Archive for Your 15 Minutes Are Up

Oh, a wise guy

If only it had been funnier:

The radio deejay ordered to pay a symbolic $1 to Taylor Swift after he groped her during a photo op said he mailed her the money last week.

David Mueller told the Associated Press that he sent Swift a Sacagawea coin and provided proof of payment to the outlet, which he said was sent on Nov. 28.

“I mean if this is all about women’s rights … It’s a little poke at them, a little bit,” he told the AP. “I mean, I think they made this into a publicity stunt, and this is my life.”

Two ways this could have been more amusing:

  • Send her 77 cents and blame it on the wage gap.
  • Send her a check and leave a, um, blank space.

Then again, no sense risking a contempt finding over a buck.

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Now that’s what I call undocumented

Then again, no one asked me:

Florida has a U.S. senator who once flew aboard the Space Shuttle.

A congressional candidate from Miami can go one better: Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera says she’s been aboard a spaceship too. But this one was crewed by aliens. As in extraterrestrials.

Three blond, big-bodied beings — two females, one male — visited her when she was 7 years old and have communicated telepathically with her several times in her life, she says. (Sen. Bill Nelson served as payload officer aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986. All seven people aboard were from Earth. As far as is known.)

Rodriguez Aguilera, 59, a Republican who is running to replace retiring Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, recounted her experience with the ETs during a 2009 television interview.

She described “going up” inside the spaceship — though whether it went into space or just hovered around town was left unclear.

“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship — not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said.

Dilithium crystals!

Oh, sorry. I’ll be quiet now.

Among the things she said she found out from the aliens:

  • There are 30,000 skulls — “different from humans” — in a cave in the Mediterranean island of Malta.
  • The world’s “energy center” is in Africa.
  • The Coral Castle, a limestone tourist attraction in South Miami-Dade, is actually an ancient Egyptian pyramid.
  • “God is a universal energy.”

She also said that the aliens had mentioned Isis, though she didn’t clarify if they meant the terrorist organization or the ancient Egyptian goddess.

The most believable of those, perhaps, is the tale of the Coral Castle:

The grounds of Coral Castle consist of 1,100 short tons (1,000 t) of stones in the form of walls, carvings, furniture and a castle tower. Commonly believed to be made of coral, it is made of oolite, also known as oolitic limestone. Oolite is a sedimentary rock composed of small spherical grains of concentrically layered carbonate that may include localized concentrations of fossil shells and coral. Oolite is found throughout southeastern Florida from Palm Beach County to the Florida Keys. Oolite is often found beneath only several inches of topsoil, such as at the Coral Castle site.

The stones are fastened together without mortar. They are set on top of each other using their weight to keep them together. The craftsmanship detail is so skillful and the stones are connected with such precision that no light passes through the joints. The 8-foot (2.4 m) tall vertical stones that make up the perimeter wall have a uniform height. Even with the passage of decades and a direct hit on August 24, 1992, by the Category 5 Hurricane Andrew, the stones have not shifted.

Will all these revelations help or hurt her candidacy? There are three Republicans in the race. Then again, she has connections:

Rodriguez Aguilera’s daughter is former Republican National Committee Hispanic outreach director Bettina Inclán Agen. Her son-in-law, Jarrod Agen, is Vice President Mike Pence’s deputy chief of staff.

The 27th District of Florida, reports the Cook PVI, is D+5.

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Stars struck

John Kennedy’s son is by no means an antecedent of Harvey Weinstein, but both of them seem to have stumbled in the same general area:

John Kennedy, Jr. tried to blend politics and entertainment with the magazine he founded, George. His basic insight was correct; but he misunderstood something crucial. And John-John misunderstood it because he was, by all accounts, a good man.

You know the old joke about Washington: That it’s Hollywood for ugly people. Kennedy thought that this was unfair to Washington and that the people in the nation’s capital had the capacity for glamour, too.

But it turns out that the joke works in the opposite direction: Hollywood is for ugly people, too. That was Harvey Weinstein’s essential insight, and how he managed to combine the worlds of politics, entertainment, and media. They’re all repulsive — and I know they’re disgusting or else they wouldn’t be courting, of all people, me.

George expired in 2001. There was a little chatter earlier this year about the possibility of reviving it, but so far nothing has come of it. As for Harvey, he’s well on his way to becoming an unperson.

