Archive for October, 2002

Winona Day VI: Dressing Down

Thursday, October 31st, 2002

Today’s outfit: Jeans, a long black coat, a dark jacket underneath, a white blouse, and a tourquoise pendant. Photos (and later, once I get a chance, commentary) available in the wiki’s WinonaRyderOnTrial page.

Winona Day V: Whoa

Wednesday, October 30th, 2002

Today’s outfit is a fairly intense black dress with jaunty pastel accents. My first reaction was “femme fatale,” but Madison (who, like Lucy, has actually been paying attention to clothes significantly longer than the last few days during which I’ve been paying attention to them) responded, “Actually, I think that’s the ‘I’m a harmless little girl in a sailor dress’ look.” The shoes don’t exactly say either “little girl” or “sailor” to me, but I think I see her point. Anyway, in the interest of keeping the Winona entries under some semblance of control, I’m going to try to confine my further raving to the wiki’s WinonaRyderOnTrial page.

People for Sale

Wednesday, October 30th, 2002

Geov Parrish shines again, this time with an important, albeit disturbing, article about the 21st century’s hot growth industry: the buying and selling of human beings. Isn’t it neat being the world’s sole superpower, able to spread our values of truth, justice, and liberty from sea to shining sea?

Winona Day IV: Green and Frumpy

Tuesday, October 29th, 2002

Things took a turn for the worse in the second full day of the Winona Ryder trial, as the actress arrived in a really yucky-looking green thing (dress? coat? hard to tell, or care, honestly). Photo coverage is pretty sparse so far (for which I guess we should actually be grateful), though it does look like she’s sporting yet another jarringly mismatched purse, if the strap and possibly-associated white and brown fringed thing visible in this photo mean what I think they do. Excuse me; I think I’m going to have to go lie down. Update: Speculation runs wild on the question of whether the first image above shows a worn collar edge (the hint of white along the right collar). And now, a newly released photo seems to show the same thing on the left collar. fashion correspondent Lucy, in looking at the second photo, says, “I’m more inclined to think it’s some decorative edging that’s reflecting the flash, instead of a worn edge.” I really hope she’s right. If not, I have serious doubts about whether Winona’s legal team will be able to recover. Later: We’ve got good news and bad news, people. The good news is that I was wrong about that white and brown fringed thing under Attorney Mark Geragos’ arm; whatever it was, it wasn’t Winona’s purse. The bad news is that the purse she actually brought today is even worse than I imagined. Is there still time for a plea bargain? Still later: She looks better after the lunch break, with her coat unbuttoned to reveal a dark blouse underneath. And is that even the same purse? Last update, I promise: In my shock at today’s outfit, I totally forgot to mention that it’s Winona’s birthday today. Happy 31st from! And in terms of the actual trial, about all that happened today, apparently, was that the Saks security supervisor narrated a video showing her walking around the store picking out clothes.

Shaving Tips from Porn Stars

Monday, October 28th, 2002

From the PassionVillage site, courtesy of Bundar’s ecclectic web-browsing tastes, comes this timely entry: Hair-Removal Secrets of the Porn Stars. Stay informed with!

Day III: Winona in Black

Monday, October 28th, 2002

Day III of the Winona Ryder trial opened with a bang, as the defendant arrived in a dramatic black dress (I think; these through-the-glass shots they’re limiting the paparazzi to leave something to be desired). The see-through factor was unfortunate; she may have received inadequate legal advice on the effect of high-powered flash photography in combination with a white bra. She’s still got a big, ugly purse, but it’s a different big ugly purse, thankfully. The headband was a nice touch, I think. No word yet on the less-important details, like opening statements. Update: Opening statements are done; the prosecution makes it out as theft, plain and simple. The defense paints a more interesting picture, in which security guards overstep the bounds of their authority because they were (naturally) gaga at being in Winona’s celebrity presence. Later: In late testimony Monday, Saks security manager Kenneth Evans said Winona claimed to have been preparing for a role when she was confronted about her shoplifting. The defense objected, saying the allegation hadn’t surfaced in any previous statements by the prosecution, but they were overruled.

Jackass: The Movie Debuts at #1

Sunday, October 27th, 2002


John Balzar Beats the Drum (Ambiguously) for War

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

I’m not sure why I still link to the L.A. Times web site, since it sucks so severely in so many ways, including that it requires a “free” login (all it will cost is your soul; use cypherpunk98/cypherpunk in the meantime), and that it routinely moves things around to break inbound links more than a few days old. But, unfortunately, it’s the web site for the dead-tree news source I get every day, and when I come across something cool in its pages that I can’t find anywhere else, I have to link to it. (Hmm. Or I could just steal it, and post it here. Have to think about that.) So, anyway: John Balzar has an interesting op-ed piece there where he talks about Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and the ambiguity of evil. I disagree with his conclusion, in which he gives dubya props for pursuing military brinksmanship as a way of achieving Good in a murky world, but I still like that someone is talking about ambiguity.

Parrish, Huffington On Wellstone

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

Geov Parrish and Arianna Huffington each do a nice job of summing up why Paul Wellstone is being warmly eulogized by people across the political spectrum: Because, in a country where politicians have become uniformly timid, unwilling to take any position without first measuring its effect on likely voters, Wellstone was different. Here’s Parrish’s version, and here’s the one from Huffington (who, interestingly, Janus confessed the other day that he really wants to be when he grows up).

