Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I feel the need for Black Box right now

Dance, sing, smile and dance some more while you listen.

Why I'm voting for Fareed Zakaria

Fareed's article on Newsweek's site is here.

Sarah Palin has a vast variety of (unnamed) news sources

Sarah, could you have maybe mentioned CBS? You know them. Katie cashes their checks. Or maybe something more obscure like the New York Times?

During Banned Books Week, Censorship Is Alive and Well

Late Friday night, the north London home/office of Martin Rynja, publisher of the independent UK press Gibson Square, was firebombed in what is being treated as a terrorist attack, of which police had advance warning, which is how they were able to warn Rynja to leave the premises for his own safety, stake out the building, and arrest three men shortly after the house was bombed; the small fire it created was quickly put out. (A fourth arrest was made later in the day.) Gibson Square is the UK publisher of The Jewel of Medina, Sherry Jones's controversial novel about A'isha, one of the wives of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House after Islamic studies professor Denise Spellberg warned the publisher the book would incite violence by Muslim extremists (after which she did everything she could to make sure those potential terrorists knew the book was coming).

During a telephone call Sunday afternoon, Jones said she plans to call upon Spellberg to recant her description of The Jewel of Medina as "soft core pornography," saying that this public assessment had to have been a factor in the bombing. "The planting of that bomb is Martin Rynja's letterbox was not about my book," Jones said, noting that the novel was not yet available in Britain. "It's not about the content of my book. It's not about the ideas in my book. It must be about the rumors and innuendos... [This is] obviously a response to the misinformation." Would she go as far as to blame Spellberg's incendiary rhetoric for the attack? "I feel that the people who resorted to violence are responsible," Jones emphasized. "But her use of the word 'pornography' has done nothing to help the situation."

Jones said that she had had a brief email contact with Rynja after the incident, but knew very little about his exact circumstances, other than that he had told her some of the reports in the British press were "exaggerated." "I know that he's a very courageous person and a man of strong conviction who understood my book from the very start," she said. She added that she had heard nothing to indicate that Gibson Square—or Beaufort Books, her new American publisher—would not continue as planned to bring the novel to the public. "The publishers that we've been working with [since Random House's withdrawal], their eyes have been wide open" to the possibility of terrorist violence, Jones said, although she remains convinced that once people have had a chance to read the novel for themselves, instead of relying on misinformation, "they will see it's respectful and all the rhetoric will die down." (Unfortunately, certain extremist clerics suggest otherwise, declaring that Saturday's bombing was merely "the thin of the wedge.")

In a statement released later Sunday afternoon, a publicist confirmed Beaufort's plans for an October 15 publication date have not changed: "They are hoping that getting the book out into the public's hands will end this nonsense.

Financial Crisis or Financial Justice?

It turns out that the universe has a sense of humor AND retribution. Although we're all facing inflation, job losses, devalued 401(k)s, and more pablum from Republican talking heads, we can take solace in this little article from Forbes: CEOs Who Lose Millions In Minutes

According to Forbes, News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch's fortune declined $2 billion to $6.8 billion. News Corp.'s stock price fell 34% over the last 12 months despite the robustness of the Fox brand and its purchase of Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch lost $1,000 every 15.78 seconds, or $63.38 per second. That's about $1.5 million an hour.

So, while you're digging through your sofa to find enough change to put some gasoline in your Prius or to buy that Amy's Organic pizza, think of poor billionaires like Rupert and weep for their lost millions.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Black Monday on Wall Street

Aren't you glad we're living in exciting times? Where's Herbert
Hoover when we need him?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Are you watching Survivor: Gabon?

I have to admit that I watched the two-hour premiere this week. I was never a big Survivor fan--not like my friend Shannon who LOVES it. But, I was at Rand's and nothing else was on teevee, so we decided to watch. I have to admit it. The show is still compelling entertainment. It's gross, but reality teevee has its merits.

Oh, and in case you missed it, there was an unexpected guest during one of the challenges. If you've seen the show before, you know that many of the male contestants tend to wear just their underwear most of the time. I guess it's cooler, easier to wash, and a great way to show off their bodies so they can get that post-Survivor gig. Unfortunately for contestant Marcus, he should have stuck to boxer briefs instead of plain old boxers. Behold the power and the danger of the fly:

Marcus' flash: Survivor Gabon

No worries, Marcus. First, I mean how many people watch Survivor anyway? 18.3 million? Second, based on what I see, you have nothing to be ashamed of. (Pssst, call me. . . )

So, turn in every night on CBS. With censorship like this, who knows what we'll see next.

