Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Thumbthing Thtupid

Memo to... OK, I honestly have no idea who to address the memo to today. But someone's fuckin' stupid.
I can't exactly call Kimberly Yeo dumb, because she turned an utterly useless skill into about fifteen grand. And I have yet to turn one red cent from MY useless skill in the past six months, so calling her dumb would reflect poorly on me.
I can't really call Guinness dumb. Not the beer, the world record people. They have a job to do. They have a specific mandate in this world. And this mandate not only does not require discretion, but it in fact demands a unique lack of discretion. They have a decades-old history of doing shit like this. It's expected of them.
I'd love to declare, in aggregate, the other 124 people involved, who, unlike Ms. Yeo, gained nothing from the experience except sprained thumbs, to be a gaggle of 'tardhood, but I really can't, because on any given day, any one of them could have come out on top.
I'm sorely tempted to call James Trusler dumb, 'cause I don't even know if he got money when he did it, but let's face it, to be walloped so heinously at something so trivial; to go from Grand Champion to Stuff On A Rock* in a matter of seconds, must already be so incredibly bruising to your ego that any further abuse I piled upon his head would be gratuitous and cruel.
I'm actually heavily inclined to fire all cannons in a massive broadside against SingTel, the Singapore phone company whose fault this latest incident is, but, as the existence of Mr. Trusler shows, they are not the first, and will not be the last.
So I'm forced to throw out a vague, nebulous net of rage that we live in a world in which exists a competition, with cash prizes, a world record, and Guinness certification on the line, for SENDING MOTHERFUCKING TEXT MESSAGES OVER YOUR PHONE.
As lame as the Olympics are, there are certain Darwinian survival traits rewarded with gold medals and cereal boxes. Yes, I'm familiar with rhythmic gymnastics and ice dancing, but overall, on the whole, being three tenths of a second faster than the guy next to you when being chased by a dinosaur** can convey certain useful benefits.
What, exactly, does being the world's fastest text messager get you? Even if you can type out "HLP BNG ETN BY DNOSR" into your phone in three seconds, you're still gonna get chomped before the authorities manage to figure out that means "Help, I'm Being Eaten By A Dinosaur" and dispatches a Rapid Deployment Anti-Dinosaur Team to your location.
For the record, Ms. Yeo was able to send the 160-character message in 43.24 seconds, making James "Pussy Thumbs" Trusler's previous record of 67 seconds seem like a wait at the DMV by comparison. The message? "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." As you can see, they are attempting to artificially insert an element of danger in a failed stab at relevance.
The text message is already a borderline-irrelevent bit of technology. The ten-key entry for them, even more so. We're in the middle of a peculiar, short-lived bubble in which 23-year-old students in Singapore with fast thumbs can make fifteen grand in a manner nearly 10% less degrading than prostitution. Enjoy your moment in the sun while it lasts, Kimberly. But just remember that the higher you are, the harder the fall will be when someone shaves five seconds off your time thanks to a strict regimen of practice, diet, and crank. Who'll be LOLing then?
* Just officially acknowledging the Norm Macdonald homage here, to stave off the inevitable e-mail.
** I know this one too. Put down the hyperlink to and step away from Outlook, slowly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Fired By The Arkansas Chamber Of Commerce

Memo to Arkansas - YOU ARE ARKANSAS.
But first, I'd like to share a headline with you for those of you who read yesterday's column. If you haven't read yesterday's column, go read it, then come back. From today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune web site: Three Marines killed in first fatal post-sovereignty attack. See? If it hadn't been for a super-secret signing of a piece of paper on Monday, those three guys would have just been the "latest". But now, they're the "first"! Yay sovereignty!
Anyway, Arkansas. You don't hear much about Arkansas these days. What with Clinton out of office and all the book talk focusing on Monica, it's off the radar. There's a good reason for that. Today's top ten results, by relevance, in Google News covering the great state of Arkansas deal with the following topics:
  • Federal money for a dam
  • College sports
  • Methamphetamines
  • Libraries getting compact discs with music on them
  • Methamphetamines
  • Presidential election polling
  • Homophobic redneck vandalism
  • Insolvent campgrounds
  • Best Corporation doing OK
  • College sports
In case you're taking notes, today we will be making fun of the seventh item on that list. In Conway, Arkansas, for Gay Pride Day, the planned parade was almost interrupted. Luckily, town officials were able to clean up the dump truck full of manure that the fine, worldly, modern people of Arkansas spread all over the parade route early in the morning.
