Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wiki-Free Blog

What is Conservapedia?
Thanks to Technorati, I have a new obsession. There is a new source for information on the Web! Hooray! It’s called Conservapedia. On its Main Page, I found this:

“Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian ‘C.E.’ instead of ‘A.D.’, which Conservapedia uses. Christianity receives no credit for the great advances and discoveries it inspired, such as those of the Renaissance.”

Here is Conservapedia’s entry for Germany, it its totality, as is:
“A country in central Europe that was blamed for both Wolrd Wars and claimed to be the dominate race of mankind.”

Oh, there’s also this: “Like all modern animals, modern kangaroos originated in the Middle East and are the descendants of the two founding members of the modern kangaroo baramin that were taken aboard Noah's Ark prior to the Great Flood.”

Yeah, I was wondering about that too. From EvoWiki: “According to creationists, a baramin is a ‘created kind’ (from Hebrew: bara, created, and min, kind. This word combination does not make sense syntactically in actual Hebrew). The term appears to trace to 1941 and Frank Lewis Marsh, a Seventh-day Adventist educator, writer, and scientist with a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Nebraska. These are all the organisms that are descended from some specially-created species.”

Italics mine, to indicate anti-religious Wiki snark.

Bald women!
Britney Spears.
Sinead O’Connor
Sigourney Weaver in some ALIEN movie or other.
Demi Moore in G.I. JANE.
Samantha Mortion, the “Precog” in MINORITY REPORT
Natalie Portman in V FOR VENDETTA
The robot woman in METROPOLIS
Maggie McOmie in THX1138
Joan of Arc

More fact-ish statements from Conservapedia
“Nothing useful has even been built based on the theory of relativity.”

“However, lesbianism is less evil than regular homosexuality, because no penises are involved.”

“Josef Stalin was an atheist communist Russian dictator during World War II. He was defeated by Adolf Hitler, despite Hitler also being an atheist.”

(Remember when Stalin was defeated by Hitler? We never really forget moments like that, do we?)

In its entirety, and as is: "Canada is the second largest country in the world for it's considerable amount of land. It was named Canada because when an explorer came to a Canadian Indian village he asked what this place was called, and they told him ‘Kanada’, which means village in their Indian language. It borders the United States, and most of it's population is in The more southern provinces of Canada."

The Spanish American War? “The war between America and Spain for control of Cuba, the Phillipines and other Spainish colonies, which America, being a Christian nation, won, while Spain, being a Catholic country, lost.”

“Tobacco is a plant used for smoking and medicines. It was discovered by Native Americans and sold to Europeans. It was exported by John Rolfe (husband of Pocahontas). It became know as a Cash Crop.”

A spirited defense of Conservapedia!
From the blog of lonewolf:

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum has started an alternative to Wikipedia called Conservapedia.

Needless to say, the usual "liberal" suspects are having a great deal of (what passes to them as) fun…. They're pointing out "errors" in the encyclopedia, and some of those "errors" may actually be vandalism …and would be refered to at WP as such. Did you really expect anything different?

Of course, those of us with a greater mental age might wonder, "if unthinking 'liberals' say Wikipedia isn't biased, isn't that prima facie evidence that it is indeed biased?" And, we could compare that to the occasional ludicrous statement that the MSM does not have such a bias. …

The bottom line is that the "liberal" response to Conservapedia is similar to their response to Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, and Fox News, and their push to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. They aren't content with having their biases presented in almost all of the wider media, they simply want it all.

Wikipedia entry on Conservapedia
Eagle Forum is a conservative organization founded in 1972 and led by Phyllis Schlafly. Primarily focused around social issues, it describes itself as pro-family, although opponents have described it as anti-feminist and socially conservative.

Eagle Forum claims to have a membership around 80,000. It has two youth-oriented programs: the "Teen Eagles" program for children ages 12-17, and the "Eagle Forum Collegians" for conservative-minded college students. Eagle Forum maintains offices in Clayton, Missouri; Alton, Illinois; and Washington, D.C.

Eagle Forum operates "Eagle Forum University", a "continuing education" program that offers conservative-oriented online courses on various topics. Eagle Forum University courses make use of Conservapedia, a nascent wiki-based online encyclopedia founded in reaction to alleged "liberal bias" in Wikipedia.

