March 31, 2008

Pat Condell.

. . . on LiveLeak, Fitna, Islamic violence, Islamic gynophobia, and how "pathetic" we are in the first half of the 21st Century.

He seems . . . irritated. But maybe that's me.

Thank you, AllahP.

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Look, Jon.

Everyone gets tired now and then.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Christopher Hitchens on the former First Lady's, um, Exuberant Memory

Read the whole thing; I'm quoting his conclusion, which I hate to do—but in this case it's a terrific encapsulation of his argument:

It's hardly necessary for me to point out that the United States did not receive national health care in return for its acquiescence in the murder of tens of thousands of European civilians. But perhaps that is the least of it. Were I to be asked if Sen. Clinton has ever lost any sleep over those heaps of casualties, I have the distinct feeling that I could guess the answer. She has no tears for anyone but herself. In the end, and over her strenuous objections, the United States and its allies did rescue our honor and did put an end to Slobodan Milosevic and his state-supported terrorism. Yet instead of preserving a polite reticence about this, or at least an appropriate reserve, Sen. Clinton now has the obscene urge to claim the raped and slaughtered people of Bosnia as if their misery and death were somehow to be credited to her account! Words begin to fail one at this point. Is there no such thing as shame? Is there no decency at last? Let the memory of the truth, and the exposure of the lie, at least make us resolve that no Clinton ever sees the inside of the White House again.

I know, I know: Hitch is a Marxist Athiest. He drinks too much whiskey. He has a funny accent. He imagines that he is funnier than he really is. But I like him; he does call matters as he sees them.

And that is cool.

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Safe as

. . . College Campuses.

Why can't we admit that there is no safety to be had without the use of force, and without the right to self-defense?

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mr. DeMille . . .

I'm ready for my close-up. book deal.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oh, Nice.

I couldn't even get through that "Obama bowling" thread. Is this why no one pays attention to Scarborough Country?

Why, why . . . it's machismogate!

What a tool Scarborough is. And I don't mean a hammer. I mean, like, maybe a foam hair roller or something like that.

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"This Is Where The Party Ends . . ."

"You and your anti-Semitic friend . . . ."

Via Insty, via Frank J., who remarks, "Being a They Might be Giants fan, I can't believe I didn't think of this song myself as soon as the Wright scandal popped up."

A lot of us were asleep at the switch.

I'm laughing so I don't cry.

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Sometimes, in a Moment of Clarity,

one realizes one's deepest unconscious longings are actually for the right kind of extermination method:


Originally found at November Fire, and brought to you via David Linden.

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Sure. All Good Fun Until Someone Gets Hurt.

And then, it's a crime.

This is worse than most cyber-stalking. Worse than those fucktards who call up people's employers and try to get them fired because of some idiotic disagreement on a fuckin' discussion thread.

It's about on a level with those assholes who remove the stop signs at intersections, to see whether someone will die, or whether there will just be massive bodily harm.

See why that's funny, Mommy? It happened to someone else! That makes it hilarious!

h/t: Ace.

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Iowahawk = Morally Reprobate.

He's running excerpts from Obama's memoir:

"You Obama men are all the same," snapped Aoma testily as I climbed into the Land Rover. "Always abandoning your village, alway chasing after something on the horizon. What is it you need that you can't find here? Why must you leave your home?"

I thought for a minute, and looked into my half-sister's eyes. "I have to go," I said. "The video arcade in Nairobi just got Mortal Kombat II."

She rolled her eyes, unable to understand that deep longing that compelled me on the arduous two day journey across the Serengeti. When I finally arrived again in Nairobi, amid the dusty bustle of the market and the bloobidy-bloobidy-bloop of the arcade, I experienced an intense personal epiphany. It occurred to me that no matter their skin color, no matter their station in life, all humans have a deep-seated need to hog the Mortal Kombat machine. In that sense, the Kenyans at the arcade were no different that the white kids at the Galleria, although there were probably fewer Goths.

Read the whole thing.

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I Do Not Believe This Is 100% Fucking Accurate.

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou - Free Online Dating

Via Rachel Lucas, who appears to have obtained a more realistic evaluation.

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Nominations for Top Right-of-Center Male Bloggers.

The Cotillion will be sponsoring a promotion of conservative male bloggers, because the male sector of the b-sphere is under-promoted.

Please try to remember that just because a guy has a pretty face, it doesn't mean he's qualified. We'd like to see some fresh analysis as well.

We're not just looking for conservative bloggers who are male, by the way: we'd also like to see some thoughtful coverage of men's issues: football, baseball, getting grossed out by the leavings of makeup and menses, power tools, weak beer, misunderstanding things women say, pretending not to be able to feed oneself, and the like.

Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

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Dennis Prager . . .

on why the "plight" of the Palestinians gets so much more ink than the plight of the Tibetans:

The long-suffering Tibetans have been in the news. This happens perhaps once or twice a decade. In a more moral world, however, public opinion would be far more preoccupied with Tibetans than with Palestinians, would be as harsh on China as it is on Israel, and would be as fawning on Israel as it now is on China.

But, alas, the world is, as it has always been, a largely mean-spirited and morally insensitive place, where might is far more highly regarded than right.

Consider the facts: Tibet, at least 1,400 years old, is one of the world's oldest nations, has its own language, its own religion and even its own ethnicity. Over 1 million of its people have been killed by the Chinese, its culture has been systematically obliterated, 6,000 of its 6,200 monasteries have been looted and destroyed, and most of its monks have been tortured, murdered or exiled.

Palestinians have none of these characteristics. There has never been a Palestinian country, never been a Palestinian language, never been a Palestinian ethnicity, never been a Palestinian religion in any way distinct from Islam elsewhere. Indeed, "Palestinian" had always meant any individual living in the geographic area called Palestine. For most of the first half of the 20th century, "Palestinian" and "Palestine" almost always referred to the Jews of Palestine. The United Jewish Appeal, the worldwide Jewish charity that provided the nascent Jewish state with much of its money, was actually known as the United Palestine Appeal. Compared to Tibetans, few Palestinians have been killed, its culture has not been destroyed nor its mosques looted or plundered, and Palestinians have received billions of dollars from the international community. Unlike the dying Tibetan nation, there are far more Palestinians today than when Israel was created.

None of this means that a distinct Palestinian national identity does not now exist. Since Israel's creation such an identity has arisen and does indeed exist. Nor does any of this deny that many Palestinians suffered as a result of the creation of the third Jewish state in the area, known -- since the Romans renamed Judea -- as "Palestine."

But it does mean that of all the causes the world could have adopted, the Palestinians' deserved to be near the bottom and the Tibetans' near the top. This is especially so since the Palestinians could have had a state of their own from 1947 on, and they have caused great suffering in the world, while the far more persecuted Tibetans have been characterized by a morally rigorous doctrine of nonviolence.

So, the question is, why? Why have the Palestinians received such undeserved attention and support, and the far more aggrieved and persecuted and moral Tibetans given virtually no support or attention?

The first reason is terror. Some time ago, the Palestinian leadership decided, with the overwhelming support of the Palestinian people, that murdering as many innocent people -- first Jews, and then anyone else -- was the fastest way to garner world attention. They were right. On the other hand, as The Economist notes in its March 28, 2008 issue, "Tibetan nationalists have hardly ever resorted to terrorist tactics..." It is interesting to speculate how the world would have reacted had Tibetans hijacked international flights, slaughtered Chinese citizens in Chinese restaurants and temples, on Chinese buses and trains, and massacred Chinese schoolchildren.

The second reason is oil and support from powerful fellow Arabs. The Palestinians have rich friends who control the world's most needed commodity, oil.

Read the whole thing. Please.

Via Photon Courier.

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Hawkins Asks Conservative Women Out.

Oh, sorry.

Hawkins asks conservative women about getting asked out.

I dunno: it seems to me that the more people concentrate on dating as dating, the more hung up they get on rituals, and form-over-function. So the more the guy concentrates on "being a gentleman" in terms of opening doors or paying the bill, the less likely he is to be a true gentleman in the arenas wherein it counts.

Politeness is oversold. And if you can't be friends with someone, why on earth are you trying to be lovers with them, much less marry them?

UPDATE: Hackbarth weighs in, and points out that some issues simply make for interesting discussion around the dinner table, whereas others are potential deal-breakers—e.g., abortion.

When I was dating a guy who was adamantly anti-abortion—when I was less so—we made a deal that if an unplanned pregnancy occurred, I'd carry the child to term (and most likely put him or her up for adoption). The boyfriend agreed that he would be asked to help generously with the costs of prenatal care, any time off from work, etc.

That worked for us, but it may not be common that two people can work something like that out on such a loaded issue.

Via Memeorandum.

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My Blog-Nephew! At The Atlantic!

Jon Henke is filling in for Megan McArdle; that's kind of cool.

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March 29, 2008

When All Else Fails . . . Resort to Manners.

I've only "seen" Ace this angry once or twice before.

How funny that I linked his post, but didn't even think to read through the comments. I felt that his elegant, simple Anglo-Saxon language had summarized the case against those who had attempted to censor Fitna, and didn't imagine that his commenters would do any better.

Besides which, I do not tend to agree with those who want to indict all Muslims as terror-sympathizers. After all, that's not just a moral problem, but a practical one as well: suddenly, you're declaring war on a larger pool of people than if you just stuck with the Islamo-fascists. Even if it were morally acceptable, why would I want to take on a significant portion of the world's population? (As Benny Hill put it in quite a different context, that's "like burning down the house to get a piece of toast.")

And, frankly, I don't like to wade through a bunch of bigoted crap.

Ace, on expressing oneself in a public forum:

I should say this is a difficult call because there are legitimate discussions to be had about precisely how complicit most Muslims are in terrorism, and how much Islam itself is to blame.

But for the love of God, please understand that when you broach these concededly-legitimate topics you should do so as thoughtfully as possible, and not in the white heat of anger.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I realize that that was part of the problem, and that he stirred some up by immediately (of course) claiming Christianity was the "real" problem.

But just because he's a terrorist symp is really not a license to write crap here that would get you fired at work were you to say it there.

This is a business. People do read this at work.

I am getting tired of having to remind people of these basic facts. You are threatening my very goddamned livelihood and no, your "right" to free expression is not going to trump my right to make a buck.

Here's a simple guideline: Before you spout off on a charged issue, ask yourself if someone reading this at work might be in trouble with Human Resources for reading the site if a coworker happened to read your commnent.

If the answer is "Yes," then do not hit publish. Take a breather, rethink, reconsider, rewrite. Or consider exiting the argument altogether if you find you're too angry to mind a respectful, respectable tone.

Either there's going to be some self-regulation here or there's going to be external regulation. Either way, there is going to be regulation.

That's just the way it fucking is.

Yeah. That's why I have my commenting policy: you can put me down all you want, and you can, for the most part, take on public figures who put themselves out there for criticism. But personal remarks directed at other commenters and other bloggers are off-limits, and I like people to keep the ad hominem to a minimum.

Of course, it's a good deal more difficult for Ace, because people actually read his blog. (That might reflect the fact that he has a work ethic when it comes to posting, of course. [Insert inane joke about sexism here, followed by equally inane remark about the bawdy humor at Ace's site—the difference being that playfulness and genuine anger are two different things, for those who don't get that distinction.])

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

More on Freddie and His Friends

I still don't understand why the first three Queen albums never got much airplay back in the day: Mercury, May, Taylor, and Deacon never really got a lot of traction until Night at the Opera came out, but even prior to that "Killer Queen" (from the album Sheer Heart Attack) got some attention, and after they got big some DJs went back and played "Keep Yourself Alive" (from the first album, Queen).

But Queen II, which fell right between those two albums? I've never heard anything from it over the air, and it's good. "White Queen," "March of the Black Queen," "The Loser in the End," "The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke." Even the version of "The Seven Seas of Rhye" on this album is terrific.

Undiscovered gold, here.

BTW, you engineering-types probably already know this, but Brian May and his father constructed the guitar he played as part of Queen in their garage, when he was young. It's one-of-a-kind, and of course a major engineering feat, given the tolerances involved in a project of that kind.

The first six or seven Queen albums all bore the legend "no synthesizers," or "no synths" on their covers; if you listen to those records, it's amazing what the boys were able to achieve without using synthesizers, and a lot of that has to do with Brian May's supernatural abilities as a guitarist.

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Reihan Salam on Stop Loss

Writing in The Atlantic:

Peirce's film is certainly not animated by disdain for the troops. Rather, she seems to think of her subjects as overgrown children, complicated and tragic, yes, but not ready to withstand the rigors of adult decision-making. It's easy to imagine that she wants the adolescents in the audience to identify with her characters, and maybe even to think twice before accepting a military recruiter's pitch. This is a fundamentally protective instinct that is admirable in its own way. It's worth reflecting on the fact that during the Second World War, America's conscript army was full of terrified young men, only 15 to 25 percent of whom ever fired their weapons in combat. A remarkable number were maimed, killed, or felled by disease, and a far higher number were paralyzed by sheer terror and dread while on the battlefield. Though the volunteer army seems less egalitarian, it is undoubtedly far more effective and in its own way far more humane. One wonders about the kind of film Peirce would have made about the poor grunts sent off to fight Hirohito and Hitler, most of whom were subject to physical regimens that would be understood as abuse in our own time. Would she have made a stirring film dedicated to the cause of draft resistance? Well, no.

No. Read the whole thing.

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Insty on the "Autism-Vaccination" Connection.

"John McCain still needs to address this, and stop getting his health-policy advice from Don Imus."

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Taking It Out on the Bank.

I can't imagine doing this.

I dunno: I'm pretty sure my ex was "upside down" in the mid-90s housing downturn, but he just stuck it out. I guess I see real estate as a "buy and hold" kind of thing.

Maybe not for us; we've only been at the house 11-12 years. But it's way too large for us, and we'll be happier in a smaller place.

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March 28, 2008

When Prayer Isn't Enough.

Practical thoughts on how Westerners can help with the situation in Tibet.

Contra Mark Steyn's wife, it does seem as if awareness of the situation is helpful—so those little bumper stickers she decries in her cameo in American Alone may not be as unhelpful as she fears.

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What Is It with the New OS?

So, I'm just scrolling along, minding my own business, when the freakin' scrollbar decides that because I'm reading, and skimming headlines, and . . . whatever . . . I must want it to go faster. So it just decides to go faster, and it skips past some text. So I have to keep going back to where I was before.

I can't find it in Safari preferences. I can't find it in the OS preferences. I just don't know how to fix it, and it's fucking pissing me off.

I do not care about being homeless. I do not care about not having time or space to wash my hair. I do not care about having to do 1.5 hours of housework, very quickly, every morning before I leave the house. I do not even care about the leftward listing "current affairs" bookshelf at my local bookstore/coffee house.

What I care about is the fucking insane turbo-scrolling that goes on in my windows, when I don't want it to. And I'm out for blood.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

FoodFuel Fight.

Right here, at Hit & Run.

I'm afraid that I tend to toggle back and forth a bit on subsidized biofuels, just as I did with the space program.

But I'd like to see the former go private, just as the latter is starting to.

And, ethanol. Ugh. Homey don't play that.

But I think we need to remember that all of the alternative fuels are in their infancy. Of course they are not efficient yet. We're still identifying, um, as Edison might have put it, "ways to do it that don't work."

That doesn't mean that there isn't a way that will.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Overheard at the Angeles Crest Cafe . . .

"Okay. Let me get this straight. You're at war with three separate bloggers."


"And one of your best buddies isn't speaking to you."


"Is there any chance that it's time to look inside?"

"I tried to get them to do that, but they refused. It's like they don't even want to grow."

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's Official: I'm Completely Insane.

I cannot decide how I'm going to handle the offers on the house that haven't even come in yet, and are of undetermined amounts. And quantity.

All I know is, the real estate agent wants to move quickly. The husband wants to move quickly. And part of me wants to either counterbalance that, or see some damned good reasons why I shouldn't.

This whole process is really nervewracking. This one little business deal is going to make such a big difference in our lives over the next few years.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RWN's Top Blogs

Unfortunately, John got the "Honorable Mentions" mixed up with the actual 1-40 Top Blogs, inadvertently ranking small fry like that "Instapundit" fellow above . . . me. Can you imagine?

So when you read his post, just mentally swap those two lists, and all will be well.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The Land of Plenty . . .

So, where did Paul Rugg get the idea for Sam Plenty?

Here you go.

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More on TSA's "Nippleringgate."

Well, yes. It does make for good joke fodder.

But it's only funny in a grim sort of way. When I flew to Chicago in the spring of 2002, I managed to get the underwire out of one of my bras (the metal detectors were set on "stun" at the time).

But, no: it wasn't comfy.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Newsflash: Genies Don't Gently Back Into That Good Bottle.

Nope; I haven't seen FITNA yet. That has to do with being temporarily homeless: until I get a headset for the Mac, it seems rude to watch videos of any kind here at Camp Lefty.

And when I go home at night I'm only really interested in two things: 1) how many household tasks can I accomplish before I bed, and 2) once I'm in bed, how soon can I be unconscious?

If you were looking for the vid, it's here, via Ace, who editorializes, in his inimitable style: "Fuck you." (Apparently, he's back on the "F-word" again, which means he's probably back on cigarettes.)

But, really. It's all about me, no?—

I should clean my car out and find a quiet place to park it; I caught up with sleep last night and I'm all Ritalined-up right now, but I know I'm going to want to sleep in that thing at some point before we go into escrow.

I've been told that we may be in escrow by this time next week. And because I'm the bull terrier in the family, I have to decide how far we should compromise on price before the written offers start to roll in on Monday afternoon.

The way I play this next week will determine the way A the H and I live for the next 2-5 years. Ick.

And I haven't showered since Tuesday. I haven't washed my hair since last Saturday. I haven't worn makeup in two weeks. I look, in short, like hell.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

David Corn Sees RACISM! in the McCain Campaign.

Racism! I tell you.

Yup. I buy it: any time anyone uses the term "American" in a seemingly Pro-American fashion, they're using code language. They are anti-black, or anti-Semitic, or anti-funny-name or anti-Whatever-It-Is-That-You-the-Voter-Are.

Even if one of the candidates has a spouse who's putting this country down every chance she gets.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008


Not only are you safe from the danger posed by keyring-sized pocket knives and tweezers; you're now also safe from body jewelry!

Hooray! Thank you, TSA! I say, let the terrorists grow their eyebrows out! That'll teach 'em.

UPDATE: Gloria Allred is involved, now. Insty says the expression on her face is "scary," but IIRC that's her normal expression: she favors the severe schoolmarmish look.

I'm glad that the woman who was picked on by silly people at the TSA is pursuing this. And I'm glad she has a staunch defender in Gloria—though sometimes, to be perfectly honest, Gloria unwittingly reminds me what the things are that I don't like about feminism. And about many attorneys (sorry, Glenn et al.).

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"Your Own Tables, Your Own Dorms . . ."

" . . . your own churches."

Via Captain Ed at Hot Air.

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Who Knew?

Apparently, there are investments other than real estate.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Obama-Clinton Tie

Karl at Protein Wisdom points out that the superdelegates are going to have to sing for their supper this time around:

While Cost (and I agree) that Clinton remains a long shot, the spate of media stories reminding us of this should be read in light of the fact that Obama, like Clinton, stands little to no chance of winning the nomination based on elected delegates. Many superdelegates may wish for a deus ex machina, but it is not forthcoming.
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How India Can Help Tibet, While Helping Itself.

Rajiv Sikri writes in Rediff India on the ways in which Indian diplomacy could help to resolve the Indian border dispute with Tibet (China)—without undermining the Tibetan uprising:

While formulating its policy on Tibet, India has to keep in mind that it is uniquely placed vis-a-vis Tibet, and therefore must have a unique policy that conforms to its national interests, irrespective of what the rest of the world says or does. No other country has as important stakes in peace and stability in Tibet as India does. A Tibet in ferment makes India's Himalayan frontiers unstable and insecure. As a democratic country that is hosting such a large number of Tibetans, India has a legitimate interest in what happens in Tibet. Since developments in Tibet have direct consequences for India, Tibet cannot be, as the Left parties in India make out, just an internal matter of China.

If there is a severe crackdown on the Tibetans, it is likely to lead to an increased Chinese military presence in regions close to India's borders, which would have implications for India's own defence planning. It will also inevitably trigger off a fresh influx into India of Tibetan refugees, whom India would find it difficult to turn away on practical and humanitarian grounds.

In subsequent official statements and/or through authoritative but deniable unofficial channels, India could emphasise that while it firmly upholds the principles of supporting the territorial integrity of duly constituted states and non-interference in other states' internal affairs, its own experience shows that the peace and stability of multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural societies requires dialogue and accommodation within a democratic framework.

