Procrastination Nation

Things that Robert is thinking about that keep him from accomplishing anything.

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Thursday, May 13, 2004
I've been coping with being stuck on 29.5 lbs lost for the past 4 days. I need to break through the 30 lb barrier once and for all.

My friend Jed has launched a new blog, Better Off Jed. When I regain feeling in my forearms--I'll explain in the coming days--I'll add a link to him on the left-hand side. Welcome people from Jed's world.

In the meantime, some more t.v./media notes:

  • American Idol Bitching: Why do people insist on calling this a talent contest? Why do people continue to feel frustrated that the "most talented" are losing? Since when has talent ever been a prerequisite for success in America, and why should it start now? It's for an "idol" not for the most talented. Talent is only one factor. This is what explains Jennifer Lopez. She's not that good of a singer, or that much of a dancer. But she's good enough that, given that every straight guy wants to fuck her and every girl wants to be her, she's a pop superstar.

    The same applies for Idol. Whether Americans are solving a very complicated maximization problem intuitively or simply making "fast and frugal" decisions, they are considering things besides talent.

    Another rationale I would offer is this: perhaps people realize that if the person they like most wins, they will be the last person to have their album come out; so, they let them get voted off to accelerate the timeline of their recording career so they can buy albums. Exhibit A: Clay Aiken.

  • Condi Rice Speech: Apparently enough people bought tickets that Nashville was not blacked out of local t.v. coverage of Rice's speech at Vandy today. Condi became the first graduation-time speaker at Vanderbilt, though it was for this new creation called Senior Day. The actual graduation will be Friday sans speaker as per tradition.

    She was awarded the Chancellor's Medal for public service. I'm not sure how she qualifies, based on 3 yrs as a terrible NSA or as a junior staffer in previous administrations or a mediocre historian. But, I was impressed she made a very typical commencement address with surprisingly little politics or warmongering.

    She was able to work in a lie though: she said Vanderbilt football will have success. Seriously, given the administration's predictions about Iraq, do we need her to perpetuate VU's football jinx?

    What occurred to me during the speech though was how much she talked about Ideals and being an Idealist in the very capital I sense of the word. The administration talks like this all the time, but what it reminded me was how liberals and Democrats were for so long dismissed as Idealists and not to be trusted with international politics, too willing to trust in the positive motives of foreign actors. We needed Realists to manage foreign policy.

    Now, the Republicans are the Idealists. The Democrats haven't yet lain claim to being Realists (they'd have to act and be able to speak in some simple declarative sentences occasionally--they suffer conjunctionitis), but there's an opportunity for them to beat Republicans over the head in the same way they used to be beaten over the head.

  • Anna Nicole: Anna Nicole Smith has lost 70 lbs, shockingly, none of it from her breasts. She credits some diet pill called Trimspa. Finally, all the weight loss answers I need in a single pill! She will be on FHM's cover in July, and I suspect Playboy can't be too far behind.

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