What my father used to call the "Peanut Gallery" is still trying to push the lie that Bush was lifting about a plastic turkey when he went to visit the troops in Iraq over Thanksgiving. Indefatigable dumbass Greg Easterbrook does them one better -- he not only repeats the lie that the turkey in question was plastic, he claims that it was brought over to Iraq as some sort of sinister political prop. I swear to god; here is the complete entry (in case Easterbrook or his editors try to deep six these words -- and I've also saved it as a screen capture, haha):
AND ABOUT THAT FAKE TURKEY: The "decorative turkey" in George W. Bush's hands in the Thanksgiving pictures from Baghdad should in fact make people angry. Hundreds of American dead, thousands of Iraqi dead, and the White House is staging phony photos on Iraqi soil? The occupation of Iraq may be justified, but White House use of the war as a political prop is becoming unseemly. And think: somebody had to fly a fake turkey to Iraq. Voters are not stupid; this sort of thing may backfire on Bush.
Good lord. Every single untruth about the event and then some is included therein. I'm surprised he didn't start babbling (or whatever is the word for the keyboard-using equivalent) about Bush forcing the men to bow down and worship his evil Turkey Gods. By the way, this post is dated December 10th. I skimmed the subsequent posts; there is no indication that Easterbrook has read any of the news articles that put paid to the plastic turkey/staged photo op myth. Loser.
Tom Tomorrow's Veteran's Day cartoon has got to be the least funny cartoon I have seen in a long time. It's not cretinously evil, like Ted Rall's digestive-tract leavings; or rancid and moldy like the stuff Gary Trudeau yanks from the back of his refrigerator and sends to his publisher; it's merely unfunny, in a really stupid, juvenile way. The horde of sycophants that were compelled to come to the defense of their beloved here see deep, meaningful political commentary in these panels. But all I see is that same old dull taunt from the grammar school playground: "Bookworm (Fatty, Skinny, Four-eyes, whatever) is a big chicken!" Nice going, Mr. Liberal.
I have one question for Michael Moore:
What foreign languages do you speak, you fucking hypocrite?
(Via Jeff Jarvis. This post of Michael J. Totten's is also worthwhile, and not just because I asked for money so I could go to Europe and be "cured" of my "ignorance." See, I just don't want to be an embarrassment.)
See troll post obnoxious comment on website he or she doesn't agree with. See troll get cyberkicked in the virtual nads. See troll tattle to site's webhost. See troll make fool of self when it is revealed that the author of the website he/she complained about is also one of the webhosts.
Via Right We Are!
Yeah, it's this guy again. Film criticism has apparently having lost its luster, he has chosen a new subject on which to pontificate. And it is... is... Well, I'm not sure what it is. Some kind of wafty, etherish blither about "spiritual planes" and "billions of dimensions" and some more stuff about science, or at least a (not very convincing) facsimile thereof. He reads here just like that scene in Animal House where the professor and the two college kids are smoking pot and waxing philosophic about tiny little solar systems in their thumbnails.
But I'm not going to get down on him for having silly new-agey ideas. I'd much rather kick him in the shins for writing about it and then posting it where people could read it and then get a really bad headache. I wonder about this guy -- and more, I wonder about all these Constant Readers he apparently has. I keep coming upon blog posts by Easterbrook fans who were shockedyesshocked at his recent verbal faux pas, wherein they keep flogging his otherwise killah mad writing skilz. But everytime I am introduced to yet another instance of Easterbrook prose I am struck by his adamantine mediocrity. Oh well -- I had never heard of him before, and I haven't read everything he's written. Maybe he saves his genius for his sports columns, or whatever it is he is best known for. Maybe he needs to stick to sports.
(PS: yes, I know it's just a post on a blog -- a blog his bosses at TNR set up for him and pay him to post to -- and I know that blog posts that jump all over the place and contain non-sequiturs, idle musings, and such are the rule rather than the exception, but where is the evidence of talent that should at least occasionally break through the anti-writer's block exercise that this blog/column thing of his resembles?)
(Via inappropriate response.)
Via dipnut comes this (unintentionally) hilarious example of Deep Political Thought, Berkeley-style. Short synopsis: did you know that conservatives use (gasp!) language to communicate their ideas in order to "dominate" political discourse?
Now, now -- calm down, I know this is a shocking idea. (Quick -- someone administer smelling salts to Oliver Willis.) I know that the traditional way to dominate political discourse has always been the way the "left" has done it -- by putting out awful teevee movies that "subtly" dis conservative icons and holding badly-attended parades featuring large papier-maché puppets. I mean -- language, ideas -- (shudder)... what horrid Dead White Male Europpressor (from Bad Old Europe, not New, Good Europe) concepts. What on earth is the "left" to do?
Update: link to Ollie's site fixed. (I'm sure he won't mind me calling him Ollie. He's a liberal! They're tolerant!)
Remember Matthew Engel? The guy whose furious complaint about a bad meal at Olive Garden, which was supposed to be some sort of indictment or something against American culture, merely gave the impression that he didn't know how to use an American phone book to find a decent restaurant? Not content to show how stupid he is when it comes to dining out in Amerikkka, now he displays, in this frothing spiel, that he knows nothing at all about the country that was gracious enough to approve his work visa, despite apparently having lived here for a number of years. There are too many of us. Our buildings are too tall. And he waxes hysterical about the environment in a manner straight out of the seventies; which makes me think that he must be too terrified to leave his apartment (except for that one fear-filled journey to Olive Garden), and that he thinks Soylent Green is a documentary. Oh well, let's not disabuse him of his fears! I figure he serves a useful purpose in keeping many foreign moobats* too frightened to come over here.
(Oh, and side note to Mr. Engel: if you do venture outdoors again and you want to find a "discreet place to take a pee" in, you might want to look for these things we have called "restrooms." I know you have them in England; I've been there. So you know how to use a urinal, don't you?)
(Via The Edge of England's Sword.)
Update: and here's the Guardian's forum on this column.
*Really late update: "moobats"? what on earth are those? Perhaps they are what happens to cows after vampire bats have been feeding on them.
These pictures are so dying to be Farked.
(Via Random Nuclear Strikes.)
Update: here's my little effort (hey, it's the best I can do at 6 in the morning -- click for larger):
Because I really don't care to associate with a group that has so many nasty shitsouls belonging to it. At least, that seems to be the sort of "libertarian" creature that feels compelled to seek me out. They all have three characteristics, all of which this latest 'droid, who calls himself "24601," displayed in fluorescent colors in the comments to this post and this: 1) they think that calling me "stupid" because I don't immediately offer to fellate them for their deep intellectual insights is a brilliant argumentative tactic; 2) they are ostentatious about their libertarianism (note to NuLiberts: it's not really necessary to go around shrieking "Ha! I'm a Libertarian and you're not!" because, well, no one cares, and it just makes you look like you picked Libertarianism to piss off your Marxist ex-girlfriend); and 3) they are the most cynical, misanthropic little fucks on the face of the universe. Compared to this 2468419704 -- whatever -- bloke, Saddam Hussein was a people person. (To my rather obvious statement that the only way to stop terrorists is to stop them -- ie, to kill them dead -- he went off on a froth about how that's all too expensive and just an excuse for [SCREAM]The State™[/SCREAM] to take our money, yesss Precious we must never let them have it never!!!)
In any case, at first I didn't even think this dweeb was a real libertarian, and that he was just using "libertarian.org.au" the way other trolls used "whitehouse.gov" or "georgebush.org" as fake urls in the comment headers. Then I decided to visit said site, and lo and behold 248976352211154.5071212135478 is a main member of this apparently respectable blog. So I sent a little email to Mr. John Humphreys, the "executive" of this organization. Go straight to the top, I say.
Just as a PS to those who might be thinking that I am being a wimp for complaining about this, I repeat that when people like this "contact" me and claim to be libertarians (or Libertarians -- whatever), it certainly does not give me a favorable impression of libertarians in general. Instead, it puts me into the sort of frame of mind I get when I find out someone I like or admire is a Marxist -- "Oh well, I guess I can still like them despite their reprehensible political associations. I guess."
Okay, just this one little thing set off a synapse: via Astonished Head I discover this product for toddler-liberals to toss across the room for imagined slights against Their!Civil!Rights!™: a copy of the Bill of Rights printed on a piece of metal, designed specifically to set off metal detectors in airports, thus setting off a manufactured crisis that will give the diaper-brains carrying them the Center of Attention moments they all crave daily. It is marketed by these tools. I think I have seen my Christmas Present for Assholes. An owner of one of these cute things wonders if he should "leave it behind," before he starts moaning about the awfulness of this "thing" we have "done to ourselves." Terrorists? What terrorists? As far as noodleheads like this guy (and Web Presence™ Cory Doctorow) are concerned, the only terrorists that have ever existed and will ever exist are the nineteen guys who died in their attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Since they are dead, obviously there is going to be no more terrorism, so what are we all doing this security stuff for? It's such a bummer, having to face up to your mortality every day, isn't it, Mr. Liberal World Traveler?
I think Elton really meant: "You want to know why I hate Americans? Because so many of them say my career jumped the shark after Rock of the Westies." (Via Porphyrogenitus, who has been driven to near-despair by the intractability of the self-hating Western liberal intelligentsia. And -- full disclosure, I first left this comment here, but I wanted to share. And -- yeah, Elton John was my he's-all-that back when I was in high school. But that thing he did with Kiki Dee, what was it? Whatever -- and then the Sassoon jeans commercial were it for me. Westies was the last album I ever bought of his.)
In order to protest their disapproval of of Corporate Hegemons™ and the advertising industry in general, Adbusters have taken out... an ad.
By the way, "adbusters.ws" and "adbusters.us" are still available. I'm sure they wouldn't mind someone else registering that domain name. It's not like they are a "brand" or anything.
(Pointed out by Michele.)
Oh look, another pointless load of crap disguised as a column in a pro media publication. Someone needs to tell the people at the Guardian (and every other pro pub) that there is no need for filler bits on a website like there is in a dead-tree edition.
Eric Muller is mad at Glenn Reynolds for briefly posting a photo of one of the people who fell or jumped off the World Trade Center two years plus one day ago. Here is my open letter to Mr. Muller (I was going to post this in the comments but I decided it was too long for Haloscan):
Dear Mr. Muller:
At the end of your rant, you say: "I'm arguing that a responsible journalist (of Instapundit's sort) ought to give his readers at least a measure of control over when, and under what circumstances, they see such an image." This sentence, an updated addendum to your post, has so many things wrong with it that I hardly know where to begin. Let's start here:
With all due respect, what the hell are you talking about? There's this thing in most browsers called a back button. You use the mouse thingie or use the trackball or pad thingie to put the cursor thingie over said button, and click. The bad web page will go away. You can also close the browser entirely, or you can avoid all media including the internet. That way you will never be bothered by any bad news that is not under your "control."
I'm really not understanding your position here. You are angry at someone for posting a picture of something everyone commenting on your site has already seen? (You don't mention never having seen pictures of the people falling from the towers. If you have not, then maybe your shock is understandable.) Can we say "misplaced anger"? What about focusing your anger at the proper target -- at the terrorists who made those pictures possible by causing the event so pictured, and at their many fans, supporters, and apologists?
Oh, but I see that you already have a position on that. You think that blogs, like newspapers, need an editorial board akin to that of a newspaper. And you somehow -- by some twisty thought process that I can't fathom -- think an elite group (which is what an editorial board is) deciding what goes into a paper somehow gives its readers control over the content of that paper. Right. Does that mean that I can call up the Orlando Sentinel and demand that they run whatever story I want to read? Because that would be really cool.
No really, this is ridiculous. Massive readership or not, Instapundit is a personal blog. There is no way you can demand or expect him or any other blogger to dumb down, pretty up, or safety-net any of the content of their personal blogs beyond whatever anti-pr0n rules their hosting services demand. Reynolds is not a "journalist" -- he writes opinion columns for some publications, and links to news he feels is of interest on his own website, but he is under no obligation to post or not post anything at anyone else's demand. I can only echo the sentiments of most of the other people who were so mean to poor little you, and tell you that if you really can't stand the idea that you might go to someone's website and be confronted with something that is shocking and disturbing, then you need to stop going on the internet.
You may now re-assume the fetal position. Everyone else visit Jessica's Well.
Update: even better said.
Last update I swear: here is Glenn Reynolds' post on the matter. He has links to even more articles -- some featuring The Pictures.
And the dummies just keep on coming. What am I, the Iraq of blogs? Oh well, you send 'em, I'll destroy 'em.
Okay, I have had it with the apparent plague of stupidity that has rendered people unable to grasp the very simple and (I thought) obvious points I have been making in my last few posts. And now I find that not only are some people not getting the points of my individual entries, they are not even understanding what this website is all about. Case in point: one "cj" leaves this comment in the previous post:
Nonetheless, your comments seem to proscribe certain "sensitivities" based on your personal likes or dislikes.
After calling me a wanker to boot. Well, I'd rather be a wanker than a total numbskull. Allow me to expand upon this for the slow:
FOR THE LAST TIME -- YEAH, RIGHT, EXACTLY, IT'S MY OWN OPINION BASED ON MY OWN LIKES AND DISLIKES. NO FUCKING SHIT, EINSTEIN.
Jesus, people are stupid. Do they actually come here thinking I give a shit about what they think and do with their own lives? What, am I supposed to be Ann Landers? Hello, this is my personal website diary thingy. It's all about me. ME, Andrea Harris. I never thought of this website as more than a venting place, a place where I could practice my typing and my web-stuff, and blow off steam.
Sure, I think the world would be a peachy-keen place if everyone thought like me. Yeah, we should all be middle-aged spinsters who spend too much time indoors on their asses. You know, I never thought of my blog as the the Holy Sepulchre of the Church of Spleen, and that I was the purveyor of the Truth that will lead to mankind's salvation; this idea comes from somewhere else, maybe the dumb saddoes who are earnestly lecturing me that I am only expressing my own opinion. Yeah, and water is wet, fire is hot, and you shouldn't drink Draino. Who knew?
Crooked Timber mocks this choice bit of blog buffoonery (bloffoonery?) from YACB (Yet Another Conservative Blog -- sorry, but they are no longer an amazing and rare phenomenon) Right on the Left Beach:
Lefties just cannot stand back and take an honest look at their agenda and supporters and admit the truth — they would rather be living under Stalin’s Soviet Union than the United States headed by President George W. Bush — they will defend without logic any lefty miscreant that supports the lefty agenda. Lefties crave power at all costs."
Heh heh, yeah, that is pretty stupi--
Uh oh, what do we have here, from the comments to the Crooked Timber post (scroll down to "anna's" comment):
Actually, I doubt that we should even be called lefties. We’re not actually “on the left”. I just think that we have the ability to take a few steps back and see the whole picture. That is probably the only generalization about conservatives that I am willing to make, they cannot (or perhaps just don’t want to) see the whole picture.
You know, it's really sad when you see someone proudly wearing the Hat of Ass. Well, no, actually, it's hilarious. It's been a long time since I saw someone write something as sanctimonious yet retarded as:
But the instituions that comprise the American government, that's a different matter. They've committed far to many crimes to be forgotten. Literally millions dead at their hands, entire countrysides laid waste and baren due to their presence, sovereign nations and cultures interferred with to suit American purposes.
What I am saying, is that America (the governent) has waged war upon the world for a long time now, and America (the people) have done nothing about it. I'm saying that it's not surprising that religious and extremist groups are starting to do to America...exactly what America has done to them.
Michele isn't amused, though. And actually, I'm not really amused either. This kind of malicious lie-mongering (which is all this complete disregard for reality is) can't remain unchallenged. Every time some yutz like this opens his yap, some terrorist asshole somewhere smiles.
I tried to read this bilious, anti-American good-bye letter by some bloke named Ed Vulliamy but I find bad writing (and people who think that the Allman Brothers are "cool" because people who worked for the Clinton administration listened to them) boring. Doesn't the Guardian/Observer have editors?
Update: hee hee hee hee!
Proof that rightwingers are just as susceptible to Iamthecenteroftheuniversitis as any of the hated Babyboomer tribe, NRO's Jonah Goldberg recounts his tribulations and sufferings on a jaunt to a national park, where he was forced to submit to -- horrors! -- rules and regulations governing speeding and unleashed dogs, just like all the little people. After this I expect silence from Mr. Goldberg on the subject of how the lack of personal accountability in today's society is all the fault of those evil liberals.
(Via Scott Chaffin.)
Britain, and I assume the rest of Europe, is suffering a heat wave, with temps in Florida-summer-range. Apparently the heat is taking its toll on the ability of people to think clearly, if the predictions of the country's breweries are accurate:
...parched Britons are working up a big thirst, with breweries saying an extra three million pints will be consumed over the weekend.
And boy are people cranky when they get a little toasty: when I in turn predicted (in the comments to the above-linked post) a rise in episodes of dehydration and heatstroke that will be the result of this extra consumption of alcohol, a citizen of the UK took umbrage, thinking that I was dissing British beer. What-ever.
Rush Limbaugh is still a big, fat idiot. And he inspires idiocy in his more sycophantic members. And his website design does suck -- but it resembles the standard ad-chocked, busy-menued newsmedia site, so maybe that's the reason behind the chaos. I'm being nice here, just because Lileks' compliment on the look of Tim Blair's blog gave me a nice warm glow. Not that I can take much credit for the design; all I did was tweak one of Movable Type's standard templates a little. But anyway, take that, Rush, you gassy windbag! Neener. ;P (Yeah, like he's ever going to read this site.)
When Michele asked me to fisk this person I blithely agreed, but I've been sitting here for an hour or so wondering just how to properly approach this particular example of idiocy. First, some background:
Michele commented on a post on Merde in France about some buttmunch by the name of Frédéric Beigbeder who has written one of those "controversial" novels the French are so (in)famous for. (In this case "controversial" means "lots of people having sex while babbling on pretentiously about the meaning of life. The word "voluptuous" is a staple, as is the scene where someone cries "The meaning of life is nothing!" -- which sounds so sexy in French. Kind of like one of those Zalman King movies in novelette format.) This time the setting of the "controversial" novel is not the coast of France in the off-season or Algeria during one of its civil wars but the restaurant that was at the top of the World Trade Center on the day that complex was destroyed by the sort of people who would gladly put a bullet through the clever, postmodern brainettes of pseudo-artistes like this monkey. The conceit of Beigbeder is that the people in the restaurant met their fate not, as is well known, by calling their loved ones on cell phones to say goodbye and then either dying by jumping out of the windows or when the towers collapsed, but by having "furious sex." No doubt this will be interspersed by a great deal of psychotically abstruse and pointless philosophizing.
Once France was known, and deservedly so, for being home to the culture of reason and civilization. What they seemed to lack in strength and innovation they at least made up for by having the most exquisite society, cuisine, and literature in Europe. But by all reports this reputation has not been deserved for some time. I suppose the rot started after World War 2, or maybe it was the Sixties that ruined the country. But the French seem (or at least their artistic, intellectual, and political elite seems) to have backslid to their French-Revolutionary-era crudity.
