Archive for November, 2009


What Tiger Has Taught Us About Twitter, TV and the NY Times

Kudos to TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey for a sensible and important conceptual arrangement of the media ecosystem in his piece “Real Time, Real Discussion, Real Reporting: Choose Two“.    It confirms that it’s okay to deeply hate each of the legs of the tripod for their failings, that there is no “new media” and dissemination of non-news as news isn’t the end of news, it’s the end of news cycles.  (Link swiped from Andy Lester.)


David Yow: Broken Rib?

The Jesus Lizard

Image by ATP admin via Flickr

RW370 gets a lot of traffic from searches on “David Yow“, which means I feel kind of extra-compelled to repeat reports that Mr. David Yow may have broken a rib during the second encore at last night’s Jesus Lizard show in Chicago.  Eyewitness accounts say that a bit of crowd surfing went badly and dropped the often-pantsless greatest singer ever to the floor from an injurious height. An ambulance was sighted outside the club.

Best wishes to Mr. Yow!  Are these reports correct and complete?  Will he quickly recover?  Will my tickets for tonight’s Jesus Lizard show become collector’s items?

UPDATE:  I got an email from TJL’s manager relating that David’s injury is a rib contusion, producing a lot of pain, but nothing more serious, and that “The intention is to continue with tonight’s show but you won’t see him in the crowd.”  Not for the first time, anesthetic wishes are extended from these pages to Mr. David Yow and his oft-battered chest cavity.

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New At HuffPo: Mary Matalin To Abused Women Of The GOP: Quit Your Bitching

he hit me.

Image by Bridgette Taylor via Flickr

You can’t make up this stuff. Mary Matalin, weathered GOP strategist casually lets it slip that life on the Republican national campaign trail is a great place for a gal to get smacked in the mouth – and that’s just dandy with her.

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Libertarian Magic Dust!

Comedy is dying before our eyes.  Case in point: the Libertarian boobs at the Mises Institute are actually endorsing the stateless state of affairs in Somalia, honest to shit.  No, really.  That’s so funny, it’s not funny, which makes it funny, even though it’s not funny.  There must be big bowls of khat on the conference tables in the Howard Roark Pavilion at Mises.

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The Only Thing People Remember About You Is That Diamond

Sleeping With the Devil

I really enjoyed Christopher Ketcham‘s recent piece on ex-CIA spy Bob Baer, upon whom the George Clooney film Syriana is based. Baer’s an eyewitness to the institutional absurdities of the Agency and by extension, US foreign policy and the recent privatization mania infecting the Beltway. He’s also an author I plan on reading, starting with his reflections on Saudi-US mutual exploitation Sleeping With The Devil.  From the interview on his days in the field, Baer lays it out:

Tradecraft was the key.  You learned to dodge surveillance and to run surveillance.  You learned how to tap phones and to make sure you weren’t tapped.  You learned about the enemy’s weapons, battle plans, the latest technologies.  You devoured books, a CIA man devoting himself as a regional scholar.  You learned to use the toys of the trade, weird poisons like “Who, Me?”, which makes the victim smell literally like shit for days, the stench seeping from his pores.  You used standard-issue James Bond items like microdots, photographic negatives reduced to the size of a period on a page, and you learned stegonography, the art of caching data inside photographs.  You learned disguises.  Baer thought highly of the Diamond-Tooth Disguise – a false diamond incisor in your smile-line and “the only thing people remember about you is that diamond.” You learned covers for action and covers for status, the latter being the big picture explanation for why you’re in-country.  Most often your cover for status is that you work in some capacity for the US embassy, a day job shuffling paper (Baer, like all CIA case officers, is constrained by lifetime contract with the CIA from revealing his status covers over the years).


Trumpet 1, Rifle 0

If video embed isn’t displaying:

WWII USAAF pilot and trumpeter Col. Jack Teuller (ret.) tells a war story of how music preempted killing one night in Normandy. Even if it may be, as are so many stories told in uniform, bullshit, it’s beautiful bullshit.

One can only hope that a similar tale may one day be told by a veteran from our Middle East adventures. Perhaps a poppy-growing sniper in Afghanistan will be soothed and disarmed by hooking an iPod to a Humvee PA system to blast the Insane Clown Posse, leading to a tearful thug-hug.


Massa: Get Out

What’s this on the House floor? Common sense. Comparative numbers. Simple realities. Get out of Afghanistan.


St. Rose Center Meets 30 Rock: Winning Entry In’s VolunTV Challenge

voluntvcropThe lovely Maureen Sullivan and I do fund raising and communications work for a few great clients, including a South Side community center serving developmentally disabled adults. Since 1962, St. Rose Center has been giving job training and education to adults with special needs. Think of them as similar to Misericordia, only much smaller and far less funded. Here’s a clip showing the place in action:



So over at, we noticed something called the VolunTV Challenge was launched “to celebrate the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s “iParticipate” week of volunteer—focused television programs from October 19-25, The Chronicle of Philanthropy invited individuals and charities to create their own ideas of how volunteerism could be incorporated into their favorite TV shows.”

That’s what we did, and we won $2,500 for the Center. Score! The treatment we wrote was for Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, NBC’s finest comedy since CPO Sharkey. Amusingly, all three of the winners used 30 Rock for their entries.  Wonder what a Silver Prize 250-word show pitch looks like?

Liz Lemon enters Jack Donaghy’s office to find him agitated and distracted. Donaghy just came back from an art auction where he lost a bidding war on a painting to first lady Michelle Obama. “She can raise her hand faster to outbid me because she doesn’t wear sleeves,” complains Jack.

Jack puts Liz on the task of finding more art from the artist. Liz discovers the artist is a member of St. Rose Center in Chicago, a service organization for developmentally disabled adults. Lemon notices St. Rose’s website call for volunteers at a talent show they will run next week.

Liz tells Jack that the artist whose work Jack was bidding on is developmentally disabled and that St. Rose needs volunteers.

Pausing to consider the information, a big smile crosses Jack’s face. “Outsider art!” he exclaims. “Do you have any idea how lucrative that is today, Lemon? What a tremendous investment! What will it take to lock it all up?”

Liz suggests volunteering to help produce the talent show. Jack orders her to collect writers, stagehands, makeup artists and actors and fly to Chicago to help put on the show.

Jack accompanies the volunteer group and meets the members and the nun who runs the program. The pros help make the show a huge success and Jack gets a meeting with the nun and her lawyer to negotiate the exclusive rights to all of St. Rose artist’s work.

Seated in the room is the nun and her lawyer, Michelle Obama.

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House Republicans: Uncomfortable With The Health Care Body Count After All

After Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla) put up the website Names Of The Dead,  the names and stories of those Americans who had to choose death over bankruptcy have been rolling right in, and as I suggested in the Huffington Post back in August, simply reciting plain evidence of the “free market” death toll forms an emphatic and convincing plea for intervention on the public’s behalf.

However, House Republicans didn’t like it when Grayson later read the names of the Republican Representatives and announced the future body count in each Representative’s district.  Republicans attempted and failed to cut Grayson off.

I am glad to see the shills for the insurance industry and the free-market ideologues in the House scramble to cut off a microphone that is ringing out the toll of the status quo in their own districts.  It shows what I always suspected: today’s Republicans aren’t inhuman.  They’re greedy, authoritarian moral slobs — but they have feelings too.



rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

November 2009