealt with. In the spirt of buh-zhee Ivy League blackness, I plan to not be so black** in '06. Now all I need is a white girl**.
Thursday, January 05, 2006monco
i must have nothing better to do
i just watched what could possibly have been the most enjoyable episode of the daily show i have seen in a while. the "old coot" contest was priceless.
there was one problem however: pierce brosnan's kfc colonel 'stache/beard had a cleft in the middle, which, when he moved his lower jaw, opened like so many grey, hairy lobster claws...
Wednesday, January 04, 2006kartik
A KISS resolution
here is the first one
overload is right
someone from pensacola florida came to the infamous grouse after searching for "bigbootyhoes" on msn.
i can only hope he found what he was looking for. welcome sir.
now on to the post:
as a result of a conversation with ed and randomly stumbling across cuteoverload here is a list of sites that should be visited:
cats in sinks
stuff on my cat
barking hills country club
blind dogs in need
oh man, that's way too much. i don't think i can look at another animal again for a bit.
Monday, January 02, 2006ch
Anyway, I've been busily sleeping in here in San Diego, where, oddly enough, it's actually been cold and rainy. I've also been taking advantage of the culinary delights of southern California (In-N-Out Burger, 24-hour Mexican food, and 24-hour Denny's, often visited in quick succession), which are perhaps the region's only saving grace. An unexpected pleasure: my uncle, who is visiting along with a number of my mother's relatives, looks increasingly like a less severe version of J.M. Coetzee.
In the world of sports (and my "world" is limited to the Premiership, the NHL, Brown intramurals, the Providence Kickball League and a little bit of professional baseball and basketball), 2005 wasn't so bad a year. I picked up my first Brown intramural champion's t-shirt in the spring, for one of my two low-intensity ice hockey teams, and in the fall the Indy brushed aside the auld enemy's feeble challenge to take our all-time kickball series total to 1-1.
Brandon and Nathan place a lot of importance on local or regional loyalty to sports teams, but for me the most important set of qualities is the length, intensity, and consistency of fanaticism. For example, my embrace of Liverpool Football Club. I've never even been to Liverpool and probably never will, but I've followed Liverpool's middling fortunes pretty religiously over the past six years, and so feel that I'm entitled to enjoy their two major successes of the past year: an astonishing come-from-behind victory in the Champion's League final, and a run of ten straight league wins, which unfortunately came to an end today with a draw at Bolton.
And, though I'd never claim to be a real Sox fan, I did thoroughly enjoy watching NESN nearly every evening this summer. As I sipped my beers and peppered Nathan with what must have been very annoying questions about the Red Sox, I formed a strong attachment to two particular infielders: the quiet St. Louisan Bill Mueller, and the "cerebal Colombian" (Boston Globe) Edgar Renteria, with his endearingly ill-fitting cap. Sadly, both are now gone, and with them any chance of me returning to the TV this summer to follow the team.
Since I'm sure you're all extremely curious about my winter reading list, I'll give you an insider's view of this massively mediocre work in progress. I've decided to proceed in pairs of books (one serious, one not so serious). So far I've finished Isaac Deutscher's The Prophet Armed, the first installment of Deutscher's classic trilogy of Trotsky biographies, and Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country, which I'm writing about for the next installment of the Brown Review. Right now, I'm working on Spaces of Capital: Towards a Critical Geography, a collection of the Marxist geographer David Harvey's work over the past three decades, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Next up is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and either Dickens' Our Mutual Friend, since I'm getting post-Bleak House cravings for a mammoth Dickens social novel, or George Gissing's New Grub Street. Lurking somewhere on the horizon (appropriately, I suppose) is Fredric Jameson's recently published Archaelogies of the Future, Jameson's first sustained treatment of the topic of utopia--it's been one of his long-standing interests, dating from the 1970s--and perhaps his most important book in 15 years.
Sunday, January 01, 2006monco
2005 and the events, people, and places it represents will be missed for many reasons - especially for the fact that it was not 2006
with the return of my computer and a respectable amount of free time, i've rediscovered the joys of downloading music. my most recent acquisitions include albums by richard buckner, slaid cleaves (who isn't all that exciting it turns out), damien jurado, ryan adams, and smog. looking at that now, i realize i have only downloaded country influenced male singer-songwriter types. how about that. i guess i should branch out.
the new year has brought with it an expected frustration with the ever increasing velocity of time. 2005 has beaten the previous speed record by a great deal. it was my most superstitious year in recent memory and one of mixed fortune personally and nationally. i'm still having trouble believing that the summer is over let alone that it's 4 days away from the one year anniversary of my departure for glasgow.
i've never much liked the thought entering a world not structured by the flows of academia. fortunately i have dvds of the fourth season of the west wing, five months, and plenty of work to do to distract me from that inevitability.