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Archive for July, 2006

Gibson Gets the Hitchens Treatment

Monday, July 31st, 2006

By now we all know that Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving the other night, and during his arrest he supposedly made some unseemly comments about Jews. Finally, the question of is-he-or-isn’t-he an anti-semite can be put to rest — at least for Christopher Hitchens, who dedicates much circumlocutious verbosity to obliterating the star of “What Women Want”.

Whether Gibson tries this last catch-penny profanity or not, it is time to lower the boom on him. Those who endorsed his previous obscene blockbuster are obliged to say something now or be ignored ever after. But this should not be yet another spectacle of the “offensive” and the “inappropriate,” swiftly succeeded by rehab and repentance and perhaps—who knows?—a joint press conference with Elie Wiesel.

I certainly don’t disagree that Gibson’s outburst was reprehensible, not to mention completely odd (Who the hell would ever think of screaming “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” during a drunk driving arrest, except for a lunatic?). But I did not like Hitchens’ article in the least. Is this what this man has stooped to? Personal, ad hominem attacks? Critiques of Gibson’s other films, including Braveheart and the Patriot because they are — wait for it — anti-British? I used to appreciate some of Hitchens’ articles, but now they read like the transcriptions of a mean drunk sputtering to himself in a corner.

Nonetheless, this incident has proven that Gibson has anti-semitic sentiments, and this will undoubtedly hurt his career, as it should. If there’s one thing Hollywood can’t stand, it’s an anti-semite or a HUAC narc; a pedophilic rapist, however — sure, as long as he’s a genius.

Lest we forget, Marlon Brando wasn’t ostracized for his anti-semitic comments on Larry King Live. But it’s hard to be ostracized when you already own your own private island. Note to Gibson: Buy your own island; that way, the mean ol’ Jews won’t be able to get you — unless they declare war on you, the threat of which would undoubtedly haunt your dreams for eternity.

Because I Lack Basically All Self-Control

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

I was in your damn class, deb. Idiot.

Proof

I Had No Idea These Guys Were Still Around

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

In the 7/20 ODE, there’s this little gem from the Students for a Democratic Society. It’s formatted as an open letter to Das Frohn, and urges him to refuse DoD funding for University research. Right. Well, at least they managed to slip “eschew” in there, I have to give them props for that.

For those of you who don’t know, SDS was one of many anti-war groups in the 1960s. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being anti-war, but as an outgrowth of the early 20th century radical socialist movement, SDS picked a bit of an ironic name for itself. David Horowitz, former revolutionary and current right-wing ideologue, has quite a bit to say about his radical days, none of it good.

SDS were the sort of people who were actively rooting for the Viet Cong, and their ideological successors at International ANSWER and the Worker’s World Party have defended the actions of everyone from Stalin to Kim Jong Il. Not to mention Pol Pot, fans of Pol Pot they are. By their own admission, SDS were rooting for the totalitarian forces of South East Asia in the 1960s, and it’s somewhat hilarious that their revival movement is reduced to quibbling about grant money in 2006. Or maybe it means that I was right about the Red Menace all along.

Frisch Out Of A Job

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

Yesterday, the Register Guard reported that former UO Psychology professor Deborah Frisch resigned from her post at the University of Arizona due to flak the school received after she posted a number of psychotic hostile ramblings to the blog www.proteinwisdom.com. What exactly did Frisch write? The Register Guard reports:

“You live in Colorado, I see. Hope no one Jon-Benets your baby … If some nutcase kidnapped your child tomorrow and did to her what was done to your fellow Coloradan, Jon-Benet Ramsey, I wouldn’t give a damn … If I woke up tomorrow and learned that someone else had shot you and your tyke, it wouldn’t slow me down one iota. You aren’t human to me.”

