BRIT HUME on Fox News reports (no link yet) that Peter Arnett has been hired by the UK's Daily Mirror. He'll be working with John Pilger!
All the idiots, coming together...
And here's the front page of said UK paper (via Damian Penny). You know, Hollywood makes films whose plots approach situations like this. Their genre is called broad farce. Now all we need is Elke Sommers to turn up half-naked.
I decided to listen to the local college radio station while preparing my steaks. WUCF is a jazz station, and they play NPR news every half hour or so. Well. News from Iraq was offered: first something about some women and children who had been killed in the fighting in wherever they are fighting now (it starts with "N"). I had a cynical thought: I knew that this must have made some journo's day, because they live for opportunities to be able to use the phrase "women 'n' children" in the same story as "were killed" appears. Chiding myself for such un-nice notions (not), I continued to listen. I then was informed that Amnesty International has called the US the "Jekyll and Hyde" of human rights. Well, at least we have a Dr. Jekyll component to our national personality -- so many other countries (including the one we are currently involved in festivities with) seem to be all Hyde. AI seems to have given up on those countries as beyond the pale, by the way. (See more on this subject by Steven Den Beste.)
Then they finished with the Iraq news and went on to another juicy, US-involved-somehow, country's doings. Apparently journalists are fleeing an "embattled" area of Colombia because leftist insurgents and their "right-wing" opponents both issued death threats against those journalists. A sensible option: now both sides can fight it out in (relative) peace and quiet without journalistic interference. I wonder if this is the start of a trend.
Today was my day off, so I got to do a bunch of things. If life-stuff like this bores you, feel free to skip -- I'm just practicing.
The things I overhear: I went to take care of some financial matters, and heard the phrase "change-of-life baby" for maybe the first time since I was small and my Tennessee-born relatives were visiting. I speculate that few people use that phrase, since it is no longer unusual for women to wait until they are almost out of eggs to get pregnant. I also was under the impression that it was one of those phrases only gothically Southern ladies used, but this woman had a noticeable Brooklyn accent.
After I was done, I was restless. It was a beautiful day here -- we are having what is probably the last cold snap of the season, so it was in the sixties, the skies were cloudless, yadda yadda. So I drove all the way to Daytona Beach and back, a trip of about three hours total. I had thought of taking pictures, but for some reason didn't feel like doing so. (I really want to get a digital camera; then I think I'll be taking more pictures -- but I want a decent one I can do reasonable zooms with.) International Speedway Blvd takes one past Embry Riddle University, where one of the September 11th terrorists learned to fly. This, and the fact that beach towns are really depressing in cold weather for some reason, killed my idea to park and take a beach walk, so I drove back.
I stopped at Publix, and purchased supplies for my new more-protein, less-carb diet. (More meat, no pasta or potatoes or sugary sweets -- except for sugar and cream in my coffee. No one is taking that away from me.) Then home, to prepare steaks (not a very good cut -- the rest are going in a marinade tonight), grilled onions, and carrots. Yum.
They're just terrified to say so. They are afraid that the US will up and leave, and they'll be stuck in Iraq having to explain themselves to Saddam's forces. And no one will care about the new crop of Iraqis who are shot, gassed, shredded, and otherwise killed by the Fedayeen, because the only real dead Iraqi are ones Americans kill.
They don't trust us, and I don't blame them.
How can I, when we have Western reporters on worldwide cable tv parrotting the Iraqi government line? If I think that makes me feel like shit, imagine how the Iraqis must feel.
How can people still be against this war and be all "oh, the poor suffering Iraqis," when the actual poor, suffering Iraqis want it? Never mind, don't answer that -- I think Jim Treacher got it right:
(Via cut on the bias.)
Well. Some Christian organization has sent a sort of pamphlet to US soldiers in Iraq. It contains, among other things, a prayer for George Bush, which can be torn out and sent to him. This has some people in a snit -- I don't know what else to call a post with the pursed-lipped heading "As usual, it's all about him." Now I'm no Christian (I was raised Methodist/Presbyterian/whatever but among some of today's more fervent practitioners of the faith I feel somewhat like Oscar Wilde felt when asked if he were a Christian: "I don't think so," he replied, "I'm an Irish Protestant"), but excuse me if I refuse to play this game of Shock 'n' Outrage.
For one thing, there is absolutely no -- I repeat, no -- evidence that the president has anything to do with this, or even that he knows anything about this, or if he did, that he wouldn't be embarassed instead of swelling up like a puffer fish with pride. But that seems to be the general tenor of the criticism here: that this organization must necessarily be one of the Dubya's evil, Cthulhu-like tentacle groups through which he (bwahahaahahaa!) intends to control minds and rule Ze Whole Vorld! An acquaintance of Nielsen Hayden's is positively doing backflips of rage at the -- horrors! -- existence of a website called PrayforGeorgeBush.com, even though there is a prominent disclaimer at the bottom of the front page that says: "Webpage Not Authorized by President Bush or any person(s) associated with his administration." But it's a good opportunity to get in a few slams about what a
feebleminded, morally challenged, inbred, penny-ante usurper
Bush is, so hey.
Quite frankly, this hysterical attitudinizing is a major factor in what drove me to switch my party allegiance from Democrat to Republican. After eight years of Clinton -- who I will now say I think is an intelligent man, probably a fun dinner companion, no matter all his other faults* -- and after observing what the Dems must think of as their Wounded Knee (the 2000 Endless Election), it occurred to me that liberals (or what call themselves liberals -- Democrats, progressives, whatever) just can't handle power, either having it or losing it. Either it goes to their heads when they have it and they fuck up somewhere (ibid. Clinton), or they become abso-fuckin-lutely unbearable when they suffer a political setback. When will the anti-Bush faction grow a pair and stop acting like whiny victims? "He stole our election, boohoohoo!" Give me a break. They're like the divorcée who never got over her first marriage.
*I wouldn't leave my daughter alone with him, had I a daughter. Heck, I wouldn't stay in the same room alone with him without a blunt object handy. Nor would I leave the silver unwatched. But I'm sure he's a fine person otherwise.
Peter Arnett is at it again. Anyone who remembers the coverage of the first Gulf War twelve years ago will feel a clammy sort of nostalgia at Arnett's current gangster-groupie act in Baghdad. Funny, he just happened to be in that city on assignment from National Geographic. How convenient. Now, either he is still miffed at the drawers he ruined during the bombardment of the city at the start of the war, or he is just a natural toadie. You make the call.
Dang, Jane Russell was hot.
Is it just me, or did women in the forties have some sort of confidence and glamour that modern women (at least, the ones who pose scantily clad) lack? I look at a picture of Jane Russell, or even Rita Hayworth, and I get the idea that there might be a brain behind all that lipstick. I look at a contemporary "sex object," and I get the idea that she really likes walks in the rain, drinks with little umbrellas in them, and has a collection of teddy bears on her bed. But what do I know.
Well hell, I see that I was born in the wrong era (thousands of liberals agree! Click for larger):
I'm gonna try to skin the blog. First, I have to make skins. Ooh, I have ideas...
I get the most bizarre people emailing me. Someone calling themselves "Nia Caine" emails this:
Your post on a movie site offended me. When you said that you were going to shoot your self because Tom Cruise was starring in the Last Samurai. What's so bad about him anyway??
Jesus H. Christ, that post is from December. Will you people get a life already? And as far as I know, no, there is nothing "wrong" with Tom Cruise -- I used something called "hyperbole" to express my displeasure at the idea of Tom Cruise playing a samurai, though as I understand it he'll be playing a Westerner who gets into the samurai thing as a plot point -- I'm sure he'll be fine in yet another Hollywood potboiler featuring his fine, white teeth. (I probably lost her at "hyperbole" -- damn teenagers.)
I've been remiss: Dave at Dave Does the Blog made me a new button, and I said "Duh -- thanks!" And I didn't put it up for anyone to acquire. D'oh! Anyway, here it is:
You should be able to see it in any browser -- it's PNG format. But if you can't see it, let me know and I'll convert it.
Some of you have probably been wondering what happened to the Bloodthirsty Spleenstress. I haven't been talking about the war a lot on this blog since the conflict has begun. There are a lot of reasons why I haven't been doing so, some of them pretty obvious ones. For one thing, I am not following the coverage twenty-four seven. I'm not watching much tv at all. I don't have cable tv, so I really can't weigh in on the Fox-good/CNN-bad/Al Jazeerah-totally-evil brouhaha. For another thing, what coverage I do get, from the regular networks, just infuriates me. I didn't think anything could be more annoying than sports announcers; I was wrong. Example: a couple of days ago I turned on ABC (I think) and watched footage of an American soldier handing out some food or something to some Iraqi kids, and the war-announcer journalist guy was saying something along the lines of "the sight of Marines stopping their convoy just to give out food and water to the Iraqis might look staged--" I turned it off. I don't have to listen to that crap. I'm not as young as I used to be, and I weigh too much, and I have the feeling that my blood pressure is not as mellow as it was a few years ago.
Also, I have no military education, or knowledge of things War, or any of that. It looks like things are going just fine for our side (yes! we have a side! deal with it), despite the comical quagmire yearnings of the press. I am not particularly worried along those lines. I think Saddam is either dead or not feeling very well, and I look forward to the "Generalissimo Franco is still dead" vibe to last quite some time. Let's see -- what else can I say about it... Oh yeah -- I am certainly not going to get into arguments of whether or not we should have gone there. For one thing -- we are there. Note to the peacenuggets whose new cry is "stop this right now and come back home at once!": it's too late for that. We can't just stop in the middle of things and go "Oops! Sorry -- we've changed our minds." Your "Bring the troops home now!" slogans just look silly. (As if that were anything new.) And as to whether or not this war will turn out to have been a Good Idea After All -- well, I think it will, but who knows? We'll see. Do your own moaning about the unknown on your own time.
So if you come here looking for war discourse you won't find very much of it. You are, of course, going to the Command Post for your war updates, aren't you? And if you want expert opinions, check the blogs by clicking on "all the blogs" on the left. You'll find something. Anyway, here's a blast from the past (Scott reminded me that we haven't seen this guy around here lately):
Photodude discusses the recent suicide bomb attacks in Iraq. The speculation is that these are not conventional Iraqi forces, but terrorists from other Arab countries who are converging on Iraq to "help" their good buddy Saddam (or his bits and pieces) fight the Great Satan. Well good, I say -- let them converge. It will be easier for us to finish them all off if they gather in one place. (Note: all links copied from Photodude's post.)
A Canadian teacher of something called "media democracy" by the name of Judy Rebick has this to say about war coverage:
"The thing that I find most troubling is this kind of excitement about the bombing, you know, almost sexual excitement," she says. "I find it deeply disturbing, really morally repugnant, this thrill over the technology with no comprehension that people are dying."
My first response was, naturally, "Speak for yourself, bee-yatch." But then it occurred to me: hey! What about the right of us war footage junkies (you know I've been glued to the Doom-'n'-Gloom Cavalcade of Quagmire 24-7) to express our sexuality in any manner we please? After all, we're grownups, and we aren't hurting anybody. Sure, real people are getting booboos this time, but it could just as easily all be staged! Like in one of those movies with all the explosions that we Yanks supposedly like to yank off to also. You know what a randy bunch we are, you just can't keep our clothes on and our hands off our personal areas!
But anyway, I am feeling a little oppressed right now. Why is it okay for really ugly peacenuggets to take off their clothes and expose their sagging tits and hairy armpits to any children who might be unlucky enough to be passing by ("Mom? Can I join a monastery? Like, now?") but it's not okay for a clothed American to watch Marines giving our candy to Iraqi babies -- and then mowing them down with his machine gun, laughing all the while, as BBC journalists record the proceedings via Crucifix Cam™? (Journalists suffer for our sins, don't you know?) I say we organize a petition to protest this oppression!
(Via Damian Penny, who should not be blamed for me going off on this tangent. Heh heh -- I said "going off.")
Well, this makes two times today that I have found myself disagreeing with Glenn Reynolds on the relative worth of something he linked to. Hey, it can happen.
Anyway, I'm no economic expert by a long shot, but something strikes me as just plain wrong about the conclusions reached by conservaguy Ramesh Ponnuru (based on this article in the New Republic which I haven't read), and expanded upon by one T. Crown (that's the main site for the link from Instaman -- I know this will come as a stunning shock, but it's a Blogspot site and the archives don't work, so go to the post from March 28 right below the one from 3:13 pm). The premise here is that the discovery of large oil reserves is a Bad Thing for the countries that have them, and destroys their economy, government, and culture. The idea here is that people who are invested with a sudden bounty of revenue will stop being Thrifty and Decent and True, quit working hard, sell their souls to the Eville (American! of course) company that helps them exploit this revenue, and the governments of these poor, fragile baby nations will become corrupt, blah blah.
Of course, I am simplifying the points made,* and perhaps I am missing something -- but it seems to me that all these deep thinkers are missing something too: what other factors led to these supposedly strong, healthy nations (the example of Venezuela is used) to fall apart like cheap cheese the minute they found they had large oil reserves? According to Ponnuru, John Judis, in the New Republic article, states that
the presence of large amounts of oil gives the state too many resources.
Guh. That sentence just strikes me as wrong, bad, based on mistaken premises, and the ideas behind it are way too attractive to certain "fiscal conservatives" who are yet affected by nanny state penny-pinching urges. We show the officious bureaucratic grandma who wants to make everyone wear hand-me-downs out the front door, and here comes her equally penurious sister in through the back door. What I mean by this is: I hear the sounds of "isn't that too extravagant?" coming from certain quarters when it comes to letting the individual citizenry choose how hard they want to work, how much money they want to make, and so on.
What is really unattractive is that this Scroogefest seems to be focused on countries other than the US. For example: I don't know how strongly I can emphasize the fact that it isn't really feasable at this point to cut the Saudis off at the oil pipe. How can I be more blunt: they have nothing else worth selling, and their economy would collapse.
Two: we here in the U.S. have more resources than anybody, with the possible exception of oil (I don't know how much of that we have left, in relation to the Middle East's supply, yadda yadda). I don't hear any of these great minds complaining about the effect on the American economy and government of all our bounty of resources.
Anyway, I stress that I don't really understand the economic factors involved, but something really strikes me as wrong about the idea that a country can have "too many resources" without taking into account all sorts of other factors, like political cohesion, the influence of various strains of Marxism and other religious beliefs on the culture and political system of the countries in question, and so on.
*Update: bolds added for the benefit of those people who helpfully pointed out that I am "oversimplifying" -- something I already admitted to.
Oh by the way, I've mocked up a print-friendly page for you fancy-design-hating folk. It's just the main page; archives and individual links are still colored whatever I fancy. I hope one day to set up a more sohpisticated system of print-only pages using CSS and all that fancy jazz, but for now this will have to do.
Speaking of Robert the Fisk, now he's playing detective. Tim Blair requests that anyone who knows anything about serial numbers on bombs, or whatever it is that Fisk is raving about, email him (Blair, not Fisk). I'm just passing this on.
By the way, how is Fisky getting all this juicy info out of Baghdad? What nice in does he have there that he doesn't get thrown out or detained by the authorities there? No, don't bother answering that. We know that he chose sides ages ago. He'll probably be quite willing to chain himself to one of the place's ubiquitous "baby milk factories." Hm, the thought of Robert Fisk being turned into Fisklets by an American missile is not an unpleasing one...
Why is it that I can never find the image that I saw on the internet last week but didn't copy then? I knew I'd need it. But now I can't find it.
These, my friends, my darling souls
They are, they are the frozen ones...*
Then again, it could be even worse. I could have someone like this oxygen-wasting asscake to look forward to seeing behind the lectern two or three times a week. Imagine going to class knowing that your professor thinks you should die because you are a citizen of the country that has given him a home. Or perhaps even birthed him -- I have no idea where this De Genova character comes from -- Mordor? Uranus? Mongo? -- nor do I care. His eventual destination is the one that waits for us all so that is some comfort.
I forgot: excellent commentary on Professor Asscake by Diane at Letter from Gotham, Cato the Youngest, and Dipnut. These aren't the only ones who have had their say about Mr. "One Million Mogadishus," just the ones I liked the best so far.
*There's nuthin' like defunct goth bands as a soundtrack for one's pretentious musings.
I guess you've all figured out that I redesign my site whenever I'm feeling uninspired and have no idea what to write and am generally in a pathetic state, the kind that makes people look at me and shake their heads impatiently and tell me I should get a life. Wait a minute -- you had no idea? Well -- some kind of friend you are! And who are you anyway? Get out of my head now!
Um -- anyway, I had this idea that I was going to post about, this really Big, Important post on Life, the War, and Everything, and it was going to make all the peacenuggets stop and think about how silly they have been acting, and I was going to have a million dollars in gold coins rain down on me. I had even assembled the books with the snappy quotes to use to bolster my opinion, or at least to burnish my own writing and make me look like the real clever kind of gal who always has a quip ready with which to devastate her opponents.
But I kept putting it off. And then I read that Mark Morford wrote that "the whales know" that War is Not the Answer, or something (I admit I didn't read his latest column, just the excerpt here), and I thought, "What's the use?" I can't even pump out a paper for class on time, and this guy shits out a random collection of words -- or things resembling words, anyway -- every week, and he gets published and paid for it. And Robert Fisk is still treated like a respectable journalist instead of a brass-plated hack, and I am terrified of signing up for a new semester at the university I am going to because I am afraid I'll get someone like the SUNY Buffalo refugee* who moaned about the lack of "student activists and protestors" during a We-Luv-Each-Other-Mmmkay? "open forum" they held at UCF a month after the World Trade Center attack, and I'm afraid that I'll throw a chair at his head if he emits some idiotic antiwar trope, and there will go my chances of ever finishing up getting my freaking bachelor's degree.
