Friday, December 31, 2004

The Fifty Hates

And so, 2004 and the first year of YAD comes to a close. Two hundred and thirty six columns. Even knowing how many days there are in a year, two hundred and thirty six seems like a lot. Yet my work has just begun.
Many moons ago, I had the idea of the Map Of The Fifty Hates, a US map showing just where my wrath has fallen. So, to celebrate YAD's first year, I went ahead and took a whack at it. I make no assertions as to its absolute accuracy, my methods were both painstaking and crude. But they'll give you a pretty good idea. I was harshest on my home state, but, you know. I live here. I have to deal with its stupidity first-hand. Plus, our governor is a fuckhead, and so is at least one of our senators.
So here you are, the annotated Map of the Fifty Hates.

ALABAMA: Homophobia, racism
ARKANSAS: Homophobia
CALIFORNIA*: Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax, Schwarzenegger, terror-panicked LA mayor, erototoxins
COLORADO: Rabid pro-life Catholics, BULLDOZER RAMPAGE!, Creationist tour guide
FLORIDA: Low-carb potato, Creationist dinosaur park
GEORGIA: Creationists (2), banning genital piercings, Zell Miller
ILLINOIS: Senator Jack Ryan, Alan Keyes (4), Pledge of Allegiance poster, another politician, crossdressing kiddies
IOWA: Used as punchline once, taco hurler
KENTUCKY: Burning ice cream, Jim Bunning Senate race (3)
LOUISIANA: PIGFUCKING! Also, the Magical Bathroom Cross
MARYLAND: Suing Wal-Mart over Evanescence
MICHIGAN: Stupid article about "Friends", "four more years", undecided voter
MINNESOTA: Taxpayer's League, Ten Commandments, Mark Dayton, Rich Stanek, Tim Pawlenty (2), the Star-Tribune Variety section, the State Fair, the Homer Hankie, Mark Kennedy, Norm Coleman, Mankato bumper stickers, guy in line, chick in line, guy in line, Paul Douglas, Ushers of the Eucharist, gas protests, asshole who wrote a letter (2), smoking bans, IKEA, and Lisa Wright (2). And probably about a dozen more
MISSOURI: Rep. Tom Akin on "Under God"
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Asshole pro-life pharmacist
NEW JERSEY: "Four more years"
NEW MEXICO: Zero tolerance school
NEW YORK: Post VP fuckup, RNC protests, iPod-related wankery (2)
NORTH CAROLINA: Zebra Cake violence
OKLAHOMA: James Inhofe
PENNSYLVANIA: Gas protests, Groundhog Day, crazy Easter play, Intelligent design
TENNESSEE: Janet Jackson lawsuit, gay-banning, Ten Commandments tour, Arab-fear (2), eugenics-loving politician, Scopes Monkey Trial
TEXAS: Nudist barge, french fries, Jap Road, Dazed And Confused trial, Heloise, cross-dressing kids
WEST VIRGINIA: Gas protests
WISCONSIN: Creationists
WYOMING: Kevin Carr's movie reviews, Alan Simpson
There you have it. Twenty seven down, twenty three to go. Thanks to everyone who's stuck with me, whether it be from Day One, or from last week. You all share the common bonds of boredom and a love of free Net content. Never forget that. And I'll leave you with one last bit of wisdom as we head into 2005.
*Not including the entertainment industry. I'd need a bigger map, and it wouldn't be done until fucking March.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Not One Damn Lick Of Sense

Memo to Bored Lefties With E-Mail: YOU ARE DUMB.
You may have gotten an e-mail or seen a message board posting about "Not One Damn Dime Day". It's been making the rounds of the usual places this week. The idea is that on Inauguration Day, as a protest, people don't spend money on anything for 24 hours. Not food, not gas, not toilet paper, not a single quarter in a single soda vending machine.
As far as I can tell, the idea behind it is that a couple hundred thousand Internet liberals not shopping for 24 hours will send an incredibly powerful message to our Bush-supporting, corporate overlords and, according to the e-mail, try to "shut the retail economy down". There are a number of small problems with this plan, unfortunately. The most significant and glaring flaw, of course, is that it is FUCKING STUPID.
It's not that I'm opposed to protest. It's not that I'm opposed to the taking of action to effect change. I am, however, opposed to a handful of idealistic wankers running around in circles for a day then patting themselves on the back thinking they've won the New York Marathon. Allow me to present you with the official stated objective of Not One Damn Dime Day.
"The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it. 'Not One Damn Dime Day' is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics."
There are two possibilities here. First, that this will work, and second, that it will not. For it to work, the idea has to become widespread enough, and participation high enough, that the drop in economic activity is noticed. So let's say this happens, just as a lark. Let's say the idea gets out there to tens of millions of people. Let's say these people are swayed by the charm of the awkward wording. Moved by the passion of the slightly addled rhetoric. Let's say that, in a success beyond the wildest wet dreams of a Seattle anarchist blogger, this campaign reduces all economic activity in the nation by 65% for one day.
Who will notice? Who will be hurt? Remember, this will affect everyone by the same percentage, from the Alcoa CEO who rapes dolphins on his lunch hour to the mom-and-pop hemp store down the block. Remember why, as progressives, we're in favor of PROGRESSIVE tax structures? it's because when you take the same percentage out of the income of a poor person and a rich person, the poor person is hurt more.
Ergo, the radical left has just, in essence, proposed a protest that inflicts a flat tax on the nation for 24 hours. BRILLIANT.
But that's only in the incredibly unlikely scenario in which NODDD would work at all. The numbers just aren't there, people. Nineteen percent of the actual U.S. population voted against Bush. Around 30% if you only count eligible voters. How many of that 30% will even hear about the "boycott"? How many will care? How many will care AND decide to participate? And then be able to?
How much money do they have? What would they have bought that day? Will they just buy it the day before or after? Do corporations even take note of one-day aberrations in sales trends? And even if they do, how, exactly, will that be translated into an anti-war message in their minds? One that they'll pay heed to, and do something about?
What it boils down to is that the left would like to show our rulers just how much power and influence they can wield. And unfortunately, they will. Like a four-year-old hitting his father in the shin with a couch pillow, the shin of authority will remain intact, and the worst that could happen is that a hand-made vase from Berkeley might get knocked off the coffee table. It's stupid.
I understand you feel powerless. I know you want to stick it to The Man. But the world has changed a lot in the past 40 years. The playing field is no longer on the streets, because they've shown they can ignore the streets. Remember what the various Million Blank Marches were supposed to accomplish? Me neither. Folks protested at the Republican National Convention, and were ignored. Folks protesting the inauguration are going to be ignored, too. You know why? Because it's the INAUGURATION. And while you're standing outside in your black hoodie in the cold with your sign and your Hey Hey Ho Ho, the people in power will be inside, spending more money on this party than they're committing to Asian disaster relief, and they will be laughing at you.
The battle is for eyeballs. It's for eardrums. It's for the vaunted "hearts and minds". The right wing has systematically, for three decades, controlled the public image of the left. And anything that reinforces that image, like Not One Damn Dime Day so patently does, just plays right into their hands. And is DUMB.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tennessee Conclusion*

