Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘David Cross

Wednesday Night’s All Right for Procrastinating

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* How to Be an Academic Failure: An Introduction for Beginners.

* Rape culture: In 31 states, rapists have paternal rights, and can even sue for custody.

* Laurie Penny: Rapists are evil people. They’re not nice blokes who everybody respects who simply happen to think it’s ok to stick your dick in a teenager who’s sleeping in the same bed as you, without a condom. This guy seemed, if anything, confused as to why I was scrabbling for my things and bolting out the door. He even sent me an email a few days later, chiding me for being rude.

* A new scientific theory suggests that Big Bang was actually a phase shift: a Big Freeze.

* Terrors of a True Believer: MOOCs and the Precarity Problem.

Despite our gut-level hunch about the direction of the language; despite the fact that 70-cent, three-minute, off-peak, coast-to-coast long-distance calls that cost four inflation-adjusted dollars in 1970 are now free; despite cheap travel, YouTube, and the globalization of film and television, American dialects are actually diverging.

There are multiple examples of such divergence. But none is as dramatic, as baffling to linguists, and as mysteriously under the collective radar as what’s happening in the cities that ring the Great Lakes. From Syracuse, N.Y., in the east to Milwaukee in the west, 34 million Americans are revolutionizing the sound of English.

Now, as the “Freedom Tower” reaches its full height, the inside story of boondoggles, self-dealing, common corruption, and why it’s all taken so long.

“I know that we have members of the media here right now, so I’m not going to go through that in great detail.” Not to make a whole thing out of it, but it’s amazing he’s able to get away with this.

* And David Cross teases even more Arrested Development than you’d dared to hope.

Too Many Linkdumps Lately – 2

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Links from the Weekend

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* Slate devotes a column to criticizing the U.S. military-based approach to Haitian emergency relief. There’s some attempts at push-back, with varying success, in the MetaFilter thread, particularly about the specifically helpful capacities of the ships that have been sent there, but what can you say about facts like these:

Air-traffic control in the Haitian capital was outsourced to an Air Force base in Florida, which, not surprisingly, gave priority to its own pilots. While the military flew in troops and equipment, planes bearing supplies for the Red Cross, the World Food Program, and Doctors Without Borders were rerouted to Santo Domingo in neighboring Dominican Republic. Aid flights from Mexico, Russia, and France were refused permission to land. On Monday, the British Daily Telegraph reported, the French minister in charge of humanitarian aid admitted he had been involved in a “scuffle” with a U.S. commander in the airport’s control tower. According to the Telegraph, it took the intervention of the United Nations for the United States to agree to prioritize humanitarian flights over military deliveries.

Meanwhile, much of the aid that was arriving remained at the airport. Haitians watched American helicopters fly over the capital, commanding and controlling, but no aid at all was being distributed in most of the city. On Tuesday, a doctor at a field hospital within site of the runways complained that five to 10 patients were dying each day for lack of the most basic medical necessities. “We can look at the supplies sitting there,” Alphonse Edward told Britain’s Channel 4 News.

The much-feared descent into anarchy stubbornly refused to materialize. “It is calm at this time,” Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commander of the U.S. Southern Command, admitted to the AP on Monday. “Those who live and work here … tell me that the level of violence that we see right now is below pre-earthquake levels.” He announced that four—four, in a city of more than 2 million—aid-distribution points had been set up on the sixth day of the crisis.

* Some good news: the IMF claims it is “pursuing” the total elimination of Haiti’s foreign debt. And some terrible news: by one estimate (highlighted by Marginal Revolution) a full 8% of Haiti’s population may be orphaned children.

* 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pinball History.

* From the comments: The Five Dials tribute to David Foster Wallace.

* David’s Cross’s The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret has been picked up by the BBC. My friend Bill posted a clip from the pilot not long ago, which he played at his recent show at Raleigh.

* Fan art gone terribly wrong/terribly right: Seinfeld Star Wars.

* Auto-appendectomy in the Antarctic: a case report. (Thanks Neil!)

* Via Ezra Klein, I see Tom Toles has somehow gotten hold of the Democratic playbook.

* Glenn Greenwald has a balanced piece largely in favor of the Citizens United v. FEC. Others are saying this decision may give foreign multinational corporations the right to participate in the American political process. Citizens United is by all appearances the first major domestic political crisis of the ’10s, and it came early; if I had sway in the progressive blogosphere I would suggest we devote ourselves to demanding the introduction of a constitutional amendment that reverses this decision by modifying or eliminating corporate personhood. That fight would not be easy—as Matt points out the total spending on Senate campaigns in 2004, $400 million, was just 17% of the marketing budget of a single American bank, which means our already corporatist ruling class would have every possible incentive to ignore such a campaign—but I don’t see much choice; it’s hard to imagine any sort of functional democracy existing in America while Citizens United remains in full effect.

