Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from September 2004

Kerry won the debate, let’s keep Bush from winning the spin war

September 30th, 2004 · Comments Off on Kerry won the debate, let’s keep Bush from winning the spin war

Online polls being freeped on a server near you:

Thanks to the enthusiasts at for posting these poll URLs.

In other Freeper news, expect to hear the entire debate spun down to two words: “global test.”

Tags: Invisible primary

Mental Margarita moment

September 28th, 2004 · Comments Off on Mental Margarita moment

Ten giant lilac bushes showed up on my front sidewalk yesterday. (Hey, could you have said no if your neighbor’s sister asked “Do you want some free lilacs?”) This morning it’s pouring rain and I just spilled my coffee.

But I’m smiling now, thanks to Lisa Williams, who just pointed me to the website of Tiki Murph.

Tags: Life, the universe, and everything

Does Instapundit wear boxers or cute little briefs?

September 25th, 2004 · Comments Off on Does Instapundit wear boxers or cute little briefs?

We’ve been waiting for this story to show up online; just got the link via Dave Winer:–the latest big dead-tree media piece on “Oooo! Bloggers!”

Author Matthew Klam does some nice color-writing, but I’m irked by his dismissive treatment of Harvard’s own Zoe VanderWolk (of Gadflyer and now of Greenpass).

Zoe did some of the sharpest DNC blogging
that got done–but to Klam she was just one of two “cute women in tank tops” lolling on
a futon with male bloggers whose work got described in some detail
although their appearance and hot-weather clothing did not.

I’m sure other women would be just as interested in reading
lip-smacking accounts of cute male bloggers as men would be
in Klam’s yum-yummy thoughts on Wonkette. So, in the interests of fair
play and your viewing enjoyment, I cobbled together two actual photos I
found using a Google Image Search for “Matthew Klam.”

Tags: Metablogging

Manila spamalot back in business (sigh)

September 25th, 2004 · Comments Off on Manila spamalot back in business (sigh)

Sorry, Manila design gurus, but could I have your attention–again?

First of all, thanks to Userland for the comment-spam fix
you made in August. You cleverly made it easy to erase comments when
somebody leaves a whole bunch on a single post. So, please add checkboxes to my discussion page too, so that I
can delete wholesale comments even when they got added to lots of
different posts.

This new comment spammer knows more blogware tricks than I do. For example, even after I turned off comments, he added 10 more new ones. So now my readers can’t share legitimate comments, but spammers can slurp up Google-juice anyway… Please don’t let spammers leave comments when I’ve turned comments off.

When I use membership prefs to block one of his aliases, he creates
another–even though Manila knows that all this garbage is coming from
the same IP address! (At least that’s what I think it means when the
user profile for members named “poker”, “phentermine”, “online
gambling”, etc. all link to the same user profile:$159.) Please don’t let members I’ve deleted or blocked sign up again with new names and phony email addresses.

Thanks for letting me scream, and have a nice day. I plan to myself, once I erase those stupid spam comments….

Tags: Metablogging

The comment-spammers made me do it…

September 24th, 2004 · Comments Off on The comment-spammers made me do it…

Today alone, more than 20 new “members” signed up using fake names like “cheap phentermine” and “online poker”, then left comment spam on many posts.

If you are a real person rather than a bot, please just send me email” bdevine at hotmailpancake dot com, minus the popular breakfast food.

Sorry about this.

Tags: Stories

Big bangs for Kerry, plus a few tootles and flag-waves

September 24th, 2004 · Comments Off on Big bangs for Kerry, plus a few tootles and flag-waves

We hate to interrupt the steady flow of
disheartening, depressing, and downright disgusting news, but we are
obliged to note an event of sheer, blissful exuberance, right here in
River City….To call the music lively would be a shoddy disservice —
it was positively ecstatic….The
band retraced its steps to the parking lot, just in time to avoid being
hoisted on the shoulders of the audience and carried off to Elysian

The New Hampshire Gazette Vol 248, No 18, June 4, 2004, “Leftist Marching Band Wows Crowd

I ran across the Leftist Marching Band at a rainy-day event in Durham NH.

They are playing tiny gigs but these guys could be gathering crowds and
positive press in a much bigger way. Wouldn’t some big event be better
with a band playing “America the Beautiful”, “When the Saints Go
Marching In”, and “This Land is Your Land”? Not to mention a baton
twirling drum majorette…

New Hampshirites! Progressives! Anybody! Could you please get this info
to somebody who could use this kind of help saving our country from the hatemongers and spendthrifts now running the GOP?

Tags: New Hampshire!

Ewwww! Blogs in the headlights of a marketing guru

September 23rd, 2004 · 1 Comment

This is not how I like to think of bloggers:

Remember, a blog is basically a diary that logs consumer narratives on a public, non-erasable hard-drive known as the Internet. A good percentage of blog content reflects consumer experiences with “branded” products or services.

