I caught John McCain's and Rudy Giuliani's speeches at the RNC last night. Guiliani's speech was the clear highlight. He put the Sept. 11 attacks in a historical context of Islamic terrorism, bringing up the assassination of the Israeli team at the '72 Munich olympics and the hijacking of the Achille Lauro. And he noted the Europeans' weak response, out of a desire for appeasement, to these acts (he also mentioned the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat in 1994, the greatest shame for that award in what's become almost an annual tradition of shame), saying this appeasement emboldened terrorists. It hit me because I literally don't think I've heard an American politician use such direct language in criticizing the Europeans and Arafat.

He praised Bush's aggressive foreign policy, tying in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as two fronts of an ongoing effort to remove tyrants and supporters of terrorism from the Middle East. He contrasted this with John Kerry's more conciliatory, European approach, and devastatingly noted all the weak rhetorical hedging Kerry had done over Iraq, the first Gulf War and Israel's security.

He then compared Bush's resolve in the war on terror to Churchill's against Nazism, and Reagan's against the Soviet empire. The most important point he saved for last: like the true neo-con he is, he stated that the only true solution to Islamic terrorism is democracy in the Middle East, or, as he put it, "governments that are free and accountable." I agree with this wholeheartedly.

I think he set himself up nicely for an appointment to some cabinet position, maybe Attorney General, in a 2nd Bush administration (assuming Bush wins, of course). And president in '08? I don't think he has the finesse for it, but that's the word on the street.

Photo fun

Ken Wheaton has some nice photos of the RNC protests (still haven't seen any for myself, I mean in the flesh), at Picture Pages, a blog I also admire because I think it's cunningly named after an old Bill Cosby show. It really does look like everyone's videotaping each other! Welcome to the protest of the future. This one is my favorite, I think.

Here's another photo, via Reason: "Mommy, I'm tired! Who's ANSWER?"


No shoe critiques for me

I understand there was some sort of debauched conservative-leaning bi-coastal bloggers' party last night, but I unfortunately couldn't make it, because I was at a show of my roommate's new comedy troupe, M'Omelette, and then the group of us that went hung out afterwards. It was fun, though it's too bad I missed the other one!

It wasn't an entirely blog-free night, because one of the other performers at the show, a stand-up comedian who's actually a friend of a friend of mine (complete coincidence that she was there), mentioned her own blog at the end of her show. I'm not sure if it was a plug or what, because there are only two entries in the whole thing, but anyway, the first blog I've heard mentioned by a performer is here: My Name is Sara Schaefer and This is My Blog.

So that was my night.

What the kids are yelling about

"Drop the Debt" as a message to get naked and arrested over? Not a really visceral issue, is it? Well, far be it from me to discourage fiscal conservatism among the protesters.

UPDATE: Well, I must be seeing the world with my neo-con blinders on again, because I just realized that what they're referring to is not lowering the national debt, as I had thought, but forgiving third-world debt, in the context of an AIDS-funding protest. The assumption being, that third-world dictators who have plunged their country into debt financing their military and paying for their palaces and gold-plated Rolls Royces will of course use the extra cash to help the needy. Right. Carry on, then.



Mark Steyn notes how the internet is derailing John Kerry:
For 25 years, he told The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, the United States Senate, and all manner of other well-known saps about his covert Yuletide operations inside Cambodia gun-running to anti-communists with his lucky CIA hat. To verify any of this would have required a trip to specialist reference libraries, looking up stuff on eye-straining microfiche, etc. So it was easier to let the old blowhard yak away and just nod occasionally.

Senator Kerry couldn't have foreseen that Al Gore would invent the Internet, and there'd be this Google thingy, and all you'd have to do is tap in a few words and a nanosecond later it would all be at your fingertips – veterans memoirs, Cambodian history, declassified Johnson administration documents, previous Kerry "stretchers" (as Mark Twain called them).

The Kerry campaign has now conceded that, by his own contemporaneous account, the young lieutenant was nowhere near Cambodia in Christmas 1968 and, if he was ever on a covert gun-running operation across the border during his four months in Vietnam, he seems to be the only rookie Swift boat lieutenant to land in the territory and get entrusted with such a mission, and it was evidently so top secret that neither his commanding officers nor the men on his own boat knew a thing about it.

