Conjuring up Political, Cinematic, Cultural, and Athletic Arcana since the Final Days of the Last Century

8/4/00 - I have to admit, Dubya far exceeded my expectations last night. It's hard to deny that that wasn't a great speech, even if Bush looked like he was about to spontaneously combust from the sheer effort of not breaking out into "the smirk" half the time. As Jacob Weisberg put it, "the most devastating contrast drawn may have been the one between the snarky, nasty Gore and Bush, a man so likable even Democrats can't help but love him." He definitely did come across as the conservative Clinton, and if it weren't for Lott, DeLay, Armey etc. smirking and guffawing in the wings I might have taken him at his word.

I still haven't quite been able to decide which of these two richboy chumps I most want to see lose. If Gore loses, though, I want it to be because Nader pulled down 10-15% of disaffected Progressives in various swing states (the Bradley factor.) At the rate it's going now, however, Gore's going to lose because his campaign is fighting this year's battle with last year's tactics. Did y'all see the response the Gore team put out to last night's speech? Hattaway said the speech was a "tired old Republican formula of personal attacks, vague phrases and rehashed platitudes." Don't these morons realize that that kind of bitter, "risky-scheme" remark plays right into the GOP's hands? You won't be able to demonize Dubya like he was Newt. It should have been something like, "I heard the Governor's speech, I welcome his commitment to education and the poor, and I very much looking forward to a lively yet civil fall campaign." Get out of the rut, people.

The Naderi show up in the strangest places: turns out Michael Reagan is voting for Ralph.

Some interesting Episode II pics were up, including young Vader smoking a siggy - now they're down...I'll look for a decent mirror site. Update - Dark Horizons has them.

An intereresting Salon piece on religion and hallucinogens.

GitM wishes a very happy century mark to the Queen Mum.

Ben Affleck looks set to sign on as Jack Ryan for The Sum of All Fears. I like Affleck, but he's entirely too young.

Astronomers find a new, relatively close planet orbiting nearby Epsilon Eridani, only 10 light years away. Prepare the colony ship.

8/3/00 - Spent the morning picking the brain of Dave Farber, the FCC's chief technologist. Only afterwards - upon doing further research - did I discover how integral he's been to the evolution of communications technology over the past forty-five years. To say the guy's led an interesting life would be a gross understatement.

CNN analyzes the constitutionality of a Vice-President Clinton.

Ralph Nader enters the lion's den, a.k.a. the Florida delegation.

Evolution 1, Nineteenth-Century 0.

Apes casting fills out, with Pee Wee out, Michael Clarke Duncan in, and Johnny Depp as Cornelius?

As Pierre Salinger can attest, don't believe everything you read on the Internet: Gervase is kicked off the island.

Gore gets down to his veep short list, which allegedly includes John Kerry of MA, John Edwards of NC, and Gov. Jeanne Shaheen of NH.

The Post explores the Japanese sense of humor.

A paean to Steven Hill, a.k.a. DA Adam Schiff of Law and Order.

8/2/00 - The ex-boss gets some love in Illadelph at the RNC convention. And so does Mayor Williams.

The new employee perk: free coffee.

Harvard sues NotHarvard. Get them both in the same room together and you can impress ornery robot doors on the Heart of Gold.

Back-door Knicks haggling continues, in an attempt to trade Camby/Childs for Grant via Cleveland. In other NBA signing news, the one and only Johnny Starks is slated to become the Jazz's new Hornacek.

Surprise, surprise. 2/3rds of the GOP's $137 million in campaign money came from a small group of wealthy elites. Who said Rockefeller Republicanism was dead?

8/1/00 - Dubya's speechwriter gets some press. FYI, buddy, you're meant to be a Ghost in the Machine.

Some choice entertainment nuggets in the multimedia bin today: the new Dune teaser and the trailer for Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe's new semi-autobiopic.

Colin Powell says he'd consider an Cabinet post under Al Gore. Bet that makes the Bush folks real happy.

Tragedy strikes the X-Files.

D'oh! Pulsars may be much older than we previously thought, forcing scientists to revisit many long-held assumptions in astrophysics.

This spoiler-laden script review of Spiderman assuages my doubts about the organic webshooters.

