June 30, 2004


The Chicago Tribune has been awash lately with self-righteous rationalizations for their bringing the suit that led to Jack Ryan's withdrawal from the Senate campaign. Clarence Page, however, gets it.

The Chicago Tribune and WLS-Ch. 7 lawsuit that unsealed Ryan's records cited the public's right to know. I'm a big believer in the public's right to know. But in a case like Ryan's no-sex scandal, I question the public's need to know.

Excuse me, folks, but when candidates don't even have to have sex to be brought down by a sex scandal, we should be asking ourselves whether we are beginning to ratchet the bar up too high for mere mortals who might have an interest in public service.


Jack Ryan was not charged with something truly serious like assault or adultery, just allegedly attempted kinkiness within the privacy of his ultimately failed marriage, according to the highly heated and questionable testimony in divorce papers. If that's all it takes to knock off an otherwise worthy candidate, we need no longer wonder why more bright, talented and qualified people in this great land of ours would rather have a root canal than run for public office.

I think anybody willing to run for public office in spite of what they know they're in for must be so power-hungry as to be unfit for office. I'll say it again: There's a reason why we get candidates for President like George W. Bush and John Kerry. Come November, we've got to choose between Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Spineless. But hey, at least we know they haven't got any really fascinating sexual kinks. That's what will win the day against Islamist terrorism: Leaders with boring sex lives.

Posted by Mr Green at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2004

In Case You Were Wondering...

... why it is that we end up with candidates for elected office like Bush and Kerry, it's stuff like the great Ryan divorce file scandal.

For those of you on Mars (I assume everybody else already knows; I understand this is front page news even in Brisbane), Jack Ryan is the ex-husband of actress Jeri Ryan. He is also the Republican candidate for Senate in Illinois. According to just-unsealed records of their divorce, she alleged that he took her to kinky sex clubs and pressured her to have sex with him in front of other people.

The media have been on this story with all the excitement of... well, of someone trying to coax Jeri Ryan into engaging in kinky sex with them at an S&M club. This story is about to sink Ryan's campaign. I would be surprised if he hasn't withdrawn by tomorrow.

According to the media, it's not about the sex. Much like when someone says it's not about the money and it's really about the money, this scandal is about the sex. It's racy! It's exciting! It sells newspapers and raises the TV ratings! The huffy newspaper editorials claiming it's all about Ryan misleading them by saying he didn't want to release the sealed files to protect his son from embarassment are the cover the media (and by extension, the public) need to pursue their real agenda: Sticking their noses into other people's private lives and rooting around to find all the really juicy details.

And it's garbage like this that ensures that anybody who has an ounce of sense and anything at all that they'd like to keep private won't run for public office. All we get are self-absorbed egomaniacs (like Ryan) who think they're bulletproof and can somehow survive the gnawing of the jackals, and people who are so dull and insipid that they're just as boring in private as they are in public.

We really do get the government we deserve.

Posted by Mr Green at 01:56 PM | Comments (5)

Detroit Sucks

At some point during the NBA Finals, Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about Detroit that injured the tender sensibilities of some Detroit members of the Perennially Indignant. He was forced, practically at gunpoint, to apologize.

Then Chicago sportscaster Mark Giangreco was suspended from his job for a week for making a joke about Detroit going up in flames after they won. He also issued a groveling apology.

I am so sick of political correctness that I can't even work up a good rant about it. That horse has been beaten and beaten and beaten, and the bastard still won't die. I would think it says something that the Founders saw fit to make the right to free speech the first right enumerated in the Bill of Rights, while the right to not ever have your feelings hurt didn't make the cut at all.

So anyway, in today's Chicago Sun-Times, some letters from readers about the Giangreco suspension are featured. Most of them think this is another ridiculous sacrifice on the PC altar, but one reader opines thusly:

"As a native Detroiter transplanted here for 30 years, congrats to Channel 7 for reprimanding Mark Giangreco for his tasteless comments about Detroit... Just for the record, more than 1 million celebrants congregated in downtown Detroit after the victory last week. Not one shot, murder or fire!"

So naturally, this headline from a couple hours ago:

Nine wounded in Detroit fireworks show shooting: "A gunman opened fire into a crowd that had gathered downtown to watch the city's annual fireworks display, wounding nine people and forcing hundreds of revelers to scatter."

Now, if I weren’t such a swell guy, I’d seize on this as evidence that Detroit is the asshole of America. I might go on to make fun of those who think that you can market your way out of the inconvenient reality that the city is like Fallujah, except without the redeeming qualities. But fortunately, I am a swell guy. As a gesture of goodwill, I offer these tourism slogans to help Detroit show the rest of the nation what a great city they live in:

  • Statistically speaking, you probably won’t get shot.
  • Cheaper than Disney!
  • Smokey the Bear says urban fires are A-OK!
  • Our hospitals treat more bullet wounds before 5 AM than most hospitals do all day.
  • They’re not rioting, they’re just making s’mores!
Posted by Mr Green at 12:38 PM | Comments (5)

June 23, 2004

Is It Me...

Or does this week's Stagworld cover at the Institute of Official Cheer have a guy on it who looks sorta like a young John Kerry?

(Note: "Stagworld" is Lileks's take on "cheap pulp men's mags of the 50's and 60's". Possibly not safe for work.)

