The Spectacle Blog

Fashioning the World?

By on 3.2.06 | 2:41AM

In an interesting and disturbing post, InstaPunk looks at the designers who seem to be contemplating the surrender of the West on the runways of Paris.

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“Democrats Vow Not To Give Up Hopelessness”

By on 3.1.06 | 1:31PM

The Onion:

WASHINGTON, DC-In a press conference on the steps of the Capitol Monday, Congressional Democrats announced that, despite the scandals plaguing the Republican Party and widespread calls for change in Washington, their party will remain true to its hopeless direction.

"We are entirely capable of bungling this opportunity to regain control of the House and Senate and the trust of the American people," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said to scattered applause. "It will take some doing, but we're in this for the long and pointless haul."

Heh.
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West Bank gang killer still at large

By on 3.1.06 | 1:15PM

Jerusalem source confirms that Abu Nasser, deputy commander of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade on the West Bank, directed two shooting attacks against Israelis in the last news cycle: one fatality at point blank range in a service station near Jenin, a second WIA near Qalqiliya.

Abu Nasser spoke by mobile phone to my Jerusalem source and my audience (and this writer) forty hours agao from his hideout in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus on the West Bank. Abu Nasser has been in hiding for more than ten days from an IDF special operations team in place around the camp. The roads are sealed, the camp is under scrutiny, the IDF team is patient, well-fixed, keen.

A week ago, the capture of Abu Nasser and Nablus Al Aqsa commander Ala Senakreh was imminent; however they escaped the moment but not the net.

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Re: Get the Post to Sex-Ed

By on 3.1.06 | 12:47PM

Dave: While it may not sound as kinky as the hede that caught your eye this morning, Larry Thornberry of Tampa recently sent me a clipping of a headline from his local gazette that marks me for ethnic profiling: "Utilities Draft Plans To Inspect Poles More Frequently." How do I get in touch with the ACLU?

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Anti-Satanic Prose?

By on 3.1.06 | 12:19PM

According to this BBC report, a dozen writers including Salman Rushdie, the Indian-born British writer who still lives under a fatwa ordering his execution for writing The Satanic Verses, have issued a statement warning against radical Islam's assault on free speech and freedom of the press. It says, in part, that the writers refuse to accept that Muslim men and women "should be deprived of their rights to equality, liberty or secularity in the name of respect for culture or tradition."

Most importantly, they discern a critical issue that few have before: Radical Islam is an ideology, not a religion: "Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present."

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At Least David Cameron’s Not Our Leader

By on 3.1.06 | 11:39AM

Disheartened by the lack of conservative leadership? Take heart, Americans, in that we don't have it as bad as the British Conservatives. The Conservative Party under David Cameron released yesterday its new "draft statement" of "Conservative aims and values." It's rather defensive ("Conservatives are not ideologues") and shockingly Labour-oriented. It bill the party as a "modern, compassionate Conservative Party." It celebrates Tony Blair's and Gordon Brown's aims of economic efficiency and social justice. Their chief failure? Not realizing these goals. It pays lip service to generally conservative notions, but contains all the political code-phrases: debt relief, fair trade, sustainable development and climate change. Their quarrel with Labour? You got me.

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Preservationist Ben

By on 3.1.06 | 10:59AM

Ben Stein was in town yesterday, as reported by local all news radio WTOP-AM 1500 reports, on behalf of the Civil War Preservation Trust and its new report on the ten most endangered Civil War battlefields. Long "energized" by their plight, WTOP notes, Ben drew particular attention to the Circle Forts of Washington, three of which are in Maryland, not too far from the stomping grounds of his youth in Silver Spring. As for plans to build a casino near the Gettysburg battlefield, Ben called them "bizarre."

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Yo! Smithsonian Raps

By on 3.1.06 | 9:48AM

I should suggest at the outset that there is no genre of contemporary music that merits a Smithsonian installation. But having to read one's way through the following in today's Washington Post item -- twice pained by the awkwardness of its residually painful cultural sense -- calls up in the gorge something particularly galling:
"I would love to see more jewelry, more bling-bling, more clothes, more graffiti," said Marvette Perez, the Smithsonian curator leading the project. "I'd love to get Queen Latifah's hat from the 'Ladies First' video, some of Missy Elliott's sneakers. We're just getting warmed up."

"I'm so happy right now," [Ice-T] said as he finished his speech," because when somebody comes and asks me about my music and about hip-hop, I can say, 'Take your [flipping hindquarters] to the museum, all right?"

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