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Archives for June, 2003

June 27, 2003

Now you can Google from

Daniel Radosh

Now you can Google from your phone -- as long as you're also sitting at your computer, from which, presumably, you'd be able to Google anyway. And be sure to speak more clearly than I did. Still, I guess it's useful if you want to know exactly what your cat is saying. I knew it wasn't quite meow, meow. (voice results simulated).

Hmm. What else can we do to make Google more unnecessarily complicated?

June 27, 2003

Dude, you're getting a comically

Daniel Radosh

Dude, you're getting a comically inappropriate inline advertisement with this article. (Thanks to Rose.) If you don't see why the second graf and the ad immediately below it clash, hit refresh a few times until it looks like this:

Update for OJR readers: The article is now archived, but you it began like this:
2 PC Makers Given Credit And Blame In Recycling

The nation's two largest personal computer makers, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, handle recycling of the waste from computer products in remarkably different ways, according to a report by environmentalists released today.

The report was prepared by the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, a group that also focuses on health issues, and the Computer Take Back Campaign. It commended Hewlett-Packard for using "state of the art" practices in partnership with an expanding commercial recycling industry, while criticizing Dell for using low-cost prison labor in association with Unicor, an industrial prison system within the Justice Department. ... The environmental organizations said that the extensive use of the prison system by Dell and others is a significant obstacle to the creation on a profitable recycling industry.

You can see the ad for yourself in my screenshot.

June 27, 2003

For fuck's sake.

Daniel Radosh

Music Club's profanity session produced our most musically-coherent mix to date (a title previously held by presidents) -- not counting the bonus track intentionally added at the end for much-needed comic relief. Heavy on the post-punk. No rap ("fish in a barrel," said Ivan). Elizabeth (track 3) and Gina Sue (track 12) chose, cleverly, to work with the first dictionary definition of profanity, while the rest of us went with the more common definition 2a. My pick (track 9) was a suggestion via this site. Thanks, Tim!

1. Untouchable Face — Ani DiFranco (fuck you)
2. Song for the Dumped — Ben Folds Five (fuck you too; you bitch)
3. The Ballad of John and Yoko — The Beatles (they're gonna crucify me)
4. Chowder — The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (fuck)
5. Add It Up — Violent Femmes (screw; fuck)
6. Pablo Picasso — Jonathan Richman (asshole)
7. Flower — Liz Phair (fuck you like a dog; blowjob; fuck you till your dick is blue)
8. Precious — The Pretenders (shitting bricks; fuck off)
9. Tits and Whiskey — Mary Prankster (tits; fuck me)
10. Why'D Ya Do It? — Marianne Faithfull (balls; cock; snatch; dick; cunt; barbed-wire pussy)
11. Break Stuff — Limp Bizkit (fucked; sucks; motherfucker; bullshit; shit; fuckin' up; ass)
12. Highway To Hell — AC/DC (I'm on the highway to hell; hey, Satan, paid my dues)
13. Uncle Fucka — South Park (Shut your fucking face, uncle fucka; cock-sucking, ass-licking uncle fucka; fucked your uncle; fuck your uncle; boner-biting bastard; suck my balls)

That's one hot mix not to play with your parents in the car! Our next theme is (sorry, Joel Stein) songs with stuttering. I knew right away what I'm going to bring, but I should probably have a backup, so please, let me know your f-f-favorites (other than My G-g-generation, Ch-ch-changes, and You Ain't Seen N-n-nothin' Yet).

June 27, 2003

Extraordinary? Sure, but only as

Daniel Radosh

Extraordinary? Sure, but only as a punchline. Enjoy the eternal suffering, pal.

June 26, 2003

Radosh in the news. Not

Daniel Radosh

Radosh in the news. Not me, my mom. The City University of New York magazine profiles her (the word "rusticated" is used) and reviews her new book, Women Confronting Retirement.

June 23, 2003

Seeing double.

Daniel Radosh

I don't often post about my personal life on Radosh.net, because there's not usually that much to say. Suddenly, however, there is quite a lot to say. And from now on, I'll be saying it, with help from my wife, at a whole 'nother blog. The name of this blog is Let's Twins! And that's what it's about.

June 22, 2003

A German blogger calls The

Daniel Radosh

A German blogger calls The Power Point Anthology, "Literatur fr Meetingfreaks." Sometimes things actually do sound better in German.

