Tuesday, December 25, 2007
A very important post about.... things I will not miss while I am away
Your humble blogger is getting the hell out of Dodge for the rest of 2007 and the beginning of 2008. Blogging will be nonexistent for the next 36 hours, followed by ten days of, at best,
Since it is the end of the year and I will be out of the country, here is a short list of things I will not be missing while I am gone:
1) Paul Krugman's jihad against Barack Obama. As an outsider to progressive infighting, this was fun for a few go-arounds, but we've now hit the tedious patch when Krugman spends every column and blog post searching desperately for something to dump on Obama. This is Krugman at his most humorless and least persuasive.
Friday, June 1, 2007
A very important post about.... getting the hell away from all of you
Starting this morning, my wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in grand style -- going on vacation for five days and four nights to a small Caribbean isle that will remain anonymous. The children will not be accompanying us, as their grandmothers will be here to take care of them.
None of you will be coming either.
So,until my return, here's a few links that should be worthy of comment... in descending order of seriousness:
1) In the next issue of Foreign Affairs, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have articles articulating their foreign policy visions. Go check them out. I'll be particularly curious to see just how much overlap there is between them.That is all.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
A very important post about.... how I wasted an hour today
So I stumbled across MyHeritage.com today -- which claims to have a face recognition program that lets you upload a photo and tells you which celebrities you look like.
Of course, I couldn't resist. After uploading the picture on the front of the web site, here's the list of celebs I was told I resemble:
Matt LeBlancIf you've managed to contain yourself to this point, well, you have better self restraint than I.
Needless to say, their technology appears to be heavily dependent upon the angle of the face in the photo, hair length, facial hair, the presence of eyeglasses, etc. In other words, it's pretty much rubbish. When I uploaded a Salma Hayek photo, the program declared her to be only a 74% match with... Salma Hayek.
So this was a waste of time..... until I realized that I could upload pictures of other bloggers and see who they resembled. The resulting lists of names are pretty friggin' funny.
Ward CunninghamVirginia Postrel:
KajolAndrew Sullivan -- no matches. I tried two different photos, and Andrew stumped the computer.
Leonardo DiCaprioTyler Cowen
Boris TrajkovskiAna Marie Cox:
Annette BeningMegan McArdle:
Katie HolmesOh, and as a final check, I uploaded this photo of Henry Farrell and myself:
George ClooneyFor myself: Henry
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
A very important post about.... Barbara Boxer's blue mind
Via Matt Welch, I found Anne-Marie O'Connor's story in the Los Angeles Times about Senator Barbara Boxer's new novel, A Time to Run (co-authored with Mary-Rose Hayes).
There's some fascinating information in O'Connor's piece about the motivations behind the troika of protagonists:
Insert your own joke about the Kennedys here.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go consult a therapist to determine which parent emotionally abused me so much as to drive to the right of the political spectrum.
[Wow, emotional abuse and early gender confusion. You're a psychological mess. No wonder you didn't get tenure!--ed. Hmmm... maybe I should take a closer look at the Americans With Disabilities Act!!]
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
A very important post about.... my early gender confusion
Well, as a child, I certainly suffered from 1, 2, 4, 5, and maybe 6 (Depends how you define "think effeminately").
If you'll excuse me, I have to go tell my wife and children about my latent homosexual qualities and accompanying gender confusion. I fear that my son will probably cry and feel different.
Readers, talk amongst yourselves -- in particular, how boys who like the "the roughhousing that other boys enjoy" could never be gay.
Hat tip to Giblets at Fafblog, who provides additional tips for detecting future homosexuals in our nation's children:
UPDATE: Another topic for discussion -- did this historical character display gender confusion as well?
Friday, June 17, 2005
A very important post about.... Katie Holmes
For the past month I've been fighting my instinct to blog about the future Mrs. Tom Cruise. Even though the infamous Oprah video bothered me, and even though Cruise's comments about psychiatry in general and Brooke Shields in particular bothered me, my superego said this wasn't a blogworthy topic.