And where’s Conservapedia when you really need it?
From TIME: “In a new documentary, Producer [James] Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.”

Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslett, reunited for the love story of the ages?

James Cameron entry in Conservapedia in its entirety:
“Filmmaker, antichrist.” Kidding!

Nature news
Biologists videotaped a beaver swimming in the Bronx River last week, the first beaver sighted in NYC in 200 years.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Heifers 'n Scrota

…Shaved her head. Stop presses! Her lost tresses, it is said, will be available on eBay.

…Devoted a cover story to Girls Gone Wild, and the effect “slutty” celebs are having on today’s girls. Conclusion: not much of an effect at all, thanks to conscientious parenting. Thank you, Newsweek. And thank you for giving us the word "prosti-tots."

“Israel Sparks Riot Outside Islam's Third-Holiest Site”
Only in the Mideast would the building of a wheelchair ramp spark riots. But what I’m really wondering is: third holiest site? How do you gauge that? I can see “third oldest,” or “third tallest,” but “third holiest?” What’s the yardstick?

Wikipedia, my source for all things iffy, says:
“The expression ‘third holiest site in Islam’, however, has been sometimes erroneously used in the media to refer to other Islamic sites. These references do not necessarily represent the general view in Islam. It also does not imply the stand by any Islamic sect. While the Organization of the Islamic Conference, whose raison d'etre is to ‘liberate Al Aqsa from the Zionist occupation’, refers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (in a resolution condemning Israeli actions in the city) as the third holiest site in Islam, others believe that the use of the term "Third Holiest" is driven by political motives and that Al-Aqsa mosque is not the third holiest site. Rather, its, or any other substitute's selection, is based more on politics or the rise and expansion of a certain type of literary genre, known as al-Fadhail (history of cities) than religious theory.”

Thanks for clearing that up, Wiki.

Apparently, Al Aqsa is the mosque from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven. It seems that Al Aqsa’s status as third holiest site is held by Sunnis. The Shiites, on the other hand, hold Imam Ali Mosque, in Iraq, as the third holiest site. Juan Cole says that Imam Ali Mosque is actually the fourth holiest, preceded by Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.

Al Aqsa is also called Temple Mount, and Dome of the Rock. It “was the site of the first … and second Jewish temples in Jerusalem, and [will be] the site of the third and final Temple to be rebuilt with the coming of the Messiah; and as such it is the holiest site for Jews.”

More: Our physical world “was created from the Foundation Stone on the Temple Mount.” It’s the place where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. Jacob’s vision of angels on the ladder occurred as he slept on the stone at Temple Mount. It’s where Jacob and Rebecca prayed for children. It is believed that the Ark of the Covenant may be buried on the Temple Mount grounds.

The place is so holy for Jews, in fact, that many Rabbis have decreed that they’re not allowed to enter it until the Messiah comes. “Most Orthodox rabbis … have issued prohibitions against entering the Temple Mount because of the danger of entering the area of the Temple courtyard and the difficulty of fulfilling the ritual requirement of cleansing oneself with the ashes of a red heifer.”

Red Heifer?
A flawless red heifer is a Messiah harbinger.

Sunday Telegraph:
“APRIL 15, 1997: The birth of a red heifer in Israel is being hailed by religious Jews as a divine sign that work can soon begin on building the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

“A team of rabbinical experts confirmed that the animal, born on April 15, 1997 on a religious kibbutz near the north Israeli port of Haifa, meets the correct Biblical criteria for a genuine holy cow. According to the Book of Numbers (XIX: 2-7), the animal is needed for an ancient Jewish purification ritual.

“‘Speak unto the children of Israel that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke,’ says the fourth book of the Old Testament….”

In 1985 a group of Jewish extremists were jailed in Israel for planning to blow up the Dome. Their logic was that if the Messiah’s coming depends on a third Temple, well, build it and He will come. (The Robert Stone novel, DAMASCUS GATE, centers around a similar conspiracy.)

