I’m watching CNN, MSNBC and Fox break into their cable broadcasts to cover a press conference about a missing boy scout in Utah. It’s like they heard all of us complaining about the coverage of missing white girls, and they got pissed off and started yelling “Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well, you didn’t say anything about missing white boys, you asshole!” And then gave us the finger.


Oh god no
I’ve seen many fucked-up things in my time, but this takes the fucked-up cookie.

It’s the rare book cover that can actually make you do a double-take as you read down vertically. “Silent witness – guh? Mark Fuhrman – double guh?”


Late night email update
Need to email a source. Dave@davidweigel account – can’t reach server. Daveweigel@gmail account – server error, check back later.

Baby Jesus, if you want my article to fail, can’t you just tell me so?


Anonymous sources
My reporting doesn’t point me to many off-the-record sources, so I’m not sure if this “democratic political strategist” exists. But this statement …

On some level, there are a lot of Democrats who think that Howard Dean is helping us, if only because it disguises the fact that our House and Senate guys have nothing to say and no ideas.

… surely leads one to believe that this consultant is a pixie in a gossip columnist’s imagination.

I guess it could be Susan Estrich, but calling her a “political strategist” would be equally fanciful.


Good question

By the way, is there anything funnier than a middle-aged guy in a bowtie saying “Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom” in an effort to describe the rapid-fire nature of the program that will have to be cancelled in six months because he’s such a charisma-less, annoying fuck?


Here’s something I did on a little mental break from my research: a list of every DVD I’ve come to own in my 5 years collecting them. Italics represent DVDs I haven’t seen yet.

28 Days Later
The Abyss
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
After Hours
Aguirre, The Wrath of God
Alien Resurrection
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Almost Famous
American Splendor
Animal Crackers
Animal House
Army of Darkness
Before Sunset
The Big Lebowski
Big Trouble in Little China
Bob Roberts
Boxcar Bertha
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Brood
Bubba Ho-Tep
Cannibal! The Musical
Cobra Verde
The Cocoanuts
Conan the Barbarian
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Day of the Dead
Do the Right Thing
Duck Soup
Easy Rider
Ed Wood
The Enigma of Kasper Hauser
Even Dwarfs Started Small
The Evil Dead
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn
The Exorcist
The Exorcist III
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Fata Morgana
The Fog of War
Gangs of New York
General Idi Amin Dada
Ghost World
Hard Boiled
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Hated: G.G. Allin and the Murder Junkies
Heart of Glass
High Fidelity
The Hills Have Eyes
Horse Feathers
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
The Last Dragon
The Last Waltz
Lawrence of Arabia
Lessons of Darkness
Little Dieter Needs to Fly
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Malcolm X
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mayor of the Sunset Strip
Mean Girls
Mean Streets
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
A Mighty Wind
Monkey Business
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
My Best Fiend
New York, New York
Night of the Living Dead
Nosferatu, Phantom Der Nacht
Office Space
The Omega Man
The Paper Chase
The Player
Raging Bull
Reefer Madness
The Return of the Living Dead
The Ring
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Roger and Me
The Rules of Attraction
Say Anything
School Daze
School of Rock
The Secret Lives of Dentists
Seven Samurai
Shaolin Soccer
Shaun of the Dead
The Silence of the Lambs
Spider-Man 2
Spirited Away
Summer of Sam
Team America: World Police
They Live
The Thing
This is Spinal Tap
Time Bandits
Valley Girl
Waking Life
Wet Hot American Summer
Who’s That Knocking At My Door?
Withnail & I
X2: X-Men United
Zombi 2

What have we learned?
1.)I’m missing a lot of “classic” movies. Recently I’ve passed up chances to buy, at a discount price, Citizen Kane, The Godfather movies, and Scarface. Why? I don’t know. The rationale could be “I won’t re-watch them,” but I haven’t actually re-watched, say Waking Life in a long while.
2.)I haven’t seen a lot of things that I own. Much of the reason for that is that I’ll buy boxed sets of DVDs, like four Martin Scorcese movies, and I just don’t have as much interest in the features that came cheap with the box. You may ask: Why do I rent so many movies anyway. I’m not sure!
3.)I like horror movies, comedies, and occasional arty crap. So, I’m male and I went to college. We knew that.

