Monday, July 25, 2005
A loyal reader explains that those brightly-hued plastic clogs I kvetched about earlier are called "Crocs." He writes:
I can't argue that some of their colors are a little obnoxious, but they're really rather comfortable and functional. They are made of a closed-cell foam that gradually molds to the shape of the wearer's foot.So there you have it. I guess I won't argue with anyone wearing them because they're comfy, or because they're useful for water sports. Though I maintain they are silly-looking.
Now Swatch watches, on the other hand, were a great trend. Where did all the Swatches go?
While Roberts was surely chosen for a number of reasons -- his thin judicial record not the least of them -- I do think the Bushies were aware that his golden-boy appearance would be good PR. I'm no expert, but beneath the attractive facade, he seems pretty damn Borky to me. And so I say unto thee, Senate Democrats: BORK HIM! Bork him six ways from Sunday! Of course, Borking is a lot harder when you're the minority party.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I initially entitled this post "Another day, another whackjob" out of frustration with the media's portrayal of John Roberts as a kind of restrained choice. But then I decided that the term "whackjob" should be reserved for people like Priscilla Owen and John Bolton -- truly flamboyant psychos -- or else it loses its meaning.
But that's not to say Roberts is not radical. Sure, he looks pleasant enough with his telegenic features and plastic Santorum hair, and hasn't made any outlandish pronouncements about Social Security being a socialist program. But he's as hardcore as any of them (Liberal Oasis has a nice rundown). Opposing reproductive freedom and federal pollution controls, and working with Ken Starr makes you NOT a member of the reality-based community. And though he may not seem "extremist," he will likely vote just as an "extremist" would, taking the Court in a direction far removed from the mainstream. As far as I can tell, Roberts doesn't appear to embody a judicial philosophy so much as a corporatist agenda (which the right has so cleverly veiled behind the label "strict interpretation") that is contrary to the public interest. I am at least as worried about Roe as I am about the erosion of the federal government's ability to control pollution. We could be in for decades of industrial anarchy (as if things aren't bad enough already).
Hey, what's going on with the porcine turncoat? I can't find a damn thing about him on the NY Times at the moment. Funny how that issue disappeared all of a sudden.
Monday, July 18, 2005
I cannot think of a better example of the expression "painting lipstick on a pig" than what is going on now with the Republicans and Karl Rove. This is no doubt partly because Rove himself resembles such a smooth, rounded oinker. (And oh, does he squeal -- on undercover CIA agents!) But the more layers of Revlon the Bush goons apply, the uglier this hog gets.
Regarding the Machiavelli reference in the last panel: some scholars say he has been misunderstood; that The Prince is not reflective of Machiavelli's true political philosophy, and that it was intended as more descriptive than instructive. If that is so, then I'm sorry to tarnish the reputaion of Machiavelli by comparing him to Rove. (Though one suspects Rove sleeps with a copy of The Prince under his pillow at night.) Machiavelli experts, feel free to weigh in.
I have been struck recently by the ugliness (in my opinion) of a couple products. I hope I don't offend any clog-wearing Slowpoke fans, but those big plastic clogs with the holes in them that tend to come in shades of lime green and orange... why? I have seen these loud pieces of footwear a few times on the university grounds recently, and it's a trend I cannot figure out. I mean, these things look like they came right out of the $5 bargain bin at Wal-Mart -- and before that, off a plastic cat toy assembly line in Guangdong, China. What is the appeal? Plastic clog devotees, feel free to write and defend yourselves.
Also, that new Land Rover LR3 is butt-ugly. Not that I would ever purchase a Land Rover, but strictly from a design perspective, they've been superior to the bulbous, suppository-shaped SUVs and trucks out there. This new thing evokes shades of the hideous Pontiac Aztek. It is blocky, blunt, asymmetrical... a failed attempt at futurism. Related cartoon from a few years ago: The Pan-Global Uglification Society
Monday, July 11, 2005
As I was moving last week, I wanted to get rid of some nasty solvents and cleaners, most of which I accumulated from roommates at a prior house. One item, I swear, is a can of Brasso brass polish from the '70s if not earlier. How these things wind up in my hands I know not.
But alas, Charlottesville only collects these items twice a year -- for a few hours one day in April, and for a few hours one day in October. If you manage to remember these magical dates, you still must drive the items several miles out of town to a facility in the country. Woe to you if you don't have a car. To its credit, the dump does accept a few items like paint and antifreeze year-round, but these accounted for only a couple things I wanted to purge. And Charlottesville is supposedly a progressive community. Roads are constantly and gratuitously paved around here, yet the hazardous materials program is a total joke. It blows my mind.
Alas, that damned can of Brasso has followed me to my new house.
(According to at least one appreciative reader, I'm not alone in my endless pollutant-toting. As he says, there must be curbside pickup -- nothing less.)
Monday, July 04, 2005
By sheer coincidence, it appears Paul Krugman and I are on the same wavelength this week. Today's column nicely complements the strip.
Also, I would like to say that moving sucks.
Friday, July 01, 2005
Well, the last of the checks and balances are gone. With the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor and near-certain appointment of an extremist whackjob, we're about to enter some four decades of radical court decisions. We'll see how far the Dems' compromise to save the filibuster gets them, but somehow I doubt they'll stop this train wreck. Really, even moderate Republicans should be worried about the implications of a Supremely Freaky Court.
Light posting will continue, as I'm currently in the process of moving.
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