Friday, May 22, 2009

Grumpy Old Blog

I’ve been busy, and neglecting this blog, which has brought me so much fame and fortune. I am truly sorry.

Radio host Mancow recently subjected himself on air to waterboarding in an effort to show that it wasn’t torture. He lasted six seconds and conceded that it was, in fact torture. If only I had been there.

Right wingers are incensed that she did not expose waterboarding as torture, even though they themselves don’t believe it is torture. Whatever.

Gingrich on Pelosi
"She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior." Why is Newt Gingrich still around anyway? Not only around, he's a rising star in the Republican firmament! Haven’t we been down this road before?

AP: “A Chicago-area company is marketing hair products inspired by ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The shampoo and conditioner carry the brand name ‘BLAGO It's Bleep'n Golden!’”

Waterboard them all! Make them confess to false crimes!

Obama and mustard
President Obama puts spicy mustard on his hamburgers. Right-wingers apparently think that this proves that he’s…. oh hell, I don’t know. I give up.

Obama not funny!
Rightwingers don’t think President Obama was funny at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. I didn’t either. So what?

From Good Morning, Silicon Valley
“…[T]he University of Missouri School of Journalism is requiring incoming freshmen to show up with iPhones or iPod Touches.”

And a Mercedes, and show up for the interviews in Armani, please. If you’re going to save journalism, you must be stylin’.

Credit cards and guns
Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, added an amendment to the credit card consumer rights bill that will allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks. So if you’re attacked by a bear, you can annoy it with your handgun? Or if a gang of crazed delinquents, on the crack and meth, attack your campsite, you can wing a couple of them before they tear you to pieces and make the mark of the beast on your forehead? If your credit card is rejected at the souvenir shop, you can shoot the underpaid clerk?

Dobson surrenders
Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, shared this with his radio listeners recently, regarding… something or other:

“I want to tell you up front that we're not going to ask you to do anything, to make a phone call or to write a letter or anything.

“There is nothing you can do at this time about what is taking place because there is simply no limit to what the left can do at this time. Anything they want, they get and so we can't stop them.

“We tried with [Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius and sent thousands of phone calls and emails to the Senate and they didn't pay any attention to it because they don't have to. And so what you can do is pray, pray for this great nation... As I see it, there is no other answer. There's no other answer, short term.”

By by James! You shall be missed.

J. Freedom du Lac, in the Washington Post, writing about country music: “The symbolism and prideful sentiments of the songs are intended to create a sense of belonging among people with similar backgrounds and lifestyles, or at least people who romanticize life in the rural South. (It's not a place; it's a state of mind.) To some listeners, though, it might sound as if the artists are closing ranks.”

Um. Excuse me. Urban music, correct me if I’m wrong, is usually about urban themes and lifestyles. Country music (at least until recent years) is about country themes and lifestyles. That’s why they call it country music. What the hell is Mr. Du Lac suggesting country singers do? Lose the twang and get with the program? No wonder they’re closing ranks.

On Google: “The Internet search giant recently began crunching data from employee reviews and promotion and pay histories in a mathematical formula Google says can identify which of its 20,000 employees are most likely to quit.”

What do you know? Google really IS evil!

“Meet Sockington. Twitter's latest star is a microblogging cat who regales more than half a million with his musings on meal time, personal hygiene and the view from the top of the stairs.”

Why is the nation not retching? Oh, right, it’s too busy monitoring the tweets of a fucking cat.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Cinco de Bloggo

I was in a really boring firefight, in Kenya. I was in a stalled half track/armored vehicle on a dirt road among denuded rolling hills, kind of like buttes, only more worn down. I assumed I was in Kenya, because there was a lone elephant roaming about half a mile from us. Various rebels were attacking us by throwing hand grenades at us. But they were duds; none of them exploded. So we were passing the time by reading magazines and books we had already read. Behind us there was a fenced enclosure. In it was horse, on fire. The horse didn’t seem to be bothered by this; it just stood, in flame, twitching its tail lazily.

Ashton Kutcher speaks out.
In TIME Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people.
"Years from now, when historians reflect on the time we are currently living in, the names Biz Stone and Evan Williams will be referenced side by side with the likes of Samuel Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, Guglielmo Marconi, Philo Farnsworth, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — because the creation of Twitter ... is as significant and paradigm-shifting as the invention of Morse code, the telephone, radio, television or the personal computer."

Could you re-phrase that as a Tweet?

