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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Next - The Musical!
I just bought a Devo DVD a few days ago, so I've been doing a lot of online reading about the band. The best thing that I've read so far is that review of a July 22, 2003 appearance:

Review by: Cuzin Rog
Written on: Jul 27, 2003

I thought they kinda rocked. Except I was hoping they would play "Dancing Queen" or at least "Knowning you Knowing Me". I didn't think their appearance or weight seemed that bad. They cook with a lot of fat and pastries in Sweden. It was good to see the old yellow suits and flower pot hats again but I thought Bjorn's goatee was a little dark. Usually Swedes are more blond. I thought all the original members were supposed to play the show. I didn't recognize the drummer. Maybe Frieda will return and join them next show. Rock on. We're all DEVO! Love Bob II.

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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Non-Legislative Counsel May Get Involved
From bhwblog.com:

Aside from being prudes, the bill's authors are also plagiarists. Does that list of words ring a bell with anyone else? Sounds to me like the authors based their bill on George Carlin's famous Seven Dirty Words routine....They lobbed off the @@@@ and stuck in an @@@@@@@. Guess what, that's still plagiarism. Wouldn't it be hilarious if George Carlin sued the House of Representatives for copyright infringement?

Perhaps they can claim fair use. This is getting @@@@ingly ridiculous.

The following question is then asked: "What if the House debates the bill and the reps start arguing over which words do and don't belong on the list? Wouldn't the C-SPAN broadcast of the debate violate the bill itself?" My answer: if the bill has not yet passed, the debate would not violate the law.

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Legislative Counsel Got Involved! This Document Did Not Undergo Peer Review!
From Gene Weingarten's interview of Doug Ose in the Washington Post:

I'm right now leafing through smut....I decided to telephone the author, to express my outrage. After some phone tag, he called me back.

Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.): This is Doug Ose.

Me: Congressman, I am reading H.R. 3687, and I have to say it is one of the dirtiest, filthiest, most shockingly vulgar things I have ever read. My question is, do you have any more copies I can get my hands on?

Rep. Ose:

Me: Kidding, kidding. Seriously, as the author of this bill, do you consider yourself a pornographer?

Rep. Ose: The answer is no. When we visited with legislative counsel, they told us that the only way to effectively accomplish what we were trying to do was to put the words in the legislation.

Weingarten also found a loophole in the bill - one that would allow Bono's speech to be legal, ironically.

The bill lists eight separate forbidden words or phrases, and then specifically outlaws their use in other grammatical forms, enumerated as follows: "verb, adjective, gerund, participle and infinitive." That elaboration was in reaction to the FCC's decision on the Bono case, which Ose considered "absurd": The FCC said the rocker's language was crude but not obscene because he was using "[expletive]ing" as a modifier, not as a verb describing, you know, the act of [expletive]ing. As the FCC explained it, Bono used the word as an "adjective" to "emphasize an exclamation."

Now here's what's interesting: The FCC did make a mistake, but not necessarily the one Congressman Ose deplores. The mistake was that Bono's bad word was not, in fact, an adjective. Because it modified the adjective "brilliant," "[expletive]ing" was technically being used as an adverb.

But this went unnoticed. And so, as currently written, H.R. 3687 doesn't specifically outlaw adverbs! So even if the bill passes, it might still be possible to say whatever the heck you want on the air, so long as you choose the right part of speech.

Wouldn't that be [expletive]ing brilliant?

You know, if the 40+ sponsors of the bill had conducted the Congressional equivalent of a peer review, this "adverb" issue would have been caught.

Then again, this blog doesn't go through peer review, and it is absolutely perfect and features the highest qualtiy commentary.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004

My Inner Child is 16 Years Old
Visited Into the Great Known and discovered that Meadowsidhe's inner child is 16 years old.

I took the survey - mine is 16 also.

My inner child is sixteen years old today

My inner child is sixteen years old!

