could not be more self-absorbed if they were made of equal parts water
and paper towel."
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Thursday, March 27, 2002
I am moving The Cobra's Blog over to Blogspot, at least until I can
figure out how they make posting so easy. It's possible that this blog
address might go back into service at some point, but I can't say at
this time if it will. See you in the new locale.
Wednesday, March 27, 2002
Posted by Sharon C. McGovern
Of course I watched the Academy
Awards Ceremony Sunday night. It's a compulsion, a zit begging to be
popped. And there were some decent nominees, though none that had even
a remote chance of winning. For instance, David Lynch was up for directing
the haunting Mulholland
Dr., and while a that was a nice gesture, it was just too unwieldy
to have a real shot. Likewise, Peter Jackson brought elegance and coherence
to a three hour version of The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the
Ring, captivating even to those who wince at words like "Hobbit"
and "Prancing Pony." Even though there is some truth to my
mom's evaluation that the movie was one gigantic chase scene, it is
a remarkable achievement--at once vast and personal, and one of the
truly great fantasy films (an underpopulated genre). Still, not what
the middlebrow Academy thinks of as highbrow, which made the mediocre
A Beautiful Mind, a shoo in.
And that's fine. A lot of people liked it, and only occasionally does
the Best Picture Oscar go to something surprisingly good. To quote a
rare example, "Deservin's got nothin' to do with it." (One
million cobra points to anyone who identifies the source of the quote.)
And that's what makes Julia Roberts so dismaying.
Okay, so I always find Julia Roberts dismaying. Her appeal is utterly
lost on me, she's just a spaz with a gigantic mouth. And lately, that
mouth has been broadcasting the injustice of Hollywood in awarding her
an Oscar for a leading role, but not Denzel Washington, clearly an indication
of society's racism. I happen to agree, at least with the first part.
Why does Julia Roberts have an Oscar when so many talented women have
been overlooked? Glenn Close is a far better actress (though you might
not realize it from the way she was blowing her lines all through the
Oscar telecast) and she's never won. But for crying out loud, it's just
one of those things. For his part, Washington already had an Oscar for
his supporting role in the movie Glory, and he won it a decade
before Roberts got one. That's fine, too, he did an excellent job in
that movie. Maybe he did an excellent job in the film for which he won
the other night, Training Day. I may never know, as I have developed
an allergic reaction to his co-star, Ethan Hawke. But do two Oscars
make him better or more deserving than, say, Morgan Freeman? Or Danny
Glover, Delroy Lindo, Samuel L. Jackson, or Laurence Fishburne? No more
so than Ron Howard's Oscar proving he's a better director than Alfred
Hitchcock. It's just one of those things. But all Roberts's sychophantic
squealing, first about how she kissed Sidney Poitier then how she was
the luckiest girl on the face of the earth to annouce Washington's win,
managed to accomplish was to make both men look like subjects of her
little outreach project. This didn't quite diminish the presence of
either enormously dignified man, but the idea that that idiot girl seemed
to think she was ushering in racial enlightenment was a ghastly spectacle.
This year, Julia Roberts made herself into the premiere advocate for
rewarding Washington for the color of his skin rather than the content
of his performance. Even in the bad old days of Hollywood, Poitier and
Hattie McDaniel didn't have that tiny stain on their reputations.
As to Halle Berry, I haven't seen her movie either, though I've heard
she was very good in it. But if and, I hope, when Angela Bassett and
Alfre Woodard collect their awards, they say, "I got this because
I rock" and not "because Halle Berry opened the door."
Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Posted by Sharon C. McGovern
Last night Peggy and I went to see The Damned and Rob Zombie at the
Mesa Amphitheater. Considering their age, which has to be considerable
considering David Bowie opened for them at the beginning of his career,
The Damned looked damned good. The various members sported hair in black,
blond, and a sort of angry pink--none of them very convincing, though
in fairness, there did seem to be plenty of hair to go around. And only
the bass player was what you'd call fat. Still, they rocked pretty hard.