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His safe word is “douchecanoe”

Furthermore, the guy claims to be an anarchist. Does this mean he objects to authority figures? Of course not:

He hates law and order on the streets — but he loves it between the sheets.

The anarchist John Jay College professor who tweeted “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops” says publicly that he despises authority and punishment, but privately he’s seeking a dominatrix to rule him with an iron fist.

Michael Isaacson’s personal profile on FetLife — an online social network for people interested in bondage, domination, sadomasochism and all manner of kink — proclaims “I need a domme” to choke, waterboard and smother him.

The naughty professor, who was suspended a few weeks ago from his job at the CUNY college for future criminal-justice professionals, proudly posts photos of himself shirtless and hogtied.

A vision of his future, perhaps. I mean, if even Bill de Blasio finds you objectionable, you must be pretty bad off.

(Via Kathleen McKinley.)

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And here they remain

Three years after Jasmine Tridevil appeared on the scene with a rack patterned after one sported by Eccentrica Gallumbits, author of It’s Just One Boob After Another, made a music video, and was determined by Snopes to be sporting, um, falsies, you’d figure the world had forgotten about her by now.

And you would be wrong:

Then again, where a four-armed goddess holds sway, a triple-breasted woman would not be all that outré.

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Knowing what you’re worth

And remember, it’s always more than those Ordinary Folks:

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) said Friday that if the Department of Justice had been investigating the Orlando nightclub shooter instead of her, the 49 people killed in the massacre there last month would still be alive.

“These are the same agents that was not able to do a thorough investigation of [shooter Omar Mateen], and we ended up with 50 people dead,” Brown said. Mateen was shot and killed by police at the scene of the Orlando nightclub attack, bringing the total death toll to 50.

Brown’s lawyer echoed those sentiments. “Perhaps had it chosen to devote its resources more thoughtfully, 50 innocent people would be alive today,” Elizabeth White said, according to First Coast News.

Brown was hit with a 24-count federal indictment. One for every other victim?

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Well, he seems nice

You may remember Martin Shkreli from the Turing Pharmaceuticals dustup, in which he jacked up the price of a prescription drug he acquired from $13.50 to a whopping $750 per tab. Supposedly he was going to make some adjustments, but such adjustments have yet to materialize. In the meantime, he would have us believe the ladies are lined up at his front door:

So basically, Donald Trump without the humility.

(Via @inthefade.)

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What makes you pitiful

So it’s come to this: Westboro Baptist Church — which is hardly a church and not all that Baptist — pickets a One Direction concert at Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Westboro pickets 1D

Inevitably, there was a counterdemonstration:

Westboro pickets 1D

Photos by Jennifer Taylor Johnson, who said this was “the last thing I expected to see.” Trust me on this, Jen: Fred Phelps ain’t nothin’ but a publicity hound, cryin’ all the time.

Addendum: The Phelps-Heads are also scheduling an “event” for the funeral of Cory Monteith, a member of the cast of Glee, prompting these remarks by Tyler Vendetti:

It was unexpected and tragic and the people that are left to mourn his death, his family and friends, should not have to deal with a group of insensitive extremists that grossly misrepresent the teachings of the Bible in order to perpetuate their own vile beliefs. By allowing them to continue their practices, we as a country are giving them permission to target others for their differences and to inflict emotional distress on whoever they deem unworthy.

We’re also giving them permission to become a national punchline, an object of ridicule, the butt — in the butt, Fred! — of jokes. Westboro has earned its irrelevancy; the opportunity to remind them of it every time they open their mouths is their one and only, um, saving grace.

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Big Obsolete Al

Al Sharpton has been busily raising his profile of late, most likely because he needs to be busily raising some money:

Federal filings show his failed 2004 presidential campaign remains nearly a million dollars in debt.

The campaign still owes the Federal Election Commission (FEC) more than $200,000 in fines for a litany of nearly decade-old election law violations, a new quarterly FEC report details.

The campaign’s outstanding debts, including its FEC fine, total $925,713.78, according to its most recent quarterly report.

Notes Emily Zanotti:

Apparently, the FEC has been consistently badgering Sharpton for the money, though members of the National Legal and Policy Center, which filed the initial complaints against Sharpton for his 2004 Presidential farce, note that Sharpton cares about his legal problems and his debts about as much as he cares about the true state of discourse on racial equality in America, which is to say, pretty much not at all.

