Our hotel, Paris, seems to be about romance and weddings. My daughter and I think that’s their theme. Or at least that’s one guess, as every hotel here has to have some gimmick — dancing waters, a shopping mall’s worth of shops, shark tanks, an erupting volcano, huge elaborate shows, major stars in residence — and other than the Queen musical (We Will Rock You) and a Filipino variety act (Lani Misalucha), this hotel seems mainly to be about simulating Paris.
The in-house cable channel that tells you what’s going on at the hotel is narrated by actors faking French accents. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what country they think they’re from. Lots of couples get married here — and have their photos taken with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. Women in wedding dresses float though the lobby and into the drive-up area. A romantic Parisian wedding without the hassle of dealing with foreigners, passports and possible gray skies — as here they’re almost always blue. There are brides trailed by photographers and family members everywhere.
The U.S. Army envisions a techie Star-Wars-Empire-style future for itself, including its own proprietary internet. All the easier for malicious hackers, “insurgents”, discontents, rebels and nuts to wreak havoc. Someone is making a lot of money and getting a lot in contracts from these boy toys. Here are the illustrations form the Times. Does George Lucas get a percentage?
A new government report places the “blame” for faulty intelligence about Iraq on the CIA. Blaming the messenger is an old trick — especially when the Bush administration didn’t want to even HEAR information that didn’t justify an invasion, and there was actually plenty of it. Data mining it is called — selecting information from whatever source justifies your position, and ignoring anything that might differ from it — that’s what the Bush crew did in the run-up to their invasion and now they are hoping to once again make the CIA their fall guy… but somehow manage to still avoid the issue of whether the U.S. should then, if there was actually no reason for invasion, actually apologize and pull out. Unbelievable. Especially if the U.S. media and public fall for it. And to think that the CIA is now appearing to be sort of the good guys here — not for giving faulty information, but for saying that they had their doubts about its authenticity and reliability.
Tom DeLay, the super visible Republican advocate for leaving the (sadly late) Florida Vegetable plugged in, unplugged his own dad years ago after he was seriously injured. Hypocrite? Sudden change of heart? Opportunist?
Paul Simon and I are walking outdoors. In a city — New York, maybe. He has a weird bandage around his head, covering one side of his jaw, like those old cartoons of people with a toothache. When we near groups of people approaching he pulls up his shirt and covers his entire head — only one eye peeking out.
I ask him to “come up with something” and he somehow strikes up a percussive groove (on what? Not on guitar. Somehow the sound I hear is like congas, but there are none visible.) I catch the groove and begin to dance a weird step (surprise!) bouncing on alternating feet from side to side. Eventually I get the hang of it and we proceed down the sidewalk, me slightly in front, doing my boppy dance.
Paul compliments me on my dancing and I return the compliment: “well, that was a great groove.” Whereupon Paul relaxes and removes some of his head wrap to reveal a horrible elephant-man-like growth around his lower jaw and neck. It’s huge and fleshy, pendulous, pink. He tells me “it’s a goiter” — which may be true but I’ve never seen one like this. His voice is surprisingly normal sounding, which is incredible too, given all that stuff hanging off his jaw and throat.