Rob Zombie's show was a delight. I have to admit that he only came
onto my radar in a significant way a few years ago, but the show was
everything I could have hoped for--smoke and fire, wraiths and robots,
and fake gore galore. And as much as I love the twig boys of pop music,
Love&Rockets, and Cracker, and so forth, Zombie and his band were
refreshingly macho. The big power moves, the marching and posing, had
a grandeur that was put in witty context by the demon and gargoyle set
design, and augmented by two women with stripper moves.
Who knows if Rob Zombie will be around into the next few decades, gingerly
stepping out of a battered devil's head to open a show for a successor.
But based on the crowd last night, which ranged from the gray haired
and infirmed to little kids, he will have an audience. And I would be
happy to be among them. Still, having decay as a major theme of his
current and past oeuvre was certainly a strategic move.
by Sharon C. McGovern
The Cobra's Blog is going on vacation today through the 22nd. For more
on that, please visit my main page (which should be updated and redesigned
my the time most of you read this), The
Cobra's Website. I suppose there is a teeny tiny chance that I might
update this blog whilst on the road, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
If you are a subscriber to The
Cobra's Nose in newsletter form, you might have noticed that there
hasn't been a new on in an embarrassing amount of time, but I plan to
write up my vacation for all interested parties upon my return, so stay
tuned. If you pine to read about my previous excursions, you can find
Take care, and see (some of you) soon.
Monday, March 11, 2002
Posted by Sharon C. McGovern
I saw the new ad for the Oxygen
Channel. The Oxygen Channel isn't available in my area, and based on
what I know about it, I won't be agitating for it any time soon. Here's
what I know. First, they do a "Pop-Up Video" kind of thing
to Xena: Warrior Princess
reruns. Now, even if you weren't (as
I am) a big Xena fan, you'd have to wonder what satisfaction there
would be in mocking a show that regularly mocks itself might be. Second,
I loathe their ads.
The first one I shows girl newborns casting off
their pink beanies whilst "I am Woman" plays in a minor key
in the background. The second is a montage of fake beauty pageant contestants
decrying female stereotypes in a seamlessly edited speech. So, in other
words, a station declares its intended audience free of group thinking
and to prove it, they all watch the same thing at the same time. And
I don't think the beauty pageant message will take root as long as former
pageant heavy weights like Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric, and in a different
field, Vanessa Williams, continue to garner critical respect and tons
of dough in their chosen professions.
I don't mind niche marketing, and women are as
good a target audience as any I suppose. And the Lifetime Channel manages
to target it without annoying the crap out of me. If I am in the mood
for maudlin TV movies (like
the one with Sean Young who has a daughter into cutting, that one
kicked ass, and Sean looked really chunky in it) or decrepit sitcoms
with women in all the lead roles--that's where I go. I don't know what
I'd go to the Oxygen Channel for, and I'm not even a tiny bit interested
in finding out.
by Sharon C. McGovern
Well, that was sort of a dopey post for the sixth month anniversary
of September 11. Maybe at the one year (I know that anniversaries are
by definition yearly events, so write to me about something else, Eye
of Fatima) anniversary, I will have something meaningful to say. Sometimes,
I am surprised at how emotional I still am about the slaughter. Not
every minute of the day, but suddenly, in bursts. Or in overreacting
to a only okay film like Black Hawk Down. But maybe that just
how the big sorrows go--they're the hurts that keep on hurting.
by Sharon C. McGovern
On the up side, I did find new articles by Mark Steyn today. Mark Steyn,
for those I haven't collared and babbled at, is a Canadian who lives
in New Hampshire, and writes for Canadian, US, and English publications,
and he has new entries in each this week. For the Chicago
Sun Times, he writes:
Every day, these people are probing, testing, finding
the weak spots in the system. The government has to stop all of them
each and every time. They just have to get through once. Richard Reid
was within a few seconds of blowing up a transatlantic jet before his
fellow passengers jumped on him. Maybe the next Richard Reid will find
himself seated next to a Todd Beamer type. Or maybe he'll get lucky
and the next seat will be filled by an Ivy League professor immersed
in a long article in Harper's about how crass and misguided America's
war on terrorism is because we're not concentrating on the "root causes,"
and he won't notice the smoking loafer until it's too late. The enemy
has a simple war aim: Kill Americans--and if, along the way, you happen
to kill a few Aussies, Japanese, Pakistanis or the nationals of some
70 other countries who died on Sept. 11, well, that's no big deal. Mission
None of us wants to think about this or live like this.
