Blogs > Life, I wrote.

Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Race relations

Much has been said about U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's mid-September "You Lie!" screech directed at President Barack Obama, and many have implied that aside from being boorish and plain-old crazy, it was racist, something that I touched upon slightly in "Health Care, explained (poorly)."

It's a simplistic argument, I think, and belittles some who have valid criticisms.

Nobody called Kanye West racist, for instance, when he interrupted Obama:



Having said that, there is no denying that there's a good deal of people who are racist, and that when people call out racism sometimes, they are accused of playing the race card, a point cartoonist Keith Knight made clear recently, when he drew himself like this:



If the satire was clear to you, it was lost on the students of Slippery Rock University in western Pennsylvania:



It was also lost on WYTV, which ran the headline, "Students upset over racist cartoon."

And yes, students are protesting the cartoon by wearing nooses over their necks. Go figure.

Knight, whose syndicated "K Chronicles" ran at Ulster County Community College when I was editor of The Senator there, issued a statement:

In the first panel of this specific comic strip, white people accuse a black man, who is about to be lynched, of pulling the race card. This is an exaggerated, satirical version of what we often see and hear in mainstream media: the victim gets accused of pulling the race card, which is an easy way to dismiss the real issues involved.

Students talk about experiencing real-life incidents of racism on campus, yet it is my satirical comic strip they're protesting over. I'd like to hear what the students are going through. If this uproar causes the school to address those issues, then my comic has done its job.

All the news that's fit to sing



Guaranteed: You won't be able to get "Made in America," "Those geese are cooked" or "very thin ice" out of your head for a very long time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

BRAWL in Kingston caught on video

video

The ladies of BRAWL, Broads Regional Arm Wrestling League, stopped by Kingston's Keegan Ales on Friday. It was a wild night. The group raised more than $1,000 for the YWCA.

If you missed them (shame on you), you can catch them at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Water Street Market in New Paltz.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

More irrelevant knowledge!

In case "Test your irrelevant knowledge" wasn't enough. Here's more from today's batch.

* CNN doc Sanjay Gupta has the swine flu:

"I went to Afghanistan and all I got was H1N1."

* Marilyn Manson has the swine flu.



* And (former) New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress is in Ulster! (Correctional Facility)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Seen in Drudge



Nothing! Except how to spell "gets."

UPDATE: This was in Drudge Wednesday:



Panic time! Did Obama really said "world order" at the United Nations on Wednesday?

He did!

He said, "No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed."

Obama on Letterman



"It is important to realize that I was actually black before the election."

Yes Men take on the New York Post



The Yes Men pulled another one of their stunts today, handing out fake issues of the New York Post in New York City this morning.




"SPECIAL EDITION" NEW YORK POST from The Yes Men on Vimeo.



They did the same to the New York Times in November.



There's even a Web site that looks exactly like the Times' site. And the Post.

"It's no surprise that they tried to spoof the New York Post," the New York Post told the Associated Press in a statement titled "Witless Spoof in Flawless Format." "They figured this time they'd choose a paper people actually love to read. But this is a limp effort. It has none of the wit and insight New Yorkers expect from their favorite paper. The Post will not be hiring any of their headline writers."

So it seems the Post has a sense of humor.

Almost.

The Daily Finance reports that when volunteers tried to distribute copies outside the Post's offices, they were detained by police and their papers were confiscated, according to an eyewitness.

Jimmy Fallon steals the show

Saugerties High School grad Jimmy Fallon presented an award for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics at the Emmys on Sunday, using the maligned program Auto-Tune.

It was the best moment of the night.

Some blogs already have the clip.

Auto-tune, for the uninitiated, is the software that allows any voice to match a pitch.

Check this one, for instance:




And here's a Rated-R "South Park" rip at rapper and gay fish Kanye "jackass" West, also using Auto-Tune.

"Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" won an Emmy last week, too, for outstanding creative achievement in interactive media.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Heard at the Emmys

Associated Press

Heard at the 61th annual Primetime Emmy Awards:


"All right, it's my job to keep things moving tonight. I'm here to ensure everything runs smoothly. Here's hoping Kanye West likes '30 Rock.'" — Host Neil Patrick Harris, referring to the rapper's recent stage invasion at the MTV Video Music Awards.


"I'm not employed now so I'd like to be on 'Mad Men.' I also like 'The Office' and '24.' — Kristin Chenoweth, accepting the award for supporting actress award in a comedy series for "Pushing Daisies" that was canceled.


"You know, I used to think that awards were just shallow tokens of momentary popularity. But now, I realize they are the only true measure of a person's real worth as a human being." — Jon Cryer, accepting the award for supporting actor in a comedy series for "Two and a Half Men."


"I will make my speech as brief as possible in the hope that it won't be interrupted by a congressman or a rapper." — Ken Howard, accepting the award for supporting actor in a miniseries or a movie for "Grey Gardens."


"The thing about Oscars and the Golden Globes is they got film stars there. With their jaw lines and chiseled looks, making me feel bad. But in this room, I'm probably above average." — Presenter Ricky Gervais.


