Sunday, January 29, 2006

this and that blog

Headline of the week.
Starving woman curses God, dies in her sleep.

The first Elmo scandal
The talking book, “Potty Time With Elmo,” has Elmo saying what appears to be “Who wants to die?”

The second Elmo scandal
From Boing Boing:
On Monday, I posted about how some copies of the interactive talking book Potty Time With Elmo reportedly say "Who wants to die?" instead of "Who wants to try to go potty?" BB reader Maria Burke reports a similar surreal situation involving her "Shout!" Dancing Elmo Doll. Here's what she writes:

“My Shout Elmo said you make Elmo wanna shout beat up elmo, shoot his foot out. If Fisherprice had taken my concerns seriously perhaps this book (Potty Time) may have never been produced and each book have been scrutinized before it went out for sale. I had requested that Fisherprice check each puppet or modify it so it was more audible....
“I did discuss the matter in a web site that I belong to .... and I wrote to Sesame Street, FisherPrice and even the Toy Guy as well as have a short clip on channel Ten. Fisherprice considered my case isolative and not worthy of investigating further seeing that all their "Elmo's" appeared to sound appropriate but I asked several people on the street what they heard and they did not hear BE LIKE ELMO clearly. Now this new book is out and it worries me that bad subliminal messages are being infiltrated and the target is people who don't speak English and those children are getting the message. I would advice all parents to monitor all the new toys and really really listen.”

… Maria sent me an audio clip of what indeed sounds like Elmo singing "beat up elmo" and "shoot his foot out."

Elmo wants us to torture him, and then die. For some reason this has AMerican mothers worried.

Amazon tags for Kate O’Beirne’s "Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sport"

100 percent lies... (1)
19th century... (1)
about-time... (1)
adams apple... (1)
anti-woman… (1)
antichrist… (1)
awesome… (1)
back to the kitchen... (1)
beth… (1)
bigoted… (1)
bird-cage liner-... (2)
buy it… (1)
complete crap... (4)
crackpot… (1)
Crap… (2)
Crap… (4)
craptacular.. .(1)
deceitful… (1)
defamatory… (1)
delusional… (2)
demon-infested... (1)
diarrhea …(1)
disinformation... (1)
dreck… (2)
drivel… (1)
enlightening... (1)
Excellent.. (1)
Excellent.. (6)
excruciating... (1)
exorcism.. (1)
factless… (2)
factual… (1)
filthy… (1)
foul …(1)
fox news …(1)
fraudulent… (2)
Garbage… (1)
Garbage… (6)
Grotesque… (1)
Hated it… (1)
Hated only by liars and idiots... (2)
Hateful… (4)
Horrifying… (2)
Hypocrite.. (1)
imbecile …(2)
inaccruate…(sic) (1)
Indisputable.. .(1)
insightful …(1)
intelligent... (1)
libelous …(1)
libs trash this book without reading it - idiots... (1)
linda blair... (1)
loathsome… (1)
locusts… (1)
man-hands …(1)
mark of the beast... (1)
meritless… (1)
migraine-provoking... (1)
misogny… (1)
misogynist …(1)
misogyny… (3)
monstrous… (1)
moron.. (1)
moronic… (1)
my eyes burn... (1)
nauseating …(1)
necronomic... (1)
neo-con swill... (2)
no research... (1)
not edited …(1)
of primary importance... (1)
oh please... (1)
poorly written.. (1)
Presstitute... (1)
pro-women… (1)
read it an... (1)
revolting …(1)
Right on …(1)
right-wing... (1)
sandpaper snatch... (1)
sandpaper .snizatch.. (1)
satanic… (1)
self-hating... (1)
send help… (1)
Should be assigned in college... (1)
should be ... (1)
stench of death ... (1)
swill… (3)
tainted… (1)
thought-provoking... (2)
too much rouge.. (1)
TotallyTrue... (1)
Trash… (2)
truth… (2)
truth to secular power... (1)
truthful… (1)

Ms. O'Beirne doesn't like feminists. Hey, I saved you the price of her book!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Totally Bloggo

My blog and welcome to it.
Hi! Sorry to be gone so long. Been in and out of town on family business (Dad, dementia), which I may or may not write about. It’s a little too close to home right now.

