Yesterday, there was a moment of true (sur)realism you just don’t get on Law and Order. I’ll let Zoe tell it:

One of the strangest moments yesterday occurred when Judge Craig Iscoe ironically stated that he didnít ìwant to step on First Amendment rightsî and then ordered the seven of us to remove our political buttons when the jury was present. Judge Iscoe later stated that he regretted having to make that ruling. My button said, “Oh well, I wasn’t using my civil liberties anyhow.” Funny, eh?

Go visit Zoe’s page, she has lots of trial updates and it’s all interesting (and serious) stuff.

Laura and I didn’t get to the theater to pick up our tickets in time to sit together so we had to split up. During the previews, I convinced the geezers I was sitting with to see Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. That was fun.

The guy who was sitting in front of me works for a defense contractor and was forbidden by his employer from seeing the movie. While I salute him for going anyway, I wanted to explain to him, “Dude, if you’d shut up about not being allowed to see the movie, no one around you would know you’re not allowed to see the movie.” I didn’t say anything, but I thought it a lot. I also thought a lot about taking the John Kerry bumper sticker out of my purse and adhering it to his back, but I didn’t do that, either.

There was so much applause I missed a lot of the narration – and we saw the movie in Virginia, where I am often told by Marylanders, we are all without exception intolerant, gun-toting, homophobic, rightwing, assholes. Go figure.

I thought the film was well-paced and well-constructed. Moore is really at the top of his game here – I admit I was a bit worries because I often found The Awful Truth to be sort of meandering and hit or miss, but this time he really gets it right. I’d say it’s one of the most important major releases of the year, in fact I’d say it was the most important release of the year but I think that title goes to SuperSize Me. The longstanding health implications and questions that film raises about what we’re feeding the next generation and what we’re teaching them about nutrition need to be screamed from the rooftops.

Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. You can see them both.

“British Author’s Visa Ordeal Is One for the Books”

Halted en route to a West Coast lecture tour, Ian McEwan, an acclaimed British novelist who lunched last fall with first lady Laura Bush, was denied entry into the United States for 36 hours this week.

McEwan, who has won nearly every major British literary prize and whose best-selling novel “Atonement” won a National Book Critics Circle Award, finally landed in Seattle on Wednesday evening, just 90 minutes before he was scheduled to address 2,500 people packed into a downtown auditorium.

Looking relieved and exhausted, he began his speech by thanking the Department of Homeland Security “for protecting the American public from British novelists.”

He also detailed the literary expertise that Homeland Security officials brought to the three interrogations they put him through. McEwan said one official wanted to know: “What kind of novels do you write: fiction or nonfiction?”

[read the rest of the article, it does indeed get sillier]

Sampling and remixing is as universal as George Bush’s State of the Union address, says Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid. First, Bush tells us that we have to go to war with Iraq because they have weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein must be defeated. Then, after the invasion, they can’t find any WMDs, and no mention is made of Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. They remixed the public perception of his original performance.

DJ Spooky in a Feb 1st article in Remix (the rest of the article is well-worth your time if you’re interested in Spooky’s work).

Yesterday I futiley tried to explain to a yuppie with a Green Party sticker that Ralph Nader did not, in fact, create the Green Party from whole cloth all by himself.

This has been troubling me ever since, so in honor of Petra Kelly, co-founder of the German Green Party, here’s a very concise summary of her life and here’s the wikipedia’s timeline as well.

I can’t be the only one watching MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, can I? It’s a really good news show. And Olbermann is a snappy dresser. Hey, if we’re going to hold female news anchors to a certain standard it’s only fair to apply it to the men, right? Keith can rock the pinstripes. That’s a risky look on television, without some height it’s easy to end up looking like Lou Costello.

…not anymore than anyone else, anyway.

I was chatting with Faith and she was giving me a good-natured hard time about my perceived hatred for Republicans. This is an issue that comes up again and again, and unlike Faith, not everyone understands that I’m not exclusionary. So, with this still floating around at the top of my brain, I thought this might be a good time to clear some things up.

I don’t hate Republicans. I don’t hate the rich. I don’t hate people who are older than me or younger than me or smarter or less-intelligent than me. I don’t hate people who are thinner, fatter, taller, shorter, or a different ethnicity or religion than me. I don’t hate anyone.* I may strongly disagree with someone. But I would never hate anyone based on their beliefs. Especially as a group.

Believe it or not, my friends range from hard-core Green Party organizers to staffers of some of the most conservative politicians in the country. They’re people. I don’t bar someone from a dinner party because they voted for that man who seems to think he’s our President. Life’s pretty damn boring if you only hang out with people who are exactly like you, don’t you think?

That’s one of the things I love about the DC-Bloggers list (see links to right). I don’t have one iota of control over who’s on that list. There are conservatives, liberals and everything in between (and beyond). It balances out my self-selected links. And it pushes me to read blogs I might not otherwise find.

But see, this is my blog. This is where I get to say whatever the fuck I want (within reason) about whatever is on my mind. Sometimes I seek to balance my opinion with an opposing argument, but I don’t feel it’s necessary.

*That’s a lie. I have a short list of people I hate. The odds of you being one of the 2 people on it fall somewhere between slim and none. And if you’re on the list you know, baby, you know.