: A Guardian profile of Blogger’s Ev.
A monumental oops
: Thanks to the forum on F’dcompany, I’m led to a page that someone should have thought to kill off of Citysearch (no wonder they’re laying off… again): The Top of the World/World Trade Center ad, complete with 360-degree view from what used to be the top.
A fashion statement
: The NY Times explains Hamid Karzai’s wardrobe. It’s not just about looking dashing and different — though he generally does — it’s filled with symbolism:
…a carefully assembled collection of regional political symbols, combined in a way that might look swashbuckling to the West, but could be read as something else by anyone back home.
The chapan, or cape, Mr. Karzai wears with such Èlan ó he has sported two in America, one in green and the other in shimmering purple ó is typical of clothes worn by northern tribesmen.
Mr. Karzai’s hat is of an Uzbek style popular in Kabul. His tunic and loose trousers, called peran tonban, is typical of village people and fell out of favor among educated Afghans long before the Taliban.
“He is from Kandahar, the chapan is from Mazar-i-Sharif, the hat is from Kabul,” said Rafi Habibi, owner of the Afghan Market in Alexandria, Va., outside Washington. “He wears them all together because he wants peace between Pashtun, Kabuli, Uzbek. He’s showing people we are the same, no more tribal divisions, one nation, no difference between us anymore.”
Howard Stern says he dresses like a “waiter” or a “woman.” I do think the latest green thing looked a little goofy — like a coat some kindly but addled aunt sewed with arms two feet too long — but otherwise, Karzai does pull it off with style and dignity.
Proud moments in journalism, Part II
: I have many proud moments in my journalist career. Remind me to tell you someday about the time Frank Sinatra called me a “bum.” And about my hate mail from Bill Cosby. The government’s warning this week about a satellite falling to earth reminds me of my great moment of shameless promotion. I was a columnist on the SF Examiner. When Skylab was falling, we found out that that Chronicle, the competition with whom we shared a backshop, was going to offer subscribers Skylab insurance in a day. We beat them to the punch with a $10,000 offer for a piece of genuine Skylab delivered to our offices. I called NASA. There’s NO chance it would fall on land, they assured me. NO chance. But if it did, would they authenticate? Sure, they said, because there’s NO chance it would land on land. I assured the publisher of this. So we made the offer. And the next day, the Chronicle offered its insurance. We accused them of following our lead. We lied. So Sullivan me.
Anyway, the satellite did fall on land in Western Australia (Tim Blair: are you listening?). And a 17-year-old beer-truck-driver’s helper named Stan Thornton picked up pieces of black stuff from his yard and with the help of a radio station, he flew to San Francisco in time for our deadline. We had to send an editor to NASA in Huntsville, AL, where he spent a week waiting while they analyzed the black stuffl. Meanwhile, the kid was just a kid, so he had to stay with the family of the managing editor while he had his 15 minutes of fame. For a time, NASA honestly believed it was astronaut poop, but they finally decided it was balsa wood from the spacecraft. We paid the kid.
I got publicity all around the world; I still have a clip from India, even. I think this was my undoing in San Francisco; the publisher was jealous of the attention.
This, too, is journalism.
This, too, is journalism
: Two debunked stories (aka memes, these days): The story of the woman stuck pneumatically in an airline toilet is false. And the story of a bachelor being smothered by the size 72D breasts of a stripper is false. Sometimes, journalism is about taking all the fun out of life. The truth is no damned fun.
: Why did Bush add North Korea to his Axis of Terror? I certainly get it that North Korea is a bad place — buying weapons as it starves its people, as Bush said. But it’s hardly a hotbed of Islamic terrorism. And is that the very point: We don’t just hate Islamic terrorists; we hate bad guys of all ethnic stripes?
From the axis
: Iran reacts to Bush’s State of the Union:
President Khatami evaluated Bush’s remarks as “intervening,
warmongering, insulting, a repetition of his past propagation, and
worse than all, truly insulting towards the Iranian nation.”
The she terrorist
: A Times of London profile of the female suicide bomber.
We are a tacky country
: Someone made 9.11 medallions from World Trade Center steel.
Fed up New Yorkers
: Matt Welch quotes another New Yorker who’s as fed up as I am with the thought of having to deal with the anti-everything twerps coming into town to protest, what, capitalism:
But the over-fed, white-boy, black-wearing trouble makers protesting instead of working, well, they can stay home. We have been through more than enough during the last four months. I have heard predictions that average New Yorkers will beat the shit out of the protesters if the boyz in black even get the slightest bit out of line.
I heard some dweeb lady on TV tonight say that they were just going to have puppet shows. Yes, that will change the world. Twerp. Dweeb. Bozo. Idiot.
: Matthew Yglesias complains about fellow liberals being associated with the twerp-dweeb-bozo-idiots tormenting New York. Agree.