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2006 Q3

September 28, 2006

All Hails Borat!


The best marketing campaign for a movie I've seen in a long time. Funny trailers, a brilliant web site, and gobs of free publicity. Last night some drinking buddies and I were wondering why Borat didn't have his official web site at www.borat.kz, and here's our answer:

After Mr. Cohen's MTV appearance last fall the Kazakh authorities stripped his site of its original domain name, .kz. Even Mr. Nazarbayev's daughter, Dariga, criticized that step, saying in an interview with one of the newspapers she owns that Borat's site "damaged our image much less than its closure." In fact it now appears at www.borat.tv and remains accessible here.
September 27, 2006

Not In The Bag:

Jackass Chuck Ts

Jackass: Number Two-branded Chuck Taylor high-tops, via Classic Sport Shoes. $69.95.


In other news:

Jackass: Number Two. Budget: $5M. Weekend Gross: $29M.
Flyboys. Budget: $60M. Weekend Gross: $6M.


I think I see a solution here:

Most Americans want the US out of Iraq. Most Iraqis want the US out of Iraq.

A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.

In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.
September 25, 2006

Four years ago, I remember telling anyone who would listen that invading Iraq was the dumbest fucking idea I'd heard of, and how it would actually make us less safe. But most of my buddies -- and you know who you are -- had a huge hard-on for war. And as any guy can attest, when you have a huge hard-on your brain can completely shut off. Occasionally I'm wrong, but not this time.

Fellas! Where are your "Support the Troops" ribbon magnets now?


In other news: Heads! Heads galore!

10 heads: In a grisly scene in Beiji, about 155 miles north of Baghdad, gunmen threw the decapitated heads of ten men into a popular open-air market at about 4:30 p.m., police said. They then fled the scene.

9 heads: Nine severed heads of policemen were found in the central Iraqi city of Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.


In yet more news:

Losing Afghanistan

September 19, 2006

Part Style Gesture, Part Ironic Gesture. In The Bag:

Honky Tonk Eagle Belt Buckle

Honky Tonk Eagle Belt Buckle, via Go Kat Go. $17.95.


I'm a little late on this, but Bill Stumpf, designer of the Aeron chair, died late last month. I sure the heck hope my Aeron Chair Sucks page (with funny movies!) didn't have anything to do with it.

Aeron Chair

Form 1, Function 0.

September 15, 2006

If you're going to be a cocksucker, at least be a cocksucker with a shirt that vaguely fits. Tony could slide his whole fist in that gape.

Tony Snow

See Scott McClellan:

Scott McClellan

September 14, 2006

I've been wanting this tee for a couple of years now, but my wife doesn't think it's cool. Nearly In The Bag Several Times:

Big Mistake

Yellow "Big Mistake" T-Shirt, via Urban Outfitters. $17.99.


Cheers to this headline:

Toasting Benefits of Social Drinking

Two economists argue in a study to be released today that social drinkers tend to have more charisma, a fatter Rolodex and more friends than those who abstain or drink alone. That garrulousness, they say, translates into higher income -- 10% more for men and 14% more for women.
September 11, 2006

My 20-year class reunion was this past weekend. I haven't been back to Columbus, Wisconsin (population 4,000) for a long, long time, and boy, was it ever a walk down memory lane. I played golf at the course where I learned the game. Saw part of a football game (home team lost 38-0). I spent most of the day on Saturday driving around town, checking out the various schools I attended, the lawns I used to mow, houses I once egged, or toilet-papered, or both. It was surprisingly emotional, especially seeing the house I grew up in. But what struck me the hardest was how small everything felt. It's not like Minneapolis is Mexico City, but wow a town of 4,000 is a damn small town. I think John Cougar Mellencamp has a song about it, or something.

Anyhow, I had a great time catching up with people I haven't seen in 10 years and in some cases 20, and meeting their spouses. A few, like two old flames in particular, looked pretty good, others ... uh ... nevermind. Almost everyone has a few kids, a little added chub, and in the case of the dudes, some grey or missing hair. Getting old is clearly hell.

See ya'll again in 10 more.

September 5, 2006

I was flipping the tube last night and saw an ad for the Wild River Festival. Al Green is performing on Saturday night, and just hours earlier my latest short film, Cube Farm Samurai is showing at Roy Wilkins in St. Paul. They scrolled the film titles at about 98 MPH, but I caught CFS. If you're looking for something to do on Saturday, please check it out.

Wild River Ad


Croc Hunter

RIP, mate.

