...busting up my brains for the words

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Little Green Footballs

One of the best blogs out there, educating the world of a dangerous people.

Check out the old guys sitting in lawn furniture as the coffins burn. They're close enough to the fire to put a weenie on a stick in there for dinner. If this were anywhere else in the world, those old guys would be sitting at the lake watching the sun go down or watching their children play.

What a bunch of psychos.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bogus Gold has new URL

By now most everyone knows, but Bogus Gold has a new home, a new server and a new URL.

Unfortunately, Doug has not changed his psycho self portrait in his new digs. Consequently, you cannot escape his purely evil and vacuous stare into your soul. I have tempted his hypnotic spell. After 3 and a half minutes of freefall into the pupil of his left eye one can hear Doug's monotone voice chanting, "You will buy me a Merlot at Keegan's next Thursday. You will insist that I choose the vintner and the year."

Fortunately, I slapped myself silly and plunged my head into a bucket of cold water to shake off this mumbo-jumbo.

You may not be so lucky if your mind is not as disciplined as mine. Enter if you dare.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Just like RatherGate

As I recall, there was a period before RatherGate broke into the MSM when bloggers and radio were the only voices hammering the alternative story. The Weekly Standard then began carrying pieces that focused on the doubtfulness of the phony documents. Like ice cracking under the warm springtime sun, there then followed elements in the MSM that began turning their reluctant gaze upon the story.
The Daily Standard , the online arm of the weekly magazine, publishes Power Line blogger John "Rocketman" Hinderaker's piece this morning.
Big media can't ignore this story much longer.

Looks like things are warming up.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Fred Barnes sums up

Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard takes the phony GOP talking points memo story and summarizes the case that bloggers are making.

So rather than an example of aggressive reporting, the memo story turns out to be yet another instance of crude liberal bias, in this case against both Republicans and those who fought to have Schiavo's feeding tube restored. Naturally the memo had a second life when the story was picked up by other news outlets, pundits, and columnists. How did ABC and others get wind of the memo in the first place? It came from "Democratic aides," according to the New York Times, who "said it had been distributed to Senate Republicans." Not exactly a disinterested source.

Deja vu. I wonder whose head will roll this time.

Banging the drum

This morning I posted that we bloggers have to keep banging the drum over the supposed "GOP talking points memo". One of the central blogs on this issue is In The Agora. Blogger Joshua Claybourn has this roundup dating from March 23rd with generous updates.

As you can see when you visit this link, the information is supported through many other blogs, including high profile blogs Power Line and Michelle Malkin.

It seems to me that the key point we are at concerning this issue now is stated by John Hinderaker of Power Line who maintains that the ball is now in ABC News' court, as they bear the burden of disclosing their source and proving that the memo is genuine and of GOP origin. After all, it was they who covered the story with the headline, "GOP Talking Points on Terri Schiavo".

This morning's Meet The Press on NBC featured a roundtable of experts and authorities on faith in America. One of the guests was a Reverend Jim Wallis. He peddled the "GOP talking points memo" story, apparently unaware there is any controversy over their authenticity.

REV. JIM WALLIS: Well, first of all, our hearts go out this morning to Terri Schiavo and the family. It appears she's near the end of her life, and so deep compassion for the family, and all of us care so much about this. In principle we should always err on the side of life to be--that's the safer moral course, but we also should worry about the politicizing of any case, and I'm alarmed by memos that talk about firing up the base or defeating the Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida. That's way out of bounds for a case like this.

So, it is evident that the acceptance of this memo as being of authentic GOP origin is quite damaging to the Republicans.
Yesterday on the Northern Alliance Radio Network, the Captain Ed (yet another high profile blog) shared his finding that the MSM are not yet reporting on this story, save for the South Florida Sun Sentinal.

If any other MSM have reported on this story, I am not yet aware of it. But it is, of course, inevitable they will. In the same way the CBS News phony RatherGate documents were exposed, the MSM will be forced to cover the truth because the blogosphere continues to bang the drum.

Kerry's promise

Blogs for Bush has this useful reminder.

March for democracy in Bahrain

More evidence that President George W. Bush was right to liberate Iraq in part, to encourage the march of freedom in the most repressed part of the globe.

Tens of thousands have marched in one of Bahrain's largest opposition demonstrations to demand democratic reforms in the pro-Western Gulf Arab state.
Friday's peaceful march, called by the Shi'ite-led opposition, follows unsuccessful talks with the government on constitutional reforms to give greater powers to parliament's elected assembly, which is on an equal footing with a state-appointed chamber.

It's actually dizzying, the stampede for freedoms in the greater Middle East.

Kofi Annan considering resigning

Senator Norm Coleman suggested that Kofi resign months ago. Now it appears that he may take the advice after all.

KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary-general, is said to be struggling with depression and considering his future. Colleagues have reported concerns about Annan ahead of an official report this week that will examine his son Kojo’s connection to the controversial Iraqi oil for food scheme.

If Kofi had responded in kind promptly as he should have, he'd be well on his way toward forging his new calling.

(tip o' the bird to Drudge Report)

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Happy Easter

I'm planning on attending mass tomorrow morning at the Basilica of Saint Mary's. Terri Schiavo is Roman Catholic, as is her family. The Pope has called for saving her life.
Ironically, Terri could well pass away on this very holy day.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the heart and soul of our Catholic faith. Easter is the day we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. Heaven's gates are now open to all of us who want to be with God. On Easter Sunday, the season of Lent ends. Christ showed the world that He is the savior.

After mass I'll be having ham dinner with my parents, one of my sisters and her husband. I'm bringing a bottle of German Riesling to share.

I hope you will have a beautiful Easter Sunday, irregardless of your faith.

The political angle

As if the ethics, moral and legal intricacies of the Terri Schiavo case were not enough, there is also the political aspect. This level of the battle for Terri's life is growing out of proportion and promises to eclipse all the others after Terri's passing.
Once again, it's impossible for me to play catch-up. But it appears that the liberal leftist main stream media has not learned their lesson from RatherGate.

HINDROCKET demurs: Nonsense. I agree with Michelle that in its current form, the anonymous accusation carries little or no weight. But that isn't the point. The New York Times reported approximately a week ago that DEMOCRATIC AIDES distributed the memo, while claiming it came from the Republicans. Has anyone asked the Times reporter to identify the Democrats he saw passing out the memo? I haven't. That would at least be a starting point toward figuring out where the memo actually came from.
In the meantime, there is not a bit of evidence connecting the memo to any Republican, and, for all of the reasons we have repeatedly spelled out on this site, there are excellent reasons to believe it is a hoax perpetrated by still-unidentified Democrats.

