Evil nazi eugenicisists still alive and well in Cambridge

Back in the day, Matt Shaw and I were working on our fun-to-write but probably less-fun-to-read and even-less-fun-to-watch-had-we-gotten-our-shit-together-and-made-the-movie screenplay for the world’s first yoga action movie where the Cambridge power-yoga studio (led by Baron Baptiste) fought the Brookline power-yoga studio (led by Beryl Bender Birch). The two yoga studios were going to be proxies for our subtle jabs at everything that’s wrong with Cambridge and everything that’s wrong with Brookline, respectively.

But in the end, the two were going to join forces against the evil nazi eugenicists who were funding a dotcom startup (this was circa 2000) called goodgenes.com, which was a dating service for graduates of Ivy League institutions. Unfortunately, we did not make this part up. I mean, we made up the nazi funding part, but not the website, or its somewhat disturbing eugenicist overtones.

Terri pointed this sign out to me on the subway today. Apparently, there is still a demand for this kind of dating service.

Evil Nazi Eugenicists alive and well in Cambridge, Mass.

Who’s Bill Richardson’s handler? Manny Ortez?

The first time I realized John Kerry was incapable of articulating a clear position on anything was when I saw him interviewed by ESPN’s Jon Miller about the designated hitter. Miller asked him what he thought about it, and his answer was something like “uh, well, I think it’s good, but, you know, some people think it isn’t.” (of course, the look in his eyes said “what is a designated hitter?”).

I do have a lot of problems with the way that we– or at least our proxies in the media– demand a foolish consistency from public figures when changing one’s mind is something that any honest person should be allowed. And I think in general that swaying with public opinion is a virtue for a politician in a democracy. But still. At that moment, my heart went out of my support for Kerry, to see him not even take a tiny baby stand, one that just didn’t matter.

Anyway, the exchange below between Tim Russert and Gov. Bill Richardson, where he comes up with a convoluted way to be both a Red Sox and Yankees fan might also be a fatal moment for this long shot candidate in my book.

Candidates, when Tim Russert asks you “Red Sox or Yankees?”, you are just going to have to order off the menu. There are two safe answers that spring to mind:

  • The Chicago Cubs. Nobody can fault you for backing an underdog.
  • The Dodgers, if you say it’s because they were the first team to integrate, and that Jackie Robinson was your hero. And then qualify it as the Brooklyn Dodgers.

MR. RUSSERT: You spent a lot of time in, in Massachusetts. Are you a Red Sox fan?

GOV. RICHARDSON: I’m a Red Sox fan, but I got into trouble in New Hampshire. You know why? Because I said…

MR. RUSSERT: Luis Tiant, the fund-raiser. But, now, governor, this is very serious. In your book on page 18 it says…

GOV. RICHARDSON: No, about Mickey Mantle?

MR. RUSSERT: You said you’re a Yankee fan!

GOV. RICHARDSON: No, no, no. I said—no, no, no.

MR. RUSSERT: I mean, you can, you can…

GOV. RICHARDSON: No, no, no, no.

MR. RUSSERT: …you can have different views on immigration, assault weapons…

GOV. RICHARDSON: I, no no no no. No, what I said…

MR. RUSSERT: But when it comes to Red Sox, Yankees.

GOV. RICHARDSON: What I said, the Associated Press asked me, “If you weren’t running for president, if you weren’t running for president, what would you rather be?” I’ve always been a Red Sox fan, but I said if I weren’t running for president I would like to be number seven, Mickey Mantle, playing center field for the New York Yankees.

MR. RUSSERT: “Because of Mickey Mantle, I became a Yankee fan.”

GOV. RICHARDSON: I, my favorite team has always been the Red Sox.

MR. RUSSERT: You’re a Red Sox fan.

GOV. RICHARDSON: I’m a Red Sox fan.

MR. RUSSERT: End of subject.

GOV. RICHARDSON: End of subject.

MR. RUSSERT: You better get rid of this book.

GOV. RICHARDSON: Oh, no! I’m also a Yankee fan. I also like…

MR. RUSSERT: Oh, now, wait a minute!