When the FBI urges us to be extra vigilant, we pay no attention. When
it emerges that a "shadow government" has been set up, we make jokes
about it. But every American should know that there've been plenty of
plans for a second Sept. 11 and be grateful that they were all foiled,
or fell apart, or got stalled because some bureaucrat at a department
of motor vehicles outlet in Florida or a passport office in Toronto
or a check-in counter at the Netherlands was being a little more careful
than he would have been six months ago.
The probability is that al-Qaida and its network of
allies have the capability of detonating a "dirty nuke." America can
hunker down, shut the borders, close the ATMs and demand you get to
the airport five hours early for a 40-minute puddle-jump. Or it can
take to the war to Islamofascism's center of operations and destroy
it there. In other words, it can besiege the American people, or it
can besiege the enemy.
For Britain's Daily
Telegraph (link requires registration, and I don't want to discourage
you, but it's kind of a pain in this case) he covers a lot of the same
material, but goes after President Bush's domestic failures:
Most Presidents get to pick their priorities. After
September 11, Bush had no choice in his. But, six months on, it's increasingly
clear that, on the non-war fronts the Bush presidency has died. His
much-vaunted education bill was gutted by Ted Kennedy of anything meaningful.
On "campaign finance reform" - a racket Bush once dismissed
as "unconstitutional" - he seems to lack the will to resist. And last
Tuesday he pulled off the remarkable feat of making Bill Clinton look
principled. With hindsight, Clinton had two bedrock convictions: he
believed oral sex didn't qualify as adultery and he believed in free
Bush, by contrast, thinks a little bit of union featherbedding
doesn't count as political adultery, and will swing enough votes among
the Red Robbos of the Appalachians to make the difference. Don't bet
on it. Protectionism breeds ingrates.
By November, some pandering West Virginia Democrat will be agitating
for 40 per cent tariffs. In 2004, Bush will win or lose for reasons
entirely unconnected with an irrelevant, dying industry.
I think he's right, and I wish he weren't. But if you want to feel
better about the President of the USA, and I mean any of them,
you could check out this article about Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe from
The National Post. It is heavy on Canadian and UK policy
about Zimbabwe, but still worth a read as a mind broadening exercise:
After two decades of Mr. Mugabe's stewardship, per
capita income has fallen by half, inflation is running at over 100%
and unemployment at 60%, and the government has no idea how to correct
any of these lamentable developments except by forcing white farmers
off their property and turning productive land to dust. The official
position is that the present situation is the fault of the white minority
and of Britain. Mr. Mugabe, you'll recall, has described Mr. Blair as
a "gay gangster" leading "the gay government of the gay United gay Kingdom."
Back in 1980, Robert Mugabe was a cold but courtly Afro-Marxist.
He liked cricket for its "civilizing" influence, he had English hunting
scenes on the place mats at Government House, and he spoke in the elegant
vowels of a post-war London drawing room, not the flatted tones of the
veldt settler. He was always an economic illiterate, and a vicious killer
as required, but he was not, as he now appears to be, stark staring
nuts. Many have speculated on the reasons for this. In Zimbabwe, it
is widely believed he's been driven insane by tertiary syphilis. Reliable
sources claim Mr. Mugabe's manhood has crumbled away to nothing. Last
year, George Potgieter, the manager of a Harare engineering company,
wound up in court after telling his workers that (according to court
records) "they had no brains because they were being led by a President
who had a rubber penis made in China". The workers immediately seized
Mr. Potgieter and took him to the nearest police station for breaking
the Law and Order Maintenance Act, which forbids exposing the President
to "hatred, contempt or ridicule".
