Sunday, August 27, 2006

Curb Your Blog

So Hamas does not recognize Israel as a state, even though it lives there, and Israel and the US think Hamas is a terrorist organization, though it was duly elected. So everybody has to talk to nonexistent entities. I love democracy!

Michael Brown
According to the Washington Post, Michael “Heckuva job Brownie” Brown “…has been giving speeches, posing for photos (in Vanity Fair), going on television, giving interviews, hacking away at his critics.”

He describes himself as the Bush administration’s “worst nightmare.” And that’s going some! You see the White House’s dreams lately?

As for his critics, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offered this on its opinion page: “After you hire Brownie, you might want to hire Typhoid Mary to help you avoid infectious diseases.”

Incidentally, until President Bush called him that, nobody had ever called him “Brownie.”

More liquid-free fun at the airport.
Chicago Sun Times: “The female airport security guard held the small, black, squeezable rubber object she'd just plucked out of Mardin Amin's backpack, and eyed it suspiciously. Standing next to his mother, an embarrassed Amin whispered out of one corner of his mouth that it was a ‘pump’ -- as in a penis pump. The guard misunderstood the Iraqi man and thought she heard the word ‘bomb,’ Amin's attorney told a Cook County judge Wednesday.”

Forelock-tugging over nothing at SLATE:
“YouTube is faster, more personalized, and less censored than TV, and there are fewer commercials. But it's also lonelier, less welcoming, and more pathetically voyeuristic. Since the rise of Internet video, blooper watching has transformed from a family activity undertaken in the living room to a solitary practice embarked upon while bored at work. Sure, YouTube videos are e-mailed from friend to friend, but we watch them alone. AFHV (i.e. AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS) was a vacation slide show at grandma's house. YouTube is a viewing booth in a porno shop.”

In other words, it was better when we watched morons torching farts, as a family.

Another Thing That Puzzles But Will Not Cause Me To Lose Sleep.
Sumner Redstone announced that Tom Cruise has been “fired” from Paramount, because he’s been acting too weird lately. This is the studio that gave us last year’s remake of BAD NEWS BEARS, this year’s FAILURE TO LAUNCH (Quick! Who was in it!), along with the wretched remakes of MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE and WAR OF THE WORLDS, not to mention THE WEATHER MAN, and, of course, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III. It didn’t do as well as the previous two. Redstone blames Cruise. Maybe. Or maybe the studio just went to that well one too many times.

This just in:
Headline: “Taller people are smarter.” Than rocks?

Despite my protests, the self-contradictory “Islamo-fascism” now seems to have replaced the vague term “terrorism.” Please. Stop it.

The Daily Mail: “Animal rights activists have targeted the parents of Britain's first known human victim of ‘rabbit flu’, with telephone callers telling them his death was a ‘rabbit's revenge’.”

More news.
Rep. Katherine Harris told the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel: "If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin.” I think I follow her logic. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you are encouraging jaywalking. See?

Jack Kaplan in SLATE titled his story (or somebody did) about President Bush’s latest attempt to console us: “What a Moronic Presidential Press Conference!”

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snakes on a blog

Snakes on a stick
SNAKES ON A PLANE has finally opened, thank God. If I had to read one more piece of hype about the hype, I may have spewed.

Bats in hell.
The Dread Bride idly wondered about the phrase, “like a bat out of hell.” She was wondering what bats were doing in hell in the first place. Good question.

Mannequins on a plane.
From Soonews, out Ontario way:

A Ms. Newton “claims to have scoured the department in search of the perfect fit. It turned out that the only one in her size was on the mannequin. As a salesperson removed the garment, the dummy's arm flew off and struck Newton's head, according to her lawsuit.”

Odd, yet banal story
I was getting some vegetables at the local market. The woman in front of me received a penny in change. She shook her head and said to the clerk, “I don’t want that.” But she didn’t move. She just stood there.

I made my purchase. I handed over some bills, along with some change, which included four pennies. The clerk took one of the pennies and gave it to the woman in front of me, who took it and walked away. The clerk then took the rejected penny and put in the till with mine.

When did mannequins get nipples, and why?

All men are idiots, and I am their king.
Just the other morning, the Wee Wife told me to be careful when reheating coffee on the stove. The carafe has a plastic handle which could very easily melt. I nodded in agreement. After she went to work, I put the carafe on the stove, and returned several minutes later to find the handle on fire.

So there was this Indian-American, S.R. Sidarth, following George Allen around in Virginia, filming his campaign. He was a volunteer for George Allen’s opponent.

Speaking to his fans, Allen pointed at Mr. Sidarth, and said, "This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. ... He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great."

A puzzled media promptly said, under its breath, “What the fuck?”

