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24 October 2000

It is advisory to be two people during assembly.
-- found in the instructions for assembling an IKEA coffee table

Salon interviews/profiles master comic-book writer Alan Moore. Top Ten is my favorite of his current work, though it took some effort to read it at first (lots of characters to keep track of, art that's almost too detailed to parse).

  • We need another hero [Salon]
    He would rather not write about superheroes, but he feels that he must do what he can to save the mainstream marketplace and, in so doing, embolden the only subject anyone in the mainstream has any interest in reading about.

    Tom Strong acts not out of a desire to feed his ego or a pathological need to hurt but out of what Plato, in his "Republic," deemed "justice": each person in a society performing the role to which he is most suited.

    It was after moving up to an office job at the local gas company that [Moore] hit his crossroads: He decided that if he didn't act soon on his more creative impulses, he'd have to face himself in the mirror when he was 40, and decide whether to slit his wrists.

I got my Missouri absentee ballot last week. I need to fill it out & send it back ASAP. I see some nose-holding in my immediate future.

Michael Kinsley has been particularly good lately. Yesterday he had some excellent questions about Gov. Bush's positions that I wish some reporter could pin Bush down on:

  • The Emperor's New Brain - George W. and the stupidity issue [Slate]
    His policy recommendations are often internally inconsistent and mutually contradictory. Because it's harder to explain and impossible to prove cold, intellectual dishonesty doesn't get the attention that petty fibbing does, even though intellectual dishonesty indicts both a candidate's character and his policy positions.

    When he repeatedly attacks his opponent for "partisanship," does he get the joke? When he blames the absence of a federal patients' rights law on "a lot of bickering in Washington, D.C.," has he noticed that the bickering consists of his own party, which controls Congress, blocking the legislation? When he summarizes, "It's kind of like a political issue as opposed to a people issue," does he mean to suggest anything in particular?

    When he criticizes the Clinton administration for misusing American soldiers as social workers and promises to get other countries to use their soldiers that way instead, does he notice the logical flaw here?

    When he promises "to have prescription drugs as an integral part of Medicare," does he comprehend that the exact distinction between his plan and his opponent's is that his is not an integral part of Medicare?

I don't know as much about fonts and type as I should. Luckily there's a weblog for me to learn more from: Lines & Splines (seen on Metafilter)

I'm still a big fan of the show, but the 'Dr. Laura' segment of last week's "West Wing" bugged me because I didn't think "she" would just sit and passively accept the President's rebuke without responding. This letter-writer sums up the problem quite well, I think:

  • Letters re: "The West Wing's" POTUS with the mostest [Salon]
    What Josiah Bartlet has that Al Gore and George W. Bush don't are political enemies who follow a script handed to them by liberals. Everybody President Bartlet puts in his place, stays in his place. They recognize immediately that Bartlet is smarter than they are, wiser, more honest and in closer communion with the ghosts of Lincoln and Jefferson. They also know to behave like stereotypes and how to encourage liberal sanctimony among the show's audience by acting just as meanly and stupidly as we know "they" really are.

    "The West Wing's" premise is that if liberals would just be forthright and brave in their convictions, voters will slap their foreheads as one and say, "By gum, you're right!" and fall into line.

While I am generally impressed with the show's dialogue and acting and while my positions probably line up with Bartlet's more often than not, I do take this guy's point; it's pretty skewed at times.

Paul McCartney finds love again after Linda's death [AP, at Salon]

Now is not a good time to photocopy your butt and staple it to your boss's face
-- "Your Horoscope For Today", Weird Al Yankovic, Running With Scissors

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