Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin is a Liar.

That's all, that's my post. She's a liar. If you vote Republican, come talk to me and I'll explain why you're a f*cking jackass.


Cooler headed, morning-after update:

Yep, still a liar.

Probably the best example is that she says she's against earmarks, but as mayor of Wasilla-AK she hired the town's first ever DC lobbyist and got $27 million in earmarks from the federal government. (In fact, the state of Alaska is one gigantic earmark. Here's another one, and it actually has her hand-written notes on it.)

Palin said literally nothing of substance last night, and most of the character-defining statements she made completely twisted the truth. Meanwhile, Obama and Biden are momentarily pretty quiet, campaigning in Ohio and elsewhere and respectfully allowing the Republicans to have their little hate summit (and it is little, compared to the DNC). I hope when they get back to the hotel each night, they're sitting up with their team devising some genius way to take this monster down, once her party's over.

Obviously this is not a political blog, and when I start to get into politics I remind myself of Fred Armisen's Nicholas Fehn character on Weekend Update... how 'bout we just finish it up with this, from Andrew Sullivan:

Increasingly, it seems to me, the GOP reflects some of the most A.D.D. elements in the culture. There is no sense of accountability, no real pretense that anything is for much more than the present, and reality is constantly shaped to fit the demands of the micro-news-cycle. I thought McCain was unlike that. But he's the leader of this party, and he cannot change it overnight. My worry is: he doesn't seem to be trying any more.


The Palin pick says much more about McCain than it does about Palin (all it says about her is that she didn't have the good sense to turn it down). What it says about McCain is that he is more interested in politics than policy, more interested in campaigning than governing, tactical when he should be strategic, and reckless when he should be considered.

He is as big a gamble as president as Palin is as vice-president. This decision was about gut, about politics, about cynicism, and about vanity. It's Bushism metastasized.

Secret Machines

Emily was telling me the other day that I should post about the Unimog. When I was in the Badlands last year I came across some German tourists who had shipped their Mercedes all-terrain vehicle to the States. Mercedes Unimogs are little known in the US because they were never sold here and are difficult to service. I saw one in Seattle once – a big flatbed version, rolling down Broadway – but that's the only other one I've seen.

After flying over from Germany and retrieving their Unimog in New Jersey, these people had been touring around the countryside for about eight months.

I'm not particularly into cars – I mentioned before that I never actually bought one until we got the Jeep recently – but there are certain models that I really, really appreciate as a designer and as someone who also enjoys motoring across our great and wondrous land.

The Unimog is one of those vehicles that has reached legendary status in my mind. I like the idea of being fully self-sufficient in an enclosed space, and that's what you get with a Unimog. Everything you need to live is built in or has a place in the car.

It was introduced as an agricultural service vehicle in the late 1940s and has since taken on a number of different uses (military, snowplow, rally, etc.) Unimog comes from "Universal Motor Gerat." Gerat is apparently Kraut-talk for "machine" or "device."

After retiring, this dashing elderly couple had bought theirs so they could cross the Sahara, which they ended up doing three times. The guy had an old Leica, which also seemed to fit their lifestyle perfectly. They were not rich people, you could tell – just people who saved and bought the best thing for each requirement, and then took great care of it so it would last forever.

That is infinitely more chic than just being rich and getting what you want, when you want it.

I didn't just take pictures of German tourists and cars in the Badlands. The landscape is beautiful too.

That's my mom, looking a bit German-modernist herself.

It's beautiful there, and unlike anywhere I've ever been. I always thought of it as a drab, moon-like place, but in actuality, it's extremely colorful.

I'm looking forward to visiting again this October, in our own little self-contained roadtrip machine.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Propane Delight

Starting to pack a little this past weekend we came across this old cookbook, which I found at the same flea market where I found the book on outhouses. Some of the recipes are pretty hilarious (the list of ingredients for pancakes: mix, egg, milk) but some of them might come in handy (clam fritters, see below). And it was free with purchase, and I like the cover.

Monday, September 1, 2008

"This is on for your education...
we're gonna re-educate you."

Via Jen Graves at SLOG, The Guardian has posted its list of the top fifty arts videos on YouTube. James Dean and Paul Newman screen testing for East of Eden, Jack Kerouac reading from On the Road, Nirvana practicing in an Aberdeen garage circa 1988, Marcel Duchamp's Anemic Cinema, Aretha Franklin's Lady Soul TV Special – the list is heavy. Here are two videos that make 1970s New York City feel like a small town:

Martin Scorsese's 1973 short on the inspiration for Mean Streets:

And Jean-Michel Basquiat on Glenn O'brien's TV Party, 1978:

48 more things to look at here.