*That link is to an entry in my old Livejournal. I like to think that my writing style is improved since then. I was also mistaken about Israel's nuclear capabilities; it is certainly more impressive than Saudi Arabia's, as is the Israelis' fortitude -- if I was in charge in that country, the rest of the peninsula would be a nice, shiny sheet of glass.
Oh, now I feel bad. I said something mean about a fellow blogger who has done me no harm. Oh wait -- that's not what I meant. I feel great. I'll have to remember to do that more often.
You kind of want to make fun of a series like this, but it's actually good.
Uh. I went there, to the actual site with the instructions, or suggestions, or list, or whatever the hell it is (it's a blog, actually, on Blogspot, so have fun waiting for it to load! Go make a roast or resurface your driveway or something while you wait), and I first saw the word "Synergize." Shaking off the effects of encountering that word unprepared, I scrolled down a bit, and came upon the use of the termlet "Win/Win" used in a non-ironic context, and my brain locked up. I had to click back before I started drooling and twitching. So I guess I won't be making fun of it. I guess I won't be reading it at all. So there goes my chance of being Highly Effective, dare I say Proactive, and becoming a Force for Change in the World...
Aieee! The mind rays! They've broken thr--
Robert Fisk has always been a jerk. I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you. Read and see. (I have no doubt that this story is true; I can't imagine anyone going to all that trouble to make up an elaborate lie to make this pathetic excuse for a journalist appear even more idiotic -- because that isn't possible.)
Via the Country Store.
Heh heh... another blogger has escaped the evil confines of Blogspot and found a new home in the safe arms of Movable Type: it's Pejman. Come, join the collective... you cannot resist...
For some reason the thought of Ari Fleischer kicking back at night to watch Fellowship of the Ring is hilarious.
Julie Burchill goes after the peacenuggets with great gusto. So many good quotes:
Surely this is the most self-obsessed anti-war protest ever. NOT IN MY NAME! That's the giveaway. Who gives a stuff about their wet, white, western names?
On one hand the selflessness and internationalism of the soldiers; on the other the Whites-First isolationism of the protesters.
NOT IN MY NAME! is western imperialism of the sneakiest sort, putting our clean hands before the freedom of an enslaved people.
What can I say? In MY name I say "Thank you, Ms. Burchill, for saying what I have been struggling for words to express." (Via Tim Blair.)
Yes, I'm fooling around with the blog, thanks for asking. [Gee, you, uh, sound a little bad tempered there, um... well -- carry on!]
I can't get things quite right here. I've had one complaint about the orangey, but I was tired of white. I hope I have picked a light enough color to read against. I kind of like the color scheme, but I am still tweaking the layout. The new title graphic was made with the Gimp for Windows. That program is still a little buggy, but I'm too lazy to re-install my copy of Photoshop, which is out of date anyway. I'll get around to it... I need it to make gifs -- the guys who make the Gimp are all "you need to get the gif license first." Feh.
Well, that was absolutely unrefreshing. Not to mention my cat decided that the human lying down and turning off the light was the signal for her to rattle the window shutter all night. Can you say "no sleep until 5am?" I knew you could.
And yes, I am working on a site redesign. Yes also I am working on a novel, but that has been the situation since I was about fourteen, so it's not really worth mentioning. Also, I am going to have to ask my instructor for an incomplete, I am thinking of changing my minor or maybe dropping the idea of getting a minor altogether, and I don't even want to think about next semester.
PS: yes, that image in the previous post is supposed to be a spoiler image for Return of the King. The house I would prefer to live in would like Bag End on the inside, but would have Rivendell on the outside. You know that that scene with Aragorn and Arwen in The Two Towers is my future bedroom, my future balcony, and my future back yard, right?
Then again, there are Americans like the wife of Senator Max Baucus (D-Toontown) one Wanda Baucus (do these two have great names for characters on Dexter's Laboratory, or what?) who has the following opinion on Saddam Hussein:
"I think he is very proud of the history of his country. I think it's we Americans who don't know the facts about what anthropologists call 'the cradle of civilization.' When we watch the bombing on television, we really don't seem to understand or appreciate that some of these places are sacred. . . . I disagree with those who say that Saddam Hussein doesn't think about this. He cares about these places and their people."
Uh huh. I love the official senatorial reponse to this latest entry into the Mary Lincoln Bughouse of Fame:
The senator declined to speak to us yesterday, but his chief of staff said in a statement: "Max and Wanda know they can agree to disagree. They respect each other's opinions and engage frequently in thoughtful discussions about any number of topics. And they learn from each other, which makes their marriage stronger. Max's number one priority is doing what's right for Montana and America. He strongly supports the troops and is praying for a quick end to the conflict in Iraq."
Translation: "The doctors told us that it would take at least two to three weeks for the new medication to take effect. In the meantime, Mrs. Baucus has been put in a home."
Cheese-us, I was gonna drop the Michael Moore stuff, but the lies keep on coming: now he claims that the booing was other people booing the original booers:
and then the people supporting what I was saying started booing them, and then it just turned into a (unintelligible) of people fighting with each other in the audience.
A handful of stagehands drowned him out, that's pretty good. But why stop there? The real truth that the facist corporate-owned media is afraid to tell us is that the whole crowd was really cheering the whole time. Yeah! When Moore had the guts to speak out against "the fictition of duct tape," the crowd leapt to its feet! Ben Affleck clapped so hard he shattered his right ulna, Salma Hayek began ululating and manifesting the wounds of Christ, and several other major Hollywood stars were seen collapsing in a fit of near-Pentecostal ecstasy. But then those Oscar Nazis plugged in some canned booing, and replaced the footage of Moore's standing O with earlier shots of Harrison Ford sitting on his hands and Adrien Brody looking contemplative and achingly soulful during the award for Best Key Grip.
Why? So the Red states won't stop going to the movies.
Cowards! Why is the media afraid of the TRUTH?!?
Jim Treacher is my guru.
(CNN transcript link via Blog of Xanadu.)
A remark by Colby Cosh in this entry ("the famously geography-shy American public") reminded me of something that has bothered me for years: the idea that Americans have some sort of cultural block against knowing how to find out where other countries are on the map, and other evidence of xenophobia. It occurs to me that this is a meaningless slam that is based, apparently, on 1) childrens' geography test results -- I'll leave aside the reliability of a method of measuring cultural knowledge of an entire society based on how much its children know about things -- and 2) man-in-the-street interviews -- we know that interviewers, especially for television news outlets, never pick the most comically dumb people for their filler segments. [SARCASM OFF]
Anyway, to say Americans, who have provided the world with satellite imagery of the globe and Mapquest.com, where the travel section of most large chain bookstores have map sections bigger than the travel book sections (and where yes, you can get maps of other countries beside the fifty states), are congenitally afraid of geography is to show just how powerful the meme of "stupid Americans" is. Well, you all just keep telling yourself that. We might not have cared where Iraq was in relation to Illinois last year, but I can bet you even the common American man on the street knows where it is now.
Update: Colby Cosh replies! I have one question though, at the risk of sounding dumb -- what's "geographical imagination?" Also -- yeah, the editors and such went to university, where no doubt they had to "suffer" through at least one geography class -- or maybe not, it's not always a required course these days.
Now I am ready to concede that there is a "Geography sux" theme that runs through much American humor. But humor isn't always a perfect mirror to reality. And that's more of a subset of the School Sux humor genre, which is just a subset of the Hard, Boring Work Sux humor genre. And what's wrong with the example of Mapquest? I admit I just pulled that out of... the air, as I was trying to think of examples of the American map industry to show that people here not only have no problem with utilizing maps to get where they want to go, but that we have invented useful tools for doing so. (Of course Mapquest is just an online version of a fold-out roadmap, but it saves us a trip to the gas station.)
Anyway, I don't think that the reason the news media puts up lousy maps has to do with their fear that a detailed map will scare away viewers. I think it just has to do with the time factor, and the fact that to the professional media this fancy graphics stuff is still considered secondary to the talking heads and the live reporting. As for the lack of complaints about this, I can tell Mr. Cosh that his is not the first complaint I have come across. Mommabear, on On The Third Hand, rejoiced when she found a decent map; in fact, StrategyPage seems to be the map site of choice.
(P.S.: I didn't factor in the attitude of Canadians towards Americans re geometry -- I was following the time-hallowed tradition of ignoring general Canadian attitudes towards anything, and what do they need to know geography for anyway, there's nothing to look at up there but ice and snow and elk. Two! Two snarks in one! Oh, I'm going to hell.)
I think this is supposed to be some sort of anti-American diatribe, but like most of these frothing incompetents, Mr. David Aaronovitch ends up unwittingly making the target of his ire look good. Behold:
Now, among nations, there is only America to fear, and it has never been difficult to get Britons to feel antagonistic towards the Yanks. There is, lurking, some kind of folk/race memory of the time when GIs came courting our girl-friends with nylons and oral sex, neither of which our boys could offer.
(Bolds mine.) Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear that, pre-World-War-Two British oldsters. I certainly hope that you have made up for your youthful deprivation... Anyway, Aaronovitch goes on to say that Americans are "pushy, insensitive, rapacious, successful and rich," and that everyone on the Sceptered Isle is pathetically obsessed with us. You know, I'm not sure he wanted to make his countrymen look like neurotic, sexually-inadequate, envious cowards. Then again, like many of these lefty Brits, he seems to think that humanity is a mirror.
(Via Give War A Chance:.)
Say, I seriously think this photo has been doctored. But what do I know, I'm no expert.
That Rumsfeld certainly is a multi-talented man. When he isn't smiting his enemies, beating up reporters, and otherwise keeping our country's morale on the steady, he's helping America keep it up in other areas.
Ah. That felt better.
I still want some of you to go play in traffic though. Don't piss me off. This has been a public service announcement.
Hey people. Here's a new rule: you will not get into circular arguments on my blog, with me or with anyone else. I will simply turn off comments to that post, and if you try to take the arguments to another post, I will ban your IP.
Also, you do NOT take it upon yourselves to tell me that I am not seeing what I am seeing, or reading what I am reading, or whatever, merely because YOU have interpreted that thing differently, or have some sort of expertise in some related field. Unless you are the actual photographer, writer, whatever, of the thing in question, all you have is an opinion, just like me. You repeating your opinion over and over will only irritate me.
This is MY GODDAMN BLOG MY GODDAMN WEBSPACE I PAY FOR IT. You don't. There is a reason I took down my Paypal account. I did not want to be beholden to anyone -- I do not provide this blog as a service to anyone but ME. This is a place for me to post my own opinions and thoughts. I don't mind the comments, as long as you don't stroll into my personal space as though you owned the place. Here is a place where you can get your own personal space and fulminate and show off. This is MINE.
No, I am not in a very good mood at all, thanks for asking.
I think this war stuff is causing some people to blow their head gaskets. How else to account fot the non-sequitorish comments I am finding on five-month old posts in my defunct blog, like this one, where someone calling themselves "Celia" left the following totally-unrelated-to-the-subject (a brief statement of irritation at my cable provider) comment:
The flyer in my Time Warner cable bill has a contest for "San Diego's 50 best Moms" -- and they show a woman in pink, frying bacon and eggs. What year is it? Bastards.
Look, freaks -- and I mean that most kindly -- if you have a sudden thought, and have the urge to record it for posterity, the thing to do is to write it on a napkin, in your notepad, in MS Word, or ON YOUR OWN GODDAMN BLOG. Not in the comment section of an old post on someone else's website.
What the hell is next, grocery lists, people's phone numbers? Why don't you use my web space as a trashdump for something useful, like your bank account pin numbers? Thanks so much.
Update: though to be fair to Celia, maybe she thought I was upset at the content of my cable flyer too. I wouldn't know, though -- I throw everything from TWC in the garbage, including the bills.
You know, I'm not even shocked anymore. H. D. Miller at Travelling Shoes links to this -- thing by one James Carroll of the Boston Globe. I'm not even going to post a quote -- go read it for yourselves. (Have antacids handy.) Basically, from his perch on high Mr. Carroll sees no difference between the precision bombardment of certain government structures in Baghdad, after ample announcement to a "leader" who basically laughed off our promises, and the unprovoked attack on office workers by terrorists. Where was it Dante envisioned the "neutrals" roasting?
This photo on iraqwar.ru, supposedly of a downed Apache helicopter, is so obviously and ineptly Photoshopped. Looks like the Russkies have even lost their touch at convincing disinformation. (Yes, the Russians are being such pills I'm gonna start using old Cold War slang, just because.)
(Via The Command Post.)
CBS. Guess what: urban warfare is eminent! And... there will be casualties! (So, um, what were those other things? Freak accidents?) Oh, and sandstorms are bad. No shizzitsky, Clouseau.
NBC: they're talking to relatives of soldiers. There was no on-camera blubbering. One man is asked about the POWs and how it makes him feel and stuff. (One of the POWs has family here.) He says something about how it made one even angrier and more determined to fight. Oops, Iraqi thugs and/or Al Qaeda guys or whoever you are, I guess you didn't count on that.
Ancient raisin of the Left Eugene McCarthy is apparently still alive, or at least he is moving about in an almost lifelike manner. Of course, he has Important Views on stuff. Here is a sample:
McCarthy, renowned for speaking his mind and dishing out quips, blamed President Bush for using religion to wage his war. "This is a faith-based war," McCarthy said. "The worst thing is faith-based religion."
Those words were cut 'n' pasted and served up to you with no added byproducts or preservatives, just a touch of emphasis on our favorite sentence. We provide only the freshest examples of idiocy here at Spleenville.
Here's an interesting interview with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, on the need for the government of New Zealand to start offering tax breaks if they really want to boost the film industry in that country. He's quite sensible on this matter -- his films were the only ones allowed to take advantage of a tax loophole that the government promptly closed. But apparently the government is inhabited by wacky Green Socialists of some sort to whom the words "tax incentive" are like garlic to vampires, so I don't hold out much hope for his scheme. (You can also get a realvideo of the interview here -- I recommend doing a "save target as" and downloading it to your own hard drive. The video also has him talking about the reasons he didn't go to the Oscars -- 1) he was busy finishing up ROTK, 2) he just didn't think it was appropriate at this time, no security worries or antiwar shizzle, just he thought partying at this time inappropriate. Personally, I think the thought of flying twenty hours just to go to the Oscar hullabaloo struck him as being about as much fun as going to the dentist. He did call the LOTR-themed Oscar party some fans threw in L.A. instead.)
From the Washington Post:
As for Robbins, we said hello to him in a crush of partygoers that included his life partner, Susan Sarandon (both of them had displayed their deep commitment to nonviolence by holding up the two-fingered sign of peace at the Academy Awards). Robbins flashed a smile and jovially shook our hand -- Bob Roberts at a campaign stop. But when we mentioned that we'd had the pleasure of talking recently with 79-year-old Lenora Tomalin -- conservative Republican, George W. Bush supporter and wry observer of her daughter Sarandon -- his expression turned cold.
"Wait. You're the one who wrote about Susan's mother?"
Robbins narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips -- the secretly murderous neighbor in "Arlington Road."
"You wanted to be divisive and you caused trouble in my family," he went on -- the unjustly imprisoned banker in "The Shawshank Redemption." He added that it was especially low to have quoted Tomalin's speculation that he and Sarandon had politically "brainwashed" her grandson Jack Henry.
"At least you got Jeb Bush to call her -- that was great," Robbins spat -- the bitterly cynical studio executive in "The Player." He moved within inches and said into our ear: "If you ever write about my family again, I will [bleeping] find you and I will [bleeping] hurt you."
Tim Robbins playing Tim Robbins at the Oscars.
I also read about this incident on Boycott Hollywood. Say, isn't threatening people with bodily harm kind of against the law or something? Oh well, I'm sure Mr. Robbins didn't mean it. He was probably just having a little fun with the reporter, you know how those Hollywood types are, always with the joshing and the hijinks!
Michael Moore is a lying ratbag motherfelcher. Here's an mp3 of the Oscar segment where he was booed. The boos are clearly more than "five." And he tries to claim he got his friends to do the boos? To show "diversity of opinion"? Lying sack of donkey vomit.
(The mp3 was made by Bobby Allison Gallimore. There are also links to various videos, of Moore's after-Oscar speech, and the segment itself, and so on, available in the comments. I haven't visited the sites because I don't want to see his overfed mug or hear his pustulent lies right now.)
(Just so you're warned. Heh heh -- I'm not obsessed, I just thought of one more thing I wanted to share with you all. Really!)
Anyway, one more thing that I just thought about that makes me despise Moore even more. You know the way he dragged all the other documentary filmmakers up on stage with him, ostensibly to show that he was "no better than them, we're all winners!" but really to show how magnanimous he was, sharing his mana with the lesser beings in approved alpha male style. So they all had to go up there, because not to would have made them look like sore losers. And then when he started his diatribe, at least a couple of them looked kind of like they didn't want to be up there, and one guy even shifted back a little -- but none of them could leave, because that would have made the Hollywood shark pond think they were disagreeing with Moore and therefore automatically agreeing with the "other side" (you know, all those evil conservatives and Bush supporters and Middle Americans and all the stagehands and workers that these celebrities are always acting like they care about but in reality treat like dirt). So the other filmmakers, whose documentaries will disappear into the dusty obsolete film can where documentaries that lose Oscars go, were forced to stand there and look as if they were supporting him. The reality-manipulating, blatant, propagandistic bastard.
Of course, I could be wrong about this. Maybe all the doc guys got together and planned to do the all-on-stage thing and give Moore his platform anyway no matter who won. But really, did we think that anyone other than Moore would win this year?
In a related note, Mean Mr. Mustard proposes a petition drive to have Moore's Oscar rescinded, on account of as how he won the thing for "Best Documentary," and documentaries are supposed to be non-fiction, and all that.