But enough of this fellow. The reaction of most people in Michele's comments, unsurprisingly, has been distaste and anger. September 11th was not some happening back in the mists of time; it occurred less than two years ago. We know what the people in the towers were really doing in their last moments, and it wasn't having "furious sex." That this novel was written merely to attract attention to yet another overgrown toddler in grownup clothes who wants praise for the painting he has made with shit pulled out of his own diapers is obvious. If this does become a bestseller, even for a brief time due to the curiosity of the crowd, it only means that people are crass all over, not in the US.
Lilli Marleen, however, has had a reaction to this that is bizarre, bizarre. For some reason she has decided that it is "self-centered" of Americans to be upset about what happened on September 11th and to take umbrage about some foreigner trashing the event for his own aggrandization because -- get this -- we made tv series like Hogan's Heroes and something called "Cowboy Comedies" that "made fun of Native Americans."
Now I am not going to defend that tacky tv show -- though I will note that it was made about forty years ago and people today can hardly be blamed for its existence. As for the movie genre she refers to; from her comment about Little Big Horn, she seems to be referring to Little Big Man, which if she were not so -- I was going to say stupid, but I realize that she is foreign, (she's German) so I will say if she were not so unused to American humor -- would realize is a satire attacking the stereotypical Good-Cowboy/Bad-Indian western, and far from a vehicle meant to "make fun" of Native Americans. It even used real Native American actors to play the Native American roles, unlike many standard Westerns of the old school. But all this is to say, what the fuck do old movies and tv shows have to do with the continued trashing by foreign so-called "artists" of the events of September 11th? Is she actually trying to imply that the horror of bad American tv and movies outweighs the actual deaths of real living people that this cretin is making light of with his tarted-up trash novel? Is she indignant over the admittedly silly stereotypes of Germans perpetuated by Hogan's Heroes? Does her indignation weigh more, or equally, than what a wife, husband, or child of one of the people who died on September 11th 2001 will feel when they find out what M. Beigbeder has done to the memory of their dead relatives? I don't fucking think so.
Incidentally, this is not the first time Lilli Marleen has displayed evidence that all she knows about America is what she gets from exported tv series and movies. I learned about Germany and other cultures the old fashioned way -- by studying its history in school, taking the language, reading reports, and so on. I have seen more than a few German movies. But if I were to base my knowledge of Germany on just what I had seen on the screen, I'd think they were all Vampires with red-dyed hair running as fast as they can to stop their boyfriends from holding up a factory in which the workers all had to turn a giant dial and then there was a female robot who danced and the cellars flooded and everyone lived in a submarine which really sucked. Fortunately, I can tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction.
PS: here is the list of September 11th victims. Unlike certain French "novelists" I try not to get my jollies -- oh, excuse me, make "important philosophical and cultural statements" -- about an atrocity by making up scenarios in which the victims have an orgy. I guess I'm selfish that way.
Update: because of constant harrassment by some pathetic, small-penised fool (IP addresses used so far: 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11) comments on this post are now closed.
So, bloggers are self-absorbed and narcissy... narsa... narcotic... narsil... self-involved, according to Ye Auncient Webbe Gooroo John Dvorak, speaking to us (or at least, the crowd at Gnomedex, as well as to the two or three persons who still brave the thickets of pop-up ads to read his columns) from his vast store of wisdom gathered over the decades. As to that I say, yay us. So we are only interested in ourselves, and have big egos, and so on and so forth, and this is supposed to drive us into what, a pool of introspective guilt? At least we are honest about our egotism, unlike people who would actually type the following with apparent sincerity in the comments to Tom Bridge's post:
If blogging isn't self-absorbed or self-aggrandizing, what is it? Is it selfless? Is it a public service? Are the lives of the poor enhanced, are the sick healed, is the world a better place? Come on!
Oh please, you care so much about the poor and the sick. Give me a break.
(Via A Small Victory.)
In the Middle Ages, at least the flagellants used to use real whips on themselves; at least they provided non-participants with an entertaining spectacle. Modern day wielders of the holy scourge prefer to take the leather strap to others rather than themselves. Today's target is Americans -- excepting, of course, those citizens of that nation who have Removed Their Blindfolds™ and have therefore been able to see The Truth™ that the rest of us still deny:
We subscribe to nothing. We have no attention span, no sense of history, no sense of posterity.
Arrogant, indifferent, disconnected, aimless, self-absorbed, our lives are arranged around familiar pastimes ... and the occasional search for new pastimes.
Can you feel the love? Favorite quote from the comment thread, from someone fakenamed 'M. Aurelius': "Imagine, a nice warm cup of coffee in one hand, and in the other a joystick with a trigger being pulled to send hot metal shrapnel through the bodies of little brown people half a world away."
I'm not sure that the original M. Aurelius would have put it that way.
(Via Marduk's Babylonian Musings.)
These eyes have just beheld the most interesting (I use that for want of a better word) example of anti-religious bigotry yet. It occured in the comment thread to this post. One "Zeke" wrote:
All those good men you mentioned are dead because there are Islamic fanatics that hate us and everything we stand for. I don't pretend to understand them, or feel anything for them except the need to destroy them. But U. and Q., for all their despicable qualities, were not religious fanatics.
Then someone named "Valencia" chimed in:
I agree with Zeke. While I liked this piece overall (especially the bits about the firehouse, which I thought were very touching), I thought it conflated a lot of disparate elements under the Islamic extremist banner. I don't think the reason Hussein & crew were so nasty to their people had much to do with religious extremism, whereas the attack on WTC certainly did
So being raped, tortured, and killed by a religious fanatic is worse than having same done to one by an agnostic thug. Mm-hm, I see.
Stephen Pollard is a fucking snob.
I don't care how expert he is in whatever area of Important Grownup Hey I Said This Is Important Will You Kids Sit Still and Listen to Me? Hey! Hey! Where Do You Think You Are Going?! shit he writes about. Anyone who has the gall to tell people that they should "be ashamed of themselves" for reading a so-called "children's book" in public has invalidated themselves in my eyes as anyone whose opinion on any subject I should care about. So he "worries" for adults who read books he doesn't approve of, does he? Paternalistic swot.
Yes I am just a little sick of these people.
By the way, here's my short review of the Pullman trilogy His Dark Materials, which is another one Rowling/Tolkien-haters are always flogging as an example of "all fantasy should be written this way": first book good, second book eh, third book sucked and blowed. I promise to give a longer review later.
One last thing: apparently Pollard went to see The Two Towers having fuckall idea that it had to do with elves, "monsters" and other sorts of fantasy things, and stomped out in a huff because he expected to see, I don't know, something like The Brothers Karamazov, or maybe the latest Jean-Luc Godard brow-crinkler. (And he also says he "avoided the first movie" -- so apparently he had no idea that he was seeing part two of a continuous film. I can't even begin to understand the sort of mental reasoning behind this.) You know, there's this thing I do before I go see a movie: I read up on it to get a kind of idea of what I am to see. And if I don't, I don't get mad because I didn't see what I thought I would see. But what do I know. I read "children's books," I can't understand all that grownup stuff.
Scroll down this page for some feedback on this entry. Sample:
I wasn't going to jump in on this, really I wasn't, but it struck me that this piece was a glaring example of the fallacy of the excluded middle. (David Gillies.)
So, reading Potter and Pullman, watching Lord of The Rings etc is infantile, less than adult and part of a general downgrading of the cultural life of the country [...] Watching Spurs, on the other hand, isn't. (John Durkin.)
O-kay, someone clearly needs to take a course in efficient time management:
A woman given a ticket for breast-feeding her daughter while driving on the Ohio Turnpike last month could have gone on her merry way with a slap on the wrist and a $100 fine.
And by the way, the hubby's being a real asshole just to avoid paying a $100 fine:
The woman's husband, however, is trying to make a federal case out of it -- literally -- by claiming she is not the real defendant.
He said he is.
He made that claim, citing Mosaic law from the Old Testament and writings from the days of the Founding Fathers because of the couple's ``deeply held spiritual beliefs'' that the husband is ``the sole head of the family'' and the only one who can punish the wife for a public act.
Needless to say, neither he nor his ostensibly god-bothering helpmeet seem to be at all concerned that if the car had crashed mid-suck, their little infanta would have most likely been gruesomely killed. I generally object to most nanny-state laws, but when it comes to laws about infant safety-seats, they exist for a reason, and a good one. (When it comes to adult seat-belt laws I am more sanguine; I say let 'em strap in or not as they please, and let Deity sort them out. And yes, I wear mine.)
(Via The Cranky Professor.)
America, what a country -- we'll not only sell you anything, we'll buy anything, or at least our guilt-ridden, peer-haunted, deep-pocketed liberal elite will. Observe, the shit-artists are at it again:
NEW YORK -- Four years ago, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani blasted the Brooklyn Museum of Art for hanging a painting of the Virgin Mary that was decorated with elephant dung.
An exhibit that opened at the Whitney this week strikes back - with a portrait of Giuliani that has elephant dung painted on it.
"Libertas, De Te Servent!" (Liberty, May the Gods Protect You!), by Chinese artist Zhou Tiehai, is part of an exhibition about America's global image at the Whitney Museum of American Art through Oct. 12.
I saw a picture of the Elephant Dung Madonna in one of my textbooks. Grant you, I realize that a picture in a book, even if it is in color, is no substitute for the original, but I am still pretty sure it is one of the most hideous things I have ever seen. (Here's an image of the thing: see what you think.)
Anyway, now some Chinese guy has reached into his diapers to pull out a get-rich-quick scheme. Some might say that it takes colossal gall to come from a country where such shenanigans can land you in a labor camp to one where you are given free reign to not only criticize the government, but to (figuratively) defecate on it. Of course, to say that is to risk being labelled a square, a philistine, a (shudder) Republican. Nevertheless, I say it. Mr. Zhou, you may be otherwise talented (if this is the same artist some of his work is quite good) but your latest production should be flushed down the toilet.
Via Right-Thinking.com. By the way, a commenter in the post on Right-thinking points out that the article in the Seattle PI doesn't mention that Giuliani's complaint focused on the use of taxpayer money to fund the the shit-madonna exhibit, but of course to artists and their sycophants even the faintest threat that the American public cash cow might decide to refuse to give more milk is the same as clapping artists in irons and throwing them in jail. As far as the liberal elite artistic community is concerned, the average American is a blight on the landscape, a Disney-worshipping, fast-food-gnawing, teevee-sitcom-watching swine, whose only purpose is to pay artists to throw the equivalent of feces at them. Back in the late fifties and throughout the sixties, the complaint was that Americans didn't like or understand art, its artists were abused, neglected, and worst of all, forced to work mundane "real" jobs and live among those who thought they were "weird." Well, government bodies and committees of the guilty rich were formed, artists were coddled, fêted, given grants and legacies and treated like the kings and nobles we supposedly had cast off in 1776. How strange people act when they get everything they want.
I left a version of this as a comment in this post of Tim's reporting the shenanigans of a "conservative Christian" school's administration re: the Harry Potter books. I've no beef with Christian fundamentalists, in general, but I have had it up to here with this "Harry Potter's magical powers = real witchcraft" garbage. I will first offer these caveats:
I am going to only say this once: the "magic" in the Harry Potter books is NOT REAL, nor does it correspond either to the rituals and practices of pre-Christian pagan peoples, to the supposed remnants of those rituals and practices engaged in by people accused of being witches and sorcerers in Europe and America's past, nor to the rituals and practices of the various contemporary pagan faiths (for instance, Wicca, Magick, the "Old Religion," and so forth). As a matter of fact, the "magic" and "witchcraft" in the Harry Potter books come straight out of popular culture's idea of such things -- aka Disney, Warner Brothers, Hollywood, and thousands of children's stories and fairy tales. And furthermore, as has already been pointed out but I'll repeat it here, the "magic" is a literary device -- actually, a metaphor, for something that Rowlings is trying to say about being a kid and growing up and dealing with life, albeit in a light-hearted manner.
And last of all, the Harry Potter books are FICTION. Yes: FICTION FICTION FICTION FICTION. They are not: manuals for casting magical spells on people, calls to join an evil, godless -- excuse me, Godless -- cult, or any of that shizzat. Jesus H. Christ, will you people get a grip?
Update: and if it isn't the religious nuts, it's the "grownups shouldn't read childrens' books" cretins. Let me add this final caveat: I don't believe in segregating books by age group or by any other group. I will read what I damn well please. Your fear of being considered uncool, or whatever it is that drives you, is not my problem.
"Drowning pools"? Jesus H. -- oh, forget it. Why don't we just nail peoples' doors shut? Then they can't leave the house and possibly get hurt
and sue somebody.
this guy marc, okay. Curses, foiled again...)
And journalists wonder why people hate them: in this article, BBC world affairs editor John Simpson whines that the deaths of journalists in the recent battle in Iraq were all the US military's fault, and guess why:
Simpson blamed the deaths of many of the journalists - what he called "the ultimate act of censorship" - on the system of embedding, which meant that journalists operating independently of US and British troops became "potential targets".
(Emphasis mine.) Jesus H. Christ, the military is damned if they do and damned if they don't, aren't they, you whinging, puling twat? As a commenter in Jeff Jarvis's post on this pointed out, the news media complained during the first Gulf War on how they weren't told anything, didn't get to go to the battle, yadda yadda blah blah blah. Now this dickhead comes along and starts grousing about how being put in the middle of the battles as they requested got some journalists killed. Guh. What I should have said was (thanks to Angie Schultz for alerting me to my gaffe) : he starts grousing about how embedding reporters in the war somehow endangered all reporters especially -- somehow embedding a reporter in one place caused the deaths of others not so embedded. Well, dopey, you had a choice: some reporters get to go to the front, or no reporters get to go to the front. No, they all couldn't go to the front. I'm sorry of that sounds too much like your grammar school teacher telling you that you couldn't get a hall pass, but tough. And I'm also afraid that there never will be any special protection for any journalist who puts themselves into a warzone; at least, not any more than any other noncombatant gets. Yeah, gee, media passes aren't bullet and bomb deflectors, so whaddaya know! Asshole.
Also, I just wanted to add that it's too bad reporters got killed, but he basically seems to be claiming that the US military deliberately targeted reporters they didn't like. Yeah, better have some evidence to back that up, newsboy.
I was enjoying this article by a comic-book-writer's preoccupation with the late Princess Di's "strange, mutant powers." But it is in the Guardian, so of course there was this bit near the end:
Being one of a small but influential bunch of British writers working in the very American world of comics and superheroes, it is nice to be able to inject something peculiarly British into the comic melting pot. In a sense, we're doing a public service, helping to drag some Americans out of their insularity.
Like an anchovy in a custard flan, it ruined the rest of the column for me. My mood of convivial amusement instantly changed to sour irritation at this example of, well, British insularity. Once again someone from across the big salty shows his blithe ignorance of the fifty states where his fellow comic artists probably get most of their income. I would like to say to this person -- one Peter Milligan -- that right off the top of my head the two comic book writers that I-- no huge comic afficionado -- can name are Allan Moore (V For Vendetta, hello?) and Neil Gaiman. They were British the last time I checked, though Gaiman at least now lives in the US. But I'd have to think a bit longer before I could name the American ones. But Americans are insular because, I can only guess, we made Moore's and Gaiman's names household words (at least in the comic world) instead of Milligan's. Winner of this Week's Honorary Ass Hat Award.
(Via Ghost of a Flea.)
Some guy who runs a company (no link from me) has been sending people with blogs cease and desist letters, claiming he invented the "brand" of the term "clue-by-four." You know what? I think that guy needs to be hit by a clue-by-four. He needs to be hit by several clue-by-fours. Or should that be clues-by-four?
Clue-by-four, clue-by-four, clue-by-four.
Look, ma, no trademark!
Here's another link to someone who got a letter from Mr. Clue-deprived. Excuse me, Mr. Clue-By-Four-Deprived.
So. According to Janeane Garofalo, only dumb, mean people join the Republican party, "use the word evildoer with a straight face" (I will never get why the words "evil" and "evildoer" are such stumbling blocks to some people, by the way -- I wonder what they would call someone who wanted to ban abortion? or someone who lit up a cigarette in public?), "love patriotism," and so on. Whatever, lady. Garofalo has obviously lost the ability to be funny, so she's decided to go the bitter crank route instead. She freaked out that dude from Scarborough Country, but it just makes me yawn.
About her series that
Fox ABC dropped, supposedly because of her scary political views. I think that if the studio did that because they were afraid of getting hate mail, they are jerks, but that's par for the course for the Hollywood machine. It wouldn't surprise me if it were true. Of course, it was a stupid move on their part, because now they have given her a bigger axe to grind than if her show had been given a chance and failed on its own merits. But for all of the liberal views of the actors and other people that it employs, the Hollywood industry is conservative, not politically, but financially. The bottom line rules. As soon as a studio smells problems of any sort, its first instinct is to protect the bank account. They don't care what political views an actor holds so much as they care that the actor isn't going to make them trouble because of it. Middle-of-the-road actors like Garofalo, who probably does not make a great deal of money, are the ones who usually get the worst end of this deal. She has little influence despite her mouthing off, unlike more influential (and dangerous) people such as Barbra Streisand, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon. I almost feel sorry for her. But she is obviously not smart enough to realise that her antics are alienating more and more people, and that unlike the celebrities mentioned above, she really can't afford to do that.
(Via Boycott Hollywood.)
When someone who has been "downing Smirnoff vodka and tonics" for two hours murders someone with whom he had had a verbal disagreement, what would you call that person? Well, someone named Niall, commenting over at Hot Buttered Death calls him an "example of the sorry state of your average American's psyche." He also blames this supposed state on the Bush administration, as if Dubya and co. had the power to magically control drunks from a distance. Funny, I always thought I was a pretty average American, but I've never killed anyone over a disagreement. Once I chased my sister around the house with a broom because she had been bugging me, though. But that was way before either Bush administration held Amerikkka in its iron grip. In fact I do believe the sisterly combat episode occurred during the Carter administration. Can I blame my murderous impulses towards my sister on Ole Jimmeh?
Robert Prather confronts someone calling him or herself "nobody," who insists, among other things, that the U.S. will suffer if Europe starts getting wealthier and more productive. ("Nobody" also thinks that is a good thing, as if it would be wonderful to have another populous, poor nation in the world.) Of course, "Nobody" assumes that the economic might of the U.S. is based on keeping the rest of the world down economically. What people like "nobody" don't realize is that on the contrary, we don't want the rest of the world to be poor. We want everyone to have wealthy, productive economies.
Poor countries are a drag and a burden. Time and money that should be put to productive use is diverted to keep poor nations from starving to death. Unproductive countries are a strain on the global economy. They are black holes that suck in everything and give nothing back. They aren't just speed bumps on the road to a better world, they are axle-destroying barricades.
The more a country produces, the more wealth it generates. Everyone benefits. I have almost no grasp of economic theory but that little bit is, or should be, obvious to anyone who is not on a shelf in the morgue. But these theory-steeped children, these marx-heads and foucault-fools, think that "production" means an Oppressed Worker turning a crank for twelve hours a day. They neither know nor care what it takes to get them that heated home with indoor plumbing and electric lights. They think it's a kind of magic -- and that every time someone in a highrise penthouse turns a switch, a light goes out in some African hovel. These are the people, of course, who are loudest in the anti-capitalist, anti-globalist, anti-anything-but-sitting-on-their-asses-chanting brigade. Everyone else is too busy working to waste time doing crap like that.
