Comment of the Week

By July 23, 2013

In response to last week’s Salon Headline of the Day, which trumpeted a piece by Andrew O’Hehir ludicrously claiming that The Conjuring is anti-women and right-wing.

“‘It features Vera Farmiga, an actress too strange and too powerful for mainstream Hollywood stardom.’ What the fuck does that even mean? No, really. WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN? Is she a sorceress, feared and loathed by the Hollywood Illuminati?

– TK”

Exactly. Thanks, TK. As usual, you’ve won a brand new Chrysler Cordoba and you can pick it up at Morty’s office.

Newsroom Service

By July 22, 2013

I thought about doing this last year but to be honest my Mondays are usually busy as hell and my Sunday nights post-11pm are for, well, sleeping. Yes, I’m old. What I’d like to do if at all possible, though, is throw together a couple of quick notes every Monday on the previous night’s episode of The Newsroom just from a news production perspective, that is what I think the episode got right, what I found interesting, what I liked, didn’t like, and so on. I’m not going to recap the whole show, so if you haven’t seen it then you may as well not even bother reading this; it won’t make much sense to you.

Last night’s episode was called “The Genoa Tip,” so here we go.

1. While the show’s format of looking back on recent events and injecting the cast — not to mention Sorkin’s pious hindsight — is still really annoying, I liked the dogged pursuit of the Troy Davis story by Don Keefer. I think the Keefer character has been neutered a bit since the show’s pilot, but he’s still the closest thing on the “News Night” production team to resemble a real TV news producer. His desperation in wanting to save Troy Davis is a nice little admission of two very sincere characteristics in a veteran TV journalist. The first is that as a TV news producer you cover so much crap that after a while you long to be able to do even one thing that you know for a fact is truly important and that has a direct positive effect on someone’s life; in other words, kind of like Clarice in The Silence of the Lambs, you feel like if you can save just one, it will have been worth it. Second, you latch onto a personal story that you have unshakable faith in because you want to truly believe that what you do matters, that you can make a difference, and to fight off the demons constantly sitting on your shoulder telling you that you’re nothing more than a vulture picking at the remains of people whose lives have been torn apart in one way or another. Stories where it’s you identifying with one person who’s the victim of some kind of injustice is often where you find your idealism and humanity again.

2. You know, a hell of a lot’s been said about how terribly Sorkin writes women, particularly on this show — how he turns what should be strong, professional female journalists into simpering teenage girls obsessed with boys and shoes and who’s dating whom. I always thought that while the show has certainly had its very sexist moments, it’s also created some of the strongest, no-nonsense female characters — dear God, Leona Lansing — on television. But, yeah, last night’s painful pilgrimage by Sloane and Maggie to a laundry room in Queens to basically battle an idiot who writes Sex and the City fan fiction was unforgivable. I get that it’s a reality that some of the smartest women in one of the most intellectual cities on earth can still be reduced to debating whether they’re Carrie or Samantha if you get enough of them together over drinks, but — come on.

3. Something that needs to be made clear about how journalists think and the way they go about their jobs: I’ve said it before but it bears repeating over and over: Aside from the shops where the political slant is clearly dictated and well-known — Fox, segments of MSNBC, etc. — there really is no liberal or conservative media. While journalists can be a cynical bunch and it’s expected that they’ll often not consider a big story a big story until there’s actual proof there’s something there — see last night’s scene in which the news meeting made fun of Neal’s obsession with Occupy Wall Street — there’s really only one thing they’re biased toward: conflict. If you’re a decent journalist, you’ll instinctively and entirely check your politics and personal feelings at the door the second you get a tip on a great story that contradicts them completely. To wit: I’m someone who would at the very least trust my government not to use Sarin gas on civilians and, like Mac last night, I’d never buy such a story until I got 100% confirmation. That said, the second they took that phone call at the end of the show, I found myself immediately willing to throw whatever benefit of the doubt I might be willing to give our country completely under the bus in an effort to pursue the tip. That’s how it works. And that’s one of the reasons I’m often preaching that as a journalist you need to constantly be testing your theories — it’s to prevent that sudden ferocious instinct that says you’ve got something huge and want to use it to tear down everything from getting the best of you. It’s to prevent the kind of disaster that’s obviously going to happen to the “News Night” team.

