Today’s Playlist: “American”

  1. Wilco, "Ashes Of American Flags" (off "YHF Demos/Unreleased")
  2. Bill Frisell, "Unscientific Americans"
  3. A Guy Called Gerald, "American Cars"
  4. De La Soul, "It's American"
  5. Jonathan Elias, "American River"
  6. Howard Zinn, "The American Revolution"
  7. Rilo Kiley, "American Wife"
  8. Rolando Alarcon, "Si Somos Americanos"
  9. David Bowie, "I'm Afraid of Americans (VI)"
  10. Howard Zinn, "Un-American Activities"
  11. Damsel, "Deathwatch On The American Empire"
  12. Jimmy Eat World ,"Bleed American"
  13. American Music Club, "America Loves the Minstrel Show"
  14. Out Hud, "The Stoked American"
  15. Nas & Kelis, "American Way"
  16. Cat Power, "American Flag"
  17. George Michael, "American Angel"
  18. Garth Brooks, "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association"
  19. The Elders, "American Wake"
  20. Radio 4, "The Death of American Radio"
  21. Wilco, "Ashes Of American Flags"

All ye know on earth, and all ye need to know

[…] There is one moment in my teenage years when I remember being
ethnically accepted. I was shopping for a television with my father at
Price Club, when one of the salespeople, who was Latina, mistook us for
her peers and graciously — in Spanish — told us that the TV we were
interested in would be on sale in two weeks. It seemed as though she
was giving us the inside scoop because we were comrades, members of the
same club. Luckily, I'd taken about five years' worth of Spanish, so I
got the gist of what she was saying. We came back in two weeks and got
the TV for 15 percent off. And it felt great. […]

Kevin Sintumuang's "The Curly Cue"

[…] The 34F does not mess around. It might look like the curtains, but
it is made of chicken wire and upholstery. You would lose a fight with
this bra. It is the Rambo of bras. But for all its toughness, it still
exudes a come-to-Grandma sexiness.

Still, it's mine now, and I am
at peace. And not, as some people think, in pain. I am architecturally
sound — tall and broad-shouldered and hippy enough to have basic
structural integrity, with triangulate distribution of weight-bearing
loads. The edifice is sturdy. The center can hold. So, no, there is no
need for surgery. There's only one way out of this, and that is down. […]

Rachel Manteuffel's "Getting an 'F' in Biology"

[…] So, on the one hand, I'll never know what Julia Roberts looks like.
On the other, I loved when, during a viewing of "Erin Brockovich," my
wife leaned close and said, "Oh, I wish you could see what they've done
with Julia Roberts's cleavage." I admit that I will always have to
imagine Ms. Roberts's achievement. But I do have a good imagination. I
don't mind the work.

I get turned on by your accent, your
fragrance, your laugh, your enthusiasm for almost anything. Strictly
speaking, I don't even know what my wife looks like. Instead, I live
for the thrill of the touch of her lips, and my hands are privileged to
see her. My wife lives in a luminous blue corona of light, and that is
good enough for me. […]

Stephen Kuusisto's "The Beauty Myth"

[…] What's more, beauty is now a mass phenomenon, almost as ubiquitous
as electricity or water. Hard to remember, but high-speed, high-quality
color printing is only about 50 years old (the same is true for color
television). Our world, in which ordinary people view hundreds of
lifelike, full-color, drop-dead gorgeous images daily, is entirely the
product of that brief period. For most of history, ordinary people saw
few, if any, deliberately beautiful images in their entire lives.
Paintings and sculptures were for palaces and cathedrals; most human
beings until recently lived on farms or in isolated villages. If they
visited town and saw a beautiful statue in the square, the sheer rarity
of that experience would heighten the sense that this beauty was in no
way related to their common lives.

