Sunday, February 12, 2006

See Dick shoot. Duck, Jane, duck.

AP: “Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets.”

First Mohammed is defamed, now Curious George.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"The books are really irresponsible to me. It's sickening, really," said Robin Roth, managing editor of, an animal welfare Web site.

Roth, a high school English teacher in Los Angeles, writes on her animal rights Web site that "Curious George" reveals "the sinister side of a corrupt wildlife trade with perilous roots in Western imperialism." When the mischievous George is sent to jail, "the picture of the forlorn little primate alone in his cell conjures haunting images of countless monkeys lingering in laboratories, suffering silently and alone."

Insert sarcastic response here!
He’s a pesky money who gets into mischief! Lighten up!

This just in: Rabbit mommies cannot really talk, and if you say “Good night” to the moon, it can’t hear you.

An agreement and admission:
I always found The Man in the Yellow Hat to be vaguely sinister.

Speaking of images of Mohammed: a paradox.
If making an image of Mohammed is considered blasphemy, how do you know if an image of Mohammed is, in fact, Mohammed?

Cindy Sheehan was removed from the President’s State of the Union address for wearing an anti-war message tee-shirt ("2,245 Dead. How many more?"). And Beverly Young, wife of Congressman Bill Young (R-FL), was also removed for wearing a pro-war message tee-shirt ("Support our troops").

There has been much outrage about a perceived dampening of free speech here. To which I reply, “Nuts.” The Danish cartoons? That’s a free speech issue. This is a fashion issue. Hello? What kind of people think, “Ooh, I’m going to hear the President address the nation! Which tee-shirt should I wear?”

In other news….
“Manuel Villanueva realizes he has been getting a pretty good deal since he signed up for Netflix Inc.'s online DVD rental service 2 1/2 years ago, but he still feels shortchanged. That's because the $17.99 monthly fee that he pays to rent up to three DVDs at a time would amount to an even bigger bargain if the company didn't penalize him for returning his movies so quickly.

“Netflix typically sends about 13 movies per month to Villanueva's home in Warren, Mich. — down from the 18 to 22 DVDs he once received before the company's automated system identified him as a heavy renter and began delaying his shipments to protect its profits.”

This process is called “throttling,” by the way. It’s a way of punishing the glutton who shows up at the all-you-can-eat buffet, and rewarding the picky eater who only wants the jell-o and bread.

But this whole syndrome reveals the tragic flaw of capitalism: it offers people what they want, but then is forced to punish them when they take it.

Speaking of capitalism…
The Little Woman and I watched a great movie last week: STATE OF MIND, a documentary about North Korea – specifically about two young girls training for their part in the 2003 Mass Games, “the largest choreographed spectacle on earth.” This event is staged (a) for the enjoyment of Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s leader (who seldom attends), and (b) to demonstrate the discipline and solidarity of North Korea for its own enjoyment.

The access the British filmmakers had is nothing short of amazing, and the openness of the subjects is also astonishing – especially considering that North Korea is one of the most closed societies on the planet.

STATE OF MIND is, at the same time, mind-boggling, disturbing, and heartwarming – kind of like a fascist ROCKY movie, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Now, let’s go quail-hunting with the Vice President and forget our petty differences. Or else.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As to the cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed, I wonder why no one drew the obvious cartoon. Muslims refer to their prophet as the 'seal of the prophets', as though he's the final one. This phrase has always given me a mental image of Moses and Elijah at opposite ends of a stage at Sea World, one with a hoop and the other with a handful of fish and a marine mammal shuffling back and forth doing tricks.

Curious George always frightened me. His nostrils are disproportionately large and as a kid I feared that he might become curious about them, resulting in a truly disturbing story. Luckily this never came to pass before I lost curiosity in George.

6:47 PM  

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