Life as an Extreme Sport

The Arrogance of Mitch McConnell and Friends– Or, Flaws in Assuming You Know God’s Will

Maybe it’s all part of a great big ineffable plan. All of it. You, me, him, everything. Some great big test to see if what you’ve built all works properly, eh? You start thinking: it can’t be a great cosmic game of chess, it has to be just very complicated Solitaire. And don’t bother to answer. If we could understand, we wouldn’t be us. Because it’s all — all — ” INEFFABLE, said the figure feeding the ducks. -Terry Pratchet and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens   As you probably know, I’m religious–Tibetan Buddhist, to be precise–so I do understand the idea of following religious moral rules even if that puts you sort of outside lockstep with modern society. I tend to view religion as a separate (complimentary) sphere to say, science. And while we do things differently across the international religious dateline, I know that a lot of Christian-variations feel

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Counting the Coverage: The Daily Show and Dicks*

For the past week plus, there have been rumblings in the blogosphere that Jon Stewart has not done enough to mock, slam, satirize, or otherwise shame New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, and the charge is two-fold: Stewart won’t because Weiner is a Democrat, and Stewart won’t because they were, for a time, college roommates, and have remained friends. The charge that Stewart isn’t as hard on Democrats largely and unsurprisingly comes from conservative commentators (feel free to read “FOX News and fans” here); Stewart and The Daily Show shot to prominence in a post-9/11 world, and a lot of viewers (and/or detractors) didn’t have the experience of Clinton years for context. And it can be a bit hard to compare administrations against one another – it’s rare that political situations are ever similar enough that an apples to apples comparison can be done. (And this would be one of the

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Jon Stewart, Osama bin Laden, and the Joker appearing as the id

Id. Not I.D. or intelligent design or any of the numerous other acronyms that exist for those two letters. Just id. It was a word casually slipped into the dialog of last night’s episode of The Daily Show as Stewart (and, one presumes, staff) unabashedly celebrated the death of Osama bin Laden. I realized, from the opening closeup of the May 2nd episode, that there were going to be a lot of people disappointed in Stewart and company’s reaction. Why? Well, both Stewart and Colbert have reached that point in the cultural zeitgeist where a big event happens and people – or at least liberal people of a certain age – say “I can’t wait to see what Stewart and Colbert have to say.” (And an accompanying joke has arisen – the biggest news items happen when the two are on break. Thus, Danny DeVito’s celebratory tweet that The Daily

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Analyzing Groupon’s Failure

I feel like people are probably expecting a comment on Groupon’s amazingly over the top, tasteless, offensive advertisement shown during the Super Bowl last night. (Why do I feel like people expect this? Well, I’m Buddhist and I am known for being cranky. It’s not really a large leap there…) So, yes, I found that Groupon advertisement to be a masterclass in what not to do. For those who missed the advert, here it is: The copy reads Mountainous Tibet – one of the most beautiful places in the world. This is Timothy Hutton. The people of Tibet are in trouble, their very culture in jeopardy. But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought on Groupon.com we’re getting $30 worth of Tibetan food for just $15 at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago. Let’s get the basics out of the way, first. Tibet is in

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encapsulation

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c The Daily Show on Facebook Perhaps the most poignant and appropriate commentary yet on the Saturday shootings in Arizona. I’m not sure what it says about us, as a culture (or Jon Stewart’s claim to be “just a comedian”) that the voice of sanity in the face of the massacre is coming from Comedy Central. Then again, perhaps that’s most apropos.

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