ShellyBlog Shelly Brisbin's life consists of several long tails. She writes about them here.

August 30, 2007

Throw Larry from the Train

Filed under: Politics and Public Affairs — Shelly Brisbin @ 2:29 PM

Frank and I have been making fun of Idaho senator Larry Craig for a couple of days. We’ve been greeting one other with “I am not gay.” to which the response is “I have never been gay.” This is inexplicably hilarious to us, and we hope our gay friends won’t disown us. Like most folks who know and actually like gay people, we see Craig as fully hypocrisy-compliant figure. His arrest and embarrassment, and possible loss of his office, should he run again next year, would be a just outcome.

But when Republican officeholders yesterday (including John McCain) started urging that Craig resign, I began to get a gnawing sense that the senator from Idaho is not the only one with a hypocrisy problem. The calls for his resignation focus on the fact that he broke the law and plead guilty to doing so. Fair enough. The crime to which he plead guilty is a misdemeanor. It is not subject to prison time or a trial. if misdemeanor crimes committed by politicians are in fact grounds for requiring their resignation, shall we also force out those who inadvertently carry guns through airport security, or drive under the influence (without causing injury)? You see, both of these crimes have been committed by members of congress in the past couple of years. And I take no joy in telling you that in the most recent cases, the offenders were Democrats. Though I don’t have facts in front of me, I would wager that there are a few Republican DUIs that could also be dredged up in comparison.

The demands by members of his own party that Larry Craig resign are part damage control, and part a response to the ick factor of homosexuality, as experienced by straight men. In terms of Republican senate hopes, it’s beter for the GOP if Craig resigns or doesn’t run. If he does run, they’re bound to help him, and that would be awkward. The Democrats faced the same problem when $90,000 in cold hard cash turned up in congressman Bill Jefferson’s freezer. He ran for reelection and won. Very inconvenient for the Dems.

It doesn’t help Craig with conservatives that Craig parted company with them on the president’s recent immigration bill. A guy who likes I-legals and gay sex pretty much has no chance to obtain the kind of circle-the-wagons protection that crooked cabinet officers and congress members that like money more than sex are afforded by the selectively sanctimonious .

If you want proof of this, consider the good fortune of Louisiana senator David Vitter, recently found to have his phone number in the records of the “DC Madam” and accused by a New Orleans hooker of having been a good customer. Vitter has not been convicted, or even charged with a crime, but it is not this that keeps him in the good graces of the Republican party. It’s his solid conservative record, and the fact that he likes women,not men.

August 23, 2007


Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 1:24 PM

And so we begin the next phase of the driveway project, with 12 yards of good dirt for the garden.I’ll be recording a new podcast tomorrow, most likely.

August 22, 2007

TV Viewing on the Decline: YES!

Filed under: New Media and Tech,Podcasting — Shelly Brisbin @ 2:18 PM

Ever since I got into “new media” I’ve been struck by a real disconnect. Podcasters, bloggers, blog readers, YouTube watchers and other assorted users of the tubez are extremely vocal in their hatred of certain old media (commercial radio for the podcast set, and newspapers for the blog fans) but many seem positively addicted to cable and broadcast television.

Why is this? Why are the same people who turned off broadcast radio for podcasts, or the-ones who make their living telling the New York Times how last century it is composing love sonnets to their TiVos?

From where I sit, most media content provided by massive conglomerates is crap, whether it be radio, TV or movies. It’s not the conglomerate itself that turns the programming to crap; it’s the need to attract and provoke a large audience. And it’s-the degree to which that audience allows itself to be so conditioned by the habit of watching television, that all critical judgment seems to have been lost. How else do you explain reality TV?

Sure, part of my beef is political. I don’t like media consolidation, and I think it tends to destroy the kind of critical thinking that keeps politicians and corporations honest. But the way I know I’m right has nothing to do with my own sanctimony about corporate media. I know I’m right because the mere suggestion that someone who uses TV simply stop watching it when bad shows come on is almost always met with the equivalent of a blank stare. TV is not, for many people, a medium that brings programs they enjoy. It’s background, it’s a babysitter, an amusement park, a beer at the end of a long day. And when entertainment is consumed that way, you can pretty much put anything on the screen and guarantee that people will accept what they’re being fed.

Today I saw this article that finally begins to point to parody between television viewing and Internet use. Good! Certainly, there is a lot of crap on the Internet, but you can still choose from an array of programs, sites, networks and the like that are completely user-created and published. On TV, you have to sift through 150 really bad choices and that’s all you get. Once you give yourself permission to turn the thing off, you realize just how much of what’s on is an utter waste of time.

It’s too early to use the bloggers” newspapers are dead template when it comes to television. But I’ll be watching for opportunities to stick a fork in TV as it currently exists.

August 4, 2007

Driveway Diggin Playlist

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 11:06 AM

Frank asked me to put together a playlist to get hs blood going while he digs the driveway. Here, with great license taken, and a few blatant uses of songs with titles that are only loosely connected to the subject matter, is that playlist.

*I added a few more last night.

Song Artist
*Diga Diga Do Mills Brothers
*I Never Picked Cotton Johnny Cash
*Po Lazarus Various Artists
*Workin for the Man Roy Orbison
*I Dig Your Voodoo the Naughty Ones
His Hometown Cheryl Wheeler
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road Lucinda Williams
Working in the Coal Mine Devo
The Day John Henry Died Drive-By Truckers
John Henry Doc Watson
Hole In The Wall Billy Idol
Hole In The Bucket Catie Curtis
Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart Stone Temple Pilots
Down In The Hole Rolling Stones
Fixing A Hole Beatles
Digging Your Scene Blow Monkeys
I Dig Love George Harrison
Dig In Lenny Kravitz
Dig It Beatles
Diggin’ On You TLC
Dig Your Own Hole Chemical Brothers
Digging In The Dirt Peter Gabriel
Building a Road Spottiswoode and His Enemies
Working on a Building Meat Purveyors
Manhole Duke Levine
Hole In The Road Jennifer O’Connor
Big Rock Candy Mountain Various Artists
Rockpile Rockpile
(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville R.E.M.
Rocky Road The Dead Reckoners
Rock Bottom Gurf Morlix
Bulldozers On The Loose Rock ‘N’ Roll Stormtroopers
Pavement Cracks Annie Lennox
Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods Bill Kirchen
Hammer In My Hand Grady
If I Had a Hammer Nanci Griffith
Ditch Diggin’ Southern Culture On The Skids

August 2, 2007

If My Life Were A Game Of Jeopardy

Filed under: Random Personal Nonsense — Shelly Brisbin @ 10:11 AM

Thanks to Joe, I am once again tagged. I confess that I actually enjoy being tagged. Wait, that sounds weird.

If your life were a game of Jeopardy, what would your categories be?

1. Films of the 1930s and 40s
2. Fun things to do in Austin, Texas that do not involve chain stores
3. Blind girl workarounds
4. Politics are fascinating, but sometimes mind-numblingly depressing
5. Bourbons I have known
6. Folk & alt-country music
7. Strategies for storing excess computer cables
Bonus category: Cat lady in training

And in turn I will tag some usual suspects: Charles, Carolyn and Bill. The rest of you people* need to get blogs.

*You people = my friends.

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