More Moore-slaps, this time from James Poniewozik in TIME. His basic premise is "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." In other words, if the self-styled liberal intelligensia wants to get people on their side, they should stop treating them the way Michael Moore does:
The remainder of the speech was no improvement. There was the general hectoring and finger-wagging — and I don't mean finger-wagging figuratively; the man literally thrust his finger at the camera. A man with Moore's sense of history has no excuse not to realize that makes him look like a crackpot dictator shouting a harangue from the balcony.
Why is this bad? Because:
More people in America identify as conservative than liberal, like it or not. So lefties who want to accomplish anything outside Santa Monica and Manhattan need moderate support even more than their righty analogues do
The problem is, many of these people don't want to coax "conservative Americans" onto their side. They have based their entire career on being against what they see as stuffy, puritanical, no-fun Middle America; in other words, their parents. They are stuck in "rebel without a cause" mode. They have taken that line in The Wild One ( Girl: "What're you rebelling against, Johnny?" Johnny: "Whaddya got?") as their central ideology, even though in their professional and personal lives they are as hidebound to their own traditions as a deacon of the First Lutheran Church of Des Moines is to his.
One of their traditions is to look upon people outside the entertainment industry -- and in this country politicians are not necessarily outside the entertainment industry -- as an easily-led, unintelligent bovine mass. The relationship of entertainers to the audience is necessarily partly antagonistic -- after all, these are the people who must be persuaded to part with their hard-earned money to view the fruits of all that expensive location shooting and studio time. But since most entertainers are also unstable and have massive egos, this seems to translate all too easily into a paranoid view of the audience, especially the middle-class, suburban portion of it, as being a stand-in for every parental admonishment, unfavorable review, directorial berating, and that little inner critic that everyone has that tells you "you suck." So to many activist entertainers, the idea of actually treating an audience member like an equal and trying a little sweet persuasion doesn't even occur to them.
(Via Jim Treacher again.)
Yes, I know, the Oscars are over, and now you feel... empty. But never fear, I'm here to keep banging the drum -- not of war, war gets "drums" plural, the slut -- but of the endless Oscar rehash! Why? Because there is Michael Moore bashing to be had, and I just can't get enough of it. I've had some MM fans attempt to defend their hero, and they tasted great! I've developed quite an appetite for them. Thanks to Fametracker, we have this tidbit to enjoy:
"Hi, I'm Michael Moore. It's a good thing you gave me an award for Best Documentary Feature and recognized the one thing I do better than anyone else: championing popular causes in such a way that even those people who agree with me fundamentally despise me for acting as their public spokesman. But I don't care! 'Sense of occasion'? What's that? 'Speaking persuasively and making cogent arguments instead of screeching slogans'? I've never tried that before -- why start now? No, I feel that the best way to get my message across -- my rather popular message, which is that war is bad -- is by bloviating semi-coherently and screaming over the boos and basically acting like a would-be bad-ass high-school senior trying to rile up the class with some confused crap in opposition to 'The Man,' filibustering as long as I can until the principal hauls me offstage to detention. So the more you boo me, the more my inner high-school senior -- the part of me that has cobbled together a simplistic political attitude from chants I've heard at protests and the table of contents of The Nation -- the more convinced I am that I, and only I, am right. So, now that you've given me this award, financing my next documentary will be a cinch. I think I'll make my next movie about how America is, like, bad."
[Have we taken Baghdad yet and started building Walmarts and Starbucks there? We haven't? Aaghh! We've lost! Run! It's a quagmire!]
Dipnut has a question about Michael Moore. You know, it's something I've been wondering too.
Hmm... shit balloon, mutated cow... shit balloon, mutated cow.... He's right -- it is a quandary!
She has made a button you can use to link to Chris Muir's very funny "Day By Day" comic. Look over to the right menu in the category "Worthy Causes and Sites." (Please right-click and copy the image to your own hard drive and then upload it to your server; don't link to it from mine or Susanna's. I will hunt you down and feed you to the wolverines if you do not follow my advice. My wolverines are hungry.)
This is the sort of thing my friends send me. (Needs Shockwave.)
It occurred to me some time ago, after reading various anti-warrior commentary, that there is a reason that they will never provide a coherent and rational solution to the problem of how to combat terrorism, terrorist-sponsoring states, and so on: these people have no solutions. They're like the annoying people in your work lunch group, who keep rejecting all your restaurant choices ("Taco Bell gives me the runs," "Jack-in-the-Box is too greasy and I'm afraid of dying from food poisoning," "I don't eat Chinese/Italian/Mexican/Thai food") but when you ask them where they want to eat they say, "Oh, I don't know -- you pick something!" And then the round of rejection starts all over again, until lunch hour is almost over and you only have time to grab a bag of chips from the office vending machine.
Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged contains a moment that is apropos to this situation. Her exasperated heroine has been frustrated in her attempts to deal with the incompetents who are thwarting her every plan to fix her ailing railroad business. Their influence is entirely negative, consisting of destruction of anything that actually works. She finally asks one of them (I forget which -- I am not going to hunt through the whole book to find it) what they want her to do. Of course they have no plan: "You'll think of something!" is the reply. Without going into her philosophy, Rand makes it clear that she finds that to be one of the most horrifying phrases in the English language.
These anti-war people, if you ask them, are ready to claim that they want to "help" the Iraqi people and that they don't approve of terrorism, and so on, but when you ask them what they want to do about it that won't somehow end up with someone getting hurt, their only idea is to "get someone else to do something about it." Just don't ask who that "someone" has to be -- they have no answer to that.
(Part of this post was originally a comment to the post linked above.)
Here's a little Oscar tidbit that might help break down the lingering Moore-stench:
Sean Astin appeared on Joan and Melissa Rivers' miniature red carpet to send a message out to our troops in Iraq, via television. In short, he said that since the beginning of the war he got down on bended knee to pray for them, and that he's still praying for them and for a victory, and that he hopes for their safe return.
Just a final note before I force myself to go to bed: in light of the capture and possible execution of some American soldiers by Iraqi forces, I find Mr. Michael Moore's Oscar remarks especially disgusting and inappropriate. That, coupled with his deliberately unattractive appearance and unpleasantly boorish manner, might also have been the impetus behind the booing he received at tonight's ceremony. I certainly hope so.
On the whole, I was actually pleased more often than not at the restraint most of the actors and other Hollywood types showed. Perhaps they were only restrained out of fear for their careers, but it was welcome nonetheless. Susan Sarandon looked as if she had been sucking on a lemon all night, but wasn't half the bitch she could have been. The foreign guys who said stuff about peace seemed more sad and confused than angry, and that made them kind of endearing.
On the whole, though, the Oscars remind me of the annual Christmas party the mortgage company I used to work for back in Miami would throw every year. The family that owned the business was wealthy and they always gave their employees a nice extravaganza in one of the fancy motels on Miami Beach (though they were stingy about the bar; we usually only got two or three free drink tickets). They would have little ceremonies where the they'd pick the Employee of the Year, things like that, have a Christmas raffle, and so one. Everyone dressed in their best, there were talent shows put on by different departments, dancing, speeches by the bosses and the owner of the company and so on.
The Oscars are just an annual party for the employees of the big Hollywood entertainment industry. There is actually very little glamour in working in the movies; it's all about money and deals. The only people who get really excited about the pearls of wisdom dropping from the lips of the "stars" are the undereducated peasants in the media.
Mr. Helpful has some helpful words for Stephen King, after sitting through the new movie based on one of his stories, Dreamcatcher. Sample:
1. The crippled/shunned/outcast/socially unacceptable/retard character who actually possesses numerous redeeming traits and ends up being the savior of us all. A lot of times, King makes this character a child and whenever I see this idiotic plot device, I immediately think of that scene in the Cohen brothers marvelous Barton Fink where the assistant to a "great" writer describes the routine plot machinations as involving a "waif" or a "helpless female" or an "orphan" or sometimes all three. King obviously has great empathy for the less fortunate amongst us but let me just say to him one of the great truths of life which is "so what, you fucking egomaniac??!!"
You want to know the real reason? No, it's not because I want to hear that bit from "All That Jazz" ten thousand times. It's not even to see actors attempt to enunciate coherent political views (and melt down pitifully). It's so I won't have to work on this paper that is due in class tomorrow. I have to read two Annie Dillard essays. One is about weasels (the animal, not the French). I just can't do it.
Looks like I'm going to pull another all-nighter. I wonder if there are going to be a lot of "I got sick over Spring Break" absences.
Must... not... give in... to urge... to make fun of Pedro Almodovar's hilarious Espanish accent.
Because, you know, that would be wrong.
"Epa epa! Andale! Legalité!"
I don't get this montage of Oscar winners just sitting there and applauding themselves. Talk about boring filler.
Dustin Hoffman looks like his best friend just died. What's up with that?
Jeez, I thought half these actors were dead. Maybe it's a "we're not dead yet, Hollywood!" thing. I dunno.
I still haven't gotten over how grizzled and old Chris Connelly looks. What's next, Kurt Loder is fat and bald?
Olivia De Havilland wins "best gown" if you ask me. Nice blue color, tasteful without making her look like she's ready for her own funeral. I can't believe I'm talking about the gowns. Somebody shoot me.
Jeez, they let Adrian Brody go on and on. All I can think of is "he looks just like Emo Philips." (Who is still around.) Oh well, he said a nice thing about his friend who's in the troops in Iraq.
Did Dustin Hoffman just say artists can "correct the future"? My head. Hurts.
Uh oh, Babs is speaking. She. Is. Enunciating. Every. Word. Carefully. So we numbskull "little people" can get it, I guess.
Update: Eminem beat out U2? That's... weird.
Click to enlarge (har!):
That was a nice performance by U2. Nice song. At least it wasn't "All That Jazz." Colin Farrell has a nice Irish accent. Bored now.
We needed to give Saddam Hussein an Oscar! Hasn't he done some of those "Great Leader my people worship me" propaganda things? Heck, an Oscar for "Best Performance As a Bloodthirsty Tyrant" would have been just the thing to let Saddam know the world loved him and only wanted what was best for him. Why, we'd have had Peace in Our Time in no time! (How pathetic was that, Michael Davis saying winning an Oscar gave him a "sense of my identity"?)
Good one Stevo! "...It's so sweet backstage." (Laughter.) "Right now the teamsters are helping Michael Moore into the trunk of his limo." (Gales of laughter, clapping, Sean Astin (Sam) among them.)
I. HATE. PETER. JENNINGS. WITH. EVERY. LAST. BREATH. IN. MY. BODY.
I hate him almost as much as Kevin Parrott hates the song "All That Jazz."
The way that some people say "the war with Iraq" sounds like they are saying "war with a rack." Maybe that woman's from that Fat Greek thing's rack.
The actors in the audience look like they are bored out of their skulls. I get the feeling Denzel Washington is taping CNN back home. I don't know why.
Well. Let's see if Michael Moore wins a golden doorstopper.
Ah. I see that Hollywood still fears the fat man. I wonder how many Oscar committee members Michael Moore threatened to sit on.
For chrissake, couldn't he shave?
Oh my, they are booing Michael Moore's anti-Bush speech. Some of them, anyway. Some of them look happy for the diversion. "Man, I was about to fall asleep when Moore's B.O. wafted this way." Come on, an actor could say "wafted."
Poor sad little foreign guy (whoever he was -- missed the name). He's so cute, I just wanna ruffle his hair and give him a lolly.
The only thing interesting about the Oscars is the clips of the movies. I am so going out tomorrow and watching The Two Towers again.
An ABC anchorlady came on just now and said "What the stars said about the war; we'll show you after the Oscars!"
And I really, really want to smack Peter Jennings good and hard. With a nail-studded cluebat. "Far away from the cameras." You putz.
Is that green sack J. Lo is wearing her version of a burkha? (Hey, for her, she's dressed modestly.)
I've got the Oscars on, but it's particularly dull this year. I don't think we're going to get any ghoulish thrills like Halle Berry's Bilbo Baggins imitation of last year.
Blame it on Oscar... this post, from February 13th, has continued to attract fulminators of every stripe. Here's the latest entry, which contains those well-worn arguments that we have grown to know and love. I don't even have the heart to fisk it -- actually, I'm kind of tired. Enjoy, from Meghan:
Let's just start with you Donna, poor, poor deluded Donna.
(She's responding to the previous commenter on that post.)
"You would not have the right to say what you think in any other country..."
In fact, people all over Europe have the right to say what they think. And their leaders listened to them. It's this funny little thing called Democracy. You know, that thing we're supposedly bringing to the Middle East. You've heard of it, it's that thing of which fundamentalist Muslims are supposedly jealous?
Any of you knuckleheads ever hear of a guy called McCarthy?
Any of you hypocrites ever hear of a guy called Jesus? He was certainly anti-war. And don't throw out that "eye for eye" crap. That was in the old Testament and specifically repudiated by Jesus.
ANYWAY. Neither Osama nor Saddam would have any fucking power if it weren't for Bush Sr., Rumsfeld and Cheney.
And, let's not forget my propagandized compatriots. (Oh, wait, that's right. Only ignorant denizens of the third world are vulnerable to propaganda, not desperate, poor people in Middle America.) The French lost more soldiers in World War I than America has lost in ALL ITS WARS COMBINED. Perhaps they have a better sense of what war does, as opposed to Americans, for whom war is something you watch on TV and cheer for like a sporting event? And, while Hitler was taking over Europe, after he had already killed hundreds of thousands of Jews, America was carrying on normal diplomatic relations with him. In fact, the Bush family continued to conduct buisiness with Nazis even after we entered the War in 1941.
And as far as movies are concerned, the movie industry already waters down any thoughtful or remotely "offensive" movie for you people. What more do you want? How bout the kind of movies that were made with ths approval of the Chinese or Soviet governments (to the exclusion of anything not in line with government directives), only ours are all pro-Bush? Pro-Life? Pro-Creationism? That'd be a great way to celebrate the freedom we, nominally, enjoy in this country.
In case any of you were wondering, I'm with Mr. Kim du Toit:
Isolationist? Not me. I believe we should act as the world's Raid, exterminating cockroaches like Saddam Hussein wherever they appear.
You don't like it? Tough shit. The "world community" can talk to the hand. The "world community" is content to let people in Thug World countries suffer so creamy-voiced academics can make speeches and write papers. All the "world community" cares about is looking good. Screw the "world community."
And in case you still aren't sure, this illustrates what I care about what the "world community" thinks:
So please take your whinges about the "world community" and how we have to treat thug nations the same as civilized, law-abiding nations to someone else's blog. You'll find plenty here.
If this story is true, so much for the vaunted powers of the Geneva Conventions. I have gotten into some arguments recently with some antiwar persons who seem to think that the mere invocation of the name of those documents has the power to turn swords into plowshares and ruthless dictators into cuddly lambs. This would seem to be an indication that those powers don't work outside the confines of the nations that put those documents together.
(Via American Empire, who has links to more stories.)
Update: Kos weighs in. Apparently our "conduct" in Afghanistan, where we freed that nation from the grip of the Taliban, so that millions of Afghan refugees were able to return home and the people there have the possibility of being able to build a normal life, is not going to get us any "sympathy." Sure, no sympathy from the thugs and brigands and murderers we are fighting, whose side Kos has apparently taken. (And note the Magic Phrase is uttered in the very first paragraph.) Kos can go to hell.
Just when you thought they couldn't get any stupider... Michele links to this poignant tale of woe about the sufferings of some peacenuggets who had to spend a whole night in custody in San Francisco. Read of their travails and weep -- with laughter:
We understand that we were not on vacation, but it was unacceptable the way we were treated," said a protester who gave her name as Pancetta, 24, of Berkeley.
Overnight, some protesters slept fitfully on the ground in small holding cells that housed 25 each. Others slept on mats with blankets in a gymnasium.
Some women were addressed by deputies as "little girl" or "hon," one protester said.
I swear by the bones of Mother Theresa I have cut and pasted these words without altering a single one. And I hope that "Pancetta" is not the name on her birth certificate. Or maybe I do. I don't know what would be worse -- the idea that her parents named her "bacon" in Italian, or that she chose to call herself that. I leave you, my loyal readers, to come up with appropriately tasteless jokes. I am going to try to get some sleep.
Well, since I can't sleep, this goes out to Mike, who requested it. I don't usually do requests, so don't be all thinking you can ask me for stuff. It don't work that way. The mistress gives only when she's in a givin' mood, see what'm sayin'? Now go show Mike some love.
(psst: hold your mouse cursor over the pic for the secret message!)
Hussein badly injured, Uday dead. That's what this Daily Telegraph article is almost practically sure of. It coudn't happen to a nicer pair of guys. Now what about Qusay? Get that fugly creep too. (I saw footage of the brood on teevee last night. Those two were the fugliest pair of beings I have laid eyes on. At the very least, the Iraqis have the right to better-looking leaders.)
(Via Viking Pundit.)
Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?"
This was after an account of how his Iraqi cab driver painstakingly explained to him just how much they wanted to get rid of Saddam, so much so that they were willing for us to wage war on them to do it.
Ghost also has a lot of links to various articles recounting the antics of that wacky Hussein guy and his spawn. Sample: "...rusty butcher hooks--" No, I really shouldn't. You antiwar holdouts might not want to read them -- you'll get really bummed out. Better just to forget about it, right?
Steve H. connects to an article in a South Korean paper that purports to show that the majority of people in that nation are French. In other words, they believe that we want to conquer Iraq and steal all its oil, yadda yadda.
The position the United States seems to be in these days with many of its supposed allies can be described using this analogy: we are like the guy in a marriage characterized by bickering, backbiting, and ceaseless accusations and contradictory demands that he is unable to fulfill. Nothing he can say will please his bitter shrew of a spouse, whom he married out of obligation rather than love. She is constantly threatening him with divorce, but the minute he even hints at wanting to leave on his own terms rather than be ignomiously thrown out and then soaked for alimony for all he is worth, she pulls out the tears and the claims of being too weak to go it on her own, accuses him of abandonment, and so on.