Of course we're living in a different age now. Stories about LBJ coasting through his political career with a Silver Star that was most likely undeserved belong in the past. When we hear how the press covered up JFK's severe, perhaps life-threatening case of Addison's Disease, and refused to show photos of FDR in a wheelchair, it seems like pre-history now (I didn't mean to pick only Democratic presidents, by the way; those were just the examples that came to mind).

You could argue that these are examples of the coarsening of the culture, and that politics was better off before this kind of scrutiny became the norm. I personally think John Kerry is a special case because he's harped on and on and on, at so many opportunities, on his life-changing four-month stint in Vietnam, to the exclusion of, say, his subsequent 30-year political career. The Bush 'AWOL' attacks have never resonated that much because Bush has never focused strongly on his National Guard career; Clinton likewise never tried to sell himself as some sort of moral crusader. Kerry left himself wide open to these kinds of attacks; it's the real "self-inflicted wound".

Karol is a punk rocker

Karol of Spot On has hit the big time; she'll be one of only 15 accredited bloggers at the GOP convention, and the only female. Fantastic. Here's the Wall Street Journal feature about them, including photos.


Friedman for the gold

Today Israel won its first-ever Olympic gold. And it wasn't even in judo! It was windsurfing, and the pride of Israel is named Gal Friedman.

Photo gallery here.


Math with James

James Surowiecki, author of "The Wisdom of Crowds", is guest-blogging at Marginal Revolution. Here's a post of his: he cites statistics theory to show that the strange-seeming results obtained by the allegedly-rigged voting machines in the Hugo Chavez recall vote in Venezuela in fact fall within the bounds of likelihood.

Life is not fair

John Podhoretz notes that the flare-up over John Kerry's Vietnam service originates mostly not from what he did during the war, but what he did on national TV once he got back:
If life were fair, all we could do, in the absence of concrete proof to the contrary, is give John Kerry the benefit of the doubt. He was decorated several times by the Navy.

That ought to be good enough for everybody — if life were fair.

But life isn't fair.

If life were fair, John Kerry's conduct as the chief spokesman for Vietnam Veterans Against the War would have disqualified him forever from holding high office in this country.

Kerry became famous not because he served with valor in Vietnam, but because he came home and spat on his fellow veterans in his famous testimony before the Senate in 1971.

If life were fair, Kerry would even now be begging forgiveness from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for accusing them and some 3 million Vietnam veterans of "crimes committed on a day-to-day basis" while they were fighting for their country.

I don't know if I agree with the "disqualified forever" part, but there's no doubt that it's a serious liability.

I happen to like this town

I just discovered a singer named Blossom Dearie over the weekend. She became famous in the 60's, singing Cole Porter and other standards. That's her real name, and it's also how she sounds. She has a fantastic jazz singer voice, breathy and light and with a great sense of phrasing. Sort of an American Astrud Gilberto. Her piano playing matches her singing style.

It made me think that if I had to live in another time and place in the U.S., it would be Manhattan in the 60's. As far as I can tell there really were two 60's, one in the East Coast and one in the West Coast. Everything I like about the era came out of New York, and it seems like everything that was grating, all the peace-and-love nonsense, came out of California. I'll take the Velvet Underground over The Mamas and The Papas, Philip Roth over Hunter S. Thompson, cocktails over hash, West Side Story over Hair. Space-age bachelor pads over hippie communes. Okay, so I'm not a hippie.

There was so much good music around in that time and place: The Free Design (who got their start performing in Greenwich Village), the Miles Davis Quintet, Simon and Garfunkel.

I'd probably be a graphic designer or an architect, or maybe I could be one of those writers who wrote those very long back-of-the-album liner notes.


Real estate needed for indie scene

Luna Lounge is moving (in mid-2005) - Gothamist has an interview with Rob Sacher, the co-founder and co-owner. "Real estate on Ludlow Street costs more than on Park Avenue right now," he says.

For those not from New York, Luna Lounge used to be the only really good bar/music venue in the Lower East Side. Now there's also Pianos, but that one has more of a "let's get dressed up and go out" vibe.

Help out if you can: "If somebody knows of a one or two story building where Luna could move to in Manhattan south of 34th Street, they should get in touch with me."


