August, 2004 Archives

I could pick on the fact that the Republican Convention is featuring speakers who disagree with a major plank or two of the official GOP platform (cartoons! one two three and this one in today’s ProJo), but you can get that anywhere. Plus I like Big Tents. Instead, let’s look at the one-man contradiction, Virginia Congressman Ed Schrock:

The National Journal ties him as the second most conservative person in all of Congress in 2003, behind only Dennis Hastert. This isn’t necessarily a turn-off in his district, which includes Virginia Beach, home of Pat Robertson, as well as Hampton Roads, home of 300,000 active-duty military and veterans. A strong family man with a wife and kids, Schrock was a co-sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment and opposes any possible rights for gay people, including non-discrimination in employment.

The problem is, his constituents may soon discriminate against his employment, as Schrock also seeks out gay sex on telephone dating services, and gay activists are about to release the tapes.

Yikes. It’s almost satisfying, in the way that people find reality TV satisfying, but also sad. I can’t even fathom what must have been going through his head.

Also, I’m with James on the issue of “outing.”

Why it couldn’t happen to a better party:

Not all delegates were disappointed. “I’m a conservative Christian, and the gay lifestyle is the wrong lifestyle,” said Fred Gerald, a delegate from southern Virginia. “It does not set a very good example for our young people, and it lowers the values in America having gay people in government.”

Schadenfraude

Does anyone else find it weird that Ron Silver, who played Jed Barlett’s campaign advisor on West Wing a while back, is up on stage at the Republican National Convention giving a rousing speech? Crazy.

Bipartisanship

So Em and I went to Fenway last Friday night, and it was awesome. When we bought those tickets in February we had no way of knowing that the Sox would be on their hottest streak of the season, but they were. The game was good, we won 5-3; the seats were good, with lots of action happening right in front of us; the weather was great, perfect baseball weather.

Friday was also the day of the Jimmy Fund Radiothon. About 15 oncologists walked in from center field to toss the first pitch, and they received a prolonged standing ovation all the way from the Monster to the mound. It was something to see, and so nice to see 35,000 fans honoring everyday heroes. In a moment that brought tears to my eyes, a four year old cancer patient sang the national anthem perfectly. The radiothon raised over $1.5 million dollars.

Before the game, we headed out to Rem Dawgs on Yawkey Way where you can get a $7 hot dog. We did get to see NESN color commentator Jerry Remy signing autographs and chatting with folks. He’s a lot shorter than I imagined at about 5’8″, and we saw him chain smoking like a chimney. Over at Rem Dawgs we also saw Tom Caron and Jim Rice preparing for the pregame show. I could almost smell TC from 20 feet away (I chatted with him once in Pittsburgh and he makes liberal use of cologne).

As for Fenway, the old girl looks better and better every time we go. Em and I have been to a few new parks in the past couple years and it’s interesting to see how they try to emulate the old style ballparks. They end up doing “old” better than Fenway, one of those honest-to-goodness old ballparks. That’s starting to change, though, mostly due to the influence of the new ownership. Yawkey Way becomes part of the ballpark, with activities and concessions. Inside, signs on the walls are newly painted in the style of old advertising, and it looks great. Under the right field seats is a wide concourse like you find in the new parks. It all looks great.

And remember, the Boston Red Sox urge you to use public transportation whenever possible. We’ve found taking the commuter rail from South Attelboro is a little too restricting (if the game runs a little long, you miss the train and have to wait til midnight for the next one). Now we drive up to Braintree and catch the Red line into Boston. It’s a bit of a drive, but much better than driving to Fenway and dishing out $40 to park just so you can sit in traffic on the way out. Taking the red line in is a lot easier, and to avoid the crowd you can walk to Huntington Ave or Ruggles to get back after the game.

We’ll be going back in a couple weeks to see the Sox play the Devil Rays, and then hopefully sometime in October, too. I can’t wait!

Fenway Magic

Some of these make me think people just pick any 6-letter word so they can have a whole word on their license plate…

JUNGLE

DANISH

PYRMID

WATERS

KRAZEE

HRYPTR

MAHALO

FRESCO

SCRIBE

HAYJUD

PUREOX

LET GO

SHREK

GOLDEN

SERNTY

COOLIT

PLATNM

JULY29

WENT69

SEEGUL

EXPLOR

KIDSDR

BTRFLY

LONDON

WTRCAN

ALEGRO

MARGIN

ELITE1

Out of Staters:
WOLWO (on a Volvo from MA)
RUBBISH (PA)
CAPTIV8 (NC)

Em and I are off to see tonight’s Sox-Tigers game at Fenway. Keep an eye out for us, we’ll be in the farthest left field section, right before the green monster. Go Sox!

Fenway Bound

Alright folks, tomorrow is the big day. The RNC. Technically the convention doesn’t start until monday, but tomorrow is the day that all the people in my tax bracket (I’m rich, i work in TV you know) begin to trickle into the city. We’ve already had some minor protesting begin as well. a few people rappelled down the Plaza Hotel and put up Anti-Bush banners, and the group ACT UP protested at the corner of 34th and 8th ave this morning, by getting naked and standing in the middle of the intersection – holding up traffic for about 25 minutes.

