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August 19, 2009

Mean is the new chic

Let's begin with a photo of a sleeping puppy up for adoption (now!) because nothing could be farther from the theme of this post.

Here is the puppy, whom you want in your house:


But now, on to meanness. Meanness is the new national sport. I'd love to blame just one political opinion or the other, but it's far beyond that. I think it's closely linked to coarseness, which has made me cringe at some of the recent "comedies" I've seen. And not because I'm old.

Last night on Facebook, some folks were making fun of Robert Novak, who had died. Probably, of all the people who have died in the past decade, he could handle that best, so fine. And frankly, some of the comments were damn funny, if unprintable here. But wrong.

And honestly, I thought Barney Frank was pretty funny. And right.

There are a couple of rules you just don't violate.

The biggest one is: Don't call anyone a Nazi except maybe Hitler, and only if you're sure it's Hitler. I've talked to people on the phone who equated certain comic strips with Nazism, and my response is an instant smackdown. You don't invoke Nazis or the Holocaust unless you are talking about actual Nazis or an actual genocide. Anything less cheapens the memory of millions and reduces a monster to a garden-variety villain.

It absolutely doesn't matter what you think about health care -- or, for that matter, on the other side, the Bush administration.

Choose your words carefully. Don't cheapen your (perhaps valid) cause with hysterics and overkill, or even ill-timed humor.

(Hey, here's a little question: 400 years ago when I, as a then-private citizen, went to hear Ronald Reagan speak, I had to go through checkpoints and metal detectors. But it's OK to take guns in now?)

Here is a piece on an unlikely mean -- and disturbing, or maybe not -- man.

Posted by Kyrie at 02:51 PM in | Comments (16)

August 18, 2009

Death panel for cutie, or the summer of my German shepherd

1. I hate crediting Frenemy Mcadu for anything, but I saw this on his blog. You mean-spirited people who didn't believe Bob Dylan was harmlessly wandering around Jersey when he got stopped by the culturally impaired cop? He was on an errand I myself would undertake: finding Springsteen's old house.

Oh, and Hoffy sent this video:

2. Your great read o' the day: a band plays Gitmo.

3. There won't really be a death panel, Lord knows, but the elaborate adoption plans for one of the puppies -- remember the puppies? I have been good about not mentioning them -- have fallen through.

And seriously, I can't have four dogs in my house. So in case you're feeling remorse for not getting one of the pups when you had a chance, you have a chance again! The pup up for adoption is Rachel, who is about 16 lbs. at 3.5 months, which means she'll be a decent-size dog. She looks German shepherdish, except with cute face wrinkles, and she's very friendly and nice. All shots done and about 90 percent housetrained. Such a bargain she is! Pix tomorrow. Count on it.

Posted by Kyrie at 03:38 PM in | Comments (6)

August 17, 2009

Like a complete unknown

Here is the only lesson I can derive from the news of the past couple of days: We have too many celebrities, and yet we don't have enough.

I refer, of course, to the Twin Peaks of recent news events: That Bob Dylan was nearly arrested -- well, questioned, at least -- by New Jersey police officers who didn't know who he was. (Though I like to think it was a set-up to show that old white public figures are just as vulnerable as old black public figures.)

The other peak, of course, the announcement that Dancing with the Stars will showcase the terpsichoreal talents of former House Speaker Tom DeLay -- along with bottom-dwelling D-listers Kelly Osbourne, Aaron Carter and Ashley Hamilton, among others.

So on the one hand we have cops who don't recognize Dylan, one of the iconic figures of the past half-century -- or, in the case of Gates, one of this society's leading public intellectuals. And on the other we appear to be perilously close to running out of people with even a soupcon of stardom to appear on "reality" competitions. Remember, the recent, hideous I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here featured Patti Blagojevich and both halves of Speidi, a trio that cries out for the invention of an E list.

So is the knowledge of the existence of Lauren Conrad, say, squeezing out the ability to identify, say, Francis Ford Coppola (or even Sofia Coppola, to eliminate the old-fogeyness)? Which is to say, does bad celebrity drive out good celebrity?

Or should cops just be given a book called 300 Fine Americans You Should Recognize and be forced to memorize their mugs?

I don't know, but I know I won't rest until I find out some cop has collared Kris Allen and, upon learning of her error, simply shrugs, claiming to get all her news from NPR.

Posted by Kyrie at 12:10 PM in | Comments (17)

August 14, 2009

Where MeMo is: Spaghetti Jimmy wins!

I was all ready to post a new photo, believing that no one could get my location from the previous, deliberately unhelpful one.

But of course I underestimated you.

Dan Gringo nailed it: Puerto Vallarta, the "part work" element being I'll write a travel story from here.

But hey, here's the new photo anyway.


Posted by Kyrie at 04:40 PM in | Comments (5)

August 13, 2009

Where's MeMo this time? Hint: not Chicago

MeMo blew outta Dodge today -- part work, part (as is apparent from the photo) not.

But whence?


Anyway, I promise not to scuba dive -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

Posted by Kyrie at 03:50 PM in | Comments (11)

August 12, 2009

Best and worst ways to die: an evaluation

One of the delights of my life is that I have not one but two work colleagues with whom I can discuss the best (and worst) ways to die.

This is not a morbid pursuit. I mean, it's going to happen. And if Obama can get those death panels up and running, I'm hoping some good death choices will be made available at reasonable rates.

My buddy Andrew just walked in and announced that, contrary to prior conversations, he's decided dropping dead on a New York street at 59 is no longer desirable.

Too much crowding and touching by strangers.

My buddy Greg and I ruled out dying at 100 surrounded by loved ones. You smell funny and your great-great-grandchildren are just not that into you.

We've long agree that being trapped in a car slowly filling with water is maybe the worst. They say drowning is peaceful, but my recent Caribbean experiences tell me that may be wishful thinking.

Being hit by lightning, a good, clean strike, remains highly desirable. Oddly difficult for a woman to achieve, however.

Suffocating in a grain silo or in an epic molasses spill have the advantage of being unlikely. If I stay out of grain silos and 1919 Boston, I can control those.

I do have a highly preferred means of death, which I have mentioned here before: being killed by a tiger. I mean, it's quick and newsworthy, with the added value of getting to know what a tiger feels and smells like. Andrew also thinks this is fine.

But I have a codicil to that. I don't want to be eaten by a jaguar. I found out in Honduras that jaguars kill by skull-crushing, not neck-biting, which would be unsightly and way more of a drag. So no jaguars, thank you.

Posted by Kyrie at 09:38 AM in | Comments (23)

August 11, 2009

Miley Cyrus does it again

Your call: Inappropriate or wildly inappropriate?

16-year-old Miley Cyrus pole dancing at the Teen Choice awards.

Posted by Kyrie at 02:28 PM in | Comments (12)

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