It seems that The Big Trunk and Rocketman did not see eye to eye on this subject this morning. I'm a little confused by Trunk's position. But it was Power Line that won the Blog of the Year award from Time magazine, thus earning them enormous credibility. The MSM has been silent on the lack of authenticity of this talking points memo. So far ABC News and the Washington Post have not run a corrective on their changed headlines.

We all saw what happened to Dan Rather and CBS News from making this error of stubbornness.

We've got to keep beating the drum. Better late than never, in my case.


Terri Schiavo's termination in the coming hours will be practiced euthanasia. If Terri had a living will stating her firm wishes to be declined a feeding tube, I would be in complete agreement of her legal wishes.
But the fact is that she has not left any such document and we are left to speculate on the matter. As I see it, this is a violation of her rights.
Her husband, Michael Schiavo is deemed to be her legal guardian. But as Hugh Hewitt has pointed out, any objective view of his guardianship is fraught with questions as he is clearly estranged.
As anyone who has been following this case knows, it's a very complicated issue. I'm not going to pretend to claim that I understand all the nuances of the legalities. Too many other excellent blogs have already been closely following this issue for me to try and play catch-up. So all I can do is state my own feeling about this.

For me the Terri Schiavo case has been a life affirming story. Ultimately the battle is between the proponents of those who favor the right to death and those who favor the right to life. As a young man I must say that I have taken life for granted. I don't think I have ever followed the depressing details of such a scenario before as I have this case and it's caused a profound rethink in my own soul about the preciousness of life.

I will be taking Michelle Malkin's advice tomorrow on Easter Sunday as I will do all that we can do for Terri at this point by praying for her.

I'm still alive

It's been a busy week for me in my non-blogging life. Sorry I haven't weighed in at all since Monday morning. There are a few issues that are important to me. I'll try to make some meaningful posts about those today.

Monday, March 21, 2005

President Bush signs the bill

W has just this morning signed the House bill that will bring Terri Schiavo's case to the Federal courts. This will necessitate that soon Terri's feeding tube will be reinserted by court order so that the case can be heard in that court in consistency with this law.

Meanwhile, the Democrats try to spin the ruling in a political light. That's all they can do, as they've been out-voted and they stand to be regarded in a harsh light as the party that tried to allow Terri to die.

They can spin all they want to. Terri's life is being saved.

What an eerie — and depressing — age we live in.

Just this past Saturday thousands of people worldwide who are privileged to witness some of the most amazing events in the world demonstrated they have no understanding of history or current world events. They demonstrated against the BusHitler.
Victor Davis Hansen has this essay observing their mind set and their lack of knowledge.

As always, Mr. Hansen is right on the money.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

David Broder on Meet The Press

David Broder is the Dean of the Washington establishment pundits. But he ought to be retired, he has been doing it for so long his vernacular extends back to a time that has little bearing on today's world.
Today on Meet The Press the discussion was of steroids in major league baseball.

Russert: David Broder, what do you take from that?

Mr. Broder: Well, Mark McGwire did as much to discredit himself in that hearing as he did with his achievements on the field to bring glory to himself and to the game. I do not think that Congress was out of line at all to look into this issue. I think it's--it is the national pastime, and this is the national legislature, and I think it is a real problem that they have properly exposed.

The national pastime? Maybe back in the 1960s one could say baseball was the national pastime. But this is 2005. Now the national pastime would probably have to be watching television. Broder can almost always be counted on to shill for the liberal viewpoint, as he did with the Terri Schiavo controversy, when he framed his opinion to put forth that the Republicans are merely advocating her saving for political gain.

So long as Meet The Press remains a liberal conduit in the msm, Broder will continue to be tapped for his positions until he retires.

UPDATE: To be fair, Chris Wallace of FOX News Sunday has also referred to baseball as "the nation's pastime". This is oldspeak.

Baseball is still called our National Pastime, but that’s mainly because it’s been around so long. Football dominates the hive-mind, and the NCAA tournament all but knocked Opening Day off the radar screen this year. Public interest in the game is not nearly what it could be—or what it once was. Not all of it, however, is tied to controversy. People point out reasons why they simply don’t enjoy the game: it’s too slow; the season lasts too long; it’s just not “exciting.”

I used to be a major league baseball fan. I stopped caring when the players went on strike in 1994 because they claimed they didn't make enough money. Clearly, the players don't give a damn for the fans. They only care about themselves. This steroid issue further drives a nail into to coffin of the "national pastime".
Major league Baseball should be scrapped for four years and rebuilt drug free and a cap placed on incomes. The resulting boon to remaining capital should be used to built baseball stadiums rather than trying to get the taxpayers to pay for them.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Keegan's st. paddy's day

The stars were so aligned as to bring me there around 9 p.m. I knew that it would be an Irish zoo tonight, but I went anyway. Fortunately, there was a parting of the Green Sea at the bar immediately upon my arrival. Sauntering up, I immediately ordered a Jameson and a Guinness.

Marty the bartender was wearing a kilt.
"How many people do you suppose are here right now?", I asked.
"I have no idea. 200."
I asked him if the bloggers were here tonight. No, they weren't. No way. Sure enough, peering around the room, I could not recognize a single face. Just past 9 o'clock the bagpipes came out. Naturally the crowd went absolutely bonkers over him. OMG. It's St. Paddy's Day and we're in an Irish bar and there are pipes and I'm drunk and I'm wearing green beads and a plastic green derby....Whooooooooooo! That's not me talking. That was the other drunk.

Now Terry comes along. "How are you?", he asks.
"I'm fine, Terry. Any bloggers here tonight?"
"Nope. You're the only one."

It's been a hard day's work and now I'm quaffing my second Guinness. A pair of gents are looking for a piece of the bar. One of them, a slightly portly gent with, yes, a plastic green derby, asks me if I would be so kind as to order them a pair of Guinness Extra Stouts. If so, I'll be treated to a Jameson. He showed me a beautiful silver flask. I figured another drink wouldn't do me much good at this point, so I offered to place the order anyway.

"God bless you." He would God Bless Me at least half a dozen times during our brief conversation.

We exchanged introductions. They were Jerome and Steve. Just then, the two bodies at my elbow moved away and J & S took their places. Jerome is my middle name and the shared name became the hot topic of conversation. My parents were married by Father Jerome.

"God bless you."