Ethnic and separatist problems require political solutions that give every citizen the confidence of being an equal stakeholder in the state. India expects that China would put in place policies that would stabilize Tibet and give the Tibetan Diaspora in India the confidence that they can return to their homeland.

India needs to take full advantage of an important nuance, perhaps unintended, in India's acceptance of Tibet as a part of China: India has merely conceded that the "territory of the Tibetan Autonomous Region is a part of the People's Republic of China;" it has not accepted that Tibet (whose borders historically and in the minds of the Tibetans extend beyond the Tibetan Autonomous Region) was always a part of China. As a matter of fact, Tibet was quite independent of Chinese rule and had all the attributes of a sovereign state between 1913 and 1950.

Traditionally, thousands of Indian pilgrims have made pilgrimages to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar lakes in Tibet without needing any permission from the Chinese authorities. If China can lay claim to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on the grounds of its cultural, historical and spiritual links with Tibet, the case for India's claim to Kailash-Mansarovar region on similar reasoning is probably more substantive. Secondly, if at any time in the future the People's Republic of China were to give way to another entity India could well argue that it is not obliged to recognize Tibet as a part of any new political entity of China. Of course, this is a hypothetical scenario, but the Chinese would not miss such nuances and subtleties.

India needs to take a leaf out of China's book in the matter of observance of solemn bilateral commitments. Just as China, contrary to the agreements with India in 2003 and 2005, has re-opened very aggressively its claim to Arunachal Pradesh, has still not fully accepted Sikkim as a part of India, and does not want an early settlement of the boundary question, India too should subtly reopen the whole question of the legitimacy of China's claim to Tibet, which is the basic foundation for China to make any territorial claim on India.

There could be many ways in which India could introduce some nuances in its traditional policy. For example, India could state that it considers Tibet, as an autonomous region, to be a part of the territory of the People's Republic of China -- the implication being that it is only if Tibet is a truly autonomous region that India recognises it as a part of China.

Ironically, China, in welcoming the Indian approach during the recent uprising, has given legitimacy to India's unofficial policy shift. The Chinese should be made aware that subtle shifts in India's Tibet policy will continue, and that India will remove the ambiguities in its Tibet policy only under the following conditions: firstly, if the situation on the ground permits it (very unlikely if China persists with its present repressive policies); secondly, if there is a definitive settlement of the boundary issue; and, finally, only as a quid pro quo for China recognising all of Jammu & Kashmir as an integral part of India.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hullo from Camp Lefty.

Day Three of the Prospective Buyers' Seige. At least three parties went through the house yesterday, and five are going through today.

I've been informed that if I want to, I may go home briefly between 4:00 and 5:00.

What I really want to do is (1) shower, and (2) sleep. Not necessarily in that order.

I'm tempted to try to nap in my car, but in this town there's a very real risk that I'd get arrested for vagrancy or something.

My schedule: I get up, fold the laundry, wash the dishes, make the bed, light the candles, turn on all the lights, and leave the house. Then I come home and clean/straighten/rearrange knicknacks for a few hours before going to bed again—or trying to.

Then I wake up. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm essentially a live-in domestic servant for potential La Canada homeowners, so if we don't get an offer that's a few hundred thousand north of what we are asking, I'm going to be kind of annoyed.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

Look. I Know Everyone's Going to Get Mad at Me Again,

but I think it's interesting that men can now get pregnant.

Transgendered men, but . . . men nonetheless.

I mean, I know it's a rather challenging topic, and I do remember finding out that my ex-girlfriend was now cross-living, and IM'ing about this new development with a prominent blogger.

"Wait a minute," he asked. "If the disconnect is due to the person being 'mentally' the other gender, why couldn't simply change this person's brain chemistry? I mean, to be politically incorrect about it."

Well," I explained, "in many cases it isn't about the human brain. It's about genetic irregularities, and those are immutable. To my knowledge, one cannot change one's chromosomes. They are, after all, in every freakin' cell in our bodies."

"You know," he confided, "men don't like the idea that they might be dating a girl, and find out that she'd once been a man. It's just weird to us."

"Oh, okay," I responded. "In that case, we should outlaw gender-reassignment surgery, cross-living, and probably even cross-dressing. I didn't realize it was making you uncomfortable."

Okay: I didn't say that. I think I wrote: "interesting; gotta go. Working in the office tonight. Please link me soon, 'kay?"

Just think about it. This kind of thing is not very common, but it does happen. It worries me that we seem to be lumping it in with homosexuality. Truth be told, there is some overlap: I think people with a gender-disconnect often flee to the gay community (and its "agenda," which is bound in crocodile and contains a Mont Blanc pen), but I'm not sure that is how it would go if the mainstream were more accepting.

When, for example, did The Advocate become a "transgender" publication? And why do we use the designation LGBT all over the place? Furthermore, why are left-handed people excluded from that grouping? Are left-handed people not real "equals" in the LGBT community?

And why can't we simply give left-handed people drugs to make them right-handed? Not, you know, to be politically incorrect about it . . . but they make me uncomfortable. I mean, I give someone a document to sign, and suddenly they're angling the paper in the wrong direction. I don't like it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:47 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

So. The Anchoress.

Doing pol-blogging again.

Lent is over, Man. Come on down.

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Yeah. Chelsea.

I believe the translation is, "fuck you, hard and fast. No vaseline."

She's pretty hardy, for a hot-house flower.

Yeah, yeah: I know Bill and Hillary spent hours around the dinner table insulting her so she'd grow a tough hide. I also know that a memo came down from the division head at a prominent animation company here in L.A.--circa 1994--that said, "make fun of any public figure you want, except Chelsea Clinton."

So, either management overreacted to that infamous (and brutal, and uncalled-for) Saturday Night Live skit, or Hillary Clinton called every single contact she had in the entertainment industry, and--surprise!--they took the call from the First Lady, and created a sort of media blackout around Chelsea.

Personally, I think that should be the rule for underage children of Presidents, Vice Presidents, and Senators. But Amy Carter might see the issue differently.

And there is the fact that Chelsea enjoyed a lot of exotic Grand Tours on the public dime; furthermore, her starting salary right out of college was $100K annually. Which I don't begrudge her, but as a manager in a small publishing company, I pulled down $16K when a subsistence salary was closer to $27K.

This involved a lot of microwaved macaroni and cheese lunches, and a teary confrontation with the cleaning lady when she accidentally threw my mac 'n' cheese out on a Friday night; I'd counted on eating it the following day.

So, yeah. Chelsea looks hot, and poised. She should. I doubt the cleaning lady has thrown out her lunch too many times lately. Protein and a good colorist will do that for just about anyone.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Recession-Proofing Your Life.

Hackbarth on the way bookstores cope with a changing economy, and why some industries (or segments thereof) are more resistant to the effects of a recession than others.

In late 2001/early 2002 I was working at The Food Magazine, and one of the insights its editor had was that when times get tough (a terrorist attack, the beginnings of a recession) it was good to be in an industry that was considered an affordable luxury. "People still have to eat," I was told. "And if they can't afford to go clubbing or go out to fancy restaurants, they'll entertain at home, or have dinner at home."

We started running a lot of "comfort food" on the covers of the magazines and cookbooks, and emphasizing a "back to basics" approach. Simple elegance. Less caviar, more chicken pot pies. Fewer celebrity chefs, more on the visceral pleasures of food.

Of course, for the upper crust (yeah; I meant that) cooking is an affordable hobby.

So what's that thing the you can do at a level that is perceived by those around you to be a special value? What is, to put it in Hackbarthian terms, the equivalent to stocking up on Young Adult paperbacks, and relying less on YA hardcover sales?

How do we survive? How do we thrive?

What in your life—emotionally, financially, temporally—is the equivalent of a blue-chip stock?

I have some ideas, but it's taken me a while because I happen to be a bit dimwitted.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Fictional Dialogue from Camp Lefty

[Around 12:43, if you were wondering. I'm getting tired of annotating these entries. Maybe next time I'll just retroactively post them at times that correlate to their actual composition. Alternately, I'll begin to limit myself to blogging about interesting things, rather than my rich interior life.

Just kidding.]

"I just got a few things," I tell my husband. "And they were cheap. Like, I got this pen that will fit in my pocket, and a sudoku book so I can start doing sudoko and my mind won't ever really age."

"Don't give me that look," I warn him. "I'm right about this; I'm always right about things like this."

This particular character [ahem] happens to be right about most things. I know, because I made her that way.

There is, to be honest, a sort of rush in playing God this way. The downside is that my characters all rebel against me, sooner or later. I hear I'm not the only one.

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And then, Written at Camp Lefty Itelf

[Composed at 12:33 p.m., over a lovely cup of organic Earl Grey tea, with just a bit of whole milk in it.]

I haven't been online since last night; this is tough. Most of the local businesses require passwords before one can steal their bandwidth and connect, gypsy-stye, from their accounts.

Furthermore, the account I was hoping to tap into simply isn't working, even here at its point of origin.

I really am about to start going through WiFi withdrawal.

According to the barista here, there is a problem with the internet connection that extends throughout Southern California.

This happens to be the most populated state in the Union; whassup with MAE West right now? (It couldn't be MAE West, though: that hub is in Northern California.)

UPDATE: The connection works just fine from home; I wonder who the ISP is for Camp Lefty Bookstore and Coffee House?

Curiouser and curiouser.

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The Angeles Crest Coffee Shop

[The first segment of this was written today at 12:02 p.m., when the internet connection was not functional at Camp Lefty, and I therefore wasn't able to post from the coffee shop next door over my breakfast burrito. As Charleton Heston would say, "darn the luck!"]

I'm sitting in a coffee shop here on Foothill Blvd. in La Canada. There are a couple of firemen having lunch two tables over.

They are discussing what firemen are always discussing: home remodeling, coubustile materials, and food. But, of course, mostly food.

Good Lord: firefighters are even dishier than cops. And they cook as a rule; I can only advise young ladies to stay away from 'em. I can't imagine that it's easy to break things off with a fireman.

(Now someone is going to point out to me that the average firefighter cannot converse intelligently about the Bloomsbury Group. Which is fine. They cook. Did I mention that?)

* * *

Note to Professors Purkinje and Fractal: Speaking of famous late-20th Century Angelenos early 20th-Century Londoners, A Space Child's Mother Goose is back in print!

Here's the only rhyme I remember somewhat-accurately therefrom; will someone fact-check me on this?

A Pimlico dream Of the Bloomsbury Group May have made Mayfair A Keynesian soup.
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Stacy, Stacy, Stacy.

Too much time on the road, Buddy. Way too much time on the road.

Though Senator Clinton has certainly been taking charisma lessons from . . . someone. Hm. Wonder who . . . someone with a lot of charm, who's a good liar.

Also: Blogosphere APB! Will someone check on Stacy's wife and child? I want to make sure they really exist. I mean, I can see that he's sincere about this . . . not like a Bosnia kind of thing. But I just get concerned about ol' Stacy's perceptions on these things.

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Posted by Attila Girl at 03:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No, Glenn.

The objectively reasonable price is somewhere north of double what we paid for it. Plus commissions.

Otherwise, why knock yourself out buying in the Los Angeles area?

My friends have informed me that for the amount I'm paying for a condo in Glendale, I could buy a mansion in Riverside, or an estate in Lancaster.

All very well and good, but where would I actually, you know—work in one of those areas? They aren't big media/entertainment centers.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008

Darleen is Prejudiced

. . . against sugary breakfast cereals.


Posted by Attila Girl at 10:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

T-Steel on Huck and Wright.


The fact is—much as it pains me to say it—I agree with the Huckster on this. I definitely think Wright should be granted more latitude than if he were saying equivalent things from some sort of Klanlike, white-supremacist point of view.

What I can't do is condone the fact that Obama entered public life without distancing himself from this man in some way. Even if it meant that his wife and kids went to one church, while he attended another (or didn't go at all), it would satisfy me.

I guess I'm proclaiming that thing I always get cranky at other people for saying: in certain arenas, the standards have to be higher for public servants. I'm sorry, but they do. If we don't expect a United States Senator to distance himself in a concrete way from rank bigotry, how can we expect to move forward? Even if that bigotry is less rank than it would be if Wright were white?

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dave Wants Money.

Don't we all?

Of course, if you send Dave money, he'll get something cool with it—whereas I'd just squander it on books and red wine.

I'm taking my hat in hand and asking you to send an email pledge of financial support with the subject line "Make Iowahawk Happy Pledge Fund." Please, no actual cash or PayPal donations. Just a pledge amount that you'd be seriously willing to contribute on the condition that I actually get the car [a 1964 Galaxie with a Turbonique "rocket-charged" engine; 1500+ hp to the real wheels]. If that happens, I promise a free rocket car ride to any pledger that comes to Chicago.


PS - Even if you don't want to make me happy, I'll still take your pledge! Just send it with the subject line "See Iowahawk Splattered On a Cliffside Pledge Fund."

Dang, I wish I had money. Iowahawk should so have that car.

(Dave: "any pledger who comes to Chicago." Let's not get so excited about this car that our grammar goes out its mid-century window.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So, Being Good Sellers,

we amscray around 5:15 because one of the local agents is bringing a potential buyer by at 5:30 p.m. We decide to go to the largest local indie bookstore/coffeehouse. A the H Resists Temptation, so he can Set an Example, but I buy a few things because I want them. (Not the Goldberg book, however: I can't quite justify that, and the paperbacks tend to come out on these types of works in a reasonably timely fashion.)

We come back around 6:30 p.m. and try to figure out whether the potential buyers are still there. So it's a rousing game of "try to spot the agent's car." A the H insists that the blue Toyota Matrix must be in.

"No way," I tell him, but enter carefully and yell, "hello?" No answer.

Of course, if the househunters are still here, they could be in the yard. AH goes off to some sort of athletic hoohah event, and I stay. I pour a glass of wine, sit down, and open my laptop. I haven't yet turned off the extra interior lights, or locked the back door—because what if the agent is just starting out? What if that really is his or her Matrix?

After about three minutes, I realize that what I really need—more than I ever have, and more than anything else—is to take a really huge crap. It's worth noting here that none of our bathrooms have locks on the doors.

So I take care of business in one of the upstairs bathrooms, and come out again. No sign of anyone in the yard. The Matrix is still parked in front. No one in this area drives anything like that—it's too nice to be a housekeeper's car, but not nice enough to be one of the local homeowners'. I figure it belongs to the tenant who's renting out the guesthouse next door, and remind myself to ask not to trample our plants next time he hikes up to his car. I don't mind him taking the shortcut, but he should go easy on the landscaping if he's going to go through our yard.

Contra my husband's opinion, a Matrix isn't the kind of car a real estate agent would be ferrying clients around in. Not in this town.

I lock the back doors, and turn out the lights in the rooms I'm not using. I hope we get an offer on this place before the electricity bill shows up; I daren't even think about what that's going to look like.

And, you know—Mother Earth is weeping. And stuff.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


And my birthday is almost five months away.

Thank you, Johnnie!

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sometimes I Lie Awake . . .

thinking about what Nancy Reagan wants. Wondering, hoping. Imagining that if only I could get her opinion on a given issue, I might start to see it clearly.

Okay, I'm done with the snark. I think. But the fact is, the only position Nancy has held that has interested me at all was that on stem-cell research, because of the beauty in it: her stance was at odds to that of a beloved conservative icon whom she was married to for decades—but her views were motivated, at least in part, by her love for that crazy and amazing man.

Hackbarth suggests that the N. Reagan endorsement could be played to McCain's advantage, by drawing the obvious parallels between the War on Terror and the Cold War. Maybe. But I doubt that Nancy would go along with the idea.

I'm not sure, of course, that I'm big on endorsements in the first place. Even if I like someone, shouldn't I be thinking for myself? Or is that an eccentric view?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Come on, Chuck.

Big fan, by the way, Mr. Norris: more of us caucasian niggahz should be doing martial arts.

And, of course, I adore Thomas J., as well.

But when you quote him about an issue on which he was very much a creature of his time, I find it just a little tempting to point out that (1) he "owned" other human beings [legally, of course; morally, one cannot do any such thing; (2) one of these human beings may have been his girlfriend.

I was appalled when I read the American Family Association report that Friday, April 25, "several thousand schools across the nation will be observing 'Day of Silence (DOS).' DOS is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools. … DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network."

Is encouraging or teaching about homosexuality what our Founders expected for the public education system they started? Even the most liberal among them opposed it. For example, Thomas Jefferson drafted a bill concerning the criminal laws of Virginia, in which he proposed that the penalty for sexual deviance should be unique corporal punishment. Jefferson's views were indeed representative of early America:

"Whosoever shall be guilty of Rape, Polygamy, or Sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro' the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least." Can you imagine a statesman proposing such a law today?

While I'm not, of course, espousing such treatment, I do believe that we equally and adamantly should oppose such aberrant sexual behavior from being condoned or commemorated in our public schools through textbooks or a so-called "Day of Silence."

You can check to see whether your local schools are on the DOS observance list by going to Whether they are or not, write their administrators to inform them your family will be boycotting the event if it takes place in your vicinity.

To each of the social dilemmas in these three news stories (regarding guns, God and gays), a remedy can be found by turning back the clocks of time and consulting our Founding Fathers.

Not endorsing it, huh? But you thought you'd bring it up anyway. That's swell of you, Chuck.

I'm glad we're refuting the Todd Rundgren claim in "Swing to the Right" that conservatives desperately want to "stop the hands of time."

Oh, wait; we're not.

Forget it, then. Slavery. Outdoor plumbing. Doctors "bleeding" their patients. Short life expectancies; crappy nutrition. No refrigerators. No dentistry to speak of. No microwaves.

Let's do it, Chuck. Let's go back.

You first; you might take Huckabee with you, as well.

Via Memeorandum.

Oh, wait. I'm not done, after all.

Do we pay you to think, Chuckie? No. We do not. We pay you to appear in movies in which some pretext is found to separate you from your sidearm, so the we can watch some cool, choreographed karate. That's it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oh, Mandy.

I'm hiding out here at my mother's place for a while during the agents' caravan; we'll be going to get her car fixed in the valley in a half hour or so.

My Mandy is here. There is some talk of my mom getting rid of the dog, since Mandy's so spirited—and my mother isn't getting any younger. If she does, I hope Mom takes her to Pit Bull Hall and "trades her in" for an older, more sedate dog she can keep up with.

But it would make me sad.

I haven't been around much to help, though, lately, and I cannot complain about it.

I can't take her, because my husband doesn't want a dog at all—much less a rambunctious, large-ish one.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 24, 2008

Come on, People.

Nearly a thousand hits yesterday; today, I barely got 300.

Um. Spic?*

Wop? **

How about this one: if you don't visit my site faithfully, every single day, you're a dirty pig-dog.

* That's Spaniards, right?

** Isn't that Italians? I grew up on Southern California, so I'm not good at this. I have to ask my friends who are from big cities for the translations sometimes.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:53 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

A Special Kind of Exhausted.

It's been a day; I've been online intermittantly, but in between I've been washing windows and mopping the balconies.

I still have miles of clutter to work through; I also have to finish cleaning the downstairs bathroom.

I haven't slept much the past two nights; I spent part of the evening with my mother yesterday evening—and am now thoroughly apprised of all the mistakes I could be making, and what I might be doing wrong, and at least a few things I am doing wrong. When my husband got home yesterday from his run, the mom and Mandy were already here. I followed him into the bedroom and announced that I was definitely having a martini with dinner.

"She's only been here for 45 minutes," he told me.

"She's in rare form," I replied.

The "for sale" sign went up at 9:00 a.m. this morning. At 10:00 a.m. some pushy agent tried to talk his way into the house a day early, because he had a client with him. (As if he hadn't brought her with him on purpose; what'd she do?—materialize suddenly in his car?) I said "no."

The real estate agents' caravan is tomorrow; we have to be finished, and out of here by 9:20 or so. Which means that after I knock off today, I have just over two hours' of daylight in which to finish the windows. And anything else that needs to be done.

Oh, and—my body informs me that I have PMS. So if there were any chance of getting through this week without either crying or screaming at someone, it went out with the estrogen supply.

I'll be here, cleaning my .357 with a grim smile and guzzling red wine. Come on by.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Pray for Tibet,

whether you believe in God or not.

And I know that's not enough. (And I know, Mrs. Steyn, that bumperstickers aren't enough.) But I feel so helpless right now. And it's a good place to start.

Its flirtation with capitalism notwithstanding, China is a fucking problem.

UPDATE: I forgot Reynolds' hat tip!

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Is It the Base?

Or is it swing voters McCain needs to connect with?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:33 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

You Know What, Allah P?

I just don't want to talk about it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I Don't Get It.

Why would anyone ever "fall away" from a terrorist organization?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2008


I'd say Heinleinian, myself, Glenn. Pronounced "Heinlinian," maybe.

