. . . Thursday November 2, 2006

Letters Home, Flavanetics and Killing Seth

This letter home from a Marine in Iraq was originally intended for friends and family. Since being sent last month, it has circulated through military inboxes and beyond. Forget politics on either side and television analysis. This is, at least from one guy’s perspective, the truth. A few excerpts:

“Biggest Hassle – High-ranking visitors. More disruptive to work than a rocket attack … Their trips allow them to say that they’ve been to Fallujah, which gives them an unfortunate degree of credibility in perpetuating their fantasies about the insurgency here.

Most Profound Man in Iraq – an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied “Yes, you.”

Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province – Any Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician … Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.

Biggest Outrage – Practically anything said by talking heads on TV about the war in Iraq, not that I get to watch much TV. Their thoughts are consistently both grossly simplistic and politically slanted. Biggest Offender: Bill O’Reilly.

Most Surreal Moment – Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact.

I hope you all are doing well. If you want to do something for me, kiss a cop, flush a toilet, and drink a beer. I’ll try to write again before too long – I promise.” Read on …

William’s Choices

Author William Styron has died at the age of 81. Styron gave us many great novels, my favorite of which was Sophie’s Choice, and is one of the most respected novelists of a generation. Beyond fiction, Styron did a great service to readers by sharing the intimate details of his deep depression that nearly ended in suicide in the book Darkness Visible. Few people know that Styron also became someone that other depression sufferers leaned on for support during their darkest moments and probably talked a few of them off of the emotional ledge.


Think about it for a second. When John Kerry was running for president, everyone in his party (except, inexplicably, those actually running the campaign) were begging for him to get tough and fire back at his critics. Cut to this week when everyone in his party is irritated because he didn’t apologize quickly enough. This is just one more reason that when it comes to what parents hope for in terms of their child’s career path, politician has dropped one notch below cast member on Real World Denver.


A big majority of people think the Dems will come up with a good way out of Iraq while W argues that the Dems have no plan when it comes to the war. (Maybe that’s the trick. Create a problem so intractable that the other side can’t come up with a solution and then nail them on that…).


You Betty, You Betty, You Bet

According to ABC’s site, the series Ugly Betty asks the following: “In the superficial world of high fashion, image is everything. Styles come and go, and the only constants are the superthin beauties who wear them. How can an ordinary girl – a slightly plump plain-Jane from Queens – possibly fit in?”

Tonight executive producer Salma Hayek will help answer that question (and ring in November sweeps) by parading across the screen in her bra

Did you know that Criminal Minds is close to beating the show Lost during Wednesday night primetime?


Is Flava Flav’s never ending reality show a racist nightmare or just a campy comedy? Well, there are likely plenty of opinions because this season, the show’s season finale drew a cool 7.5 million viewers. Meanwhile, Flava has just welcomed his seventh child into the world. One more and we can drop the current show and get ready to enjoy The Flava Bunch.

The O.C. is back tonight which resurfaces one of art’s great mysteries. Why did they kill Marissa and let Seth live?


For scientists, next Tuesday is like Superbowl Sunday … Books sales are down, but it’s not for a lack of channels … Willie Nelson stands up for horses in an op-ed piece (did you know that 100,000 horses a year are killed in foreign-owned slaughterhouses in America?) … Can people keep up the pace when it comes to maintaining an online social life? … Ken Lay’s will … “What Ingram remembers is waking up in Denver on Sept. 10 and feeling alone and terrified. He had no idea who or where he was … Cingular opens lines to subscription music services … Relaxing in Tokyo with oxygen, sleep and cats … Want a piece of a small unsigned band that you love? Introducing Sellaband.com … It’s like regular Dance Dance Revolution, but if you screw up a dance step, you get broiled with 3,595 degrees of flaming propane (that’s basically how I felt about going to Cotillion) …

Thanks for the kind shout out from Zem over at Ecofabulous, a must read blog for everything green. And thanks too to Chris at Spot-On, where a bunch of smart folks cover politics and issues (with a nice focus on the latter).

Concentration is important!