I'm not sure what extradition arrangements we have with Harare, so
let me hasten to add that neither I nor the editors of the National
Post are for one minute suggesting Mr. Mugabe has a rubber penis --
or, if he has, we're sure it's very impressive and top of the range,
certainly not some factory-made Chinese thing. I'm no shrink, but
it seems to me that if one's twig and berries crumble away to nothing
it could conceivably lead one to an unusually intense animus against
certain forms of male sex. Thus, Mr. Mugabe's speech two years ago
accusing Britain of a plot to impose homosexuality throughout the
Knock yourselves out.
Thursday, March 7, 2002
Posted by Sharon C. McGovern
Today, I went to see the movie Iris, about the novelist, philosopher,
and Alzheimer's sufferer Iris Murdoch. It was recently nominated for
a handful of Academy Awards, including I believe, Best Actress for Judi
Dench, Best Supporting Actor for Jim Broadbent, and Best Supporting
Actress Kate Winslet, and they all did a fine job. But, and I kind of
hate to say it, maybe there is a limit to how good a movie a movie like
Iris can be, since it is essentially a disease flick. If that's
what you're in the market for, though, see it.
The first thing you will see is naked Kate Winslet swimming in a river,
which brings me to the real subject of this post: why are some actors
such exhibitionists? And I'm not talking about little nobodies with
great bodies who flash a little flesh from time to time to get by (like
Sharon Stone until she got famous, but by then she was probably contractually
obligated), but major stars about whose anatomies I know far more than
I would ever have chosen to. The most obvious offender I can think of
is Michael Douglas.
From his very first starring role, "Hail,
Hero!", he has been exposing his flat pathetic ass to the
world, and neither age nor public outcry has discouraged him in the
intervening years (see, or better yet, don't Fatal Attraction
and Basic Instinct for examples). In terms of flat assness, he
has important competition in relative newcomer Geoffrey Rush, who has
made far fewer films, but will drop trou for an Oscar nomination (Shine,
Quills). Kate Winslet
has been naked in Iris, Titanic, Holy Smoke, and Jude
(shown giving birth from a very privileged angle), and those are just
the ones I know about. Actually, she was in Quills, too, and
if memory serves, naked as a corpse. Her costar in Holy Smoke,
is perhaps the most notorious for unwelcome nude scenes, starting with
his first starring role in Who's That Knocking at My Door?
followed up with Fingers, Bad Lieutenant, and The Piano,
and Holy Smoke. He has the strangest body, too--simultaneously
chunky and muscled. Nicole
Kidman has shown her more enviable shape in Dead Calm, Billy
Bathgate, Malice, Eyes Wide Shut, and probably more.
Meanwhile, I keep hearing about Russell
Crowe's explicit love scenes from The Quick and the Dead,
Proof of Life, and A Beautiful Mind being left on the
cutting room floor. Conclusive proof that there is no justice in this
Wednesday, March 6, 2002
Posted by Sharon C. McGovern
According to this
article, Americans were polled on their opinion of Muslim majority
countries. Just for the record, 10,000 citizens of the nine Muslim countries
were polled while only 863 of the US were contacted. And the pollsters
did ask the money question that I didn't think they would, that is to
say, "what is your opinion of Muslim countries?" Very/ somewhat
favorable: 24%, Very/ somewhat unfavorable: 41%, Neither: 33%. Jonah
Goldberg gives this testy response:
When the poll of Muslims came out, the talk shows were
keenly interested in knowing what we did wrong. When the second poll
Ñ of Americans Ñ came out, they were run side-by-side as if what they
had to say revealed roughly equivalent phenomena. "Only one in four
Americans have a favorable opinion of Muslim countries," reported USA
Today. "That's roughly the same percentage of the Islamic countries'
residents who look favorably on the United States."
The only morally and intellectually responsible reaction
to this stunning finding is a heartfelt "so what?"
