Trying to clean up this sty of a blog.

I'm trying to turn on the unpopular Blogger comments again because I don't plan to renew my backBlog comment system (partly because they refuse to reset my mail account to reflect the fact that I haven't been on AOL for quite a while now). So far I don't seem to be having notable success, I must say.


When Don King is the voice of reason.

First Fitty calls Bush a "gangsta" (in the good way), now Don King calls him a revolutionary (again, in apparent approbation):
[...]I want to support him more now because it seems like everybody is punching him. You know what I mean? But he's fighting back, and he's throwing great combinations. And I think he's the guy that is really a revolutionary president.

I think he's a president that cares about the people he represents, but doesn't compromise himself to the extent that he acquiesce and accommodate. He goes out there and says like it is, and tries to make things better. Inclusiveness, education, is fighting for that.

These are the things that many guys that don't fight for -- George Walker Bush is a tremendous advocate to America, a great president for the great American people, and he's decisive. He's doesn't equivocate.
Clear and lucid. Politics does make strange bedfellows.


Astoundingly thickheaded.

First time I'd actually read one of Polly Toynbee's columns, and it produced this gem:
The lion exchanging his life for Edmund's is the sort of thing Arthurian legends are made of. Parfait knights and heroes in prisoner-of-war camps do it all the time. But what's this? After a long, dark night of the soul and women's weeping, the lion is suddenly alive again. Why? How?, my children used to ask. Well, it is hard to say why. It does not make any more sense in CS Lewis's tale than in the gospels. Ah, Aslan explains, it is the "deep magic", where pure sacrifice alone vanquishes death.

Of all the elements of Christianity, the most repugnant is the notion of the Christ who took our sins upon himself and sacrificed his body in agony to save our souls.
I'm not sure if it's the hostility that offends me most or the rampant ignorance that accompanies it. Loving sacrifice of self is "repugnant"--unless performed by Arthurian knights, of course, whom Toynbee evidently believes were operating in a religious vacuum.

Ah, well, I can't claim I wasn't warned.

(She also misspelled Norman Vincent Peale's last name. Not a substantive complaint, but she needs a copy editor.)

[Via Russell Wardlow.]


White people are evil, yadda yadda.

Indians pissing and moaning about Thanksgiving:
"It really sounds the end of our lives as we knew it." Marshall said. "Indian life was far superior to what it was today without non-natives here. [We had] very few wars very few illnesses, we had plenty of game, plenty of fish…We had it going on. I kind of take the day and reflect [on what would be] had we been hostile toward the pilgrims and not receptive."
Horseshit. "End of our lives as we knew it", for God's sake. First, it's not "we", since you have demonstrably not been alive since 1620. Second, their lives were nasty, brutish, and short, and their culture so backward they couldn't even be bothered to invent the WHEEL. If the US government were to stick you in a park somewhere and let you live the life of your ancestors--WITHOUT recourse to the various conveniences of the white man, naturally, since those works must by their nature be evil--you'd accuse them of attempted genocide for forcing you to live like stone age man. Like the rest of the nativists, you just want some of my tax money as a handout so you can get filthy rich from building a casino.

Victor Davis Hanson also calls bullshit on revisionist Nativism.

Round up the usual suspects.

I finally got around to looking up the 3 aye votes on the House resolution to pull out of Iraq right damn now; to my not very great surprise the miscreants are McKinney, Serrano, and Wexler. At least those three loons had the courage of their convictions, however misguided; there were six fence-straddlers who voted "present" (Capuano, Clay, Hinchey, McDermott, Nadler, and Owens.) Democrats to a man, of course. Shame on all of them.


Self-esteem is going to ruin The Children.

