sidebar 2005.09.24
It's not as though Ahnold wasn't active in politics or anything.

Why is it that I can be continously morally bullied by actors interested in leftist politics, thanks to a completely uncritical media, but when a wealthy famous person, also an actor, wins a partyless election (yes, thanks to party support), it's as if the world is turned upside-down with the absurdity of it all? Celebs don't get criticized unless they're on the government dime, I guess.

Really the only difference is that the media reflexively embrace whatever's put out by the hired PR people of celebs, and reflexively eschew the PR from elected officials as spin.

Ventura was a better governor, though-- he was essentially a voter-revolt candidate like Perot, and he actually acted in the direction of small government, something one can't even ask of a Republican these days.
--LAN3 Sat Sep 24 21:52:07 2005
Celebrity brings a certain amount of power. I think people are rightfully distrustful of that power being used as a soapbox vs. that power being used as leverage in an election. It's disenguous to pain the difference as "being on the government's dime" vs not.

And also, the fact that Schwarzenegger was known for stupid movies in which he was cast (at least at the begining) sheerly for having a huge amount of muscle kind of heightens the oddness of it.

I haven't paid too much attention but it seems Schwarzenegger is a decent, moderate politician...I like that many Rebublicans feel he's a Democrat in Republican clothing (especially given the new old saw Republicans Can't Lead, Democrats Can't Get Elected, esp. on the national level).

Ventura seemed more or less ok as a populist politician, though I didn't observe him very closely. I guess I'm partially swayed by Garrison Keillor's criticism of him. (Including the pseudo-autobiography of a similar character that Keillor penned). Then again, I heard Keillor's out to squash some semi-amusing parody shirts, "A Prairie Ho Companion", so while I find him wise in many ways, he might be a bit of an old crank in others.
--Kirk Sun Sep 25 00:56:25 2005
Heh, using the "retrospect" link I see that my entry from 2 years ago today had an amusingish quote about Arnold as politician...
--Kirk Sun Sep 25 01:01:07 2005
One of Ventura's efforts, which most certainly drew the ire of Keillor, was that the governor cut all state funding of Minnesota Public Radio, which is a statewide affiliation of most if not all of the pr stations in MN-- they produced their own content (Splendid Table, Savvy Traveller, and they now own Marketplace) and distribute it nationwide, which is a real earner for pubradio stations. 

What really puts this in perspective, though, is Keillor's own fight with MPR, in which he tried to pry the original incarnation of PHC away from MPR, failed, left the country in a huff and killed that show (with requisite massive bitter public rant), moved to Sweden, couldn't be who he wanted to be there or something (doesn't talk about it), moved back, and created PHC as we know it... as a private company, with profits going to him. He licenses the show to MPR and to other public stations via the American Public Radio network, formerly PRI. I'm not certain about the timeline, but the basic facts are true-- what once belonged to MPR now belongs to him. In short, he's happy to charge the taxpayers of Minnesota for his own show. A perfectly understandable capitalist move, but in his case a hypocritical one. 

I, for one, am voting with my wallet and I have not bought any powder-milk biscuits, rhubarb pie mix, ketchup, or duct tape, nor listened to his show, since he started spewing hateful vitriol about my party.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 01:16:20 2005
As for Prairie Ho Companion t-shirts, I think he has to sue-- from what I understand about trademark law, you can't pick and choose who you sue for infringement-- if you do then it weakens your position in court when someone starts an earnest radio fantasy-literature show called "A Fairy Tome Companion."

Parody and Fair Use, my intellectual-property attorney friend once told me, are legal defenses, not excuses.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 01:17:19 2005
Also, I'm distrustful of Republicans who call Arnold a RINO-- his views may be to the left of the Republican center, but they're perfectly appropriate for west-coast urban republicans, and besides, considering the state of the CA economy when Davis was ejected from office, it shouldn't be a surprise that the people wanted a fiscal conservative instead of any old ex-porn-star.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 01:21:08 2005
"distribute it nationwide, which is a real earner for pubradio stations" -- I know I might be missing something, but isn't that "real earner for *Minnesota* pubradio stations", in that they're generally selling to pubradio in other states?

