31 December 2005

As Jay Leno would say......

On his headlines bit, Jay Leno invariably says, (imagine if you will following statement said at a pitch just within the limit of human hearing) "Hey, Kev, what do I love most" (imagine a slightly baked response from Mr. Eubanks) "Whaaaat, Jaaaay", (cut back to Leno, a quick chin wag then) "Dumb Criminals".

Well I must agree, so here is a local round up of year's worth of dumb criminal stories.

If we get Ichiro, then why shouldn't they get Kotooshu

This is kind of a big deal. Bulgarian Kotooshu (pictured, in light blue mawashi) has become the first European born Sumo wrestler promoted to Ozeki (only Yokozuna (or Grand Champion) is higher).

All the previous foreign born Sumo have been Pacific Islanders (like Akebono(the first foreign born Yokozuna) and Konishiki) or other Asians (like Mongolian born Asashoryu (now Yokozuna))

Maybe instead of becoming a policeman, Shaq should consider trading in his basketball shoes for a mawashi. (afterall Riles claims he's bringing in some Sumo to help train Shaq).

What's an Elbow between Friends?

Kobe Bryant's elbow, buried deep in Mike Miller's throat cost him a 2 game suspension without pay.

He's missing a home and home with the Utah Jazz.

It might be good for the other players to see what they can do without their superstar. Maybe they'll stay within 20 points both games.

10 Square meters of Luxury

Who needs all that space, all you need is your shower, your flat screen TV and a sofa/pull out bed. Yotel hits Heathrow.

They naturally compare these new hotels to the capsule hotels of Japan.

Of course as the article says, "Costing roughly 70 dollars a night (but also bookable for four-hour periods), the rooms are aimed at passengers waiting for connections or those who want to sleep or work before a meeting." I would imagine a few enterprising 'escorts' might take advantage of businessmen on layovers for some lucrative transactions at these Yotels.

30 December 2005

Friday Funk Lyrics, 30 December 2005

It's the last Friday Funk Lyric for 2005! Also from now on the decade of the naughts is downhill. (I'm old school, in my reckoning. Decades last from 1st Jan, of xx01 till 31st Dec, of xx00). Hard to believe this year's hours left is only a couple of dozen. A lot of terrific things happened, and some terrible things, too. May 2006 be more -ific and less -ible.

Since I'm still convinced you can classify Prince as funk, and since no song is more associated with New Years (at least in my head, some people might go Auld School) I'm going with the obvious.

I remember when that song came out thinking how far away 1999 seemed. Now it seems far away and long ago in the other direction. Any day now that Y2K bug is really going to mess things up.

So here it is in all its purple glory. (Mommy, why does everyone have a bomb?)

1999 lyrics

Don't worry, I won't hurt U
I only want U 2 have some fun
I was dreamin' when I wrote this
Forgive me if it goes astray
But when I woke up this mornin'
Coulda sworn it was judgment day
The sky was all purple,
there were people runnin' everywhere
Tryin' 2 run from the destruction,
U know I didn't even care

'Cuz they say two thousand zero zero party over,
oops out of time
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999

I was dreamin' when I wrote this
So sue me if I go 2 fast
But life is just a party, and parties weren't meant 2 last
War is all around us, my mind says prepare 2 fight
So if I gotta die I'm gonna listen 2 my body tonight

Yeah, they say two thousand zero zero party over,
oops out of time
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999

Lemme tell ya somethin'
If U didn't come 2 party,
don't bother knockin' on my door
I got a lion in my pocket,
and baby he's ready 2 roar
Yeah, everybody's got a bomb,
we could all die any day
But before I'll let that happen,
I'll dance my life away

Oh, they say two thousand zero zero party over,
oops out of time
We're runnin' outta time (Tonight I'm gonna)
So tonight we gonna (party like it's 1999)
we gonna, oww

Say it 1 more time
Two thousand zero zero party over oops,
out of time
No, no (Tonight I'm gonna)
So tonight we gonna (party like it's 1999)
we gonna, oww

Alright, it's 1999
You say it, 1999
1999 don't stop, don't stop, say it 1 more time
Two thousand zero zero party over,
oops out of time
Yeah, yeah (Tonight I'm gonna)
So tonight we gonna (party like it's 1999)
we gonna, oww

Yeah, 1999 (1999)
Don'tcha wanna go (1999)
Don'tcha wanna go (1999)
We could all die any day (1999)
I don't wanna die,
I'd rather dance my life away (1999)
Listen 2 what I'm tryin' 2 say
Everybody, everybody say party
C'mon now, U say party
That's right, everybody say (Party)
Can't run from the revelation, no (Party)
Sing it 4 your nation y'all (Party)
Tell me what you're singin', baby say (Party)
Telephone's a-ringin', mama (Party)
C'mon, c'mon, U say (Party)
Everybody, [two times] (Party)
Work it down 2 the ground, say (Party)
Come on, take my body, baby (Party)
That's right, c'mon, sing the song (Party)
That's right (Party)
Got a lion in my pocket mama, say (Party)
Oh, and he's ready 2 roar (Party)

Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?
Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?

And lest we forget the consequences of letting our vigilance slip, see above.

Conclusion in search of a study

The L.A. Times engaged researches at UCBerkeley to tell them what they wanted to hear.

There are no links to the actually study (how hard would that be?). There is no mention as to when the pre-Orange Line and post-Orange Line samples were taken.

Also there is more evidence than to the contrary that the ridership for this hundreds of millions of dollar project has been from previous bus riders, and not people abandoning their cars.

Most likely, traffic improved nationwide as gas prices jumped this summer/fall.

If you were looking for a 'Katrina' effect on traffic patterns instead of a 'Successful implementation of mass transit' effect, then the same data sets could lead to differing conclusions.

Also something as simple as where the sun sets and rises and what times effects traffic patterns (example the 10 freeway west bound into Santa Monica, the commute worsens for a few weeks after the time change as the 5pm rush suddenly drives directly into the setting sun for a time), so for an accurate assessment of traffic improvements (especially ones as small as average speeds from 43 to 46 mph) then comparisons to previous years are also necessary to factor out possible common environmental noise from the data.

Now if they could get people to stop running in to these durn buses maybe they'd have something.

28 December 2005

Sir Bob weighs in. What policy advice does Boy George have in store?

Boomtown Tory?

Sir Bob Geldof has been recruited by the Tories in Britain to proffer advice regarding poverty in Africa.

What I really want to know, has he learned to like Mondays?

Things I Never need to know.

But why is he called Chocoball?

(please do not answer this in the comments, this is one curiousity that can remain unsated)

27 December 2005

Ten Best TV Shows of 2005

Because I'm a copy cat (tip o' the tammy shanter to The Instapundit), and cause I do actually watch a bit of TV from time to time, here goes it.

1. Extras. Ricky Gervais is god. This is better than The Office. Kate Winslet saying 'friggin myself rotten' while dressed in a nun's habit, classic.

2. Rome. Bloody, and bloody brilliant. Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus are the best pair since Vinny Vega and Jules Winnfield. It doesn't sugar coat who these folks were, but this show does a great job of putting all that was Rome into a greater context and views them from their morals, not ours. Plus it's entertaining as all get out.