With the announcement of their engagement at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, I think the question needs to be asked -- what is it about this coupling that provokes people into creating elaborate Free Katie web sites?
[Maybe it's the age gap--ed. If that was true, then Catherine Zeta-Jones' marriage to Michael Douglas should have provoked more outrage -- the gap in their ages is twenty years. Same with Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. Hell, I think the public's opinion of Ashton Kutcher went up after he started dating Demi Moore. Also, is anyone really shocked by a generational difference among celebrity couples anymore?]
[Maybe it's the Scientology?--ed. Well, Scientology certainly has its critics. But then again, so do most other religions. And frankly, why should we care if Ms. Holmes decides to leave the Catholic Church? Besides, the furor over their relationship began before any discussion of conversion entered into the mix.]
My hunch is that it's some syncretic combination of a bunch of factors, including the age gap, the Scientology, and the fact that, according to the Associated Press, "The former star of television's 'Dawson's Creek' grew up with a poster of Cruise on her bedroom wall and has said she grew up wanting to marry him." But I'm not sure.
So I will put it to the readers -- what is it about this relationship that weirds so many people out?
Friday, May 27, 2005
A very important post about..... Paris Hilton's food porn
When we last left the topic of food porn, the staff here at danieldrezner.com was gently mocking the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) for awarding this label to the Hardee's/Crl's Jr. Monster Thickburger, pointing out that:
From the comments to that post, it was clear that many readers were eager to eat the burger out of sheer bloody-mindedness because of the CPSI's excessive preachiness on the topic.
One wondered, however -- riling a group like CPSI works only once in generating the kind of necessary buzz. Which group could Hardee's/Carl Jr. manage to rile up in order to secure the appropriate payoff?
Which brings me, of course, to Paris Hilton:
What you see above you is a still from the new Carl. Jr.'s ad for its new Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger. Click here to see the ad running on the Carl Jr.'s site, and here to see an extended version of the ad -- as well as.... commentary by Ms. Hilton herself. [How would you describe the ad?--ed. Er.... Paris Hilton doing a really bad job of washing a Bentley and an OK job of washing herself. And how would you describe her interview?--ed. A major turn-off. Hilton describes her outfit in the ad as a "bikini." For God's sake, the one thing she's supposed to actually know is fashion and she can't even use the proper term?]
Newsweek's Jonathan Darman reports that the usual suspects are not pleased with this ad:
Wow, that's hot. Note to self... check out the PTC web site more often.
Meanwhile, Carl's Jr. is just delighted by the PTC's ire:
So far Puzder has managed to aggravate the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Parents Television Council -- both to brilliant PR effects.
However, one wonders whether Puzder has run out of useful fools. Readers are strongly encouraged to suggest the next watchdog group that Puzder will provoke in order get more associations of his food products with porn.
Sunday, April 3, 2005
A very important post about.... the state of the Sox-Yankees rivalry
Ah, opening day. I was going to compose a long post about coping with the idea of the Red Sox as world champions, while still being confident of the Red Sox's chances this year, but a lot of other people beat me to it.
As for the Yankees, consider this Futility Infielder post by Baseball Prospectus contributor Jay Jaffe from the offseason:
The Yankees are going to be good this year, no doubt. Randy Johnson will be ferocious. However, the fact is that they have no depth in starting pitching -- for the Yankees to win this year, they have to rely on one over-40 pitcher with no cartilage in his right knee and another over-40 pitcher with just a spot of back trouble. This didn't hamper the Red Sox last year (their top five pitchers were remarkably healthy and started 157 of 162 games), but the odds of the Yankees repeating this durability ain't great.
What's more important, however, is how this rivalry shapes up for the next few seasons. It's telling that Theo Epstein has managed not just to sign free agents this off-season, but also trade for some decent prospects. By allowing most of their free agents to walk, the Red Sox will have five of the top fifty picks in this year's amateur draft. The Sox won't just be good this year -- they're setting themselves up for quite a nice run.