* Republicans believe that Obama’s problem is that he’s pushing so much government intervention in the economy. That’s undoubtedly part of the story. But Obama’s larger difficulty is that he’s pushing so much change at a time when filibuster threats are so common that it requires 60 Senate votes to pass almost everything — and the minority party won’t provide the president votes on almost anything. We are operating in what amounts to a parliamentary system without majority rule, a formula for futility. Steve Benen has a post on the filibuster reform recently proposed by Tom Harkin here.

* Are Republicans “irrationally exuberant” about November? God, I hope so.

* For what it’s worth Obama’s poll numbers continue to match Reagan’s, and he beats nearly all comers in 2012. The one possible exception is the affable, if politically odious, Mike Huckabee, who beats Obama 45-44 in a PPP poll. And it was Huckabee himself who predicted just this week Obama will win again in 2012.

* NASA says 2000-2009 was the hottest decade on record. Good thing climate change is a myth.

* The immortal Neil Gaiman is profiled in the New Yorker.

* The last days of Philip K. Dick.

* And if my estimates are correct, we could hit Peak Crayola as soon as 2018.

I Have a Cold and I Must Blog

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* Forgot to mention yesterday that Chrome for Mac is out, and it’s crazy fast.

* Time one-ups the Onion by including both Planetary *and* The Walking Dead on its best-comics-of-the-2000s list. But the price is losing Chris Ware, Marjane Satrapi, and, as Bleeding Cool notes, any sense of variety at all.

* R.W. Johnson writes from South Africa to report on the World Cup for LRB.

As one observes this huge event being put together one realises that soccer has become a matter of trying to defy gravity. Everything about the event – the expenditure on the stadiums, the players’ enormous wages, the vast sums for the TV rights, the glitz and glamour of all the WAGs and celebrities, and even the reasoning behind closing key city roads for Fifa or Blatter – indicates that extraordinary concentrations of wealth and power are involved. Everything we know about human behaviour when it is subjected to such powerful pressures and incentives leads us to expect that cheating and violence will become virtually inevitable. Not just handballs and diving, but crooked referees, crooked draws and all the rest. Yet we also know that it’s vital that the TV commentators are able to enthuse about ‘the beautiful game’ with at least a margin of credibility: think how disastrous it was for cricket when match-fixing was exposed, or how badly the Tour de France has suffered from all its doping scandals. In most countries in Africa and Latin America such pressures have led to the ruin of local leagues, while the match-fixing scandal currently being investigated in Germany suggests that the results of hundreds of matches in Central and Eastern Europe were also fraudulent. The number of countries in the world where a game of soccer is still a fair contest may be quite small.

* Marc Ambinder heroically risks his own sanity to annotate Sarah Palin’s climate change op-ed. Media Matters goes there, too.

* Related: It’s Always Snowing on the Drudge Report. P.S.: Watch out for Stalinists under the bed.

* Sotomayor’s first Supreme Court opinions are making news in part for her refusal of the term “illegal immigrant.”

* And Candeblog has the clip from David Cross’s pitched BBC show The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret that he played at the end of his show in Raleigh this fall.

David Cross at the Carolina

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October 8, 2009 at 2:40 am

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Tuesday Links

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Been busy today. Here are links.

* Pam Spaulding talks about the Durham City Council meeting last night at which a pro-same-sex marriage resolution was passed.

* “In the future, a famous person will die every fifteen minutes.”

* More bad news for Republican Chris Christie as a nonpartisan ethics group, NJ-CREW, has now called for an investigation into his time as U.S. Attorney. He’s also facing criticism over unreported interest from a loan made to current staffers at the U.S. Attorney office.

* The Obama White House says reports of the death of the public option are greatly exaggerated. (No word yet on the pubic option.)

* David Cross was funny last night on the Daily Show.

* Mad Men footnotes.

* Xenophobia for Dummies: A District 9 Primer. Of particular interest are the historical details surrounding apartheid-era District 6. Via this AskMe, with more.

* Meanwhile, the usually-more-astute Spencer Ackerman denies that America is anything like those nasty racists in District 9‘s Johannesburg. What’s a million Iraqis give or take?

* And the absolute worst news of all time: Arrested Development movie is nowhere near happening.”

It’s Finally Real

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Jeffrey Tambor: Arrested Development movie is “a go.”

On the red carpet, Jeffrey told me he just spoke to Mitch and the movie is a go! He says Mitch Hurwitz spoke to him this week and while he didn’t know when the start date was, he said, ”when the writer/director calls you it’s a pretty good sign.”

When Olbermann reported this a few minutes ago, he confirmed that David Cross had also gotten a call.

