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Archives for August, 2004

August 31, 2004

I feel like a blogger or something

Daniel Radosh

Yesterday word got out that Time Out New York was banned from the GOP convention for this cover image.


But surely the concern was only over the excretory nature of the picture, not the political content. Maybe not. Today I heard a rumor that The New York Times Style Magazine was barred from the Garden because one of the models in it is wearing a John Kerry button.

What's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeah, developing...

August 31, 2004

I'm probably just cranky today because of that New York magazine thing

Daniel Radosh

...but what is wrong with people?

Today in the Boston Globe, which is a real newspaper that some people actually pay to read, TV columnist Renée Graham worries that "as "The Daily Show" grows in popularity and significance, the program will lose its wily edge."

Based on what? Graham cites only Jon Stewart's mildness with John Kerry when he appeared as a guest, but Stewart has always been excessively polite to important people (and even some actors) who appear on the show. It has never had any impact on how pointed the jokes about these folks are when they're not on the couch, and there's zero evidence that it's starting too.

Continue reading "I'm probably just cranky today because of that New York magazine thing" »

August 31, 2004

Trend of One

Daniel Radosh

Attention journalists: Your personal lifestyle choices do not necessarily Mean Something About The Way We Live Now.

People say bloggers are self-indulgent, but at least when we write about doing their laundry we don't try to attach any broader cultural significance to it.

August 31, 2004

A lesser hack humorist would make an undisclosed location joke

Daniel Radosh

"In that stirring moment as Rudy Giuliani spoke of leadership, strength, and the raw wounds of Sept. 11, it was perhaps inevitable that some people would find themselves thinking, Didn't this guy once shack up with two queens and their pet Shih Tzu?"

That was supposed to be the opener of my New York magazine column today, but when I turned it in last night, the editor flipped out. Turns out they'd already scheduled a Q & A with one of the abovementioned queens, and thought my essay would conflict. I quickly offered to write a new opener, and when told there wasn't time argued that we could simply drop the first joke and the column would still work, but in the end, they opted to simply spike the piece altogether.

I dunno. There was talk of running it tomorrow instead of a new one, but it'll be stale by then. In any case, you can read it here by clicking "More".

Continue reading "A lesser hack humorist would make an undisclosed location joke" »

August 31, 2004

Don't ask them about Sasquatch

Daniel Radosh

According to a new Zogby poll, half of all New Yorkers believe that "some leaders in the U.S. government knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to take action."

Jeepers. I know some people think that way, but so many? My guess is that poll respondents simply didn't interpret the question the way the folks who commissioned it did. While it was clearly meant to guage opinions about a deliberate conspiracy -- Al Qaida plans to fly planes into the World Trade Center; let's let it happen so we can reap the benefits -- it's certainly possible to hear it less radically -- Al Qaida plans to attack the US sooner or later but we have other things to worry about so let's not do anything. That fits a broad definition of consciously failed to take action and is vastly more defensible.

But to the extent there are many more people than you probably thought who do believe in the more extreme interpretation of the question, a good deal of the blame for that lies with the Bush administration. Obviously everyone is ultimately responsible for their own beliefs, but secrecy and deception breeds rumor and suspicion. Bush more than earned his wacko opposition.

Continue reading "Don't ask them about Sasquatch" »

August 30, 2004

Free Brown Bunny joke for the first 100 readers

Daniel Radosh

Honestly, delegates, this is New York on its best behavior. Before your arrival, the Daily News ran a front-page editorial beseeching us to “play nice,” and we are. I know: Protesters taking over the streets, chanting, “No more lies from Dick and Georgie / We deplore their wartime orgy.” It seems so rude, especially when you were led to expect flowers and candy. (Oh, wait—wrong invasion.) But as you peer from inside the barricades, remember that it could have been worse.

Read the rest of my first New York magazine convention column.

August 30, 2004

Fair and -- ooh, balloons!

Daniel Radosh

George Pataki and Mike Bloomberg faced some tough questions from Fox News Channel's Rita Cosby this weekend in preparation for the GOP convention. A few samples:

"You're going to be introducing the president on Thursday night. Are you getting excited about that?"

"This is just the start of just what going to be a fun week for all of you."

"Have fun at the party. We're jealous. We wish we were there. "

"I'm jealous. I wish I was there at the party. It looks like it's fun."

"And real quickly, what are you looking forward to most this week on a positive note?"