And the Yankees? No team with a $200 million payroll is going to be bad -- and this is a great thing for Sox fans. For there to be a real rivalry, both sides need to have a decent chance of winning, and this will be a real rivalry for many years to come. It's been intense in recent years because, as Joe Torre observed, "both clubs have been very evenly matched." After this year, however, medium-term trends favor the Red Sox. Given that for years, nay, decades, the reverse was true, I have no problem with this.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
A very important post about... food porn
This CBS report by Jim Axelrod has more funny quotes from Puzder:
Speaking of food porn, Puzder's irreverent sense of humor translates into Hardee's new and risquĂ© advertising campaign. Seth Stevenson has a review of these ads in Slate -- as he concludes, "Whatever I may think of these ads, I bet they're effective with the target demographic." He's probably right -- click here for the ad that, er, goes the furthest along this line (it's entitled "Fist Girl").
[What, exactly, was the point of this post?--ed. Well, there's a complex observation to be made here about what "Red America" wants -- Many lefty commentators believe that Red Staters are getting hoodwinked into buying deceptive political propaganda about "moral values" hook, line, and sinker. The appeal of the Monster Thickburger suggests that Red State denizens know exactly what they want, and appreciate it when it's sold to them without any deception whatsoever. Oh, bullsh**t, you just wanted to write a post with the title of "Food Porn" in it and get yourself a Wonkette link!--ed. The two points are not mutually exclusive.]
My question to readers -- does the blunt salesmanship make you more likely or less likely to go to a Hardee's and order a Monster Thickburger?
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds offers his answer as well as a food review.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Based on the comments so far (and previous blog posts on this topic), there's another possible reason for the appeal of the Monster Thickburger -- the fact that institutions like the Center for Science in the Public Interest preach against it. Indeed, their decision to label all Thickburgers as "food porn" guaranteed that they would earn sound bites, but the effect might be the opposite of what they intended. I gotta think that if a consumer sees something with that label, it will pique rather than retard their interest (insert your own joke about "larger beef" or "more pork" here). If I was Hardee's Andy Puzder, I'd try to spam e-mail this CPSI warning to as many potential customers as possible.
[What if you were working for the CPSI?--ed. There are two possibilities. One option is to try to beat Hardee's at their own game and go snarky rather than excessively earnest -- like the truth ads with regard to smoking. The other option is to be callous and wait for the Red State population to prematurely decline on its own accord after elevated consumption of Monster Thickburgers.]
FINAL UPDATE: This post nicely coincides with Department of Agriculture release of Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. Among the key recommendations: "To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended." (link via food economist Parke Wilde)
Monday, June 7, 2004
A very important post about.... Jennifer Lopez
I have no doubt that hundreds of tabloid writers and millions of Americans are salivating over Jennifer Lopez's third marriage -- this time to Latin crooner Marc Anthony. [There are other reasons millions of Americans might salivate over J. Lo--ed. You know my preferences when it comes to Latino film stars.]
Far be it for danieldrezner.com to deny Americans their God-given right to mock celebrities. However, since I've been defending American celebrities as of late, let me stick up for J. Lo's recent nuptials. Consider the following:
1) J. Lo's moving up the talent chain. This Bill Zwecker column in the Chicago Sun Times nicely encapsulates J Lo's romantic history:
There is an encouraging trend here. With each successive relationship, J. Lo's beau seems to have an increasing amount of talent -- which presumably raises the level of mutual respect between Miss Lopez and her significant other. One can easily make the claim that Anthony is the best singer of the lot, but one could also say he's the best actor of the lot -- Anthony's
2) "Marcifer" have a lot in common. Turns out J. Lo and Anthony have known each other and been friends for more than a decade. Furthermore, as the Sun-Times story notes:
Maybe these two crazy kids have a future together.