Life's not fair! It's never been fair, but while
adults might just accept that, I know
something's gotta change. And it's gonna
change, just as soon as I become an adult and
get some power of my own.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

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The Capital of the Fifth-Largest Economy in the World!
When Congressman Doug Ose isn't cussing up a storm, he's excited about JetBlue:

Just a week after it launched nonstop service between Sacramento and New York, JetBlue Airways on Wednesday said it will add another nonstop to the East Coast, this one to Washington, D.C.

The daily flight to Dulles International, beginning May 4, will be the first nonstop between Sacramento and the nation's capital since United Airlines pulled the plug on nonstop service in October 2001....

Rep. Doug Ose, the Republican who represents the Sacramento area's 3rd District, is thrilled by all the hours the new service could save him in his commute between the two capitals.

If his duties in Congress keep him past 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays - the day he usually returns to the district - Ose said he has to catch a red-eye to San Francisco and then either rent a car or have someone pick him up for the ride back to the Sacramento area.

"This kind of service would be a boost to me," Ose said. "I've always thought there was significant business between the nation's capital and the capital of the fifth-largest economy in the world."

I don't care what it's the capital of - I still hate the Kings. They're a bunch of - wait, has Ose's bill passed yet?

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A Devious Strategy
After Bono's January 2003 appearance at the Golden Globes, but before Janet Jackson's previously-discussed February 2004 appearance at the Super Bowl, Congress decided to take action. Congressman Ose introduced H.R. 3687 to designate certain words as "profane" ("asshole" being one example).

Even if the bill doesn't pass, Congressman Ose has succeeded in getting the seven (or eight) (or eleven) words into the Congressional Record, for all generations to admire. Go to thomas.loc.gov and enter a search for the word/phrase "asshole" and you will see what I mean. Try some other terms while you're at it.

George Carlin, now the Government's repeating your words! How much did you contribute to Ose's campaign?

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

He's a radical!
No, this isn't Anatevka in 1905...

The pro-Hillary website www.hillary.org and the anti-Hillary website stophillarypac.com are engaging in a little war over whether or not the anti-Hillaries were executing a denial of service attack on the pro-Hillaries.

Da da da. (Uh huh.)

Meanwhile, the anti-Hillaries are trying to portray her as un-American because of what she did while she was at Yale Law School:

Countered LeBoutillier: "I think that people ought to know the truth about Clinton. ... She is the most committed left-wing politician out there. I want people to know she represented Black Panthers and communists," he told the Sun, referring to groups Mrs. Clinton supported in law school.

Why, that makes Hillary as un-American as...well, as President John Adams (definitely NOT a Democrat or a wide-eyed liberal), the lawyer who represented the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre:

This...focuses on the tragedy as well as on the search for truth during the trial of the British soldiers accused of murdering five citizens of Boston in 1770. The soldiers' hope for a fair trial and defense rested in the hands of John Adams, one of the outstanding patriot leaders of the day. Taking the case, Adams eventually was able to prove that the soldiers fired in self-defense. His efforts resulted in the acquittal of all but two of the soldiers, who received a branding on their thumbs in punishment. Although a triumph for justice, the verdict and trial proved to be costly for Adams, as his loyalty to the patriots was questioned and his family harassed.

This is what he said. This is what John Adams said:

The Part I took in Defence of Cptn. Preston and the Soldiers, procured me Anxiety, and Obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested Actions of my whole Life, and one of the best Pieces of Service I ever rendered my Country. Judgment of Death against those Soldiers would have been as foul a Stain upon this Country as the Executions of the Quakers or Witches, anciently. As the Evidence was, the Verdict of the Jury was exactly right.

So, it ain't Anatevka in 1905. It's Boston in 1770, people.

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Another blog to monitor...

