March 2008


scarychefdet.jpgYou gotta be kidding — look at this guy. Apparently the joke went right over the collective heads of The New York Times, who published this picture today under the title, “YOUR WAITER TONIGHT…” Is that a threat or a promise?

This is what you see when you grab your first gander at today’s Dining Out section above the fold — this horrible, Manson-like evildoer serving tiny portions of gruel to you, the reader/potential restaurant-goer.

Is this some latter-day John Malkovich with a bad haircut? What about that thousand-mile stare? Or do we now expect sociopaths, recently released from the State Asylum, to serve us dinner at our local upscale NYC eatery? I don’t want my chef serving me dinner, thank you. Just because he can cook doesn’t mean he knows how to hand over my scrod foie gras without dropping it in my wife’s lap.

Beautiful MexicoWell, there it is–a great example of horribly ugly architecture. This one’s in Mexico, and completely ruins what looks like a lovely resort village on the Sea of Cortez. Words can’t describe this hideous parking garage-like structure. We can’t even attribute its brutal design to the ill-fated Brutalist movement of the 1950s. It’s just bad. I doubt there was an architect involved at all. If so, the person should bring in their shingle and keep it in a drawer somewhere. No more landscape spoilage for you. I wonder if the American developers of this place–Loreto Bay–are aware of the view. Have they considered tearing it down? I was all ready to retire to the charming Baja California town someday until I saw this image. Ouch.

29cindy1901.jpgBack by popular demand, here’s more about Cindy McCain.

Who is Mrs McCain? Why, she’s the white-blond, 54ish Cindy Lou Hensley. In 1980, John married her about 6 weeks after he divorced Carol, his disfigured 1st wife. Currently, Mrs McCain runs a huge BEER DISTRIBUTION company. As a child, she starred as a rodeo queen in Arizona. She is a USC grad. She blew her trust fund helping John out during his 1st Congressional campaign in 1982. But it hasn’t all been a bed of roses. Cindy allegedly covered up evidence during the late ’80s investigation of her husband’s possible role in the Keating Five scandal.

The stress of all that led to her becoming a pretty big drug addict, mainly to America’s favorite feel-good medication Percocet. She even swiped drugs from her own foundation, which was discovered by one of her directors. She snapped into action and fired the guy, so of course he ratted her out to the Feds. She finally got off drugs in the early ’90s when her family staged a private intervention.

Just when things seemed to have quieted down, the dude she fired reappeared and sued her for wrongful termination. He threw in some charges that she lied about her drug addiction when she applied to adopt a child from Bangladesh. An incredible cartoon soon turned up in the Arizona Republic that is almost indescribable. Suffice it to say it involved a starving black baby and a recognizable drug-addled Mom. Today, it is nowhere to be found on the Internet. Trust me, I looked. Talk about suppression of free speech! In any case, the foundation went out of biz, and Cindy decided to lay low.

That was fine until the 2000 Presidential election, when the Bush people decided to make an issue out of the Bangladesh kid. You know the story–they suggested that John McCain had secretly fathered an illegitimate black baby. Jeez, the Bush/Rove/Cheney circle really have no conscience and no limits, but we certainly know that after 8 years of their bullshit. A few years ago, Cindy had a massive stroke and had to learn to reuse her arms and legs. This woman has not had an easy life!

images-miscellaneous-2006-rake-700x700.jpgSorry, I’ve been behind in my New York Times errors documentation. But the list is piling up! Here are a few good ones:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008: A heading “Oil Price Rises Above Record” under the Inside feature states that–

Oil prices rose briefly to $103.95, breaking a record set in April 1980 during the second oil shock…

What in the world does that mean? “The second oil shock” is such an odd turn of phrase. Was this the second one of the year? Of the decade? Of the millenium?  And when was the first one?

Monday, February 25, 2008: An article entitled “Blogger, Sans Pajamas, Rakes Muck and a Prize.” Fine. But the 2nd paragraph leaves me sputtering. Here’s the quote:

On Tuesday, it was announced that he had won a George Polk Award for legal reporting for coverage of the firing of eight United States attorneys, critics charged under political circumstances.

Is this the most awkward sentence you’ve read in a long time? Me too! It sounds like the “critics charged” phrase is referring to the announcement of the award.

By the way, the article title sucks as well, since, while you can definitely rake muck, you can’t really rake prize. Author Noam Cohen and his copy editor, who both need a journalism school refresher class, obviously meant “rake in” a prize. I know, who would notice that? Easy answer: ME.

Oh, well. More coming.

1010061141.jpgAnother anomaly from the Times today–the big setup and the even bigger letdown. We see a tantalizing array of photographs. Easy chairs? Barcaloungers? What’s the underlying theme? Our eye immediately finds the caption, unoriginally titled in that it is based on a big Hollywood movie title, and learn that it is from a photo exhibit by an artist named Saul Robbins. Brilliant idea: therapists’ chairs! I want to know more! Which gallery reps Saul, so I can go see the hilarity in person? Well, we’ll never know, because Saul or his work or the exhibit is not mentioned again. Sure, the article tells us a lot about shrinks and their offices, but what is the tie-in to this artwork? How did Mr. Robbins come to this project? Has he been in therapy for 20 years and finally confessed that he typically never listened, instead focusing on the office decor in his endless stream of experiences with various and sundry psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers? No, nothing like that. As has been the wont of the Times for the last few years, as it slips into decline, the pictures don’t really match the articles, or the captions don’t match the pictures, or the caption is misleading, or the article doesn’t bounce off the picture… you know, high school stuff. It reminds me of the story about the tall guy below.