There is a God.

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November 13, 2008 at 2:07 am

Late Night

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Late night.

* ‘Our Phony Economy’: Why measuring GDP doesn’t tell us much of anything we need to know. In Harper’s, via MeFi.

The purpose of an economy is to meet human needs in such a way that life becomes in some respect richer and better in the process. It is not simply to produce a lot of stuff. Stuff is a means, not an end. Yet current modes of economic measurement focus almost entirely on means. For example, an automobile is productive if it produces transportation. But today we look only at the cars produced per hour worked. More cars can mean more traffic and therefore a transportation system that is less productive. The medical system is the same. The aim should be healthy people, not the sale of more medical services and drugs. Now, however, we assess the economic contribution of the medical system on the basis of treatments rather than results. Economists see nothing wrong with this. They see no problem that the medical system is expected to produce 30 to 40 percent of new jobs over the next thirty years. “We have to spend our money on something,” shrugged a Stanford economist to the New York Times. This is more insanity. Next we will be hearing about “disease-led recovery.” To stimulate the economy we will have to encourage people to be sick so that the economy can be well.

* Springfield Punx Simpsonizes celebrities and superheroes. At right: Tobias Fünke.

* Al Giordano says Tim Kaine is growing on him for VP.

The number one rule in choosing a vice presidential nominee is “first, do no harm.” If you’re a presidential nominee, you don’t want a running mate that will distract from you, commit gaffes, speak off-message, or that secretly thinks he or she is too good to be number two.

And the second rule is, “then, do some good.” You want a VP that will reinforce your messages and make voters more comfortable with you.

Kaine is so far passing both tests with flying colors.

I’m not there yet—as I’ve mentioned before, just about everything I hear about Kaine turns me off—but Al’s instincts have never steered me wrong. I guess we’ll see.

* What are the essential reads in literary fantasy? Personally I’d have to start my list with heavy-hitters from the twentieth century (and my bookshelf) like Kafka, Borges, García Márquez, and Calvino…

* Mission accomplished, corporations! Wal-Mart employee voluntarily enforces her entirely false belief that “copyright lasts forever.”

* And will Burn After Reading, the new Coen Brothers comedy, be the new greatest movie of all time? All signs point to yes:

Arrested Development: The Movie: It’s Real

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Arrested Development: The Movie: it’s real, per Jason Bateman on KO:

The pessimist in me worries that this will only ruin the world’s most perfect TV show, but I’m willing to take that chance. Via MeFi.

Here’s the faux Special Comment they reference in the interview, which I’d missed at the time:

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June 26, 2008 at 11:09 am

Friday Night Is Stupid YouTube Night

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Friday night is stupid YouTube night.

* News of a new David Cross/Bob Odenkirk HBO series brings a MetaFilter thread full of classic Mr. Show videos.

* Asking random celebrities who would win in a fight, a minotaur with a trident or a centaur with a crossbow. Via MeFi.

* There Will Be Vader.

(The centaur, obviously.)

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March 22, 2008 at 1:16 am

Jan. 2 Links

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Jan. 2 is traditionally the day where I link to things on the Internets. This one is no exception.

* Via MeFi, David Cross attempts to explain why it’s okay that he participated in the awful-looking Alvin and the Chipmunks remake.

* New blog Paleo-Future promises “a look into the future that never was.” Sold! It’s in my RSS reader now.

* My good friend Tim over at Bitter Laughter waxes nostalgic about Disney World’s Carousel of Progress, and also concludes that Huckabee is sort of frightening.

* And in New Hampshire’s Union Leader, Barack Obama puts forth the case for Barack Obama.

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January 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm

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The last David Cross link for a while is this two-pronged riff on heaven and squagels from his 2002 comedy album, Shut Up, You F***ing Baby! Please don’t watch this at work. It’s not safe for work.

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May 29, 2007 at 2:20 pm

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Reaction Jackson Tuesday:

* Steve says my picture of the Mona Lisa puts him in mind of this YouTube video of five hundred years of female portraits in 2 minutes.

*Shankar links in the comments to David Cross’s Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy.

* Everyone in the world is talking about the creation mususem.

* Warning: soft drinks are seriously bad for you. I’m two months dry (de-fizzed?) and I’m starting to not miss the delicious taste… all that much. The first time I stopped drinking soda I went nine months before I relapsed, and I’ve bounced six-months-on, six-months-off since then—but this time I want to stay off the stuff for good.

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May 29, 2007 at 1:28 pm

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This is surely the most juvenile thing I’ve ever posted, but we’ve been watching Mr. Show on DVD and this completely idiotic sketch had me in tears.

And while we’re on the subject, who knew David Cross used to date Chloe?

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May 26, 2007 at 2:44 am

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