From this article about a restaurant in Chicago warning people to make their kids behave inside, linked by Ace, who got it from Lileks:
"I love people who don't have children who tell you how to parent," said Alison Miller, 35, a psychologist, corporate coach and mother of two.
I love people with children who clearly shouldn't have had them because they don't know how to parent and refuse to learn. I may not have kids, but I do remember why my older brother and I didn't act up in restaurants or anywhere else: because my mother would bring down the Hammer of Justice, swift and terrible, on anyone who embarrassed her in public. The real problem, as far as I can see, is that these people have no shame.
"The looks I would get when I went in there made me so nervous that I would try to buy the food as fast as I could and get out," said Laura Brauer, 40, who has stopped visiting Taste with her two kids.
Good. When they're old enough to behave you can start going back.
"I think that the mothers who allow their kids to run around and scream, that's wrong, but kids scream and there is nothing you can do about it. What are we supposed to do, not enjoy ourselves at a cafe?"
That's it precisely, you silly bitch. Until you can teach your children how to behave, you shouldn't feel entitled to dump them on the rest of us. Enjoying yourself in a cafe while you let your kid sit there and scream instead of taking him or her outside shows an utter lack of consideration for other people, and I can return that kind of lack of consideration in spades. If you won't tell your kid to knock it off, believe me, I'll be happy to take over that responsibility. And I won't be terribly tender with his or her little feelings, either.
Kim Cavitt recalled having coffee and a cookie one afternoon with her boisterous 2-year-old when "someone came over and said you just need to keep her quiet or you need to leave."
So you should just be able to sit there with your cookie and pretend your child is not screaming while the rest of us suffer? It really is all about you, isn't it, Kimmy?
"We left, and we haven't been back since," Cavitt said. "You go to a coffee shop or a bakery for a rest, to relax, and that you would have to worry the whole time about your child doing something that children do -- really what they're saying is they don't welcome children, they want the child to behave like an adult."
Isn't the whole goal of raising children teaching them when not to behave like yardapes? I go into a coffee shop or bakery for a rest, to relax, and the last damn thing I need is your kid going off like a freakin' tornado siren every few minutes.

Less self-esteem. More genuine accomplishment.


Kurt Vonnegut is a goddamned idiot.

Quoted in the Australian:
Vonnegut said it was "sweet and honourable" to die for what you believe in, and rejected the idea that terrorists were motivated by twisted religious beliefs.

"They are dying for their own self-respect," he said. "It's a terrible thing to deprive someone of their self-respect. It's like your culture is nothing, your race is nothing, you're nothing."

Asked if he thought of terrorists as soldiers, Vonnegut, a decorated World War II veteran, said: "I regard them as very brave people, yes."

He equated the actions of suicide bombers with US president Harry Truman's 1945 decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

On the Iraq war, he said: "What George Bush and his gang did not realise was that people fight back."
Goddamned hippies.


The Shan.

My brother has a website, with music clips and all. Let's see if he updates this one any more often than I update mine. The smart money says no. Heh.


Er...well, ok.

Beats being R2D2. I guess.

Darth Vader - 75%

C-3PO - 56%

General Grievous - 56%

R2-D2 - 56%

Anakin Skywalker - 56%

Padme Amidala - 53%

Yoda - 47%

Obi Wan Kenobi - 44%

Mace Windu - 44%

Emperor Palpatine - 42%

Clone Trooper - 36%

Chewbacca - 33%

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?

created with QuizFarm.com

(via Bill McCabe, fellow Vader.)


Senator DeWine (R-OH)
Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
Senator John Warner (R-VA)
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

And throw in Voinovich for good measure, I'm not voting for that cocksucker again, I don't care if his opposition is the Anti-Christ. As for McCain, that preening ass can kiss any presidential hopes goodbye.



$18.89. It's like paying an entirely reasonable price for "Beau Geste" and getting 4 other movies thrown in.

God, I do love Foreign Legion pictures.


Suddenly I feel so third world.

Precious, precious BBC condescension:
In a nation without anything but the most basic social services, without a National Health Service, many of those picking up the pieces are religious, often fundamentalist, Christians.
"Without anything but the most basic social services." "Picking up the pieces." Did I miss something? Is the US mired in a Great Depression or some natural disaster and no one told me? I feel so...urchinlike now.

Via Marc at With Cheese.


Along with 99% of the population.

Your Brain is 60.00% Female, 40.00% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

I suspect most people are pretty well mixed, and the ratio would depend on what's going on the day you take the test. (Via Sheila.)

