Friday, January 18, 2008

They all hate us anyhow

Anyone interested in seeing a discussion of the current Democratic primaries without all the tired horse race and boxing match metaphors used by television pundits should have a look at this post by former mock television pundit A. Whitney Brown (formerly of Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show for those of you not old enough to remember that far back) wondering how to make sure his vote counts. Definitely don't skip the comments thread: Brown's post itself is really more of a request for further discussion of the questions he raises...and what ensues is one of the most thoughtful and even-tempered online discussions I've ever seen, particularly among a bunch of political junkies. Plenty of good observations and sound reasoning on display from supporters of all the Democratic candidates, not to mention those who are supporters of none in particular and are still looking for the right choice to make. Given how heated this primary season has become between supporters of Clinton and Obama in particular, it's heartening to see a bunch of people sharing their views in a genuine attempt to reason out the best course.

But, you might say, you prefer your political discourse in musical form? Then enjoy this performance by Randy Newman at the end of this year's Macworld Expo keynote address, as introduced by Steve Jobs. There's a slight glitch in the video at the halfway point but nothing is missing.

Even I as a shameless Mac partisan have my gripes about Apple and Steve Jobs from time to time, but what other corporate CEO would have the balls to close his appearance at the company's biggest annual PR event with such pointed satirical commentary? People who only know Randy Newman from his film scores or that song from Toy Story may be surprised...but anyone familiar with Newman's work before that will know better.

Monday, January 14, 2008


This relentless warfare of Clinton versus Obama has claimed two more bystanders: now John Hodgman and I are at one another's throats. By which I mean, we had a civil exchange of slightly differing views.

It is surely time, as Lincoln said in his second Inaugural address, to bind up the nation's wounds and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Or perhaps I exaggerate.

I can only hope Mr. Hodgman knows I love him more than ten Justin Longs.

Update: A small correction to the above has been posted. An object lesson (if one were needed) that we should never blindly accept a second- or third-hand account of events, even when coming from a generally well-informed source such as John Hodgman, without attempting further verification.

That is all.