Monday, February 28, 2005

TennCare on PBS Tonight

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2005 at 9:26 AM

The good folks at the Tennessee Health Care Campaign are spreading the word that TennCare will be part of a segment on the PBS NewsHour tonight (Monday Feb. 28; channel 8 at 6:00 pm in Nashville).

Update at 6:15 pm: No sign of it in the NewsHour's opening preview of stories on the show. If it was scheduled for tonight, perhaps it was put off on account of a busy day of breaking news.

"Schoolyard Rules"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2005 at 6:53 AM

Clinton Democrat Jeff Jarvis has finally gotten fed up with the ideological purists in his party taking him to the woodshed every time he (gasp) points out that they might be wrong about something once in a while or that (bigger gasp) there might be some Republicans worth listening to. Of course, the usual suspects disagree. I would submit that that's why they keep losing, but I realize it's easier to just blame these people and this guy.

Read this...

...then this...

and wash it down with a tall glass of this.

Comment away....

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Questions about the Oscars

Posted By on Sun, Feb 27, 2005 at 11:22 PM

Why did Beyonce Knowles (who has now apparently officially dropped her last name) sing three songs? Aren't there other singers on Earth? And were those really the five best songs they could come up with? Why do people persist in the grotesque practice of applauding some names during the "In Memorium" sequence and not others? Was it truly necessary to tell me about the camera-arm inventor guy? Did anyone really believe Chris Rock was going to curse? (At these rates?) Am I more or less white-trashy then Hilary Swank because I grew up in a trailer but not a trailer park? Given that, why do I even pay the slightest attention when rich, beautiful people congratulate one another?

HST: localization at last

Posted By on Sun, Feb 27, 2005 at 12:53 PM

It was pretty difficult to make the story of Hunter S. Thompson's suicide Nashville-centric -- but not for the great Chet Flippo, who actually knew (and once attempted to corral) the man:

Jimmy Ibbotson of the Dirt Band was a neighbor of Hunter and loved him until the end, even though Hunter once shot Ibbotson's dog. Hunter had warned him that if his dog kept coming on his property and messing with his peacocks, he would shoot it. The dog kept it up. Hunter shot it. The dog survived and so did Ibbotson's friendship with Hunter. After all, in his mind, Hunter was just keeping his word.

Never mess with a man's peacocks.

Things you can't say on television

Posted By on Sun, Feb 27, 2005 at 10:31 AM

This season of Saturday Night Live may be particularly dire (despite the herculean efforts of Amy Poehler, bless her), but, lacking anything resembling a social life, I've been getting a kick out of the "classic" episodes NBC has been airing at midnight. Last night was the big one: the very first episode, from October 11, 1975.

It was interesting to see all the elements that fell away over the years: the Muppets, the second musical guests, many of the filmed bits. It was much more an old-fashioned variety show at the start. But most striking was something host George Carlin said. No, he didn't drop the f-bomb or any of the other seven words you can't say on television -- the ones that will, as he once noted, "infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war."

No, what he did was several minutes of material on the nature of God. He gently suggested that God might have been made in the image of man, that God might have physical limits, even that God might not want to hear prayers on Sunday, which happens to be his day off -- and that it is presumptuous for humans like him to speak for God anyway.

You still won't hear any of Carlin's seven dirty words on broadcast TV, but now there are certain ideas you won't hear either.

Friday, February 25, 2005


Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2005 at 3:36 PM

I recently got cable television (which you can actually read about here) and have been thoroughly enjoying my new life of lethargic luxury. I mostly watch reruns of old shows, but a couple weeks ago I discovered a new Comedy Central game show that just may be the best thing in the history of television. Well, maybe not. But it's a heck of a lot better than Jeopardy!

Continue reading »

Hummus + Weekend recommendations

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2005 at 1:14 PM

I just returned from La Luna, where I experienced the best hummus + bread of all time. Highly recommended.

This Saturday: Official "myspace" party happening at Rcktwn (Pronounced "rockettown." My deduction is that Christians don't like vowels.) Rumor has it Tom (the creator of myspace) might be making an appearance. If you don’t get to see the infamous Tom, at least Feable Weiner will be playing. If you like ridiculously cheesy pop-punk, Feable Weiner is for you. Other Nashville bands playing are The Carter Administration and Laws Rushing, in addition to it being Cruiserweight’s CD release party. For those interested, Cruiserweight’s CD is being released on the Weiner run label, Heinous Records.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Helping you be unproductive, one bizarre link at a time.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 4:52 PM

This eBay auction is the best thing ever. Notice that the bid price is up to $36. As if we needed more proof that people are idiots. But hey, at least idiots are funny.

3M “put its money where its mouth was,” says this website, when it stuffed its new security glass with cash to prove how unbreakable it was.

This isn’t funny. It’s sad. Don’t laugh. changes all of your Google searches into bling.

Laura Bush gazes at a large phallic symbol. Sorry, I mean “hat.”

Current Book Recommendation: I’m reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. The narrator, an albino hunchback, discusses her childhood as a freak show in her parents’ circus. She has siblings: Siamese twin sisters, a brother with flippers instead of arms & legs, and another brother whose "gift" isn't explained until a third of the way into the novel. I'm only about half-way through, so it could turn out to be horrible. But so far, it's very unique and intriguing. I mean, how boring can an albino hunchback and a boy with flippers be? Not very.

Current Movie Recommendation: I haven’t watched any movies, recently. Sorry. But I did catch When Harry Met Sally on television last week. Always a classic. And a relic from the era before Meg Ryan's unfortunate collagen lip injections.

Current Coffee Recommendation: Portland Brew can make a mean hazelnut latte. I was an avid Fido fan for such a long time, but my affection may be turning to the 12th South establishment. But I don't want to break up with Fido. At least not yet. Maybe I will string it along for a while, toy with its heart. That's always fun.


Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 3:13 PM

OK, after taking significant heat from my staff this week for my relatively soft touch on the short piece about All the Rage editor Pat Embry's departure, let me try to redeem myself. What I failed to say is that Pat wasn't the problem. What was the problem—and remains the problem—is that ATR is a vacuous publication utterly disinterested in real journalism. Pat took the fall, it appears, for having been in charge of this "faux-alt," as my staff calls it, that lacks voice and adds nothing in the way of cultural criticism or perspective. But, then again, that's what Gannett tends to foster. There. "That's What's Up."

Credit Where Credit is Due

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 8:30 AM

We don't say nice things about the daily paper all that often, but The Tennessean's lead editorial on TennCare today hits on all cylinders. With rare and refreshing directness, it holds the governor and his bureaucrats accountable for their lastest inanities -- attempts to gouge legislators and the media for access to public records that should be easily available, and more deceptions about how consent decrees supposedly limit information gathering and reform. (We note this morning that the gov has ordered the TennCare bureau to drop the processing cost for the requested data by 90% -- now that's a markdown even Sam Walton would admire!).

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