We chatted about St. Jerome. He once said that the Pope was the scarlet whore of Rome. I mentioned that I might go to mass on Easter Sunday at St. Mary's Basilica.

"God bless you. Are you sure you wouldn't like to have a lick of Jamison?"

By now I was wondering if the religion always accompanies the liquor. Jerome wanted to know what time I was attending mass on Easter. He might want to meet me there. I told him I didn't know, which is the truth. I have a tendency to have the intention of going to mass only to oversleep and miss the whole thing.

Still, I wondered if the flask of Jameson would be brought to mass.

Mindful of the clock I excused myself from the bar. Bidding Jerome and Steve goodnight (God bless you), I made my way to the bus stop. Rides are free tonight.

Saint Paddy's Day in Minneapolis is a generous time.

Wolfie, the world bank and freedom

Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters has an excellent post regarding Paul Wolfowitz' nomination by W to the World Bank and two newspaper's attacks of that nomination.
Notably, the Captain writes;

Elizabeth Becker then wrote about the "quiet anguish" in diplomatic circles, as Hugh Hewitt points out, without ever naming a single source. If that gives the impression that the NYT's two Elizabeths act in this case, at least, as an extension of the Gray Lady's editorial board, that appears exactly correct. Despite all claims of an unassailable wall between the Times' news and editorial departments, I think we have a clear case of coordination here.

That's from Ed's segment regarding the papers and bias. But he continues and addresses the need for freedom and democracy in order to wipe out world starvation.

The only way to eliminate massive starvation and to keep aid from flowing into the hands of a select few is to ensure a representative, democratic government for its reception.

So far as I am aware, this is an original idea. We've all heard and come to understand that freedom is needed to strangle terrorism. But this is the first time I've seen it put forward that we need freedom to banish hunger.

It's posts like this that make me a regular Captain's Quarters reader. But of course, you should read it yourself and read the whole thing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Spirit of america update

I recently received an update from Spirit of America. Regular readers here will remember that Spirit of America is sponsored by this blog through the Northern Alliance of Blogs. All the pertinent links are in my blogroll to the right.
Somehow, I'd neglected to include the SOA blog until today.

Today's post says, in part;
Friends of Democracy is Back and Better Than Ever

Before, during, and after the Iraqi election in January Friends of Democracy, in a cooperative effort with Spirit of America, brought you ground level election news from the people of Iraq. The project was so successful we decided to keep going. We re-tooled the site to bring you ground level views on a whole range of topics from the people and bloggers of Iraq.

SOA continues to do great work in Iraq and Afghanistan. With various negative influences in the greater Middle East attempting to cause democracy to fail there, SOA is a positive influence. And on the U.S. homefront SOA is bringing the true story of progress to these shores.

Bob Davis of KSTP radio "The Talk Station" mentioned this morning that the Iraqis are tired of the hard left's negativity regarding their struggles. So much so that they now refer to them as "pests". Hmmmmm. I wonder what the translation into Arabic is for that word.
I recall that Saddam Hussein was fond of saying that there were two pests in the world; insects and the Persians. Now the people of Iraq are saying that the Western hard left are pests.

Anti-Bush bias in the MSM

Here's a reprint of a post I have just put up in BowieNet's subscription only bulletin board. I reproduce it for your pleasure.

Okay, we all know that W and Cheney won the election last November by a significant margin. But it might have been an even greater margin if our newspapers and television news reporting had been fair and balanced (like say, FOX is).

According to the results of a recent study of the media coverage of the presidential election;

"...36 percent of stories about Bush were negative compared to 12 percent about Kerry...Only 20 percent were positive toward Bush compared to 30 percent of stories about Kerry that were positive, according to the report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism".

Assuming that some segment of the electorate is and was dependent upon the overall picture provided by these media, John Kerry may have received more votes than he would have under circumstances of media fairness.

In other words, if the American people had been more accurately informed, W may have won a landslide victory.
Dan Rather and CBS News and the other alphabet networks did their best to upset W's reelection, but it wasn't enough.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Abortion rights debated

Echo Zoe and I have a respectful discussion of abortion rights. Echo Zoe ( aka έχω ζωη) is, if I am not mistaken, a fundamentalist Christian. That's a position I do not share, although I profoundly respect it in my colleague.
Echo Zoe raises some excellent points. He's against abortion rights. I am for.

I am a Christian, but I'm in the margins. I used to call myself an agnostic. Something has always prevented me from calling myself an atheist. Hmmmmm. Mysterious, how these things work.

The discussion may still be pending, so stay tuned if it's of interest to you.

Moody blues vs. the ventures and cool

Regular Hugh Hewitt Show listeners will know what I'm talking about here. At the gym tonight, I strapped on my Sony Sport Radio near the end of the program just in time to hear Hugh talking some ridiculous blather about the Moody Blues belonging in the Rock and Roll Hall of, Fame before The Ventures should be inducted.
James Lileks even called in to set the record straight. Lileks, of course, prefers to see the Ventures in there. I don't know how Hugh got to talking this line of topic since I came in on the middle of it. There was also some fragment of talk about the blues and its relationship to r&r. I didn't hear enough of that to discern its gist.
Googling the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and using their Search engine I discovered that, indeed, neither The Ventures nor The Moody Blues have yet been inducted. (Huh? What have those people been doing with their time?). Mustering one's self to ask who more deserves to be inducted in this hall; The Moody Blues or The Ventures is worse than comparing apples and oranges. It's like comparing prunes and small internal combustion engines.
Hugh seems to think that commercial appeal has something to do with the equation. Sorry, Hugh. Not so. The whole idea of the R&R Hall of Fame is to correct the biases of the marketplace and bring due recognition to artists irregardless of the commercial factor. I looked in the Hall's website for information that would document my assertion and I couldn't find any such thing. But I'm going to have the cajones to simply say that I am right, dammit.
Of course The Ventures are due their place in the hall before the Moodys. But, what the heck, isn't there room in there for all of them?
I suspect that the line of argument flows from the identity of purity. It's called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. So what the heck is Hank Williams doing in there? He was country. Well, Hank was a huge inspiration to many a rock musician. This is a big family with lots of room for all the relatives. If you've already visited their website, you'll have noticed that Robert Johnson, the blues giant, is in there. What's that all about? Once again, the blues is a major inspiration to rock and roll musicians.
So perhaps this discussion boils down to the question; Who is more purely rock and roll, The Ventures or The Moody Blues? But those distinctions have already been demonstrated to be irrelevant to the induction, as the above cases demonstrate.

