24 February 2005

Well, fan mah brow and call me an anchovy, Harvey Daniels, because we've got a rather pithy column quote on the way, from Peggy Noonan, one of my top three favorite columnists (the others being Krauthammer and Goldberg):

'Tuesday [Larry Summers] faced an angry faculty gathering where "his ears were pinned back," as one reporter said. Summers now seems to be saying he made a mistake in airing the idea of gender-related differences in the interests and aptitudes of scholars. But here is what he may be forgetting, for people under pressure often lose track of their lack of culpability: Summers did nothing wrong. He thought aloud about an interesting question in a colorful and un-defended way. That's what universities are for.

His mistake was stepping on the real third rail in American cultural politics. It's not Social Security. It is attempting to reconcile the indisputable equality of all people with their differentness. The left thinks if we're all equal we're all alike. Others say we're all equal but God made us different, too, and maybe he did that to keep things interesting, and maybe he did it because each human group is meant to reflect an aspect of his nature. Our differentness is meant to teach us his infinite variety and complexity. It's all about God.

But what the Summers story most illustrates is that American universities now seem like Medieval cloisters. They're like a cloister without the messy God part. Old monks of leftism walk their hallowed halls in hooded robes, chanting to themselves. Young nuns of leftist deconstructionism, pale as orchids, walk along wringing their hands, listening to their gloomy music. They become hysterical at the antichrist of a new idea, the instrusion of the reconsideration of settled matter. Get thee behind me, Summers.'

And WE are the "conservatives"?

OK, one more bit of Noonan's acerbic insight:

Hillary. Forget her prepared speeches, put aside her moderate statements on Iraq and abortion. This is how you know she's running for president in 2008. Ten days ago a reporter interviewed her in the halls of the Senate (another kind of cloister) and asked if she planned to run for president. She did not say, "I'm too busy serving the people of New York to think about the future." She did not say, "Oh, I already have a heckuva lot on my plate." She said, "I have more than I can say grace over right now."

I have more than I can say grace over right now. What a wonderfully premeditated ad lib for the Age of Red State Dominance. I suggested a few weeks ago that Mrs. Clinton was about to get very, very religious. But her words came across as pious and smarmy, like Tammy Faye with a law degree. Maybe she still thinks in stereotypes; maybe she thinks that's what little Christian ladies talk like while they stay home baking cookies. Whatever, it was almost as good as her saying, "I'm running, is this not obvious to even the slowest of you?"

OK, that's it for now. I haven't even finished her column, and I fear I will end up posting all of it here unless I just post what I've got.

14 February 2005

I've been thinking of countless things to regurgitate here on this dank, dreary corner of the outer fringes of the Blogiverse, but none are coming to mind right now when I actually have some time to spew them out. So I'll make it a random thought post:

Broadband is quite impressive. I've been enjoying playing Battlefield Vietnam with actual live opponents, makes it much more interesting, and difficult. I'm relatively quite a poor player, but its still much fun. Choppers in particular....the air cav!

I was struck by Wesley Pruden's article "The Big Hand for a Few Real Heroes". Very moving and well put. I'm also a bit moved by the fact that I am the son of a veteran and the grandson of two veterans, one of which, serving in the Army Air Corps, was a B17 waist gunner on bombing runs over Europe. Pretty hairy I would imagine. It's enough of a trick to keep one of those in the air anyway, much less when being shot at...

Kudos to Andrew Castro for his UMKC election victory. A brilliant upset and a great effort. You had my vote.

My Rickenbacker is a wonderful sounding bass. Even running into the run-of-the-mill Ampeg solidstate amp at church, it sounded like thunderous voice of God, or at least, as much as a bass guitar can sound like the aforementioned voice of God. Aggressive, biting, full, dynamic, assertive. Ooowee baby you set my soul on fire.

Man, I can't even populate a simple random thoughts post, how pathetic.

Well, today is Valentine's Day...the fourth such day that has ever had any meaning for me. Sure, its a trite little shallow holiday in general that is basically a marketing tool for florists, but hey, its nice to take a day to celebrate special relationships. To the unhitched or otherwise unspoken for, so sorry. Maybe next year, or the next, or the next. Who knows, don't rush it. But I have no intention of bludgeoning the single among us with dating/relationship advice.


07 February 2005

The Nightfly

Without a doubt, the finest album to be released in the 1980s. Donald Fagen's first and best solo project, following hard upon the post-Gaucho breakup of Steely Dan, is a stylistically complete and absolutely funkadelic piece of work, both musically and lyrically. You have to stretch yourself a bit (at least I did) to deal with the general synthy-ness of the record, but that's all part of the mood anyway. Every line is deftly shaped and delivered, making this particular tunesmith better with words than almost any modern novelist. He paints his pictures with vague, seemingly unrelated details, and they come out all the more unique and lush because of it. This is the heart and inspiration of Eustace...a psychotic, haphazard brilliance that is immensely entertaining, consummately wrapped in the choicest grooves and melodies. On their own, both the music and the lyrics are wonderful works of art, but with them fused together so naturally on this album, its an astounding achievement.

Buy this album and indulge your ears: Donald Fagen - The Nightfly.

Won't you pour me a Cuban Breeze, Gretchen...

05 February 2005


Yes, it's grand. From a weak, sickly 24kbps dialup connection to a 5000kbps cable modem. I love it...it would be hard to go back again.

I've got nothing else for you...go home. I just wanted to come on here and crow about my newfound bandwidth.

01 February 2005

Title Line of a Post for which I Have Not Yet Selected a Topic

Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Not much going on, other than a fierce battle being waged in my inner being to defeat the last vestiges of an invading horde of bacteria and/or viral warriors, that had laid waste to my immune system Sunday and Monday.

We bought a DVD set of the first season of "Arrested Development". I had always thought the show to be amusingly madcap show that warranted a tune-in every Sunday night, but now, viewing it sequentially over a weekend, it is probably the best new show to come out since the debut of South Park, in my grandiose opinion. Brilliance, my friends, sheer brilliance. The writing is great, the acting is hilarious...the characters are all perfect.

Buy the DVD. It's worth it to take in the storyline sequentially, and although it is ridiculously premature, this looks like one of those great shows we'll look back on.

Enough of this commercialized flatulence. Go home. That's what I'm about to do.