Friday, February 8, 2008

Never Get Involved in a Land War With Asia!

Fourteen years ago, Dick Cheney had it right.

It's chilling to hear him talk about how many "dead Americans" an Iraq invasion would be worth. Remember, he didn't serve in Vietnam due to "other priorities."

Clichés Worth Retiring #1

The phrase "not your mother’s ________."

"Not your grandmother’s ________."

This tired line, once sassy and forward-thinking, has devolved into a catch-all catch-phrase lazy writers employ to impress gullible youngish women. Want to put a hip spin on some new brand of iced tea? Tell the world it's "not your mother's iced tea!"

If you've got a masochistic streak, try these links. Though I list but a few, trust me, I could list hundreds:

Not your mother's breast milk
Not Your Mother's Computer Virus
Not Your Mother's Barbie
Not your mother's sex talk
Not Your Mother's Hockey Puck
Not Your Mother's LDS Music 2
Not Your Mother's Disiderata
Not your mother's mobile home

One thing is for certain: in the tortured land of Cliché-dom, "not your mother’s ________" is certainly not your mother’s tired old cliché.

Dying For One’s Art

If you've spent any time on the University of Oklahoma campus in the last 10 years, you've probably noticed this flamboyant sculpture of a mustang with flaming red eyes.

It was the work of one Luis Jiménez, a noted Hispanic-American artist from Texas.

Jiménez was killed in 2006, when a larger version of this mustang sculpture fell and crushed him in his studio. This is such a strange and ironic way for an artist to die that I'll just leave you to mull it over for yourself, without further comment.

His daughter, Elisa, was a contestant on Project Runway, Season Four. She was the crazy gal who spat upon her fabric instead of drawing chalk lines.

Both father and daughter seem to be accident-prone. On an episode of P.R., Elisa described being hit by a car while trying to cross a street in London. Advice to Americans visiting England: before crossing the street, look to your RIGHT. The cars don't travel in the same lanes as they do in America. In case you forget, the Brits paint "LOOK RIGHT" in big white letters on the road surface, just to give Americans a sporting chance.

Phascinating Phact #2

The only word in the English language with three consecutive double letters is bookkeeper.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Knotts’ Landing

If you're like me, you spend an inordinate amount of time reflecting on the career of Don Knotts. This West Virginia native won 5 Emmy awards for his portrayal of Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show," and went on to star as "Three's Company" landlord Ralph Furley. Were he born 2 generations earlier, his appearance and physicality could have made him a silent film star; but television proved to be the ideal stage for his nervous, bumbling (yet Napoleonic) characters.

Why not take some time to check out his first television appearance?

From 1951, watch Don Knotts try his hand at drama, on a 15 minute episode of "Search For Tomorrow." Maybe it's our own hindsight, but this natural comedian manages to be funny even in a serious turn.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Obama vs. Clinton

My heart says "Obama," but my head says "Hillary."

Obama is the nebulous "change" candidate. We've never seen anyone quite like him. Impossibly lean, his very physique suggests a sort of spartan Lincoln-ness, the anti-fat cat. His demeanor is calm and reassuring, yet his oratory can move crowds to tears. And his own family tree makes us hope that this black man with a white mother can help tone down the polarization and divisiveness of the Bush/Coulter/Malkin/O'Reilly idealogues.

But, is he still so naive as to believe Washington can change?

If Hillary were a man, she'd be described as a tough, brilliant, and focused politician, with a real understanding of what it takes to pass legislation. But Hillary is a woman, so she's stuck fighting stereotypes. She believes she must appear strong and hawk-like; this led to her ill-advised war authorization vote, and her standing refusal to negotiate with our "enemies." It's a shame to think a woman must act more like a man to achieve a position of power, but for now, it's true. Still, she's as qualified for the job as any candidate could be.

But, do we really want to continue with this Bush/Clinton/Bush dynastic hold on the White House?

Which candidate will face a tougher road to the White House? Hillary, without a doubt. A white woman will have a tougher time cracking the glass ceiling than a black man. Look at a football field: white men and black men play together while white women with pom poms cheer them on from the sidelines.

So, that's our dilemma. Let's try to work through it with some lists:

Why I want to vote for Obama:
1. He opposed the Iraq occupation from day one.
2. He's not a baby boomer.
3. His election will instantly restore America's reputation abroad
4. His campaign is forward-looking and inclusive
5. His election will end the 28 year old Bush/Clinton hold on the White House

Why I want to vote for Hillary:
1. Her high level of political savvy
2. Her personal character
3. Her promise to focus on economic issues that affect working class Americans
4. I know her; I feel safe with her.
5. The historic importance of her election will be a positive development for women around the world.

Friday, February 1, 2008