Memo to Tennessee: ONCE MORE IN OH FOUR!
I really thought they were going to make it through the rest of the year. I did. But the official Dumbest State in the Union could not settle with its accomplishments to date. Being the home of the class action lawsuit against Janet Jackson's right tit was not enough. Trying to ban gays from living in an entire county wasn't enough. Launching the national tour of Roy Moore's Ten Commandments and almost lynching an atheist wasn't enough.
You simply weren't racist enough, were you? Not backwards enough. Not homophobic enough. Not xenophobic enough. You won't settle for the gold medal in the Pigfucker Olympics, you've gotta set a world record. You demand more from yourselves. You give one hundred and ten percent. You are the MARK FUCKING SPITZ OF HICKDOM.
If you want to see some of the worst humanity has to offer, look no farther than Somerville, Tennessee. Somerville, which is 20 miles east of Memphis. So it's not some isolated Brigadoon. It's a half-hour at most from Graceland. Yet, when the Memphis Muslim community wanted to use a five-acre plot in Somerville for a cemetery, guess what happened?
If you guessed "they opened their arms to their fellow Americans in the spirit of goodwill that makes this country great", you haven't been reading this column for hte past year. And you may not even be reading it now. I believe it's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"We don't need bin Laden's cousins in our neighborhood!" - An unidentified woman, shouting from an angry mob during a planning meeting on the cemetery proposal. FUN FACT: Tennessee is one of only three states to include "unidentified individuals shouting from an angry mob" as a recognized branch of state and local government.
Luckily, there are some Somerville residents who are only a little tiny bit ignorant and hateful. Providing this mitigating force, we turn to Herbert Howell for his insightful take on why his opposition to the plan was justified:
"We are not at war with all the Islamics. I have no problem with who they are or what they are. If it was a filling station, I wouldn't want that either." I'd like to thank Mr. Howell for keeping his racism almost entirely confined to subtext, and as a result, qualifying for membership in the Tennessee Progressives Club.
Between Howell and the Lynch Lady, opposition to the cemetery included the fear that the cemetery would become a staging ground for terrorism. Really. Apparently, in Tennessee, many people believe that Muslims set dirty bombs by gravesites instead of the more traditional bouquet of gas-station flowers.
"We know for a fact that Muslim mosques have been used as terrorist hideouts and centers for terrorist activities. Ladies and gentlemen, you may think this is far-fetched, but that is what the Jewish people thought when the Nazis started taking a small foothold, a little at a time, in their community. I don't think anyone who has read the newspaper or seen what investigations have gone on about other mosques would not have those kinds of concerns." - Farmer John "Farmer John" Wilson.
That's the kind of quote that makes you wonder if there isn't something larger at work here. What could make anyone, even someone from Tennessee, think that it's perfectly reasonable to compare your neighbors wanting to bury their dead family members to the early days of the fucking HOLOCAUST? They were building a cemetery, not a gas chamber, you stupid fuck. But maybe there is an explanation. And maybe that explanation can be found in the OTHER objection to the cemetery - that Muslims, traditionally, do not embalm their dead.
Yes, in Tennessee, it's apparently a problem when NOT ENOUGH FORMALDEHYDE leaks into the environment. embalming doesn't stop decomposition. It doesn't stop corpse molecules from making it into your tap water. But let's face it. Without all those extra chemicals, how can Tennessee retain its history, culture, and traditional way of life? By depriving Somerville residents of one of their major dietary sorces of wood alcohol, future generations of Tennesseans might have to settle for being not quite as dumb as Alabama. And we cannot let that happen.
Embalming fluid. It's not just for breakfast anymore.
*You will not get this joke. This joke is intended for 0.33% of any given day's readership.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Remembering Reggie

It's not polite to speak ill of the dead.
I mean, hell, most people didn't even speak ill of Richard Nixon after he died, which extends beyond politeness to the kind of delusional, overwrought, complex system of manners and etiquette you read about in books that get turned into Merchant-Ivory movies. You know, the stuff with the calling cards and such. The kind of thing that makes you wonder if Emily Post had OCD and managed to inflict it on an entire nation.
In the spirit of that tradition, I offer the following quotes without comment, in the interests of remembering NFL star Reggie White. YAD and Reggie only co-existed for a short time, which I think is a damn shame.
"As America has permitted homosexuality to establish itself as an alternate lifestyle, it is also reeling from the frightening spread of sexually transmitted disease. Sin begets its own consequence, both on individuals and nations."
"I've often had people ask me, would you allow a homosexual to be your friend. Yes, I will. And the reason I will is because I know that that person has problems, and if I can minister to those problems, I will."
"I'm offended that homosexuals will say that homosexuals deserve rights. Any man in America deserves rights, but homosexuals are trying to compare their plight with the plight of black men or black people. In the process of history, homosexuals have never been castrated, millions of them never died. Homosexuality is a decision. It's not a race. And when you look at it, people from all different ethnic backgrounds are living this lifestyle, but people from all different ethnic backgrounds are also liars and cheaters and malicious and backstabbers."
"Hispanics are gifted in family structure. You can see a Hispanic person and they can put 20 or 30 people in one home. They were gifted in the family structure."
"When you look at the Asians, the Asian is very gifted in creation, creativity and inventions. If you go to Japan or any Asian country, they can turn a television into a watch. They're very creative. And you look at the Indians, they have been very gifted in the spirituality."
"Rome had strong families when they first started out. It was founded on high moral standards. Each father was respected as the head of the family. In the early republic, the father had legal authority to discipline rebellious members of his family.
"Number five, there was an infiltration of a lie. As Roman families prospered, it became fashionable to hire educated Greeks to care for the children. Greek philosophies, with its humanistic and garish base, was soon passed on to the Roman families.
Reggie White. Packer* Sacker**. Minister. Amateur historian. He will be missed, both by football fans and the millions of homosexuals he never got the chance to save from themselves.

Here's a fun little game we can play. The media helped spread two interesting ideas in the week or two before Christmas. This would be the liberal media, of course, chock full of leftists and Communists seeking to impose their ideology on Mainstream America. As a result, one of these fact should be common knowledge by know, and the other will have been almost completely ignored by the general population. Can you tell which one is which?
1 - The American Civil Liberties Union is part of an orchestrated campaign to destroy Christmas and oppress Christians by completely removing Christianity from the public sphere.
2 - The American Civil LIberties Union has, through exhaustive Freedom of Information Act requests, uncovered FBI e-mails that refer to an executive order, from the President, authorizing the use of harsh interrogation tactics (a.k.a. abuse and torture) for detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
I have to say, it's funny the way the right-wing keeps lucking out like that. I mean, a bunch of them just happened to start making the ACLU look bad over the Christmas thing, which they coincidentally happened to mostly invent in the same exact way, right before the ACLU gets ahold of documents implicating Bush in prisoner abuse. You almost can't MAKE a break that good.