The Iraq situation: she's found out about the girl he's been trying to help, who's been trapped in a relationship with a brutal thug. (Guess who.) The husband is trying to help this girl for his part in getting her into trouble -- let's say he didn't help her years ago when he could have -- but he doesn't plan on leaving his wife for her. But you know how insecure shrewish wives are.
Our relationship with Britain is also part of this scenario. See, the guy also has a friend, an old ex-girl friend. They had a real serious blow out in the past, which means they will never get married, but that is all behind them now and they have stuck to each other through thick and thin where it counts. Naturally, the wife is jealous of that relationship too.
What we really need, in other words, is not a World Court, but a World Divorce Court. It's time this marriage was ended. Wifey has to learn to stand on her own two feet -- and learn that doing so does not mean obsessing over every last little thing that her ex-husband does after that. She has more than enough wealth socked away in little accounts she has kept secret from us, so she doesn't need any alimony. She doesn't need us to hold her hand. (Isn't that what she is always saying?) I say start the divorce proceedings now. After all this war-against terror stuff is done with the next words I want to hear are "All rise -- World Divorce Court with Judge Rummy is now in session!"
"Láthspell I name you, Ill-news; and ill news is an ill guest they say." No one likes to hear bad news, least of all those who have staked out a position on the moral high ground. The latest intended victim of one of these Lords of Nuance is Dixie Flatline, who made the unpopular speculation that the American serviceman involved in the recent assassination on his own fellow soldiers might just be a Muslim. And even though Mr. Flatline's speculation looks likely to be proved right, that does not seem to matter to the Gríma Wormtongues of the net. All that matters is that they continue to control the high ground.
Update: for a more measured response, which counsels caution instead of immediately coming on with both "Silence, you racists!" barrels blasting, check out Andrew Olmsted.
2nd Update: and here's another.
3rd Update: Dr. Frank weighs in on the possible religious-ideological implications of the solder's actions. Dr. Frank is by no means a knee-jerk, round-'em-all-up Muslim hater.
It's Canadian Friends of America. No really. It's true! Steal an image to link:
There's more on the site.
Meryl Yourish has a perfect reply to Yet Another Hollywood Imbecile. Now it's Roy Scheider doing the sneering. His target? The herd-like, easily-brainwashed American public. His take on the war is basically that we -- or rather, the non-antiwar-protesting portion of the American public -- have been hypnotized by all those waving flags, that we're basically just troop groupies. Yeah, whatever, lousy-sequel-to-2001 star. Anyway, Meryl bags these folks. When I was a certain age, I thought I and my peers were sooo much smarter than those dimbulbs in the Reagan administration, with their simplistic cowboy ways that only brought down the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War. The thing is, these celebs think that because they are rich and their faces are known by millions, and because in their professions they get to pretend to be all sorts of different characters, that they have special insights into What's Really Going On in the cosmos. But they don't -- they actually live in a bell jar surrounded by yes-men and sycophants whose job it is to constantly puff up their egos and the fragile self-esteem that most entertainers seem to have, and to shield their charges from as much of unpleasant real life as possible. Even the lesser Hollywood lights get this sort of treatment, as much as their place on the Hollywood food chain will get them. But strip away all of this and you have a collection of people who are usually no more well-informed (and in many cases, are not capable of being any more well-informed) on politics and other matters outside their sphere than the average cashier at a suburban grocery store. Rather less so.
I can only hope that the actions of these relatives of one of the Marines killed in the chopper crash in Iraq are due to their being in shock, and not due to some deep rot in American society that causes people to think nothing of this sort of dishonor. Read this entry on Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing and you'll see what I mean.
Then at break, I'm standing around the lockers, and we're discussing the war. My friend Alex was complaining about the necessity of war.
Alex: I mean, I just don't want anyone to die, you know?
Me: People are dying. Saddam is feeding them into plastic shredders and laughing.
Alex: That's not true. You're making that up.
(I pull the Ann Clwyd article out of my pocket)
Me: Am not. Look.
Alex: Whatever. It's just one of your stupid conservative writers, I don't trust them either.
Me: Clwyd is a Labour MP from Wales. It's in the London Times.
Alex: Well then, she had bad sources.
Me: She went there and got the testimony directly from people who'd seen it.
Alex: Well, she misunderstood them, then!
Finally, someone who knows how to orate. Skip the lead-up blather from the article writer and go down to the third paragraph where the quoted bit starts.
(Via David C. Hill.)
Start walkin.' (Note: you'll need Windows Media Player to view the video.)
Via a small victory.
Conrad the Gweilo takes down a Stupid White Man.
A study in contrasts (click for larger):
Possibly thinking that no one would notice or care, CBS online used an obviously fake photo of B-52s "in formation over Baghdad" on their website. One problem: this is the internet. Instead of having to sit and grumble at an inaccurate or wrong tv newscast, and at the most only be able to make a phone call or write a letter of complaint (which would then be judiciously round-filed like as not), today's viewers can publish their own refutations on the very same medium that carried the error or lie. Ain't the internet grand?
According to Bill Hobbs, a CNN newscaster described Iraq as "a republic, like the United States." Boy, am I glad I don't have CNN. My teevee would be in little pieces all over the floor, and I just bought it a few months ago.
For some reason the New York Times took down this photo, but this is the internet, where you can run but you can't hide. (If you aren't sure, it's an Iraqi guy hugging an American soldier.)
(Via Michael Totten, who has many more nice photos.)
[Warning to stuffed shirts, prigs, and professional mourners: yes, this is a frivolous post on the war. I am not going to act like the whole enterprise is one big fun fest, but I refuse to wear a hair shirt either. If that gets all up your crack, you are invited to take your eyes elsewhere.]
Well, it looks as if the British forces are going to keep their title of Best Looking Troops, which my friends and I bestowed upon them during the last Gulf War twelve years ago.
Well. That's a lot of explosions. Peter Arnett sounds... giddy. Saddam Hussein's "presidential palace," about a mile away from Arnett's hotel, is being quickly reduced to a pile of dust.
I wish Tom Brokaw would shut up.
Alex Knapp lists all the countries that are supporting the U.S. in its actions in Iraq. Some commenters have pointed out that many of these countries are small and insignificant, and can't or haven't given us any money, unlike in the last Gulf War, so therefore their support doesn't count for much. Oh. Never mind then. Sorry, little buddy nations! You're not big enough to participate in the grownup world yet!
For those who still think that this Iraq thing sprung up out of nowhere, here's the Iraqi Timeline from 1991-2003 by Venomous Kate. (Via Michele.) And for those who are still under the impression that there is zip, zilch, nada evidence to connect Saddam Hussein and terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, here is a helpful compendium of links and sources, compiled by Alex Knapp -- Part One, and Part Two.
Michael Moore's film Bowling for Columbine is completely debunked as a documentary. There is a word for this sort of film: propaganda.
This little town in Iraq doesn't seem too unhappy with the US-led invasion:
A few men and boys ventured out, putting makeshift white flags on their pickup trucks or waving white T-shirts out truck windows.
"Americans very good," Ali Khemy said. "Iraq wants to be free."
Some chanted, "Ameriki! Ameriki!"
(Via Silent Running -- see the entries for March 22 -- yes, it's already tomorrow in Australia/New Zealand.)
It's pretty dark and rainy outside:
Lightning expected and gusty winds too. Well, I did have a bunch of things to do before I had to go to work... Well, I have to do them anyway, rain or no rain. (Like pay my electric.) Sigh.
Here's a transcript of some reactions of Iraqis in America to the war in Iraq. I don't think they'll be donning puppet heads or throwing up on the sidewalk for Saddam any time soon:
Many of these Iraqi-Americans fled after persecution from the regime of Saddam Hussein, and have worked to dismantle that regime ever since. Here, the president's ultimatum brought cheers. (Applause) Activist Emad Dhia was especially pleased.
Via Instapundit. Glenn wonders where stories like this were before the war started. So do I. Sure, you'd get the occasional interview snippet with an Iraqi exile in favor of regime change or talking about the misery of life in Iraq, but mostly the stories were from a "these poor victims" angle. There was scarcely a hint anywhere that Iraqis could be considered independent actors in their own right. Better to keep them penned in the Helpless Brown Victim corral.
Okay, I don't want to hear about the damn "capitulation form" anymore. I'm not in the Iraqi Republican Army, I don't have to sign it. And I don't think they get CBS news on Iraqi satellite teevee.
I just had to shut the box off. An anchorfemale asked some guy (didn't get his name, he was some suit in the teevee studio) about how the helicopter crash that has so far resulted in the first (and only) fatalities in the war "made the troops feel." He started to reply something about "it brings the reality of the war home--" I pressed the power button on the remote before I could hear him finish it with "to the soldiers." Stupid suited-and-tied asshead, do you think that any of those soldiers don't know they can get killed?
A dispatch from the hermetically-sealed biodome known as Hollywood, concerning the Oscars, comes from one Robert Greenwald, a producer and the founder of elite peacenugget group Artists United:
Greenwald said he was unaware of any mass move by stars to boycott the ceremony, if it goes ahead. He said celebrities, like other Americans, were struggling to find a balance between life as usual and their personal response to the war.
"The Oscars epitomize that. It is a heightened version of regular life. The question of what people think they should do or not do around the Oscars are symbolic of a series of questions that people are struggling with as to what they are going to be doing in their lives around the war," he said.
Emphasis mine. Yup, you read it right -- the Oscars are just like real life, only on a higher, more intense plane. You mundanes in the real world depend on us to add color and importance to your drab "real" lives! Without us to "symbolize" your concerns you wouldn't know how to think about them!
(Via The Gweilo Diaries.)
Oh jeez, the reporter on NBC has his gasmask on and there are sirens going on in the background. Ook.
"The Corner of Shock and Awe" works for me.
Here's a break in the war stuff: if your computer has the capabilities, you can watch clips of The Two Towers as well as interviews with Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson on MSNBC. You can even watch bits of all those other movies that are up for Oscars, if such things interest you.
I'm watching the roundup of the
Saddam Hussein fan club meetings "peace protests" on ABC. The main attitude seemed to be: "The world isn't to our liking! Waaah!" Of course the way they have the footage stitched together makes it looks as if these gatherings of loons are 1) larger than they actually were, and 2) coordinated with one another. And then that Peter Jennings came on with his snooty little voice beeping something about "it's hard for Americans to understand the depths of the anger that--" Click, I changed the channel. Jennings has become a real sphincter in the past couple of years; I'd rather watch Dan Rather tear up then listen to Jennings saying "aboot."
The Iraqi Army has "for the most part, given up"?
"Coalition forces all over Iraq"?
From Fox teevee news. And then they started griping about -- what else -- the lack of "shock 'n' awe." Quite frankly I think some overeager journalist misheard somebody talking about some event in Saginaw, Michigan, and once the VIPs heard the rumors they decided to let it ride.
Oh my god. Some protesters in San Francisco* staged a "vomit-in."
In a unique form of opposition, some protesters at the Federal Building staged a "vomit in,'' by heaving on the sidewalks and plaza areas in the back and front of the building to show that the war in Iraq made them sick, according to a spokesman.
If I hadn't yet been ready to consign most of the current crop of peacenuggets to the lowest circle of hell, this news would have given me that push over the edge.
(Via A Small Victory.)
*I don't know why I bothered to indicate where this happened. Where else could this have happened?
Frodo would like to know. (He's ba-aaack...)
Annoying War News Clichés, v. 2.0 has been updated. I know you were all waiting for more.
Update: best source for clichés is NBC teevee. They are slamming them out so fast that I can't keep up.
Ugh, Tom Brokaw started talking to Senator Daschle (D., Whoville). Off went the teevee. Besides, I'm hungry, and there's no food in the house. I'm off to Denny's or someplace like that.
I was half-listening to a White House press briefing on teevee. To a question about Russia's President Putin's opposition to the war, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer basically said, "S.S., D.D." ROTFL.
A new blog has been started by Michele and Alan that will focus on war-related issues. Check it out. (PS: guys, I think you might want to ditch the pale-yellow-text-on-blue template; it doesn't bother me, but I know you'll get lots of complaints.)
Still blogging. The Vogon Poetry Reading is confirmed. Okay, he didn't say "Vogon," but I can read between the lines.
Update: a critique of the Vogon Poetry Reading. (See March 20th.) Hey, that's brave -- don't you know that can get you shoved out the airlock?
Goddammit. I turn on the tv for some news and the only station that I have with news is NBC, and they had to go and put Katie Couric on with some broad from the Foreign Relations Committee. Ms. Rachel Bronson was billed as a "Senior Policy Analyst" but she came off more as one of those girls who was in all the clubs, whose main preoccupation (when not backstabbing her way to the top of every high school group) was bothering all the independent-minded students in the school. ("How can we draw you out of your shell, Andrea?" "You're such a bright girl, you should join some clubs so you'll have someting to do.") Here she is, very Concerned that the administration has pissed off all the foreigners. ("In the previous Gulf War we talked to China!") Yeah, daddy Bush's administration was much more attentive to the world's "needs." That's why we are in this lovely situation today.
Update: She's back on, cooing about how the Iraqis need someone to cuddle them into the dictator-free world. For chrissake, they aren't five-year-olds going to kindergarten for the first time, they don't need self-esteem counseling. Please, someone keep hot, moist paragons like this away from the Iraqis.
Did you know that Indonesia was the most populous Muslim nation in the world? (As opposed to those Muslim nations not in the world; I've always wondered about that common turn of phrase...) Anyway, duh -- but the newsbeings at NBC are very careful to inform us of the National Geographic Lite fact before telling us that the entire archipelago is against the attack on Iraq, and are calling for the UN to "call an emergency meeting." Chortle. Yeah, go ahead, have your little meeting, diplomatical creatures. Somehow I get the feeling that "emergency meeting of the United Nations" somehow doesn't inspire that The Day the World Stood Still frisson of terror in the White House these days.
China is "calling for a halt" to the war, according to the NBC broadcast I'm watching. Translation: "Shit! That drippy little round-eye meant it!" I'm sure there are many uneasy bowels in the Middle Kingdom tonight. They also have that sparky little feller over in North Korea to worry about.
ABC News just played a snippet of some Iraqi incidental teevee filler. I love the way the anchordude said, of the rather doleful martial chanting accompanying the image, "That appears to be music playing in the background..." So those years at journalism school weren't wasted!
Ooh, and they've got old man Saddam on tv. "Dear Homeland, yadda yadda, the family of Iraq, yadda yadda, Great Satan blah Glorious Victory blah." His version of a morale booster, I guess. I think he's been forgetting to apply his moustache dye lately.
More: "Light the torture in the night"? Oh -- that was the translator's accent. He was saying torches. Yeah.
I do declare Saddam is reading his own poetry. I knew it -- he's a Vogon!
If I were in Baghdad I'd be praying for a missile right now. He's talking about love and peace. He sounds like a hippy. A Vogon hippy.
Ooh -- he threw in something about "Long live Palestine." Just because.
PS: You know what sounds really weird? Cheery commercials for cars and clothes right after a speech by a nutso dictator we are trying to kill.
New: this caption appeared over the NBC broadcast a few minutes ago: "Saddam Hussein condemns shameful crimes against humanity & Iraq." You don't say.
According to the Suman Palit, the start of the war took all the news biggies by surprise, and they aren't happy about it. What did they expect, an engraved invitation? Never mind, don't answer that.
Keep this site open in your browser and refresh every now and then. It would be nice if certain of Blogspot's servers were kept up for the next few days.
Well, that foray into mainstream teevee was particularly painful. I got tired of the picture of the mosque, minaret, whatever it is, so I changed over to the David Letterman show. Only Letterman was nowhere to be seen; instead, some blond woman with a loud, yappy voice was on, she and Paul Shafer trading inane compliments ("You look beautiful." "You look beautiful too!") and babbling at length about the Oscars ("There won't be a red carpet?" "So, there's not going to be a red carpet this time..."), blah blah blah. Then they announced that the guest was going to be Carson Daly. My eyes... back to the war news.
Juan Gato is keeping an eye on some other unpleasant regimes, who are taking this window of opportunity while the US is busy to do some busting of heads within their own borders. When the cat's away...
Starting my list now:
That's what Canada's government has taken, according to John Robson, who gets bonus points for quoting from the book, not the movie.
(Via Sharon Ferguson. The hobbits will be back soon -- trust me.)
Oh, enough already. I've had it -- I want washed-up cricket reporter Matthew Engel deported. Let him write his slanderous, absolutely non-researched, totally made up out of whole cloth, "reports" on America from a leaky flat in his own country. And I hope the walls are thin and both apartments on either side contain families on the dole with several cranky, squabbling brats who never go to school.
He famously once demonstrated that he has absolutely no idea how to look up a decent restaurant in the yellow pages ("All those different fonts and adverts confused me!"), now he demonstrates that he has absolutely no idea or intention of looking up the history or the procedures of the country that has been kind enough to host his flabby English arse. Let's pick the very first of his "points" that he slapped together in order to prove that the US is just like Iraq, only worse:
1. At present, according to the official website of the Iraqi National Assembly ("a major organ for the expression of democracy") the 250 members are elected by blocs of 50,000 voters throughout the country. This suggests the outline principle is the same as in the US. However, the American constitution demands that the 600,000 inhabitants of its own capital city should not be allowed to take part in this process. The reasons are so obvious that no one can remember what they are, but most of those affected are poor and black, anyway. To ensure true devotion to US principles, the same will have to apply in Iraq; doubtless the Americans will break the news to the people of Baghdad tactfully.
Yeah, the people of Washington D.C. are not allowed to vote for their representatives because they are poor and black, and have been so from perpetuity ever since the city was built! He doesn't have to look up the history of D.C. to read about anything boring like population shift, or look into any of the reasons why the government of the District was set up that way. Why, when he can just make shit up?
