and it reminded me of the first time i visited Europe.
i was 20 when i flew in, alone. i turned 21 in florence. and i flew out of amsterdam a changed young man.
changed in one sense because it impressed me how many Europeans knew more about US politics and policies than Americans. and even though they were polite in their questioning, whether i was in paris or munich or sweden people asked me about homelessness and how did we live with the fact that some of our countrymen were sleeping in the streets while many of us snoozed in luxury.
i told them that america was cold blooded and hard core. and even though there were a few social services, there was so much shame and judgement tied to receiving handouts and it was so small that for the most part either you made it, or figured out how to survive, or you were kicked to the curb. and likewise, if you made it big, there would be no limit as to how much you could earn.
i said, you have a chance to be homeless, and you had a chance to be donald trump. and at one point of his life donald trump said that he was poorer than a homeless man because he owed millions.
now when i go back to europe i dont allow myself to get tied up in such conversations. instead we drink wine and eat giant fish and make love beneath the stars. because the alternative: thinking about the root of all evil, is such a bummer.
which is why michael moore is such a genius. he can bring up topics that are total downers (the decline of the us auto industry, the decline of the us health care industry, 9/11, etc.) and make huge audiences laugh.
last night our hollywood audience not only laughed, but applauded several times during the two hour film. yours truly even teared up a few times. its hard not to when you see “average” americans going through the ringer (and creating miracles).
but in the end, just like in europe, we dont know what to do with the problem at hand, and moore doesnt really help us, which is the only flaw in the film. are we supposed to revolt? and if so against who? the atm? are we supposed to take our savings out of the market? and put it where? certainly not the evil banks. the mattress? into small businesses? but isnt investing being part of the problem?
all i deduced was that because “democracy” is moore’s solution to capitalism, and since, if we are to believe his film, politicians on both side of the aisle are corrupt, then we should revolt at the polls and continue to vote da bums out until we have representatives who wont give gov’t bailouts after the people said no.
quit being partisan, and start voting people out of office whenever they do badly? and do it for the betterment of the country? if that is his solution, then i think that might be something most people could get behind.
me, i’ll be under the stars with the french girls.
except for the last few sketches which were really good.
because im secretly a television mogul, i get the east coast feed of nbc, so i heard the f bomb accidentally dropped during the chuckle-worthy Biker Chicks segment
heres what i hope. i hope President Hopey Hussein Changey defangs the FCC
everyone has had to tighten their belts over the last few years and if ever there was a government agency who needs to have their budgets cut its the one that demonized howard stern for so long while allowing violence and hatred to run rampant.
meanwhile when Oprah talked about anal oral sex the FCC sat on their hands.
therefore i hope they sit on their hands on this slip of the freakin tongue
and while theyre at it, i hope they go the way of the dingo and get lost
Gage: can people actually change? What is your favourite taunt or insult from when you were a child?
people can change, but it doesnt come without a price. usually regret, or bitterness, or vengeance. its best if they change naturally, under their own terms. its second best if its because of the fear of god. if its because/for a boyfriend/girlfriend it probably wont take. but dont take it personally. unless thats what you typically do. in which case dont feel bad about taking it personally, because people rarely change.
i like how you people spell wourds.
Matt Welch: Last Bruce album that was any good? Also, does the consistent badness force a re-evaluation (a Stinging, if you will) of previous records thought great?
the most recent one is pretty good but the last one that mattered to me was Tunnel of Love. at his best the boss has a sparkle or a incredibly dark sadness to his work. when its in the middle it doesnt do anything fer me.
consistent badness in rock should not make one re-evaluate the past. even having three good records is an amazing feat qualifying many for the rock n roll hall of fame, or equivalent. sex pistols only had one record, and if you put all the great music that johnny rotten produced post pistols wouldnt fill up one record, but if we were to re-evaluate that record, that band or that singer, it would pass with flying colors.
alecia: what is a good question to ask someone to determine whether or not they are a creep/loser? (i have been a magnet for these types lately and i don’t figure it out until they already have my phone number, resulting in multiple calls per day from people like “tom blue shirt NO NO”)
“how many phone numbers of girls who told you to f off are still stored in yr cell phone?”
David: ten songs to play really loud after the worst week ever?
replacements – unsatisfied
beastie boys – sabatoge
janes addiction – idiots rule
tom waits – i dont wanna grow up
metallica – sanitarium
iron maiden – the number of the beast
nwa – 100 miles and runnin
rollins band – do it
bruce springsteen – thunder road
the kkk took my baby away
Alyson: I just watched Wall-E and I want to know… what’s Tonys’ favorite Pixar movie, if you watch them at all? And if not, why don’t you?!
i thought they got off to a great start with Toy Story, and even though theyve made something like $2 trillion gross, the scoreboard would tell them to keep on keeping on, but i have really only liked a few of their films enough to want to see them again. Finding Nemo was probably my favorite because i love albert brooks.
chuckie: how does the blogfather deal with Writer’s Block?
writers block happens when you are either afraid to write what you really believe or if youre full of crap.
the best writers understand this basic concept: we’re all going to die. so just write down the terrible slide to inevitability and get on with the gettin on.
if what you have to write will either get you in trouble with the Lord the Law or the Landlord (or any varieties of those offshoots) write it down in a private secret place like a private secret blog. but write it down. not only will it one day be valuable for your soul or your bank account, but in writing it down you are practicing for the time that you will write something equally edgy, but in public.