4. Oh, and while the laundromat scene was stupid, man, Lisa just quietly eviscerating Maggie was pretty excellent.

Time Out

By July 22, 2013

Just a quick heads-up from Malcontent Central: Things will be picking up in a bit. I’ve got a bunch of work to do as well as preparations for Inara’s arrival on Friday, so, yeah, it’s a little slow right now.

Look for something new later today or tonight plus a new post over at the Banter tomorrow.


Salon Headline of the Day

By July 18, 2013

The simultaneously funniest and saddest thing about Patton Oswalt’s #SalonArticles trending topic game over the weekend, which sought to create the most ridiculous liberal outrage porn headline in the name of skewering Salon, is that in the end Salon will always show up everybody. That’s the joke: Nobody can parody Salon better than Salon can parody itself.

Salon, I salute you.

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show, 7.17.13

By July 17, 2013

The Racism Show: The Zimmerman Verdict; Salon’s David Sirota Compares Obama to Zimmerman; Smart Accountability; The Bad Optics of the Greenwald Faction; White Privilege; Ted Nugent’s Racist Remarks About Trayvon; The “Other” Trayvon Shooting; Greenwald Calls Bob a Drooling Idiot; Rush Limbaugh Says He Can Say Nigga (Most Black People Would Say Otherwise); and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the BobCesca.com Amazon Link and the Bowen Law Group.

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"Send Pizza"

By July 16, 2013

If you’re looking for the singular thing on this planet that convinces me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there simply cannot be a loving and benevolent god in the heavens, it’s this: the knowledge that right now at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles there exist literally dozens of little kids who’ve never known anything in their lives but pain. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a child battling cancer or some other essentially incurable disease that’s been allowed to ravage their young lives, potentially cutting them far too short. It’s just unfathomable that there’s some sort of mysterious plan that we’re not meant to understand underlying and mitigating the suffering of a kid. It’s wrong — it’s just wrong.

Well, personal soapbox aside, sometimes some real goodness can come from the human beings of this world in an effort to make the lives of suffering children just a little brighter. And sometimes it can come in the form of pizza.

If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s the best story of the week — hands down. I’d write it up here, but honestly you need to see it unfold through the series of images the Huffington Post has put together.

And it will surprise no one to learn that the first picture of Hazel, before her head was shaved, stopped me cold and instantly brought tears to my eyes.

The Huffington Post: Hazel Hammersley, 2-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Gets The Sweetest Pizza Party Of All Time/7.15.13

This. This gives me hope for us.

No Country for Old Men

By July 16, 2013

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen is the personification of the pompous windbag cliché. He always has been. And has he’s gotten old, it’s only gotten worse.

There was once a time when puffed-up jackasses like him strode across the media landscape like kings of the jungle, and to be honest it’s difficult to describe to anyone below a certain age just how tedious this era was in journalism. But changing times and cultural shifts have taken a toll on the Richard Cohens of the world and now all you really hear from them is the forlorn cries off in the distance as they face down inevitable extinction. Sure, guys like Cohen, and Friedman, and Brooks still have jobs, but they’re not the exalted voices from on-high they once were. The smart ones don’t complain about it; they simply keep on keeping on, perfectly content in their gargantuan sense of self-importance and their continued big paychecks.

But Cohen can’t do that. He needs the adulation of the masses. He needs things to be the way they were in the good old days, before independent women and a cultural distaste for people who believe that all black men should immediately be viewed as suspicious made things so confusing. That was the time when people actually cared what kind of wisdom an Interesting Man like Richard Cohen had to impart to the world. It’s almost enough to make you cry.

Except that it shouldn’t. Not ever. Because it’s important to keep in mind that Richard Cohen is an asshole. A monumental asshole.

Only a monumental asshole could write an entire column on how it’s not racism but “reality” to profile young black men immediately following the acquittal of the guy who profiled and ultimately killed Trayvon Martin. Only a monumental asshole would actually try to argue that it makes perfect sense that Zimmerman automatically assumed Martin was a threat just by the color of his skin and the clothes he wore.