3. Doctor Who. (new, new Who pictured at link, the old new Who was very good and performed all but the Christmas Invasion episode) The relaunch of Doctor Who is brilliant. I'm quite pleased that it will be released on DVD in the U.S. even though it's never been shown here. Rose is cheeky, the Daleks aren't overplayed, the overall arch to the season is satisfying and it's filmed in Wales, what more could you want (ah, to be in lovely Cardiff). (That's it for the BBC love, some great shows they produced or co-produced this year)

4. Robot Chicken. One fifteen minute episode of this show (more like 12 minutes but shown without commercial break) has more funny than a month's worth of SNL. I'm hoping Seth Green's new series fails (I think this wish might come true, too) so that he'll have more time to devote to these little masterpieces. It's the pop culture from the past 2 1/2 decades thrown in a blender, chilled to perfection and served with a side of snark and a dash of love. Adult Swim better DVD-ize this, soon. (or I'll head over to Williams Street and do something that ends in -ize to all of 'em over there)

5. South Park. This season was AMAZING. They got straight to the Katrina, and didn't stop from there. The Scientology/R. Kelly episode was sublime. Cartman as king of the 'gingers' was another masterpiece. The season closer with the Ass-mata combined with slamming AA makes the wait for new shows feel that much longer.

6. Deadwood. How to describe this show without resorting to various descriptions of bodily functions and what acts can be done between genitals and each and every orifice? I give up. It can't be done. The main character's name ain't Swearingen for nothin'. But besides the swearing, the Shakespearean flights of language are mesmerizing and the acting top rate. If you don't get HBO rent the damn DVDs.

7. Everybody Hates Chris. The first (and only) network show in my top ten. The kid portraying young Chris is a terrific actor. The parents work well together and this show feels like the 3rd or 4th season of an ensemble show rather than the first few episodes. If the writing can continue to match the actors then hopefully this show will be given long life.

8. Full Metal Alchemist. Yes it's a cartoon. It might be easy to confuse it with simpler fare like Yu-Gi-Oh!, but it's so much more than that. It poses real questions about identity, what makes you human? do the ends justify the means? how do you define family? The central tenet of the show, and alchemy (as envisioned here) is as follows, "Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange. In those days, we really believed that to be the world's one, and only, truth." Nothing of value comes without giving something of value. The show begins with the Brothers Elric attempting to resurrect their mother only to lose all of Al's body and one of Ed's arms and both legs. In other words nothing can balance a human soul. Deep, duuuuude. It's surprisingly philosophical for a cartoon. (And more complicated than a couple of Dickens novels combined)

9. Jeopardy!. This was the year of the ultra-mega-super duper see if someone can beat Ken Jennings tournament (and yes, somebody did). Jeopardy rolls along and stays consistently engaging. No reason to ever leave this show out of any top ten list of TV shows. (and Mr. Trebek, bring back the 'stache please, you still look strange without it)

10. Battlestar Galactica. It was engrossing, bleak, grim, dark, brutal, challenging, thoughtful, at times slooooooow. It could have been better, but it's far from bad.

Honorable mentions. Curb Your Enthusiasm had a great season. Weeds was good but inconsistent. Barbershop was very good, but a trifle. Jimmy Kimmel's Friday night shows (Unnecessary Censorship (QT streaming video at this link) is the best regular bit on any of the late night talk shows, by far) are always worth catching. The Amazing Race is the best 'reality show' (though the Family edition was a major stumble). American Idol entertains as it repulses. Paranoia Agent was a weird head trip that I'm still processing and can't decide if it was great or awful. Samurai Champloo likewise has moments, but so far doesn't hold a candle to Watanabe-san's previous work.

Dishonorable mentions. Lost, so far after returning has lost me. It's feeling kind of pointless and I've missed episodes, read the recaps and thought, well I didn't miss much. David Chappelle, GET BACK TO WORK BIIIIIYAAAAAATCH!!!!!, comedy needs you. You are making blackface jesus cry by not making more shows. The Boondocks has been unfunny so far. Seriously so. Pedantic, self-important, repetitive, I'm not feeling you Aaron (and it's not just the politics), very well drawn though.

OK, that's it I'm sure there's plenty for everyone to disagree with mixed in there.

Disagree in silence, mutter at your monitor, or hurl thunderbolts in the comments, the choice is up to you dear reader, or Blog up your own list dammit, I'll link to yours if you'll link to mine. (So long as you're over eighteen, otherwise might get in trouble, oh wait that's SHOW me yours, I guess if you're under eighteen it'd be OK, but noone under thirteen please, there are laws you know)

And which year end list was more entertaining, mine or Mr. Poniewozik's?
(and linkariffic - I started this post Tuesday and feels like I didn't finish it till some time Thursday!)

Because I have to do everything Prof. Althouse does.

Oh No! Wreck Blogging.

My car is no L'il Greenie.

And it (notice no he or she) won't be replaced by a Silvio, but it's been damaged just the same.

Will find out soon if it's totalled or not.

Guess my annual jaunt to the Auto Show (now to work on getting a press pass so I can here Chris Bangle speak in all his Bangleness) will have more meaning this year.

Oh, and old people suck! (while driving, though at the scene I was magnanimous, patient and calm, no need giving the gentleman who careened into me a heart attack).

And this was in Santa Monica, where Harry Shearer might append his 'Home of the Homeless' moniker and change it to 'Where you are NEVER too old to drive'.

(thank god this was just two people driving at moderate speeds and no one was hurt, but the AARP should be ashamed of themselves as they always cajole legislatures into shelving or gutting tougher standards for older drivers, needless to say 'tougher standards' is meant ironically)

(The Brandi Mitock the bill was named for described in the 'tougher standards' link was killed in Santa Monica by an elderly driver, under these rules the gentleman who ran into me may lose his license (but unlikely given no injuries and he wasn't unhealthy or suffering from dementia, he just froze and mistook a 2 way stop for a 4 way stop). The bill that was passed was far less effective than the bill proposed, if you want evidence, the Farmer's Market incident happened after the bill was passed. Also notice the DMV 'tougher standards' linked to don't mention age at all. While elderly don't have more accidents per year they have a poor accident rate based on accidents per miles driven)

My solution wouldn't be to take their licenses away, but limit the vehicles they can drive. Most elderly don't drive long distances or at freeway speeds, so if they want to continue to be on the road then make them drive these.

(and if anyone wants to put one of these in my non-existent tip jar, feel free)

(and I happened to have just bought an ultra cheap camera for quick photos and was driving home when crunched, that's why I have from the scene pictures and had NO idea how the pictures would look (needless to say no LCD screen on a $20 digital camera)

UPDATE: Prof. Althouse was kind enough to link to this piece. Hopefully she does know that the title of this post was a joke.

It's the Dams people.

Hoover Dam image from this site

I had a snippet of a conversation with one of my uncles this Christmas (he's a long time computer technician so snippets of conversation are about all you ever get out of him).

