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April 14, 2006

Tax Question

So I'm sitting in Saurin Parke Cafe, the scattered detritus of my financial life scattered about me as I attempt to do my taxes. Right next to me are four members of the Revolutionary Student Movement, or the Movement of Students for the Revolution, or the Students Revolutionary Front. Who abuses the English language with phrases like "stages of patriarchal capitalism in its movement towards imperialistic war" anymore?

Then again, maybe Martin's right and I will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes. Trust the revolution not to come before I've paid my income tax.

If I get another beer to get rid of the IRS-and-capitalist-dialectic-induced headache, can I put it down as a preparation expense?

November 23, 2005

Federalist Society Student Symposium 2006 to be held at Columbia, February 2006

Remember my criticism of conservative marketing last week, in which I complained that all too often conservative advertisements consist of little more than images of stuffy white males? Well, the website for the 25th Annual Federalist Society Student Symposium is now online and accepting registrations. The move away from portraits of the Founding Fathers is not entirely coincidental.

Sign up. It should be one heck of a party.

November 22, 2005

Bork . . . was . . . right?

I never believed PG when she used to tell me about Robert Bork's claims of escort agencies operating on Manhattan's public access television:

One evening at a hotel in New York I flipped around the television channels. Suddenly there on the public access channel was a voluptuous young woman, naked, her body oiled, writhing on the floor while fondling herself intimately. Meanwhile, a man's voice and a print on the screen informed the viewer of the telephone number and limousine service that would acquaint him with young women of similar charms and proclivities. I watched for some time -- riveted by the sociological significance of it all. Shortly after that, men only slightly less nude advertised homosexual prostitutes.

Certainly Bork had just come home, battle-scarred from a few too many fine, strong Manhattans with a few too many fine, liberal Manhattanites. He was confused. You can't put nudity on American public television! It's a point of pride among some of my British friends that they live in the land of the free, or at least the land free enough to show the best of Shannon Tweed after the watershed.

Little did my English buddies know.

Half-reading my Admin Law while my girlfriend flipped channels on a study break, I was roused from my stupor by her call of, "What the ----?" And there on screen was . . . well, I don't really have the words. Someone had coupled images of women in varying stages of undress with seemingly random stock footage and whatever had been on their iPod at the time. Neither image was shown clearly, but rather both had been made semi-transparent, such that an old couple on a canoe were floating down a river through the ghost of a stripper's g-string. A topless model wiggling her tush had been superimposed on a waddling parrot as Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" murmured in the background. A lesbian scene between two blondes, some shots of the New York skyline, and (my personal drop-dead last pick to include in a softcore act) the Backstreet Boys' "Quit Playing Games With My Heart," was the climax of the program. Each of these . . . "music videos"? . . . was placed between a few minutes of the announcer quizzing horror movie actors and producers (including someone from Buffy), or strange and improbable bands dressed as undead Elvis impersonators.

I'll admit, if I hadn't been completely sober I'd suspect that I'd been drinking.

The only telephone numbers flashed on the screen accompanied requests for more models, not an escort invitation. But I'm willing to give Bork a much greater benefit of the doubt now. Why does Manhattan bother to run such a network, and is there any excuse for The Neal Alpert TV Show?

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