Thursday, November 29, 2007

Apartheid II - Electric Boogaloo

Well, it's official. They're finally admitting that Israel is the new South Africa. Ehud Botha... my bad, Olmert, has publicly recognized that that Israel can't continue to be controlled by a racially-defined minority and maintain the status of Palestinians as second-class citizens unless they can get rid of the Palestinians before they get the right to vote. ...because you know how those people breed.

Dammit, does this mean I have to stop drinking Coke again?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blackwater Fatigue

When you saw the headline Blackwater killings 'broke rules' your reaction was probably the same as mine. "Well, duh."

I almost didn't bother reading the article. Let sleeping dead horses lie, or something like that. But eventually I did.

Johnny has been reminding us that we should really stop asking how things can get worse. I never learn. I always ask. They always find a new way.

The FBI says that at least 14 of the 17 killings of unarmed civilians by the heavily-armed, out of control mercenaries in just that single incident were unjustified? Saw that coming.

The mercenaries weren't even following their own rules of engagement. Color me unsurprised.

So just how bad can it get?

Well, Howard Krongard, the guy in charge of State Department contracts and ensuring that the department behaves ethically might just feed a line of horseshit to the investigators. That would be a start.

The "ugly rumors" that his family was linked to Blackwater could turn out to be totally true. That would be worse.

When Howie said that his brother "had no financial relationship with the private security firm", he may have actually meant it in the sense of "my brother is meeting with their advisory board today." That's not so good.

Now he says he had no idea and that he never thought to check into that ...during the two months between the shootings and when he lied under oath. Apparently he discovered his intellectual curiosity just as soon as he got off the stand. And then he found out that everyone else was right and he was wrong. Oops. His bad.

Wow. Do these clowns have any credibility left to lose?


Lex reminded me recently that I once defined this word as meaning "That's ridiculous and I'm retarded."

Just thought I'd share it with the rest of the geniuses.

Monday, November 19, 2007

If You Can Read This...

You might be a

go and spam no more

And what does a genius read? Glad you asked. Here's a representative sample of the sorts of things that geniuses enjoyed reading last week:

"...blogspider-generated celebrity spamblog..."


"Fer chrissakes, lady, it was Planet Claire."

"...something something something about feeding the hungry that sort of rhymes."

"...aerodynamic bras, drive-in movies, cars with fins, and entertainingly bad sci-fi."

"...sharks with fricken lasers on their heads."

"Hey, guy... Yeah, you with your mullet on sideways."

Clearly, we're all geniuses here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not A Project Runway Recap

Hey, guy... Yeah, you with your mullet on sideways.

Unless you're a Scotsman or a Catholic schoolgirl, there's no excuse for wearing plaid.

Just thought you should know.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Texans want a wider Rio Grande to discourage illegal immigration. They plan to make the river wider by putting in a series of dams which, correct me if I'm wrong, will provide a series of nice, dry land bridges connecting Mexico to Texas. Obviously they've carefully thought this plan through.

No word yet on their plans to stock the Rio Grande with piranhas or sharks with fricken lasers on their heads.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

War On Terror Enters the 1950s

Let's face it. The 1940s were a bad decade. Fascism, war, people doing without gasoline and other basic needs, wounded vets coming home, the cold war revving up... it was kind of like the Bush presidency with less corruption. On the other hand, while the 1950s had rampant social conservatism, they also had aerodynamic bras, drive-in movies, cars with fins, and entertainingly bad sci-fi. It was what we in the biz like to call "a step in the right direction".

So when a group of pilots and government officials, including a former Arizona governor named Fife, declare that UFOs are a national security threat, count me in. In what can only be good news for the Kucinich campaign, the panel is calling on the government to re-open Project Blue Book. In a post-9/11 world, they say, we can no longer afford to dismiss the claims of random wackos. If we ignore the aliens, then the terrorists have already won? Something like that, anyway.