Only a monumental asshole can write something like this:

“Where is the politician who will own up to the painful complexity of the problem and acknowledge the widespread fear of crime committed by young black males? This does not mean that raw racism has disappeared, and some judgments are not the product of invidious stereotyping. It does mean, though, that the public knows young black males commit a disproportionate amount of crime. In New York City, blacks make up a quarter of the population, yet they represent 78 percent of all shooting suspects — almost all of them young men. We know them from the nightly news…

There’s no doubt in my mind that Zimmerman profiled Martin and, braced by a gun, set off in quest of heroism. The result was a quintessentially American tragedy — the death of a young man understandably suspected because he was black and tragically dead for the same reason.”

Richard Cohen is indeed a monumental asshole.

The Washington Post: “Racism vs. Reality” by Richard Cohen/7.16.13

In November of last year, I wrote a piece for Banter pegged off of something else shockingly ridiculous that Richard Cohen had written.

“The White Guy of a Certain Age’s Lament” (Originally Published at the Daily Banter, 11.28.12)

I’m sure you probably already know this, but it’s a really tough time to be a white guy of a certain age right now. Everything’s just so upside-down and nothing’s how it used to be, with white guys of a certain age lumbering across the face of the earth like mighty dinosaurs, perfectly, languorously content in their dominion over all creatures. There was the re-election of the weirdly named multi-cultural black man Barack Obama — along with the denial of the whitest, most of-a-certain-age man alive, Mitt Romney — and its heralding of the demographic shift that’s wresting power from their hands and giving to welfare queens and leaf-blowers. At the same time, there was the backlash against the attempt by a popular and official collective of über-white men — the GOP — to restrict the reproductive freedom of women on the grounds that not having proper babies from white guys of a certain age constitutes indefensible promiscuity anyway.

But that’s politics. The real battlefield for white guys of a certain age these days seems to be pop culture, which is telling them that they can’t just “show up” and still be the subject of adoration, as they once were, while simultaneously reminding them at every turn that the various peoples of the globe have other interests besides their lengthy, fascinating tales of their own heroic exploits that involve the experience of just being white guys of a certain age.

Over the past 48-hours, we’ve been treated to two comically embarrassing screeds lamenting the changing face of American and world culture into one that devalues the traditional merits and interests of the white guy of a certain age. One is self-pitying and personally revelatory in ways I’m not sure the author fully intended; the other is bitter, pissy and amusingly detached from the times in a way that only a man who shouts at kids to get off his lawn can find civil.

The latter, of course, involves Bill O’Reilly, the recently self-knighted harbinger of doom for white-guys-of-a-certain-age culture and the official miserable, racist uncle to all of America. Last night, on his regular prime-time complaint box on Fox News, O’Reilly and hack shrink Keith Ablow attempted to dissect the immense popularity of Psy’s Gangnam Style, which recently surpassed Baby, from the harmless and infinitely less confusing Justin Bieber, as YouTube’s most-watched video ever and is on track to having over a billion hits. O’Reilly, as you might imagine, can’t fathom the popularity of Gangnam Style, which he describes as “a little fat guy from Pyongyang or someplace… doing the pony.”

His and Ablow’s debate over the clip and desperate attempt to understand the viral phenomenon that’s sprung from it — which lasted more than five minutes — truly has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Ablow decides to go all Kierkegaardian nihilism, saying that the song literally means and affirms nothing, which is why it’s the perfect mirror for our current culture; he even argues that Psy is uttering gibberish instead of “intelligible words,” which he believes confirms his theory. That the lyrics of the song are in Korean never even comes close to popping the provincial bubble Ablow, O’Reilly and Fox News’s audience exist inside of; I guess they figure that if something is huge internationally it has to have come from America. Haven’t those Asians heard how exceptional we are? Don’t they watch The O’Reilly Factor? For his part, O’Reilly simply dismisses the whole thing as madness.

For the record, I couldn’t care less about Psy or Gangnam Style — like most internet fads, it’s annoying as hell — but I can appreciate that it was written by someone whose experience isn’t mine and who was attempting to satirize a place I didn’t even know existed and a lifestyle I’ve never seen for myself. K-Pop isn’t my thing and neither is the often peculiar Asian appropriation of hip-hop, but I’d never argue that the song is about nothing just because I don’t understand it. I’m also not an asshole to the nearly unsurpassable extent that O’Reilly and Ablow are.