He mentioned working on the leap second and speculation that among other things, dams were responsible for the increased rapidity in the frequency of leap seconds.

(if you haven't figured it out already, dams keep water from flowing back to sea level, thereby placing more mass farther from the earth's center thus slowing the planet's rotation by a tiny amount more than would be accounted for by natural circumstances. For analogy think of the arms of a skater, bringing them in can speed a rotation while extending their arms slows their rotation)

Is that what they mean by 'facials'?

I love traditions.
Oshiroi is said to have a therapeutic effect on the skin, which has attracted a growing number of young women to the festival in recent years, Cyzo says, adding that it's custom for both men and women to have their mugs daubed.

Zero Tolerance

Within the education system often you have examples of zero tolerance policies.

All I can think to say is that what they show is zero tolerance for common sense.

26 December 2005

Boooosh is Evil, (Part 427)

This front page article in Tuesday's Washington Post on PTSD doesn't specifically say that BOOOOSH is evil but it's implied.

Assuming you've read the article let me paraphrase the conclusion you are supposed to draw, 'a few evil conservative nutjob psychiatrist backed by the evil AEI are trying to claim that Vietnam era vets who are filing new or continuing disability claims because of PTSD are fakers, and by extension the masses of shell shocked young men coming home broken, mangled and traumatized (both physically and mentally) are going to be discouraged from seeking help by evil minions of the Boooosh regime just to SAVE MONEY'.

We'll the conclusion I'll draw is that being declared permanently disabled is an incentive for some to continue to demonstrate symptoms of trauma. Separating fakers from sufferers will always be difficult. Trying to do so is prudent and necessary. The 'left' is poised to create another generation of troops who they hope will be permanent 'victims' of an unneeded and unwarranted war (the left's characterization, obviously not mine). There is a symbiosis between psychiatrist who will have more clients the more people they diagnose and the people who may decide that their very real traumatic experiences are a good enough reason to exaggerate and perpetuate symptoms that happen to also provide a potential revenue stream.

The photo accompanying the article is another form of spin. Their caption,
Army Reserve Sgt. Jared Myers is shown with his mother, Judy Smith, who admitted him to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kan., where he spent three weeks being diagnosed and treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

My translation, See his haunted eyes, see his grieving mother (who had to force him into treatment cause he was too crazed to admit himself), there will never be any more joy for either, they will forever be wondering when he'll go RAMBO and mow down a mall full of folks with the automatic weapons he continues to be fascinated with. And how dare those evil VA doctors unleash him back in the world with only three weeks of treatment, haven't they seen all the movies that prove what a ticking timebomb we have here?

Think I'm joking or exaggerating, well let's not forget classic films like The Hunted which features a crazed Bosnian?!? Conflict vet terrorizing the Northwest, even a show as stupid as Las Vegas had a traumatized vet subplot (Episode 24, Season 2 premiere, happens to air the week of 9/11, coincidence?, have never watched the series I assume the character has gone back to being eye candy by now), this will be the staple of Hollywood films and TV for at least the next twenty years. Here's a nice bit of myth exploding from The San Diego Union-Tribune published this Veteran's Day.

UPDATE: I emailed, Dr. Helen and she was good enough to post her thoughts (much more measured, much less screedy) on the article and PSTD in general.

24 December 2005

What resembles a Christmas post hereabouts (Thoughts on Blackface Jesus)

Tis Christmas Eve for a handful more minutes here.

The streets are blanketed in a sea scented fog. You can ONLY dream of a White Christmas here, the occaisonal Gray Christmas will have to suffice.
(more than a hint of fish, salt, and decay in the gusts of fog rolling of the roiling Pacific)

The immodest doggie (aka 'Mofo' my father named him) enjoyed a rare night time perambulation.
(and marked many a tree, his bladder is a prodigious instrument for sending messages)

To honor the season I'll discuss the phenomenon of Blackface Jesus.

They are all over this character at Gawker. If you google the term 'blackface jesus' you get an impressive number of hits mostly about this particular NYC scenester.

Seems some people who don't need to paint there faces 'black' to appear like a black jesus aren't too pleased with this fellow.
(and there is some speculation about his expected survivability in the more black dominated environs of gotham flag drapped, loinclothed and blackfaced (needless to say, most estimates are high on the mortality side, low on the survivability)

This craigslist interview sounds legit, and would be just about how'd you imagine someone who traipses around in that get up would probably live.

He is a frequent icon over at Gawker's regular feature Blue States Lose (the elf (#1 on Dec 23rd's list) pictured above, appropriated from cobrasnake.com)

All I have to add is that Football playing Jesus (once featured on Conan's show) would KICK HIS ASS!!!!!

(and yes, the football playing santa link is from the same John Scalzi who wrote this book that Instapundit (among others) have been pimping as being very good, can't say for myself, now that it's available in trade paperback, I'll probably pay a visit to a local bookstore and drop some money on it)

(and if that elf isn't a perfect photo for an anti-drug or anti-vegan campaign, I don't know what is)

Merry Christmas, eat lots of flesh from charred animals, and enjoy the peace and prosperity that so many have defended (and continue to CHOOSE to defend now) since the colonies defied a despotic King.

(and given the global nature of the web, to all you foreigners, enjoy the peace, prosperity and ever increasing connectedness, trade, and knowledge that has been bought for with American blood and treasure these past couple of centuries)

(sentiments that blackface jesus probably would never apprehend or appreciate)

23 December 2005

The semi-official immodest proposals listing of grievances (In observance of Festivus)

1. I am aggrieved over the Santa Monica Daily Press' continued practice of not having linkable articles (they put up a PDF each day). How can I ridicule and point to your smarmy, unthinking, commie-tinged liberalism when you don't give me permalinks to play with?

2. I am greatly aggrieved at all the proposed films with roman numerals after their titles to be released next year. I lump in TV/Film remakes in with them as well. Some might be enjoyable, but in the aggregate it's a continuation of a lack of trust in audiences and story that makes the baby jesus cry.

3. I am aggrieved by the L.A.Times with their introduction of Sudoku into their daily puzzle page. I did not need another daily time sink, but you knew I wouldn't be able to resist solving those puzzles each day. (and could you please increase the number of diabolicals and decrease the gentles, harder is funner)

4. I am aggrieved by all you damn lurkers! That's right I'm talking to you. You come here, you hit and run, and then you don't comment at all. Tell me what a jerk I am, I can take it. Tell me how crazy I am, sometimes I might agree with you. But, just tell me something, it'd be nice to see a community of commenters develop, I know it will take time, or may not happen at all, but I hope the links I include and the pictures I appropriate at least make you think, smile, fume, chuckle, shvitz, &c..

5. I am aggrieved by the electronics industry and their slowness in making reasonably priced HD recording technology available to the mass market. HDTV is awesome, not being able to timeshift it in full resolution is a pain. I know a few solutions exist, but it should be simple to make a box with a large hard drive, and HD tuner, and hdmi inputs and outputs. Fear of piracy is what drives the reluctance, but that's been the rub against every new tech, and each new tech has fueled an expansion in sales so quit being nervous nellies and put out the product.