Sarah Silverman to Grandparents: Vote Obama or else!

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debate Watch: Booooring

'Nuff said.

Debate Watch

John McCain says the average South Korean is 3 inches taller than the
average North Korean. I call that "height-ism."

Stop the Creepy Smile

McCain won't look Obama in the eye during the debate, but there's no
shortage of that creepy smile.

Reminds me of Borges' story "The Library of Babel"

Nina Katchadourian has struck upon an interesting idea. Take book titles and attempt to turn them into stories/poems. I imagine Nina walking around her local Borders, stealthily pulling random titles from the shelves and stacking them as inconspicuously as possible in a lightly trafficked corner of the store. She pulls out her camera, snaps the photos, and slinks away--leaving the stack of books to be reshelved by some poor Borders employee.

Ah, but it's all for art. So it must be worth it.

The spine poem above is, I think, the best of the lot.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September in San Francisco, Or A Reason to Dance in the Streets

September is a month of transition in my mind; it is a "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" and a perfect month to begin San Francisco's atypical summertime. As this year nears the end of its ripening, I hope we can all take a moment, like Autumn herself, to sit "careless on a granary floor" and enjoy the shortening days--the sunshine, the blue skies, the spontaneous encounter among friends at a neighborhood cafe, and, of course, Love Fest. Nothing defines autumn for me like a gathering of thousands, listening and dancing to electronic music in the center of the city. Who needs color-changing leaves when we have color-changing pants? What is the value of last loon's song when compared to the cheers of E-addled teenagers for their favorite DJ?

So, screw Keats and check out Love Fest on October 4th.

Love Fest SF

John McCain ditches David Letterman for Katie Couric

Bad move, Senator.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Got Milk, Ben and Jerry?

Many years ago, I remember reading an article about the benefits of breast milk and the lack of breastfeeding in the United States. Immediately, I envisioned a scenario where giant corporations have corralled Third World women into huge milking facilities in order to feed the demand from industrialized countries. They could be like new banana republics (but can you imagine shopping at a store called "Breast Milk Republic"?)

Flash forward several years to today and PETA's letter to Ben and Jerry of ice cream fame:

September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's. Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers--and cows--would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease--America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

Irony is dead. All my insane ideas have become reality. Weep for the new world.

Gay Scandal in Sarah Palin's family

Don't kill the messenger. I'm just here to spread the good news. Well, for the Palins, we'll just call it the news--sans qualifier.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

John McCain on Carly Fiorina: "I don't know the details"

I wonder what other reason John McCain would have to put Carly out there at the "public face" of his economic plan? Hmmm. In an election where gender politics were at the forefront. . . Well, I can't think of anything. She must be brilliant.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

10 Townsend


I like the warm breath of air from the 10 Townsend as it passes me on a cool windy day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CNN "Oops" with Gay Pranksters

During a segment about the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, a reporter finds himself upstaged (really backstaged) by a couple of guys who decide to have a gay make-out session on camera. Is Queer Nation back? Was there more to the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy than we're being told? Has the Pink Mafia struck Wall Street? You decide.


Thanks to CinemaCapMan for sharing!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Whole Foods Pretention Market

This was easily the most pretentious thing I saw today. While shopping in Whole Foods (a pretentious act in and of itself), I noticed these cute organic stone ground "Primavera" tortillas. One dozen for just $6. That's 50 cents per taqueria-sized tortilla. It's a bargain at twice the price.

Dear Whole Foods,

When you sell items like this, it makes it hard for me to take your "we're not more expensive than Trader Joe's campaign" seriously.

Tina Fey does Sarah Palin on SNL

I can't believe I missed this last night!

And Amy Poehler is fantastic as Hillary, too. The pointing thing she does at the beginning is spot on. Kudos to SNL.

Imagine: November 5th, 2008

Please vote.

mi·cro·phone (mī'krə-fōn') n. An instrument designed by liberals

Peggy Noonan says it all here. (I hope)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

David Foster Wallace has died


David Foster Wallace, age 46, was found dead on Friday by his wife. We've lost one our generation's big literary figures. Will his writing last? I'm not sure, but he was a literary force, and we need those in the world. I remember reading "The Broom of the System" before I even knew who he was (well, before most people knew who he was). I was intrigued by the title and the description. The book was crazy with wordplay and difficult to follow--with very little resolution--kind of like modern life. It was also the first time I encountered the name "Stonecipher." The name still rattles around in my brain every now and then.

