Posts Tagged ‘ News ’

Why “Carmageddon” Didn’t Happen

2011.07.19
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THEY SHOULD HAVE CALLED IT “Carpocalypse.” %$#@!ing publicists.

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Reb Nachum to SF: Keep Your Laws Off My People’s Body

2011.06.06
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THERE’S A PLACE — CHELM IS its name — where all the inhabitants are so open-minded that they tolerate any behavior whatsoever from anyone they deem open-minded as themselves. It’s a nice place to visit, but I hope never to have to live there.

From the post title, you can guess where I stand on San Francisco’s proposed anti-circumcision measure, which would criminalize the act if performed on anyone under 18 and disallow religious exemptions. But considering that Matthew Hess, the fellow behind it, is the same fellow behind the eye-washingly anti-Semitic “Monster Mohel” comic book, I feel I know as much about his motivations — and defenders — as I need to.
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My Favorite Osama Bin Laden Rumor

2011.05.03
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…IS THAT HIS COMPOUND WAS built in the shape of what some would call “Greater Palestine,” with his house corresponding to the location of Jerusalem. (This comes to me from to the French website JSSNews, by way of YNet, by way of The Tablet, which latter is recommended daily fare.)

Fig. 1.

I stress that this is a rumor only (like the time in high school that I convinced someone that Ronald McDonald was portrayed by an African-American actor — which was repeated to me later in the day), and doesn’t really seem to fit with what we seem to know thus far about Mr. Bin Laden’s motivations. But as rumors go, it’s worth passing along. (AS A RUMOR.)

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Today’s Most Tweeted Non-Mark Twain Quote

2011.05.02
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“I’VE NEVER WISHED A MAN dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

Whether or not Mr. Twain actually Why Clarence Darrow said these words I do not know. But for those having difficulty cheering one more death, yet no compulsion to weep for the decedent, it seems to capture the moment nicely. (Although Ann‘s “Osama Been Gotten” is nice too.)

– Neal, whose Facebook page today reads “…Having a surreal experience. Fortunately, so is everyone else.”

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Pithyism #-11

2011.03.21
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RUTHLESSNESS ONLY LOWERS THE CONVERSATION for everyone.

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See Augie? It IS A City!

2011.03.20
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IN 2008, A LOCAL CITY councilmember proposed changing our urban appellation from “City of Sonoma” to “Town of Sonoma” — reflecting the bucolic values to which we cling with blue-jean-and-Stetson stubbornness. That task proved a quixotic one, but good for a fortnight of local wag-stoking.

And now, this from the travel section of this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle, page P6: a nice piece about Sonoma Valley’s Glen Ellen touts the hamlet/burg/village as “an alternative to the bustle of modern Sonoma.” (Italics added.)

There it is, in black and white. Our little Anatevka-among-the-vines has gone from “Slownoma” to “Gonoma.” Next: Public WiFi, traffic jams and sunglasses.

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Sign In A Radio Newsroom, c. 1993

2011.03.16
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SAW THIS WHERE I FIRST interned as “Neal Ross.” I was naive enough then to think it merely humorous.

Cub reporter: “If it’s news, I report it.”
Old journalist: “If I report it, it’s news.”
Newsman Emeritus: “If I don’t report it, it didn’t happen.” When I report it, it’s history.”

(Thanks to “Bob” for the correction.)

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When Tefilin Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Lay Tefilin

2011.03.14
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Fig. 1.


March 14, 2011 (JTA) — An Alaska Airlines flight crew issued a security alert after three Mexican Orthodox Jews began praying with tefillin.

The flight attendants, who were concerned by the prayers being said aloud in Hebrew and the unfamiliar boxes with leather straps hanging from them, locked down the cockpit and radioed a security alert ahead to Los Angeles International Airport. (See: http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/03/14/3086391/alaska-airlines-detains-passengers-over-tefillin.)

(This sort of thing Nearly Happened To Me, in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport in early 2002: the onlookers were a couple of antsy early-morning passengers watching me “wrap up” in a terminal alcove. “It’s a Jewish prayer thing,” I said, and left it at that. They were mollified, I met my obligations, and the world survived another day.)

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Words Mean Stuff

2011.02.08
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A SHORT LIST OF WORDS which, through overuse, have been consigned to the meaning-deficient self-parody heap:

Blatant
Flagrant
Offen(sive/ded)
Rabid
Sexist
Racist
Controversy
Security
Freedom
Democracy
Republican
Terrorism
Diva

(There are others, but these are what I found in this morning’s newspaper. Additions and substitutions welcome.)

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David Feldman, Post-Modern Comic Genius

2011.01.13
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PAY ATTENTION, CLASS: TODAY WE learn from David Feldman, American, how to correctly structure a portable visual joke (in this case, a bumpersticker) for maximum satiric and comic effect.

First point: Understand the medium. The human eye travels a line of text, or what the brain immediately assesses as same, from left to right.

Second point: Camouflage. On a black background, the eye first registers a patriotic symbol — an American flag overlaying a proud bald eagle’s profile — followed by a line of white text.

Third point: Reinforcement. A sturdy sans-serif, all caps: “MY COUNTRY RIGHT OR … ”

Fourth point: Misdirection. The brain, conditioned by years of living within the Lower North American political ecosystem, anticipates a conditioned jingoism.

Fifth point: Gotcha. The text finishes: ” … RONG.” The brain is wrenched from its self-woven cocoon by the unexpected monosyllabic truncation, and explodes into laughter. Its owner reaches for a handkerchief or small towel.

REMEMBER THE MONOSYLLABIC TRUNCATION. THERE WILL BE A TEST.

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Literal Legend

2011.01.13
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HE SAID HE WOULD FIGHT Wall Street, but it wasn’t long before he was brought down by a perplexed SWAT team.

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Apropos Punditry

2011.01.11
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DOESN’T ALL THAT JERKING MAKE the knees hurt?

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