There Is No Cat

A huge orangupoid, which no man can conquer

Friday, March 21, 2003


In keeping with my general inclination to avoid television for everything but college football and major breaking news, I've been spending a lot of time in front of the tube the past couple of days. I'm not terribly impressed with what I've seen. I think the "embedding" of journalists with the forces was a masterful move by the military; thanks to this, we get endless pictures that signify nothing. Grainy green Fisher-Price Pixelvision shots of glows on the horizon, or maybe indeterminate lumps that may or may not be Our Correspondent. Endless speculation by former military leaders about whether or not it was really Saddam Hussein on television after the first attack. Cheerleading about how "we" are doing (no journalistic objectivity for us, thank you). It's really been at about the level I expected, which is to say, pretty bad.

Ultimately, I have to judge the progress of the war by what Dan Rather is wearing when he's on camera. I've long used The Dan Rather Sartorial Index as my measure of how important a story is. In normal times, he wears a suit and tie. For important stories, he will sometimes wear a sweater or a polo shirt, or maybe native Afghan dress. As the seriousness of the situation increases, his dress gets more casual. I've long felt that if the world were to come to an end, Rather would be there to tell us about it unshaven in boxer shorts and a guinea-tee. At the moment, he's still wearing a suit. So clearly, the story isn't important enough for me to bother watching.

Posted at 10:32 AM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

i know you live in new jersey, ralph, but "guinea-tee" is an ethnic slur nonetheless. do you want to risk offending a member of the coalition of the willing?

Posted by shirley at 2:17 PM, March 21, 2003 [Link]

Damn, that's what I've always called them. Never occurred to me to think it was a slur. I hereby apologize to the people of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Papua New Guinea, and any other members of the Coalition of the Shilling I may have offended. I also apologize to anyone who owns or has ever owned a Guinea Pig. Also to any coin collectors who may own any Guineas minted in the United Kingdom during the reigns of Kings Charles II through George III, inclusive (1663-1813).

Posted by ralph at 7:17 PM, March 22, 2003 [Link]

Like Mr. Rather, I've always maintained that I can be serious while wearing a t-shirt and jeans. But does anybody take me seriously? Nooooo...

While watching the bombing of Baghdad on Friday I caught another out-of-nowhere Ratherism. I actually read it via close captioning on the muted TV but his personality came through clearly. After mistaking the identity of a correspondent he was about to interview over the phone he told the viewing public, "If you're scoring at home, that's EA for Error: Anchor".

Classic. It reminded me of this:

Posted by Mike at 9:32 PM, March 22, 2003 [Link]

Ralph, clearly you should have referred to the garb in question as a "wife-beater", its other colorful colloquial name. My belief is that these names came from too many people seeing Raging Bull, so we can blame Martin Scorsese for these offensive names.

Posted by lilbro at 10:37 PM, March 23, 2003 [Link]


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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