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Friday, August 02, 2002
Some Like It Hot:
Kottke is in rare form today as he responds to a quote by Andrew Sullivan.

It's unbearably hot today and I didn't get much sleep last night, because of a huge thunderstorm and a party across the street. Even though the blinds were pulled my room would completely light up whenever a lightning struck and the thunder was louder than I've anything I've ever heard before. Now it's humid and grey out, which is a bit depressing. Hopefully, it'll be nicer tomorrow. I'm going to my uncle's 70th birthday with the rest of my family and if I have to sit in a car for hours in this heat I'll probably go nuts. I have no idea what this family thing will be like, but it's probably fairly low key with some nice food, so I'm sure it'll be fun.

And in football news Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has signed a seven year deal with Baltimore, which means they now have cap room enough to try to re-sign Sam Adams. Suddenly, it's beginning to look like a team again.

- John Fogde 3:52 PM [+]

Thursday, August 01, 2002
I Need An Easy Friend:
For the last couple of months I've feared mail. Not in the sense that I think it'll attack me in the night, but because I know nobody writes me proper letters anymore, so besides my bi-weekly copy of Rolling Stone the only mail I get is from people who want my money. So I figure no news is good news and as long as the mailman doesn't drop anything off I'll be alright for another day. So when I heard a rather large plunk in the hallway this morning I got a bit suspicious. It's one thing to get the occasional bill, but when you get one that actually goes plunk it's not a good sign. But thankfully it wasn't another bill, but rather a small package from local music magazine Gaffa. Turns out I'd won two tickets and the soundtrack for About a Boy, which is pretty cool. I've read the book and I just talked with my sister about the movie the other day, so I'm taking her to see it next week. I've listened to the soundtrack all day and there are some good songs on it, but unfortunately it's not nearly as good as Hour of Bewilderbeast.

I saw The Bachelor again today and it turns out that I saw the two first episodes last week and then episode three and four today. I must not have paid that much attention if I've missed that I saw two, and not one, episodes last week, but then with all the commercial breaks it's hard to tell when one thing ends and the next beings. Anyway, the guy went out with fifteen girls divided up into three dates with five girls. And obviously all the smooching doesn't take place until next week (or the week after that or whenever this thing ends), so there wasn't that much rivalry or fighting this time around. The guy has a weird taste in women, but at least he thinks a bit further than just getting a cute girl and is actually trying to figure out, which woman he could marry and stay married to. The sick thing, however, is that all these women are falling head over heels for this guy, because the setting is so perfect and he's no longer a regular guy, but he's turned into Mister Super Dater. So whenever he eventually has to dump them they'll get seriously hurt, which is a downer. And the weird thing is that these aren't dysfunctional women, who have no other choice but to find their future husband through a cheesy television show, either. Most of them are cute and smart and there are a couple of these girls I'd marry in two shakes of a lamb's tail. So it's like watching a car crash in slowmotion if one car was driven by a young Alan Thicke and the other car was a bus full of charming, intelligent, well-educated Playmates. So it's hard not to watch.

Another car crash which is hard not to watch is the life of Michael Jackson. I've always been a bit of a fan and I didn't jump on the Michael-bashing wagon, when he was accused of child molestation. But he's been acting weirder than usual lately and this whole Tommy Mottola is the Devil business seems a bit ridiculous. My personal theory on why Sony isn't promoting Invincible is this: It's a turkey! The album sucks! If there was any money to be made promoting it they'd be out there with posters and flyers all damn day trying to get some of the millions of dollars back that Michael wasted on knucklehead producers like Rodney Jerkins and R. Kelly. I was actually even a bit excited about hearing the album, when it came out but besides You Rock My World I don't think there is one great track on it.

But the thing that gets me about this whole Sony affair is the fact that Michael has teamed up with Johnnie Cochran and Rev. Al Sharpton to turn this into a racial thing. I don't know what Michael's relationship is to Mottola and I don't know if Mottola is a racist, but while I was reading an article in Rolling Stone one thing struck me as pretty fishy. Sharpton is quoted as saying:

"Michael Jackson has had a lot of controversy in his career, but he's never gone to the race card before. So if he's raising it now, there's something to it. I think we must look into it."