Imagine if I wrote: "Only one in four cops have a favorable
opinion of criminals. That's roughly the same percentage of criminals
who look favorably on cops." Would that tell you that cops and criminals
views of each other are based on the same set of grievances? Would you
say that the criminals have a roughly equivalent case? Would you give
a damn at all? Okay, maybe you would, but only because nobody wants
their police force to have a favorable view of criminals at all.
by Sharon C. McGovern
Got this from the Amazing Amy Magsamen the other day:
I promise you it isn't me.
Tuesday, March 5, 2002
by Sharon C. McGovern
Eye of Fatima, poet
catcher, had a couple of responses to a couple of posts. Regarding
"alphas and betas and gammas (oh my!)," he writes,
The article from the Washington Post was interesting, but incomplete
regarding the extent of influences revolving around alpha, beta, and
gamma girls. Hmmm, junior high. What could possibly be an incredibly
large influence on girls, but boys, maybe? How about alpha, beta,
and gamma boys? I know I'm a little tongue in clique here. But as
a gamma who ran with the alphas (and just about everybody else), I
can tell you that a beta girl would do alit of things to be an alpha
girl - and if an alpha boy was interested in you, it was seen as a
way in. And alpha guys would prey on the beta girls who were so desperate
to get into this small circle. The alpha girls hung with the alpha
guys, and if an alpha boy was with a beta girl, she could over time
manage to break into that group. It makes me sick that I know about
this crap, but I do. --EYE YI YI OF FATIMA
I am far less astute than Eye, and have the networking skills of an
autistic five year old, but think he makes a good point. But then, he
goes on to critique my grasp of story problems:
I hate to point it out, but in this instance, he was technically
right. Follow me here. First: A lucky winner from the Northeast won
the $183 million prize, but after taxes would only see about $60 million
of it. Lucky Bastard: 60 million Government: 123 million"Wow," said
the grunting, stretching guy. "That's like half the money the government
takes." 60 million is about half (~49%) of 123 million. Had he said
the government was taking half, and you replied with two thirds, etc.,
then your statement would have been correct.
I don't think Eye quite got me--the grunting, stretching guy did go
on to make other inaccurate estimations--but it probably serves me right
for being smug.
Please feel free to e-mail any comments (or corrections, but especially
comments) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Sharon C. McGovern
This afternoon, there were two count them two different reports on two
different CNN talk shows (Talk
Back Live and Crossfire)
about the lamentable obesity of Americans today. This topic has been
a pet peeve
of mine for sometime, and that was before the big push to legislate
against it. The argument goes something like this: obesity causes health
problems which sometimes costs government money to fix, therefore, the
government should have the right to forbid or punitively tax the causes
of obesity. If it was good enough for smoking, the argument goes, it's
good enough for fat.
I loathe this mode of thinking. First of all, it charges the government
with the duty of being more responsible for personal matters--and about
very most personal matters of all--than individual persons. Second,
unlike the overrated phenomenon of second hand smoke, there is no way
for the Krispy Kreme I eat to invade anybody else's body--the fat and
calories are mine all mine. Third, there is beneath the anti-fat rhetoric
a horror that obesity will somehow become acceptable to the populace
at large, so we constantly have to be reminded how awful it is. God
forbid the typical American forget for five seconds that Ford Modeling
Agency probably won't be nagging them to sign a contract any time soon.
Listen, and I write this as a not-lithe person, there is "lookism"
practiced in the world on a freelance basis that the odds of anybody
feeling consistantly great about his or (especially?) her personal appearance
are pretty remote even without the government and professional scolds
getting in on the act. I was privileged to watch Talk Back Live with
my thin and handsome brother, Partick,
and when the usual montage of chunky citizens rolled and the voiceover
queried, "Are Americans too fat?" he shouted an enthusiastic,
"Yes!" And I have to admit, it wasn't a pretty sight. The
segment was followed by a special report out of England, which consisted
of an English corespondent asking his countrymen which nation had the
fattest population. The only country named was the United States. "Maybe
they should back away from the Burger Kings and the MacDonalds,"
sneered one pale, scrawny jerkweed, and Partick had to call a time out.
"We have to take this from people who eat blood sausage and deep
fry every meal?" he said.