Now this is satire:
Most of all, America doesn't feel like America any more. The climate of militarism and fear, similar to any totalitarian state, permeates everything.
Oh, LOLOLOL, ha ha! America as a totalitarian state! So funny!
Oh. Wait. He was serious??
(Via A Small Victory.)
Update: hey! I've been GlennReynolds.commed. Scroll down to read the bit mentioning me. Skip all that other boring stuff -- heh heh! Just kidding. Thanks to Alert Reader and fine Blogperson Mary of Exit Zero.
Wow. Bizarro World sucks. Poor John Naughton. Can't someone go through a wormhole or a stargate or something and rescue him from the Evil Alternate Universe?
(Via Tim Blair.)
You know what I really don't like? When someone says something controversial, clearly looking to stir people up -- which they will claim was just an attempt to start an honest discussion -- and not only flames people right and left for disagreeing with or even questioning his or her premises, but then later reveals on that they lied and/or used trickery (say, they omitted certain details that would have given people a clue as to where this person was coming from) to manipulate the discussion. This is the way to get on my personal shit list.
As somebody said somewhere (I'd attribute quote if I could remember who said it) "on the internet, no one knows you're a dog" -- and thus for years the internet "community" had a reputation as being nothing more than a forum that people used to cause each other even more trouble and heartbreak than was possible IRL. I am not much into this idea of the web as a hand-holding-safe-place-lovefest, but I thought that at least where blogs were concerned people were dispensing with the bullcrap and saying what they really meant. You know, "communicating." Privacy is one thing -- I'm not saying everyone should use their real name and post the intimate details of their personal lives. But hiding behind a mask and snickering at the havoc you cause is not only pathetic, it's so fucking 1998.
You know, I'm with Jim Treacher: I would like the internet to quit sucking right now. Some people could just quit being assholes, that would really help. I'm not going to hold my breath, though. (No links, this person does not need any more publicity or whatever it is they were after.)
Not only do we have to suffer through the revisionist liars and their "where are the WMDs" crap, now I have to read some utter moron who calls himself "Bon Scott"* say in the comments to this post on the latest atrocity in Israel perpetrated by baby-and-grandma-killers Hamas, that -- here, you read it:
Tim says: "Hamas, like all terrorist organisations, is destined to lose..."
Interesting. Have the IRA lost then? Must have missed that newsflash while I was having a ciggie outside the rehearsal room.
When someone pointed out that the IRA's stated objectives (a united Ireland, Brits out of Eire, all Protestants gone) Mr. "Scott" replied:
On the other hand, the IRA has a seat at the political table and had its bombers and murderers released from prison.
So they haven't lost, either.
Would the peace process have been quicker if the IRA hadn't been blowing things and people up? I have no idea- I'm just a dead rock singer, remember - but in any case the IRA is still kicking on as a viable political force.
"Viable political force"? I like that. Yeah, they got some recognition -- too much as it is, but the only reason they got it is because they finally agreed to stop blowing people up. Hamas et al have not only not agreed to stop killing people (I'd say Jews, but they don't seem too reluctant to kill everyone else, so it's "people"), they brag about their intentions of killing more people.
Anyway, here is what I said in Tim's comments:
Hey, Fake Dead Rockstar -- how about thinking that maybe if the IRA hadn't been so busy blowing people up they'd have gotten what they want sooner rather than later? You don't know much about history, do you? [AD HOMINEM ATTACK] Are you stupid or do you just play an idiot on MTV? [/AD HOMINEM ATTACK]
How many centuries have the Irish been fighting with the English? How many decades have the IRA (who are a bunch of fascist communists who use the religious divide as a convenient cover for their true intentions) been blowing up kiddies and grandmas in NI?
*Oh, and his cute "I'm just a dead rockstar" shtick is such a dead joke that it doesn't even stink anymore. It's a dried-up mummy of a joke. No -- a fossil.
Winner of the "I Went to LA and All I Got Was This Lousy Crack Buzz" award goes to Ed O'Brien of Radiohead, who went to a forest on top of a mountain and apparently had some wicked bad hallucinations. Now, I have been to Griffith Park and looked down from the observatory there and I remember being way impressed at this big-ass forest and mountain range right in the middle of a huge city. Sure, there's a view of L.A. -- but it's in no way reminscent of any scene in Blade Runner, a movie I have seen several times. Look -- here's a picture. Here's another. I don't remember wide vistas and sunny skies in Blade Runner.
This is sad, but I must put Dave Sims in the Confederacy of Dunces category for this post, and this follow-up one, which are his attempts to get us to look at the "root causes" of why people would join the Ku Klux Klan. Here is what I put in the comments of his second post:
Dave, I think the reason you are so perplexed as to why these "friendly, non-racist people" would join the KKK is... because they were not, in fact, non-racist.I don't suppose the "I know what I am talking about because I come from that part of the country" argument will go down some peoples' craws any easier than Susanna's did -- she merely got slammed by one of his commenters as basically having betrayed her roots. (Whoo.) But forging on nevertheless, let me say this:
Please. I have lived in the South all my life. My mother's family is from Tennessee, my father grew up in Washington DC and Maryland during the Depression and World War 2. These people -- nice, friendly guys talking to another white guy -- pulled the wool over your eyes. Or maybe they don't feel that they are racists because they laugh at the Cosby Show on tv and don't think that lynching is okay anymore. Everyone has to live with themselves and most people choose to see themselves in the best light. And you, I think, are no racist -- you merely want to think of these people (so nice, so polite, so eloquent about their travails) as good people too. But they aren't.
They get the same reply from me as blacks do who join the Nation of Islam or some such pseudo-religious, racist organization, with the excuse that "there was no one else to turn to to help my people get ahead": Bullshit, sir and madam. There are a ton of groups poor white men and women could join, if join a group they must, to get help with getting a job or changing laws they think unfair, or whatever the other reasons were your aquaintances gave you. None of the other groups have the overtly and well-known -- to anyone who can see lightning, hear thunder, and is warm to the touch -- racist agenda of the Ku Klux Klan. I don't care how much money they donate to "good causes" and whatnot. I would tell your KKK-joining aquaintances that it doesn't matter how pretty you dress up after rolling in the garbage, you'll still stink.
The criteria for what gets some groups identified as detrimental to civilization is not based on a zero-sum equation. The fact that our major problem this decade happens to be Middle-Eastern terrorism and the groups that engage in it does not mean that other groups -- such as the Ku Klux Klan -- get some of the burden of evil therefore lifted from their reputation. The fact that there are racist groups among African-Americans (such as Nation of Islam), Mexican-Americans (La Raza), and so forth does not mean that racist white groups get a pass. They are all bad, and the people who join them passed up many perfectly legit organizations because the racist groups gave them something they weren't going to get from the legitimate groups. It has nothing to do with wanting a better job, and everything to do with wanting to lord it over (even if only in basement meetings) the "other" people you blame for your bad luck.
I will not say that Dave Sims is a racist. But he has made the mistake many well-meaning people make: he has granted the powerless (or those he perceives as being powerless) moral sanction for their actions out of pity for their state. He forgets that just because a man is "disenfranchised" does not mean he can't do evil.
(The title refers to one of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, "The Five Orange Pips." The story was written sometime in the late nineteenth century. If you read it you will see that the Ku Klux Klan already had quite a reputation by then. And I refuse to believe that a region so obsessed with the Civil War -- or as you might hear it termed in some parts of the South, the "War of Northern Aggression" -- can simultaneously produce people who have no idea of the reputation of the South's most notorious hate group. Of course, they must know -- or else, why would they think that becoming a Klan member (I almost wrote Klam -- hm, I think I will use that from now on) would be a great way of "put[ing] so many of the smart toffs’ knickers in a twist"?)
Update: the discussion continues. Dave replied to my comments, but I wasn't particularly satisfied with his reply:
Oh I know there are many out-and-out sorry-ass racists in the Klan, what I'm trying to say is there are people joining for other reasons than hatred of blacks. The clear sense I got from the guys I talked with was that they hated the government much more than they hated blacks, they hated how the government was using blacks (in their perception) to keep them down.
Admittedly it's a short hop from there to hating blacks themselves, but the guys I spoke with made the distinction.
And you cannot name another organization of any significant profile who genuinely has the interests of the poor whites at heart.
Andrea's comments have made me wonder how much any of us really know about the Klan today. Had I not had that encounter with actual Klansmen I'd hold as uninformed and ignorant a stereotype of them as some commenters (it's not to be implied here that I include Andrea as uninformed or ignorant) here hold.
Since very few commenters on these threads speak of actual experiences with the Klan itself, positive or negative, or encounters with Klansmen, I'm left to conclude that pretty much everybody's dealing with second-hand information.
I wonder if there'd be a market for a book taking an honest look at the Klan today, trying to figure out why people who at least profess non-racist views join it, what the majority of Klansmen actually think and believe and how they come to terms, as Andrea says how they live with themselves, joining an organization with such a dark history, even if they repudiate that history?
Well, thanks, but -- while none of my relatives (to my knowledge), ever had anything to do with the Klan, I sure as hell know that people they knew and grew up with did. And unfortunately there is still plenty of racism in the South. So much so that the idea of a "non-racist person" joining the Ku Klux Klan is laughable on its face. There is no reason for non-racist people to join the Klan in the South -- it's not as if the supply of white racists is running out down here. This is part of what I call the Bad Facts of Life in the South. I am not a Southern Culture-hater, but I am not going to close my eyes to its biggest flaw. So I said:
Dave, you missed or completely ignored my main issue, which is: no one who is not racist joins the Ku Klux Klan. I do not care what your friends told you. I do not care that they say they joined "because they hate the government." Its reputation is that set in stone, and there is no amount of whitewashing that you or anyone else can do to that organization that will cause it to be considered as respectable as the Rotary Club.I am beginning to feel as if I am banging my head on a brick wall. Maybe that explains the headache I had this morning.
As for there being no way these men can fight the powers that be, there is something called "the political process" which is no secret, which only someone with strong delusions -- such as a paranoid, racist, KKK member -- can believe that they are actively prevented from participating in in this country. I didn't bother to name any other groups because a) I didn't feel like doing your homework for you -- you are the one who is so worried about these poor, disenfranchised men; and b) I actually thought that you could bring to mind a few yourself -- the Republican Party and the various Baptist churches come to mind as options that a disenfranchised Southerner might find attractive. That is, if he didn't mind giving up the added perks of getting to parade around in sheets and pointy-hooded masks, burning crosses on lawns, and other atavistic acts of social defiance.
As for the repeated claims of these people that they don't "hate blacks" being held up by you as proof that they aren't racist -- that has been the line of segregationists and other racists since day one. They don't "hate" the Negros -- they just think they ought to be kept separate from whites, Among Their Own Kind. It's not "hate" to want to raise up the white man to his lawful place at the top of the human food chain -- it's just God's law that the black man was to be subordinate to the white man. And they'll bring up the Bible, where it says that God gave certain privileges to the Children of Ham and Sem and that other guy I always forget. (Moe? Larry?) Of course they'll tell you they don't hate black people: that's what they tell themselves! Like I said, I grew up here, I know the milieu. Please don't play the "we don't really know anything" game. You may be ignorant, but I'm not. I have had to hear things like my own great-aunt expressing dismay at the sight of a little white girl and a little black boy holding hands, of hearing my father complain that Bob Seeger -- Bob Seeger -- was "nigger music." My father was an educated man with a degree in Political Science from Georgetown University (I have his degree, printed in Latin), back when a degree from that school meant something. True, before the alcoholism set in he would never have let words like that slip his lips, but as he aged and stopped caring all hell broke loose. In Jack Daniels veritas -- these kinds of things have a way of coming out eventually down here. And currently I live not one half-hour's drive away from Polk County, Florida, which is on the FBI list as one of the top three KKK activity hotspots. Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about.
The New York Times is not a national newspaper? Wow -- who knew? Except for everyone not living in the boroughs of the above city, that is. I mean, it's the New York Times, not the "United States Times." Hey, I may be a rube from some uncivilized place called... Folderol? Arborea? Florida! That's it -- but I used to read the NYT to find out what was happening in New York, not Miami. (Via Instapundit.)
Not satisfied with abasing himself before Saddam Hussein's minions on his "fact-finding" trip to Iraq, Master Thespian Sean Penn has spent about forty large and dumped this full-page ad in the NYT, the purpose of which is to acquaint us all with his freshman-year-level political philosophy and his weighty, junior-high-B-student prose. Lee at Right-Thinking from the Left Coast fisks it but good. Me, I don't have the patience for this anymore. I'll just say that in my opinion it's a real striver.
Here's the massive PDF file from Penn's "under construction" website if you want. And Penn, you suck -- you've got a fucking website, can't you get one of your secretaries to post it in HTML? No one cares what font the NYT used.
... a soldier in trouble is better off among his enemies. By "friends" I refer to the writer of this article, one Patrick Bishop, concerning the recently exonerated-of-war-crimes British Colonel Tim Collins. Colonel Collins was accused of roughing up and in general mistreating Iraqi POWs, a charge that turns out, shamefully, to have been trumped up by an American reservist who must have been the company brown-nose, if the petty complaints that apparently spurred his accusations are any indication.
Be that as it may, Mr. Bishop uses this episode and its happy outcome as an excuse to go off into an uncalled-for diatribe against the entire American military. We are referred to as Britain's "muscle-bound allies" and our soldiers' behavior is compared unfavorably with the shining perfection of the British:
Our soldiers, as soon as circumstances allowed, regarded the local population with rough sympathy, helping them and generally treating them as fellow members of the human race. They stripped off their body armour and helmets as quickly as they could to make themselves less threatening.
The Americans still bristle with weapons and look like martial Teletubbies, swaddled in layers of kit. They seem frightened of everything and everyone and their overwhelming concern is staying alive. To them, every Iraqi is a potential enemy, an attitude that is reinforced by the endlessly instilled doctrine of the primacy of Force Protection.
This sort of Victorian dimestore sentimentality -- British paragons of all that is righteous and true vs. brutish, subhuman American cave-soldiers -- is ridiculous, divisive, and tedious, as well as dehumanizing of the members of the British military that Mr. Bishop thinks he is lauding. It also has nothing to do with the case he started off talking about -- the American reservist who started all the trouble was apparently upset about, among other things, not being able to show off the same sort of ostentatious loving kindness that Mr. Bishop claims the British displayed. So what do the petty machinations of a "Milquetoast" like Re Biastre have to do with the bloviating about brutal, survival-obsessed American soldiers "bristling" with weapons?
Nothing, except that Mr, Bishop wanted to rant about the awful Americans, thus this long, disjointed, rambling column. A disappointment to find this nonsense in the Telegraph.
Michael Moore's website has been hacked. The management here at Spleenville would like to go on the record as declaring the hacking of someone's website to be a deplorable and antisocial act. ("Hahahahahahah!" "Shut up!" "You shut up it's funny!" "Is not! Hee hee -- I mean -- you bad person you! Oh hahahaha...")
And here is the screen capture, for posterity. I trust that Mr. Moore's web administrator's put an end to this
hilarious heinous act posthaste!
It looks as if Michael Moore is going to try to spread that old lie about the planes that supposedly flew the Bin Laden family home on September 11th. Here's the entry on Snopes.com debunking this myth.
(Via Tim Blair.)
Oh dear. I have been reprimanded. (See the fifteenth comment down from Concerned
Troll Reader Phillip Harrington.) I keep trying to remember to turn that frown upside down, but it's not easy, being that my heart is a lump of coal and all.
Ah. I see what your pathetic little game is. Your drug-, booze, and cock-addled little brainettes have come up with the hilarious fun plan of "Let's see whose blogs we can harass into shutting down their comments sections and maybe even closing down entirely!" That game might work on some people, but not on me.
Come. I invite you. Post your comments. I think it's hilarious when the feeble-minded try to be witty and cruel when they don't even have the talent to be pathetic and stupid. It's lots more fun than bowhunting Helpless Thirdworld Children™. That was getting kind of boring.
PS: to everyone else, I really am beginning to think there is some sort of psychosis going around. For instance, I see that I am not the only one who is experiencing an upsurge in bizarre, random trollage from what seems to be members of some particularly distasteful cult. I only hope these cultees make like the followers of the late Reverend Jim Jones and guzzle the Koolaid soon, because they are using up valuable oxygen.
Update: they've made the mistake of bothering Acidman. Well, we have already established how stupid these trolls are.
Some people just like to be spanked. Here's a particularly sad case: someone calling itself "The Voice of Reason" (wow, that's so... original) left this in the comments to this post:
Hey Andrea, Why not save yourself some time and trouble by limiting your responses to either "I know you are, but what am I?", or "la, la, la - I have my hands over my eyes and can't see what you wrote."?
If, as you contend, you did not care what others think, you wouldn't spend some much time saying so.
You're a fucking psychopath, established beyond a doubt by your rules prohibiting the expression of anything you don't understand, or "trying out amateur psychology BS on me."
oops. bet I just got myself banned from the kingdom.
Why yes, as a matter of fact, you are, as of now, banned. I don't know why -- it must be because, fucking psychopath that I am, I object to some tiny-penised, shrunken gonad of a loser calling me "a fucking psychopath" in much the same manner as I would object to having shit smeared on my face. But I guess that puzzles hairy-palmed cellar-dwelling defectives like Voice, since they seem to spend so much of their time with their faces buried in feces.
All kidding aside, what I would like to know is -- who the fuck are you, and what is your problem with me? As far as I can recall, I have never encountered you before (unless you are a coward and are using a different name -- that would be typical) and if I did it wasn't memorable to me. I don't know you from Adam, nor do I want to; and I can only wonder at the emptiness of the life of someone who goes to a stranger's blog and shits all over it like you just did.
Anyway, thanks so much for your comments, Mr. or Ms. Voice at HEY SPAMBOTS, OVER HERE --> firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh yeah -- if you continue to harrass me, either by commenting from another IP or emailing me, then I will complain to your IP.
Update: One of Mr. or Ms. Voice's hose-babes, one "ally" whose email address (HEY SPAMBOTS -- HERE'S ANOTHER) is "email@example.com" (oh give me a fucking break with these pathetic teens -- I'll bet this one has "radical" pink hair and a butterfly wing tatt on each ass-cheek) has weighed in with her deep wisdom. Thanks for the advice, porkmunch. Now get back to greasing your daddy's sausage, or he won't give you any more crack money.
Second update: kudos from Wogblog. Heh heh. (Search for "porkmunch.")
Oh -- wait. No you can't.
The phenomenon of Political Correctness has finally reached its nadir of idiocy: now even microbes are being subjected to its hair-splitting (cilia-splitting?) criteria. From an article on the curious fact that all the lookalike "SARS week" magazine covers of the major newsmagazines used Caucasian models for a disease that originated in and has so far mostly affected an Asian country, is this quote:
Jim Kelly, the managing editor of Time, explained his thinking about cover girls as follows: "It was a very conscious decision on our part to pick a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman who looked like she got off the beach at Laguna. We wanted to go with a Western woman because we felt the disease was stigmatizing Asians unfairly."
At last, something about SARS that the hordes of PC can safely hate and fear: it's not just a disease that kills humans, it's a racist disease.