But the Aged Parents are moving into a managed care facility next month, easing the burden on my poor mother.

And I still have enough time to brood about…

JT Leroy
Talk about a tempest in a teapot!

The deal is that this young trans-gendered writer may in fact be a thirtysomething woman, or two women, or a guy, or the three of them together, or the three of them together and JT Leroy him or herself. The literary world is all a-twitter.

The pictures of him/her that accompany the stories about him make him like a young (but heavier) Johnny Winter, if that’s a clue.

I have not read any of JT Leroy’s books, so to be offended or not by what may or not be either a hoax or a put-on, depending, would require more moral effort than I can muster right now. Either way.

I can tell you what does bug me though. J.T. Leroy is often described as “reclusive.” Reclusive? In one of the features I read about him/her/them, the interview took place at Carrie Fisher’s house, where he/she/they was staying. In another feature, it was revealed that Leroy liked to hang out on the set of the HBO series DEADWOOD, for which s/he is writing scripts. S/he also wrote a draft of a movie for Gus Van Sant. And has a rock band. And has written liner notes and biographies for Billy Corgan, Liz Phair, Conor Oberst, Bryan Adams, Nancy Sinatra, and Courtney Love. There was an interview with her/him in the UK Guardian, and the San Francisco Chronicle. S/he has had long conversations with Dave Eggers, Julianne Moore, and Susie Bright.

I may not know much. But I know that’s not exactly reclusive behavior. J.D. Salinger is reclusive. Thomas Pynchon is reclusive. They don’t answer phones. They don’t have their pictures taken.

A recluse lives alone in a dark flat with fifty years worth of newspapers and 33 feral cats. A recluse lives in a shack in Montana and makes bombs secretively. A true recluse takes a vow of silence and dwells alone in a windowless room. If you’re reclusive you don’t chat with movie stars, much less crash at their houses. You might watch movies obsessively, but you certainly don’t meet with directors and write them. A recluse is never a cult figure. And recluses never get a sex change - unless they do it themselves.

Sex change saves hide!
Reuters: “A Thai prostitute escaped caning for drug dealing in Singapore after a doctor established that the accused, who was identified in a passport as a man, had undergone a sex change, the Straits Times reported …. While male offenders can be punished with up to 15 strokes of the rattan cane for drug-related offences, female offenders are exempt from caning.”

Animals in the news!
A one-eyed noseless cat was born in Redmond, Oregon, but died after a year of life. It was named Cy. For Cyclops.

Other news…
Duck’s Breath has received a $3000 grant to digitize its audio, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Once this has been accomplished, the updated and spiffy radio sketches will be posted at Check it out, in the meantime:

This is a place for radio producers (and people like me) to post audio pieces, where interested public radio stations can pick them up for a pittance. Sign up! It’s free to listen.

And I’ll let you know when the pieces are up.

In the meantime, the Duck’s Breath 30th Anniversary DVD is in stores now. Snap one up.

From Salon, the Daou Report, this bit of gassery:
"Looking at the political landscape, one proposition seems unambiguous: blog power on both the right and left is a function of the relationship of the netroots to the media and the political establishment. Forming a triangle of blogs, media, and the political establishment is an essential step ... Simply put, without the participation of the media and the political establishment, the netroots alone cannot generate the critical mass necessary to alter or create conventional wisdom."

Here’s an unambigous proposition for you: There is NOTHING more boring than bloggers blogging about how important blogs are. And why would we want to create “conventional wisdom” in the first place?