Here are the TV shows I own:

Angel: Seasons I-V
Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volumes I-III
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Seasons I-VII
Chappelle’s Show: Seasons I-II
The Corner: Complete Series
Cowboy Bebop: Volumes I-III
Da Ali G Show: Season I
Degrassi Junior High: Seasons I-II
Degrassi, The Next Generation: Season I
Family Guy: Seasons I-III
Firefly: Complete Series
Freaks and Geeks: Complete Series
Futurama: Seasons I-IV
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: Volume I
Homicide: Seasons I-II
The Kids in the Hall: Season I
The Larry Sanders Show: Season I
Mr. Show: Seasons I-IV
Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Collections II-VII, The Essentials (Manos: The Hands of Fate, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians), Mitchell
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Volumes I-IV
Nip/Tuck: Season I
The O.C.: Season I
The Office: Complete Series
OZ: Seasons I-IV
Sealab 2021: Volumes I-II
Sex and the City: Seasons II-VI
The Shield: Seasons I-III
The Simpsons: Seasons III-V
South Park: Seasons I-V
Tanner ’88: Complete Series
Twin Peaks: Season I
Wiseguy: Sonny Steelgrave, Mel Profitt, Between the Mob and a Hard Place
Yes, Minister: Complete Series

In all liklihood, that’s an even nerdier list. (Also, I’ve purchased SCTV, The Sopranos, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I gave them to my family as gifts.)


Here’s something annoying. I have an iPod, and when first I used it I listened to it via the cheap headphones that came with it. After about two months, I started to hear a faint crackle in one of the earpieces when I changed the volume – that particular earpiece always seemed quieter than the other. So I hit the Apple Store in Arlington, and purchased the “next step up” earpieces for the queer Apple Store price of $39.

During the Winter and Spring I would stick the earpieces in my pocket, or my jacket’s inner pocket, or my gym bag. Occasionally there’d be friction on them, and occasionally they’d catch on some protrusion while I was walking and they’d tug for a second, and I’d detach them and keep on walking. But … now the left earpiece is making a faint crackling sound when I change the volume. Very faint – if I’m listening to a metal songs I don’t hear it, but if I’m playing a ballad, it’s there.

This is terrifically annoying. Is it an Apple thing? Or is there some precaution I’m failing to take with my headphones?


Howard Dean again, naturally
Since all the cool kids are discussing Howard Dean and his “controversial comments,” I’d like to weigh in briefly.

1.)Dean’s PR is damaged beyond resuscitation. He has painted himself into the role of a “controversial figure,” which means that when reporters cover him, they will seek out and lead with his most outre statement. This happens to Republicans, too (do you know anything Donald Rumsfeld has said recently outside “you go to war with the army you have”?), but Republicans’ public images don’t matter because they have an official spokesman, George Bush, who does not go off script.

2.)The perception is that Democrats have “no ideas” and “don’t know what they stand for,” and Dean is losing the ability to contradict that. He does have ideas, mentioned in his speeches – health care reform, pension reform, electoral reform. There’s room for Democrats to cohere this stuff into an electoral agenda. But any Dem ideas get lost in the media fog when Dean offends someone – the Democratic “story” for days at a time is about the party on the defensive, apologizing or fighting over some small detail.

3.)Dean’s gaffing hasn’t notably helped the GOP, despite what some of them say – they’ve been falling to pre-9/11, Clinton impeachment-era levels of poll support. But when he goes off script, the media devotes some of its limited political news budget to it. This cuts from the time they can spend covering the faltering GOP, which would help Democrats.

Thus, Democrats and Dean should work out a way for him to leave, or be demoted, gracefully. It can’t be seen as a coup, because that will piss off the liberal base who already think “vichy” Democrats are backstabbing Dean for telling the truth. It can’t be seen as a Hillary/Bill Clinton-orchestrated power play, because it’ll be interpreted that way anyway, and why make Rush et al’s job easier?

There’s an easy way to do this. Dean got the DNC chairmanship, winning over skeptics and state party chairs, because he promised to spend money building parties in all 50 states. So far he’s spotlighted nine states, visiting them and giving them huge grants (Nebraska has received 10 times as much money under Dean as it did under Terry McAuliffe). So, Dean can spend the rest of 2005 cycling through all 50 states and giving them grants. When that’s done, Dean can claim that he’s done what was he was elected to do, and exit triumphantly. One of the DNC also-rans – Ron Kirk, Wellington Webb, Martin Frost, Simon Rosenberg – who has been courted behind the scenes, can take over and praise the awesome work of Howard Dean. Problems solved. The DNC may have spent a year raising less cash than they could have under another chairman, but what you look at what they got for their huge cash flow under McAuliffe, that might be a wash. They will have embraced Dean’s vision, which pleases liberal activists, while getting rid of Dean, which pleases beltway Democrats and moderates. The GOP will lose a regular punching bag and contend with a Democratic party which, according to the CW, has “come to its senses” or “is on the comeback trail” or some such guff.

This shouldn’t be a big deal – the RNC cycled through three party chairs in Bush’s first term. The first one, Jim Gilmore, was a total disaster under whom the party lost elections in Los Angeles, Virginia and New Jersey, and he was booted two months later. This obviously didn’t hurt the GOP in the long run. Of course any Dean resignation is going to be THE political news for a few days, but so what? Republicans gloat and say they “told you so,” Democrats wince at the GOP schadenfreude, and then it’s over.