6. I am aggrieved at DavidChappelle. I want a full season of The Chappelle Show and I want it NOW!!!

7. I am aggrieved at being aggrieved. Can't the world just conform to my notions of how things should be already so I can not feel aggrieved about anything? Is that really so much to ask? What do you mean I'm a narcissist?

OK so now a short list of anti-grievances

1. A big anti-grievance goes out to Ricky Gervais. Extras was amazing. Can't wait for series two (although a minor grievance with in an anti-grievance, can't you do 10 or 13 show series instead of just 6, I'm just asking....)

2. A big anti-grievance goes out to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. You are taking hits from all sides, but you've continued to show a commitment towards slicing through the Gordian Knot of bureaucracy and special interest in Sacramento and for your troubles you've been ridiculed, punished, beaten and bruised.

3. A big anti-grievance goes out to my family and friends, they are all pretty terrific people, why else do you think I have to resort to politics and entertainment to find my grievances for Festivus?

Booosh is Evil, (part 374)

This clunky and stupid article from the Telegraph regarding US/UK music relations throws this paragraph in at the end
Hip hop has become the dominant genre of American pop, yet (a maverick genius like Eminem aside) it has little to say that resonates beyond its home nation's shores (the biggest- selling UK hip hop act of 2004 was Birmingham's the Streets). Its global ambitions are not much helped by the reluctance of many US hip hop stars to travel abroad. American pop is in danger of becoming as inward-looking as its politics, and local acts are more than willing to fill that vacuum.

Besides being a ridiculous statement, (US acts blare from stereos worldwide, and not just as a means of torture) it's another example of gratuitous Boooosh bashing.

Besides you could make a strong argument that Country is far more popular and more 'dominant' as a genre in the U.S. at large than hip hop (but the U.S. is so broad, expansive and diverse that there is plenty of room for many different genres).

There is no arguing that hip hop is the 'dominant' genre of the NY/LA music press. But that's a small insular, incestuous bubble (I forget only the President lives in a bubble).

UPDATE: I've modified the title of this post slightly (dropped down to only 4 Os in Boooosh) after googling 3,4,5 & 6 Os, 4 Os seems to be the most popular (though 5 or 6 Os is fairly close).

Since I've used the 4 O Boooosh in the past for the sake of consistency I'll maintain that as the official orthography for representing the proper pronounciation of the President's last name when imitating sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Friday Funk Lyrics, 23 December 2005 (Christmas Edition)

So far I'm unaware of any funk songs recognizing the glory of Festivus, so I'll stick with a seasonal theme. And I'm in a generous mood, so I'll offer the lyrics up for two songs this week. Neither song is really funk exactly but Kurtis Blow's Christmas Rappin' was one of the first nationally played rap songs and is laid over the 'Good Times' lick from Chic so it's fairly funky.
Don’t you get me all that job about things you wrote before I’was alive,
Cause this ain’t 1823 ain’t even 1970
Now I’m the guy named Curtis Blow and Christmas is one thing I know,
So every year, just about this time , I celebrate it with a rhyme:
Gonna shaggy, gonna baggy, gonna make it good,
Gonna rock ya pocket through the neighbourhood.
Gonna read, gonna sing it till it’s understood.
My rap is about anthyn like in year 37
Although you’ve been telling on a uncle wood.
By a red suited too, with a really attitude and a slady full of goodie for for the
people on
the block. Got a long white beard, maybe looks kind a weird, and if you ever fear
him – could give a quite shock
Now people let me tell ya about last year when the dude came flying over here,
Well the whole was aus goes on the ground, folks stayed into partytown.
The people thumping on the bus, and I was dancing in my sock,
and the drummer played at a solid pace, and a taste of the base was in my face.

And .. ik, talk, alley down to a heavy layer of the funky junky rhythm of the disco

And the guy with the 88’s started to participate,
and I could assure appreciate it sound so sweat

We were all in the mood so we had a little food, and a joke, and a smoke, and a
little bit of wine, when I thought I heard a “hoof” on the top of the roof.
Could it be or was it me, I was feeling super fine.
So I went to the adic where I thought heard a static
on the chance that the fence was somebody breaking in.
But the noise on the top was a reindeer clock,
Just a trick saved me, and I let the sucker in.

He was roly, he was boly and I said holy moly, you got a lot of whistles on your
chin chin
He allowed, he was proud of the hairy little crowd
on the point of the door where the skin should’ve bin.
Get’s cool for cool goin outa you for a day on stay
When the cow is blown. So the bear maybe cleared
But I never have a cheer cause it’s warm in the storm when it that blow

I said Yo Rop it’s cold or not,
Can’t you stop for a drop before you go?
He said why not if the music is hot
And I’ll chance of a dance than he can missle too
So he went downstairs and forgot his gap and he rocked the spot and danced like a
And every young girl tried to rock his world
But he boogie yoogie yoogie till he had to go
And before he went this fine old gym
About a gift with a swift through big red bags
In the top of the bottom he reached in and got him towards….. for the girls glad
And a grownups got some presents too
A new TV and a stereo. A new civil about as blue as the sky
The best that money could invite
Cause money could never ever buy the feelin
the one that comes from the ceelin
The way you you feel about your friends
and this is how thestory ends

…the do you raise back at the pole
of north where everything is cold
but if he were right here tonight
he’d say merry Christmas and to all good night

taken from here:

and Prince's Another Lonely Christmas. Again not all that funky, but I've always liked this song (and back in the day I was one of those collect all the b-sides and 12" versions type fan, and Prince is still one of the all-time greats, and he can be funky so he gets included)
Last night I spent another lonely Christmas
Darling, darling, u should've been there
Cuz all the 1s I dream about
U are the 1 that makes my love shout
U see, u are the only 1 I care 4

Remember the time we swam naked
In your father's pool?
Boy he was upset that night
But boy was that ever cool

Remember the night we played pokeno 4 money
And u robbed me blind
Remember how u used 2 scream so loud
Cuz u hated that number 9

Hey, I saw your sister skating on the lake
This afternoon
Good Heaven how she's grown
She swoons the boy skaters she's so tall

But of all your father's children
All your father's children, baby
U know, u are the finest of them all
U are brighter than the northern star

Last night I spent another lonely Christmas
Darling, darling, u, u should've been there
U see, of all the 1s I dream about
U are the 1 that makes my love shout
U see, u are the only 1 I care 4

My momma used 2 say
Always trust your lover
Now I guess that only applies 2 her

Cuz baby u promised me
Baby u promised me u'd never leave
Then u died on the 25th day of December
Oh baby

Last night I spent another lonely, lonely Christmas
Darling, baby, u, u should've been there
Cuz all the 1s I dream about
U are the 1 that makes my love shout
U see, u are the only 1 I care 4

Your father said it was pnemonia
Your mother said it was strep
But the doctor said u were dead
And I, I say its senseless

Every Christmas night 4 7 years now
I drink banana daquaris 'til I'm blind
As long as I can hear u smilin' baby
U won't hear my tears
Another lonely Christmas is mine
Yeah, mine
Another lonely Christmas is mine

Last night, yeah, I spent another lonely, lonely Christmas
Darling, darling, u should've been there, yeah
Cuz all the 1's I dream about
U are the 1 that makes my love shout
U see, u are the only 1 I care 4

Another Lonely

taken from here

22 December 2005

My first grievance

Festivus is nigh, and though the listing of grievances is meant to be directed at family members, as a blogger I feel that the community of commenters and thinkers on society and politics are my family (yes, that's very self-aggrandizing of me, you can include me in your list of grievances if you choose).