Yes, a dump truck full of manure. Which, looking at it, seems almost redundant. Any truck, once filled full of shit, becomes by definition a "dump" truck. As protests go, this has got to be about the single saddest, most pathetic thing I've read in weeks. I mean, how much more fucking Hee Haw can you get?
First of all, apart from a bit of shouting in St. Petersburg, this was the only incident I could even find reported of people making a fuss about Gay Pride Parades. In the entire country. I'm sure there were others, of course, but within the limits of my patience and research tools, the shit-spreaders were the ne plus ultra of right-wing idiocy. Congratulations, Conway.
And, of course, there's the whole shit thing. Homophobes are the most fecally obsessed people on the planet. They'll be the first to shout about the "filthy" homosexual behavior, going on and on about the whole anal sex thing. And when it comes time to send a message to those filthy homosexuals, well, they get up first thing in the morning, fill a dump truck full of shit, and spend all morning flinging it around their town like monkeys with tools. That'll show 'em.
And, of course, there's the fact that they could lay hands on a dump truck full of shit on relatively short notice. Now, I'm a pretty smart, resourceful guy, but I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a truck of dump before this weekend. Which means either the people of Conway, Arkansas are either brilliant procurers, of they have a whole bunch of extra poo lying around. I know where I'd place my bets.
But the topper, the best part of the whole thing, is that they went to all that trouble, and rolled around in all that dung, for hours, and thanks to the magical technology of SHOVELS AND HOSES that the town was able to marshal, the parade went off as scheduled. Nothing worse than waking up early, spending the morning covered in shit, and at the end of the day, not having it be worth a damn thing. But I suppose, after years of living in rural Arkansas, they're used to that.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Self-Rule Makes The Saints Cry

Memo to the entire Iraq policy team: YOU ARE DUMB.
Seriously, that's the best you could come up with? Turning over the meaningless, hell, borderline FICTIONAL "Iraqi Sovereignty" two days early? That's your big solution? What kind of half-assed, spit-and-baling-wire operation are you people running over there? Oh, right, that one. The same one that's still waiting for the parades and the flowers and the hearts and the minds.
It's not even a strategy, it's like a bad Babylon 5 plot. "If we just turn the country over to the Iraqis two days early, all the insurgents will realize they're Only Fighting Themselves." Somehow I don't picture Paul Bremer with a big bone ridge on the back of his head.
Really, the only way it could have been dumber is if they'd turned sovereignty over on Monday, and didn't TELL ANYONE until Wednesday. That would have made it a Voyager plot. "See! For the past two days, you've been killing record numbers of people in organized, multi-city attacks, but you've actually been under self-rule! You thought you'd been fighting the US, but you were Only Fighting Yourselves!"
Shows you just how much this so-called "sovereignty" is worth, doesn't it? That it can be bandied about and shifted around on the schedule? All they really did was change the way the numbers are counted when the attacks and deaths are reported.
See, the next time something blows up, and if I were in a betting pool, I'd place it around 2pm Central Time today, it won't be "the latest in a lengthy and deadly series of attacks during the U.S. occupation of Iraq." Anything that happens today will be the "first major attack since the US handed over sovereignty to the Iraqi government". The Death Counter resets to zero. What the ceremony REALLY needed to drive the point home was a huge banner saying "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, AND TWO DAYS EARLY!". I hear they had one planned, but they couldn't get the aircraft carrier over all that sand.
You know what's even better? You know what everyone is expecting the first action of the New We're In Charge Really Iraqi Government is gonna be? Imposing emergency martial law on the country. I'm not sure how the Iraqi people will react to curfews, armed forces marching through the streets, random house searches, being picked up at random by the authorities... probably pretty positively, I'd think. It's tough to tell, though, because there's really no precedent for it.
Still, even after all this, there may be some of you out there thinking that now that Iraq is under self-rule, things will be different. And maybe you'd be right. But let's take a look at just what the "self-ruling" new Iraqi government is not allowed to do, shall we? They have no discretion whatsoever over whether US troops stay or go. That's probably a good idea. When you're ending your occupation in name only, you don't want to accidentally give your puppets the ability to kick you out. That's such an amateur, bonehead mistake I'm almost surprised they didn't make it.
Oh, and also, according to Reuters, the newly installed Iraqi government is "barred from making long-term policy decisions". That's fucking lovely. The good news is, because we turned over power on Monday instead of Wednesday, the definition of "long-term" now changes from "anytime after this Sunday" to "anytime after this Friday".