Oddly relieved to see this.

Trekkie Appreciator
Survey Says... You scored 58 %
You like Star Trek and have obviously watched more than a couple of episodes or movies, but you don't live or breathe the world (read: you probably don't go to your local McDonalds in your Klingon gear - not that there's anything wrong with that...). Excellent! You've managed to tread the fine line between sci-fi buff and Star Trek nerd (otherwise known as the difference between enjoying Star Trek for its entertainment value and running around with a batleth quoting Klingon battle poetry).

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 15% on Trekkies
The Trekkie Test written by MadameBoffin on Ok Cupid

TOS is the only Trek. (Via Greg, who scored a whoooole lot higher. That's why he's in the Captain's chair.)


Portrait of the blogger as a poorly drawn cartoon.

Even I don't know if I'm supposed to be a patriot or a pirate. Maybe both. And I didn't use the sea background because it was too bright and I'm all dark and mysterious. Note my grim determination.

(Created here. Via Andrea Harris.)


Worthy cause.

My cousin Loraine is looking for sponsors for her March of Dimes walk, which is dedicated to her friend Anita's baby Chloe, who was born a micropreemie. Saving babies is good.


Pinpointing where Marc Adamo went wrong in setting "Little Women" as an opera.

Pretty much as soon as he decided to base it on the Winona Ryder movie version of the story. So before any of the actual notes were written, then.

Most egregious wordplay: "Ours the hours". Gad.

Line that begged hardest for a snappy comeback: "Whitman was at our wedding." My guess is he got drunk and diddled the best man.


Your moment of zen stupidity.

From the postal employee attempting to explain why the postal tracking software doesn't actually mean the post office has my package when it says it does:
"You'll know we have it when you get it."

What the hell is going on at the Wall St. Journal?

There have now been two separate "awww, shucks, let ol' Sandy off with a really stern lecture" editorials (unsigned, naturally) in the last week. The first on 4/6 said the Justice dept. showed "admirable restraint" in declining to punish theft and destruction of government property; the second today actually scolds conservatives for daring to question his motives, as though Berger were the soul of probity and not a nasty little political operative whose removal of the documents was neither honest nor a mistake, as he claimed when they nabbed him.

What I can't figure out for the life of me is why the WSJ is making approving noises about the soft kisses treatment for a man who has no respect for the public trust (which, yes, just makes him the perfect poster boy for the Clinton administration.) For the love of all that's holy, he stole documents and then cut them up with his scissors. That's a hell of an effort; you might inadvertently run something through the shredder, but no one inadvertently cuts up big memos with scissors.

Then there's the wording of the denial from Hillman, that the "contents" of the memos were intact in the archives, which sounds a little too preciously precise; if there were, in fact, notes in the margins of the memos Sandy cut into paper dollies, it's possible those notes could be legalistically excluded from the definition of "contents", having been added after the reports in question were issued. If that's not the case, in fact, I don't understand why multiple copies of the same goddamn memo were taken, and I am utterly flabbergasted to see the WSJ happily whitewashing the entire affair. I still like Taranto's Best of the Web column, but I'm becoming more and more perturbed with the Journal's anonymous voice of reason. I'll be goddamned if I'm going to have someone without the nuts to sign his name so that I can evaluate his agenda tell me nothing's going on and not to worry my pretty little head about it.


Today's timewaster.

1. What’s your favorite kind of cookie?

My friend Beth's iced almond sugar cookies.

2. Who is America’s most overrated actor?

Sean Penn.

3. Name a guilty pleasure.

Orlando Bloom.

4. “Scrubs” or “Everybody Loves Raymond”?

Scrubs, if I must.

5. Name two things you can’t live without.

All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you.

6. Your first pet’s name + your mother’s maiden name = your porn star name.

Shoestring Henderson.

7. What song are you listening to right now?

"T'ain't Good (Like a Nickel Made of Wood)", Fats Waller.

8. Name your celebrity crush

Orlando Bloom. But my love for Kurt Russell is real and deep.