I don't like the sound of that. I don't like the sound of that at all. During the OJ case people kept talking about playing the race card and frankly I found it to be a very flippant way of talking about racism. Sharpton makes it sound like people can just pull this card out of a hat whenever they feel like it and just because you haven't cried racism before then your accusations must be true. I may not be an expert on racism, but I think it's something which should be taken a lot more serious that this.

If you want a funnier and probably more well-informed take on Jackson/Cochran/Sharpton debacle it's been covered really well in the comic strip The Boondocks. You can begin here and then just read on.

- John Fogde 10:23 PM [+]

Welcome To The House Of Fun:
It has been a while since I found a truly funny website, but as I was reading a couple of entries at Acts of Volition I stumbled on a link to Conan O'Brien's Commencement Speech to the Harvard Class of 2000. It's pretty funny stuff and I particuarly liked this quote:

I was, without exaggeration, the ugliest picture in the Freshman Face book. When Harvard asked me for a picture the previous summer, I thought it was just for their records, so I literally jogged in the August heat to a passport photo office and sat for a morgue photo. To make matters worse, when the Face Book came out they put my picture next to Catherine Oxenberg, a stunning blonde actress who was accepted to the class of '85 but decided to defer admission so she could join the cast of "Dynasty." My photo would have looked bad on any page, but next to Catherine Oxenberg, I looked like a mackerel that had been in a car accident.

The speech is available at the February 7 website, which also links to a lot of other fun websites. I spent a couple of minutes looking through their archives and found a link to some funny Simpsons quotes like this one:

Skinner: We can buy REAL periodic tables instead of these promotional ones from Oscar Meyer.
Krabappel: Who can tell me the atomic weight of bolognium?
Martin: Ooh ... delicious?
Krabappel: Correct. I would also accept snacktacular.

So it's basically a collection of links, which will have you in stitches for many weeks to come. Just thought you'd like that. And if you have time you should also check the Weezer video for Keep Fishin'. It's a really funny video of Weezer performing with The Muppets. And as Denis Leary once said:

We all have this incredible attachment to the Muppets, don't we?
"We love The Muppets! They're so cute!" Did you hear about Jim Henson's funeral? Here in New York City, huh?
Kermit the Frog and Big Bird sang "It's Not Easy Being Green" at Jim Henson's funeral.
If I'm fifty-six years old when I kick the bucket and a fucking sock is singing at my funeral, I'm gonna pop out of the coffin and go, "Hey! What the hell is this about? Sammy Davis Jr. gets Frank Sinatra, and I get a fucking sock!? I'm really pissed off now!"

- John Fogde 1:26 AM [+]

Wednesday, July 31, 2002
Construction For The Modern Idiot:
Turns out I'm a bit daft. I had added this site to the Is My Blog Hot or Not? website and turns out the reason it didn't work was because I hadn't done it right. But it works now, so if you want to give it a go feel free to do so. It's actually a pretty good way of finding new, interesting blogs. So far I've only bookmarked the one called Minimal Thought, but I'm sure there are plenty of others that are bookmark-worthy.

I really should sign up for this, but I'm not sure that American labels would be willing to ship promos to Europe. But I'll probably email them anyway just because it's a cool idea.

I found out today that unsurprisingly is an actual word. I was sure it was a made up word like unfamous or unsane. But apparently not, so unsurprisingly I'll be using it quite a bit in the future.

- John Fogde 10:54 PM [+]

Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Now Watergate Does Not Bother Me:
I was excited about seeing Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs for one day and now I’ve learned that they’ve cancelled their show. That totally blows!