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Monday, March 22, 2004

I Nearly Became a Human
Many of the electronic artists who emerged in the 1970s felt that songs created from machines also demanded lyrics that were seemingly delivered by machines. The initial Human League albums were sci-fi extravaganzas, Kraftwerk was Kraftwerk, and Gary Numan was Gary Numan.

One of the earliest exceptions to this rule was Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, a band that would rather sing about Joan of Arc than a pocket calculator. Their output is impressive: "Electricity," "Enola Gay," the aforementioned "Joan of Arc" and "Maid of Orleans," "Tesla Girls," most of Crush ("So in Love," "Bloc Bloc Bloc," "Crush," "88 Seconds in Greensboro," "The Native Daughters of the Golden West," "The Lights are Going Out"), and almost every song on The Pacific Age (in my view, only "We Love You" is weak, and that's probably only because KROQ played it to death).

I have written the perfect OMD song. Actually, I haven't written the entire song - just the title. "Southern Black Catholic With a Broken Heart." This is OMD, is it not?

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Nummern, Nummern
OK, it's time to get back to our regularly scheduled analysis of 20th century electronic lyrics.

One of the items on my "replace thrown-away cassette with CD" list is the Kraftwerk album Computer World. The most international-friendly song on the album is "Numbers" (on English versions) or "Nummern" (on German versions); since the song itself consists of lyrics in multiple languages, the English and German versions have identical lyrics.

However, my favorite song on the album is "Computer Love" (or, if you insist, "Computer Liebe"). Normally you can't put the words "Kraftwerk" and "jamming" in the same sentence, but how else do you describe the instrumental end to this song?

Of course, most Americans (or most Americans of a certain age) are only familiar with one song, which has lyrics only in German:

Wir fahr'n fahr'n fahr'n auf der Autobahn
Vor uns liegt ein weites Tal
Die Sonne scheint mit Glitzerstrahl
Die Fahrbahn ist ein graues Band
Weisse Streifen, gruener Rand
Jetzt schalten wir das Radio an
Aus dem Lautsprecher klingt es dann:
Wir fahr'n auf der Autobahn...

Heck, it even rhymes...

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Numbers, Numbers...
There are/were actually four productions of Fiddler on the Roof in the Inland Empire. In addition to the one in which I participated, the other productions are/were in Upland (Grove Theater), Rialto, and Chaffey High School in Ontario.

Here's a quote from the Daily Bulletin's 3/11/2004 article about the Grove production:

The director, who also directed "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Grove, said one of the challenges he faced for this nearly two-and-a-half-hour production is getting everything done on time.

"This is a big show to stage," Jacques, 31, said.

He would know because the only other show at the Grove larger than "Fiddler," which has 38 cast members, was "Joseph."

Is a large cast sometimes difficult to handle?

"Yeah. It's like being a wrangler because they're all over the place," Jacques said jokingly.

Well, our director redefined big in his comments for the Daily Bulletin's 3/19/2004 article about the Bridges production:

"It's a heavy-duty show dealing with real world issues," director Christopher Robertson said. "I'm sure the other theater companies will offer brilliant productions of "Fiddler,' but what separates our show is the fact that we will have 255 kids on stage."

Hmm...wonder if it's possible to perform "Fiddler" with a cast of thousands? And if so, would the Rose Bowl allow it to be staged?

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

It WAS a Mule
As I noted in my March 11 entry, I am involved in a local Children's Theatre Experience production of Fiddler on the Roof. We gave our first performance today, and will offer four additional performances over the next three days.

Not counting non-speaking appearances in a Last Supper re-creation, this was my first time on stage since the 1972-1973 school year. And THAT production didn't have singing, professional sets, or a performance venue like the Bridges Auditorium.

Most of the participants are children and teenagers, some of whom have been doing this for ten years or more - very experienced, good singers, good dancers, good actors. Because this performance of Fiddler was in desperate need of men to play the "papas," several of us parents got drafted into speaking roles. I purposely chose a small role (less than a dozen lines, most of which are simple "Mazeltovs" here and there). Needless to say, I remembered my lines (at least for this one performance).