And this just in…
From the Associated Press: “There's no physical evidence that the family who gave the Donner Party its name had anything to do with the cannibalism the ill-fated pioneers have been associated with for a century and a half, two scientists said Thursday.”

Well, hell, if they only ate sandwiches, where’s the fun in that?

On the other hand, you might say that the conventional wisdom had been that the Donner Family reverted to cannibalism during a horrible winter stuck in the mountains. Now that conventional wisdom has been overturned not by blogs, or MSM, or the political establishement, but by scientists. By facts.

However, I suspect many of will continue to use the Donner Party as an emblem of cannibalism, in much the same way that we use Frankenstein to denote the monster, not its maker, and continue to remember Lizzie Borden as the killer of her father and stepmother, even though she was acquitted.

The trouble with conventional wisdom is that human beings are not entirely rational.

For instance, we know many ways to kill a vampire: garlic, a cross, wooden stake through the heart, exposure to sunlight, etc. And yet vampires don’t exist!

Why do we devote so much of our brains to fictional data, when we could be triangulating media influences on public policy? Beats me.

In further news…
The tiny wife and I had the privilege to participate in San Francisco’s NOIR CITY film noir festival last night. She and I had created a number of “Hard Boiled Haiku” in a spurt of whimsy a few years back. A friend of mine, Jack Boulware, brought them to the attention of the festival creator, Eddie Muller, and we were invited to read some of them before last night’s double feature.

(Sample haikus:

My childhood sweetheart
Now lies dead, here on the floor.
God damn you, Nadine.

She was lovely,
But her sister was cuter.
The poison was quick.

A small accident:
The road curved but I didn’t.
What a lousy world.

You get the idea.)

We didn’t stay for the second feature, but the first one was excellent!

It was THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS (1953), with Gig Young, Chill Wills, William Talman (Hamilton Burger, from PERRY MASON), Edward Arnold, Marie Windsor, and even – in a small role – young Tom Poston.

Sample dialogue:

“When I first came to this town I was gonna be - oh, there were a lot of things I was gonna do. Become famous. But Chicago's the big melting pot, and I got melted, but good.”

“He’s just a nice guy, who shouldn’t die like a freak in a window.”

Angelface, seductive, to Johnny: “Come here.”
Johnny, hard-bitten, to Angelface: “I’ve been there.”

There was a corrupt lawyer, his conniving adulterous wife, a bitter stripper, an ambivalent cop, a magician turned pickpocket turned hitman, a loving loyal wife, a shrewish mother-in-law, a guy pretending to be a robot to lure customers into a strip joint, and – my personal favorite – Chill Wills as Chicago. Chicago narrates the movie, and then – disguised as a cop – accompanies Johnny on his voyage of self-discovery. Also, the movie takes place in real time, kind of.

Martin Scorsese, for whom this movie is a guilty pleasure, we were told, loaned his personal print of it for the showing. If you ever get a chance, and you’re a fan of the genre, check it out. What a hoot.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Ass Hat Blog

Happy New Year!
This year sucks. Isn’t it over yet? Man, I can’t WAIT until 2007.

Speaking of 007, and things English…
From AFP:

… The School of Textiles and Design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have begun what is believed to be the world's first-ever study on how women's clothing affects the bottom.

Models with variously sized posteriors will wear different types of clothing as part of the research, which will examine how designs, colours, patterns and fabric types affect perception.

Others will be asked to assess how big or small each model's backside appears to look in the outfits.

"This study will provide for the first time detailed and usable information that would enable designers to make the clothes that help women make the most of their natural assets," said Dr Lisa Macintyre, who is leading the study….

Awww, I think.
From Reuters:

The Washington couple at the heart of the CIA leak investigation had their cover blown by their small son as they tried to sneak away on vacation on Thursday.

"My daddy's famous, my mommy's a secret spy," declared the 5-year-old of his parents, former diplomat Joe Wilson and retired CIA operative Valerie Plame.