Posted by Mr Green at 06:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2004


Via Chicago Boyz, who got it from Andrew Sullivan, this interview with Robert Kennedy and Ronald Reagan in 1967. Chicago Boy Lexington Green notes, "Both of them were well-prepared, and they both strike me as smarter than the guys we have now. (I actually think RFK would have been a pretty good president in 1968, but that is a story for another day.) The Europeans asking them questions are just as contemptuous of Americans then as they would be now. Some things don't change."

An example of the contempt is this question from a European: "I believe the war in Vietnam is illegal, immoral, politically unjustifiable and economically motivated. Could either of you agree with this?" I guess you can't blame all of Europe's sneering disdain of America on Bush, can you?

I had never heard the argument that we were in Vietnam for economic reasons. I guess that one wasn't about the oooiiiiiiiiiil. Maybe we were there to steal the dense jungle foliage.

Posted by Mr Green at 04:35 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004


A friend of Eugene Volokh opines on what makes men sexy. Incomprehensibly, I am not mentioned. I dealt with the issue of my overwhelming sexiness in some depth here.

(Hat tip to my man Glen Rawlings for the link.)

Posted by Mr Green at 12:48 PM | Comments (2)

June 13, 2004

Blogroll Addition

I don't normally announce additions to my blogroll. What I usually do is realize that I've become a regular reader of someone's site and just slip them on in. But I'm going to make an exception today.

I have found a blog that has apparantly been around for some time, but clearly deserves a wider readership. "Instapundit" is the creation of one Glen Rawlings, a student at the University of Tennessee. It is a terriffic collection of links and often-terse commentary (such as "Ha" and "Correct, sir!").

Head on over and give young Glen a visit. You'll be glad you did.

Posted by Mr Green at 09:59 AM | Comments (4)

June 12, 2004

Rush Limbaugh Divorces Third Wife

I'm sure the gays are at fault, somehow.

Posted by Mr Green at 06:02 PM | Comments (4)

June 09, 2004

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction Dept.

From the Chicago Tribune (reg. req'd): Amish-inspired theme park planned for Indiana

Something tells me the roller coasters are going to suck.

Posted by Mr Green at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2004

A Valuable Lesson

Man, oh man, have I been busy. Busier than a nine-assed man in a getting-your-ass-kicked contest. I don't know what that has to do with "busy", but it's still a pretty apt metaphor for my last week or so, so I'm going to go with it.

Now, I consider blogging to be my true calling, but I've got to pay the bills somehow until I can make it big as a world-famous blogger. (Every word I write, I write for free. How am I going to make any money? Volume.) So I have a day job. And at this day job, due to an absolutely hilarious set of mishaps, coincidences and oversights, a very important time-sensitive database copy did not happen last week, and this was not discovered until after it was too late to get it done. Among the things that went wrong was the failure of both redundant backups, so we were screwed. Sort of a perfect storm thing.

The second-to-worst thing about this is that it was partly (mainly?) my fault. The worst thing was that it was discovered by my most unreasonable and demanding internal customer, whom I refer to by the affectionate nickname of "Satan".

So I work like a fiend, salvage the data, and write a custom report so the main user of the app (not Satan, but another manager) can meet her deadline in spite of the downtime. And now I'm a hero, because I worked so hard, above and beyond, yadda yadda.

So here's the rub: This process goes off without a hitch every month for over a year and I'm a schmuck. I let it go wrong, clean up my own mess, and now I walk on water.

The lesson: It is better to be visible than to be good at your job.

Posted by Mr Green at 08:31 AM | Comments (4)

I Have Something To Tell You

It's something about your favorite subject - you. Yes, you. It's something I have known about you for a long time, yet you may not even be aware of it. Are you ready? Okay, here goes.

You want to be in front of me.

Have you ever noticed it? Have you ever just been going about your business and felt this vague but unmistakable longing to find me and insert yourself in front of me? Sure you have.

Everybody has. But relatively few people get the opportunity to actually get in front of me. After all, there's only one me and billions of you. But one lucky class of people regularly get the chance to get in front of me: My fellow drivers on the expressway, every day I drive to work.

They come from near, they come from far. I suspect people who live right next to other expressways purposefully avoid them and drive to my neighborhood, just so they can cut in front of me. If they can make me hit my brakes, it's better because that forces me to acknowledge that they and they alone are right in front of me. I don't know why that's so desirable, but clearly it is.

Any time I leave a fraction of an inch of space between me and the car I'm behind, somebody moves to occupy that space. As I'm driving, people going the other direction glance over wistfully at the lucky bastard in front of me, wishing that they could jump the concrete median and take their best shot at the most coveted position in life - directly in front of me.

Why do I bring this up? Because I have a favor to ask. It's a small thing, and one that I'm sure you'll be happy to grant me. It is only this: Stop cutting me off in traffic or I will one day snap, accelerate into your rear bumper, and after you pull over, beat you to death with a tire iron.

I don't want to do that. You don't want me to do that. So let's work together to make sure that doesn't happen. You're welcome to be in front of me - I don't understand your strange need, but I accept it. Just stop making me slam my brakes.

Thanks ever so much.

Posted by Mr Green at 07:49 AM | Comments (2)