August 30, 2004

Methinks they did protest just enough

Daniel Radosh

It is a sign of how committed The New York Times is to a Kerry victory that it's coverage of yesterday's anti-Bush protest was so glowing, with very little of the condescending dismissiveness the paper usually ladles out for mass demonstrations.

But the paper's most important contribution to the cause came a week ago when it reported that the GOP was hoping for violence and chaos almost as eagerly as the most fringe protesters, knowing how well those images would play for them.

The meme spread like wildfire through lefty circles and became conventional wisdom, so to speak, in time to shut down extremist impulses that might inadvertently throw the election to Bush.

And in fact chaos in the streets is probably the only way that Bush can come out of the convention ahead. Neither he nor Cheney is capable of giving a speech that will rally the country, so the GOP was counting on Kerry supporters to make their candidate look unacceptable to the mainstream. Fortunately, it looks like that won't happen. And just as fortunately, it happened without having to refrain from peaceful dissent altogether.

August 29, 2004

Just remember where you heard it first

Daniel Radosh


Looks like I got back to the blog just in time to catch a major development in the Swift Boat Veter-- oh, who am I kidding? It's about Huckapoo! As if it wasn't enough that MetaFilter and Dumbrella have caught Huckapneumonia, today The New York Frickin' Times has a major feature on the band. My work here is done. (Note: To read the complete NYT story, click here.)

(Well, I probably ought to catch their first real concert, huh?)

The Times article is rich enough to satisfy just about anyone's Huckapoo jones, even mine. It's got backstories and quotes, ironies and aspirations, and the proper way to spell "Brittney." The only elided part is this:

Seven months ago, Huckapoo was but a concept in the mind of Brian Lukow, a producer who in the late 1990's helped create Dream Street, a boy band that was destined to be the next 'N Sync.

Dream Street's first record sold more than 750,000 copies, but the band broke up in 2002 after the boys' parents filed a lawsuit against Mr. Lukow and another producer. They accused them of creating an atmosphere harmful to minors, a claim that a judge ultimately found suspect.

An atmosphere harmful to minors? You betcha. Specifically, pornography. And even more specifically, an "adult sophisticated magazine" with the title -- wait for it -- "Just Come of Age."

Did somebody say best band ever?

[Update: In fairness to Lukow and his partner, I should make very clear that I eventually researched this accusation for a magazine article and found it to be wholly without merit.]

Update: So best!

From: "Brian Lukow" xxxxx@eProps.com
To: dradosh@yahoo.com
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 19:58:59 -0400

pretty funny stuff.
just curious..
which are the songs that are "much worse"

Brian J. Lukow
Entertainment Properties, LLC

Previous entries: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Continue reading "Just remember where you heard it first" »

August 19, 2004

What is this, Europe?

Daniel Radosh


Believe it or not, I'm off for another vacation. Be back on Sunday, Aug. 29th, just in time to start blogging on the GOP convention -- which I'll also be writing about for New York magazine.

Once again, if you're looking for blogging excitement in my absence, I recommend you check out the fine sites over there on the right. In our C-span blogging panel, Jeff used a painfully bad metaphor about arms and elbows or something to argue that the real action on the Interweb takes place on the lesser-known sites. Here are a few I really dig that you may not be so familiar with:

Heaneyland!Encyclopedia HanasianaDrew's Blog-o-rama

ExplanadaFunctional Ambivalent

OttyHottiesSensible ErectionPerv Scan (SFW)

And so on.

August 19, 2004

What? No Huckapoo-vs-Predator.com?

Daniel Radosh


Things we know about Huckapoo based on the 57 domain names registered for them by Entertainment Properties, LLC:

1. They have big plans for the future (huckapoomagazine.com; huckapoo-themovie.com; huckapootv.com; huckapootoys.com; huckapooworld.com)

Continue reading "What? No Huckapoo-vs-Predator.com?" »

August 19, 2004

Be afraid, be very afraid. But also hopeful. Ok, now afraid again.

Daniel Radosh

panorama_ephemera2004_00000038.jpg panorama_ephemera2004_00000067.jpg panorama_ephemera2004_00000071.jpg

Fear is used to sell everything from mouthwash to presidents, but in his new film Paranoia Ephemera, Rick Prelinger suggests that fear, in close concert with its evil twin hope, has also been instrumental in creating the American Dream.

Prelinger is the founder of the indespensible Prelinger Archive of ephemeral (advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur) films. Paranoia Ephemera marks the first time (I think) he's created a film of his own, editing together snippets of footage from his collection ranging from 5 seconds to 4 minutes in length to create a loosely narrative vision of the American Way of Life.

