fatcat.jpgI know, I know, two boring posts in one day? After reading this Salon article, though, I just couldn’t help myself. The article, which presents an “aww, how cute” discussion on how to fix campaign finance, reinforced a truth I learned a long time ago. Nobody knows anything worth a damn about campaign finance. People routinely cite the role of money in politics as one of the biggest problems facing our system. And maybe it is. From time to time, people (like the professors in the article) suggest all sorts of alternatives to supposedly clean up politics. This brings me to my second truth of the article: there is no constitutional way to keep money out of politics.

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The Day of Long Posts

February 4, 2007

For whatever reason (declining BT traffic, nothing on TV except the Superbowl, smack), today’s been a particularly productive day here at the Salad, and I decided to close the day out (Eastern Time Edition) with some words (and a link).

I’ll start with the link. The BBC made a flash based global warming game that I can’t seem to stop playing. It’s simple, yet addictive. You play the head of Europe, and pass policies/negotiate with world leaders to lower carbon emissions. In the end, you’re scored on three categories: Environmentalism, Wealth, and Popularity. It’s really easy to score well on the first and third, but succeeding at all three seems impossible. I had general taxes at George Bush type levels and I still ruined Europe’s economy [new strategy: since the game is from a European perspective, I need to raise taxes through the rood in order to have the economy do well]. I did manage to boost entitlement spending though–and save the world from climate change. Not bad for someone who brought about the second great depression (albeit one with Fusion and Fuel-Cell cars).

Now for some words. Today’s word installment is really more of a love letter to Woody Allen. In his movie Anything Else, Allen’s character Dobell is a treasure trove of great words. I’ve assembled some of them here as a public service, thus sparing y’all from having to go out and see the movie.

1. hebetudinous: Inclined to hebetude; dull, obtuse. There’s also the really cool rare verb, “hebetize,” to make dull.

2. amphigory: A burlesque writing filled with nonsense; a composition without sense, as a Latin ‘nonsense-verse.’

3. veridical: Speaking, telling, or relating the truth; truthful, veracious. There’s also the special psychological definition, “Of hallucinations, phantasms, etc.: Coincident with, corresponding to, or representing real events or persons.”

if only American Wedding had such lexical virtuosity

The Myth of Non-Partisanship

February 4, 2007

Per Mr. Hess’s request, I will attempt to explain why non-partisanship, by and large, does not really exist in America. Furthermore, in cases where voters or lobbies do act in a “non-partisan” fashion, it is to their strategic detriment. I won’t speak for other democracies, but I suspect the situations are similar abroad.

Disclaimer: While every voter should understand this stuff, if you’re not interested in political theory, you will probably be very very bored.

I should preface this discussion with the biggest myth of all: the independent voter. Some 30% of the country considers themselves to be independent voters. Their voting behavior, however, tells a different story. These “independents” significantly favor one party over another on a regular basis. Maybe 5-10% of the voters could be classified as genuinely independent, exhibiting rather random behavior. Are their decisions based on careful analysis? Dementia? What the weather is like on election day? Who knows. They are, however, a tiny minority of the total electorate.
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Meet a Reader: JT

February 4, 2007

For some of our readership, posting a comment to Yesterday’s Salad would be unthinkable. Some are intimidated by the fact that the blog’s hundred-plus readership might cruelly scrutinize their comments. Still, others are afraid to comment because they would not risk having their friends or colleagues discover that they read a blog with humor as consistently obscure and/or puerile as that of YS. Thus, it is with some trepidation that I attempt to expose the identity of one of our most frequent commenters, perhaps our most frequent commenter, JT. To do so, I will use a comprehensive sample of his comments (qua retrospective), reasoning inductively to discover what lies behind his (or her) choice nom-de-guerre. After all, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

Posting #1

You have wonderful dental hygiene. However, I wonder if you wake up in the morning and grease your chest with Canola oil. Also be wary of the threat of xanthoma. xo. JT.

From this first posting it is clear that JT has quite a penchant for writing in the stream-of-consciousness style. However, given that he has taken the time to lovingly capitalize and punctuate his sentences, this limits the number of possible JT candidates significantly. We may now rule out that JT is neither a reanimated/undead e.e. cummings, nor bell hooks.

Out of the running.

Posting #2

Remember: Virginia is for lovers.

