April 13, 2005

Live From RDU, It's Wednesday Afternoon!

Quick hits while I wile away four hours at Raleigh Durham Airport's not so fabulous C concourse. At least they have WIFI, for a small fee, of course. At least in this concourse.

The most obvious irony that has been missed, as far as I can tell, about John Kerry's charming solicitation of weepy war stories to inflict political harm on the administration (and, necessarily, America) is that he has to go looking for them. Gee, you'd think there was one on every street corner given the press coverage, wouldn't you?

This week's rental car had Sirius Radio. Last month's had XM Radio. Thus far, I much prefer XM to Sirius. Today's highlights: Long May You Run - Neil Young, Pigs - Pink Floyd, Magic - Pilot, West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys, Deacon Blues - Steely Dan, Aja - Steely Dan, and the Theme from Shaft - Isaac Hayes.

Austin Bay notes that Al Qaeda's Iraqi Tet is failing. He attributes the failure mostly to the differeing nature of the War on Terror compared to the defensive war in Vietnam. While this is undoubtedly true, another very important factor is that the determination of what is news is no longer controlled by a handful of men in New York. There is no longer a credible Uncle Walter capable of declaring the war lost, although there are many wannabes who continue to try.

It is too soon to have to spend so much time so close to the University of North Carolina.

Geopolitical Pessimism Haiku:
It's true, as Tears for
Fears sang, "Everybody
Wants to rule the world"

I just got my VHS tapes of Lord Clarke's Civilisation back from a relative after a rather prolonged absence. Expect many casual allusions shamelessly plagiarized from his brilliance to show up in this space in the coming months. And it's finally available on DVD, even if the Philistines at PBS don't know how to spell his name properly. Hey cool, Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of Man is also available on DVD. When I get home and order them, they can assume a place of prominence on my DVD shelf next to Ken Burns' The Civil War, Sister Wendy's The Complete Collection, and Simon Schama's The History of Britain. Alas, the same shelf also contains Carl Sagan's rather unworthy Cosmos -- it couldn't even withstand the passing of twenty years without looking rather silly. And, FWIW, you'll not find any other Ken Burn's DVDs on my shelf either.

Posted by Charles Austin at April 13, 2005 04:36 PM

Hope you took advantage of your chance to get the "UNC National Champs" t-shirts while they're available!

Can you tell any difference between XM and Sirius when the volume is increased to a high level? I suppose that it would be difficult to notice differences if you have road noise in the background. Was it the station choices that you preferred with XM?

Posted by: MarcV at 12:27 PM

I never could stay awake through Ascent of Man no matter how hard I tried. The material was fascinating, but his delivery was coma city.

Posted by: Kevin Murphy at 12:27 PM

Marc, I'm afraid I'm unable to comment upon the quality of their signal or the receiving equipment. My comments were related to the stations, the playlists, and the annoying habit of some Sirius DJs to inject their left-wing politics into chatter between songs. Jeez, what's the point of paying for that crap when you can already get it for free.

As for Mr. Bronowski, well, it's tough to argue with Kevin's assessment, but the appeal of the material for me is strong enough to overcome his slow, sleep inducing delivery.

Posted by: charles austin at 03:52 PM

Charles, the link for "Civilisation" shows it in VHS format. Am I missing something?

Posted by: Kerry at 10:11 PM

Kerry - Link changed to something that does actually have DVDs of Civilisation available, though it appears to be a European import, so check your DVD player carefully for compatibility.

Posted by: charles austin at 09:44 AM