I happen to like The Moody Blues. I also like The Ventures. Lileks made that same assertion. He says he is egalitarian and catholic in his tastes. All the while he maintains, vein bulging from his forehead, that The Ventures are due their place before The Moodys.

When I began this post, I thought I was going to write of how The Ventures are more important to rock and roll than the Moodys and ought thus be inducted earlier. Now I'm not so sure.

My heart is more of a punk rock heart than anything else. I suspect that Lileks is voting for the Ventures because they are, ahem...cooler than The Moody Blues. Yes, that's right. The Ventures score a cool rating of about 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 while the Moodys score a cool rating of about 4. But you ask, why did you say you like the Moodys if you admit they are not cool? Well, they are a guilty pleasure. The Moody Blues are L7 in rock circles. The only people who go to see them live these days are either old sentimental softees who don't know what cool is, or....some guy who is so cool he is into the Moodys before they regain their rightful place on the cool-o-meter. But the cool-o-meter is a very fickle thing. What's cool tomorrow will not necessarily be cool today. And vice versa, of course.
The Ventures are cool because they innovated an entire separate genre within rockandroll. And it's a unique and vital genre. One of the best bands of this ilk working today is Los Straitjackets. But, on the other hand, if a band sounds like The Moody Blues or derivative of The Moody Blues, they can expect much chortling and sarcasm.

"Man these guys suck. They sound like The Moody Blues."

So there you have it. The Ventures deserve their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before The Moody Blues because The Ventures are cool and The Moody Blues are not. Cool is a very important ingredient to rockandroll.

By the way, in case you were wondering, David Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Demonstrations for freedom

This morning before I scampered out of my little apartment for my day's work, I posted the news that there would be an anti-Damascus demonstration today in Beirut.

Not only that, it was huge.

There were no official estimates of the crowd size, but Lebanon's leading LBC TV station and some police officers estimated it at about 1 million. An Associated Press estimate put the number at least 800,000. Either way it was the biggest demonstration ever in this country of 3.5 million.

It is clear that a new wind in blowing in the greater Middle East. And it's happening because George W. Bush was right. I challenge all anti-war proponents to observe what is happening in the Middle East today and ask themselves what would be the case if the status quo had been continued as they had advocated.

Battle of demonstrations continue

First there was pressure put upon the leadership of Lebanon in the wake of the murder of Hariri and anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut. Then Hizbollah held a massive demonstration in support of Syria and the leader was reinstated.
Now it's the anti-Syrian position that will be demonstrated against once more today.
Such rumbings of democracy were not possible before the liberations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

(tip o' the bird to Instapundit)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Improved blogging

Mitch Berg of Shot In The Dark is pleased and proud to see novice blogs grow in their talent as writers.

Thanks for your support, Mitch. (Not to imply that he's talking about pinkmonkeybird.) The Northern Alliance of Blogs are the mother hens of the Minnesota Organization of Blogs and their love is felt profoundly among us.

Needless to say, they provide exceptional example.

Savvy blog move

I doubt that I would be capable to maintaining updates to this blog at least four times per day, as is the conventional wisdom toward writing a vital blog. I'd love to surprise myself and discover I am wrong. Unfortunately, I am rather inconsistent in my energies with pinkmonkeybird. Sometimes I am just too tired to update it for a day...and all too often there are lapses of the best part of a week.
My ideal would be to update at least twice per day. As a blogger, with blessed readers who I know are there because my meter tells me so, I feel a responsibility to keep pinkmonkeybird updated within reason. I have a visceral feeling about this, as I know what it feels like to visit a blog that has not been updated. This gut feeling is something like this; I have the energy and drive to surf the blogosphere and discover what's being chatted about. I'll wonder, "What does so-and-so think today?" So I click on the blog in question. And to my utter disappointment, I find that this blogger I have tapped hasn't had a bloody thought for three days!!!! (Elaine Benis's boyfriend would disapprove of all the exclamation points.)

That's an overdramatic reaction. Of course the blogger has thoughts. It's just that life got in the way of his/her publishing. He may very well be working hard writing drafts that don't cut the mustard. I dislike the notion that readers of pinkmonkeybird would be disappointed upon finding it lax. I've come to realize that pinkmonkeybird readers don't expect the blog to be right or crucial at all times. But they hope it will be pinkmonkeybird and posit a thought or two. Else, why click on it?

Purely on spontaneous inspiration, I decided to live-blog NARN yesterday. This was a savvy move, as it brought in double my usual recent number of visitors. This is nice, as Rocketman of Power Line points out that a blog with very low readership is nothing more than a personal journal. But what good would it be to bring in increased readership if they are ultimately lost through an inability to sustain that traffic with frequent updates? This might explain why I've been writing so much this weekend. Yes, folks, I've got a fire in my belly today.

I have been linked by several excellent blogs for my live-blogging of the NARN first anniversary show. And I appreciate them all. Thank you. I hope my coverage of that show was interesting/informative/entertaining for you. It was a gas to write. One of the interesting results of that posting was a direct reaction from Vox Day. I've heard Vox on before and I respect him as a reasonable voice in the political blogging landscape (or spacescape if we are to keep our cosmic imagery of the blogosphere intact).
For some reason, Vox finds it more appropriate to refer to me as "a Northern Alliance listener", rather than pinkmonkeybird. He is competent enough to link directly to this blog, but he can't bring himself to name me within his post. Maybe I pissed him off by calling his libertarian vote last November "shameless".

In any case, I have left a Comment in his post.

Thanks for the response, Vox. And thank you, all you pinkmonkeybird readers, for returning here with some regularity to investigate what's going on from my point of view. Last but not least, welcome to all you new readers of this blog.

"U.S. Troops Out Now"

A couple of weeks ago while on my way to the bus stop here in my Uptown Minneapolis neighborhood, I noticed a flyer stapled to the telephone pole. It reads,

"Stop the War in Iraq. End the Occupation. Bring the Troops Home Now! On the weekend of March 19/20 anti-war protests will be held around the world to mark the second anniversary of the start of the U.S. war in Iraq."

I removed it from the pole and shoved it into my pocket for reference. It conveniently provides a web address to an organization called Department Of Peace. For research purposes, I contacted the provided email addresses and signed up for my information in a Yahoo! Groups site.

