We Saw That links to a digest about the superstitions surrounding the number thirteen.
LEGEND HAS IT: ...If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names).
Right. And the U.S. was founded with thirteen originial colonies, and we all know how that turned out.
Former Rep. William Jefferson was sentenced Friday [the 13th] to serve 13 years in prison for what the lead prosecutor described as "the most extensive and pervasive pattern of corruption in the history of Congress."
Oh give me a break! That's laying it on a bit thick, dontcha think? Jefferson neither invented nor perfected high-level corruption in government.
And the line about Dollar Bill needing instant imprisonment because he is a "flight risk" is also fairly insulting to the intelligence. That said, I'm glad he's getting punished and am happy that he was not elected last year so that his trial didn't become more of a national spectacle because it involved a sitting Congressman.
The death of daily newspapers has been predicted for decades, but in the past year their decline accelerated. The consequence of diminished investigative reporting is especially dire on the Gulf Coast where communities remain in the throes of post-disaster recovery, with public policies undergoing major reform and billions in federal recovery dollars being spent with little oversight or accountability. The huge stakes here did not prevent Advance Publications, owner [of] the Greater New Orleans region’s only daily newspaper, The Times Picayune, from recently announcing plans to further shrink its newsroom – and further erode coverage of the critical issues facing this uniquely challenged region.
The decline of mainstream print media comes, somewhat ironically, at a time when civic engagement is on the rise in New Orleans as is the public appetite for news, more and more of which is delivered by Internet.
Sources within and outside The Times-Picayune told Gambit today that the paper’s most visible columnist, Chris Rose, intends to take the paper’s latest round of buyouts, but may continue as a contributor to the paper’s Living section. ... Rose’s departure from The Times-Picayune staff would follow several other high-profile writers who chose to take the paper’s voluntary buyouts this year, including Rose’s fellow columnist Angus Lind, veteran crime reporter Walt Philbin and theater writer David Cuthbert.
In Louisiana, online-only outlet BayouBuzz"is absolutely primed to fill the gaps of all media — especially the daily newspaper," Publisher Steve Sabludowsky wrote in an e-mail. Sabludowsky, a writer and lawyer, frequents the Capitol and plans to increase the site's presence soon. "Newspapers will continue the decline and we (and other online publications) will fill it."
Whew. That's a relief. Sabludowsky's publication will find ways to make up for the absence of a top shelf observer like T-P columnist James Gill. For example, where would we be without Sabludowsky's far-sighted commentary regarding the investigations into Meffmouth?
After co-writing the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are and writing a novelization, Dave Eggers has signed a movie deal for Zeitoun, his August book about the aftermath of Katrina, and how a Syrian-American resident of New Orleans was arrested and falsely accused of being a terrorist. ... Q: Jonathan Demme is planning an animated film version of Zeitoun. Why animated?
A: To make a viable live-action version of the flooding of New Orleans would probably cost at least $100 million. That would be a colossal waste of money. In an animated version, like Waltz With Bashir, you save money and you tell the story in a new way. ... Q: The next issue of McSweeney's, the literary quarterly you co-founded, is being published as a prototype of a 21st-century Sunday newspaper, theSan Francisco Panorama. Why?
A: I love the newspaper form. It's the main way I get my news. We thought as an independent company we could experiment with the form and remind readers of all the things that can be done uniquely well in the printed-on-paper newspaper format. A lot of what we're doing, oddly enough, is resurrecting things that papers used to do 100 years ago – like really using the broadsheet as a huge canvas that artists and designers and photographers can go crazy with.
Q: Do printed books and newspapers have a future?
A: Books definitely do. There's no doubt that most buyers of books will continue to favor the printed form. Newspapers face a tougher fight, but one I think can be won with ingenuity and determination. I do think the only way journalists will continue to be able to do investigative journalism effectively is if readers are willing to pay for it.
I like Eggers take on the possible future of newspapers.
I haven't yet read Zeitoun. Is it about the lethal dangers of rampant political correctness?
--- Update: The USA Today excerpt has been trimmed a bit.
