Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun

Heroes & Hustlers

Obama Stumbles in The New Yorker? Yes, The New Yorker

This Year

Ah, how the mighty have stumbled.... and even gotten their pants leg wet. Things weren't always so much in the "Hey, kids, let's dump on our cool president" mode that's become fashionable these recent weeks. Once upon a time, the kids all loved daddy cool. They even gave him a founder's wig to wear.... once upon a time....

Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 26, 2010 7:08 AM |  Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Meanwhile, back at Mount Rushmore

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 12, 2009 11:05 AM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Obama Fakes Right... Goes Left... Jump Shot...

Being left-handed makes this move a natural:

The Step-Through Move
To execute this move do the following:
Come to a one-count stop.
Fake a jump shot.
If you want to go to the left, take a quick step to the side of the defender with your right foot. Protect the ball as you go toward the hoop....

You might even get a power lay-up by faking to the middle, then executing a quick drop step with the baseline foot, then, power it up. - How to teach and coach one-on-one basketball moves

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 8, 2008 1:11 PM |  Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Seven Wonderful Minutes with Dennis Miller

1. "Women on the left hate Palin because she has a great sex life. Most of the women on the Upper East Side... their husbands haven't been aroused since Norman Mailer signed copies of the Executioner's Song back when Rizzolis was a bookstore."
2. "I'm happy now that it's over that Obama was elected. Obama is so smart that when two dim mindless magpies like Reid and Pelosi trundle down to sell their tired Willy Loman wares he's going to ignore them. I hope Obama does so well that four years hence I'm salivating to vote for him."
3. "Barney Frank wants to be arrested."

Posted by Vanderleun at Nov 13, 2008 11:32 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The D.G.A.S. Election Phase

Monday brought us, as all tedious news days must, the MEGO news that Republican, Democratic Presidential Contests Strikingly Similar -- Fred Thompson surges into tie with John McCain. "Surges" to a "tie?" "Strikingly Similar?" Well, slap me silly, butter my biscuit, and wake me when its over.

There are times when I believe that the current "Long and Winding Road" tour of these Republican and Democrat plastic frogs huffing

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 20, 2007 9:45 AM | QuickLink: Permalink
Once You Learn to Fake Sincerity, the Rest is Easy


"The more obscure and uncertain the cause, the greater the effect: the greater the number of idlers one could count in a family, the more illustrious it was held to be....

"It is to this desire of being talked about, and this unremitting rage of distinguishing ourselves, that we owe the best and the worst things we possess, both our virtues and our vices, our science and our errors, our conquerors and our philosophers; that is to say, a great many bad things, and a very few good ones. In a word, I could prove that, if we have a few rich and powerful men on the pinnacle of fortune and grandeur, while the crowd grovels in want and obscurity, it is because the former prize what they enjoy only in so far as others are destitute of it; and because, without changing their condition, they would cease to be happy the moment the people ceased to be wretched." -- Rousseau, "On the Origin of Inequality"

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 26, 2006 2:48 AM |  Comments (5)  | QuickLink: Permalink
NBC "Internets" Ex-Girlfriend

Couric to NBC: "I'll be leaving Today at the end of May."
NBC to Couric: "Kate, you ignorant slut!"

BREAKUPS ALWAYS HAVE FALLOUT, and it usually isn't very attractive. The poster child for "ugly out takes that somehow make the wire" this morning is this picture released by NBC of Katie Couric. Hair lanky, overdone eyes slightly askew and with a nutso-putso cast to them, and most of all the droopy mouth that might drool at any moment. I'd wager real folding money you wouldn't find an "unglamor" shot like this in last month's media packet from NBC. But now that she's gone, its time to get the image of the "real" Couric out there.