(Via alert reader Darth Monkeybone, who emailed me the article.)
Well here's another bigdeal literary fiction writer (aka "crashing dull read") whose works I'll be avoiding... the way I have always avoided them. You know, maybe she just needs to see a gastroenterologist -- and a psychiatrist.
The title of this jerk's site says it all: "blee bloo blar BLOG -- FAT. HAIRY. GAY. ATHEIST. RADIOACTIVE. LIBERAL. WHINER."
He and his list of little friends are the source of this morning's drive-by feces-flinging match.
You know what will get you banned?
Congratulations, John Kusch at IP address 18.104.22.168, you've been banned! For your remarks in this post. To recap: some little snoot named Adam dropped his pearls of wisdom in the comments, which I mocked, because they were both dull and tired. Then along came Phil, who told me I was rude. (Gee, Phil, did you ever wonder why this site is called "Spleenville," Not "Inn of the Fourth Happiness-Ville," or "Fluffy Bunnyville"? LIKE THE FAQ SAYS, if you want your ego massaged, go elsewhere.) Then along comes this John creature, whose remarks I will reproduce here for your pleasure:
Being wrong is okay. Lots of people make mistakes. Without making mistakes, people can't learn. It's a process. But when you know you're wrong, and you keep at it, that's cause for concern.
The phrase "same old lines of tired bullshit" is essentially meaningless. Adam didn't even really make an argument -- he merely stated that Natalie Maines had a political opinion, and that her opinion is shared by many Americans. He wasn't saying that we're a big powerful mob (though pro-war people often use that very argument), or that pro-war people better watch out, or really anything like that. I'd say Andrea's projecting a bit, not to mention that her jingoistic phrasing labels her far more of a sycophant than Adam, who seems to be a relatively thoughtful person.
It's so ironic that pro-war people -- people who support attack -- so often see themselves as under attack, even while they're attacking anti-war people. This phenomenon has been well-documented in psychology: we tend to see in others those things we're most guilty of ourselves.
Love the line about me being a sycophant. To whom? Myself? Dubya? -- oh that must be it. I can't wait for some other puppy to jump in here and accuse me of being one of Dubya's drones. Boring. Why are you antiwar people -- or "thoughtful," "neutral" people, or whatever you are calling yourselves -- so goddamned boring? I refuse to get into boring, pointless discussions with boring, pointless people.
Don't EVER come onto my blog and tell me that I am not being "nice," or that I was mean to someone who was "polite" by someone else's definition of "polite," or in any way tell me how to behave. I decide how I behave on my own GODDAMN BLOG. I pay for the server space here. If anyone who donated money now or in the past is displeased with my behavior, I will gladly refund the cash to you, but otherwise SHUT UP.
Oh -- and READ THE GODDAMN FAQ -- THIS IS WHY I WROTE IT.
Oh -- and if anyone leaves any more quotes about the Dixie Chicks and how they have "honest opinions that lots of people share" and then uses that fat gasbag fake-umentary maker Michael Moore's works as examples to prove their point, that post will be deleted and the poster banned. Got it? Don't even waste your time here.
I love the smell of napalm in my comments. It smells like... victory.
Evan Coyne Maloney kinda sorta isn't going to boycott entertainers who insult the audience a la the Dixie Chicks, though he does point out that we the audience are their employers and that they the entertainers should not forget that. He says:
Focus on the fruits of their creativity; pay no mind to their sour grapes ideology. It's not worth the energy.
That's all well and good, but to stretch his opening analogy of the rude chef a little further, if the chef came out and called me names and told me he considered the money I was going to pay for the meal to be coming from bloodstained hands, I would pay for the meal, but I doubt I'd eat another bite of it. And I would not go to that restaurant again, not if it were the only one in town. I find as I grow older I have less and less time to give to people who insult me for not thinking the way they do. Life is too short. I can cook my own meals and entertain myself.
So funny: dumbest blog post ever.
Via Dean Esmay.
(PS: Hey! Mitchell was a classic!)
From the Department of People Who Want to Stop Everybody's Fun Because "Somebody Might Get Hurt" comes this article on the "Neo-Prohibition Campaign." Ith over at A Gaggle of Gals (and one Guy) has three posts on it, here, here, and here, so I'll just make my standard smartass quips and suggest you move on to the site.
Like so many Helpists, the anti-boozers aren't satisfied with their actions against drunk drivers and other obvious scourges; they have now decided to attack a larger foe, which is, of course, the alcohol industry, and "drinking culture" as a whole. Of course, the idea that liquor is the Devil's brew is at least as old as the oldest brewery, and when the first hunter and gatherers were giggling around the campfire after eating fermented berries there was probably at least one sourpuss per group who refused to imbibe, preferring instead to sit on the sidelines shaking his head and mumbling disapprovingly. But it looks as if the successes of the anti-tobacco brigade, who have made the air of New York City's outside unbreathable because of their dislike of smokefilled rooms, have encouraged these new puritans to start sharpening their axes. There's no thrill for a certain type of person like the thrill of taking a pleasure away from the populace, "for their own good," of course. Quite frankly, it makes me want to have a drink or three.
Think the UN should be the organization to take over reconstruction of Iraq? Weren't convinced by their stellar non-performance in places like Kosovo? Try their looking-to-be-as-stellar non-performance in Afghanistan. Short summary: things aren't getting done in that country because the UN way of doing things is to sit around talking about it for years. But people still seem to think that saying "United Nations" is a real-life version of "Abracadabra!" I can only figure that they have been subjected to so much propaganda on how the UN is the be-all and end-all of human political existence that they have grown a titanium scar around those particular brain-nodes that deal with the subject. If the United Nations was a surgeon, the way to deal with a cancerous tumor would be to talk at it and form committees about it in the hopes that it would voluntarily leave the body.
Charles Johnson has been keeping tabs on Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has some interesting (not really) observances.
As a follow up to this post of mine, I thought I'd post a link to a collation of the discussion on various sites of the whole thing. In short, some fellow named Aziz postulated on possible Israeli WMD's -- a fair enough line of speculation, but he didn't stop there, not being content to leave mention of Jews defending themselves without making his own contribution to the blood-libel canard.
Anyway, read on, and follow the links too, if you want to know what I am babbling about. I think you should: it's a textbook case of how people react to an instance of unreason in the modern world.
This is fecking disappointing. Insert into the "don't complain when they attack you because it makes you look bad" file. That's all I have to say for now.
Note to self: do not ever cease intake of sufficient amounts of meat-derived protein, lest I suffer the sort of paresis of the brain that makes one write letters like this one to Meryl Yourish.
Very, very unwise.
Belated PS: kudos to anyone who gets the reference in the title to this post. ;)
Madonna, whose portfolio or whatever they call it is worth a gazillion dollars, says Americans need to stop being so -- wait for it -- materialistic.
"We as Americans are completely obsessed and wrapped up in a lot of the wrong values -- looking good, having cash in the bank, being perceived as rich, famous and successful or just being famous"
Uh. Time to write an imaginary letter:
I know you're busy and all, delving into your spirituality and making Important Political Videos and stuff, but I'm still caught up in the material world of putting cash in the bank -- so all those checks I wrote to my
landlord, auto finance company, insurance company, and grocery store plastic surgeon don't bounce -- and such. But I still want to help. It can't be easy focusing on higher matters with all that money lying around so I have an idea: how about writing me a check for one million dollars. I'm sure it will be good. I promise to build you a tiny shrine in my laundry room next to the cat litter box.
Your Concerned Reader, Andrea Harris
(Via Asymmetrical Information.)
I am providing a link to this Independent article even though they have taken a Salon-like step and decided to force people -- or at least, Americans* -- to pay a pound for the dubious privilege of reading their columns in their entirety. (I'm surprised they don't charge in Euros.) I could not read the paragraphs whence Peter Briffa (warning: Blogspot busted-archive-workaround link will rot, it's the post for April 22, 2003, 10:45:03 AM) derived these tantalizing quotes:
"I thought this war justified, until this evidence that it was being conducted in an improper and uncaring way".
"It would not have been hard to foresee that law and order would have been difficult to maintain in the wake of the collapse of the Iraqi regime, and it would have been quite proper for American troops to have shot looters in these circumstances. That is what war consists of, and it would have saved a culture from this catastrophe".
(Bolds mine in both cases.) The header to the article reads: "Crimes against culture are remembered for ever -- The Muslim world will ask why US forces let the looting happen and produce a simple answer: they hate Islam." On the contrary, many "crimes against culture" are either forgotten or attract scabrous debunkers (cough the Holocaust cough); and in any case the Muslims who think that will, as usual, be wrong, especially considering that the looters were fellow Muslims.
But I am intrigued by the idea that the column's author, one Philip Hensher, apparently thinks that 1) it is possible to fight a "caring" war (how? Drop sympathy cards and flowers along with bombs?) and 2) that the best way to show "caring" would have been to shoot more civilians. The ways in which the minds of anti-Americans work never cease to cause amazement.
*In the comments to one of his posts, Peter Briffa expresses surprise that a reader was confronted by the demand for cash from the Independent, so I have therefore brilliantly concluded that British readers are identified by their IP addresses and not charged.
Apparently there is a Horrible Conspiracy™ behind the war on Saddam Hussein -- to bring democracy to the entire Middle East. I'm not kidding -- a fellow named Josh Marshall thinks this way. Wunderkinder has all the links. Quite frankly I was unaware that there was any other reason to even bother with the Middle East in the fashion that we have. If we simply wanted revenge for all the terrorist attacks against us and/or to impress the world with the mightiness of our arsenal, we would have flattened the area with a few nukes. But we aren't that kind of hegemonical empire. No -- apparently we are something worse: a nation that actually means to improve the human condition outside of its borders. Fiendish!
As usual, where there is trouble in a Muslim country you can usually find an imam at the center of it. Why don't we take these guys out? As in -- take them out to the desert and leave them there. So they want us gone, do they? They should be careful what they ask for. We could just up and leave, citing these "requests," and let them pick up all the mess themselves.
As for the complaints in Baghdad about their city being without running water and electricity for two whole weeks -- what a bunch of wimps. After Hurricane Andrew passed by my neighborhood my block was without electricity for three weeks, in the middle of August, when temps went up to the high nineties and even the low hundreds. (As for water, 1992 was a drought year -- Andrew was one of the driest hurricanes ever, with hardly any rain; it was mostly wind and storm surge. And we were occupied by the US Army too, and we also had plenty of looters.)
(Via Tim Blair.)
So Robert Fisk is feeling the Iraqi's oppression and pain again -- at the hands of the coalition forces, what else? It seems that "the Americans" (the heck with the other member nations of the coalition, they're just dupes and fools, I guess) have issued a request to people in Baghdad to not leave their homes at night since fighting is still going on and, you know, someone might get hurt. At least, that's how it reads to me, but Fisk Knows Better:
So now – with neither electricity nor running water – the millions of Iraqis here are ordered to stay in their homes from dusk to dawn. Lockdown. It's a form of imprisonment. In their own country. Written by the command of the 1st US Marine Division, it's a curfew in all but name.
Gasp! Curfew. The most dreaded word in the English language to someone like Fisk. I left this in Steven Chapman's comments, but I figured I might share my wisdom with you all:
[...]here we have an example of what really frightens those that are pleased to call themselves the "progressive left" -- the idea that anyone's personal movements should be subject to any restriction whatsoever, no matter how temporary and how much for one's own good, and no matter if it is in effect nothing more than a request and a caution. I still remember my friends and I back in our own "progressive" days getting shriekingly indignant over a city-imposed curfew on Miami's teens, even though we were already in our twenties at the time and so the law didn't even apply to us, and even though it was in an effort (only semi-successful) to cut down on teen crime and gang warfare inside city limits.
I know it's a cliché now to refer to P.J. O'Rourke, but something he said about the essentially toddler-like philosophy of modern-day "liberals" still stands: freedom to them means the right to "put anything in their mouths, to say bad words and to expose their private parts in art museums." (From Give War a Chance.)
There is apparently no end to the lengths Michael Moore fans will go to prove their beloved has been persecuted. That post goes the website of someone who has gone to a lot of trouble to support their assertion that CNN turned up the boos on Moore's Oscar speech.
Well you know what? Who gives a shit about what CNN did? The Oscars weren't first broadcast on CN-fucking-N, they were broadcast on whatever network teevee station I sat and watched the thing on. Read that? I sat and watched the live speech. The boos were loud. They were noticeable. Maybe everyone booing had hidden amps in their lapels or some shizzat, 'cos they all knew that Moore would try to Expose the Machinations of the Man, and the booers were all members of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy that is right now hounding and persecuting Saint Michael, I dunno. But CNN didn't have to do a thing. The boos happened, Mikey fans. Deal with it. He does't get 100% approval everywhere he goes, I think he'll survive anyway.
Christ on a stick. I have an .mp3 of a recording someone made from the actual teevee show on the actual night, not whatever bullshit CNN pulled, if they indeed pulled any bullshit, which I doubt. They don't need to make things bad for La Moore -- they had other, more powerful tyrants to kowtow to.
(Via Jim Treacher.)
Update: ha ha ha.
Hey! And I didn't even see this link! Thanks, Instadude! Now I shall watch my hit count rise -- oh wait, I don't even have a hit counter. Well, I could just got look at my analog files, but zzzzzzzz---nssnsksxx... hunh? Oh, sorry. Fell asleep thinking about boring stuff like log files and hit counters. I just delete my log files anyway. All they do is take up space.
Hey everyone, enter your poster for peace here. You may win an Amazon gift certificate. And even if you don't, the website owners promise that you'll at least "feel just a tiny bit better." Well that's reward enough for me! (Wouldn't want to feel a lot better, now -- that would make someone who only feels a tiny bit better feel bad.)
If you need more pointers on what sort of poster to make, Jim Treacher has done one. The site owners haven't seen fit to accept either his or Ken Layne's submissions yet, but I'm sure they'll be getting to it any minute now.
Well. "Killblogger." "Babyconservative dogpile" (on poor, poor Agonized Sean-Paul Kelly the Plagiarist) . So that is what passes for learned liberal discourse. I'm glad to see he doesn't seem to care about plagiarism or intellectual property theft. I wonder how he would feel if I downloaded something of his -- say, his blogging software -- and offered it to others saying I invented it? Oh! That's not the same thing, foul thief! he'd no doubt cry. Yawn. So bored with these bores. They should all be drowned in a butt of Manischewitz.
(Via Dean Esmay, the Conservababe.)
So this is what happens when the Ritalin generation grows up.
(Via Jim Treacher, who has new signs for the kiddies too!)
Who could possibly be unhappy about the liberation of Baghdad except for Saddam Hussein and associates? Why -- who else but Professional Fat, Loud, Obnoxious Person (and Future Toilet Seat Cover for Satan) Michael Moore:
It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude -- and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.
Hear that, Iraqis? It wasn't worth it. Quit all that cheering and dancing.
God, and the fake, teevee-evangelist-type sincerity he uses to express himself: "Can I share with you...?" "I tell you all of this..." "And that, my friends..." "...millions of Americans who think the same way we do." Gag me with a gravy boat. He's the Oral Roberts of the Left. But all is not woe in Mooreville: a kabillion people have requested the Columbine video -- or anyway, more people than have ordered Chicago -- he's gotten funding for more
propaganda films documentaries, and best of all, his web hit counts have gone through the stratosphere! And only 75% of them are from porn-site bots! (Okay, I made that last one up.)
As Jeff Jarvis says, it's all about "Michael Moore, greed machine." On second thought, "Satan's Toilet Seat" is too distinguished a future position to give the enlarded one.
Amitai Etzioni, whose blog you should have in your blogroll (because I say so! do not question me!) has discovered PETA's latest campaign. Obviously they weren't getting enough of a rise out of people with their other campaigns.
But seriously: of course they have an 800 number you can call to get the so-called statistics that prove their case. Perhaps someone will ask them why meat-eating populations didn't just die out ages ago, leaving us a race of happy, peaceful, hot-to-trot vegans. And the "people didn't eat as much meat then as now" argument won't wash -- if all meat is murder now, and bad and evil, it was the same then, right? Whatever -- I can't go any further in trying to understand the convoluted mental spasms that resemble thought in the minds of PETA activists.
What sort of person could say, of the story of children freed by coalition forces from one of Iraq's notorious children's prisons, something like this:
Of course the thousands that have been killed, lost limbs, or lost family members would be alive, whole and have parents.
But hey, at the very least, these 100 kids are now free to roam around the city and have a cruise missle land on their heads.
Now the Iraqi Information Minister, whose title is a near-perfect example of the book mot matching the cover, has drawn the wrath of Fark.com, for his latest demented claim (that the US has gone all the way to Iraq merely so we could hand out booby-trapped pencils to Iraqi children; silly man, it's poisonous candy -- get your Evil Childkiller Schemes straight). Sample:
Capnpaco: "Does this dude ever sleep? Every time I look at the damn TV he's up there talking about America's plans to shoot the sun down out of the sky or whatnot. Can they possibly let the poor dude take a nap and let someone else read the propoganda?"
He is showing all the signs of sleep-deprivation-induced dementia. Then again, maybe he's just the Iraqi version of those old guys down at the Legion Hall that everyone avoids because he is always ranting about the government's plot to turn everyone into soulless zombies by fluoridating the water. I'm not surprised a wackjob like Al-Sahaf is holding such a high post in Saddam's (soon to be ex-) government; Saddam didn't seem to care much for reality, so it stands to reason he'd want to surround himself with people who were disconnected from it.
Crack, baby, crack, show me you're real
Smack, baby, smack, is all that you feel
Suck, baby, suck, give me your head
Before you start professing that you're knocking me dead...*
Someone has hacked ActorsAgainstWar.com (click for larger):
(*Rest of lyrics available here.)
Algore, the Dembot that Wouldn't Leave, is now adding his digitally remastered support to the censored, oppressed Dixie Chicks:
"They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit," Gore said. "Our best protection is free and open debate."
Just think, if only 2Live Crew and Prince had made fun of Republicans, they'd never have been targeted by Tipper Gore's
Ministry to Promote Virtue and Parents Music Resource Center. (On that note, read what Rachel Lucas has to say.)
(Via Transterrestrial Musings, among others.)
Dave Winer is supposed to be some big-deal computer brainhead, but where the war in Iraq is concerned, he might as well be a ten-day-old corpse for all the useful insight he can bring to this subject. Let us examine his assertions. Skip the BS about us being in Iraq's "house," -- except to note that he seems to think that this is a bad thing. Yeah, Uncle Sam is in the hizzouse now. You saying something's wrong with that?
It's this passage that is the most precious:
If you have a choice, you have no excuse going to war. You can only go to war if you have no choice. I'm sorry Dubya. Let's just put the tanks in reverse and bring the boys home. Say we're sorry and ask for forgiveness. It'll be a lot easier than playing it out. This war is just plain wrong.
I've got a little something to say to that (and I'm going to swear like a truck driver so be warned):
Just what the hell do you mean by "choice"? You don't bother to say -- perhaps since the only thing resembling "choice" would be to let Iraq remain in Saddamite purgatory until the end of time. Ass. You blab about how awful it is that we are tracking dust all over the nice carpet of Iraq, and then you imply that their lives really don't mean shinola to you.