My 4 year-old son has just gotten huge into watching the Croc Hunter on Animal Planet. If he could read this: reruns son, reruns.


Now that skulls are totally post-peak, I'm thinking machine guns might be incoming for 2007. In The Bag:

Machine Gun Polo

Washed Black "Machine Gun" Polo, via Hot Topic. $18.

September 1, 2006

Mutual Appreciation A Movie I Won't Be Seeing

Andrew Bujalski's Mutual Appreciation is currently the highest-rated movie at cin-o-matic, with critics competing for adjectives to describe its greatness. Problem is, it's described as being more of Bujalski's Funny Ha Ha, which is possibly the most overrated movie I've ever seen.

August 30, 2006

Clark's Register has some really sweet stuff for fall, and I went crazy:


Agave Moleskin Jean, via Clark's Register. $190.

Navajo Belt

Navajo Belt, via Clark's Register. $58.

Tie Dye

Tie-Dye T-Shirt, via Clark's Register (in brown). $95.


Boiled Wool Beanie, via Clark's Register (in grey argyle). $38.


"Art Director" glasses, via Clark's Register. $95.

August 29, 2006

Knot Tying

Thanks to the Amazing Mr. O'Brien (GQ Style Guy) he's made the GQ-reading world aware of this cool how-to-tie-a-tie site, with 19 variations.


Seen in my wife's browser history: modern seed. Modern furniture/fashion/design for kids.

August 25, 2006

Things That Defy Explanation (no, not just Tom Friedman)

NYT Classic

Ever since the Times launched Times Select I've been increasingly baffled by their home-page Times Select promotion, featuring columnists' old columns. There's only one thing worse than drivel from Tom Friedman: old drivel from Tom Friedman.

Case in point: FAIR's collection of Tom's "next six months" quotes.

August 24, 2006

Stop the presses. Bush administration finally gets it that Iraq is a clusterfuck. (OK, maybe they only call it a goat fuck.)


For Project Runway Fans Only

For someone who makes fairly sophisticated clothes, Laura, who looks a little like an android who got trapped in the Maybelline test lab, sure needs some work:

Floss Pick

Yep, just what you think it is: a damn floss pick. Right up there with fingernail clipping, if not worse. In private, please.

Boobs, if you can 
call them that.

My goodness. 42-year old sacks of breastfeeding nothingness. Could it be more unsexy? Maybe if there was a bit of nipple showing. Cover that shit up girl!

August 21, 2006

A Good Thing: The NFL in HD

A Very, Very Bad Thing: Andrea Kramer in HD:

Andrea Kramer

Yikes!! Looks like Harriet Miers minus 20 years.

August 17, 2006

The dack.com Middle East Peace Plan

Instead of a battle of bombs and bullets and blowing shit up, can we please have a battle of the Babes of Middle East Media? Maybe like a wet t-shirt contest or something? Just throwing it out there. First up: Al Jazeera vs. Israel Channel 10. Either way, the terrorists win!

Al Jazeera hottie, Doha, Qatar:

Al Jaz Hottie

Israel Channel 10 hottie, Jerusalem, Israel. I love it when you're serious!

Channel 10 hottie


And back to reality for just a moment...

There is a bit during a commander's debriefing where an IDF soldier basically says FU to his commanding officer after he calls Hizbollah fighters terrorists, instead of soldiers:

Israeli Soldier

They were professionals with the latest weapons, and we were in 10 year-old tanks, and they had a clear mission, and that is to finish us off. Do not say they are not soldiers. They are. They are your enemy. You are sending us on a mission as if they are not soldiers. They are.
August 14, 2006

Gigaworksdack.com speaker rating:


Creative has done a swell job of packaging a lot of sound into a very slick package with the GigaWorks T20. My only knock is the "on" light (circled) that is so bright it will burn a hole in your retina if you're not careful.

And now for something completely different: If any dack.com readers in the listening area want a barely-used Creative SBS 2.1 350 system, it's on my front stoop in a brown Target paper bag. Help yourself. Here's a Google map to get you here.

August 10, 2006

Shrub's Foreign Policy Legacy:

Baghdad Morgue Tallies 1,815 Bodies in July

Figures compiled by the city morgue indicated Wednesday that the number of killings in the Iraqi capital reached a new high last month, and the U.S. military said a new effort to bring security to Baghdad will succeed only if Iraqis "want it to work."

Taliban Kill a Woman and a Child Seen as Spies

Taliban militants killed a woman and her 13-year-old son after accusing them of spying for the government and for foreign troops in southern Afghanistan, the Afghan government said Wednesday.