3) Compare J. Lo with some of her peers. Consider the recent statements of some other women who aspire to achieve celebrity status in more than one artistic realm.
The Associated Press reports the following about singer/actor/dancer Janet Jackson:
Meanwhile, here's the latest on fashion designer/model/actress Paris Hilton, according to MSNBC's Kat Giantis:
4) J. Lo's marriage has already lasted longer than Britney Spears'.
By celebrity standards, Miss Lopez seems to have her head screwed on reasonably straight. We here at danieldrezner.com wish the newlywed couple the best of luck!
UPDATE: Kat Giantis has further details on the wedding itself, plus the following:
Thursday, April 22, 2004
A very important post about... who would sleep with me in the blogosphere
This according to Meryl Yourish.
Woo-hoo! Yes, I'm happily married -- but as a complete geek who could never get girls in high school, this kind of information always nice to know.
Oh, wait... Yourish was just satirizing this John Hawkins post of the top ten bloggers he would want to be stranded on a desert island with. Yourish was just kidding.
I feel so... cheap and used. Sniff.
Excuse me, I gotta go watch Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan again.
Monday, February 23, 2004
A very important post about... swimsuits
Slate's Josh Levin posts an amusing statistical summary of Sports Illustrated's 40th anniversary swimsuit issue:
In honor of Ms. Varekova's preference towards those of the geeky persuasion, it seems only fitting to reciprocate in kind by displaying danieldrezner.com's strong preference for supermodels who like geeks:
[Why not a picture of Rose as well?--ed. He clearly needs no additional advertising whatsoever. Besides Varekova was on his show this past Friday.]
UPDATE: D'oh!! Mickey Kaus beat me by a full day on this. Advantage: Kaus!!
Monday, January 5, 2004
A very important post about... Britney Spears
I'm sorry, I just haven't been able to focus today because of Britney Spears' marriage/annulment. What could explain this sort of tabloid celebrity behavior by such a... celebrity?
That and a liplock from Madonna? You can witness the bad morals spreading from mouth to mouth!
More seriously, Entertainment Weekly (subscription required) had a great November cover story -- that's the cover above -- that chronicled the beginning of Mariah Carey-like behavior. One section:
Even more seriously, Andrew Sullivan notes:
I wonder if Britney is still Karl Rove's dream voter.
Saturday, November 1, 2003
A very important post about.... porn
Joyner's absolutely right. I mean, after looking at Salma Hayek pics online, it starts to get boring, tedious, mundane.... which is why I'll switch to looking at Alex Kingston pics. And then Ashley Ju-- [we get the idea--ed.].
My point is not to suggest that Joyner's completely off-base -- despite what was just said, I have the same preferences regarding the sensory advantages of real women. However, my sneaking suspicion that some men prefer two-dimensional fantasy to three-dimensional reality. David Amsden makes a similar point in his recent New York Magazine cover story. An example that eerily echoes Wolf:
This is not a reason to adopt Andrea Dworkin-style attitudes towards porn, or even Katie Couric-style attitudes for that matter. However, perhaps Hugh Hefner was a bit off-target as well.
This is at the University of Chicago??!! Sara also highlights the fact that Protection From Pornography Week just ended.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Michelle argues below that bloggers are equally to blame for the dysfunctional dating scene. Heh. [Of course, she posted that comment at 11:00 PM on a Saturday night!--ed. Yes, and you read it at 11:15 on the same Saturday night. D'oh!!--ed.].
YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis has tons of links on the relationship between sex and blogs. Alan K. Henderson points out that those who love porn and those who despise it haved more in common than you would think. Via Lauren's Blog, I found this Cleveland Plain Dealer story about how women are also into Internet porn. This graf must be quoted in full:
[Three updates in less than twelve hours? You're a machine!--ed. Well, I must confess that I am endowed with what I am told is an extremely large.... appetite for information.]