Archive for the ‘The Church of Scientology’ Category

Coasties best Sconnies on reality tv

July 8, 2009

An amazing new reality TV show on Bravo documents the social lives of New York’s finest. I am of course not talking about Big Apple police officers, but rather its future investment bankers, otherwise known as “prep school students.”

An article in the New York Times discusses the response of the city’s private school community to the show, including this zinger delivered by Victoria Goldman, the editor of “The Manhattan Guide to Private Schools and Selective Public Schools.”

“The schools on this show are all at the bottom,” Ms. Goldman said. “There would never be a Brearley girl on this show.”

Now maybe I can see what Biddy Martin and Lori Berquam were fretting about when MTV aired “College Life.” Can’t you just imagine the US News person…”you’d never see a Michigan kid on that show.”

My favorite character on the show is definitely Sebastien, the Frenchman who skillfully repels an unworthy lady by telling her she has something in her teeth. He also, ya know, woos a public school girl by showing off his fluency in the language of love.

Bernie goes to the big house for 150

June 29, 2009

This sentence is counter-productive – when Madoff gets out at the age of 221 he’ll hardly be in a condition to re-integrate with society. Wall Street will have changed and he’ll probably live out the rest of his days on welfare.

Note: 150 years is about 5 times more than the maximum prison sentence allowed in the European Union.

MIA for a while

June 27, 2009

I’m going back to Appleton – this time to check out my girlfriend’s little brother’s high school graduation party. I’ll try to sneak in a few posts this weekend, but I can only guarantee being back in full force by Monday. Have a good weekend dear readers.

Note to the readers

June 17, 2009

Hey all loyal Sconz readers. It’s been a good run so far. Apparently posting about Wando’s was the best thing that ever happened to the site – it got by far the most clicks of any post since I started the blog three weeks ago. The Sconz is getting a fair amount of traffic but I would like to encourage more of you to leave comments – even if it’s inane and irrelevant.

Also, in a transparent attempt to increase traffic on the blog I will be tagging every post with “viagra,” “Miley Cyrus” and  the “Church of Scientology.” My apologies to Rafael Palmeiro and Tom Cruise.

Free speech and the Supreme Court

June 17, 2009

It looks like there may be a serious push for a serious judiciary in the Badger State. After years of watching our system of checks and balances be corrupted by corporate whores and people who don’t believe in the constitution (Uncle Sam’s version or our own), the Democratic legislature looks poised to change the rules for the better.

The Assembly Committee on Elections and Campaign Reform approved a pair of sweeping campaign finance reform bills during an executive session this morning.

The committee approved AB 63, which would increase reporting requirements for groups running so-called “issue ads,” by a 6-1 vote, and forwarded AB 65, which would create public funding for Supreme Court elections, by a 4-3 party line vote.

The campaign finance provision is important. What would be even better would be the abolition of Supreme Court races, however, getting the WMC out of the picture would be a good start nonetheless. In case you don’t remember, Michael Gableman, the newest addition to the court, won election back in 2008 by celebrating his opposition to the right of a defense for the accused, paid for, of course, by WMC.

The third party ads are frankly a very hazy affair. The line between free speech infringement and reasonable campaign finance regulation is somewhat arbitrary. Yes, the vast majority of issue ads aired are put out by groups that are essentially fronts for political parties or candidates. However, once we begin restricting the use of the media by advertisers, why can we not also restrict use of the media by the journalists themselves? If a paper endorses a candidate, is that “campaigning” that’s subject to restriction? Most would say no, because the paper was probably not set up for a specific political purpose – but some are. Take the Washington Times, for instance. Set up by the leader of a religious cult who also happened to be virulently anti-communist, the Times is now a hub for D.C. right wing propaganda.

Most liberals would respond to this dilemma by saying that there are reasonable restrictions on the media, such as the Fairness Doctrine, which used to mandate news providers to give “both sides of the story” of a political issue. Frankly, that policy is absurd. There are never two sides of an issue, there are thousands, and in the world of new media, it is harder than ever to determine what is a news source and what isn’t. I don’t consider Fox News a source of the news, hence, I do not believe it should be required to give a “fair and balanced” view of every topic it covers, from Obama being a closet Muslim to Natalie Holloway’s disappearance.

Ironically, the solution to both issues I believe to be one and the same: more public financing. Just as campaigns should be publicly financed, so should an increasing number of media outlets. The corporate ones should not be abolished, but they should have to compete with good, responsible news services provided by the state to the people. Most other Western countries have such a system and we should too. The fall of the old media during the recession demonstrates just how corporate it has become – and how dependent it is on catering to its benefactors. This can’t be the only way journalism is run – blogs are important, but so is government participation.

Wando’s is the worst bar in Madison

June 16, 2009

I feel the same way about the Madison bar scene as I do about Hollywood. I indulge in it, I enjoy some of it. Yet I will never cease to be amazed by the amount of poor quality products put out by it. The Van Wilders, the Vanilla Skies, the Madhatters, the Wando’s. Wando’s is to Madison as 24 is to network television. It is certainly not the only bad product in its field, but it is without a doubt one of the worst.

I say this with confidence despite not having gone to all the bars in Madison. It’s really just an awful, godforsaken embarrassment to Madison night life. It’s unfortunate that they are known to have such a strict carding policy – it seriously reduces the chances that they’ll be shut down and turned into a fish taco joint – something Madison sorely needs.

I had the misfortune of attending Wando’s last night on the occassion of two of my friends’ birthday. After making our way past a glaring troupe of bouncers (how many do you really need on a Monday night?), we were practically pulvarized by what I believe was Korn playing at full decibel. Again, it’s ironic that the bar is not known to cater to underagers, because their trademark drink “the fishbowl” seems marketed not only at people under the drinking age, but kids under the new legal hunting age.

UPDATE: It was practically poetic. One day after making this post I got a call from an old friend who had just gotten back into town. And…long story short, I ended up at Wando’s again. I know, I have no principles. Truth be told, the fight over the girls bathroom and a bar-wide rendition of Kid Rock’s “Sweet Home Alabama” song was good entertainment.