The woman was shot and her son was hanged by an electrical wire from a tree on Monday in Helmand Province, said a spokesman for the provincial governor, Hajji Mohaiuddin.

(Weren't the Taliban fucking vanquished like almost 5 years ago???)

August 9, 2006

An All-Time Extreme Schadenfreude Moment

Ugly Piece of Shit


All this talk about Jebus returning has me watching a lot more news. Specifically NBN TV, Lebanon. Another Babe of Middle East Media; perhaps the hottest one yet.

Babe August 8, 2006

Thank you Cpl. Shai Kaplan. He's only 19 and he fully gets it:

"They are experts at deception. Everyone will think they won no matter what. That's how you win when there's a few thousand of you and 50,000 of us," he said. "The more of them we kill, the more of them who are generated. Unfortunately, this is a lost war."


NFL Network I'm an NFL junkie and have just discovered my new favorite cable channel. Besides actually being at the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field, where else can I watch my beloved Green Bay Packers hold an intrasquad scrimmage late on a Saturday night? NFL Network. They're broadcasting all the Pack's preseason games that I could normally only watch if I was across state lines in the motherland.

They're also mixing in some reality TV-type stuff that I'm pretty excited about. Coming on Friday:

8 p.m. -- Making the Squad 2006
Making the Squad - San Diego Chargers - Episode 1 - The three-part series chronicles all aspects of the cheerleader audition process as veterans compete to maintain their positions while eager rookies struggle to make the team.

Nothin' but the classiest for the Chargers. Here's Brieana:


August 3, 2006

Dressing the Accessories

Wipe My Ass

"Don't Forget To Wipe My Ass" T-shirt, via baby wit. $25.


Extreme Schadenfreude for Thursday, August 3: Conservative Flat-Earthers Lose In Kansas

Bitches are bitter!

"We need to teach good science and bring the discussion back to educational issues, and not continue focusing on hot-button issues," said Jana Shaver, a teacher and college trustee from Independence.

Ms. Shaver is one of the moderate winners in the Republican primary. She ran far ahead of the conservative candidate, Brad Patzer, who was trying to claim the seat of his mother-in-law, Iris Van Meter, who did not seek re-election.

Reached by telephone on Wednesday, Ms. Van Meter refused to speak to a reporter. "I have nothing to say to you," she said.
August 1, 2006

Carnage!Bombings, Shootings Kill 52 in Iraq

Taking the kids to daycare this morning, I saw the first political lawn sign go up in our neighborhood.

Just over a month ago, the Times reported the GOP was embracing the war in Iraq as an issue this November; an idea that was mocked here. Can that still possibly be the plan?

July 31, 2006

One Percent Doctrine I'm reading Ron Suskind's One Percent Doctrine (so far, good, not great), and came across this bit that puts the current Middle East crisis in perspective. On pages 104-105, discussing the strained relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US since Shrub's election in 2000:

Relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States were in tatters. The Saudis had been stewing for more than a year, in fact, ever since it became clear at the start of 2001 that this administration was to alter the long-standing U.S. role of honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to something less than that. The President, in fact, had said in the first NSC principals meeting of his administration that Clinton had overreached at the end of his second term, bending too much toward Yasser Arafat--who then broke off productive Camp David negotiations at the final moment-- and that "We're going to tilt back toward Israel." Powell, a chair away in the Situation Room that day, said such a move would reverse thirty years of U.S. policy, and that it could unleash the new prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the Israeli army in ways that could be dire for Palestinians. Bush's response: "Sometimes a show of force by one side can really clarify things."


SkullHats off to my wife. Several months ago she called skulls post-peak, and last Thursday's Style article made it official. I still say skulls can be cool when combined with Jebus, like this belt buckle that is possibly my biggest Not In The Bag regret:

Jebus Belt Buckle

I say skulls can still be cool, too, if they're on a 2 year-old. In The Bag:

Tiny Badness

"Tiny Badness" long-sleeve T, via Cry Baby Ranch. $30.

July 27, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine Little Miss Sunshine was immediately added to my Watch List when the LA Times' Carina Chocano called it "as ambitious, honest and subversive as any American movie since Election." Election is one of the best movies of the '90s.

But the Village Voice savages it: "Little Miss Sunshine is the latest in a long line of Sundance clunkers, from Happy, Texas to Me and You and Everyone We Know, that seems to have developed its impression of human behavior from incomplete space transmissions."

Happy, Texas was OK, but MAYAEWK is a clunker extraordinaire.