And I'd like to know one thing:
"Put the tanks in reverse," he says. "Put the tanks in reverse"??? Put them in fucking REVERSE??? What the HELL is this moron smoking? We can't just back up out of Iraq like a guy who's gone up the wrong highway ramp backing up his Chevy S-10. What the hell do you think we've been doing for the past week, Winer? Do you actually think we can just beam out of there, like on Star Trek? YOU ARE AN IDIOT, DAVID WINER.
And the arrogance of "Say we're sorry and ask for forgiveness." Jesus H. Bend Me Over and Fist Me Christ, this guy has just outdone Michael Moore. Moore only claimed to speak for the whole goddamn American working class. Winer seems to think that all we have to do is "apologize" and tell the Iraqi people "You can go on back to your suffering and oppression, sorry for the dead people, big holes, and broken windows -- but see, David Winer is a big computer brain, and he's all bummed and this war news is making him frown and feel all funny in his tummy, so we have to leave! We won't be picking up before we go either -- Dave said now, so we have to skedaddle! Now remember, be nice to Qusay -- he'll be your new boss!" And see, they'll be okay with it, 'cos Dave Winer is a nice man and bad things don't happen in his world to good little boys and girls who apologize nicely! It does not seem to have occurred to him (well, that would take thought, and that does not seem to have been used by Mr. Winer to write this) that stuff like his magnanimous offer is what makes the Iraqis think we are not to be trusted, and as long as people like Winer continue to go about with their heads jammed completely up the cracks of their asses in this manner, the Iraqis will be right.
Then he goes into a hysterical rant about how we just can't win this war, so I guess that the BBC, Al-Jazeerah, and Iraqi state teevee are the Winer household's main sources of news. Then there is a whole bunch of stuff about how the Fearsome Arab Fighter Terrorist Jihad The CIA FBI Suicide Bombers AAH! WE'RE DOOMED! EVERYONE RUN TO THE HILLS!
Perhaps Mr. Winer was afraid that if he didn't say anything about the war, he would be thought of as a fool. Well, now that he has said something, we no longer merely have to think that.
(By the way, the link in the above quote, copied from the original, goes to an image of very large black letters that spell out the word "wrong." I kid you not. What the hell is that supposed to prove? That he knows how to use Photoshop to make a jpeg?)
[Via Dean Esmay.]
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.
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.")
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...
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.
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.)
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?
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.
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!
(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.
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!
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.)
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.
Click to enlarge (har!):
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.
Conrad the Gweilo takes down a Stupid White Man.
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.
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.)
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."
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?
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.
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.)
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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.]
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.
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.
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.
(Via Sean Kirby.)
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 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!
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.
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.
Lots of bloggers, myself included, have been moaning about the stupidity and moral vacuity of the "human shield" movement. But it has come to my attention that we are ignoring a prime opportunity here: the possibility that the conglomeration of idiots whose masks were torn off on September the 11th, 2001, are converging (no doubt due to some sub-cellular influence that draws idiots together while leaving people of normal intellectual composition unmoved) into one easily targeted mass. My proof? Deepak Chopra is heading off to Baghdad. Bombs away, I say.
(Via Mrs. du Toit.)
Ooh, Janeane Garofalo got her ass kicked on Fox and Friends on the Fox News Network. Brian Kilmeade was somewhat -- ah -- less than deferential to the august pronouncements of Ms. Garofalo. It almost makes me wish I had cable teevee so I could have watched this.
(Via Sharon Ferguson.)
What the hell is Robert Fisk talking about here??? I wasn't even going to bother reading this (I haven't read all the mites of antimight featured in this article either; just look at the freaking headline of the thing for a taste of the idiocy). But I let curiosity lead me. Now my head hurts. Here's why. Fisk says:
I wouldn't say I was part of an anti-war campaign.
Then he goes on to babble about his parents' experience of war and the battlefields they took him to, blah blah blah. I'm not sure how that is supposed to prove he is not antiwar; maybe he got a disapproving phone call from an elderly relative. But then, further down, we get:
What we should be asking ourselves is, what should we have done to prevent this situation? But it's always what shall we do now?
Let me ask this (update: I've put the rest in the extended entry field):
Of course, it doesn't. Every problem in the world that is solved, every trouble spot that is made untroubled, is one less place for Fisk to perform his patented sob-sister act over. It's that much less Exciting Career as a Journalist in the Danger Zone and much more ending his days writing obits for the village weekly. It's all about his career and his fame. I can't explain this blast of antilogic from the antimatter universe any other way.
As for the rest of the saddoes interviewed in the article, they are all of a piece: all stuck in that hide-the-ring-and-never-speak-of-it-again moment in Fellowship of the RIng, never getting to "What can I do." Action is anathema to these jellyfish of the left, fobbing off problems onto someone else and then blaming everyone but themselves for the inevitable disaster. "Make the war go away, Mommy!" A bunch of Fred Dursts, all of them.
(Via Tim Blair.)
Henceforth, anyone who admits to me that they admire Noam Chomsky for anything whatsoever will be labelled the bearer of monster cooties and will be banished from my blog.
But they don't care: Hollywood Halfwits is a website dedicated to "Hollywood Idiots -- Exposing Celebrity Idiots and Anti-Americans." They've got lots of goodies, of course, and I am sure that there will be more. Via Tim Blair.
Alert Reader Kenneth Summers sent me this article, on the quite different attitude one Miss Sheryl Crow had towards an earlier American military venture. I'm reproducing the entire thing here for posterity:
Singer-turned-anti-war-activist Sheryl Crow deplores President Bush's plans to liberate the people of Iraq, but she was singing a different tune when President Clinton dispatched U.S. forces to Bosnia in the 1990s.
In fact, not only did Crow not protest when Clinton sent U.S. forces to the Balkans, she traveled to the region with then-first lady Hillary Clinton to show her support and joined a USO tour to entertain the troops.
"Once over there I felt extremely patriotic," Crow told USA Today in April 1996. "Here are these people, from 18-year-olds to military veterans, enduring real duress for the cause of peace."
The singer then gushed, "I don't ever want to play for a regular audience again, only military folks who are starving for music."
Crow was so supportive of the Clinton administration's decision to use military force in the Balkans that the Toronto Sun referred to her as "Hillary Clinton['s] sidekick in Bosnia."
The war-protesting songstress even penned a tune about what she saw. Dubbed "Redemption Day," the composition was "an anthem condemning America's apathy toward Bosnia," according to the Albany Times-Union.
I leave you to come to your own conclusions.
The British government, in a brilliant move, has done something that will guarantee celibate teens by the end of the decade: Government urges under-16s to experiment with oral sex. No, really:
The scheme, which has been pioneered by Exeter University and is backed by the Departments of Health and Education, trains teachers to discuss various pre-sex “stopping points” with under-age teenagers.
It aims to reduce promiscuity by encouraging pupils to discover “levels of intimacy”, including oral sex, instead of full sexual intercourse.
I can't wait for the brochures. And what's next, encouraging Mum and Dad to demonstrate for the kiddies? "This is how we managed to wait until we were married before getting in the family way!"
Britain will be back to "No sex please, we're British," before you know it.
Light slowly struggles to pierce the murk in Robert Fisk's brain. He valiantly manages to hold the fort against the invader, but only just. Is this the beginning of the end? One can only hope.
(Via Tim Blair.)
LOL. Check it out.
Max Sawicky, lefty blogger Who Is Better Than You extraordinaire, made a double whammy of a mistake. Not only did he think that it would be insulting to call Glenn Reynolds, Steven Den Beste, Andrew Sullivan, and Charles Johnson "the Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse" -- something that backfired (see this post for more) -- he gave Jane Galt the oh-she's-just-a-girl male chauvinist treatment more thoroughly than any conservative male ever could. Joanne Jacobs commented here:
I think this four horseman thing is horribly sexist. Sawicky patronizes Jane Galt as stupid but nice, not worthy of the righteous bile of the left. She can be just as ablogalyptic as the lads.
Therefore, I have decided to help out. Therefore, I present to you, the
Furies*, as slightly altered by moi:
(click for larger)
(Joanne Jacobs is the one in the back supporting the wounded figure of Liberalism, Michele is Michele of A Small Victory, and Leftism is the poor sap they are hounding to madness for his grievous assault on Liberalism.)
*Update: I just realized that I made a mistake there. I had orignally wanted to use a picture of the Three Fates, but I couldn't find one I liked. So I went with the Furies. But when I typed this up, I typed in "The Three Fates" instead of "The Furies."
Best Self-Defeating Argument Ever: Molly Ivins, eager to score points against the Hated Bush Junta®, decided to take France's side in the current fuss. Her alleged beef: accusations of cowardice against the French are Not Fair, because they lost 100,000 men
surrendering to fighting the advancing German forces during WW2. In her zeal to show how Kulcha'ed she is by bragging about her knowledge of French history, she forgot another fact that makes her look like the dumb hick she often tries to pretend to be. Ross Douthat reminds her:
If you want to know what a country that really wanted "to stop Adolf Hitler" might have done, consider Russia, which suffered a far greater defeat in the opening months of Operation Barbarossa, saw its front-line armies smashed to kindling and thousands of square miles of territory overrun, was far more out-manned, out-gunned, out-generaled and out-tanked than the well-armed French -- and then kept fighting, until Hitler was beaten and 6,115,000 Russians were dead. That's what it really means to "stand and fight."
I used to think Ivins was amusing back in the day, but lately she has given me the same feeling so many other pundits and celebs do: they have become bitter and mean, and they have sore loser written all over them. People will root for the underdog, and help a legitimate victim of circumstances, but no one likes a loser.
Glenn Reynolds has some advice for people against the war. Too bad so few of them will take it.
[self promotion] I noticed that my name is on the list of links on the sidebar. I'd never noticed before. Go me! [/self promotion]
There's a shrill buzzing sound emitting from New York City. What could it be? Oops -- there went another champagne glass... yes! It's society doyenne and failed magazine editor Tina Brown! Money quote:
IS IT JUST THE RESIDUE of fashion week that makes me wish there were more, or should I say any, gay men in the Bush Administration? At The Sunday Times in the Seventies one top editor used to shake his head when the paper became too humourlessly high-testosterone and say that what it needed that week was “more pooftah power”.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I am practically sure that there is at least one gay person in Bush's administration. I can't remember his name, or -- oh heck, let's use Google: Here's a little item from Newsmax (not a leftwing publication) on the number of gay people Bush has or had appointed to various positions. That Google search took me less than thirty seconds. As Big Arm Woman says, I guess Tina Brown really is a tiny moron.
(Via Juan Gato. Note: I left a version of this post in Big Arm Woman's comments. It actually did take me thirty seconds to find the Newsmax item above, not five minutes. Google is your friend.)
The topic is, of course, our terrified country. The problem is, the country isn't, as Matt points out, particularly terrified. I myself have noticed a disturbing lack of fear and/or nervousness in my locale, even though I live near Disney World, which some think is favorite terrorist target. What can be done to avert this crisis? I know: keep telling everyone how afraid they are! These journalists or whatever they are don't seem to have actually talked to any people other than their close associates. If they had, I can only imagine the dialogue going something like this:
"You're afraid, aren't you?" "Um... no. Should I be?" "Come on, you can tell me! Share your fears." "Well, I was afraid that I forgot to set the vcr for last night's Buffy episode..." "No no, about terrorist attacks." "Terrorists? Bring it on, motherfuckers! I've got a .45 just waiting to be tried out on some raghead--" "No! You're supposed to be afraid!" "Why?"
The headline is "The Worst Defense," but it should really be "Aaagghhh! Mommy!" There's nothing so pathetic as the sight of a terrified newspaper reporter. Also nothing so hilarious.
Update: if I see anything that looks like Al Qaeda riding snowmobiles, I'm not calling Tom Ridge, I'm calling the doctor.
At UCF we get the local paper "free" (meaning, part of our tuition costs entitle us to use our student ID cards to open the newspaper machines on campus, which do not take coins). But I rarely bother. After all, I don't have a bird, so I don't need any bird-cage liner. And in any case I would not want to expose a vulnerable feathered creature to something as poisonously pinheaded as essays like today's "My Word" column ("My Word" is a column wherein the Orlando Sentinel's editorial page features a local person's opinion).
The title of the column was "Howdy Doody, Where Are You?" That immediately warned me that we were dealing with a Baby Boomer here -- no one from a succeeding generation would know who "Howdy Doody" was, and no one from a preceding generation would care. Here is a sample of the drivel from the keyboard of this flower of the Common People™ (name withheld to protect the sensibilities of her kinfolk):
Americans have been afraid to speak against the president since Sept. 11.
And I am sure you are now quaking in fear of the Black Helicopters® after having this brave missive printed in the local newsrag.
But wait! There's more!
Now we are hearing from more and more citizens who stand firmly against the prospect of war against a country that has not been proven to be a direct threat to our shores. Colin Powell did not convince me that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks on our country.
And your expertise in judging what Powell had to say is--?
But wait! There's more!
More and more countries that used to be our greatest allies are, for the first time in decades, lining up to stand against us. Should we not listen to them?
How about, No?
But wait! There is still more!
Are we all letting ourselves be fooled by an administration salivating at the prospect of war?
Yup, they just can't wait to kill! kill! kill! Condi's got a new display shelf all ready for the skulls of Iraqi Children™!
Oh, there is still more...
Were we blinded by the events of Sept. 11 and frightened into thinking that we must appear patriotic at all costs and whatever the president wants is fine by us, even if we are not shown the "cloth" to prove it?
That's an I'm-so-original reference to "The Emperor's New Clothes," the use of which is so rampant that it needs to have it's own law akin to "Godwin's Law" concerning the overuse of Hitler as an argument-stopper.
The next-to-the-last paragraph contains all the sense that was not used in the preceding ones:
We should be pushing for more control of our own borders, focusing more energy on keeping terrorists from entering the country and weeding out those already here with plans for another attack on one of our cities. If Iraq has the technology to send a nuclear weapon on its way to the United States, we have better technology to intercept it. What we cannot seem to control are those who might be developing the weapons within the country to use against us. We would feel a lot more comfortable and safe if the monies funding a war would be funneled into our new homeland security efforts. This writer does not pretend to have the answer to world peace.
At least she admits her ignorance. I like, though, her childish faith in our "better technology" that will somehow be able to magically "intercept" Iraqi nukes that are on their way towards us. I can only assume she means the much-mocked "Star Wars" missile system, though something tells me that when that subject comes up she is against it too. And what does she imagine will happen when a nuclear missile is intercepted by one of ours? That they will both turn into candy floss? I do think that one of the things we are trying to avoid is having any nuclear explosions happen anywhere.
Also, I love the way she is A-OK with stepping up "Homeland Security." I wonder though, if she has really thought through what this entails. Is she for national ID cards? How about racially-profiling people of "Middle-Eastern appearance"? The tone of her writing has a leftist slant -- right-wing antiwar activists tend to not care much about the opinions of "our greatest allies" or any other set of foreigners. But I have read other left-ish leaning people say the same thing about "beefing up" security within the US, while almost in the same breath complaining about "Big Brother" and the "destruction of the Constitution" and so on. Sort of like the way she claims that we are all terrified to speak out against Der Bush, but also says we need to have "more control over our borders" and "weed out" terrorists.
And the newspapers wonder why their readership is dwindling.
The fucking hell?
Alexandra Vodjanikowa, Miss Germany, has announced that she will travel to Iraq, hoping for a date with Saddam Hussein.
Ostensibly it's to "talk him into disarming." Honey, you ain't that good-looking.
Are making the enemy think we are pansies who can't take a little conflict. Or did the
pro Saddam antiwar protesters ever consider the possibility that their activities might have this effect on Saddam Hussein instead of turning him into a latter-day Gandhi?
Something tells me "no."
(Via The Weekly James.)
Fine, don't believe what you read on blogs about stale Vietnam-era ideas, ridiculous tinfoil hat conspiracy theories of world domination and oil thievery, and irrational hatred of George W. Bush being the main themes behind the recent "peace" marches. Believe what the "peace" protesters themselves say.
(Note: you'll need a high-bandwidth connection and the latest version of Quicktime.)
Tim Blair on the impact of the "peace" marches. Summary: the left is dead.
Of course the anti-war protesters in Tallahassee are particularly stupid. My favorite sign: "Who needs oil? I ride the bus!" And diablogger's perfect comeback: "Apparently the busses (sic) in Tallahassee run on magic pixie dust." Well, so that's why the budget in this state is always in such trouble. Do you have any idea what the price of pixie dust is on the open market?
I haven't done a search for reports of protest rallies in Central Florida. I'm afraid to find out how dumb they were.
Okay, so a ship and a gun are just inanimate objects - glad you recognise that even if you do seem to find them oddly attractive. Now stretch your brain cells one stage further and ask yourself: what was this inanimate object created for? What is it's purpose? Why do we have it? The answer is 'To kill people with'. The weapons provide the agency. Honestly, you sound like those morons that promote gun ownership. Long on emotion, short on common sense. You gave it away didn't you, Simberg? "..other inanimate object used in the home - guns." Yes, unfortunately they do get used in the home. Pity. Then again, if they weren't there they couldn't be used. And a fair number of people who have been killed would still be alive.He posted this about a week after the last comment, and it must have scrolled off my main site before then -- anyway, if I had caught it sooner I would have taken care of the little dweeb then. But now I'm just too tired. I'm so sick of these crapheads who think they are so deep and profound. Read, if you are so inclined, my original post for the subject of what he is speaking about, and decide for yourself if he isn't another example of sanctimonious shit-for-brains.
Tacitus links to this essay on Peter Singer, by disability activist (and disabled person) Harriet McBryde Johnson. Peter Singer is famous for saying that babies with disabilities should be killed (I can't remember the proper mealy-mouthed academic term at this hour), and in general seems to be a good old-fashioned eugenicist. Some of the commenters in Tacitus' post seem to be missing something about the man, though, having gotten themselves sidetracked on an argument about utilitarianism and the sanctity of life and all that. Tacitus touched on it when he mentioned Arendt's saying about "the banality of evil." Basically Ms. Johnson's theme is how she found herself, to her horror, acknowledging the humanity of Singer and even getting the feeling that he was (at least on the surface) acknowledging her humanity. Of course he is human, I really had no doubts about that; it's only in movies that villanous people with evil ideas are also impolite and nasty to everyone. I turn not to Arendt, who I haven't read more than a few snippets of, but to C.S. Lewis, whose works I have read considerably more of.* Singer displays that common tendency to be found in people who wish to do good in the world: they don't so much wish to solve problems as they come upon them; instead they want to eradicate whatever it is about life that (as they see it) makes these problems arise in the first place. Well, the "root cause" (I might as well use that unpleasant term) of human problems seems to be the unevenness inherent in existence itself. People are all different, their needs and circumstances are all different. These differences rub against each other and often the friction is painful. People like Singer want to end the friction in order to alleviate the occasional pain it causes. The only way to do that is to, in the words of one of Lewis' characters in That Hideous Strength, "make the earth as smooth as a billiard ball." (That's a paraphrase -- I'm too tired to look through the entire book for it.) In Singer's perfect world, there will be no differences, no friction, no pain, and no life.
*Yes, I know that's bad grammar. I don't care. My sinuses ache.
