Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Back From Iraq: Bob Woodruff Reports

Just saw this report on ABC. As you may know, Bob Woodruff, former nightly co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight, was injured in January of last year when, reporting from Iraq, an IED went off near the tank he was a passenger in. He suffered a major brain injury and went through months of rehabilitation. He was able to regain his powers of speech, cognition, motion, and generally is back to a place near to where he was before the incident.

He's one lucky man.

Woodruff's ordeal was updated during the first part of the show, but a tad more than half of the production was devoted to the extent and degree of severe brain injuries suffered by American soldiers in Iraq. One of the contentions in the documentary is that a lot of the information regarding the number of brain injuries and injuries in general of Iraq War veterans has not been released due to the possible reaction of the American public. There is also a dispute over the number of brain injuries as the Veterans Administration does not list them under their own category. (Click here and scroll down for a Powerpoint on injuries of American soldiers in Iraq.) National security may also play a part in the media's silence about the number of overall injuries from the war. This does begin to address the issue of whether the Bush Administration purposefully obscures or fudges these numbers for their own benefit.

Woodruff spoke with or met some of those who suffered the same type of severe injury to the brain as he did, most of whom have not made the healing leap that Woodruff has over the last year and two months.

Paul Reickhoff was inviewed for the production. I cried for 45 minutes. I hope this program helps bring to light the medical care and attention being paid to American soldiers. Woodruff's report and comes pretty close in timing to the devastating story from the Washington Post on conditions at Walter Reed Hospital (though reports on the hospital and general V.A. conditions and lack of readiness to prepare for soldier/patient homecomings from Salon.com (subscription or view ad) appeared as early as 2005). I also hope it brings to light that there is a war actually going on. Sometimes, I don't know if we are aware of the war except for the 'sis-boom-rah' and "go team USA" quality of it all or if we hear about it over the back and forth verbal slinging Americans are doing in regards to it.

The Woodruff Family has established the "Bob Woodruff Family Fund for Traumatic Brain Injury." The website has information regarding the Fund. ABC also has a website with collections of clips entitled, "The Home Front" which "takes an in-depth look at the war's wounded and the challenges they face once they leave the battlefield and return home."

Net Neutrality or Stopping the "Human Lobotomy"

Save the Internet Rock the Vote

Four Eyed Monsters
would like to remind you that the Net is still under attack from corporate interests who are ready to tell you what you can and cannot connect to over the Internet. This is a serious issue regarding the Internet and we all need to be on top of it. Just because it hasn't been in the news doesn't mean that corporate interests haven't stopped planning the takeover of a Openly Connected Internet.

Four Eyed Monsters is also encouraging everyone to create their own messages regarding Net Neutrality and upload them to YouTube. These videos may be edited and included in the "Human Lobotomy" video. Find out more at their website.

Thanks to Crunchyknee for reminding me about this important subject.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Andi Warholas at the Alt.Oscars 2007

Kostume Kult held their Second Annual Alternative Oscars at Manahatta yesterday. The Andy Warholas showed up with Edie Sedgwick this year, in honor of that Factory Girl movie that came out, which we heard was horrible. Or at least Lou Reed told us it was horrible.

First we met at the Washington Mutual:
Andis Do Their Favorite Thing: Get Money
Photograph by Kurt Opprecht

We headed over to Mannahatta (across the street from the now defunct CBGBs) to walk the red carpet, but Edie was late, as usual. Late and incoherent. As usual.

2007, by the way, is the 20th Deathiversary of Andy Warhol's passing.


Warhol had checked in to room number 1204 of New York Hospital's Baker Pavillion under the name of Bob Roberts, listing his next of kin as FRED HUGHES. He kept his wig on throughout his hospital stay, including during the gallbladder operation. During the operation the surgeon also repaired a hernia which Andy had since his shooting in 1968. (DD5-10) Although the gallbladder operation went fine, Warhol died early in the morning - on Billy Name's birthday - from an unexpected heart attack. According to Vincent Fremont, Andy "was just getting back into filmmaking at the time of his death." (UW74)

Here's the official video from last year:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tim Hardaway Speaks

I observed a few days ago that Tim Hardaway Doesn't Like Gay People. Hardaway talks about the incident, the public reaction, and his own perspective here. It's a provacative perspective. Hattip to Americablog; go over there and join the conversation. Here's Sullivan's take on the interview.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Really Different Around Here

The 'here' of which I speak of course, is "at the end of the boom" itself, which the four or five of you who happen to stop by may have noticed. (Hi Jacq, who noticed!) Anyhoo... the New Blogger has a lot more adaptability for folks like me. I know enough html and xml to either make a difference or cause a lot of heartache.