The Air Force has said no, but I'm off the the soda fountain for a malt just in case. Who's with me? Don't be an L7.

Monday, November 12, 2007

If You're So Smart...

...let's see you do something about world hunger, Einstein.

OK then, how about Play a game, show off your brain, something something something about feeding the hungry that sort of rhymes.

All you have to do is know what words mean and as bloggers we use words, like... wait, what's that word that means "all the time"? We should be aces at this.

Go play now, 'kay?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New York Stories

"Rock Lobster!"

I stared at the elevator doors trying to ignore the couple next to me and their small children.

"Rock Lobster!"

"Yes," I thought to myself, "I heard you the first time," but I make no sign that I have heard, except to glance up at the digital numbers, willing them to change more quickly. They steadfastly refuse to cooperate.

"Rock Lobster!"

Somebody does not understand the elevator code. We are trapped here together, but that does not mean that we are supposed to acknowledge that the other people exist unless it is absolutely unavoidable. I've done my part. I am staring straight ahead, not just wishing that my iPod is drowning out the baby boomer next to me, but resolutely pretending that it is doing so.

"Rock Lobster!"

Obviously, while not loud enough to seal out the outside world, they must be loud enough to bleed into it, at least in a quiet elevator, and at least as far as the mother of two standing next to me who is trying to share her enthusiasm for the B-52s with me.

My floor arrives, the doors open, and I make my escape.

Fer chrissakes, lady, it was Planet Claire.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I don't even want to know what kind of magnet you put on your car to raise awareness for this research.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Snark Detector Failure

I got curious and clicked on the "Blogs that link here" link, and I found this.

"What do you think of that?" indeed.

At first I was baffled. Could anyone really have taken my post at face value? I was prepared to tell the story about the writer from a skateboarding magazine who contacted me to follow up on an obviously fictional Amish Skatepunks story I wrote for Johnny's zine way back in the day. I was preparing to post a comment on uncoveredhollywood defending the lovely and talented Ms. Bohrer's honor, when it occurred to me that the writer of uncoveredhollywood might not actually be stupid, but might actually have a developmental disabilty.

Thinking I might have a teachable moment on my hands, I took a glance at their October archive and realized that the site is actually some sort of blogspider-generated celebrity spamblog.

Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

Diluting the Brand

At the risk of turning into Andy Rooney, I'm going to dive right into an issue that has been irritating me to no end recently: magnetic ribbons on vehicles.

Long ago, there was only one kind of ribbon. It was red. It meant that you thought AIDS was a bad thing, and you would like people to work on a cure. AIDS, you may remember, kills people.

And then someone thought (and I'm paraphrasing here because I have no access to their actual thoughts), "You know what? That's a hell of a way to raise awareness. Everybody knows what a red ribbon means. I'll appropriate that idea, because I also have an important cause."

And then there was a second ribbon. It was pink. It meant that you thought breast cancer was a bad thing, and you would like people to work on a cure. Breast cancer, in case you haven't been paying attention recently, also kills people.

Several thousand shameless imitators later, there is a vast array of ribbons in a multitude of colors, and nobody knows what the fuck any of them are for, except for the red one and the pink one.

Here's the thing. Your love for doggies is, in no way whatsoever, comparable to the need to find a cure for cancer or AIDS, and if you think that it is, then you need a dose of perspective. The same holds true for your enthusiasm for vegetable rights, your love for your high school football team, or your desire to find a cure for water retention, excessive gas, or whatever the hell that lavender ribbon on your Sport Utility Car is supposed to represent.

Let me offer a few words of advice: If you aren't fighting against something that kills people, find a new and novel way to promote awareness of your cause. (Note: A rubber wristband, regardless of color? Already been done. Thanks for playing, please try again.)