I had been meaning to re-read The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, for what that's worth. (No; I'm not going to read SIASL; it's too long, and I have no attention span, except on special occasions. I have read the "notebooks" contained therein, though.)

Yeah, yeah: RAH does overdo the animal-related similes for human behavior, and his characters aren't complex—generally not "round," in the E.M. Forster sense. But for a preachy writer, he's pretty good. He's one of maybe 2-3 SF writers I've actually read a bit of, and somehow his "pulp-ey" streak feels like a virtue.

I mean, it isn't as if every Jane Austen character was drawn to the nth degree, is it? One has to make choices. Books should be short, for one thing: ideally, one reads the entirety of any given novel within a day. (This is why serious readers and writers tend to subsist on foodstuffs that can be eaten with one hand, such as apples and bagels and whatnot.)

Anyway, yeah: I'd love to see what the "fish spinoff" symbol is for a Heinleiner, or whatever we're going to call it. I've been meaning to put a fish on one side of my bumper, and a Buddha on the other—just to see what the people around me are made of.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It's Got Everything . . .

The smile, the allusion both to my European and my Native American roots. My big, fat, wide, white face.

Now I truly know what it means to be a narcissist . . . I could just stare at it for hours:

PikesPeak Joy.jpg

Thanks, Darrell. I assume you got the face from that lunch with Desert Cat and Daisy Cat last winter?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Rachel Lucas has a new doggie pic up! (And it's on her banner, too, with a new slogan.)

I'm not usually into cutesy stuff. But when I get it, I get it bad. Maggie may not be quite as adorable as Mandy—but she's damned close.


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Mah Favorite Niggahz . . .

Yeah, well. The Greenwald Gang is at it again, quoting Old Punk at InstaPunk, and drawing a straight line between a post of his that uses the word nigger and . . . Instapundit. Reynolds isn't amused. (Well, actually—he is.)

The word nigger has so many different meanings it's difficult to unpack them all. And, to be fair, Old Punk got into some weird areas of fashion—like white kids don't wear baggy clothes to look cool? Tell that to my young white cousins.

For the most part, Old Punk's post leaves me just as cold as the people on my side of the aisle who "don't have any problem with immigrants, as long as they're legal," but never want to hear Spanish spoken in any public place, and are offended by the sight of grubby little taco stands polluting the public streets. If you show them a piñata, they need smelling salts.

That said, there is a use of the word nigger that is meant to describe "a person without class, morals or values." Where do you think the term white trash came from? It comes from the Jim Crow-era South, and it means, "someone with underclass values, but white skin." At least, it was used that way in every early 20th-century novel I ever read that was set south of the Mason-Dixon line. It meant "low-class," but in a way that went far beyond a person's means, and generally accused them of being low-class on the inside.

Now we use the term "trailer trash," so that we can take race out of it, and don't have to use the parallel, unwieldy—and highly offensive—terms niggers and white trash. Because there's no longer any logical association between race and trashiness, since blacks are no longer locked into low-income lives and deprived of upward mobility.

Of course, the new nomenclature isn't necessarily fair to people who live in prefabricated housing, but English is an imperfect language, and most people I know who live in trailer parks have a sense of humor about the negative associations therewith. They tell me it's really a "stationary coach" lifestyle, or explain that they only operate the meth labs on the weekends, so it's okay.

Anyway, I don't think I'm really white—Mayflower ancestry notwithstanding—because (1) I know I have some Creek Indian in me; (2) I suspect I have some Nez Perce as well; (3) some of my family is from the state of Virginia; (4) I have very full lips; and (5) my brother [and one of his sons] has very very dark skin, and fuzzy hair. Because people look at the skin color more closely than they do our features, they never suspect we're even related unless we tell them.

But, whatever. I'm pretty pale, so I identify with the Anglo-Saxon strain; it's the most convenient one to claim, given the way I look. Another friend of mine, who's also an English major white-looking chick, was talking with me about the Stuff White People Like site, and I told her that I know the intent is harmless, just as it was with The History of White People in America.—but to associate anything that's intellectual, or ironic, or upwardly mobile with white skin seems to me to be playing off of old stereotypes and going in the wrong direction. I see that it's probably funny sometimes—and to some people—but I don't like the conflation of "middle-class," or "upper-middle-class," with white. She responded:

I object as well, and perhaps more, to the use of "black" to signify cool, young/hip/urban, anti-corporate bullshit.... Specifically, white kids [students] who call each other (and, on at least one memorable occasion, me!) "my niggah."

Of course, once we acknowledge that any educated black person is equally likely to enjoy Starbucks and Sarah Silverman, and that any black person who lives in La Cañada or Santa Monica or Bel Air is culturally "white," then we're getting somewhere—provided that the term stops being an insult in the black community, and darker-skinned folks start allowing each other to wear cowboy boots and listen to Pink Floyd and do their homework without accusing each other of "acting white." At that point, maybe literary white chicks like my friend the composition teacher and I should be calling each other "mah niggah." Anything that blurs the lines and shows that culture and race are two different things (the first being relevant to who we are, and the second, irrelevant) should be applauded.

I'm pretty divorced from the celebrity culture, so I don't know about every case Old Punk mentioned, but I'm completely willing to specify that Jeremiah Wright, O.J. Simpson, and Louis Farrakhan are niggers. So were Jeffrey Dahmer and Joseph Stalin. Kim Jon Il is a nigger. Catherine Shelton appears to be a total nigger. Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka are niggers. Mary I of England? She was mondo-niggo.

But my friend and I? Just a couple of overread, middle-aged niggahz.

At this point, linguistically speaking, it's all in the spelling. In 20 years, though, one of my nephews is going to look at this post of mine and go, "Aunt Joy, what the fuck was it with people like you in the double-Os? Why were you on about race like that? Too much time on your hands? Geez."

Which is why instead of a "conversation," I'd like to see us eventually have a "national shut-up" about race. Not because I want us to censor ourselves, but because I hope we run out of things to say.

Just try not to be hating people. Not as individuals, and not as members of any group. Okay?

UPDATE: I'd forgotten about this; it may be the best Glenn Greenwald post of all time. I mean, the best one about him. I don't think it was by him, though of course one never can tell. Sometimes I wonder if the entire blogosphere other than me is simply an elaborate Greenwald prank. I mean, I know I exist, because I annoy my husband. But how about the others? How can I be sure they aren't all just extensions of Gleen(s)?

h/t: Clarice, in this thread at Just One Minute.

UPDATE 2: Ralph Robert Moore:

In addition to the N word, we also have the F word. In case you don't know, the F word is 'fuck'. If we're going to persist in the assignment of letters to disturbing words, then I do have a concern as a practical matter, since we only have 26 letters in the alphabet, and two of them are now taken. That means we only have 24 letters left to act as a code for the words we find objectionable in our modern society. As a service towards reserving the remaining alphabetical letters to the most deserving of bad words, I suggest the following:

The A word Asshole
The B word Bastard
The C word Cancer
The D word Dope
The E word Easy
The F word Fuck
The G word Gimp
The H word Hooker
The I word Idiot
The J word Jackass
The K word Kike
The L word Lez
The M word Moron
The N word Nigger
The O word Open sore
The P word Pisser-away-of-opportunities
The Q word Queer
The R word Retard
The S word Shithead
The T word Tits and Ass
The U word Urine-receiving prostrate individual
The V word Vain
The W word Weird
The X word Xenophobe
The Y word Young
The Z word Zoo-hanging-out-in practitioner of bestiality

Some of them need work.

I'm open to suggestions.

UPDATE 3: Still more here. I'm searching around, trying desperately to remember/find out which 20th-Century African-American female writer it was who also advocated repeating the word aloud, over and over—to young black kids, especially—simply so it wouldn't carry the same sting. But not by white people, presumably—jeez! It was in an interview I read in the early 1980s, and I cannot find it right now, for love or money or my search-engine Kung Fu.

In case people do not understand, I have no desire to make it respectable for white people to call black people niggers, but I do think it should be okay within the same race (whatever we're defining as "race" in 2008—same-ish, let's say). Black-on-black, white-on-white, Asian-on-Asian. And if a black person called me a nigger, I'm afraid I'd just hear niggah, and be flattered. Context is everything: I'd never say that word to a black person, because . . . why? That just sounds low and stupid.

Of course, if this were a black man calling me nigger in the "woman is the nigger of the world" sense, I'd assume he just wanted me to do the dishes or cook or whatever, and my abilities to do these things are remarkably . . . inconsistent. Fickle, even. The older I get, the more I forget how to do stuff like that. Isn't that weird? It's like I get amnesia, or something. By the time she died, my grandmother had "lost" all of her domestic skills. She couldn't cook. She couldn't clean. She couldn't drive (that one would kill me). But she seemed to have plenty of time for the things she wanted to do.

UPDATE 4: Apparently, whatever we are, Juliette just wants us to get the hell off of her lawn. I sympathize: I wouldn't want me on my lawn either . . .

I wonder if the B-sphere is fated to have the same fights over and over again over race and gender, and gender and race, and people named Glenda, and race car drivers, and Glendale and pace, and grenades and pax and sex and sociability and space and engendering Irish lace.

UPDATE 5: Yeah. Group hug time.

UPDATE 6: I'm starting to look at Old Punk with new respect. His latest post on the subject is remarkably sensitive and insightful, and he does, in fact, answer my charges about having brought The Fashions of the Young into this discussion: the fact is, a lot of young black people live life closer to the margins than my young cousins do, and when they act out in certain ways they genuinely can jeopardize their chances of employment in a small town. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, of course, since I've lived in cities most of my life.

And, goddamn; the man can write. As W.H. Auden once pointed out, that makes up for any number of sins. Furthermore, Old Guy can spell, which makes me swoon in and of itself.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:49 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

I Do Wish

. . . that civilization hadn't lost the swastika. But I do believe things would be a good deal worse if we had, in fact, lost the dildo.

Let's just keep those things going counter-clockwise—at least, for all future constructions. Fair's fair.

The iron cross, though, I won't give up; it's been used too many other places for too many other things. I won't cede that one to the Fuhrer.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Richelieu on the Coming Obama-McCain Matchup:

The short version of his post at the Weekly Standard blog: if Obama takes the nomination, McCain should grab Hillary's voters:

McCain wins by being acceptable to the independents and white Democrats who will inevitably, over time, crumble off Obama's imperfect reality. He loses if he becomes caught in a partisan base versus base contest with the Democrats. The job for Team McCain is not to tear down Obama, it is to give those who will become increasingly disenchanted from him (Hillary voting blue-collars, Jews, moderates) a reason to see McCain as acceptable. This means McCain should return to his roots and run as the different kind of Republican he truly is. The GOP base will not enjoy this, but they--sorry AM radio crowd--will not control the outcome of this election. Ticket-splitters and swing voters will.

Yeah. That sounds about right.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Happy Easter!

Here's a You Tube Jerry Garcia tribute from The Sanity Inspector of Protein Wisdom. It's kind of trippy, actually.

And yet spiritual at the same time.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 22, 2008

The Sixties and Seventies vs. the Double-Oughts

In the context of the possibility that Denver will see violence at the DNC, Stacy McCain is dubious:

I don't think so, mainly because the parallels don't work. In 1968, you had a Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, who was chiefly responsible for "escalating" the war in Vietnam. LBJ's vice-president, Hubert Humphrey, had become the Democratic presidential nominee almost by accident. The early anti-war candidate, Eugene McCarthy, had faded after Robert F. Kennedy jumped into the race. Then RFK had been assassinated, leaving the pro-war candidate Humphrey to claim the nomination despite a strong anti-war presence among the delegates.

None of those political conditions is duplicated for the Democrats who will gather at Denver this year. Most importantly, there is no military draft, which was the basic factor that made the anti-war movement of the 1960s as strong as it was.

Finally, the protests at Chicago turned violent because of a hard core of SDS/Yippie radicals who actively provoked confrontations with police. Today's protesters don't have the numbers, don't have the leadership, and don't have the discipline necessary to pull off anything remotely like what happened in 1968.

I've seen these latter-day protesters in DC at anti-globalization rallies in 1999-2000 and at anti-war demonstrations held regularly since 2001. The protesters come in two varieties: Over-the-hill hippies out for a little nostalgia, and spineless young punks.

Still, the situation between the Clinton camp and the Obama camp has gotten quite severe. For the record, I don't expect violence, but the rift is going to set the DNC back on its heels for a couple of years, until someone can bring the mainstream folk, the feminists, and the whites into some kind of dialogue with the left wing of the party and much of its African-American component.

Also, see Ross Douthat has a great feature in April's Atlantic about why the film industry has attempted in some ways to go back to the filmmaking style of the 1970s—and why in doing so it is misreading some of the cultural zeitgeist:

The Vietnam War was a cultural phenomenon in part because it couldn’t help being one—there was no way for Americans to keep the war at arm’s length, not with more than 50,000 dead, a million deployed over the course of the war, and every able-bodied teen and twentysomething at risk of conscription. In contrast, the Iraq War, a lower-casualty conflict fought by an all-volunteer military, takes place at a greater distance from the everyday lives of those Americans who don’t have a family member deployed overseas. The objective correlatives needed for a truly pessimistic era simply don’t exist for many Americans today. The last time around, we were participants; this time, we’re voyeurs.

This doesn’t mean that the current paranoid, doom-ridden mood in cinema and television was manufactured in Hollywood and foisted on an unwilling public. Up to a point, at least, Hollywood is meeting Americans where they are. Mistrust of government and disquiet about the country’s future have risen to Vietnam-era levels, and reviving ’70s-style paranoia and pessimism is a natural way for the culture industry to connect with a public coping, once again, with a military quagmire, rising oil prices, prophecies of ecological doom, and corruption in high places.

But the ’70s revival isn’t simply a case of supply responding to demand; it’s also a case of Hollywood giving the audience what Hollywood wants to give it. The ’70s were in many ways dreadful years for America, but they’re remembered much more fondly in the film industry. There’s no surer way to establish your artistic (and political) bona fides than to name-drop a ’70s movie—whether it’s George Clooney bringing up All the President’s Men (1976) while promoting Michael Clayton, or Stephen Gaghan remarking that of course he was “thinking about The Parallax View and also Three Days of the Condor” while making Syriana. The suggestion is always the same—that the age of leisure suits and sideburns was also the high tide of politically engaged filmmaking, before the studios embarked on the relentless pursuit of the blockbuster and the Reagan reaction pushed American culture steadily to the right.


The paranoid style of filmmaking . . . is defined in both its Vietnam- and Iraq-era incarnations by the insistence that villains at home are more dangerous than any enemies abroad. This was a plausible point of view when the enemy abroad was Ho Chi Minh: the Vietnam War didn’t begin with “Charlie” bombing downtown Manhattan, and there was little chance that VC cadres would follow America back home. It’s a tougher sell in the age of Osama bin Laden, and as a result an air of omission, even denial, hangs over this genre’s contemporary incarnations.

Yup. Read the whole thing(s).

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Overheard in a Residential War Zone:

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were done eating. I shouldn't have left a mess in the kitchen."

"I am done eating. I'm just not done snacking."

Who knew those were different activities?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Overheard at the Chick-Blog Cafe:

"God, I'm loving this. This is the best election in years. I think there could very well be violence at the Democratic National Convention. Best of all, it's in Denver. Does anyone deserve to have the meltdown than that hive of liberal hippy wannabes ... (no offense meant to the decent people of Denver).

Barack has no clue the extent to which Hill and Bill will go to get the nomination. He's like a little lambie. I would feel sorry for him if I didn't think he was the devil."

Schadenfreude is a dish best served with a dollop of sour cream and a bit of cilantro.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Justice Thomas

Clarence Thomas got a nice little profile today in WSJ.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And Yet More on Expelled.

Rush Limbaugh loved Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. David Linden won't be happy—or surprised.

And, yes: I have at least two more posts pending about Expelled, on (1) why I think one can allow for some role of divine inspiration or guidance in the origins of life (and our particular species)—and still have this speculation be referred to as "science" [quite a touchy subject, but one I intend to tackle] and (2) some of the amazing interviews Stein, Craft, and Ruloff conducted for this movie. And, possibly, (3) the very cool computer graphics that went into the animated-cell sequence, which is in-and-of-itself worth the price of admission.

(Wait. How come my husband can get a meeting with Ben Stein, and Rush Limbaugh can get a meeting with Ben Stein, but I'm stuck interviewing Stein's producers? Oh . . . wait. That's pretty good, actually. Never mind.)

By the way, I just got the script I had Ben Stein's autograph on framed. Stein wasn't surprised when Attila the Hub asked him for an autograph for the wife. He was, however, surprised that it wasn't because of his film or television work, but rather his writing in The American Spectator that led me to request same. The note, on an episode of Freakazoid!* that Stein did voice work for, reads "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" (I kept the entire script together for the framing.)

The downside: I am now "out" to my framing place. I've been working with the same people for ten years, but I might have to switch, now that they've seen something that alludes to TAS . . . In a pinch, of course, I could resort to some reasonable standard of courage. Always a last resort, for me.

* If you're a Freakazoid! fan, consider monitoring Jaime Wienman's site.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Will someone out there who isn't television-impaired tell me whether the hundreds of FBI files that the Clinton Administration collected "by accident" —which contained raw data, interviews, unsupported allegations, and plenty of true/untrue dirt on people—got nearly as much news coverage as someone peeking at the current candidates' passport fies, and thereby potentially getting hold of their social security numbers (which is not a small thing, but certinly orders of magnitude away from what we saw wholesale in the 1990s under Bill Clinton)?

h/t: Memeorandum.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

What's with the Spam?

Are the bots programmed by time zone? Do they now assume that 2:30 a.m. is a good time to try to get in here? And where the hell is Fluffy?—isn't it lunchtime or something in Australia? Anyway, guard dogs aren't supposed to sleep that deeply.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Have I Written Anything You Really Liked?

I keep feeling like I should start a "Best of Little Miss Attila" doohickey on the sidebar. (Actually, it would probably be an "Essential Little Miss Attila"). But of course I haven't written anything that I really like.

Anyone have any favorites? Or does anyone have any favorite subjects I've written on? Do you prefer the political tears, or the bits of imaginary dialogue? Am I better when I'm nice, or when I'm a bitch?

Or am I getting too commercial anyway? Perhaps I'm on the verge of selling out.

I certainly hope so.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Rauch, Once More,

on gun rights as gay rights, and what SCOTUS should rule in Heller.

Self-defense is a human right. To deny this is madness . . . or English, at the very least.

(Extra credit question: Can anyone spot the error in gun history in Jonathan Rauch's article? Take home assignment: read Rauch's original "Pink Pistols" article.)

Time Magazine's Alex Altman gives us a rather dim and misleading summary of the issues at stake in Heller, but the accompanying photo is enticing.

I'll be in my . . . well, you know.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ferraro on the Obama "Race" Speech . . .

She praised it, but had a lot to say about his inclusion of her on the same continuum with Rev. Wright—and on his implication that the impetus for Ferraro herself to resign from Senator Clinton's campaign didn't originate in pressure from Obama's camp. Because, of course, it did.

What surprises me is that—given (1) the fact that it appears to underscore his own hypocrisy, and (2) the fact that Ferraro is a free agent now, no longer restricted by being linked to Clinton's campaign—Obama chose to bring Ferraro back into this mess. As Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air, this issue "isn't going away." Why borrow trouble in this way, given everything else that the Obama campaign has on its plate?

It's just odd.

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March 21, 2008

Virginia Postrel on Aesthetics and Healing.

In The Atlantic. I read this one on paper. If the online version sucks, I'm not responsible. (Who knows? Maybe it's been copyedited since the magazine went to the printer, and bad words were added.)

Actually, I've noticed a similar phenomenon to the one Postrel describes, but on a different level: when I changed health-care plans (rather, when I got health insurance after a year or two off, in the wake of losing my lovely Motion Picture coverage), I noticed that I had a really bad feeling about the level of care based on precisely the visual criteria that Postrel alleges we neglect. Which leads me to believe that aesthetic standards are higher among providers that cater to the entertainment industry than they are for other elite Angelenos.

Which would, of course, be a shocker. But when I made my first visit to my new GP and saw how dirty the carpeting was, and how crowded with posters the examining room, and how cluttered his desk was, and how there was a television on in the waiting room—tuned in to some horrible channel—I had a very bad vibe about it.

Postrel is right: these things matter in a way that many businesspeople—including those in the business of health care—aren't quite ready to admit.

Needless to say, this is yet one argument against a single-payer healthcare system. Unless we want hospitals to look, even more consistently, like post offices.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Anchoress on Race

She has more patience than I, and has witnessed more overt racism than I have ever seen.

Maybe even, "a wild patience."

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Diary in Los Angeles Riots

Well, of course my memory of the Watts riots is a bit hazy; after all, I was only three years old when they erupted.