Re: Keillor and Sweden...judging by some of his writing, I'd guess it was a mix of A. maybe things just not working out with his wife and/or B. just feeling like an idiot in not becoming adept at the language. (I'm not sure where this one book fits into that timeline, but I remember him writing something, I think in the context of Norwegian Bachelor Farmers or some other immigrant to the USA, that you're never as clever or young in the second language as you were in the first...)

I'm not sure if I get the "legal defences not excuses" it similar to "fair use is the last refuge of the scoundrel" sentiment? Anyway, assuming parody is allowed, it seems pretty clearly parody to me, don't know if that would invoke the "defend it or lose it" thing or not.

Re: RINO. Well, you have a more inclusive view of Republicans than many in the party and out of the party.

It's not that type of Republicanism that elects Republican presidents into office. Oddly enough, Massachusetts seems content to elect republican governors who are probably somewhat similar to Arnold politically, and yet I think both states are solidly Democratic in the presidential election.

The whole thing reflects tension in the annoying alliance of Religous Fundies and Fiscal Conservatives that has served the party so well for a while now...not that the "Fiscal Conservatism" equals *any* kind of Fiscal Responsibility.
--Kirk Sun Sep 25 10:49:34 2005
Oh, also re: Keillor...I guess though it's typical of American culture to try to make appreciation of a man boolean, all-or-nothing. You don't want to take that to extremes of course (the old "but the trains ran on time!" syndrome) but there's no reason you can't pick and choose what you like and dislike about a guy.
--Kirk Sun Sep 25 10:52:18 2005
My lawyer-friend's point was that, in the cases of fair use and parody, you don't get to just wave those words in the face of the mark holder or copyright owner and their lawsuit magically goes away-- you can end up in court and spending money on a lawyer before you can assert your claim of parody or fair use. So pragmatically speaking, if you can't afford the lawsuit, chances are you'll be silenced by the strong threat of one. I Didn't mean it to sound like moral judgement of infringers or anything.

I think there's a major split in the party between small-government repubs and "compassionate conservative" repubs, who favor what amounts to liberal social spending, plus tax reduction, but they discriminate differently on their social spending decisions than democrats do.
I do have a fairly inclusive view of repubs, and I do think that it's a party of inclusion, for the most part.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 15:13:30 2005
"distribute it nationwide, which is a real earner for pubradio stations" - I meant this in the general case, but indeed, it does apply to shows created by MPR and must be a good bit of their income, but likewise it applies to WBUR's "Car Talk," and WBEZ's "This American Life," and WHYY's "Fresh Air," as well, for those stations. 
(I've noticed it's generally only midwestern states that tend to chain their pubradio stations together into a network. Wisconsin does it, and I think Iowa does it.)

I can pick and choose what I like about Keillor-- he's a smart and funny writer, and definitely a talented singer. But once I got into his show, I started keeping up with what he was writing outside of the show, and a lot of it was malicious attacks on repubs. On the balance, I do not like him. I don't mean that he's completely unlikeable.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 15:20:35 2005
I'm surprised we don't hear more about trying to do lawsuits on the cheap. It seems like someone should be able to study up a bit on the relevant law and that acting as ones own attorney shouldn't be such the marker of lunacy as it is now. 

I would Keillor's attacks "spirited", not "malcious". For all the Dem bashing I hear, Repubs can be pretty thin skinned as well I guess....

I am amused, then, by the optimism of "liberal social spending, plus tax reduction". Frankly the two don't go hand in hand.

I think the fundies greatly diminish the republicans reputation of being a "party of inclusion"... not so much if you're gay, not so much if you're prochoice, etc. They're a powerful political ally, but you have to accept the detriments of siding with people who are convinced they are in close contact with the Sole Source of Cosmic Truth.