June 22, 2003

Colby Cosh calls me (as

Daniel Radosh

Colby Cosh calls me (as did Francis, via e-mail) on my poorly thought-out rant about Harry Potter hype. The Dickens thing did occur to me after I posted, in fact, so let me clarify my opinion. It's not the hype per se that bothers me, it's the focus on not wanting to "spoil the surprise," as if the books were like a blockbuster movie that everyone is going to see opening weekend or not at all. I can understand that people, kids especially, don't want to know anything about the book before they read it, but what makes that different from any other book? If you don't want to know, don't read the reviews. The problem, as Francis points out, is that most books are not being covered this way by the media. If details leaked out, it would have been hard not to hear about them. But that is largely a function of the hype, and, indeed, JKR's obsession with secrecy only feeds the desire to "spoil" the secrets. So yeah, there's a good chance these books will still be around years from now (though unless Phoenix is better than Goblet, I still say future generations will give up after book 3), but in a way that just proves that the secrecy is unnecessary. If a book is great it will last, regardless of the hype, but, in general, too much hype makes me suspect that the books can no longer count on quality alone to sell them. Dickens is the exception and JK Rowling is no Charles Dickens.

Re: The Little Nell story. The way I remember it, the people on the docks weren't there to get hold of the book itself. They wanted to be told what happened. In other words, they wanted the book spoiled for them! Of course it wouldn't be spoiled, because the book was worth reading regardless of the hype. Is HP5? Who knows? But really, doesn't JKR look stupid for filing that lawsuit? After all, as of right now, everything that she worked so hard to keep secret is openly available to anyone who wants to know it. So is it now ruined? Are people who didn't buy the book at midnight and read it in one sitting now not going to?

For a truly contrarian angle, try Harry Potter: Tory bastard.

June 22, 2003

How to wipe out terrorism.

Daniel Radosh

How to wipe out terrorism. Trained killers disguised as local laborers fire into a crowd pouring out of a house of worship from inside a diaper-delivery van. Yep, terrorism doesn't stand a chance against legitimate tactics like that.

Update: Kevin writes: "Why do you think that "Diaper Van" story does not appear on the Reuters news site, nor on the msnbc.com web site but only at the url 'famulus.msnbc.com'? I've found the article reprinted word-for-word at Alternet and the Daily Mirror, but it seems weird. The last story Reuters has filed by Dan Williams is from Saturday. Have I just become an total internet cynic? What is 'famulus.msnbc.com'?"

Good question. Have I been snowed? If so, I'm not the only one. Google News attributes it to MSNBC (but links only to famulus.msnbc). Can anyone tell me what's going on?

Further update: ALEX JOHNSON of MSNBC.COM writes (via Romenesko): "Famulus is the name for the MSNBC server that automatically feeds straight wires into the foreign section fronts. It's legit. The story, by the way, is also legit. It is, in fact, on the Reuters Alert site."

I probably would have made the same error without Kevin's email predisposing me to it, but I now realize that I misread AlertNet as AlterNet.

June 20, 2003

Radar makes good on its

Daniel Radosh

Radar makes good on its promise. "Snarky, literate and subversively inventive, Radar is looking more and more like the best new general interest magazine to find its way to newsstands in ages." Even better, Medialife's review of issue 2 mentions my column.

June 20, 2003

It's nice to see that

Daniel Radosh

It's nice to see that not every talented young writer has forsaken webzines for blogs. Sure, he's also blogging (quite entertainingly), but Wil Forbis (not a friend; just some guy I came across in my wanderings) also has a zine that looks very spiffy. Actually, I have no idea how young Wil and his pals are, but who else has that kind of time on their hands?

June 20, 2003

"That's ironic." Don'tcha think?

Daniel Radosh

"That's ironic." Don'tcha think?

June 20, 2003

I can understand wanting to

Daniel Radosh

I can understand wanting to avoid prosecution, but this seems like an extreme way to do it. (Thanks to Gina)

June 19, 2003

Call me a muggle

Daniel Radosh

but this whole thing about not wanting to "spoil the surprise" of the new Harry Potter book only proves that HP is less and less about literature (I like the books, except for Goblet of Fire) and increasingly about hype. After all, if HP loses value because readers might hear something about it, doesn't that give it a shelf life of about a week? Are the Narnia books or Lloyd Alexander or Wizard of Earthsea "spoiled" for kids, because the plots aren't a big secret? Of course not, but with Harry, the focus is now all on the big reveal -- and not on the followthrough (which is why after all the hype over GoF, most people never figured out how crappy it was). That means there's a good chance that these books, unlike the classics Rowling cribs from, won't be passed down from generation to generation.

June 19, 2003

Radosh.net: Now suitable for old people.