Winona, Day II

Saturday, October 26th, 2002

The jury for Winona Ryder’s shoplifting trial was sworn in yesterday. Confirming the adage that you can’t throw a rock in L.A. without hitting a film producer, the Beverly Hills jury will include Peter Guber, former chairman of Sony Entertainment Pictures. The 8-woman, 4-man jury also includes a woman who is a legal secretary with Sony Pictures and a man who works in TV program development. Winona wore a blue full-length jacket, red pumps, and carried the same god-awful purse she had on Day I. I wonder if the purse is meant to work in her favor with the jury: See? Winona always carries a big, ugly handbag. It doesn’t mean she’s planning to shoplift. If that’s the angle the defense is working, I guess I have to accept it, but it will really be a shame if they feel they have to continue it for the entire trial. Accessories matter, dammit.

Florida GOP Accuses Democrat of Lawsuit He Wasn’t Involved With

Saturday, October 26th, 2002

Ah, the closing days of campaign season, when the stakes go up and the risks of getting caught in a lie, or of suffering any significant consequences if you do, go down. A nice example (also courtesy of is that of the Florida Republican Party, which recently sent an attack mailer to voters in the state’s 27th senate district, urging them to vote against Democrat Dave Aronberg because of a lawsuit he had previously brought against the Palm Beach County school system. Except it turns out that the suit was brought by a different Dave Aronberg, Dave T. Aronberg, not the Dave A. Aronberg who’s running for state senate. The Republican candidate, Frank Mann, and the state GOP chairman say they’re really sorry, and promise they’ll do their best to get in touch with the estimated 50,000 people who received the ad, so they can explain about their mistake.

Pravda: Bush Offers Putin $10 Billion in Return for a Free Hand with Saddam

Saturday, October 26th, 2002

As always, an enjoyable mixture of fact and fancy from the folks at Pravda, as they explain how Dubya is trying to bribe Putin into supporting the U.S. campaign to get rid of Saddam and take control of the Iraqi oil fields. Courtesy of

Norm Coleman: Candidate of Destiny

Saturday, October 26th, 2002

So, Norm Coleman is getting all kinds of help these days. First, a well-heeled national Republican PAC calling itself Americans for Job Security has swooped in to spend $1 million on an advertising blitz over the last two weeks of the Minnesota Senate race, which will be more money than any of the other main participants (the Wellstone and Coleman campaigns, and the state Democratic and Republican parties) had been planning on spending. And now, of course, Coleman’s opponent has died in a plane crash, just 11 days before the election. (The conspiracy theorist in me is really interested in what the NTSB has to say about the cause of the crash.) And since the tragedy also included the deaths of Wellstone’s wife, daughter, and top aides, it makes it hard for the Democrats to mount a sympathy campaign like the one that carried widow Jean Carnahan to victory over John Ashcroft two years ago in Missouri.

Buy Bush a Playstation

Friday, October 25th, 2002

As I sat pondering the President’s motives one day, it suddenly dawned on me that it is entirely likely our Commander in Chief has never played a single video game in his life. “Of course!” I exclaimed, startling my girlfriend, who was driving at the time. “Without the catharsis that video games provide, Bush has no way of fulfilling his militaristic fantasies other than actually fighting wars.”

White Couple Popular with Black Friends

Friday, October 25th, 2002

From (he says), courtesy of Janus, comes this nice little web site showing that America really is making progress with its race problem: Black People Love Us! Thanks, black people!

Miranda Otto TTT Poster

Friday, October 25th, 2002

Prepare yourself for a long, grueling season of obsessive fanboy postings about what will become, as of December 18, the Greatest Movie of All Time. To get things going, let’s take a look at this leaked Taiwanese (?) poster showing Miranda Otto as Eowyn, shall we? Sigh.

Dog Shoots Man

Friday, October 25th, 2002

Adding still more weight to the argument that our culture’s obsession with gun violence is causing a self-perpetuating cycle, an otherwise-normal year-old English setter shot his owner last Saturday. When will the madness end?

Coverage of the Coverage of the Coverage of the D.C. Sniper

Thursday, October 24th, 2002

Just so I don’t neglect my journalistic duties completely, here’s a link to an article describing a forum in which D.C.-area newspaper editors talk about what they did and didn’t run as the sniper story evolved. The article also includes some finger-pointing at CNN over its role in promoting both fear and ratings with its handling of the story.

Winona Trial Begins Today

Thursday, October 24th, 2002

It’s jury-selection day in the Winona Ryder trial, though I haven’t been able to find out what she’s wearing yet. With the F.B.I. reporting that they believe they have the D.C. sniper in custody, though, hopefully we’ll be able to get more detail soon. (I did come across this story about Christina Aguilera piercing her private parts, at least. Thank God the media are getting back to covering real news.) Update: Looks like a fairly restrained floral-print dress with pink sweater. Later: From Lucy, a better photo. Check out the shoes. But that shoulder bag? I dunno; I realize she needs to appeal to jurors by dressing down a bit, but it seems like a little much to me.

Steve Bing Still a Wanker

Thursday, October 24th, 2002

See if you can follow. American real-estate heir and film producer Steve Bing initially made headlines by asserting that Elizabeth Hurley’s baby wasn’t his. (Subsequent DNA tests proved him wrong.) Among the negative publicity he received at the time was a story in the Daily Mirror that gave Bing’s phone number and encouraged readers to call him. Bing sued the tabloid, the tabloid settled, and one of the terms of the settlement was that the paper had to run an apology. Bing’s lawyers wrote the apology, the paper ran it verbatim, and Bing issued a statement saying he was “delighted.” But now he’s changed his mind, and says he may revive the suit. Why? Because he apparently has figured out that the overly effusive way the paper apologized (e.g., under a front-page headline stating, “A humble and sincere apology to Mr. Steve Bing, philanthropist & humanitarian”) was actually intended as sarcasm.