I have noticed something recently. Some people are uncomfortable using the term "evil" to describe anyone now living; to these people, "evil" is a word used to describe either fictional villains in comic books or movies, or people such as Hitler who once lived but have been safely dead for at least fifty years. So these people seem to have taken to calling evil men such as Saddam Hussein, "assholes." Excuse me if I find that term somewhat inadequate. "Asshole" is not what you call someone who kills disloyal relatives, tortures dissidents' children, and trashes his own country because he wants to be known as a modern-day Haroun al-Rashid. "Asshole" is what you call someone who bumps ahead of you in line at the grocery checkout or cuts you off in traffic.
I never thought I would find a reason to go to Disney World again: some group of Israel-haters has this handy list of things and services that they don't want people to buy because they are either made in Israel or their manufacturers haven't joined in on the Jew-bashing. Let's see: I will certainly drink more Coke now, and I've always loved Sarah Lee's products... (writes list).
(Via Dawson Speaks.)
(Note: I rewrote this for clarity, etc.)
I have to say I am not very keen on American food. A lot of it looks as if someone else has chewed it first. Give me lamb chops, peas and potatoes any day.The hell? What are you talking about, Skippy? Where the bloody hell do you think potatoes came from anyway, Tasmania?
Update: or maybe he thinks they came from the Shire:
"What is taters, precious?"
I was tired and planning to go to bed, and then I came upon this essay while reading Scott's blog. The essay, by another Scott, was good, but some of the commenters got on my nth nerve. The same old arguments again are served up as if they were brilliant insights no one had ever thought of before, instead of tedious repetitive queries along the lines of a toddler's unanswerable "why?" Apparently we have no right to ever call anyone else an enemy or fight to defend ourselves because: "America isn't innocent" (no one ever claimed it was); "America was bad in the past and killed a bunch of Indians" (no one has ever denied that either, and what the hell does that have to do with Islamofascist terrorists? They don't give two shits for dead Indians); our use of atomic bombs on Japan was not only inhumane, it was unnecessary overkill (that point is debatable, with good supporting evidence* that any alternatives would have been even worse); we have a "hard on" for Saddam (can we dispense with the disgusting high school gutter talk for once?); we aren't being "told everything" (Well no duh, why don't we just email all our plans to Hussein while we are at it?); "What on earth does Iraq have to do with 9-11?" -- why, nothing at all, 9-11 happened outside time, in a universe of its own, totally apart from the mass of psychic goo that binds the whole rest of the gaiaverse together so that we don't dare move lest we start a hurricane that will smash all the butterfly wings in the world! As I wrote in Scott Chaffin's comments (not the other Scott's, I have no intention of getting into it with yet another set of oblivious fools): I am so sick of these people, they make me want to bang my skull on a stone wall until my head breaks open and my brains spill out. Good thing I have nothing but plaster and drywall around me now.
*Look it up, I am not your goddamn research assistant.
Dipnut introduces us to one Ben Granby, Peace Activist®. Ben's got a blog. Ben's pseudonym is the name of a nerve gas. Ben's in Baghdad. Ben's worried about health care coverage in case one of the US military's missiles get him (or some irate Iraqi person does first). Ben used to be in a band called Quisling. (Ben thinks that the reign of Vidkun Quisling in Norway was that country's "finest hour.") I tell you, Ben is some kind of freak.
You know what? I think Ben needs to be introduced to this guy. The results would be... interesting.
Ooh, the big, fierce peace protestors are going to throw a huge hissy fit in New York City this Saturday. Or so they claim. For example, Indymedia is calling for, among other things, something called a "mass die-in." You know, in these days I'd be more careful flinging around phrases like "die" if I were these folks, especially if the term "mass" was used in the same sentence.
The first human shields have arrived in Baghdad. I'm saving the whole article, complete with links, here for posterity:
By SAMEER N. YACOUB, Associated Press WriterWonderful, a bunch of Grima Wormtongues. I just hope that after all this is over one of these "activists" (if they all haven't been blown into hemp-scented meat chunks) meets up with an Iraqi mother of a tortured child or wife of an imprisoned, executed dissident, and gets the sock in the jaw he or she will so richly deserve.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - American and European peace activists wrapped their arms around posts on a bridge over the Tigris River on Thursday, symbolizing their intent to act as human shields in any U.S. war on Iraq.
The 14 activists, mostly from Italy, were one of the first groups here using the "shield" title, which suggests they might place their bodies at potential targets to deter bombing. But they acknowledged their mission was only a gesture meant to try to deter an invasion to topple Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).
"I have no intention of being a martyr," Canadian Roberta Taman said. "I'm here because I believe that the world wants peace and that we can achieve peace."
The campaigners, organized as the Iraq Peace Team, have been draping banners over public facilities in Baghdad this week — an electricity station, a water treatment plant and, on Thursday, the Martyrs Bridge over the Tigris. "Bombing This Site Is A War Crime," the banners read.
Dozens of other "human shields" — Europeans and Americans — obtained visas at the Iraqi Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday and were also headed for Iraq, riding in double-decker buses.
"A country that can hardly provide water for its citizens cannot be a threat to the world," Ignacio Cano of Spain said.
Some of the activists charge that the Geneva Conventions governing the practices of war make it a crime to attack facilities essential to civilian life, as the U.S. military did in the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites) when its bombs knocked out Iraq's electricity system.
Standing on the bridge, Iraq Peace Team leader Kathy Kelly of Chicago said, "You can imagine what this city would be like if it were cut off when some people need desperately to get to a hospital or to connect with the people on the other side."
The U.N. refugee agency said it is concerned about possible shortages of food, drinking water, winterized shelters, sanitation, and other basic services. It says 600,000 Iraqis might flee to neighboring countries if war breaks out.
As peace groups here and around the world readied for marches and rallies Saturday in protest of U.S. war plans, the U.N. arms inspectors in Iraq quietly went about another day's business Thursday.
Among other missions, a U.N. chemical team began the neutralization of mustard gas from 10 artillery shells at the former al-Muthanna chemical weapons installation in the desert northwest of Baghdad.
The 155mm shells, whose complete neutralization is expected to take another two or three days, were the first banned weapons destroyed by the U.N. teams in the new round of inspections that began last Nov. 27. The shells were actually inventoried by previous U.N. inspectors in the 1990s, but were not destroyed before that inspections regime collapsed in 1998.
(Via Tim Blair, February 14, 11:36 AM Aussie time.)
James Lileks throws the first shovel of dirt onto modern poetry's grave. About time; that coffin was starting to smell.
(Via Juan Gato.)
Hey! Actors, directors, and other assorted big egos! Not getting enough adulation at home for your mealy-mouthed anti-war blatherings? Go to another country, one that has lately been actively working against your own, and spew there:
New York film director Spike Lee led a chorus of criticism against President Bush at the Berlin Film Festival Wednesday, telling the president he had no moral authority to launch a war against Iraq. Going out of his way to praise the French and German governments for their outspoken resistance to the U.S. government's war moves, Lee said it was an outrage that Bush was ignoring world opinion in his rush to attack Iraq.
"When you think about it, the German and French governments should be commended," Lee said at a news conference after his film "25th Hour," about New York after the Sept. 11 attacks, made its international premiere.
"Too many people are being bowled over by Bush and Tony Blair in Britain. It's ludicrous to expect the whole world to follow what they want. America doesn't have the moral right to tell other people what to do. To say the whole world has to fall into line is you-know-what. I hope more people will rise up."
Lee, famed for his thought-provoking films about New York City, was joined by the cast of "25th Hour" in denouncing Bush. The anti-war comments drew thunderous applause from many of the 300 journalists and followed similar remarks from other U.S. celebrities in Berlin for the annual film festival.
Dustin Hoffman and Martin Scorsese added their voices to a peace movement sweeping Europe, telling audiences in Germany violence would not solve the world's problems and that they wanted to speak out against Bush, without criticizing America.
"I hope the world community will continue to voice itself and apply pressure on the U.S. government," said Edward Norton, who stars in Lee's film. "American citizens have to do it too. It's dismaying to see the unilateralism that the government is doing. They're aren't enough rational steps."
"It's nice being in Europe this week," he added. "Almost everyone in Germany and France is in sync with the governments. I almost forgot what it's like to be proud of my government."
Actress Rosario Dawson added she was frightened by the patriotic mood sweeping the United States.
"Any dissenting opinion is considered unpatriotic," she said. "It makes me upset. I'm embarrassed. It's my hope that Americans won't jump on anyone having a dissenting opinion."
Canadian actor Barry Pepper, who also features in Lee's film, added: "We're going to send our boys and girls overseas to kill -- and that's pretty sad." Hoffman also had some sharp words for Bush at a black-tie Berlinale charity dinner late Tuesday.
"I'm not anti-American but I am against the current administration's policy," Hoffman said to cheers. He said politicians were manipulating public opinion through the media.
"If there is no direct threat why are we invading?" he said.
Scorsese, a director famed for violent gangster films such as "Goodfellas" and whose latest "Gangs of New York" is competing in Berlin for a "Golden Bear" award, hoped war could be averted.
"It seems to me that any sensible person must see that violence does not change the world and if it does, then only temporarily," he said. "There must be people who remember World War II and the Holocaust who can help us get out of this rut."
A long list of Hollywood stars, including Martin Sheen, Sean Penn and Robert Redford, have spoken out against a new Gulf War. More than 100 celebrities have signed an open letter urging Bush to give peace a chance.
(Via A Small Victory.)
Ooh, here's a barrel full of fat, smelly fish to shoot: Ted Rall, the inexplicably ubiquitous 'cartoonist' (irony quotes in honor of whoever it was said Rall's drawings looked as if he had stuck a magic marker in his ass and squatted over the paper -- I think it was either
Treacher or Lileks [J.L. sez is wasn't him, see the comments -- heck, maybe I said it first ;/] -- 'twas Juan Gato, I am now sure of it, only he used "pencil") is crying crocodile tears over college tuition costs and student loan debt burdens. And guess what he cites as backup for his whinging: a report by the People's Republic of China. Don't believe me? Here's the quote:
College tuition is free or nominal in most industrialized, and many Third World, countries. The United States' insistence that students assume huge debts to pay for their college education is unusual enough that the Chinese government included it in its 2001 report of American human rights violations. (Bolds mine -- A.H..)The Chinese motherfucking government has the gall to say anything about "American human rights violations" and this piece of offal cites it as respectable evidence. Rall, you Marxist scum. You probably applauded as the tanks rolled into Tienanmen Square.
There's an equally priceless quote early in the article about an "aspiring cartoonist" who owes $70,000 in student debt. Exqueeze me? Seventy-thousand dollars for a career in drawing cartoons? If I were her parents this twit would be so disowned. I can see the college trajectory now: entered as a poly sci major. Switched to psych when poli sci got too hard -- or vice-versa. Then took a year off to live off her parents and/or travel to Europe/spend time hitching and dumpster-diving around the country. Re-entered college as a "liberal studies" major (degree-speak for "undecided going to college in order to avoid getting a job"). Switches to humanities, then to fine arts, then to journalism. Decides to change majors to creative writing when she decides to be a poet, only to be told that she has run out of major-change options. Stuck in journalism, she adds an art minor to keep from being bored. All this time she is going to an expensive private liberal arts school because she wouldn't be caught dead at a déclassé state uni. Finally graduates, with the resultant debt and no talents to be anything other than a doodler and/or gossip columnist for a small-town free weekly. Has to get second job at Wal-Mart to pay off crushing debt. That is the only way I can think of for someone who is "an aspiring cartoonist" to run up a debt that high.
(Via Dave Tepper.)
Update on this: Rabbi Lerner is starting to see the light, at least a little -- he is speaking out against the anti-Semitism of the Left. (Link to Meryl Yourish's entry because she has all the stuff.)
Behold the real Saruman.
I am very tired today. My sinuses are plugged up and my head feels as if it is stuffed with cotton wool. So I can't think of anything to say that would sufficiently describe what I felt when I came across this article, about a mother who successfully got the word "gun" removed from a spelling test in her daughter's class, because:
Amanda and Mark Sousa, who consider themselves to be pacifists and who are raising their two young children with this governing belief, were shocked when Amanda's spelling list last week included the word gun.You are stupid. End of story.
"I realize people hunt in this area, but I still don't think that warrants the teaching of this word to my daughter or any other child," said Mrs. Sousa.
"I don't think this is an issue of political correctness. It's an issue of protecting your child from violence. Guns are violent. End of story," said Mrs. Sousa.
(Note: look at the response of the commenters at the end of the article. Wow.)
Speaking of useless celebrities who have overstayed their shelf life, there's always Madonna. Russell Wardlow pretty much says it all about her latest attempt to restart her defunct musical career. But his best line so far is from his comments, in reply to another commenter, re the current "peace movement":
And anti-war folks? For most of this episode, Bush couldn't have asked for a more helpful peace movement. The media tried their best to spin it, but eventually even they had to own up to the fact that the anti-war message being currently paraded is dominated by profoundly ugly people saying profoundly stupid things.And not only that, the current anti-war movement is even making relatively attractive people look ugly. Stupidity is not pretty.
Why sleep when I can stay awake and find priceless quotes like this, from "Rajia Dhanjani, a 22-year-old hairdresser from south London," concerning trouble on an anti-war protest trip to Baghdad:
"I thought it would be hard when we got to Baghdad, but I had no idea the trip would be this awful. I thought the journey would be one long party."Priceless, priceless -- this sort of thing makes me want to jump up and dance around in glee, it's so idiotically awful and typical of these airheads. Via busy bee Tim Blair, who is back after a brief hiatus.
MY EYES. AUGHHHH!!!
I dare anyone to go past the very first sentence without being overcome by acute nausea:
Allow me, please, to go all womanly on you: emotional, weepy, unable to stomach one more lie, threat, excuse or justification being put out by our Machiavellian leaders who want this war against Iraq and are damn well going to get it.As I left in Mr. Briffa's comments, ::barf::. It used to be that men joined the French Foreign Legion to get away from women like this. Lucky males. I don't often wish I were a man, but this is one of those times. I frankly admit I don't understand women like this, nor do I really want to.
Please explain to me how this can make sense: Rabbi Lerner edits Tikkun, a leftwing (or liberal anyway) magazine. Rabbi Lerner is against the war. Rabbi Lerner wanted to speak at an anti-war rally sponsored by commie group ANSWER. (Who are about as anti-war as Lenin was, but anyway.) ANSWER said to Rabbi Lerner: "Ew! Stinky Zionist! Begone!" I paraphrase, but the gist of the matter is, since Rabbi Lerner still supports the existence of Israel, though he may criticise it for whatever reason, he is therefore an Eeville Zionist Person and thus he does not get to play any of ANSWER's reindeer games. ANSWER prefers "Muslim clerics" who spout anti-Semitic remarks and lies about Jews being "told to not go to the World Trade Center" on September 11th.
So what does the learned Rabbi do after being shown in no uncertain terms that ANSWER is an anti-Semitic-preferring group? He tells people to go to the rally anyway. E. Nough has the rest of the story on this.
I'm sorry, I'm just not getting these antiwar people. Are they so hungry to have an experience akin to that of anti-war protesters in the Sixties that they will twist logic, deny concrete evidence, and practically bend the very fabric of space-time until they get what they want? How much do you have to hate yourself to do this to yourself? What is wrong with people like this? Is it all the drugs they did back then? This goes beyond self-esteem issues into some really dark area of the human psyche that I don't think I want to know more about. I am only sure of one thing: I want these people and their fans and sycophants to be so humiliated by the truth that they disappear from public life, preferably to the ashrams and monasteries they no doubt yearn to flee to. Please, Jebus, can't you give me this one wish?
Oh look, another Indymedia writer is all bored with our silly little obsession over September 11th, terrorists, and such. After all, since nothing bad has happened to her or any of her close circle of friends, then obviously Al Qaeda and their ilk are not a threat, and that mean old Dubya and his posse have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war for no reason at all except sheer meanness and a desire make Joan Smith unhappy! But I thought Saddam didn't have any nukes, or even if he did, he wouldn't use them, or -- excuse me, I have to stop here, my brain refuses to go down such narrow, convoluted pathways. This article best read with Oingo Boingo's "Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me" playing in the background.
Every time I look around this place
I see them scream but I hear no sound
And the terrible things happen down the road
To someone else that I don't even know.
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Nothing bad ever happens to me
Why should I care? ...
Look! Buttons for us to wear! (Note: that website and this one are again inflicted with that strange typo or browser bug or whatever it is that turns the word "right" into "left," and now it has a new twist: it turns the word "liberal" into "conservative"! How odd. Isn't there some kind of virus-fix that can help these websites out?)
Via Ipse Dixit.
This article by one Mike Hersh is a thorough laundry list of everything leftists fear the most. Sample:
Freedom. Free speech. Free thoughts. Free people. Why? They feel insecure in an uncertain universe.For some reason, though, everywhere there should be the words "left wingers," "lefists," and so on, the words "right winger" appear instead. Must be a typo, or some kind of new browser glitch.
[they] opposed reforms which protect and invigorate capitalism
[...] believe in absurd contradictions, impervious to logic or education.
[...]flock to propagandists
[...]support idiotic, even fatal policies because they place nonsense over knowledge
They brutally suppress anyone who questions authority, and they always obey abusive controllers. They are afraid of their own freedom. They are even more afraid of yours.
(Via the Imperial One.)
An editor of the SF Chronicle is shocked, yes, shocked at the nastiness and bitterness of his paper's readership:
Several readers have called or written to complain about the selection of letters we have printed about the space shuttle Columbia tragedy.Uh huh.
Where, they asked, was the universal outpouring of grief for the seven brave astronauts and their families? Why were so many of the letters tinged with gratuitous bitterness toward President Bush or otherwise infused with cynicism or conspiracy theories?
Frankly, my colleagues and I were asking the same questions Saturday as we sorted through the several dozen e-mails and faxes that came in after the disastrous breakup of the shuttle on its final descent home.
My my -- I had no idea that Australian newspaper websites were allowed to post pictures like this. No wonder Americans are thought of as prudes. That's not fair, though -- we just like our pornography to be kept separate from our idiots.
(Via Tim Blair.)
I sure wish I could rant and still be witty the way James Lileks does. But the sort of void-skulled stupidity he takes on here tends to leave me in a barely coherent fury.
You know, I really hate it when someone thinks they can twist my words around and use them to attack me. It makes me go all kinds of crazy. I was just going to reply to the stupid fucker in the comments section of Jane's post, but the thrill has gone out of using other peoples' server space to rant and rave. So here is my reply to one Eric, who has taken the position that he has the right to make a moral judgment on me.
The subject was the decision of UN officials to cover up the Picasso painting "Guernica" that hangs in the UN building. Here is my reply in full to Jane's remark that it must have something to do with the current "Iraq-obsessed atmosphere":
Well, it was the UN that covered up the painting, not the US. I don't know that the "Iraq-obsession" had anything to do with it, unless it was the obsession certain member nations have to not remind anyone that Iraq has waged a whole lot more of the Guernica-style war on its own people than the United States has.Well, along came Eric on his moral high horse.