Sometimes the greatest way to hide is in plain sight. Either because you are in fact noticed, but it is too awkward to acknowledge your presence (better known as the elephant in the room), or because others will assume that you must be hiding. Otherwise, one might not hide simply because people are often much to oblivious to notice anything unusual, even if it walks right past them. Given the fact that dailysalad posted long ago on the middling Patrick Duffy sitcom “Step-by-Step,” it seemed a natural choice that JT might in fact be the JT from said show. However, thanks to the miracle of wikipedia, the actor who played JT has since sought a life away from television, and would be unlikely to be plugging for anyone to bother him further for his autograph or his impression of Suzanne Sommers.

Improbable to the point of impossibility.

Posting #3

Befuddlement is the least of your worries, sir.

(1) JMc was imprisoned and likely tortured by the Viet Cong yet you say he is too ‘adorable’!? Remember that old SNL skit ‘the most grizzled?’ JMc would romp all those fools.

(2) Awkward hugger? At least he’s not ’side-hugging’ anyone in the above photos. Yep.

(3) I’d be happy to be called “spry” by my enemies, and inferiors (aka the DNC). Remember in 2000 when Jr. Bush said he’d stake the presidency on a foot-race against Gore? Thats the the kind of chutzpah that accompanies spryness. JMc has it. Barack, despite his boyish charm(s), doesn’t. Hillary? She’s taken it up the poop-shute for too many years. Think on it. Brooks Brothers Republicans be damned. xo. JT.

Like many other media outlets that lean to the left, YS has been accused on multiple occasions of falling for “Obama-mania.” While it is true that we at YS do talk about the man a lot, it should be noted that our affection for him is authentic: unlike the rest of the national media, most of the staff at YS have been constituents of Mr. Obama’s at one time or another throughout his tenures in elected office, and have some familiarity with his policies and personality. Thus, when someone suggested that JT might in fact be his alternative, web-based identity, wherein he could lash out at his rivals without fear of breaking his commitment against negative campaigning, we at the salad were elated. However, this theory has been recently rejected on account of the fact that as the former editor of the Harvard Law Review, we are quite sure that Mr. Obama, no matter how thoroughly he wished to disassociate his writing from his public persona, would never allow himself to misspell the word “chute,” even if the American Heritage Dictionary recognized it as a variant spelling.

Sorry, Charlie…

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It had to happen. After being #1 on google searches for “Brandy Taylor,” (a fortuitous variant of the official “Brandy Taylore”) and thriving on the search habits of “Busty Babe”-enthusiasts (whose numbers are admittedly quite small), Yesterday’s Salad has fallen to #51, and thus hard times in the search racket. It was really quite a scam that we were number one, anyway. We here at Yesterday’s Salad only got to the top of the charts because of our quest for truth, because of our desire to discover why Ms. Taylor was not on wikipedia despite the fact that most 3rd-nay-10th rate celebrities (and people from my literary theory classes–who it would seem as also has run afoul of the law) are on said website.

Since that post (oh the Brandy Taylor internet traffic), Yesterday’s Salad researchers have actually figured out why the Brandy-related gap in wikipedia’s otherwise unsuspect repository. For whatever reason, Brandy’s page kept being deleted, undeleted, and deleted again (the best reason for deletion was this one: deleted “Brandy Taylor(content was: ‘{{nonsense}}She GOT BIG ASS BOOBIES!’), and now it’s locked by the administrators to prevent changes. If you fool around with wikipedia discussion pages long enough you can actually find substantive information from old articles about her (i.e. she lives in Ohio, and flies to California to film a couple of weeks a year). Or you can just take my word for it.

We wish the new number one result, brandytalor.org, love and success as they embark on their epic journey towards satisfying the desires of the world’s male population.

In planning this week’s installment, I began to wonder, “why is it that we like teen sex comedies in the first place? Why does society (loosely defined as Hollywood, the NFL, the United States House of Representatives, and William Gaddis) value this sub-genre of the teen movie, this paragon of pre-pornographic playfullness? What is the perspicience [rare; Keen or clear perception; insight] of the genre?”

In an essay called, “Sex and Violence,” Yesterday’s Salad’s own 0375400109.jpgPeter Bogdanovich (I bite your eyes!), whose film “The Last Picture Show” is the adult forerunner of the teen sex comedy, wrote, “If the glory of a good movie is that it suspends one’s sense of disbelief, that it makes you forget you’re watching shadows on a wall and puts you instead into a world of illusion and magic, then the graphic portrayal of sexual intercourse on the screen will never work, since it is almost impossible to forget one is watching people doing something private publicly.” Big-screen pornography fails because we are removed from the illusion, and removed from voyeurism. We can watch Brandy Taylor, but we are not with Brandy Taylor, an illusion further ruined by the presence of other viewers. Bogdanovich goes on to say that he believes the only time sex really works on film is in comedies. Read the rest of this entry »