Wednesday, August 25, 2004

None more black

From an e-mail Ben Folds sent out a couple weeks ago:
hi there,

ben here.

well, we mixed super d two months ago and the cover is still hanging around a printing press somewhere. the problem seems to be that they can't print black for some reason; it turns out blue. i shit you not. so it keeps going back to the printing place. and when one thing gets fixed, something else shitty pops up. when i said, 'i don't think the cover looks right', i didn't know it would cause the record to be late by 6 weeks or so. sorry. they kinda got it right now. and my art guy at sony even flew down to the place to see if he could persuade them to keep the blue out of the black, and it's still blue-ish. oh well. thanks to smog design for helping us get it right, and the label for flying the guy down to bumfuck north carolina to try and explain to these people what black is until he was blue in the face, and my manager for making a hundred phone calls about it, but mostly to all of you for being patient as we get through these very difficult times. if there's been a slight lag in US mail time this month, it could have to do with the volume of blue proof sheets between new york and nashville.

and so... it will come out on iTunes on aug 24. the people who get the signed ones and pre-ordered the ep will get it the same day.
I'm glad Spinal Tap didn't run into the same issues.


There are many shocking tidbits in this excellent Slate piece about the possibility of election fraud in Florida this November. But the most shocking has to be this:
For one, Hood and Jeb Bush have strongly endorsed the state's Republican-controlled legislature's new rule that outlaws manual recounts. This means that if any of the new optical-scan or touch-screen machines fail—as they did in the 2002 elections; and the recent March primaries; and just last week, when a backup system failed in a test run in Miami-Dade—there will be no recourse for counting votes. A coalition of election-reform groups has challenged this rule, and Rep. Robert Wexler of Palm Beach sued in federal court after a state appeals court dismissed the matter, ruling that while the right to vote is guaranteed, a perfect voting system is not.

Setting the record straight

"I mean, the first one, whether he ought to have a Purple Heart--he got two in one day, I think."

--Bob Dole on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer on Sunday.

You're kidding! John Kerry got two in one day? That's ridiculous! Purple Hearts must be meaningless. They obviously hand those things out like candy on Halloween.

What?! He didn't get two in one day? He received them for the events of Dec. 2, 1968; Feb. 20, 1969; and March 13, 1969? But former Presidential candidate Bob Dole said he got two in one day! And Wolf Blitzer didn't press him on the matter and never corrected him.

That really makes me think. I wonder if I should stop watching cable news. I mean, with the rapid format, it's so easy for a guest to spit out any piece of information, no matter how ludicrous or false it is. It's impossible to question every single "fact" that comes out of a person's mouth.

Well, at least Dole came back for Blitzer's show on Monday. How often does a talk show host get this kind of opportunity? If I were Wolf, I'd be all like, "Hey, Bob, yesterday you said that Kerry received two Purple Hearts in one day. Well, guess what. He didn't. Take that!"

Huh? Blitzer didn't bring it up? He didn't make a correction?! Television journalism is a farce. I give up.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Guns and democracy

"There is no place for militia in democratic Iraq. These two, militia and democracy, cannot go together. They are incompatible."

--Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security advisor

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

--second amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Pet peeve

I'm listening to the Red Sox-White Sox game on WEEI in Boston as I'm writing this. Earlier, play-by-play man Joe Castiglione used the phrase "and the payoff pitch" before Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin delivered a 3-2 pitch. I hate this. The implication is that the pitch will result in a payoff for the pitcher (an out) or the batter (a hit). But all too often, there is no payoff because the batter fouls it off. What gives? Why do announcers insist on using this misnomer?

What goes around

Not that two wrongs make a right, but I find it fitting that the scoring error that gave United States' gymnast Paul Hamm the gold medal in the all-around competition cost South Korea's Yang Tae-young the title.

At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, United States' boxer Roy Jones, Jr. pummeled South Korea's Si-Hun Park in the gold medal match for the light middleweight title. But in a horrendous decision, Si-Hun Park was awarded the gold, leaving Jones with the silver. An investigation revealed that some of the judges accepted bribes from South Korean officials to give Park a higher score. Jones never accepted his medal, and a new scoring system was implemented to lessen the possibility of judging improprieties.

Understandably, South Korean officials will probably file an appeal and have argued that while Hamm should be allowed to keep his gold, Tae-young should be awarded one as well. This sounds like a reasonable request, but is it too much to ask that Jones also be given the gold he should have received 16 years ago?