Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Here's an e-mail I received some years ago (everything, of course, sic):

Dear Sir/Ma,

l [name],l hereby seek for an apartment/room in your reputable house. l am 30 years old of age,married,kind,honest,God fearing,caring and respectful,l don't smoke,non alcholic. l work as an auditor in a multi-national company in the ([blankety-blank] TOBACCO P.L.C.).I travel around working on assignments and supervising projects for my company and n! ow there is an official assigment given to me to monitor a project in Denver,of which will enable me look for accomodation on whic! h l would be staying for a period of six months for the completion of this assignment. l will like to rent your apartment/room for the six months assignment at hand.Please,get back to me as soon as possible with the final asking price including all utilities of the apartment.Regards!

Update: I,Drinkoblo!g ,I am ,unfor!tunately, alcholic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Review: White Man's Burden (1995)

Saw this movie over Thanksgiving. It's going to be very tiring telling you how stupid it is, so let's go right into energy saving mode by quoting from the DVD case: "Set in a time where [they mean "when," don't you think?] color roles have been reversed, where prejudice keeps the white man in his place, this is a different America. [The movie stars] John Travolta as . . . a poor man of the ghetto, struggling to support his wife . . ."

After he's unjustly fired, factory-worker Travolta kidnaps the factory's owner (Harry Belafonte), and they run around and talk and Travolta gets beaten up by "The Man" and Belafonte learns how the downtrodden and oppressed live and all that. The only suspense is in wondering how dented your head will be by the sledgehammering of liberal cliches its taken before the movie ends in a bloodbath of racial understanding.

No, the only remarkable thing about White Man's Burden is that, to educate us about our intractable racism, the movie employs that well-known advocate of multiracial harmony, Harry Belafonte. This bit of casting is so tone-deaf, so unnecessarily nasty, that it implies a worldview deficient of certain essential ingredients--mainly, of course, sanity.

Almost unbelievably, White Man's Burden was directed by Alan Parker, who had previously directed The Commitments, one of the sweetest and funniest movies you'll ever see. I have no idea what happened to the man (my guess is the knee-breakers were after him) but White Man's Burden is so bad it will take a road rage incident and mandatory therapy to drive it from your mind. At least, that's what happened with me.

Update: Notice that I haven't supplied a link to the DVD? Respect, man.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Nothing but excuses

Been a little flabby in the posting process around here. Work shoddily done, somewhat inconvenient guests, and the tenants' annual pre-Christmas anti-Kulak demonstration have conspired to transform this formerly carefree dipsomaniac into a cruel and expansive hegemon with no time to stop and smell the flowers. Or blog.

(Credit: Dominique comique from the Villepin blog.)

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Here's a question: Do you say "me neither" or "me either?" Being a man of the people I've always said "me neither," but if you think about it, the grammatically correct thing to say is actually "I, either," meaning, "I don't know the answer to that question either."

Ex: I ask the Drunkawife if she knows what, exactly, is entailed in a competently executed "lap dance." She replies, "I keel you! My father vanted keel you! My broathers vanted keel you! I say, 'no keel heem, he good man! He bring me to America! He bring home secority-job paycheck like clockverk! He bring you, papa, and you, dear broathers, to America too! And mama vith her cough!' But I vas wrong! You are not man at all! You are leetle worm! A leetle worm who asks feelthy qvestions of his vife!"

To which of course my reply would properly be, "I, either." As Mencken once said about the infinite beauty and variety of "the American language"--"I think I'm having a stroke."

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving traditions

Like most Americans the Drunkablog ate so much yesterday he suffered multiple myocardial infarctions and had to endure "Grandma's special kiss" (aka CPR). Unlike past years, however, once he was breathing again he was able to keep right on eating, because Uncle Barney (l.) had remembered to bring his new home defibrillator.

Point of Hors d'oeuvre

Every family has its Thanksgiving-meal traditions, and year after year the beautiful family the Drunkablog heads enjoys its own. For instance,

Mom makes her special-recipe stuffing;

Dad (whom the D-blog, in a relatively bloodless coup, deposed last year as head of family) still takes the ceremonial first drink from the gravy boat;

Grandma, everyone is forced to agree, looks "much younger" than her years;

And Grandpa wryly observes the festivities.

Sorry, most families have traditions as "interesting" as these, so I should probably just quit bragging.

(Credit: the "Thanksgiving tradition" link is actually to "The Vengeance of Hop-Frog" (1898) by John Ensor, which I found at Hachmeister (gesundheit)).

Monday, November 21, 2005

Got a bad pun on a certain economist's name? Want to sell it? Well send it here, because it's Sowell-ed!

Horrors that should never be spoken of . . .

  • I noted some hopeful signs last spring, but now even the Rocky seems to think the six-year drought in Colorado (and much of the West) is ending. Knock wood.

  • Not that that will make much difference in the endless fighting and skullduggery over water around here, as the Denver Post points out in an article vital to the future of the world, I bet.

  • Is that enough bogus seriousness?

  • I missed this when it happened, but it's too wonderful not to mention: Holocaust denier David Irving has finally landed in jail for, believe it or not, Holocaust denial:
    VIENNA, Austria [as opposed to Vienna, Sausage or Vienna, Illinois (pronounced "VIE-Enna")] -- Right-wing British historian David Irving, who once famously said that Adolf Hitler knew nothing about the systematic slaughter of 6 million Jews, has been arrested in Austria on a warrant accusing him of denying the Holocaust.