The Guard doesn’t bother to quote the rest of her post:

Give your pathetic progeny (I sure hope that mofo got good genes from his mama!) a big fat tongue-filled kiss from me! LOTS AND LOTS OF SALIVA from Auntie MOONBAT, if you don’t mind! …

I am SHAKING, I tell you, SHAKING!!! in my boots at the prosect at an FBI and/or state police trooper tromping down my driveway to see if I was a threat to the progeny of the pissant name of Jeff “pissant” Goldstein of the pathetic, neutered, sissified, state of Colorado. …

Wanna escalate this game. Fine wit me.

(more…)

Westmoreland Sale Approved

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

I didn’t see this until today since I haven’t been reading local news sources lately, but the Westmoreland sale has been approved by the OUS board and will move forward:

Student residents will not have to move out; O’Connell has said he will continue to market the complex to students and plans to keep rents below market level. He also plans to put $1 million into improving the property.

The vote came after UO President Dave Frohnmayer told the board the university will increase the compensation it will pay to current and former Westmoreland residents. Students who left after the plan to sell the 404-unit complex was announced in October or who leave before the deal closes will receive $300 to help cover moving expenses, up from the $150 previously offered.

That’s on top of the two-year rent freeze for students who stay at Westmoreland under the new owner, waiver of application fees to move back into the complex and assistance with child care costs for former Westmoreland residents.

The UO appears to have compensated the students affected abotu as well as anyone could hope for. Personally, I hope they build a Winco on the property after the two years are up.

Purely Informational

Monday, July 17th, 2006

Current members of The Commentariat, old friends, former staffers still suffering in Eugene, and other denizens of my former stomping grounds: I shall be in town this weekend. I’m occupied Saturday and Sunday morning, but I should be free Sunday evening. I was thinking Northbank at 8pm 9pm, but this may be subject to change. Email if you desire ye olde phone number for planning purposes. Barring that, I should see y’all then.

“Fourplay” Actually Just Self-Righteous Intellectual Masturbation

Friday, July 14th, 2006

When the Emerald premiered its cleverly-titled “Fourplay” section, I distinctly recall catching a telling whiff of the musky aroma of desperation and intellectual stagnancy. The naughty innuendo, the perky layout, the “tailored-to-my lifestyle” features were all a clarion cry for help, asking, no, begging us to not skip straight to the sudoku after laughing off the latest commentary drivel. Well, thanks to Fourplay Columnist Carrie Packwood Freeman’s newly premiered column “The Ethics Behind:…” we are now graced by uninformed yet wholly self-satisfied musings on the ethical failings of others instead of the usual parade of AP news brief regurgitation. Normally this would come as good news to a Commentator Editor with an unquenchable thirst for more Spew content, except that for her first column, Ms. Packwood Freeman has decided to tackle the ethical issues of printing religious cartoons, and in the process utterly conflates Commentator content with that of the Insurgent, which makes for great holier-than-thou lecturing, but ultimately creates media ethics issues of its own.

In the very first paragraph of her column, Ms. Packwood Freeman assigns identical intentions to the Insurgent’s “Aroused Jesus” cartoons and our own publication of the Jyllands-Posten’s Muhammed cartoons, saying that “The intent of both… was to push the envelope and be overtly sacrilegious, demonstrating that religion, which has some harmful social consequences, does not deserve a special status that makes it immune to satire or criticism.” While this was certainly the general intent of the Insurgents project, and possibly that of the Jyllands-Posten’s cartoonists, had Ms. Packwood Freeman taken a moment to read the editorial accompanying our publication of the Muhammed cartoons, she would have realized that our intent was, in fact, unambiguously more than simple provocation. Here’s what she missed:

First, what prompted us to print the cartoons was not the controversy itself, nor any affinity with the unnecessary inflammation of religious unrest, but rather the fact that two student editors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne’s Daily Illini were suspended for printing the cartoons, making the issue one that required soul-searching by any self-respecting college publication. After editorial discussion and reflection, the decision was made to print the cartoons in an act of solidarity with those whose free expression was limited by taking on the issue.

