The big ratings news last week was that CNN's coverage of the
Democratic candidates' prime-time debate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
was the most watched debate in cable news history, with 4.9 million
viewers. The previous high in overall audience was notched by the
CNN/YouTube Republican Debate on Nov. 28, with 4.3 million....
On Jan. 1, a huge college football bowl day, CNN introduced
wall-to-wall coverage of the candidates in Iowa under the title Ballot
Bowl. By Jan. 6, viewership was up by 34 percent over regular
Finally, CNN gets to the heart of the real news. So that's where out hirsuite friends of the forest have been hiding. Note how Anderson Cooper plays dumb, like he doesn't know all the precies morphological differences between Sasquatch and Yeti.
I think Dana Milbank's satire about the DC patois might deserve it's own coinage. Since he left the White House press corps, Milbank's been making bemused but incisive observations about the alternate universe that is Bush's Washington. Here's the latest, from The Atlantic Monthly.
as modern French-speakers who travel to Quebec often find the dialect of French
Canadians to be archaic and quaint, English-speakers who visit Washington, D.C.,
are frequently bemused by the language spoken there. Though the Potomac dialect
shares the alphabet and grammar of English, it has a vocabulary all its own. A
few examples of Potomac phrases, followed by their English equivalents:
have great respect for the senior senator. I
am about to drill my elderly colleague a new one.
have full confidence in his integrity. We will
cut him loose by nightfall.
don’t pay attention to the polls. My
job-approval rating is 32 percent.
… The following statement is false.
are either with us or against us. You are
identified weapons of mass destruction–related program activities. We could not find any weapons of mass
president has always said … The president is
announcing a new position.
am the decider. My authority is in
am a commander guy. My authority is all but
should not be a political issue. My party has
a winning political issue.
time to stop playing politics. The other party
has a winning political issue.
of dead-enders are trying to reconstitute. The
enemy is winning.
in the last throes, if you will. The enemy has
is my last choice. The bombing begins in three
American people don’t want open-ended fishing expeditions. A member of my party is being investigated for
must fulfill its constitutional oversight obligation. A member of the other party is being investigated for
will continue to do the people’s business. I
expect to be indicted.
The Zombie Zeitgeist A full scale movement is on the lurch. But why the best zombie movie ever made a video game?
Believer interview with Mark Allen Digital artist and awesome gallerist Mark Allen talks about Tekken Torture Tournament and other projects where people were wired to machines and did strange things in public.
Believer interview with Marjane Satrapi Enlightening Q & A with the Persian cartoonist, memoirist, quick conversationalist in which she declares: “THE WORLD IS NOT ABOUT BATMAN AND ROBIN FIGHTING THE JOKER; THINGS ARE MORE COMPLICATED THAN THAT.”
Yeti Researcher Yet another 100-page issue of the world's top academic journal devoted scholarship about the Yeti, Bigfoot, Sasqatch, and other mystery primates worldwide. For researchers and lay audiences alike, the latest YR features a history of Sasquatch sightings in southern California, an update on the wily orang pendek of Sumatra, and a new look into Teddy Roosevelt's obsession with bagging a Bigfoot. As Editor-in-Chief, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Panda PowerPoint! I guess I don't mind being "the entertainment" when it's at Mark Allen's second annual Holiday Fry-B-Que. Presented: preliminary findings from my ongoing research into the most charismatic megafauna of all: Giant Pandas.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Dec 9, 2006 For those who missed it, there will be more. World, Explained is going strong! Money was raised, laughs were had, and for those paying attention, small amounts of useful information about things like the aurora borealis were transmitted. Plus: Michael Cera = lovably funny. And Nick Diamonds' renditions of Dumb Dog and Hanging Tough are still in my head. As is that horribly catchy Fresh Step jam.
Jest Fest at Skylight Books Somehow I wound up hosting the 10th anniversary jubilee for Infinite Jest at Skylight Books. Because who doesn't love a jubilee, right? Despite being delirious with Hepatitis A (that's the mild, non-lethal kind; I'm not at risk for Hep B since I always go the needle share and choose clean-looking prostitutes), I managed to not mis-pronounce anyone's name and make an erudite joke and poke gentle fun at Michael Silverblatt.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | June 10, 2006 Number Three! Last one was sold out so we moved to a slightly larger theater. Andy Richter hosted, and his opening exegesis of CSI: Miami warmed the people up right. Evany Thomas presented her very scientific findings on the Secret Language of Sleep; Starlee Kine bared her neuroses to the world (or at least the 300 people in the audience); Josh Davis showed video of his 135-lb self sumo wrestling a 550-lb opera singer from San Bernardino; and Davy Rothbart closed it out with some Found Magazine magic. Grant Lee Phillips, Sam Shelton and Zooey Deschanel provided the music punctuation! I can still hear their rendition of We Are the Champions.
McSweeny's Presents: The World, Explained | Feb 11, 2006 The second in our series of precision comedy and fact-based entertainment extravaganzas benefiting 826LA. Patton Oswalt was kind enough to host, and Jon Brion joined in on the piano and guitar as thematic accompaniment. Presenters included: David Rees, Michael Colton, John Hodgman (along with his hirsuit troubadour, Jonathan Coulton), and me. Plus: a fashion show of exciting multi-user garmentry.
Little Gray Book Lecture at Galapagos How to Observe President's Day. Jonathan Coulton's technical wizardry has made this entire show available online. The summary from PRX: Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman and Joshuah Bearman on Presidents' Day, along with a fifteen-piece marching band and a new song about all forty-three presidents. My contribution? Yes, from Yeti Researcher. Again. Actually that was the first one. So I have only five stories!
July 25: TJ to LA -- A Night McSweeney's Readings I was honored to be part of a strange triptych along with Salvador Plascencia and Josh Kun. Sponsored, somehow, by La Ciudad magazine, we all packed into Beyond Baroque with no air conditions. 150 people showed at 7 o'clock on a Friday evening, which we took as a good sign of something. Sal held up and anxiously discussed drawings from his novel, Josh delivered an essay on the Dr. Moreau of Tijuana, and my shtick (again) was Pac Man and metaphysics, this time with fun slides.
October 8th: Skylight Books w/Stephen Elliott Fun times were had by all. Someone in the audience actually mistook me for an expert on the psychology human character. We ate shrimp cocktail and drank cheap wine and laughed at Bush and celebrated the certainty of right besting wrong in American democracy. A lot of good that did.