Daniel Radosh

A gentle nudge from a reader convinced me to finally figure out how to make my default font-size bigger. I hope you like it. I had thought the same tweak would work for the rest of my site, since I built it by stealing this Blogger template, but so far no luck. Maybe in another six months...

Update: Turns out that reader with the poor eyesight was gonzo porn journalist Luke Ford. How cool is that?

June 18, 2003

Meet the Hi-Fi Bags in

Daniel Radosh

Meet the Hi-Fi Bags in person. Jill's funky accessories are getting their own art exhibit. The opening is Saturday June 21, from 6-8 at Valerie's, 149 Ludlow St.

June 18, 2003

Fuck the Pirke Avot, I've got a snarky blog!

Daniel Radosh

No one expects cultural sensitivity from James Taranto, but is cultural literacy too much to ask? In today's Opinion Journal, JT mocks the supposed devolution of "Great Orators of the Democratic Party," from Andrew Jackson's, "One man with courage makes a majority," to Carol Moseley Braun's, "If not now, when? If not me, who?" If Taranto had actually read the article about Moseley Braun that he linked to, he'd see that in fact she was employing a standard paraphrase of Rabbi Hillel, who is only one of the great thinkers of all time. His most famous saying is more profound than anything Andrew Jackson -- or James Taranto -- ever said.

June 17, 2003

TMFTML calls The Week "truly

Daniel Radosh

TMFTML calls The Week "truly execrable... News for those without brains or internet access." You can bet that's going in the bubble on our next issue!

June 16, 2003

Eddie and I left the

Daniel Radosh

Eddie and I left the prom together, leaving the two fat chicks to themselves. A friend of a friend is assembling a book of stories about gays and lesbians (and bisexuals, and two-spirited peoples) attending their high school proms. Looks like fun. Read and submit at Prom and Circumstance, which is just an awful title for a book, isn't it?

June 16, 2003

Skin Cola = water. Gersh

Daniel Radosh

Skin Cola = water. Gersh has the scoop on those subway ads. And there's a Dr. Zizmor connection.

June 13, 2003

Bobby Loves Hilary.

Daniel Radosh

But it's strictly platonic.

This cartoon appeared in the June 16/23, 2003 issue of the New Yorker.

This one appeared in Playboy in February, 1998 (and was apparently drawn in '96).

I say if it was witty and urbane enough for Playboy seven years ago, it's witty and urbane enough for The New Yorker.

UPDATE: Due to some weird Blogger glitch, these images don't show up on some browsers. If you can't see them, click here and scroll down.

June 13, 2003

Spock! How. Could. You!?

Daniel Radosh

Spock! How. Could. You!?

June 13, 2003

Next, try landing one on an aircraft carrier

Daniel Radosh


Better stick to the golf cart. Or maybe that girly bike with the banana seat.

June 12, 2003

Is there some Nexis VIP

Daniel Radosh

Is there some Nexis VIP room that I don't have access to? I get only three hits for Greg Packer in the Times.

June 12, 2003

Heads up.

Daniel Radosh

I'm sick of waiting for TypePad and am going to switch over to Blog*Spot Plus so that I can adorn Radosh.net with photos, and check stats more easily. (Can't just switch to Blogger Pro, since posting images means I'll need more than RoadRunner's 5MB soon, especially since I've got a second blog in the works). But I'm sure things are going to go wrong in the process, so if the site seems wonky for the next few days, that's why.

Update. Well, the pictures are fun, but I think I'm going to have to give up on stats. Blogger's built in stats, believe it or not, don't tell you how many visitors the site gets. And thanks to the domain masking gimmick I've started using, I can't even see my referrals. I'm testing out some third-party stats, but they're all glitchy with Blogger.

June 12, 2003

Housekeeping.

Daniel Radosh

I've been dusting the cobwebs out of Radosh.net's darker corners, updating the resume, and, more importantly, posting a few more articles from my archives.

First up, just in time for Independence Day, my authoritative list of the best Christmas movies of all time (there are exactly 3, since I thought it was a stretch to count Die Hard). This is from Gear, and you can find my rant about those bastards over on the updated my writing page.

Next: Why Americans Don't Consider Harry Potter an Insufferable Prig. This Talk of the Town squib is now required reading at some of the nation's finest universities.

Finally: It's the End of the World and the Writing is Bad a tour of Evangelical Christian end-times thrillers I wrote for Playboy during the fevered run-up to the Apocalypse of 2000 (good times, good times). This was just before the Left Behind series broke out.

Plus: If you haven't been reading the blog regularly, you might have missed links to some of my Briefings from The Week. Now they're all in one place.

