My wife, in all her

My wife, in all her brilliance, took Kiss and Make-Up out of the library. Gene Simmons, lead singer of the band, wrote the book to set the record straight and to, well, probably make yet a little more money. A wave of nostalgia has taken me over.
I was *HUGE* KISS fan between the ages of 8 and 12. The very first albums I bought were KISS ALIVE II and Peter Frampton’s Live album, thanks to my parents and Sam Goody in Philadelphia. (I think I thought that all the best albums were both live and came in twos.) I was in the KISS Army for a few months, sending them $6.00 to belong. I loved the band, the music, and the irony of the “SS” in their logo, as I knew that the band was started by two Jews from New York. I never saw them in concert but I also never ceased being interested in the way they took the world by storm — guys and girls, Americans and Japanese, fire breathers and fake-blood packet eaters. I was fascinated by the minutiae of their dress, the iconography of their albums, the mystique of their (at the time) raucous music.
I look forward to devouring the book.

Yes, it's common knowledge that

Yes, it’s common knowledge that Christopher Hitchens has written his last Taking Sides after 20 years working for that old left charmer, The Nation.
But what’s interesting about this piece is how Hitchens frames his thoughts, explicating his views of Saddam Hussein (who he loathes) and of George Bush (who he distrusts) by arguing for war against Iraq and not the Iraqis.
On the subway today, I was sitting in a car probably 2/3 full with traditionally dressed Muslims all coming from some kind of large meeting in Manhattan. Forestalling any fetid kind of Orientialism, I felt incredible kinship with those folks in Baghdad, who will be riding the bus to work and watching buildings fall around them when the war begins soon.

Okay, I'm pretty consistently overwhelmed

Okay, I’m pretty consistently overwhelmed by the integrity of Apple’s products. No one seems to know what real integrity means anymore with regard to software and hardware but somehow Apple has figured it all out.
My four-year old Palm IIIx, which I rely upon, now works with OS X 10.2 (a.k.a. Jaguar) even though it took a while to figure it out and I’m using a serial port connector to sync. I signed up for Apple’s .Mac service which allows you to essentially hot sync your files to their server and to your backup CD-ROM. I now print photographs through iPhoto, which sends files directly to a Kodak processing plant nestled somewhere in the California Hills. And the software that allows iChat to talk with AOL Messenger folks is kind of amazing, plus the new Sherlock has “Web services,” allowing you to find places and things at the expense of the purveyor of places and things.
I know I sound like a shill and I am. Thank G-d I didn’t “switch” or I’d never be able to forgive myself.

This is a link from

This is a link from but it’s so outrageous it needs to be reposted again and again.
In an article by Loren Jenkins, now at NPR, the writer argues in this Salon piece in 1998 that Osama bin Laden is just a harmless renegade. Look, I know hindsight is 20/20 but this little article reads like a schoolmarm’s aspirations to Journalism. Is this an argument for ousting Saddam Hussein in Iraq? I don’t know.

In college I was in a band

In college I was in a band with a bunch of fellows who I still sometimes see. The band was called Mendesfraü, which was supposed to be a pseudo-menacing name built to attract an audience — any audience. The band was terrible and I think I was the worst part of it — I had a very nice set of white Pearl drums that I couldn’t play for the life of me. Well, I could keep a beat but that was about it. I didn’t even look right on the “throne,” which I always thought was such a great drummer’s name for a “swivel stool.”
Anyway, I saw the videotape that a friend made of us at the time (1989 or so) and I got to witness all my pre-grunge worship of the Pixies, Sonic Youth, and the Swans all over again. I was young, the band was bad, but it was fun. Long live youth.

I noted a few days ago

I noted a few days ago that I saw Éloge de l’amour (2001), also known as In Praise of Love, at BAM Rose Cinemas.
What is incredible about this latest film by Jean-Luc Godard, the granddaddy of French and now American cinema, is that it completely captures the difficulty of knowing where we stand in history’s great unfolding. Godard eloquently examines how we live our lives in modern cities (e.g. Paris) only to consistently misunderstand our place in history, how we got her, and where we are going. We go day-by-day, waiting for the next catastrophe or the next war and, in the interim, try to love and be faithful and hopeful.
Godard’s project is one of disorientation — he shows us our frailties and how we rattle around from one thing to the next with expectations that rarely get fulfilled. In the movie, a French director is eager to make a film about the three stages of life: youth, adulthood, and seniorhood. What he makes clear, through moving the film backwards in time, is that only adulthood really counts and that the rest are only preludes to non-existence.
I took slight umbrance at his silly anti-Americanism that reads like 60s agitprop. But really, he’s only remarking about how the rest of the world sees the U.S. — removed from history, blundering onward, essentially just, and in a blind way that the rest of the world strongly desires.

What is up with this

What is up with this mini-triumph?
The Ring
fear dot com
One Hour Photo
From what I can tell, these recent movie releases have the following things in common:
1. Expensive Flash Web sites (1HP is the nicest), which is good because at least there are a few Web developers getting highly paid
2. Death stalks everywhere as if Armageddon was really in the wings.
3. They all feature one sad actor who needs a comeback but probably won’t get one like John Travolta did 10 years ago.
4. They all look pretty fascinating thanks to their high production values, but also their focus on death and old, sad actors that I used to like.