9. Favorite punchline from a joke.


10. Who do you want to pass this meme off to?

Meme? How is this a "meme" as opposed to pointless poll?

(Via Farm Accident Digest, who got it from Andrea, who got it from Emily.)


Sound wars.

James Lileks gets hilariously defensive about his IPod. Dude, if you want to base your mp3 player strictly on its aesthetic appeal, fine, but why lash out when people who focus more on the sound and function don't give a hoot in hell about the aesthetics? (Also, I find the IPod ugly and monolithic. So sue me, I like feedback.)


In which I address Orlando Bloom.

Go Fug Yourself reports that the Star said you broke up with Kate Bosworth because she told you to choose between her and making Pirates II with Johnny Depp.

You made the right decision, sweetie.

Dames come and go and take half your property with them. A decent role in a movie franchise, even as secondary slightly-swishy beefcake--that's as close to security as Hollywood gets. Besides, her head looks like a pumpkin on a pencil. Seriously.

Now go eat a sandwich.


The Year of the Puppet.

Triumph interviewed in the NY Times:
With your Catskills-style schtick and your Russian-accented English, I must ask: Are you Jewish?

Like Madonna, I'll become Jewish when I need the publicity.
Oh, yes.

[Via Tim Blair, who got it from Jim Treacher.]

Suspicions of gross sentimentality confirmed.

James Bowman analyzes the political agenda behind Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby, and the basis for denial of said agenda by both Eastwood and the critics at large. (With bonus Arthur Miller content, in conjunction with the previous post.)

I don't want to see Clint on-screen anymore unless he's shooting people. Preferably without the weepy self-torment.

De mortuis.

Terry Teachout views the work of the late Arthur Miller with a gimlet eye. (May require registration, but it's free.)

2/17 update: So does Mark Steyn.


Three cheers and a tiger.

I noticed yesterday Mark Steyn's website is being updated again.


Cheap shots.

In response to the launch of Kalashnikov Vodka (counter-intuitively a British brand, albeit under the auspices of Gen. Kalashnikov himself) , Tim Blair suggests a line of similarly-themed liquors.

My favorite: Hezbollah Boozalah. (collapses in a fit of giggles)


Garden State.

That's it. I'm off slacker comedies. Everyone in the movie bordered on the repulsive.

Clarification: Not physically. They were all just so...damn...stupid.



Turns out Netflix limits you to 500 movies in the queue. Damn.


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are still dead.

And due to be released on DVD on March 22. Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, and Richard Dreyfuss as the Player. Hell, yes, I pre-ordered.

The Player: We're more of the love, blood, and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see.
Guildenstern: Is that what people want?
The Player: It's what we do.


"Easy Rider": the nadir of American film.

Who the hell turned this self-indulgent piece of shit into a cult movie? Goddamn hippies.


Britain: A Nation of Fraidy Cats.

According to a Telegraph survey, a sizable chunkage of Britons think the US is less safe than Egypt, Israel, or South Africa:
One in three of YouGov's respondents regards America as one of the world's three "least safe" countries – more than think the same of Israel, Egypt or South Africa.
In fact, the US is ranked *dead last*; 37% of these nimrods think the US is the least safe, vice 19% for friggin' Russia. Possible reasons for thinking so:
1) 37% of respondents on crack.
2) 37% of respondents have never been to any foreign country; believe "Homicide" a reality show.
3) 37% of respondents burglars who resent the fact that it's still legal to shoot people who invade your home over here.
Moreover, while 19 per cent reckon the US is one of the countries "most deserving of international respect", a considerably larger proportion, 25 per cent, reckon that under this heading it is one of the world's "least deserving" countries.
And if I cared that might hurt.

But the US didn't fare as badly overall as Israel:

The violence and Israel's continuing occupation of the West Bank and Gaza appear to have done immense damage to its standing. Israel comes top of the list of countries where people would least like to live and would least like to take a holiday.

It is also the country thought least deserving of international respect. Despite being the only fully democratic state in the Middle East, it is also thought to be among the world's "least democratic countries".

Which just kinda tells me the respondents may be working with, shall we say, a flawed definition of democracy.