And Sharpton’s gig at MSNBC produces much heat, but no light, and damn little in the way of ratings.

No comment from Tawana Brawley at this writing.

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A possibly discouraging lead

Vice, apparently concerned for your safety, bills it as The Worst Music Video Ever Starring The World’s Biggest Dickhead. I’m not bringing it over here, though I will concede that I can imagine something worse.

Not much worse, though. I did note that comments are disabled on the YouTube page, and thumbs are about evenly split between up and down.

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It was their doody as artists

Or you might think it was just a load of crap:

Difficult territory is a cornerstone of the visual arts — so artist Mikala Dwyer knew it would be confronting [Friday] night when she invited Balletlab dancers to empty their bowels as part of a performance at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.

The two-hour act saw the six dancers, masked but naked beneath sheer garments, move around a room in the gallery before sitting on transparent stools and performing — only if they were moved to do so — what is usually one of our most private and rarely discussed daily acts.

Not rarely enough.

(Title of course inspired by Dawn Eden, who has since gone on to better things.)

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Wide birth

In the last several years, only the Department of Public Safety has asked me for a copy of my birth certificate. Then again, I don’t occupy a public office, and I’ve never been subjected to this sort of thing:

There certainly should have been more of an effort by the right in general to police its own — our own — and to read the birthers out of the movement much as William F. Buckley read the John Birch movement out of conservatism back in his day.

I have long suspected that Barack Obama was trolling them all along.

And as they sowed, so shall they reap:

Birthers, it turns out, can be bipartisan. They have a new target — the rapidly rising GOP senator Ted Cruz.

Though he bears all the marks of a Texan — the swagger, the signature twang, and the ever-present cowboy boots — 42-year-old Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, to an American mother and a Cuban father. By dint of his mother’s citizenship, Cruz was an American citizen at birth. Whether he meets the Constitution’s requirement that the president of the United States be a “natural-born citizen,” a term the Framers didn’t define and for which the nation’s courts have yet to offer an interpretation, has become the subject of considerable speculation.

And it involves some of the same people who sparked conflict — and drew charges of racism — by raising questions about the circumstances of President Obama’s birth. Donald Trump, for one, says he is impressed by Cruz but hasn’t yet looked extensively at his background.

Because there’s nothing more important for a candidate than being vetted by Donald Trump.

I’m not at all keen on candidates keeping secrets. On the other hand, I’m going to wait until they open their mouths before I assume they’re lying.

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Go home, Hugo, you’re dead

Even in Venezuela they think so:

Hundreds of pro-opposition students and other critics of Hugo Chávez’s government marched in Caracas [Sunday] to demand proof that the cancer-stricken Venezuelan leader is still alive and governing.

The crowd, including various leaders at the more militant end of the Democratic Unity opposition coalition, sang protest songs and waved banners as they rallied in a central neighborhood on a sweltering morning.

“Give us the truth!” and “Stop lying!” read banners.

And if it should turn out, as previously reported, that Chávez is no longer fit for anything much more than Weekend at Bernie’s III — what then?

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His name is Mudd

Jackmeoff MuddThe gentleman in the Broward County (Florida) mugshot to your left, according to this report in HuffPo, is one Jackmeoff Mudd, fifty-four, a “man with an unfortunate name — or a strong commitment to pranking police … [who] was arrested last Friday on a litany of charges in Fort Lauderdale,” including charges of “assault, disorderly conduct, resisting an officer, possession of alcohol in an open container, and violation of probation.”

Now perhaps this was a typo. For long-established legal reasons, perps are usually referred to by their full names: this may well be plain old Jack Mudd, and “Meoff” is his middle name.

Or perhaps not. Either way, Heywood Jablowme was not available for comment.

(Via Fark.)

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Not cool for cats

As opening paragraphs go, you can’t beat this one:

A former translator for Osama bin Laden wants a cat as company in Guantanamo Bay and thinks LeBron James should apologize to Cleveland.

Carlos Warner, a lawyer representing Muhammed Rahim, an Afghan who translated for the late al-Qaeda leader, sent a letter to a Washington Post blog detailing his client’s complaints and comments from the U.S. prison. Mostly, he wanted to let people know that certain prisoners were given cats.

Now if they had been given dogs, you’d have heard about it all over the “news.”

