Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Randomalia: A Life In Media 

At the risk of obscuring the wheat among the chaff, here's an everything-in-one final entry for the day. 30 second surfers are encouraged to skim quickly to hit subsequent entries before the clock runs out. (In a real hurry? Skip right to the joke of the week!)

1. Everything I don't like about blogexplosion is a direct result of surfing in the BE frame. Most notably, I keep losing good sites to the ether because I follow subjectively attractive external links before blogmarking -- which, I would point out, is how the web is supposed to work, and why we have back buttons and history buttons for "normal" surfing.

Also, it's difficult to revisit blogmarked blogs. This is mostly my fault -- the list is getting too long to spend real time with, and collecting RSS feeds for a new digest would be a heckofa job. But blogexplosion doesn't make this easy, either. Opening a new blogexplosion window while surfing for credit kills the login on the other window (for obvious reasons), and I tend to want to surf for credit if I'm going to be logged in...

2. Plenty of possibility in this year's New Yorker-sponsored cartoon captioning contest. So far, I've avoided the obvious, and narrowed it down to my four best:

  • He'll take your order -- my pen's out of ink.
  • Of course he recommends the shark maki. He always recommends the shark maki.
  • Tonight's special? Krill. Why?
  • No, it's not a hat. Those are his sexual organs.

Contest entries are due Dec. 20 and, for some reason, can be as long as 1000 characters, though we all know the New Yorker editors prefer a good one-liner. You're only allowed one entry, so help me narrow these down (without stealing them), will you?

3. The newgrass album I really want for Christmas isn't available on amazon, so go to The Biscuit Boys homepage to order me a copy of The Biscuit Boys: Live in Nashville, and, since you really like this song off their previous album, get one for yourself while you're there. Oh Biscuit Boys, when will you tour New England? Sigh...

4. Anna Quindlen does it again, this time making a case with aplomb and focus that I've been trying to just plain articulate for months. Yes, public debate on the abortion issue has advanced little in the past fifteen year. Yes, abortion has set the template for the vast schism in social policy discourse which plagued our recent blue/red election woes. Yes, pro-choice liberals need to be willing to recognize that it is possible to believe in abortion and yet also value life, to respect women's rights and yet also acknowledge the emotional pull of the fetus.

I, too, believe deeply in abortion as a fundamental right. But I also believe that if polarization brings us anywhere, it is to dark corners where we are faced with dichotomous arguments so black-and-white that when it comes to an all-or-nothing vote we -- gasp -- lose to a moderate majority uncomfortable with either extreme (hint: see recent election). If cultural consensus on this issue is to be reached in anyone's lifetime, it's time we all allowed for the fact that every abortion is different, and involves factors which, while not always determinant, remain difficult for all involved. It's time we turned our discussion away from the whether-or-not absolute, and back to how we make those decisions, and why, and who can get hurt...and drop the illogical assumption that, if we acknowledge the complexities of the issue, we're somehow "going over to the other side."

Hint: society is never going to get less polarized if people keep buying those damn, dumb "If you don't like abortion, don't have one" bumper stickers. On the other hand, I bet I could make a fortune selling "If you don't like murder, don't commit one" stickers to those willing to use satire and irony to stand up for thoughtful discourse. Wasn't it these same liberals who were defending Kerry as someone who recognized that tough decisions required nuanced arguments and discourse? Time to look inward, folks.

5. Favorite Christmas movie: Scrooged. Murray rocks (even) in overacting mode, but Carol Kane's brilliant bitpart as a viciously insane fairy/ghost steals the show. Added bonus: Bill Murray's brother plays Bill Murray's brother.

Okay, it's not much of a classic, but then I never claimed to be anything more than a popcult gourmand. What's your favorite Christmas movie?

posted by boyhowdy | 9:19 PM |

Fave Christmase movie/holiday movie?
I'm a traditionalist. The original Scrooge with Allistair Sim and It's a Wonderful Life followed closely by the Grinch (original please).

I do sort of agree with your Blog Explosion issues. I have marked bunches of pages, but have not gone back to review any of them to decide if I want to add them to my blog roll. I also have noticed via my stats that the only time I get Blog Explosion traffic is when I am surfing as well.

Have a happy day, and I hope your long distance trek to find an oven worked out.

counting sheep
I had such a crush on Carol Kane when I was a kid. Alas, she always has all these bit parts in all these movies.

My fav holiday special (I know I'm gonna get flamed for this 'un): The Star Wars Holiday Special.

My poor friend Tariq got a copy of it to show to a bunch of us when we were in college. Little did any of us know . . .
When I want to go to another link when I am surfing through blog explosion, I right click and open in another window. That way I don't lose the be window. You can also open a new window and go to blog explosions and then to your blogmarked sites and recheck them the same way. I do this when I am waiting for the longest 30 seconds in the world to pass on the right wing whacko pages. Good luck! Hope you had a wonderful holiday.
"You can also open a new window and go to blog explosions and then to your blogmarked sites and recheck them the same way." Sometimes this works. But many times, I've found that opening BE in another window simultanously logs me OUT of the first window, killing the credits I was in the middle of accruing. Does this happen to others, too?
We have "adopted" A Christmas Story (Ralphie and the Red Rider BB Gun) as our traditional family must-see each year. Although Ted Turner has rather cheapened it by running it for 24 hours straight on Christmas Day the last few years.

I am also partial to the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol.
D'oh! Forgot BOTH "A Christmas Story" and whichever Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer movie has the Cold Miser and Heat Miser (or whatever they're called).

Call Scrooged one of three -- they're all so diferent, I'd hate to have to pick favorites.
Post a Comment
coming soon
now listening