Friday, August 22, 2003

And congratulations to "It's Academic!" for being the longest-running quiz show on television! It's a kick to think that some of the HS and college players I've worked with in this and other similar competitions will likely make the same impact as some of the people listed below, especially with me helping them out!

It's No Longer Academic -- It's a Fact
(Washington Post 082103)

It's official. The high school quiz show "It's Academic" has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running TV quiz show in the world, with a whopping 42 years (and counting) on the air.

"We received an e-mail telling us that a British show had started a year after we did, so we had beaten them out," said an ecstatic Sophie Altman, the executive producer and founder of the show. "The fact that we're getting old also went through my head -- but overall this is fantastic!"

And you can bet that throughout its reign, "It's Academic" has tested the minds of many, including New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton -- "She was part of the show as an alternate in 1964-5," says Altman -- ABC's George Stephanopoulos, former Maine governor Angus King, CNN anchor Leon Harris and The Post's own Donald Graham. "All of our people are good people," she assures.

We wonder when Mac McGarry, quizmaster since the show's 1961 inception, will get his own Guinness recognition (hint, hint).

Sigh. It's getting to the point that I don't tell anyone that I'm from California any more-- That half-grin and narrowing of the eyes every time I say those few syllables and a mocking question whether I'm going to be voting for AH-nold. True, I'm going to xerox my absentee recall ballot and keep it as a souvenir but more as a testament to how a conservative car alarm magnate, movie stars, well-dressed chimpanzees, and hawkish zealots can rip the American democratic process. Politicians and issues may come and go, but the true core of the American way of life is a dedication to fair, transparent, and unbiased processes of the Federal government all the way down to our everyday lives. We even package it for international consumption as the "rule of law." Largely due to the current administration, that which has sustained us for over 200 years and acted as a model for the rest of the world is unraveling.

Given widespread opposition to intervention in Iraq, Bush went on record saying he "respectfully disagree[d]" with the people he was supposed to serve and pointedly disregarded any arguments that he didn't agree with. Texas republicans decided that they wanted to redraw congressional districts simply because they wanted to take political advantage of their being in power. A system that was designed to adjust for population growth and movement based on the decennial census was wrenched into change only about a year after it was adjusted for the 2000 census. The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee rewrote a bill to his liking and then tried to stuff it down the Democrat's throats with the help of the Capitol Police. The Vice President's office still refuses to tell even other branches of the government who the administration talked to when writing up the country's energy policies. Bush also pulled out of important treaties and ignored the rest of the world just because he didn't like what they said. And, of course, there's AH-nold and the California recall. I'm just waiting, like Huey of the Boondocks said, for John Connor to run.

Speaking of the comics, this one is pretty telling:

Hagar the Horrible
The King doesn't want you to think of his tax collectors as cruel, heartless monsters.... As a matter of fact, the King doesn't even want you to think!

Monday, August 18, 2003

Having a little fun in the context of Nation States, specifically the "QB Alliance." Here's a small excerpt from the international traveling corps of storytellers the government of Teresh sent to the Dezzan court:

In a land far, far away, there is a benevolent dictator named Garba who is renowned for his legendary oratory. With incredible dedication, he is able to uplift his, the Tereshi, people from their squalid existence. Beset on all sides by fierce and shadowy enemies, Teresh stands defiant. Garba's upright carriage and richly embroidered robes give added clarity to his face, at once animated and impassive, warning that all those foolish enough to move against the Tereshi nation "shall know our velocity!"

But wait! From far across the water and well beyond the soaring mountains of Teresh comes-- It can't be!-- a challenge?

One who fancies himself a scribe of "staggering genius" has stepped forward and shown his cowardly hand. For, this pretender indeed shows not his face but a scribbled missive itself frantically attempting to remake itself in Garba's image. This shadow boxing worm who calls itself Eggers and has barely the wit to parrot a true master has clumsily snatched at Tereshi honor, entitling his mere rags "You shall know our velocity." Blasphemer!! He must be taught the lightning fang of the Tereshi people! He must be dispatched forthwith!