13.9.03

Petals on the wind

A friend's sister is going to Cambridge to do her PhD in history. I am insanely jealous.

Of course, I realize that if I ever commit to a PhD, it would probably be something fluffy like media studies or pop culture. On the other hand, freshly inspired by The Beauty Myth, media studies could use a few more minds to work out exactly how evile the media is and educate everyone who comes into contact with the media so that they're at least duly warned of its evileness.

The Beauty Myth, by the way, is the Great Book that I'm going to give to all my nearest and dearest for their birthdays for the next year. Wouldn't that be great, if every time we read a life-changing book, we passed it on to the peopl we love, so that they could maybe partake in some of that life-changing goodness?

(And I don't mean pass it on in the BookCrossing sense. I like to give books with a little more deliberation and deliberateness than that.)

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I'm not one for maudlin or exploitative bloviating about 9/11, but the simplicity of Wil Wheaton's tribute is... Well, it works.

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Speechwriting isn't the most gripping and challenging aspect of my job. But I'm a Sam Seaborn at heart --- really, I am.

Jed: Can I see the intro?
Sam: It's up on the prompter.
Jed: Ha! "Good morning, I'm speaking to you live from the West Wing of the White House. Today, we have a very unique opportunity to take part, live, in an extremely historic event whi..." Whoa, boy...
Sam: How ya doin', Mr. President?
Jed: Who wrote this intro?
NASA Public Affairs Dude who's about to get slapped ten ways to Sunday: I did, sir. I'm Scott Tate, from NASA Public Affairs.
Jed: Scott, 'unique' means one of a kind. Something can't be 'very unique' nor can it be 'extremely historic'.
CJ: While we're at it, do we have to use the word 'live' twice in the first two sentences, like we just cracked the technology?
NASA PA Dude who's deader than dead in the water: Look ...
CJ: We're also broadcasting in living colour, right?
Jed: Sam...
Sam: Yeah.
Jed [to daft NASA PA Dude]: He's going to make some changes.
Deaf, dumb and blind NASA PA Dude [to Sam]: You're going to clear them with me?
Sam: I doubt it. [To typist] Write this. "Good morning. Eleven months ago, a twelve-hundred-pound spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Eighteen hours ago..." Is it eighteen hours ago? We're on the air at noon Eastern.
CJ: Yuh.
Sam: "Eighteen hours ago it landed on the planet Mars. You, me, and sixty thousand of your fellow students across the country, along with astroscientists and engineers from the Jet Propulsion Lab in southern California, NASA Houston, and right here at the White House, are going to be the first to see what it sees, and to chronicle the extraordinary voyage of an unmanned ship called Galileo V."
Jed: He said it right.

"Galileo", The West Wing

I want to be Sam.

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