A -really- paranoid, conspiracy-minded person would suspect that, in the couple of days since the first box-office reports for "Fahrenheit 9/11" started pouring in, they threw this together to have a Happy Story ready to inject into the news cycle so that the top story on Monday wouldn't be "Movie We Tried Desperately To Stop And/Or Discredit Sets Huge Records, So We Didn't Learn A Fucking Thing From Al Franken's Book". But that's crazy talk.
I'm sure it's just that, in the practice sessions, Iraqis were so good at ruling themselves that they simply didn't need the extra two days of workshops.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Spastic Topic Monkey Friday

"White Chicks" opens today.
I like to think that I don't have to say anything. After all, last week, people actually chose the vastly superior "Dodgeball" over the latest Tom Hanks / Spielberg piece of manipulative bullshit, "The Terminal". It is as if, perhaps, in some small way, you all are learning.
So, ideally, this would mean that I shouldn't need to say "don't go see 'White Chicks'". In much the same way that I shouldn't need to say "don't stick your genitals in an industrial press". It should be self evident. But since its only competition is a controversial documentary and Yet Another Titanicy English Patienty Flashback Love Story, aka 'The Notebook', odds are many Americans will start looking at the industrial press with a bit of a seductive gleam in the country's collective eye.
I mean, I suppose people could go see "Fahrenheit 9/11", but hell, we can just follow everyone else's lead for the past two weeks and spout off opinion about it without actually seeing it. Saves us eight bucks and two hours, and we'll be just as well informed as anyone else is.
And now, if you don't mind, I'd like to take a brief leave of my senses and come to the defense of Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney told Patrick Leahy to either "go fuck yourself" or "fuck you" or "fuck off" yesterday. This has caused a bit of an uproar, because it was on the Senate floor, and because if there's one name that's synonymous with decorum and integrity, it's DICK CHENEY.
Please. If this is the thing Cheney gets in trouble over, you're all completely bugfuck. I mean, I'll take it, because in politics, if an insane ref decides to fuck over the other team, you don't argue. But I won't be happy about it. As the world-renowned T-shirt says, f-bombs don't kill children. Cheney's been fucking up, and fucking over, all of you for the past three years, so if you're only going to get upset when he actually utters the verb, you fuckin' deserve him.
Politics needs more swearing, more yelling. Not less. You know why? Because the vaunted "level of discourse" is a big lie. Most of these people on opposite sides of the aisle do not like each other, and do not like what each other stand for. Most of the people on both sides of the aisle are there because they like the money and the power. And they know they gotta look good to stay where the money and the power is. So whenever they want to swear or yell or slap Zell Miller upside his fucking HEAD, they instead repress.
Look at Al Gore. Back when he was worried about getting into and staying in power, Gore was Captain Repression. Wound tighter than Ann Coulter's biological clock. Didn't dare say "boo" for fear of pissing off some constituency or another. And look at him now. Yellin' and screamin' and hootin' and hollerin' and smackin' people upside their FUCKING HEADS. I guarantee you, 95% of those of us that voted for Nader in 2000, even the ones (like Humble Author) who did so 'cause theywere safely in a blue state, would have voted for the real Al Gore. Instead, we got some bland robot fucker who kept the tone civil and lost the war.
Repression always comes back to bite you on the ass. Or comes back and asks you to bite a stranger on the ass while it watches. Just ask Jack Ryan. Midwestern, Republican, Illinois Senator Jack Ryan. Married to Jeri "Trek Virgin Masturbatory Fantasy Of Nine" Ryan until about four years ago. Up for re-election. Divorce papers released. Turns out Midwestern Repressed Republican liked taking his Borg Princess out to sex clubs and tried to get her to do things with strangers that'd make Kirk blush all the way down to his cloaca. OOPS. The then Mrs. Ryan refused, but then went on to have sex with Brannon Braga, so it obviously couldn't have been on the grounds of tastefulness and decorum.
So, what have we learned? A little swearing every once in a while is good for the soul, and the re-election campaign. At least, I hope so, because if that's true, this website should propel me into Global Dictator for Life status by 20-fuckety-12.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Break Out The Little Hats

They are sinners. They are blasphemers. They know not what they do, and we shall stop them.
We can't rely on the ticket-takers to turn the undeserving away. They talk of being "open", of being "tolerant", of taking "money" in exchange for "permission to view a major summer blockbuster". Well, some of us have to answer to a higher calling. We will not permit the taking of the Unholy Catwoman by anyone. Which is why I'm organizing a grass-roots direct action group to take grass-roots direct action on July 23.