The red heifer was declared unclean in 1998, a white spot having been discovered thereon. (This particular heifer, by the way, was made possible in part by a cattle-breeding program set up in Israel with the help of Texas fundamentalist Christian ranchers. They, of course, believe that the heifer is a harbinger of the coming of the Anti-Christ, Armageddon, the Second Coming, and all that. Some believe that Muslims buit their mosque on the Temple’s site specifically to prevent the Jews from building the third Temple, and hence paving the way for the Messiah.)

Another red heifer was born in 2002. If the Anti-Christ is in a wheelchair, I think we'll be home free. That wheelchair ramp won't be built in our lifetime anyway.

Eminem’s Ex
Kim Mathers said in a Detroit interview of her soon-to-be-former-husband-again: “I can't stand him. He's an absolutely horrible person, and he gets worse every day. I vomit in my mouth whenever I'm around him or I hear his name.”

Kid’s book I want to read
THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY, by Susan Patron, is this year’s winner of the Newbery Medal. On the first page, Lucky, a ten year old orphan girl, overhears a conversation about a dog who was bit on his balls by a rattlesnake. The word used, however, was “scrotum.” Lucky ponders: “Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much. It sounded medical and secret, but also important.”

According to the New York Times: “The inclusion of the word has shocked some school librarians, who have pledged to ban the book from elementary schools….”

Huh? If the dog had been bit on the foot, there wouldn’t be any fuss, would there? What’s wrong with ten year old readers finding out what a scrotum is?

Dana Nilsson, teacher and librarian in Durango, Colorado, wrote on a librarian mailing list: “This book included what I call a Howard Stern-type shock treatment just to see how far they could push the envelope, but they didn’t have the children in mind. How very sad.”


Reached for comment, “ Ms. Patron said she was stunned by the objections. The story of the rattlesnake bite, she said, was based on a true incident involving a friend’s dog. And one of the themes of the book is that Lucky is preparing herself to be a grown-up, Ms. Patron said. Learning about language and body parts, then, is very important to her.”

She told the Times, “The word is just so delicious. The sound of the word to Lucky is so evocative. It’s one of those words that’s so interesting because of the sound of the word.” Scrotum. Scrota! Scrotums!

Ms. Patron is herself a scrotum-free librarian in Los Angeles.

Cash or credit, no checks.
The self-styled “Author/Discoverer” James A. Conrad is offering exclusive worldwide rights to a news story for $3.5 million.

From his website: “What is ‘IT’? ‘IT, or the letters ‘I’ and ‘T,’ pronounced like the word ‘It,’ are the initials of the title of an illustrated digital document…. The 202-page, single-spaced report presents a collection of fact-based verifiable research that details the evidence for a major newly discovered national political-religious controversy in the United States. As an established author, instead of giving this discovery away for free, I have decided to offer the news story rights and all other rights to any interested global news organization, media company, religious organization, institutional collector of religious material, or private collector of religious material. Besides the general public, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam would have an interest in this information.”

His other works include THE MODEL-ACTOR’S DICTIONARY and FILMMAKER’S DICTIONARY. He’s written a screenplay about Roswell and UFOs, and he has a huge collection of Star Trek production photographs. Judging by his offer, I’d say his scrotum is made of brass.

Lock up your daughters!
Ted Haggard announced last week that he’s not gay any more. Took him a couple weeks, but he’s way over it now.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Blog Gone Wild!

Back when I was performing regularly with Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre, I had a character called “The Phantom Astronaut,” who washed out of the space program in 1962, and had spent his years since brooding and drinking in Florida motel rooms, until he hooked up with Success Guru Wex Wexler, and toured America with him, as a living example of how not to be successful.

I do love a loser, especially in these preening times, in which everybody’s a winner, or at least finding somebody else to blame.

And Lisa Nowak is obviously the big loser here. After traveling 900 miles in a diaper in a failed attempt to kill a rival for a lover, she has now become both an object of pity and a laughing stock. Her story has been optioned by Granada American. Access Hollywood tells me that Granada American “is the U.S.-based production entity of ITV, one of Europe's largest broadcasters and producers. The company produced the reality series HELL’S KITCHEN and NANNY 911 as well as the Lifetime channel movie THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY.” Who’s Fantasia Barrino? The winner of the third AMERICAN IDOL competition.