*Strictly in a football sense.
*Also strictly in a football sense.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Obesity, Speech Impediments, And You

I can only assume Hollywood is aware I exist and have hired a team of elite ninja masters to hide their most egregious shit from me until it's too late.
There is no other possible explanation or excuse for the FAT ALBERT MOVIE slipping past me, coming in second place, and taking in twelve million dollars over the weekend.
I had seen a poster indicating that yes, Hollywood would be MAKING a Fat Albert movie, but it wasn't until Christmas Eve that I actually saw any evidence that they'd finished it, and by then, they'd already released it. For a 600 pound dude in an orange sweater, that's REALLY FUCKING SNEAKY.
This fact is all the more stunning when you realize that "Fat Albert" is, by far, the single stupidest idea for a movie this year. Possibly this decade. It's still early. And 2004 is a year that gave us "Catwoman". I heard they pushed "Racing Stripes" into early January just so it wouldn't lose out to "Fat Albert" as stupidest fucking movie of the year. And "Racing Stripes" has a talking zebra trying to fit in with talking racehorses and a plucky pre-teen girl, so that begins to give you some idea of just. How. Incredibly. Fucking. Stupid. The "Fat Albert" plot is.
But here at You Are Dumb Dot Net, we don't settle for "some idea" when the full horror of the idea can be revealed in painstaking, excruciating, violating-the-Geneva-Convention kind of detail. You see, "Fat Albert" is not just a live-action version of the 70's cartoon. That would be too easy. It's a fourth-wall, Space Jam, Looney Tunes Back In Action esque clusterfuck that brings the Cosby Kids from their 70's cartoon world into the own modern 21st century era. Which should, if you're the audience I think you are, already be twisting your guts into tiny square knots.
They come to 2004, you see, to help out a sad teenage girl. This sad teenage girl is sad and crying because she has no friends. And one single, solitary tear from this sad teenage girl falls into her remote control, opening a MAGICAL TRANSDIMENSIONAL PORTAL through which the Cosby Kids travel. I must, at this point, ask you to stop hitting yourself in the skull with your stapler, for two important reasons. First, although the pain does make you remember what it's like to be alive, it will not make the bad movie go away without also removing the cognitive functions you need to keep reading this column. And second, because you need to be strong, as I'm not even close to done yet.
You see, it seems that the Cosby Kids cannot stay in our modern future flesh world for long, as their colors are fading. So presumably there will be some wacky, rollicking sequence toward the end, leading to a touching farewell scene, before the Cosby Kids return to their pre-crack housing project idyll. Yousee, their colors are fading. For fuck's sake. What a coincidence that the molecular deterioration caused by a saline-and-AA-battery-based transdimensional portal would exactly match the kind of cheap-ass digital coloring effect a low-budget, piece-of-shit, live-action cartoon movie would have available to it. There must have been cheers and free donuts for whatever 20th Century Fox physicist discovered that.
If, at this point, you are not plucking out your eyeballs and storing them in a safe deposit box just to prevent yourself from accidentally seeing any of this movie, let's seal that deal, shall we? Fat Albert... falls in love. With a human. Specifically, the hot foster sister of the sad girl with the magic tears. Let's say that again, because it's the kind of sentence that slides off of your brain, and makes said brain recoil with horror at the touch. Fat Albert falls in love with the hot foster sister of the sad girl with the magic tears.
You know, I remember when Bill Cosby went off yelling at the black community this year, and there was a great debate a-rising across the land. Was Captain Jello delivering a much-needed boot to the ass, or was he an old, out-of-touch coot who had completely lost it. Bill Cosby wrote this movie. Technically, Bill Cosby and Charles Kipps wrote this movie, but Charles Kipps has only written six things ever, and four of those were things he wrote with Bill Cosby. So I think that debate can safely end now.
Bill Cosby wrote a movie in which a 70's cultural icon finds himself, thirty years later, confused by modern technology and society, and gets involved with a hot young babe. Hm. And a couple million of you had no problem shelling out for that matinee, during a holiday weekend. And while I do apologize for not being aware of this sooner and warning you off, I can't hold your hands forever. You have to learn to spot these things on your own.

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Auxiliary Generator Runs On Yule Logs

First, a quick update to yesterday's column. I've discovered that, this week, the Social Security Administration has reversed its decision in two of the four communities mentioned yesterday. Again, without explanation or comment. Doesn't change the essentials of what I wrote, though. They're still being fucks.
For those of you wondering if the column might do what so many other daily content items do, and play nice for the holidays, fuck no. This is not a place for happy notes to friends, family, and a small but still asonishingly-burgeoning readership. This is where I hate stuff. I reserve the happy thoughts and nice sentiments for my actual day-to-day life. But since it IS the last day before Christmas, it does feel like this would be a good time to issue a memo to America's Lighted Decoration Whores: YOU ARE DUMB.
Let's get our terms established right off the bat, so that people with a couple of motorized Rudolphs in their yard don't get pissed off and consider, then fail to follow through on, sending me nasty e-mail. There is a line, a sharp dividing line, between People With Decorations and Fucking Asshole Lightwhores. And you cross that line the first time you get a big Christmas erection from passersby slowing or stopping their cars to gawk at your lawn.
That is the point at which you have given in to the dark side. When you have gone from celebrating to showing off. Because once you've gotten that little taste of undeserved, purchased fame, you will not stop. You will add more and more glowing crap to your house, not to honor Jesus or celebrate "I Don't Believe In God, And Neither Will You After You See How Ugly The Sweater I Got You Is Day", you're doing it to be noticed.
Check your fucking ego at the door, people. All you've done is spend a lot of money. Hell, not only are some people spending wads on the lights, they're HIRING PROFESSIONALS to set up the displays for them. These are the people who want to make the tax cuts permanent - fuckers who have enough money to pay people to decorate their yards for them. For fuck's sake, Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, and it doesn't have this many lights.
There is no "art" involved in these big displays. If your decorations are big enough to be seen from orbit, you are not some kind of creative genius. When Christo covers trees more discriminately than you do, it's time to take a step back and realize your life is a lie. When you've put up your fourth Nativity display, complete with glowing baby Jesus and animatronic donkeys, you've moved beyond theology and into pathology. And don't try to justify it to the media, either, or you come off sounding like a prick. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"To see the little kids -- their eyes are this big. They're wowed by all the lights and color. And not just kids. We like the buses from nursing homes, too." - Dave Maetzold, who lives in Edina. Anybody from the Twin Cities will be saying "OF COURSE HE DOES" at this point. For those of you in other locales, your community, I'm sure, also has a suburb where all the rich white pricks live. Just substute that for "Edina". Yes, Dave. You're helping the little children by burning up all their resources so you can wave your giant Christmas dick for all the world to see. And just to make crystal clear that I am not being unfair to Rich White Edina Asshole Dave, let's hear from his wife.
"I held the flashlight once, but he's got this pride thing." - Sharon Maetzold, who was NOT IN ANY WAY describing their sex life. The local paper also mentiones that Dave, doing all the work himself, frequently says "I've got my best man on the job.", which puts him in the running for Most Punchable Man of 2004.
The rest of you need to stop enabling these fucks. That means not bundling the kids into the Ford Explorer and puttering around the suburbs at five miles an hour. That means not bringing a list and maps to all the local lightwhores. That means not PUBLISHING a list of all the local lightwhores. That extends to not interviewing them or putting them in the paper. Starve the ego, kill the beast.
Christmas lights will not go away if you do this. The people who do not put up lights just to attract an audience will keep putting lights up. All that we'll do is force the stupid show-offs to find another means to the attention they desperately crave. Preferably a means that doesn't cause epileptic seizures, rolling brownouts, and plane crashes.
Merry Christmas, assholes!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Peace On Straight Earth, Good Will Toward Straight Men

