Entries from October 2008 ↓

Everything I Need to Know About Presidential Debate Techniques I Learned From Watching Batman.

“Waa, waa, waa, waa, waa…..”

In this clip from a 1966 Batman episode, “Dizzonner the Penguin,” the tuxedoed terror begins his election petition by promising “no mudslinging in this campaign”….only to immediately start tossing wet dirt at his opponent!

Sound familiar? No wonder this old, wrinkled white guy is doing horribly in the polls against…heh heh, the Caped Crusader.

[via BoingBoing]

How They Did It.

The challengers.

FRONTLINE turns out expertly-researched, -written , -shot, and -edited news documentaries with startling consistency. But whether or not you’ve ever seen one of their incredible pieces—my favorite to date: House of Saud, on the Arabian monarchy—make absolutely sure you check out The Choice 2008.

The 2-hour work, which debuted October 14th, but I saw last night, deeply covers the rise of John McCain and Barack Obama, above, as the 2008 Republican and Democratic party nominees, respectively, noting the varied paths both men have run.

However, even with McCain’s long career in Congress, the portions on Obama are what will most captivate. Whether it’s footage of him at Harvard Law School in his late 20s; Obama, the Chicago activist, debating the then seemingly all-powerful Rep. Bobby Rush; or details of his party’s vision of him as its heir apparent and golden child, The Choice 2008 powerfully helps fill in blanks on a man who, for all of his immense and mounting visibility, still arguably remains a profound enigma. Buy the DVD, or watch it online, right now, via iTunes, YouTube, or directly on the web site. Great stuff.

Breaking the 4-Second Mile.

Obviously computer-rendered…once in motion, the only part of this you’d ever see is the back.

Richard Noble OBE, project director of the October 1997 ThrustSSC land speed run which still holds the world record—763 mph—has announced his intent to break the 1,000 mph mark in 2011 with a new, yet-to-be-built car called the Bloodhound SSC, depicted in the computer rendering, above.

Requiring only 40 seconds to reach its top speed of 1,050 mph, the planned 42-foot-long, 7-ton vehicle will be blazing past onlookers at more than a mile every four seconds, faster than a handgun bullet. At that point, downward air pressure alone on the car will be higher than one ton per square foot.

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Not Interested.

“I’ll vote if he does!”

Why do Americans not vote?

In her new documentary, Holler Back: [Not] Voting in an American Town, director Lulu Fries’dat examines voter apathy through the eyes of Allentown, PA residents, ones both active and inactive in the electoral process.

Lulu Fries’dat is the guest on my WBAI-NY / 99.5 FM radio show, NONFICTION, this afternoon, Friday, October 24, 2 pm ET.

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“Bush sucks!”

In a new Funny or Die short, director Ron Howard briefly steps away from his Panaflex, shaves his beard, clips his nose hair, covers his bald pate, re-inhabits the classic roles of “Opie Taylor” (The Andy Griffith Show) and, above left, “Richie Cunningham,” (Happy Days), then, enlisting the help of famed actors Andy Griffith and, above right, Henry Winkler as Happy Days’ “The Fonz,” goes back in time somewhat, encouraging people to vote for Barack Obama. Now, all we need are the cast of The Wire to do the same thing.

Set Your Phones On Vibrator.

“I need a man!”

What I love about Sprint’s Instinct “Romance” commercial, above, is its slick mashup quality, nakedly blendering dumb chickflick dialogue with a shameless cell phone pitch.

“Rachel, you know what your problem is,” the protagonist’s “biracial” BBFF urges over lunch (and faint, Ben Folds-ish piano chords). “You want everything: You want a husband, you want unlimited text, unlimited data, and unlimited calls.” Rachel gives an It’s-true-but-I’m-tired-of-you-telling-me-my-faults look in the other direction.

Then the climax: “Maybe you’re afraid to be in love!” the Best Black Friend summarizes, moments before Rachel’s breakthrough. “I think I’m falling in love…” she concedes, giving a girly headshake, “…with a phone!” Wow. What delicious crap.

Coppin’ a Lean.

Laid back….

Fashioned from polyurethane and fabric, “Black Diamond,” by ilio, a Turkish design firm, not only slants resentfully but can be rotated onto different faces for different looks and attitudes. In the words of its maker, it is “both a comfortable armchair and a dynamic sculpture.” Well, it’s definitely the latter. I’ll reserve judgment on the former.

[via dezeen]

I’ma Beat Your Knowledge To Death.


Another winning shirt from SnorgTees, affirming the unstated ethos of cartoon series G.I. Joe‘s famed motto. Fashioned with Stars ‘n Stripes-style red and white lettering against royal blue 100% cotton material. S-3XL, $16.95 – $18.45.


“Luhk entwo mah ayes.”

A couple of weeks back, author Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) spoke at an event hosted by University of Chicago faculty campaigning against the planned creation of the Milton Friedman Institute, a research center named after UC’s most famous, most controversial alumnus and professor. (He died in 2006.)

I heard Klein’s speech on Democracy Now, and it was great. But the part that really caught my attention was her reference to an Arnold Schwarzenegger taped intro to the 1990, ten-part documentary, Free To Choose, in which Friedman outlines his ideas for the masses.

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Light the Blowtorch, Baby.

Sandra St. Sister: Girl’s got a blast like an earthquake…

Incendiary photography by Bold as Love‘s Rob Fields of Sandra St. Victor (The Family Stand, “Ghetto Heaven”), above, at a “Rock for Barack” event in New York City last month. Bold As Love takes its name from Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 album, Axis: Bold as Love. “Ultimately,” says Fields, “I believe that Black rock can save Black culture.” Imminently, from the looks of things.