That's it, I've lost my patience. I refuse to go through any more of this crappy deadline filler. I hope he spends his wages from the Crappian well. Maybe he should buy himself a dinner at the Olive Garden. I'm sure they'll be glad to see him.
(Via alert reader Combustible Boy.)
Please, America, infect us with your culture, plead the people of the Ivory Coast. They've had decades of direct and indirect French rule, and they are sick of it. They figure having to listen to J. Lo on the radio is a small price to pay to never have to eat Yoplait yogurt again.
(Via Joanne Jacobs.)
Don't worry, folks -- this is only temporary. I just needed to start from a new base; my previous style sheet had become tedious to futz around with.
It's the Gulf War II Drinking Game!
(Via Dave Tepper, whose web design I forgot to mention is snazzy. I am not jealous.)
Man, dig this spate of deranged babbling by Helen Caldicott. She was supposed to be giving a speech. She seems to have had a slow-motion nervous breakdown instead. Samples:
What is the attraction of killing? What evolutionary situation necessitated that the killing reflex be located in the human (male’s) brain? I believe it started when we were Troglodites [?].
Hey, I remember that song. With it's catchy little chant: "Gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman--"
Do men need to sow their seeds in the wombs of the conquered tribes or countries to prove they are superior beings?
(Audience members look at each other, startled.)
I was attending a wealthy socialite party during the first days of the 1991 Gulf war, when one of the men (an Australian, incidentally) announced that “Dr. Caldecott knows about this war”. Whereupon the men gathered around me in a circle, while the women, their partners, sat on the periphery. And it didn’t matter what I said about the medical monstrosities of war --people walking around with their intestines hanging out of gaping abdominal wounds, babies lying screaming on the ground in the arms of their decapitated mothers (think what’s coming…) --the men listening were almost clinically and psychologically dead.
Well, honey, you were at a "wealthy socialite party." What did you expect -- grunts, screams, hoarse chants, the men to jump up and start doing a war dance?
Interestingly, the women who sat on the periphery watching my interrogation and silently agreeing with me, had no courage to publicly take on their men for fear of later rejection and retribution.
(Audience members start to inch towards the edges of their seats, surreptitiously gathering their purses, coats, pamphlets and things, hoping the crazy lady who thinks she can read minds won't notice.)
It was then that I realized that when the scent of blood metaphorically enters the male nostril, it triggers the psychological imperative to kill – a primitive autonomic reflex located in the male midbrain. This must be a relic of their Troglidaic [?] days.
So if a guy cuts himself shaving the smell will trigger his kill impulse? I don't understand -- I must be a Troglidaic.
[Extended ranting about "blood-soaked killing fields" and men who couldn't wait to join up in World War I because they wanted to kill, kill, kill -- and for no other reason.]
War is always fought in the name of God.
Yeah, that's why the Communists fought their wars.
For fifty-seven years humans have lived with the ever present but subliminal horror of imminent annihilation. This deep and now almost unconscious knowledge has severely traumatized our souls.
(Audience members are streaming out the exits, as the madwoman rants on unheeding.)
It’s not just that America is going to go in [to Iraq] with the hideous weapons of mass destruction that were used in Afghanistan (which I describe in my book).
We now pause in the middle of our insane rant for a commercial break.
That’s the backdrop of the stage upon which this Iraqi situation is being played. Does George Bush know that? I don’t think he does. Does Cheney know that? Well, he probably does because he has been living in a fallout shelter since September 11th. There is a huge fallout shelter in Virginia; all the members of Congress are allowed to go in the event of a nuclear war, except a nuclear war only takes a half hour to complete and they won’t have time to get there. It’s huge, full of hospitals and everything.
It's true! I saw it on that episode of The X-Files, the one where Mulder used his birthday to open the Secret Mountain Fileroom. (Or was it his sister's birthday? I forget.)
That’s Wolfovitz) Does he understand it? I think he is so disturbed that it doesn’t even enter his consciousness. Maybe he was abused as a child, I don’t know and I really don’t care. HE IS MEDICALLY CONTRA-INDICATED FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH OF THE PEOPLE OF THE PLANET AND HE SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.
Is this where she finally noticed that the hall is now virtually empty? She knows all of you, you know. She knows your names! And where you live! And she's going to push the red button, yes precious, and she'll show you all -- show you what it's like to mock and defy Helen! The Helen? Queen Helen! Empress Helena the Great of the Universe, and she'll make that fat, stupid American, that Cheney, get down on all fours, make him crawl... Hoy! You! Get back here! (The janitor drops his mop and flees.)
Update: oh my god, I didn't even get to the part where she talks about hemorrhoid cream.
Well, Ms. Crow has written a nice, long essay about her thoughts on war and America and stuff. She is Very Concerned. It's the usual fiddle-faddle about how we should be nicer to everyone lest something awful happen, such as irate Arabs flying planes into office buildings, things like that. I'll address a few random things that caught my eye and then move on 'cos I'm kind of bored.
I love my country and all it has to offer. I believe in the pathos it was founded on...the right to express what one feels without loss of freedom, the right to worship, the right to vote, the right to bear arms in a respectful manner, etc.
Um... "pathos"? Did she mean principles? I know they both begin with "p," but... And what exactly is "the right to bear arms in a respectful manner"? Is that all the gun grabbers have a problem with, the perception that gun owners are rude? I don't get it. Next:
We did not go in to Rwanda, Sierra Leone, or Angola when these countries were suffering catastrophic genocide and human rights infractions beyond our understanding. Where was our humanitarian nature then?
Ask your pal Clinton. He was prez at that time. And we did go to Somalia, on a purely humanitarian mission. It turns out that there isn't a word for "humanitarian" in the Somali dictionary. But oh well.
I would also encourage all of you to look up the PAX Americana. This is the doctrine which has been adopted, in part, by our Security Council and is public record as the National Security Strategy, a document in which each administration outlines its approach to defending the country. It clearly states our stance on our position in the world. It was drawn up by Paul Wolfowitz, under George Bush, Sr., who is now serving under George Bush, Jr.
I don't really think that tinfoil hat goes with the rest of her costume.
Well, that's all I have the patience for, folks. It's very nice of Ms. Crow to share all her "thoughts" with us. This is called "free speech." I am sharing my thoughts about her thoughts. Ain't America grand?
Update: the entry is gone. Patty managed to snag it from a fan site, though. [2nd update: here it is.] Heh heh -- you can't hide on the internet. Somewhere out there is a dumb anti-gun thing I wrote a few years back, when I was still braindead. (Actually, I wish I could find it -- I might have it on one of my two million floppy disks, but I don't know which one. I wanted to perform a self-fisking. As I recall, I hit all the clichés.)
Alex Knapp slams a sample of what the fantasy arm of the publishing industry is pumping out these days. He voices one of my pet peeves about the genre: that most of it is crap, hack-work designed to take advantage of the success of novels like Lord of the Rings. The same could be said to be true of any other publishing genre: romance, horror, etc. But somehow in fantasy the cheap gimcrackery of the underpinnings of the hack jobs are so much more obvious. This is probably because in a fantasy novel there is the least amount of real-world material available to you to fill in plots cracks and smooth over glaring failings. With a fantasy novel one ideally is creating not just characters and plot, but an entire world. Creating an entire world from the continents to the firmament is exhausting -- even God took a day off. If you aren't up to it you should probably not be writing fantasy.
I'd been meaning to say something about this studiously naive article by a BBC correspondent on Christianity in America. But after reading it all I can do is wonder whether Britain's intellectual elite has been kidnapped and replaced by some alien race, who are now attempting to study this peculiar human phenomenon called religion. How else to explain the total brushing aside of centuries of Christian influence on the history of Britain and this pretense that there has never been anything on that island resembling the activities and ideas so described? "Commander Gort -- sorry, I mean Justin -- these people actually admit they talk to this imaginary friend of theirs and ask it to do things for them! They call it 'prayer.' You must write an article about it to publish once we get back to Ourgnthkna Prime! Oh, sorry again -- I mean Cheltenham." (Gales of hissing laughter echo through the underground slime pit where the Ourgnthknakians are obliged to rest their real bodies periodically.)
(Via The Machinery of Night -- the post for March 17 at 12:16pm.)
Yikes. The power just went out just a few minutes ago. In the whole neighborhood. (While I was typing a blog post, grr...) Then I heard sirens and things.
The power's back on now (or I wouldn't be posting this) but that was scary. I wonder what happened, if anything other than an overloaded system.
No, Tim -- she means World War Eleventy-One!
All right! Hate mail! It's been so long since I've had any...
Who the heck are you to say that anyone is a racists and jackass!! You, the kind of person who is discriminating on all of us Pakistanis, you dumb bitch!!!!
Hmm. "Dear AOL TOS monitor --" Excuse me, I have an email to send.
Post your predictions for the next week or so on Michele's blog! Here's mine:
So hard to think through the migraine... I dunno. Stuff will happen. The teevee screens will be full of Concerned Anchorpersons talking to Concerned Journalists shouting into microphones against a backdrop of dark sky with blurry lights. Rumors will fly thick and fast. Some people will get killed. I predict at least one televized interview with an anxious Kurd/Kuwaiti/Iraqi/whatever family by a Beeb reporter with a snide accent. The peaceniks will go out of their minds and have to be sedated. (Okay, that's not a prediction, that's a wish.) Several people will write solemn, portentious blogposts. Subject: Civilization As We Know It Will Never Be The Same. Several other people will write about the latest Simpson episode. At least one blogger will put up a "Who has the hottest troops" poll. (Last Gulf War it was the Brits. Have they held up in the intervening twelve years?)
Stuff will blow up. Hussein's forces will at least attempt to lob a few missiles (those ones they don't have) into Israel, just because. There will be an infinite number of how-to-put-a-gas-mask-on segments on CNN, until everyone is sick of the subject and wants nothing to do with the damn things. Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, et al, will continue to be insufferable. The Two Towers will only win an obscure Oscar for best caterers or something; Chicago will sweep the awards instead.
Update: Mike's predictions are better (and more serious) than mine.
Well, I was going to go for a drive today -- it's kind of cloudy and gloomy and the azaleas are in bloom (Central Florida's week-long Spring is almost over) and I wanted to take pictures. (Colors look better under cloudy skies.) But -- I woke up aching all over and now have a massive sinus headache, so I have just been sitting here like a bump on a log. Yes, I took aspirin and sinus medication. Sigh. Well, I'm going out anyway. Maybe some fresh air will take away this blocked up mental feeling.
PS: I still haven't figured out what I want to do with the site, which is why it's still this blah gray. There will be hobbits (must... have... hobbits...) but I can't think of how I want to incorporate them. I also haven't done much with the Textpattern-run site I set up on a subdomain. (No link yet -- I don't have any original content.) On the whole I am afflicted with a lack of ideas, probably due to the aforementioned blocked-up feeling. I have a couple of posts brewing, but I'm in no mood to sit down and wrestle with words right now. Feel free to browse the blogs in my blogroll instead -- click on "All the blogs" and a side window will open or a new window depending on what browser you are using.
They're not all idiots: Lyle Lovett seems to have a bit of common sense when it comes to celebrity views on war and George Bush. (Of course, it might be that he also might have considered the result of the Dixie Chicks' antics, and doesn't want to throw what's left of his own country music career in the crapper.)
You will perish of fits. Repeat this to yourself:
"Things can work out even if I don't get
my way. Things can work out even...."
What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla
Speaking of getting the French out, here's a little
demonstration example display showing of how to remove take out all those French words that have been cluttering up English since the 11th century or so for over a thousand years.
(Via Big Pink Cookie.)
Get a load of this exquisitely pathetic article about the big, bad USA and how awful it is that no one on Earth or in fact the universe including Centauri Prime likes us (except for a few toadies and sycophants) and how everyone is afraid of us, 'cos we have the temerity to be rich and powerful. I don't know what presents the more pitiful spectacle: the so-called majority of the world's population, collectively revealed to have neither a spine nor initiative; or Mr. Zakaria, who sounds like a teenage girl with low self-esteem who blames her unfashionable parents for her lack of a prom date.
I don't know what these people want. Actually, I do know what they want. They don't want Americans to be humble; they want Americans to be humiliated. And Zakaria, a writer I have kind of admired before, joins with them. You know what? He can go to hell.
I'm not even going to post any excerpts; I don't feel like sullying my blog with any more cowardly twaddle. Instead, read Charles Austin's able fisking.
Some of the remaining Human
Targets Shields in Iraq are starting to slowly get the idea that they ain't exactly in Kansas. Some tidbits:
"In a way, it's unfortunate ... because in this case my goal - stopping the war - coincides with the goal of someone else [Mr. Hussein], whom I don't want to be supporting," says Phil Sands, a former banker and journalist from Britain who gave up his job to come to Iraq.
I really can't think of what to say to that. Next:
But when child cadets dressed in military fatigues began a common chant at half-time - "Yes, yes, our heart and soul for you, Saddam" - Mr. Houplina went to the group and implored: "Please don't sing that!"
Yeah, man, like... so tacky. It's like don't they know any Ani DiFranco songs they could have sung instead?
But wait -- there's more!
The experience has been an eye-opener for many Westerners here, unfamiliar with Iraq's authoritarian regime. "A lot of shields were thinking it was black and white, and that we were on the side of good like Che Guevara," adds Sands. "But it's not black and white at all."
A Che fan who was a banker. Now I've read everything.
(Via Joanne Jacobs.)
You know, I like trees, but I don't like them this much:
"There is no one I would rather spend my birthday with than this tree."
Quoth one Remedy, who is one of those "tree-sitters" -- or as I prefer to call them, "tree-invaders" -- who impose their bodies upon the helpless trees in order to "save" them from the lumber companies' saws. As for myself, I can only imagine the weary tree thinking, "Just cut me down already. It's one thing with the owls and squirrels crapping and pissing on me, but do you know how much waste a human produces, especially one who subsists on granola? My life is hell -- turn me into planks already."
In looking for an Anglo-Saxon translator (Google has a Klingon and a Faroese and a h4X0r translator but no Anglo-Saxon! Bummer) I found this neat Runic translator, which will translate English words into the letters J.R.R. Tolkien used for some of his Middle-Earth writings. (It occurred to me that it's been a while since I had a Tolkien post. How long until December?)
Okay, some clear thinking is needed concerning this post, Free Speech Crushed in Nashville. Apparently a woman who worked for a country music company was fired for replying negatively to an emailed diatribe from Charlie Daniels. I have only this to say:
This is not a case of censorship.
For starters, no one has the right to be employed by a particular business, firm, company, or organization. Barring certain restrictions, businesses have the right to fire anyone they want, for whatever reason they want. This company may certainly have acted like assholes. But this is the music industry. Have we forgotten what a cut-throat, every-man-for-himself shark pool the music industry is? The record labels and associated businesses are a textbook example of "bad capitalism," and I would sooner work in a coal mine before getting a job in any facet of that glittering hell. Ms. Saviano (the woman in question) had to know that her bosses would drop her like a live cobra at even the shadow of trouble.
But most important: no one is "crushing" this woman's dissent, unless there is a law in Tennessee that if you get fired you have to wear a gag. This woman's right to say whatever she wants, whenever she wants, has not changed. The fanfaronade of cries of "censorship" are at best disingenuous in this case. However, now that she has decided to sue her former employers, the threat of gag orders and such looms. That threat she brought down on herself. She may indeed have a case; I'm not a lawyer, I don't know. But: if she has to not discuss her ideas because it might compromise her suit, or something of that nature, then I want to hear no more talk of civil liberties being threatened by anything other than the burgeoning grievance industry and the many lawyers that live off of it.
Incidentally, this woman did email from her own home, but apparently she somehow used her company's "letterhead," which I gather was some sort of email signature, and that is what the trouble stemmed from. The woman used her personal email address from her home, which suggests one of two things: 1) her "personal email address" was from a company account set up in her home; 2) she did a lot of work from home so she had a company email signature set up in her personal email address; 3) she forwarded the Charlie Daniels screed from her company computer email to her home email, and replied to him, yet forgot to remove the company signature from the forwarded email. For a variety of reasons, option 3 seems most likely. The moral therefore is: learn the art of trimming your email before you hit the "send" button. But most of all, keep your work life and home life separated as if by a two-hundred-foot three-feet-thick titanium wall. It's only common sense.
Hey, does anyone know where I can get a floppy drive that takes 5 1/4" floppy disks? One that I can hook up to a computer running Windows XP Pro? I still have some unused floppies that size. I hate letting storage material go to waste. Maybe I can store something appropriate on them.
(Via Dean Esmay.)
Why, you little rascal:
The day the Lewinsky scandal broke, Clinton was to trade in his "biscuit" with the nuclear launch codes. But they were missing. "We never did get them back," says Patterson. Then there's bin Laden: Clinton ducked calls from the Situation Room to ok a Tomahawk attack in 1998, then waffled until it was too late.
Gee, I hope they changed the codes since then. Did he at least have to pay a penalty, like the fifty bucks I had to pay once when my purse was stolen and I had to get my credit card account cancelled and replaced?
Turkey's new government signaled Saturday it would wait at least another week to decide about the deployment of U.S. forces on its soil, but the United States appeared to be losing hope of using Turkey to open a northern front against Iraq.
A senior U.S. official said Washington has now retracted its offer to give Turkey $15 billion in economic aid if it allowed the U.S. deployment. "The package was time-bound and we have moved on time-wise," the official said on condition of anonymity.
Not. Patty comments on this article which (unintentionally, I am sure) reveals the contempt the mavens of the "peace movement" feel towards the masses they are trying to engage in "dialogue." The gist of the article is: talk down to them, because obviously the only reason that the American people haven't jumped on the peace bandwagon in droves is because they are too stupid. Money quote from Susan C. Strong, a "former teacher of rhetoric and argumentation in Berkeley" :
"Speak American," she said. "Strip down to the simple, metaphoric Anglo Saxon. Leave out long words, complex explanations, historical analysis or arguments supported by lots of reasons, facts, statistics."