On Friday this message was posted;

MINNEAPOLIS MN--TROOPS OUT NOW! SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2005, 1:00PM--Gather along Hennepin/Lyndale Avenues and be part of a massiveantiwar presence. 1:30--March, followed by a closing event at alocation near the park.On Tuesday, March 15th the House of Representative is scheduled to voteon the president's request for an additional $82 billion for the war inIraq. Just a few days later the 2nd anniversary of the beginning of thatwar will be marked by protest activities in at least 300 cities aroundthe country, and scores of other places around the world. (Visit to find an action near you, or to listyour event.)Now is the time to ratchet up our pressure on Congress and let them knowhow disgusted we are at the waste of our tax dollars for this deadly,criminal war. They have the power to stop the flow of money. Many of you have already made calls, sent faxes, and organized lobby visits. Let'sexpand and intensify those efforts by bringing more people and strongertactics into the struggle to stop this obscene $82 billion appropriation.

There are also suggested avenues of action such as contacting your congressman and senators to demand the above agenda.

And there is also this rather active calendar;

Every Wednesday, 7 to 8 a.m., Vigil at Alliant Tech, 5050 Lincoln, Edina.FFI: Wednesday, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Vigil to end the occupation of Iraq,Lake/Marshall bridge over the Mississippi.Every Thursday, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Vigil in front of Lockheed Martin, NWcorner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan.Every Friday, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., Vigil to end the occupation of Palestine,Snelling and Summit, St. Paul.

I imagine there will not be quite so many people who will participate in this protest. It's got to be pretty clear to just about everyone that a corner was turned on January 30th when Iraqis turned out in the millions to participate in what now promises to be a democracy there. These organizations have all the appearance of being peaceful in their demonstration. If I'm right about that, then I seriously doubt there's much chance of this protest turning violent.

America is a democracy and these groups that will be protesting are completely within their rights to make their voices heard. It will be interesting to note how many people participate. At this point in the debate between the supporters and the anti-war folks, I see no need whatsoever to organize a counter protest. I think it even more demoralizing to them to simply ignore their little fantasy.

All the news you want

My parents gather their news from the alphabet networks and cable tv and the StarTribune newspaper. I gather my news from the Internet and radio and the occasional newspaper.

Recently, my mother asked, "How much longer do we have to hear about Michael Jackson?"

Indeed. That's why I bailed on those msm sources. The demographics dictate that the American public is hungry for more Michael Jackson stories. It's completely worthwhile, according to their analysis, to wait through two minutes of advertisements for geriatric products and then settle into all the goodies about Michael Jackson.

That's why I bailed on cable television. I realized that I was paying for the cable service twice; First with my checkbook to the cable company. Then a second time with my time wasted while they pound me with commercials for autos, bedroom furniture and Claritin...none of which I have a need or desire for. And then, after painfully weathering these nasty intrusions in my living room, I would be "rewarded" with a story about Michael Jackson.

Gathering my news from the Internet, radio and the occasional newspaper, I am able to avoid Michael Jackson all I care to. Oh sure, once in awhile I see something about him dressing up like a blogger. But I am inconvenienced with news stories about this weirdo so little, that when I am exposed to them, I don't feel terribly put upon.
On the other hand, if I yearned for Michael Jackson stories, I'd be able to get my fill on the Internet to my heart's content.

I choose.

So, to answer my mom, you don't have to hear about Michael Jackson at all. Just start gathering your news from the Internet and radio. I'll let you keep your newspaper. After all, if Michael Jackson appears on the page, there is nothing keeping you from turning the page.

That Dan Rather special

Last week when Dan Rather said farewell to the anchor chair on the CBS Evening News, the network aired a special that reminded us all what a crucial and important journalist Dan has been over his career. Yeah, right.
Hugh Hewitt happened to be on vacation that day. His mic was manned by Carol Platt Liebau. And she does a fine job. Understanding the medium of radio, she ran a little query with her listeners over the questions;

  • How much time into the one hour special will we have to wait for CBS to address the MemoGate affair in Dan's career?
  • Once addressing MemoGate, how much time will the special provide on MemoGate?

Fun questions.

Playing the game at the gym with my Sony headphone radio strapped onto my head, I guessed that they would wait until late in the show to discuss MemoGate, but not the very bitter end. Here's my reasoning; They would place MemoGate into the chronological context of Rather's career so that they could tell the dramatic story of Dan's rise in the industry without the inconvenient black spot of MemoGate coming up until we all understood what a towering giant Dan is in the journalism field. But it's important to them not to save it for the very last, as this would leave us remembering something that contradicts the narrative they so want to tell. After all, Dan is a corporate investment for CBS. They want to enshrine his name in the halls of glory along with Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.

So to learn from Carol that the coverage of MemoGate came 53 minutes into the show is right on target for pinkmonkeybird.

But I still don't know how much time the special provided on that subject. I'm guessing 30-45 seconds. After all, why muddy the waters of the narrative with a long segment that contradicts the narrative? Besides, MemoGate wasn't that important, according to Dan. The documents were unsubstantiated, but accurate.

Right. Anybody know how much time CBS spent on MemoGate? Does pinkmonkeybird score another point?

UPDATE: Carol Platt Liebau has courteously Replied to my inquiry via email regarding the length of CBS's invested time on the MemoGate affair. Here is her message;

I think it was about one minute? Thanks for writing-- Carol

So, if "about one minute(?)" is close to 30 -45 seconds, then I have scored both questions within reasonable accuracy. I continue to amaze myself. Without a hint of arrogance, I must say that my predictions have been spot on.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Welcome Bogus Gold readers

My week beats your year.

NARN power

I want to congratulate the Northern Alliance of Bloggers and the Northern Alliance Radio Network for a job well done. I was a fan of NARN when they threw a party for bloggers and listeners and blog readers in July of last year. There, Chad gently suggested that I could begin my own blog.

Of all the achievments of the NARN, one to be counted is their encouragement to others is to excercise your voice.

I'm still learning. I wouldn't have started if it weren't for NARN. I appreciate it, as I have come to know that one understands what one believes as one gives voice to his beliefs.

*Cue Fanfare For The Common Man.*
Favorite moment?

The Capt' n tunes in on a moment I can't remember.

Peeps recounts the State Fair.

St. Paul capitalizes on the mugging he got there.

St. Paul is given 10 second. That's double Mitch's usual allotment. Still, St. Paul sez, "I can't say."

Mitch offers his own memory but no one understands what he's talking about because he's so jazzed up on Red Bull.

Just another instalment of NARN. Why do we bother?


Hey! I never heard a reference to a certain un-named columnist at the Strib. The NARN would not be anywhere so near to enjoyable if it weren't for that un-named "journalist".
Igor Povik?

