10:48 PM Sep 29, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Remember, this is just one of those things that we are supposed to accept and respect about different cultures, and to approach without prejudice.

11:04 AM Sep 25, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Man-oh-man! Life imitates art!


10:52 AM Sep 25, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Lileks put up a new matchbook today, and I thought it might be of interest to my Cincinnati peeps.

Any of you old timers ever visit this place?


3:54 PM Sep 24, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Angel premeres October 1st. Spike is back, as well as Harmony.

Here's the link to WB

12:02 PM Sep 24, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Tim Blair has some High Cut News Briefs

• An insect-eating mammal formerly believed extinct has turned up in Cuba. Incredibly, the creature is 96% literate.
More funny stuff.

11:02 AM Sep 23, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

As you may have guessed, I am not a PBS man.

When I was in collage, of course, I watched it in the evenings in order to catch 'Monty Python', 'Good Neighbors' and shows of that ilk. But as I grew older I drifted away, mostly because their content shifted into another direction as well. Ultimately, I never looked at that column of the TV schedule.

Luckily, my wife pays more attention.

We've been watching Mystery! Inspector Linley and enjoying them quite a bit. I've read a few of these novels, and found them a bit dark for my taste, but Donna loves them.

We have found the presentations true to the spirit of the books, though their choice of actresses for both Helen and Havers differs so wildly from their literary namesakes it makes us wonder if the director was even familiar with the characters. The mysteries are truly mysterious and the atmosphere both sordid and fun.

If they are playing where you are, set your VCR and enjoy them. If you like that sort thing, you should like this sort of thing.

5:23 PM Sep 22, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Sister Mike sends the following email:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by its slef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Hvae a gaert dya!

Sounds good to me! Of course, it helps that 1) we know the syntax and grammer and 2) we expect the result to be English.

10:41 AM Sep 18, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

I'm off site for the rest of today, so there won't be any posts. (Yeah, so what else is new?)

But go read the Bleat

I’ve read enough editorials from various papers from this period to reinforce something I’ve long suspected: the reason many editorialists hate this war is because they don’t feel it’s theirs.

Dark Tower

11:25 AM Sep 17, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Last Sunday, I was over at Chris's with my regular every-other-Sunday gaming group playing Iron Kingdoms.

(If, by this point this makes no sense to you, skip this post.)

Anyway, at one point, I don't remember why, Frank and I started humming the exact same dischordant little tune, which we both knew because it was from this great game called Dark Tower that we used to play back in collage when we all lived in an apartment together during the summer break. The game belonged to Greg, and we played it off and on all summer long.

Other, younger, or less experienced gamers at the table wondered what the hell we were doing, so we launched into an extensive digression about the game, trying to describe Dark Tower to those poor benighted souls that had never played it.

Today, it's the subject of a Bleat. Apparently, Lileks played it during college when he and his friends shared an appartment.

Perhaps, you may be saying to yourself, Lileks is part of my gaming group. Or, better yet, that I am the mysterious and ellusive Giant Swede! Outed at last!

Nah. It's just one of those very strange convergences of his life and my own that I've noticed over the years. What is this guy, my evil twin?

If you are curious about this game, here's a link.

10:10 PM Sep 16, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

The religion of peace...

"Basically we've forgiven the man who's done this. We pray he turns his life to Allah. Allah has given us peace, but it's still not easy
Except it ain't Allah

But this is.

Call to Action

12:02 PM Sep 16, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Please Oppose the International Solidarity Movement's Planned Conference at Ohio State University

Thumbs up: LGF

5:20 PM Sep 15, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Alfred? Are you still out there? Please write and tell me why the NGO's are bailing on Iraq?

I do not wish to demean the value of relief workers and their contributions. But let's face the truth: Any success in rebuilding Iraq would undermine the widely diffused ideological presumption of relief organizations and many international agencies that powerful nation-states cannot provide the impetus for decent change or even real relief among suffering pre-industrial and pre-modern populations.

5:13 PM Sep 15, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Here's something to make you roll your eyes and say "G-d help me!"

Appeals Court Delays Calif. Recall Vote

Great! Six more months of this crap!

5:39 PM Sep 12, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Just another wonderful 9/11 post. This time over at Vodka Pundit

I'll keep posting links as I find them

A Joke

4:52 PM Sep 12, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Last night, on Tough Crowd (a terrific show on Comedy Central that I urge you all to watch) they had Christopher Hitchens on!

Now, this show usually has only comedians on, and Christopher Hitchens is a wonderfully terrific writer and commentator, whose politics and opinions I alternatively like and dislike, but he isn’t known as a writer of humor or a comedian. (In fact, his recent scathing ”eulogy” of Bob Hope makes me wonder if he even has a sense of humor.)

