Eres muy malo, Señor Daley

You’d think that advertising a movie about the birth of Christ would be permissible, if not encouraged, at a Christmas festival.

And you’d be wrong.

Richard M. Daley,

      1. this one goes out to you
. Thanks for helping make Christmas what it is today.

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November 30th, 2006 by exurbankevin

“How about tens and twenties?”

A part of the joy of watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is gone now that we can watch it on DVD any time we want. But it still stands out as one of the few Christmas specials that dares to mention Christ. When Linus steps up and says “Lights, please.”, I start to cry.

Every. Single. Time.

And this quote from Wikipedia’s page on the special is both inspiring and maddening:

“Network executives were not at all keen on several aspects of the show, forcing Schulz and Melendez to wage some serious battles to preserve their vision. The executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 2:8-14); the network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Version of the Bible. A story reported on the Whoopi Goldberg-hosted version of the making of the program (see below) that Charles Schutlz was adamant about keeping this scene in, remarking that ‘If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?'”

Inspiring because of Schultz’s response, maddening because he had to say it in the first place.

God bless you, Sparkie. It’s a shame you’re gone, ’cause we need you more than ever.

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November 29th, 2006 by exurbankevin

The Return of Monday Night Mil-Blogging

Why big countries can’t fight small wars well.
– Chuck Rangel, another gift that keeps on giving to the GOP.

Rebuttal, with actual numbers instead of warmed-over Vietnam-era mythology, here.
And I’d hold off leading that American Legion parade, too, Chuck.
– And while not technically military-related, these mashups of an ad for a 1st person shooter for the XBox are definitely chuckle-worthy. The hampster dance version is just…wrong.

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November 28th, 2006 by exurbankevin

Talk about an unreasonable bride!

Man runs up 8k tab in iTunes Store, fiancée dumps him

I used to wonder how my husband-to-be had more than 700 music CDs and more than 300 movie DVDs and hundreds and hundreds of record albums until I discovered that he had $43,000 in credit-card debt. In looking at his last bill (for one month) he had charged more than 8,000 iTunes at 99 cents each and had charges at places that sell music and movies, too. This guy made $45,000 a year. Called off the wedding.
Needless to say, my wife would never have called off our engagement for so petty an infraction. Of course, I hid my CD collection from her until a month after our wedding.

(Hat tip: Get Rich Slowly)

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November 27th, 2006 by admindude

Depressercize. links to a well-researched article proving that regular exercise reduces clinical depression.

Blumenthal was lead author on a much-publicized study released five years ago that found that just ten months of regular, moderate exercise outperformed a leading antidepressant (Zoloft) in easing symptoms in young adults diagnosed with moderate to severe depression.

And another study released earlier this year, by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, found that 30-minute aerobic workouts done three to five times a week cut depressive symptoms by 50% in young adults.

It’s too bad that exercise itself depresses me so much. I guess that means I’d just feel normal after a solid workout.

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November 27th, 2006 by admindude

‘Tis the season

Crack reporting at the East Valley Tribune finds that Republicans are planning to spend more this Christmas season.  Choose your friends wisely.

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November 26th, 2006 by admindude

I’m speechless

Honestly, I don’t know what to say about this.

The theological implications alone are… staggering.

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November 25th, 2006 by exurbankevin

Liberté, egalité,


At least, that’s what these idiots seem to believe in.

As the saying goes: “The dark cloud of fascism always seems to be threatening the U.S., yet somehow, it manages to land only on Europe.”

H/T: Powerline.

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November 25th, 2006 by exurbankevin

What I’m listening to now.

Several weeks ago, Todd offered Exurban League’s first music post. I also thought of chiming in on Fridays with a weekly music article, sure to set ears and registers ringing ‘cross the nation. Or to lead readers to mutter, “where does he find this %@$#?!” We’ll see if I can keep at it with any regularity.

This month was flooded with music new and old which explains this post’s expansiveness. My birthday reaped a multiplicity of recordings and gift cards. Also Tower Records’ bankruptcy has resulted incredible deals on their remaining stock (currently 40 percent off!). Below is a list of what I’ve amassed in the interim. (Note: Due to the absurd length of the list, I won’t bore readers with a thorough review of each. Feel free to follow the Amazon links of any that interest you):

Adam & the Ants, Antics in the Forbidden Zone (Best of): The original New Romantic. I love all the early stuff (listed as Adam & the Ants), but really don’t like the solo stuff (listed as Adam Ant) — i.e., “Goody Two Shoes” on.

Art Blakely & the Jazz Messengers, Moanin’: A Tower Records purchase. I know next to nothing about him, but know he’s highly regarded.

Bela Bartok, Concerto for Orchestra / Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta / Hungarian Sketches, perf. By Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony Orchestra: For my birthday, I asked my older brother Barry to get me some classical recordings of his choice. He knows FAR more than I about classical, jazz, blues and early rock, since I’ve always tended to focus on The Next Big Thing. I’ve only had a chance to listen to this once, but since these are mid-twentieth century compositions, they sound very soundtrack-y.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 “Choral”, perf. by Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: Another Barry pick.

The Decemberists, The Crane Wife: Smarty-pants pop from the Portland drama geeks. Who else could make catchy lyrics using the words curlews, Arabesques, cormorants, briar-cradle, and the line “its contents watched by Sycorax and patagon in parallax”? And that’s just one song.

Mike Doughty, Haughty Melodic: The legendary “M. Doughty” of Soul Coughing fame, Mike made this stripped-down affair after battling off some ugly addictions. In the liner notes he says “I’m gonna pretend I’m a rapper here, and thank God.” The CD’s finest pieces include a hip and humble recasting of “His Truth Is Marching On” and the hyper-catchy “Unsingable Name” to which my toddler daughters love to dance. [Note: Months ago, I “liberated” several of these tracks off the Internet via LimeWire (“liberated” sounds much better than “stole”), but decided I better get honest and purchase the CD.]

Ester Drang, Rocinate: The ethereal Oklahoman post-rock band returns with the assistance of Frank Lenz (Starflyer 59), Trey Many (Nis Name Is Alive, Velour 100), Casey Foubert (Pedro the Lion) and many others.

His Name Is Alive, Detrola: Studio genius Warren DeFever is our era’s Brian Wilson, albeit a largely unrecognized one. Detrola is yet another breathtaking masterpiece.

Iron & Wine, Woman King: Speaking of breathtaking, the melodic “Jezebel” is some of the finest (and Biblically-accurate)songwriting I have experienced.

Thelonius Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Vol. 1: See Art Blakely.

Bedrich Smetana, Ma Vlast, perf. by Rafael Kubelik, Boston Symphony Orchestra: I first heard Smetana when his “Die Moldau” was tacked on to a CD of Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia. With Tower’s sale, I decided to purchase the whole thing.

Split Enz, History Never Repeats (Best of) : Tower again. I’ve owned this on cassette since the late ’80s, and it was time to replace it. Another utterly unappreciated band.

TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain : The one-of-a-kind Brooklyn band returns with a CD topping many critics’ 2006 list. I’ve only heard it once but it’s sweeeeet.

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November 24th, 2006 by admindude

Happy Thanksgiving.

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

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November 23rd, 2006 by admindude