As for Rahim’s antipathy toward the Miami Heat forward:

Warner says Rahim’s sentiment about the NBA star who left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat reflects his client’s tribal values, in which loyalty is paramount and “betrayals are not tolerated or forgiven, although an honest apology from an offending peer is valued.”

No wonder this guy’s in Gitmo. The entire American system seems to run on betrayal these days.

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More GanderSauce™

It sounded so clever at the beginning:

As detailed by the Kansas City Star this week, 30-year-old Matthew Creed has developed and launched a site called BlabberMouth in order to bring public attention to local arrests. However, he’s also attempting to financially profit by collecting a sizable fee from an arrested person to remove information like name, home address, date of birth, mug shot and the reason that the person was arrested. On the home page of the site, Creed has included an embedded Google Map that allows site visitors to search for arrested people living in their neighborhood. According to the site owner, the purpose of the site is to deter crime by notifying the public of criminal actions. However, all this information is already public record.

The pricing scale:

According to the pricing information on the BlabberMouth site, an arrestee would have to pay $200 for a complete removal of their profile within twelve hours. A less expensive $150 option accomplishes the same thing, but can take up to four days. The Gold option costs $100 and only removes the home address along with the charges from the profile page. However, people searching the site can still find the arrestee on the Google Map. The Silver option costs $50 and only allows the removal of one item from the profile page.

There is, of course, a punchline:

Creed’s own home address was published within a thread on the popular KSLR forums after his home address was found within a lawsuit filed last year that was also public record. Creed requested that the entire forum thread be deleted, but Erik Radzins, the owner of KSLR, rejected that request. Radzins stated “I feel it’s everybody’s right to know his information if he’s going to publish this information for thousands of other people. It’s just the highest amount of hypocrisy.”

What, he didn’t offer to write them a check? Sheesh.

Now turned up to 11 on the Pariah Scale, Creed has announced a revamping of his site and his M.O.:

The site will be taken down TEMPORARILY on July 4, 2012 at 12:00 Noon, CDT to restructure our company, and we will reopen in approximately 3-4 weeks. We will be in transition to a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization during this time.

As of June 27, 2012, any money contributions received outside of our removal fee will go to victims of families of violent crimes and drunk driving, in addition to grow the NPO responsibility through a financial stewardship model designed by a church leader that I have come to know and respect. There was an initial start-up cost of $3,109.43 for BlabberMouth, LLC. After this initial investment is recovered, our money disbursement will be divided as follows: We will give away 40% to charity, invest 20%, and the remaining will go to pay the employees involved with BlabberMouth, including the owner.

When the site reopens, we will focus exclusively on: DUI arrests & convictions, driving while suspended, sexual charges, drug related charges, and non-payment of child support. We welcome any other suggestions for charges that should be included. All previous features on our site will still be available.

“Oh, well, if it’s a non-profit, that means it’s okay.” You’d be surprised how many people believe that sort of codswallop. (Or, if you’re a regular reader here, perhaps you wouldn’t.)

Update, 5:45 pm: According to Caller ID, BlabberMouthLLC just called here, from a Johnson County, Kansas exchange. Give the man credit for not spoofing Caller ID. He didn’t, however, leave a message. See also this OKCTalk thread.

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Bugs to the spotlight

I’ve been on television (briefly); I found the experience to be, at best, an exercise in discomfiture. Others embrace it with great — perhaps too great — enthusiasm:

So they had a human interest story on the local news this morning about some local guy who had applied as a contestant on The Biggest Loser twice before and been rejected, but had actually received an invite from the producers to this year’s casting call.

Those of you who thought that The Biggest Loser was actually a weekly Congressional wrap-up on C-Span may be forgiven.

Why had they called on him? Well, he spent the last year engaging friends and friends of friends in the video and music industries putting together a musical video plea describing why he should be on the show.

If your next question is “Did he spend any of those twelve months actually trying to lose weight?” — well, you’ve missed the point. The idea is not to get thinner, but to be lionized, however briefly, for getting thinner. None of that hiding one’s light under a bushel stuff: today, you clear all the bushels from a whole acre in an effort to get someone — anyone — to notice a tiny bit of illumination.

Tam says she talked back to the screen. (This is what she said.) I don’t blame her in the least.

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Call her Red, and then stop there

Otherwise, you’ll just encourage more of the same:

Dawn McManus, 41, promised to change her name to encourage fundraising for her charity, Red Dreams, which was set up after the death of her son.