Anyway, Hitch was on the show and Colin was absolutely fawning over him, deferring to him, because, obviously, he’s the smartest guy in the room and was saying really positive things about what the US is doing in Iraq. Then, he told the following joke:

An Irishman needs work, so he goes to a worksite to ask a foreman for a job. The foreman looks at him like he’s a peasant, which is what he looks like, and asks him a question. “All right, I’ll give you a job if you can tell me the difference between a girder and a joist.”

The Irishman thinks for a second, and then says “Well, one wrote ‘Faust’ and the other wrote ‘Finnegans Wake.’"

Not a single person, other than Colin, got it. There wasn’t a laugh in the house. Sad, really.

4:22 PM Sep 12, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

As you probably know by now, the actor John Ritter died yesterday on the set of his hit TV show "8 Simple Rules..."

I've always enjoyed Ritter's talents as an actor and a comedian. I'll miss him, and the enjoyment he's given me over the years.

Meanwhile, this guy's still around.

Update: A tribute.

4:13 PM Sep 12, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Larry Miller is one of those guys that you recognize when you see him but you may not remember his name.

He appears fairly regularly as a character actor on some TV shows. Here's his resume at IMDB.

He wrote a very touching editorial yesterday. Go read it.

Thanks LGF!

Friday after prayers...

4:07 PM Sep 12, 2003by Rob Ritchie

LGF reports that Palestinians Stone Israelis at Temple Mount

About what you'd expect.

In case you were wondering...

1:16 PM Sep 12, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Osama is DEAD! That video was pathetic. Some old footage of the guy hoofing around on some rocks, with at voice-over from another guy?

Please, al Qaeda, pull the plug on this right now. Just admit that we killed your glorious leader. You'll feel better having come clean.

Are You a 'September 10 American'?

12:49 PM Sep 12, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Lawrence F. Kaplan asks "How did fighting terrorism become a Republican cause?"

If you really wish to know what someone thinks about the war on terror, however, that person's opinions about Monica Lewinsky and the Florida recount offer a more reliable guide. Were the cause something other than self-preservation, these cleavages might not mean so much. But when a global war becomes the exclusive property of one political party--and is treated, increasingly, as a touch-me-not by the other party--the whole enterprise risks forfeiting its legitimacy.
In addition, Andrew Sullivan writes
[Bush is] currently the only leader in this country who actually gets the depth of our predicament and the need for innovative, enterprising and ruthless action to improve it. The paradox is that the more he succeeds and the more the threat of terror recedes, the more his opponents will take the calm as evidence that nothing much has to be done, that nothing much has been done, that America, by acting, is the real source of world conflict, and that retreat and amnesia are the cure-alls.

6:47 PM Sep 11, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Thanks to LGF

Two years later....

6:37 PM Sep 11, 2003by Rob Ritchie

If you read only one Bleat this week, read this one.

Then read this.

The look at this.

...and again

12:18 PM Sep 11, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Remember, this is one of those cultural differences that we are supposed to respect and excuse, even if it seems strange or foreign.

11:19 PM Sep 10, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Two Years On, A Weary Nation Takes Stock

We are a different nation.

12:03 PM Sep 10, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Andrew Sullivan attacks Fred Kaplan's anti-Bush spinning:

Almost a year ago this week, the president extended his hand to the U.N. Or doesn't that count? It makes you wish that the Bush of Kaplan's fevered imagination had simply ignored the U.N., gone into Iraq a few months after Afghanistan, given Saddam much less chance to prepare, and our rivals in Europe less of a chance to keep the terror-masters informed. At least then Bush would have deserved some of this now fashionable obloquy. But no good strategy goes un-attacked, does it? A useful lesson, this, about some foreign policy liberals. Ignore them: they'll attack you. Do what they want: they'll attack you anyway. If it means a grotesque distortion of history, so be it.
Go, and Read

Don't pick sides

10:30 AM Sep 10, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Lileks discusses Dean and his recent remark that the US shouldn't pick sides in Israel's terror war:

When we read a story about an emergency-room doctor blown up with his daughter, and we read about people pouring into the streets to celebrate the doctor's death, we should look deep into our hearts and find that most precious commodity: eternal forebearance of Jew-killers.
Read it all.

BUZZZ!!! Nice try, thanks for playing!

6:41 PM Sep 8, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Yesterday, the Guardian published their predictions of what Bush's address to the nation would contain:

George Bush will attempt tonight to convince the American people that he has a workable 'exit strategy' to free his forces from the rapidly souring conflict in Iraq, as Britain prepares to send in thousands more troops to reinforce the faltering coalition effort.

What maroons! Read the rest, then compare it with what the president actually said:

America has done this kind of work before. Following World War II, we lifted up the defeated nations of Japan and Germany, and stood with them as they built representative governments. We committed years and resources to this cause. And that effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of friendship and peace. America today accepts the challenge of helping Iraq in the same spirit -- for their sake, and our own.