I promised Billy that i would update the site as much as possible with observations of the conventions, and i plan to uphold that promise. I may even go watch some of the protests and take notes and photos for you all.

This is going to be the best week ever. Viva la revolucion!

Love Michael

And so it begins…

Ladies and gents, the laziest form of blogging: I wrote the following in an email to a friend who asked whether or not I caught Kerry last night on the Daily Show. Instead of writing a post about it, I’m just going to copy and paste the email…

“Of course I watched the D-Show! It was a little more softball than I thought it would be, but I know Jon Stewart is disgusted with the Swift Boat thing right now so I think he found it hard to be too tough given how craven Kerry’s opponents have been this week. I thought Kerry came off well enough, but I have absolutely zero insight into the mind of average voters/undecideds/non-political junkies. I wish JS had cut off some of the stump speech stuff Kerry kept getting into, but I think he’s sympathetic to the idea of talking about current issues so he let JK speechify a bit.

“What’s pretty amazing though is that this was Kerry’s first appearance on a talk show since he went on Leno (after Triumph the insult comic dog!) last November. He picked the Daily Show, which must mean something for the future of fake news…”

For more, there’s also this from MSNBC.

Kerry on the D-Show

… and four-dimensional multiple orgasms with beautiful, creative, equally satisfied partners, morning, noon and night. It’s all here in this column about what drives the white male Republican electorate. Take a few minutes to read it. Draw your own conclusions, of course, but I think it’s a compelling case.

The Spite Vote…

I just spent about an hour writing and rewriting, crumpling the virtual notepad pages, a post about all sorts of loosely connected thing. I’m supposed to painting the house today, so I’m pretty addle-brained. One idea taking shape was about how we implicitly trust facts that are reported to us by people who agree with us on other issues, and we don’t demand proof to back up their statements. This is good and bad, like so many other things. With that in mind, I’m going to post without much to explain myself. I’m going to let those of you who trust my posts digest them at your leisure.

And, since I can’t manage to write a coherent paragraph (see above), I’m just going to throw out some statements and we can come back to any that seem worth developing.

The Swift Boat Vets controversy is ugly and disgusting. When disgruntled and disingenuous people get together to cast aspersions based on lies, half-truths and opinions, it should not be treated as news. We shouldn’t even be talking about it.

The so-called mainstream media has been emasculated by charges of liberal bias, to the point of ineffectualness. While it’s traditionally been conservatives who disparage liberals for “moral relativism” and the death of the truth, from my vantage point one side is benefiting much more from the inability of the press to say something is a lie when, in fact, it is a lie. The Daily Show, typically, distills this sentiment into a simple segment.

How long before political junkies from opposite sides of the ideological spectrum can’t even talk to each other anymore because they live in completely different worlds where 95% of the information they receive supports only their worldview? Luckily for the country these people are a tiny minority.

Time to paint. Anything pique your interest?

Ugh

(There is no curse, except the curse of people always bring up the curse. That said…)

The Sox just won their sixth game in a row, and 10th of the last 12. After falling 11 games behind the Yankees and losing their wild card lead, the Red Hot Red Sox are back on top by a game in the wild card and the Yankee lead has been cut in half. All of a sudden I’m starting to recognize the guys I remember from last fall. They’re looking good right now, but there’s 40 games left on the schedule. Are we playoff bound? I think so.

I’m ready to make some more predictions. Final record 94-68, which will be short of the Yanks 101-61. That’s ok, though, because the Sox win the wild card, and the Yankees get booted in the first round when their starting pitching just implodes. That’s bad for drama and will deny us the satisfaction of beating the Yankees, but it’s good for the region’s collective blood pressure. Then Boston takes out the Twins in 6 games and then it’s 1946 all over again. Sox-Cards, game 7, who knows what happens.

Get Excited

Lately, the most frequent searches leading people to A Cry for Help have been about the Cranston mayoral race, and almost 3-1 looking for info on Garry Reilly. I don’t have any dirt on him, unfortunately, and anyway Steve Laffey will probably be glad to tell you all about Mr. Reilly. I’m sure we’ll be talking about this a lot more in the next month (much to the chagrin of about 3/4ths of you guys).

Also, on the local political scene, quite a few people are seeking out John Harwood’s challengers in the Pawtucket House race. One guy, though, got a little confused, possibly with current events becoming jumbled in his head. Instead of trying to find out about Harwood’s Democratic challenger Patrick O’Neill, I saw a search for [Swift Boat Veteran Against Kerry] “John O’Neill Pawtucket.” (Though, if you want a local’s reaction to the Swift Boat mud slingers, Bob Kerr writes about it today)

And then in suburban Warwick, of all places, there’s going to be a mayoral primary in the Green Party! Click the link for a blurb on the two candidates, each of whom sound promising. Boy, how often are you picking between two good choices rather than the better of two bad?

It’s heartening to see those interested in local politics being steered this way. So welcome, citizens of Cranston, Pawtucket, Warwick, Newport, Providence, Bristol, Westerly, and so on (let’s get those Google rankings up now, shall we?)

From Arianna Huffington’s Fanatics and Fools (I added the links):

Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto,has identified among the tell-tale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, a doctrine that is riddled with contradictions, the belief that one’s cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one’s message.

Hmm, seems familiar somehow…

Fanatics