She believes her new name — including the charity’s name and people it has helped — could be the world’s longest.

Suppose it’s not. Is she going to amend the deed poll to tack on a few extra letters?

Oh, you wanted the gory details. Fine, then:

The former Mrs McManus is now called Red Wacky League Antlez Broke the Stereo Neon Tide Bring Back Honesty Coalition Feedback Hand of Aces Keep Going Captain Let’s Pretend Lost State of Dance Paper Taxis Lunar Road Up Down Strange All and I Neon Sheep Eve Hornby Faye Bradley AJ Wilde Michael Rice Dion Watts Matthew Appleyard John Ashurst Lauren Swales Zoe Angus Jaspreet Singh Emma Matthews Nicola Brown Leanne Pickering Victoria Davies Rachel Burnside Gil Parker Freya Watson Alisha Watts James Pearson Jacob Sotheran Darley Beth Lowery Jasmine Hewitt Chloe Gibson Molly Farquhar Lewis Murphy Abbie Coulson Nick Davies Harvey Parker Kyran Williamson Michael Anderson Bethany Murray Sophie Hamilton Amy Wilkins Emma Simpson Liam Wales Jacob Bartram Alex Hooks Rebecca Miller Caitlin Miller Sean McCloskey Dominic Parker Abbey Sharpe Elena Larkin Rebecca Simpson Nick Dixon Abbie Farrelly Liam Grieves Casey Smith Liam Downing Ben Wignall Elizabeth Hann Danielle Walker Lauren Glen James Johnson Ben Ervine Kate Burton James Hudson Daniel Mayes Matthew Kitching Josh Bennett Evolution Dreams.

This includes three iterations of “James,” two of “Jacob,” two of “Davies,” two of “Miller,” and two of “Rebecca.”

There is no indication that Red will be appearing as a guest on a Fiona Apple album, but she should have no trouble ousting long-standing Silly Party candidate Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel.

(Via CBC.)

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Fourteen fortysomething and counting

Just when I start to think that my approved-by-Andy-Warhol fifteen minutes of fame have expired, they tell me that I’ve been mentioned in a book.

And by “they,” I mean Adam Gurri, who sent this into the stream yesterday:

Tweet by Adam Gurri

Having blithered my way through eighteen thousand or so snippets of tweet text so far, I couldn’t possibly identify anything I said which might be of interest to Mr Jarvis, whose book Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011) was published a couple weeks ago. Mr Gurri, however, could:

Tweet by me at Jeff Jarvis

It’s referenced on page three, albeit just by the Twitter ID — but then, anyone who looks up that Twitter ID is going to find me. (As regular readers know, I have vanishingly few secrets.)

Of course, this means I’ll have to buy the book, as I did with the two previous books that make some reference to me. And over in the corner, Andy is looking at his watch.

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Which may explain the hair

Donald Trump, big head:

I have a really hard time believing that an ego like that would be able to stand coexisting with the 500-plus similar egos fulminating under the Capitol Dome, not to mention whatever cabinet secretaries he might appoint, and even more not to mention the self-importance of the Washington, D.C.-based media. If by some miracle Trump should win the GOP nomination and then by an even bigger one win the presidency itself, I imagine he would become the second president ever to resign from office as he grew ever more frustrated with how much the job wasn’t about him and figured that resigning was the only way he could make it be that way.

I wonder if he could fire himself. Or some other similar verb.

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Welcome to Alpha Complex

I was always at least slightly paranoid about the guys who participate in — I almost said “espouse,” but that wouldn’t work, would it? — the putative sport version of dating, and this helps to reinforce that response:

For those of you not familiar with the bizarre internet phenomenon known as “Game”, it is this complicated system wherein 2nd level Nerds with low STR and DEX attempt to level up their CHA so they can go to popular night clubs and score the 9th level Hotties they are owed by nature using the tactic of “negging” or insulting them. You know, or shooting them in the face. Whichever works.

Because, you know, they’re supposed to like that sort of thing from Truly Manly Men.

Far as I’m concerned, they can bring back celibacy any time.

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Keeping the shadows close at hand

Not even in my own household am I a household word, which bothers me hardly at all; I would hate to be one of those pathetic characters on [insert name of any of a hundred television shows these days] whose sense of self-worth is entirely dependent upon achieving the canonical Warholian quarter of an hour.

