Friday, May 27, 2005

So... Uh, How Are Things Back Here? 

One of the fun things about guest-editing Gawker is all the great material people email us. Like this one, from my mom:

A Field School news tip:

Your brother just called - an overhead projector fell off a shelf and
hit him in the head.

Happy three-day weekend day, everyone. I'm not gonna so much as look at a goddam computer 'til next Tuesday.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Infiltration of the Media Elite: Stage Two 

Hey, everyone. I'm guest-co-editing Gawker this week. Stop over, say hi, tell me I'm not funny, it'll be fun.

See ya.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Don't You Know There Ain't No Devil, There's Just Screamin' Jay When He's Drunk 

I'd like to begin today's sermon by pointing you to what is possibly the greatest blog ever (it will be no time at all before the proprietors are secretly paid by the Dean campaign, hired by the New York Observer, sued for libel in Great Britain, and clicked on by the producers of Inside Politics).

Cats aside, let's move on the next cutest thing on the agenda, God. God is everywhere these days -- He's totally hot right now.

Tom Tomorrow graciously scanned and posted a section of Chris Hedges' piece from this month's God Issue of Harper's. (Not online, of course -- is Scanning the new Linking? Will blurry, hand-scanned Samizdat copies of Frank Rich essays start making the email rounds come September? Will the Copyright Secret Police disappear LexisNexis abusers? Will would-be bloggers just write sarcastic notes in the margins of David Brooks' columns on the print edition of the Times and leave them on subway cars? As you may have noticed, this "paying for content" thing is my primary concern these days.)

Doghouse Riley watches The History Channel so you don't have to, and finds out that "history" is now being used rather loosely, in the sense of "meaning the exact opposite of the term 'history'" -- yes, speculation, prophecy, and America's Funniest Natural Disaster Stock Footage are advancing on tweed-sporting historians talking about Rommel, and they've already made impressive gains against shows about old guns. Mr. Riley suspects that they may be looking for an image makeover at that musty old network, mulling possible name changes; I recommend either "The Hearsay Network" or "HOLY SHIT, JESUS IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU AND HE'S FUCKING PISSED! TV"

Norbizness has a Socratic dialogue with an Earthly representative of a different, less telegenic God. It leads me to believe that if we all put aside our petty squabbles about who flushed who's Holy Book down the toilet, or who's militant followers blew up who, and just sat down and rapped for a while, we'd learn that, deep down, we all worship the same God, and he just wants to make sure that we don't dance too suggestively or listen to those seductive African Rhythms.

Case in point, the Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul has a few words for Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty -- raise taxes and help the poor, he says, unless they're homos. And that's a sentiment we can all stand behind. Because if we don't, we'll be given the Rack.

Amen and all that. Word to your savior.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Buck Hill Announces BuckSelect 

MINNEAPOLIS -- May 18, 2005-- Buck Hill announced today a new online offering called BuckSelect, which for a modest fee will provide exclusive access to posts and funny pictures on colormeimpressed.blogspot.com, easy and in-depth access to Buck Hill's online archives, early access to select puns on the site, as well as other exciting features.

While most of the news, features and heavy-handed satire on Buck Hill will remain free and available to users, theatrical parodies of other blogs, posts about music, and mocking of some of the best known voices from the news side of The Times and The International Herald Tribune (IHT) will be available only to BuckSelect subscribers beginning in September. BuckSelect will be priced at fifty bucks or the equivalent amount of decent beer for an annual subscription.

"This is a great offering," said Martin Nisenholtz, senior vice president of digital operations and funny nicknames. "BuckSelect combines the insights and ideas and distinctive voice of some college student with a cable modem with seamless access to our archives in an unprecedented way and at a terrific price point. At the same time, by keeping the majority of the site free, we will continue to scale the business through strong blogroll growth."

BuckSelect features include:

Sign up today!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wednesday Night Libel 

Lazy, petty fun:
[Mary-Kate] and [Ashly] are two [students] who prefer shrimp cocktails and steak frites to [...] food. They sleep on Burberry beds in their Greenwich Village apartment and wore matching crystal-studded collars until a few weeks ago, when they chewed off all the stones.
The [Olsens] [...] are visually striking with their long necks and oversized ears, and they can be intimidating. They look like little leopards and grow to more than twice the size of normal cats. They love to leap and splash in water, and they don't mind taking long walks on a leash.

St. Paul Had It All When We Called 

When you get away from the internets for even a day or two, the prospect of checking 40 blogs, four newspapers, and The Huffingtonian Experience (they got David Rees too??? Is no one safe?) is a bit daunting.

So just enjoy this Star Tribune headline while I regain my bearings.