The film will be shown at New York City's Anthology Film Archives on Sept. 20th. And as with everything in the Prelinger Archive, it's also available as a free DVD-quality download.

August 18, 2004

The Huckapoo juggernaut rolls on

Daniel Radosh


Apparently selling entertainment product to young tastemakers by catching them at their most captive and entertainment-starved moment really works!

Young Kevin Mah experienced the Camplified tour this summer and is now -- like all of us -- totally in love with Huckapoo!!! lol! (Warning: opening Kevin's home page launches a sound file.... of a Huckapoo song).

Kevin took the picture above, as well as this one (check the delish knee-highs on Twig), and this, this, this, this, and this (looks like Lindsay is on the verge of growth spurt worthy of her namesake). [Update: The unexpected traffic seems to have killed Kevin's Web site. Sorry, dude.]

On his home page Kevin also has a picture of him and the boys posing with the Hucksters. It looks like Joey has her arm around him and he captions it, "I'm loved by Lindsay," so apparently the girls are not shy about revealing their True Names (Fools! That's just asking to have your powers stolen by an evil wizard).

I had hoped that access to the girls' pre-band names would lead the way to all sorts of exciting new information about their mysterious selves, but all I could find is that JoLindsay had a small role in the Broadway version of Ragtime and that BriTwiggy was in a NYC production of Free to Be, You and Me along with a Jennifer Lahm. I assume that's a sister; perhaps a younger one who can replace her in Huckapoo when she ages out, just like they used to do with Menudo. [MAJOR update after the jump]

Continue reading "The Huckapoo juggernaut rolls on" »

August 18, 2004

And you thought Charley was a big windbag

Daniel Radosh

The Wall St. Journal's Brendan Miniter thinks John Kerry made a political mistake by not rushing to Florida after Hurricane Charley hit. I suppose that's a reasonable opinion -- though you can just imagine Miniter and his ilk crying exploitation if he had -- but Brendan can't leave it at that. In his effort to show that Kerry and the Democrats are always wrong and Bush and the Republicans always right, he twists himself into a knot so full of nuancey flip-flopping that it just begs for a good fisking.

Maybe national emergencies shouldn't be political events, but they are. So after Hurricane Charley ripped through Florida this past weekend, President Bush understood the political imperative: Get down there.

Republicans consider themselves the party of ideas, remember. But Miniter makes it clear off the bat that what's important in this case is not doing what should or shouldn't be, but doing what it takes to win.

Continue reading "And you thought Charley was a big windbag" »

August 17, 2004

The difference between your 30s and your 20s

Daniel Radosh

A few days ago I posted this odd Amazon item on my baby blog. Then I found this version via Otty's sex blog.

Is it sad that I still find my version funnier?

August 17, 2004

Revealed: Huckapoo's parents originally gave them entirely different pornstar names

Daniel Radosh

I finally found a full-size version of the photo that originally piqued my curiosity about alltimebest band Huckapoo (sorry about the watermark).


But what's really of interest -- admit it, you're interested -- is that the captions for these images from the New York Times wire service reveal our girls' real names (and ages)! Cheesy synthesized drumroll please...

PJ Bardot -- Brooke Mori (13)
Angel Sparks -- Britney Segal (14)
Joey Thunders -- Lindsay Nyman (14)
Twiggy Stardom -- Brittany Lahm (15)
Groovy Tuesday -- Jordan Price

You have to feel bad for the gals' parents. They go out of their way to give their children names that are already perfect for a girl group, and the ingrates go and change 'em anyway.

Sadly, there are no shots of personal fave Groovy Tuesday, so her given name remains a mystery (though I'm gonna guess Britnee). See comments.

Noted: Angel hails from Jericho, Long Island.

August 17, 2004

Once a brisket, now a veggie burger

Daniel Radosh

Jews for Jesus, that longtime plague of the New York City subways, is coming to Washington, DC.

"Jews cannot embrace Jesus and remain Jews," said the JCC's Ronald Halber. "I mean, can you be a vegetarian and eat meat?"

OK, bad example.

August 17, 2004

Afterer Midnight

Daniel Radosh

Rolling Stone: The one jarring thing about 'Crossroads' is that it ends with the remake of "After Midnight," which you did for a Michelob beer commercial. Didn't you see anything contradictory in a former alcoholic doing a beer ad?