Somebody found out that the macaca is a monkey common to Africa and Asia; it’s considered a racial slur by some. Two witnesses claimed that "macaca" was a mash-up of "Mohawk," referring to Sidarth's distinctive hair, and "caca," Spanish slang for excrement, or "shit." Except that pictures of Sidarth reveal his haircut to be not a mohawk, but our old friend the mullet.

Allen has apologized to Sidarth. Thank God! Closure at last!

Crazy Ladies on a Plane!
NYT: “A flight from London to Washington was diverted Wednesday morning and escorted by F-15 fighters to Logan Airport here after an unruly female passenger had to be subdued, officials said.”

“The authorities said the woman had lotion and matches with her. They said the lotion, but not the matches, was prohibited on the plane.” Horrors!

“’All of a sudden, she started mouthing obscenities and pulled down her trousers,’” Mr. Drinkwater [fellow passenger] said, saying the woman threatened to relieve herself on the floor. At that point, he said, two male passengers subdued her, and a flight attendant handcuffed her and placed her in the last row of the aircraft.”

“’We just landed and were told welcome to Boston,’” said Candice Elasmar, 26, of Sydney, Australia. ‘Everyone was out there, the F.B.I., the police.’”

We can’t stop terrorism right now, but by golly, we can stop demented middle-aged ladies in their tracks.

Give wine to alleged pederast killers (on a plane), though, otherwise the terrorists win.
From the Associated Press, covering John Mark Karr’s return to Colorado to face murder charges in the death of Jon Bonet Ramsey:

“The 41-year-old teacher sat in a business class window seat next to Mark Spray, an investigator with the Boulder County District Attorney's office. A U.S. Embassy official and an agent with ‘Homeland Security’ on his T-shirt were also part of the escort party.

“Before takeoff, Karr took a glass of champagne from a flight attendant and clinked glasses with Spray, who sipped orange juice.

“Dinner on board, served on a starched white tablecloth with silverware, was one many passengers would envy. Karr started with a pate, then had a green salad with walnut dressing. The main course was fried king prawn with steamed rice and broccoli. Karr drank a beer, crushing the can with his hands when it was empty, then moved on to a glass of French chardonnay with his main course.”

Sunday, August 13, 2006

This Just In Blog

The beginnings of rapprochement?
Osama Bin Laden, as a young man, liked to watch Bruce Lee movies. He also liked Peter Graves in FURY, a television program I also admired as a boy.

Associated Press hedges its bets.
This is one of four photographs published Sunday Aug. 13, 2006 by Cuba's Communist Youth newspaper's online edition Juventud Rebelde proporting to show The first photographs of Fidel Castro since his illness two weeks ago. Castro holds a copy of the Saturday Aug. 12, 2006 edition of Granma, the Communist Party newspaper. The headline reads "Absolved by history." The Associated Press cannot verify the authenticity or the date when these photographs were shot. (AP Photo/HO)

The wisdom of our leaders, from the New York Times.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales: “Our philosophy is that we try to identify plots in the earliest stages possible because we don’t know what we don’t know about a terrorism plot.” Almost Rumsfeldian in its eloquence, don’t you think? Or don’t you think what you don’t think?

Pimp your gun (New York Times)
“…[I]f you visit the Web site of Lauer Custom Weaponry, you’ll see quite an impressive array of graphic treatments that can be given, through a DuraCoat spray-on process, to a pistol, a shotgun, a carbine or a semiautomatic rifle for between $50 and $100. DuraCoat Camopacks with Peel ’n Spray templates come in varieties like Bengal (a brown-and-white pattern with bold black tiger stripes), Advanced AmStripe (a black, green and tan pattern that is one of several designed by Lauer’s 22-year-old daughter Amy) and Diamond Plate (to make a gun look like a sheet of diamond-plate aluminum). Most of his patterns are not the hyperrealistic sort favored by hunters, although some, including a popular digital-camo pattern, are military-inspired. Many simply look ‘striking, to say the least,’ as a review in a magazine called Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement put it. Another option is to go with one of DuraCoat’s ‘Electric Colors,’ like sunburst yellow, lime green, rose or lavender.”

Weapons of Miniscule Destruction - First, They Targeted Our Shoes…
The plan, apparently, was to hide liquid explosives in power drinks, and blow up planes. Red Bull gives you wings, and Red Bull takes them away.

So now, the authorities, in their wisdom, are not allowing on planes water, soft drinks, toothpaste, soothing oils, mouthwash, Brylcreem, and all the other precious ointments and unguents on which we deign to spend out consumer dollars.

Next, I predict, our enemies will find ways to alter the molecular structure of sweeteners and prescription drugs. Then they will alter the molecular structure of sugar, salt, pepper – all the imported spices from the East that first gave the West its taste of empire, proof of its growing might.