It's crap like this that aggrieves me mightily (from David Edelstein review of Munich)
What's the reason for this post-9/11, self-critical twist on the thriller genre's beloved scenarios of injury and retaliation? Maybe it's that the recent consequences of such thinking have been so catastrophic: that despite invading two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), quickly overthrowing their governments, and inflicting massive casualties on their populations, the enemy's resistance has, if anything, grown more tenacious; and that our ally Israel, among the world's most reflexively vindictive nations, hasn't managed with its instantaneous reprisals to stanch the flow of blood. At this juncture, to make the movies we always have, the ones that revel in righteous brutality, would not only be socially irresponsible. It would be delusional.

Idiot. Dolt. Mendicant (Mendicant doesn't really fit, but I've always been a fan of Groo the Wanderer, and when hurling insults, I always throw in a mendicant for good measure)

Everything with these coastal elitist snobs (and since I live in deeply, deeply, deeply azure Santa Monica I know of what I speak) comes back and emanates from the belief that Chimpy McBu$hHitler is destroying the world and all bad things are brought forth from him.

Read a review of a gallery opening, a ballet, a film, a T.V. Show, even a T.V. commercial and somehow the subject of the Booooosh regime will crop up and be used to contrast how we live in fallen times and that there had been a past 'golden age' where now we are surrounded in sludge.

During some show as silly as Showtime's Weeds (which isn't a bad show) in the final episode of the season they have to come up with some crazed machinations to 'draft' the pothead brother into Chimpy's fascist killing machine army (he had enlisted years ago to impress a chick, and 'dropped of the radar' until he had been busted for posession). That's one minor example. 'Entertainment' abounds with such asides and dramaturgy which often clanks out of the actors mouths and thuds on the floor with its self righteous postering (think Padme's 'Is this how democracy dies' silliness from Revenge of the Sith, the entire Spielberg's version of War of the Worlds).

It's funny one show that doesn't do any of the Chimpy McBu$hHitler crap is Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm (or if they had I don't recall). You'd think with his ultra-activist wife that he would be compelled to pontificate from time to time but he keeps the focus on his petty concerns and squabbles and for that he gets an anti-grievance.

(I guess it's a bad habit of mine, can't dish out the bad karma without trying to give some good as well)

And Mr. Edelstein is wrong, the wall combined with swift and just retribution has greatly reduced the frequency of crazies entering Israel and slaughtering innocents. (Under Labor they didn't do this, since Likkud took over they have, Likkud's way has been better for Israel, to argue otherwise is to ignore the facts and reflects a 'victim' mentality)

Talking Points from MoveOn.org

Saddam Hussein has received his talking points from the good folks over at MoveOn.org and their ilk.

So their over the top, "Bush Lied" rhetoric doesn't hurt America worldwide?

This might provide small evidence to the contrary.

When the former Stalinist dictator of a SW Asian thugocracy sounds a great deal like the chairman of the DNC, that might be a small signal that your talking points are over the top.

Bah Humbug, Indeed

Hitchens being Hitchens.

He's not completely right, but he's not all wrong either.

I sympathize with non Christians who tire of the seasonal cheer. But I also see that if Christmas is going to be the reason for the season than an expectation of recognizing it's inherent religiousity isn't unreasonable.

Me I'll stick to my list of grievances.
Twas the night before Festivus, when in the flat
not a creature was stirring, not even the cat
The list of grievances was flashing on the screen
In hopes that the guilty would hear as I vent my spleen

The children were sprawled across the living room
Still enyoying a console version of doom
And mamma in her PJs, and I in my hat of felt
Were about to watch a DVD from Season Six of Seinfeld

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I strode across the hall
And peered outside at the suburban sprawl

The moon on the grime of three day old snow
Gave the tinge of decay to the objects below
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an old man driving his Buick LeSabre

more later, maybe, maybe not

The Manolo gives me the ideas

After reading this post on the proper boots to be hiking across NYC due to the strike, the XWL starts the musing on what I would do if I started a shoe company.

I would only make the women's shoes.

I would make all of my shoes the very sexy.

And I would call my company EPHMIE

(every woman needs a pair of the EPHMIE boots, the EPHMIE pumps, the EPHMIE heels, etc.)

21 December 2005

From the Department of Duh!

Happy people are successful, not the other way around.

Well duh!

It takes a Highlander to do the hard work and research to put together all the other studies that teased around this conclusion without ever saying it.

Success flows from confidence and confidence flows from happiness.

Optimism need not be blind, though. And though some people joked that happiness was a mental disorder(pdf at link) (it took some time for people to get the joke though, some modest proposals get taken more seriously than others) it's a good one to have.

So since I like quoting song lyrics you'd think I'd invoke that Bobby McFerrin chestnut, but don't worry, I wouldn't do that to you (just be happy)

(Are you whistling that tune yet? You know you want to)

(and the Marilyn picture was one of the top images returned from a google image search on the word happy, and that picture of her does make me happy, somewhat ironic to post a picture of a famous probable manic depressive (or bi-polar disorder) when speaking of the importance of happiness, but she sure does have a beautiful smile)

You just got to LOVE each other more

Japan's population decreased from year to year for the first time in 2005 and is expected to shrink from the curren 127M to 100M within 45 years.

It's gotta be all the porn. Those otaku love their fan service more than they love women.

(and I'm not the only one who thinks that way)


What happen to solidarity between unions?

FOX & Friends as well as Late Night with Conan O'Brien (currently featured video clip, can't link directly to clip and it will disappear so go over and have a look, it's funny) have done the 'let's drive people around NYC' bits.

The transit unions aren't getting any love from anyone right now (deservedly so).

Like Instapundit says, I look forward to our robot bus drivers (or better yet, blimp pilots)

But it's still FRUIT CAKE

A bit of Christmas cheer from the land of the rising sun.
Employees of Takashimaya Department store look at a 223 diamond studded "Diamond Christmas cake" on the jewelry floor in Tokyo on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005. The cake, with a price tag of 200 million yen (USD$ 1.72 million), is a two-layer hexagonal fruit cake measuring 20 centimeters tall and 18 centimeters in diameter and is covered with pink icing that is good for one year -- then you can eat it after removing the diamonds. (AP)

taken from the photo journals page at Mainichi Daily News (English Language site)

More Saddam

I missed the later session of the trial but the press reports of the second session today are going to get greater coverage since we have Saddam claiming to be a victim himself.

This passage is quite humorous:
During an argument with a prosecutor, Hussein asked if the U.S. forces would be punished for abusing him and other defendants.