Eric Clapton: You can say that again. Listen, man, I was a practicing alcoholic when I made that commercial. By the time it came out, I was in treatment. This was December of '87. I was actually in treatment in Minnesota when that came on the T.V. I was in a room full of recovering alcoholics, myself being one of them, and everybody went, "is that you?" I said, "Yep." What was I going to say? It was me when I was drinking. I don't know if it was offered to me now whether I would do it.

Miller Brewing is catching some heat for celebrating the 50th anniversary of rock-and-roll with commemorative cans but not including any black artists...

The cans feature Rolling Stone covers picturing Blondie, Elvis Presley, Alice Cooper, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Willie Nelson and the guitars of Eric Clapton and Joe Walsh....

Miller spokesman Scott Bussen said they had a long wish list, but they were limited to people who had appeared on Rolling Stone covers and did not object to being associated with alcohol.

Continue reading "Afterer Midnight" »

August 17, 2004

Also, putting the words "Asian Sex" on the site brings in even more traffic than an appearance on C-span

Daniel Radosh


I just discovered [via Fark] Asian Sex Gazette. It looks to be a worthy (and work safe) addition to my little blogroll of sites about sex news and culture, of which there are fewer than you'd think.

But then I noticed that this entry about Japanese sex game shows was simply lifted, uncredited, from Fleshbot. The only words ASG added were, ironically, its copyright claim. In fact, a quick poke (heh) finds that none of ASG's articles carry attribution or outside links, a major violation of blogger etiquette.

So now I'm torn. I don't want to reward bad behavior, but I do like the site. Should I blogroll it? Maybe I'll contact them and see how they reply.

Continue reading "Also, putting the words "Asian Sex" on the site brings in even more traffic than an appearance on C-span" »

August 16, 2004

Oh! Oh! Oh-lympics

Daniel Radosh


The American media's back-and-forth on this week's hot (hott!)-button issue of Olympic women posing nude or nearly so for Playboy and FHM has for the most part been predictable. It's an outrage! It's empowering! It's an outrage but I've got a raging hard-on!

So thank the media gods for the Brits, who are always more willing to step back from the fray and offer big thoughts. OK, so it's a bit loopy in that European sophisticate way, but I find an article like this one by Simon Barnes of the London Times refreshing compared to the shrill American stuff.

The 16 days of the Olympic Games are a prolonged feast of many different things, and one of the incidental and totally unavoidable matters is prolonged exposure to the most dramatic forms of physical beauty that the human frame can come up with.

And beauty of this youthful and unthinkingly physical kind cannot fail to have about it a whiff of the erotic. It is not that the Games are about eroticism. They are about winning and losing, just as a Bloody Mary is about vodka and tomato juice. But all the same, there is a lot more about a good Bloody Mary than those two ingredients. The Olympic Games cannot escape and does not wish to escape that special tingle on the lips that is provided by a subtle shake of the Tabasco of sex. ...

In the Ancient Greek Games, nudity was both celebrated and taken for granted. That naked sport was incidentally erotic was also accepted with some enthusiasm. Men didn’t have sport because it was erotic, but they took on its incidental eroticism without coyness or defiance.

Did that bore you? Funny stuff and another empowering photo after the jump.

Continue reading "Oh! Oh! Oh-lympics" »

August 16, 2004

We'll never get rid of Dowd at this rate

Daniel Radosh

All things being equal, it's probably not a good idea to begin an opinion column with the words, "There is probably nothing I can do or say to convince you..."

In the past I've praised Lithwick to the skies. Her coverage of the Supreme Court and other legal matters for Slate runs circles around anyone else's, and really big, shiny circles around the Times' Linda Greenhouse. Giving her the guest op-ed slot no doubt seemed like a good gamble, but it hasn't quite paid off the way I'd hoped. Maybe they can find a reporting job for her.

Continue reading "We'll never get rid of Dowd at this rate" »

August 16, 2004

He'll have plenty of time for it after January

Daniel Radosh

Jeff Jarvis's pet peeve is bloggers who play gotcha with presidential candidates -- harping on minor issues or slips of the tongue when there's So Much At Stake. Doesn't bother me much -- that's what makes blogs fun. But when Dick Cheney does it, as he did when belittling John Kerry for using the word "sensitive" in the context of fighting terrorism (while brushing aside Kerry's other adjectives: effective, thoughtful, strategic, proactive), it just makes me want to say, Dude, don't you have a country to run, or a small child to frighten?

Cheney's remarks were so juvenile, simplistic, and obnoxious it almost made me think he should, well, be a blogger.