At this joyous time of year, as you spend time with your friends, loved ones, and family, it's important to spend a few minutes, at least, thinking about your fellow man, and why, for a completely different reason than yesterday, they suck so very much.
Let's check in with our friends at Team Selfish Hedonism, shall we? The gay marriage debate has not gone swimmingly of late in the United States, with eleven state constitutions gone homophobic on Election Day. As, supposedly, the only nation on Earth capable of exporting freedom, you would think we would be ahead of the curve on this issue. You would at least think we would be ahead of South Africa, which recently legally recognized its first lesbian marriage, or Canada, whose courts just paved the way for same-sex marriage laws.
Somehow, "America: Less Progressive than South Africa!" doesn't have that patriotic ring to it, you know? But we have Massachussets, where gays can still, even as we speak, legally "destroy traditional marriage" whenever they want. And we have a number of individual communities that bucked the system, albeit briefly, this year in an attempt to take a stand on injustice.
But every silver lining comes with bureaucratic, bigoted tarnish. In Massachussets, you can be legallyi married until the cows come home but that doesn't mean your employer has to consider you're married if it doesn't want to. Meanwhile, the federal government is inexplicably screwing over HETEROSEXUAL couples who had the bad fortune to get married in communities that married gays last year.
Let's start in Massachussetts. General Dynamics, striving to become the number one most moral manufacturer of SHIT THAT KILLS YOU DEAD, has said it determines its benefits policy on a national basis, and defines "dependent spouse" in accordance with the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Also denying health benefits is Caritas Christi, an affiliate of the Catholic Church that runs some hospitals in Boston.
And let's face it, if we can't turn to the Boston Archdiocese of the Catholic Church for our moral guidance, who CAN we turn to?
These companies can get away with it because they "self-insure", meaning that health benefits aren't handled through an outside insurer. Since self-insurance is covered by federal law, they can claim DOMA applies. But many companies, including Gillette (great for when you finally decide to get rid of your beard!), have treated their married gay employees as if they were actually married. Which they are. The only real holdouts are the bomb-makers, the child-fuckers, and strangely, FedEx.
You would think FedEx, which recently bought out KINKOS, would be a bit more open-minded, but the only way they'll consider two of the same thing joined is if their copier-jockeys staple them together. If you want your health benefits, then you absolutely, positively, have to be straight overnight.
Not that being straight helps you if you live in New Paltz, NY; Asbury Park, NJ; Multnomah County, OR; or Sandoval County, NM. All four of those communities bucked legal restrictions and issued marriage licenses to gay couples. And when you buck the system, the system bucks you, and your neighbors, and anybody within the city limits.
The Social Security Administration, in what is most likely a desperate plea to suck up to Bush so they don't get privatized into oblivion, has, without comment or explanation, refused to honor ANY marriage licenses, gay OR straight, from those four communities during the time gay marriages were being certified. They dusted off and nuked the site from orbit, as it were.
So if you're gay, and you're legally married, an organization can decide arbitrarily that you're not legally married, and get away with it. And if you're straight, and legally married, and got married near gays who got illegally married, an organization can decide arbitrarily that you're not married either.
The model for "protecting traditional marriage" from gays in the 21st century seems to be the strategy for "protecting traditional country clubs" from blacks in the 20th. Better hope you're the right kind of people, and associate with the right kind of people, if you want your marriage to be recognized. I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know a few folks over there are free.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Peace On White Earth, Good Will Toward White Men

At this joyous time of year, as you spend time with your friends, loved ones, and family, it's important to spend a few minutes, at least, thinking about your fellow man. Boy, they sure suck, don't they?.
Or, at least 44% of your fellow man sucks. That's the number that's being widely reported as supporting the curtailing of civil liberties for America's Muslims, thanks to a recent Cornell University study. Happy Holidays, except for Ramadan! While you're breaking your month-long fasting period, we'll be hanging lights, trimming the tree, and reporting you to the authorities for being brown!
Now, with any survey like this, it's important to define terms, and not get caught up in the oversimplification inherent in the reporting. For example, "restrictions on civil liberties". Only 27% of Americans actually think that Muslims should be required to register where they live with the federal government, for example. So we can take comfort in the fact that... um... only a smidge more than a quarter of the population of the so-called "leader of the free world" support something that is COMPLETELY FUCKING APPALLING and reminiscent of Nazi Germany.*
Another tricky term to define is "Muslims", because while dictionaries agree that "Muslim" refers to someone who follows the religion of Islam, it's important to remember that many Americans define the Muslim community as "brown", "bearded", "wearing towels on their heads", or "anyone speaking a foreign language that doesn't sound like Spanish".
Twenty two percent supported "racial profiling" to identify potential terrorist threats. None of the news stories were clear about whether the 22% for profiling and the 27% for registering with the government had any overlap, but I can't imagine they would. I mean, I have a tough time imagining who that 7% of the population would be - the ones that think it's OK to make every member of a religion register with the government, but don't think they should be stopped by police every time they're seen in a car or try to get on a plane. Although if they can be proven to exist, the mythical Compassionate Conservatives may have been found at last.
Another vaguely-delineated 29% thought undercover agents should be able to infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations to keep an eye on them. Because, you know, that worked so well in the 60's, where we defeated Communism by sneaking into civil rights groups, bugging Martin Luther King Jr., and having FBI agents grow their hair long and pretend to be hippies.
I blame Ann Coulter. Well, not specifically Ann Coulter, although anytime anything goes wrong, it's a good idea to blame Ann Coulter at least a little. Last time I broke a bowl, I blamed Ann Coulter, and it made me feel better. But the survey found a "surprising" correlation between willingness to lock up our innocent Islamic brethren and two other items - religion and television news. And who sits at the intersection of Religion Drive and CNN Lane? Ann Coulter. Ann and her ilk have coined the stupid and inaccurate word "Islamofascists", in one of the great plausible-deniability neologisms of the modern era. When a conservative says "Islamofascist", what he means is "Listen to the first two syllables, as the remaining three are just so the liberals can't call us bigots".
James Shanahan, one of the Cornell study's organizers, said"We need to explore why these two very important channels of discourse may nurture fear rather than understanding." I hope that Shanahan, an associate professor at a prodigious university, was just being polite, because if he thinks we need to "explore" why both religion and TV news are spreading fear, then he needs to get an office with a window and cable.
Religion has ALWAYS used fear. For every nice congregation that talks about love and joy and the fellowship of man, there's another nutjob down the street telling you you're gonna go to hell if you voted for John Kerry. And TV news uses fear because the public are monkeys. When presented with a thing, they don't want to understand it. They just want to know whether they should eat it, run away from it, or have sex with it. TV news understands its audience, and thus feeds it stuff from all three of those categories. Mostly stuff they should run away from.
And for three-plus years, they've been told they should run away from swarthy people with beards. And now 44% of the country are more than willing to abandon fundamental principles to make sure the swarthy people with beards stay away. Not surprising, but still disappointing.
The commonly understood, and incorrect, version of Godwin's Law states that a discussion on the Internerd end immediately when the Nazi's invoked. Luckily for me, this isn't a discussion.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