And I've removed one of the "coming soon" tags that's been making a mockery of the my writing page for the last nine months. That separate page of my favorite clips is up and running.

June 12, 2003

Mussolini's favorite Jew. Here's a

Daniel Radosh

Mussolini's favorite Jew. Here's a brief clip-job literary bio of Vladimir Jabotinsky that I worked up for a Shavuot program at our congregation. I can't imagine too many folks here will be interested in it, but it's just taking up space on my hard drive, and hey, what's a blog for?

June 12, 2003

Camille Paglia interviews Matt Drudge

Daniel Radosh

Camille Paglia interviews Matt Drudge in the new issue of Radar. And by interviews I mean fellates. Though she gets off one moderately shrewd question ("what's your attitude toward outing?"), Paglia by and large makes James Lipton look like the Terminator. Herewith, a representative sample of her "questions":

As a personality on the media landscape, Matt, you seem like a loner. You've been guarded about your personal life, and rarely make the usual media rounds. Why do you stay so mysterious?

Movie stars have the same problem--Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Madonna today. There is something psychologically dislocating about the ability to reach so many people at once. When you were at the White House Correspondents Dinner, how did people treat you?

You have an improv quality--it's like flying by the seat of your pants as the storm of news is raging all around you. You're just --grabbing at things as they fly by.

You don't do firsthand reporting. That's not your function.

There's something retro about your persona. It's like the pre-World War II generation of reporters--those unpretentious, working-class guys who hung around saloons and used rough language. Now they've all been replaced with these effete Ivy League elitists who swarm over the current media. Nerds--utterly dull and insipid.

I think a lot of people who dismiss you as a gossip columnist are dismissive about the entertainment industry in general. There's a snobbery in the media that says that serious reporters cover political news, while those who cover celebrities are dismissed as gossips.

Your fascination with weather and nature is really interesting to me. You have this sublime mix. There'll be all these sordid, squalid, tabloid stories--a sex scandal or some hideous crime--and then all of a sudden you'll insert a huge image of a hurricane heading across the Atlantic toward Florida.

You're right. Mass newspapers developed as a populist voice for the immigrant generations in the 19th and 20th centuries. The journalism establishment got more and more pompous about itself, with this pretense that it's objective and altruistic. Look at the transformation of Joseph Pulitzer. His name used to be mud. But because of the Pulitzer prizes his name has a saintly ring to it. What's your relationship with the media machers of the northeastern seaboard?

You are a role model for young people who feel daunted by the corporate landscape--a model for what one shrewd, tech-savvy person can accomplish if he or she has balls.

It's so true. The Drudge Report has dramatized the process of censorship that's going on, the filtering of the news by established news organizations. I used to think, at the beginning of the '90s, that we had a relatively free press and that people were out to make their reputations in the Woodward-Bernstein model. But I no longer think that. Most of the reporters on the networks and in main northeastern newspapers are company men--shmoozing careerists who are desperately afraid to rock the boat.

We need more mischief-making. The American media is too bland and cautious about the government. It's refreshing to hear someone being rude and raucous. It's great.

When you said that all life is sacred, was that a religious statement or a reflection of 1960s-style cosmic consciousness?

This is so '60s. You give off such a '60s vibe.

Are all your friends Ann Coulter types: tough and uncompromising?

Come on, Matt! Give us something hot about yourself. [Laughter]]

Yeah, I used to narrate my life in headlines. I still do. When I was a kid, if I'd fall off a chair I'd announce, "Girl Falls off Chair," like that. I love those blaring, brazen headlines in old-time newspapers. They also had a great impact on Andy Warhol.

June 12, 2003

Suck it, Yoga Journal!

Daniel Radosh

The Week makes the Chicago Tribune's 50 Best Magazines list. Barely.

June 11, 2003

So, what are you doing

Daniel Radosh

So, what are you doing next April 25th?

June 11, 2003

The new issue of Radar

Daniel Radosh

The new issue of Radar is on newsstands in most places where people care about the new issue of Radar. Naturally there's less buzz this time around, which is too bad because this issue is better than the first one. By that I mean not only that my own column has been given more space (you'll actually find it without me having to point it out), but also that the mix of funny and smart is significantly tighter. For funny, I love Stephen Sherrill's fashion spread captions, the gay animals chart, and the Spy-esque prank that accompanies the B-List Nation cover story. For smart -- well, I haven't actually read any of the longer stories yet, but the Girls Gone Wild investigation looks juicy.

