Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Big Watermelon

A Guardian piece sees a rise in conspiracy theorists in the US, such as the theory that the US has Osama bin Laden on ice somewhere and will bring him out in October, as a semi-legitimate response to an administration itself so excessively secretive and conspiratorial, an administration that took the tactics of the "War on Terror," the "tactics for conducting a secret, asymmetric war and applied them wholesale to the day-to-day governance of the US." And the market for Michael Moore’s "connect-the-dots paranoia" is so strong because "People are hungry for classified information on their rulers, in part because their rulers are so busy collecting classified information on them, and Fahrenheit 9/11 promotes the happy illusion that, for once, the magnetometers and security cameras have been turned on the president and his gang."
And Jon Carroll is holding a "Guess the October Surprise" contest:
Operatives from al Qaeda could be discovered staffing the office of the Ohio Democratic Party. Jeb Bush could discover that he had "misplaced" 40,000 eligible Cuban American voters. An "old friend" of John Kerry's could reveal that Kerry spent the entirety of the Vietnam War in the basement of a brothel in Berlin. Dick Cheney could rush into a burning building and save 17 orphans from certain death. Then he could reveal that he is really Spider-Man and that he does whatever a spider can.
The LA Times looks into the source of Shrub’s accusation that Fidel Castro supports prostitution--it came from an unsourced paraphrase in a paper written by an undergrad that the Bushies found on the Web, the font of all true information. What’s curious is that the story, like the initial stories about Shrub’s speech, doesn’t mention that he accused Castro of supporting not just prostitution but child prostitution, as I mentioned earlier.

According to the London Times, when the Chinese sell pirated editions of books, they make stuff up. So a Mandarin edition of Bill Clinton’s My Life now on sale begins, "The town of Hope, where I was born, has very good feng shui." It demonstrates for the first time Clinton’s intellectual indebtedness to the Little Red Book, and says this of Monica: "She was very fat. I can never trust my own judgment." And describes meeting Hillary for the first time: "She was as beautiful as a princess. I told her my name is Big Watermelon". Ok, that part’s probably true.

Steve Lopez has a Harper’s Index-type piece on Kallyfohrnian politics:

Number of times Gov. Schwarzenegger used the term "girlie men" to describe state legislators during a 16-minute speech at an Ontario mall: Twice.

Number of star-struck legislators who have cuddled up to Schwarzenegger for months and deserve the title: Dozens.

Ratio of time Schwarzenegger has spent applying makeup to time spent by all the female legislators: 3:1.

Last national celebrity with hair the color of Schwarzenegger's: Woody Woodpecker.

Number of budget deadlines missed by Woody Woodpecker: Zero.

Schwarzenegger's whereabouts just hours after vowing to stay in Sacramento and fight like a warrior to end the budget stalemate: Beverly Hills fund-raiser.

Amount raised at Beverly Hills fund-raiser by Schwarzenegger, who earlier promised to end fund-raising during budget season: Roughly $400,000.

Amount Schwarzenegger has raised for himself and committees he controls since the day he said he doesn't need anyone's money because he has his own: $30 million.

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