Mostly I'm thinking of the Rodney King riots, and The Riots That Didn't Happen—after the O.J. Simpson verdict. Ace ran a clip last night of the Reginald Denny beating, and just seeing it alluded to brought back a lot of memories. (I think the video has since been taken down—but that's okay. Those days—and the television footage thereof—are seared, seared into my memory.)

During disasters‐natural and man-made—I watch a lot of television, which is different from my normal M.O. (Generally it's difficult for me to remember what day of the week it is, and therefore whether there's something on that I like—furthermore, my time management skills don't allow me to go find a television in time to see what I might actually want to look at. Also, I'm not a channel-surfer: I hate seeing little chunks of television- and movie-salad. Plus, the television is on my husband's side of the house. Okay, okay: I just don't have the self-discipline and attention span that television-watching requires. Are you happy?)

I watched TV during the riots in 1992, and after the earthquake in 1993. I did the same thing most of the day on 9/11. It messed with my sense of time. (Attila the Hub informs me that I was the one who coined the term "riot potatoes" to describe our actions—or lack thereof—after the Rodney King verdicts.)

After The Riots That Weren't (post-O.J. verdict), I didn't watch television. But I remembered us being prepared for "civil unrest" beforehand. I know I went to my mother's house and made her accept one of my guns (she subsequently kept it, the dirty little thief).

But what distinguished the Rodney King riots from the O.J. Simpson verdict non-riots was what happened to race consciousness during the King riots: Outside of South Central, Hollywood, Koreatown, and the other affected areas, the races actually drew closer together in some communities. I waited in line for an hour to buy groceries near my boyfriend's apartment in Glendale—we were preparing to hunker down for a kind of seige—and there were certainly black people in line. We all talked about how horrible it was that it was all happening, and how we hoped it would be quiet, finally, that night.

A black friend of mine talked about growing up in Pacoima, in a rough part of town. His neighborhood was so bad that he and his friends once found a dead body in the trash dumpster. "I never rioted," he declared indignantly. That's how most black people felt. Remember?

So on a weird level, despite the burning and looting and horrific loss of life, the King riots didn't make me feel like I was living in a black-and-white world. They seemed, instead, to open farther the chasm between, as Dennis Prager puts his own dividing line for the human race, "the decent and the indecent."

After the O.J. Simpson verdict, though, I remember walking around and looking at all the black people smiling and honking their horns at each other, and thinking that they all appeared delighted about women getting their heads nearly sliced off, as long as those women happened to be white. It took Rush Limbaugh to put it all into perspective, and to tell his white listeners that the celebrations among African-Americans weren't as they appeared to us—rather, people were happy that, for once in a case that carried a certain level of notoriety, a black man benefited from the legal presumption of innocence in this country. That made me feel a lot better.

But I, for the record, don't think we needed a "national conversation on race." What we need is transcendence. What we need is to cultivate our ability to look at people as individuals, rather than as skin on some kind of goddamned global Pantone Matching System.

What we need is the thing Obama suggested early on in his primary campaign he just might be able to bring to the table—the thing that, despite my disagreements with him on economic issues, filled me with an odd sort of excitement: a sense that history might finally become history, after all. That we had a chance of acquiring to do that skill with race in this country that we have with religion, for the most part—a knack for putting it aside in the public sphere. Not denying it; acknowledging it and getting on with life. Looking at the bigger picture.

And that is the one thing Barack Obama cannot do for this country. The more he opens his mouth, the more any a American's essence appears to be summoned up in how easily he or she can get a freakin' suntan.

That isn't my vision for this country. Is it yours?

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

And on Good Friday, No Less!

Belle should be ashamed of herself for peddling this kind of trash.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aha! The April Atlantic Is Here.

And it's a "Word Court" month. So it's off to bed with a magazine. A little reading, a little napping, the husband off at the gym . . . and Wilderness were Paradise enow.

I believe that's the literary chick's way of saying . . . I'll be in my bunk.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Two Schools of Thought on That."

Obama's "race relations" speech, that is. Krauthammer in WaPo:

Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright's rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?

Noonan, WSJ:

The Obamas, he and she, may not actually know all that much about America. They are bright, accomplished, decent, they know all about the yuppie experience, the buppie experience, Ivy League ways, networking. But they bring along with all this -- perhaps defensively, to keep their ideological views from being refuted by the evidence of their own lives, or so as not to be embarrassed about how nice fame, success, and power are -- habitual reversions to how tough it is to be in America, and to be black in America, and how everyone since the Reagan days has been dying of nothing to eat, and of exploding untreated diseases. America is always coming to them on crutches.

But most people didn't experience the past 25 years that way. Because it wasn't that way. Do the Obamas know it?

This is a lot of baggage to bring into the Executive Mansion.

Still, it was a good speech, and a serious one. I don't know if it will help him. We're in uncharted territory. We've never had a major-party presidential front-runner who is black, or rather black and white, who has given such an address. We don't know if more voters will be alienated by Mr. Wright than will be impressed by the speech about Mr. Wright. We don't know if voters will welcome a meditation on race. My sense: The speech will be labeled by history as the speech that saved a candidacy or the speech that helped do it in. I hope the former.

Is that because she loves to hear Faulkner quoted, and loves it when a speech is given in "paragraphs" rather than sound-bites, or is it because she so loathes the candidacy of Hillary Clinton?

I respect Noonan, though—and if I can steal some time away from houseselling/househunting, I'll re-read the Obama speech.

That's a big "if," of course . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Okay. Sometimes These Are Good.

And I did like this one:

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics


Posted by Attila Girl at 01:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Can't the Democrats All Just

. . . get along?

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm Glad There's a Trigger on those Records.

But it's not like the candidates' teams had access to FBI files.

Well, not most of 'em, anyway . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2008

Light Blogging Will Continue Through Monday.

I might talk my part-time co-bloggers into throwing some posts up over the next few days, but it'll definitely be a bit sparse around here until the first showing of the house—the real estate agents' "caravan" on Tuesday.

That would be this Tuesday. There was a lot of spirited discussion around here about whether perhaps next Tuesday ("Tuesday week," for the Brits) would have been better. But I lost on that one, didn't I?

Off to bed, soon: the photographer is coming by tomorrow to take pictures of our house's bitchin' features.

Plan A: I'll get up at 5:00 a.m., and have all the rooms cleared of extraneous books and boxes by 10:00, when she's due to arrive. Then I'll spend the rest of the day repotting plants/arranging accessories for the "staging" (or "set dressing," as A the H refers to it).

Plan B: As the photographer composes each shot, I'll scurry around and de-clutter within the exact field of view she needs to get the picture. Then I'll frantically re-shuffle everything for the next shot.

After she leaves I'll crawl under the bed and cry.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Stage Fright--Again!

A Hawkins-lanche! And me in my bathrobe; thanks, John.

If you didn't reach me via Right Wing News, check out Hawkins' terrific roundup of bad dancing. I'll bet I could beat 'em all: I'm terribly uncoordinated. Unless I'm driving, of course.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's So Good to Know

. . . there's still a little magic in the air; I'll weave my spell say farewell.

(With hearty apologies to Queen, the band that transcended prog-rock.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blogging 101

. . . from The New York Times.

They forgot: "periodically threaten to post pictures of your breasts."


(Via Memeorandum.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2008

Rumor Has It . . .

that we were actually at war with our good friends the Germans in the mid-20th Century. Anyone know for sure?

But if that were the case, we couldn't be allies with them now. Very confusing.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:36 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Death Comes in the End.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Via Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sean Hackbarth is . . .


But, you know—funny. And that makes up for a multitude of sins.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Just in Time for Some Real Traffic!

Light blogging for the rest of the day; we're putting the house on the market this weekend, and the cleaning woman will be here tomorrow morning. It's been delicately suggested to me that she may want to mop the floors when she gets here, and that it might be best, therefore, if the floors weren't covered in boxes of books.

So, sometimes one has to do what one has to do in order to avoid the whole "spousal homicide" dealio—'cause it could be a bummer, whether I'm on the receiving end or not.

Open thread! Subject for discussion: is light cracking along a stucco wall a serious sign of earthquake damage, or merely a reflection of light shifting that might occur in a building over a process of years? How would one know the difference? And what if the wall were made of concrete?

(Do I know my readers, or not?)

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Holy Crap.

Dan Collins remarks on some juicy, jaw-dropping quotations from The Greenwald Gang (aren't they triplets? quadruplets? quintuplets? I don't know, frankly, how many of 'em there are).

Bottom line: some people actually bought the Obama speech. Like, really.

Collins to Greenwald, who felt that those who criticized Obama were engaging in a "double standard":

You give hypocrites a bad name.


Posted by Attila Girl at 05:17 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


. . . on Heller.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:21 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A 71-senator tie for "Porker of the Month." Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of piggies, crawling in the dirt (and for all those bitty piggies, "life is getting worse").

Is your legislator one of those who voted against the one-year earmark moratorium? Check it out.

More from Citizens Against Government Waste.

Via Reynolds, who points out that the current earmarking system is not only wasteful, but also "contributes—significantly—to corruption.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

I Didn't Realize

. . . that those things had uses beyond disposing of dead bodies. I feel so . . . innocent and naive.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Throwing Grandma Under the Bus.

So, Barack Obama cannot disassociate himself from his racist pastor, but has no trouble insulting his still-living grandmother. Nice.

I mean, I do have one racist grandparent, but (1) he didn't raise me; (2) he was as mean to me as he was to everyone else; (3) he isn't alive anymore, and (4) I don't talk about him that much. ("Chilipods, chilipods, chilipods!"; "Grandpa, do they speak a lot of Spanish where you are now?" That would tell me what I'd like to know.)

But: Obama's grandmother is afraid of black men who pass her on the street? Hell: everyone is afraid of black men who pass them on the street. I got mugged twice trying to pretend I wasn't afraid of black men passing me on the street. Jesse freakin' Jackson has admitted that he's afraid of black men passing him on the street. That's racism? I thought it was the survival instinct. Some people call it "street smarts," which means that there's a whole different set of rules for vetting people you might pass on a sidewalk, versus those you meet in the grocery store, or a bar, or a friend's living room.

This guy's sleaze factor is kind of rising, here. I'd almost prefer a straight shooter, like Senator Clinton. After all, there are things she just won't do for the sake of gaining power. Not many, but they do exist.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:55 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack

March 18, 2008

Psalms 118:24

One of my favorite Bible verses, as a matter of fact.

King James Bible:
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

World English Bible:
"This is the day that Yahweh has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!"

American King James Version:
"This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

American Standard Version:
"This is the day which Jehovah hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."

Bible in Basic English:
"This is the day which the Lord has made; we will be full of joy and delight in it."

Douay-Rheims Bible:
"This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein."

Darby Bible Translation:
"This is the day that Jehovah hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

English Revised Version:
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995):
"This is the day the LORD has made. Let's rejoice and be glad today!"

Jewish Publication Society Tanakh:
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

Webster's Bible Translation:
"This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

Young's Literal Translation:
"This is the day Jehovah hath made, We rejoice and are glad in it."

The NET Bible:
(This is a bitchin' translation available online—very accurate and very well researched; I have it in a print version.)
"This is the day the Lord has brought about.
We will be happy and rejoice in it."

My beloved New American Standard Version:
"This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

And then there's The Latest Scholarly Translation:
"This is teh day which Ceiling Cat did maked; we will do happy dances and be realy had while we did it."

("Be realy had"? I'm afraid I don't know the LOLCat meaning of "had." But it has to mean "glad.")

UPDATE: Please note that I can't find my "main" Catholic Bible, the NAB translation—anywhere. I suspect You-Know-Who packed it up already in anticipation of our move, but the NAB and the NASB are not that different—save for the inclusion of the "bonus books" in the Catholic version.

The tome I'm reading now is Catholic-approved, Tobit-enabled Bible, but it's a POS paraphrase, which really sucks for the New Testament; it is sometimes helpful, however, with the Old—much as I hate to admit that.

In my next incarnation I'm learning Greek and Hebrew, so I won't be so dependent upon the translators . . . . Whaaaaaaat?

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apropos of Nothing

. . . except that I'm trying to put together the playlist for The Ultimate Highway CD:

Do we like the NSFW Ted Nugent clip?

Or do you think Old Faithful is a better idea?

Countin' on you guys.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:08 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

So; Did Glenn Get a Haircut?

It looks shorter here than I've ever seen it. Unless the wind is blowing it against his head.

I'd love to be able to blog "from anywhere." I'd especially like to blog a road trip, just once. Unfortunately, at this point I'd have to do it by going from Denny's to Starbucks to Denny's along the Interstate 5, and WiFi-enabled restaurants and coffeehouses aren't that thick on the ground in the middle of the state.

I'm so low-tech; I'm like the blogging Luddite, here.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You Know, the Rulebook on Primaries . . .

. . . is kind of a living document.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Newt Gingrich Wants To Know

. . . if Obama is such an "agent of change," why he didn't have the courage to stand up to his own pastor, and implies that the reality behind the Obama-Wright relationship is more like: Obama never really minded the hate-talk and the wild untruths until he got caught—which Gingrich likens to being "a normal politician."


Gingrich suggests that this will "slow the momentum" of Obama's campaign. I think it'll bring the whole thing nearly to a halt.

Barack Obama had two decades in which to have a "Sistah Soljah" moment. He declined to do so, and would now like to retroactively pretend that the whole issue never came to light.

"There used to be white racists in the past, and there probably still are, and so it's okay to support black racists in the present. Oh, look over there!—it's a shiny object! Look at the sky! Look at the trees! Looking at the water rippling on the edge of the lake; isn't it pretty?

He's finished.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Heller" Uber-Roundup . . .

at SCOTUS Blog.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on the Very Important "Are Three-Ways Gay?" Issue

Over at Just Barking Mad:

As long as there is female anatomy separating the guys there is nothing gay going on. Some will parse it to mean as long as the men are at opposite ends of the female; but that’s a constructionist viewpoint.

These rules are traditional from coast to coast. Now some may argue that the First Rule of Female-Male-Female isn’t biblical. But I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where it says that “woman shouldn’t lay with woman . . . ”

This leads him (the writer is male, if I know my sexes—and, ahem, I do) to a conclusion that some will find quite plausible, and some will find nearly as blasphemous as my initial suspicious misunderstanding of the "Ceiling Cat."

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Joyner on Obama's Speech

It's a multifacted entry that's impossible to summarize. As usual, Joyner talks about the moral dimensions of the issue, the rhetorical devices Obama used, and the way this "Wright Stuff" stuff may affect public opinion/the horse races.

There is also, as one might expect from James, a nice little roundup at the end.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just Deal With This, Please.

Those of you who are still supporting Barack Obama (and I know you are lurking around), please go over to Ace's place and check out this video.

You don't have to read the post itself (sorry, Ace), and you probably shouldn't read the comments there.

But just deal with it, please. I truly want to see how you're wrapping your heads around this.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Knitting for Intellectuals.

Well . . . not exactly. But I liked it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Baldilocks on Shelby Steele's Concept of "Racial Masks,"

and, of course, how they apply to Barack Obama.

I asked her about my rather confused white-girl thoughts here. So it's nice to see the concept expanded upon. I think it's also a nice thought process for young minorities to go through (or, ahem, anyone who might be tempted to slide into the culture of victimhood): how do you create a self that neither varnishes the past, nor wallows in it? Flight, or fight? Is there a middle way?

Maybe we all need to learn from Steele's "maskless black person." At least, when we wear our various masks, we ought to try to be aware of it.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on Obama's "Wright Stuff":

Karl at Protein Wisdom:

white Americans, who are fully aware that historically black church services may include dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting — just as some predominantly white churches do. What distinguished Trinity was the hateful and paranoid comments of the Rev. Wright and the apparently joyful reaction of his congregation to them. Indeed, Tom Maguire notes that after the speech, MSNBC presented black ministers who insisted that Wright is way out of the mainstream, and that most black churches preach a more traditional Christian message of love. That Obama insists on claiming Wright is like part of his family whom he cannot disown, when he self-evidently chose the association — and that he compares Wright to “the entire black community” tells Obama’s audience much more about Obama than about Wright or the black community.

Karl has also, in the post linked above, researched Liberation Theology in general, and Black Liberation Theology in particular, comparing it to other strains within Christianity and discussing Rev. Wright's teachings thereon.

I'd read it now if it weren't time for my "daily stint" of housecleaning/de-cluttering. So it'll have to wait tonight—but it's fairly thorough (in an introductory sort of way, natch), and it should make juicy reading tonight with my glass of red wine.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, It's Certainly Prettier than Anything Ron Paul Might Have Come Up With.

Or David Duke, for that matter. Barack Obama, on why it's okay to hang out with racists.

Uh-huh. If people buy this, I'm going to be pretty annoyed.

UPDATE: Baldilocks has a nice roundup, including a link to the smartest man alive ("my other political father," she calls him), Professor Thomas Sowell, writing in National Review Online:

Neither Barack Obama nor his media spinmeisters can put this story behind him with some facile election-year rhetoric. If Senator Obama wants to run with the rabbits and hunt with the hounds, then at least let the rabbits and the hounds know that.


Posted by Attila Girl at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Queen Verbosa"?

Did he name that character after me?

What do you mean, "no"?

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hawkins' Latest Chick-Bloggers Interview!

Five more cool blogstresses talk about being a female writer on the right side of the 'sphere (well, the center—in Ann Althouse's case). This time, we've got Kathy Shaidle, our own divine Emily Zanotti (who has been to my house, and got hit on by my liberal friends), LaShawn Barber, and the multi-talented Mary Katherine Ham, (who is also part of the blogchick mafia Cotillion)—along, of course, with Althouse.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sheby Steele on Barack Obama

in the Wall Street Journal:

Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. And whites love this bargain -- and feel affection for the bargainer -- because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence.

This is how Mr. Obama has turned his blackness into his great political advantage, and also into a kind of personal charisma.


And yet, in the end, Barack Obama's candidacy is not qualitatively different from Al Sharpton's or Jesse Jackson's. Like these more irascible of his forbearers, Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance. Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson were "challengers," not bargainers. They intimidated whites and demanded, in the name of historical justice, that they be brought forward. Mr. Obama flatters whites, grants them racial innocence, and hopes to ascend on the back of their gratitude. Two sides of the same coin.

I'm not sure that any black person who is working toward a color-blind society is a "bargainer," or that any black person who discusses race is a "challenger." I almost wonder whether Steele is boxing black behavior in unnecessarily this way. I don't know.

But bargainers have an Achilles heel. They succeed as conduits of white innocence only as long as they are largely invisible as complex human beings. They hope to become icons that can be identified with rather than seen, and their individual complexity gets in the way of this. So bargainers are always laboring to stay invisible. (We don't know the real politics or convictions of Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan or Oprah Winfrey, bargainers all.) Mr. Obama has said of himself, "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views . . ." And so, human visibility is Mr. Obama's Achilles heel. If we see the real man, his contradictions and bents of character, he will be ruined as an icon, as a "blank screen."

Thus, nothing could be more dangerous to Mr. Obama's political aspirations than the revelation that he, the son of a white woman, sat Sunday after Sunday -- for 20 years -- in an Afrocentric, black nationalist church in which his own mother, not to mention other whites, could never feel comfortable. His pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a challenger who goes far past Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in his anti-American outrage ("God damn America").

How does one "transcend" race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?

What could he have been thinking? Of course he wasn't thinking. He was driven by insecurity, by a need to "be black" despite his biracial background.

Which is the crux of it. Read the whole thing.

I do not know how the Democrats intend to engineer a win for Clinton, but if they are smart they are working hard to change the rules. Because they cannot win with Obama.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:19 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Live-Blogging the D.C. Gun-Ban Case . . .

SCOTUS Blog has a nifty little blog-gadget that automatically scrolls down as new developments occur, and keeps one apprised just about by the second what's going on.

So, go. This is big.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy Heller Day!

Althouse has a quick legal summary, and Malkin discusses the extraordinary (and extraordinarily sane) level of interest in the case. It's a good sign when

Getting into the hearing today is the hot ticket in town—the lines look like Hannah Montana concert lines.
Posted by Attila Girl at 09:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So. On This Whole LOL Cat Bible Translation . . .

I keep toggling back and forth between finding it charming and thinking that it's a bit dangerous.

Is the "ceiling cat" an idol, or a cat's-eye view of Yaweh/Allah/the Lord?

(Just a Christian who lost her sense of humor on the intertubes . . . )

I'd love to hear from Christian cat-lovers on the subject, since it appears to be a gray area.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:30 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

March 17, 2008

The Economic News/The Bear Stearns Crisis

Hackbarth is on the case; just keep scrolling.

I'm also reading McArdle, in an attempt to make sense of it all.

(For the record, Sean seems more deeply concerned than Megan, but it's early in the day. A lot may happen over the next few news cycles.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Dudes Aren't Funny, Man."