GOV. RICHARDSON: You can—Tim…

MR. RUSSERT: I guarantee…

GOV. RICHARDSON: No, I know, I got in trouble…

MR. RUSSERT: …if you go—if you go to Yankee Stadium or Fenway, you cannot be both.

GOV. RICHARDSON: But I like—Mickey Mantle was my hero. If I weren’t running for president, and the Associated Press asked me, I’d play center field for the New York—I wanted to be number seven. And—but I still love the Red Sox as a team. I mean, this is the thing about me, Tim. I can bring people together. I can unify people.

MR. RUSSERT: Yankee fans and Red Sox fans?

GOV. RICHARDSON: Yes.

MR. RUSSERT: Not a chance.

GOV. RICHARDSON: Well, I bet you I can.

This is why people fantasize about being baseball players

Jerry Remy was just talking about how Joe Torre called a meeting with the ailing New York Yankees, who, as of this writing, are 13.5 games back in the AL East. To illustrate what a serious meeting this was, he said it was a one hour meeting. “That’s a looong meeting”. Play-by-play man Don Orsillo agreed: “that is a long time”.

Guys. If you think one hour is a long meeting… You have no. fucking. idea.

On Actors

by Marco:

I went to my friend Sykes’ surprise birthday party last night. Me and about 20 people sat in the darkened theater until they walked in. “Shhhhh” says Webster. “What’s my motivation?” somebody whispers. “To shut the hell up” I think to myself. Actors.

The semiotics of skull-and-crossbones preppy shorts

What’s so special about these goofy pink preppy pants?
Preppy skull & crossbones pants

Look closer at the little repeated insignia:
Preppy skull & crossbones pants

Yes, a skull and crossbones.

These are the short pants for the man who is not content to say “I am wearing a retro preppy ensemble”. These are the short pants for the man who wants people to know that he knows that his preppy ensemble is bogus, that he mocks it while he embraces it, that he is so confident in his preppiness that even the skull and crossbones cannot overwhelm his pink. It is not the retro preppy garment for just anyone. And that, gentle reader, is what makes it preppier than straight preppy ever could.

Spotted at a shop window in Beacon Hill. Naturally.

(This may be the last commentary on a fashion trend I ever attempt as a quick google search reveals that I was scooped by the CBS Early Show last October. Then again, maybe I don’t care about being first).

Originality vs. Authenticity vs. Uniqueness

It’s Marco with the setup. I was replying in the comments, but it was turning out a little too long.

Originality, Authenticity, and Uniqueness are synonyms only in the sense that people use them interchangeably, but that’s probably a mis-use. They often coincide, but they mean very different things. Unique means one-of-a-kind. Authentic means real or not a copy. Original means first or not a copy or just creative.

So, in example comic:

“Mission of Myanmar” is not unique, because other people have said it before, but it is authentic because Grrl thought of it herself rather than copying it from anyone and she also genuinely wants to be that band. It is original in some sense because while she wasn’t the first to think of it, she didn’t copy it: she created it herself.

The Internet makes it obvious that these things are not the same, and shortens the time that it takes for people to realize that their originality may not be unique. But it’s hardly a new problem; think about Leibniz and Newton both discovering calculus independently of each other but arguing over who did it first. As if it mattered.

Of course, the argument has its limits: you could theoretically discover Calculus now, and it might be a perfectly original or authentic discovery, but it would still be somewhat pointless. (Then again, see Borges’ “Pierre Menard, Author of The Quixote” for a meditation on what it would mean for someone in the present to literally rewrite Don Quixote word for word).

My indie cartooning sponsorship

Inspired by the awesome custom Achewood comics that Summervillain got Editrix for their date-a-versary (or was it the smooch-a-versary? I can’t keep track of their relationship’s complex Ecclesiastical Calendar), I made a numerically palindromic donation ($13.31) to Cat & Girl, my favorite online indie comic. A couple of weeks ago, the paper version of this came to me.

I like Achewood, and it’s probably more nuanced, but Cat and Girl always seem to be thinking about what I’m thinking about, like this and this.