Sunday, December 30, 2007

End of Year Blog

From the Internet, God Bless It!
“Is there anyone other than me that feels a little uncomfortable when there is a male dog around children? Human men can't walk around with their parts exposed to children and if they were to expose themselves, I'm sure you'd agree that the behavior would be most inappropriate. I know the doggies can't help it, but I still do not like male dogs around my girls. For a while, I even thought I was over reacting, and I adopted a little boy, figuring that he was a small dog so his ‘little man’ would be small too and his fur would help cover him. But my girls still ask questions. How do I explain to my 3 year old what ‘it’ is? I am considering adopting him out.... any advice??”

Say to your daughters, “That there is a penis.” Don’t call the penis a “little man.” Please.

From an email I received.
Help me becoming famous. I am naked all over the Internet.

From another email I received.
After four months my erection were like steel.

Other old news, from the year about to end.
Actually, it was last December that Wonkette (Remember her? Well, it’s not a “her” any more; Wonkette left to pursue fame and fortune unsuccessfully, and has been replaced by a couple of guys.) discovered FREEDOM IN PERIL, a “graphic novel” supposedly from the National Rifle Association depicting all the reasons Americans need to bear arms – including Animal Rights Terrorists, George Soros, Rosie O’Donnell, Katie Couric, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Moore, Illegal Alien Gangs, One World Extremeists, and Angry Black People.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told ABC News last December, "What you see on the Internet is just in draft form. We have not even signed off on it yet. It was stolen during production."

I guess the NRA gave up on it. And I really wanted a copy too!

Let’s retire these in 2008, okay?
“Over time”
“End of the day”
“Boots on the ground”
“Web 2.0”

New York Times, last October
On Valerie Plame Wilson’s book, FAIR GAME, which was redacted by the CIA: “The publisher, Simon & Schuster, has appended an 80-page afterword by a journalist that essentially unredacts the redactions, giving many of the facts that the C.I.A.’s Publications Review Board cut from Ms. Wilson’s text. Unlike Ms. Wilson, the journalist, Laura Rozen, never signed an agreement to have her words vetted by the agency.”

Amazon released its new e-book reader, Kindle, because Americans are sick and tired of turning pages.

NYT with odd spin.
“The assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a rare unscripted test of presidential hopefuls’ leadership qualities and geopolitical smarts.” So it’s not just a senseless death, it’s an opportunity!

Baby Jesus Locator
AP, down Florida way:
“A baby Jesus statue here is getting a Global Positioning System for Christmas. The statue, part of a nativity scene, will be equipped with the device after the previous statue went missing, even though it had been bolted down.

"’I don't anticipate this will ever happen again,’ said Dina Cellini, who oversees the display, ‘but we may need to rely on technology to save our savior.’

“The Mary and Joseph statues will also be fitted with GPS devices, she said.

“The devices are being bought using residents' contributions and Cellini's own money.

“Cellini has also installed a Plexiglas screen in front of the display.”

Baby Jesus Locator Redux
Engadget: “The folks in Florida noticed that their GPS-equipped baby Jesus … was missing from his nativity, and fired up the old GPS tracker. Turns out they didn't have to look far: baby Jesus had been swiped Wednesday night and brought to a house across the street from the nativity. Deputies showed up at the door Thursday morning and hauled off the 18-year-old female culprit with a charge of grand theft. The statue is valued at $800, while the GPS system rings up at $400, and the girl is currently in jail with bail set at $3,500.”

Pyramid Scheme
BBC News: “Egypt's MPs are expected to pass a law requiring royalties be paid whenever copies are made of museum pieces or ancient monuments such as the pyramids.”

Don’t fret! The Luxor in Vegas will not be affected, because it’s not an exact copy of a pyramid. However, an Egyptian spokesperson said that the Luxor can no longer claim to be “the only pyramid-shaped building in the world.”

Thursday, December 20, 2007

PreChristmas Blog

Another Closing, Another Show
Well, we closed the show at the Marsh. (That would be SLOUCHING TOWARDS DISNEYLAND, which takes as its thesis, sort of, that pretty much everything in history exists in order to become an amusement park attraction.) Two months of exhaustion and hard work, for no money. I love America!

The plan now is to find local venues, and run the show around Northern California. Now that I can remember most of my lines, that seems doable. And once again, I can emerge from the dark specter of my own narcissism and engage the world, at a safe distance.

In the course of some research for a project I might tell you about sometime, I discovered that Pantone has patented colors. Well, the names of colors. According to Wikipedia, “Pantone asserts that their lists of color numbers and pigment values are the intellectual property of Pantone and free use of the list is not allowed.” I had never really thought of this before. That somebody could own “Sicilian Plum,” for instance.

But can anything besides Comcast be “comcastic?” Could I be sued if I referred to a movie as a “comastic movie?”

Christopher Hitchens’ Christmas Message!
From Slate: “I will on no account vote for a smirking hick like Mike Huckabee, who is an unusually stupid primate but who does not have the elementary intelligence to recognize the fact that this is what he is.”

Random Snowflake Generator
At a link somebody sent me, which lets you generate “snowflakes” at random, I found this: “Please help us keep the snowflakes clean. Report offensive snowflakes when you click the snowflake.”