My thoughts go out to his family and his students.

NY Times Obit


John McCain's Brand of Straight Talk

Why do I keep posting these things about McCain? Quite simply, I despise hypocrisy. J'accuse, Senator McCain.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fashion Trends

I just found this list of upcoming fashion trends:

Wild West
Reversible clothing and accessories (that you'd actually want to wear on both sides)
Recession Chic junk jewelry
Saddle shoes (for men and women)
Asymmetrical jackets and blazers
Bow ties (for men)
Grown-up fanny packs
Mesh fabrics
'80s Country Club Prep
Incredible Details (intricate clothing tags, linings, unique resin buttons)
Found object jewelry (e.g. keys, paperclips, buttons)

Can I just say that when I start walking down Market Street in my saddle shoes, bow tie, cowboy shirt, and mesh pants, I am going to cause quite a stir.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spam: Questioning My Manhood

Several times a day, I receive a spam report that shows what my filter has blocked. How, may I ask, did the rumors get started about my questionable virility? Why does the spam-o-sphere think I'm poorly endowed? Who has been writing terrible things about me in restrooms across this great (but detumescent) nation of ours? When will the harassment stop?!!

Some subject lines for you to enjoy at my expense:

She will like you more once you are bigger below
Be the master of lovemaking
Regain your attractiveness as a man
Your measurement calls for improvement!
Re: making your member longer
We have everything to cure your masculinity.
The best enlargement pills available
Make your tool big and juicy
Make it longer and more powerful
Attain your fullest potential in bed

And my fave from this past week:

Make your pecker a beast

There you have it. I'm fully deflated now (no pun intended). Laugh, point, giggle and titter. I will say, though, that they have guessed my, um, proclivities, completely wrong. "She" will most definitely not benefit from any of these miracle cures.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Beer Pong

The creators of Get Bombed who are publishing a book with Chronicle Books next year on Beer Pong hosted a little unofficial tournament at our offices today. I'm happy to say that I represented and won one of two games. Considering it was my first time playing, I think I did pretty well. Check out their website above and get the book when it comes out so you can host a proper Beer Pong party at your next cotillion.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I just felt a tremor in SF. Scary.


San Francisco is the LEAST caffeinated city?


I'm aghast. How could my fellow San Franciscans let me down like this? How much more iced tea must I drink to get our average up? Read more about it here.

The full list:

Least Caffeinated to Most

1. San Francisco - Oakland
2. Philadelphia
3. New York
4. Detroit
5. Baltimore
6. Dallas - Ft. Worth
7. Minneapolis - St. Paul
8. San Diego
9. Washington
10. Riverside - San Bernardino
11. Los Angeles
12. Seattle - Tacoma
13. St. Louis
14. Boston
15. Houston
16. Atlanta
17. Phoenix
18. Miami
19. Tampa
20. Chicago

SeeClickFix: Bringing Web 2.0 to a Pothole Near You

SeeClickFix is a new website that allows you to report and/or view complaints about your neighborhood. Or, in their own words, "SeeClickFix encourages residents to become citizens by participating in taking care of and improving their neighborhoods. We allow anyone to: See - see a non-emergency issue in your neighborhood Click - open a ticket describing the issue and what can be done to resolve it Fix - publicly report the issue to everyone for resolution."

Hey, I'm all for anything that allows me to complain more easily. What I really want to know is can I start taking pictures of the people and cars that annoy me on a daily basis? If I post it, will it go away?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Republican Hypocrisy

Thanks to Jon Stewart for giving us this witty look at the way Republicans talk from both sides of their mouths.

Scarification: The main criterion for the Presidency

John McCain just said that he has the record and the scars to prove it and Obama doesn't (referring to his time in Vietnam). Good to know, but I really need to know which one has the sexier tattoo before I cast my vote.

Republican Convention: A Platoon of Ideals

John McCain's latest idea on how to fight (um, I mean "prevent") a war. Ideals vs. bombs. Good plan, John.

Republican Convention: You can't win an occupation

Protesters at the Republican convention! Go go, women in pink.

Republican Convention: John McCain's video introduction

Is anyone else watching this video? It's terrible. The voice-over sounds like a parody of a bad movie preview. And the editing? The "joke" about him being a mama's boy fell flat.