"If the multinational forces are abusing your position, from this platform I ask the coalition forces to turn over all defendants to the Iraqi forces," the prosecutor said. "The treatment will certainly be different from what they suffered from the coalition."

I'm sure the Iraqis would treat Saddam with the respect and dignity he bestowed on his subject during his rule given the chance. (Which is to say he'd be beaten, mutilated, violated, threatened, tortured, humiliated and all that would be before noon prayer the first day, at least if he got what he deserved, the Iraqis might actually not do all that out of a commitment to prove that they are not monsters like Uncle Saddam and his cronies but the temptation would be overwhelming)

The judge didn't take these charges seriously, our government doesn't take these charges seriously, I doubt the Iraqi people take these charges seriously, but I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see an OpEd from someone at one of the major U.S. papers take these charges very seriously (I hope I'm wrong).

(and the links (here and here and here) accompanying the WaPo article all seem to be of the 'don't worry, that silly little election really was a defeat for Booosh' variety, and for the picture on their U.S. Fatalities link they chose the youngest looking marine they could find, cause you know this is like a children's crusade and all)

Saddam Hussein Trial (DVR blogging experiment)

1:58AM 21 Dec 05
Just started listening to CNN International's coverage of Saddam Hussein's trial.

Saddam insisting on Noon prayers (despite Judges admonition to continue with trial), and so far attentive, subdued used to describe Saddam

also co defendants UPBEAT

and the coverage tape delayed 'somewhat censored' according to reporter Anish Raman.

I'll update throughout, give impressions.

They just showed Saddam's request for noon prayer and continue with Ali Haj Hussein Al-Haydari's testimony about being stripped naked, threatened with rape and starvation of his village. Plus he mentions many of his family members both men and women who died in prison or due to starvation.

Descriptions of forced 'donations' of money and jewelry (presumably for a 'Palace' fund for poor Uncle Saddam)

Judge questioning witness about his direct experience with the defendants. He testifies to direct contact with many of the co defendants and once with Saddam himself.

Then he continues with naming his 7 brothers killed at by the intelligence services and also mentions that they wouldn't get death certificates or bodies so they couldn't be buried properly.

Mark Ellis, CNNi's expert on International Law mentions Judge preventing defendants from directly questioning witness and Mr. Ellis said this differed from earlier in the trial when he felt that some witnesses were allowed to be questioned by the defendants.

Najib Al-Nuaimi questions witness about his role in the assasination attempt in 1986 [update: 1982 attempt, not 1986, see below] that lead to this decimation of the village. The witness responds that he was only 14 (He's younger than me!) at the time and wasn't involved.

The next line of questioning was did the witness observe any executions, and he answers no, but he saw the evidence of torture and he knew that they didn't come home from jail.

break time, I'll catch up back with what I missed later.

UPDATE 5:41AM Best laid plans..... I fell asleep, and my cable glitched so I'm missing some testimony, and besides I'm no expert, and the running translation is difficult to follow at times to say the least (Arabic strikes me as a language of tales and not testimony, so many required repititions, rote patterns, and florid digressions, at least that's the view from an outsider trying to follow a translator's troubles in translating from the arabesque curlicues of that language to the straight lines of English)

This trial will go on much longer and people better able to put this into perspective will do so.

And the reporting of this report seems fair with what I heard, but a picture (above) reveals a thousand biases, sometimes (they didn't call him defiant, but why not show him as the pathetic, broken, awful, petty, evil, scoundrel he is (also I would guess that more good pictures of Saddam Hussein have been published by AP or Reuters photographers than have been of Pres. George Bush).

UPDATE AGAIN: I mixed up some facts (Al Haydari was describing events from 1982, not 1986 (or he was describing events that happened over many years, but the assasination attempt was from 1982)

20 December 2005

If You Can't Get Under It, Maybe You Should Go Over IT

Rep. Henry Waxman (my personal congress-critter) has withdrawn his decades long objection (how the hell does it take 20 years to come to a conclusion that it would be safe to dig a tunnel through there anyway?) to allowing a subway project extending (The Metrorail Red Line) into the Westside.

Now the costs are far more than they would have been 20 years ago, and the construction likely to take at least a decade if not more.

But, given that the DARPA funded research into developing the WALRUS should be completed by 2015 might not studying the possibility of going over the city with mass transit blimps make more sense than tunnelling under a seismically active, methane gas filled tar pit?

(added bonus, one of the winning contract bidders is Tarzana based Aeros (the other winner was behemoth LockheedMartin (page 22 of the Corporate overview shows a picture of their concept of a WALRUS dwarving 5 C-5s parked next to it!)))

(There's also this future tech possible alternative to subways that should be considered before digging more tunnels at astronomical cost)


Kobe's stat line tonight against the Dallas Mavericks. (He didn't play in the fourth quarter)
Minutes 33
FG-A 18-31
FT-A 22-25
3P-A 4-10
Off 3
Reb 8
Assists 0!
Steals 3
TO 2
Blocks 0
PF 3
Total Points 62!!!!!!!! (Career High, Season High, top Laker ever not named Baylor, Chamberlain or West) (At the end of 3 quarters Kobe Bryant 62 points, Dallas Mavericks 61 points)

UPDATE: They changed the stat line slightly from 2 offensive rebounds to 3. Also just to mention his 62 was high for the season for any player, and his 30 in the 3rd quarter has been rarely eclipsed (The Iceman owns the NBA record of 33 in a quarter)

UPDATE, Part Deux: I was joking about the selfish remark, Kobe's performance was magnificent, this jerk was being serious (I think, and his whole piece is behind a paid subscription link, but a few people at the LATimes Laker's blog have excerpted some bits)

16 December 2005

Friday Funk Lyrics, 16 December 2005

More Friday funk lyrics, and again going with the PFunk thang. The song "The Silent Boatman" originally appeared on the Osmium album (with all things PFunk, the song can be found on multiple albums in multiple versions).

More gospel than funk, it's got what you need for those days when mortality weighs on your mind. (lyrics from here, I changed one line, I changed 'All men descend into earth at the very same depth' to 'All men descend into earth at the very same death', that's what I hear when listening to the song, so I'm sticking to my version)
It is said that when we leave this world
If we have suffered we will be saved
So I'll lift up my head, whoever I am
What I cannot do here, there's a place that I can

I'm waiting for the silent boatman
To ferry me across the unknown waters

In this life, though I've tried
Many things couldn't be
Closed minds with faces looking down onto me
Parting means grief, but only for those left
All men descend into earth at the very same death

I'm waiting for the silent boatman
To ferry me across the unknown waters

I wonder if in death, man at last can love man
Stripped of all life's gifts to him
No ego to remain
When you reach Jordan's bank, there's no money, power or fame
No third or second class, the fare is all the same

I'm waiting for the silent boatman (silent boatman)
To ferry me across the unknown waters (unknown waters)

Don't even THINK about Come Knockin'

Teri Hatcher won her libel case I referenced earlier.

As she has been exonerated by British courts, then the libel against her MUST have been just that, libel.

That the bar for proving libel is far, far, far, far, lower there than here probably had nothing to do with her suing in Albion rather than in the good ol' USA.