But the Bush administration has the public so bamboozled into thinking Bush=strength, whether you agree with him or not, that Cheney's comment plays, even with folks who should know better, like... Jeff Jarvis. It's not a remotely serious critique of Kerry's foreign policy plans (of which there is plenty to critique, though not if your own policy is even worse, I guess); it's just a gotcha. But it worked for him.

Fortunately, bloggers have ignored Jeff's call to end the gotchaism, which is why we now have an effective counter-gotcha to render Cheney's impotent, in the form of The Progress Report's compendium of the Bush administration's own calls for sensitivity in war.

As Jon Stewart put it, "I think the Vice President just called you a pussy."

Reminder: Now the fifth time I've linked this article since 9/11, but still worth reading. What a sensitive -- in the non-New Age sense of the word -- war on terrorism would look like, and why we need one, by Robert Wright

August 13, 2004

Opening ceremony this!

Daniel Radosh

The blogasm panel on which I served with Jeff Jarvis, Geraldine Sealey, and Bryan "That's Exactly Right" Keefer will air tonight (Friday) on CSPAN at "about" 8:40pm ET, 11:40pm ET & 5:30am ET. I think it ran for about an hour and a half but leave a little extra room on your manual record just in case. You don't want to miss the Q&A period in which Crazy Guy asks if Bush is going to ship bloggers to Gitmo for thought crime and if blogs will ever be written by robots. That I actually attempted to answer the questions made me understand why people talk to Ali G.

August 13, 2004

Lohan's other boob

Daniel Radosh

I don't blog just any Lindsay Lohan news that comes down the pike. Normally there has to be a good photo associated with it before I take interest. But I do want to tip my hat to Defamer for his all-to-accurate observation regarding LiLo's father's recent collapse:

"Sure, he has a history of heart problems and the drinking probably doesn't help, but if your daughter was fucking Fez, you'd be praying for a heart attack."

Actually, here's an interesting photo after all: LiLo wearing what is apparently a maternity top to the Teen Choice Awards. Maybe it wasn't plastic surgery that caused her boobies to grow after all.

August 12, 2004

Proof: Huckapoo are spawns of Satan

Daniel Radosh

And we love 'em for it. Call it reason #13. Our girls' glowing eyes in this snapshot can only mean demonic posession. And that figure in the middle? Beelzebub himself! I should've known you have to sell your soul for talent like that.

Apparently the pic was snapped as a promo for the company that designed the cheerleader outfit being worn by Twiggy Stardom. (Warning: picture really not as hot as that makes it sound. And yet, typing "Twiggy Stardom" sure makes me wish there was HTML code for dotting i's with little hearts.)

Update: Is the world too full of hatred and cynicism for the joyful innocence that is Huckapoo? In addition to angry Duff fan James in the comments, Jamie seems to believe Camplified is all some sort of marketing ploy, and also notes, as is so fashionable these days, the fine line between poptart names and pornstar names (once and for all, people: PJ Bardot is not a pornstar name; that would be BJ Bardot).

Also, Cosloy adds that while reading the Times article, "I could literally feel myself turning into Carrie McLaren." Which I have to admit is a pretty funny line.

But don't worry, James, I certainly do intend to stay on the Huckapoo beat. The way I figure it, it shouldn't be too hard for this site the top result on a Google search within two months. And again, if you're new to the phenom, start here.

August 12, 2004

And you may say to yourself, this is not Alan Keyes' beautiful house

Daniel Radosh

Illinois bureau chief Kevin Guilfoile passes along two photographs. First, the Calmut City house in which Alan Keyes is renting a one-floor apartment in order to establish Illinois residency.


Second, the house where Alan Keyes "used to" live, in Gaithersburg, MD.


Looks like a lot of stuff's gonna have to go into storage. Or maybe he'll have a yard sale. How much do you think he wants for the lawn jockey?

August 12, 2004

The only sports coverage I don't actively avoid

Daniel Radosh

Paul Lukas's Uni Watch column — an obsessive examination of sports uniforms that's highly entertaining whether you love sports or, as in my case, couldn't care less — has left Slate for something called ESPN.com. The first installment on this new venue is a good introduction to the column if you've never read it before.

August 11, 2004

Hit me baby five more times

Daniel Radosh


When the New York Times ran an article about Camplified — a concert tour in which pop-tarts in training up their Q scores by performing at summer camps — my first reaction was the same as any worthwhile blogger's: hey, those 14-year-old Spice Girl wannabes are kinda cute.