I "Heart" Radio

It's true. I'm a big old geek for NPR, PRI, BBC Radio, KCRW, KEXP, and my local fave, KQED. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered this today: Crosscurrents. Crosscurrents focuses on local reporting, a subject too often overlooked by the major media outlets. They even invite listeners to call in with their stories.

Radio, as counterintuitive as it may seem to you, is a more immediate, accessible, and universal medium. You don't need a big flat screen plasma HD television with surround sound to enjoy Nina Totenberg. You need a small transistor radio and some batteries. It's easily more democratic than television. And, I think, radio forces us to be more imaginative and interactive and more engaged with the speaker and story. Frankly, I get 50% or more of my news from the radio.

If, however, you're more of a podcast person (which I totally understand), give Stitcher.com a try. Founded in San Francisco, Stitcher pulls together audio content and streams it, based on your preferences, to your iPod or computer. I have the application installed on my iPhone and I think it works really well.

Get out there and turn off the teevee and turn on the radio. If you can't think of anything to listen to, here are a few suggestions:

This American Life
Wait, Wait, Don't tell me
Car Talk
Morning Edition
The Diane Rehm Show
Morning Becomes Eclectic

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What to Read: Levi Johnston's Blog

You may know him as the father of Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's unborn love-grandchild. New York Magazine calls him "sex on skates." No matter what you think, he's the topic of many Alaskan dinner roundtable discussions this week. Enjoy this parody of his musings: levijohnston.com

"Welcome to the family, my boy! The next time your johnson gets in the way of my campaign, though, I'm going to show you a little trick I learned in Vietnam called 'Burn the Worm'."

mccain and baby daddy

Tuesday, September 2, 2008



It's official. I'm a .com now. Feel free to update you bookmarks if you want, but it's not necessary. Through the magic of Google, icedteaandsarcasm.blogspot.com will forward you to www.icedteaandsarcasm.com. Actually, it's more like a miracle. A veritable virgin birth if you will. Like Sarah Palin's grandchild-to-be.

Review: Jelly's

It's not the YMCA. It's not the Badlands. It's not even EQ3 on a Sunday afternoon. But, despite it's lack of flair and gay cachet, Jelly's is becoming the hottest new homo dance club in the city.

I went last Saturday with my boys and a bottle of Grey Goose between us. (Only the good stuff for us.) From the moment the bouncer patted me down with special attention, I knew I was in gay heaven. The dance floor was packed with hot guys, all cruising for attention, and dancing the forbidden dance. Wait. Was that the lambada? Okay, it was all about the salsa here. And I'm not talking condiments.

So, when your looking to break that Jackson that's been burning a hole in your pocket, but you still want some change left over to do laundry on Sunday. . . or if you just aren't sure how to burn off the excess blow you snarfed earlier in the day, head down to SOMA and take a ride on the Jellycoaster.

Sarah Palin Smackdown with Campbell Brown

Watch the spin, dodge, spin, dodge, feint, dodge, wriggle of Tucker Bounds, McCain campaign spokesperson, as he is questioned about Gov. Sarah Palin's qualifications.

Photoshop Wishes and Airbrush Dreams

Yes, I know it's not real. But, oh how I wish it were. It so perfectly encapsulates our Democratic fears and anxieties--not to mention a few unmentionable dreams. Don't tell my therapist.

Posting #501: Gratitude

My otter, my friend

Thanks to everyone who has visited and continues to visit "Iced Tea and Sarcasm." I hope the ramblings of my febrile mind and the thematic randomness of my blog hasn't been too cumbersome. What can I say? I'm large; I contain multitudes.

And, I must add a special shout-out to Magnolia, my most devoted reader. Thanks for all the comments and the continued devotion to reading this mess of mine.

Thanks again to you all.

Todd and his giant otter

Monday, September 1, 2008

Monterey aquarium

Rand and I drove to Monterey today to visit the aquarium and enjoy our last day of the 4-day weekend. I think the jellyfish were my favorite part (even though the otters were cute). The light and colors were great.

Afterward, we got some candy and drove to Carmel and walked barefoot on the beach. Then we had dinner outside at a little Mexican bistro. My carnitas were yummy.

I hope you had a good holiday too.

Third World: A Euphemism for Lazy?

It's warm. They have diamonds and bananas. And the Amazon (no, not the dot com). Add to that, lots of sunshine and a low-cost labor force, and you can see why I'm beginning to have my doubts about the categorization of these countries as "third world" as a way to explain their troubles.

Discuss among yourselves.