The former spy, who just retired from the agency, and the diplomat have been at the center of a CIA leak scandal that has reached into the White House.

They said they were headed to an undisclosed vacation location with their twins but stopped for a brief interview inside the airport terminal.

Nature: red in tooth and claw. And fits in a teacup.
From the Associated Press, this breaking news from Fremont, California:

“A pack of angry Chihuahuas attacked a police officer who was escorting a teenager home following a traffic stop, authorities said.”

Blogging gets bloody.
James Wolcott, after unleashing sarcasm on a conservative blogger in his blog (he called Daniel Pipes a “patronizing little shit”), found HIMSELF the target of a number of sarcastic comments. Such is the blogosphere!

He noticed an odd subcurrent in the comments, however; there was this.

"May he be kidnapped by 'insurgents' in Iraq then appear on an ugly net broadcast. I wonder, if in the moment before the knife started sawing into his fleashy [sic] neck if he might rethink his opinions on the GWOT."

I actually went myself to the blog Wolcott cited, and found this:

“If Daniel Pipes is a patronizing little sh*t, then James Wolcott is a treasonous little c*cksucker who needs to be put against the wall and shot so he can fellate his Islamofacist splodeydope friends in hell.”

Now that’s what I call elevating the discourse!

Wolcott wondered if the whole “liberals-dying-horribly-at-the-hands-of-terrorists” thing might be a trope among rightwing bloggers, so he went surfing. He found this - Anna Benson, with a message to Michael Moore:

"You are a selfish, pathetic excuse for an American, and you can take your big fat ass over to Iraq and get your pig head cut off and stuck on a pig pole. Then, you can have your equally as fat wife make a documentary about how loudly you squealed while terrorists were cutting through all the blubber and chins to get that 40 pound head off of you."

That reads like something the Manson Family might smear on a wall in blood, doesn’t it?

Another commenter at Little Green Footballs, one of the more self-righteous rightwing blogs, said:

"Funny thing, the liberal mindset: expend all energy on phantom 'enemys', [sic] meanwhile the real enemy pounds at the fucking gate, ready to chop off their heads."

But my question is, how will the “Islamofascists” know which of us are treasonous lefties, and which aren’t? And even if they could tell the difference, wouldn’t they be better off chopping the heads off rightwingers, who want to win the war, than treasonous lefties, who just want to free Mumia, and fuck everything else?

For those who are curious, I found this at

“’Dopes’… is shorthand for "splodeydopes." These are the folks who (a) strap on the explosive belts and (b) detonate themselves in public places in order to (c) murder innocent people (d) at the behest of their masters, who as a general rule tend to avoid blowing themselves up.”

Apparently, the folks at Little Green Footballs (or LGF) made the word up, along with “idiotarian” and “pajamadeen.” I don’t how many of these neologisms will permanently enter the language.

“Blog” is a neologism too!
I’m either envious or frightened of neologisms. There’s no in-between with me. There’s the Manson Family “creepy crawling,” you may recall, and the term “grok,” taken from a Robert Heinlein novel, to mean- oh, who cares any more. Others include “soccer mom,” “quark,” “radar,” and, well, “neologism.”

I have created some neologisms. I don’t know to what they refer. Maybe you can help me out.

Garbabble. Overheard cell phone conversations on public transportation? I dunno.

Fucking fuckers. Republicans, for now. This could change. I want to copyright this phrase!

Snail tails. The little trail of slime left by our gastropod brothers and sisters.

Butt shoe. What to wear when we have our foot up our own asses.

Brown jobbie. Taken from “Heck of a job,” and “Brownie.”

Blogly. Adjective to describe ugly content on a blog?

Ripey. Right wing hippie/libertarian. Found mainly in Alaska, Idaho, and Montana.

Numbed down. The stage media will advance to when we are all suitably “dumbed down.”

Rapola. Refers to stupid hip-hop lyrics.

Nargly. Again, no idea. Great word though!