July 22nd, 2004

i am not a stuffed tiger.

documentary season

The season of the political documentary continues. The Hunting of the President [site] had its Seattle premiere tonight at the Cinerama in the form of a Democratic fundraiser -- Gary Locke (aiming for a Kerry administration post?) introduced it and many of the principals stayed for a post-screening Q&A hosted by Washington's first lady. Aside: how much do we love the Q&A? it's everyone's chance to ask questions to boost their own egos.

I got to see for free since a friend knew someone who knew someone who needed seat-fillers. I thought about pretending to be a correspondent, but was reluctant to take slower.net style photos of the attendees and settled for a blurry crowd shot. [photolog] Of course, by the time everyone from our group arrived we were left to the last row in the balcony (which has less legroom than any other seat in the theater).

I thought that the movie was very powerful, possibly even more than some of this summer's others. Maybe that's because I developed my Salon addiction during the impeachment and didn't think that the concept of a "vast right wing conspiracy" was ridiculous. So, while I realize that I'm a more receptive than others, but it is an instructive story about the forces that played a huge role in the neverending scandal of the nineteen nineties (including the national media). Susan McDougal's sections were especially compelling and she comes across as the hero of the story.

It opens to the (Seattle) public on Friday at the Varsity, check the site for your city.
  • Current Mood
    x-post, sort of
the only earth?

exceptionally fine weather

The final report of the "9/11 commission" is scheduled to be released today [pdf]. Morning Edition opens with an overview of the findings, straightforwardly presented over eight minutes with audio clips and analysis. It is striking to hear the contrast between public statements made around the time of the attacks and the commission's current understanding of the events. [npr]

I'm sure that similar stories will be on the evening news, but the NPR take seems especially clear.


update: BoingBoing is covering the hell out of options for reading the full report. [bb]
the only earth?

morning obsession

What you might have missed in the headlines about Microsoft's gigantic dividend payout: the practical consequences of new tax rates! For instance, Morning Edition reports that tax cuts save Steve Balmer 200 million dollars on his billion dollar dividend distribution (under the old rates, he would've payed ~350 million). They also induce dividend programs: the number of companies offering special dividend packages has increased more than fourfold since the new rates wen into effect. [npr]
drinking in the dark

no more candy talking

This week The Stranger's gossip/music columnist/institution Kathleen Wilson silences "Some Candy Talking" (the warmer, fuzzier sequel to "It's My Party"). In her goodbye she thanks the academy, but doesn't explain her departure. [stranger]

We'll always remember that summer of attempted K.W. sightings, and believe that the addition of her picture to the column really took much of the fun out of the game. Her relentless coverage of whatever events happened to occur at the Cha-Cha Lounge on any particular night will be sincerely missed. Our favoritest column on this subject was the one in which she detailed the annoyances of reading in a bar [stranger].


[Secret memo to Dan Savage: if you're looking for someone to take over, I know of a guy who's turning "the new 23" this August that just might be available.]
  • Current Music
    Aveo - Desert & The Great Divorce

revisiting stalker chic

Trying to think of interesting eCommerce flameouts, I wondered what happened to skim.com [old story, salon]. Its website appears to still be marginally functional, allowing users to check in to see if anyone spotted them with their four-year old once fashion forward identified garments.

I wonder if they would've been more successful if their launch had coincided with the social networking site convergence of 2003. Those friendster t-shirts could've been functional! Maybe people really aren't and never will be into expensive clothing with stalker coding.