So I did a little Googling, and here's why Huckapoo is now officially my new favorite band:

1. Huckapoo! OMG is that the worst band name ever, or what? Maybe it would work for punksters who want to evoke the sound of coughing up phlegm plus a turd in a name that could be a rejected Sid and Marty Krofft character (but is actually an item of clothing from two decades before the target audience was born). But for Disney ditzes? It's just so, eww. Love it!

Continue reading "Hit me baby five more times" »

August 11, 2004

Once again, tired olde media plays catch up with the Internotweb

Daniel Radosh

EW music critic David Browne has a box this week on cover songs that are better than the original, which as you know was a music club theme in November, 2002.

There's no overlap, largely because Browne's picks are predictable (Aretha Franklin's Respect), wrong (Nirvana's Where Did You Sleep Last Night) or both (Jimi Hendrix's All Along the Watchtower). Browne also cites Eliza Carthy's version of Ben Harper's Walk Away -- not knowing either, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. And while he's right that the Monkees' version of I'm A Believer trumps Neil Diamond's, I'm not sure Music Club would accept Diamond's as the original, seeing as how it wasn't released until after the Monkees turned it into a hit. (As noted, we rejected Anthony's attempt to claim Patti Smith's Because the Night as a cover of Springsteen).

August 11, 2004

Highlights is probably too strong a word

Daniel Radosh

Though last night's blogging panel was attended by about 50 more people than I expected (that is to say 53 altogether), you probably weren't one of 'em. I'll be sure to let you know if and when C-Span plans to air it, but until then, here are my quick impressions.

Keefer: Pretty boy, but on the ball. The John Edwards of the blogosphere? (a word I used far too much last night; couldn't I at least have said Interweb?)

Jarvis: A regular soundbite machine on the democratizing power of blogs, but in the clear light of morning, admits it's all about the Lohanboobies.

Sealey: Picture doesn't do her justice. AMC, Lindsay, Spiers, Jess... now this? How the hell did female bloggers get so hot? (Also had some stuff to say about politics and journalism I guess.)

Continue reading "Highlights is probably too strong a word" »

August 10, 2004

We really, really don't blame you

Daniel Radosh

To add insult to the whole insulting premise, they're charging 12 bucks for this fiasco (though it could be worse: despite Choire's scurrilous charge, the word "merits" appears nowhere in our mandate).

And yet, I find it hard to take seriously the charge self-aggrandizement from anyone with the title Editorial Director. I, for one, welcome our new busty overlords.

Update: Is Jessica Gawker (formerly Foxy Jess, obvs) as cute as they say? I've got the exclusive pix.

jessicagawker2.jpg jessicagawker.jpg

OK, for all I know lots of people have photos of Jessica Coen. Maybe even these exact ones. But I ferretted them out using a little known site called Google, confirmed to my satisfaction that it's the same Jessica Coen. And now I'm gonna post 'em. Close enough for blogging.

Tell you one thing, I sure hope this is her. It took several gin gimlets to make Sicha look half this attractive in my eyes.

August 10, 2004

If Tom Cruise can wear a white fright wig, why not Lindsay Lohan?

Daniel Radosh


OK, Maybe this isn't the job for LiLo, but Kevin G. e-mailed me regarding the poor casting of Mary Jane in the Spider-Man movies and asking if it isn't time to bring Gwen Stacy into the cinematic mix.

Now, I always thought the filmmakers erred in not making Gwen a character from the beginning. They missed the opportunity for what Kevin called the most compelling romantic triangle in comicdom, and, of course, for the greatest superhero story ever told, period.

But you can't just introduce Gwen now. MJ holds the place in audiences' hearts that Gwen did for comic book readers, which means that MJ would have to be the one to die, and if you're going to do that (not a terrible idea, I might add -- for emotional and narrative purposes, not because I dislike Kirsten Dunst that that much) why bring Gwen in at all? She'd just come off as a Mary Jane replacement.

But the Spider-Man 2 Xbox adaptation (quite possibly my favorite video game ever, incidentally) suggests an alternate estrogen booster for the series: Black Cat. Think about it. She's the femme fatale to MJ's girl next door, appealing to Spider-Man the way MJ does to Peter Parker. It's not only a triangle, it's a, um, square.

Really the only question is, who should play her?

Continue reading "If Tom Cruise can wear a white fright wig, why not Lindsay Lohan?" »

August 10, 2004

Ironic contextual ad placement strikes again

Daniel Radosh

Naomi Klein has a pretty clever column in The Nation in which she takes on one of my pet peeves: Bush bashing.

