Saturday, October 15, 2005

I want my MTV

It seems that along with the new video iPod, Apple is selling television content from iTunes, the company's online music store. The small selection of ABC reruns doesn't interest me -- I'm not burning to get caught up on Lost -- but I'm intrigued by the music video offerings.

I remember the earliest days of MTV very fondly, and I still get a little giddy even at the idea of seeing an old Split Enz video. So I checked, and although Apple's selection of classic stuff is small, there is promise: I see that the video for Dan Hartman's "I Can Dream About You" (1984) is available, as is the clip for Cheap Trick's "If You Want My Love" (1982). Both of these loomed large in my early adolescent consciousness, and I can't wait to download them.

Which makes me think: I surely can't be the only nostalgia-wracked Gen-Xer who would love to revisit lots of music video hits (and not-hits) from circa 1981-1985 -- and more to the point, who would pay to do so. I hope Steve Jobs is reading.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Good word

"As far as I can gather, not many people at Defense liked [Judith Miller], and the sense I got was that she wasn't their problem anymore now that she was in Iraq. Maybe they were hoping that she'd step on a mine. I certainly was."

--Eugene Pomeroy, public affairs officer, the National Guard

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Good word

"But really, how many times a day can you masturbate?"

--CNN anchor Anderson Cooper

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Make 'em laugh

Last night I saw The Aristocrats. As with so many movies, I was late to this party, but I did arrive.

The subject of the documentary, as you doubtless have heard, is how professional comedians amuse one another by swapping versions of a joke about a family of entertainers who, in their act, engage in coprophilia, necrophila, incest, rape, devil worship, Republicanism and every other depravity under the sun. The name of the troupe, and the punchline of the joke: the Aristocrats. In the film, 200 or so comedians -- including Jon Stewart, Robin Williams and Phyllis Diller -- deliver the joke in arias so startlingly obscene that near me in the almost empty cinema, a trio of otherwise nonchalant men in their early 20s, feet propped up on the seats in front of them, kept gasping loudly.

To me, the most compelling performance of the joke is by Bob Saget, the comedian familiar from family-friendly television shows like "Full House" and "America's Funniest Home Videos." There is unhappiness in Saget's eyes as he delivers, seemingly against his will, what is arguably the film's most disturbing version of the joke.

The effect is jarring -- especially for me, because I have had Saget on the brain. That is thanks to my recent rediscovery of one of basic cable's simple pleasures: reruns of "America's Funniest Home Videos." I disdained the show when it was new, but now I laugh helplessly as, again and again, the pier collapses, the guy walks into the tree, the dog does something surprising.

But most mesmerizing is host Saget, who frequently registers that same unhappiness -- even exhaustion -- as he banters with the crowd, delivers lame but tame gags and introduces themed segments. It must be hard to be so wholesome for the cameras, and his version of the Aristocrats joke surely is some kind of catharsis. But perhaps he might more productively deliver it to a member of the clergy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Nicole Kidman and country singer (and fellow Aussie) Keith Urban were spotted getting cozy in a Nashville-area eatery. The Nashville Tennessean quoted the restaurant's owner thusly: "He was talking to her, rubbing on her, too. They was real close."

Ah, Nashville. My hometown. They really do talk that way. Read all about it here.
To thine own self, etc.

Happy National Coming Out Day, everybody. Coming Out Day 2000 proved fateful for me. I was grad student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the time, and I recall wandering morosely around some Coming Out Day displays on Library Mall. Finally I said: what the hell am I waiting for? And that fall, I came out.

So I say to you, my gay brothers and sisters in your respective closets: if I can do it, so can you. Git out here!

Monday, October 10, 2005


On the isthmus bike path, someone has defaced the zebra crossings at the streets with a pro-bike slogan: "MORE BIKES / LESS CARS."

A few comments to the agitator: First, I agree with the sentiment, obviously, which is why I bike to work every day. But is vandalism necessary? Why should we pay to clean up your mess?

Secondly, it's dumb to make the scrawl readable from bikes on the path but not from cars on the streets, which cross the path at right angles. Hey genius: us on the bike path -- we're the bike people! We get it already! Moron.

Finally: The word you're searching for is fewer. Fewer cars.