Bjork at the Olympics

Here she is performing at the opening ceremonies. I caught this without the audio when we saw it. That's a mighty large dress, but when you're Bjork, you're allowed to wear pretty much anything.

Here are the lyrics to the song she sang, "Oceania":

one breath away from mother Oceanía
your nimble feet make prints
in my sands
you have done good for yourselves
since you left my wet embrace
and crawled ashore
every boy, is a snake is a lily
every pearl is a lynx
is a girl
sweet like harmony made into flesh
you dance by my side
children sublime
you show me continents
- i see islands
you count the centuries
- i blink my eyes
hawks and sparrows race in my waters
stingrays are floating
across the sky
little ones - my sons and my daughters
your sweat is salty
i am why

The song's also on her upcoming album, Medulla. You can see movies of the performance here. I haven't seen it yet; I hope to later today.

Just one more Reagan bit

I saw most of the PBS documentary "The American Experience: Reagan, Part 2", yesterday; it basically covered the eight years of his presidency. I know the Reagan legacy was already covered in great detail a few months ago, but I was struck by the parallels to the present day: Reagan was criticized by the Europeans as a "cowboy president", he was called naive and a simpleton by his critics, he controversially used the word "evil" to describe enemy countries (granted, it was more controversial then than now). Most striking were the images of political protests here and in Europe: back then the signs said "no nukes", now they say "no war" and various unprintable things, but otherwise the protests look the same, down to the 60's day-glo banners and papier-mache heads.

I definitely recommend the documentary if you get a chance to see it. Impressively, they also managed to get interviews with Gorbachev and some other Soviet figures. They all praised Reagan as a tough negotiator, yet a likable man, and they all agreed that the "Star Wars" initiative scared the hell out of the Soviets at the time and ultimately was what caused them to capitulate on the arms race.


Kabbalah chameleon

Last week I chatted with a girl on the subway who's from the infamous Kabbalah Centre (yes, it's spelled r-e, can't tell you why) in Midtown, as popularized by Madonna/"Esther" (not to be confused with this girl). She sported the red bracelet that's become the new symbol for the movement (though you can no longer get it at Target - unless they sell, you know, red string and scissors there).

A web search reveals that the Village Voice happens to have an exposé of sorts in the current issue: "Where some say they've found enlightenment, others tell of Kabbalah-inspired divorces and pressure to donate hefty sums of money."

The thing is, she seemed like a normal girl - maybe just a little too talkative, but a sane person. She's Jewish, and when I told her I was Israeli she talked to me in some reasonably fluent Hebrew. Nice girl, I thought. She told me to come by any Monday or Thursday evening for a free lesson.

Does anybody have any more information on this place? I'm not really planning to go, I'm just curious.

Really, I should have just asked her if she knows any celebrities.

Bloggers running for office

Brothers Ali & Mohammed from Iraq the Model are running for seats in the Iraqi National Assembly, having formed their own party, the Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party. Their issues list looks fantastic. There's a spot for donations on their site.


Bringing it all home

President Bush last week announced a plan to move 70,000 U.S. troops back from overseas, mostly, as I understand, from Germany and the rest of Europe. The Kerry team is alarmed:
Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and an adviser to Kerry's presidential campaign, called Bush's plan "pretty alarming."

Holbrooke, who is also a former ambassador to Germany and former assistant secretary of state for Asia, said, "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals. The Koreans are going to be equally unhappy. How can we withdraw troops from Korea while engaged in a delicate negotiation with the North Koreans? And there's a country that really does have weapons of mass destruction."

South Korea is a different story (there's no evidence that troops there are part of the withdrawal plan), but the fact that one of Kerry's advisors thinks "the Germans are very unhappy" represents some kind of zinger speaks volumes, I think.

Mark Steyn has a great piece on this news; he's pleased because he thinks it may lead to a more grown-up foreign policy approach for Europe:
A wealthy continent liberated from the burdens of military expenditure is also liberated to a large degree from reality. Poor peoples have no choice but to live in the real world: if a drought wipes out their crops, they starve. Likewise, rich, powerful nations have traditionally required great vigilance to maintain their wealth and power.

