stAllio!'s way
Friday, March 12, 2004 
ups & downs today. first microsoft word send me into a murderous rage. somedays the program is only irritating, & i only spend 5-10% or so of my time fighting the program to force it to do what i want (i mean, really simple basic things that it just doesn't want to do the easy way, or stupid glitches like when i'm spell-checking & it tells me "this feature has not been installed. would you like to install it now?" & i'm like "you stupid piece of shit, just spell check the document!" & then it goes "word could not find the french dictionary" & i'm like "what french?"). but days like today are much more intense battles, where i start to feel all violent & i just want to cut loose on some microsoft employee... it doesn't even have to be bill gates, just some m$ lackey from the office team i can toss around the room screaming "why is this software such a piece of garbage?!"

that wasn't really helped by the fact that i'd already heard on npr that the california supreme court had placed an injunction on san francisco, stating that no more gay marriage licenses could be granted until the court reviews whether newsom had the right to ignore prop 22 & issue the licenses. however, the court did not say that the licenses already issued are invalid, or anything of the sort. so the battle is far from over, & the homophobes still might lose in the long run.

it wasn't helped by the fact that i'd also heard that massachusetts took the first step to passing an anti-gay amendment, or that i read an excellent expose on salon about how the DoD twisted intelligence to suit neocon objectives.

and then i found out that i won't get my test pressings for true data until late next week or early the following week... to the extent that i'll be lucky if i even have my tests before the the show on march 20 (& it would be really nice to have those tests at the show so i can listen to them over the big PA)

but then i found out that i will appear on a huge new indianapolis-based mp3cd compilation due out next month. so that's kind of good news, especially since i am just about the only artist who already knows whether they're on it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004 
the miami herald has broken a story alleging that police are profiling rappers.

Officers say they have photographed rappers as they arrived at Miami International Airport. They stake out hotels, nightclubs and video shoots. They consult a six-inch-thick black binder of every rapper and member of his or her group with an arrest record in the state of New York. The binder begins with a photo and rap sheet of Grammy-nominated rapper 50 Cent. It ends with Ja Rule. Both men are embroiled in one of the most bitter feuds in the hip-hop industry, one that Eminem, 50 Cent's producer, has warned in the song Bully could lead to bloodshed.

The policing effort of top entertainers -- which hip-hop experts criticize as unnecessary stereotyping -- was created, police say, to protect the public and musical celebrities who have chosen to make South Florida their destination to live and party.

''We have to keep an eye on these rivalries,'' said Assistant Miami Beach Police Chief Charles Press. ``The last thing we need in this city is violence.''

yeah, no violence in miami... except for that whole "let's beat the living shit out of anyone who dares to protest the FTAA" thing.

the story (and the miami cops) even allege that the miami police received their "hip hop training" from new york police's "hip hop task force" (nypd denies that). boy am i glad that bush's tax cuts didn't cut into our police's "racial profiling" tax.

anyway, if you need a really offensively ignorant comment, a borderline racist comment from a cop to show just how stupid this is, you're in luck!

''A lot if not most rappers belong to some sort of gang,'' Miami police Sgt. Rafael Tapanes said. ``We keep track of their arrests and associates.''

whoa nelly.

asbury park NJ will stop issuing gay marriage licenses (did i miss the story stating that they would start issuing them?)

oh well; they're not giving up the fight entirely, just moving the battle into the courts:

Council members said they would seek a declaratory judgment affirming that a gay marriage ceremony performed Monday by the city's deputy mayor was legal and that the city could continue issuing marriage licenses to gays.

No timetable was set. In the meantime, officials said, the city would accept no more applications and consider all pending applications denied.

now this is just weird.

yesterday i quoted a newsweek article stating that bush had used actors in place of firefighters in his recent ads.

later i posted that the article had been changed, & the portion i'd quoted was missing.

but now, & this is the really suspicious part, it appears that they have changed it back. or at least, when i revisit the page now, the original version is back.

it'd be enough to think i was going crazy if several other bloggers hadn't also posted about the disappearance (so far it looks like only a couple have noticed the reappearance yet). so unless something is seriously wrong with my eyes or my internet cache, newsweek has changed it back.

so wtf was that about? i could've bought that the first change was simply a correction, that there were in fact no fake firefighters & newsweek had just done a sloppy job of correcting the error. i was suspicious, but i could've believed that. but changing it, then changing it back the next day (after several bloggers noticed the edit)? still with no disclaimer or explanation at the bottom of the page? that is too shady to be believed.

Monday, March 08, 2004 
i can't stop posting!!!!

remember a few hours ago when i posted the fake-firefighter flap in bush's tv ads?

buzzflash has noticed that newsweek has edited the original article i quoted... and has removed an integral section (including the part i quoted!). buzzflash kindly links to the google cache of the article.

here was the original wording:

Another less-publicized aspect of the ad flap: the use of paid actors—including two playing firefighters with fire hats and uniforms in what looks like a fire station. "Where the hell did they get those guys?" cracked Harold Schaitberger, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, which has endorsed John Kerry, when he first saw the ads. (A union spokesman said the shots prompted jokes that the fire hats looked like the plastic hats "from a birthday party.") "There's many reasons not to use real firemen," retorted one Bush media adviser. "Mainly, its cheaper and quicker."