Part of an email I received from Malaysia
“We apologize for the delay of your payment and all the Inconveniences and Hiccups that we might have caused you. However, we were having some minor Problems with our payment system, which is Inexplicable, and have held us Stranded and Indolent, not having the Prerequisite to devote our 100%
Endowment in accrediting foreign payments.”

I am somewhat Stranded and Indolent myself, but somehow I have my doubts that all or even part of the “Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds” promised me by Prize Payment Coordinator Mr. Anderson Jones will ever find itself in my bank account.

Warning: Study Alert! Stephen Colbert: Tabula Rasa
From Ohio State University: “…[C]onservatives were more likely to report that Colbert only pretends to be joking and genuinely meant what he said while liberals were more likely to report that Colbert used satire and was not serious when offering political statements.”

The ongoing conservative response.
Pat Buchanan: “For 50 minutes, Obama sat mute, as a Marxist thug from Nicaragua delivered his diatribe, charging America with a century of terrorist aggression in Central America.”

A real President would have rolled up his sleeves and clocked the guy. Or at the very least yelled, “Oh shut up!” Or at the very very least, put his hands over his ears, closed his eyes, and chanted “layler layler layler.”

Ask the Sexpert!
Sound advice from the Mumbai Mirror:
“I had unprotected sex with a lady one-and-a-half years ago, but I did not penetrate her. After that I tested for HIV (one p24antigen HIV and HIV2, two ELISA and one Chemiluminescent). All of them were negative. I have read that HIV can show up in the blood after six months, or even three years. Am I safe?”

“You will never be safe until you are sensible enough to accept that the tests are more than enough to know that you are safe. Why not start being happy in life and thinking of the past in perspective.”

Why they hate us: part 47.
Alternet: “Dr. Mosser admits that while there is no true dirtiness to having labia hypertrophy, there does seem to be a psychological desire amongst women to have their genitals look organized or clean.”

There are women out there with disorganized genitalia, and want to do something about it.

This may be because “…there is a huge lack of knowledge surrounding genital diversity for women.” Not everybody can afford the female genitalia flip book.

On the other hand:

“If the accounts from surgeons and the media are to be believed, pornography is a major influence in what women believe is desirable. While women might not be trading notes on their vaginal proportions, they have become increasingly comfortable with mainstream pornography and that leads to one dimensional representations of what vulvas look like. Add to that the phenomenon that is the Brazilian Bikini wax, where all but the smallest trace of pubic hair is removed, and women are getting the HD version of their vulvas outside of a biology class for the first time.”

I’m not sure what HD means here… High Definition? Harley Davidson? Hilda Dolittle?

I am relieved that women are not trading notes on their vaginal proportions, however. (And how are those notes transcribed, I wonder?) Still, I think it is time to break the back of the Brazilian Bikini wax cabal once and for all, lest we become a world of sadly uniform coochies, decorated only by a lonely patch of carefully shaved heart-shaped pubic hair.

“…[W]omen … would do best to get to know their genitals as they are and should be. If nothing else, it’s a whole lot cheaper.”

So there you have it. Labiaplasty: threat or menace?

Rumble in Disney Hall!
From the Los Angeles Times:

“Before playing the final work on his recital, Karol Szymanowski’s ‘Variations on a Polish Folk Theme,’ Zimerman sat silently at the piano for a moment, almost began to play, but then turned to the audience. In a quiet but angry voice that did not project well, he indicated that he could no longer play in a country whose military wants to control the whole world.

“‘Get your hands off of my country,’ he said.”

I was not aware that the United States had invaded Poland. The darn media won’t tell us anything any more.

Let the punishment fit the crime.
AP: “Faced with mounting unpaid lunch charges in the economic downturn, Albuquerque Public Schools last month instituted a ‘cheese sandwich policy,’ serving the alternative meals to children whose parents are supposed to be able to pay for some or all of their regular meals but fail to pick up the tab.”

Twelve Major Brands That Will Disappear
According to 24/7 Wall Street, they are Avis/Budget, Borders, Crocs, Saturn, Esquire Magazine, Gap (Old Navy and Banana Republic along with it), Architectural Digest, Chrysler, Eddie Bauer, Palm (of Pilot fame), AIG, and the travel industry.

Swine flu.
I say it’s “flu” and I say the hell with it.

Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger turned 90 this month. I happened to be the writer for a public radio documentary about him. It is called THE PROTEST SINGER, and airs this month on a public radio station near you. Check it out if you would. Thank you.