Lastly, they will find ways to make stuffed Barneys explode, and gum, and Altoids, and zippers, and seat belts, and shopping carts, and buttons, and briquettes…. Our economy, based as it is on gewgaws, gadgets, and between-meal snacks, will totter about aimlessly, a wounded giant.

And when we travel, if we travel at all, we will travel naked and fearful, as underpaid security guards probe our orifices with devices that are themselves susceptible to explosive devices.

And the terrorists will watch us. They will post videos of our embarrassment on YouTube. And laugh. We won’t be aware of this, of course, because we’ll have thrown away our cell phones and laptops, afraid they might explode.

In Slate
Fred Kaplan pointed out something really annoying about Condoleeza Rice. Here some quotes he cited from some of her encounters with the press:

“I'm a student of history, so perhaps I have a little more patience with enormous change in the international system. It's a big shifting of tectonic plates, and I don't expect it to happen in a few days or even in a year.”

” I'm a student of history. We'll really know the stories about this, if we're lucky, in 20 or 30 years when this all plays out. And I think the second-guessing about Tora Bora is just, you know, it's a waste of time, frankly. I think they did it the way they thought they should do it. I don't have any reason to believe that that was anything but right.”

“I'm a student of history. I know very well that things that seemed like brilliant strategies one day or maybe for one week or maybe for one year or maybe even for five years turned out to be disastrous strategies in terms of history. And I know that strategies that seemed at the time to be fraught with mistakes and fraught with errors turned out to be very good for human history.”

So she takes the Doris Day approach to international affairs: Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que sera sera. Everybody sing along! It’s the law!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Blog in, blog on, drop out.

Syd Barrett: Remembered
The Washington Post’s obituary of the Pink Floyd founder concluded with: “He enjoyed gardening, however, and was said to be skillful at stuffing peppers.”

My dog lies hypnotized.
Arthur Lee, RIP. He was a man. He went oop ip ip oop ip ip yeah. No, I'm not going to explain it.

I was just talking about hallucinogens with the Child Bride last night. She asked me how many times I took acid when I was a kid. I couldn’t remember. Four or five times, I reckoned, assuming it was even acid that I took. It got me to thinking about the sixties - which, in my case, were actually the early seventies. If you look at the so-called icons of the times, there’s not much glimmer there. Timothy Leary? A con man, and a sleaze. The Yippies? Lordy. Ken Kesey? Please. He wrote two books, and then became famous for taking acid. Does anybody really think that LSD improved the output of the Beatles? Grateful Dead? Hello? Acid leads to noodling. I have noodled. I do not recommend it.

Stoned memory.
Once, while stoned on the marijuana with some friends, we were walking around Minneapolis, and I happened to see a baby elephant being led into a music store. My friends, as it happened, were not facing in that direction. “Hey,” I said, “I just saw an elephant.” Oh, how they mocked me. But I led them into the store, where in fact a baby elephant stood. The elephant was part of a publicity stunt to launch a record by a band called Elephant’s Memory.

Elephant’s Memory
From Wikipedia, so you know it’s true: “Elephant's Memory were a New York band most notable for backing up John Lennon and Yoko Ono during 1972, on a pair of albums and a handful of TV and live appearances. Two of their songs appeared earlier in the soundtrack to the movie Midnight Cowboy, ‘Jungle Gym At The Zoo/ and ‘Old Man Willow’.”

Elephant's Wiki
From "On Monday's episode, [Stephen]Colbert praised Wikipedia, the online resource that can be read and edited by anyone with access to a computer, for promoting what he termed 'Wikiality' — a sort of pseudo-reality that exists when you make something up and enough people agree with you.

"'I'm no fan of reality, and I'm no fan of encyclopedias,' Colbert opined. 'I've said it before: Who is [Encyclopaedia] Britannica to tell me George Washington had slaves? If I want to say George Washington didn't have slaves, that's my right. And now, thanks to Wikipedia, it's also a fact.'

"While he was speaking, Colbert was also typing away on a laptop computer, apparently editing the Wikipedia entry on George Washington to read, 'In conclusion, George Washington did not own slaves.'

"He also apparently edited the Wiki entry on his own program, replacing a lengthy section on his reference to Oregon as both 'the Canada of California' and 'Washington's Mexico' with 'Oregon is Idaho's Portugal' — an example, he said, of Wikiality.

"After making his changes, Colbert encouraged his viewers to spread his concept of Wikiality by changing the site's entries on elephants to reflect the fact that the elephant population in Africa 'has tripled in the last six months' — a way, he joked, to disarm environmentalists worldwide.