UNRELATED NOTE: I looked at this site with Internet Explorer for the first time just about ever earlier today. For the approximately 40% of my visitors who still use IE: Is my sidebar all fucked up? If so, how the hell do I fix it?

Monday, May 09, 2005

This Blog Thing 

Just a reminder -- Buck Hill probably won't be updated for a couple days as I ship off to the country called The Midwest.

If you need your fix while I'm gone, I'll be occasionally blogging elsewhere under the pseudonym "David Mamet."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

New York Mayoral Race 2005: Giving Up Edition! 

This experiment in caring about local politics has failed. That asshole Bloomberg is ahead in the polls -- how? Through a calculated and brilliant campaign of not being one of the Democratic candidates.

Here's where we stand:
Watch out, Democrats: Karl Rove's people were in town Friday to plot campaign strategy for New York.

Tellingly, though, the mayor's race came up only briefly in their talks with New York Republican leaders. Seems the threat posed by Freddy, Virginia, Anthony or Giff isn't keeping Mr. Rove up at night.

There's been absolutely nothing important this week. The Post may end up endorsing Gifford Miller so that they can keep putting "GIFF" in their headlines. I don't know.

Me, I'm thinking of endorsing this guy:
The man who was in charge of emptying parking meters in the town of Mount Kisco has been accused of stealing more than $30,000 in quarters.

He's demonstrated that he can get money for the city even if Albany and Washington don't cooperate. He's above politics, he's an outsider, he doesn't owe any favors to any "special interests."

Look, the news was so boring this week, I'll just make up what each of the candidates did.

After receiving controversial endorsements from Bobby Seale and Wayne Kramer, Freddy furiously backpedaled and attempted to appeal to middle-class whites by putting on an NYPD uniform and shooting an immigrant, then claiming that the New York Post's dissin' of Flavor Flav, while unfortunate, was not technically a "crime." Both moves were declared colossal missteps, and Ferrer fell in the polls to trail Bloomberg by a bajillion points.

Fields spent the week following Ferrer around the city and standing right behind him. At campaign stops, she pointed at him and make a "can you believe this guy?" face to the assembled crowds. At one talk before union representatives in the Bronx, when Ferrer proposed a multi-million dollar investment in community revitalization and jobs programs, Fields put her index finger to her ear, turned it in a circular motion, and repeatedly said "coo-koo." While her poll numbers have remained fairly stagnant, she would win a decisive victory if the race were held tomorrow, against Ed Koch.

Weiner, the campaign Idea Man, introduced a proposal to tax thingy. It was roundly ignored by the other candidates, and Weiner stomped petulantly back to his room, where he cried and cried, then cried some more. The next day, he ordered New Yorkers to buy up and burn all copies of the new Springsteen album (what is that, the third Springsteen joke I've made this week? Oy, it's been a long semester).


In Which I Use David Brooksian Selective Quotation To Make a Misleading Point 

May 8 New York Times:
Brooklyn Man, 29, Dies After Shooting and Car Crash

A 29-year-old Brooklyn man who was shot and crashed his car while driving died early yesterday, the police said.

They said it was unclear whether the man, identified as Abdul Carlisle, of Bushwick, had been shot before or after his late-model Lexus crashed around 2 a.m. into a parked car and a lamppost at Wyckoff and DeKalb Avenues in Bushwick.

May 8 Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The Devil's Chair was an ancient rock formation that stood for thousands of years on the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River, about 50 miles northeast of the Twin Cities. In April, a rock climber reported the landmark's destruction. Millions of boaters and canoeists must have seen the chair over the years. A pinnacle of rock that looked like a high-backed chair, it was considered the primary scenic, geological and cultural attraction in the Taylors Falls area. Anyone with information about possible vandalism can contact the Interstate State Park manager at 651-465-5711.

Goin' home this week.

Subjective State of Mind 

New York and I have agreed that it would be best if we spent some time apart. I'm leaving on Tuesday for the Heartland of America, where I summer. Expect posting to continue through the weekend, then drop off for a week or so, then pick back up again, then become frantic and compulsive, then stop completely for a year, then become a monthly digest of Associated Press articles rewritten entirely in the subjunctive mood.

New York Mayoral Race Recap may or may not be forthcoming. Like you care anyway.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Inherit the Wingnuts 

(bet no one's used that hilarious post title pun yet)

After the Great Google Panic of '05, it's time to check in with the Krazy Kansas Kreationism Kourt Konundrum. Pharyngula has a handy roundup of the web coverage, and he links to Pat Hayes, who's in the trenches. Hayes, bless his soul, thinks the real scientists have a fair shot and the advantage of, you know, real science. We at Buck Hill know, of course, that in this age of moral relativism and rampant secularism, there is no objective truth, and the Kansas School Board will reflect this in their eventual decision, which will surely acknowledge the impossibility of objectivity and mandate study of Foucault. The Kansas School Board knows that truth is decided by political power, not your silly "empiricism."