He proceeded in his hectoring entries to accuse me of 1) lacking in "historical/artistic knowledge" (note: I am a Humanities major, and the daughter of a history teacher, not that he could be expected to know that); 2) of "not understanding" the meaning of Picasso's painting -- he then went on to make the astonishing claim that Picasso in his work was objecting to the "means" of war (i.e., dropping bombs from planes on people) and not the "ends"! I do actually believe that Picasso was objecting to both means and ends. Google is a wonderful thing: here is a website devoted to the matter. He also misunderstood what I meant by "Guernica-style attacks": he apparently thought I meant actual strafing and bombing, and was actually trying to compare Iraqi and US ordinance by numbers (which would have been ridiculous since I knew full well we overwhelmed in that area), when I actually meant "callous attacks on defenseless communities for experimental and/or training purposes," which was the reason the Germans attacked Guernica, and which is one of Saddam Hussein's favorite practices. I attempted to explain where Eric had misunderstood me, but he was having none of it, and I was accused of "ridiculous brutality," and of using the "straw man" argument. That is when I decided Mr. Moral Cop could go fuck himself. Here is my statement to him (warning -- lots of shouting and more swearing ahead):
And YOU, Eric, have used the STRAW MAN of UNINTENDED CIVILIAN CASUALTIES inflicted UNINTENTIONALLY by US forces during battles in foreign lands in order to paint me as some kind of brutal beast, when it is Saddam Hussein who DELIBERATELY KILLED AND TORTURED AND IS STILL KILLING AND TORTURING men, women, and cute big-eyed children in his OWN goddamn country. As for bombing, ever heard of the Iran-Iraq war? What about what his forces did in Kuwait? Do you think all they did was sit around in cafés in that country drinking coffee?
You dare to lecture me in morality. You pompous swine. Why don't you come down off your morally superior high horse? UNINTENDED civilian casualties are IN NO WAY the same thing as killing YOUR OWN citizens deliberately with bombings, poisonous gas, and the like. I never said that the United States armed forces never killed any civilians. Unlike you I can understand what I read. Here is what I said: "Iraq has waged a whole lot more of the Guernica-style war on its own people than the United States has." So you claim he has never bombed his own people? Well, what about the Kurds? And the Shi'ites in the south? What about them? Aren't they under his jurisdiction, technically "his own people"? I guess you would say no.
I don't get what your problem is. Are you really so anal-retentive that since Saddam Hussein didn't bomb a specific village using World War 2-era German bomber planes then my statement is an example of "ridiculous brutality"? Are you accusing the United States of deliberately targeting civilians? Is that what you are saying? That we DELIBERATELY bypassed military targets to get at the cute, big-eyed children? If not, then what is it with the manufactured outrage and these accusations of brutality and ignorance towards ME? I know exactly what the Guernica painting was about. I studied it not even one year ago. I know what went on during the Gulf War -- I was twenty-seven years old in 1990. I have friends who fought in it. Don't you EVER lecture me on something I know about and watched happen, and don't you EVER tell me I used the straw man argument when you are the one who started using it from the first with your accusations.
Here, I will break it down so that your tiny brain can understand it:
Civilian casualties in Iraq during Gulf War I caused by US forces = UNINTENTIONAL.
Civilian casualties on people in his own controlled areas caused by Saddam Hussein's forces during various wars and for experimental purposes = INTENTIONAL.
UNINTENTIONAL =/= INTENTIONAL
The idiotic and counterproductive anti-SUV "movement" continues. Mary at Exit Zero points out something that groups like these would do well to understand: that their antagonistic approach is not winning converts; on the contrary, it is driving people away from their cause (pun not intended).
|The ideal vehicle?|
I have come to the conclusion that the anti-everything people don't want to "change" anything. If they actually got what they wanted, they would have nothing to react against, and they might have to come up with some stronger justification for their existence than Fighting the Man. Many of these "activists" would lose cushy jobs, prestigious positions, and their place in the pantheon of Concerned Ones. There would be no one to pat them on the back and tell them how wonderful they are; no self-perpetuating cause to shore up a non-career, such as being the ex-wife of a rock star. Good-bye fame, hello "Do you want [non-fattening, non-artery-blocking] fries with that?"
(Link to Bianca Jagger story via Juan Gato.)
You know, I'm wondering when the first "peace activist" will come up with the clever idea of having his or her arms amputated as a symbolic "disarmament." Come on, guys -- nakedness isn't enough! You need to really disarm yourself to make the protest effective!
The Agonist is better than you, and you, and you. He is also "thoughtful, global, and timely." Well, I'm thoughtless, square, and timeless, so we complement each other.
Update: Alex Knapp says it better.
Second Update: Dean Esmay provides this counter essay by Gary Utter.
It's time to tell someone to "step back and talk to the hand" (warning, cursing and swearing ahead):
OK, look, Karen: 1) if you had a problem with Tex's swearing at you, you should have emailed him. He has email. Look on his site. BUT -- you came to MY blog and shat all over it. Hey, we made fun of you, but that's the risk you take when you publish the 5, 679th list of unoriginal, hackneyed, TIRED ASSERTIONS about the US that I have read since approximately 9:45am 11 September 2001. It's the same fucking shit everybody else in the America Sux crowd has been saying over and over, the same boring tune, and I'm sick of it, and I'm not going to stop saying so.
2) as far as I am concerned, neither I nor any other American owes you JACK SHIT. I don't have to be "polite" to you, not after the shitty things you wrote for an online publication about MY country, totally without any provocation whatsoever except that you are a little busybody who thinks your opinions are more important than anyone else's. Get this straight, chippy: the only reason you are free to "bravely" run about nude and pretend to be concerned about the the Oppressed™ is because people you probably would spit upon have been there to do the dirty work of protecting you from your country's enemies with weapons and warfare, and a lot of those have been Americans. Look it the fuck up.
And 3) please spare me the crocodile tears about the Evil Bush Cadre and his administration's supposed trampling of our civil rights here in the US. You don't give a shit about the civil rights situation in the US or any other country; on the contrary, you are filled with glee at every setback we suffer, and you and your ilk would rather see every cute child in the Third World™ be eaten by army ants than be helped by Americans. Besides, people like you can't wait to lock up everyone who doesn't think in lockstep with you in a gulag where they'll all be forced to look at you naked and read your childish scribblings. Which, let me reiterate, were not posted on a personal blog but on a professional publication, perhaps even for pay, and I am damned sure that it didn't go up without seeing an editor first. The hell you just spontaneously came up with your little list; don't even try to fuck with me on that. As for me, no one pays me to put this site up: I pay for every byte of it. I don't have to allow your diatribes onto my blog; I could delete every single word you have posted here and you would have no right to complain any more than you would if I threw you out of my house if you started pissing in the corner of the living room. I allow you to comment here solely out of my charity, and that charity is entirely arbitrary and can be withdrawn at any time. On the other hand, things posted on a newspaper (or its website) are fair fucking game. If you didn't want to get a negative reaction then maybe you should have thought a bit before you sent your copy in. Welcome to the real world, baby. No editors will hold your hand here.
Now who is this really? These bon mots were left in the comments section of that post. Here are the comments complete with traceroute and whois info (update -- I moved the rest of this into the extended entry listing for aesthetic reasons):
Name: Karen Jackson Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.streakerama.comFreak.
IP Address: 22.214.171.124
Nice to see my little angry webdiary post has pissed so many people off - and got you to think a bit about your country, and how others see it.
Yes, I was angry when I wrote "Ten reasons to be anti-American" and I got a little extreme in my comments. I'm just sick of the term being used to deride others who dare to question the way the world is.
I still think they cover the basics of why the rest of the world doesn't trust the American government. Is it so important that I said "dozens"?
And I like squirrels - so??? They're funny. They've got bushy tails. And the grand canyon is cool. Thanks for telling me that means I'm extremely proud of my enormous vulva. I thought I just liked the scenery. Now I'm thinking I should be charging entry fees.
I know a number of American people, and they're all very friendly. My little list at the end was an - admittedly small - attempt to not be so angry. I guess I should have left it out, if that's the best you can come up with.
It's hard not to feel angry when your prime minister is sending Australian troops off to an American war that won't be legal. I thought we'd learned our lesson about other people's wars at Gallipoli in 1914.
Nothing deadly in Australia? Hah! You should meet the brown snake that lives in our garden. And if you run into Steve Irwin on a bad day, ooh, crikey :D
I never said I didn't believe in the right not to vote - just that it's shocking that the US people don't vote in such droves - and then this is the government you get. I'll bet the number of Americans who oppose this war is greater than the number that actually voted in the recent Congressional elections.
Would you prefer it if I just said "I don't believe in the ideas behind the bill of rights?"
We don't have a bill of rights in Australia, so it's one of those nice things we can dream about.
So, by all means, continue to flame. Feel free to streak if you're in the mood, it's very refreshing. And be nice to the squirrels
Name: Karen Jackson
Email Address: email@example.com
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
Now that I've gone to read Tex's lovely comments, I had to come back and thank all of you for not using the terms "arseclown", "assfuck" and so on. My opinion of you as thinking people who can debate a topic reasonably is so much improved by it.
But, should you feel the need to lower yourself to Tex's level, let me respond in kind: fuck you.
See, that cleared EVERYTHING up, didn't it?
Have a nice day.
Update: Tim Blair has further commentary on her espousal of nudism and the political views of the King of Bhutan.
Uh oh, the cat's out of the bag. That's right, puny foreign countries: we've got the anti-gravity device, and we're only sharing with the other kids in the class who suck up to us! Now, don't you ungrateful nations (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Germany, FRANCE: I'm looking at you) wish you'd been a little nicer to us? Who's got the flying carpets now, Ahmed? Neener neener!
(Via the most grateful Tim Blair. We will make him head
eunuch sales manager.)
Hey everyone, visit Aaron. He's lonely. Or something.
Tex puts the kibosh on yet another inept anti-American diatribe from one of the Australian media's pet leftists. The author being so fisked is one Karen Jackson, and her topic is "ten reasons to be an anti-American." I'll leave Tex's fisking of her pathetic "reasons" alone, since it is perfect. I'll just say a few things about the tiny list of "reasons to like the US" that she sticks on the end. Here's the list:
1. The Simpsons and Seinfeld.1 and 2: Well, how nice, she likes our sitcoms. I'd like to point out that only an industrial juggernaut like the United States could produce something like The Simpsons (maybe a simple, pre-industrial, basket-weaving culture of the sort that finds favor with many Marxist Lites™ could come up with the concept, but where would they get all the Oooiiilllll necessary to produce the variety of plastic film and other petroleum-based products needed to record and broadcast it?), but I am sure my point would go right over her fluffy little head.
2. Star Wars (except for Jar Jar Binks)
4. The ideals behind their bill of rights.
5. The Grand Canyon
6. The friendliness of everyday Americans
3: Squirrels??? WTF is she talking about? You know what? I don't think I want to know.
4: Yes, and those ideals Ms. Jackson would discard without a second thought if she actually had to apply them to the real world. We have already seen what she thinks of the right to bear arms, and the freedom to abstain from voting.
5: There are so many things I could say about what this indicates psychologically and morally. Let's see if anyone gets what I mean. (Feel free to comment.)
Oh -- and she may find number 6 much diminished if many Americans find and read her drivel.
I still don't get the squirrels.
Update: reader Lawrence Haws sends the scoop on Ms. Jackson:
She's a candidate for the Australian Democrat party. Her screed on why she joined that party:
Like most people, I had become increasingly disillusioned with mainstream politics. Australia was being privatised, deregulated, dumbed-down and corporatised, while the two major parties happily looked on. I despaired that the only benchmarks that seemed to matter were economic figures, while social and environmental concerns were dismissed as trifles. The globalisation steamroller seemed to be crushing ordinary people, especially those from rural areas, while our elected representatives scored bickering political points for the evening news.I find it interesting that someone who invokes the egalitarian ideals she does would use a quote from the hereditary monarch of a small, isolationist country like Bhutan. More blatant "third world, non-Western cultures don't count" attitude from another leftwinger.
There had to be another option, and the Democrats offered it.
I believe in this party because it stands for balance and fairness, honesty and principles. It offers real democracy, and real representation. No other party allows ordinary members to vote on policies or party leadership.
The Democrats want people and the environment put back into economic equations. They want rural people to have the same opportunities as urban Australians. They want fair trade, not free trade. They want government services to be maintained, not sold off. And they want to return integrity to politics.
The King of Bhutan, a small country near India, recently proclaimed that he preferred "gross national happiness" to gross national product. I think this is a philosophy Australia needs to take on board, and I think the Democrats are the best party to provide it.
And here is her hobby, apparently: streaking. (Warning: this site is not for the weak of stomach.)
So, today was National Sick of the War Day. Did anyone stay home?
I get home tonight and download my email (after first deleting the spam from the server with Mailwasher). I read all my mail with that program first. So I already knew what was going to appear in my inbox -- this little missive:
Hi, my name is Tom Schell and i am a Libertarian. We believe that our military should be nutural from world affairs and we should have free trade with all. We believe that if our military continues to bomb and rule the world that it will only lead to more anger, death and terror around the world. Winning world war 1 and 2 and the cold war and a varity of other wars has not dont a thing to bring peace to the world. The more we bomb little kids and citys around the world the more those people will feel the same way you felt on September 11th. The idea of liberty is based on peace, justice and economic prosparty for all with out useing force.Spelling left as is, believe me. Is this what the Libertarian Party has descended to, farming their email campaign out to illiterates? If this was some sort of recruitment spam, it didn't work.
To Porto Alegre in Brazil, to be specific. Yes, it's the "World Social Forum" which is the latest gathering of the clowns and jugglers of the left that has converged upon the hapless South American city. David at Samizdata has the scoop. Part of their concerns, along with making sure that every single cause gets its own parade, is something called the "landless peoples' movement." Say, I've got no land; I rent an apartment. Can I be part of this cool movement? You know, if these jokers had pooled together all the money that it cost putting this "World Social Forum" together, they could have bought the landless people some land.
This is hilarious: one of contrarian gadfly Hesiod's readers suggested that Tuesday, January 28th be "'National' Call in Sick of the War Day." I guess neither He's Odd nor his
sycophants readers have ever seen that old SNL sketch where everyone stays home and the Russians invade. (And Oliver Willis has just gone even deeper into unreasoning emotionalism in his opposition to war. Now the idea of war on Saddam Hussein's way-past-its-shelf-life, kiddy-and-athlete-torturing, environment-destroying regime is nothing but "pandering to our most aggresive (sic) and base instinct" and Stephen Den Beste's latest essay on the matter is no more than a "love letter" to same. He even has a Big Brother graphic to illustrate his tired, overused point. Jebus.)
Under the bed, that is, where some letter writers to the The Sydney Morning Herald apparently spend their lives cowering. Tim Blair made fun of one of the letters, but if you ask me he didn't pick the gem of the crop. That, in my humble opinion, was the next-to-the-last letter, which I will now "fisk." It's been a while since I gave somebody a good fisking. Let's take on one "HM" from Somewhere in Oz:
Not only should Australia not be part of any war with Iraq, no one should be involved in the ultra-conservative US led drive to control the world.Too late, muahahahaha!
Sure, Saddam is nasty. So what? There are dozens of distasteful dictator types out there (I'm sure GWB qualifies). Does that mean we have to attack all of them? Anyone who thought so would soon be carted off the the asylum.Dear Iraqi people: I'm sorry, we don't care about the nastiness of your government. You are quite free to suffer the depredations of the Boys from Tikrit without our interference, though we hope you like this nice sympathy card we sent.
Ask yourself, apart from buying Australian crops, what has Iraq ever done to Australia? Hmm?So the purchase of Australian crops is a bad thing? Is that what HM is saying? Hmmm?
The only reason that the coalition is keen on starting this war is fear. The Americans are scared sh*tless that an Islamic country like (choose one) might actually get some real power (ie nuclear power) and change the staus quo.I'm so glad to see that the idea of a loose cannon, frothing-at-the-mouth, raving loony Islamic nation getting hold of nuclear weapons doesn't worry everyone around the world. I mean, I wouldn't want people to have their sleep disturbed by silly things like that.
For many years, the US and UK other hangers on, like Australia, have enjoyed manipulating the rest of the world into 'trade' that is heavily balanced in 'our' favour. Imagine how the US, et al, would respond if some piss poor third world country decided that enough was enough. That's right 'Dad', they'd kick their butt all over the playground.Hey, piss-poor Third Worlders, HM cares about you! He's going to protect you, right there from the keyboard. Darn that silly old "trade" stuff anyway! People shouldn't trade things, they should stay at home and use stuff they grew or built in their own back yard! Like that keyboard and computer that HM is using, which is built out of 100% Certified Organic Hemp.
Anyone who thinks that war is a good idea should stop to think of the human cost. Not only will many civilains die, Australian soldiers could, very possibly, come home dead.Wow. Man, that is so deep and profound -- I had never thought of the "human cost" of war before! The scales have fallen from my eyes -- civilians can get killed! And what's more, soldiers can come home dead! Why, Bush told us that they would just get candy and fresh cheese! What a liar! Boo!
Now, can anyone tell me why that is acceptable? John Howard cannot. Neither can Bush or Blair. War is not acceptable in any form.Why isn't war acceptable? Because it isn't! I am HM, and I have spoken!
Forget a UN sanctioned war. If the UN inspectors find no reason to justify a breach of the resolutions, the US will make some up and the UN will capitulate. YOU need to stand up and make your voice heard. No War.How does HM know this? Don't ask any questions of your betters; HM just knows! He (or she, or... it) knows all! So make your voice heard! Say what HM wants you to say, or he/she/it will send another cliché-ridden, sweeping-generalities-filled letter to the editor! Hurry, Aussies -- do it for the Children™.
Update: Dave does the fisk.
The mentally challenged are out in force tonight, so guess what kiddies, it's time for a brand new Banned List! Tonight's special comes from the British Isles, and the offerings are as limp and stale as English railway cuisiine. Here they are -- the IPs with their "noms de stupidité" next to them:
188.8.131.52 -- Yoda, Gerty Nonads, Rolf Harris, Arnie, Reg Teh Veg, Britney
184.108.40.206 -- King Dong
220.127.116.11 -- Sir Sand Goblin, gonads, joingle, James, YARBLES, urm, oil, Basil Brush
18.104.22.168 -- sack
22.214.171.124 -- Bob, cheesemonger,
126.96.36.199 -- happy
188.8.131.52 -- President Bush, sherz
184.108.40.206 -- (too chicken, or braindead, to leave a name)
I'm sure these are just for starters. What, has a curfew been enacted in England or something? Anyway, it looks as if these gents and/or gentesses took umbrage to this little post of mine. Who would have known a dried-up old monkey like Harold Pinter to have so many fans? Personally I think these are all just rent-boys he hired, but then I've been accused of being cynical.
And here on this side of the pond, we have Stormin' Norman Mailer to deal with. In an attempt to get people to read his boring, swollen tomes, the murderer-coddling typist offers forth his opinions on George Bush, Saddam Hussein, and everything. In the course of his brilliant (urp) dissection of the Coming American Empire, he drops this gem:
"...You have to go back to melodramas in the 1850's where a villain with a great big mustache leaped onto the stage to defile the maiden before you get someone as good as Saddam Hussein as an enemy. Ho Chi Minh had that wonderful saintly look that made life much easier for a good protest movement."Damn. In my next life I want to be a cute little Oriental man with a wispy goatee, so everyone will fawn all over me and send me money and Hollywood actresses when I decide to kill all my enemies and cause the death of countless others.