I was at a barbeque with a bunch of friends last night and we wasted an hour discussing why men tend to be more fanatical about stuff (sports, music, stamps, or whatever) than women. I made the mistake of saying that my impression was that men tend to be more interested in politics than women and that was not well received. So we ended up discussing what fascinates women and men for an hour without getting further than agreeing on that men tend to be more fanatical about their interests.
While I was at the barbeque Zulu showed the pilot episode of Roseanne, which I taped. I used to watch Roseanne all the time in the 80s and while doing research for a paper on Seinfeld and sitcoms a couple of years ago I read a lot about the show. So I was curious to see the pilot, which I haven’t seen since it was originally broadcast. If you look at the show historically it’s pretty remarkable. It premiered in 1988 and went up against shows like The Cosby Show, Family Ties, Who’s The Boss, Growing Pains, Full House, and another unconventional sitcom Married… With Children. There’s really not a lot a show like Roseanne has in common with The Cosby Show and yet it was number two in the ratings in its first year and then shared first place with Cosby the following year.

The pilot is pretty funny and manages to showcase the brand of humour and problems, which the show continued to be about. John Goodman is a real standout as he continued to be on the show and while Roseanne has funny lines it’s obvious that he’s the real actor of the two. And it was funny to see George Clooney as Booker.

The latest thing to occupy the mind's of the blogging community is Googlegate. It started out innocently enough with Dead Kenny briefly mentioning that his site hadn’t been spidered for a while and suddenly people started emailing him saying that their sites hadn't been spidered, either (including myself). Now different theories are being hatched and phrases like A-List conspiracies and google conspiracy are being used, while Kenny is now referred to as The blogging world's answer to Woodward and Bernstein. We hope to have explaination on the way sooner rather than later.

Update: Another craze sweeping the world o' blog is the latest in Hot or Not: Is My Blog Hot or Not?. I tried to add the link to the template, but there seems to be a problem at Blogger with blogspot templates, so the link doesn't appear in the archives.

I just realized that if people, who are affected by Googlegate, would add that link to their weblogs, then it will eventually show up on Daypop. If that happened maybe we could get some sort of an explanation.

- John Fogde 3:34 PM [+]

Monday, July 29, 2002
I Don't Believe I'd Care To Marry:
Saturday I was awoken by a phone call from a friend, who wanted to know if I'd like to stop by in an hour to help him move out of his apartment. It took me a bit longer to make it there, but I made it there to help him move all his stuff into his new place on the fourth floor (for some reason no buildings in this country has elevators), which took a couple of hours. That was my third moving gig in six weeks, so I'd appriciated it if people would quit moving for a while. Later that day there was a barbeque, Trivial Pursuit, and a lot of booze at a friend's house, so Sunday was as per usual spent on the couch searching for some kind of televised entertainment. Thankfully, the Danish footie season started this weekend, so there was a game on. And later on I watch highlights from local team AGF's 2-0 victory, which is sure to set the tone for a great season.

Another thing I saw was the first part of a reality show called The Bachelor. It was on American television a while ago, so if I wanted to find out who got married to whom I probably could, but I actually want to watch the second part. I've watched a lot of reality television although I usually get bored with it really quickly. But what fascinated me about The Bachelor is that you have 25 girls, who line up to date and then hopefully marry this guy. He gets to pick and chose between all these women and it looks like things will get pretty nasty in the second show. He started off as the perfect gentleman and seemed genuinely sad about having to send 10 of the girls home without getting an opportunity to get to know them well enough to make a well-informed decision (it was interesting to see, which girls he chose and which were dumped. Suffice it to say that the one, who looked like a Playmate made the cut, while the lawyer got booted.). The 15 remaining girls are then shipped off to a house, where they have to live together, while they get to date the guy. That in itself is a setup for disaster, because suddenly you have a house full of women, who are competing for the same guy. But if you are to believe the "next time on The Bachelor" bit the guy then continues to make out with the girls on the dates like he's been handed the keys to his own private harem. So he might get to marry one of these girls, but my guess is that he'll end up divorced faster than you can say Rick Rockwell.

I was supposed to start work on my thesis today and I did read two articles. But it is unbearably hot today, so I ended up reading Rolling Stone on the balcony instead of working. And now I'm on the way out to another barbeque.

There are a lot of bands playing here in August, but the one I'm looking forward to the most is Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. I've heard a couple of their songs, read a couple of articles on them, and they come highly recommended from David Fricke, so it ought to be a cool gig.

- John Fogde 6:06 PM [+]

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Lives in Denmark/
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and speaks Danish. 
Spends 80% of daytime 
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