SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Saturday, February 14, 2004

COOP NERDLY ADMISSION ITEM -- I WATCH C-SPAN: It may be sad, but I freely confess to watching C-Span programming, including Congressional floor action, Presidential speeches, think-tank roundtables, Question Hour in British Parliament—a REAL fav—and C-SPAN 2’s “Book Notes.” Of course, I’m usually not a fan of “Washington Journal.” The guests are frequently interesting, but the folks who call the show with their questions are usually awful. Those people never actually ask any questions, but instead subject listeners to lengthy diatribes characteristic of overly partisan hacks.

Today I tuned in to taped proceedings of Wednesday’s hearing on Broadcast Decency Rules before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee. This particular hearing was apparently called in reaction to the Super Bowl half-time show from last month. Given the acts that were announced, I skipped out on the half-time show to check my e-mail during the break in play. But from what I hear it was atrocious.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell was among those testifying at the hearing, and I really hope the Feds make life a difficult for MTV and CBS on account of the show. For me, its not all about the offensiveness of the half-time show--I expect it from the sorts of acts that were up there, and in any event I’m already too desensitized to the material in those kinds of shows. Jacko’s sister, Timberlake et. al., can continue with their embarrassing acts all they want, as far as I care. All I’m asking is for some kind of modest restrictions on the more outlandish and outrageous stunts where prime-time programs are airing with millions of children in the audience.

It is undoubtedly true that parents need to take control over what their children are viewing and that we can’t expect network and cable TV execs to be looking out for the kids. But for parents to have a real, authentic choice as to what they and their families will be viewing, their choice must be an informed one. Even a simple a warning about the program’s content would have given parents and families the information they needed to decide whether they were going to watch a glorified ex-Mickey Mouseketeer rip off the top of an over-the-hill lady in the middle of a silly tune or to instead get out ColecoVision and play Billy Graham’s Bible Blasters until the game resumes.

By the way, Question Hour in British Parliament airs on Sundays at 9pm, Pacific Time.
PAY-ROD TAKES MANHATTAN: Alex Rodriguez is now a New York Yankee. The fact that he was traded from the Texas Rangers comes as no shock, given his astronomical salary. A day’s worth of work for A-Rod in Texas was seemingly worth as much as day’s worth of hunting in the woods by Jed Clampett. But the Texas’ ownership simply didn’t have the black gold to keep making out checks to Pay-Rod while fielding even a marginally successful franchise.

What does surprise me is A-Rod he will be playing third base, alongside Derek Jeter. There was a great shortstop rivalry between A-Rod and Jeter, and I cannot help but see this move as approaching surrender by A-Rod. Think about it: A-Rod never wins a world series whereas Jeter has won several, A-Rod has to leave his miserly team to join Jeter’s, and A-Rod has to change his position in the field in deference to Jeter.

Though it is conceivable that I am way off in all of this, I would have thought A-Rod’s pride too great to move over to third and join the Yankees. Perhaps his desire for a World Series ring is simply too great. We wants the precious!!!

Friday, February 13, 2004

RADICALS vs. EXTREMISTS--YOU DECIDE! Although I don't feel at liberty to discuss the details of my work here, I thought I'd have a little fun at my own expense and point to the first article under the "News In Brief" section of the February 11th edition of The Onion. It's a little blurb about elections in Iran, which reminded me of the recent Disco press release, in which I spoke so eloquently, and which generated some angry responses on both sides.

To be honest, I haven't the faintest idea as to how they run the show in Iran, other than they've got a hardcore theocracy going. I just like the way The Onion paints things: "It's up to the people: Does the future of Iran lie in the hands of the far-right extremists or the far-far-right radicals?"
LOCAL KID GOES BENEDICT ARNOLD? A 26 year-old National Guardsman from my hometown of Everett, WA, has been arrested in a sting operation for trying to pass secrets on to al Qaeda. For the record, I never knew Ryan G. Anderson. No, I'm afraid he went to the other high school in Everett, not mine.

The Snohomish County Herald is the local newspaper, whose online edition includes the story. Also, Michelle Mulkin has an article on National Review Online discussing Anderson and some of his e-mail postings on the web.

Back when I was at Seattle University, I drew up a couple editorial cartoons making fun of John "Johnny Jihad" Walker-Lindh, another caucasian American convert to Islam who decided to strike up an alliance with the Axis of Evil and international terrorists. While my cartoons clearly didn't get wide exposure, there was nonetheless a general public ridicule of that poor and pathetic soul. You'd have thought Johnny Jihad's example would have served as a warning. Apparently not.