April 3rd, 2004


Everything that you wanted to know about Baghdad, but were afraid to ask.

Watching a very cool 14-minute trailer for "About Baghdad", a documentary that will be released in the next few months.

One of the most telling scenes was filmed at the Iran-Iraq War Memorial in Baghdad, which was surrounded by army vehicles. The walls of the memorial were covered in parts with duct-taped flyers, while the documentarian talked to a US soldier stationed onsite.

documentarian: "What is that?" (pointing to a flyer)
soldier: "That's a parking space sign."
documentarian: "And these (pointing to the Arabic text around and underneath the flyers) are the names of... people who died, right?!"

I don't know about you, but to me this doesn't sound like cultural insensitivity as much as blind arrogance. In the unlikely event that the U.S. is ever occupied by a foriegn power, we can only hope that the Vietnam Memorial doesn't suffer the same humiliation.

Fly the Ted-ly skies...

Today I got an email saying that I should "Keep up with TedClub".

"How ludicrous!" I thought. "Since when did I join up with a bunch of Teds?!"

So, I look at the email, and it shows me this picture...

"They *CAN'T* be serious. What kind of f*cking joke is this?! I'm thinking. "More offers of free Hawaiian vacations, perhaps? Damn spam filter..."

Still, it started to talk about Mileage Plus and it also mentioned United Airlines (in passing...) so I immediately start wondering if this is one of those html emails with the phony URLs, out to direct me to some evil, soulstealing site. I check the .html just to be sure. It looks authentic, and it points to UAL domains. That said, I feel pretty sure that I don't need spam from Ted.

I Google Ted and United. Turns out that it's legit. Ted is United's new "low fare" airline.. which, of course, means that given how expensive United is and how little a UniTED discount actually means, you'll probably be better off flying JetBlue anyway.

I'm sorry. I don't want to fly Ted. Really, it all comes down to not trusting Ted. Anyone with any self-respect wouldn't allow themselves to be called a Ted... they'd insist on Theo. Ted flew in the Air Force reserve, but nobody in his unit remembered him. Ted tried to pledge a frat, but none of them would take him... and I'm prety sure that I saw Ted load up on double shots of Johnny Walker at the airport bar, trying not to look like yet another stewardess stood him up because he was "kinda creepy".

Ted's an unlovable loser... and he just might take you down with him. What's more, Ted's got a lousy marketing department.

Suck it, Ted.