This... Is C-R-A-P.

Memo to the Washington Press Corps: GROW A PAIR.
What the fuck is "negotiating with myself", and how can you sit there and let it pass as an answer to a question, or even an excuse for getting out of answering a question?
I was sitting there, watching the year-end presidential news conference, and on top of the usual array of evasions, talking-point restatements, complete diversions into entirely unrelated topics, and half-assed jokes the press corps let Dubya use to get out of answering their questions, now Bush is proclaiming repeatedly that he refuses to "negotiate with himself" over Social Security.
How does anyone with even a remote understanding of journalism and its nature not just snap and revolt and start yelling at that point? What does it take to provoke these people into standing up for themselves? How many times do you have to get pissed on from the podium before you realize that maybe you should spend a little less time trying to one-up each other and spend a little more time not getting your balls handed to you time and time again by a trained monkey and his handlers?
"You're trying to get me to negotiate with myself." You know what "negotiating with myself" means? THINKING. It means the President is not going to think about the point you raised, consider the question you've asked, because the question you've asked might contradict the path he's chosen.
They call journalists "the fourth estate", which is appropriate, since "estate" is increasingly associated with CORPSES. I know why they do what they do, why they let this shit go, why they roll over and play the game. Because now that their parent companies are making money off of the news, the ability to provide the product is more important than the quality of the product. CNN can't be shut out. CBS can't be shut out. They're asking pussy questions and accepting non-answers to preserve their ability to ask pussy questions and accept non-answers in the future. Which is compeltely useless as news, but is great when you need to fill 24 hours a day with random, meaningless footage and government propaganda.
Oh, and to CNN's anchors and analysts: TAKING TOUGH QUESTIONS is not a virtue when you don't have to answer them. You can be asked all the tough questions that you want, and when there's no penalty for dodging them, no penalty for answering a completely different question nobody asked, no penalty for providing an answer that's inadequate, inaccurate, ridiculous, or an outright lie, "tough questions" becomes an oxymoron.
Beyond that, an hour-long news conference, in which the first fifteen minutes are spent reading a prepared speech, is not "exhaustive". Stop lowering the fucking bar. If spending 45 minutes answering questions, something Dubya does only a couple of times a year anyway, is "exhaustive", then maybe there's something wrong with the person in charge. If it takes that much effort to fire up the old neurons and send the result to his lie-hole, he cannot do the fucking job. Which we knew anyway, didn't we.
And another thing. Why has nobody reported Bush learning a new word? He whipped out "complex" three or four times in a short space yesterday, and only screwed it up once, using "complicated" instead before correcting himself. This is big, big news! Now, when people say Bush is incapable of understanding "complex situations", at least the right can now counter that he knows what both those words mean.
In any proper world, a performance like yesterday's should have damn near sparked a bum-rush of the stage. Riots in the newsrooms. Loud demands for follow-up questions, instead of allowing Bush to smack you around with his down-homey "wit" every time you dare consider asking more than one question of the guy who thinks he runs the country. No matter how much you pretend otherwise, that is supposed to be your fucking job.
Thirty years ago, the press took down a president who was grossly abusing his power. Five years ago, you got used as a tool to try to take down another president for getting his dick sucked. And now, you're just getting used. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does seem to make a fabulous substitute for self-respect.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Grimaces, Everyone! Grimaces!

Memo to my people: STOP MAKING US LOOK BAD.
This is not about the SpikeTV Video Game Awards, which were held last week and repeated all weekend, because I've covered that ground before. Although I will mention, casually, that having an award titled "Most Addictive Game Fueled By Mountain Dew" is not exactly striving for legitimacy, here. The Oscars do not go begging to Victoria's Secret to sponsor the Best Supporting Actress award, and people care who wins it. Learn from example.
No, this time I'm talking about the brilliant act of spending real money on virtual assets. I know this has been going on for years, with Ultima Online nerds, then Everquest nerds, then Everquest II nerds, lining up on eBay to shell out upwards of a few hundred bucks for magical items they can't be bothered to go and find on their own.
Now, that's stupid. But it's at least understandable. There's a time/money equation involved that works out to something that borders on reasonable. I've spent a hundred bucks on stuff people would find questionable, so if someone wants to drop some of their funmoney on a hundred virtual gold pieces, that's their business. I don't begrudge people their stupid, stupid hobbies. Unless it's funny.
But when you jump a couple of orders of magnitude, and spend the equivalent of a mid-priced luxury car on an island that DOESN'T FUCKING EXIST, then we need to have a little talk. Because you get on the news for doing shit like that, and then people think we ALL do that, and then we all get questions like "Bought any fake islands lately?" Which is better than the "Beaten up any hookers lately?" questions gamers got after GTA 3 caused a ruckus, but still.
And use your real name. I know your "handle" is important to you, because you hate your real self, but when journalists come calling, tell 'em what your mama called you. Otherwise, it leads to ridiculous sentences in news stories. Here, I'm quoting the venerable, dignified BBC, forced to utter the following: "The Australian gamer, known only by his gaming moniker Deathifier, bought the island in an online auction."
If your only name is "Deathifier", you should not be having major news stories written about you unless you blew up a building. And even then, there should be a bit of snickering from the news-reader after they say "Deathifier".
Australia's leading expert in deathification apparently purchased a virtual island in the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game "Project Entropia", which I'd never heard of either. Entropia is like Everquest for economics majors, allowing you to buy and sell your virtual stuff in-game instead of relying on outside auction services like eBay. So there was an auction for a fake island, and when all was said and done, He Who Deathifies had spent $26,500 on a bunch of polygons on a server somewhere.
Now, how much would you pay for ACTUAL QUOTE TIME? What if I told you that when you purchased the ACTUAL QUOTE from Deathifier, I'll throw in an ACTUAL QUOTE from the developer absolutely free? This is a limited time offer, so act now.
"This is a historic moment in gaming history, and this sale only goes to prove that massive multi-player online gaming has reached a new plateau." - Marco Behrmann, PR flack for the game company. And in a sense, he's right. This auction proves that Moore's Law applies to both computing power AND the Barnum Temporal Sucker Ratio.
"This type of investment will definitely become a trend in online gaming." - Deathifier (snicker). Yes, Deathifier (snicker) hopes to make back his twenty six grand and then some by charging virtual rent and selling off virtual parcels of his virtual island to a bunch of OTHER fantasy economists who are even dumber than he is.
Enjoy it while it lasts. Since your great investment is completely at the mercy of "gods" that are vengeful, angry, and constantly filing for Chapter 11, I'd work on finding a bunch more suckers fast. 'Cause your Treasure Island is one server crash away from being Mount Vesuvius.