Up yours too, you cow. Go fuck yourself sideways with a plank. Look! All Anglo-Saxon words. Think Ms. Strong will get it?
Reading Oriana Fallaci's latest article reminded me of something I keep meaning to bring up but keep putting off writing about. It is this:
Though I support the war against Saddam Hussein, I am not one of those who expects, much less will write about expecting, the cheering and dancing and singing and gratitude from the Iraqi people once they are freed of their tyrant. I am not at all optimistic about how we Americans are going to be loved and have a brand new friend in the Middle East. I am not even optimistic about their immediate institution of a Western-style democracy once the Ba'athists have been deposed.
Perhaps it is because I am an ornery person. I know that whenever friends would do something for me -- drag me to a movie, set me up on a date, and so forth -- they would say something along the lines of: "You'll love it!" That immediately set up a series of mental responses on my part that usually culminated in the resentment of the friend for thinking they could assume they were sure what I "loved" and a lessening of my ability to enjoy myself at whatever activity it was.
But enough about my psychological problems. The notion that anticipation of slavish gratitude will cause resentment instead is not an unusual one, and I think, given the history of the US's dealings with Iraq (I know it's not just us, but since we are the big power everyone sees it as "US-and-Iraq," not "all the countries of the world and Iraq"), and given the fact that I doubt this person is the only one in the land with internet access, and given the fact that Arabs on the whole seem to be an ornery set of people, I would not anticipate big parades with flower-throwing and dancing girls, and if they do occur I'd still watch my back.
You know, it's interesting how much of this is true:
|Which Humor |
Troubles the Disposition of YOUR Body?
Your personality is: phlegmatic
Your season is: winter
Your element is: water
Your qualities are: cold and moist
Your color is: white
Your organ is: the brain
Your lunar phase is: the new moon
Your opposing humor is: yellow bile
A phlegmatic personality is sluggish and dull, pale of complexion and cowardly of disposition.
This potentially dangerous imbalance can be treated with warming, drying foods and poultices to counteract the wetness. For instance, poisonous mushrooms are cold and must be treated by eating a hot substance, such as toasted garlic.
Those with an excess of phlegmatic humour should avoid salty foods and concentrate on hot and dry foods, like citrus fruit and dry French wines.
Black Hellebore, which is known for its laxative properties, purges lower tracts of phlegm and choleric humours.
Pituita, or phlegm is a cold and moist humour, begtotten of the colder parts of the chylus (or white juice coming out of the meat digested in the stomach) in the liver. His office is to nourish and moisten the members of the body.
(Via Max Power.)
Aarrgghh! My eyes! They burn! The ugly people are getting naked for
Saddam peace. (Don't go there unless you haven't eaten recently. I'm not kidding. Your stomach will try to crawl up your esophagus and strangle you.)
But hey, you know what? Should this idea spread, I think that it could be the final nail in the coffin of this so-called peace movement. I mean, it's one thing when it's coy pics of nekkid hippies taken from far off so that they look like an arrangement of mouse fetuses or maybe brine shrimp are all that we see of this peace nakedity movement. But once they reveal their shaved genitalia and acne scars in full frontal closeup to the general public, you know that revulsion towards the cause the ugly ones espouse isn't far behind.
So pass it on. Momentary blindness and insanity is a small price to pay. And therapy (and lots of sweet, sweet booze) will help you forget. In time.
(Via Tim Blair.)
Life in the hellish, primitive United States goes on: U.S. Life Expectancy Tops 77 Years. The nefarious plan to use up most of the earth's resources continues! Bwahahaahaaa!
(Via Scott Chaffin.)
Mr. Helpful has put up a list for our servicemen over in the Land of Sand: Top Ten Things To Do In Your Foxhole While Waiting For The War To Begin.
I'm going to be doing a site redesign over the next few days. What else is new!
Update: um, it kind of helps to leave the $MTEntryBody$ tag up...
Okay, I admit it; the French are just better at it -- at the jingoistic, nationalistic, cultural superiority thing, that is. Pour example:
One of our great "weaknesses" is that we do not, alas, have the kind of gutter mentality, rubbish-bin culture, which could enable us to reply in kind to the amiabilities which the Anglo-Saxon press pours on us at the slightest sign of a divergence of interests.
We cannot create a gutter press, Anglo-Saxon style. French people are (still) too well educated for there to be any readership for such a publication.
That's French government official Olivier Dassault. Yeah, "bone swar" to you too, buddy. How come, in the discussion of the dreaded beast Patrioticus Americanus we never hear anyone pipe up about the intense and often overbearing nationalism of the French? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but at least we don't have campaigns to protect the purity of English from foreign words.* Hell, if we did that, there would be no English language.
*The "English only" campaign is a whole other thing entirely. Don't bring it up; it is unrelated to the subject. Seriously, I'll delete any comments on that.
(Via Tim Blair.)
Note: this post has been edited because I somehow hit "enter" before it was finished.
Scott Ganz on the silliness and childishness of much of the antiwar criticism these days. In brief: I agree. I'm probably repeating myself, but I don't think it can be said enough that "War is icky and makes my hair frizzy!" and "Zeeble bop fickle fack Bush Bush BUSH!"* are not good arguments against war in Iraq or anyplace else. Neither are "you guys don't remember Vietnam and all the casualties quagmire blah blah blah." Well, I remember Vietnam and all the casualties and how we just sort of got bummed out and abandoned the Vietnamese to their fate. It seems, in the end, to have turned out less horrid (at least in Vietnam) than it could have -- at least, the country is no North Korea -- but to this day I don't know why every Vietnamese person on earth just doesn't hate our guts. We dropped them like a hot rock and let the commies have them. "Sorry! It's just too hard to keep doing this! That cool blond chick in the bell bottoms won't let me date her if I keep up the war stuff, so -- gotta go!"
We dropped Iraq too, like a hot rock, though this was at the behest of the United Nations, an act which not only left Hitler Jr. in power, but in retrospect made the rest of the world think that we were the United Nations' bitch. No wonder everyone's so upset now. The high-class hooker thinks she can go into business without her pimp now, and you know nothing pisses pimps off more.
Anyway, I've got to get out of the Bytecave for a while. Laters.
(*Stolen from Juan Gato.)
Things that are making sure I will weigh five-hundred pounds by Christmas: Rick McGinnis reviews the media. Can't -- stop -- reading...
Car sticker of the day: I was going to class and I passed a car in the parking lot that had a big square sticker smack dab in the center of the back window. It had a stylized red hand giving the finger to anyone looking at the back window, and one of those circles with the slash inside over the name "Jeb Bush." A message was written on it too: "I love my country but I fear my government."
My immediate thought was: for ghod's sake will you people grow a goddamned spine already???
I mean, come on -- "afraid" of our government? Here's an example of what this era's Reign of Terror comes up with to turn us all into a mass of quivering jelly:
Update. Now Serving in All House Office Buildings, 'Freedom Fries,'" read a sign that Republican Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio and Walter Jones of North Carolina placed at the register in the Longworth Office Building food court.
Oh! My! God! I! Am So! Terrified! Save me! Save me from the dreaded Fries Renamers! Aieee!!!
We are a nation of babies. Give us our strained peas or give us death.
(Tracking back to Juan Gato's Bucket o' Rants, because I can.)
Well, I'm glad I never gave a good goddamn about the Dixie Chicks. Looks like their momma didn't teach them proper manners, such as how you conduct yourself in front of strangers in order to reflect well on the people who brought you up:
"Just so you know," says singer Natalie Maines, "we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." It gets the audience cheering - at a time when country stars are rushing to release pro-war anthems, this is practically punk rock.
If I were their kin I'd be taking their photos out of the family album and throwing them in the fire right now. And you know, I would think that such feminist ladies would remember that it's not honorable to diss your old, steady friend (in this case, your American audience) in order to court the new, cool friend (their British fans). But hey, maybe they were part of the in-clique back in high school and therefore are just acting true to form.
(Via the Country Store.)
That statement prompted all kinds of reactions from the American public, causing the group to further explain their stance on their official website. "We've been overseas for several weeks and have been reading and following the news accounts of our government's position," the group explains. "The anti-American sentiment that has unfolded here is astounding. While we support our troops, there is nothing more frightening than the notion of going to war with Iraq [...] and the prospect of all the innocent lives that will be lost."
Nothing more frightening than going to war with Iraq? How about facing off the nukes-out-their-ears Soviet Union for about fifty years? How about the idea of that wacko in North Korea lobbing a missile at Seattle? How about the idea of Saddam Hussein announcing that he has nuclear weapons assembled and the wherewithal to deliver them, thereby enabling him to conquer the entire Middle East? How about him dying then and leaving one or both of his sons -- who are widely reputed to be even more evil than he is -- in charge of it? Stupid ignorant females.
Maines also says, "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world. My comments were made in frustration and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own point of view."
Oh, that makes it all better.
Okay, maybe I didn't make myself clear. My problem with the use of "chilling" to describe every bad thing under the sun these days wasn't because of its incorrectness, but because of its overuse. Remember how everyone in the Seventies used the word "coping" until you wanted to stick an icepick into your ear so you couldn't hear it anymore? (You know you did. Don't lie.) Well, that's the effect the constant appearance of the word "chilling" in any context but 1) what jello should be doing in the fridge, and 2) an activity one engaged in with one's homies, has on me. Sit back, chill out, and read the evidence:
"PCWorld.com - Internet Hate-Speech Ban Called 'Chilling.'"
"Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective."
"From Justice Scalia, a Chilling Vision of Religion’s Authority in America."
"A chilling truth about childcare."
"Powell: Bush Sends Iraq a 'Chilling Message.'"
"A Chilling Specter."
"‘Revenant’: a chilling tale made human."
"Antarctica's melting ice - hot air or chilling reality?"
(It is with great effort that I do not remark upon the frequent use of the word as a lame, obvious pun.)
In a synopsis of a news story about skydiving: "Tonight At 5: Chilling Video From Skies Over Washington."
A snippet from an Australian news story about the prime minister's reaction to a train wreck: "But such a loss of life in travelling to and from work is always a particularly chilling thing." It got poor John Howard.
Statistics on how many kids in America watch tv are "chilling."
This tv movie on John Mapplethorpe's high-class pr0n exhibit brouhaha back in 1990 "brings back chilling memories." Well yeah, that one with the bullwhip in -- never mind.
Not getting to watch Karen Finley smear chocolate over her genitalia is a "chilling effect" on artistic freedom.
Receiving messages from the Unabomber back in 1995 was "chilling." I thought explosives involved heat, but what do I know.
And The Chilling is billed as a "A Good, Low Budget Zombie Movie." Linda Blair stars.
That's only a few examples. And I haven't even started on the blogs.
(Technique stolen from Tim Blair.)
In this article about the blindness of the George W. Bush-haters, I come upon this quote by one of them, on the subject of Condoleeza Rice:
She is a "US version of Margaret Thatcher, a person whose lack of empathy for those of lesser ability is chilling".
Look! The eedjits have taken to using the "c-word" ("chilling") in that way I hate. Now will you all stop using it like that??? Pleeeeease? (Maybe if I can find a quote of Clinton using it, that would work, eh? Argh.)
Article via Tim Blair.
Well, whaddaya know: Saddam Hussein, that guy who is "no threat to the US," has opened a training camp for suicide bombers. He's getting volunteers from all over the Muslim world. All together in one place. Can you say "target"? I knew you could.
(Via Liquid Courage.)
Well, this is just great:
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic -- who spearheaded the revolt that toppled former President Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000 -- was assassinated Wednesday by gunmen who ambushed him outside the government complex, police sources said.
"Gunmen"? Oyyyy.... why can't they say "assassins" or "murderers"? Sigh. And I do so love the way history seems to be caught in some kind of repeating loop in the Balkans. I don't know anything about the late prime minister, but the fact that he was one of those who helped bring down Milosevic, and was pro-Western, makes me think that there is more behind this than mere local "politics." Do you think this will get some of the European nations (cough France cough) to get their heads out of their posteriors about this terrorist problem? Yeah, me neither.
(Via On the Third Hand.)
Susanna Cornett and Mike Hendrix have put together a new website, The Home Front, to commemorate those businesses that are paying the full salaries of their employees who have been called up to serve in the military. There's a handy link button, which you can see over in my sidebar.
Okay, I fixed the problem that was causing my posting times to be incorrect -- I was showing the time on my computer (and I guess, you would see the time on your computer) instead of the time each entry was posted -- I used the "MTDate" tag instead of the "MTEntryDate" tag. ("MTEntryDate" is what you need to use to -- duh -- show the entry date.)
I have tried to think of something to say about the mindless and counterproductive destruction of a memorial to 9/11 that occurred recently. But I couldn't find any word so I went quote hunting. Here:
You may rest upon this as an unfailing truth, that there neither is, nor never was, any person remarkably ungrateful, who was not also insufferably proud. In a word, ingratitude is too base to return a kindness, too proud to regard it, much like the tops of mountains, barren indeed, but yet lofty; they produce nothing; they feed nobody; they clothe nobody; yet are high and stately, and look down upon all the world. -- South.
The ones who did this are the sort of people who became collaborators and traitors in other wars. Raised only to think of themselves and their own comfort, they worship nothing but chaos. Let it have them.
(Reference: Scott Chaffin.)
Yes, I'm changing the site around again. Just deal with it. I'm not in a good mood, so it will be gray for now, to match my current migraine.
Sometimes the human race is too disappointing for words.
Look what the army tested in my state today. (To any who are curious, no, I don't live close enough to Eglin to have heard anything. In fact, I live several hours' drive away. Florida is a bigger state than people realize. In fact, I have my suspicions that parts of this state are not actually in the same space-time continuum as the rest of the earth, making Florida technically bigger than the entire universe. That's the only way I can explain how it takes so friggin' long to drive out of here any time I want to leave by car.)
The Corner over at NRO has this tidbit about Good Morning America. Apparently that show's producers have decided to come out against the war. Why else would they use The Crippled Kid Manoeuvre? Even the makers of "Bush = Hitler" protest signs are shaking their heads in dismay and muttering, "Man, that's going too far."
(Via Two Braincells.)
You all want to see this: The Lord of the Rings Captions Site. Sample:
"One, two, three, four, we don't want your ratings-stealing, tv-audience-diverting war!" So sayeth the Oscar organizers. To think that people might be glued to the news channels showing real-live conflict instead of watching Hollywood actors wearing thousand-dollar outfits making their
anti-America-and-the troops antiwar speeches. Oh, the humanity!
Some campus group organized an exhibit called "The Tunnel of Oppression," which sounds like a leftist mirror-world version of those haunted-house-like "Hell" exhibits some fundamentalist church groups put up. Anyway, one of the organizers wrote an error-filled, syntax-broken letter of complaint to Erin O'Connor for daring to criticizing his group's endeavor.
Update: whoops -- forgot a sample of the brilliant prose --
This past fall we presented this program and had over 750 students go through this program and impacted each and every one of them. At our annual residence life conferance we had 240 student staff attend this program. What most of you fail to comprehend is that different people expierence situations in different ways. This program is a slymps of how others may have to live on a daily basis.
Um -- what's a "slymps"? I mean, I thought I was stupid not to get a drug reference in a classmate's paper the other day.
They came today and put the corset on me. I tried to struggle -- but they had guns. Now I have to wear this American Burqa night and day or my cat will be fed to weasels. Can't breathe... must breathe...
(Via Mean Mr. Mustard.)
[*Update:* by the way, in case you were wondering, that's not me, it's Little Nell in the part of Columbia from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. You're lucky -- I could have posted this picture instead. And no, even in my gothest Goth moments I refused to wear a corset.]
Miami - A Florida phone sex operator has won a workers' compensation settlement claiming she was injured after regularly masturbating at work, her lawyer said.
Oh no, you have to read the whole story, so you can learn why I am so glad I live in Orlando now. (That's right, the vicinity of the Disney Reich is an improvement over that of Miami and its environs.) By the way, I happen to know -- don't ask how I know, it's just the sort of thing you learn living in Miami even if you have no direct contact with such a profession, and I am sure I don't have to tell you I didn't -- that "phone sex" operators are not supposed to do anything sexual themselves other than talk. I'd like to know where her coworkers were while she was dialing the rotary phone* with her other hand. Or maybe the phone sex setup I heard stories about was actually one of the cleaner ones. Whatever.
*Yes, I went Googling for "euphemisms for female masturbation" to get that little expression. Of course I found a website dedicated to just that. My favorites so far are "auditioning the finger puppets," "checking for squirrels," and "double clicking your mouse."
(Via Pundit Ex Machina.)
You know, there is something that I think has really not been emphasized enough in the current hugeass argument over whether or not America is "unilateral" or bilateral or trilateral or whatever, and whether we have the "right" to invade Iraq and remove Hussein by force for not giving up his WMDs or pieces of unassembled WMDs (even though it is part of the terms of the agreement that kept him and his clones in his palaces at the end of GW1, yadda yadda). It's this:
That's right, chilluns, the UN is not the government of the world, it's a diplomatic organization where nations can send representatives to hash out differences and treaties and things. The only "authority" they have is that which is voluntarily granted to it by its members. And the current structure of the UN, by the way, is based on the outmoded Cold War US vs. USSR faceoff, which needless to say no longer exists. And from what I have read so far, it is clear that the current structure of the UN is all too easy for its members to twist and corrupt.