At least, I don't think Hitch is. But I still adore his writing, and I'm not sorry, and I have no intention of stopping.

Via the puppyblender who brung me (today), an observation on the anniversary of the war, a series Slate entitled "How Did We Get Iraq Wrong?" (But not, of course, in an editorial way. No, no.)

Hitchens' short answer: I didn't.

I would . . . maintain that . . . incompetence doesn't condemn the enterprise wholesale. A much-wanted war criminal was put on public trial. The Kurdish and Shiite majority was rescued from the ever-present threat of a renewed genocide. A huge, hideous military and party apparatus, directed at internal repression and external aggression was (perhaps overhastily) dismantled. The largest wetlands in the region, habitat of the historic Marsh Arabs, have been largely recuperated. Huge fresh oilfields have been found, including in formerly oil free Sunni provinces, and some important initial investment in them made. Elections have been held, and the outline of a federal system has been proposed as the only alternative to a) a sectarian despotism and b) a sectarian partition and fragmentation. Not unimportantly, a battlefield defeat has been inflicted on al-Qaida and its surrogates, who (not without some Baathist collaboration) had hoped to constitute the successor regime in a failed state and an imploded society. Further afield, a perfectly defensible case can be made that the Syrian Baathists would not have evacuated Lebanon, nor would the Qaddafi gang have turned over Libya's (much higher than anticipated) stock of WMD if not for the ripple effect of the removal of the region's keystone dictatorship.

Read the whole thing. It's loaded to the gills with nuance.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Am I a Better Writer Today?

Or is the fact that I went from an average of 250 hits a day to over 7,000 today a result of links from Ann Althouse, Ace of Spades, Protein Wisdom, and (especially) Instapundit?

(No; that isn't my record. I think I once got a major Insta-lanche that sent me over 10K, though I haven't kept track. These things are unreal.)

Here is my favorite Glenn Reynolds story, and it's been over two years since I told it *: I sat down next to him at CPAC 2006, and we chatted for a few minutes. There was a point at which it became clear that he wasn't sure whether I knew who he was—which, of course, I did. So I introduced myself, and gave him my card. All went smoothly until he decided to interview me for a podcast,and it was just at the moment that he got the mike out (shut up), that I looked at him and said, "you know what? It's happening right now. I'm feeling nervous, because it's you."

And, in one of my favorite B-sphere quotes of all time, he responded, "blogging stars are like bowling stars; no one outside our world cares."

So I laughed, and we went on from there (shut up).

* I see that I've changed a word here and there from when I blogged it at the time. I hate it when my memory goes all non-verbatim like that. Looking back, I did indeed use the word "starstruck."

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Great Start, Buddy.

You've got six more deadly sins to go; please get back to us in a timely fashion.

—The MSM and The Blogosphere

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

So . . .

Tom Waits, or Leonard Cohen?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Yeah. What Is It With These Freakin' Northeastern States?

I mean, really.

It isn't like my governor . . . . Oh, shit. Never mind.

Carry on.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Speaking of the Madonna/Whore Complex . . .

Ace has decided that McGreevy's wife is a victim of those three-way encounters—and of her ex-husband's and ex-lover's honesty.

So, he pressures his wife into having these gay-sublimation threeways and then he confirms the story to embarrass her further.

Nevermind the kids. They have kids, don't they? He has to put it out there that oh, not only is your dad gay, but mommy was a whore and daddy and mommy used to have "Friday Night Specials" with their driver/hustler?

And yeah, he pressured her, of course. I can't imagine threeways were her idea; women usually aren't agitating for the kinky stuff.

So she's more madonna than whore. Good to know. I do realize that women tend to be idiots, and any overt expression of sexuality makes a woman into a whore . . . but, really. Did Ace show up at TGIF with a mini-cam? How does he know the whole thing was her boyfriend's idea? From what I've read, this whole thing was a three-way relationship for a while, complete with breakfast on Saturday mornings: that's the kind of thing that both members of the "main couple" generally want—or else, the other one sets limits and makes sure it's strictly for playtime.

From my comments over at Ace's digs:

Aw, come on. (1) This NEVER would have come out if she hadn't played all innocent for the sake of the divorce court.

(2) According to the section edited out of his book, she and the driver made the first moves, and McGreevy just joined in.

(3) The idea that a woman who plays around is a "whore" rests on the sexual double-standard.

(4) If my generation survived our own parents' sexual hijinks, then kids are a lot less delicate about sexual matters than people might suppose.

This whole idea that the children are invariably hurt when there is an infidelity really bothers me—it was one thing to say that Hillary Clinton, e.g., was the victim in Bill's philandering. She might or might not have been (depending on what she knew and when she knew it)—but when people start dragging the kids into this and talking about Chelsea as if she were betrayed by her father . . . what, did he swear an oath to be faithful to his DAUGHTER?

I know, I know: infidelities destabilize marriages, and children are hurt by divorce. But that is a matter of the parents(s) [it's usually both] making their own arrangements, and taking that risk. For instance, would you condemn a parent who took on the risk of allowing his/her child to ride a bike, just once, without a helmet? Life is full of risks, and it's the parent who should decide these things.

I just wish we could go back in time to the 1950s and acknowledge that there is a part of life (adult sexuality) that is reserved for grownups. And despite the flawed way adults conduct themselves in these situations, it DOESN'T summarize their abilities as parents. In fact, it may have nothing to do with their parents at all.

Unless we are going to suggest that only perfect people should be allowed to have kids.

Or unless we're going to sit around wringing our hands that the human sexuality is being discussed these days with such casual brutality. In which case . . . well, we've all got blood on our hands. No?

And it's we who should shut up, and stop making society so much less safe for the children.

(I know, I know: this sounds personal. And it is. For all my parents' faults, I don't blame them for how they treated each other while they were married. I blame them for how they treated me: that's much more to the point, isn't it?)

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Over at Protein Wisdom . . .

Dan Collins takes Andrew Sullivan on over Obama's "Wright Stuff."

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy "Amateur's Night"

. . . as Attila the Hub used to call it back when he was in the drinking game.

Drive safe. Treat others as decently as you can manage. Say a prayer for those of other religious faiths.

Hope that the Irish economy will serve as a model for the rest of the world.

(And if you have a child today, please don't name him "Patrick," as Cousin Kevin did with his second-born. I love my cousin Patrick, but that's just over the line, like my friends whose kids' names alliterate, for crying out loud.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Of Course, If We're Not Careful,

people are going to start mixing up the McGreevy and Spitzer scandals. Which would lead to some who are only sort-of paying attention to believe that Spitzer is gay.

And that McGreevy was the worst hypocrite on planet Earth.

And that Mrs. Spitzer had three-way sex with her husband and "Kristen."

And that Mrs. McGreevy really didn't know her husband was seeing prostitutes.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Goodbye . . .

Ola Brunkert.

Oddly enough, the song of ABBA's I remember most isn't "Dancing Queen." It's "Money, Money, Money," and Evan turned me onto it, back when I was doing more thematic compilation tapes.

And I'd like to state, for the record, that I do consider drummers to be real musicians. They are more than "timekeepers," dammit. And, yes: I do think of Ringo as a "real Beatle." Not just a lucky guy; he worked as hard as the rest of 'em.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Megan McArdle

. . . on the Bear Stearns bailout:

There's an argument, of course, that successive Fed interventions, starting with the Russian bond crisis, have turned bankers into ever-greater risk takers, making each crisis bigger and more expensive than the last. The thinking goes that we need to draw the line here, whatever the cost, because if we let the financiers go on their merry way, eventually they'll create a wave that will swamp the Fed's power to intervene. Possibly so, but from what I hear, the people on Wall Street are pretty much scared right down to the tips of their Gordon Gekko underoos.

In some sense, right now it's the Fed's job to manage that fear--to scare them enough to ratchet back their risk profile, without scaring them so badly that they hunker down inside their weekend house and refuse to buy or sell anything. That's very tricky, and since in the long run we'll all be dead, I'd rather the Fed err slightly on the side of cheering them up. Perhaps Helicopter Ben should start pumping anti-depressants into the Wall Street water supply.

Or we could simply provide each Wall Street trader with the stuffed animal of his or her choice.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:19 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Your Message Here

So, Barack Obama is a beautiful blank canvas.

Which would make him a lot like that other brilliant politician of our age—what was his name? Ah, yes: Bill Clinton.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

An Extraordinary Piece of Fiction

. . . about truth, fidelity, and betrayal, by a friend of mine. If you leave a commet, please keep it clean—and respectful.

It's quite a story.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Karl at Protein Wisdom

. . . has a rather excellent post up on FISA Surveillance, and the blind spots at The New York Times.

I was going to link it yesterday morning, but my computer was acting up. And then I had to go condo-shopping. And then I had to eat pizza, and sleep. And wake up to the sound of a windstorm moving all my junk around on the balcony.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008

Ever Have One of Those Days?

I feel stupid—and contagious.

No, no: not Nirvana. And not, for crying out loud, Paul Anka. Tori Freakin' Amos.

And, just for the record—I do, indeed, have enough guilt to start my own religion. With plenty to spare.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Right Kind of Three-Way . . .

How much time did I spend, in my twenties, trying to get it out of my boyfriend why it wasn't gay for us both to hop into bed with another woman, but it would be if we got into bed with another guy?

"If there are two men in the same bed, it's gay," he told me. "End of story."

Thank goodness Governor McGreevy didn't see it that way. Oh, wait . . .

Via Insty, who's downright tabloid-ey lately. Oh, wait . . .

P.S. Did you see the pix? Bunk.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:55 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack

Condos a Go-Go

Well, it turns out that there are nice places out there in our price range, though if I want to live in a neighborhood that doesn't feature gang tags, I'm not getting my own office. I'll either have to share one with Attila the H, or carve out a small workspace in a corner of the dining room.

My forbears in the covered wagons . . . used rice-paper screens for that purpose, I'm pretty sure. They coped.

Note to self:

On days that there will be open houses, or showings of the house to realtors and/or buyers, do not—

• fry fish in the kitchen;
• leave old furniture lying around outside;
• have a broken doorbell, thereby forcing the buyer's agent to knock on a heavy "screen" door (the security type, made of thick steel);
• leave the bathroom filthy;
• leave overripe fruit in the kitchen;
• cram twice as much furniture into the space as it was designed to hold;
• leave the drapes closed, and the lights off; or
• leave the television on.

The dress-rehearsal is on Friday, when our agent will come by with the papers for us to sign in the afternoon. I'm planning on losing my heroin virginity that very morning, just to be safe.

When we got home I informed my husband that he should order pizza. He did so, and then informed me that my life would be simpler if I wouldn't think about politics and economics quite so much.

"Just blog about . . . recipes, and stuff like that," he told me with a wink.

The scary part is that for just a moment that sounded pretty good.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Aw, Come On.

The guy wears earplugs to church. Or he's got his iPod going during long sermons. If he ever "nodded," it was just because there was a good beat in the music. Nice baseline; good drumming. That kind of thing.

Just because someone is sitting in a pew, doesn't mean he or she is actually listening to what is being said from the pulpit.

Besides: Racists!

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Are You Sure, Guys?

Do you want to see what real female bodybuilders look like?



Not a bit like Madonna or Sarah Jessica Parker.

(Background is here, with the whole sorry saga of this year's war over sex, bodybuilding, web-etiquette, shoes, ships, and sealing wax at the end.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Belle Sees the Good in McCain.

That's the first step toward healing!

She's right. Earmark reform is fundamental. It's always easy to imagine that it can be put off, or that "at least our guys aren't as abusive as the Dems" (which isn't true—both parties are horrible about this).

Check your legislators' records on this; Belle links to the list.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

InstaPunk on WhiteGate

I don't know whether the Democratic Party can or will nominate someone for whom their members will actually vote.

I just don't think Barack Obama is that person, though Senator Clinton still could be.

Whom does this benefit? Well, it starts with a "John," and it ends with a "McCain."

Via InstaPUNDIT.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rusty's Got Some Cute Pix Up of "Kristen."

They're safe for work, too—just her and her friends, goofing off.

Of course, I thought her legs were so muscular, it was a total turnoff.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:47 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Creepiest Thing I've Read in a While

There's a time and a place for everything, Buddy.

The woman slept most of the flight, but awoke about 20 minutes before landing when the pilot announced the plane was on decent into Los Angeles. When the woman opened her eyes, she saw that an unknown man had moved into the seat next to her and was staring at her as he masturbated, the suit states.

The woman turned toward the window in embarrassment and in an act of nervousness began to run her fingers through her hair where she noticed “a substantial amount of an extremely sticky substance in her hair,” the suit states.
The woman began to cry and tried to get the attention of a flight attendant, but was unsuccessful, the suit states. Finally a passenger in the row in front of the woman comforted her and verified the semen in her hair, the suit states.

Where the hell were the flight attendants?

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2008

Okay. I Don't Get It.

The new MacBook has two gigs of memory. Never mind that I remember when a single meg was a big deal—and for disk space, not memory. What I want to know is why the new machine is slower than my husband's PowerBook, with its own two gigs of RAM. It even underperforms my own old PB, with its 512 megs or whatever (that is, when the thing wasn't crashing every five minutes; but it could bring up Gmail consistently, and it didn't get upset when I had more than two windows open).

My great-great-grandfather, bringing people along the Oregon Trail to the West Coast, used to counsel them that laptops were never s reliable as desktop machines, and that they were hard on one's posture. He said that the handiness of being able to call up the Internet while at the reins of the covered wagon was far offset by having to do extra T'ai Chi to bring one's spine back into alignment.

Right again, old man.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:25 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 14, 2008

If Only the Democrats

. . . could be as nice as we are:

So remember: the next time you learn that your opponent's staff is spreading stories about your candidate's involvement with a satanic LSD murder cult, take a deep breath, count to ten, and let it go. Sure, you could probably respond by distributing the well-documented evidence of your opponent's long history of serial necrophilia. Sure, it might temporarily feel good, and maybe it might swing a few million votes. But you have to ask yourself: to what end? Is some cushy 6-figure job in the next presidential administration -- with a probable $5 million-per-year K Street lobbying career waiting on the back end -- really worth losing your dignity and self respect over? Trust me, when your candidate's campaign is finally destroyed by some unanswered charges, and you're back waiting tables and filling out grad school applications, you'll at least have the deep personal satisfaction of knowing that you took the high road -- even when the game was on the line, even when the other team was playing dirty, and even when a well-timed "March surprise" would have easily made all the difference.

Remember, in the Bible Jesus counsels us to "turn the other cheek." This is sound advice for all Democrats and progressives, even if it comes straight out of the right wing fundies' favorite "science" book. It's time for cooler heads to prevail, and that's why I'm calling for both camps in this squabble to pledge to bring an immediate end to this self-destructive cannibalism. And by "cannibalism" I of course mean figurative cannibalism, because I would never dignify by repeating those lurid charges of actual, literal cannibalism currently being shopped around to the media by your opponent's flaks.

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Night of the Living . . .


Always. Trust content. From Ace.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mike: Another Mean, Insensitive Guy at The Jawa Report.

Of course having a headache from bright lighting in your cell is torture.

I don't understand those guys over at Jawa.

I mean, I've been victimized in a similar way: for instance, every time someone either (1) goes a full 24 hours without visiting my website, or (2) reads my blog without hitting my tipjar, I die just a little bit inside.

I'm a victim, I tell you. And I'm a human being.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It Turns Out . . .

that sometimes journalists only skim the summaries in the reports they are supposed to be reading.

Shockingly, that means they get it wrong sometimes.

Even more shockingly, those with axes to grind often write the summaries, to spin the reports in one direction or another. And the media generally buy what the bureaucrats are selling.

"First, we kill all the reporters . . ."

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The House

. . . is voting on the FISA bill today; it doesn't look good, even after last night's sooper-secrud session.

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March 13, 2008

"It's Christ Himself, Buddy. It's Christ Himself."

I never finished Catcher in the Rye, though I started it at least twice. And I never finished Nine Stories, either: I panicked after the bananafish. It was a tender age for me. But I could read Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters; and Seymour: An Introduction all day long.

As a matter of fact, I just did. At least, I re-read Franny and Zooey over the past week—first just snippets here and there, and finally the whole thing, once more, in sequence. I can't believe that Salinger conceived the Glass family in such detail. I can't believe how true-to-life it is, in terms of chronicaling the lives of intellectual misfits. (Yes, yes: I realize there is some exaggeration here and there. There's a cartoonish element. But the essentials ring true.)

And I'm now concerned that I may not have anything left to live for: I'd forgotten that all of the action in the Zooey part of the book takes place as the Glass family's apartment in New York is being painted. But it was a transcendent experience to re-read it as my own house was covered in plastic and tarps. I went from room to room, trying to find a good spot to perch and finish the book, as Franny was reaching under the dropcloth for a cigarette and lighter. The same smell was in the air. (And, yeah: I realize this is beyond silly. I'm not an imbecile.)

Of course, the first time I read the book it was only because I thought "Zooey" was such an interesting name. I'd been up all night, and there was nothing in my room, so I raided the brick-and-board "bookcases" in the living room at our old house in Santa Monica. (Yes. The one my mother rents out now. That very place—the two-milllion-dollar teardown.)

In those days before marriages and day jobs and houses and equity and phones to be answered and calls to be made and blogs to be maintained, there was nothing more wonderful than to drink black tea in the morning and enjoy a good book as the light got bluer and bluer, sitting out in the chilly air on the porch, facing out toward 17th Street as the neighbors took their walks and went jogging and headed to work. I think the Goldfarbs walked by in their khaki London Fog raincoats to catch the Carlyle bus, and I nodded at them rather absently. They took morning classes at Santa Monica High School, so they tended to walk by my house and catch the bus around the time I was going to bed.

Now, looking at the book itself, I see that I re-bought it in 1982, and signed it with my maiden name. I didn't dog-ear the pages, though: just made notations on the 3 x 5-inch card inside as to which passages seemed most witty and insightful.

And now the pages are all yellowed, and I've finally dog-eared the leaves with wanton abandon, just drunk with the language and the imagery and the sheer literary ballsiness of this volume.

Like I said: nothing left to live for. Except, maybe, the day this house sells, and I'll have money again. Or the day I sell my first book. Or . . . well, there may be a few more cards I can play, after all.

. . . You raved and you bitched when you came home about the stupidity of audiences. The goddamn "unskilled laughter" coming from the fifth row. And that's right, that's right—God knows it's depressing. I'm not saying it isn't. But that's none of your business, really. That's none of your business, Franny. An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's. You have no right to think about those things, I swear to you. Not in any real sense, anyway.

And that is the thing to remember. Sweet dreams: another day of fixing up the house awaits in the morning.

Darrell: I am not hinting. Don't send me a new copy of F and Z. At least, don't do it until we're settled in the new place! We're considering a high-rise, with a pool. Which might just cheer me up about leaving the hills, you know. Also, there are, as I understand it, fewer rats in Glendale than there are out here in the wilds.

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Sean Wants To Be Wrong About Money Again.

The problem with the Euro is not that it uses color, but that it uses color badly.

And the problem, Sean, with our new U.S. currency has nothing to do with introducing spot color, but the fact that it's ugly. It was ugly without the purple "5," and it's ugly with it. Furthermore, the new designs are even uglier than the old ones, though I was never a fan of the "green only" color scheme.

Nor am I into the "every bill is one size" dealio; it makes things harder for (1) the blind, and (2) the rest of us.

What is it with you real conservatives? Change isn't bad in and of itself. Bad change is bad. Good change is good.

And who gets to decide? Well . . . me. I'll handle this. I know how.

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Look. If He Was Involved in a Scandal That Had a Sexual Component to It,

then he must be a Republican. Maybe he just didn't know it. Like, he was a closet Republican or something. I mean, you have to come out to yourself before you can come out to the rest of the world.


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Come on, Rusty.

We know what the reporters for The New York Times are. We're just haggling over price.

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"Chicks Aren't Funny, Man!"

. . . "Er, if they are, they're funny in a masculine way. Or maybe a Jewey way."

Okey-doke, Chrissy. Nothing more butch than a Jewess.

Fausta's looking for comments on the latest kerfuffle between Christopher Hitchens and the comediennes of our day. My comment at her site:

I know maybe a dozen truly funny people, and I'd say about 40% of them are women. What Hitchens is getting at is that humor is an aggressive act, and therefore comedy is a sandbox that men have preferred to play in.

But it's silly to argue as he does that most funny women are "masculine" in some way. After all, most female astronauts are "masculine" by some measure. So are most female hunters. And female race car drivers. Even female doctors. We're not made of sugar water.

Is there a "feminine" sense of humor that women have abandoned for the more "masculine" variety practiced by Sarah Silverman, Amy Sedaris, et al.? Well, maybe: Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett come to mind—there's a gentler form of humor that women engaged in in the 20th Century.