Now, movies and television
give us beauty as an everyday experience. We watch stories set in
offices, schools, hospitals, neighborhoods just like the ones we
inhabit ourselves. We're encouraged to relate as peers to the beautiful
people who act out these stories. That's my life up on the screen! Or,
I feel as if Julia Roberts and I could be best friends. Or, why can't
the boys at my school be more like Zack and Cody? Other media, using
still more beautiful models (airbrushed and Photoshopped), cheerfully
explain to us how to eat, exercise, dress and groom so that we can be
beautiful, too. […]

David von Drehle's "Looking Good" (with discussion)

[…] So, at this very moment, how do I appear to myself?

It's the
morning after my rendezvous in the kitchen with Stephen. In the door
mirror of our home office, I stand straight, feet together and
shoulders back. I see an attractive woman in a white linen blouse and
an apple green cardigan that fits her full bust to a T. The blazer
drapes gracefully over her waist. The skirt will soon sway like the
perfect pendulum over her ample hips. The sweet chocolate open-toed
wedgies on her feet keep her balanced. The look she gets from her
husband makes her late for work.

Carla Broyles' "A Well-Rounded Woman"



What comedian makes you pee your pants laughing?
Submitted by pookieb.

Steven Wright. I mean, come on. "The Beach"? Gold. Pure gold.


Dubbing E.B. the boy

"I'm impressed that he was clearly African
yet he stood at the helm at something as mainstream and
significant as '60 Minutes' for all these years.

DuBois talked about the twoness of African Americans — to be American
and to be black
; well Ed Bradley experienced a threeness, if you will.
He was an American, he was black, and he was a journalist, and everyone
knows that's a whole different experience, too."

Alicia Nails, an
Emmy-winning television producer and director of the Journalism
Institute for Minorities at Wayne State University
, in Mekeisha Madden Toby's "Legendary newsman made '60 Minutes' tick"


IKEA desk contents, random Wednesday night

  • One Comcast cable modem, barely used.
  • One Shure BG 2.0 cardioid microphone.
  • One eyeglass case, Guess!, containing one pair of glasses with Ray-Ban Clubman frames, broken.
  • One "Future — Concord Regional Library" mug filled to the brim with paperclips and a staple remover.
  • One eyeglass case, Timberland, containing one pair of Timberland glasses, worn.
  • One copy, "Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels" by Scott McCloud.
  • One copy, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls," by Peter Biskind, on loan from the Berkeley Public LIbrary
  • One copy, "Gynomite: Fearless Feminist Porn," edited by Liz Belile.
  • One copy, "Stranger Than Fiction: The Shooting Script," by Zach Helm.
  • One copy, "The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Moby — The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age," by Mark Prendergast.
  • One copy, "The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining your Blog," by Rebecca Blood.
  • One copy, "Vox: A Novel," by Nicholson Baker.
  • One copy, "Saved!" DVD, on loan from a co-worker, slightly superceded by a recent movie and made quaint by recent events.
  • One copy, "Donnie Darko: The Director's Cut" DVD and one copy of "The Virgin Suicides" DVD, frightfully late in being returned to Netflix.
  • Two BART farecards, one containing $4.60 and found in a farecard machine at the Lake Merritt station, the other containing $17.85 and purchased at Lake Merritt station.
  • One button, small, pink, advertising, which let a friend go from employment and can hence go expire in a burning lake of fire.
  • One Qwik-Tune auto guitar and bass tuner, used, sturdy
  • One Logitech mm55 iPod portable desktop speaker system, lightly used, currently playing songs from the "Marie Antoinette" soundtrack, one of several thoroughly enjoyable things about the movie currently in finer theaters near you.
  • One M. Hohner Chrometta 8 harmonica, used.
  • One key-tumbler padlock, purchased from Public Storage.
  • One Epson printer, aging gracefully and only occasionally pressed into service.
  • One small plastic bottle of Clobex topical lotion.
  • One small sleeve of 37-cent American-flag U.S. Postal Service stamps, unused.
  • One Canadian dime, struck in 1989, one of several anni horribili in my personal calendar.
  • One empty wineglass, in dire need of a refill, perhaps after consumption of a Berkeley Bowl chicken, black bean, cheese and salsa burrito cooling its heels in the kitchen fridge.