We shall be known as the Ushers of the Earthakitt.
Our principle is simple. Nobody who disagrees with our One Truth shall be allowed to see Halle Berry's "Catwoman". And the One Truth is thus: Halle Berry's "Catwoman" is an utter steaming pile of shit, the worst movie of the year, and anyone who willingly attempts to go see it is fucked in the head.
This will make it very easy to identify non-believers attempting to get in to see the movie, because anyone attempting to get in to see the movie is, by definition, a nonbeliever. And is fucked in the head. No sashes necessary.
I have anticipated your questions even before you can ask them, so allow me to answer them in the kind of snide, condescending manner that only one imbued with Righteous Truth can summon up.
Will you be wearing little hats?
Of course. We are Ushers, after all. To not wear the little hats would be a disservice to all of the Ushers who have come before us. We will also have flashlights and nametags. The flashlights will be useful for pummeling those who are fucked in the head, and the nametags will all say "Ezekiel" to confuse the unwary.
Isn't this all just a bit extreme?
Could you elaborate a bit on that answer?
If you insist. Surely you hast seen unto the trailer? Pictures of the outfit? The awful Oprah birthday performance? If you haven't, then commence ye to Google, but gird your loins, because watching Halle Berry as Catwoman actually produces what doctors are calling an "inverse erection", in which the genitals retract inside the body for up to three weeks. If the trailer can do that, the full movie is likely to cause people to turn themselves inside out starting from the crotch, and nobody wants to see that happen.
What means will be used to stop the unbelievers?
Ideally, tasers. Lots and lots of tasers. However, it's possible that we may not be able to acquire enough tasers to blanket the entire country by July 23. Given the current readership of You Are Dumb Dot Net, even assuming 100% committment to the cause, each reader would have to cover 450 multiplexes in up to five states. And given the current budget for the Ushers of the Earthakitt project, each reader would have to share the same Ray-O-Vac 9-volt battery and sponge. But we have the power of right on our side, so we will prevail.
We have about a month before the beast rises. Who's with me? And what size hat do you wear?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

You Say Potato, I Say Retardo

Hands off the potatoes, you meat-crazed carbzombies.
What's wrong, mashed cauliflower wasn't doing it for you? Tough. Youi're the one that decided that carbohydrates were Evil Incarnate. You've gotten all the restaurants to serve Meat Salads. You've clogged the aisles with your mysterious processed fake versions of baked goods. You've jacked up the meat prices for the rest of us. The line must be drawn HEAH.
And that line separated all you low-carb, Atkins, South Beach motherfuckers from my potatoes.
Dieting, you bacon-humping simpletons, is about giving things up. Giving up a little bit of everything, or giving up all of one thing. Crazy or sane, healthy or Atkins, the whole point of going on these regimens in the first place is to stop doing something. It is NOT about crossbreeding some fucking Frankenpotato* so that it's LOW-CARB.
Those are my potatoes. Those are my French Fries. My chips. You don't get them. You gave up carbs. If you miss potatoes so bad, then give up the goddamn Atkins, return to the world of normalcy, and have a Tater Tot. Leave the potatoes out of this. They are blameless, innocent creatures whose only crime is to be full of starch during a time of national insanity.
The way it seems to have worked out is this. The Dutch were fucking around with potatoes, trying to make better ones. Which is fine. I'm all for better potatoes, because that way, when I wave them under some Atkins penitent's nose to taunt them, it'll work THAT MUCH BETTER. But then they tested it and found out it had 1/3 the carbs of a russet. Nobody's saying what takes the place of that third, of course. Could be Dutch worm farts, for all I know.
So now it's all "Coming In January, The Low-Carb Potato!" and asinine marketing statements like "The combination of good Florida soils, warm temperatures and the experience of Florida producers sets the stage for delivery of a fresh potato flavor treat". That's Don Northcott, a Canadian whose job it is to pimp Dutch potatoes to Americans. That is a niche fucking job right there. I almost feel bad for him, but then I remember he turned the phrase "fresh potato flavor treat", and I want to shove metal spikes into his eyes to see if he can power a clock.
Potatoes should be one of the prizes reserved for those of us who are not dumb enough to be on Atkins. You know how dumb Atkins people are? I bet you THINK you know, but I bet you don't know. Unless you've seen the Atkins Crunchers.