Second, our editorial touches only briefly on the religiously provocative nature of the cartoons, and even then, the issue for us was always a question of free expression rather than making any kind of “statement” on religions place in society. We did admit that “the publication you hold in your hands is designed to provoke– that cat has long been out of the bag and is now feral, roaming the hillsides.” Without getting into the ethical issues of colorful metaphor, we made it clear that the religious critique had been made (and the resulting riots had taken place), and that our intention was to comment on the larger debate which was then raging around the world regarding the balance between state, religion and press.

Third, although our position was clearly a defense of open society and free expression, we were careful to point out the fact that the experiment of creating an open society was “an excruciating, ongoing struggle with itself” which we firmly see ourselves as a part of. Referencing Malcolm X’s vision of Islam as “a brotherhood of humankind in which all are welcome, regardless of race or socio-economic class, humbly experiencing their humanity in one another’s presence,” we go on to say that “(this) Islam is as much a legacy of Muhammed as is the insensate violence that grabs the headlines– and it is up for debate which Islam future historians will remember as the true one.”

Sadly, this endless blog post would not have been at all necessary had Ms. Packwood Freeman taken a moment to actually read our page and a half editorial. Apparently, there was little self-reflection on the part of Ms. Packwood Freeman as to the consequences of writing a column which criticizes the ethical practices of others, as she should surely have realized that everyone loves to see the holier-than-thou fail miserably at meeting the standards they so eagerly apply to others. As Editor-In-Chief of the Commentator for the 2006-07 school year, let me be the first to welcome Ms. Packwood Freeman to the campus debate, and let her know that if she is to be the ethical sage for our public discourse fishbowl, she had best bring her “A” game each and every week… and failing that, to at least read what she happens to be criticizing.

Welcome to the jungle Carrie, I get the feeling it’s gonna be a long year!

“Modern Times” and “21st Century Socialism”

Sunday, July 9th, 2006

Hugo Chavez clearly needs to get some new talent for his propaganda department, because apparently the evils of “Savage Capitalism” are  best  spoonfed to the masses with the powerful cultural force of the Charlie Chaplin flick “Modern Times”, according to this. Hugo, baby, you’re a populist with centralizing tendencies and regional aspirations… either take the high road and show everyone the next film Chaplin made, “The Great Dictator“, or make your own goddamn propaganda.

Get Rich Quick Scheme #48531: “You Know, I’m Bald Too!”

Friday, July 7th, 2006
Am I Seeing Double?!?!?

A Portland, Ore., man is suing Michael Jordan because, he says, he’s often mistaken for the basketball superstar and is tired of it.

Allen Heckard is also suing Nike founder Phil Knight for making Jordan one of the most recognized men in the world, KGW-TV, Portland, reports.

He’s asking for a combined $832 million — $416 million each.

“I’m constantly being accused of looking like Michael and it makes it very uncomfortable for me,” Heckard said.

Heh.

I Am Not A Mindless Jingoist, But I Am A Shameless Self-Promoter

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

Obligitory July 4th posting is here.

This Internet is Not a Truck. It’s a Blog Post.

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

So I thought I’d post this on the Commentator’s Internet. This Internet by Wired News shows how Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) sometimes receives his Internets late:

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

What is causing this delay in Internets? Why, other people sending Internets, of course. These rogue Internet senders are dumping things onto the Internet, confusing it for a truck. Senator Stevens corrects these morons, reminding his colleagues just what the Internet is:

And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck.

It’s a series of tubes.

And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

As Stevens tells it, the Internet is a series of tubes that other Internets are sent down. And apparently, there’s absolutely no way to regulate what ratio of Internets goes down the tubes. So when Ted Stevens forgets his Suicide Girls password and needs it Interneted to him, there’s a good chance it will get stuck.

Of course, people who actually understand how the Internet works realize that the flow of content in the “tubes” is already regulated by most ISPs through packet prioritization– and this is A Good Thing. A University like UO can make sure that BitTorrent traffic, for instance, isn’t crowding out the all-important transmission of horse porn spam. This is lost on Stevens who, as you would imagine, has the scruples of a chav with knife in hand.

Oh, and for a good laugh, listen to this stuttering yokel speak.