One can go back a few hundred years to Jane Austen, however, and see that chicks have been funny for a long time.

But whether one does it gently, a la Austen, sardonically, a la Virginia Woof, or brutally, a la Sarah Silverman, to make a joke is to poke someone in the ribs. It may not come from genuine "animus," in the sense of it emerging from a real grudge—but it certainly doesn't come from anima.

The answer is, so what? Hitchens is trying to be provocative. But I'd like to see him try to get me to laugh . . . It isn't that easy.

Acually, I'm not parsimonious with my laughter—I don't play it like a studio executive who's scared that if he/she laughs at the pitch, the writer or producer will think he/she made the sale. (Or, to put it in Hitchens' terms, I'm not afraid that a guy will equate a laugh with sexual availability.)

And I'm not a humorist, though I know a few of 'em.

I never read Hitchens' original article on the subject, though I suspect I will now. I wonder if it'll get a rise out of me, or if I'll just think it's darling of him—like his antagonism to religion, his sentimental attachment to Marxism, and his genuine vanity. I adore Hitch, but I can't take any of that stuff seriously.

"If you can't make 'em laugh, you don't have a chance." Hm. By that measure, I've only had sex with two or three men in my life, and no women. (The real figures are, um, a smidge north of there.)

Like I said—I'm not a funny woman, so I don't think I have a real dog in this fight. But I do know that the debate has been raging for a long time. (Read that book, if you can find it. The "How to Seduce a Feminist" essay is worth the price, all on its own.)

Ace (funny guy and secret defender of women-who-haven't-gotten-on-his-bad-side) has this to say about Hitch:

Whether you agree with his point or not (and I don't—he's just making shit up as he goes to be provocative, but there's no crime in that), it isn't the offhandedly brutal bit of antisemitism (and anti-lesbianism, and No Fat Chickery) it seems to be at first. He's just rescuing his point by setting those three categories apart and branding them a sub-type of male humor.

Anyway, more ammo for the gender war, I guess.

Man, is Kirstin Wiig cute. I would hit that like the cannonball hitting the fat guy's belly in slow motion.

By the way, I'm not really kissing up to women again in saying Hitchens is just making shit up. Of course man are more frequently funny than women, and of course men are funnier than women on average, and all the rest of it. I mean, duh.

But his original article claimed there were no funny women (except those male-ish dykes, Jews, and fatties), which is obviously just stupid.

But it is getting the boy—Hitchens—some ink—and female attention. Which is what he was after in the first place, by his own admission.

UPDATE: Someone want me to play hardball? I can do that now, without even reading Hitch's original article. (And I'm not sure I want to do that, unless he wants to read it aloud to me while sucking down some Johnny Walker Blue and telling me how fabulous my white American teeth look, while keeping his dirty Limey paws to himself.

Are you ready?

Dorothy. Freakin'. Parker.

So, deal.

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Waxing Poetic

. . . on the Spitzer scandal.

(So far, there are takeoffs on T.S. Eliot, S.T. Coleridge, and Lewis Carroll. Join the fun!)

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Random Line from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles:

"You're going the wrong way! You're going the wrong way!"

To which John Candy replies, "how do they know which way we're going? They must be drunk."

Steve Martin: "Yeah; how would they know?"

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Et Tu, Larry?

Larry Elder writes a positive article about Obama that stops just short of endorsing the divine "Mr. Cloudo."*


(Well. In a Swiftian way.)

He keeps getting richer, and he finally got his picture
On the cover of the
Rolling Stone . . .

* More nicknames for the transcendent Senator O.—inspired by the Rolling Stone cover—are available here, courtesy of Amelie Gilette, whom I got turned onto yesterday by Professor Reynolds.

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March 12, 2008

A Little Touch of Harry in the Night.

[Yeah; I know I've already used that headline for posts related to the Harry Potter franchise. But I like it. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Think how this reduces my carbon footprint . . .]

Warner Brothers will be splitting the final installment of the Harry Potter book into two halves, which means that mathematicians may be displeased by the final result: the seven-book series will yield an eight-film series.

It could be that they should have been splitting all the books after the first one, which would mean that there would be a total of 15 movies, and that a lot less meat would have been hacked off the last few.

Yeah, I'm joking. Sort of. I know that the filmmakers try to err on the side of pleasing me! me! me! (all of us, really) rather than catering to the muggles, but there's always a cut (or three) that upsets me.

And, of course, I realize that those kids they cast are growing up too quickly. But couldn't they have given them drugs or something, to stunt their growth?

I'm just trying to think outside the box, here.

The movie version of The Half-Blood Prince is due out this fall. I don't usually read up before another movie comes out, but I'm considering ripping through the entire series one more time sometime soon, in preparation for (only) my second reading of Deathly Hallows. That one was so structurally different from the others that it absolutely should be chopped into two movies. It was a tough nut to crack, and I knew it would be. I generally try to read a murder mystery—or a Potter book—all the way through in one sitting. But those MFs are so long.

Finally, there I was in San Diego, at Siggraph, reading Hallows at the Holiday Inn two freeway stops away from downtown. What a great book. What an amazing fucking book. I had to somewhat reduce my partying at the convention, but it was for a good cause.

This year—Calloo, Callay!—Siggraph is in Los Angeles again. Which means that unless I get a windfall that allows me to crash downtown for a few nights, I'll be commuting from home (probably a condo in Glendale, by then). If I do have a few extra bucks, and I can stay downtown for a night or two, I shall definitely be taking some primo reading material. And I'm not talking about the fuckin' internet.

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Dr. Helen on Male-Bashing.

I generally agree with the good doctor on these issues: not only is there way too much male-bashing out there for my taste, but I'm sure there's a lot more than I actually see, because I self-select against it; I don't much care for sexism in either direction.

I'm not an authority on gender relations, since I haven't seen any healthy marriages up close in real life.

There are, of course, four leading men in my life: my father, who loves it when I pick on him, because what is bullying behavior from his wives is just cunning when it's his older daughter tearing him down (yes—I don't do it often any more; I know it isn't healthy); my older brother and real father figure, who withdraws from me, judges the hell out of me, and loves me secretly far more than he will ever let on; my husband, whom I tend to either cater to or take for granted—but love desperately, all the same (and if only that were enough to sustain a relationship—it's "necessary, but not sufficient"); and my best friend Count Linguist, who is often accused of being "gay-like" because he's a die-hard nonviolent intellectual—though he is as brutal verbally as any serial killer is in the blood-and-guts realm—and, oddly enough, he is the strongest person physically I've ever met, if one were simply measuring raw upper-body power.

All that said, I do think people need to let off steam, particularly when they feel dominated by their spouses—which, let's face it, everyone is. Marriage is never easy, and it certainly isn't for wimps.

But there is a point beyond which one shouldn't go. If you're blowing off steam, you can make a couple of pointed remarks about your spouse the way one might talk about upper management (or the Board of Directors, or the stockholders, or any "ball and chain") at a company for which you work, and at which you largely like to work: "God love 'em; they aren't perfect—much as I sometimes wish they were. I do, however, respect the good in what they are accomplishing."

There are certain things that are simply beyond the pale: suggesting that your husband or boyfriend isn't a "real man" (which, of course, he would be if he only did what you want him to do, all the damned time), suggesting he's a little boy for having any human emotions, or holding against him whatever intellectual limitations he might incur as a result of being male. (This is often combined with taking advantages of the areas wherein his brain provides benefits to the household or partnership: "You're so absent-minded, Honey; here's the map, by the way. You navigate." Not cricket, people.)

I wouldn't know about the last, precisely. My mapping and spatial relationship skills run, as withmy-anything-mathematical, to either very good, or very bad. (Like my parallel parking, or my restaurant arithmetic/tip calculations. I'm either on, or completely off.)

But between two people each person will always have strengths and weaknesses, and it's just as well to acknowledge one's weaknesses on those occasions when one is trumpeting one's strengths.

Otherwise, male or female, one risks turning into a monster.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Marine Insurance*

Via The Anchoress, a nice little Comedy Central segment on Code Pink vs. the U.S.M.C.:

David Linden and I had a discussion in the early 1980s about Berkeley vs. Boston. He had just got back from a trip to Massachusetts, and thought Boston was sort of a "snotty" city. "I mean," he remarked, "that entire place could use a very large Kleenex."

"But isn't Berkeley just as snotty in its own way?" I enquired.

"Well," he responded, "I've never got the impression in Berkeley that it wasn't okay to be an academic. But I certainly had that feeling in Boston."

I do love Berkeley, but part of its charm is its willingness to degenerate into self-caricature. It is a place devoid of irony. Very earnest. And, yes: the crepes are very good there.

My brother The Panther, a muti-decade denizen of the SF Bay Area, has accused me of being "very Los Angeles," and I imagine that's supposed to be a putdown. And yet, one would never hear an Angeleno sigh and remark, upon contemplating a menu in a cute little cafe, that she is "always torn between the sweet and the savory," as David's ex-girlfriend did with me some years ago. I stifled a smile. Torn. Torn.

Because Bay Area folks are every bit as Bay as I am an Angeleno. (Or Angelena. I never can decide whether to feminize that word; most Spanish speakers tell me not to bother, that it can function like the German mann.)

I was never able to get mad at the Berzerkleyites over the Marine recruiting issue; the whole thing just made me giggle. Berkeley is Berkeley, as obligated to act out its role as keeper of the 1960s flame as any picturesque little town along the Rhine, with its people traipsing around in traditional costumes of their own sort. Caught in the past, dependent upon its tourist traps. Living the dream. Have some wine, Man.

* Title stolen from a comedy skit written by my favorite former Marine.

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Ferraro Is Stepping Down.

According to CNN, she's saying Senator Clinton didn't ask her to do so.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

On the McCain VP Pick

Sean Hackbarth notes that National Review is "firing a warning shot" at John McCain regarding his choice of a running mate, and the signals that might send out thereby to that nebulous entity, "the base." It seems to me that McCain is in an awfully tricky spot, here, inasmuch as neither the SoCons nor the economic conservatives (much less the libertarians) are thrilled with him to begin with.

The NRO editors want to make sure that the delegates don't merely rubber-stamp a Veep candidate who is too far to the left; Hackbarth gets concrete about this:

If he picks the populist Mike Huckabee he upsets economic conservatives. If he picks a pro-abortion candidate he alienates social conservatives.

Mitt Romney would be a safe pick. He was talk radio’s and many conservative activists’ last-minute non-McCain pick. The flip-flop attacks wouldn’t hold as much water, but I’m sure either Team Obama or Team Clinton could confront Romney with some ads he ran against McCain. But then again, voters don’t choose a President because of the running mate. On the plus side, Romney could be McCain’s chief economic expert. McCain will need all the help he can get during these troubled economic times.

Because of the bad blood from the primaries I can’t see McCain picking Mitt.

Which is too bad; Romney would be the perfect pick to re-establish a rapport with conservatives. I'd love to see Fred Thompson back in this role, though I know he likely wouldn't take it, and he wouldn't be willing to take on the "attack dog" responsibilities that the Veep candidate is often assigned. Hackbarth concludes that "Republican base politics will play a role in McCain’s pick, but I don’t think it will be the most important consideration."

This is a issue for the McCain folks, since Johnny Mac doesn't have a lock on either the swing voters or the base. I do think the person has to appear like an even-tempered person who can talk Johnny Mac through the occasional black rage.

Again, though: that depends on which kind of VP this person is going to be: the traditional VP who waits around for the President to die, or the Dick Cheney type, who acts as a sort of uber-Chief of Staff, and takes an active role in advising the CIC. Campaigns never stipulate which type of Veep we're getting. (Though perhaps W.J. Clinton did, with the "two for the price of one" rhetoric, which clearly suggested that the First Lady would be the President's primary advisor.)

Hackbarth mentions the buzz about Governor Mark Sanford (South Carolina) and Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota), but points out that "if Jeb Bush had a different last name he’d be the no-brainer pick (and could have been the Presidential nominee), but that’s the hand McCain and conservatives have been dealt."

Yeah, well: If Jeb can convert to Roman Catholicism and marry a Latina (which puts him in an interracial relationship from the point of view of all those who see "Hispanics" as a different race), why can't he just change his freakin' last name?

I still think there would be some concrete advantages to running Condi, inasmuch as McCain's strongest card is the sense people have that he'll prosecute the War on Terror with some vigor, and won't simply withdraw from Iraq. However, I know she carries some baggage with her from the current administration, and I'm well aware that she doesn't really want to be President. Whoever takes this on has to be ready to go all the way, should there be a second McCain term.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Stay Classy

. . . China.

Is there nothing we can do to help the Tibetan people except put inane bumper stickers on our cars? One feels so powerless . . .

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March 11, 2008

Don't Be Silly, Glenn.

It isn't like they were the same hookers.

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Okay. The House Is Painted.

Can we have our million dollars, now?

Can we go?

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Um. "Blackface" Didn't Refer to Specific Individuals.

Hello? Now Sinbad is getting it mixed up as well. Blackface was generic. Barack Obama is a specific guy.

Via Instapundit, who has links and observations:

A reader emails: "Let me see if I've got this straight: a white man is not allowed to portray a half-white man (Barack Obama) on SNL, but a black man is? Race relations in this country are a bigger joke than anything you'll see on SNL." President Clinton wanted a national conversation on race. Looks like they've got one going now.

ANOTHER UPDATE: "Is Obama black or white? Yes." I'm well aware of the one-drop rule. What's changed, though, is who seems most interested in enforcing it.

The second update therein goes to Baldilocks, who points out correctly that the crucial issue is who gets to decide whether someone is black. True enough, but even Juliette has conjectured that people like me (white people with inexplicably full lips) may have some African ancestry. There's no way of knowing any more. And the more mixed-up we get, the more clearly people will see the irrelevance of race.

I just don't think anyone is pure-bred anything any more, and Lorne Michaels should cast the best actor for the job. In comedy, that means the most brutal and ruthless caricaturist. Politics is tough; it's supposed to be tough. And comedy is tougher, if you do it right.

By the way: Tiger Woods is all-black, too: don't you ever forget it. Black beats Asian. And a royal flush beats a straight flush, godammit.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Radar on the Spitzer Scandal

More insight from Heidi Fleiss:

"It's so easy not to get caught," reformed Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss tells Radar, adding that she provided service to many a well-known politician [in] her day. "I saw many famous people—more famous than Eliot Spitzer—and you know what, you pay people right, you treat them right, you don't have a problem." The devil, she says, was in Spitzer's particular freak, which left the gals who are alleged to have serviced him describing the governor as "difficult," with demands that involved "things that, like, you might not think were safe."

"I'm sure he wanted anal sex without condoms," Fleiss says, speculating but strangely confident.

There are worse things, of course. If you're not a hooker. (Hint: tiny women shouldn't date men who are hung like firehoses. Moderation in all things, or you end up with sore ovaries.)

But if Spitzer was as "difficult" in the bedroom as he was in his political life, I'm sure he made just as many enemies in the one realm as in the other. To be fair, however, it was his handling of the financial arrangements that led to his undoing.

Via Dan Collins Karl at Protein Wisdom.

UPDATE: Error fixed; I don't know why I got the Protein Wisdom guys mixed up—maybe because those people all look the same to me.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:35 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

I Keep Feeling

. . . like there's a really good White Album joke to be made about the Spitzer situation, if I could only think of it.

No—not that White Album. That White Album.

Via Hackbarth.

(The Beatles! Whatever happened to them? They were so hittable before they became 50% dead.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Eliot Mess"

Bidinotto on the weird myopia of the media; and their refusal to see the Spitzer scandal as being about more than sex.

He thought he was an Untouchable; but then, that is the way of those consumed by lust.

Lust for power, that is.


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Hey, Babe . . .

Don't get the insecure, homely testosterosphere mad at you . . . or you'll hear much worse. Just sayin'.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:22 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Well, Yeah.

In case you haven't seen Iowahawk's take on the Spitzer Scandal:

"We want to assure the expensive whore-buying public—whether they are drug dealers, washed-out big-league ball players, or compulsive gamblers on a temporary hot streak—that when they purchase one of our products, that fine bitch will now be DNA-tested and certified 100% free of contaminants from politicians or journalists," said Williams.

Despite the new assurances, Rizzo says it may take years for the whore industry's luxury segment to recover from the incident.

"The saddest thing is what it done to the youngsters, those starry-eyed 17- and 18-year old boys out there who dream someday of blowing thirty or forty thousand dollars on a hotel room full of beautiful, high-end hookers," said Rizzo. "Sure, only a few ever achieve it, but that boyhood dream has always been universal. After the Spitzer incident, thought, I'm just not sure whether that's true anymore."

People never stop to consider the human cost.

(I did not add hyphens to Iowahawk's quote. Oh, wait: I did. And, as usual, I changed the double-hyphens to em-dashes. I like to keep things tidy, you know.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:36 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Heya, Doll.

Agent Bedhead says hi, and gets down with her celebrity-blogging. Hey—at least she's not ripping Madonna for being ripped.

She's just pointing out that the M.G. might be having a fling, and that the age differences involved are significant. Personally, I've always felt that 10-15 years was sort of the outside edge on that age-difference dealio, but what the hell do I know?

BTW, whatever happened to Dustin Hoffman? He used to be so sexy. Now he's, ya know . . . distinguished. I saw him once, when I was working at the Westside Twin Theatres. He came in and borrowed a pencil, which my boyfriend at the time saved for me. I've since lost track of it, of course.

My friend Kate Sanford worked with Hoffman on American Buffalo, and has also edited Sex and the City, with "Ol' Butterpecs," Sarah Jessica Parker. I rather think Katie might have kissed Sean Penn back in the 1980s, since I've been informed that my "Madonna number" is . . . um, one or two. Around there. (One of her jobs on At Close Range was, she told me at the time, "keeping reporters away from Sean Penn.")

Maybe that's why I defend Madonna. Maybe I wish that number were zero. In any event, I happen to think she's still hot, muscles and all. Apparently, I'm not the only one, despite Ragnar at Rusty's site deciding she's looks like Gollum. (Was that before, or after G's transformation? Just curious. And I'd still like to see a picture of Ragnar, since he's so discriminating. He must be Santa Fe-hot.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:29 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

More on "Selective Prosecution" in the Spitzer Case . . .

Both Karl and Dan Collins of Protein Wisdom had fun with Harper's's Horton, and his cries of selective prosecution.


The law on “structuring" . . . would not be at all obscure to a bank, which was obligated to report suspicious activity to the IRS. Moreover, once this information was reported by ABC News, anyone can Google “structuring” and find it immediately. The feds were not on a politically-motivated fishing expedition—they got a report from a bank of suspicious activity requiring investigation.

Dan Collins explains that not only did the entire thing start with a tip from a bank, but (as he ironically notes): "so anxious was the DOJ to prosecute the guy that they’ve been driving the US Attorney bonkers," trying to get a signoff on an indictment of a public official.

Selective enforcement always scares me. But I'm not convinced that Spitzer was targeted because he was a Democrat; it seems more like his own arrogance and foolhardiness unraveled his career.

It's as if he were a rather disconnected version of William Jefferson Clinton—without, of course, Clinton's brilliance.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:43 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Puttin' on the Spitz

The Wall Street Journal had a nice recap of the Spitzer scandal today:

Mr. Spitzer's recklessness with the state's highest elected office, though, is of a piece with his consistent excesses as Attorney General from 1999 to 2006.

He routinely used the extraordinary threat of indicting entire firms, a financial death sentence, to force the dismissal of executives, such as AIG's Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. He routinely leaked to the press emails obtained with subpoena power to build public animosity against companies and executives. In the case of Mr. Greenberg, he went on national television to accuse the AIG founder of "illegal" behavior. Within the confines of the law itself, though, he never indicted Mr. Greenberg. Nor did he apologize.

In perhaps the incident most suggestive of Mr. Spitzer's lack of self-restraint, the then-Attorney General personally threatened John Whitehead after the former Goldman Sachs chief published an article on this page defending Mr. Greenberg. "I will be coming after you," Mr. Spitzer said, according to Mr. Whitehead's account. "You will pay the price. This is only the beginning, and you will pay dearly for what you have done."

Jack Welch, the former head of GE, said he was told to tell Ken Langone -- embroiled in Mr. Spitzer's investigation of former NYSE chairman Dick Grasso -- that the AG would "put a spike through Langone's heart." New York Congresswoman Sue Kelly, who clashed with Mr. Spitzer in 2003, had her office put out a statement that "the attorney general acted like a thug."

These are not merely acts of routine political rough-and-tumble. They were threats—some rhetorical, some acted upon—by one man with virtually unchecked legal powers.

Eliot Spitzer's self-destructive inability to recognize any limit on his compulsions was never more evident than his staff's enlistment of the New York State Police in a campaign to discredit the state's Senate Majority Leader, Joseph Bruno. On any level, it was nuts. Somehow, Team Spitzer thought they could get by with it. In the wake of that abusive fiasco, his public approval rating plunged.