7/31/00 - Uh-oh...the Heat sign Eddie and Mase. Knicks gotta step up...somehow.

Scott redesigns...I very much like the tan-and-green color scheme. Nice job.

The NY Post delves into the possible Ewing-Portland trade, but ESPN/CNNSI seem to think Grant will instead be traded for Cleveland's Shawn Kemp.

Clumsy 'obbits!

The Republican Convention has begun. But who will they throw off the island, the Tom Ridges or the Pat Robertsons? If they're smart, they'll try to avoid any of the 1992 culture warfare stuff.

Be careful out there, cha-cha. Dennis Miller makes his debut on MNF this evening.

Hard times for Pokemon. Sounds like they're going the way of Garbage Pail Kids.

Give 'em credit. It seems that some Republicans - not Democrats - are the ones who are starting to ask the tough questions about the War on Drugs.

An interesting tidbit from today's Chicago Tribune sports section: The Bulls are still after Portland center Jermaine O'Neal but are being put off by the Blazers because Portland is considering dealing O'Neal and forward Brian Grant to the Knicks for Patrick Ewing, a source said. Jermaine O'Neal AND Brian Grant for Patrick? I mean, obviously there's a part of me that would like to see Ewing end his career as a Knick. But, talk about a great trade. Knicks get two relatively young, talented big men and Patrick gets what would probably be his last, best chance of getting a ring in the next two years, barring being Shaq's back-up. I'm conflicted, but I think I might just pull the trigger on this one. The big fella's still going to have No. 33 in the MSG rafters either way.

7/30/00 - Watch out, bud - he's got radioactive blood. Tobey Maguire has been cast as Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man. Kind of an offbeat choice, but I like it. I'm definitely one of those against the organic web-shooters, though.

Scientists now believe that obesity may be caused by a virus, and that virus is bacon.

Nader tries to combat the lesser of two evils rationale most Democrats are using to justify their tepid support for Al Gore.

The Gettysburg Address, Powerpoint style (via Medley.) In other historical news, the Washington Monument will reopen tomorrow after a three-year renovation.

Gerald Ford and Bob Dole sing the praises of Cheney.

Only 24 hours until the NBA deals start going down, and I for one can't wait. The Times thinks Riley has a lock on Eddie Jones, which means the Knicks will have to do something to upgrade as well. I guess I'd be willing to trade Allan Houston straight up for Brian Grant, if they won't take Camby/Childs.

Caught Dylan Saturday night, and I thought it was an amazing show. I must say, Bob was a lot more spry than I had earlier assumed. I had expected to see him on a stool with a guitar and harmonica, motionless and raspy. But there he was, cutting up the rug, jamming on the solos, and sounding much better than he has in years. The set list was as follows:

1. Duncan And Brady (acoustic)
2. To Ramona (acoustic) (Larry on mandolin)
3. Desolation Row (acoustic)
4. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (acoustic) (Larry on pedal steel)
5. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
6.Searching For A Soldier's Grave (acoustic) (Larry on mandolin) (song by Johnnie Wright, Jim Anglin and Jack Anglin)
7. Watching The River Flow (Larry on lap steel)
8. Every Grain Of Sand
9. Maggie's Farm
10. Dignity
11. Cold Irons Bound
12. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat

13. Things Have Changed
14. Like A Rolling Stone
15. It Ain't Me, Babe (acoustic)
16. Highway 61 Revisited
17. Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

While it was momentous to hear some of the classics, I actually thought Dylan's new stuff - Cold Irons Bound and Things Have Changed - may have rocked harder than anything else in the set. From my perspective on the lawn, it seemed like most people there were more waiting to see Phil Lesh (formerly of the Grateful Dead) afterwards. I thought Lesh was alright, but as I've never been much of a Dead fan I thought he was something of a letdown after seeing Dylan. I did catch "Cumberland Blues" somewhere in the middle there, though.

7/28/00 - Thesis: The Patriot is unpatriotic. Discuss.

Megadeal! Too bad it died, although I can definitely see how Charlotte was getting the shaft in this instance.