So Lisa Nowak has gone from becoming the first Italian American woman in space, responsible for operating the robot arms of the shuttle and the International Space Station, to wronged woman on a failed rampage.

NASA is stunned. America is devouring the story, except for the sourpuss op-eddies who think there are more important things to think about. Well, sure, but hello? Astronauts! Adultery! Murder attempts! The chance of a Lifetime movie, with Tori Spelling in space! And diapers! That’s America to me.

Anna Nicole Smith
I was listening to a progressive chat show the other day, one of those round table discussions that public radio is so fond of, an examination of the news of the week – what stories were covered well, what stories were passed over… oh, you know the drill.

The host of the show was contemptuous of the fact that the war is still going on in Iraq, an American military presence is looming near Iran, and billions of dollars – real dollars, pallets of cold cash – have gone missing in the Iraqi reconstruction effort, while the media are ignoring all that in favor of covering poor Lisa Nowak, and the strange death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Tim Rutten, in the LA TIMES, wrote: “In the case of the unfortunate Smith, there was something almost touchingly retro about her wretched train wreck of a life. She wasn't, in fact, celebrated just for being a celebrity, as is the current mode. She'd earned her notoriety the old-fashioned way: She took her clothes off for it, then married rich — though like so much else in her ambit, that apparently didn't turn out very well. Americans have a hard time abiding a tale of struggle without reward, or a story without a happy ending, which is why we so often confer a disproportionate posthumous attention on the plucky but dubious dead. Depending on how you look at it, it's a reflection of either our collective good-heartedness or our common sappiness. Maybe the ultimate guarantor of the former is our unwillingness to worry too much about the latter.”

Well, okay, but again, hello? This story had everything! Anna Nicole Smith was the Last Starlet! After her, there will be no more! Her substance abuse issues! Her weigh gains and losses! Her gazillion year-old rich husband! Lawsuits! Paternity suits! Mysterious deaths! An adulterous prince! Zsa Zsa!

If, when the North Korea nukes start raining down on the Bay Area, and they find me curled up on the couch reading a thick paperback unauthorized biography of Anna Nicole Smith, with Ten Pages of Shocking Photos, well, there are worse ways to go.

Nancy Pelosi’s Plane
My opinion? Let her have the damn plane. And shut up.

Kim Kardashian
Like her pal Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian is described as a “socialite,” a word that has been much degraded in recent years. Grace Kelly was considered a socialite, remember? Back when they had debutante balls, instead of sex on camera? A sex tape, featuring Ms. Kardashian and some guy named Ray J, has surfaced. Sex tapes are never released, or distributed, please note. They “surface.” Like blind subterranean creatures, they crawl upwards through the ooze, towards the light.

The sex tape will be made public at the end of the month through the auspices of Vivid Entertainment Group, the outfit that made Jenna Jameson a star. Download and watch it, as North Korean nukes rain down on our heads. There are worse ways to go. No wait. There aren’t.

Rush Limbaugh
An outfit called the Landmark Legal Foundation has nominated Rush Limbaugh for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Limbaugh serves as an unpaid member of the Foundation’s Board, where I believe he soothes all ruffled feathers, and makes sure that fist fights do not break out during Power Point presentations. For that alone, all the nations of the world rise as one to thank him.

AP: “Isaac Daniel calls the tiny Global Positioning System chip he's embedded into a line of sneakers ‘peace of mind.’ He wishes his 8-year-old son had been wearing them when he got a call from his school in 2002 saying the boy was missing. The worried father hopped a flight to Atlanta from New York where he had been on business to find the incident had been a miscommunication and his son was safe.

“Days later, the engineer started working on a prototype of Quantum Satellite Technology, a line of $325 to $350 adult sneakers that hit shelves next month. It promises to locate the wearer anywhere in the world with the press of a button. A children's line will be out this summer.

"’We call it a second eye watching over you,’ Daniel said.”

I’m all in favor of safety, but do we have to know where everybody is, all the time? Stop the madness!

Finally… Beer
Have you seen the Bud Light commercial, in which a guy picks up an ax-wielding hitchhiker, despite his girlfriend’s concerns, because the hitcher also has Bud Light. The tag line is “Always worth it.”

