Ambiguously vague duo

Andrew Coyne: “The Prime Minister's staff and various Foreign Affairs flunkies spent the next couple of days trying to spin away the split, but they needn't have bothered: vague ambiguity or ambiguous vagueness, it's still the same old Canadian fence-sitting. Mr. Chrétien and Mr. Graham are the Ambiguously Vague Duo.”

It's an unusual for Coyne to be discussing American foreign policy for the bulk of a column (he's a Canadian national affairs columnist). Oh well, good read. And that Ambiguously Vague that an alusion to the Ambiguously Gay Duo?

I wonder how Lefties would react to this quote: “And in return for all this; in return for land, and peace and aid; in return for democracy and freedom and prosperity; in return for a state of their own, whole and secure, with Israel's signature on the deal -- in return, Mr. Bush has the temerity to ask the Palestinians for a signal that this is in fact what they want. They can elect whoever they want, of course, even Mr. Arafat. But they can't expect the same package of goodies if they do.”


TMI About Bush

Bush to Be Sedated for Colonoscopy

"For only the second time, the 25th Amendment of the Constitution will be invoked and Cheney will be acting president for "a matter of hours," White House counsel Al Gonzales said after the surprise announcement."

There are so many jokes possible for this, most of which are of the "so how is this going to be different?" variety. Bush to transfer power Cheney? So how is this going to be different? Bush to be sedated? So how is this going to be different?

"Before taking the test, Bush will be given a solution to drink to cleanse his system."

By "cleanse", what do you mea--don't answer that.

I await MetaFilter's comments on this. Assured hilarity.

King George Stephanoupolous

Michael Kinsley: “Fox News is a brilliant experiment in overt, honest bias--the broadcast equivalent of its owner Rupert Murdoch's flagship right-wing tabloid newspaper, the New York Post. It has stripped a whole layer of artifice from TV news. What almost ruins everything is the network's comically dishonest insistence that it is not what it obviously is. I would love to know what Hume is thinking when he repeats with apparent sincerity the Fox News mantra, "Fair and balanced as always." Fox is usually fair but rarely balanced. In fact it is a good example of how you can be the one without the other.”

Maybe a better title for this website would be "SlateFilter". Ah well. Kinsley touches on something I've been thinking about for a while, namely the pretension of being 'objective' in news reporting. It's the reason why I like the National Post over the Globe & Mail. The Post is overtly conservative (the notable exception is on marijuana legalization, which it favours), and doesn't much care what its readers think about that. A better business model would have been to cater to all political 'faiths', but instead it chose the bias over balance. Bravo!

Why Sagwa's Better than Sesame Street

Virginia Heffernan: “The show is uneven, and though the non-Tan scripts do slightly drag, the art may be its real defect. Unlike uneducational cartoons like South Park or The Powerpuff Girls, Sagwa lacks a clear design sense. Its cartoon universe is stilted. PBS may be trying to avoid campy chinoiserie, but it has gone too heavy on the light touch. The magistrate's throne room, for example, did not have to be so spare; it could have been more exciting, more opulently colored, with a hint of the intricacy of Chinese patterns. For that matter, PBS might even have risked gongs and gilt. Visual clich�s are at the heart of cartoons, after all. Don't animated prisoners still wear stripes?”

From a generally positive review of the show Sagwa on PBS. Note the Asiaphillic reference to a Japanese product (Hello Kitty) in the title.

Soccer and Nationalism

Anne Applebaum: “Outside the stadium that day, soccer mania had gripped the nation--and it is a mistake to imagine that only the hooligans temporarily turn into chauvinistic nationalists on the day of an England match. Otherwise well-behaved friends of mine were genuinely outraged that I, a mere foreigner, had received a press ticket. Germany jokes, usually involving the Nazis, were all the rage. One was attributed to Mrs. Thatcher, who upon being told that Germany had defeated England (which they did, of course) had allegedly replied, 'They may have beat us at our national game, but we beat them twice at their national game in the 20th century.'”

The World Cup, I realized today, interests me not. Sure, it happens once every four years, and I used to believe I was interested, having played the game and since I actually understand the offside rule. Early morning start times (here anyway), the scene of dejected Italy fans on Commercial Drive blaming the ref for their team's loss (oh so cliché) and no idea which team to cheer for (I lose interest in playoffs when the team I'm cheering for gets kicked out anyway) lead to disinterest on my part. The final game will be the only game I watch in full, but I'm not even sure about that.

Pollyanna-ish View of Online Personals

Emily Nussbaum: “[C]reating an online ad is in and of itself a weirdly satisfying creative experience--and most often not a solitary one. A newsprint personal is terse and permanent, something one whispers to a copy editor during work hours, hand cupped over the phone. In contrast, a personal ad online is a linked, living creature--it can be drunkenly altered at 2 a.m. or mass-edited by a squad of enthusiastic co-workers or critiqued snarkily via instant message. It can be hidden for six months then revved back to life like a discarded motorcycle.”

Leah McLaren's So-Called Dating Ineptitude

Leah McLaren: “In my limited experience dating, I have been known to: arrive late, talk in detail about my previous relationships, mention my mother a lot, drink out of nervousness, bitch about work, reveal the names I have picked out for my firstborn children (Sybil for a girl, Magnus for a boy), answer my cellphone, spill wine and flee the restaurant after the first course, feigning illness. And that's just for starters.”

"Limited experience"? Gimme a break!