    Irving, 67 [man, he looks a hell of a lot uglier than 67], was detained Nov. 11 in the southern province of Styria on a warrant issued in 1989 under Austrian laws making Holocaust denial a crime, police Maj. Rudolf Gollia, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said Thursday.

    Austrian media said the charges stemmed from speeches Irving delivered that year in Vienna and in the southern town of Leoben.

    In a statement posted on his Web site, Irving's supporters said he was arrested while on a one-day visit to Vienna, where they said he had been invited "by courageous students to address an ancient university association."

    Despite precautions taken by Irving, he was arrested by police who allegedly learned of his visit "by wiretaps or intercepting e-mails," the statement alleged. It said that en route to Austria, Irving had privately visited German playwright Rolf Hochhuth, a friend he had not seen in 20 years.

    Hochhuth has gained notoriety for plays criticizing the Allies' bombing campaigns during World War II as war crimes and characterizing Winston Churchill as a war criminal. Earlier this year, Hochhuth was criticized for defending Irving as "an honorable man" and insisting he was not a Holocaust denier.
    The Drunkablog is a believer in the "spot the idiot" theory of free speech (last line of the first item), and so doesn't support proscribing any speech no matter how moronic, except direct incitements to violence, but if the Austrians feel the need to silence neo-Nazis, they couldn't have nabbed a more deserving little jew-baiter.

  • No more cowtown: "Denver will host the largest gathering of Nobel Peace Prize winners ever held in the U.S. next September when a dozen laureates, including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, gather to guide 3,000 teenagers on how they can advocate peace, Mayor John Hickenlooper [the Rocky calls him "Hick"] announced today."

  • Not 13, not 11, but an even dozen (well, 12-and-a-half if Jimmy shows up). Stick that in your stockyard and smoke it, Omaha!

  • And just because I love it so, here's the unjustly unfamous picture of Jimmy fending off the killer rabbit:

  • No more cowtown II: The Rolling Stones are coming to Denver!

  • Are the Stones still "The World's Greatest Rock Band" as they were the last time the Drunkablog checked (c. 1974)?

  • A few years back a bunch of (mostly big-time) bloggers were putting up pictures of their blogging lairs--usually, of course, their offices--to, I don't know, show people what they looked like, I guess. Remember that little fad? Sounds kind of weird now, doesn't it?

    Which is why the Drunkablog is ready to jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately the DT-plagued one's office is so full of excitement that it behooves him to show only a small piece of it, so as not to induce a galloping syncope in his readers:

    A couple of shelves: Just a few things to note, more or less at random: typewriters, all found at thrift stores, all sort of operational; charts of the Mississippi River, on which the D-blog and a friend were once nearly run over by a steamboat; an old Svea 123 camp stove, which never blew up but somehow left the D-blog horribly disfigured just the same; Clara Alber's tombstone (in its usual resting place); and copies of the Saturday Evening Post, Look, and Life from the 60s, rescued from a dumpster behind the Denver Public Library. All these (and more, much, much more) will be blog fodder as needed, he warned.
  • Sunday, November 20, 2005


    Late fall in Colorado. The mountains are already covered with (literally!) tons of snow, but today at around 6500 feet it was cool and sunny. Great running weather, usually reliable sources tell me.

    The two people in the distance had stuck big old horses under their butts and were just, like, sitting on them. And the horses didn't mind. Bizzare.

    Wheels within wheels: If there's one thing the Drunkablog knows, it's farm machinery. This, for example, is a 1912 model steam-powered, belt-driven John Deere "wank engine."

    This is a field of something, maybe already wanked wheat.

    Thursday, November 17, 2005


    These photos were taken at Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona by John W. Doyle of Phoenix. Dramatic, ain't they? John is one of the regulars on (and usually the organizer of) our river trips, although these are not river pics. I've never been to Chiricahua so I'll keep my dumbass smartass comments to myself (starting. . . right now).


    Update: Doesn't the title of this post remind you of some crappy John Wayne movie from the 60s?


    Brisbane's own John Ray has started an Australian politics blog. How many blogs is he running now? Ten? Twelve? The man's insane, but always fun to read.


    Lisa Jones e-mails from Rocky Watch about a very interesting--what?--slip of the tongue, perhaps, by ex-Ward Churchill investigating committee member Robert Johansen in an e-mail he wrote to the Churchill-besotted folks over at The Try-Works. They had asked Johansen what he thought about his treatment since Pirate Ballerina outed his laudatory comments about Churchill and forced him to resign from the committee.

    Johansen's reply is basically the one he's already become a bore using: he was treated unfairly by an "Orwellian, McCarthyite, Swift Boat Vets" smear campaign--this time with the added little egocentricity of comparing himself explicitly to Edward R. Murrow.


