Archive for July 27th, 2005

You Know You Want To. Just Admit It.

The shadowy and mysterious Codename V. has made an excellent suggestion. I believe that future generations of space aliens can benefit immeasurably from my scintillating wisdom and prose. And photographs of my own hair.

The shadowy and mysterious Codename V. has also helpfully gathered 93.6% of the world’s collective awesomeness in one convenient location. WARNING: You may need protective eyewear to protect yourself from all the concentrated awesomeness.

1 comment July 27th, 2005 at 07:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness

Mwahahahaha!!!

From one of the NY Daily News’s gossip columns:

Famed editor Jason Epstein, husband of jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller, has lately been making himself scarce at the federal facility in Virginia where his wife has been incarcerated for the past three weeks.

(snip)

In a frothy social column yesterday about a celeb-glutted Mediterranean cruise, featuring everyone from Isabella Rossellini to J.K. Rowling aboard the ocean liner Silver Shadow, the New York Sun’s A.L. Gordon revealed:

“One passenger with his mind soberly on home is the literary icon Jason Epstein. … Ms. Miller would have been on the cruise had she not gone to jail.”

His wife’s in the slammer and he cruises the Med?

“We all serve our time in our own way,” quipped Miller’s attorney Robert Bennett.

My pal Christopher Buckley, comic novelist and editor of Forbes FYI, imagined what Epstein might have said to Miller prior to his departure.

“Darling, I’m sure it’s not going to be a very nice cruise. I hear they don’t even have beluga caviar, just a slightly inferior grade of osetra, and I’m sure the Champagne will be, well, not too warm exactly, but probably not as chilled as I normally like it. And I’m sure people will get seasick and there won’t be anyone interesting to talk to, nor any beautiful unattached women.

“Darling, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself even if it were a nice cruise. While I’m dining on foie gras, I will be thinking only of you, sitting behind bars in 110-degree heat, eating baloney and being brutalized by prison matrons.”

Ummm, I mean, that’s terrible. Really.

1 comment July 27th, 2005 at 10:09am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Favorites,Media,Wankers

Keep Trying, Tom!

Tom Friedman almost gets it right! Buried under quivering layers of flabby, clunky prose is a bright shiny kernel of what’s-wrong-with-America truth:

Talk to U.S. business executives and they’ll often comment on how many of China’s leaders are engineers, people who can talk to you about numbers, long-term problem-solving and the national interest – not a bunch of lawyers looking for a sound bite to get through the evening news. America’s most serious deficit today is a deficit of such leaders in politics and business.

I think Captain Obvious is really quite spot-on with this. Lawyers are not bad in and of themselves, but their role (at its best and purest) is to argue and persuade and advocate, not to manage or lead or fix or strategize (no offense intended to my legal friends – it’s just that the words, “We need someone to run our business/country” are rarely followed by the words, “I know! Let’s hire a lawyer!”). Unfortunately, the central problem with Republicans today is that their idea of problem-solving is to convince everyone that they’ve fixed the problem, or that there is no problem – as opposed to, you know, actually fixing the problem.

In addition to the usual bad writing, Friedman also misses on one of the key facets of his own premise (“America needs to be more like Lance Armstrong!”) by not saying anything about integrity or decency. Does anyone remember a few years ago when one of Lance’s chief rivals fell, and Lance hung back and waited for him rather than taking advantage to rack up a lead? He didn’t think it would be fair or sportsmanlike. Sure, I can see a lot of Democrats doing this, but no Republicans – they might hang back too, but only to kick their fallen adversary in the nuts and then steal his tires.

I have the same why-aren’t-more-politicians-like-this reaction when I hear about golfers like David Toms assessing stroke penalties or even disqualifying themselves from tournaments because they think they might have committed an infraction that no-one else even noticed. This is pretty much the exact opposite of what we have now, where the ruling party is trying (successfully) to minimize and deflect the impact of torture, treason, and election-gaming, rather than owning up to it and accepting appropriate penalties. Or, better yet, not perpetrating it in the first place.

I’m not 100% sure that we want engineers running everything (probably not realistic in an electoral democracy anyway), but I do agree that we need more accountable problem-solvers and fewer butt-covering problem-spinners.

2 comments July 27th, 2005 at 09:38am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Favorites,Media,Politics,Republicans,Sports,Wankers


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