But if you thought those two could turn a pop culture phenomenon into a full-on existential crisis, you haven’t read Richard Cohen’s recent and instantly legendary elegy to his fading place as an object of feminine desire. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cohen really believed he was simply examining the changing face of masculinity during his write-up of the new James Bond movie in Monday’s Washington Post, but let’s be honest: He was lamenting the fact that he, 71-year-old Richard Cohen, can’t score 20-something pussy anymore. In the column, Cohen mourns the death of what he calls the “sexual meritocracy” of years past, when guys like Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart could nail women much younger than themselves by virtue of little more than their “experience and savoir-faire” and their ability to, preposterously, “send out a suit for swift hotel cleaning.” He compares these qualities, ones you can easily imagine him ascribing to himself, to those Daniel Craig displays in Skyfall. The result is a piece of intellectual resentment almost impossible to truly describe without hearing the voice of Family Guy‘s “Buzz Killington” in your head.

“Nothing about him looks natural, relaxed — a man in the prime of his life and enjoying it. Instead, I see a man chasing youth on a treadmill, performing sets and reps, a clean and press, a weighted knee raise, an incline pushup and, finally, something called an incline pec fly (don’t ask) … Every rippling muscle is a book not read, a movie not seen or a conversation not held.”

While I’m sure you can sympathize with the ways in which Daniel Craig is crushing Richard Cohen’s self-esteem and taking all the women who would otherwise be gushing over his droll tales of hours spent painstakingly crafting didactic, faux-erudite columns for The Washington Post, it’s ludicrous to make the assumption that because someone is physically fit, that person must be neglecting other parts of him or herself — as if bettering your mind and body is a zero-sum game. It’s basically Cohen bemoaning his loss of entitlement and being petty, jealous and essentially the real-life equivalent of William H. Macy’s Quiz Kid Donnie character in Magnolia, sitting at the end of the bar pondering aloud why nobody wants to be with him anymore. On the plus side, he couldn’t have written a column that’s stronger catnip for the girls over at Jezebel if he’d tried.

Years ago, the late William F. Buckley wrote a series of novels about a character with the hilariously improbable name Blackford Oakes. Oakes is a rakish CIA agent and man of mystery who travels the globe foiling cold war-era plots and sleeping with beautiful women, despite having a pretty little liberal-arts lady back home in the land of the free who cares for him dearly but whom he must constantly condescend to lovingly and lecture about the true nature of the world. He’s sexy, lethal, Ivy League-educated, and always a gentleman. In other words, he’s exactly how a pompous bore like William F. Buckley imagined himself; he’s Buckley’s alter-egomaniac. Buckley’s bombastically high opinion of himself didn’t manifest in self-pitying public requiems, as Cohen’s did — it was turned into really crappy dime-store spy novels. Cohen should take up fiction. It would be less humiliating to him.

It’s worth mentioning that both O’Reilly and Cohen have been accused in the past of inappropriate sexual conduct with women much younger than them. O’Reilly’s target, infamously, was producer Andrea Mackris, whom he offered to “falafel” in the shower because she supposedly had “nice boobs”; Cohen’s was a 23-year-old editorial aide named Devon Spurgeon (he also had an affair with Peter Jennings’s wife back in the late 80s). See, there was a time when white guys of a certain age like them, as lords of the sexual meritocracy, could expect to exert their privilege and not only get away with it but have women fall willingly and effortlessly into their powerful, interesting arms. All they had to do was show up. They were the kings of all they surveyed and everything went their way and made complete sense to them at all times.

Those days, though, may be coming to an end.

We now live in a changing world, one where a pudgy Korean guy can be an American and global phenomenon and James Bond isn’t just the coolest man in the world, he’s also one of the hottest.

Yes, it’s a tough time for white guys of a certain age. The good news is that they’ll grow out of it. And besides, white guys still have it pretty great all the way around. Just ask anyone else.