Another new Episode II pic from the official site: a lonely Twilek. In other Star Wars news, apparently the forthcoming Special Special Edition Episode 1 DVD will be crammed with "hundreds of new effects." Also there seems to be a controversy brewing over the rumored Episode II Christopher Walken casting. Most film sites say he's in, but this Cranky Critic has a Walken .wav file that says he's not. Smits redux?

Madonna talks up her new album.

Colin Powell, the "Mario Cuomo of the GOP."

The Great Gonzo has a slight gun mishap at the ranch. As your attorney I advise you to rent a convertible...

Waterworld finally pays off. Kevin Costner lands a big fish.

U2 cooks up a live album for the fan club...hopefully Napster will hold off the hounds long enough for it to be mass distributed.

Charlie's Angels trailer. At least they have the self-awareness not to try and make it a summer blockbuster. I might rent it.

7/27/00 - Modern Humorist lets loose a few key spoilers, like who wins Survivor and how you're going to die.

Spinal Tap returns.

Big day around here today, as the AOL-Time Warner deal gets its day in court. Rumor has it that Nader himself may be outside protesting.

Goodbye, Napster (for now), and thanks for all the live stuff. In the meantime, Hello, Gnutella.

The common consensus in lavatorial history is overturned by the Chinese discovery of the ancient stone latrine.

I'll be crossing an item off my unwritten "Things to do before I die" list when I see Dylan live this Saturday at Merriweather Post Pavillion.

Don't count him out yet. The big fella wants to play three more years.

After four years in the loser's dugout, the Democrats win the Congressional baseball game 13-8 thanks to an 8-run rally in the ninth.

7/26/00 - Bush-Cheney.Net...The Dems get there first.

Slate guru Mike Kinsley berates the press in humorous fashion for their vice-presidential hyperbole.

Al Gore gets a hankering for Harkin.

The Zvezda successfully docks, and now we have a moon. Wait, that's no moon...that's a space station. Here's how to see it.

7/25/00 - Hey, y'all. Spent the weekend with the family in Norfolk, and started work on Monday at the FCC. I didn't get a chance to update as (a) I don't want to be excessively web-surfing in my first week of work and (b) I've been boning up on African telecom issues for my first assignment. Hopefully updates will be more frequent from now herein.

The Escrow tax kicks in for the NBA. Sounds like more labor trouble in basketball sometime relatively soon. Meanwhile, Mickeal turns it up.

Dick Cheney? Ho-hum...a boring, useless choice. Tom Ridge, Fred Thompson, Colin Powell, John McCain...all of them had a chance to shake this race up. With two drunk driving episodes, three heart attacks, and a lesbian daughter, Cheney'll no doubt be chewed up by Left and Right alike. Strange choice, that, and it was buried by the rest of the news to boot.

Bad news for Wort fans. Turns out the popular herbal mood-lifter may be playing havoc with prescription medicines.

Dungeons and Dragons trailer online.

Score one for the Dems. Popular former governor of Georgia Zell Miller has been chosen to fill Paul Coverdell's seat for the remainder of his term by the current Governor. It's a solid pickup - I couldn't imagine anybody in Georgia beating Zell Miller out of that seat come election time.

Nader keeps on rolling.

7/21/00 - Hmmmm...Is that really John Malkovich making fashion videos, or did Todd Oldham discover the 7 1/2 floor of the Merton-Flemmer building?

Entertainment Weekly speculates on some upcoming releases that will satisfy the White House ONDCP's propaganda quota.

Isaiah joins the Pacers. He must have really wanted to coach to give up the CBA like that after only a year.

One ladle to rule them all, one ladle to find them...

As if breaking the speed of light wasn't enough for one week, scientists have also finally located a neutrino. I almost spent a summer back in 1992 working on a neutrino-locating project at the University of South Carolina. Now I'm sure glad I didn't.

Cartoon Overanalysis (courtesy of the ultra-spiffy and newly designed Pith and Vinegar - But, Pith, how can you sing the praises of Richard?!?)

In Spiderman news, Freddie Prinze Jr. pulls a Sean Young and shows up at Sam Raimi's house dressed as the webbed wonder. Said Raimi, "if I have my way, [Prinze] won't even be allowed to see the movie." You go, Sam.

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