"These shows, we've all been to a lot of these, they usually suck. And you've been very good." — Jon Stewart, who won for variety, music, or comedy series for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," to host Neil Patrick Harris.

Dr. Horrible interrups Emmys

Dr. Horrible, from the Emmy-winning series "Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog" interrupted the Emmys in order to declare the death of television and suffer connection problems.



If you've never seen Dr. Horrible on TV before, it's because Dr. Horrible has never been on TV before.

It was a Web-only series. Yes, it won an Emmy.
Don't ask me. I don't give these things out.

This was shown at the Emmys.



It was bad.

No. Not because the beating is horrifying commenters at the New York Times, but because it's a recreation of a 2006 episode of Emmy-nominated "Family Guy," called "Patriot Games," from season 4. The clip went viral then, and has stayed popular since.

Even worse. It's not the complete beating. Later, Stewie (the baby) throws Brian (the dog) down the stairs, brutally beats him with a club, shoots him twice, beats him with the gun and then burns him alive. Seriously. Watch:



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stinky does health care


Emmy-winning Kingston resident Mark Greene, founder of the Kingston Digital Corridor initiative and co-owner of the Kingston-based Pecos Design, has recently launched an interactive Health Care cartoon, because that's how he rolls.

Greene won the 2007 National Public Service Announcement/Broadband Emmy for his 90-second short "Big Fun with Global Warming." Stinky, whom the Sierra Club describes as the "nasty little office man," is the star of both efforts.

The point of view, thus, should be obvious.

Visit www.stinkytoons.com for more Stinky (and Flossy, the pubic hair).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ball dropped

NBC Philadelphia correspondent Teresa Masterson, a former Freeman reporter, recently filed a report about Emily Monforto, the little girl "who became famous overnight for throwing a foul ball back on to the field at Tuesday night's Phillies-Nationals game."

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.

Add your own caption


* "What did you say, Joe Wilson?"

* "Yes, I said Kanye's a jackass. You've got a problem with that?"

* “I’m a member of the Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan.”

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

UPDATE: "Keep f***ing that chicken!"

And now there's video

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama on Kanye

Predictably, TMZ got a hold of a leaked tape featuring President Obama talking about Kanye West. The file has multiplied online.

In the tape, The prez asks to be be off the record — after he made the comment.

No dice.

He knows better than that. It's an unwritten rule, but both sides know it, especially politicians.

So here it is.



UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that CNBC's John Harwood, who conducted the interview, "said there was no explicit agreement with the president that those comments were off the record. But he said it is broadcast tradition that such pre-interview chatter is considered off the record until the formal interview begins."

Using the other unwritten journalistic rule, (once it's out, it's out), the AP then describes the whole episode.

But you've already heard about it, so I'll spare you.

Other mic snafus?

* President Ronald Reagan, while waiting to make a speech in 1984, joked that he had outlawed the Soviet Union and that "the bombing begins in five minutes."

* George W. Bush turned to Dick Cheney during the campaign in 2000 and said, "There's Adam Clymer -- major league a**hole -- from The New York Times."

"Yeah, big time," Cheney replied.

It should be noted that mostly, these gaffes benefited the politicians with their constituencies.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Karl Rove to appear on 'Family Guy'



"I play myself, meaning the son of Satan, the spawn of evil," said Rove.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Big Tobacco lawsuit, featuring 35 instances of the word "truthful"!

... and The Central Hudson defense!

Seriously, it's on page 2.


Big Tobacco Complaint

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Old tobacco ads

I'll be indulging in the smokey topic of Big Tobacco on Wednesday, so I figured a reminder of the industry's past practices would come in handy (Click on the image to to to the exhibit).


From the authors of the exhibit:

Our intention is to tell—principally through advertising images—the story of how, between the late 1920s and the early 1950s, tobacco companies used deceptive and often patently false claims in an effort to reassure the public of the safety of their products.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Final farewell to Zeus



The New Paltz Police Department has posted a slideshow of the memorial of Zeus, the New Paltz police dog who died as a result of injuries suffered in a two-car accident July 31 between two New Paltz police patrol cars — one operated by Police Officer Joseph Judge and the other operated by Police Officer Robert Knoth, who was Zeus’ handler.

Zeus, a 7-year-old Belgian Malinwa shepherd from the Czech Republican, was donated to the force in 2003. He was trained as a patrol and narcotics dog and had been involved in several notable cases, most recently a case earlier this year involving the seizure of drugs, $50,000 in cash and an automobile. In 2007, Zeus helped track a suspect in the rape of an elderly woman, and in 2006 was instrumental in the seizure of 150 pounds of marijuana in a drug investigation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blaise Schweitzer memorial service program

Blaise Schweitzer memorial service program, to take place Sept. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Old Dutch Church at the corner of Main and Wall streets in Kingston.

Blaise Schweitzer memorial service program

Errare humanum est

RE: "Stop! In the name of a traffic light"

Because of bad and lazy writing habits from a horrible columnist, the good-old-boy actions from alderman Bill Reynolds, right, were attributed to alderman Robert Senor, left, according to Tom Hoffay.

"I don't really care what Hoffay says" is an actual quote from Senor.

Also, we're told good-old-boy Reynolds actually is a grown man.