Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tim points out three great articles from the delightfully polemic FrontPage magazine. I wouldn't post 'em if they weren't worth the bother. Check out these fun bits:

Love, Poverty and War - an interview with Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens: Osama bin Laden is a kind of pseudo-intellectual, with a rough theory of history and a highly reactionary desire to restore a lost empire. But he negates even this doomed, pseudo-Utopian project by his hysterical Puritanism, which bans even music and which of course would deny society the talents of women as well as driving out anyone with any culture or education. Thus, any society run by him or people like him would keep on going bankrupt and starving itself to death, with no ready explanation of why this kept happening. The repeated failure would inevitably be blamed on Zionist-Crusader conspiracies, and the violence and repression would then be projected outward, which is why we have a right to concern ourselves with the "internal affairs" of the Islamic world.

Susan Sontag: An Obituary

Since the counterculture is not strong enough to overthrow IBM, the Pentagon, etc., it must opt for subversion. "Rock, grass, better orgasms, freaky clothes, grooving on nature--really grooving on anything--unfits, maladapts a person for the American way of life." And here is where the Cubans come in: they enjoy this desirable "new sensibility" naturally, possessing as they do a "southern spontaneity which we feel our own too white, death-ridden culture denies us. . . . The Cubans know a lot about spontaneity, gaiety, sensuality and freaking out. They are not linear, desiccated creatures of print culture."

Indeed not: supine, desiccated creatures of a Communist tyranny would be more like it, though patronizing honky talk about "southern spontaneity" doubtless made things seem much better when this was written. In the great contest for writing the most fatuous line of political drivel, Sontag is always a contender. This essay contains at least two gems: after ten years, she writes, "the Cuban revolution is astonishingly free of repression and bureaucratization"; even better perhaps, is this passing remark delivered in parentheses: "No Cuban writer has been or is in jail, or is failing to get his work published." Readers wishing to make a reality check should consult Paul Hollander's classic study Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society, which cites Sontag's claim and then lists, in two or three pages, some of the many writers and artists who have been jailed, tortured, or executed by Castro's spontaneous gaiety.
In "What's Happening in America (1966)," Sontag tells readers that what America "deserves" is to have its wealth "taken away" by the Third World. In one particularly notorious passage, she writes that "the truth is that Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Marx, and Balanchine ballets don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history."

Kwanzaa -- Racist Holiday From Hell

When once asked why he designed Kwanzaa to take place around Christmas, Karenga explained, “People think it’s African, but it’s not. I came up with Kwanzaa because black people wouldn’t celebrate it if they knew it was American. Also, I put it around Christmas because I knew that’s when a lot of bloods would be partying.”

(A little heavy on the "love Jesus not Kwanzaa" view, but an interesting read nonetheless. You may also want to check out "The Night Before Kwanzaa" courtesy of Mr. Lams.)

Correction: The post was by Jonathan Rowe on Tim's site.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Why give a man a miracle when you can teach him to make them?

Thanks to some inspired Aussie, you can now produce miracle Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwiches on demand. Mmm... behold the power of cheese. I wonder what kind of sandwich Jesus would make (WSWJM)?

Sunday, December 26, 2004

The link I should have posted on Christmas: Only in Lapland

Finally, my people in the frozen north get a little recognition. I'm still waiting to find the site dedicated to Finno-Slovenes (I'll take Finno-Croats in a pinch). After all, the Yugo-Mexican connection has been well documented and it's high time we Post-Yugo-Finns got our due.
I'm really not sure what to make of this online database of government informants. Having spent a semester doing criminal defense work, I can see the motivation behind this, but really it just strikes me as another ugly byproduct of a system with perverse incentives and outcomes. [insert rant about the Drug War, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Mandatory Minimums, and prosecutorial power here] I'm sure this is an attempt to balance the scales a bit, but it just ain't pretty.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 17, 2004

I'm off to Colorado and then Arizona. It's likely I'll be internet-less for about a week. Let's all hope the detox goes well.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Don Knotts IS Dubya

From Milk and Cookies: Michael Moore may be campaigning for "Fahrenheit 9/11" to win a People's Choice award, but "Dubya: The Movie" is probably more likely to win.
Richey Rocks, but Dahv has a lock on the 10 and under crowd

"C'mon it's time to feel the rhythm
of this funky groove
You can feel it cause it really
wants to make you move"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

This Christmas, care enough to send the very best: Letters from Bad Santa

The first reviews of Serenity are in over at AICN.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I've related an anecdote to more than a few folks that largely sums up the Middle East dilemma for me. To spare you the tedious details, the gist of it is that an arab said to someone in all seriousness, "The Americans invented dinosaurs to eat muslims." Up to now, I've taken this as a sign that rational and peaceful discourse in the Middle East is a little chimeric. Todd Seavey, having heard this anecdote, now causes me to reconsider everything:

"You know, as I age and grow more concerned with the concrete instead of the abstract, I find myself having conversations such as one with Julian Sanchez months ago in which I argued that (a) we must fight Islamism, (b) in the long run robots will replace humans, and (c) we can't wait for a gradual Hayekian process of evolution to occur if our enemies already have nukes, and I summed up the whole position by saying we need to take out the extremist Muslims so that they aren't the ones who program the robots. And since I fully expect we'll develop AI-possessing robots before they do, and since I was just telling someone else that (1) I expect scientists, in their wisdom and humility, to start immitating nature more when creating templates for complex robot brains and bodies and (2) I want the robots to be stronger and more durable than homo sapiens' bodies, I guess you could sum up my core political and cultural views these days in the slogan AMERICA MUST BUILD DINOSAURS TO EAT ARABS."

