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ultrapolitical

Hand-Painted Type

It's been a treat to see Hanif Kureshi's completely awesome HandPaintedType project getting a lot of attention and praise during the last month or so. I met Hanif back in March, at Typography Day in Ahmedabad, and immediately took...

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First Mention Of AIDS In Print: 30 Years Ago Today

Thirty years ago, on June 5, 1981, AIDS was first acknowledged in print. The article from the Centers for Disease Control wasn’t widely read, and it didn’t give a name to the disease. (It would be another year before scientists...

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Photos officially OK in NYC

Finally, common sense prevails over security theatre and knee-jerk paranoia: Faced with complaints from photographers and tourists alike, the NYPD has issued a department order reminding cops that the right to take pictures in the Big Apple is as American...

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The Colbert Retort

Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not...

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Two Left Hands

Best part of the conference so far? The on-stage battle between Rep. Barney Frank and John Hockenberry about, effectively, which of them is more liberal than the other. Barney Frank has the impassioned viewpoint of a long-term public servant, Hockenberry...

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In Defense of the Prime Directive

Take a moment, all, to consider this pledge: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species. This...

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No One Expects the German Inquisition!

No one who speaks German could be an evil man!" — Sideshow Bob's parole judge...

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Illegal Loft Living? Shocking!

The Times just ran an article about all the illegal lofts in East Williamsburg, especially those in the immediate area of my former residence, the Brooklyn Home for Wayward Bloggers. If you live (or have lived) in the area, you'll...

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Ugh.

We're so fucked. I’m clinging to that teeny cotton thread of hope, but it looks like we're fucked, especially if I start to think about Congress. If you voted Republican, don't tell me. I mean it. If you tell me,...

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A Dirty Raspberry

I curated my own double-feature this weekend, checking out two movies about sexual revolution (more or less): The Raspberry Reich, the latest rump romp from Bruce La Bruce, and then A Dirty Shame, the latest farce fest from John...

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Having Turned to the Dark Side...

So when you watched Zell ranting, spewing, and fuming did this image occur to you at any point? It was the first thing I noticed....

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I’m So Over the Republicans

Well, thankfully the Convention of Empty Promises is over, and none too soon. I’m disappointed, though, by the overall lack of showmanship. Smoke and lights and venomous ranting are what we all expected, so none of that was any surprise....

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IMHO

Those wretched "Peaceful Political Activist" buttons aren't the only alternative to making a ruckus in protest of the Really Nasty Convention next week. The first annual Imagine Festival, of Arts, Issues and Ideas is putting on a number of...

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Freak Parade

I love this bit of snarkiness from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking about the upcoming deluge of delegates: We've never had so many Republicans in Manhattan, so I would urge all New Yorkers to come from everywhere, and enjoy the...

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I Remember the Good Ol' Days

It was quite a scene at the NY Bloggers event last night, what with the blogging and blog-curious hordes filling up the back of the Apple Store. (You can see me here hanging with Jeff and Matt.) Overall it was...

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My Fellow Subversionists

It's hard to even start writing about the whole gay marriage controversy, because I feel so strongly about it and because I think it ties into so many different dynamics swirling around in modern society. I freely 'fess up to...

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Precious Executive Power

Salon has a piece today called "Is Arwen pro-Life?" about how different ideological factions keep claiming a connection to Tolkien's real motives. Toward the end, it mentions how Tolkien characters are always shown in terms of how much they seek...

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Keeping My Goddamn Fingers Crossed

I’m even more despondent about the demise of Plan A than I expected I’d be, but at least the possibility of this makes me feel the teensiest bit better about Plan B. Assuming that doesn't also crash and burn....

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My New Hero

I’ve never paid much attention to Eliot Spitzer, New York State Attorney General, because he's usually linked in the news with stories about efforts to clean up Wall Street, a subject that immediately sends me into a coma of boredom,...

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Reasons to Vote for a New Administration

I don't even have to look that hard for news that makes me wonder if we're all just victims of an enormous prank. This can't actually be the world we're living in, can it? Here's a little sprinkle of tidbits...

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Circular Fallacy

Two more excellent points from the big gay ruling, both addressing the notion that gay marriage is an abomination of nature because same sex couples can't procreate with one another: But it is circular reasoning, not analysis, to maintain that...

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With This Ring...

There are plenty of strong, opposing opinions about gay marriage even among gays and lesbians but this passage from the recent (amazingly rational and straightforward) ruling by my new heroes, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, perfectly sums up why the...

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The Great Blackout of Aught-Three

The Great Blackout of Aught-Three, as experienced by me: Frankly, I enjoyed it. I have many blessings to count, I realize I live within a feasible walking distance from home, I was wearing comfortable shoes, the iPod was fully charged...