Sorkin State of Affairs

By July 16, 2013

Sure, I watch HBO’s The Newsroom. I do this because, as someone who’s spent a good portion of his life in the news business, I’m a vain and shallow creature who desperately seeks the validation of strangers, loves talking and hearing about himself and especially enjoys anything that paints the profession he chose years ago in any light other than thoroughly, hostilely negative.

While the new season of the show does seem to prove that Sorkin at least took a little of the relentless criticism he received last year to heart, The Newsroom is still The Newsroom.

And maybe that’s why I enjoy this so much.

The Onion: Naation Hoping ‘The Newsroom’ Ends Before Trayvon Martin Storyline/7.15.13

Pilot Error

By July 16, 2013

Today’s piece over at the Daily Banter takes a look at KTVU’s massive screw-up and the station’s reaction to it. Bottom line: It’s not doing enough to make amends to the audience.

Here’s the opening shot:

“As much as I want to let this story go, I can’t. I just can’t. I still find myself shaking my head on occasion at the sheer impossible absurdity of it, suddenly stopping whatever it is I’m doing to say out loud to nobody, “How in the hell could they have let that happen?” I sometimes wonder if I’m actually more incensed than KTVU News Director Lee Rosenthal is that his news department somehow — for reasons no one with a brain let alone a working knowledge of a broadcast newsroom will ever fully comprehend — allowed four obviously phony, racially insulting Asian pun names to go out over the air last Friday. Word has it Rosenthal’s a good guy, but dear God, this mistake is so painfully embarrassing — it’s so far beyond anything in recent memory in terms of the systemic breakdown it exposed — that I’m not sure he shouldn’t do the honorable thing and throw himself on a nearby sword just as a matter of principle. I’m the most cynical guy in the world when it comes to an opinion of local news. With a few notable exceptions, I think it’s crap, an often ineptly executed long con run by media company hustlers desperate for ratings dollars and shilled by shitty consultants who get paid a fortune to make every station in America look exactly alike. I long ago gave up expecting local news to be smart or to create anything resembling journalism. But this — this gargantuan fuck-up confounds even my lowly expectations.”

Read the Rest Here

It should be noted that someone made a really good point after the column, in the comment section, that my opinion doesn’t seem to take into account cutbacks that have basically stripped most local newsrooms clean of personnel. In other words, yes, it’s entirely possible that rather than going through a lot of hands and being subjected to the kinds of checks and balances an item would’ve been just a few short years ago, a story truly can be put on air without any real oversight these days. I’ve worked in a local newsroom since the 2008 crash, what led media companies to cut back on staffing for practical purposes and eventually gave them an excuse to keep cutting just to be bottom-line-hungry assholes. I know it’s rough out there; it’s a far cry from they way things were when I started my own local news career 22 years ago. But KTVU is still almost a top-five market station owned by Cox Media, so I have to imagine it’s got at least a modicum of staffing. If it turns out, however, that the Asiana pilots’ names screw-up really is due to personnel having been stripped to the bone — with whoever’s left now doing the jobs of the people eliminated and focused mainly on just getting the damn show on the air — then I hope this is a lesson to those media companies pursuing profits above all else. It won’t be a lesson, because most really don’t give a crap, but a man can dream.

Davey Crock

By July 15, 2013

At some point today I’m going to have to sit down and begin writing tomorrow’s piece for the Daily Banter. I generally fret over this and when I come across a subject that I know I can turn into something column-length, I save it for Banter because that’s one less 6,000-pound Jenga piece making up the giant tower of pressure that rests on my shoulders 24/7 these days.

I could save myself some trouble. I could easily just crank out a full-length piece on David Sirota’s latest desperate, pre-adolescent act of lashing out in the name of trying to get the attention of the adults. But I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t because Sirota really is a sniveling little shit who in no way deserves the effort or the copy.

Fresh off Salon’s damn-near epic decimation at the hands of Patton Oswalt over the weekend, the site that’s become little more than the internet’s proud home for liberal outrage porn decided to prove its mettle once again by running a Sirota column that somehow managed to conflate the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman — and Zimmerman’s subsequent acquittal — with the U.S. government’s killing of American-born al Qaeda terrorist mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki and the 16-year-old son he’d educated in the ways of jihad.