How I got to this presumed point of stability is not entirely clear to me, though I suspect Jenny Davidson has happened on a Great Truth here:

When I was little, I too wanted to be famous, partly because I knew I wanted to be a writer and it seemed to me that good writers should be famous (!?!) but also because of an unwarranted assumption that life would only be interesting if I were famous.

“You’ve had such an interesting life,” people tell me, and my eyes do a synchronized roll: Say what? It must be one of the Great American Default Assumptions: that everyone else’s life must be more interesting than yours. I’ve never thought of my life as being particularly interesting, perhaps because my own perspective, that of the Bewildered Insider, isn’t easily available to everyone else. (It might also explain why I’ve been at this soapbox for most of a decade and a half: perhaps it’s an effort to prove that I’m really as dull as I think I am.)

But being comfortable with my obscurity is not something I was born with. It could be simple fatigue, after wave after wave of loud, self-important attention whores, or it could be a manifestation of actual maturity. The case for the latter, again from Jenny Davidson:

In adulthood I realize that it is much more important to me that life should be interesting than anything else (i.e. interestingness and intellectual and artistic stimulation rank considerably higher than fame or fortune); fame or fortune are only incidentally valuable insofar as they increase the opportunity to do interesting things, but in fact fame may undercut that possibility, because many or most people find it hard to converse normally with famous people.

Fame may have a further drawback in my case, since I suspect that what I perceive as humility is somehow hinged to my lack of fame, and I would be extremely displeased to discover that a famous version of me, presented with some trivial cock-up on a vacation trip, might resort to the unforgivable tactic of pulling rank: “Don’t you know who I am?”

So I content myself with my position on the D-list. If the rewards seem few, they still outnumber the disappointments.

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That old Cleveland plantation

Understandably miffed at not having been consulted on the deal, Jesse Jackson decided to make his presence known while the LeBronathon goes on:

[Dan Gilbert] speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” the reverend said in a release from his Chicago-based civil rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.”

After which Jackson retreated to his Chicago compound for further contemplation of his ultimate goal: to get his name added to the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday in January.

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My very own blogwar

This was waiting for me today at the Backup Blog:

I hit “admin” on your shadow blog and get back to MY blog!

What kind of a stupid, malicious, psychopathic game are you up to now, and how do you think you can possibly get away with it?

You have exactly five days — because it is a weekend and a holiday — to remove every single link, every single short link, every single category, every single tag, every single possible relationship between your blogs and mine — or I will make this into the test case to end all test cases!

You don’t just commit massive click theft and stat theft under the noses of all the supposed Guardians of the Internet and get away with it!

I still cann’t [sic] comprehend how Word Press [sic] would possibly permit something like this to go on for so long — and now becoming more and more blatant.

It is completely undermining THEIR integrity and honesty, even more than it is hurting me and others like me.

Now, no more! Enough! Basta! Find other victims to screw with.

Now let’s see the sheer enormousness of the stats over there:

Stats for

Oh, yeah, I’m stealing so much traffic.

Being the gentle soul I am, I will allow myself to believe that this is the statement of someone who had not previously noted that now inserts into the Dashboard a selection of “Latest Posts” from a sampling of their zillions of users.

Besides, it’s not like she sent me something like this:

This has gone far enough!

You will immediately remove all references to me and my work from your blogsites.

You will immediately remove all references to me and my work from your archives.

And you will personally contact Google and tell them that you have NO connection to me or my work.

You will also remove all links, tags, and pingbacks of whatever sort between your blogs or other sites and mine.

If you do not do this, I will have no alternative but to make formal complaints to Google, Linked In, Word Press, and the FCC, as well as contacting my attorney.

I realize this “SEO” nonsense has gotten completely out of hand in general. But your behavior towards me is now beyond belief.

Apparently the horrid crime committed by that blogger was to cite this person as an influence.

I believe, though, that we’ve found our next Secretary of Homeland Security.

(Moral of the story: Never get into a pissing contest with a man who’s taken diuretics for a decade.)

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Not Daffy enough

From the Earth-Shattering Kaboom files: Mike Myers may become the big-screen voice of Marvin the Martian some time between now and the 24½th Century.

I suggest you sell your holdings of Illudium Phosdex, the shaving-cream atom, before this thing actually goes into production.

(Via Fark.)