Nothing says "Door. Ass. Bang." more than taking a really unflattering picture of your "Ex" (And we all have them.) and splattering it all over the Internet. Especially when, no matter how much he or she

Posted by Vanderleun at Feb 5, 2006 7:19 AM |  Comments (17)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Idols of the "Hip:" Then and Now


Posted by Vanderleun at Jan 12, 2005 7:50 PM |  Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
FREE! American Digest's Living Author Holiday Give Away

Take a guess, get a free book. The first American Digest reader to correctly identify the American author shown below will receive, free and post paid, a copy of one of his classic tomes.

Take a look and take a guess in the comments section to this post.

Who am I?

[Members of author's family or the family and associates of American Digest are not eligible.]

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 15, 2004 1:44 PM |  Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
My, My, My. Whatever Shall We Do With Andrew?

[He's baaaaack! Having run through any monetary advantage he received from insulting Michelle Malkin last month, Andrew Sullivan is back taking a run today at Glenn Reynolds and Powerline. Sullivan's site meter and revenues must be running lower and lower if this sort of monthly hysteria is any indication. And yet, it must, in the short run be working for him. After all, you can't stay in an excited froth over torture 24/7/365, no matter how much you are fascinated by the details of that rough trade. Below is something from about a month and a half ago on Sullivan's scam. The same thing still holds true today. Just change the names.]

Andrew Sullivan is once again running his well-worn but so-far successful "Look at Me" money scam on the Blogosphere. And, once again, it seems to be working on those that just can't stop themselves from giving ink and link to a serial panderer.

I'm loathe to play along since it only increases the success of Sullivan's smarmy little maneuver. Still, I'll have one last go so nobody who chances to read this can say they didn't get the cluecard.

Andrew's been very successful at mining the blogosphere for adulation, attention, and cash over the years. He's been successful because he understands better than most how to push the buttons and chum the waters. Above all, he understands "online-drama" and how to milk it to the last drop found in the last cow in the last pasture beyond the last bus stop. When it comes to political drama, Andrew's got the full wardrobe and makeup kit ready at hand.

The only person more canny than Sullivan at this is Drudge who, unlike Sullivan, makes no pretensions otherwise. Indeed, Sullivan is Drudge-light without the scoops or handy link lists.

The current Sullivan gambit is to pick a sentence from Michelle Malkin -- a single sentence -- and then tack the word "Award" behind her last name. Stunning creativity, yes?

All right, no.

Even less stunning is Sullivan's immediate compulsion to run his patented "Cut&Paste" blogging macro behind this lame-brained conception, and then run plop in a pile of what he hopes you'll mistake for daily "Posts" or "Content" to fill up his dark and otherwise unreadable page.

This little "Award" gambit worked well for Sullivan after 911 when Susan Sontag drop kicked the

Posted by Vanderleun at Dec 9, 2004 4:03 PM |  Comments (20)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blogging and Social Software, Condensed Version

HERO VS. THE HUSTLERS: Yesterday, I was forced, under duress from Linkmeister, to unburden myself of a few choice thoughts concerning Technorati and the people that hover about it. [See below] It would seem that at about the same time David Hornik was getting around to the same point in Blogging: A world stuck on itself at CNET. In doing so he has managed to come up with the all purpose "social software panel presentation:"

"Welcome blah blah blah relationship capital blah blah blah social contracts blah blah blah media businesses blah blah blah identify the rabid fans of the iPod blah blah blah utility media blah blah blah this is the future of the Web blah blah blah RSS blah blah blah spam blah blah blah killer app blah blah blah business model blah blah blah advertising model blah blah blah Is this a product or a feature? blah blah blah A feature doesn't make a business blah blah blah leveraging relationships blah blah blah decentralized system blah blah blah privacy concerns blah blah blah profiling people blah blah blah.

"Social networking is blogging dumbed down for the masses blah blah blah tribecaster blah blah blah widget blah blah blah What is the connection between social networks and blogs? blah blah blah the most efficient media platform ever blah blah blah read-write, not read-only blah blah blah All software is about people blah blah blah put this stuff in context blah blah blah monetizing relationships blah blah blah a new dimension to the Web blah blah blah I met my wife on blah blah blah.