So in summation, Teri Hatcher's Hippie Van is a Rockin' free zone. Don't you ever forget it.

This holiday is becoming too commercial.

This holiday is becoming too commercial.

(Once the war on Christmas is over, will a war on this holiday be far behind?)

15 December 2005

But is it ART?

I have no idea what she is talking about.
The Pixar movies are not just popular art, they are people-pleasing popular art that recycles fairly familiar conventions - the animated equivalent of Hollywood comedies of the 1930's and 40's, which means plots with good guys, bad guys and funny guys (and occasionally girls), with lots of action thrown in. Their urge toward conformity stands out starkly if you put them beside such subversive television cartoons as "South Park" or the venerable "Simpsons," which, in addition to satire, offers some of the most innovative and unsettling color in any art form at the moment.

Yes the Pixar films are more 'conventional' and family friendly than either The Simpsons or South Park, but what the hell does she mean by, "which, in addition to satire, offers some of the most innovative and unsettling color in any art form at the moment."

That sentence befuddles me.

For one thing, Simpsons is so inferior to South Park at the moment that I'd hesitate to mention them in the same sentence anymore. You might as well say, 'both Family Circus and Boondocks bring a new reality to modern day comic strips'.

And another thing, both South Park and Simpsons are limited animation shows (South Park is more limited, yet also more innovative) that aren't particularly special from a visual perspective. On both those shows content is king. Likewise visually the Pixar films can be stunning, but what all six movies have going for them that other computer animated films have lacked has been story, story, story, and performance, performance, performance. They hire the best voices for the characters, not just some star they hope to trot out for talk shows. And despite following 'convention' as Ms. Smith says in her article, each film has hit the right notes at the right time and are dedicated to being internally consistent, entertaining, and enjoyable as whatever tension in the story is resolved.

And I can't help but notice that the writer for the NYT is somewhat dismissive towards what I believe has been by far the best Pixar film so far (and the only one to be explicitly anti-PC), The Incredibles (it's the only one that made my list, anyway).

I should be happy that they give this exhibit a serious review in the art section and don't poo-poo it as much as they could have. But, I disagree with many of the conclusions she draws about Pixar and the films they have produced so far. Sounds like a fascinating exhibit though.

I'm also amazed that no distrubition deal has been made yet, Disney and Pixar have been good for each other, I don't think Pixar can match Disney's distrubition and recently (Chicken Little, yucch) has demonstrated it can't match Pixar's product (even if the box office was decent). They need each other, they should just admit it and get back in their dysfunctional relationship again.

(Cars looks like another winner, by the way)

Domo Arigato, Walmart shoppers.

This news about luxury fruit buyers in China suggests that the trade deficit between the U.S. and China has fueled a level of affluence which is leading to some interesting buying habits.

Also this article suggests that a couple of things might be at work here. The affluent Chinese might be looking towards Japan for clues on how to remain Asian and yet still be 'cultured'. The decades of totalitarian communist rule left the older generation with brutish and rude manners. That the most popular charm school in Shanghai is run by a Japanese women shouldn't be surprising then.

The L.A. Times months back spun an article about the same woman differently. They emphasized the generational difference in the behavior of the Shanghai elite and that the older one's wouldn't be caught dead being taught by a Japanese woman whereas the younger one's assumed that anyone Chinese wouldn't know what they were talking about when it came to etiquitte so being Japanese was an advantage.

The same thing might be going on with these apple growers. All this new wealth in China requires expression. And what better way to express wealth than spending $100 dollars on a piece of fruit.

Maybe the monied elite with their taste for Japanese fineries will rein in the militirasts from too much sabre rattling with regards to their neighbor. Trade generally is a stabilizing factor in international relationships.

Even though the Chinese are by far the older culture, the disruption caused by 'The Great Leap Forward' has severed many of the connections to that past so copying the master copiers from the Land of the Rising Sun might be the most efficient way for Chinese people to connect back to their 'Chinese-ness'.

(This is all idle speculation, feel free to rip it apart)

Tightrope walking

The reporter covering this story and the scientests interviewed all seem to be engaged in a very careful balancing act.

On the one hand they downplay the significance of their finding as it's just one of many traits in the human genome that have been identified recently and from a survival standpoint it's a very minor one.

However, the politics of this (assuming manipulation would be possible in the future) are huge.

Manipulation of the human genome is a matter of when, not if (at least if SciFi authors like Peter Hamilton are prophetic as well as entertaining).

I think that once real genetic advantages such as disease resistance, intelligence, and athleticism are programmed into people's DNA from birth, that those paying for the service will want two things in addition, an obvious sign of this status, and the likelihood that these traits would be dominant and therefore readily inheritable (that way you are not only paying for your future infant's competitive advantage, but all of your descendents as well). And you'd want visual evidence of this advantage to help your offspring when it comes time for them to find mates.

I think it will be something spectacular and showy like blue, green or lavender skin. (Maybe that's why Capt. Kirk never had problems, all those green and blue babes he bedded were venereal disease proof).

The scientest interviewed seem to be very careful to suggest that in a small way the rise of light skinned people within two independent population groups in more northerly climes had to do with a confluence of competitive advantage and sexual selection. I think that in the era of real manipulation and not random mutation such a mechanism will be built in (at least if the scientest in charge have any sort of marketing sense)

(I think I abused the phrase 'I think' when commenting on this article, I guess I'm trying to walk a tightrope, also)

Sometimes they make it too easy (and today is a great day, don't forget it)

See the way he walks down the street
Watch the way he shuffles his feet
My, he holds his head up high
When he goes walking by
He's my guy

When he holds my hand I'm so proud
'Cause he's not just one of the crowd
My baby, oh he's the one
To try the things they've never done
Just because of that they say

He's a rebel and he'll never ever be any good
He's a rebel and he'll never ever be understood
And just because he doesn't do what everybody else does
That's no reason why I can't give him all my love
He is always good to me, always treats me tenderly
'Cause he's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no, to me


If they don't like him that way, they won't like me after today
I'll be standing right by his side, when they say

He's a rebel and he'll never ever be any good
He's a rebel 'cause he never ever does what he should
And just because he doesn't do what everybody else does
That's no reason why we can't share a love
He is always good to me, good to him I'll try to be
'Cause he's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no, to me
(He's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no
He's not a rebel, no no no)

Why quote the Crystal's hit from 1962? Maybe this NYT headline had something to do with it. To mangle another quote, I guess 'every mainstream media outlet loves a fascist'.

So far, FNC seems to be cheerleading for today's events, and CNN and MSNBC seem to be trying to ignore them. I'm flipping and could be missing the positive reports being aired on CNN and MSNBC but given past performance somehow I doubt it.

UPDATE: I should have known, I should have known, I should have known.

This post makes no sense whatsoever now. I copied this photo from the article as originally posted. I haven't changed the link, yet the headline has gone from mentioning a lack of REBEL activity to one that more innocuously states "Heavy Sunni Turnout as Iraqis Vote for Parliament". I don't remember the exact wording, but I know I didn't imagine it. My mind wouldn't have leaped immediately to the Crystal's song had they not specifically used the word 'rebel' in the headline. I'm pretty sure that the body of the article has changed too. There were other mentions of the 'rebels', now they are 'insurgents' and 'guerrillas'.