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Frank Rich, crapmonger

“Many of those [Balloon Boy] viewers,” said Rich in the NYT, “were driven by the same bloodlust that spawns rubberneckers at every highway accident: the hope of witnessing the graphic remains of a crash, not a soft landing.”

“This is crap,” says Gail:

Our whole newsroom was riveted to this, and I would swear that not one person was secretly hoping to see a bloody death. As parents, and as people, we were hoping to see him land safely, because we could imagine our own children, or children we know and love, getting into some horrible situation, and how scared we would be.

We were scared for a kid we didn’t know, and wishing the best for his family, and that’s a good, human, emotion, and Frank Rich’s version makes me think he distrusts every person and every emotion he comes into contact with.

Rich does point out, sentiently:

[E]ven slightly jaundiced onlookers might have questioned how a balloon could waft buoyantly through the skies for hours with a 6-year-old boy hidden within its contours. That so few did is an indication of how practiced we are at suspending disbelief when watching anything labeled news, whether the subject is W.M.D.’s in Iraq or celebrity gossip in Hollywood.

And I yield to his expertise here, since credulity, even if feigned, is the one thing you can count on from The New York Times.

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Somehow, I can’t work up the energy to have fun at Meghan McCain’s expanse expense, even if she makes an awfully convenient target sometimes, perhaps because I have to wonder if she’d have gotten any attention at all were her name Meghan Jones or Smith or even Davis.

Yeah, I know: callow youth. So were we all, at one time or another. (Some of us, maybe more than one time.) To heist some verbiage from Jenn:

[I]f you aren’t allowed to be a little stupid at 25 when are you? I don’t even like to think about the stupid stuff (If you read my about page you know what I mean) I was doing then.

Is this a call to “Leave Meghan alone”? Why, yes, I believe it is.

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Meanwhile, back in the desert

“I am very, very happy,” said Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi upon his return to Libya. “This was always my hope and wish to be back with my family before I pass away.”

Well, that and putting up a Web site.

(From Fort Hard Knox via Tim Blair, who warns: “It causes browsers to crash.”)

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Beware of Teh Ghique

Especially this one:

Sony recently banned [Erik] Estavillo’s PlayStation Network access for comments he made while playing Insomniac Games’ FPS Resistance: Fall of Man. Naturally, Estavillo believes this to be a violation of his First Amendment right, which is why he has brought suit against Sony for damages incurred as a result of his banning. (Sadly, the brief doesn’t specify what Estavillo said to cause the banning, but that’s hardly surprising, considering Estavillo filed the suit himself, and doesn’t appear to have legal representation).

Estavillo claims that the banning, combined with his various medical conditions, has caused him $55,000 worth of pain and suffering. According to the brief, Estavillo suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, depression, Crohn’s Disease and, most importantly, agoraphobia. You see, because of his debilitating fear of crowds, PSN is the “only way the plaintiff can truly socialize with other people.”

Damn. If it weren’t for Crohn’s, Sony could tell him to shove his lawsuit up … um, never mind.

This, though, is the fun part:

Estavillo also alleges that because gamers under 17 years of age are able to play the game online, despite the game’s Mature rating, the entire PSN user agreement system should be deemed nonbinding.

That one I’d love to see tried. “Well, officer, even if I had been speeding, the clearance rate on felonies here in Bustagut County is only 65 percent, so obviously your laws don’t mean squat.”

While it lasts, here’s the paperwork on Estavillo v. Sony Computer Entertainment America in PDF format.

(Via Fark.)

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You call that a strike?

Now this is a strike:

Workers at collapsed French car parts maker New Fabris threatened on Sunday to blow up their factory if they did not receive payouts by July 31 from auto groups Renault and Peugeot to compensate for their lost jobs.

New Fabris was declared in liquidation in April, so the workers stand to get no redundancy money, although they are entitled to draw state unemployment benefit.

They want Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen to pay 30,000 euros ($41,800) for each of the 336 staff at the factory, or some 10 million euros in total, in return for its remaining stocks of equipment and machinery.

And if no checks are written? Nice little factory you’ve got here. Be a shame if something were to happen to it:

“The bottles of gas have already been placed at various parts of the factory and are connected with each other,” CGT trades union official Guy Eyermann told France Info radio.

“If Renault and PSA refuse to give us that money it could blow up before the end of the month,” he added.

And you thought American unions were cranky these days.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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