Will Campbell: So President Obama took time this week to get all up in New York Gov. Patterson’s grill telling him to step off the podium and drop his (admittedly failing) reelection efforts. Good idea? Or a case of a brotha keepin’ anotha down?
im waiting for kanye to stand next to mike myers and say “barack obama doesnt like blind people”.
phil, not only will i tell you who i have in that game, but i will tell you who ive got in all the rest of the bears schedule. thank you.
@seahawks – bears by 17 lions – bears by 27 @falcons – bears by 3 @bengals – bears by 6 browns – bears by 20 cardinals – bears by 1 @49ers – bears by 2 eagles – bears by 14 @vikings – (since favre will be hurt by then) bears by 3 rams – bears by 22 packers – bears by 15 @ravens – ravens by 2 vikings – (since favre will have just returned) bears by 1 @lions – bears by 29
Krista: When I move out to the west coast (Canada) what should I do first?
rarely in your life do you get to make a totally fresh start in a new place, while being young, beautiful, bright. i should know, ive been at that crossroads just twice. the first time i was barely 18 and the best thing i did was let go of the past and recreate and grow in a positive manner. the only things that held me back was my insistence to hang on to a previous life that was safe but limiting.
keir: Mr. Welch makes a profound point that I have considered many times and am still flummoxed by. My question is: what’s the coolest movie/tv shoot you’ve hung around besides the Times’ building? Um, and by “shoot” I mean “set” or “shooting location,” and not necessarily while filming was happening. Unless of course you’ve been to one of those, too. Have you? Okay, that’s 2 questions—I’m making up for lost time.
movies bore me so even though there are tv and film shoots all around me i ignore them. life is filled with phonies who cares if its being taped for future screenings? rarely is there any art in it.
the only film shot that mattered to me at the times was the one starring chris brown which was also shot on the 6th floor. and the only reason that mattered to me was i ran into rihanna in the elevator and she made my heart skip a beat. something i didnt think was still possible at my advanced age.
sometimes the comments on Digg are the best part, but youtubes were great on this video
the hard hitting reporter turned anchor katie couric asked the Fox TV ratings prince via the proxy of “the twitter question” from a young lady in florida “what did you mean by ‘white culture’ (when you said that president obama was racist)”?
strangely the tv talk guy became tongue tied.
the video shot to the top of Digg yesterday and the comments were biting on youtubes:
– two douchebag insects are placed into an air-tight jar and shaken vigorously. a fight ensues; but for the winner, victory is futile: there is no air in the jar.
– I love how Beck tries calling Katie out for laying a trap, but immediately drops it realizing how pathetic that dead end, as if a simple question, by definition, is a trap. Katie’s aplomb is priceless. Beck’s bumbling the same.
– “Americans should ask tough questions.” Haha, yeah, and then they should dodge them with red herrings.
– I like to watch him squirm. It makes him look like a frog in hot water.
– lol katie is talking to him like he’s a kindergartner, trying to appease him so he could attempt to answer the question
– I just said, to an empty dark room… “you’re an —hole.”
– Beck is having his Palin Moment.
– He’s stunningly bipolar.
– Wow, it’s like watching a real life Michael Scott from The Office… or is he more Andy Bernard? Either way, Glenn Beck belongs at Dunder Mifflin.
many years ago the hottest pair of sisters in the blogosphere were the Mad Pony girls in oklahoma. when we first met them kristin was a freshman in college and her sister lauren was still in high school.
time has passed, kristin is a lawyer and lauren is playing semi-pro flag football.
this week lauren had an incident on the field which resulted in 8 stitches.
even though somehow she looks better than ever, kristin is still the busblog favorite. regardless, we hope the younger pony recovers quickly.
as you know the other day i was in heaven. i was at a sweet rock show with a sweet girl with sweet seats and about to eat some greasy burgers while sipping mixed drinks.
not real sure why super cool things happen to me. sorta sure some of it has to do with the fact that ive been single all these 102 years, and definitely sure that almost all of it has to do with the fact that ive been blogging for the last 8 years.
the video above is from the middle of the springsteen show during the part where he was playing born to run in its entirety. this was the end of the title track, a song that usually is part of the encore of his shows, if not the finale show.
to hear it in the middle was pretty interesting, because the question is, can you keep the energy up after youve performed your climatic tune right in the middle of the gig.
the answer was hell yeah. especially if youre the Boss, who celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday. heres a link to my complete “review” of the show as it appeared on the Times music blog, Pop n Hiss.
update: heres video from someone who had much better seats than me, musta been blogging for longer than i
and yes, thats pretty much all he said to intro the born to run suite. and yes, the camerawork was shaky on his/her footage too, mostly cuz – well, how can you not dance around a little to this material?