But Europe increasingly resembles those insulated celebrities being shuttled around town from one humanitarian gala to another – like Barbra Streisand flying in by private jet to discuss excessive energy consumption with President Clinton. Just as elderly rockers and Hollywood divas are largely free from the tedious responsibilities of rich industrialists or supermarket magnates – payroll costs and plant upgrades – so the EU can flaunt its "concerns" about the world and leave the logistics to others.


Spinning plates

I had a great birthday party on Friday at Joshua Tree; thanks to everyone who came. It was so good that I spent much of Saturday recovering.

I've been busy all day today. There's a few topics I want to write about, things going on in the world and such; hopefully I'll get to them sometime soon.


Common showbiz tale

There's some sort of big-budget movie that's been filming on my street for the last week. I know Laura Dern is in it. Yesterday, a block away from my apartment I walked past one of the Baldwin brothers. The embarassing thing is, I'm not sure which one. It was either Billy or Stephen.


The Bush Left

Little Green Footballs discovered the following quote in ABC News' quasi-blog The Note: "Forget the fact that that we still can’t find a single American who voted for Al Gore in 2000 who is planning to vote for George Bush in 2004." This being part of a larger bit on why they think the race "is now John Kerry's contest to lose".

That's strange news to those of us who read the pro-war blogs, which have an ample representation of former (and current) Democrats who are now supporting Bush, Roger Simon and LGF's Charles Johnson among them. The comments section has all sorts of these people chiming in.

Best of the Web ran a series of letters a few months ago, from former Gore voters who are now planning to vote for Bush, in response to a request for such stories.

I personally know a few people who fit that description; their reversal is almost entirely due to the Sept. 11 attacks and the Democrats' perceived unseriousness over the War on Terror. I suppose I myself could in theory be counted as someone who's "crossed over", as a former Nader voter (and not just for strategic reasons like cunning Karol) who's now almost certainly going to vote for Bush. For many people, preventing the possibility of a nuclear suitcase bomb going off over New York outweighs talk about health care or education or gay marriage or whatever their pet issue of the day happens to be (in my case, that would be ending social security).

To be fair, there of course have to be people going in the other direction (Best of the Web ran a similar series of letters afterwards for the other side, in response to another solicitation), although I don't think their ranks are nearly as large. Most of BOTW's letter-writers, for instance, said they'd vote for a third candidate, or not at all, as opposed to for Kerry.

UPDATE: Today's The Note: "we received more than 100 responses" from Gore-to-Bush switchers.


The usual story, another surprise

My short message to the Iraqis: welcome to the double standard. The interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, has decided to block Al-Jazeera's broadcasts for a month, as retaliation for their pro-terrorist, pro-insurgent reporting (LGF has more on Al-Jazeera's biases).

Of course, the usual people (the Guardian, the New York Times, etc.) are upset. As if anything short of complete press and personal freedom represents some kind of moral failure for the new government.

Just a year and a half ago, Iraqis suffered under a crushing dictatorship, one in which having only a single allowed media viewpoint was in fact one of the least oppressive of the ways in which the government disturbed the lives of its citizens. No need to get into the further details.

It's the usual double standard, in which democracies (or, in Iraq's case, to-be-democracies) get called to account for actions that dictatorships never do. Actually, you could more accurately call it a triple standard, because America and Israel are subjected to levels of scrutiny that even other democracies rarely have to face (witness the relative silence over, say, Russia's involvement in Chechnya). Now it appears that Iraq has joined that elite, hyper-scrutinized group.

So, Iraqis, take this new tack of criticism as a huge badge of honor, and feel free to keep ignoring the hand-wringers and do what is necessary in order to fight off insurgent elements both foreign and domestic. We know you're on the right track.

Iraqi blogger Ferid expresses approval over the banning of what he calls "this crap channel". Near the end of the comments, someone points out that Fox News is still banned in Canada.

Keyes is in

So, as I had hoped, Alan Keyes did enter the Illinois Senate race. So far the highlights of his three-day candidacy have been... the revelation that he himself attacked Hillary Clinton for being from out-of-state when she ran for the Senate from New York (it wasn't just a bad idea, it was a "destruction of federalism"), and his delightfully over-the-top comparison of being pro-abortion to being a slaveholder (since they both willfully ignore the rights to life, liberty, etc. laid out in the Declaration of Independence).