Mr. Spitzer's dramatic fall yesterday began in the early afternoon with a posting on the Web site of the New York Times about the alleged link to prostitutes. The details in the criminal complaint about "Client-9," who is reported to be Mr. Spitzer, will now be played for titters by the press corps. But one may ask: Where were the media before this? With a few exceptions, the media were happy to prosper from his leaks and even applaud, rather than temper, the manifestly abusive instincts of a public official.

There really is nothing very satisfying about the rough justice being meted out to Eliot Spitzer. He came to embody a system that revels in the entertainment value of roguish figures who rise to power by destroying the careers of others, many of them innocent. Better still, when the targets are as presumably unsympathetic as Wall Street bankers and brokers.

Acts of crime deserve prosecution by the state. The people, in turn, deserve prosecutors and officials who understand the difference between the needs of the public good and the needs of unrestrained personalities who are given the honor of high office.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New, From the Heritage Foundation!

Another "go to" spot for hot memes: The Foundry, brought to you by The Heritage Foundation.

I just happened to see it there. On my sidebar. I'm not pimping them because they're an advertiser. Really. (Oh, wait. That was a lie. But I am bookmarking them, and I will be going back.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jaime Weinman

. . . immortalizes the Spitzer scandal:

(Tune: "Love Potion # 9")

I took my troubles to the Emperor's Club,
For understanding and a special rub.
They gave me a form and a questionnaire to sign,
And told me that my title was "Love Client # 9."

I said to Kristen: "I'm a fool for love,
And incidentally, I am not the gov.
I don't like corruption, except, of course, for mine,
And honey, please address me as 'Love Client # 9.'"

More at the link!

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I don't necessarily think the Spitzer prosecution was politically motivated; this is a sociopath's just desserts. But I am curious about Scott Horton's assertion in Harper's that the charges against Spitzer fall under the heading of "white slavery"; isn't that term often used to designate prostitution itself? The fact is, any law that's subject to selective enforcement should be reviewed—that is indeed, one of the problems with prostitution laws in the first place.

A governor of a powerful state, however, cannot be engaging in activity that opens him up to blackmail, and any elected official who doesn't recognize limits to his power is undermining democracy itself—no shit. Spitzer was, from all accounts, a tyrant of the kind that brings out the long knives —no mater what political party he or she belongs to. And thank goodness for those long knives, also known as "checks and balances."

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

Yup. There Is a Level of Hypocrisy . . .

that is intolerable. For example, I smoke weed at parties—but if I'd made my career by enforcing the marijuana laws I don't agree with, I'd deserve to get busted at some point.

There is a distinction to be drawn between being an ordinary hypocrite—someone who believes in enforcing some sort of moral order, whether he/she can comply in every particular—and being the uberhypocrite who deserves a trouncing.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


And it's not funny!

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

You'd Think That Hot Flashes

. . . would work themselves all the way down to my feet. But they don't, always.

"Do you have malaria?" A the H asks.

"I don't think so. Do you think it would help?" I kick the covers off of my midsection and onto my feet, propping another pillow over my face to block out the light. "I may need to go out and get some."

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Free Speech in Canada

An update at Mark Steyn's site (yes; I'm over a week late on this one):

I heard yesterday from across the Atlantic (I'm traveling in Europe) that the Ontario Human Rights Commission has declined to hear the Canadian Islamic Congress suit against Maclean's on the grounds that they deal in denials of service on the basis of race, creed, etc, and a magazine is not a "service". That's certainly true in the case of Maclean's: many of us haven't serviced anyone in years.

To recap: Three cases were launched against Maclean's and me. One against Ezra Levant. The score so far: Two-zip to the freespeechers.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Another "Blogversary," Come And Gone.

I wouldn't have remembered, but [Venomous] Kate said something about reaching the five-year mark, and linked her first post. Here's mine, also from March of 2003 [March 5th, to be exact]. Hard times, those: this country had just invaded Iraq, and it was difficult-but-necessary to face up to the suffering that went along with having supported the war.

Long essays, lots of thought. And Kate and I, both blogging naked while drinking martinis late at night, back when I was making do with a dialup connection—and she lived farther West than I did.

Looking through my archives, it occurs to me that my writing was really, really freakin' dull back in those days. Like, boring boring.

("What makes you think things have changed?" I hear you ask. Well, nothing does, and maybe they haven't. But now I run shorter entries and more pix—also, I have video! That was a relative novelty just a few years ago.)

It's all good; thanks for your support. Send more money.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:44 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

"Take Another Piece of My Democratic Heart"

Seth Graham-Smith wakes up and smells the coffee after a hard day's night with Senator Clinton:

Will she subvert the will of the voters? Will she turn Denver into a series of shady back-room deals and arm twisting? Will she dispatch her husband to pressure superdelegates into switching allegiances at the last minute? Are we in for, as one pundit put it, a good ol' fashioned "knife fight?"

And if she does manage to secure the nomination, what about the scores of disenfranchised Obama supporters (many of them young people with little loyalty to the Democratic Party)? How will she bring them back into the tent? Hillary seems confident that this can be remedied by offering Mr. Obama a spot on her ticket. Really? And what would his motivation be for accepting? Playing third-fiddle to Bill?

However, if Mr. Obama goes on to secure the nomination, she'll have handed his rival a treasure trove of sound bites. All John McCain has to do between August and November is play clips of Hillary questioning Obama's experience and belittling his platitudes. In a way, she'll have become Mr. McCain's second running mate.

She's proven that she cares more about "Hillary" than "unity." More about defeating Obama than defeating the Republicans. She's become a political suicide-bomber, happy to blow herself to bits -- as long as she takes everyone else with her.

On Friday, one of Barack Obama's foreign policy advisors, Samantha Power, resigned after calling Senator Clinton "a monster" during an off-the-record exchange. It was an unfortunate slip, but one that echoed the sentiments of many Clinton apologists like me -- who've watched Hillary's descent into pettiness and fear-mongering with the heartbreak of a child who grows up to realize that his beloved mother has been a terrible person all along.

Are the conservatives right about the Clintons? Will they do and say anything to get elected?

I don't know.

All I know is . . . I'm through apologizing.

Via Dan Collins at Protein Wisdom.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And, It's . . .

the Sam Plenty show.

Am I supposed to divulge whom this was actually written by? For now, I'll just specify one of the Warners Brothers alumni, and leave it at that. (It was put together by the Jim Henson people, natch.)

Anyone who's listened to him will find the voice unmistakable.

Hint: If you listened to KXLU in the 1980s—or went to Acme Comedy Theater in the 1990s—you've seen or heard this guy perform.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, In Case You Didn't See It.

Here's the latest Hillary-pimping from the crew at Saturday Night Live:

Via Hot Air, where AllahPundit remarks:

In practice it’s five and a half minutes of him [Obama] sounding like a buffoon while she [Clinton] keeps a steady hand on the wheel. The ‘Busters say it amounts to another de facto SNL ad for Hillary; I’m inclined to agree. Memo to the Messiah: Have your staff call Lorne ASAP and set up a cameo to stop the bleeding.

Instapundit also links the Inexperience-squared vid as part of a mini-roundup on the issue of experience/chops/balls, and quotes the divine Jennifer Rubin (whom I like even though she has much better clothes than I do), writing in Commentary:

So we may have reached the perfect gender dilemma: is Obama 'man enough' to be President? That, really, is the question Clinton is raising in her own way.

Yup. And yet more Jennifer, at the same link:

Now it is Obama’s turn to prove he can stand up to Clinton and McCain, to say nothing of real bad guys like Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In this regard, his excessive deference to personal engagement (Deborah Tannen has something to say about that) as a tool of foreign policy and his cool, aloof demeanor work against him. Can he take a punch or throw one? Does he really understand that as President he’ll face enemies utterly immune to reason, enemies beyond the conciliatory powers of even the best community organizer? Maureen Dowd and the rest of Obama’s media fans are waiting with bated breath for the answer.

Althouse also thinks they're laying it on a bit thick:

the ad really does push us to think that Hillary Clinton has a lot of experience and Barack Obama is a neophyte. The fact that we know it's an exaggeration doesn't prevent it from stimulating our anxieties about the underlying truths. And if we're disposed to look at a comedy sketch and find it funny, then our minds slip into the place where we perceive the thing that is being exaggerated. Our defenses are down.

Aw, but don't you see? If it's really a joke, you can say anything you want. All's fair. Life is a bowl of passive-aggressive cherries.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A Better Class of Camping.

Well, we have access to the master bedroom and bath again. There may not be hardware on the cabinets or a top on the toilet tank, but by Gosh we slept in an actual bed last night.

No window treatments on the windows, and our bedroom is right on the road. "I don't care who sees me in my PJs," A the H remarked. "I'm looking forward to actually sleeping through the night." I read in bed for a while as he was dozing off: I figured that it was dark outside, and no one could see me by the lamplight, because I couldn't see them.

The neighbors seem to have figured out that we're leaving: they smile at us, and wave. Once in a while I catch one of them humming "Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead," or the theme to <>The Beverly Hillbillies.

We've lived in this house eleven and a half years or so. A/H hadn't resided anywhere that long between the time he left his parents' place and now. And I had never been anywhere more than seven years in my entire life. (Hometown #1, Whittier, I lived in from birth to the age of six or seven; in Hometown #2, Santa Monica, I was in the homestead north of Carlyle from the ages of twelve to seventeen, and then endured another six or eight months of purgatory sharing a condominium six blocks away with my mother before I bolted for real, and for good.)

I just want to cry all the time, and I'm not even sure it's because I'm sad, exactly: it's just a sense of being overwhelmed by the upheaval and vaguely anxious about the future. I'm seeing the moment of my greatness flicker, and the eternal Moving Van is about to pull up, and snicker. (And moving vans do snicker; I've heard them doing it. Don't contradict me.)

And now I'm in my den, typing away at my new computer, for which I must:

• re-install the evil MS office suite;
• re-install my camera software;
• figure out why it has these slow moments, which are particularly odd given that it has four times the RAM in my old machine. This might be a job for Mac-stud Adam, though I'm loathe to give up too quickly. As I said, the "slowness" phenomenon only seems to occur with MT and Gmail. Unfortunately, most of the time I spend online I'm using one of those two programs.

It's certainly nice not to be using a machine that's on death's door; that was crazy-making.

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March 09, 2008

The American Presidency

. . . as fashion statement.

Why not?

Via NeoNeo.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well. Irrespective of Which Brass Ring Senator Clinton Is Reaching for

. . . she's putting personal gain ahead of her party's welfare. Which strikes me as odd, unless she's really trying for the Oval Office this fall.

Or unless those FBI files were such a treasure trove, she has a Hoover-like amount of leverage over the top Democrats—enough to try again in 2012.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Have the New Computer.

And yet I'm still blogging from the husband's laptop, because on the new machine there is an unholy non-alliance going on between Safari and Gmail, and between Safari and Pixy's server in Australia.

Which doesn't make sense; I'll check with the guys at the Mac store on why certain sites take forever to come up. But I may need to switch over to Firefox, or reconfigure the settings on the new Mac. (Interesting little datum: the MacBook doesn't think it's getting great reception from the modem, even though all three computers are in the same room with the modem, and the other two are doing just fine.)

I would say I know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous, but I'm not even sure that that is the case.

Posted by Attila Girl at 07:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Day One of Condo-Hunting.

It looks like the world is our oyster: we can choose between either a slightly decent amount of living space with gang grafitti and peeling paint in the common areas of the complex, or a nice complex in a decent area, but with drastically reduced square footage.

So off I go to throw away everything I own.

I came home today, sat in a corner of the living room, and said goodbye to the view. And then I cried.

And then I laughed at myself, because over 99% of the world's population would kill to have my "problems."

Namaste, boys and girls.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 08, 2008


. . . weighs in (so to speak) on the "gender war" I apparently started when I lost it the other day.

She and do see this differently: I don't have a problem with positive comments about women. Even the ribald remarks don't bother me.

But poking fun at people—even celebrities—for trying to take care of themselves and stay in shape does bother me. That kind of thing has always hit a button: when I was a teenager I knew someone who used to cruise San Vicente Blvd in Santa Monica—where a lot of people run along the grassy median —and make nasty remarks about those who were running or jogging.

And I found it outrageous that someone could make fun of people who were in the very act of trying to improve themselves. It seemed particularly heartless.

When another writer in my workshop wrote about being tempted to judge an obese woman ordering a salad in a restaurant, my jaw just dropped—"what, exactly, was the judgement you were tempted to make?" I asked.

"Oh, it would be something like 'who does she think she's fooling?'"

And my jaw stayed on the floor. I really don't get slamming people who are trying to take care of themselves, whatever the circumstances. It just strikes me as mean.

The positive comments from male bloggers and commenters ("I'd hit it," and the like) are fine. They don't bug me. But saying negative things about people who are trying to do something positive, like getting stronger?

I don't like it. I've never liked it. I'm not going to pretend that I like it. If I'm the only person out there who doesn't like it, that's fine: I still don't like it.

And if I'm the only person who thinks that someone having a SAG card doesn't mean they should incur endless abuse, that's also fine. I wish actors had more privacy than they do, and the fact that there is an entire industry out there based on trying to get unflattering photos of them creeps me out. When anonymous bloggers then post these same photos on the internet, I don't like it.

Yes: I understand that those who make their livings as actors take that risk on, and I'll grant that Madonna has an exhibitionistic streak (less so Sarah Jessica Parker).

But I don't have to like it when people who write publicly, but still go to great lengths to preserve their private identities—such as Ace, Rusty, and their co-bloggers—exploit the fact that those who act for a living are forced to live in a fishbowl. (The normal exception has to be granted for those who do not act, or create, or do much of anything at all: those who are simply "famous for being famous" are not, to my mind, in this class. So you needn't "leave Britney alone," if you are trying observe Joy's idiosyncratic sense of decorum.)

So, yeah: I have a different sensibility on this topic from nearly anyone else.

But Cassie is right. Those who comment on political blogs would do well to remember that they are in a public place, and act accordingly. Or if they do not, they should not be surprised when some don't find the "debates" that go on worth checking out.

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 07, 2008

How Do You Spot the Marathoner?

It's easier than you might think:

Via Write Enough, the Running King.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


As LOLCat entries go, I liked this one:

Humorous Pictures
Enter the ICHC online Poker Cats Contest!

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

We're Still Camping.

It feels like there's been an earthquake or or a riot or something: most of the house is under plastic.

I've slept on the loveseat the past two nights, since the futon here in my husband's office is so small. We're the hunters/gatherers of the two-room lower level, here, foraging for clean clothes. Sharing a desk. Sleeping on the floor, or (in my case) curled up on a loveseat.

The television doesn't work, and I don't watch it when it does. Though it doesn't help my husband's mood not to have it. He's asleep, which doesn't seem like an irrational reaction to the stress of the situation.

I need to get up early to rescue some more essentials from the kitchen, where the Highly Competent Koreans will be stripping wallpaper and painting tomorrow.

And I don't get my new computer until late tomorroe, either. I'm working right now on my husband's laptop, and I won't have access to my client files, billing records, books, stories, journals, poetry, music, photos or Safari bookmarks until the files from the old drive get switched over to the new Macbook. (And of course I won't have my text files until I re-install Microsoft Office on the new machine.)

This is just like when my forbears crossed the Oregon Trail on covered wagons, except that as I recall it was even worse: there were entire families sharing MacBooks in those days, and the machines were shy on RAM, too.

But still . . . the situation does make me cranky.

I hope there is an afterlife, because if there is my grandparents are laughing themselves silly right now. (She's sharing a bathroom with her husband! The horror! Does she know what it's like to live without indoor plumbing at all?

As a matter of fact, I do: I went without it for a number of months when I lived on a farm in Maryland as a kid. But I don't miss it much.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Jonathan Chait

. . . on the audacity of Hillary's strategy for grabbing the Democratic nomination:

Clinton's path to the nomination, then, involves the following steps: kneecap an eloquent, inspiring, reform-minded young leader who happens to be the first serious African American presidential candidate (meanwhile cementing her own reputation for Nixonian ruthlessness) and then win a contested convention by persuading party elites to override the results at the polls. The plan may also involve trying to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, after having explicitly agreed that the results would not count toward delegate totals. Oh, and her campaign has periodically hinted that some of Obama's elected delegates might break off and support her. I don't think she'd be in a position to defeat Hitler's dog in November, let alone a popular war hero.

Some Clinton supporters, like my friend (and historian) David Greenberg, have been assuring us that lengthy primary fights go on all the time and that the winner doesn't necessarily suffer a mortal wound in the process. But Clinton's kamikaze mission is likely to be unusually damaging. Not only is the opportunity cost--to wrap up the nomination, and spend John McCain into the ground for four months--uniquely high, but the venue could not be less convenient. Pennsylvania is a swing state that Democrats will almost certainly need to win in November, and Clinton will spend seven weeks and millions of dollars there making the case that Obama is unfit to set foot in the White House. You couldn't create a more damaging scenario if you tried.

Yes. But where's the problem? (Actually, I'm not so sure about this, inasmuch as Hillary may be a stronger candidate than people think.)

Via Megan McArdle, who calls his analysis "masterful."

Posted by Attila Girl at 05:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That's Some Felony-Level Literacy, There.


Posted by Attila Girl at 03:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

And That's Not Even Counting His Wife.

Glenn Reynolds:

BOB KRUMM TO RUSH LIMBAUGH: Be careful what you wish for. I have to say, I question the idea that Hillary would be easier to beat than Obama. Obama's inexperience -- and considerably farther-left views -- will be a problem for him, as is becoming increasingly apparent. And his staffing isn't looking so great these days, either.


Posted by Attila Girl at 03:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on Those Gender Wars . . .

So now I'm a Madonna fan? Okay.

I keep thinking, for some reason, about Gary Sitton. Holy shit; I miss that man. But I only really saw him through one lens—the lens of his writing. It was, they tell me, a good deal more complex for those around him—particularly the women in his life.

I used to copyedit Bear's columns and articles for Hunting Magazine—as gently as I could, but we did have to have a couple of conversations that ranged from normal author-query/fact-checking concerns to one rather extravagant dispute over an adjective of his that I had recklessly (recklessly!) deleted. I was crushed to have upset him, of course.

My favorite quotes of Sitton's:

Gary Sitton, on Madonna:

We stayed that night at his house, with his charming wife Madonna—that would be Madonna the charming lady, not Madonna the thermonuclear tramp.

Yeah. I thought it was a bit harsh toward the Material Girl. After all, Madonna the singer made it okay, for one brief shining moment in the 1980s, for a woman have breasts—and I'll always be grateful to her for that.

But there was no mistaking where he was coming from. It wasn't a question of him wanting to have it both ways, as so many of us do these days. (Such as me: I want to joke around, pretend I'm one of the guys, but never ever have that repartee hit a nerve. That, of course, is impossible, unless I'm only going to hang out with people I've known for 20 years.)

Gary Sitton, on popular culture:

There is much to be said for good, old-fashioned prudery.

And he practiced what he preached. At least, more than most of the rest of us. Again, there is The Proverb of Martin to consider: "everyone's a hypocrite now and then." Uh-huh.

Gary Sitton, on life:

Be safe, and shoot straight.

Please do.

Special thanks, as always, to those who try to treat their fellow human beings with respect—male and female, gay and straight. It ain't easy, is it?

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

You Won't Have Attila Girl to Kick Around Anymore.

Well, not until later on in the afternoon, anyway.

My laptop died yesterday, so we're off to get a replacement. That is, after I finish clearing out the dining room so the painters can finish stripping off the old wallpaper.

This Sunday, we start looking at condos, which will help me get my equilibrium back.

"Change is inevitable." And it sure beats the hell out of stasis.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2008

Nora Ephron, on Deep Throat

Editor's Note: If you're one of the three people who haven't seen this entire blogwar unfold—lucky you! Just know that Rusty's site contained a comparison by Jawa Report co-blogger Ragnar between Madonna and Gollum from Lord of the Rings. I, who usually don't offend easily, flipped the fuck out. There is a handy-guide to this year's gender wars at the end of the post; proceed at your own risk.

"[I feel like I'm] Just a feminist who lost her sense of humor at a skin flick."*

Don't worry, Babe. I've lost it twice today.

What is it with some male bloggers?—"Too fat, too thin. Too out-of-shape. Too fat. Too buff. Too old. Too young." (Oops! That last one never happens. Just trying to see if you're paying attention.)

I mean, I like Ace and his crew. I even like Rusty and (most of) his crew (at least, when they aren't waxing anti-gay). But, WTF? Maybe their fans should be required to post pictures next to their comments—these fine gourmands of female flesh. I'm sure they are all prime beef. Uh-huh.