Maybe we should just be relieved that it wasn't one of the questions
the pollsters asked the countries with majority Muslim populations.
by Sharon C. McGovern
Here is a new
column on Saudi Arabia by Mark Steyn. If you've never read his work...well,
Monday, March 4, 2002
by Sharon C. McGovern
A couple of weeks ago, I visited my apartment building's chamber
of horrors. It was fairly early on a Saturday, so I was hopeful
that I would be the only incarceree and would therefore be free to choose
the channel (Looney
Tunes was on). Unfortunately, a fat guy was already there, perched
on this device that aids in stretching, and was grunting and sighing
with every move. He had it pointed toward the TV, and the TV was tuned
to CNN Headline News. Of course, I was a little disappointed, but news
is always a decent option. As Suzanne Sugarbaker from Designing Women
puts it, it's a little of this, and a little of that, and none of it
lasts too long. I mounted my machine of choice (the elliptical), and
settled in for 28 minutes of pain and suffering and news, when a report
about the Powerball jackpot came on. A lucky winner from the Northeast
won the $183 million prize, but after taxes would only see about $60
million of it.
"Wow," said the grunting, stretching guy.
"That's like half the money the government takes."
"More like two thirds," I said, still fresh enough to speak
clearly. Twenty-six and a half minutes to go.
"Let me think...that's more than half. Three quarters?" He
muttered some numbers. "How much is that?"
"About two thirds," I said.
"Wow, that 's more than half. That's almost three quarters. That's
The above discussion repeated two or three times, until a story about
Enron came on.
"Oh, Enron. Everybody in Bush's government is in
Enron's pocket. Bush worked for Enron. Cheney worked for Enron. That
Secretary of War guy worked for Enron. That main general worked for
Enron. They're all corrupt, but what do you expect?"
I panted out a protest--none of those guys worked for Enron.
"Well, what difference does that make?" he
said, and soon after left to go to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast.
Now let me clarify a few things before I go on. I am not a math whiz
and would never claim to be. If you think the Bush Administration is
corrupt, I'm sure you have your reasons and don't feel the need to proselytize
to you. I am a fan of the Grand Slam Breakfast. And I wouldn't be writing
any of this if I hadn't heard another one of those asinine reports-from-a-typical-eatery
on NPR the other day. That particular discussion was about how Americans
perceive their heritage in this age of multiculturalism, "Americans"
in this case being a handful of women on break from their jobs at a
beauty parlor, plus a couple of college professor experts whose remarks
were edited in later. I've heard dozens, maybe hundreds of examples
of this type of story over the years--and not just on NPR, but on all
the news outlets and in all media--and find them condescending and useless.
The reporters venture into Average American territory like wary Anthropologists,
and treat the natives' semi-coherent opinions with lazy credulity. I'm
not blaming the deer in the headlights interviewees. Unlike reporters
and their expert chums, they are unlikely to be preoccupied by whatever
topic upon which they are asked to opine. Nothing wrong with that--it
doesn't make them bad people or bad citizens. But neither does it make
them interesting in the slightest to anybody who has to deal with them
on a regular basis. If a reporter had ambled into a Scottsdale Denny's
on that particular Saturday and started asking around about the Average
American's opinion on Enron, he or she would have learned that at least
one Average American who was incapable of figuring simple fractions
was nonetheless astute enough to have figured out a complicated financial
catastrophe and discerned that the highest levels of government had
been compromised by it. So what if his data was wrong? I've heard all
sorts of lies and inaccuracies come out of the mouths of my fellow Average
Americans in national broadcasts, but somehow because they are speaking
the truth as they know it, actual, verifiable capital-T Truth takes
a back seat.
