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February 2009

stop-motion love

PeaceGirl I cannot get this song by Oren Lavie out of my head, and I keep watching the video compulsively, so I thought I'd share the love here to all three of my readers. :^) Don't know much about the artist, but I think he's Israeli, as is the actress in the video. The video is making its way around Facebook, which is where I first saw it. I have to play it at least a couple of times a day. It's one of those few songs whose lyrics function really well as poetry, too because it's not a doggerel rhyme.  Enjoy!

Louis CK: "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy"

BlueGirlofHappiness It's so true! Amazing shit happens all the time, and not just our technology, but we're such freakin' whiners about everything. The entitlement just needs to stop. I love this because it's Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "I Am Waiting" come true. It's the rebirth of wonder, and it's good to be reminded of how utterly, mind-bogglingly magical life is in the Western world, even now when times are tough. And I hate to say it, but the first thing I thought when the financial shit hit the fan was "Yeah, maybe this will make us rethink our mindless consumerism, our privilege, our entitlement, our greed and shortsightedness. Maybe this will force us to remember what's important: our friends, our families, our health, food, clothing, shelter, love, and respect. All those cliche things." Your phone doesn't use  sparks to dial any more, people! And you can fly! Get a grip!

Watch more SpikedHumor videos on AOL Video

ny times illiteracy #3: bad copy editing

Rar!Moi I usually don't make a fuss about the occasional typo in printed matter, although I will say that standards have slipped appreciably in the last 20 years—especially at the Times. I've read some really wretchedly copy edited books, full of typos, badly set type, and egregious errors, but I do expect better of the "paper of record." I don't care if they're going digital; the same standards should apply. Especially on the editorial page, where the paper's guiding hands voice their opinions.

For Pete's sake, people: proofread your damn work! I feel like I'm yelling at my composition students, but you're professionals!

Here's today's egregious error, from the opening paragraph of an Op-Ed on the recent victory for vaccines:

A special federal vaccine court issued three devastating verdicts on Thursday that should help demolish lingering fears that childhood vaccines can and have caused autism. The verdicts won’t satisfied die-hard adherents of the theory that the medical establishment is recklessly harming their children.

If this were on a student paper, I would be circling it with my trusty colored pen, drawing an arrow to the word "won't," and writing "tense" in the margin.

I know how these errors get made: in the writer's editing process. You change the shape of the sentence and the verb gets left behind. But that's what copy editors are for. In fact, the primary purpose of a copy editor is to keep the writer from looking stupid.

Too bad the Times doesn't employ copy editors anymore.

dear president Obama:

RadicalMoiIt's time we stopped using Bush's sweeping idea of state secrets to conceal evidence of torture in the case of Mohamed et al. v. Jeppesen Dataplan, or any case at all. I voted for the first time in my 48 years because I believed you would not continue Bush's violation of the Geneva Convention. If we used torture or condoned it, we need to own up to that and prosecute those responsible to regain our legitimacy in the arena of human rights. I understand state secrets are necessary but not this one.

(text of an email I sent to the president via the whitehouse.gov) I would have said much more, but you only get 500 characters, and even this was a little long (I had to leave out the last sentence). But at least something got said. I'm getting like my dad, writing letters to Congressmen and political officials. Maybe it's about time.

yes or no

PublicMoi Gacked from an LJ pal, to whom I'm not linking. (Separate lives? Me?)

1. You can ONLY answer Yes or No!
2. You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages or comments you and Asks!

Now, here's what you're supposed to do... And please do not spoil the Fun. Copy and paste this into your notes , delete my answers, type in your answers and tag as many of your friends as you'd like to (if you wish). Then see what happens.

Kissed anyone one of your LJ/Facebook friends? Yes
Been arrested? No
Kissed someone you didn't like? Yes

Continue reading "yes or no" »

Hard Times

Depressed Moi A little story from the train that bears recording:

I took the No. 6 down to 86th St. to go to Staples for new toner and paper around noon today. The car was pretty empty; there were four or five of us: me, a middle aged Hispanic man, a youngish black woman, and across from me, a late middle aged white businessman with short hair, a dark suit, a long, black wool coat and a briefcase, nice looking but with a sad face. Around 116th a young couple got on with their chubby-faced little boy in a stroller. Dad was in scuffed Timberlands that looked like they'd been on a construction site, jeans, a light jacket. Mom was in jeans and boots too, and just a long-sleeved T-shirt, though their son was bundled up well. He started the pitch: they'd lost their house, he'd lost his job, couldn't get public assistance yet, never thought they'd be living in a shelter. He wanted work and a chance to go to college and instead they were asking for anything we could give them. It wasn't like the usual pitches. These two people were proud and embarrassed to be asking for money. Every single person in the car gave them something, including me. Afterwards, we all kind of looked at each other in a way New Yorkers on a train normally don't, shaking our heads, eyes a little too bright. The guy across from me in the suit really looked stricken and muttered something that sounded sympathetic and disgusted, not with them but with the situation. He'd given them several dollars.

Four people I know have lost jobs within the past couple of weeks. Another friend just lost one today. The safety net is frayed. And a neocon on Facebook tells me that capping the salaries of financial moguls whose companies take bailout money will somehow only hurt the economy more. All I can think is that those fuckers are lucky they still have jobs and it'll do their kids good to endure a couple of years in a public school and miss their skiing vacations. Let them sell their country houses.

Eat the rich, baby.