I can see why Bush would want to keep the UN alive, so much so that he has been playing this game of inspections and sanctions and resolutions with them. I mean, it's not easy to set up Leagues of Nations and such. There are oodles and scads of regulations and charters and organizations and projects that come under the United Nations rubric, and you don't just toss all that in the garbage can -- not if you are a business-minded kind of guy who wants to conserve as much time and personnel as possible. To compare with a prior administration, just look at the amount of time the Billary wasted on their various Fresh New Government boondoggles: the "National Health Care Plan" is the first thing that comes to mind, followed by everyone's favorite debacle, the gays in the military thing. (Hey, I don't have a problem with gays in the military, and I think they should be able to let their rainbow flag fly too -- none of this "don't ask, don't tell" shizzle. But I'm not in the military, and I certainly am not Commander in Chief.)
Anyway, I think that Bush would rather not have to build a whole new clubhouse for world leaders to meet in out of the shattered wreckage of the United Nations. For one thing, he has much bigger fish to fry (such as keeping the big bombs out of Abdul Hitler's hands).
Oh -- did I forget to mention that the USA will be expected to construct an entirely new United Nations-type thing if the current body should fall to bits? You know we, and maybe a few other countries like Great Britain, will be the only ones who will care to. The entire Rest of the World, the individual nations of which practice the sort of cultural and mental isolationism of the sort Pat Buchanan can only dream about, will have no interest in pretending to care about the fate of any other nation, and will not be particularly interested in getting anything out of Americans except money. We heirs of the enlightenment ideals of perfectable humanity, are the only ones who want to rescue the world from its miserable self.
So anyway: the United Nations is not a world government body with power over George Bush or Tony Blair or Saddam Hussein or whoever it is runs Andorra these days. So all this bloviating about "the UN won't approve" is so much hot air. I'd sooner let my cat run things.
I have just about had it up to here with the use of the word "chilling" to mean anything but what one should do with a bottle of champagne. I know I say that just about every month, but I mean it every time I say it. Stop. It. Now.
Okay folks, some of you may have noticed that my site was unavailable for a few minutes a little while ago. That was because I was fooling around with the templates again. First, you will notice that I have moved the Category link up to right under the title of each post. That way you'll be able to decide whether or not you want to keep reading (that is, if you can decipher my somewhat cryptic category names; one day I will find a way to make the descriptions of each category available). Second, I have added a php script to change the dates on the posts showing on the main page to "Shire reckoning." This is just another step in the Tolkienization of my blog. (Don't worry, hobbit-haters -- you can still see the normal date of each post if you click on the link, which has now been separated from the date and is helpfully labelled "link.") I got the script, which you can get here, via Solonor. He is the one who came up with the idea. "Never trust an elf!" Heh heh.
Update: in case I wasn't entirely clear, and I see that I wasn't, Sue Bailey was the one who actually wrote and supplied the script. Solonor had been trying to do something like it, which is what I meant by "he came up with the idea." No neglect, script-stealing, or misapplication of credit was meant.
Final update: never mind. I have taken the script down as of 10:30pm, March 11th, 2003. That makes my use of the script about one full day, give or take a few hours. It worked fine; that wasn't the problem.
Funny, when I tried to do this sort of thing with my car payments, the bank wasted no time in threatening to send in the troops:
In your letter, you also indicated that you would submit my name to a collection agency to recoup losses from papers already delivered. I view this as an unreasonable escalation on your part, which can only lead to mutual hostility between us. Furthermore, it is unsupportable when viewed next to my continued compliance as I’ve noted above.
However, if you continue to feel that such drastic action is required to ensure my full compliance with the subscription contract, I’m going to have to demand that you get permission from the editors of Le Monde and Pravda before moving forward.
I'm guessing Saddam Hussein keeps his subscription to the NYT paid up. Say, do you think the UN will refinance my car?
(Note: the post you want is the one titled "To the Subscription Department of the New York Times." Blogspot is -- well, you know the drill.)
My "dumb celebrity" posts seem to draw all the blogvermin, but oh well, here's another. Actually, this is a post to alert everyone to Kevin Parrott's excellent idea on how to give certain know-it-all celebrities who have been mouthing off lately, or at least their managers (who seem to be much more sensitive to that sort of thing) a figurative kick in the pants.
Further proof that the most formidable males in France are its fashion designers: Jean-Paul Gaultier (this is the guy who put the pointy metal bra on Madonna, if you care) had PETA anti-fur demonstrators carried off his fashion show stage wrapped in fur coats.
I really don't have anything to add to that, except to say that one way to get the French to pull their heads out of their derrieres re Iraq might be to play up the tackiness of the design of Saddam Hussein's many palaces. Or at least it would get the French fashion industry after him. Those people are dangerous.
Need a little motivational jolt? Need to call
the French someone "nothing but unorganized grabasstic pieces of amphibian shit"? Or at least to fantasize calling them that? Then get yourself over to the Full Metal Jacket Soundboard. I believe you will need Shockwave installed.
And it's a favorable one. It's also rather long and heavily footnoted, so I really don't have time to get into it right now. I will just note a slight misconception on page two of the article, where the author says:
Much has been written about the historicising framework of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and how The Shire in particular is presented as a pre-industrial, agricultural society. Indeed it can almost be termed a pre-modern society, in that Tolkien took some trouble to eradicate anachronistic references to New World vegetables such as tomatoes and potatoes, and especially tobacco--which in the hobbit lexicon becomes pipeweed.
Well, I wouldn't call that "careful eradication" myself -- Sam refers to "taters" constantly, which is a common word both in England and America for potatoes -- and that word is also used. If Tolkien really wanted to make his society historically premodern right down to the food, the vegetable referred to would have been some native Old World root such as turnips, and there would have been no smoking whatsoever of anything, since that was something Europeans did not do until their discovery of the Americas. (When the Native American practice was first observed by Europeans they didn't even know what to call the activity -- it was first referred to as "drinking smoke.") But it's a nitpick.
Glenn Reynolds finds a hilarious instance of nonsensical self-contradiction in this article about African refugees who are being brought to America. The article first describes the plight of the Somali Bantu, who were enslaved two hundred years ago -- by Arab slavers by the way, whose role by the way in the African slave trade is centuries old but generally downplayed in favor of concentrating on the relatively brief American slave trade -- and who have lived as poverty-stricken pariahs courtesy of those wonderful and hospitable folks, the Somalis, who despised their darker skin and wide noses (but -- but the Africans can't be racist on the basis of skin color!), stuffed them in barren refugee camps, and often attacked them -- the actual physical violence kind of attack, not merely with words. Then the writer of the article, one Rachel L. Swarns, goes on later to say on the next page:
The refugees watch snippets of American life on videos in class, and they marvel at the images of supermarkets filled with peppers and tomatoes and of tall buildings that reach for the clouds. But they know little about racism, poverty, the bone-chilling cold or the cities that will be chosen for them by refugee resettlement agencies.
(Bolds mine.) Oh, yeah, they don't know a thing about real poverty and racism, the special kind that only we in America can produce, the kind that will probably seem like heaven compared to what they have gone through. "Mother! Guess what! A girl at school looked at me funny and called me a nasty name and then her friends didn't chase me and try to beat me up! Nothing else happened! Americans are so nice, even their mean people are nicer!" "Father -- look! We have a bathroom inside the house! Is America like paradise?"
Yeah, it's gonna be tough adjusting to the racism and poverty in America, but I think they'll manage just fine.
If I were the Oscar committee, I would want to think twice before refusing such a gentle request (click for a larger pic):
I forget exactly where I got this picture -- probably somewhere on this site.
You know, some web version of that formal, intimidating character that was a staple of wealthy households of yore, who would take care of importunate visitors at the door with a stiff "the mistress is not in for callers." So I get an email a few days ago from Mr. Colin Roald. Now I got a lot of emails a few days ago, but I have also been sick, and I even pulled myself out of my sick shell to post this brief apology, which sat on my front page for the better part of at least two days. Anyway, he got tired of waiting for me to reply to his email about this ancient post of mine. (It's ancient in blog years, okay?) So I see a trackback link, to this post. (One day I will write a post so referential and link heavy that it will be totally meaningless if printed out. Could this be that day? Never mind.)
Okay, he wasn't impolite or anything, but I don't respond well to demands on my attention, even passive-aggressive ones like trackbacks.* So I put this in his comments:
Yeah dude, I got your email. I also have a life -- one that's just busy enough to keep me from being able to deal with everyone who wants a little Socratean tête-à-tête with me and my beliefs about life, the universe, and everything. Especially about old posts that have scrolled off my front page ages ago. (Yes, in my blog world, February 19th is ages ago.)
I may or may not respond, but I don't really see why I should. It certainly took you long enough to get back to me, so I don't see where you get off being Mr. Impatient. As you can see, I don't respond well to demands for my attention. Caveat lector.
Maybe I was unnecessarily bitchy. Perhaps I need to add a new line to the FAQ. Such as: I intend to avoid long, drawn-out arguments on subjects that quite simply can't be resolved after a certain point. It is my belief that the pro-war/anti-war argument is one of these. All I can do is state my belief on something, and/or point out why I think something else is wrong, but if I say that I have made up my mind on something it will do no good to try to argue me out of my position. And I am not particular interested in helping the wilfully obtuse "understand" me. Or maybe I should do a Rachel.
*New article idea for blog-phenom junkies: "Trackbacks: the New Passive-Aggressive Argument Technique."
The simplest things make me happy. If you'll look over to the left and down, you'll see my new translation toy. (You can get one of your own here.) I usually eschew things from other servers -- I've had the Weather Pixie, the Amazon.com donate thing, the Blogchalking thing, and so on, and they all at one time or another cacked up my page when their server went down. I am sure that this little program will be no different, but for as long as I can stand it, enjoy. Here are the results for Chinese (I make no guarantee as to the coherency of the actual results, since I neither read nor speak Chinese; I just think it's kinda neat) -- click for larger:
Update: of course, it will not translate the gif images that I use as drop-caps, so some coherency is lost there.
Put it all together and project ten years into the future. We see an America with a powerful naval and air force; with relatively few soldiers based outside the nation. An America looking out for its' own interests and finally rid of most of the "entangling alliances" brought about by World War II and its' aftermath.
Of course, there will be plenty of bitching about that from the very same people who are currently bitching about "Imperial America" and "hegemony." What these people want is not, as they claim, a secure and peaceful democratic republic that is an independent nation among many other independent nations, but a sweaty and neurotic semi-socialist body whose relationship with its allies and enemies is as that of a host to various parasites and inimical viruses.
I have encountered this lady before in Michele's comments. It seems we Americans frustrate her. Maybe we would't be so cranky with her and people like her if she didn't come on like some shirty schoolmarm, here to Save Us Natives From Our Benighted Ignorance. Here she is with the cultural superiority blah blah. Yeah, I've
suffered through read "The Sorrows of Young Werther," not to mention Faust. In German, I might add. English-speakers in general are in her opinion much too simplistic, though I think maybe her grasp of English is not that great if she thinks that disagreement is "not accepting" difference of opinion, and that we want everyone in foreign parts to "adore" George Bush. (No, we'd merely appreciate it if you would refrain from comparing him to Adolf Hitler. Even if you mean it as a compliment.)
Well, in this post she lets slip an offhand remark that illustrates the ignorance and provincialism that supposedly doesn't exist anywhere else but America:
[...]somehow I never thought of america's side, I mean - here in germany we have enough stuff happened in WWII to think about for ages, there was no need to think about others.
And we are the ones who are supposed to be "ignorant of other cultures" (while we are "infesting" Europe and other places with our awful herds of tourists). Let me ask this of Our Foreign Friends: do you really think that the US became the economic, cultural, and military power it is today by being "ignorant" of the rest of the world? Idiots.
Ah, at last, something to kick me out of my state of unnatural lethargy: brought to my attention by Angie Schultz in her extended fisk of Miss Merope Mills' Guardian-hosted exhalation of gas, we get this gust of flatulence. It's yet another article on blogging, and I didn't have to read more than this quoted line to know that the writer was a pie-eyed maroon of the first order:
Here's a crazy idea: if you're going to write a weblog, why don't you do what most of this weekend's Bloggie award nominees appear to be doing, and try to expand the field of human knowledge in some particular area?
(The bolds are mine.) It makes me wonder what sort of paragons they are turning out in the universities over there these days. Or perhaps the various academic titles have different meanings over there. But somehow I don't think so. Allow me to explain: one of my teachers in my college journey explained to us that in order to get a doctorate in philosophy, one had to contribute to the field of human knowledge.* All prior degrees -- associates, bachelors, masters -- merely signify various levels of mastery of what is already known. So I have this to say to Mr. Dave Green:
Listen up, asscake. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO HAVE A PHD TO WRITE A GODDAMN BLOG. No wonder people think journalists are a bunch of elitist prigs. By the way, what's your contribution to the field of knowledge, besides expanding our awareness of just how many people out there are paid to be jerks?
And dig Dave Green's crazy innovative website! He uses Courier as his font! Man, my brain is expanding already.
*I realize that there is a large element of "who gets the credit" involved, but this is true as a general definition.
The lack of posts today is due mostly to the fact that I still feel like crap, and have therefore not had many juicy posting ideas. I start posts, then cancel them halfway. It's been one of those weekends so far.
From the Unintentionally Hilarious department comes this doomladen article in the Guardian, written by a Concerned Twentysomething "Radical" with the unlikely name of Merope Mills. I won't bother fisking it here -- Emily has already done a bang-up job of that little task. I'll just synopsize it thus:
[WHINE] "What do you mean there's no Santa Claus!" [/WHINE]
Fortunately, I don't think that this female represents all of her age group, merely a far too large component of it.
Now it can be told: Star Wars is really an allegorical tale of coming to terms with homosexuality.
Too tired. Gotta go to bed. Try not to kill each other while I'm gone!
PS: I know some of you have emailed me. I will reply to my emails, um, soon.
(Via Sean Kirby.)
Mrs. Dutoit is going on a long hiatus for some very good reasons. I took the blog link down because she asked us to, but I'll be waiting to put it back! Now if I could just get that Wonder Woman theme out of my head...
Uh oh -- (click for a larger pic)
Crush celebrity dissent! Sharon Ferguson has the contacts.
Oh dear -- looks like someone at Wal-mart's website committed a site design faux pas, and put up the wrong description for The Hobbit. Excerpt:
On the Battersea Reach of the Thames, a mixed bag of eccentrics live in houseboats. Belonging to neither land nor sea, they belong to one another. There is Maurice, a homosexual prostitute; Richard, a buttoned-up ex-navy-man; but most of all there's Nenna, the struggling mother of two wild little girls.
Funny, I don't remember anything about houseboats in the book...
The tings people get upset about... now it's someone who calls himself "Gummo Trostsky" getting in a lather because Dorothy Sayers spoke favorably about the Ptolemaic view of the universe (geocentric, spherical, etc.) in her footnotes to her translation of Dante's Inferno. Then he goes on to compare it to, what else, those icky contemporary conservatives and their "seriously weird" (supposed) nostalgia for "times and places outside their own experience." Quite frankly I find people who don't have any sort of attraction to anything outside their own experience to be seriously weird, but that's just me. Also, he refers to Sayers in the present tense, even though the author has been dead for quite some time. I don't get this petty rage against the likes and dislikes of someone from a previous era. One might as well get bent out of shape at an eighteenth-century landowner and eventual president, such as Thomas Jefferson, not quite getting the whole equality-between-the-races thing. Oh, wait...
Simon Schama composes one of his collections of historical things, this time of European anti-American attitudes throughout our history. The condensed version of the general attitude of the various academic, upper-class, or artistic personnages who have visited here and been appalled could be something along the lines of: "America was mean to us and she smelled!" Yes, even from Charles Dickens.
Oh well. It just goes to prove that we are a hard and unforgiving country to people who come here with the idea that we are stupid and primitive and therefore easy to manipulate. Sooner or later we will hand your ass to you for that attitude. If you don't like it, stay home.
(Via Gary Farber.)
Okay, now this is scary. Not only does Neil Patrick Harris resemble my ex in the top photo, but he looks... totally unlike any of his previous roles in the one further down. Needless to say.
Further weirdnesses about this production of Cabaret: Debbie Gibson is playing the role of Sally Bowles. Okay, time to look for an mp3 of Mojo Nixon's "Debbie Gibson is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child."
(Via Dave Tepper.)
Update: it would help if I provided the link, wouldn't it? (Added to the top line also.)
I haven't really jumped on the Hate France bandwagon, mostly because in general, I don't hate France. I do prefer wines from California or Australia, but that is because the French wines I've been able to afford weren't really all that great. But anyway, the actions of their current government have pissed me off to a great degree, so in honor of that, I bring you a report of the latest anti-France protest. There's a link with pictures. Also the website's name is funny: "Pave France." Heh heh.
Today is wood-chipper day here at the apartment complex I live in. Oh, my head.
That would be Chrissy Hynde. You can read a lot of commentary on her latest antics just about everywhere, but I picked Damien Penny's site because it contains a snippet of a fawning article on her. It seems Ms. Hynde was at Kent State in 1970, and witnessed the infamous killings. I'm sure she was. However, I have heard that sort of thing before, perhaps not as frequently as I have heard "I was at Woodstock, man," but I have heard it. Kent State must have had an enrollment of a million in 1970.
As for Hynde, I have never seen what the big deal was about her. People made a lot of fuss about her because she was oooh, a woman! In the misogynistic, he-man profession of rock 'n' roll! Which of course ignored the fact that there were plenty of women in rock -- think of Heart, and Joan Jett, and so on. Oh, but women like that didn't have any "punk" cred. (Though I never understood where these "punk" credentials were supposed to come from. When it came to music, her group's output was about as 'punk" as Willie Nelson's. I think they came mainly from the fact that she lived in England during the punk craze.) And she always struck me as a jerk, what with that rad mid-Atlantic, semi-British accent she affected because she went and lived there, and her "I worked at Melody Maker" (or was it NME, I forget), and her fashionable vegetarianism, which as usual is the in-your-face, obnoxious sort. Also, she dicked over Jim Kerr (of Simple Minds, whom she married and divorced some time in the Eighties) pretty good if you ask me. And I've never cared for her music; I thought it was bland and poppy. That "Brass in Pocket" song is one of the most annoying songs on earth.
