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Roundup: Pink Elephant Edition

September 10th, 2007 · 3 Comments · Activism, Books, Climate Change, Comics, Culture, Energy, Film, Foreign Policy, Health, History, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Internet, Journalism, Language, LGBT, Media, Music, Nature, News, Peace, Performance, Politics, Racism, Roundup, Science, Tech, Theater

pink elephants

  • General Petraeus says that “victory” in Iraq will require 9-10 more years. I’m trying to imagine how ten more years of bloody occupation can possibly work out to a victory. More on that subject here.
  • A bill has been introduced in Venezuela to restrict baby names to a list of 100 approved choices. “The bill’s ambition, according to a draft submitted to municipal offices here for review, is to ‘preserve the equilibrium and integral development of the child’ by preventing parents from giving newborns names that expose them to ridicule or are ‘extravagant or hard to pronounce in the official language,’ Spanish. The bill also aims to prevent names that ‘generate doubts’ about the bearer’s gender.” (In other words, it’s all rooted in conformity, xenophobia, and gender-based bigotry.)
  • Flour Power: Possibly the funniest news item of the past week. Clowns flummox Nazis at White Power rally! “‘White Power!’ the Nazis shouted, ‘White Flour?’ the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt ‘White Flour’.” It’s like an outtake from Yellow Submarine.
  • This is funny, too, if a little below the belt. (Still, with Chris Matthews getting all worked up about Fred Thompson’s supposed sex appeal, this helps put things in perspective.)
  • Will there finally be justice for the Jena Six?
  • A sign of the times.
  • THE PINK SECTION: I’m late on this (let’s just say I’m running on gay time), but last week there was some interesting discussion about who might be next in the lengthening line of closeted gay-yet-anti-gay Republicans to come stumbling out of the closet (or stall) door, in the wake of Bob Allen and Larry Craig. Michelangelo Signorile wrote: “If the rumors about other Republicans are true — or not — then there is even more reason now, in the post-Larry Craig Republican Party, for them to be investigated. So let’s have a real investigation of the rumors about South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who, like Larry Craig until shortly after the gay rumors reached a crescendo in the 80s, is, at the age of 52, unmarried, and has been rumored to be gay for years. Like Larry Craig, Graham has voted antigay — including for the federal marriage amendment — while people in South Carolina and Washington have discussed what some say is an open secret for a long, long time.”
  • Signorile also mentions the long-running rumors about California Republican Congressman David Dreier whom he interviewed on his radio show: “Dreier not only refused to address the rumors but then wouldn’t respond when I asked, simply, ‘So, you are heterosexual?’ (‘I am not going to answer that,’ he said.)”
  • Meanwhile, AmericaBlog weighed in with speculation as to whether Lindsay Graham might be violating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, with a bonus Dumbo video (the dance of the pink elephants).
  • And Pam Spaulding on why Mitch McConnell seems awfully, er, nervous about all this, and appears to be offering Larry Craig some tea and sympathy …
  • THE GREEN SECTION: “The Arctic ice cap has collapsed.”
  • The Independent on the continued hunting of polar bears, which may be heading toward extinction: “Yet rich Westerners are paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of shooting an animal whose very existence is already threatened by environmental disaster.”
  • Also, an update on how palm oil plantations are wiping out orangutans, by destroying their rainforest habitat. Less than 25,000 wild orangutans are left in southeast Asia, down from an earlier population of 300,000.
  • Huge solar power plants bloom in the desert.
  • Disappearing bee update: Colony collapse disorder may be caused by a virus.
  • British keeping a close eye on how supermarkets are wasting plastic bags. It would be nice if the US would get more conscious of this: It’s disturbing how grocery store baggers will put one or two items in a separate plastic bag inside yet another plastic bag, apparently to protect your groceries from touching each other or something. (Because your jar of peanut butter might start screaming out loud if moisture from your bag of frozen broccoli gets on it.)
  • BOOKS: This sounds like an interesting read: Proust and the Squid looks at the history of reading in an attempt to explore how the brain processes written language.
  • FILM: Sean Penn signed to play Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant’s forthcoming film about San Francisco’s martyred hero of the gay rights movement.
  • MUSIC: Heaven knows I’m a musical now … Yes, Morrissey is about to get the Mamma Mia treatment.
  • HEALTH: One fourth of HIV patients feel stigmatized by their doctors.
  • New study shows food additives such as colorings increase hyperactivity in kids.
  • TECH: Germany is warning its citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi because of possible health risks. “Germany’s official radiation protection body also advises its citizens to use landlines instead of mobile phones, and warns of ‘electrosmog’ from a wide range of other everyday products, from baby monitors to electric blankets. The German government’s ruling – which contrasts sharply with the unquestioning promotion of the technology by British officials – was made in response to a series of questions by Green members of the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament. The Environment Ministry recommended that people should keep their exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi ‘as low as possible’ by choosing ‘conventional wired connections’.”
  • COMICS: Opus: Petraeus, the musical! And Tom Tomorrow: What should be happening now that Magical September is here.
  • Mike Luckovich: the secret to a well-coordinated message.
  • Candorville: trying to talk to the mainstream media.
  • Slowpoke: a primer on basic mining — and a creative new approach!
  • And a comic strip guide to what’s happening in Darfur.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • gadgetgirl

    I don’t quite know how to feel about Morrissey the musical. Surprised? Violated? Excited? Sad? Indifferent? I just have this image of an entire audience of aging goths holding up cell phones swaying and singing ‘There is Light’ . But man, I WANT one of the t-shirts. They’ll be brilliant!!!

  • Ocelopotamus

    It’s either the best idea in the world or the worst idea in the world and it all depends on the execution. Skillfully done, I think it might turn out shockingly well. There’s always been something a little showtuney (in a good way) about Morrissey’s style, and if his songs were given a setting that’s appropriately witty and refined, I think it could be very good. On the other hand, if the show is broad and button-pushing and all about trying to create a cartoonish Mamma Mia-style spectacle — which seems the most likely prospect, unfortunately — then it will be appalling.

  • Sherry

    Electrosmog: I plan on using that word (?) in a sentence tomorrow. Maybe something like this:

    “Maria, be careful on your way to school this morning, according to the technology report, there is a high amount of electrosmog in the air.”

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