--Kirk Sun Sep 25 16:24:18 2005
Well, part of why we disagree on Keillor's intention is that what I call malicious, you call Excellent. It's not a sign of a thin skin to be offended by such an outpouring of vitriolic accusations.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 21:48:16 2005
whoops, that link ran together with the text.
--LAN3 Sun Sep 25 21:49:02 2005
Well, it was more the article that was excellent than the quote, which was cherry picked to be the most distinctive. I stand by my support of it (if thinking the leading capital E might be a bit over the top)...Bush didn't win with the support of fiscal conservatives / social liberals like you, but with the new "Solid South" full to the brim of people that Keillor bemoans. You get tarred by the brush painting the company you keep, to risk mixing a metaphor.

And compared to the shit Dean got for one overly-miked outburst of enthusiasm at a god damn political rally, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that the Keillor piece is such a wrongness.
--Kirk Mon Sep 26 01:04:03 2005
I may get tarred, but it is you and yours who are doing the tarring. :^)

As for making fun of Dean, so what? It's not as though there aren't columns and books devoted to making fun of Bush's slips at the mic. 
Besides, nonsense that comes out of his mouth now that he's DNC chairman is much more attackable, even though it is probably music to Keillor's ears. Making fun of a holler on Letterman and FOXNews is not the equivalent of a mean-spirited declaration that the Repubs are the party of a laundry list of criminals, and other low characters.
--LAN3 Mon Sep 26 01:54:12 2005
Re: Dean -- I guess it's the talk radio I sometimes listen, to some conservative blabber that's on the major sports radio channel in the morning, to some other right wing stuff..."thank god this man did not become our president! whatever would we have done!"
--Kirk Mon Sep 26 11:59:12 2005
"We'd do our duty and make fun of him." Back when I listened to Limbaugh, Clinton was president, and he mentioned fairly frequently that people wondered if Clinton's presidency was good for him, Limbaugh. I think he was pretty well tempted to say yes, but I don't recall him doing so.

It's funny that you listen to what amounts to talk radio, while I listen almost exclusively to NPR (I avoid any talk on my music stations), so I feel like I'm getting the liberal bent on the newscycle, and you're tuned in to the right-wing blather network. Who says that people live in comfortable bubbles?
--LAN3 Mon Sep 26 16:33:12 2005
Well, maybe it's just keeping up with the enemy. Something like that.

I don't know if it's my brow getting so low it risks smudging my glasses, but I'm finding pubradio really dry these days, at least drivetime stuff morning edition / all things considered. I like the news summary at the begining, but I find the special interest stories inside to be a lot less captivating than I used to. And I'm almost embarassed to admit that that's been largely replaced by Howard Stern in the morning, and Sports...of course, this is an almost unprecedentedly great time to be a Boston Fair Weather sports fan, so there's some excuse.
--Kirk Mon Sep 26 18:03:21 2005
Been an interesting banter between the two of you. I listen to talk all day on <a href="">WTAM</a> (it also carries the major area sports games). It was extremely frustrating when they got rid of <a href="">Glenn Beck</a> and brought in Jerry Springer (something to do with stockholder pressure). After listening to Jerry for some time now, while he totally makes my blood boil frequently, it is very entertaining. Seems that the whole shock radio concept of people just want to listen to hear what somebody says (even if they are disgusted or disagree) goes along way. Anyway, NPR has never had a lot of entertainment value for me.

--Beau Mon Sep 26 21:50:14 2005
Butch, sorry I messed up the links above ... guess you can tell I am definitely not a computer guy!!
--Beau Mon Sep 26 21:51:06 2005
Actually, Beau, your HTML is fine, and the links in fact still work. I'm just A. too paranoid to let people put HTML as HTML on a shared page (back in the day, Tufts had this homepage link page that people could customize, and the idiots making their HTML *SUPER BIG* and then not closing their tags messed things up for everyone whos links followed...that definately had an impact on my early webgeekhood) but B. too lazy to write a "proper" HTML filter to allow certain tags in but make sure they're closed etc.

