April 27, 2004

That Narcissistic Earth

Why does everything always have to revolve around you?


Chris Rock On

Morning laugh: The Number One Reason.

Don't even think about it---is he ever work safe?

From Unfogged.

US Troops to Remain in Iraq through Armageddon

From the 4/26 Press Briefing

Q Scott, last week there were some reports at the end of the week about sovereignty in Iraq not being full sovereignty. Is that true, or -- what gradations are there of sovereignty that --

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, at the end of June the coalition will be transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi people. Obviously, in terms of security, there is still a need for coalition forces to work with Iraqis to improve the security situation. And they will continue to -- the coalition forces will remain in Iraq for some time after the transfer of sovereignty. But this is -- at the end of June, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, and sovereignty will be transferred to an interim, representative body. That is what Mr. Brahimi has been working to address. He will be coming back in May with some more specifics to that interim body, and they will serve in that interim period before elections are held, under the schedule laid out in the transitional administrative law.

Q So that's full sovereignty transferred, though.

MR. McCLELLAN: I would describe it as, sovereignty will be transferred to the Iraqi people. In terms of security, coalition forces will continue to -- they will remain in Iraq to continue to provide for the security alongside of Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi people want coalition forces to remain until they realize a free and peaceful future. And we will -- we will remain in Iraq to help with the security situation.

On whether or not FOX NEWS is the President's personal mouthpiece:

Q. I don't know if you saw, before we got on the plane, John Kerry was on Good Morning America answering to some charges as to some --

MR. McCLELLAN: One of your all's network.

Q. -- there you go...

The Passion of The Bush

Bush on Jesus:

"I asked him where he was raised. He said, Southern California," commented the President before his remarks. "He said he didn't speak English when he came to America at age five. His dad had big dreams for him. And here he is, years later, introducing the President of the United States in perfect English.

April 26, 2004

A parent home with sick kids always gets a nod from me

Andrew's been doing a run of nose wiping.

I am happily looking forward to a long day of two fragile, croaky, wheezy, sniffling, coughing children; both attempting to monopolise the one couch and one television. They cannot coexist peacefully at the best of times: how will they be today.

He's also looking for work, and knows Data Warehousing like a labrador knows pond water. Send a care package, in the form of Puffs Plus and a job, to Andrew in Australia.

April 25, 2004

My Blog Is a Casetas Telefonicas

I came here tonight to talk about my falling out with blogging, and as I struggled to put words as to why I'm not attracted to this medium right now, the word "boring" was the one I was going to use. Before I went over to read Tom, I was searching up images on google, thinking about piecing together a poster that summarized my ennui, some kind of Blogging Is a Bore poster with an ole hound asleep on a shady porch. That was just one image I was looking for. Because Blogging has become that predictable.

So, in my travels I hop over to see if Tom is still Mexicaning, and to my surprise and joy, I see he is defending my honor over there. I smile. I post my thoughts (below). Then I go back to read what else Tom's been up to.

What I find is this Gem, which, if I were to take it and run with it, which I don't think Tom would mind, I would extrapolate that he is precisely right, not only within American culture as Walmartitis reflects our obsession with the shallow order of things, but also, he is double right in that this very same element is what is BORING ME TO DEATH right now as a weblogger.

There is something to be said for blurring the lines between potatoes and tampons, between phone cards and baking soda.

There is something profound in the brushing up of one against the next.

There is something precious in searching among the unlike.

There is joy in the finding.

Much of that joy is what we once had here in blogland. It's gone missing, for me anyway. Maybe it's behind the Ketchup, just to the right of the motor oil.

I can conjure an image of the place Tom writes about--the casetas telefonicas--if only sort of, because here in the U.S. you can walk into the rare family-owned deli that isn't trying to be Walmart and enjoy the blurring of edges around the meaning and classifying of things.

Tom describes it here: Anyone who has been in a Mexican market knows how their spaces exhibit horror vacui. This sort of aggregating would have a harder time occuring in the U.S., where the borders between kinds of businesses, types of property, and modes of economic activity are more sharply etched in our imaginings of propriety and order.

My dad owned a little Deli. A couple, actually. I think I never said that here. And so, the this-and-that of the Mexican Phone Store tickled me, Tom.

I can say with pride now, then, that my blog is not about journalism or PR or marketing or writing or business. I want my blog to be a Mexican Phone Store and I want to hang out at other blogs that are casetas telefonicas that don't sell phones at all.

What's that in middle isle? Could be meat, could be cake.

You taste it and you tell me.

I'll be back for more on this when Tom takes his post further.

You Came to the Comments Party But You Didn't Go Home and Talk About It.

Thank you, Tom. Thank you for pointing out something that has been bugging me. Not a lot bugging me. But a little bugging me.

You need only read the far-ranging pre-bloggercon comment discussions over at Jay's post on Journalism v blogging to see what Tom means.

Although I offered some fairly insightful nuggets, as did Weldon and many others, including Tom, when Jay summarized the observations of fellow bloggers in his posts that followed, Weldon and I and a few others fell off the map.

In Jay's summary of the thread, Weldon and I didn't make the cut, and in the next pre-bloggercon piece, Jay links to a host of folks talking about the theme, including the whole parade of usual suspects, and some unusual suspects thank God, but doesn't pull out many of those pieces of his 120-something comments that, as a matter of fact, I think he should have. That action could have furthered the discussion (rather than widening the discussion out along a familiar path of either 1) conference attendees or 2) bloggers who cover this stuff anyway).

Furthering and widening or broadening are two different things.

Jay suggested I take my comments to my blog because he felt they were worth exploring. I like Jay and I trust that if I had, and if Weldon had, then Jay probably would have linked to some of the rather astute observations we'd made. At the time, though, I didn't want to. I didn't think it served the thread well in the middle of what had turned into a sort of "think tank" to do the blogging-as-usual bullshitty deal of running off to my own separate blog to pontificate about what I had just said at our little gathering. Isn't it enough that I said it at Jay's house? Do I have to come home and say it over here too?

Why do we have comments if we aren't going to weigh what is said in comments within the larger discussion or theme? Yes, comments are different from posts, but they're also the best place to STOP hearing the sound of our own voices and in some cases to join a more tightly-joined discussion with others--some who blog and some who don't. And why isn't that gathering in and of itself sometimes enough? And if not, why do I bother commenting? Sometimes I don't blog over here for a few days because I'm participating in other blogs within comments. I consider that as important as posting.

Are we gathering gathering in comments just so that we can run back to our own houses and tell how badly the cocktail weenies sucked or how hot the host looked or what great music they played or how I don't agree with their politics?

Man, I hope not.