July 25, 2006

Fiasco Well, it worked. The Post published two excerps from Thomas Ricks' Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, and I found them so good that his book is In The Bag ($16.77 via Amazon). The tales he tells about the 4th Infantry's behavior there make you wish you were Canadian.

July 24, 2006

I haven't been blogging because I've been shopping nearly full-time. Doubt if I'll keep it all, but for now, it's In the Bag:

Costume National

Costume National oxfords with distressed patent, via Zappos. (Price witheld.)

Bally Fiolo

Bally "Fiolo" suede slip-ons, via Zappos. $135.95

Camper Loafer

Camper "Casi" pebble-grain loafer, via Zappos. $166.95

Neil Barrett

Neil Barrett fitted shirt, via YOOX. $98.00. (Pecs and chin not included, unfortunately.)


Gazzarrini western shirt with embroidery, stitch detailing, and boning, via YOOX. $59.00.

July 20, 2006

We haven't done Extreme Schadenfreude 'round here in a long time, and for that I'm sorry. But this more than makes up for the long absence:

Iraqi Prime Minister Denounces Israel's Actions

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq on Wednesday forcefully denounced the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, marking a sharp break with President Bush's position and highlighting the growing power of a Shiite Muslim identity across the Middle East.

Uppity Shiite bitches ain't rollin' with the neocon gameplan. Big surprise!


"It is what it is."

Don't ever say that. Ever. The 2nd worst rage-inducing, syllablatic waste, right behind "At the end of the day..."

The St. Petersburg Times, via the Pioneer Press, declares it passe (as if it were ever cool).

The all-purpose, don't bug me, not my fault shading of the expression is its strength and its weakness: "It's happened. I'm going to forget about it." Urbandictionary.com says IIWII is kin to "whatever," a response to cover the fact that you have nothing to say or don't care enough to try.
July 19, 2006

Disproportionate Response? Here are two more accurate words: Fucking Insanity.


July 18, 2006

Shrub. No Class.

Shrub Eats Like an Goddamn Rube

A lot is being made about Shrub saying "shit" in his unplugged performance yesterday at the G8 summit, but what strikes me as being far more serious -- even more serious than the current crisis in the Middle East -- are his dreadful table manners. The leader of the free world chews with his mouth open and talks with a mouthful of food like some uneducated rube down at Old Country Buffet during feedin' time.


Taliban reunion tour! Exploding severed heads in Tikrit!

July 11, 2006

Some Thoughts and a Reflection on a 10-Day Vacation

There is nothing better than a gin and tonic at 10:30 AM. Except maybe a beer. Or a bloody mary.


UmaLike a diamond in the rough, at the checkout counter I spied a Reader's Digest interview with possibly my all-time fave: Uma.

On being beautiful: "My mother always made it very clear to me that, whatever you look like now, you're going to look worse later. Don't get too attached to your beauty because it's not yours to keep. And I was not classically attractive. I've always been sort of an acquired taste."

Consider me acquired.


Overthrow dack.com book rating: 10

Easily the best book on US foreign policy I've ever read, and I've read a few. Kinzer's breezy style is so addictive he's got me ordering his previous book, All the Shah's Men. Biggest surprise: the fact that about 99% of US support for the Afghanistan mujahadeen was funneled through Pakistan's ISI, who doled it out to the most radically Islamic, anti-American warlords they could find, that became the Taliban. And we were cool with that. Can you say blowback?

Bottom line: a must read.


A Heckuva Job dack.com book rating: 9

One of the best hours you'll spend this summer. That's all it takes to read Cal Trillin's hilarious savaging of the Bush administration in rhyme. But it ain't all fun and games at the expense of Mushroom Cloud Rice or Five Deferments Dick, like this bit from A Short History Of Someone Who Failed To Get Into The Champagne Unit of The Texas Air National Guard In 1968.

Historians may not recall
My name, now chiseled on that wall.
Still, they might say I played a role
By going on that last patrol
And not returning to my base
I might have died in Bush's place


What's a vacation without heavy doses of online shopping?

Zappos has really trimmed back their couture section, but if you wait long enough, and have big feet, great deals can be had, like these fucking amazing Gianfranco Ferre boots:

Gianfranco Ferre Boots

Gianfranco Ferre velour pull-on boot, via Zappos.com. $270.95.


One of my favorite retailers, because they go deep into the discounts right off the bat is Saks. In the Bag:

Paul Smith Tie

Paul Smith striped floral tie, via saksfifthavenue.com. $60.83. (Knot is too narrow, straight.)

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