I hadn't considered the possibility that the memory hole was going to be used. I should have known better. The picture has changed, too. The one I copied is much better, the pictures in their slideshow are all much more dour, dingy and 'war torn' looking.

I'm emailing this to the big dogs to see if anyone saved a copy of the original headline and text cause this kind of after the fact changing of wording would be considered amateurish if done by a blogger and is downright malpractice when done by the 'paper of record'.


"Nijinksy of cunnilingus"

This explains so little and so much at the same time. (Read the whole thing, unless you have a weak stomach)

I'm where chain letters go to die.

I've been tagged by Reader_IAm (I guess she was feeling a bit saucy). This particular game consists of the following;
So, Rules:"The first player of this game starts with the topic 'five weird habits of yourself,' and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says 'You are tagged' (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours."

I'm generally not that interested in myself as a subject (at least on my own blog, in other people's comments I'll talk about myself all day, I should have used that as one of my five)
  1. I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Skippy smooth/Smuckers Grape (keeping it simple)) nearly every day.
  2. I'm insensitive. Not just emotionally, but physically. And when I say insensitive, I mean like breaking a leg and not realizing it till the next day insensitive.
  3. When eating at a restaurant I generally order a beer from the country the food is from (Thai Beer and food is always good, Can't eat Japanese without Sapporo or Asahi, and there are some surprisingly tasty Indian beers if you go to the right places).
  4. I've never met an electronic device (other than TV's and monitors) that I haven't ripped apart (or wanted to rip apart but the idea of bricking something of value occaisonally restrains me) and put back together (and the putting back together doesn't always go so well, I'm not nearly as systematic or careful as most people who compulsively disassemble things usually are)
  5. I have noun problems. When speaking, not writing, and only with nouns. "Thingy" often stands in for what I mean, anyone who's known me for awhile usually has an internal translation matrix where they can fairly reliably posit what I meant. Another wiring problem I have is that I am susceptible to spoonerisms (and as my last name ends in 'spoon' that's either appropriate or ironic, I leave that to you to decide).
Now the hard part, who to TAG. I could just let this end here. afterall since this is accelerating out from a single post at 5 to a positive integer each generation within 10 generations you have presumably 9,765,625 people involved and by the 14th generation you have about as many people needing to be tagged as there are live folks on the planet (6,103,515,625). I can trace back this game of tag at least 6 generations (RIA, Pooh, Frankie, Jo, Christine, and beyond that it's behind a password).

So if everyone has been dutifully tagging 5 people with this meme then there should be at least (5^6-1)(or 15,624) other people looking for tagees and there have already been [(5^5)+(5^4)+(5^3)+(5^2)+5+1] (or 3906) people tagged (and for each person beyond the password who have been tag the numbers increase by an exponent of the number 5).

I guess another unlisted habit might be the compulsive need to 'do the math' of problems like this. I think that's a pretty rare habit for a non-mathematician/non-statistician (although former accounting data entry clerk).

So as the post indicates, I'm where chain letters go to die and though I'll participate as far as answering, I'll let the weight of those numbers give me an excuse for not tagging anyone else (as by the end of the week if everyone tagged did as they are instructed every living human on the planet would need to become literate, gain access to a computer, start a blog, write a post on this topic, and forward it along. By that time those last folks would then have to figure out a way to forward this meme to ants as despite their tiny size outweigh humans when totalled together so they could probably handle this meme well into the 20s (but probably not past) (but then, the thought of sentience and ants is the stuff of 70s Sci-Fi films (now there's a remake I wouldn't mind so much, it has possibilities that weren't properly explored in the original)).

14 December 2005

King Kong (not a review) (No spoilers)

Overheard in the lobby after the film, "She'll never love Jack as much as she did Kong" (said without a trace of irony by an earnest art school grad student looking type)

Damn good popcorn film. Not the greatest film ever. Not a bad film. Like all Peter Jackson films, at heart this film has heart.

That's what sets his big huge epic pictures from say the latest big huge epics produced by Bruckheimer or Lucas or Spielberg.

Jackson likes faces and understands eyes. So many directors seem to have forgotten the simple fact that there is nothing more effective in telling a story or as capabable of expressing complexity than the human face.

Jackson gives Kong a very human face (Andy Serkis is da man) and exceedingly expressive eyes.

The movie's probably too long, (yet it moves just fine), the CGI can be obvious (but always serves the story), and you have to suspend a huge heap of disbelief (but that's what tales by the firelight of the campfire are all about).

This is not a remake for the sake of a quick buck made on the name of some previous work. This was clearly a labor of love meant to use the bones of the original to create a new film that can stand on its own as well as amplify the original. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

Side note. NOT AGAIN. What the world needs now is NOT another Crockett and Tubbs. Michael Mann himself has decided to rape the memory of his pastel colored cop show. Colin 'I really am bigger than a leprechaun, no really' Farrell and Jamie 'I'm not just an actor, I'm a singer, and did I mention I won an OSCAR' Foxx star. He shot it digital like his last two films (Collateral, Ali) and it might be decent, but at this point I DON"T CARE. Receipts are down in 2005 compared to 2004 and 2006 is shaping up to be worse. Too many sequels, remakes, retreads and slapdash films made to capitalize on a name and not for the sake of telling a story. This does not feel like an original work meant to stand on its own or amplify the original. This looks like a studio desperate for a hit exploiting a title for its recognition value.

They've mined the 50s, 60s and 70s and now turn to the 80s, what remakes will the 90s spawn? (Roseanne the Movie?) (Seinfeld the Movie?) (NYPD Blue?) (ER?) (An Armageddon remake!?!)

13 December 2005

A pox on all their houses

(via instapundit)
This short musing from Clive Davis regarding left liberal groupthink amongst 'artistic types' reminds me of a refrain I invariably say when this is brought up.

The reason conservative thinkers and commenters are usually better, more humorous and cogent is because they are constantly exposed to the 'enemy' camp.

You can't get a degree, watch television, go to an exhibition of contemporary art, see a play, go to the movies, etc., etc., without being bombarded with the latest canards from the left.

The left however seem to share habits with young children. When confronted with unpleasant facts their fingers find a way into their ears and they begin chanting 'la, la, la, la, la, I can't hear you, la, la, la, la, la, la, I can't hear you, (repeated ad infinitum))

Why title this post a pox on all their houses?

Well social conservatives aren't much better. They have a habit of demonizing and condemning all opposition to eternal hellfire. The war on videogames (I'm talking to you Jack Thompson) is a good current example.

Marginalizing opposing ideas isn't a way to win an argument or change policy, it's a path that leads towards self marginalization.

Of course I'm gladdened when either of those groups become more marginal

(Here's a raised glass of your favorite intoxicating beverage or substance to a future Moderate/Libertarian majority (and I believe that libertarian and moderate can be fused once enough people realize that the libertarian way IS the moderate way))