damage control

Judge Hutton, the magistrate in Britain who was overseeing the inquiry into the Blair administration and whether they sexed up the evidence supporting a clear and present danger in Iraq, came out and said there was no wrongdoing on the part of the administration. Furthermore, he implied that the BBC had overstepped the bounds of good journalism in implying as much. As a result, the chair of the BBC resigned.

The thing I found most interesting was something I read at this blog Apparently the BBC bought up all the Google ad words relating to the Hutton inquiry so as to control the story to the best of their ability.

My wonderful wife, Linette, just made biscotti, so I have to go

Oh, one last thing. Id like to thank all of you who wrote in and told me how much you liked the idea of our naming the baby Thankful. I still dont think itll happen, but it was nice to get the support As it turns out, one of our readers, Mr. Smallwood from Virginia, happens to have married into a family with a Thankful in its past. Heres his note:

I was interested to read about Thankful Maynard on your blog today. My wifes dad has been putting together a family tree, and we were amused to see that there was someone on her side of the family named Thankful Wildman. Not sure of the time period in which that person lived, but weve been saying it over an over, trying to imagine how a kids life would go if we named him/her Thankful Wildman Smallwood.

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zineworld review

I just got a note from Zineworld magazine. It appears as though their new issue is going to contain two reviews of Crimewave #14, which we must have mailed to them about 18 months ago. Im thinking that maybe its some kind of 2002 nostalgia issue. So, if you really enjoyed that year (the year of the DC Sniper and Crimewave 14), you might want to pick a copy up Here are our reviews:

Crimewave U.S.A. #14:
Perhaps you’ve heard of CWUSA, chronicle of all those things, such as good food, good pals, and good lovin’, that can only happen in Manhattan and Ypsilanti. Most of its erstwhile contemporaries from the ’90s zine boom closed shop without bothering to flip the sign around, but Mark and Linette’s pub continues to evolve, slightly. Mark seems more sincere these days. Other writers come and go. Still, with the exception of one contributor’s forced misanthropy, nothing disrupts the friendly flow. Barcode. Emerson

Oh, the joy of receiving a well-written, well-thought-out and well-executed zine. It’s why I keep doing this, really. After a hiatus, Crimewave USA is back and filled with good stuff. Almost any single article is worth the cover price. And talk about eclectic: caring for an aging, sickly dog, nasty things that can live in your feet, “David Cross: Not a Prick,” grocery store workers and their tales of revenge, interview with Pylon, Civil War battleships. What isn’t in here? Seriously, if you like independent publications with great writing and interesting subject matter (and why are you reading this if you don’t?) order this zine. My only complaint is that running a back cover David Cross ad when he’s profiled within can make the reader question the credibility of that article. Gordon

In case youre interested, we still have copies of #14 available at the Crimewave store. If you dont have one, you should get one. (The huge sack of gold coins we got from Sub Pop for our interview with David Cross is about to run out and we could really use a few bucks to see us though until our next big score.)

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one question about john kerry

How did a man with a head that large ever make it out of the jungles of Vietnam?

That occurred to me this morning as I was sitting here, reading the news. I was just eating my cereal, staring at a photo of John Kerry, and thinking, It must really suck going to war with a head the size of a 25-pound bag of ice.

On the subject of heads, I found this story on the New York Times site to be hilariously funny. Doesnt it look at first glance as though the article is about Tony Blairs problem with male pattern baldness?

Linette doesnt find it as funny as I do, but it really strikes me as odd, the placement of the hair restoration adds both above and to the side of Blairs image… Doesnt the picture on the right look like it could be of Blairs head, like it might have been taken by a security camera above the doorway thats behind him in the other photo?

This is the kind of weird little thing that would keep me up all night if I were a pothead.

Speaking of potheads, theres a good piece on John Perry Barlows website today on the state of our American democracy. (John Perry Barlow wrote songs for the Grateful Dead for a few decades. And, the last I heard, he was teaching law at Harvard. I dont know for a fact that hes a pothead, but I think it stands to reason.) Heres a quote from his article:

Some of us believe that another four years of the Bush Administration might turn America into something so oligarchical that it will make Mexico look like Sweden, so broke that the dollar will buy less than the Hungarian pengo, surveillant enough to make East Germany look like a good start, and puritanical enough to make Cotton Mather feel at home. Some of us want a president who is straight about his real reasons for sending our kids off to die and kill other kids, a government that is of, for, and by more people than will fit on the Forbes list, and a military that isn’t simply a private security force for the Fortune 500. We want to give our grandchildren something more than a crushing debt and a country too stripped of resources and opportunities to pay it off. The stakes seem high to us.

But if we feel that way, and many of us do, we will have to knock on doors and persuade the folks inside to turn off their televisions and talk about what’s really going on, just as we will have to turn off our computers occasionally to have such exchanges. If we are to restore democracy in America, we will have to get out amongst ’em and engage in it. I believe our arguments are persuasive, but we have to present them in person to the people who don’t already believe us.

Now Ive got one more thing to be pissed at Bush about. Hes forced me into a position where I agree with a Deadhead on US policy. If youd predicted that five years ago, I would have spit in your face.

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no blog tonight

Went out to the bar tonight with my pregnant wife… Heard the theme to Welcome Back Kotter segue into Led Zepplins Whole Lot of Love… Ate tempeh burgers.

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cold and snowy

Somewhere in the history of the Maynards on the North American continent there is a fellow named Thankful. He made his home some somewhere in New England. Thankful Maynard was most likely a Puritan. I dont have my notes here with me at the moment, but I seem to recall that he began showing up on the tax rolls in the late 1600s. I havent yet established whether or not we are related by blood, but I like to think that we are.

Anyway, as I sat down here to write a nasty little post on the hellish weather we are having here in Michigan today (unrelenting ice storms), it popped into my head that I should probably be thankful. Thats what got me thinking about old Thankful Maynard, a man that may have, if he was lucky, lived into his mid-fifties, fighting every day of that to stay warm, dry and fed. The fact that I have to shovel a little bit and freeze my ass off between the front door of my house and my car really isnt that bad in comparison.

When my house was built (perhaps as early as 1865), there was just the one little, inefficient fireplace. Even now, when we build a fire in that fireplace, we have to lay right next to it in order to feel the heat. I cant imagine it being the only heat source in the house when, like now, its close to zero degrees outside. And, I cant imagine having to wait until spring to really feel warm. And, I cant imagine not having hot showers And the thought that someone would have a child in the midst of all of this struggle and name him Thankful just amazes me.

Ive asked Linette if we can name the baby Thankful if it is a boy. She doesnt believe that Im serious, but I am… I think Id call him Thanks.

I mentioned this to my mom a few days ago and she cried. The next day she sent me the following email:

Hello – I have some advice for you – you can take it or not. It is VERY important what you name the baby. That is who he or she will be. What you do as an adult in naming the baby is one thing, but remember, the child is the one going through life with that name. I never know if you’re pulling my chain or being serious. I think (and hope) that you were pulling my chain yesterday.

Shes right. I know shes right. And I dont much like the idea of my son being beaten up, but I think the good of being named Thankful may outweigh the bad Perhaps a compromise is in order, maybe using Thankful as a middle name. Well have to give it some thought.

My mom, I should mention, wasnt just responding to my fondness for the name Thankful, but to some of my other suggestions as well. I think the other two I mentioned at the time were Columbo and Matlock. Neither really works as an introduction to Thankful Lao Maynard though, so I don’t think anyone has to worry.

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