    But what's interesting about Johansen's e-mail, as Jones points out in the comments to the post, is the light it may or may not shed on the identity of the site's pseudonymous poster, "John Moredock." Johansen says,
    My reading of the chatter on is that they're now going after the other three "stooges," and that they may want the emails to link you three to Rob and myself. I see on the website that Paine is attacking you for such outrages as being interviewed on NPR, and for Radelet's public opposition to the death penalty. On Margorie, he can't find anything, but he pledges to keep looking.
    "[E]-mails to link you three"; Paine is attacking you." Here's Jones' comment:
    You e-mailed Johansen, and this was his response to you. So may we now presume that you are Mimi Wesson? Why else would Johansen say: "...they may want the emails to link you three to Rob and myself. I see on the website that Paine is attacking you for such outrages as being interviewed on NPR, and for Radelet's public opposition to the death penalty. On Margorie, he can't find anything, but he pledges to keep looking." "...having "gotten" Williams and myself, may now drown in their own excess going after the rest of you." Ms. Wesson, in light of your involvement on this blog, do you really feel that you can investigate Churchill impartially?
    "Moredock's" reply (after cutting the usual invective) is essentially, "Get a grip, he was addressing the remaining committee through us, practice your close-reading skills."

    But it is odd, because while Moredock's lead-in to Johansen's response says they asked him "to give the three members left on the committee some advice," nowhere does Johansen directly say he is addressing those members. He never says "I would say to them," or, "What I would tell them is. . .", he just addresses them as "you."

    So, it is possible that Moredock is Wesson, but the Drunkablog tends rather toward the simplest explanation: Johansen is a sloppy writer. In fact I am still of the opinion that The Try-Works is merely a front for Churchill's Colorado American Indian Movement. Whatever. The truth is that "Moredock," whoever he is, is a coward who viciously and personally attacks people from behind his anonymity. Why don't you reveal yourself, Moredock, and let people google your name?

    Update: Lisa Jones e-mails with some good questions:

    Note that Johanson says: "attacking you for such outrages as being interviewed on NPR" -- then he mentions the other two committee members by name. Wesson is the only one on NPR, as far as I know. She's a regular.

    But the real puzzler for me is Johansen's comment: "they may want the e-mails to link you three to Rob and myself." What e-mails? What "they"? Do e-mails exist that link the 5 committee members in a way that might be construed as conflict of interest? Or that might somehow compromise the impartiality of the committee?

    Yeah, hmmm.

    Update II: Lisa e-mailed Johansen to try to clear up the speculation his odd wording has caused, and received a reply which pretty much does just that. Johansen even takes the time to throw a little mud on his brave defenders at The Try-Works. Excellent.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Clouds that look like the USS Enterprise

    No, the smooth-brained one is not a Trekkie. But like Seth Jayson of The Motley Fool (free reg. req.), he enjoys the Priceline radio commercials featuring William Shatner, especially the one that starts with Shatner asking a woman, "How'd you like to make a quick
    ten bucks? [sound of slap]."

    The bottom picture was taken at Sloan's Lake in Denver.

    Update: That is, the top picture.

    Note from a tenant

    Slightly edited.

    God of all Gods [that's the edit],

    Thanks for the wee extension [he paid his rent late]. You are a scholar and a gentleman . . . Well, maybe just a scholar . . . errrr . . . you're nifty! And well liked by all! Well, maybe just Billy Bob . . . when you have food in your hand.

    But seriously, you saved my ass from making a cardboard sign and trying my luck on Speer and Auraria Parkway--though knowing my luck that spot is based on seniority and I'd have to pay union dues. Thanks again!--A., the troll who lives under your house [he lives in the base--that is, garden-level--apartment].

    As I've had occasion to note before, my tenants love me.

    "Crush Girls" documentary debuts

    And the Drunkablog missed it:
    DENVER - On Friday, November 11th, the Colorado Crush and Fox Sports Net will be giving fans an in-depth look at the selection of the 2006 Crush Girls. The Denver Public House will be hosting a viewing party of the special audition documentary at 6:30 p.m. FSN will take viewers on a behind the scenes ride as the 2005 ArenaBowl Champion Colorado Crush pick their dance team for the 2006 season. From the cheers to the tears, the documentary will profile the candidates, take an inside look into the judges room and show all the drama of the final selections.The event is open to the public and there will be a $25 open bar from 7-10 p.m. for individuals 21 years of age and older.
    Well, maybe I can catch it at the Starz Denver International Film Festival this week. If they're smart they'll pair it in a double feature with
    The longest film in SDIFF history! Renowned Dutch artist Erik van Loon's haunting film installation, “A Victim's Perspective,” is an 11-hour recreation of the Auschwitz Death March, where Jews were forced by the Nazis to march 40 miles from the death camp to an evacuation station in Poland. The film will be on view continuously in the Daily Grind coffee house on the Auraria Campus on Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, and Saturday and Sunday, November 19-20.

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    New terms, old cliches noted

    In a post Friday titled "The Home Office suicide note," Melanie Phillips noted the release of a report on the anti-terror bill now before Parliament. The report, which had been requested by the Home Office, shockingly found that the bill would create (quoting the Grauniad article Phillips links to) "a 'significant chill factor' in the Muslim community, censor those who criticise British foreign policy and drive extremists further underground." But wait! Guess who predicted this frostiness:

    The fears were voiced [the Guardian continues] by the Muslim community working groups set up by the Home Office to prevent the growth of extremism after the July terror attacks. The warning centres on the remaining provisions in the proposed legislation--such as the ban on the "glorification" of terrorist
    acts--that are likely to become the next focus of parliamentary dissent after Tony Blair's defeat on holding terrorist suspects for 90 days without charge. . . .