The former can be put in a somewhat positive light in that Hillary plotted out her candidacy independently and well in advance, while Keyes was asked to come in at the last minute by the Illinois GOP. The latter... well, if you're truly against abortion for moral reasons then I suppose it's a fair comparison; I personally think that type of rhetoric makes him unelectable, but it's also what made him famous in the first place.

Note that I never actually endorsed Keyes, only hoped that he would enter the race because it would make for good viewing. I think I've been right so far.


Public image

Speaking of the Olympics, here is/are the Athens '04 mascot(s):

Per Greek conceptions of symmetry, I suppose, they decided on having both a male and a female presence. The human duality, symbolically clasping hands (assuming that's what they are) to represent union.

I think they look alright; like something out of Miro, maybe.

UPDATE: their names are Phevos (aka Phoebus Apollo aka Apollo) and Athena.

Good news continues

It's my birthday today!

I used to hate having a summer birthday because, when I was growing up, we were always travelling somewhere during the summer; I never got to invite all the kids over to my place. It was a bit of an early trauma. But during high school it got better, and definitely I'd have to rank the ones I've had since coming to New York highly. Maybe even the very first one, which revolved around my first night of heavy drinking and ended with me throwing up in the New York subway, loudly apologizing to the other passengers that I really was a good person. It was sort of a baptism by fire into adulthood.

So anyway, I don't mind a summer birthday anymore and nowadays it seems everyone has one. And today it's my turn.

I figure I should announce it here, so: I'm having a birthday party on Friday at Joshua Tree, in Midtown East. It's actually a joint birthday/Olympics-opening-ceremony-viewing party. Somehow I've developed a small amount of interest in all this Olympics stuff. If you know me, you're definitely welcome to come by.


Clinton does The Daily Show

I just saw Bill Clinton on The Daily Show; I haven't seen the show in full in a good while. I think it's gotten a lot more slanted since I used to watch it. I can understand why it's popular: it's really the only place on TV where you can find unabashed left-leaning commentary (left-leaning news, that's another story).

The initial "Headlines" segment was all about the anti-Kerry "swift boat vets" ad, and Jon Stewart basically repeated the Democratic Party talking points about it, in comedic form. Then there was a reporter's segment with Stephen Colbert, reporting from the Democratic Convention. The people interviewed all came out favorably, and the butt of the humor was mostly Colbert himself, with a bunch of digs at Bush in at the end.

Then the much-anticipated Clinton interview. Stewart basically threw Clinton all sorts of softball questions about Republican dirty tricks, which Clinton was happy to take. Clinton is Mr. Smooth, and the crowd ate up everything he said.

Then it was on to talking about his book, which Clinton seems to be on a second round of promoting due I guess to poor sales. Stewart did manage to bring up one of Clinton's scandals, but it was filegate of all things (the FBI was keeping on various "enemies of the White House"... not all that relevant in the grand scheme). He did it in the context of a joke about how the current administration gets away with much more than Clinton did, so it's understandable that he went for something obscure.

I don't really have anything against The Daily Show; Jon Stewart is as fast on his feet as anyone in the news or comedy business. I just hope no one's relying on it as a news source.

Jam selected

This year's #1 summer jam has to be "Lean Back ("Do The Rockaway")" by Terror Squad feat. Fat Joe and Remy Martin. I know there have been better radio songs (Jay-Z's "99 Problems", for instance), but none have been so ubiquitous. I hear it coming out of car speakers and barbershop radios everywhere. And the dance move, as expressed in the title's two-word instruction, says it all. It's a populist hook. I mean, "lean back" - even your great-aunt can get down with that.

An obese man with an expressed inability to dance has somehow created the summer soundtrack for a nation.

I do hope "Terror Squad" (who as far as I understand are just Fat Joe's
posse) isn't some kind of positive reference to Islamic terrorism, but other than that I have no complaints.


Quote of the day

Via Instapundit, from a while back:
"The USA Patriot Act has become a brand," says Georgetown University Law Center professor Viet Dinh, who was instrumental in drafting the act as head of the DOJ's legal policy shop from 2001 to 2003. "Activists lump everything that is objectionable about the war on terror, anything wrong with the world really, onto the USA Patriot Act. No more than 10 percent of what people ascribe to the USA Patriot Act on any given day, is in the Patriot Act itself."