I finally created an image in Photoshop of a picture I took off of the balcony at the AMC-25 located on 42nd St. I had just seen "Children of Men." I was a tad depressed after the depressing movie and the day was grey, but the movie was good, and it's always a pleasure to be in Times Square. The balcony is one of two located at the movie theater, and I was on the lower of the two balconies. It's not a great picture, but I like it. The eye is part of a giant electronic billboard on the side of Port Authority, where 42 St. meets 8th Avenue. I trimmed the image down, added the blog title, fiddled around with the code, and voila! A new blog top.

Though I added the title in the actual Photoshop file, for some reason, I can't get rid of the blog title within Blogger itself, hence the additional (and hopefully temporary) floating black title. I've tried to figure out how to do this (and Blogger help says you can actually do it an easy way, but alas, they lie), but I can't quite figure out the code that the Forums talk about. Too many, "well, you should do it this way" or "you should do it that way," until you can't figure out which way to do in the first place. Oh well. If anyone has any ideas or leads, feel free to plop 'em in the comments. Other than that, I'll just have to figure it out eventually.

On another note, I found some nifty 3-column Blogger templates. I was toying around with the idea of adding the new template, but then I realized I can barely fill two columns, let along three of them. Maybe if I ever hit the "Big Blogtime©," and have something more to say, then I'll do it. Or maybe I'll get bored again and just up and decide to move the furniture around. Sometimes, everyone gets the urge to put the bed in a different corner.

If you've switched to the upgraded Blogger, I'd love to hear your comments about it. I'm finding the changes in the program refreshing. What about you?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy New Money Day

It's actually Presidents Day, but just in time to honor our past Presidents, here's a new $1 coin set of all them, currently scheduled for minting through 2016. The first four (in the likenessess of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison) are being released, and eventually all of the Presidents, including our current Resident (whose name, just like Voldermort's, shall remain nameless) will be depicted in future runs. Our Blogmate, Red Tory, thinks they are ugly, but I am going to withhold opinion until I see one in person. The U.S. Mint has three-sided renderings that are pretty neat. Three sides? Yes: "E Pluribus Unum" is engraved on the rim. I think that is pretty neat.

I didn't like the Sacagaweas when I first saw them, but after awhile, they grew on me. I keep one in my wallet and rarely spend it. I don't think that's what the government has in mind when it comes to the $1 coins they mint, but hell, what else am I going to do with them? Americans will never stop using the paper dollar unless you just take it completely out of circulation.

President Nixon gets his in 2016. The Mint hasn't posted yet when Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton's turn will come. Of course I'm hoping to be around in 2018 or 2020, but I'm certainly not looking forward to seeing the worst President ever's image on a U.S.-minted coin.

C'est La Vie.

Happy President's Day.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Dragon in the Year of the Boar

Happy New Year!
Dragon : 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000
Dragon is very happy to see the pig. After a year of challenges by the yipping dog, the dragon is ready to sit at the banquet table and rest. The tired dragon must remember that the dog is not far away and the clouds of the dog year still dampen his fire. The pig year will bring fullness to the dragon who eats slowly. Self control does not come easily to the fierce dragon, but this year there is little energy stored after battling the dog. The wise dragon will spend resources with caution and build strength for new cycle starting with the rat year in 2008. Enjoy the quiet return to fullness and do not get frustrated at your weakness after battle with the dog all year in 2006. Your strength will return. This year plan trips and business ventures that will not need your full power. Success will come slowly. You will find many reasons for frustration with family and coworkers. It is not the fault of others that you cannot provide the energy you need this year. Control your fire breath and you will receive more assistance and find good fortune.
Yep. That just about sums it up. I'm glad the Year of the Boar is upon us.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Money Trumps Peace

Don't look at me, I didn't say it....
President George W. Bush: [L]et's put it this way, money trumps peace, sometimes.
While I didn't say it, I'm proud of President Bush and his glimmer of truth, even though he slipped that "sometimes" in there as if his hands were... shall we say... clean. I'm also happy that Bush has justified the message of the Billionaires For Bush from these last six years. And people thought we were just funny, pshaw.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tim Hardaway Doesn't Like Gay People