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California, Here They Come

Schwarzenegger? Coleman? Flynt? And is it true that Angelyne is running? And the Democrats are refusing to run anyone as a show of support for Gray Davis? Am I the only one who's happier than ever that I don't...

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Your Receipt, Sir?

Now, even I will admit that I like to see some context draped around statistics (I’m always immediately suspicious of flat statistics being tossed around by someone trying to make a point), but nevertheless here's a very interesting comparison of...

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Making a Reservation at the Poorhouse

Hey! Here's another good one! You know that big tax cut that didn't make much sense to begin with? Yeah, that one. Here's another teensy weensy little aspect: The Bush administration has shelved a report commissioned by the Treasury that...

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Lies! Lies! Lies! Ye-ah!

AAAAAAARRGH! Again! And again! And again! And again! And again! What the fuck is wrong with everybody? It's not alien trickery, and it's more than just media bias. It's us that’s part of the problem, even if we're paying attention...

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Episode IV

(I’m paraphrasing for now): "We have seen our republic give way to empire, in which the will of the people has been corrupted by a despot." Yeah, sounds like the beginning to Star Wars, but rather it was one of...

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Benevolent Corporate Overlords

As I understand it, it's a rule of thumb for journalists to structure newspaper articles so that the most pressing information comes first and the most insignificant tidbits are dropped in at the very end. Occasionally, though, those last-minute tidbits...

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High Anxiety

All week long, I’ve been filing away teeny little reminders of what I should write, but it's been difficult to summon the will to compose lucid sentences during the little free time I’ve had. Italy was wonderful and rejuvenating and...

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Guernica Nixed

The United Nations has decided that their reproduction of Pablo Picasso's Guernica should be covered by a curtain (sound familiar?) because it "would not be an appropriate background if the ambassador of the United States at the U.N. John Negroponte,...

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Subway Cutbacks

Here's a bit of disturbing news about riding NYC subways that’s being passed on by Stay Free magazine. Apparently, the MTA is planning to close a number of token booths through out the city to cut back on costs, with...

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War 'n' Terror

I’m not crazy, right? This is the year that the United States started looking more and more like a police state, right? I have never felt so acutely that the fabric of our society here has been so much the...

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Land of the Robber Barons

OK, let me get this straight because of "serious economic conditions" connected to the war on terror, January's scheduled pay raises for federal employees are being cancelled (s'okay if you're actually fighting the war, though the military will still be...

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Linking, Thinking

Today is World AIDS Day 2002, a day when we are all encouraged to take a moment to pause and consider HIV, AIDS, their impact on our society and others, and our own views about them. Frankly, I wish I...

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Church Cops!

This bit of news is awfully nuts. Sometime in the last year, the Vatican quietly published a document declaring that accusations of priestly pedophilia should be reported directly to the Church and treated with secrecy. Um. What? So if the...

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Airport '01

More bad aviation news this morning as an American Airlines plane carrying 255 people crashes in Brooklyn shortly after leaving JFK. So far it's unclear what caused the crash, but we're already seeing the official reaction that I’ve been expecting...

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The Great Debates

Prompted by the season premiere of The West Wing, we had a great debate in the Rumpus Room last night about the pros and cons of presidents relying on speechwriters instead of their own extemporaneous speaking abilities. (Ralph opposes the...

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Stirring Thoughts

A great article in this week's Village Voice discusses exactly what I’ve been worrying about the last few days: that anger of the World Trade Center attacks could easily fuel a kind of xenophobic rascism that could make life awful...

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Outrage!

This bullshit make me want to puke. Jerry Falwell really is obsessed with being self-righteous....

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Anti-Arab Sentiments

I get a sick feeling whenever I hear reports of people blindly, stupidly lashing out against any Arab they come across. The entire Arab world does not hate the United States (read this). Those people who do wouldn't necessarily wish...

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Domestic Disturbance

How much god-damned shittiness am I supposed to put up with in one month? I apologize if that’s not the most articulate, informative way to express the extreme aggravation, frustration, loneliness, disappointment, and despair that have been swirling around these...

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Soapbox

I’m not participating in A Day Without Weblogs. This is not because I don't think AIDS awareness is important, or because I think it's a hollow gesture to remove your weblog for a day. On the contrary, I think any...

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Always Be Prepared

As if I didn't have enough to do already, I decided to throw together a wee little something about the whole Boy Scouts brouhaha, with a few reference materials pulled from my vast archive of fun stuff. First, an excerpt...

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First Things First

A few months ago, when I was knee-deep in my "should I or shouldn't I" grad school crisis, Adbusters and a few other magazines simultaneously published a reprint of First Things First, a manifesto first written by Ken Garland in...

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