Note to future self: no matter how funny it may seem to wear an orange jumpsuit and blackface to a halloween party while sitting as an active judge, consider leaving the shoe polish at home (unless of course, the joke is worth it).
Did I mention that I just passed the ethics for lawyers test (Multi State Professional Responsibility Exam)? Woot!

Monday, December 13, 2004

I laughed out loud at this excerpt from Mr. Cranky's review of Dodgeball:

If there's one bright spot, it's that this film could well win the Oscar in the category of Most Projectiles to the Crotch in a Feature Film. It also might be qualified for some sort of humanitarian award for giving a small cameo role to Booger from "Revenge of the Nerds." You know the name of the actor who played Booger? I do: It's "Booger." And it will always be "Booger," no matter if he shows his face in a restaurant, a supermarket or on stage while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.

There's just nothing cool about forever being known as "Booger."

Anna Nicole Smith outtakes from the top ten outsider videos. Lots of other hilarious bits there as well.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Gangsta Barney

Friday, December 10, 2004

I love New York

"This collection of street posters, mad scribblings, political screeds, religious rants, and paranoid raves was collected on the streets of New York City from 1985 to the present. Some time ago, it occurred to me that the streets are as full of art as, say, thrift shops are full of great paintings. So, inspired by Jim Shaw's collection Thrift Shop Paintings, Adolf W├Âlfli's visionary scrawls, and outsider music, I began carrying a portable razor with me whilst out on casual strolls. What began as a hobby has remained an obsession and this obsession is brought to you in living color here on UbuWeb."
You really must see the new Willy Wonka trailer.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

This may be my only hope of ever winning a game of Monopoly. (Credit to Mike.)

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Your ears will never trust you again

"Crazy as it sounds, RICHEY NEVER GOT TO AUDITION for American Idol while they were down here in Orlando, FL* With only 2 hours left before auditioning, Richey was escorted and told to leave the building after dancing and entertaining , impatient and bored people. American Idol officials said that his entertainment didnt fit the standards and conduct of the american idol agreement, so with that Richey never auditioned. Crazy isnt it?

"Does Punk Rock fit the standard of what American Idol is looking for ? Probably not, but WHO CARES!!!! LOL Its just all about having a good time & being yourself."

Monday, December 06, 2004

Good Will Hunting all over again

From Milli Vanilli to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, America seems to love when two idiots combine forces and try to sell someone else's work as their own.

Thanks to Milk and Cookies, we learn that with her case allowed to proceed, Sophia Stewart may very well ruin the lives of Joel Silver and the Wachowski brothers. The question is, can moviegoers now sue her for subjecting them to the sequels?

"DID YOU KNOW — the original creator of THE MATRIX and THE TERMINATOR trilogeez was an Afrikan woman by the name of SOPHIA STEWART?

"The original script was called, of all thingz... THE THIRD EYE and was stolen by 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, the Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver, who created first 'The Terminator' series , then 'The Matrix' trilogy !!

"This Queenz been fighting these plagiarizing pirates since 1999 and can use the assistance of the undaground to assist her in revealing the truth!"

Friday, December 03, 2004

Lots of gift giving goodness at Palisades Toys.

I'm digging the plush, bendable "Alien chest burster."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Soon to be littering Young Republican dorm rooms everywhere....the 2005 Great American Conservative Women Calendar. Mark each day with the cold calculating smiles of such luminaries as Ann Coulter, Dr. Laura, Michelle Malkin, Condoleeza Rice, and Shemane Nugent!

This holiday season, I like to think of it as the new coal.
From the 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time (a fictional list)

Ayn Rand's A Selfish Christmas (1951)

In this hour-long radio drama, Santa struggles with the increasing demands of providing gifts for millions of spoiled, ungrateful brats across the world, until a single elf, in the engineering department of his workshop, convinces Santa to go on strike. The special ends with the entropic collapse of the civilization of takers and the spectacle of children trudging across the bitterly cold, dark tundra to offer Santa cash for his services, acknowledging at last that his genius makes the gifts -- and therefore Christmas -- possible. Prior to broadcast, Mutual Broadcast System executives raised objections to the radio play, noting that 56 minutes of the hour-long broadcast went to a philosophical manifesto by the elf and of the four remaining minutes, three went to a love scene between Santa and the cold, practical Mrs. Claus that was rendered into radio through the use of grunts and the shattering of several dozen whiskey tumblers. In later letters, Rand sneeringly described these executives as "anti-life."

Be sure to check out the entire list.
SpongeBob inspires crime wave

First SpongeBob's evil subliminal imagery was exposed, now it seems his very presence inspires crime:

"Police have recovered an inflatable SpongeBob Square Pants that was stolen from an area Burger King.

"The fast-food restaurant received a tip about an individual who took SpongeBob. When police went to the residence, where SpongeBob was located under a bed in the suspect's bedroom.

"The 9-foot SpongeBob was taken from the roof ot the Vermilion Burger King on Nov. 20.

"John Baldwin, 20, was charged with receiving stolen property. Two others are being investigated in connection with the case.

"There have been other SpongeBob thefts across the country."

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Have fun with local merchants

From Bad Gas, here are some helpful signs to post outside of friendly establishments.