Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Those crispy chunks of fried whatever at Long John's

Just a few things in the papers that caught my eye. I'll try to keep these somewhat short.

*First, KU unveiled their new premium seating section. Essentially they set up metal bleachers with TVs in the endzone and threw a few leather recliners on it. You can pay $2500 for the recliner or $2200 to sit in a freaking stool in the same section. Absolutely ridiculous. Now, I have no doubt that they will probably sell out just because there never seems to be a shortage of people who want to prove they can afford to waste money on something like that.

The upsides are you get a free buffet and there are rumors that you can get booze too (love how they're high and mighty about keeping alcohol away from everyone except the rich bastards) and you're right on the field at that endzone. The downsides are that chair looks like it would burn your ass if you tried to sit on it in August, you can't see shit on the other side of the field, and everyone stares at you wondering why you're such an asshole that you spend $2500 for one of the worst seats for viewing in the entire stadium.

*As I ran various gels in the lab I had plenty of time to kill so I was able to read quite a bit of the NY Times and a couple things caught my eye. First, was this Maureen Dowd column on these phony "elitism" charges that Republicans are trying to throw at Obama and she nails it.
Karl Rove was impressed with Barack Obama when he first met him. But now he sees him as a “coolly arrogant” elitist.

This was Rove’s take on Obama to Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club Monday, according to Christianne Klein of ABC News:

“Even if you never met him, you know this guy. He’s the guy at the country club with the beautiful date, holding a martini and a cigarette that stands against the wall and makes snide comments about everyone who passes by.”

Actually, that sounds more like W.

The cheap populism is really rich coming from Karl Rove. When was the last time he kicked back with a corncob pipe to watch professional wrestling?

That last line made me laugh out loud, not only because it's just a funny line and even funnier to imagine Karl Rove doing that, but because there's like a 50% chance that's what Maureen Dowd thinks the rest of the country does. But, it's true. They're such hypocritical bastards. I read a story once from someone that stood behind Rove at a Starbucks once and he ordered a *GASP* latte! Clearly he can't connect with the rest of us down home 'mericans. And who actually think lattes are "elitist" now? Freaking McDonald's is selling them.

Anyway, she lays out why these accusations are bullshit, especially coming from them, and why they won't matter this time.
Rove’s mythmaking about Obama won’t fly. If he means that Obama has brains, what’s wrong with that? If he means that Obama is successful, what’s wrong with that? If he means that Obama has education and intellectual sophistication, what’s wrong with that?

Many of Obama’s traits are the traits that people in the population aspire to.


*Then two of their frontpage stories were also worth a read. The first looked at people starting to reject the McMansion suburbs at the far end of metro areas due to the outrageous costs it takes to heat them and drive to their jobs. The picture they have is of a giant house being built on a former cattle pasture with a six-car garage. Great. I think it's going to be interesting to see how all of this plays out. Will gentrification force the poor to move to these crumbling suburbs?

*This story was just kind of bizarre. It's about the disappearance of an Albanian custom where, in a family where the men have died, women could take an oath of virginity and dress and act like a man for the rest of their lives. As western ideas about the role of women arrive in the country medieval customs like this one are disappearing. One woman says she would have liked to have been a woman in this time while another one can barely imagine what it would have been like.

One of her duties was to avenge the death of her father so when his murderer was released from prison five years ago, at the age of 80, she had her 15 year-old nephew shoot him in the head. Then his family killed the nephew out of revenge.
“I always dreamed of avenging my father’s death,” she said. “Of course, I have regrets; my nephew was killed. But if you kill me, I have to kill you.”

Umm, hope it was worth it.

*I tried to watch the 2nd half of Germany-Turkey this afternoon but a thunderstorm kept knocking the signal out so we missed 2 goals. All around the world people were cursing their TV at the same time. Really made me feel a part of something...

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