I’ll say this once

Here are the shows I don’t watch:

24
The Apprentice
Desperate Housewives
any C.S.I.
Grey’s Anatomy
House M.D.
any Law and Order
My Name Is Earl
The Office (US)
Weeds

Here are the shows I do watch:

30 Rock
American Idol
Battlestar Galactica
Entourage
Gilmore Girls
How I Met Your Mother
The L Word
Rome (intermittently)
The Sopranos
Studio 60 (mostly because it’s awful)
The Venture Brothers (the best show on TV)
Ugly Betty (the first episode, at any rate)
The Wire

Probably because I’ve just devoured a bunch of Chuck Klosterman, I harbor no ill will towards people who watch the shows I don’t. However, do not expect me to venture opinions on said shows, apart from my stock opinions: “crime shows are boring unless” and “I don’t get 24” and so on.

Mmm, self contradiction

Alan Dershowitz:

It now turns out that Jimmy Carter–who is accusing the Jews of buying the silence of the media and politicians regarding criticism of Israel–has been bought and paid for by Arab money.

Journalist Jacob Laksin has documented the tens of millions of dollars that the Carter Center has accepted from Saudi Arabian royalty and assorted other Middle Eastern sultans, who, in return, Carter dutifully praised as peaceful and tolerant (no matter how despotic the regime). And these are only the confirmed, public donations.

Another journalist, Rachel Ehrenfeld, in a thorough and devastating article on “Carter’s Arab Financiers,” meticulously catalogues Carter’s ties to Arab moneymen, from a Saudi bailout of his peanut farm in 1976, to funding for Carter’s presidential library, to continued support for all manner of Carter’s post-presidential activities.  For instance, it was the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), founded in Pakistan and fronted by a Saudi billionaire, Gaith Pharaon, that helped Carter start up his beloved Carter Center.

And in the same essay:

Let’s stop invoking discredited ethnic stereotypes…

Like, uh… the villainous Arab sheikh, handing bags of money over as he cackles and twists his mustache?

I don’t want to make a habit out of lionizing Jimmy Carter, but how many of the people going after him are clowns? Claus von Bulow’s lawyer again, quoting Abe Foxman:

… Carter says “There are constant and vehement political and media debates in Israel concerning its policies in the West Bank but because of powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the U.S., Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned, voices from Jerusalem dominate our media, and most American citizens are unaware of circumstances in the occupied territories.” In other words, the old canard and conspiracy theory of Jewish control of the media, Congress, and the U.S. government…

No, not “in other words.” Carter isn’t talking about the Elders of Zion. For example, those “religious forces” in the U.S. include evangelical Christians who unconditionally support Israel. And I don’t get it, would Dershowitz (and Foxman) deny that there “are constant and vehement political and media debates in Israel concerning its policies in the West Bank”?

This is so frustrating. I’m not Jewish, and I don’t obsess over this issue, but the folks who speak up for Israel in our political debates have this tendency toward being thuggish jackasses.

Gracious in victory?

Oh yeah, New Orleans? Well, at least our city wasn’t destroyed by a hurricane. Losers.

More seriously, am I wrong in thinking the national sympathy for New Orleans is pretty much gone? Maybe I don’t watch enough sports coverage, but it seems like the Saints’ football success is getting less interest than the Yankees’ relative success in 2001, before Arizona pwn3d them in the series. I’m a political junkie, so my sympathy definitely waned when the city re-elected its bumbling bigot mayor and hilariously crooked congressman. When did everyone else stop caring?

In conclusion, go Bears!

TV update

I caved; I’m getting a refund, although I don’t think anything will process until next week. Upshot: it gave me the chance to be rude to customer service representatives, which I never don’t like doing. “Thanks for selling me a $200 series of errands,” and so on.

Incidentally, since I haven’t talked about the iPhone, the biggest tech news in years, I should confess that I’m coming around to the Apple way of life. The various generations of iPods (I have had 3,4 and 5G) are some of the best technology I’ve ever worked with; open the box, plug it in, add songs, go. While the first one broke and the second was stolen, I rarely had any problems that I didn’t myself cause somehow. That’s more than I can say for my Gateway computer, which is pretty great, but had a hardware problem after two weeks of use and is clearly inferior to the newest MacBooks.