11 March 2008

Sausages No Longer in Pants

  • The taste of music critics is usually better with even catsup, although something spicier to offset the strange combination of blandness and rot works better. Unfortunately, the article in question fails to get to the real cause of the problem: Music critics listen critically; the general public listens with less than a quarter of an ear (and a lot lower proportion of brain), all too often while looking for something to play as a background to what it is really interested in doing at that particular moment.
  • Even European bureaucrats sleep, apparently: Google passes EC antitrust scrutiny for buying Doubleclick.
  • Seattle has an increasing role in book sales, which can't help but be a good thing. Since so much of the content is merely recycled, I'm also sure that the fruit-and-nuts crowd in my hometown is also influencing efforts to make book production greener. Historically, the US publishing industry has been exceedingly — and unjustifiably — insular, even more than is Hollywood (which, after all, has a much more extensive outpost in New York than the publishing industry does anywhere outside of Manhattan).
  • Paranoia about art? How is that possible? Historically, it's routine, although perhaps not as well publicized as it is today. It's not hard to imagine a crusty old professor of Spanish literature ending up on TSA's no-fly list for a contemporary version of Don Quixote... or even sufficiently pointed essays about Don Quixote.
  • Finally, we get to the reason for this entry's title. "Mr Clean" Eliot Spitzer is considering resigning, eh? What sort of bothers me about this story is that nobody is asking an obvious corollary question. Consider the circumstances: The initial accusation is that Spitzer paid $4300 for one "session" in DC, and that he was a repeat client. Spitzer, however, has been on a public servant's salary for a helluva long time — governor now, state AG before that. So how did he make those payments without getting noticed? And where did the money come from? And, more importantly, did he really have sex with that woman?

    Which leads to the other problem with this whole situation. As Arnold Vinick said about religion on The West Wing:

    I don't see how we can have a separation of church and state in this government if you have to pass a religious test to get in[to] this government. And I want to warn everyone in the press and all the voters out there if you demand expressions of religious faith from politicians, you are just begging to be lied to. They won't all lie to you but a lot of them will. And it will be the easiest lie they ever had to tell to get your votes. So, every day until the end of this campaign, I'll answer any question anyone has on government, But if you have a question on religion, please go to church.

    I don't excuse anything about Spitzer's conduct; I'm more cynical than that, because — although I didn't have some secret list — I expect that at least four sitting governors are currently involved in some kind of criminal conduct aside from "mere" political corruption. I base that on statistics and too much familiarity with the kind of people who manage to get into those positions — particularly career politicians with their overwhelming sense of privilege and entitlement. And generous hit-point totals (although these Monster Manual entries don't include the unusually high resurrection statistics...).