    The Muslim community's police and security working group report makes clear that many believe the present anti-terror regime is already excessive, and that the measures risk provoking further radicalisation of young British Muslims.

    Ms. Phillips, in case you couldn't guess, is not happy about this. Read her whole post, of course, but a couple of the recommendations of these Muslim "working groups" tickled the Drunkablog's festering liver. Among other things, the report called for

    [a] rapid rebuttal unit to combat Islamophobia, a better reflection of Islam in the national curriculum, and the training of imams in ‘modern’ skills.

    It's the "rapid rebuttal unit" that stuck out, not that the others aren't peculiar. But I'd never heard the term before, so I looked around and, of course, it's everywhere.

    For example, a while ago EURSOC noted that the European Union had set up a rapid rebuttal unit to respond to attacks on the proposed EU constitution (that worked real well); the second commenter on this post recommends that Microsoft form a "rapid rebuttal unit" to counter "misinformation" about its products (that would definitely work real well); and Britain's Labour (as they say) Party apparently had its very own rapid rebuttal unit--until they replaced it with, naturally enough, an "Attack Unit" (and advertised to fill the unit's top position: "Head of Attack").

    Update: By the way, another much-loved blogger cliche checkmarked on the Drunkablog life-list: "Grauniad."

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Second Churchill committee member resigns.

    Another member of the committee investigating Ward Churchill's research misconduct has resigned. The Rocky has it:
    Robert A. Williams, a professor of law and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, is the latest to leave the committee in the wake of revelations that he lauded Churchill as an "important scholar" and praised his qualities as a "public intellectual when it comes to the field of American Indian studies."
    There goes that "imagination trumping reality" thing again.

    Pirate Ballerina has more, but I originally saw it in the comment to this post at The Try-Works.

    Update: Pirate Ballerina points out that nobody seems to mention who found the quotes that led to the two professors quitting the committee. Even the Drunkablog hasn't been quite clear on that: it was Pirate Ballerina. (AP has now belatedly interviewed PB about the resignations.)

    Silliness involving dogs

    Yes! Something new!

    Billy Bob has a rival at Sloan's Lake. Meet "Midnight" and his companion psychopath, whose name I didn't catch:

    Oh, big deal: "Take his picture, take his picture, he can jump eight feet off the ground," the jerk says. Heck, I've got millions of pictures of Billy Bob jumping higher than that; I just don't like to show off like you do.

    "I've been training him since he was a puppy," the guy says. So when do you think I started training Billy Bob, you dribbling gargoyle? When do you think anyone starts training his dog, you Jake Jabs-looking freak (Colorado joke)? Sheez. Click on the picture. See the tiny figure between the trees at far left? That's Jake. He's showing me how well Midnight "stays." Well la-de-frickin'-da. I seem to remember reading somewhere (Business Week?) that only gay dogs "stay" well; Midnight sure looks a little light in the loafers to me.

    Besides not being (quite) as gay as Midnight, Billy Bob is also much smarter.

    Not as smart as geese, though, which are almost as smart as turkeys. Look how they hide the frisbee from the mor--I mean, from Billy Bob (frisbee, far right; Billy Bob, far left). Munch a path to the prize, noble hound! (You'd better, because there'll be no Kibble tonight.)

    Update: The Drunkawife, asked whether your correspondent sounded somewhat, you know, anti-gay in calling Midnight "light in the loafers," even in complete and utter jest, said that I should probably add somewhere, "Not that there's anything wrong with that." In fact, I was merely trying to insult myself as a dimwit bigot and, as usual, did too good a job.

    Update II:

    No Kibble tonight in my coffee.

    No Kibble tonight in my tea.

    La lalalalala La, etc.--The Guess Who.

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Circus Boys Catch Mange!

    Just kidding. Wouldn't want that to happen to anybody (link leads to grossness, but you can take it, bucko).

    Sorry. Just trying to liven up a series that, remarkably, is already flagging. Remarkably, of course, because there's only one in the series.

    Until now. Flagging be damned.
    The lad rose as if drawn by invisible hands, reached out and clasped the photograph to him. Then the pent-up tears welled up in a flood. Phil Forrest threw himself on his bed and sobbed out his bitter grief. He did not hear the thump of Abner Adams' cane on the bedroom door, nor the angry demands that he open it.

    "Mother, mother!" breathed the unhappy boy, as his sobs gradually merged into long-drawn, trembling sighs. "I'll do it--I'll be a man, mother!" he exlaimed in a voice in which there was not the slightest tremor now. "I'll fight the battle and I'll win."--from The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings, or, Making the Start in the Sawdust Life (1910), by Edgar B.P. Darlington.
    (Credits: viagra jokes from Andy Akien; mange photos from the wonderfully named Graphic Images of Parasites on THE Ohio State University biology department website; sickening lovers photo from Discount Specialty Gifts; canopy dog bed from Puppy Boutique; candy cane from; and map of Bull Run from the University of Georgia Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.)

    Churchill stooge: I quit!

