Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tales of True Crime

I'm not going to turn this into a News of The Weird True Crime Blog or anything, but this is weird stuff. (Carson)Some weird, wild stuff...(/Carson)

This Is Why I Avoid Canadian Mass-Transit
You never know when you'll be minding your own business, listening to your iPod, and some syrup-huffing drifter is going to decide to stab you a couple of dozen times and cut off your head. It just happens. No reason.

Saudi God Cop Breaks Religious Law
Four wives is perfectly legal, but six is apparently a no-no. You would think that he would know this stuff, since he's responsible for enforcing it... Bad cop! A fatwa on donuts for you!

Bad Serbs, Bad Serbs, Whatcha Gonna Do?
Of course there were demonstrations in favor of genocidal douchebag Radovan Karadzic, who spent his last days of freedom hanging out at the Pinoccio Pizzeria in a low-budget Dumbledore disguise. Why would you even be surprised at that?

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Baa-aaa-aaa-d Man

I know there's a "Baa Ram Ewe" joke in here somewhere, but I'm not going to look any closer than I have to.

I just want a moment here to talk to the lambs. Look, I know he must seem exciting in Chislehurst: the man from the big city, London!, with his flashy jogging bottoms and his party drugs. But don't do it. Sure you'll get high, but he's a freak. You're going to regret those "candid photos" when they end up on the internet, and even if you don't end up doing a Michael Hutchence like those other two, you're going to be left with nothing but heartache and a pair of his crusty underpants while he scarpers off to his flat and a jar of mint jelly.

Not even once, lambs, not even once.

At first glance, I know it seems like they have set perfectly legitimate conditions for bail, but how many "farmyards" really lie within the jurisdiction of the London Metropolitan Police, aside from the occasional heavy petting zoo?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Republicans Love A Good Hostage

So, another election cycle and another Republican getting involved in a hostage rescue. When we heard the news about the Columbian hostage rescue, those of us who were around during the Reagan years probably thought of Ronnie's negotiations to delay the release of the Iranian hostages until after he took office. But here they were in the thick of a story about ending a hostage situation instead of prolonging it. And they say that an old dog can't learn new tricks...

"What a coincidence," we thought, "an embattled Republican candidate in desperate need of some anti-terrorism news to prop up his campaign decides to take some time off from campaigning for a little Central American junket. The old coot probably just wanted a little sun, but what ho? He just happened to be in town when a daring mission rescued American hostages from terrorists. What a stroke of luck!"

Except, as it happens so often with the Republicans, their story started to unravel almost immediately. White House mouthpiece Dana Perino said he had no information about the raid beforehand, but someone forgot to tell McCain, because he was busy spreading the word of his briefing on the classified, top secret mission. Oops!

The State Department said that the US had nothing to do with the rescue, but had known it was in the works for months. The Pentagon said that the US was not involved. Then McCain and U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield spilled the beans and said that the Columbian operation had extensive help and "close cooperation" from the Americans. Shocker!

The Republicans knew for months, and they pulled their candidate from the campaign trail to put him on the ground in Columbia just in time for a hostage rescue that they helped pull off. This sounds not so much like a coincidence, no?

And now it comes out that the rescuers violated the Geneva Convention and have put Red Cross workers around the world at risk by dressing up as Red Cross workers. Their story now is that it was just one guy, and he was "contradicting official orders", but that story doesn't even pass the giggle test.

First, here's the thing about uniforms: they're uniform. It's right there in the name. If there's one guy wearing something different, he kinda stands out. Don't they have Sesame Street in Columbia? "One of these kids just doesn't belong." You're telling me that not one guy asked "Hey, Jorge, what's with the Red Cross, pendejo?" You can't even start a park district soccer game without someone checking to make sure everybody's wearing the right uniform, but during a highly-sensitive military operation the guy wearing a giant RED CROSS went completely undetected by everyone around him?

When you put a big red cross on your chest, you stand out. It's kind of the point. Wearing a "don't shoot me" sign only works when it's not discreet. If you can't see it from the other side of the battlefield, it's somewhat ineffective. Are we to believe that they couldn't see it from the other side of the helicopter?

Second, since when do you have to issue "official orders" to a military unit not to dress up as the Red Cross? That's a little odd, isn't it? By the way, don't dress up as the Power Rangers either. Saban has vicious trademark lawyers, dude. They'll fuck you up.

Congratulations. It's pretty difficult to come off as the douchebags when you're being compared to hostage takers, but you did it. Kudos.

Oh, and of course they managed to have a naked, blindfolded prisoner exposed to mixed company before the helicopter even touched down. What is the deal with right wingers and their fetish for naked dudes with blindfolds, anyway?

My first and dearest fan Flan has graced me with an award that I really don't deserve. I need to find some more deserving bloggers to share the love and then I'll post it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

California Uber Alles

Thank you, thank you, thank you. San Francisco is officially made of awesome and win. If only they could name the contents after him instead of the plant, they would be dead on, but you take what you can get.

This is exactly the kind of voter from which we need to see more initiative.

Now get your ass out and vote.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Take That

I haven't talked about my favorite coffeeshop recently. We're moved on to a long-distance relationship, and it's been a little rocky.

The lovely retro starlet owner is no longer there. She sold the business, and it just hasn't been the same. They still have the same free-trade coffee. They still have many of the same employees that I absurdly think of as "my barista" when I see them on the street.

Aside: What gives? Why does spell check recognize sitarist and not barista? They must have outsourced the coding to India.

They no longer have the Caffe Paradiso debit cards that made my life so convenient. I know I could use my Visa, but a little piece of me died when I gave up my coffee card.

They no longer play the same music. Instead of hearing something interesting that I've never heard and kind of dig, I usually hear something I don't particularly care to hear again.

They no longer have great service. Oh sure, I used to kvetch about getting shorted by Scruffy Barista Girl, but at least I got underserved quickly. Now it takes forever even when there isn't a line, because the new owners have under staffed the place.

The crowd of hipsters, townies, and coeds is largely a thing of the past. The last few times I've been in there, the place has been almost empty. It used to buzz and now it's a mortuary. I almost always get mine to go, so it's not such a big deal, but I did enjoy the company while I waited.

I have a theory.

I don't know the old owner. I haven't asked her why she sold the place. But here's the thing. It happened not too long before the new Starbucks opened in Urbana, and I think she saw the writing on the wall. There had been one on campus, but campus is a pain in the ass to get to, because the U of I is afraid to tell the students to stay the fuck out of the streets because cars drive there. They're smart enough to get into the U of I, but not smart enough to look both ways before they cross the street.


Caffe Paradiso is technically on campus, but it's on the edge, on a major thoroughfare, and it's really just across the street from not-campus. So people could get to it. It wasn't in the deepest darkest heart of campus in the maze of one-way streets and bus-only routes and no parking, like, say, the campus Starbucks. But now there's a new Starbucks. And now my coffee shop sucks. Thanks. Way to go.

So, as much as it sucks for the people involved, hearing this brightened my day, just a little.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

An Open Letter to MIA

Dear MIA,
So, yeah, you know that song you did that people seem to like? They like it because it's by the Clash, asshole.

Straight to Hell is a fine little song because the Clash, and I cannot stress this enough, are a fine band. Paper Planes on the other hand is not a fine little song, and because you lifted the whole fucking song directly from Straight to Hell, I think it should be obvious to everyone where the fault lies.

I know you think you're clever, but putting your own lyrics over a Clash song doesn't make you a songwriter, it makes you a dumbass who doesn't know the words and won't shut the hell up.

Go write your own damn song.

Grumpily yours,

P.S. No, it was not clever when Beats International did it to Guns of Brixton.