Friday, December 17, 2004

O Come On, ll Ye Faithful

Memo to Holiday Fundamentalists: FUCK OFF.
You people pull this shit every year, but you used to at least be a bit muted about it. Going on TV and moping about how the Christ has been taken out of Christmas. But this year you're getting downright nasty, and you need to get the fuck over it.
There is no vast liberal secular conspiracy to oppress, repress, and persecute you and take your holiday away. Just like John Kerry wasn't going to ban the bible, just like the gays aren't going to sneak in during the night like well-dressed ninjas and turn you gay in your sleep. We're not that organized. I wish we were. It's getting to the point where I think you people could use a short bout of persecution. You know, like a week's worth. Just to remind you what it's like.
Since I can't do that, allow me to provide you with a few simple guidelines, in case you're sitting around the house wondering if you're being persecuted:
Being asked to share: NOT PERSECUTION. Even being forced to share: NOT PERSECUTION. Not holding ultimate domain over every aspect of December: NOT PERSECUTION. Having a tiny fraction of your influence eroded by time and society: NOT PERSECUTION. Being kept from getting every little last thing your Jesus-humping hearts secretly desire: NOT PERSECUTION.
Just because one day of the season is named after Jesus does not make it all yours. And if you have a problem with that, tough shit, because it's YOUR FAULT in the first place. It's your fault for horning in on the solstice, for starters. There were winter holidays before you came around, but if there's one thing you've kept constant for two-plus thousand years, it's that you hate competition. So you counterprogrammed the Solstice with Christmas, grabbed all the market share, stuck angels on top of the trees, and called it yours. But you weren't there first, and you've established a precedent, haven't you?
And second, it's your fault because you're the only religion to get not ONE, but TWO of your holy days declared as national, governmentally recognized holidays. Veteran's Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, MLK, those are all national days for national history, but Christmas and Easter are yours, and you made them America's. Guess which two holidays are the most secularized, with Santas and bunnies instead of Jesuses and More Jesuses? Think that's a coincidence? You give the whole country the day off to celebrate, and even the ones who don't believe in Christ are gonna have a party.
The right's current echo-chamber bitch-fest includes retail stores changing greetings from "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays", and this is described as the Moral Apocalypse engineered by the Jews, the Liberals, and the Jew Liberal Secular Humanist Atheists. Who they SHOULD be blaming is their beloved capitalism. The invisible hand makes more money giving invisible hand-jobs to all god's children than it does just the Jesus-fans. So the stores, wanting money from Muslims and Buddhists and Jews and secular atheists who still celebrate Christmas because we like having days off and giving our friends stuff, tell us "Happy Holidays" because that covers Christmas and Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and "Hey, There's No God, But Here's A Waffle Iron Anyway!"* That's the free market for you.
They're pursuing PROFIT, you thick fucks, not some dark agenda. So once again, the people actually responsible are going after their opponents for shit we didn't do. That they DID do. Because they can't stand not being allowed in a "holiday parade" that hasn't had religious floats in it ever before. Because they think it's Satan's work when Target decides to stop making an exception for the Salvation "We'll Fire You If You're Gay" Army in its no-solicitations policy. "Oh no, we don't have our special privileges anymore, and have to operate on the same level as everyone else! We're being PERSECUTED!"
Bill O'Reilly is complaining of an "anti-Christian jihad" JIHAD. Bill O'Reilly masturbates on the phone using his extensive vibrator collection! He's got so many sins Jesus would have to come back about two dozen times just to die for them all. The poster child for creepy self-abuse is going to say who's anti-Christian? The Falafel-Fucker is going to cast the first stone?
The lessons of kindergarten are lost on these people. So fuck 'em. If they can't share their toys, maybe we SHOULD be taking them away from 'em.
*You don't expect atheists to have decent holiday names, do you? No practice.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Fa La La La La, La La La SUCK.