As a Pharyngula commenter pithily notes,
With curricula like these being developed, the next generation of Americans should be well equipped to handle the challenges of the eighteenth century.

I'm Feeling Phthisicky 

I made the mistake of leaving my room and actually going outside, and now Google is down.

Google is down! The whole damn internet is broken!

This may be punishment for the vehement abuse directed at Blogger outages, the warnings that Google is growing too powerful, the complaints of bias in their News aggregator -- I was going to link to examples of each of these complaints, but I can't find any because GOOGLE IS DOWN.

This ought to teach us all a lesson. What would a World Without Google be like?

Please, Google! Come back! We didn't mean it! I need to find a funny picture of Jimmy Stewart to illustrate my post!

Oh... wait a second... Google's back.

For now...

Observational Comedian General 

Eliot Spitzer, Middle Class Crusader!

Enter Spitzer, a candidate for governor in 2006, is best known for his high-profile crusades against conflicts of interest in business but hasn't ignored cyberspace. Last year, his office settled a spam lawsuit against OptInRealBig.com of Colorado as his year-old investigation of a "spam ring"" continues.

In pursuing spyware, last week's civil lawsuit against Intermix Media Inc. of Los Angeles is likely just the opening salvo.

Spitzer accused the company of secretly installing software that delivers nuisance pop-up advertisements and can slow and crash personal computers. Spitzer said such programs are fraudulent and threaten to discourage e-commerce.

"Mr. Spitzer has put a match to this and it will be interesting to see just how many volleys take place," said David Moll of Webroot Software Inc., an anti-spyware vendor.

Spitzer has got to be the canniest Democrat in New York, and if he weren't an unelectable Northern Secular Humanist-Belt pol he'd be Presidential material. His method should be studied by all aspiring young Dems. It's fairly simple: Find something bad. Launch a public campaign against it. Paint it in class warfare-lite terminology.

The AP describes it thusly:
A consumer concern is followed by a single lawsuit in an enforcement no man's land.
Negotiation for settlements follow, along with reforms to create new industry standards.

You know what people don't like? Spyware. On behalf of the little and medium-sized guys, I will take spyware down!

Spitzer's next high-profile fights will be against similar menaces to the public good. I have it on good authority that he'll go after the following targets soon:

He will not rest until these injustices are investigated and high-profile hands are slapped.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Puppet-Inspired Post 

Hope you enjoyed your childhood, everyone, 'cause it's comin' back gutted and bastardized:
"Disney has deemed irreverence as one of the five core equities of the Muppets (humorous, heartwarming, puppet-inspired and topical being the other four)."

(via Sploid, whose five core equities are exclamation points, sensationalism, sleep deprivation, alcohol-inspired, and space)

LexisNexis and the Olive Tree 

Thomas Friedman, master of research!

First, many educated people seem to be getting their news from Comedy Central. Say what? As any author will tell you, the best TV book shows to be on have long been Don Imus, Charlie Rose, C-Span, Tim Russert on CNBC, "Today," Oprah and selected programs on CNN, Fox and MSNBC. They are all still huge. But what was new for me on this tour was the number of people who also mentioned getting their news from Jon Stewart's truly funny news satire, "The Daily Show." And I am not just talking about college kids. I am talking about grandmas. Just how many people are now getting their only TV news from Comedy Central is not clear to me - but it is a lot, lot more than you think.

Interestingly, the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the National Annenberg Election Survey released some actual polling data about this amazing new development.
Pew (PDF) found that 5% of Americans "regularly" get news from the Daily Show, and 10% do it "sometimes."
Annenberg (PDF again) found that "Viewers of late-night comedy programs, especially The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, are more likely to know the issue positions and backgrounds of presidential candidates than people who do not watch late-night comedy."

How did I know this? Because both of these reports were in the news all the goddam time 8 months or so ago, and because I know how to "google" things. Oh, and because the world is flat now.

Why is this important? Well, it isn't really. I just can't stand Friedman's mind-boggling laziness. Or his smarmy mustache. Actually, I vaguely agree with what seems to be his main point, which is completely unrelated to everything that comes before and after it and just sort of floats there, like he forgot to illustrate it with a story about interviewing a symbolic representation of globalization or a metaphor involving corporate logos. Next week, he ought to just put the "argument" part in the headline to get it out of the way so he can spin his folksy anecdotes and quote his celebrity executives. This week's column might look like:

There Should Be More Money for Science Education In Schools

I was on The Daily Show. It was fun, and John Stewart is really funny. Here are some important things about the Daily Show:
It seems like a lot of people watch it. Is this true? I don't know. But old people tell me they do, and I'm inclined to believe it. In the old days, people watched Charlie Rose and Dick Cavett. That's how I learned what books to buy. Now I just write books. You would be surprised how many people don't watch Dick Cavett anymore.