No, I’m not linking to the fucking thing. Here’s the salient quote:

“Zimmerman’s presumption of guilt and his subsequent actions mimic those of his own government, and therefore reflect a larger attitudinal shift in the nation at large

Remember, in the same year that saw Zimmerman kill Martin, Zimmerman’s president, Barack Obama, extrajudicially executed Anwar al-Awlaki and then his 16-year-old son, without charging either of the two U.S. citizens with a single crime…

Explaining the Zimmerman-like aggression against the Awlakis and thousands of others who find themselves targeted by U.S. drone strikes missiles, the federal government later offered up the Zimmerman Principle, repeating the same sentiment that Zimmerman expressed during his cellphone call to non-emergency responders.”

Yeah. Now if you’re sane, chances are you want to throttle Sirota right about now, but to paraphrase Tangina Barrons in Poltergeist, clear your mind, he knows what angers you. Sirota wants you to react the way you, me, anyone with a functional brain and a generous sense of shame would react to drivel like this. He wants you to fire off indignant tweets with his name on them. He’s the guy who wrote an entire book blaming our current political climate on Die Hard and Ghostbusters and seemed to do it with a straight face; tawdrily dismissing the realities black Americans face in this country and have for centuries, and opportunistically using the Zimmerman verdict to once again scold the Obama administration for not showing deference to his pet issue — ironically, scolding the first black President of the United States — is child’s play for someone who can troll that hard.

It should be noted that while it may sound like I’m beating up on Sirota, I’m actually giving him a lot of credit here. I’m assuming that he knows what he’s doing and is purposely being inflammatory in the name of keeping himself relevant so that he can continue writing for Salon and can continue arguing that the critics loved his book and it was a bestseller every time anyone calls it out for having the most ridiculous premise in the history of non-fiction literature. (Seriously, do that sometime. Tweet at him how silly the central thesis of that book is and watch him whip out his press clippings like he’s the Orphans trying to prove to the Warriors that they’re bad-asses.) That’s gotta be better than the alternative, which is to basically just come right out and accuse him of being monumentally fucking stupid. Although, I suppose he can be a combination of both.

Incidentally, the original headline for the piece issued the declaration, in predictably bombastic Salon fashion, “We Are All Threats Now.”

No, Sirota. You’re not a threat to anybody. You’re just a douche.

Morning Sickness

By July 15, 2013

For the next couple of days I’m going to be knee-deep in finishing up a production project I’m working on so I’ll be somewhat scarce around here. With that in mind, I’ve taken at least a few things I was going to likely write about today and put them into the Morning Banter segment over at the Daily Banter.

I might have a little something up later, depending on how far along I am with the work I need to do.

Have a good day, kids.

The Daily Banter: The Monday Morning Banter/7.15.13

Auto Reply: Out of Office

By July 12, 2013

There’s this great little place out in Palm Springs where my girlfriend and I go whenever we want to get away from everything. In addition to the desert, the spring water, the clean air, and all the other qualities that make our escapes to this place so wonderful, it doesn’t hurt that the last time we went the whole thing was on them, thanks to the fact that my name was drawn in a Facebook contest they have each month, the prize being a free weekend. Well, maybe they just like us or something, because while we were there for our completely on-the-house getaway recently, one of the managers of the place gave us passes for another free weekend — and we’re taking it beginning today.

It’s pretty rare for somebody to step up and do something nice for you so I guess you have to always remember to appreciate the hell out of it when it happens. And I do.

Speaking of which, I want to say a truly wholehearted thank-you to everyone who was kind enough to reach out and contribute during this week’s Summer Pledge Drive. The support, especially after all this time, humbles me like you wouldn’t believe. So thanks.

Now I can give Beggy the Beaver a hot meal and let him hibernate until Fall.

See you all on Monday.

The Bob & Chez Show After Party

By July 12, 2013

Join the After Party

Here’s What You’re Missing This Week: Wonder Showzen; Pie Fieri, Guy Fieri and Food Network Star; Nikki Dinki; Oliver Stone’s Anti-NSA Video; Deep Dark Secret; Serwer vs Greenwald; Blocking People on Twitter; Bob’s Emo Goth Dog; The Hawthorne Dog Shooting; The Wrongness of Gitmo Force-Feeding; Mos Def; Obama Attempting to Close Gitmo Again; Sarah Palin Running for Senate; and much more.