"'What we're doing is bringing democracy to knowledge,' he said. 'It's time we use the power of our numbers for a real Internet revolution. We're going to stampede across the Web like that giant horde of elephants in Africa. Together we can create a reality we can all agree on — the reality we just agreed on.'

"All was well and good until The Colbert Report aired on Comedy Central at 11:30 p.m., when Wikipedia administrators saw his bit and immediately blocked StephenColbert from editing any more entries on the site."

Speaking of noodling…
Reuters: “Hundreds of Britons are being urged to attend what is being branded as Europe's first ‘Masturbate-a-thon’, a leading reproductive healthcare charity said on Friday.”

Intelligent Design v. Evolution
Adam and Eve may have had an elephant, but they did not have a dachshund. I rest my case.

America: We’re Stupid.
A producer for MSNBC’s SCARBOROUGH COUNTY got as drunk as Mel Gibson to prove… something or other.

Curds from the blogosphere, on acid.
Blogger Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake and Huffington Post contributor, is also a supporter of Ned Lamont, running for Senator against Joe Lieberman in Connecticut. As a gesture of that support, she posted a photograph of Lieberman, in blackface, with Bill Clinton, to prove… something or other. This wayward bit of Photoshoppery does not seem to have increased Mr. Lamont’s poll numbers. He told the Washington Post, "I don't know anything about the blogs. I'm not responsible for those. I have no comment on them."

Headline: Associated Press
Woman uses dashboard to bake cookies.

When the news itself is news….
From Ynet News, whatever that is: “A Reuters employee has been suspended after sending a death threat to an American blogger. The message, sent from a Reuters internet account, read: ‘I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut.’ It was sent to Charles Johnson, owner of the Little Green Footballs (LGF) weblog, a popular site which often backs Israel and highlights jihadist terrorist activities.”

More Photoshoppery!
Also from Ynet News, whatever that is: “Reuters withdraws photograph of Beirut after Air Force attack after US blogs, photographers point out 'blatant evidence of manipulation.'”

And from the comments on Little Green Footballs, that bastion of reason in the blogosphere…
congrats charles you rules!
from rathergate to reutersgate
fake but accurate msm are the 5th column
You are the premiere american citizen soldier and we salute your tireless efforts to defeat the enemy
the media is the enemy
and citizen soldiers can win the war
Charles thanks

NYT Mag: David Rieff
“It is one thing for President Bush to present Israel’s campaign against Hezbollah as part of the wider global war on terrorism and quite another to open another front in that war when the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance and American commanders are faced with the necessity of committing more troops to what even the U.S. military is now beginning to characterize, rather desperately, as the battle for Baghdad.”

And some bloviating, also from NYT:
“Was this alcohol-fueled soliloquy an ugly insight into Mr. Gibson’s character — in other words, in vino veritas? Or was it just the tequila talking?”

Did anybody test Mel for acid? Just asking.

And another thing…
Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you may recall, stated last June that he wasn’t quite convinced that the Holocaust really happened. He also stated that Israel will be “wiped off the map.” Some insist that what he actually said was Israel would “wiped away from the pages of time,” which no doubt is reassuring to some: he doesn’t want to destroy Israel, per se, he just wants to Photoshop it out of the picture.

Could there be a connection, do you think, between his attitude towards Israel and the sudden missile attacks on Israel by the Hezbollah? Or maybe he was just drunk.

A thought…
The whole world’s on acid! We’ve got to talk it down!

The elephant in the room…
…at least when it comes to Lebanon, is Iran, according to the Toronto Star. In an unrelated article, the Star also claimed that President Bush would be an invisible elephant in the room when Stephen Harper had breakfast with Tony Blair. If the room is the GOP, then the elephant is President Bush’s low poll numbers, according to the Washington Post. For the Democrats, the “pachyderm is …Iraq,” according to Salon. According to the Hill, the newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress, that elephant is the rising cost of pharmaceuticals. In New Jersey, the state budget was the elephant in the room, according to "Global warming is the elephant in the room," said Philip Sharp, president of Resources for the Future, a nonprofit research center. That’s from the Arizona Star. Eco-advocate Hillary Hauser told the LA Times, “But to our way of thinking, there's this massive infrastructure problem in which we're using the ocean to dump sewage into. That is the elephant in the room." Arab/Muslim countries are the elephant in the room, so I’ve read, along with changing shopping patterns, the shadow of drug use in sports, driving while under the influence of alcohol, Barry Bonds, and the lack of public discussion about Israel.

There is even a new book called The Elephant in the Room, Silence and Denial in Everyday Life, by Eviatar Zerubavel. It’s about conspiracies of silence.

Okay, we can all agree on one thing. There is an elephant, and there is a room. What they are beyond that is in dispute. Me, I’m just going to Photoshop the thing out of there. Things are getting a little too wikial for me.