It's election day in Israel. Today is the day for the Palestinian people to prove that they are not enthralled by death and destruction; today is the day for them to show their commitment to democractic and peaceful change by making themselves heard at the polls.
Oh, wait! HA HA. Palestinians can't vote!
This e-mail was sent to writerly persons of my acquaintance last night.
>If memory serves me right, mankind has struggled since the invention of language with the question of who is the greatest writer in history -- a question which has remained unsettled since the appearance of a second writer.
>Many candidates have been put forth for this greatest of prizes: William Shakespeare; James Joyce; Stan Lee; Ayn Rand; the guy who came up with "Small Wonder". All worthy contenders! But these are mere opinions, mere pretensions. The final truth regarding the finest writer in all the world has remained hidden.
>With the debut of "Iron Scribe" -- an interactive blogjam inspired by the wildly popular, extremely bewildering Japanese cooking show "Iron Chef" -- the question will be settled once in for all, once a week.
>Here's how it works:
> - Once per week at a predetermined time, three Iron Scribes selected from our roster of master wordsmiths will be assigned a mystery topic by the Chairman. They then have one hour to craft as many pieces as they choose, in whatever form they choose, based on this topic. At the end of the hour, they will post their entries on the Iron Scribe web log.
> - The entries will then be judged by our panel (consisting of those participants who are not competing that week) on how well they reflect the topic, and whatever other arbitrary and petty criteria the panel chooses to dream up. The judges have five days to review each Iron Scribe's entry and post their rating.
> - At the end of the judging period, a winner will be declared based on the ratings, and the victorious Iron Scribe will be covered in glory, laurels, cooking oil, and a variety of other felicitous substances! Then the process begins again the next week, when a new set of Iron Scribes will enter Ballpoint Stadium to test their mettle.
> Iron Scribe is free, and while it offers no prizes, it does give you the opportunity to put "objectively determined to be the world's best writer" on your resume. It is open to all who wish to be a part of this amusing and edifying project; feel free to tell your friends, particularly if they like to boast of their writing skills and you suspect them of fronting like bunting.
> If you are interested in participating in the Iron Scribe experiment, please drop me a line at leonard @ ludickid.com and I will direct you to our website, and inform you as to times and dates when Iron Scribe will begin, as well as vouchsafe you a copy of the rules. If not, I apologize for troubling you with this letter, and hope you will be able to live with yourself knowing that you passed up the opportunity to become the world's greatest living author, if only for a week.
I envision it as a litterateur's "American Idol", a scrivener's "Iron Chef", a storyteller's "Bowling for Dollars".
The site should be up and running this week. More as it develops.
I have long been addicted to the Weather Channel. It's one of the few TV networks that doesn't insult me and isn't trying to sell me an idea; all they want to do is tell me what the weather is like. I also used to have a crush on one of their weatherbabes, but she's been supplanted by the glasses-wearing honey who co-hosts the Sky Sports Report on FOX Sports World.
Anyway, they do this thing called "Local on the 8s" -- it's a regular update, every 10 minutes, of your local weather. It's just a bunch of graphics flashed on the screen of the current conditions, forecast, radar, 5-day outlook, etc., and it's accompanied by music. Usually it's generic light jazz cranked out by studio hacks in between industrial training films, but at least once a day, there's a Local on the 8s segment where the music is...
...the theme from "Shaft".
I can't tell you how happy this makes me.
Sometimes people ask me, how can you be so sure there's no God?
And I say, I'm sure. I have proof.
And they say cram it sideways, fatty. You have no proof.
And I say hell yeah. Peep this: no Devil, no God. And I know they ain't no Devil.
And they say how do you know that?
And I say this one time, I told ole Devil I would sell him my soul for fifty bucks and a used Volkswagen. And the fucker never showed up.
If that ain't proof I don't know what is.