Memo to Christmas: GET BETTER MUSIC.
Or stop getting worse music. Whatever. Just bring the overall average up, is what I'm asking. I don't have anything against Christmas music in principle, as a concept, but the genre has certain limitations and problems that can be summed up in a few short words:
Pop stars should not, under any circumstances, record Christmas albums. Period. A pop star belting out a Christmas classic is the worst kind of Christmas music there is. For one thing, it's a blatant money grab. Want to keep those ASCAP royalty checks rolling in long after you're a forgotten punchline on a VH1 retro special? Make a Christmas album, and from that point on, in-store music systems will keep your crap in rotation three months a year, and you'll be able to afford canned pork-n-beans until Bands Reunited gets around to you.
And unless and until you've invented an entirely new musical genre, there isn't a single goddamn thing you can do to The Little Drummer Boy that hasn't already been done. The thing's been covered by more celebrities than Paris Hilton has. Your parumpapumpum isn't any different from anyone else's so stop shoving your parumpapumpum in our collective faces.
While we're on the subject, STOP COVERING JINGLE BELL ROCK, for fucksake. How is that ever a good idea? The original is a piece of shit, a relic of the 50's where old people tried to make a Christmas song with the new hip "rock" sound. Even for 47 years ago, it was safe and tame and stupid, and more importantly, does NOT translate well to other genres, so CUT IT THE FUCK OUT.This means you, Hilary Duff. You're directly responsible for at least one of the nine ruptured eardrums I've suffered this holiday season to date, and don't think I'll forget it.
The only Christmas music worse than pop stars covering the classics is a pop star writing a new Christmas song. The only good thing about them is that when they inevitably suck, there's something new to make fun of. Even the suppposedly "good" ones of the past few decades eventually grate. By December 23, I, for one, am ready to track down the now grown members of that children's chorus from the John Lennon song and deck them in the balls. If I want to hear screeching children belting out barely-coherent holiday lyrics, well, that's why we keep Hilary Duff around.
The only Christmas music worse than new pop Christmas songs are Christmas novelty songs. Especially that fetid pile of elf-turds better known as "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". Few things in this life are sadder than watching the people behind a borderline-clever novelty moment from 20 years ago and try to cling to fame by turning the song into a cottage industry, complete with animated special. The song ls like the Zeno's Paradox of comedy. Each time you hear it, it's half as funny as the last time, yet no matter how much time passes, it NEVER GOES AWAY.
The only Christmas music worse than "Grandma..." et al are Christmas commercial jingles. You can take your low, low prices, and the version of Winter Wonderland you've set them to, and shove them up your wreath-hole. Jingles like that constitute criminal abuse of studio musicians, and should be outlawed as a result.
The thing about Christmas music is, only about 10% of it gets listened to by choice. The other ninety percent starts infiltrating the public space in mid-November, seeping like an oil spill into every nook, cranny, and baby seal, strangling the musical ecosystem. Change the channel, and you'll hear some of it. Wake up to the radio, and you'll hear it. Go to fill up your tank, it's piped over the pumps. Go to work, and some shithead's gotten a Flash animated Christmas card and is playing it over and over, as loud as they can. And, of course, there's every retail and service establishment in the country.
If you have a Christmas ringtone, by the way, FUCK YOU. You are part of the problem.
We can't escape it, and they keep making it shittier. It's like politics, only with an antler hat on.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sticker Shock

Memo to Racist Hicks: YOU NEED BETTER EXCUSES.
Seriously, pigfuckers. Work on your plausible deniability. I know that you wouldn't be dipshit racist rural hicks if you had a brain in your thick, meaty heads in the first place, but where's your supposed work ethic? It may take you ten times longer to come up with an excuse for your racism that doesn't sound completely implausible, but it'll pay off in the end.
Remember the Kentucky senator's race? Where they called the senile senator's opponent "limp-wristed", a "switch hitter", and someone for whom the word "man" may not apply? It worked, and Bunning won in a squeaker. But the people who did it actually had the gall to come out and say, in their defense, that they meant none of it in a sexual way.
That's an awful excuse. Nobody believed that excuse. It was just embarassing. They didn't put any effort at all into it. Not in coming up with a slur, and not in coming up with an excuse to get out of the slur. Bunning was a major league PITCHER, for fucksake. If you can't work some gay innuendo off of THAT, you probably... live in Kentucky, actually.
Of course, even here in the northern wastes of Minnesota, we have a spiritual South. Some of it, true to its backwards nature, is actually situated way to the north. And some of it is in Mankato, south of the Olsen-Olsen line.
In Mankato, there is a mall. The River Hills mall. A for-real mall and everything, with a Sears AND a Penney's. And recruitment centers for all four branches of the military. Shockingly, no Hot Topic. Oh, and a little store called "Custom Now"*.
"Custom Now" is not, as you may think, a slightly archaic demand for people to shop there. No, it's a place that sells stuff with words on it. Presumably the usual array of Big Johnson Sex Wax shirts, local sports jerseys, and Jack Daniels labels. Maybe some of those Calvin-pissing-on-an-automaker-logo stickers. One thing Custom Now doesn't sell anymore, though, after being told to stop by the River Hills Mall management, is a certain bumper sticker.
The text of the sticker - I kid you fucking not - is as follows: "SAVE A HUNTER - SHOOT A MUNG".
Now, since half a dozen hunters were recently shot and killed in Wisconsin by a Hmong hunter from St. Paul in an incident that received national media exposure, it would be understandable for you to think that perhaps the proprietors of Custom Now decided to (a) cash in on tragedy, (b) express redneck outrage, (c) do so in a patently racist and violent way as is their wont, and (d) misspell the name of the ethnic group they were trying to slur. This is how a reasoned, rational mind takes new facts and combines them with history and experience to reach a conclusion.
If you're feeling particularly generous, you may think that the misspelling was deliberate, so that, when questioned by the media or the mall managers about why you are selling a bumper sticker full of classic American pigfuckery, you could claim in all innocence that it was a reference to the mung bean, and since beans are easier to shoot than deer, you are "saving a hunter" a great deal of frustration and a fortune in expensive deer urine. This would not be a GREAT excuse, but it would at least show a bit of initiative.
And it would be better than what Custom Now came up with. Owner Michael Baumann claims the stickers were a half-dozen leftovers from a customer's order that got put out for sale by accident. Normally, the store wouldn't even print anything racist in the first place, but the customer explained that "MUNG" stood for "Miniscule Unseen Naughty Gnat", and thus, the sticker was OK.
Credit where credit is due - whichever racist fuck came up with the sticker not only knew the word "miniscule", he knew that it meant "small". Perhaps he has had it shouted at him frequently by a series of disappointed, moderately erudite girlfriends over the years. And I can see "Gnat". After all, you live in Mankato, you need something bad that starts with the letter "G", and you know you'll get in trouble if you say "gay".
But that leaves "UN". Now, you know the United Nations is bad, after all, Norm Coleman said so, but Miniscule United Nations Gnat doesn't work. Gnats are hard to see, and hard to see is kind of like invisible... so there's Unseen! Miniscule Unseen N... Gnat. And that's when you get up to the counter and you need an "N". And you panic. Because you did not plan ahead.
And that's assuming you believe Baumann. Which is tough to do, because he's REALLY dumb. It's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"If I'd known that would have turned into a racial slur, I would never have taken the order. Our store is not a racist store. Half of our store is minority." That's a lot of stupidity in three sentences. It didn't "turn into" a racist slur when people started complaining, Baumann. It was a racist slur the instant a guy asked for a bumper sticker that joked about shooting Asian immigrants. Second, by definition, nothing can be HALF MINORITY. Learn math. And third, how large a payroll does a shitty Mankato mall printing place have? Two? Four? Giving minimum wage jobs to a whopping PAIR of Mankato's non-white community does not make you Enlightened Whitey or get you off the hook. Not the pigfucker hook, and not the DUMB hook. Next time you pull something like this, make your excuse to the press part of your plan.
In the most informative news article, the shop is named as "Custom Zone", but "Custom Now" makes for a joke you're about to read, so I'm sticking with it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Making The Occasional Aesthetic Judgment