Little kids sometimes ask me what classes they should take. I say, "Stay in school!" You know, I don't even really remember any classes I ever took, but I remember my english teacher had us watch "Reading Rainbow." I don't really know, but I bet a surprising number of people watch "Reading Rainbow" these days.

I was eating lunch with the President of Google, Pete Google. "The world is flat, Tom," he said to me. "In the old days, light acted as a particle and a wave -- now it is a surfboard and an Aston Martin." Oh my god, I thought. I phoned my wife immediately. "I think I'm in New Delhi!" I said. "There are Gap stores and iPods everywhere and and a Sri Lancan telemarketer just bought me a Tender Crisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch sandwich!"

I have heard the A-list linking, each to each 

I grow old... I grow old...
I shall update my blogroll.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Tom Stoppard apparently punched up the new Star Wars movie.

This is like hearing that Tom Waits wrote all the songs on the new Toby Keith album. You don't want to see it but now you have to.

Damn you, Lucas!

We Ain't Got Time For That Now 

Read this.

Unrelated note, there are fucking IEDs in New York. I'm not leaving my room today.

Also, vote LibDem. Eno says so.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wednesday Night Libel 

Still more fallout from the first lady's standup act:
A rape victim has been asked by [the White House] to consider marrying [its] attacker to give him a lighter sentence.

The rapist, named [George], appeared to suggest his offer of marriage to the 22-year-old victim would be helpful to [it].

He told the court in the capital [Washington D.C.] he was willing to wed [it] as "no one would be ready to due to the stigma".

The judge hearing the case ordered the victim, a [horse], and [its] parents to appear in court to answer to the request.

He said that the attacker's sentence would depend on their answer, and duly sentenced him to life after [its] response.

The victim said: "I will not marry him. It is horrible, audacious. He should be given the severest punishment.

"He should be hanged so that such an horrendous is not repeated with any other [horse]."

[George] raped the [horse] in September 2003 in a private [stable] at a [ranch] in [Texas].

Daily Cantankerous Music Rant 

It's probably a good thing I'm not in a band anymore because I would just spend all my time ripping off Craig Finn:

"We heard the deacon's hopeful eulogy/At least in dying you don't have to deal with new wave for a second time."

Where O where are the bands made up of people under-30 that actually rock? Who don't look and sound like attendees of a Time Traveler Convention? I'm asking seriously, here -- I don't get out much, after all. But I do download like a madman and everyone's either whining about dead grandparents or pretending to be a crackly-voiced Dust Bowl-era Library of Congress recording or trading their guitars for laptops or, as Father Finn notes, serving up re-heated New Wave (with a side of post-punk, skinless and de-boned).

Now, I like a good Jesus-walking-the-boys-and-girls-down-a-Carolina-path-while-the-dilemma-of-existence-crashes-
song as much as the next guy, in moderation. But when the best rock song by a new-to-me band that I've blindly downloaded in the last week is played entirely on cellos, we youth of America have a few things to explain. If you ask me.

Maybe I should just start a damn band. If you know how to program an 808 or are an itinerant sharecropper, please contact me. I've got some really angular guitar parts worked up and I've bought us all matching sport coats.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Fatalism Watch 

While I've had scientists across the world investigating the causes of my shitty childhood, the Village Voice has been way ahead of the curve lately in predicting my shitty adulthood:
On New York City's Upper East Side and in its affluent suburbs, parents facing ever sharper competition for the "right" schools are hiring more supplemental tutors each year, in pursuit of higher grades and the perfect score. Yet a palpable irony lurks behind the practice tests and the No. 2 pencils. A seemingly endless supply of Ivy League graduates, like Rebecca, a 24-year-old alumna of Brown, can't find any better job than the freelance, part-time, no-benefits gig of tutoring the next crop of hopefuls to take their place.

Oy. Not just any old irony awaits me, but a palpable one. It's enough to make a guy reconsider getting a BFA in playwriting. While it may seem best, in times like these, to take what barely-palpable assets one has and sink them into rare coins, don't bother. Fat lotta good they'll do you when we all live under the sea.

My advice: Study this. Air tanks are the new fallout shelters. Soon I'll be making a fortune tutoring Upper East Side high schoolers in the proper use of buoyancy compensators.

Once I've saved enough for my submarine, mom and dad will be really sorry they left me to wander unattened at so many supermarkets. Best genetic legacy my ass.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com