Archive | December, 2009

Down With the Naughts, On With the Teens!

31 Dec

Today is the perfect day, perhaps the only day, to discuss the single most annoying thing about the last 10 years: the inelegant way we have all mangled the date. Two Thousand and Three. Two Thousand Six. Two Thousand and Nine. Ugh! It has driven me to distraction for nine long years.

The best representation of the decade I've found yet

Do eras pick their leaders, represent them, or simply deserve them? The unnamable Naughts are perhaps best symbolized by their ineloquent cowboy president. Is it a coincidence terms such a “Strategery” and “Misunderestimate” were devised in an age where we can’t even say the date correctly, or agree on a name for our misbegotten epoch? The current President of the silver tongue has been in office less than a year – his accomplishments will be thought of in the far more efficient Teens, when we learned to say the date correctly again. Coincidence?

Arthur C. Clarke infamously always said the title of his novel was “Twenty oh One.” But that never caught on, in 1968 when he wrote it, or in Two Thousand and One when we lived through it. That was the year we devolved into religious fanaticism instead of evolving in Star Children. But I digress. Clarke had the date right, and now we can finally say it right.

Twenty Ten, here we come.

Happy New Year!

31 Dec

2009 As Seen By Marquil

30 Dec

A selection of Marquil’s best.  I consider him to be one of the best political cartoonists in New York State focusing on state and local politics, and am honored to carry his images here.  His site is visible here, and he also contributes here.

Continue reading

At the End of Yonge

29 Dec

BlogTO posted 2009’s top ten Torontocentric viral videos.  My favorite is this stop-motion that traces the route shown below:




29 Dec

The Buffalo Ruse publishes what it says is the Common Council’s questionnaire for prospective Ellicott District Brian Davis replacements.

For instance,

Question 2: What one fact about the One Sunset restaurant scandal convinced you that the whole thing was perpetrated by our shameful Mayor Byron Brown?

Question 3: if you were the FBI, what other guilty members of the Brown Administration would you investigate and why?

The Story of Stuff

28 Dec

With the chaotic consumerist orgy of Christmas now behind us, I thought I’d take a minute to share with you one of my favorite web videos of all time, The Story of Stuff.

Now, before you get started, this video is firmly in the tradition of polemics and you might want to quibble with some of the facts in the video.  However, the primary principles in the video are what I’m interested in sharing with you.  Our cultural need to consume and the corporatist influence which powers that consumer culture.  It also touches on some topics you might have forgotten since your last economics class in college, things like planned obsolescence, perceived obsolescence and externalized costs.  These issues inform our current societal structures and the decisions we make as citizens and voters and ultimately, the decisions made by elected leaders.

Watch it, process it, and let me know what you think.  Knee jerk libertarian counterpoints will be summarily dismissed and ignored, you bore me.


27 Dec

Attempted mass murderer lights balls on fire, thwarted by fellow passengers.

Seems fitting.  Hope someone got some good shots in.

As a side note, maybe people who are in arrive at first world hubs from third world shitholes need to go through security again before being permitted in the transit lounge. Just sayin’.

Precious Irony

26 Dec

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles apparently broke more laws than all of ACORN, ever.

46 separate investigations and inquiries, and ACORN has not been found to have broken a single law – no prosecution, no voter registration manipulation, no nothing.

But what of O’Keefe and Giles, who posed as pimp and ho, respectively, to try and get ACORN workers in various cities to say bad things?

The report also said that a sting-style effort to publicize the group’s allegedly illegal activities, may have broken state laws. Two conservative activists set off a firestorm in September when they posed as a pimp and a prostitute seeking financial advice and secretly videotaped Acorn employees offering advice on how the couple could hide their illicit activities and avoid paying taxes.

Sound & fury, and dollops of irony.

Merry Christmas!

24 Dec

Have a happy and non-creepy Christmas!

Merry Christmas

24 Dec

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re a lurker, consider this an invitation to post a comment. Make a prediction about what might happen next year, like I and others did for Artvoice.

Thanks to Marc & Chris for the opportunity to do whatever I want here, however I want to.

Thanks to the other contributors on WNYM for adding to the insight and commentary. My favorite way to read the site now is to click on the WNYMedia heading and reading everyone’s contributions in one column.

Thanks to the team that delivered the new site, especially Chris Van Patten. It’s been working very well and people seem to like it.

Thanks to my beautiful wife and wonderful kids, who put up with this hobby of mine.

Thanks to my parents, who instilled in me a curiosity and love of learning, and gave me life experiences that shaped my points of view.

Thanks to western New York for being that snowy, static, friendly, predictable, dysfunctional place we all love so much.

Thanks to other local websites and blogs, some big and corporate, others little and independent, who bring their own perspectives on goings on in the Buffalo area, and keeping us hustling.

Thanks to the haters, who remind me of the good old days of usenet. You all suck and you all lose.

Finally, thanks to the political world for being such a consistent bucket of fail and source of material.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy & prosperous New Year. Posting will be light, so keep an eye on Twitter.

And now, Stevie Ray Vaughan playing Rude Mood on Unplugged in 1990, when MTV was relevant.