6:21 PM Sep 8, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Who is David Warren, and why does he feel the need to explain? I know nothing about his story of conversion, but his words are clear and heartfelt, and ring true.

The Reason Why

Thanks Nancy!

Firefly Movie

5:19 PM Sep 5, 2003by Rob Ritchie

They are going to make a movie of Firefly!

This was a wonderful show from last year that was cancelled (unfairly) after a few episodes.

I am so stoked!

Johnny Depp Strikes Back

2:13 PM Sep 5, 2003by Rob Ritchie

I am reassigning the category of this story to "Media Mendacity" based this response by Johnny Depp:

"What I was saying was that, compared to Europe, America is a very young country and we are still growing as a nation," he said. "My deepest apologies to those who were offended, affected, or hurt by this insanely twisted deformation of my words and intent."
I'm going to take his words at face value. He seems like an intelligent man and if he was making an extended metaphor, it might have been more than the Stern reporter could grasp.

Plus, no doubt, the reporter wanted to print another story of an American who says bad stuff about his country.

When a media outlet takes stuff out of context, it isn't fair to hold it against the person.

They do it all the time to Dubya, and I hate it then too.

10:49 AM Sep 5, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Lileks is discussing times gone by:

...if you have to excrete down a hole into a buzzing pile and wear burlap pants, you have a difficult time convincing me that those were the good old days.
Plus, he responds to someone who accuses him of being an Angry White Male. Go Read!

11:24 PM Sep 4, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Finally, a celebrity with brains!

"Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that," she said.

Don't you wish Michael Moore was more like her?

7:12 PM Sep 4, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

OK, this was stuck at the bottom Reynold's post referenced earlier, but it's so great, it gets a promotion.

Why Buffy Kicked Ass

Buffy assumes and enacts the consensus moral understanding of contemporary American culture, the moral understanding that the wise men ignored or forgot. This understanding depends on no particular religious tradition. It’s informed not by revelation but by experience. It is inclusive and humane, without denying distinctions or the tough facts of life. There are lots of jokes in Buffy -- humor itself is a moral imperative -- but no psychobabble and no excuses.
Read. Enjoy.


7:02 PM Sep 4, 2003by Rob Ritchie

Electric Venom says that The World Needs More Resentful Feminists

Read it and see if you don't agree. Instapundit asks:

Why don't we hear more of this kind of thing from feminists?

Attackers kill eight in Pakistan

5:23 PM Sep 4, 2003by Rob Ritchie

The dead included four children. The victims were sleeping in a courtyard when the attackers sprayed them with bullets from assault rifles. Many poor villagers sleep outside to stay cool during Pakistan's intensely hot summers.
Honor killings are simply one of the many customs we need to respect in a culture that is different, but not inferior, to our own.

5:10 PM Sep 4, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

In a seemingly never-ending attack on the peoples of the developing world, certain ecologically-minded crazies wish to deny them flush toilets.

via Instapundit

2:24 PM Sep 3, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

I respect Johnny Depp's skills as an actor, and he's made some movies that I really like.

But this article is an example of what happens when a celebrity's pride in his abilities and opinions become overweaning.

"America is dumb, it's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive"
On one hand, I blame the press for asking his opinion on issues upon which he is not an expert. I'll bet there are plenty of ex-pat businessmen and spouses and plumbers (ok, maybe not plumbers) they could ask for opinions, but they go to celebrities, as if their status somehow gives them greater insight into world events than the hoi polloi.

I'm not saying that Johnny Depp isn't entitled to an opinion. But come on, does "America is Dumb" seem so sagacious, so penetrating, so illuminating that it actually needs to see print?

Or is it just some facile dribble from someone who feels his opinions must conform to the expectations of the European artistes who surround him?

Ah, this is just becoming another one of those "Hollywood stars are idiots" rants you can find almost anywhere on the Internet.

But I really am curious as to what motivates celebrities to say exactly what a magazine wants them to, regardless of how it makes them look or how it reflects on their intelligence.

Update: New Information

2:17 PM Sep 3, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

OK, I know I shouldn't find this funny, but I do:

Islamic Terror Midget
Some of the comments are hilarious too.

6:07 PM Sep 2, 2003

by Rob Ritchie

Your opinion of the 10 Commandments debate depends on where you get your news...

The New York Times bears false witness

As the monument was trundled away Wednesday morning, if you were unlucky enough to be watching TV, you saw that all the 24-hour news cameras stayed focused on that one guy who went berserk, screaming insanely, spraying saliva into the sunlight, apoplectic -- and oh, so photogenic. The majority of protesters, who just stood there praying calmly, did not make for compelling video, and therefore did not get on your TV screen.

Who said cameras don't lie?