The sociologist Max Weber theorized if a person thought something
was true, it would have the same effect in the person's life as if it
were true whether it was or not. The guy in the torture chamber thought
the Bush Administration was corrupt because it was packed with former
Enron employees, and this wasn't some vague intuition, but a rather
strongly worded prejudice he volunteered to a stranger--while watching
a news story that said nothing of the sort. Likewise, I remember a former
co-worker completely confusing Palestinian and Pakistani terrorists,
while reading an article about terrorism in Israel, and a deliveryman
delivering a bizarre history of the Middle East while a story about
the history of the Middle East played on television behind him in the
Break Room. The information is out there...why does it penetrate so
few brains? How does the media manage to so misinform the public? That
is the only story about Average Americans' opinions I'm interested in
by Sharon C. McGovern
Considering how little I think of the opinions of my fellow citizens
generally, guess how much I esteem those taken from this
poll about how Muslim populations view the United States and matters
related to the September 11 attacks? 63% of Iranians "dislike"
President Bush? Get out! Or consider, (to quote James Taranto from OpinionJournal)
According to the poll, 61% of people in six of the countries don't
believe that Arabs carried out the Sept. 11 atrocities, vs. only 19%
who believed they were. (For some reason neither CNN nor USA Today
explains, this question wasn't asked of Jordanians, Moroccans or Saudis.)
This, of course, is not a matter of opinion; Arabs did carry out the
attacks. This "poll," then, is less a measure of public opinion than
of the willful and dangerous ignorance that prevails within the Muslim
So I'm not going to get into the poll results, as they've been covered
by my betters. But can you imagine a similar poll in the US? Average
Americans answering questions like, "Do you have a favorable or
unfavorable opinion of Morocco?" Do you know anybody who has an
opinion of Morocco at all? Or Jordan, or Lebanon, or Kuwait? You might
have an easier time getting feedback on the likes of Iran, but what
would would the answers mean? "Favorable" would be a stretch,
considering no official Iranian statement re the US is complete without
a mention of Satan. Still, "unfavorable" seems harsh when
applied to an entire nation. There is a legitimate, pro-democratic movement
in Iran that is "favorable," as well as, I'm sure, lots of
fine people who might be perfectly favorable if you met them in an airport
or had them over for dinner. This isn't like George W putting their
government on notice by including them in the infamous axis, it's just
plain, non-policy making folks who picked up the phone when it rang.
And the only result an "unfavorable" vote would have is to
encourage world opinion that the United States is a nation of bigots.
So..."undecided"? Only if you want to read editorials about
American ignorance for the next six months.
A poll like that would never be conducted in the US, never. So why
is is appropriate for countries with Muslim majorities?
by Sharon C. McGovern
You are Kermit!
Though you're technically the star, you're pretty
mellow and don't mind letting others share the spotlight. You
are also something of a dreamer.
I'm Kermit! Who are you?
Saturday, March 2, 2002
at 10:45 pm by Sharon C. McGovern
When I first started The Cobra's
Nose, and every time I got a new subscriber, I would hear, "I
should write something for you to publish." Having already been
a section editor of an off-campus college newspaper, I was used to hearing
this. Unfortunately, back then I took it seriously and alienated a lot
of people by insisting they deliver the articles they promised to write.
That was useless. There was no pay involved, and the prestige of being
published in The Student Review was pretty much on par with that of
authorship in The Cobra's Nose, so I had nothing to compete with excuses
like, "I had homework," "I had a date," and "I
didn't feel like writing it." In all fairness, I did have a few
guest contributors come through for me in The Nose, luminaries like
Eye of Fatima (the artist formerly known as "Magi"), Janet
Herman, Scott Rowley, Veronica Zolotoochin, The Amazing Amy Magsamen,
my cousin The Elegant Evelyn, and my nephews Alex and Aaron Burton (google
yourselves and see what happens, guys). You can read most of their articles
on The Cobra's
Guest Page or find them in The
Cobra's Archives. Still, I realize that there's a lot of, "sheesh,
I can do that" kind of attitude when it comes to small endeavors
like the above, and like blogging. I have that attitude, and yet on
day two of The Cobra's Blog nearly blew my deadline.