I think I smell a Nihist in Golf Pants.

This character is a shapeshifter of the blogosphere. Be sure to watch your tip on the table if he is near.
We're down to our final quarter hour. King Banian calls in all he way from beautiful Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Yes, people live in places other than the Twin Cities. King is a real prince among men.
Michelle Malkin is on now. The stars continue to blind us with their brilliance. She has high praise for the NARN and the feeling is mutual and universal, unless you're a simpering liberal leftie chimp hunter.
MN Governer Pawlentey was just now on (Sarah Janecek is on now)...
Sarah say's the NARN has fueled her fantasies.

She has the distinction of predicting correctly that Mark Dayton would not run.

Smart lady.
Another caller. I love this call, but I don't know who it is. I guess I was distracted as I wrote of Doug.
Radio sucks. We should have a transcript of all the words. But I'm not Lileks or King, so I don't have a radio recorder.

So I listen as the call winds up. Maybe I'll hear his name.....Vox. Would that be the libertarian Vox Popoli?

Shameless, that a Libertarian would vote for someone other than George W. Bush in such trying times. I've never revisited Vox since I learned that he voted for the Libertarian ticket last November. He obviously does not understand how important it is to confront International Terrorism. They call him Vox Day. This is not to be confused with Vox Dei.
Belief Seeking Understanding's Doug calls in.

We love him.
Now we're treated to reminders of Michael Medved's upcoming appearance.
Mitch's bumpers hold onto the drama.
Thank God for commercials. Public radio listeners don't know what they're missing. I feel so very informed of what products I may obtain.
Now Mark Yost in on the air. He's a journalist with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He's a personality that I've heard of many times, yet I've never had the pleasure of meeting him.

He say's, "I'm sure you'll be around for more than a year."


I think Yost understates the case.

St. Paul asks a very good question; Will the blogposhere gain a symbiotic or sympathetic relationship w the MSM.

Yost answered with so much blather that I never heard his thought. I think what he'd said is that the msm will realize that they must embrace the blogosphere. Can it be any other way? Not with the absence of litigation.
Sharon Pierson Yecke is on the air now with a cleavor limerich. I wish I could type fast enough to report it here.
Save the thought, it totally stroked the NARN egos and made them all feel totally powerful and dominant in the local political landscape.

It's good to know that power reins where power dwells.
Also known as Token Female Blogger, Jo calls in to express her gratutude for gaining a voice in the Twin Cities.

A worthy sentiment. Thank you, Jo. And thank you NARN for giving her a voice.

That's the power of NARN. We live in a unique age with unique opportunities. Jo has seized upon that opportunity and we are all the richer for it.
James Lileks on on again for the 2nd time in two hours. We can't get enough of Lileks. I imagine James is standing in the same upper storey level of his home at Jasperwood. Gnat is downstairs playing with her many toys as distractions.

Or, I could be completely wrong. She's not even home.

Live blogging is very different from omnipresence.

I'm limited, yet, I do my best.
Mike Nelson is on now.

He's a beautiful comic talent. He filled in on MST3K. And he's a very genuine and humble personality. I love him.

Asked what low-budget film best appraises the NARN, he responded that it would be Manos: Hand of Fate.

Mike is a true brother and kindred spirit of NARN. It wouldn't be a NARNASS without him.
Elder postulates that perhaps Mark Dayton, (DFL U.S. Senator-MN) has maybe tuned in to NARN and caught some of the contempt for his record. Is this the reason Dayton has dropped out of the race?

Hmmmmm. I have no doubt that it's an ingredient. The main ingredient? I never knew that.

It's a difficult contemplation, as my own media intake is somewhat limited. I rarely listen to local opinion-shapers.

Sarah Janacek was the only confident voice of Dayton's drop-out, that I knew of. She was right.
Now Mitch has introduced a guy named Mike. I have no idea who this person is......
Open phone calls. The current caller is brown-nosing their upcoming cd. There will be no such thing. Still, there's value in stroking egos beyond reason.

Mitch Berg take advantage and asks,

"How has NARN improved your life?"

Predictably, the shill said that he couldn't measure it.

Shameless spoils of war.
It's hard to believe that this show has been aired now for an hour and 23 minutes already. These guys are geniuses. The entertainment value is so high, time just flies.
I wonder what James Lileks is doing now.
It's time to spend some ching at the sponsors of The Patriot am128o. They are doing the Lord's work.
What would a NARN retrospective be without the sing-a-long for Paul Wellstone? One of the most embarrassing moments in radio history. These guys can't sing, and we love them for it. Although, I must say that Brian "St. Paul" Ward has a promising tenor voice. Still, you can't overcome tonedeafness.
Now the NARN are bragging, shamelessly, of their conquests in the political field. This is a worthy subject, as much mud has been flug at them over their achievements and motivations.

The left hates conservatives. And they hate conservatives even more now that we are so successful.

dig it.
Capt'n Ed is preaching to the choir now about how important the blogosphere is.

Tom Swift of Pair o' Dice is on the air presently. Swiftee is in my blogroll. He's one of the MOB's best bloggers and I am happy to say that he owes me an ale or two. He's also got good taste in babes on bikes and knows what the City of Mpls. is up to in public education.
Mitch Berg tries his hand as being Orson Welles. He fails,
dismally. But that's why we love the NARN. They are not afraid to fall flat on their face like a drunken fool with a snoot full of bourbon.
This live blog experience would be very unpleasant and would be abandoned if Blogger were slow today.

Thank you, Blogger.
Some guy named Randy is on the air. He is talking up the power and inspiration of a free voice in the blogosphere. I am sorry, but I don't know his blog address or name.

People...people who need people...are the luckiest people in the world.
Chad "the Elder" thinks that he can get away with performing as another character simply by placing a hanky over the phone mic. No one is fooled.
I'm confused. An historical tape of Mitch Berg is playing while Mitch is in the studio live.

Can radio do that? These guys continue to amaze. They are breaking the rules of time & space.
James Lileks is now phoning in, presumably from his 2nd floor telephone in his Jasperwood home.

I had no idea that "urine caked" was a Lileksism.

Who'd a thunk?
Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters is present. And so is Mitch of Shot in the Dark, not to mention Chad "Peeps" "The Elder", and the afformentioned St. Paul.
Thank you, NARN, for giving me an excuse to avoid washing dishes.
I remember when NARN began a year ago. I'd been a regular reader of the Northern Alliance of blogs for some weeks.
Somehow these guys and gals had tapped into a creative way to put forth political opinion and aggregation of fact in a creative way.
Another commercial is being played by The Patriot am 1280.