I know, I know. Bush deserves to be bashed. But like Klein, I've grown to cringe every time one of my well-meaning friends forwards the latest dopey Bushism or buys a pack of National Embarrass-mints. " There is something about George W. Bush's combination of ignorance, piety and swagger that triggers a condition in progressives I've come to think of as Bush Blindness," writes Klein. "When it strikes, it causes us to lose sight of everything we know about politics, economics and history and to focus exclusively on the admittedly odd personalities of the people in the White House. Other side effects include delighting in psychologists' diagnoses of Bush's warped relationship with his father and brisk sales of Bush "dum gum"--$1.25."

Now maybe I would have blogged this article anyway, for reasons I'll go into after the jump, but what made it absolutely necessary was the laughably inappropriate ad that some keyword-scanning software program decided to insert right in the middle of Klein's argument...

Continue reading "Ironic contextual ad placement strikes again" »

August 10, 2004

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Daniel Radosh

Jeff Jarvis, my co-panelist at Makor tonight (see ya there) buys Leon Weiseltier's spin on Checkpoint the new Nicholson Baker novel about a plot to assassinate George W. Bush.

I haven't read the book, but obviously that's not gonna stop me from blogging my opinion, which is that Jeff and Leon are suffering from one of those infamous failures of imagination.

I'm not a fan of Baker but he's a serious novelist, and why on earth would a serious novelist write the book that his critics are seeing: a simple screed against Bush, whether or not the plot involves his murder? There must be something else going on here.

Sure enough, in the L.A. Times, P.J. O'Rourke gets what Wieseltier missed: it's a joke, people.

Continue reading "Check yourself before you wreck yourself" »

August 10, 2004

But at least he served in Vietnam, right?

Daniel Radosh

What are we gonna do about John Kerry? On Sunday, The New York Times Op-Ed page had a brilliant chart by the Center for American Progress laying out ways that the $144 billion spent on the Iraq war to date could have been used to genuinely improve U.S. security and fight terrorism.

My first thought was that the Kerry campaign should blow this up and have it on stage at every event. It reveals why Bush is such a catastrophe, without allowing Republicans to spout their canards about Democratic "weakness."

But of course Kerry can't mention this chart because he supports the war in Iraq. Yesterday he said very plainly that he would have voted to authorize it even knowing what he does today.

Continue reading "But at least he served in Vietnam, right?" »

August 5, 2004

I wouldn't kick her out of bed for eating cr— wait, do you think she can even get food past those things?

Daniel Radosh


"There's only two ways your lips can get that fat overnight, artificial enhancement or breaking up with Nick Carter." — Drew on Keira Knightley's (other) deceptive flotation devices (and some new movie that sounds pretty kick-ass).

August 5, 2004

Weird Science

Daniel Radosh

I don't understand much about physics. Indeed, I'd say that the extent of my understanding of physics is that I know the limits of my own understanding, and that I can usually spot someone who doesn't.

Back in the heady days of Easterbashing, I slapped Gregg Easterbrook for his moronic comments on multiple-universe theories. But if you really want to see the man's utter lack of scientific knowledge ripped to shreds by people who know a lot more than I do, here's the thread for you.

I especially like the digression from the Middle Ages scholar who points out that Easterdolt is not only clueless about scientists, but also about the "medieval priests" to whom he compares them.

[Thanks again to Peter]

August 5, 2004

Putting the gnat in Republican Gnational Convention

Daniel Radosh


I've just signed on to write a daily column on the GOP Convention for New York Magazine's special editions. I'll also have a short piece in the mag's convention preview issue. Details on both TK.

On a related thematically-but-not-journalistically note, RNC Not Welcome has a complete protest calendar for convention week and beyond. And don't worry if you can't get to Ohio to see Bruce. The hippest anti-Bush fundraiser is right here in NYC. The End of An Error show takes place on Thursday, Aug. 12. Scheduled to perform: Yo La Tengo, John Wesley Harding, Eric Bogosian, Rachel Dratch, Jonathan Lethem, Demitri Martin, two-fifths of the Fab Five, and numerous others. (The site used to tout Lewis Black, but maybe he dropped out. Or maybe he's too modest to -- nah.)

August 5, 2004

The wonderful thing about Tigger is he's absolutely, 100% not guilty

Daniel Radosh


A reader calls my attention to today's update to the great "Tigger likes mommy" fondling case, first reported here in April.