If you own a magnetic ribbon for something that does not, in point of fact, actually kill people, then when you next aproach your vehicle take a moment to hang your head in shame before you remove the offending ribbon, take it inside, and cut it up to make your own DIY refrigerator magnets. Then, when you get home, write a check to somebody who is doing something important.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Perfectly Delightful

First, let me again apologize for using the phrase "perfectly normal" to describe CP and Becks. I really didn't mean it that way. What I meant to say was that they didn't conform to the blogger stereotype of unsociable introverts who are incapable of functioning in polite society without a keyboard in front of them. You know... like, for example, me.

At this time, I will also take the blame for the complexity involved in making our arrangements. Long ago, I was faced with the choice of getting a cellphone or an iPod. In my defense, it did not occur to me at the time that there might someday be people trying to get in touch with me who I might actually want to succeed. Until last week, my lack of portable communication had not proven to be a significant problem. I am now rethinking my decision.

Between working, procrastination, and my reliance upon late twentieth century communication methods, things turned into a last-minute scramble to finalize our plans. Becks eventually hit upon a white trash-themed restaurant. This seemed perfect, since I grew up in a white trash-themed town. CP gave me perfectly reasonable, simple directions on how to get there.

I would like to blame my late arrival upon the amount of time it took to achieve sartorial splendor, but unfortunately, there were witnesses. I stopped at the concierge's desk, asked how to get to the subway station, and was asked where I was headed. Eventually, armed with directions and a second opinion on the best way to get to my final destination, I sallied forth. In the station, looking for a subway map, I heard the Charlie Brown intercom say "Wah wahwahwahwah 23rd street wah wah wahwah E train wah wah boarding now." The guy at the hotel had mentioned the E train, so I hopped aboard.

As it turns out, there are two 23rd street stations on the E line located in opposite directions from my starting point. One is a dismal industrial wasteland in Queens, and one has bars and restaurants and my two favorite New York bloggers*. I mention this topographical oddity only because, two subway stops later, I found myself in Queens. I looked up and down the street and realized that something had gone wrong. I found a map, traced the line in the opposite direction and found out where I was supposed to be. Fabulous.

A second subway ride later, I was where I had intended to be and was only half an hour late. I set off down the street looking for CP and Becks and a white trash restaurant. My description was slightly more detailed than CP would have you believe. I also mentioned that I have a goatee. (Technically speaking, it's a van dyke, but if you tell someone that you have a van dyke, they will probably nod politely and assume you have some sort of falling-over-ottomans disorder.)

In any case, I walked right past CP (Becks was even later than I was. I think she was waiting for a favorable "maniac/not a maniac" report from CP before venturing within reach), but luckily he was cruising and intercepted me before I had to double back down the block.

He had taken advantage of the the intervening half hour to come up with alternative drinking and dining plans upon finding that our first choice was occupied by a private party. We quickly dispensed with the religion-and-politics rule, and entertainingly passed the time waiting for Becks. He delivered the "not-a-maniac" code word via cellphone (remarkably useful, those things), and she felt it safe to come join us.

We got another round in and then had dinner. We'd been discussing Top Chef, and in memory of Brian Malarkey, I had the shepherd's pie. Their version looked less like a big green turd, but was, nonetheless, quite tasty. They were out of the house stout, but the house wheat beer made a good substitute.

Because it was a Tuesday night, we kept the debauchery level down in the sub-500 milliCaligula level, and much too soon, it was time to end the evening's entertainment. Knowing my subway track record, CP generously offered me a ride. A short ride and one gaffe later, I found myself back at the hotel dealing with a minor middle of the night security breach at the symposium.

*Not that I don't enjoy reading Catherinette's blog, but I thought I might be straying over the line from perfectly acceptable blogstalking into unwelcome, unacceptable actual stalking by inviting her.

A Modest Proposal

If Mukasey is OK with waterboarding, then I think I know how the Senate committee can finally get him to answer a few questions...

I know, I know. I really will finish blogging about the trip to NYC, including the blogmeet. It's coming.