Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

current events

jul
27
2004

blogging through

For the Democratic National Convention this week in Boston, DC political magazine National Journal is offering both a daily convention newspaper and a convention weblog updated throughout the event. (A friend of mine is posting as “The Editors.”) The blog …

jul
16
2004

martha goes to jail

Domestic diva Martha Stewart was sentenced this morning to five months in prison and five months of home confinement and fined $30,000 for lying to federal investigators about a stock trade. (“Martha Stewart Sentenced to 5 Months in Prison” - …

jun
17
2004

delegation

I’ve been fascinated — and more than a little concerned — by the most recent reports issued by the 9/11 Commission. But aside from the drama and terror of that day, not to mention all the accounts of miscommunication and …

jun
11
2004

prying eyes

Instead of going into town today, I watched Ronald Reagan’s funeral from work via a webfeed from C-SPAN. At the time I tuned in, the tourists and well-wishers had been cleared from the Rotunda. While solidiers in dress uniform assembled …

jun
10
2004

old, sweet song

AP reports that music legend Ray Charles died today, at the age of 73. It’s a sad day. (“Musician Ray Charles Dies at 73” - 06/10/04) In public appearances, Charles always seemed like an upbeat, good-spirited guy, and I loved …

reaganite

Almost a week later, I’m still rather ambivalent about the death of former President Ronald Reagan. I understand to some degree, on an intellectual level, the significance of his passing and what his presidency and “public face” has represented to …

jun
03
2004

directed out of the picture

This morning brought the breaking news that CIA Director George Tenet has submitted his resignation and will be leaving for “personal reasons” at end of July. (AP: “CIA Director Tenet Resigns” - 06/03/04) (I learned about the resignation from my …

apr
23
2004

war and loss

Pat Tillman, Army Ranger and former Arizona Cardinals safety, died recently in Afghanistan. Tillman, also an Arizona State alum, left the Cardinals in 2002 to join the Army with his younger brother. The Arizona Republic: “Pat Tillman killed in Afghanistan” …

mar
08
2004

an ending

The sad story of Spalding Gray came to a close this weekend. The body of the actor/playwright was discovered in New York City’s East River over the weekend. He was last seen Jan. 10, and was feared to have committed …

mar
01
2004

bill wuz robbed

I didn’t get to watch the Oscars last night because I was on my way back from New York (but I TiVo’ed it!). However, walking from the bus drop-off spot at McPherson Square to my car at GW’s University Garage …

feb
02
2004

society of the spectacle

For anyone who was living under a rock and missed all the hype and hoo-ra-ra, yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday. Everybody else has been talking about it. I might as well throw my two cents in, a day or so …

jan
24
2004

in passing

Yesterday marked another sad passing of a trademark children’s television icon. Bob Keeshan, perhaps better known as “Captain Kangaroo,” died yesterday at the age of 76 after a long illness. The television program ran for 30 years, from 1955 to …

jan
22
2004

navel-gazing

After Howard Dean’s third-place showing in the Iowa caucus, pundits are reconsidering their zeal for the candidate and his unconventional means of drumming up support. Salon’s Farhad Manjoo equates it with the dot-com bust: Dean was propelled upward by insanely …

jan
16
2004

focus group

This was forwarded to the CCT listserv this morning. Could be fun… WANT TO BE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION? Dear interested focus group members: We are now doing a special STATE OF THE UNION SHOW on Tuesday, January 20th that 8:30pm …

dec
26
2003

politics and the internet

Several news outlets have interesting stories about the ever-increasing role of the Internet in the political campaign process. Wired: “How the Internet Invented Howard Dean” (Jan. 2004) The biggest news of the political season has been the tale of this …

dec
19
2003

long, hard slog

A Washington Post op-ed piece today mentions that, instead of offering separate medals for service in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pengaton is instead offering a single medal to soldiers who have served in one or both wars. (“Military Medals and …

dec
12
2003

quote of the day: international law

International law? I better call my lawyer. I don’t know what you’re talking about, about international law.” - President George W. Bush, when told that Germany’s chancellor suggested that barring non-coalition countries from Iraq reconstruction contracts violates international law. (Slate’s …

nov
07
2003

like layers of an onion

It seems like the Jessica Lynch story gets reworked with each telling. Now even Lynch is criticizing the sensationalized early military version of her capture and rescue. (Associated Press: “Lynch: Military manipulated story” - 11/07/03) The 20-year-old private told ABCs …

oct
20
2003

my humvee for a whopper

The first Burger King in Iraq has opened at the Baghdad airport, and U.S. servicemembers from hundreds of miles around are apparently coming in droves for some “good ‘ol American” fast food, the Washington Post reports. (“U.S. Troops Order Comfort, …

sep
14
2003

double down

The end of this week brought a couple of notable entertainment deaths, those of actor John Ritter (on Thursday) and Johnny Cash (on Friday). (If you believe in the “rule of threes” when it comes to high-profile deaths, the trifecta …

aug
13
2003

wp strategy in iraq

This week’s New York Observer has an interesting piece about the strategy the Washington Post is using to cover the war in Iraq, specifically the hunt for “weapons of mass destruction” and reconstruction. (“Washington Post Wins New Yorkers With Bradlee …