    The Rocky earlier today:

    A University of Nebraska professor has resigned from the committee investigating research misconduct allegations against University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill after questions were raised about his objectivity.

    "Basically, I believe that the committee will not be able to concentrate on its necessary business as long as attacks on me are providing a distraction," professor Bruce Johansen wrote in an e-mail Wednesday to the Rocky Mountain News.

    Johansen, who teaches Native American studies in Omaha, was one of five people appointed to the panel looking into Churchill's academic record. His objectivity came under fire from Jim Paine, a Colorado resident who hosts a Web site called

    Paine called attention to a positive blurb that Churchill had written for a book Johansen had edited, called Enduring Legacies.

    The Web site also posted commentary from Johansen in which he defended Churchill's controversial essay on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by noting that critics had concentrated on a small fraction of Churchill's work.

    Johansen previously defended his ability to objectively evaluate Churchill's work. He reiterated that point in an op-ed piece he submitted to the News. "I am not a member of the Churchill 'fan club.' Nor am I his 'stooge,' he wrote.

    But he notified CU law professor Mimi Wesson on Monday that he was stepping down from the panel.

    Well, well, well. Of course, Johansen couldn't quit without sounding a typically gracious note:

    "I am leaving the committee that will investigate alleged research misconduct against Churchill because the level of discourse on this issue in the Denver area has become nearly hysterical, and because my continued membership on this committee in such a toxic atmosphere is going to inhibit its ability to do necessary work, no matter how impartial I may be.

    "The fact is that various Web site authors, editorial page writers and radio talk-show hosts who have been very vividly anti-Churchill for months are now giving me lectures on impartiality. The ironies of this situation bring to mind George Orwell, Joseph McCarthy and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."

    I also am leaving because the rules of the committee prohibit apparent or perceived conflict of interest. Thus, by this test, imagination trumps reality."

    The Standing Committee on Research Misconduct has not said whether it will appoint a replacement for Johansen. Pirate Ballerina, of course, has the story, plus all kinds of background.

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Rocky editor Temple's blog: Not dead, just looking that way

    So I screwed up the other day by announcing the demise--the "sadly exaggerated death" as one wag put it--of Rocky Mountain News editor John Temple's blog. The least I can do to atone is actually read the damn thing (yes, so you don't have to--check that off my list of blogger cliches) and see if it's still as lame as ever.

    Well, it is, almost. Actually, the first thing I noticed is that Temple's blog is no longer listed on the Rocky's main page. Nor is it listed on the opinion page. You now have to go to a dropdown menu on that page, click on "Rocky blogs," then open a list of (count 'em) all four of them (two sports-related, one about shopping, and Temple's). Is this an attack of modesty on Temple's part, or is he just bowing to the evident lack of reader interest?

    Also hard to miss is that although he's been blogging since April, and the Rocky just this week unveiled a total redesign of its website, Temple still doesn't have permalinks. Why on earth not? And is a blog without permalinks really a blog?


    Least surprising is that Temple's posts are still really boring. Here are the titles of his last few, just to give you the flavor: October 28: "National interest in citizen journalism," a defense against the slagging given to the Rocky's dorky "" in Editor & Publisher; November 1: "Question from a reader about campaign finance," about guess what; November 3: "Insight into impact of Libby case on journalism" (impact bad, but Temple merely introduces a paragraph from Theodore Olsen's WSJ piece on Monday, with, of course, no link); and, Sunday (deep breath), "Michael Brown's e-mails another example of how Colorado Supreme Court mistaken in Tracy Baker case."

    This one is actually kind of interesting, despite the unbearable title: Tracy Baker was the Arapahoe County Clerk caught exchanging lewd e-mails with one of his employees, with whom he was also having an affair. The Rocky, even though the wording of the e-mails had long been known, sued to have them made public. And, last week, lost. For questionable reasons the state supreme court said the e-mails, though written and sent by public employees at their workplace, were not part of the public record.

    But Temple doesn't actually write about this on his blog, or not much; he just points (again without linking) to a USA Today article, and links to his own Saturday column on the subject.

    All in all, it still seems as if Temple has a blog merely because he thinks he should have one. But while the Drunkablog has no clue what newspapers need to do to survive these days, it's apparent that one thing they almost certainly don't need is a blogging editor. Temple, like any big-time editor, already has multiple avenues to take his opinions out for a drive; his blogging is simply redundant.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    "Colonel Mustard, in the conservatory, with a blog"

    Last night's rather clever November sweeps edition of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, while good TV, was all the more interesting for the fact that it may have been the first show, network or cable, to use a blog as a plot device.

    Really, the two-hour extravaganza had everything, including that absolute favorite suspect of courtroom dramas, the degenerate, sociopathic rich kid. It also had kinky sex, rotty bodies (all the rage these days) and, for the more serious-minded, a take on "Missing White Girl Syndrome."

    As well, of course, as the standard courtroom revelations and breakdowns and some great guest stars (Chris Noth, Fred Thompson, and Colm Meaney).

    Ya rotten kid, ya

    This particular rich kid is a 17-year-old S & M freak who idolizes the Rat Pack and whose father, a powerful judge (Meaney), participates with him in the rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl.

    In other words, your typical blogger.