& here is the redacted version:

Another, less publicized aspect of the ad flap: Everyone but the firefighters were paid actors. The firefighters posing in a firehouse was "stock" film footage of volunteer firefighters -- shot and available for purchase to the general public.

that's quite a significant change, with no little [ed] comments or errata notes to disclaim that a change was made. first there are two fake firefighters, and now there are none?

i suppose it's possible that this is an actual correction, & they were all real firefighters. but if so i would expect an editor's note/correction at the bottom of the page. the fact that there isn't one there is mightily suspicious.


damn. i guess knowing is better than the months of endless wondering & worrying that followed the original announcement that he had disappeared, but at least we could hope that he would turn up okay.

spalding gray, you will be missed.

supreme court ideologue anton scalia is in the news again for yet another alleged conflict of interest! this time for speaking in front of a gay-basher group while deliberating about the texas antisodomy law.

Scalia's activities outside the court in two other instances — both involving hunting trips — have also drawn criticism for suggesting partiality on cases before his court. But the Philadelphia dinner May 20, unlike the other cases, shows him appearing to support partisan advocates on a hotly disputed issue.

The code of conduct for the federal courts broadly warns judges against conduct that "would create in reasonable minds … a perception that the judge's ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality and competence is impaired."

It says a judge may participate in civic and charitable activities that "do not reflect adversely upon the judge's impartiality."

Supreme Court justices are not bound by the judicial code, which applies to all other federal judges. The high court makes its own rules on outside judicial behavior, but cites the code as its main guideline.

ps. this is my seventh post for today... a news blitz big enough to last the whole week!

political cartoonist ted rall has had his cartoons pulled from the new york times website.

rall is justifiably convinced that the decision was made in response to pressure from conservatives (why else does anything get cancelled these days?):

The ONLY reason they're dropping me is because they're tired of dealing with Republican hate mail--most of it from people who don't even read the New York Times, but fire off rote complaints against liberal bête noires as part of their daily regimen.

even the time ombudsman, while bending over backward to defend the decision, concedes it wasn't the ideal way to handle the situation:

Why not just continue what he and his colleagues have been doing, rejecting Rall cartoons that don't meet Times standards? It's worked up until now.

according to E!, family guy will officially come back with new episodes! and on top of that, seth mcfarlane has another new animated show in the works as well!

as a john waters fan, i don't know what to make of plans to remake hairspray as an onscreen musical. but my initial reaction is i don't like it.

i haven't seen the broadway version of hairspray & don't know if i'll ever get a chance to either. but considering how hard it it to do an effective movie musical, i don't have the highest hopes.

not only that, but E! hasn't been doing its homework.

Hairspray is the second major musical along the Great White Way to follow the screen-to-stage-to-screen trajectory.

In January, Universal Pictures announced plans to make a new Producers film based on the Broadway version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.

what about little shop of horrors? that started as a roger corman film, became an off-broadway musical, which was reinterpreted into a movie musical starring rick moranis... & now there's a broadway version. technically i guess it wasn't on broadway before the film came out, but so what? broadway is little more than a "brand" used to designate that some theatres are somehow superior to all others, simply because they happen to be located on one particular street, as if geography & quality really have anything to do with each other.

seattle will start recognizing gay marriages from elsewhere, says the mayor.

seattle will not start actually issuing marriage license, because that responsibility falls to the county rather than the city according to washington law. but at least gay seattlites who can afford it can take a trip down to portland, get married, & have their marriages legally binding in their own hometown.

gop threatens a young republican running for congress: "Just consider what you're doing now. You don't want to have the freakin' president of the United States mad at you for the rest of your life."

what was this young republicans offense, his crime so heinous that it would make an enemy of the white house? he dared to actually run for office! against whoever the gop has anointed for that seat. & who is the chosen son?

Incumbent Ralph Hall had represented the district as a Democrat for more than 20 years until January, when he switched parties and joined the GOP. "I think I can get re-elected much easier if I run as a Republican," Hall told The Associated Press at the time. The GOP, naturally concerned that their newest member could be attacked in a primary for his defection and his comments to the AP, wanted to make the race easier for Hall. According to Murphy, before getting the call from Reynolds, he was twice contacted by the Republican Party of Texas, which also advised him to drop out. He didn't, which is when the NRCC took over the "get-Murphy-out" push.

the gop howls like the wicked witch of the west when jim jeffords dares to defect from the gop & go independent. but if a democrat switches over to their side, they will go so far as to threaten other republicans to stay out of the man's way. interesting.

team bush recently started airing its first big tv ads for the 2004 campaign. a lot of people are pretty upset at the ads' cynical use of shots of firefighters & other 9/11 imagery for cheap emotional effect.

the fact that bushco would use such imagery is hardly surprising. after all, they've been taking advantage of the 9/11 tragedy ever since it happened. the interesting twist here is that the firefighters in the ads were paid actors, not real firemen.

"There's many reasons not to use real firemen," retorted one Bush media adviser. "Mainly, its cheaper and quicker."

so it's cheaper to hire actors & orchestrate a shoot than to fish around in the archives & find some actual stock footage of firefighters? somehow i doubt that.

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