Memo to America's blue-nosed Busybody Brigade: YOU ARE DUMB.
Two stories from America's Metaphorical Heartland, the land of the alleged "moral values", the tittyhaters, the gay-bashers, the people who, as others have said, would be called "radical clerics" if their skin were a few shades darker.
The FCC has asked for tapes of, get this, the Olympic opening ceremonies. You know, the ones from five fucking MONTHS ago? Seems they've received unspecified complaints that NBC may have aired "indecent" material, and whenever they get complaints they must investigate. Even if, as has been demonstrated, their complaints are all coming from knee-jerk PTC Internet form-clicks.
The ceremonies included naked people portraying naked statues, but as there was no outcry at the time, and as NBC knew about that ahead of time and was not going to get caught in a Nipplegate for an event with a huge overnight tape delay, nobody has any fucking clue what the FCC is looking for, but they're looking! They have to ferret out the subtle, lingering effects of any indecency from this past summer lest... lest... lest... um, something horrible will happen?
Moving on to the "It's Not Censorship If It's Not The Goverment, But It's Still Fucking Stupid" department, a Maryland couple is suing Wal-Mart. Normally, I would be on the side of Trevin and Melanie Skeens, despite their ridiculous names, because Wal-Mart is, well, Wal-Mart.
But the Skeenses are suing Wal-Mart because they let their thirteen-year-old daughter buy the new Evanescence CD from Wal-Mart, and when they played it in the car and got to track 5, "Thoughtless", they were SHOCKED to hear the F-word TWICE. On an album that had NO warning sticker! Oh, Tipper Gore, why hast thou forsaken us? Our thirteen-year-old, Evanescence-buying daughter has heard the F-word for the first time EVER! And it's Wal-Mart's fault for selling it!
The Skeenses actually sort of have a case there, because the song's available at Walmart's web site, where the offending F-Bomb was disarmed by the classic "silence over the UCK" move. Plus, if Wal-Mart didn't put its huge retail muscle behind CD's without warning stickers, record companies might not be tempted to avoid slapping labels on borderline CD's. But the Skeenses problems run a lot deeper than a bit of big-box retail malfeasance.
First, of course... EVANESCENCE. If they're really concerned about their daughter's development, maybe they should stop her from listening to music she'll beforced to lie about having liked within five to ten years. As someone who went to see Hall and Oates live during middle school, I can tell you a couple of well-placed "fucks" during Maneater would have drastically reduced the subsequent emotional scarring.
Second of all, I looked at all the lyrics to "Thoughtless" to count the F-bombs, and... actually, this is more of "First", isn't it? Forget that "Second" part. Fuckety fuck on fuck-toast with fuck-butter and a light sprinkling of fuck-cinnamon, those are some bad lyrics. They're so bad I can't bring myself to make the obligatory "Thoughtless" joke. They're awful. "I will not be bound by your thoughtless scheming"? That's what I'd worry about your daughter hearing. That "thoughtless" is an appropriate adjective to modify "scheming".
Skeens, of course, isn't trying to scam some money by abusing the courts with his Puritan frivolity. He's merely using the legal system for its intended use, to stop corporations from harming our nation's children. It's ACTUAL LEGAL QUOTE TIME!
"I don't want any other families to get this, expecting it to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent other children from hearing it." - And I certainly empathise with the goal of legally restraining children from ever hearing Evanescence, because, as we have previously established, Evanescence is poo.
But people need to realize that in the Information Age, all the labels and restrictive corporate policies in the world are going to keep their kids from hearing, and using, the Big Eff. Just fire the lawyer and teach the kid not to sing the shitty Evanescence song in front of Grandma, and we'll all be fine. Well, except for the kid listening to Evanescence, they're doomed to a lifetime of regret and shame, but it's too late for that now.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Giving Your Country The Finger

Memo to those who lionize stupidity: YOU ARE DUMB.
But before we begin, let's have a moment of silence, and when I say "silence", I mean "loud peals of derisive laughter", for Bernard Kerik, who would have been in charge of moving from Yellow Alert to Orange Alert and back - until he "discovered" ha'd hired an illegal immigrant to clean his place and watch his kids. And hadn't paid her taxes properly. And if that's the excuse they settled on, the stuff they were digging up must have been REALLY heinous.This is what happens when you run out of hand-picked yes-men and have to outsource.
So anyway, stupidity masquerading as romantic bravery. This is the means by which people excuse ridiculous, stupid behavior because of some element of "spirit" or "romance" or some other bullshit. The enduring appeal of the heartwarming Story is why David Battle will go down in history as a "brave romantic hero" rather than a "nine-fingered fool".
Now I know this is going to make me remove at least 15 of the 74 "Support Our Troops" ribbon magnets I have on the back of my car, but Lance Cpl. Battle, USMC, had, at the very least an Epic Dipshit Moment. Maybe he wasn't lucid. Maybe he was full of painkillers. And maybe he's making the best of a bad decision. Or maybe he's a dumbass. Doesn't matter, because he's not the real problem anyway. The real problem are the people that think he's some kind of paragon.
In mid-November, Battle got his hand mangled in Iraq, where, I mention idly, we haven't found any WMD's because they weren't there. Battle is one of about 10,000 mangled soldiers who rarely get counted, or if they get counted, they get counted as just "wounded", which makes you think he limps a bit when he comes home to his girl. But Battle got his hand all mangled up. So mangled up, that doctors had to cut off his wedding band to save his ring finger.
That's when Battle had his Moment. Faced with the choice of losing his wedding band, and losing his finger, Battle made Frodo's Choice, and the doctors cut off his finger. It's ACTUAL NONADIGITAL QUOTE TIME!
"My wife is the strongest woman I know. She's basically running two people's lives since I've been gone. I don't think I could ever repay her or show her how grateful ... how much I love my wife, my soul mate." - Battle, who, by the way, will inevitably have touching plays on his last name written about him from now on.
That's all very sweet, but if Mrs. Battle is so strong, don't you think she's capable of dealing with the loss of a wedding band? Turns out we don't actually need to answer that question. See, sometime after the finger was removed, the doctors LOST THE RING. Rumors that the ring is currently being used to up-armor a Humvee could not be confirmed at press time.
No finger, because Battle, as an American, has been trained from birth to think of the symbol of a thing as being as important as, if not more important than, the thing itself. It's why flag burning is more heinous than censorship. It's why, despite 10,000 David Battles, the "Mission Accomplished" banner wasn't a crippling blow in November. Symbols are pretty. Things are messy. And no ring either, because I'm guessing Jewelry Management is a low-priority when freedom's on the march.
No finger, no ring. And Battle is some kind of hero. Just ask his high school coach, Daniel Pierce:
"We need to make more David Battles. He is one amazing guy."- No, we really don't need to make more David Battles. We need to make more people that, when forced to choose between a BODY PART and JEWELRY, makes the choice that won't require relearning how to touch type.
And we probably need to stop making soldiers with mangled hands in Iraq, too.