    And the rich kid does indeed have a blog, to which he posts commentary on and pictures of his sick conquests. Reading it (don't know what its name was--maybe "The Try-Works") allows the detectives to figure out where he might have been at critical times (he uses the names of Rat Pack hangouts for the clubs, restaurants and bars he frequents), and to gain a couple of other somewhat minor clues about the murder and that of a black girl (the MWGS angle).

    That's it. Pretty small beans, I know, but if anyone has seen another TV show that's used blogs in its plot in any way, let me know.


    The Rocky Mountain News yesterday unveiled its completely redesigned website--and the new design apparently does not include RMN editor, publisher, owner, and self-tightening tool John Temple's blog. It's gone, and the Rocky now has (count 'em) no blogs at all. Naturally, there is no mention of this on the Rocky's lovely new site.

    For those of us who took a sick, twisted joy in following the Rocky's timid entry into the blogosphere earlier this year, the round-filing of Temple's blog was not exactly unexpected. For one thing, he was a noticeably unenthusiastic blogger; sometimes a week or more lapsed between posts.

    For another, too many posts were of the horrible "Editor's Corner" type--blather about awards the Rocky had won (journalists honor each other constantly, of course) and its efforts at community outreach, along with Temple's abuse of pet peeves like the EEOC and, to be fair, his occasional and utterly unsurprising take on broader issues.

    Pants on fire

    But worst of all, Temple too often used his blog to prevaricate. This is evident in a couple of the links above, but particularly in his dealing with the editorial plagiarism flap at the Rocky in July. Reading the links will give you an overview, but basically Temple refused to call what happened plagiarism, and did not bother to investigate all the writing of the editor involved. Truly a crock.

    If the above sounds like gloating--well, it is. But it's not a good thing that the Rocky can't seem to get the hang of blogging. That it--and Temple--have given up means that another potential avenue of information has been barricaded, and that the Rocky has further isolated itself from the people it claims to serve.

    Oh, and Temple never even managed to get permalinks, either.

    CORRECTIONAL UPDATE: Ahhh, shit. Temple's blog has reappeared. Guess I should have waited to make sure they were finished putting up the new site, and/or asked Temple, but I couldn't help myself. In very feeble defense, the blog was definitely gone from yesterday, when the new site went up, until just a little while ago. I thought that was long enough to be sure, but I should have checked.

    But you know, everything in the above is still true (hey, I'm Dan Rather!), except that Temple is, in fact, still blogging, and all that guff about the Rocky "further" isolating itself.

    Thanks to reader LJo for the heads-up. Yeah, thanks a lot.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Green River photos by "Mr. B"

    These fine shots were taken this past September by the multi-talented "Mr. B," also known to family and law enforcement as Robert "Butch" Burnham of Peoria, Illinois, one of the regulars on our river trips. Butch used his trusty Nikon D-70, a camera so impressive that when my poor little Olympus imploded a couple weeks ago, I bought the junior or "Jimmy Olsen" model, the D-50.

    Anyway, I've added explanatory comments; just think of me as your friendly interpretive guide. Just don't touch anything or I'll bash your bloody head in with my stick.

    This is a funny-shaped rock. It sits near the river. A funny. Shaped. Rock. Oh, it has gamboling Bullwinkles on it (enlarge for best view of gamboling Bullwinkles).

    Okay! Good start! What's next?

    Check this out. It was taken from Turk's Head (at top in this picture), and shows the view across the river at dusk. We were shouldering each other out of the way to get a good angle on this shot. Standing on a cliff, too. We're all kind of, you know, dimwits, camping-wise.

    The Anasazi apparently liked to ingest hallucinatory drugs, sit in the sun, and draw. In stone. Think the artist who drew this seven or eight hundred years ago would have liked a Spirograph for Christmas? (And did you know the Spirograph was invented by Richard Nixon's disgraced vice-president, Spiro "Graph" Agnew? Swear to God.)

    Another view from Turk's Head, this time looking upriver.
    Wonder if John Ford was ever on the Green.

    More Green River maunderings and pics here, here, here, and here. Gotta get me some categories.

    Update: Thanks to Norm Geras at Normblog for the links.

    Update II: In the interests of ecological and historical accuracy, I should point out that the gamboling Bullwinkles are not actually gamboling; they are running in fear from what looks like a space robot (lower right) wielding a bow and arrow. Hey, anybody remember Erich "Crazy" Van Daniken? He did pretty well with that kind of stuff, didn't he?

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    46th in the "Ward" series

    Sometimes the Drunkablog finds himself yearning for the good old days when almost anyone could whip up--in hours and for far less than you might imagine--your basic commie-style purge.

    Usually, of course, this nostalgia overcomes me when I read about the doings of Ward Churchill and his many friends. And as I've mentioned recently, there's been a lot going on, so much in fact that my yearning has become nearly tragic.

    Today, for example, Pirate Ballerina takes a closer look at the "five stooges"--the committee selected by CU's Standing Committee on Research Misconduct to investigate the charges of academic fraud against Churchill:
    One would think that with all the public attention on the actions of [the SCRM] vis รก vis its treatment of the Ward Churchill investigation, SCRM would approach the task of selecting the final investigating committee members with care, nay, with great fear and trembling. One would think SCRM would select professional historians and scholars with impeccable academic credentials, and just as importantly, no obvious predisposition toward Churchill's fate.