A NW LA Who Dat is requesting your assistance. Apparently the Shreveport Fox affiliate can't decide whether to broadcast the Saints or the Dallas Cowboys football game this Sunday. So they've created an online poll that will determine the outcome. As the Who Dat fan explains
The rivalry between the Crygirls and the Bless You Boys is pretty intense here.
The Saints are behind in the poll right now, but only slightly. Your vote could make the difference. So if you have a spare minute to help out a fellow fan in exile, please do so. Chef has the details for you.
Why are women getting so hysterical over the passing of Stupak?
Certainly Stupak was an ugly entity, seemingly from another era. But if you take the time to inspect Stupak's life, I think you can find a certain bizarre charm to the man. (For example, did you ever see the old curmudgeon get irritated on GSN's High Stakes Poker? Funny stuff.)
I don't see what all the fuss is about. When he was alive, Bob Stupak was creepy because he was a scamster with a reconstructed face. But at least he wasn't creepy because he was a Christian Reconstructionist legislator in D.C.-- those types scare me.
I still say Michael at 2 Millionth Web Log does photoshop commentary like no one else. For instance, you might go to hell if you look at this photoshop graphic Michael put together, but the work is so good... it might be worth an eternal surf on the lake of fire.
Punk ideology, such as it was, rejected utopianism and maintained the simple, practical goal of casting off the shackles imposed by dictatorial institutions: Destroy what’s destroying you.
That's pretty good, as is John Lydon's punk rock motto:
Never hand over your own power. And when they ask you to go away. Refuse.
I didn't ask for sunshine and I got World War three I'm looking over the wall and they're looking at me ... Now I got a reason to be waiting The Berlin wall They're staring all night And they're staring all day I had no reason to be here at all And now I got a reason It's no real reason And I'm waiting The Berlin wall I got to go over the Berlin wall I don't understand this thing at all I'm gonna go over the Berlin wall I'm gonna go over the Berlin wall I'm gonna go over the Berlin wall Claustrophobia there's too much paranoia There's too many closets So when will we fall And now I gotta reason It's no real reason to be waiting The Berlin wall I got to go over the wall I don't understand this thing at all This third rate B movie show Cheap dialogue Cheap essential scenery I got to go over the wall I wanna go over the Berlin wall Before they come over the Berlin wall I don't understand this thing at all I'm gonna go over the wall I wanna go over the Berlin wall I'm gonna go over the Berlin wall Before they come over the Berlin wall I don't understand this thing at all
T-P reports how the LA delegation voted on the House's health care reform bill:
In the end... Rep. Anh "Joseph'' Cao, R-New Orleans, voted "yes" late Saturday night, making him the only Republican in the House to vote for a bill that passed 220-215.
Cao also was the only member of Louisiana's seven-member House delegation to support the Democratic plan.
Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, who is running for the Senate, joined the other five Republicans in the delegation in voting "no.'' Melancon was one of 39 Democrats to vote against the plan. ... Cao, who said he was sitting next to Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., during the historic vote Saturday night, was asked whether he felt courageous or lonely after the vote.
E at WCBF lauds Cao as well, and wonders about Rep. Melancon:
This couldn't have been easy. [Cao] was the only Republican to break ranks. I'm glad he did. ... On the other hand, Congressman Charlie Melancon voted no. It's getting harder to figure out how he'd be an improvement over David Vitter.
How about Joseph Cao for Senate instead?
Mike Stagg wants someone to run in the Democratic primary against Melancon:
So, the question is this: Why is Charlie Melancon running as a Democrat for the Senate?
I don't get it.
He is not going to pick up any Republican votes with his healthcare votes today. The Republicans have their rock-rib, anti-abortion, anti-government, anti-Democratic, hypocrite candidate in David Vitter. Why would they take Vitter/Republican Lite when they've got the real thing?
Why, too, would Democrats vote for Melancon when the congressman is more likely to oppose President Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate?
It seems Rep. Melancon will have to answer these questions in order to prevail over Vitter in next year's elections for U.S. Senate.