Huh. Worth being hacked to pieces by a maniac, because you may or may not get a sip or two, before you die, of a beverage that tastes like carbonated urine? My tag line: “Hey whatever. Drink up! Here come the Korean bombs!”

Sunday, February 04, 2007

gavin blog

Oh Gavin.
We had such high hopes for you.
We all wanted to have sex with you. (Depending.)
We didn’t care that you’re a hound. We all kind of sensed that. But still, there are limits….
But no, this is San Francisco. There are no limits. You can do what you will. It is a Nietschean (Did I spell that right?) environment in which power, soap opera, porn, and politics collide. San Francisco!
I wanted to have sex with Gavin Newsome. Everybody wants to have sex with Gavin Newsome. But still, there are limits. (“No! There are no limits!” I shudder. I faint.)
That little crooked smile. The endearing expensive yet ill fitting suits. The hair product. Who would not want to have sex with Gavin Newsome?
Well, many, I expect, but left over enough to fulfill Gavin, or make his life miserable, or a combination of both.
Oh, Gavin: Tell me what you want….
Sez Gavin: “I want you to tell me what YOU want. I will give you anything. I will listen to you. I will lick you where you want to be licked. I will obtain your signature. I will insert my unit, should you desire. You think? Sign here.”
And we assemble around the body of Gavin Newsome. His eyes are closed. He breathes deeply. His breath is sweet. We can touch him anywhere we desire. He may touch us back. Maybe not. But don’t touch his hair. “Leave it alone. Don’t touch my hair.” DON’T TOUCH HIS HAIR.
Hair product will leap from his head and devour you. Be forewarned.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bleak Blog

Damn you, Adam Smith, you and your invisible hand!
NYT: “Supermarket eggs have been stamped with the names of CBS television shows. Subway turnstiles bear messages from Geico auto insurance. Chinese food cartons promote Continental Airways. US Airways is selling ads on motion sickness bags. And the trays used in airport security lines have been hawking Rolodexes.”

Bleak Reports
NYT headline: “Analysis Is Bleak on Iraq’s Future”
Crikey! Stop the presses!

UK Telegraph: “The US government has called on the world's scientists to research using giant mirrors or reflective dust to slow global warming.”
And build us a death ray while you’re at it.

NYT headline: Science Panel Calls Global Warming ‘Unequivocal’
Oh but just wait. There are those who will find ways to equivocate.


The Guardian: Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today. Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Headline of the week
“Florida hunter bags a hermaphrodite deer”
Bags. That’s what they call it now?

Because he’s just my Bill
New York Post: “Clinton grabbed the mike and told the audience that the questioner wanted to know ‘what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men.’ She then smiled, raised her eyebrows and nodded knowingly at the questioner.”

My favorite story of the week!
Two guys put up a bunch of LED signs in Boston displaying the image of a Mooninite flipping the bird, as a promotion for the new movie version of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (the “cult” cartoon seen on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network). The Mooninites are 2-D low resolution digital characters based on Space Invaders (remember, kids?)

Even though these same thingies were displayed in other cities to no obvious effect, Boston freaked out, fearing the displays might be explosive device planted by terrorists.

The two guys were arrested, then let out on bail. They talked to reporters, in an hilarious press conference:

Some hipper Bostonians got to some of the devices before the police did. According to the Associated Press, they were sold on eBay, “ranging in price from $500 to $2,100.”

This story highlights my two least favorite characteristics of our times: (1) Unfounded hysteria around issues of “terror,” and (2) unfettered capitalism, in which every blank space (see first item, above) must be employed to sell us something. The two were bound to collide sometime.

I think Aqua Teen Hunger Force is funny, by the way.

Scary Flat World
From “Kremlin Inc.” in the current New Yorker.
“Vladislav Surkov, who is essentially the Kremlin’s chief ideologist, told delegates at a meeting of the President’s party last year, ‘For all globalization’s benefits, all the talk of friendship, the Americans count their dividends at home, the British count theirs—and we count ours. The majority count their losses. So when they tell us that sovereignty is outdated, as is the nation-state, we should ask ourselves what they are up to.’”

What ARE they up to? And when does the Iran invasion begin?