"Network diversity is good blah blah blah reputation management blah blah blah open standards and open platforms win always blah blah blah it's group voice blah blah blah social context blah blah blah The entire Web is a social network blah blah blah Join me in thanking tonight's moderators blah blah blah Goodnight."

If you can remember that, you too can be a social-software contender. And you don't have to build anything but another level on the Tower of Blather.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 22, 2004 7:30 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Marshalling the Spin with Chin Music

"Gimme that blah, blah.
Gimme that jaw-jaw.
Gimme that old time funky chin music!"

HERE'S A POPULAR POSE among aging Boomers and X'ers that scribble for a living. I call it "The Pondering Pundit Pose." It is very popular and is growing more so.

The pose consists of moving the hand up to the face and resting it on the chin between the chin and the camera. The chin may then be gently cradled, as seen here, or rested firmly with the forefinger extended upwards somewhat perpendicular to the jaw line.

There's no smiling once the hand reaches this positions. Instead for one must project "the perpetual pondulation of the pundit." A thoughtful gaze downward as if contemplating the precision bombing of the text with les chic bon mots d' heir soir.

Perhaps, if the shot is full-face, a somber, world-weary gaze will be offered the viewer proclaiming, "I am not a ninny, I am an Original Mind!"

A good touch, if you can manage it, is to also display a certain insouciance to the basics of chin grooming. Chief among these techniques is to shave for several days with the sideburn trimmer on your electric razor. This gives you that perpetual five o'clock shadow signals an ocean of raging testosterone seething beneath that fervid mind. We have an especially good example of this above: Josh Marshall, PunditStud.

Once you're alert for it, you see this hand on the chin pose more and more these days; especially among writers -- Tina ("I'm writing as bad as I can") Brown will do as a place holder for the female Marshalls. But why?

As a former fashion editor I once had to oversee various photo shoots of various kinds. As a former book editor, I had to either commission or review dozens of "author's photos." I love authors, but , as Internet geeks are not known for the size of their wardrobes, so authors are not generally known for 'making the pretty picture.' This is especially true as authors age, which is why an author's first book jacket photo often appears on their next books for decades. Exhibits A, B, and C: Erica Jong.

When the author's "official" photo is replaced, eight times out of ten, you see that hand used as a chin rest. Once you look for it you see it all over. I've used it myself to little avail. Here's the scoop.

After a certain age, your face falls. No shame in that. It is merely the triumph of gravity over a sedentary lifestyle. But if you are a vain person, and who isn't, you might not want your fallen face to be associated with the young vital

Posted by Vanderleun at Jul 15, 2004 12:16 AM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
It Must Be True, I Saw It On the Internet

32 Volvos Sold in One Town in One Day and, no, it wasn't Marin.

"Jung says there is another dimension, if you will, beneath our existence..."

The Midwich Cuckoo Car "Documentary" at the link above. It would seem that the Michael Moore meaning of "documentary" is catching on.

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 23, 2004 12:52 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
For Ten Bucks the Whole Castro Thing Could Have Been Avoided

Click to enlarge

Letter from Fidel Castro, as a young student, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940

"If you like, give me a ten dollars bill american, in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.

My address is:
Sr. Fidel Castro
Colegio de Delores
Santiago de Cuba
Oriente Cuba"

Posted by Vanderleun at Jun 13, 2004 12:34 PM |  Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Busting the Identity Thieves -- A True Story

This morning, I found out that thousands of dollars of charges had been made on two of my credit cards in the past two days. Now, the identity thieves are sitting in jail. This is how it happened. It involves identity theft, a careless thief, one pissed-off Ovid and lots of luck....
-- publius_ovidius: Don't f**k with Ovid -- the long version

A fascinating minute by minute account.

Posted by Vanderleun at Mar 25, 2004 6:30 PM | QuickLink: Permalink
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