Patronize their sponsors. Hugh Hewitt would approve.
I look forward to spending my spare cash as Keegan's Irish Pub. A worthy cause and a worthy call. Thanks, Terry!
"Less than rotund", no one understand what Terry is talking about.
Terry Keegan is on the show now. He complains of stolen bar stools due to the rabble of conservative bloggers.
I've never really felt comfortable live-blogging anything before as I do now with this show. Perhaps that's because it is so organic. I wouldn't be a blogger at all if it weren't for their encouragement.
The NARN have invited anyone and everyone to phone in and join their party. I am happy to comply by live-blogging this event.
The rapid pace of this show is very difficult to live blog. It moves so quickly that by the time I report that Strom is on the air, a commercial is playing.

Oh dear, oh dear, as C3PO would say.
The lovely and talented David Strom in on the air via phone now.
Duane "Generalissimo" of the Hugh Hewitt Show in on the program now via telephone.

He is brown-nosing the NARNASS show in stellar form.
Still wiping tears from my eyes from the opening.
Kennedy had discussed the importance of the blogosphere in politics. He claims that they directly and powerfully effect what happens in Washington, D.C.

A commercial follows Mark Kennedy's departure.

Mark Kennedy

Republican U.S. Senator nominee apparent is on the air.


These puffed up egomaniacs claim they have "humility" immediately after opening with a pompous introduction with Aaron Copeland's Fanfare For The Common Man.

What's NARN, you ask?

You must be lost.

Live blogging the NARN first anniversary show

It's noon and it's Saturday, so the NARN is live and on the air.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rather biased goodbyes and thoughts

First off, let me say that I hope you enjoyed a whole week at pinkmonkeybird with the top post as it has been (scroll down one, please) with Donald Trump firing Kenneth. Today was Dan Rather's final day as CBS Evening News anchor.
Today, going to visit RatherBiased blog is a little like going to the candy shop. That is, if you like candy. I had actually forgotten how self-promoting Dan Rather is until I read his farewell statement;

We have shared a lot in the 24 years we've been meeting here each evening.
And before I say good night this night, I need to say thank you. Thank you to the thousands of wonderful professionals at CBS News, past and present, with whom it has been my honor to work over these years.
And a deeply felt thanks to all of you, who have let us into your homes night after night. It has been a privilege and one never taken lightly. Not long after I first came to the anchor chair I briefly signed off using the word "courage."
I want to return to it now, in a different way, to a nation still nursing a broken heart for what happened here in 2001, and especially to those who found themselves closest to the events of September 11.
To our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in dangerous places. To those who have endured the tsunami, and to all who have suffered natural disasters and who must find the will to rebuild.
To the oppressed and to those whose lot it is to struggle in financial hardship or in failing health. To my fellow journalists in places where reporting the truth means risking all.
And to each of you, courage.
For the "CBS Evening News," Dan Rather reporting. Good night.

I don't think I am alone when I say that I find it quite rude of this man to thank the brave and courageous people of the world that populate the network's reportage. It makes me feel as though Rather thinks that it is he and his "thousands of wonderful professionals at CBS News" who had brought us the drama of the world stage. Gimme a break and goodbye already.

Here's one reflection from RatherBiased;

In the end, the stereotype that fits him best is that of a classical tragic figure, defined by contrasting characteristics, achieving great success and ultimately being done in by the very traits that brought him to his vaunted position.

It's going to be a relief to see Bob Schieffer reporting the news at CBS from now on for awhile. Not that I will seek it out. I don't get my news from television much these days. But that's another posting on another day.

Oh yes, and one more thing. Dan, you can't quit because you're fired.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Trump to Rather; You're fired.

There's nothing like a good chuckle along with your first or second cup of coffee on a Sunday morning. Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace provided that when they interviewed the money icon this morning. After pontificating on various subjects such as the current health of the U.S. economy ("It's good.") and Martha Stewart ("She's got magic."), Trump was asked to speak his mind about Dan Rather. He didn't hold back. Yes, Donald has an axe to grind, as Rather did what Trump calls a dishonest report on him once.

What would you say to Dan Rather if he were here now?, Wallace asked.

"You're fired."

Thanks, Mr. Trump.

The bullying blogosphere

Scott Ott over at Scrappleface has this story, Blogosphere Lets Talk Radio Host Keep Job.

"Mike Gallagher can keep his job on a probationary basis," said an unnamed spokesman for the blogosphere. "The vote was close, but the geeky losers couldn't assemble a big enough coalition to get Gallagher fired."

And in another skirmish, Right Wing News says;

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a particularly high opinion of the folks over at the Daily Kos, but I never fully realized what a group of sewer trawling scumbags they really were until...

Sometimes it does look like the wild and woolly West.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Bizarro Kramer

I'm watching Seinfeld at 6:30 and it's the Bizarro Jerry episode.

In the story, it is revealed that the Bizarro World version of Kramer is "Feldman". This would have to be Marty Feldman. How many other Feldman's are there in comedy?

And Fargus is the Bizarro World opposite of Newman.

Makes sense to me.


This story regarding an issue that finds France and the United States back onto a cooperative footing makes me want to revert back to French fried potatoes.

The United States issued a strong statement of dissatisfaction with Assad's most recent comments, which came after four weeks of political turmoil in Lebanon set off by the assassination of a popular former prime minister.
"As President Bush said Friday, when the United States and France say withdraw, we mean complete withdrawal ; no halfhearted measures," the statement said.
France, which co-authored with Washington a U.N. resolution demanding Syrian withdrawal, also stood by its demands.

I'd go the extra mile to have real French Champaign and French wine, but once I began boycotting those items, I developed a taste for California wines, Australians wines and sparkling wine from anywhere but France. Well, I'd say that if the French can manage to remain consistent this time, I'd actually permit true Champaign this New Year's Eve.

The French. Gotta love 'em. I am very happy that France and the U.S. are united on an issue such as this. And France is a formidable ally in such a situation, as no other Western power carries the clout with Syria in just such a way as France commands

Perhaps now we can hear an end to those seemingly endless charges of "failing to bring in" the Europeans. What's Kerry going to say in absence of such a line?