Norman Mailer, the macho man of the desk-chair set. He's always tried to come off as a rough, tough, he-man male writer of the Hemingway set. Here's his quote on women writers: ""The sniffs I get from the ink of women are always fey, old hat, Quaintsy Goysy, tiny, too dykily psychotic." I always thought that quote too femme for words. I'll bet his high school yearbook called him the grad most likely to surrender to the French.
(Via Juan Gato.)
Ooh, goody, goody -- it's time for another bad poetry contest! And guess what: it's another British man of letters who is the culprit! None other than Harold "America Ignores My Plays So They Suck" Pinter. What has happened to the island which produced Shakespeare, Donne, Kipling, and Tennyson? Well, let's see:
Here they go again,"The pong of the dead? WTF?
The Yanks in their armoured parade
Chanting their ballads of joy
As they gallop across the big world
Praising America's God.
The gutters are clogged with the dead
The ones who couldn't join in
The others refusing to sing
The ones who are losing their voice
The ones who've forgotten the tune.
The riders have whips which cut.
Your head rolls onto the sand
Your head is a pool in the dirt
Your head is a stain in the dust
Your eyes have gone out and your nose
Sniffs only the pong of the dead
And all the dead air is alive
With the smell of America's God.
© Harold Pinter, January 2003
Okay, boys and girls, it's my turn to call for a Bad Poetry Contest. Send your submissions to me, put 'em in the comments, or post 'em on your own blog and send me the URL! Now to work: "The Kong of the dead...", "The Pac-man of the dead...", "The Super Mario Brothers of the dead..."
As all around them entwined and cheered, forming an orgy of peaceful feelings, Smash and Blaze came together in a frenzy of lust, passion and a desire to rid the world of capitalist pigs.Read the rest. You know you want to.
"Let's do it for anarchy," Blaze whispered breathlessly.
"Let's do it for the children of Iraq," Smash mumbled in Blaze's ear.
[/WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR WORK, HOME, OR THE LIBRARY]
Check out these photos of the protests this weekend. Notice the "hundreds of thousands" -- uh, that is, thousands -- well, hundreds, anyway, of protestors. Notice also the carefully nuanced and subtle nonverbal statements (i.e., vandalism). And then read this letter from "veterans of movements against the war," which contains this exhortation:
...if everytime they bombed a community of hospital elsewhere: our schools were closed--by students and workers, our businesses were shutdown, the city and rual streets made into autonomous zones--of play and struggle, the malls, banks, and oil HQs that benefit from the war were trashed, and recruitment centers torched, and the police made to use tactics of war on our own citizens--They may rethink their imperialist war. (All sic.)They link to this website.
(Via the Portable Matthew.)
Say, has anyone developed the Naked Peace Protestor TrueType font yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
Update: Steve H. has come through with a bitmap font. Now someone who can afford a fontmaker program get cracking!
Is that Starbucks cup biodegradable?
From a fate worse than death: being saved from oppression, torture, and starvation by the US. Because after all, everyone knows that the United States is really Mordor, and any compromise with the Land of Shadows leads to darkness, evil, and slavery! Juan Gato has the breakdown. Remember: the anti-US left wants to save The Children™ -- kind of the way other people collect and "save" butterflies.
Hey, peace protesters! Someone wants to thank you for all you've done for him. Congrats! You must be so proud!
Angie Schultz does a little Googling to uncover the agenda behind a polling group that claims to be unbaised, unlike all those corporate lapdog US hegemonical government stooge polls.
Side note: one of the things she found is a link to "the 25 most censored stories of 2001-2002." I read the article. Apparently now "censored" has come to mean "put on page two, because everyone wanted to read about that boring old World Trade Center fuss instead."
Update: Link to the "25 most censored" fixed.
I said, LILEKS ON LE CARRÉ. What are you waiting for? Go! Go!
It's come to this: faced with their increasing irrelevance and a populace that ignores their heartfelt cries of doom, the idiots of the world have started condemning the availability of low-priced food. Down with abundant food! cries one Magnus Linklater. You really have to read his opening paragraph -- it's a beaut; the rest is mere gilding the lily:
Death to the superstore. Death to its Disney-style architecture, its endless corridors, its cavernous trolleys, its rock-bottom prices, its choice, convenience, and soulless car parks. Above all, death to its sheer, unstoppable success. I do not care whether Morrison, Wal-Mart or Sainsbury’s wins the battle for the Safeway chain, because all of them share one aim, the need to grow bigger and faster and persuade us all to eat more, in order to survive. Instead, all we do is get fatter and sicker. The time has come to curb our appetite for cheap food, not to encourage it.The following paragraph, wherein he reveals his abject terror at the variety of choices facing him every day at the supermarket, would be hysterically funny if it weren't so pathetic:
Consider this: the big supermarket chains offer us on any one day an average of 30,000 different “lines” to choose from, 30,000 items with which to load our boots and sustain the rapidly expanding girths of our families. Each year, to tempt us to further excess, they have to find some 16,000 new lines, replacing and discarding the old, packaging and presenting the new. Out go yesterday’s kumquats, sweet potato and oven-ready chicken korma, in come vine tomatoes, Mexican persimmon, and three kinds of salsa verde.The horror! The horror! Something tells me this is Mr. Linklater's roundabout way of getting out of having to do the grocery shopping. But seriously, just what sort of mind is it that says something like "The cut-throat competitiveness of the big food chains means that although we spend less of our income on food than we ever did, we eat far more of it" and means it as a bad thing? We are spending less on food! Oh no! We are eating more! Oh n--- Half a mo'. You're not serious, are you mate?
Oh yes, he is. Here we see the panic of self-proclaimed do-gooders who see the objects of their do-gooding drying up. What sight is guaranteed to open the wallets of all but the hardest-hearted human being? The sight of a starving child. What will happen when these starving children are no longer available, because they've all got access to cheap, abundant food? The wallets will close, and do-gooders will have one less source of income as well as one less thing to hold out against the cruel capitalist running dogs. But I think that mostly it's all about the bling-bling.
(Via Rachel Lucas.)
Another big-deal author pontificates on the Suppression of Dissent in Fascist Amerikkka™. John Le Carré has never been one of my favorite authors, even during my spy-novel-and mystery-reading phase (I preferred Helen MacInnes or Mary Stewart). I found his novels to be too full of that moaning, oh-the-weigh-of-the-world angst that guarantees a writer a seat on the Forever Beloved Among Critics train. There was even a television series featuring his Smiley character starring Alec Guinness that I, a Star Wars nut (Obi Wan!), found unwatchable. I already had plenty of real-life access to endless scenes of glum people in darkened rooms smoking incessantly and talking past each other.
Anyway, I'm not going to "fisk" the whole article, because it's all the same nonsense: dissent is being suppressed, Bush is a tyrant as bad if not worse than Saddam Hussein, it's all about the Ooiillll™, and so on. Tiresome, really. Don't these people have any original ideas?
What sort of self-styled advocate for, among other things,
Blunting the world's inequities that allow some children to starve and others to grow up in comfortcalls herself Medea? Does this woman not know that Medea's most famous act was the slaughter of her own children? And her second most famous act was the previous slaughter of her own father, an act she performed to help her boyfriend commit a robbery? What's next, a male "peace" activist calling himself "Herod"?
Apropos to my post below is this article in the Daily Telegraph on how the so-called peace movement for Iraq is actually excluding those Iraqis that are presumably its focus of concern. For instance:
The anti-war movement is a private party. It has proved to be a remarkably fastidious friend of suffering peoples of the Middle East, and its doors are always open to non-Iraqi Muslims - but it's not at home to Muslims from Iraq.They aren't fond of the idea of a democratic government in Iraq either:
As far as I can work out from the coalition's membership list, only two Iraqi organisations - one calling itself the Iraqi Network for Human Rights and a second called the Federation of Kurdish Community Organisations - have signed its manifesto. No Iraqi exile I have interviewed has heard of either.
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of Iraqi dissidents are an embarrassment to the Left. After enduring misery few of us can imagine, they have discovered that, without foreign intervention, their country won't be freed from a tyrant who matches Stalin in his success in liquidating domestic opponents. Only America can intervene. Therefore an American invasion offers the possibility of salvation.
There's a damnable logic to this that no amount of wriggling can escape. If you say to the Iraqi opposition that America is very selective in its condemnation of dictatorships, they shrug and ask why Iraqis should care. If you say that Iraq shouldn't be liberated from Saddam until Palestinians are liberated from Israeli occupation, they ask if the converse also applies. (It never does, incidentally.) They confront the anti-war movement with the disconcerting thought that there are worse things in the world than George W Bush and American imperialism, and Saddam Hussein and his prison state are among them.
When I put this programme to my democratic and secular comrades, they turn nasty. I hear that the peoples of Iraq will slaughter each other if Saddam goes; that any US-sponsored replacement will be worse. They may be right, although the second prediction will be hard to meet. What is repulsive is the sneaking feeling that they want the war to be long and a post-Saddam Iraq to be a bloody disaster. They would rather see millions suffer than be forced to reconsider their prejudices.Who cares, it's only foreigners and Americans, eh?
(Via Damian Penny.)
Good lord, now Sheryl Crow has to open her yap on the issue of war in Iraq -- and, I assume, anywhere else for any reason whatsoever. Here's what this great political brain has to say:
"I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies."Well, Miss Crow, I think that you are a pinhead with no more brains than your namesake -- probably less. Just how are we supposed to simply "not have enemies"? What the hell kind of thing is that to say? You might as well say, "The best way to stay out of the hospital is to not get sick." And save us from hippy chicks and their imperfect understanding of Eastern Mysticism™. Methinks she has no more understanding of the term "karma" than a taxi driver in Baghdad -- rather less so. Here, for instance, are Krishna's words to Arjuna on war, from the Hindu epic The Mahabharata:
Krishna: Arjun, I can tell you with absolute conviction, you don’t have a choice between war and peace.Rather more complex than easy notions that wearing a "war is not the answer" shirt is the way to get to heaven, or whatever it is Crow thinks should be her fate, isn't it? What sort of karmic retribution does she imagine awaits those who ignore the pains of oppressed people in favor of saving their own reputation?
Arjuna: Well , Krishna, what is my choice?
Krishna: Between war and another war.
Arjuna: This other war, where will it take place, on the battlefield or in my heart?
Krishna: I don’t see a real difference.
Arjuna: Krishna, I need you to drive my chariot onto the battlefield. I want to see those who wish to fight with me.
Sanjay: Krishna drove Arjuna onto the battlefield. There before him were all his kin. His friends, his family, his teachers. Everyone, who brought him to this moment stood before him on the battlefield.
Arjuna: Oh Krishna, my legs grow weak, my mouth is dry, my body trembles. Uncles, nieces, nephews, my teachers, they are all here. How can I bring death to my own family?
Sanjay: Among the warriors there in full battle dress stood all of the ghosts of Arjuna’s past. Overwhelmed by sorrow and throwing down his bow and his arrows, he sat down in his chariot in the middle of the battlefield.
Krishna: This despair and weakness in a time of crisis are unworthy of you , Arjun. How have you fallen into such a state?
Arjuna: My resolution is gone. My will is paralysed. Krishna, I will not fight.
Krishna: What is this mad and shameful weakness?
Arjuna: Tell me what to do. Teach me.
Sanjay: This is what Arjun said to Sri Krishna and then with the words:
Arjuna: Krishna, I cannot fight.
Sanjay: He fell silent. Standing between the two armies, Sri Krishna smiled. He said:
Krishna: Arjun, you speak sincerely, but your words, your sorrow, they have no cause.
The wise are not deluded by what seems to be. Reality lies in the eternal.
For a warrior nothing is higher than a battle against evil.
A warrior confronted by such a war should be pleased, Arjun.
For it comes as an open gate to freedom.
But if you do not fight this battle you will violate your honour.
Sanjay: These are the words that Sri Krishna spoke to Arjun on that morning when the great warrior stood on the battlefield, unarmed and silent.
(Via Scott Chaffin.)
Mark Morford, whose writing sucks the chrome off the tailpipe of a city bus, has a sweet paying gig at a major newspaper. Man, even I couldn't write anything as bad as
Screw it all, says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his black eyes gleaming like the devil's own golf balls.Do golfballs gleam? The Devil plays golf? The hell? Just pocket that paycheck, Moanford. Oh, and it's nice that you are so certain that Saddam Hussein is no threat to the US, he's just a minor thug, so let's just leave the Iraqi people under his boot -- at least they won't be dirtied up by nasssty Americans tromping all over their country! Mark Morford: hypocrite, thug-worshipper, creep.
I don't understand why this newspaper continues to publish a columnist of such low-caliber intellect as this person. His opinions cannot be described as even slightly informed; they are just kneejerk responses to his automatic dislike of George W. Bush, the Republican party, and America in general. Actually, I do know -- all the outraged letters the editor must get at least let the paper's owners know that someone still reads them.
(Note: this is a link to the main page of Morbidfraud's column; I don't know how to find permalinks to the dated column at the SF Chronicle's site, nor do I care to spend my day figuring it out. It's the column for January 10, 2003. Via Juan Gato)
Okay, the members of the government and their supporters in Iran just earned the title of Largest Collection of Dumbasses on the Planet, surpassing even Kim Jong Il, a.k.a. "Lord of the Dingbats." I'm sure a new loon or collection of loons will snatch the prize from them soon enough.
(Via Tim Blair.)
(Via John Cole.)
Update: and Tim Blair helps us to understand how the anti-SUV ad campaign helped contribute to the terrorists' funds.
This is hilarious; it's as if somebody's maiden aunt just noticed the shocking new fashion of girls letting their ankles show in public.
Remember that derogatory letter to a serviceman from some professor guy, and the big stink that ensued, after which the professor guy had to make an apology? Well, apparently back in the day Glenn Reynolds had posted on this, and the professor guy found the post and responded. I will just select one thing out of the many things he said:
I don’t believe the Vietnam antiwar movement, which may have shortened the war and saved the deaths of many precious Americans, who were not able to escape the draft [...]What about the many Vietnamese who were left to their fate, not being able to escape their country? Weren't they precious too?
Now, I may be of the opinion that Saddam Hussein's clock is way overdue for cleaning, but that doesn't mean I have anything against the rest of the inhabitants of Iraq. What, for instance, have those put-upon civilians ever done to deserve this?
I say we organize a protest to halt the importation of destructive amateur American folk singers to Iraq. Do it for the Children™. (And yes, I realize that the lady lost a relative in the September 11th attacks. That doesn't mean she gets carte blanche to be an idiot.)
(Via Little Tiny Lies.)
So I can piss off this hypocritical bitch.
Biggest, most fuel-inefficient one I can find. Or else I'll get me an 8-mile-to-the-gallon 1973 Ford. Stupid limousine liberal.
(Via A Small Victory.)
I would like to state for the record that this is NOT a laughing matter or a fit subject for mockery at all:
A Canadian man killed when his truck rolled on an Iraqi highway had gone to the country to act as a human shield in the event of war against Saddam Hussein, the peace group that sent him there said yesterday.I repeat: one should not laugh loudly and long at this most unfortunate occurrence.
(I might as well follow Michele to hell. Heaven won't have me anyway; at least there's a chance I can take over Hell.)
What a nasty-minded little creep this Tim Dunlop is.
Okay, just one more: the ugly naked peace ladies are going to hold a joint (heh heh) peace march in Washington D.C. and San Fransisco. You know, for peace, and against
hurting Saddam's feelings blowing up cute, big-eyed Iraqi children, all of whom have been programmed into the target systems of our JDAMs, you know. One thing: the time of year they plan to do this naked -- as in, unclothed -- peace march. January 18th.
January, in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
Um, gals? I mean, wymmin? It's cold in Florida in January. Just how cold do you think it will be fifteen hundred miles further north? Not to mention I happen to know it gets way cold in San Francisco at this time of year too. Oh well, have fun freezing your asses off for Saddam, you frozen-brained maroons. Maybe he'll pick you up on satellite and
get off on the sight have a belly laugh at the stupid Americans. He might be jacking off laughing so hard he won't hear the first missile until it crashes into his secret hideout. Maybe you'll do some goddamn good after all.
(Via A Small Victory.)
Here's the proof. (Via more than one person.)
Jesus, reading Atrios is like taking a mud bath. But not the healthy kind; the nasty, squidgy, cold, gets-in-your-personal spaces kind.
Canada is a lovely land somewhat to the north of me that has produced many lovely people. Unfortunately it has also produced a nasty piece of baggage called "Heather Mallick." Her surname is one letter off from being the exact description of her only literary talent. Fortunately, it seems that not all Canadians are thrilled to have such a pundit in their midst: here are some of their responses to one of her older anti-American shriekfests. (And no, September 11th and its aftermath did not soften her up one bit.) Thanks, Canadians! I may visit your provinces one day after all.
Damian Penny responds to an article in his local newspaper from a woman who -- wait for it -- thinks the world needs:
either a new global ABM and arms reduction treaty or a new arms race to restore a balance of power.Will wonders never cease. Yes, there are people who yearn for the good old days of the Cold War, when we were all went to bed nightly with visions of nuclear winter dancing in our heads. I know why they feel that way, though: because the Soviets were paragons of cold reason compared to the freaks, loons, and religious nutters running the various Middle Eastern countries. (Yes, that's right: I called them freaks, loons, and religious nutters. As far as I am concerned that is what that collection of Dear Leaders and fake sovereigns they have over there are. And let's not even get into the matter of Kim Ill Dong, or whatever his name is, that real-life Oriental Blofeld. Though actually, I prefer Blofeld: at least he had hardbodied sexy minions.)
[...]a piece of Primeval Idiotarianism, a chunk of Pure Stupidity left behind from the world was young.Do visit "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Growing Up in the War Machine" to get the full flavor of the conspiratoid nonsense, the self-pity, and worst of all, the sub-par circa-1996 web "design" of the place, which is complete with huge headers, zillions of animated gifs and ads, nonsensical bulleted lists, ugly background images, scrolling "marquee" text (the "blink" tag of Internet Explorer) and badly-placed giant jpegs. Then read Vegard's post.
Update: According to Combustible Boy, this website was favorably cited by the Iraqi Ministry of Information's official Iraq Daily publication. That ought to tell you something.
It's getting so hard to avoid the stone-throwing, torch-bearing mobs that gather whenever I leave my house without my American burqa. What's a girl to do?
Via a commenter to a small victory.
Guess who bloggers have to thank for their newfound 'fame and fortune': none other than the tentacled being himself, Trent Lott. Or at least, this is the case according to the Boston Globe. Mmmm... smell the cluelessness! They also commit the usual cardinal sin of not linking to the bloggers they name. Is the Globe in Google's pay?
(Via Scott Chaffin, one of the named non-linked.)
Guardian banshee-at-large George Monbiot is of the opinion that Western Civilization reached its height in 1974. All those things you own, all that food you have, this computer you are reading this on -- an unimaginable household article in the early Seventies -- they don't really exist, apparently. They were right: polyester really was evil. (Via Steven Chapman.)