Jurors found Michael "Tigger" Chartrand not guilty of lewd and lascivious molestation. Chartrand wants to go back to work for Disney, but not wearing the fur. The case "has ruined my dream to be a character," he growled before bouncing off into the sunset

August 4, 2004

Tell us something we don't know

Daniel Radosh

Partial headline of the day:


August 4, 2004

Can Radosh.net on Ice be far behind?

Daniel Radosh

I'm taking this blog show live, peoples. Next Tuesday, Aug. 10, I'll be faking my way through a panel discussion on the subject of Blogs: The Future of Politics? (shorter panel in advance: Maybe!). Joining me are the ubiquitous (but for a reason) Jeff Jarvis and Salon's Geraldine Sealey. Moderator is Spinsanity's Bryan Keefer. (Bryan was nice enough to send me a copy of his new book, All The President's Spin, which looks to be an invaluable addition to the growing literature on Bush's misleadership.)

Supposedly we'll be talking about "how blogs are changing the political process, what bloggers tell us that other media don’t, and why we should read them if we’re not already." But I'll work my hardest to steer the topic to... oh, you know.

If you can make it (details here), come say hi afterwards. I'm the one without the rakish beard. If you can't make it, fear not: rumor is the whole thing's gonna be taped for C-Span. Sure, it ain't MTV but a guy's gotta start somewhere.

August 4, 2004

Damn you, Campaign Desk and your research staff or whatever

Daniel Radosh

I totally spotted this and wanted to blog it last Friday (at an Internet-accessible waystation between the mountains and the city), but I couldn't track down the original article. (It appeared much earlier than I'd remembered).

Also, I would have noted that only after the first Times article did people begin to explain that that "average upward bounce" was only 15 points when you include the unique lift that Clinton got not so much for his convention performance as for Ross Perot's exit from the race.

August 4, 2004

She can call me tiger anytime

Daniel Radosh

Spending a week without television or Internet focuses the mind. Without having to waste energy on, say, the Democratic Convention, one's thoughts turn to life's more essential questions: Why are we here? Where are we going? Who should have really played Mary Jane in the Spider-Man movies?


Don't misunderstand — I love me some Kirsten Dunst. She's easy on the eyes and, if anything, underrated as an actress. But while the movies were so true to the comic books in every other important way, KD just isn't the MJ we know and love. Dunst's heavy-lidded girl-next-door dreaminess has its charms, but Mary Jane is a spunky, street-smart fashion model.

Gina and I tossed around some casting ideas — Jessica Alba looks good as a redhead, as does SMG — but then I got home and saw the new Rolling Stone cover and it was like getting hit with an obvs stick.

mcfarlane_mj3.jpg Lindsay_Lohan.jpg

Continue reading "She can call me tiger anytime" »

August 3, 2004

And I was so looking forward to Frozen With Fear 2

Daniel Radosh


There are several choice moments in Eric Alterman's Atlantic Monthly feature on celebrities and politics. It's interesting that Democrats get nearly as much money from Hollywood as Republicans do from the oil and gas industries. And it's shrewd of Alterman to note that "exactly why so many people in the media find it less objectionable, say, for the CEO of General Motors to lobby for relaxed auto-emission standards than for an actor or a director to contribute to a campaign for clean air is not immediately apparent. " [Update: Several people have misread this quote and inverted its meaning. See comments.]

But the part that got me chuckling is when Bush supporter Bo Derek "complains that she is treated as 'some hateful monster' by Hollywood liberals, and says, 'I'm told I'll never work again.'"

Wait -- she was working before?

August 3, 2004

Update: The Ronstadt riot that wasn't

Daniel Radosh

I have plenty I want to blog about now that I'm back at my computer. Apparently there was some sort of party in Boston while I was away. I'm hazy on the details, but I gather Ben Affleck and some fucking balloons were involved. Also, I had a Lohan revelation I want to share (not specifically boobies-related, but still).

Unfortunately all this, you know, work piled up during my absence, so give me a couple of days to pull it together.

Very quickly, though -- before I left, I noted here and at Romenesko my suspicions about whether there really was a mini riot at the Linda Ronstadt concert, as widely repeated, and said that some Las Vegas reporters should actually try to find out, rather than just take the word of the Aladdin's right wing nut jub owner.

I'm not saying he literally heard my cry in the wilderness, but Newt Briggs of the Las Vegas Mercury did weigh in last week with What really happened at the Aladdin. His findings are summed up in this quote from one audience member: "There was no drink throwing or tearing of posters afterward. The posters were under glass, so how in he world could you tear them? I mean, that's just ridiculous."

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