All in all, it's been a very enjoyable time. I have an old high school friend that was heavily involved in theatre, and I've known several actors and playwrights here and there, but it was fun to do this for myself.

Maybe someday I'll learn improv...

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Thursday, March 11, 2004

Fiddler Meets Wayne Brady
Excerpts from a post on Yahoo's Whose Line Is It Anyway group.

My daughter and I are both involved in a local theater production. One night, at the end of rehearsal, my daughter tape-recorded the song "Matchmaker" so that she could work on her part at home. Her parts occur at the end of the song, so she recorded the whole thing.

After rehearsal, we got in the car to go home, and I told her about a "Whose Line" episode that I had seen the night before. (Unbeknownst to either of us, she accidentally recorded our conversation.)

As we drove home, she rewound and played her recording of "Matchmaker," which sounded something like this.


(Girls' voices)
Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Plan me no plans
I'm in no-

(Man's voice)

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Monday, March 08, 2004

Early Human League
An old set of lyrics just popped into my head:

Is such a big word
It's been around since
Richard The Third

These are taken from
"Blind Youth", a song on an early Human League album. Before the days of Joanne and Susanne, Human League was a four-piece outfit of men with synths, ranging from the dour (their blue-eyed soulless version of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling") to the tragic (Hawaii Five O meets ancient Greece in "Circus of Death") to the cerebrally amusing ("Empire State Human").

As time passed, Human League began to develop the Electronic Beat that they would exhibit on the albums Dare and Heaven 17. The last album before the breakup of the original Fab Four included "The Black Hit of Space" (in which a record goes up to number one, and then keeps going up into minus figures), and their Human League meets Harry Chapin song "WXJL Tonight."

In my view, Human League reached its musical and lyrical peak with their song "The Lebanon." By this time they were, in a word, daring to use instruments other than synthesizers. Phil and the ladies had worked the vocals out. Lyrically, you can't fault them for trying to say something.

Then they became an interchangeable Jam/Lewis act. "Love on the Run" was a rare hurrah for the League on that album. Most of it, while good, sounded very much like Jam/Lewis (in the same way Jeff Lynne made Roy Orbison and George Harrison sound like the lead singers in a bad ELO cover band).

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I'm Makin' It! Number Two To No One! I'm Making My Posts! I'm Getting Things Done!
I made a post on Yahoo!'s SWY message board that included a link to the "SHAME ON VONS" flyer and some other material that the UFCW 770 should remove in a (my words) "Stalinesque revision on its website." This post was seen by a Yahoo! user who is a long-time union member/part-time web designer. She responded, "I agree. I forwarded your post."

Presumably UFCW 770 and saveourhealthcare.org will realize that they need to toe a new line.

OK, tomorrow I want to solve the Middle East conflict. Where should I post?

(Incidentally, the title here is a reference to my entry at 17:06 on 2/19. Will Amway salespeople start to offer fresh bananas?)

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As of today (several days after the settlement of the Southern California grocery strike, a link to this flyer is still accessible on the UFCW 770 flyers page:


Send a message to Safeway, CEO Steve Burd that you will not be part of the 'VONS CLUB' that exploits its employees, threatens their healthcare and makes them second-class citizens.

Hmmm...maybe I should send it in tomorrow?

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Joke Ad of the Day?
The March 1 2004 InfoWorld includes a Microsoft ad that reads, in part, as follows:

Linux was found to be over 10 times more expensive than Windows Server(tm) 2003 in a recent study. The study, audited by leading independent research analyst META Group, measured costs of Linux running on IBM's z900 mainframe for Windows-compatible functions of file serving and Web serving.

A z900 mainframe?

I'm still searching for the ad in which Microsoft claims that baseball is 1000 times less expensive than basketball, based on a cost comparison of Kid Gates' Little League team vs. the Los Angeles Lakers.

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