    One would be oh so very wrong. SCRM announced last Tuesday (and then, only after a Colorado Open Records request from the Denver Post required it; it's interesting that the Post has since then remained silent on the information their request revealed) the names of the members of the committee charged with conducting a full investigation of charges against Ward Churchill. Of the five, only one—Professor Marjorie McIntosh—appears to meet all of [CU's] earlier-noted selection criteria.
    PB goes on to detail the outrageous stacking of the committee in Churchill's favor, and the all-too-familiar combination of arrogance and stupidity exhibited by the (mostly) far-left scholars serving on it. Read the whole thing, but for you harried moderns the Drunkablog offers a few keywords so you can discuss this frightening joy committee knowledgeably at holiday cocktail parties:

  • "Flower child";

  • "revisionist(s)";

  • "critical race theory";

  • and (my favorite), "International People's Tribunal for Justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal."

  • There. You're hep.

    Update: Colorado Daily has a profile of the toe-stomping Pirate Ballerina. Not as good as the Drunkablog's interview lo these many months ago, but worth a look.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Depressed? Funny looking? Got no "pep?"

    Why not try NorthDenverTribuneWatch!

    In this week's North Denver Tribune:

  • Mayor Hickenlooper (North Denver Tribune calls him by his full name; the Rocky, rather too familarly, calls him "Hick") is pictured doing some ceremonial spadework for the pedestrian bridge to link Highlands with Downtown;

  • Old Cowtown Denver is remembered in "When cows were king in Denver stockyards" (King? Maybe Louis XVI);

  • This week's guest editorial is "The six dumbest things moms do." (They're kind of all-over-the-place with these guest thingies, aren't they? Last issue, remember, featured the marginally coherent Bill Bonner's "The great empire rolling over," about, well, you can probably guess.)

  • Ah, here's "Crime Beat"--I've shown up in one or two of these myself. But darn, this one is bogus, no local police blotter stuff at all, just Officer Tony (Lopez)'s crimestopper tips. Here's one:

  • Please secure all personal property of value in the vehicle in the vehicle trunk or glove compartment, or in other locations in the vehicle that would make the valuables not visible from the exterior of the vehicle.
  • But Officer Tony, what if the vehicle in which I'm currently envehicled has holes in critical vehicle areas? Hmmmm?

  • Here's a good one: "Three Iraq war veterans share their accounts from the war zone." Actually it was three members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IRAVETAGAIthWA), one of whom is pictured earlier this year at hallowed "Camp Casey in Texas," who shared their accounts, but, you know, whatever.

  • And finally, a brief: "Sex trafficking and other forms of modern slavery meeting."

    Uhhh, think I'm busy that night.
  • More dueling headlines

    The Rocky Mountain News is highlighting the attention Denver has garnered for approving Initiative 100, which legalizes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana: "Pot vote prompts worldwide attention." The story notes that Jay Leno mentioned the vote the other night in his monologue: "'Fifty-three percent of the people approve of having marijuana in Denver, how about that?' Leno said. 'How does that make Bush feel? He's 14 percent behind pot now.'"

    The Rocky calls this a "zinger."

    Oddly, the Post seems to have--nothing. Well, they do have a headline with the word "pot" in it: "Lawmakers caution that Ref. C not pot of gold."

    Screw the headlines; Post wins. They didn't quote Leno.

    Update: The same Rocky article provides support for the Drunkablog's prediction that state marijuana laws will be a low enforcement priority in Denver, pointing out that pot arrests have been dropping for years, from 3,701 in 1996 to 2,072 in 2004. Surely we'll see a further drop.

    Update II: The News has a cute story up now about the Denverite who was the "first person in the United States to be arrested on a marijuana charge": "Pot considered 'murder weed' in 1937"; the Post, as of 1:00 a.m. on the 5th, hasn't run a story on I-100 since it passed. Can that possibly be right?

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings!

    Chapter 1--The Lure of the Circus

    "I say, Phil, I can do that."

    "Do what, Teddy?"

    "A cart-wheel in the air like that fellow is doing in the picture on the billboard there."

    "Oh, pshaw! You only think you can. Besides, that's not a cart-wheel; that's a double somersault. It's a real stunt let me tell you."

    "How'd you like to be a circus man, Phil?

    "More than anything else in the world," he breathed, "some day when I'm old enough, maybe."

    What are you going to do--be a trapeze performer or what?"

    "Sometimes, I think I would rather be a clown."--From The Circus Boys on the Flying Rings, or, Making a Start in the Sawdust Life (1910), by Edgar B.P. Darlington.

    (Credits: Dr. Phil from (take me now, Jesus); Teddy Roosevelt from the North Dakota State Historical Society; Gorey "Pshaw" cartoon from Ephemera; and cartwheel(s) from the Miniature Barn Miniatures Gallery (alert the Department of Redundancy Department!).

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Catching up with Ward

    I've been lousy at staying abreast of Ward Churchill-related news lately. Luckily there's a tutu-ed, eyepatched, peglegged, parrot-abusing freak out there who does nothing but keep his one good eye on Churchill, and from whom most of the following is blatantly stolen (look ma, I'm WorldNetDaily!).

