Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tax Plans

I'm trying to avoid the debate hullabaloo. It's far too much theater criticism by dolts and too little analysis of what's said and what the candidates' plans are.

Speaking of which, here's a clever site detailing Romney's Tax Plan

It would be terrible to elect a plutocrat to run this country just a few years after the plutocrats torched the world economy.  But the US public elected George W Bush twice and Romney's vision is little different, so it's possible.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Now-cast


Roger Allam (First Officer Douglas Richardson and General Campion ) 
 and Benedict Cumberbatch  (Captain Martin Crieff and Christopher Tietjens) 
in Cabin Pressure and Parade's End.

A few things I'm enjoying now.

+ A Bradley Smoker to make smoked: salmon, pastrami, chicken, pork ribs, turkey breast, and more. I don't like using--and therefore purchasing-- proprietary pucks ("brickets") of  wood for infumation, but the control it gives with this electric machine is unsurpassed.

+  The website Dog-shaming. Countless photos, most with dogs evincing true shame.

+ Series Two of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme on BBC Radio 4. All of Finnemore's work is skilled, insightful, and funny, but this sketch show is something else. The fourth episode is on iPlayer now and  the song about insomnia will be a timeless one for me. Single-writer sketch shows are rare. Few could be of this quality unless the writer's last name is "Cook."

+  For more audio fun the podcast by Dana Gould: The Dana Gould Hour. Each episode is loosely shaped around a theme, and the current one is one tailor-made for me: Occult-O-Rama!, featuring discussion of Alistair Crowley, Anton Le Vey , Jack Parsons, and L. Ron Hubbard, as well as George Lucas. I found the Gould podcast recently but have gone back to download most of them; each one is intelligent and funny, with a great deal of showbiz lore and generally entertaining gab. Dana Gould has been a reliable standup comic for years, though I recall him most fondly as a writer of The Simpsons during some of my favorite years.

+ My gigabite-speed network. I embedded Cat-6 cable in the walls of the house, applied a gigabyte router and switch and a gigabyte-speed 4 TB network-attached storage implement (actually 2 TB storage, since it's 2 discs of 2 TB each, in a RAID 1 array). I use it mainly to trippingly distribute HD media around the house...

+ ... Such as Parade's End, a Tom Stoppard adaptation via the BBC of Ford Maddox Ford's novels. It's difficult to write about since I just finished watching it, but it was engrossing and howlingly funny in parts (though it's a drama, not a comedy). The screen cap at the top of this post ties it in with Finnemore since it shows two of the main players in Finnemore's excellent radio sitcom Cabin Pressure.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kliph, Yes Kliph

I've mentioned posts at WFMU  by Kliph Nesteroff a couple of times here ( Woody Allen and  Henry Morgan). He writes exhaustively detailed articles about comedians and comics from years ago.

And he gave a fascinating interview with Marc Maron on the WTF podcast.  It's up here  (or here) for a while.  In it he covers some lesser known comics (such as Jack Carter and Shecky Green), and spins a fascinating tale about a chauffeur who became a comic with help of the mob, and lost his career when mob families changed.

Mesmerizing discussion of art and the laughter industry of a bygone time. It's not very funny, but it's fascinating.

Kliph's posts at WFMU are collected here, and he has his own blog, including interesting video and audio tidbits, at Classic Television Showbiz.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Send the Common People

You may have seen the photos of Mitt Romney protesting at Stanford in 1966. From ABC news:

"The website BuzzFeed today unearthed an Associated Press photo showing Romney, 19, holding a sign at a Stanford University protest in support of the draft in the Vietnam War in 1966."

Mitt Romney, on the right in jacket and light pants with the "Speak out, Don't Sit In" sign.


21 Americans died in Vietnam on 20 May, 1966, the day Romney was protesting in favor of the draft:

Wilford P Coller
David L Crow
Jack E Gardner
Michael O Gatwood
Daniel Knarian
Gene M Lutz
Gilliam Moore
Dennis L Nelson
Carter Redmond
James H Reese
Franklin D Waters
Lawrence S Robbins
Stanley I Sagon
Philip J Serna
Obie C Simmons
George H Stahl Jr
Richard L Wildman
William F Winters
Ronald E Ange
Robert L Benjamin
Henry Benton
 Tens of thousands more died before the war eventually ended.

Romney didn't get drafted. Romney didn't volunteer to fight the war he supported. Mitt Romney didn't go to Vietnam at all. Instead Mitt,

The son of George Romney, then Michigan’s governor, he was one of a limited number of Mormon youth chosen as missionaries — a status that protected him from the draft between July 1966 and February 1969 as a “minister of religion or divinity student.” Essentially, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints re-routed Romney from Vietnam to the south of France, where he served as missionary.
 He lived in "Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement," staffed by at least two servants.

Even as a missionary, Romney had the common people do do the dirty work, and die in the wars he supported but wouldn't fight.



Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pain-in-the-ass Bot

There's a service called  ifft  that allows users to set up automated actions (e.g. email when rain is due tomorrow, message when a new free Amazon app is put up.).  I saw two funny Twitter accounts today that use this service:

Fucking Raining: "I exist to tell you when it's fucking raining in fucking London."

Potty Bot:  "I get sweary when The Archers comes on BBC Radio 4."  

A third account, which I presume is automated but which may not be, is

Stealth Mountain: "I alert twitter users that they typed sneak peak when they meant sneak peek."

Many users reply when Stealth Mountain corrects them, and the list of responses is funny, too. 


Monday, January 02, 2012

Professional Riot Service, 1965

Hilarious flyer from California, 1965, held by Rare Books and Manuscripts, Columbia University.

 Click image for larger, readable version. 
Or click here for the Columbia webpage.


I particularly like  the "90 days advance notice needed to insure spontaneity" and the "centennial discount" (this being 1965) for black v. white riots.


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