Bonus question: Which set of commenters is more hostile to women?—Rusty's, or Ace's? I'll go with Rusty's. Your mileage may vary.

I mean, I know everyone's going to get mad at me for this post—and I'm sure that some of my reaction is due to my disconnect from the ruthless, brutal culture of celebrity—but why is it necessary to slam women who are making the best of this whole getting-older thing?

Look, look. I'm sorry. I see that if we can't treat females as if they were sides of beef, the terrorists will have won!

Agent Bedhead, I trust you to adjudicate this matter. (If the ruling goes against me, I plead menopause, and low blood sugar due to overtraining, particularly in the weight room.)

* From memory. Will someone fact-check my well-preserved hyper-sensitive retro-feminist puritanical ass, here?

** UPDATE: No, guys; I wasn't PMSing when I wrote this. I checked the calendar before I hit "publish." In truth, if I hadn't seen two such similar posts in one night I mightn't have lost my temper. And to be fair, one must keep in mind that I'm every bit as crude as the guys are, in my own way. Probably more so.

But my reactions were what they were, and though I'm sorry on a couple of levels for having written it, I'm going to let it stand for the sake of discussion.


Gender-War Chronicles, Early 2008

• John Hawkins runs a Perfectly nice interview with some of the leading ladies of the blogosphere, including Rachel Lucas. This has nothing to do, as far as I know, with whatever followed, but I'm linking it because the article seemed to cast a shadow over subsequent discussions: For one thing, Ace of Spades seemed perfectly convinced that either I, and/or my Cotillion sisters, were somehow disturbed by Hawkins' complimenting other female bloggers, or singling them out for attention. This theme kept coming up, when the "we can't even say nice things about women" meme asserted itself, and some of us kept asking, "um, why? Why do you think you can't say nice things?"

For the record, I—Joy McCann—see no connection whatsoever between that series of profiles on Right Wing News (which I liked, and linked), and the subsequent discussion. Likewise, the feedback I'm getting from other center-right female bloggers suggests that they were not reacting to the Hawkins post, at all, but to negative, offensive, and crude remarks about women at Ace of Spades and The Jawa Report. But since the subject of these profiles kept coming up, it's on this list.

* * *

• Ragnar at The Jawa Report waxes snarky about Madonna;

• Ace at Ace of Spades HQ displays a bad picture of Sarah Jessica Parker, taken from an awkward angle, and makes nasty remarks;

Then came my post above, in which the phrase "childish, hormone-driven pricks" does not appear, contra Jawa's Ragnar;

• Ragnar turns his sights on me in the "Leave Madonna Alone!" post; in the comments section therein, Ace of Spades attempts to engage in a dialogue with some of the eminent women of the rightosphere;

• Joy responds to Ragnar's "Leave Madonna Alone" post—sort of;

• Ace opens a thread for discussion at his site, cautioning his readers to keep their cool; as he predicts, he gets over 500 hits; it is pointed out that a lot of Ace's female readers are bisexual, Catholic, or both; Joy gets edgy with the Uncle Thomasina of the rightosphere;

• Cassandra posits the idea that the Internet is a more "public" place than many men realize;

• Joy riffs off of Cassie's post;

• Joy continues to entertain the possibility that famous people are people nonetheless.

And, Incidentally:

• Joy remarks on the Beatles' sex appeal;

• Joy on Dr. Helen's most recent column regarding the deplorable habit of "male-bashing";

• Joy on the tangentially related "Women and Humor" issue.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:16 AM | Comments (34) | TrackBack

March 05, 2008

I Tried So Hard . . .

to think of a way to make this joke, when I saw Glenn's post.

Sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

I mean, not a straightline, but . . . you see where I'm coming from.

Anyway. The only thing worse than a practitioner of the Religion of Peace is a Chosen Practitioner of the Religion of Peace.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Paternity Laws . . .

I'd love to see some of them structured so that the genders are treated somewhat equally, and rights were actually weighed against responsibilities. It seems that mostly what we get are laws that either tilt toward men, or (more often these days) laws that tilt toward women.

Insty got me thinking about it. I remember having some sort of conversation with a male blogger once in which he mentioned the presumption of paternity within a marriage as an "anti-male" law. I told him I didn't see it that way: I perceive that as a protection for the husbands, who might otherwise have their children wrenched away from them in the event that their wives had had affairs.

He couldn't see my point: in fact, he seemed to regard fatherhood as a matter of contributing genetically to the formation of a child. No, no. That's not it, at all.

These matters shouldn't be defined strictly by biology, but by a parent's willingness to play a role in his or her child's life.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Hawkins' Interview With Some of Today's Top Female Bloggers.

I know; I'm late. Blame the home renovation scene around here.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News conducted interviews with some of the top writers from the distaff side of the rightosphere: syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, who runs her own enormously successful blog and is also the proprietress of Hot Air; Amanda Carpenter; Rachel Lucas; Ericka Andersen of Human Events and Redstate; and Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs.

I thought it was courageous for John to do this article, because he is very often accused of being an online sexist, which he isn't, quite. He's just ready to offer his opinion that sometimes a woman's looks can be helpful to her in the field of "citizen journalism," or whatever we're calling weblogging these days. And in point of fact looks do matter, though they won't make up for dull writing.

[Editor's Note: A few paragraphs of this post, upon review, were found to be very dull, and did not meet the . . . um . . . high standards of this blog. To the staff writers: Can we lay off the free-association, here? Blah, blah, blah. This is, ultimately, extremely soporific, and you aren't Virginia Fucking Woolf. Why not just ask the reader to count sheep?—one, two, three . . . ]

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

News of Hillary's Political Death

. . . was greatly exaggerated.

The above link is to a very nice master wrapup by James Joyner, et al. about electoral math, and where the Democrats stand now.

Via Insty, who also links to a "comeback kid" reference re: Hillary. Yeah: I had been thinking along the same lines myself: she's watched some astonishing reversals in her day, engineered by the master politician of the last century. It would have been extraordinary if she hadn't learned a thing or two.

Superdelegate city, indeed. At any rate, it's quite an achievement—whether she gets the brass ring or not.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2008

E.M. Forster,

in Aspects of the Novel:

Sterne is a sentimentalist, Virginia Woolf . . . is extremely aloof. Nor are their achievements on the same scale. But their medium is similar, and the same odd effects are obtained by it, the parlour door is never mended, the mark on the wall turns out to be a snail, life is such a muddle, oh, dear, the will is so weak, the sensations fidgety—philosophy—God—oh, dear, look at the mark—listen to the door—existence is really too . . . what were we saying?

I came across the book over the weekend, as I was clearing out my study. I hadn't read it in a while, so I rescued it for my nightstand. I was looking for that amazing passage, and wondering if I'd ever find it, until I remembered the bookmark trick: when I was in my 20s I used to make a notation of the page numbers that contained particularly good insights, or bitchin' turns of phrase, right on the bookmark—always a 3 x 5 index card.

Aspects of the Novel only had two such notations, for pages 10 and 20. Page 20 is that delicious parody of Woolf, and page 10 is Forster's comparison of scholars with "psuedo-scholars," in which he places himself firmly in the latter camp, and remarks that "we are a welcome asset at dinner-parties."

Yes. They are. And so are psuedo-psuedo-scholars. And we also make terrific bloggers, though there weren't many of those in the early 20th Century.

The house is such a mess, oh dear, the will is amazingly weak, one hasn't any attention span at all—the painters—my books—the big client—the elections—guns . . . what were we saying?

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Bad Iowahawk.


Posted by Attila Girl at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Michael Goldfarb,

writing at the Weekly Standard blog on McCain's more aggressive rhetoric regarding the relationship between Iraq and the larger WoT:

Certainly McCain has never backed away from the decision to go to war, but I'm not sure I've heard him affirm that decision so forcefully in the past few months. Obama could beat Hillary up over her vote in support of the war because she no longer stood by it, but there is nothing to re-litigate here. McCain is for destroying Saddam--who isn't? McCain was against the failed tactics--who else was? And he's talking about honor. Obama doesn't. Americans still care about honor.

But the phrasing also reminds the public of the danger that Saddam represented. Obama wants to re-litigate the war, but the decision wasn't to go to war or not, it was to depose Saddam Hussein or leave him in power.
[my emphasis]

Maybe. To me, it sounded too much like the Nixon formulation of "peace with honor" (which of course meant dishonor for us, and nearly endless bloodshed in Southeast Asia). I'm afraid it'll resurrect the cries of "quagmire!" from the Iraq = Vietnam crowd.

On the other hand, people now know, from the rise of the Taliban, what happens when America withdraws from an area too suddenly—leaving a vacuum of power. It didn't work out too well in Afghanistan.

Posted by Attila Girl at 10:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


It's, like, the Presidency, here. That's so heavy.

'S like, hope and change and shit. Oh, wow.

It's cosmic. You know what I mean?

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why, Jeff.

How'd you know?

My breasts are, in fact, heaving with forbidden lust.

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Superdelegate City"?

I thought that was a David Bowie song.

"Wham, bam; thank you, Ma'am!"

We may be making some hard choices over here in libertarian-land, but at least the Democrats are putting on a good show.

Via Memeorandum.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm Alive.

But just barely; I'm drowning in paint chips, dust, boxes, and bits of free-floating clutter. I'm moving my laptop, Rolodex, Kleenex and water bottle periodically to keep ahead of the painters.

If you don't hear from me by this time tomorrow, please send sane people without paintbrushes into the rubble of my house.

Have 'em bring antihistamines . . . and pizza.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2008

Life Imitates Art

. . . imitating life.

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2008

Okay. So.

Perhaps the reason it's hard to kill American soldiers and Marines is that they are really fucking good at what they do.

Just sayin'.

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I Came Across the Little Ordnance Box Today.

I had hidden it away so carefully from the prying eyes of the social worker, back when we thought we might adopt a baby.

It had my ammo, my gunleather, my sidearms—everything but the 20-gauge. I was about to tape it all shut and send it to storage when my .357 looked up at me and whispered, "let me stay."

"I can't let you stay," I responded. "We're selling the house. There will be showings. This place will be crawling with realtors and prospective buyers. It isn't that I don't love you; it's just that this isn't a good time for me."

"But what about your p0rn?" it asked. "What about your Hitachi Magic Wand? Aren't you leaving them here until Caravan Day, when your privacy in this house officially ends? Couldn't I take the last train out with them, and your lacy lingerie?"

So little Ruger—the Tomcat—went into storage today. Big Ruger is here, along with some .38 ammo and a few hollow-point .357 cartridges. Because it's just so well-made, and heavy and lovely. I had missed it so.

Wheelguns rawk.

Posted by Attila Girl at 11:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Am I Unconscious Yet?

That's sounding pretty good right now. I have to get up early to take a shower, clear out the hall bathroom afterward, and give the kitchen another quick tidying-up.

The good news is the husband and I got through the day without killing each other, which impresses me. Neither one of us looks good in orange, and he's Irish—so it's not his color in any way.

Tomorrow I'm on paint-selection duty. Unfortunately, since we're staging the house in order to sell it I'll be going bland, bland, bland. No specialty paint finishes from the marvelous B.—strictly solid colors provided by the local Korean solid-color-superheroes. And, yes—I'm mostly going with the whitest white I can get that will still reflect a decent amount of light. (So. A drop of yellow. No more.)

But if we get a good price for the house, and find a condo that isn't too costly, I might splurge and have B. do my next den in faux Venetian plaster; I've always loved that look.

It'll be odd to be solvent. I wonder how that will feel. Will I start getting pedicures again? I know we'll be shopping for a better car for the husband, and I'll probably replace my laptop. I might even get my pants tailored so they fit me at this weight—I've been going with the "sudden cancer" look for too long. (Alternatively, I could just keep eating cheese Danish coffee cake until the problem solves itself.)

Over and out. Blogging may be very light tomorrow, depending on my deadlines at work, and how things go in the morning with the painters.

With any luck at all, in late spring or early summer I'll be able to walk from my home to a restaurant—and I might even have enough money to walk in.

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm in Hell.

We were pretending that I was going to have all the junk cleared out of my den by 1:00 p.m. today.

But tomorrow morning is an absolute deadline; the painters will be here then. So the den has to be straightened, and the "satellite den" (my corner of the dining room) cleared out as well. Also, the living room. That would include my reading corner, which is surrounded by CDs and textiles and books and magazines and other . . . valuable stuff.

Tomorrow night and Tuesday we'll probably be camping in the Husbandly Den.

A the H suggested that I switch from "obsessive sorting" mode into "shoveling" mode. I looked at him, and opened my mouth. And then closed it. And then looked at my books, papers, and that pile of "clothes to mend" in the corner.

"My preciouses," I whispered.

I am not good at this.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 01, 2008

I Dunno About This "NIG" Thing.

There could be some merit in Ann Althouse's argument, but my sympathies lie with the commenter who wrote that 2-4 pairs of eyes will never catch what several thousands of pairs can see.

Trust me on this one: I'm a proofreader. I'm astonished sometimes when I read something for the third time, and find out what some ill-meaning person has placed there after the first two readings.

We're also talking about a situation in which the producer was probably not looking for text—he or she probably didn't even know the person who bought the costume.

There's also the issue of how carefully one would have to shoot to get the fragment "NIG" to appear properly on the "GOOD NIGHT" pajamas. There's no way you'd get that on the first take if that's really what you were going for.

So all we need to know is how many re-takes there were on that particular shot. That will tell us.

UPDATE: More on "NigGate" from Althouse.

Posted by Attila Girl at 08:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Michelle Obama vs. Hillary Rodham Clinton

There's one thing I'd like us to think about as we analyze the remarks Michelle Obama makes during this campaign: is she going to be a co-President, or not?"

I don't know the answer, but those who claim that Hillary Clinton has no "real" experience because she did not govern during the years her husband was President must see that logic all the way through, and discount the speeches Michelle Obama makes.

If First Ladies don't make policy, they don't make policy. If they do, they do.

I do understand that the truth is really a case-by-case thing, depending on the structure of a given marriage—which in turn has to do with deal-making behind closed doors, in, um, rooms that aren't filled with smoke but have other things in the air. But those who simply wave their hands and label Senator Clinton "inexperienced" should not be taking Michelle Obama's speeches as seriously as they appear to be doing. Instead, they should merely be questioning Senator O. on what role he has in mind for his wife in a potential Obama Presidency.

Too much hand-wringing, too few questions.

Posted by Attila Girl at 06:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Oh, For Crying Out Loud.

It isn't that there's anything wrong with someone having the middle name "Hussein." It's just that it happens to be the same last name of a freakin' dictator that we just freakin' displaced from power, and who was executed by his own people.

It's not racist exactly, though there are certainly Islamic parts of Africa, and there's a relationship in this country between black people and Islam that makes some people jittery—and did long before 9/11. (Many of these people are Jewish, and some of them in turn have fears about how black people feel, as a group, toward Jews. Fortunately, they are mistaken: no one feels anything as a group any more. Thank goodness.)

Normally, I'm very anti-taboo. Make that anti-fuckin' taboo, Nigga. But I truly have been suspicious about some of those who throw the name "Hussein" out there as if it were not a loaded name, and then look at one rather innocently and announce that, hey—it is his real name, so how could they possibly have darker motives for uttering it? (Or writing it?)

Well, some of them could, and some of them do.

Though I do like (most of) Nathan Thornburgh's analysis in Time:

The real problem is that if the right wants to start a whispering campaign about the name Hussein, Obama is only helping them. By cutting short the discussion, Obama is banishing his name to the voters' subconscious, where the dark opposites of hope — bigotry and fear — can turn the word over and over again in their minds until November.

The same day that Cunningham was dropping H-bombs on Cincinnati, Obama was at the Democratic debate in Cleveland, hastily accepting Hillary Clinton's assertion that she didn't order the leak of a picture of Obama wearing a turban in Kenya. "I think that's something we can set aside," he said.

It was a missed opportunity. He could have explained that he has nothing to hide. Explained why there's nothing wrong with him dressing in ceremonial clothes on official visits — like batik Bill in Indonesia in 1994 or headscarf Hillary in Eritrea in 1997. Maybe even explained why his middle name is Hussein — what his heritage means, and what it doesn't mean. In short, to reintroduce himself to those general election voters who are just starting to pay closer attention.

No matter what his advisers say, Obama wins nothing by shying away from his differences.

If I were Obama, I'd start saying the full name myself: Barack Hussein Obama, Barack Hussein Obama. But because I do know that there are some bigots out there who use the middle name to score free points while maintaining plausible deniability, I'll pass on doing so myself, and I'd encourage other center-right writers to analyze what, exactly, they are trying to accomplish when they use Obama's full name.

Byron York at NRO's The Corner has it exactly right:

Now, it is one thing to report Obama's full name — that's completely fair. In addition, it seems illustrative of the Obama phenomenon that so many Democrats have gotten so excited about him and don't even know his name. On the other hand, it's another thing to regularly refer to him by his full name when you would not otherwise do so — that is, were it not "Hussein."

Hopefully that won't catch on.

After all, who among us chooses our middle names?

—Joy Mary May W. McCann,
younger sister to Tiger Allyn [Whitebread], and
overprotective/well-armed older sister to the lovely A. Sedika [+ Whitebread maiden name + Irish married name]; they sometimes come across the bleached bones of people who've called young A. a "towel head," but you're encouraged to try . . . after all, I need the target practice.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:30 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

I Hope I Will Live To See the Day

. . . when Fred Armisen is judged by the content of his caricature character, rather than the color of his skin.

Via Insty.

Posted by Attila Girl at 01:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday Night Menu:

Yes, I used to formulate menus for cookbooks when I was Associate Editor at The Foodie Monthly.

They tended to be more elaborate, though, and often . . . better-balanced than what one might come up with for a Friday night in front of a computer screen.

The last quarter of yesterday's ham-and-cheese sandwich, eaten rather furtively in the car on the way home

Main Course
Rice Krispies, consumed on the couch with a laptop right behind it, propped up with a pillow

Side Dish
Cheese-Danish-style Coffee Cake

Fritos, which really do contain corn, and therefore must have some nutrients; please? O sweet my reader; cast me not away!

Red table wine

An extra glass of that red table wine, which contains Valuable Antioxidants

One could argue that my standards have fallen just a little over the past six years; I believe I've merely learned to think outside the culinary box.

Posted by Attila Girl at 03:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Some Blogging Business:

1) Circa late March or (more likely) April, I'll be developing some podcasts—in order to better serve my readers, and to keep my oversized ego inflated like a giant beach ball near Santa Monica's Lifeguard Station #8.

I'm thinking of calling it "Attila the Honey," in a tribute to the late Triticale (who dubbed me that), but have also considered "The Scourge of Europe Show."

Right now, of course, I'm taking suggestions for both possible names for the show, and the first dozen or so topics/guests. If you're a sound engineer, I'll probably be contacting you privately for advice, but just to be fair, I'll likely let you buy me lunch or a drink as you dispense guidance. (Isn't that how it works? Whaddya mean, "no"?)

2) For the next three weeks, blogging will be a bit sporadic as we get the house ready for sale; after that, I'll likely be gearing up for a high-intensity six-week stint at the office, while continuing to market the house and start up the podcasting side of things. Naturally, I'm looking for co-bloggers to get me through the next 2-3 months without letting my traffic take too much of a dive. I'm looking for newswriters, linkers/meme-trackers, humorists and those with twisted interests in crime or libertarianism, or those with eclectic tastes in writers. (My co-bloggers do not, for example, have to be fans of James Thurber, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, and William Butler Yeats. Though of course reading those people doesn't look bad on your resume.)

For the record, I will not edit your material with a blunt instrument. I (almost) promise. The fact is, I'm going to be far too busy to fold, spindle, or mutilate your prose. So take advantage: the cat will be away, and mice should play.

This blog is open to both "out" and anonymous bloggers.

3) I've forgotten what the third thing was. Can I get back to you on that?

As always, leave your feedback in the comments section—or send me an email: miss.attila --AT-- gmail --DOT-- com.

Posted by Attila Girl at 02:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It's 3:00; Do You Know Where Your Newsgatherers Are?

Sean's got both of the "3:00 a.m." ads—Senator Clinton's, and the response ad from Senator Obama. The timeframe is impressive, in terms of the Obama ad. But if I had video-editing software on this computer (and knew how to use it), I'd do the parody of both:

"It's 3:00 a.m., and your children are in bed and safe. There's a phone ringing in the newsroom.

Who do you want to answer it?—the mainstream-media reporters, who keep normal hours and sleep at night, or the crazy night-owl bloggers, who never drop off until the rosy-fingered dawn is poking at their bedcovers?

Your web traffic will determine who answers that call, and how soon you read about this supposedly important-fucking news item—and how quickly it gets disseminated over the internet.

I'm Little Miss Attila, and I approved this ad."

Posted by Attila Girl at 12:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
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I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
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