Anyway, Chrissie "hopes the Muslims win." Thus spake a moron. It goes without saying that she seems to have no idea that women like her would be beaten and shoved into a burka in a Muslim paradise of a certain kind in no time flat. And at her age, she'd be lucky to be sold as a slave. But don't bother (washed-up, overrated) "stars" like her with the facts.
I finally got around to looking at my search referrers on my logfiles (yes, I do have them, and I can see how many people have hit my page, whatever all those numbers mean) and I have found out that I'm famous, kinda (click for larger, and check out the column on the right):
Neat script. I like the site design too. It appeals to my "goth" side.
Oh, now that's cold. I love it. (It's the second one that's "dedicated" to Martin Sheen. Har!)
James Lileks has pictures of the children's library in Hell.
Well, well well. It looks like some people don't like being brushed off. A person calling himself "Steven Brewis" left a comment in this post that managed to be both nasty and weird. His friend "Shaun" also left a message, but I deleted it, since it was even nastier, but not as weird -- merely par for the course. I noticed they came from the same IP, which I banned.
Well, little Stevie didn't appreciate being banned. He sent me an email. It had an attachment, which of course I did not open (I am not stupid). I deleted the email. Then I looked up the IP on whois. This is what I found:
Search results for: 188.8.131.52 +
OrgName: Dimension Data
Address: Guardian National
Address: 10th Floor West wing
Address: Libridge building
Address: Ameshof Street
NetRange: 184.108.40.206 - 220.127.116.11
CIDR: 18.104.22.168/16, 22.214.171.124/16
NetType: Direct Allocation
TechName: DNS Administration
TechPhone: +27 11 447-5566
And this is the email I sent to this company (I am not calling overseas):
To whom it may concern:
I run a public-accessible weblog on which readers can leave comments. Recently I received some nasty and disturbing comments that may possibly have come from two of your employees. The weblogging software I use enables me to ban IPs -- I noticed that the last two comments from two separate people came from the same IP. I deleted one of the comments, and left the other one. Here is the content of the one I left up (it can be accessed here -- http://www.spleenville.com/journal/archives/001139.php):
Ghandi once said: I will die for the cause I believe in but I will not kill for my cause.
The way you judge, will determine how you will be jusdged. The Bible said forgive and forget, Bush the idiot that he is says: "We will not forgive and we will not forget."
I believe that settles that.
Respect your mind, boycott CNN
The writer of the comment was one Steven Brewis, at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The comment of his friend, whom I considered to be merely this Mr. Brewis using a fake name, I deleted.
Mr. Brewis sent me an email. He helpfully informed me that he and Shaun were two separate people who use the same computer "at work," and then enjoined me to enjoy my "sad life," and also said something about how God will judge people like me. I can't copy the remarks to you because I deleted the email immediately. I deleted it because he sent it with an attachment. I do not open attachments, especially from hostile emailers. Especially possibly disturbed ones who invoke the Bible in vaguely threatening comments and send me emails threatening me with God and with attachments of an unknown nature.
I looked up the IP the comments came from and found your address. The South African location matches the South African email address of Mr. Brewis. I do not know this person. If he and his friend "Shaun" work for you, I suggest you monitor their internet usage more closely.
I expect a reply to this email.
A multitude of dangers await if you turn off your pc. You will:
Now remember, pick the evil twin:
This Yu-gi-oh character
Hey, boys and girls, welcome to my new game! It's called: Spot the Evil Twin! Today's entries are:
Official Australian Person
Dominic Monaghan, aka "Merry"
Okay, I think I have had it up to here with the Khalid/Ron Jeremy joke. This makes at least the tenth blog I've read that has Khalid's ugly mug up next to Jeremy's only slightly-less unattractive photo. Come on, people, some of us have sensitive digestive systems.
I heard about this Lysistrata project a few days ago somewhere, but I forgot to blog about it. Steven Den Beste reminded me with this very nice shout out to me and some other bellicose femmes of the net. I don't think I've seen it mentioned, though, that the actual play was a ribald comedy whose actors in the male parts were supposed to wear gigantic phalluses as part of their costume. Aristophanes himself seems to have been quite conservative, and he despised the democratic, working-class Socrates (thus his caricature of the man in The Clouds). Interestingly enough, Aristophanes was apparently a member of the nobility, and he was also a member of the "peace party" of the times (this was during the Peloponnesian war). He seems to have had no use for the democrats, which party at that time had become infested with demagogues. Sounds familiar...
In any case, the plot of the play is not so much about how right and noble the women were, but how ridiculous the whole situation was. But it has somehow become emblematic of the whole cracked idea that women are naturally anti-war. Then again, maybe none of us bellicose females are real women at all! Maybe we are secretly men!
Via Dipnut I found out that I too am on the blog-list of Simone Koo, a South Korean student currently enrolled in Georgetown University. I like this post, where she succinctly puts an antiwar babbler in her place:
Sue Sanders of Denver writes to the Rocky Mountain News (last letter): "I'd rather die in a terrorist attack than initiate war anywhere, anytime, any place." That's real noble of you there, Sue, but terrorist attacks are likely to kill people other than you, which means your suicidal impulses are actually homicidal.
Heh heh. There is an interesting sort of pattern to this: my father was a Korean War vet who graduated from Georgetown thanks to the GI Bill. (He enrolled after he got back.) I still have his diploma, which is all in Latin. I once had ambitions of going there, but like many things in my life I let that slide.
C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles are going to be filmed. They've picked the guy who directed Shrek, which makes me wonder if it's going to be animated like Shrek was. I'd rather it be a live-action film, mainly because I just prefer live actors to animation, and I think the examples of the Rings films show that the technology now exists to make a non-cheesy, good-looking, convincing live-action fantasy film. The only difficulty I can see will be with the talking animal characters, and there have already been some movies out that dealt with that (Cats and Dogs, etc.).
It's the journal of the creator of the Very Secret Lord of the Rings Diaries. The latest episode: could there be a rival to Legolas' stature as The Prettiest? Come on, you know you want to know.
A few days ago, Steven Den Beste observed that he had been called out as -- this is a quote -- "a grave-robbing cunt" -- for daring to have any opinion at all on the far away, in-another-universe, nothing-to-do-with-anything events of September 11th 2001 in some city called New York on a planet called Manhattan in a galaxy far, far away. The caller-out was one Mr. Davies, who resides, I do believe, in a nation across the pond whose inhabitants have even less (if we use Mr. Davies' own criteria) cause to even discuss the World Trade Center attack than a citizen of the actual attacked nation. See, according to Mr. Davies, if you live on the west coast of the US, or anywhere other than in the shadow of the Trade Towers, and lost neither friend nor relative in the attack, then you have no right to feel any strong emotion concerning the event, and it should not be a factor in any of your political opinions.
It is obvious that Mr. Davies, whose website's browser title bills him as "a fat young man without a good word for anyone," is one of those persons who fancy themselves to have evolved beyond primitive concepts like "nationhood," "citizenship," and -- ew -- "patriotism." Not to mention "sympathy" and "conscience." As a side issue I will mention how interesting it is that so many proponents of this one-world-one-heart philosophy take a positively isolationist, "not my business" approach to real atrocities in other parts of the globe. Anyway, you can read Davies' original shrieking screed here. I don't know how long it will stay up, because he claims to have "taken down" the post, and I am sure that it will occur to an intelligent young man like Davies that he has only moved the post off the front page of his blog, and to really get rid of commenters he will have to actually delete it.
I don't have to mention to you how he undercuts himself with his very own argument, do I? Because if someone in the very country that was attacked has no right to allow the September 11th atrocity to affect his opinions and philosophies, then some foreigner certainly has no right to any opinion whatsoever on anything that happens outside his circle of acquaintances, and that includes the opinions of some stranger on the web. Instead, Mr. Davies seems rather obsessed with Mr. Den Beste.
Ooh, now here's a contest I can get enthusiastic about: the Anti-Bloggies. Which category do I belong in... I'm torn between "Most Caffeinated Blogger," "Most Often Late to Work" (or class, heh heh), and "Biggest Potty Mouth." Snork! (Or should that be "torn among?" Whatever.)
Does Saddam Hussein think he's going to be attacked by armies on horseback?
"...and as the trenches were made each was filled with fire, though how it was kindled or fed, by art or devilry, none could see." -- Return of the King
(It's the post for March 2; I guess there will never be any working archives on a Blogspot site.)
No, actually this American would have just asked politely for more peanut butter. After all, one itty-bitty packet is probably what her supervisor told her to give at first, probably to prevent wastage and/or pilfering. Not very customer-friendly, but I have been to restaurants where you had to ask for cream instead of that whitish "non-dairy product" for your coffee.
Now, if the waitress had said "No" to a request for more peanut butter, then heads would roll.
Update: now I'm beginning to wonder about what kind of people go for waitressing jobs in Canada. What, do they all resemble big, beefy ex-prison matrons? Is there a waitress union that will send some guys over to your place to smash your kneecaps if you don't meekly accept whatever the waitress gives you? Otherwise I am still not getting the "timid customer" theme here. I get that the idea that "the customer is always right" is just not adhered to in the kingdom of Peace, Order, and Good Government, but I don't get it. I guess it's an American blind spot. Or maybe it's the fact that I don't feel burdened by a culturally-imposed need to be polite, so therefore I find it easy to be polite. (Florida, at least the part of it I grew up in, has escaped that aspect of southern culture.)
And tipping has absolutely nothing to do with my point. I probably make less than Mr. Cosh -- in American dollars -- yet I try to tip at least the standard 15%. 20% if I am feeling flush; but that is the most anyone ever gets from me. There is no reason to feel obligated to give more -- 20% is one-fifth of what you paid, after all -- and no reason to feel guilty about it, and it is no one's fault but your own if you do. Intimidation should not be a factor in your outside dining experience, and if it is that should be a message that you might not want to patronize that eatery any more.
Another precious artifact of my youth, tampered with:
SCI FI has signed director Michael Rymer (Queen of the Damned) and actors Jamie Bamber (HBO's Band of Brothers) and Katee Sackhoff (Halloween: Resurrection) for the new four-hour original miniseries Battlestar Galactica. Production begins in Vancouver in March. Battlestar Galactica will air exclusively on SCI FI in late 2003.
Without the shoulder pads, poufy "dry look" hair, and computer terminals consisting of black screens with green character display it won't be anything like the original.
Here's an account of a pro-U.S. rally in South Korea. Now that's a lot of people.
Excuse me if I seem to lack compassion, but I don't feel sorry for those fools turning tail and fleeing Baghdad at all. Not one little bit. I refer to the so-called "human shields," of course. Their motives were not pure, they were the worst impulses of puffed-up ego disguised as pure motives. So they were going to protect the poor brown Iraqis with their superior white (or white-by-proxy in the case of any ethnically-enhanced members) bodies, were they? So they were going to stand in front of helpless old ladies and cute widdle kiddies and shake their fingers at the descending carpet bombs and god and all his little angels were going to come down from heaven and stop those naughty missiles in midair! Or even better, they were going to become gobbets of martyr-flesh that their admirers back home could write sobbing paeans and folk songs about. "We'll be dead but we'll be famous! Just like Kurt Cobain!"
No, I don't feel sorry for these people. I feel not one shred of pity; not one feather-light touch of regret for the lost fineness of their motives disturbs my soul. They got off with much less pain and trouble than their egotistical, self-aggrandizing, manipulative, and smug actions deserved. They are lucky -- no, more than lucky. They illustrate everything the world's less fortunate -- who do exist, though they don't deserve to be the playgrounds, punching bags, and water boys for the elitist Westerners who proffer to "care" about them -- hate about rich, coddled Americans, Canadians, and Europeans. We're like Wile E. Coyote without the charm, the Teflon people -- nothing sticks to us. Join an "antiwar, human shield" group, go to a country our leaders are about to paste, tell the people there that we are their "friends," get money from the very government that is oppressing those people, get coddled and treated like special guests, tell yourself that you are One With The Iraqis... then when it finally gets through your titanium-plated skull that you are -- Ew! Eek! -- expected to actually be a human shield, instead of a picturesque Protector of the Innocents -- and when you are revealed as a total and complete hypocrite above and beyond the call of even the most venal politician because it is obvious that you did not expect there to be all that much danger to the old folks homes and kiddy hospitals you planned to stand "bravely" in front of -- you still get to go home and not even be greeted with a shower of rotten cabbages. If there were any justice in nature an avalanche would bury the bus you were on while on the way back into Turkey and no one would find your frozen corpses until the spring thaw.
No, I don't feel sorry for the "human shields" at all.
(In response to one of Angie's posts -- the one for 8:47pm March 1st.)
Son of a bitch. I can't believe things like this are happening in our country. Who gave people like these "peace activists" the idea that they could behave this way?
One of my neighbors, who's in the Army and works in Oakland, was caught off post in her uniform by a bunch of people expressing their displeasure with the non-war in Iraq. They surrounded and harassed her for a good while until a few sailors happened upon the scene and extracted her from the situation just as it was starting to get a little rough. This isn't an uncommon occurrence around here but it's the first I've heard of it happening to someone I know.
They've been briefing us at roll call to refrain from wearing our uniforms off base, presumably for force protection purposes. I figured it was supposed to deter terrorist kidnappings or something like that, but I guess it's to protect us from the local population.
Unbelievable... Excuse my uncharacteristically mild language, but I am so pissed off right now I can't even swear. I guess it would be against the law to drive an SUV into one of these blobs of scum and drive backwards and forwards over the creature until there was nothing left but a damp spot on the ground. I guess.
Just a shout-out from work here: the restaurant next to my office is hosting some sort of party (I think it's a wedding). They've got a piano-playing lite-jazz kind of guy doing the music for the thing. He just finished doing a smooooth jazzzz version of "Wind Beneath My Wings." Kill me now.
PS: Back during the first Gulf War they played that song on tv every time they had some sort of thing on the troops. I think that more than anything explains why so many alterna-hippies are so anti-war. We seem to have forgotten the necessity of having good music to accompany the bombs and guns. I mean, World War II had Glenn Miller and the Andrews Sisters. What did we have in 1991? Bette Midler in her soppy, Post-The-Rose Phase. Ugh.
Okay, enough fooling around. Back to work.
Maybe it's because their gums are full of splinters from using natural, Allah-pleasing toothbrushes made out of twigs.
(Via hippies are for barbecuing.)
This is a further development of a ranting comment I left on Juan Gato's site in this post. It's not enough that Americans are being painted as the Warlike Nation of Bloodlust and Disturbing Loud Noises as Opposed to the Peaceful Bambilike European Nations of Love 'N' Hugs, now they are trying to pretend that the ideal human body in European culture all the way back to Classical Greece and before wasn't to be as FAT FAT FAT as possible. Here's a sample from the latest lying article spreading this LIE:
Nearly one-third of all Europeans are obese because of fast-food consumption and sedentary lifestyles, and nations must encourage healthier habits, a U.N. agency warned Friday.
Obesity, once considered mostly an American problem, now is prevalent in European countries, where traditional diets have been associated with long life and good health, the World Health Organization said.
Why you little lying liars. Let me tell you something about "healthy, long-lived" Europeans on their "traditional diets" of grease, salt, and the fat part of dairy products. In 1981 my mother and I took a trip to Europe. We spent about a week and a half in England and Scotland, and another week and a half taking the train through the Netherlands, Belgium, West Germany, Swizerland, Austria, and France. Let me tell you about how every single European we talked to told us: "American women are too thin!" "You are too thin, you Americans need to eat more! try this!" And we were wined and dined and stuffed with about two billion calories worth of chocolate, fat, cream, and fat. Now, my mother and I were not "thin" by American standards in 1981. We were normal. By the time we left Europe I had gained twenty pounds and so had my mother. I couldn't fit into the new outfits my mother had insisted I buy before we left.
Oh, and you want to know where the fattest people we saw were? England. Yeah, especially the kids. The babies were so fat they had no necks, and they couldn't lay their arms flat against their sides. I was afraid to brush up against one; I was terrified they would pop, like a grape. My mother and I talked to a group of preteen boys who looked like miniature linebackers. Of course every meal in England was accompanied by chips (fries), and every vegetable was overcooked to mush. We had to eat Chinese food to get some vegetables that didn't fall apart when your fork touched them.
The weight gain of Euros being the fault of Evil, Bloblike Americans and their soylent-green-like food is a big, steaming heap of bullshit. I know my trip was more than twenty years ago but I am damn sure nothing has changed in "traditional," hidebound Europe all that much. McDonalds was popular then because you could get cheap meat that didn't have the consistency of shoe leather (unlike the impossible-to-chew piece of beef I had in Frankfurt, and the rubber-like rabbit I ate, or rather attempted to eat, in Geneva -- yes, I ate Bugs Bunny, or rather, his ancient and extremely tough grandpa). Also, the food at McDonalds is packed with fattening grease and artery-destroying salt, which Europeans LOVE.
I hate lies.
PS: More proof of the fat-worship of Europeans: here, some reproductions of ancient mother-goddess-figurine-things; the Venus de Milo isn't exactly skinny, is she?; here's Bacchus, by Rubens (everyone knows Rubens especially loved fatties); here's a painting of Pygmalion and Galatea by some French dude in the 18th century; and this is Rubens' idea of a skinny broad. Fat and European, all of them -- and all (except for the French one) conceived before America was even a European king's bad dream.
Check out the side, underneath the Frodo pick: now you can see the last five comments made on the blog. It's a little script I got here.
Ooh, lots of fonts here. And they all seem to be free too. The site is snazzy also.