Radiohead Rorschach

An innocent fifth grader’s picture is worth a thousand-word critical analysis.: “When you listen to Radiohead, you’re no longer actually listening to Radiohead — you’re listening to everyone’s opinion about Radiohead. It’s impossible to separate what you hear from what you’ve read. You are betrayed by what you know, and you know way too much.

Thus, in order to solicit an honest, undiluted opinion about Radiohead, you’d have to find the proverbial People Living Under Rocks. As People Living Under Rocks are unavailable, let’s use fifth graders.

…We will play a career-spanning selection of Radiohead songs; the kids, equipped with Sharpies and blank sheets of paper, will simply draw whatever the music suggests to them. We don’t even give them the name of the band. They don’t know anything about Radiohead, the mountain of criticism, the mythology. Their thoughts and interpretations are pure, unsullied, literally unique.

They are also extremely bizarre.” East Bay Express

US soldier kills rare tiger

“An American soldier shot and killed a rare Bengal tiger in Baghdad zoo during an apparently drunken party, the head of the zoo said on Saturday.

‘The soldiers arrived in the evening with food and beer, accompanied by a group of Iraqi police officers,’ Adel Salman Musa said of the incident on Thursday night.

‘One of the soldiers, who the Iraqi police said had drunk a lot, went into the cage against the advice of his colleagues and tried to feed the animal, who severely hurt his arm,’ he explained to AFP.

The tiger tore off one of the soldier’s fingers and mauled his arm. One of the other soldiers immediately fired at the animal and killed it, he said.”

“The soldiers don’t have the right to behave like that. That was the most precious and valuable animal in the whole zoo. It was 14 years old and had been born here,” Salman Musa said.

Hate mail will be accepted graciously for the following remarks. First, IMHO it is too bad that’s all the tiger did to the drunken soldier before being slaughtered. Didn’t the drunken yahoo realize he could have been a contender for the Darwin Awards if only he had persevered in his interactions with the creature? And isn’t the whole incident an apt metaphor for the US invasion of Iraq? Ill-intentioned ignoramuses make an illegitimate incursion with no appreciation for the danger of their actions, get burned by the predictable response and respond with devastating lethal force with no understanding of what they are destroying?

The Right Way to Think About the President?

Conservatives Against Bush was founded to propound the conservative principles that this administration has forsaken. This President has expanded the welfare state, saddled future generations with debt, eroded some of our basic freedoms, and waged a spurious war in Iraq that in the end did not make the U.S. any safer. We seek to reenergize conservatives, so they will press for change in this administration.”

Building a Better SUV

For only $600 in added costs and using existing technologies, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ proposed modifications to a standard Ford Explorer would increase its gas mileage over 30% as well as making it, arguably, safer and cleaner… without compromising the power, performance or comfort SUV drivers want. Say all you like about how those consumers ought to give up SUVs altogether for the sake of the world. Maneuvering people in that direction to a significant enough extent to influence air quality, driving fatalities, etc. is, of course, a daunting proposal. In the meanwhile, why shouldn’t Detroit do something like the UCS Guardian? By the way, for $2300 extra, proposing more radical modifications, they could improve on the Explorer’s gas mileage by over 70%.

Tragedy in New York:

French Fried Friedman:

“It’s tragic but true. All New York mourns the last remaining neurons of Thomas Friedman’s shrinking brain, apparently lost in a bubbling hot tub of deep self-inflicted fatuity today.

The evidence is in Friedman’s loony-tunes comment, ‘Our War with France,’ in this morning’s Paper of Record. You can only conclude the man’s mind has been flambéd or deeply French Fried.

What got Friedman’s brain a-boilin’ is the impertinent suggestion by French diplomats that, if the US invaded Iraq to bring democracy, then why not allow Iraqis to vote. Vote! Can you imagine! It’s all that silly ‘libertay, equalitay’ stuff that unsophisticated Americans believed before the Patriot Act.

Friedman calls voting a, ‘loopy symbolic transfer of Iraqi sovereignty. ‘Friedman, Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein all have the same line: Iraqis aren’t ready for democracy. Well, I suppose Tom Paine would have disagreed – but, hell, he moved to France.” — Greg Palast, AlterNet

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Moviemercial

“Instead of releasing toys and games tied to a movie, some studios are starting with the product and figuring out the film later.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Haunted Mansion,’ both based on Disney rides, were the first wave of merchandise-themed pictures. The next, based on toys, is on the way. Movie versions of Hot Wheels, G.I. Joe, Bionicle toys, Super Soaker squirt guns and My Little Pony are all being developed.” NY Times I refuse to take my children to anything in this genre. [The challenge is explaining it to them…]