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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


LowerManhattanite: "The Ugly Baby"

What you see is what you get!

Proudly announcing the return of LowerManhattanite - LOVE YA LM!

Found myself deep in the "work/deadline//sh*t happens" abyss the last week and a half. But as self-absorbed as I was on my own continent of crazy, this wackadocious ol' world kept a' spinnin'--and it seems the GOP, once able to sink its Beelzebub claws deep into the crust of said spinning world and stay firmly grounded, now finds itself hurled this way and that--like a roller skate-clad drunk on the deck of a storm-tossed ship..

Gravity...she be gone, br'ah.

Sitting up late one night last week, I tripped across an umpteenth re-broadcast of that day's MSNBC "Scarborough Country". There sat Salon's Joan Walsh, and a couple other lefties, and right off the bat, that struck me, as that not only was the usual cable news guest cocktail (two parts wingnut idiocy, one part half-*ss DLC pandering--one shot of disingenuous host being an *sshole--shake well and garnish with f*cked up caption graphic at bottom of screen) different for once, but it went without a qualifying explanation from Scarbororugh--who was opinion-wise, pretty much with his guests.

Gasp and swoon! I do believe I'd caught the vapors!

The topic was of course, our current multi-part serial: Limpalong Gonzales and the Great Justice Dept. F*ck Up, and Walsh, in encapsulating the three-ring, pig-f*ck of a scandal, said that the situation was a microcosm of the Bush admin's style in general--the nasty product of "a marriage of arrogance and corruption". Scarborough, in an attempt to Halle Berry-ize this LaWanda Page of a debacle, tried to soften the language, by gently pooh-poohing the corruption element, and substituting the word "incompetence" for it.

Now normally, I'd rip the slit-eyed scalawag a new one for goin' all soft n' easy with his word swap--but I couldn't, really. Because incompetence is a huge component of "Why Bushie's Administration Kant Suxxeed" these days--in addition to the aforementioned arrogance and the corruption.

I flipped the channel. Hit a promo for the showing of a newly-restored 35th Anniversary re-release of John Boorman's "Deliverance" on cable. That f*cked up Hillbilly banjo-boy's face popped up for a for a moment in the trailer and I chuckled to myself. And then I stopped laughing when something occurred to me.

We...America, have been witness to the rough birth of the ugly...I mean, the hairy butt-ugly, water-headed and feeble-brained product of political inbreeding gone horribly awry.

Take the creepy siblings, arrogance--who is the evil, bastard child of incompetence--and corruption, mate 'em repeatedly over six years with no oversight, and you get one seriously ugly-*ss baby/adminstration.

You hate to call a baby ugly, though. A baby can't help is what it is. But Goddamn it, if you don't know that siblings--especially f*cked up ones like incompetence-spawned arrogance, and corruption shouldn't breed because they can produce an-an--oh f*ck it--an abomination like that--well, too f*cking bad. Sometimes, the hurtful just has to be said. And Joan Walsh called it. Brutally.

She looked into the crib, and was Seinfeld.

Carol enters the Bay-bee's room with Elaine, Jerry, and husband Michael not far behind.

Carol: Adam (the baby's name), Jerry and Elaine are here. (To Jerry & Elaine) Isn't he gorgeous? (Elaine looks at baby, only to be frightened and turn away)
Elaine: Ugghh.
Carol: Is she gorgeous? (Elaine + Jerry looking away)
Elaine: Oh, gorgeous, yes.
Jerry: So very gorgeous.
Jerry and Elaine gasping for air outside after they just left the baby's
Jerry: Is it me or was that the ugliest baby you have ever seen?
Elaine: Uh, I couldn't look. It was like the Pekinese.
Jerry: Boy, a little too much chlorine in that gene pool. (They sit)
And, you know, the thing is, they're never gonna know, no one's ever gonna
tell them.
Elaine: Oh, you have to lie.
Jerry: It's a must-lie situation.

Of course, leave it to the "always keepin' it real" Cosmo Kramer to give the supremely perfect punch line.

Carol: (Entering with baby) Here he is.
Kramer: Agggghhh! (Falls to floor as he sees the baby)

No one can seem to play it off anymore. The ugly is overwhelming. The crossed eyes that are Iraq. The twisted smile and snaggly teeth of PlameGate. The bad skin of the GSA scandal. And now, the misshapen, blotchy head that is AttorneyGate. Republicans standing near it, look quizzically at their wrists and do Danny Thomas double-takes. Their watches have stopped. Hands twisted. Crystals melted. The movement? Rusted stiff.
To look upon the wretched baby now, is almost like gazing upon Medusa. The effect is unmistakable. Undeniable. Un-spinnable.

Flash forward to 2007:

Bush Admin: (Entering with baby) Here he is.
America: Agggggghhh! (Falls to floor as it sees the baby)

Cue funky bass riff and fade to black.

- posted by LowerManhattanite

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