Thursday, July 08, 2004

Reno 911

The Monday, July 5th trip to Reno was pretty disastrous, but what was stranger was the peculiar illness that took hold of me on Wednesday. It felt much like a hangover and pretty-much debilitated me for a day (but I had just one glass of wine!) Science News suggests that hangovers may be a form of inflammation. And I do have a shin splint (either a tear or a form of inflammation, which arose inexplicably, given that I've been idle since the weekend, at the same time as the hangover). It's strange that there was such a lag between drinking the wine and the hangover, but it may have been precipitated by the cumulative effect of several nights of poor sleep. In any event, with the help of aspirin, I hope I can reassemble myself in time for 'Damn Yankees' this weekend.

Keith over at Subway is involved in an interesting project: using numerology to interpret the writings of Nostradamus. Keith is using the writings of Nostradamus like a Web Page, and using the various quatrains as hyperlinks. So far, he has discerned that there are at least two texts hidden within the the writings of Nostradamus, one in first-person and one in third-person.

I wonder if Keith will eventually conclude, as others have, that George W. Bush is the Anti-Christ?
Useful Links

Stories of a list of compliant reporters who parroted Ahmad Chalabi's lies
Eerie parallels between the price of gas and Bush's popularity
Evil NASA administrators plan to ditch a satellite in perfect working order, just because they think it costs too much
Mubarak's battle against the Muslim Brotherhood
Is the Bush administration trying to spring a July surprise?
The Palms of California

and lastly, but not least:
Flesh-Eating Bacteria
(important, since Chavo actually suffered from this horrible disease last year, and lost part of his abdomen as a result.....)

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Damn Yankees

The Davis Enterprise review came out regarding DMTC's "Damn Yankees." The reviewer wrote: "'Whatever Lola Wants' is fine, but - again - could use a bit more oomph to make it sizzle." I thought this critique was a bit odd...Megan Soto does an admirable job with her dancing. How much more oomph would be required? I thought maybe it was a matter of interpretation: Megan's cold and manipulative, vs., say, someone else's angry and fiery. A friend then pointed out that Megan's interpretation didn't have enough levels, and so the character couldn't evolve sufficiently during the show. Hmmm.... So maybe Megan had too much oomph at the beginning, and not enough at the end? I don't know, acting is all such a mystery!
The Producers

With Katherine Arthur, I saw the travelling Broadway show, "The Producers", on Thursday July 1st, at Sacramento's Community Center Theater. As expected, a very, very funny show! "If your intention was to shoot an arrow through my heart.....Bullseye!"

Mary Young and Peter Baldridge also saw the Thursday performance.
Fahrenheit 911

I missed the opening of F911 on the weekend, but I did catch it on Monday, June 28th. The Tower Theater was remarkably crowded for a Monday, and I had to settle for an inferior seat.

There was only one part of the movie that I considered a stretch: just prior to the recent war, Baghdad wasn't all happiness and light, and the Iraqis DID have American blood on their hands, if not so much recently, then from Gulf War I.

Nevertheless, the movie is a triumph and many of its points have needed a public audience for too long. Once again, Moore's critics are going to miss the point and go after secondary matters.

For example, immediately after I got home, I caught Joe Scarborough on MSNBC declaiming against Michael Moore. Scarborough repeatedly insisted that Moore had stated that the U.S. had gone to war in Afghanistan to safeguard UNOCAL's pipeline project: having just seen the movie a few minutes before, I knew that what Moore had said was that the Bush Administration had continued negotiating with the Taliban over the pipeline even after the African embassy bombings and the Cole incident had given us ample reason to shelve the pipeline project, and that the new leadership of Afghanistan contains former UNOCAL advisors (people like belabored President Karzai).

Scarborough's desperate efforts to punch holes in F911 continued on Tuesday night (fact-checking is an unfamiliar burden to right-wing pundits, who usually just make up stuff, and doubly frustrating too, since its so easy to get their own facts wrong...all you have to do is casually watch F911 to see how badly Scarborough screws up his own analysis).

Then there are the professional fact-checkers, people at, who often miss the forest for all the trees. SpinSanity chastizes Moore for using Jeffrey Toobin's point about Gore winning the 2000 election if overvotes were counted statewide in Florida, and not clarifying that this was the only scenario by which Gore would have won, when the real crime is that the overvotes WEREN'T counted because of the U.S. Supreme Court intervention. Once again, as with 'Bowling for Columbine', Moore's crime was he oversimplified the matter under consideration, in order to make his point. Gosh, flay Moore's hide for that! It's not like anyone else ever oversimplified - Rush Limbaugh, for example, or shall we say, George W. Bush and his certainty concerning Saddam's WMD?

The Saudi flights out the country after 9/11 are another point: the fact of the flights, with the need for special permission, is not nearly as important as the absence of FBI questioning of bin Laden's closest relatives and what they might have known of the plot.

Moore is right to focus attention on business connections between the Taliban, oil companies, and the Bush Administration. After all, it wasn't until recently I learned California's right-wing Republican Dana Rohrbacher lobbied on behalf of the Taliban. These connections need to be understood.

I'm thinking of following the advice of Andrew Sullivan (A Blogosphere Challenge) and taking a tape-recorder into the movie, so I can get a solid transcript of the movie so as to counter the critics more easily (and not, as Sullivan wants, so as to criticize Moore more easily). Moore has done the nation a service. We should all applaud his efforts!