So in general, like it says on the "formatting/content" link above the textarea, all URLs (start with http etc) get changed into clickable links automagically, since links are still pretty just can't give the link a better caption.
--Kirk Tue Sep 27 12:18:58 2005
News is supposed to be entertaining? Shock jocks annoy me. . .. I guess I like the quietness of NPR in the morning. I just hate all the shock and excitement in the morning. I like my morning's calm. =D

As for Republican governor while voting for Democratic presidents, NPR had a piece that made a point of showing that the Republicans that MA vote for generally are socially liberal and fiscally liberal. . .even though with Romney, I really wouldn't say that totally holds true. From what I've heard about Schwartzy, kinda, but not totally. . .even though I enjoy hearing the people complain about him.
--Mr. Lex Tue Sep 27 14:07:48 2005
"News is supposed to be entertaining?"

Sure, why not, otherwise we just listen out of a sense of duty or self-centered concern.
--Kirk Tue Sep 27 14:11:56 2005
I guess I like to know what's going on, and if anything, I'd like to know it in a "no nonsense" kind of way. Makes me think of good, honest journalism instead of the crappy yelling back and forth that goes on the excuses of journalistic talk shows these days.

I do watch the Daily Show, though, but more for the humor than the news.

I guess I also feel a sense of duty to know what's going on in the world and try to get it with as small amount of spin and bias as possible.

But I don't get how that concern can be self-centered. . ..
--Mr. Lex Tue Sep 27 14:29:06 2005
Well, no, that's more the "duty" aspect. My idea, and I admit it's crude, is that there are 3 main reasons to follow the news:
1. it's interesting/entertaining

2. it's something that might directly impact your well-being (the self-centered bit)

3. it's a duty to pay attention to the world and be concerned about the well-being of others.

It's nice when "one" can be combined with the other two, of course.
--Kirk Tue Sep 27 15:20:31 2005
Well, I guess I find labeling (2) as "self-centered" a little deragatory for some reason. . .don't know why. I guess it just seems a little harsh.
--Mr. Lex Tue Sep 27 17:03:54 2005
My thinking is that people listen to the news for one reason only (maybe this is my "naiveness" showing through) ... to see what is going on in the world in the hope that we leave it a better place for future generations.

Guess I always try to keep an optimistic point of view, hence my political views.
--Beau Tue Sep 27 19:50:34 2005
Wow. . .that's actually a pretty cool reason.
--Mr. Lex Tue Sep 27 23:53:39 2005
--Kirk Wed Sep 28 00:11:31 2005
I'm with Kirk on this one-- get a haircut and a job, Beau and Mr. Lex!

I agree that news should be attractive somehow, be it hawt blonde anchors or interesting coverage or depth. Frankly I wish the market was a little more broad and included really deep coverage on TV and radio, but I guess the closest we get are sensationalist newsmagazine shows. 
--LAN3 Wed Sep 28 03:21:28 2005
Believe it or not I have a haircut, am almost bald and as far from a hippie as possible ... am as far right as you can be.
--Beau Wed Sep 28 12:12:24 2005
I really do need a haircut. . .but my next appointment isn't until the end of October. =(

And damn the sensationalism of newsmagazine shows. I'm not one for Today or Good Morning America, either. . .kind of feels like a sugar coating of the news. Then again. . .I really don't pay too much attention to TV except for the entertainment stuff, anyway. I get most of my news in print and on the radio.
--Mr. Lex Wed Sep 28 13:37:50 2005
Sure, whatever...hippy.

(Though it's a much healthier outlook than people who think Revelation is right around the corner and so we don't really need to be good caretakers of the planet. Actually, I think the whole "pre-trib" outlook, that believers will be taken up *before* the divine and righteous fecal matter hits the air circulation unit is a bit of self-serving optimism about it all.)
--Kirk Wed Sep 28 16:19:46 2005