If you haven't caught this story, here it is. Unfortunately, from what I have known, this is a sentiment that a large part of the African-American community believes. It makes me shake my head. I hate homophobia. I hate hate of all types. Even when hate comes from myself. It happens sometimes. Did I say how much I hate it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

24 Hours of Outdoor Winter Dance

Somehow, I survived. It wasn't easy, and I certainly got a little taste of what life on the streets would be like if I had no home, but all in all, it was one of the best nights ever. Can you imagine staying on the street all night in the middle of winter just... dancing? I love New York. Except for those stupid-ass Cabaret Laws. Whoever heard of such a thing as dance being relegated only to specially licensed places? In New York, if you go into any bar or restaurant and someone puts a tune on the jukebox or the band starts to waltz away, don't you dare tap your foot or the dance police will be coming your way. Anyway, to find out more, go the Metropolis in Motion site, join the mailing list, write a letter to your City Council person, and most of all, DANCE!

Here's a little video (that won't sync with the vocal track... ack!) from the 22nd Hour of the Marathon when a group of London tourists stopped by.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Prince at the Super Bowl

Pure Genius. I'm not a big fan of the Super Bowl, but I am a big fan of spectacle. If there's one thing about the Super Bowl Halftime Show (brought to you this year by Pepsi), it's usually a big-assed spectacle. On top of that all, Prince is pretty spectacular himself when it comes to performance. I will admit that I'm not the hugest of Prince fans either, but I know a good show when I see it. It was freaking raining, after all, and Prince still rocked the house.

I didn't tape it. I'm such an idiot. I'm currently stuck in a DVR loop. You know the loop I mean: you haven't recorded, but you do have the ability to go back as long as you don't... touch the wrong button. Since I didn't record it, but I haven't lost it yet, I've now rewound the Prince segment for the sixth time, it's that good.

Prince may be a Jehovah's Witness now, but he can still make love to a crowd of millions. Best use of a Marching Band since... well... since a long damn time.

If you didn't catch the performance, hopefully you'll find it somewhere. Until YouTube comes along with it (beware those lawsuits, kids), here's the Super Bowl commercial (beware those... uh... lawsuit kids).

Have You Pre-Ordered Yet?

July 21 seems soooo far away... but this is what I'm really excited by... and no, I'm not talking about a nude Daniel Radcliffe in the upcoming London production of Equus. Though I will say he's a very handsome young man in a suit. (Be careful with the eyebrow tweaking, though...)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

"In a Rare Appearance...

...before an audience of Democrats, President Bush said Saturday that he did not question the patriotism of those who disagreed with his Iraq strategy and asked lawmakers not to let dissension over the war entirely erode their trust in him."
"Bush Meets With Democrats on Their Turf," New York Times, pub. Feb. 4, 2007
Today I read two stories (the NYT and Yahoo AP) regarding how President Bush finally attended an annual Democratic House retreat for the first time since 2001. By implication, 2001 was the last time Bush actually talked to a Democrat. I don't know and I don't care how often Clinton talked to the Republicans back in the day, either. Bush 'miraculously' appeared at the meeting today to chitchat policy, kowtow to the Democrats and crack a few jokes about his lack of an 'ic" when you need it. Hardy har har.

Well, at least it's something. Though it might well be too little and much too late.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Friday Cat Blogging: One Year in Da House

It's been a slightly rough week on the personal animal front (year anniversary of Zanzibar's passing, poor Tiger missing), it's been whack. But I'm happy to report some good kitty news!

It was exactly a year ago today that Paikea conned me into bringing her home with me. And I didn't even have to ply her with wine and drugs!
Paikea Looks a Little Psycho, No? Yes! Bronx, NYC 2006

Nope, she looked innocent (ha!) and sweet (please!), and I'm sure she regrets ever coming to my house. She's a sweetie when she wants to be, and I'm glad to help her suffer through this life. Ain't she lucky? She loves to play and she's a squeaker. It's very cute. I made the mistake of having a ribbon on the floor. I heard her gagging. I was lucky to catch it only half-way down her throat. Pull!! She fetches, she jumps up around real high for the feather-on-a-string game. She may not like the pets, but she's AOK in my book. You da real Play-ah!

And no, the video or the action isn't great... but she can jump for a girl...