International pressure mounts on Syria

The Kansas City Star has this report. I would have simply linked to the Star's website, but unfortunately, that paper requires a tedius registration process. I've copied it for you here;

Posted on Fri, Mar. 04, 2005

Bush rejects partial Syrian withdrawal

Associated Press

President Bush on Friday flatly rejected any partial withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, saying he will not accept the kind of "half-measures" Damascus is expected to propose as a compromise.

"There are no half-measures at all," Bush said during an event here on his Social Security proposals. "When the United States and France say withdraw, we mean complete withdrawal, no halfhearted measures."

During a speech Saturday to his parliament, Syrian President Bashar Assad was expected to announce a troop pullback to eastern Lebanon near the Syrian border - but not a full withdrawal, according to Syrian and Lebanese officials.

"We need to see action, not words," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said a day ahead of that speech.

A fellow Arab nation, Saudi Arabia, has also called on Syria to pull out. On Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah told Assad their relations will suffer if Syria doesn't start soon on a complete withdrawal, a Saudi official said.

Bush welcomed that new pressure, saying he was pleased to hear the same message from Saudi Arabia that has been pressed by a growing list of nations.

"Syria, Syrian troops, Syria's intelligence services, must get out of Lebanon now," the president said. "The world is beginning to speak with one voice. We want that democracy in Lebanon to succeed, and we know it cannot succeed so long as she is occupied by a foreign power and that power is Syria."

The president repeated his demand later at another Social Security event in South Bend, Ind.

"It's time for Syria to end its occupation of that good democracy," he said. "Lebanon must be free."

The United States is talking to other governments about ways to help the Lebanese establish political control after the Syrians are gone, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to her French counterpart on that subject Friday, he said. The two countries jointly sponsored a U.N. Security Council resolution last year demanding Syrian withdrawal.

Bush told the New York Post in an interview published Friday that he wants Syria's longtime presence in Lebanon and influence on its political affairs ended by May.

McClellan said that deadline was pegged to the parliamentary elections planned for a new government in Lebanon.

"We want to make sure those are free and fair elections without outside interference," McClellan said.

The wind has most definitely shifted its direction now that Iraq is emerging as just what President Bush said he wanted; a democracy. We are living in a very remarkable time. Things could change very, very quickly now.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The life aquatic with steve zissou

Note; I should explain that I actually saw this movie and began this post about two weeks ago. It was in my Drafts folder and I am publishing it now. Also I have to take issue with Moon of Moonage Webdream. Seu Jorge is not cajun. He is Portuguese. But thank you for your review of this movie. You convinced me that I had to see it. And I'm glad I did.
Also, be sure to visit the official website of the movie. Moon has it linked in his post.

I've only been nudged repeatedly toward this movie for the past month or two. Finally, I commit to go see it at the Crown Cinema BlockE after my workout. Bob Davis just this morning was gleaming about the beauty of his city lifestyle. All this bounty in the city. That's, hopefully, why us urban dwellers enjoy living here. A lot of distractions and a lot of opportunities and a lot of people.
And I do it without a car. Bus downtown to work. Walk to the gym after punching out on the clock. Squeeze in a 90 minute cardio-pulmonary. And then take the skyway to the cinema. BowieNet, my internet community, has been flashing News about this movie and its terrific soundtrack. Moon over at Moonage Webdream posted about it as well.
I didn't know that this was a Wes Anderson movie. There are two brave new filmmakers in independent American film. Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. I love Wes' stuff while Paul's movies are tedious to me. I'm afraid, just a little, that reviewing this movie might spoil the, no I'm not the least bit afraid. In fact, I'm certain that this film can weather any discussion of spoiler. It's just fantastic. In a way, it reminds me of The Magic Flute by Ingmar Bergman. It's a world that exists in defiance of our own reality.

My job is to discuss the David Bowie tangent of The Life Aquatic. And what a tangent it is! For no apparent reason, one of the crew members, who happens to be Portuguese, is a huge fan of Bowie's backlog and performs many of his songs, including, Rebel, Rebel, Ziggy Stardust, Changes, Life On Mars? and he sings them in his tongue, strumming the chords faithfully. A few other moments in the movie have dubs of Bowie's records.
But the most hilarious scene had to be when Murray's character, Zissou, fights back with a vengeance and Iggy Pop's Search and Destroy is cued. That made me see this movie in a whole different perspective. Also, the casting is very hip. Esteban, the old man is played by Seymore Cassel who acted in many John Cassevettes films. Willem DaFoe is an inspired casting decision. Besides the aforementioned Bowie and Iggy, the soundtrack is wonderful. This movie plays like a music video in some ways.

If anyone has to ask why David Bowie fits in with a movie about sailors, then he doesn't know a lot about Bowie. He fancies himself to be a sailor, himself. It's even his username in his website. A careful listening of his lyrics will reveal not infrequent references to sailors. Like Life On Mars? Wes Anderson, gabba gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The cage

Back in December I mentioned that I purchased the Star Trek; The Original Series dvd package. There, I complain that the package is incomplete because the original pilot, The Cage, was omitted.

This dvd commodity is a beautiful thing. It's creative and it's nearly complete. I'm a little disappointed that I don't yet see The Cage included here. The Cage was the first pilot episode that was later recut to create the two part episode called The Managerie. I'd really like to have The Cage in its original form. At least The Managerie has some pop-up notes to explain its genesis. I would love to discover that The Cage is included as an easter egg. But I've only just begun to explore these weird boxes, so I don't know yet.

I was wise to cover my rear by explaining that I haven't thoroughly inspected the box yet. For, I am happy to say that I found not only the restored version of the pilot, but another version that illustrates how it was cut for the two part episode and called The Managerie.

The Cage is a classic science fiction tale in the Roddenberry vein. A nobel starship captain (played by the late Jeffrey Hunter) is weary of command in a universe fraught with troubles and pain. Then this captain and her crew stumble upon a distress signal in uncharted space. They discover a survivor camp which includes the lovely Vina (played by Susan Oliver). The tale is a bit lusty, as the aliens keep trying to get Captain Pike to join a fantasy world with Vina. In a sense, the imaginary world is analogous to a life on drugs. Pike discovers that his yearnings to a simpler life were not to be taken seriously. The key line that describes the story is, "You either take on life by the horns and lick it, or you begin to waste away."
By the end of the story the aliens, known as the Telosians, learn that humans are too stubborn and dangerous for their needs. And the crew of the Enterprise learn that the universe is a big place with plenty to explore.

I found these versions of The Cage on the last disk of the 3rd Season box. No wonder I couldn't find it an unlikely spot for the first pilot. But I'm not complaining. This box is a Trekkie's dream