Hey, I know lots of folks with similarly sharp focus. I know people who think:

  • Weekends are basically time to spend getting drunk.
  • Women are basically an opportunity to get a look at their breasts.
  • Mornings are basically time to waste writing long blog posts. (heh)

People who focus too narrowly miss a lot.

Link to Pete Blackshaw via Steve Rubel, a marketing pro who seems to have more perspective on what blogging means.

Tags: Metablogging

Lisa’s dead rabbit, my dead squirrel

September 21st, 2004 · 1 Comment

I’m remembering some of my crazy kid thought processes this morning, thanks to a funny blog story by Lisa Williams about a dead rabbit.

I grew up in the era of long, slow, neighborhood-and-family
summers. My pals and I had a “clubhouse” on some scrub land,
and one day somebody arrived with a still-warm dead squirrel. We all
petted its soft fur, admiring its many tiny perfections. Tears in our
eyes, we held a solemn funeral. One of our group treasures–a handsome
cardboard cigar
box–was sacrificed for a coffin. Freeze frame on our sad and
thoughtful faces then.

Now cut to the same group, same clubhouse, a few evenings later,
digging up the same squirrel, with dialog like, “Yeah, good. It
stinks.” “Oh boy, it really, really stinks!” “This is going to be
perfect for Eddie’s father.”* We gleefully carried the now sodden and
smelly cigar box to Eddie’s house, put it on the front doorstep, rang
the bell, and raced home to the safety of our own houses.  We ran
fast because Eddie’s father was a big mean guy and we sure didn’t want
him to run after us and catch us.

We got
home to find our mother on the phone with Eddie’s father–one of
the scariest moments of my life.  Going over a cliff in a Ford
convertible when I was in college was nothing compared to hearing my
mother say, “Oh, hello, Mr. Ozkelewski.”**  In the Ford, I just figured I
was about to die. That night of the squirrel, I’m not sure what I expected.

The conversation continued–we could hear only one side of it.
“Oh my, Mr. Ozkelewski–really? How awful.” [Our mother turned to scowl
at us four kids, now standing huddled together and looking terrified.] “Of
course, you must be very upset. I’m glad you called me.” [Our mother
was glad? She didn’t look glad–she was really glaring at us.] “But it
must have been some other children who did it. My kids have all
been home tonight, ever since dinner.”

Once she got off the phone, she gave us a huge scolding and I hope I
looked suitably sorry for what we’d done. But hearing my mother lie to
save my skin–and I don’t think I’d ever heard her lie before–was one
of the happiest moments of my childhood.

* Eddie’s father had threatened to chase us out of our clubhouse if we didn’t let four-year-old Eddie into
our gang. We were a tough bunch of seven- to ten-year-olds and we had
no wish to become Eddie’s baby-sitters.)
** Or whatever his last name was. At this point, I’m not even sure the kid’s name was Eddie.

Tags: My Back Pages · Stories

Bush “secret” post-election plan: Dump Iraq

September 20th, 2004 · Comments Off on Bush “secret” post-election plan: Dump Iraq

Robert Novak is promoting a brand-new leak from “well-placed sources within the Administration”:
Quick Exit from Iraq is likely.”

Well-placed sources indeed–Novak’s informant gave him detailed
post-election plans right down to dumping Colin Powell from State.

I ran across the link via my plugged-in Washingtonian SlashDot pal (CyGuy) who points out

the total hypocrisy.. (after a full
weekend of conservative pundits criticizing Kerry’s SOFT FOUR YEAR GOAL
of getting US forces out — as being a sop to the ‘terrorists’ by giving
them a target to to holdout for).

Josh Marshall’s take
is that Novak’s trial balloon will make Bush attractive to a wide range
of voters.  For old-fashioned fiscal
conservatives, point to Novak’s leak and say Bush has an exit plan but
Kerry wants to keep our troops stuck in the quagmire.

Meanwhile, neo-con hardliners can dismiss this little leak as pure hot
air. Why would we want to pull out of Iraq, where Bush’s game plan has been such a
great success?

Tags: Invisible primary

Spread the meme: save our lives with show tunes

September 20th, 2004 · Comments Off on Spread the meme: save our lives with show tunes

Picture this: a screaming preacher invades a crowded subway. When one
rider asks the screamer to quiet down, several Bible-toting
surround her and start yelling about the special hellfire God has
planned for gays.*

Instead of retreating, she starts singing her favorite show tunes. Finally, her attackers give up and get off the train.

You go, girlfriend. If I’d been there, I hope I’d have had the courage to start singing harmony.

* In my mind, putting your fellow riders in fear crosses the line from subway-friendly free speech to assault
If your attack aims to force gay people off the subway, that seems to
cross the line from simple to aggravated assault–but IANAL.

Tags: Heroes and funny folks