Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Joke sought

Trying some social networking for professional goals here (and Facebook and Twitter). I was thinking it would be good to have a joke at the end of this week's show. If it really catches on maybe it's something we do every week so people have a reason to stay tuned all through the credits. A little bon bon like This American Life does with Torey Malatia at the end. So I'm looking for a joke: something quick, tight, maybe newsy or maybe not, clean. Heard any good jokes lately?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Michael Vick is like, 'Why am I in jail?'"

Bill Clinton goes on and is Bill Clinton. Then Chris Rock comes on.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Conversation with Charlie (age 7) That Punches My Ticket to Hell

HIM: Dad, what color were Jesus's eyes?
ME: You mean the actual eyes or what color were the lasers that he shot out of his eyes?


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I think...

That this template and all templates, really, look like crap. It de-motivates me from writing. Unlike the blog of my soon-to-be-ex-boss who will soon be more like a colleague which looks great. But what to do? Where to switch? Suggestions?


On David Foster Wallace

No eulogy or obituary here. Lots of other places to get those.

From me, just a complaint. We were robbed.

I've always admired Wallace's writing, of course, as anyone who has crossed the threshold of literacy really must to some extent. His non-fiction work, especially, is astounding. As Peter Sagal pointed out, everything Wallace wrote became the best piece of writing on that subject. He wrote the definitive piece on state fairs, the definitive piece on cruises, on porn conventions, on talk radio, on lobsters. He was that good.

I never met the guy. I do know that when he was asked to be on the "Good News, Bad News, No News" segment on our show he said he'd rather put a fork in his eye which we all thought was pretty great. I never knew him like a surprisingly large number of my colleagues did, all of whom loved him.

No, I was just a consumer. My relationship with them was one of a customer. An audience member. And we were robbed.

Robbed of Wallace's next book, his next explanation of the world we're all living in together. We were robbed of that portion of the beauty of insight. We were robbed of AHA moments by someone, one of the few people among all us billions, who can generate them, in his case seemingly at will. We live in a darker place without that book. We could live in a lighter place with new Nirvana records. We could be illuminated by what Spalding Gray can tell us but instead we were robbed of that light by his disease. We were robbed by medicine, by that person, by dumb luck, by society, by a lot of things but it was sure as hell a case of theft.

Hemingway robbed us. Virginia Woolf robbed us. Elliott Smith robbed us.

Ever been robbed? Like where your house is broken into and someone steals your stuff and you're just sitting there thinking about it? Your stuff is gone. Suddenly. Your goods, the things you acquired to make your life better, are just gone. You're angry, you're confused, and you're scared because that's the world you live in.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sophie Can Walk

Brave film making here. One father refuses to believe the Big Pharma / Western Medicine corporate conspiracy that says his newborn baby wouldn't be able to walk until she was a YEAR OLD. As the father of a non-ambulatory 4-month-old, I feel his pain. Thanks a lot, DOCTORS!

Monday, September 08, 2008

John's Still Mad, Few Jokes Here

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said Sarah Palin, who would like the citizens of the United States to make her vice president, would not be interviewed "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference."

And okay so, um, WHAT? Respect? Absolutely. Of course. Deference? No. That wouldn't be an interview. That, sir, would be propaganda. She must be challenged, questioned, not allowed to wiggle, microscoped, cross-examined. Because this job she wants the American people to give her is an important job.

Are they required to make her available to talk in a format other than in front of friendly audiences speaking someone else's words on a teleprompter? No. Of course not. Do they have that responsibility? Yes, they do. It's a job interview. You don't hire someone for an important spot on your team based solely on the resume.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fr...Saturday Question - Ooh, I got one

A favorite conversation around our house.

Dinner party. You can invite three living people (not including whoever you live with because of course they'd already be there). Who are they?

Bonus: what do you serve?


Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Ques...ah, forget it.

Look, it's like this. Friday's are my bonzo banana days at work now since it's the day I write the show you'll hear tomorrow plus host the panel discussion and sometimes file a story too. So whereas my week used to be heavy at the beginning, then heavier, then lighter, now it's a slow build. I love it, of course, the new job, but hard on Fridays. So maybe we'll start doing a Tuesday question or something.

I also thought I'd give up the whole blogging deal but I'm not going to. I started this thing in 2003 when Rewind was going off the air and I thought it would be a good way to stay in writing shape. It was. It is. If you're a writer, you should blog. Who cares who reads the dang thing, if anyone. You're a writer? Write. But now I've kind of arrived at everything I've ever wanted professionally what with the show and books and stuff. But I will still blog. I feel like it's just in the bones now.

Also, here's a YouTube clip that chilled my spine. This Sarah Palin they have here, she doesn't do interviews. They're running her for Vice-President on a ticket with an old man who has survived cancer before and whose body has had some hard days and who has a family history of heart disease. So this Palin lady is someone who might be THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD AND SHOULDN'T WE GET TO KNOW HER?

No, says the McCain campaign. Watch this. The refusal to grant interviews is chilling enough but the sneering contempt exhibited for the simple notion of talking to the press is appalling. And bear in mind, this has nothing to do with politics. This isn't about what Palin or McCain believe or what Obama or Biden or Bob Barr believe. This is about secrecy and contempt and it's terrifying.

(wow, when did John get all serious? Or wait, was there a punchline? No? I looked for it but I didn't...)


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I knew Obama's background was unusual...

I didn't know it was THAT unusual.