Wednesday, September 21, 2005

More on Batgirl & Iraq

Don't even start in with the e-mails. I tried to post last night and couldn't log in.

I was going to give up on tonight as well because Blogger had a down for maintance note but Elaine called and our laughing helped my mood.

First, I'll toss this out from "The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review:"

C.I.: Thank, you Ava. For those needing further information on Haiti, Democracy Now! has covered the region repeatedly and a starting point there would be the interview Amy Goodman conducted with Jean-Bertrand Aristide where he spoke of his ouster as a kidnapping backed by the US. We now go to Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills) for a report
Kat: Music critic and BuzzFlash Gop Hypocrite of the Week award winner Laura Bush declares Kayne West's statements disgusting. Don't think anyone died from Kanye's words so Laura might want to look closer to home when doling out disgust. As Elaine pointed out, Stepford Wife Laura Bush's charm offensive is apparently intended to humanize her Bully Boy, which might be an impossible talk. Listening to her go on about "the president" does remind one of something out of Maoist China. Send in the fembot? Oh, look, she's here.
Meanwhile, Kanye West continued to hold on to the number one spot this week with Late Registration, sugesting that, unlike Laura Bush, music fans are neither offended nor disgusted. Laura Bush, get thee to a hoe down.November 8th, Spin reports, will see the release of The Body Acoustic. What is The Body Acoustic? Cyndi Lauper's latest album which will be acoustic recordings of her previous hits and will feature Sarah McLachlan, Shaggy, and Ani DiFranco.The last week in September, PBS's American Masters will air Martin Scorcese's No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, a look at the career of Dylan featuring concert footage and recollections by Joan Baez among others.
C.I.: And that concludes this week's news review. Thanks to Dallas for hunting down links. To Dona and Jim for working behind the scenes to keep everything running, Dona and Jim of The Third Estate Sunday Review, and to Jess' parents for help tracking down stories.

If you can't wait next week to see No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, it is on sale at music outlets currently on DVD. Check your local PBS' schedule to find out when the program airs next week.
You can also purchase the soundtrack if you're interested.

Now let's put it all on pause a moment because I did a thing earlier this week and ended up with a buttload of e-mails. I'd written about the Catwoman and Batgirl dolls my cousin Mary (now "Louise") had. One guy wrote in to say they were Hasbro. Then he went on for seven paragraphs about them being "action figures" and not "dolls."

Relax, man, you say you've got them in their original boxes so no one's going to think you play with dolls. Just that you collect them.

Most of the other e-mail was about the dolls and if I liked any of the other ones?

The Robin one was pretty cool. I didn't care for the Batman but I did like the Batcave which had this huge pole. (I think it was brown or yellow or orange.) It also had a Batsignal. That was a yellow stand with a blue casing around the bulb -- yeah, it actually worked.

I don't remember the Supergirl doll much except that I thought her red skirt was lame -- stuck out too far and was too long. Wonder Woman looked nothing like Wonder Woman to me (but I had the 12 inch one that had a lasso so the little 7 incher wasn't anything impressive).

Who was my favorite character? I think I probably like Batgirl the most. Barbara Gordon was cool on the TV show, played by Yvonne Craig. She had the motorcycle, the wall that folded down for her to ride out on it. I loved the little make up table/room where she would become Batgirl. But when they went to London, I remember her becoming Batgirl behind a bush.

The comic book Batgirl was erratic. She didn't have the TV show's sense of humor and they never knew what she was. (If I remember right, at one point she was in Congress.)

In the TV show, Batman always struck me as old and paunchy. He was also a wet blanket. My favorite episodes were the ones with Batgirl in them and I especially enjoyed it when the scenes were about Robin and Batgirl. I remember thinking Burt Ward (played Robin) was cute.

Of the Catwomen on the show, Eartha Kitt was my favorite. Julie Newmar was always too in love with Batman. Kitt was more of a villain and she was on the episodes with Yvonne Craig's Batgirl. I think Michelle Pfeiffer took the character to new levels in Batman Returns.

I wanted to note this thing by C.I. yesterday but couldn't log into the website. It's called "NYT Narrows the Frame and Events:"

And when you read the coverage from outside the New York Timid, you get a different view.
Which is why Gareth asks if this is how they honour the journalist who died? On the same day as they note his death, they're also printing a narrow, limited scope of the events that relies on select "official sources" and seems unable to find any eye witnesses at all.
That's the New York Timid. And that's the problem with the Iraq coverage. This isn't an isolated incident that just flared up (Basra) and if the Times wants to report reality, they're going to have to work a great deal harder. I'm saying the Times because we don't know what was in the original draft of this article and what was removed from it. (Note to ____, I did read your e-mail. We've noted that before but thanks for the reminder.)
Does the paper of record set out to censor the news for fear of offending Americans? Or is this part of the problem it has with covering Iraq (which combines their love of "official sources" -- even when not named -- with 'reported live from the Green Zone')?
Whatever the problem is, Basra reported in the Times today is reported differently outside the Times. In England, this is a huge issue. In the Times, it's one article, one very weak article that leaves out key points and only finds "happy talkers" to quote. Even the anonymous ones are part of Operation Happy Talk.
Is the Times? If so, the article on Fakher Haider was a waste of time this morning. Don't tell us of the realities in Basra in one story and, in another, deny basic reality reported elsewhere (all over the place -- "reported all over the place" might be the better way to put that).
There are quotes in the Times article that aren't presented as having been told to the Times one on one. Which is probably good because those quotes pop up in most of the other reporting. What doesn't pop up in the Times is the non-Happy Talkers. Other news sources report "Happy Talker said this and ___ said this." The Times gives you one view of the events and one view of the impact. Both are limited and both fail to allow readers to grasp what actually happened and what it's impact has been.

Elaine and I were talking tonight about how some of the lefty blogs can't seem to decide where they stand from one moment to the next. I think Operation Happy Talk confuses them. To bad they lack principles because that's the one thing Operation Happy Talk can't combat.