Other than my column and a one-pager that got bumped, I had a bit of input here and there, notably working with the incomparable Gersh Kuntzman on his ice cream taste test (liberal and conservative pundits compare Ben & Jerry's and Star Spangled), and securing Mike Savage's fan letters to Allen Ginsberg (guess that makes me one of the "gay fascists" Savage says is orchestrating a "smear campaign"). And Francis Heaney has a clever (un-bylined) list of headlines that gets more and more timely by the day. I look forward to hearing what you think.

June 10, 2003

When stupid people imitate insane

Daniel Radosh

When stupid people imitate insane stunts on reality shows, trouble ensues. That's the conclusion my sometime Playboy editor Steve Randall reaches in this funny take on Trading Spaces.

June 10, 2003

I'm not a plagiarist, I'm

Daniel Radosh

I'm not a plagiarist, I'm a hack! Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has a convincing explanation for why plot points in his book are similar to those in another writer's work: "Swiss bank accounts are so often in thrillers they are cliche." Now that's a cover blurb.

June 5, 2003

A twist to the Sammy

Daniel Radosh

A twist to the Sammy Sosa scandal. I care little about sports, but the popular belief in scientific fallacies is endlessly fascinating.

June 5, 2003

But I'm huge in Singapore and the region.

Daniel Radosh

Lucky communications majors! My Week editor's letter about music downloading is going to be reprinted in the second edition of Broadcast and Electronic Media in Singapore and the Region. Stage two of my plan to dominate academia through second editions of textbooks is now complete.

June 4, 2003

If he died the next

Daniel Radosh

If he died the next day, wouldn't it be ironic? Don't you think?

June 4, 2003

And don't even get them started on Cameltoe.

Daniel Radosh

Francis ponders the ways in which pussy newspapers attempt to describe Kenyon Martin's tattoo:

The New York Times had an article about NBA tattoos which included this sentence: "On [Kenyon Martin's] chest is an ornate cursive tattoo that in language inappropriate for a family newspaper, declares Martin to be light-skinned, rugged and indomitable."

That tattoo would be "Bad-Ass Yellow Boy." Still, the Times' tack is
better than the Cincinnati Post's: "In the [Sports Illustrated cover] picture, [Martin] is staring like a pit bull that just had a fleshy bone stolen away, his right fist clinched, his left hand pulling aside his jersey to reveal a 'Bad (Butt) Yellow Boy' tattoo on his right pec."

June 3, 2003

Mark Steyn is a talented,

Daniel Radosh

Mark Steyn is a talented, funny writer, the kind who makes you think that maybe there's hope for conservatives yet. So I was enjoying, skeptically, his first-hand account of postwar Iraq (There's no crisis here. Move along now.) until he casually mentioned that he's packing "an illegally acquired firearm." What the fuck? That's just about as wrong as a journalist can get. It's Geraldo wrong.

June 1, 2003

When collaborative filtering goes bad

Daniel Radosh

(Something I found on Amazon while preparing the previous post): Customers interested in White Teeth: A Novel may also be interested in:

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June 1, 2003

"Keepers of the Eternal and

Daniel Radosh

"Keepers of the Eternal and Victorious Islamic Nation," repeated Millat, impressed. "'That's a wicked name. It's a got a wicked kung-fu kick-arse sound to it."

Irie frowned. "KEVIN?"

"We are aware," said Hifan solemnly, pointing to the spot underneath the cupped flame where the initials were minutely embroidered, "that we have an acronym problem."

Introducing the hottest new terrorist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. More commonly known as MILF.

Some Recent headlines:
Military Overruns MILF Camp
Arroyo: We Won't be Trapped in MILF Ploy
19 Killed in MILF Attack.

June 1, 2003

Music Club on Wax.

Daniel Radosh

Music Club ended up with a pretty nice mix this month, considering that the theme was a recipe for randomness: Songs From Your Vinyl Collection. We're heavy on childhood and teenage favorites, of course, but a couple of folks went with tracks from albums that have never been released on CD (egregiously). My pick was the Lotte Lenya, from the first LP I ever owned, and was obsessed with from age 3 through 7.

1. Think About Your Troubles -- Harry Nilsson
2. Sail Away -- Etta James
3. Freedom -- Wham!
4. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville -- R.E.M.
5. A Clean Break -- Talking Heads
6. Pirate Jenny -- Lotte Lenya
7. Running Up That Hill -- Kate Bush
8. Here Is The House -- Depeche Mode
9. All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side) -- Peter Frampton
10. Sara Smile -- Hall & Oates
11. You Can Get It If You Really Want -- Jimmy Cliff

Now the fun begins. Our next theme is Songs With Profanity I have something in mind that has great profanity, but is not the best song in the world, so I'd like your suggestions.

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