    Last week, of course, was Shoreline Community College's egregious violation of Churchill's Second Amendment rights when it photoshopped his AK-47 right out of his hands. The pic was all over, but for completeness' sake Drunkablog reproduces it here:

    Who took my bongos: Ward as peace-loving hippie in Shoreline CC's rendering. . .

    . . . And as violence-loving revolutionary in the original.

    Also last week, the American Thinker misquoted Churchill in critical circumstances, and while they corrected themselves in the same post, the damage had been done. Not the first time Churchill's been embarrassingly misquoted, either.

    Anyway, today Pirate Ballerina posts on the committee of "five stooges" named to examine Churchill's scholarship, and quotes what several have said about Churchill's work in the past. Gee, wonder why the "400 footnotes per chapter" guy isn't on it.

    Update: Hellsapoopin' over at Pirate Ballerina, where one of the five stooges, Bruce Johansen, threatened unspecified "legal action" against the site for saying that there might be "some quid pro quo, since Churchill has defended Johansen's scholarship and endorsed a book Johansen edited."

    After Johansen made his threat, however, PB replaced "quid pro quo" with "unacknowledged, perhaps serendipitous, and possibly unintentional mutual back-scratching."

    Now how would you say that last phrase? Doesn't it virtually demand a sarcastic tone? I like it! Good change, PB!

    Of course, I don't think there was anything wrong with the original "quid pro quo," since PB put that "may be" in front of it. But if the Drunkablog were a lawyer he'd have been disbarred long ago.

    Oddly, as PB also points out, CU is apparently violating its own regulations in the composition of the investigating committee.

    Finally, a small point: just before the quid pro quo sentence PB wrote, "Johansen has himself been criticized for falsifying his sources, and his historical fabulism has been called 'an elaborate hoax.'

    In his initial answer Johanson says that he "suppose[s] you are aware that the selective quotes cited in Pirateballerina are 1/a high-school paper and 2/my own annotated bibliography that cites all manner of points of view on my work. Now that is doubly cute!" In fact, the "high-school paper" is apparently a Master's thesis by a high-school history teacher.

    Update II: PB clarifies: "We contacted Mr. Cook and asked him about the status of his essay. He replied that it was a paper he wrote for a class in Native American Anthropology. He also noted that his M.Ed. is in Social Science Education. Mr. Cook also points out that PB erred in implying that his essay claimed that Professor Johansen 'falsified his sources' when in fact, Mr. Cook's essay pointed out that 'others criticized [Johansen's] history and suggested it was fiction.'"

    Still not sure from this whether the paper in question was Cook's Master's thesis (he calls it a thesis, anyway). But you get the idea.

    Update III: That whole PB post cited just above is a must-read, by the way. I mean, there's Churchill fun going on practically as we speak, so where else would you go?


    Denver voters yesterday approved ballot measure I-100, legalizing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. Dueling headlines:

    The Denver Post: Denver pot issue passes by thin margin.

    The Rocky Mountain News: Okay of pot issue gives new meaning to Mile High City.

    Rocky wins.

    Apparently Denver is the first city in the U.S. to just out and out legalize pot; other cities (like Oakland, CA) have merely made busting pot smokers a "low priority" for police.

    Of course, as both articles point out state laws against possession still apply, but somehow I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of enforcement in Denver, at least if the dopers aren't absolute idiots about it.

    Perennially generous and/or stoned Colorado voters also approved Referendum C, which lets the state keep $3.7 billion in tax refunds over the next five years. I'll let Joshua Sharf at View from a Height detail that measure; complicated stuff harshes my mellow. Man.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Special pleading

    The Drunkablog has had to dirty his dainty digits with real work in recent days, hence the lack of postages. It's been degrading and humiliating work, too, if that'll make regular readers feel better.

    But what? You think blogging isn't degrading? Ha! (Is it okay if I say "Ha!"?) It's unbelievably degrading. Degrading isn't even the word. Well, maybe it is. "Sullying" is too Southern (ex: "Suh, I'll ask you to cease sullyin' mah dowtuh") and too hard to say, and I can't think of any other word at the moment. So "degrading" will have to do.

    Where was I?

    Oh yeah, the Montana State film students showed up and made their movie this weekend. I took some pics, but it wasn't transcendentally interesting. Here's one:

    See, I kind of told somebody (the director, unfortunately) that I'd blog about the movie, but I don't really know much about it except that it's called Girls Like Flowers. I think the star is a ten-year-old (or so) boy, and they're making it both for class and to "pitch" (industry jargon) to festivals. You can see that they were equipped to do a tracking shot, which was pretty neat. And they seemed like a nice bunch.

    Oh, and I found out why they came all the way down from Montana State to film in this neighborhood:

    The view from the edge of the bluff.

    Update: Man I love blogging. I mean, only to inflict useless facts on others would I ever have looked up where Montana State University is (meaning no offense to Montana State University). But I did, and it's in Bozeman (southwest corner of the state), which to the Drunkablog's dry and flaking brain means only one thing: it's the school Robert Pirsig wrote about (not favorably) without naming in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

    Update II: I really don't want to offend those friendly Montana State students. Pirsig taught there for two years from '59 to '61, probably before these kids' parents were born, and no doubt it's changed a lot since then. And it sure sits in a nice spot.