Tomorrow Wendy

By July 11, 2013

Today’s column over at the Daily Banter takes a look at Wendy Davis’s somewhat stunning but truly ballsy admission: Texas’s women are going to lose the battle over a draconian abortion bill tomorrow.

Here’s the opening shot:

“It may not have seemed possible, but in some strange way I respect Wendy Davis even more right now that I did the night she stood up and stood down a draconian anti-abortion bill two weeks ago on the floor of the Texas senate. Davis’s 13-hour filibuster was instantly the stuff of political and cultural legend, but in some ways it takes even more guts to admit to ugly reality than it does to rally the hopeful to action. Or maybe it’s like this: It takes guts to both rally the hopeful and admit that despite that you’re still going to lose the battle at hand.”

Read the Rest Here

Listening Post

By July 11, 2013

I’ve mentioned this before but anyone who’s read this site long enough knows how I get when I find a band that I think truly deserves to be huge — I’ll beat that crap into the ground. If you take nothing else away from these silly Listening Posts this year, it should be this: Immediately go to iTunes and download the entire debut album from the Epilogues.

With a powerful, passionate sound that’s somewhere between Manchester Orchestra and Silversun Pickups, they are absolutely one of my favorite up-and-coming bands making music right now. And this is without a doubt the best song I’ve heard from them so far.

This is the kind of song that would have the power to change the way the world around me appeared, were I to be listening to it on my iPod while walking through New York City. The massive, expansive chorus is what I can imagine throwing myself off the top of a building to in slow motion.

Yes, it’s that good.

Please, support these guys.

This is Saboteur.

Point 'Tard

By July 11, 2013

And here it is, the best/worst thing you’ll see this week.

If you didn’t believe Brian Kilmeade was the world’s biggest douche before, hearing him shout, “Do it for America!” to encourage a toddler to shoot baskets followed by seeing him hit that same toddler in the face with the ball and make him cry on live television should do the trick nicely. By the way, if you’re looking for the moment that leads this kid to eventually grow up to join al Qaeda and engage in Jihad against the United States, here it is.

The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show, 7.10.13

By July 11, 2013

Recap of Recent NSA News; Snowden Video Weirdly Edited; FISC Reform; Snowden to Venezuela; Cenk Uygur Attacks Bob; Greenwald versus Serwer; Losing Perspective and Rationality on NSA; Rand Paul’s On-going Racism Problem; The New Wisconsin Abortion Law; Ultrasounds; A Repeat of the Texas Filibuster; and much more. Brought to you by Bubble Genius, the BobCesca.com Amazon Link and the Bowen Law Group.

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Reading Is Fund-amental: Day 4

By July 10, 2013

How can you resist the sad, soulful eyes of our new money mascot, Beggy the Beaver? (That’s the most alliteration I’ve ever put into one sentence.) I’m hoping you can’t, seeing as how we’re right in the middle of our big Summer Pledge Drive here at DXM.

You know how this works: If you like what you find here, on The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show podcast and at the Daily Banter, then please step up and kick a little of your hard-earned cash toward keeping it all going.

There are a few ways you show some love. The first is the simplest: Just click the Paypal electronic tip link in the right-hand sidebar of this screen and donate away. You can also use the Paypal tip jar to pay-what-you-want for a digital copy of my book, Dead Star Twilight, for iPad or Kindle. Go here to begin your instant download. Remember, it’s a full length book and it can be yours for whatever you feel like putting toward it. The last way you can give is by buying a physical copy of Dead Star Twilight from Amazon. To purchase the paperback, just click here. (It should be said that buying the book outright sends the least amount of money in my direction since there are costs and percentages to contend with; I want to sell books but I know there are some people out there who would want to be made aware of that.)

Big thanks today to Nicole, Teddy C., and the always generous Mr. Gwaltney.

To everyone else who’s given — as well as those who continue to read, comment, share and so on — it really means a lot to me.

Another update tomorrow.