Remember: It only takes one bad snowflake to spoil a blizzard.

From the Ottawa Citzen:“… Canada Post shut down its Write To Santa program across the city while it joins Ottawa police to hunt down the ‘rogue elf.’”

“Each Santa letter Canada Post delivers contains the same main message with a hand-written personal postscript.”

The hand-written personal poststcripts to some children included:

"This letter is too long, you dumb shit.”

"Your mom sucks dick and your Dad is gay."

The Canada Post “has put out an alert for letter carriers to not deliver any Santa letters, to intercept any others in the system and to send them back….”

A spokeswoman has said, "We will check every one. And we will make sure we have enough volunteers to send out new messages from Santa."

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

tis the bloggo to be merry

Conference Call
Just got off a video conference call with a bunch of enthusiastic young Canadians. Promotion for the online teevee show (“webisodes!”) KollegeTV that I’m working on. Took 45 minutes to set up. Turns out that Skype won’t “read” a webcam if it’s running already on the webcam’s software. I feel so hep! So with it! I’m developing content! Must nap now.

Whales in the news
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is having a “name-a-beluga” contest for its baby whale. However, only Inuit/Indian names will be accepted. The folks at Cute Overload (check it out, if you feel like it; I only see it when the Child Bride sends me links) complain that “Humptyback Fishtybuns” and “Smiley Q McWrinklesides” will likely be rejected.

Meanwhile, at Greenpeace, where another whale name contest is under way, the number one choice, as of this writing, is “Mr. Splashy Pants.” I am not making that up.

Slouching Towards Disneyland Fallout
This is the last week for my new show, which is coming along nicely, thank you. It has been exhausting, though less so the more I do it, and exhilarating. One of the most rewarding things about the show, which is basically a humorous geek-fest history of the world, is people coming up to me afterwards to share their favorite odd bits of history.

One guy (hi Jim!) informed me that when Nazi fag hag Leni Riefenstahl came to the United States, and thence to Hollywood, the only Hollywood type who would meet with her was Walt Disney.

However, despite this, I don’t think Walt Disney was anti-semitic, at least not to the degree rumor has attributed to him. When would he have had time to hate Jews? He barely slept! Unions though. Unions were another matter.

The scary thing about Walt Disney is this. Neil Gabler: “He defined the terms of wish-fulfilment…. [He] had not been so much a master of fun or irreverence or innocence or even wholesomeness. He had been a master of order.”

Another guy (sorry, forgot your name) told me about the “retronym.” This is a word, or qualifying word, that only comes into existence after another word or qualifying word has come into existence. The example he used was “electric guitar.” Formerly, we only had “guitar,” so what did “guitar” become after “electric guitar”? “Acoustic guitar.” Ditto “dial phone.”

Would “analog” qualify?

I am fascinated by the idea that something in the past has changed forever (even though it hasn’t, really), just because something in the future has come into being.

From “Good Morning Silicon Valley,” to which you should all subscribe, or not, whatever….
“From the Sydney Morning Herald comes the startling revelation that half of Japan's top-10 selling works of fiction in the first six months of the year -- we're talking honest-to-goodness, hard-bound tomes -- were written on cell phone keyboards….

“According to the Herald, the mobile-phone novels, or ‘keitai shousetsu,’ are usually ‘written by first-time writers, using one-name pseudonyms, for an audience of young female readers. ... The stories traverse teen romance, sex, drugs and other adolescent terrain in a succession of clipped one-liners, emoticons and spaces (used to show that a character is thinking), all of which can be read easily on a mobile phone interface. Scene and character development are notably missing.’”

Hey! Fuck Shakespeare! Sign me up!

There will always be a Scotland.
There occurred a 125,000 pound campaign to replace the official Scotland catchphrase, “Best Small Country in the World” with another. The winner is….! “Welcome to Scotland.”

Which reminds me, when I was a kid growing up in North Dakota, the state had a contest for a new state song. The one that won (I still remember it!) had these lyrics:

“You ought to go ta North Dakota. See the cattle and the wheat and the folks that can’t be beat. You ought to go ta North Dakota. You just can’t say good by. Etc.”

I believe the song has since, once again, been changed.

Obama’s Religion
Did you know that Obama was a Congregationalist? That’s the religion I grew up with! Back in North Dakota! Windowless basements with pale coffee!

Teddy Bear named Muhammed.
Thousands gathered in Sudan to demand the execution of the school teacher who dared to name a teddy bear after the prophet. Thousands! You know what? The hell with Islam. That shit is fucked up. Seriously fucked up. And I call my penis “Virgin Mother.”

From TCS Daily
“The most important thing to keep in mind as you reflect on torture is that there are different types of questions one can ask about it. Different types of question call for different types of answer (and therefore different types of expertise). First, there are conceptual questions. What is torture? How does torture differ from such things as torment, punishment, harsh treatment, cruelty, vengeance, sadism, and violence? Can torture be accidental? Must it involve physical (as opposed to mental) pain? Can deprivation or confinement constitute torture? Conceptual questions such as these are about the concepts, ideas, categories, and distinctions we use. Answering them is the province of philosophy.”

Here’s a thought experiment: If I rolled you down a hill in a barrel lined with nails, would you shut up?