Paid in full

Orrin Judd: "The staggering thing here is that we're conducting this globe-wide civilizational war for under 4% of GDP. By comparison, in 1952 we were spending 15% of GDP on defense and even as late as 1990 were over 6%. We aren't even breathing heavy yet."

If there really were a necessary tradeoff between between our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and taking care of domestic concerns, then a debate over our relative priorities, a la John Kerry's "we shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them down in the United States of America," would be an interesting one. As it is, we're rich enough that even fighting on two fronts leaves enough room for all the usual domestic-spending squabbles to continue with barely an interruption. The semi-controversial $87 billion allocation, for instance, represented a little over half of one percent of our annual GDP, currently around $11 trillion. I do wish the pro-war side would make this case more often.


Drug war revisited

Last week I noted an article by Matt Taibbi in the New York Press that said that John Kerry's planned administration team would be more agressive in enforcing drug laws than President Bush.

In the interests of fairness, this week's issue carries a letter from the "Director of Communications, Marijuana Policy Project" (fourth one down) that says that Kerry's drug policy would probably be somewhat better than Bush's. On the other hand, he says that Howard Dean, the one politician who came off as sympathetic in Taibbi's piece, was "a rigid drug warrior" while governor of Vermont.

Whoever is telling the truth here (and Matt Taibbi's trustworthiness is certainly up for doubt), I think the real story is that we can't expect any meaningful change in our misguided drug policy from the two-party system as it currently stands.

Capturing the IT guy

Ed at Captain's Quarters says that the capture of Al Qaeda's "computer geek", 25-year-old Naeem Noor Khan, "may well turn out to be the biggest turn in the war since the fall of the Taliban." Khan is, as you probably know, the owner of the laptop that held detailed plans for a variety of financial buildings in New York and, by extension, the reason for the current presence of an x-ray machine in my company's lobby. He supposedly had access to a wide variety of access information for terrorists all along the Al Qaeda chain of command; at least one person has already been arrested thanks to the new intelligence.

Also, the planning data discovered wasn't nearly as out-of-date as critics make it out to be: "The data went back three years, but some files had been modified just a few months ago."

He was captured by Pakistani forces, another indication that Pakistan, for all their previous dithering, has become a true ally in the war on terror.


Bring him on

I hope Alan Keyes takes the plunge and runs against Barack Obama for the Illinois senate race, in lieu of the unwilling Messrs. Ryan and Ditka. I don't have a real problem with Obama winning; his stirring speech at the DNC, with its references to economic opportunity and personal responsibiity, made him seem barely to the left of, say, George Pataki. But Keyes is a true conservative, and a brilliant speaker, and his talk show on MSNBC in 2002, Alan Keyes is Making Sense, is still the best political talk show I've ever seen. Night after night he laid out his philosophy on issues of the day, in rising, angry, cadences that were spine-tingling to watch. The show began soon after 9/11 and ran during the height of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, when new terrorist attacks in Israel came almost daily, and he demolished the talking points of the stream of Palestinian apologists who came on his show, tying in America's struggle against terrorism with Israel's and never letting them get away with any of their usual "cycle of violence" statements, leading at least one to storm off the set halfway through the segment.

He probably wouldn't have much of a chance to win, but I think it would make for maybe the most interesting rhetoric since that last famous Illinois senate race, the one featuring Lincoln and Douglas.

Wolfie akbar

Paul Wolfowitz has a a new girlfriend, that sly devil, and she's... a Saudi, of all things. But she works for the World Bank and feels that "democracy can and must be promoted in the Arab world, even if it upsets feudal rulers and dictators." If the Republicans were smart, they'd have these two give a big smooch, Al-and-Tipper-style, at the GOP convention, to symbolize the shared goals of neocons and Arabs.

Lovebirds: PW, Shaha Ali Riza


Why I am a fan of full disclosures

From a New York Post review of Peter Hyman's The Reluctant Metrosexual:
Hyman, as he presents himself, is an unemployed thirtysomething loser who can't find a steady girlfriend, partly because people think he's gay; when not at home sweating over his book introductions, he spends a lot of time going on disastrous dates with women he meets on the Internet. (Full disclosure: A female friend of this reviewer once received an unsolicited nude photo from Hyman, his enigmatic masculinity obscured by a bunch of tulips.)

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