So, let me again proclaim my gratitude to all those who have contributed
to The Cobra's Nose in whatever form, invite all interested parties
to contribute in the future, and apologize to any and all whom I may
have unduly nagged in the past.
at 11:00pm by Sharon C. McGovern
By way of contrition, you can look at this photo
of me in drag. With any luck, this will be the most embarrassing for
a while, but since I reportedly insisted on being photographed soon
after getting my wisdom teeth out, it may not hold the title for long.
Friday, March 1, 2002
at 3:30 pm by Sharon C. McGovern
So that went well. I sent out a number of e-mails about this project
to see if anybody would bite and if somebody would write something weird
for me to excerpt. Check and check! A few (and I'm hoping to upgrade
that number to "several") wrote e-mailed support, and my old
friend Eye of Fatima contributed an oddity:
OK I have an Asian friend who was telling me about
her culture superstitions [he begins]. She is Chinese, and the Chinese
New Year was in February. The superstition in particular says that it
is bad luck to buy (or wear) new shoes until one month after the New
Year. If this is interesting to you, I will explain to you later why.
But here's the rub. (Don't give me any lip about shoes, btw!) Ginny
and I were shopping for clothes at the Rack the other day, and I found
a pair of HIKING BOOTS that were of an exceptional value. I needed
a new pair of lightweight hikers because my last pair have holes in
them. Anyway, Ginny sees me with these things, and says "you can't
buy those, remember what Amy said about the New Year? It's bad luck."
I reluctantly put them back. Afterwards, it dawned on me that because
I had to put them back, I was already having bad luck, so I might
as well go ahead and get them!!
The other rub is, EOF thinks the shoes have already been scooped up
by somebody else. If you see them on an unworthy pair of feet, you can
reach Eye care of this blog.
immediately after by Sharon C. McGovern
The most important thing about blogs is to be timely because controversy
sweeps through them like brushfire. A recent example began with this
article in the Washington Post, a lame little bit of sociology about
"alpha," "beta," and "gamma" girls in
junior high and high school. Or if you've seen Heathers,
Heather (et al), Veronica Sawyer, and Betty Finn, respectively. Katherine
J. Lopez of The
Corner used it as ammunition against affirmative action for adolescent
girls, the always useless Maureen
Dowd wondered what happened to them, and Robert
Musil says "good riddance." Or more specifically:
Perhaps life outside of junior high school does not favor those who
attempt to ruthlessly rule with cold shoulders, hot clothes and withering
looks - or whatever the adult equivalents of those may be. And it's
probably not a sexually specific phenomenon. Men who attempt to ruthlessly
rule with cold shoulders, hot clothes and withering looks likely also
find themselves generally less influential as time goes on. And -
this seems to be a place where I particularly differ with Ms. Dowd
- none of this is a bad thing.
(By the way, his thoughts were commented upon by Diane
of Letter from Gotham.)
If you want to explore the linked links (and I left the InstaPundit
one out), that might be an interesting exercise, but for something a
little closer to home and written well before all of the above, please
visit my articles on the roving packs of CosmoGirls who wander the halls
of Cosmodemonic, here,
I'm getting the hang of this self-promotion thing.
at 2:10 am by Sharon C. McGovern
Hello and welcome to The Cobra's Blog (a division of The Cobra's
Website, which is a subsidiary of Cobra, Inc.)! I was inspired to create
this blog by Glenn Reynolds ofInstaPundit
fame. Not directly, but by virtue of compulsively reading his blog
(a word derived from "web log") and those he linked to for
the past few months whilst working as a receptionist for Cosmodemonic
Enterprises of Scottsdale, AZ. I no longer work for Cosmodemonic, and
I wish left under more auspicious circumstances, such as pimp slapping
a trainee. But the world is wide and the future is bright and I have
no time for such regrets. There is plenty of time to write though, and
a need for a new addiction in my life which I think should be The Cobra's
Blog rather than the Oxycodone I've been taking since I had my wisdom
So let's see how this goes. I'm not famous for following through on
projects (you could mention "Ghost, Interrupted," but it would
be sort of mean), but maybe this will be different. If you have any
suggestions or feedback, please write to me at email@example.com.
More soon (hey, it could happen).