Authentic Atkins-branded soy-protein crisps. Marketed as a replacement for potato chips. Some soy protein and tapioca starch, turned into tiny faux-chips, and then dusted with that same barbecue or "sour cream and onion" crap that's probably turning our DNA inside out, but who cares, because that flavor dust makes it all worthwhile. Anyway, soy protein, tapioca starch, a bit of flavor dust. One-ounce package. Price at the grocery store? $1.89.
That's THIRTY DOLLARS A POUND. If you want to snack carb-free and spend thirty dollars a pound, you should be buying lobster. And with the money you have left over, buy me a week's worth of potato chips. If you spend $30 a pound on soy protein and tapioca starch, you should be in a home. A judge should just commit you, because you should not be allowed to roam the streets. You spend $1.89 on a bag of Atkins Crunchers, and after a penny and a half for the bag and what they spend to make your ounce of chips, that's $1.87 going straight into the pockets of Atkins' estate.
It's roughly the equivalent of playing the "got your nose" game with a child, then billing the child $3,000 for "rhinoplastic services". And you Atkins chimps are lining up to pay.
* With apologies to the star of Run Lola Run and the upcoming Bourne Supremacy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


Memo to, well, everyone. SPELL OUT YOUR DAMN WORDS.
It's now officially gone too far, you see. It was annoying when Prince did it in song titles, it was annoying when you did it in chat rooms. It's annoying when you do it in message board posts. It's probably annoying when you probably write it out longhand on paper. But, as I said when I started this paragraph, officially. Too. Far.
Nestle. The multinational candy conglomerate, not the verb. Just assume from this point forward that any accent marks that are part of the official registered trademark are present whenever I type "Nestle", because it's too damn early in the morning to remember ALT-codes, OK? Anyway, Nestle. Makers of the Crunch bar. As sponsored by man-mountain Shaquille O'Neil. Their new commercial features their relatively new tagline.
The new tagline is "Why be plain, when you can be crunchy?" That's how it is on their website, and their first Shaq spot. Their second Shaq spot, however, ends with: "YB Plain? When you can be CRUNCHY". Setting aside the punctuational... irregularities, we're left with a bit of a conundrum, that conundrum being, as usual, WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?"
It's bad enough that they decided to use "YB" instead of "Why Be". Odds are, the guys working on Nestle's ad campaign are not one of the Two Acceptable Categories For Not Spelling Out Your Words, which I will get to in a bit. But they weren't even consistent! They spell out "be" in the second line, and completely forget you can, if you're going to be retarded anyway, replace "you" with "U". It's like the ad guy was typing the first line while suffering from some terminal disease, and wanted to make sure he finished the slogan before he died. But then, the doctors made a medical breakthrough halfway through "When", and he could live life to the fullest once again. It's an uplifting story. We're going to rewrite it for Valerie Bertinelli and pitch it to Oxygen for the fall.
There are, as I have already foreshadowed, Two Acceptable Categories For Not Spelling Out Your Words. These categories are based on sound reasoning. Specifically, that the time saved by leaving the "yo" off of "you" and the "ae" off of "are" is actually important and significant. "Important" and "significant" are, by the way, defined by me, not you, so I don't care how long it takes you to apply lip gloss. Sit down and shut up. You get to not spell out your words if and ONLY IF you qualify as:
DISABLED. And when I say "disabled", I don't mean "bad back" or "missing a leg" or "blind", because none of these things affects your ability to type *. I mean disabled so that you have to peck out words with a stick taped to your head, or puff out some elaborate code in a breath tube to make letters appear on the screen. You folks can spell stuff however you want, and that's fine.
TEXT MESSAGING. Not that you -should- be text messaging anyway. I'm hard-pressed to think of a situation where text messaging is the best way to communicate. But you seem to think you have to, and since you've only got the twelve buttons to cover the entire alphanumeric character set, we'll give you a pass. If you've got more than 12 buttons on your space device, though, tough shit. Spell it out.
At the risk of sounding like some kind of reanimated corpse from the dawn of prehistory, I was sending messages over modems back when all there were were 300 baud modems. 300 baud modems are like dialup. You know how slow dialup is? 300 baud is 187 times slower than that. At 300 baud, you could read your e-mail letter by letter as it transmitted over the wire. And you know what? We still spelled our fucking words out. You've got broadband, you've got keyboards with actual keys on them, you've got point and click interfaces. You have the 1.5 seconds you need to turn "u" into "you". So do it, fuckheads.
Especially if you're some 39-year-old marketing asshole at Nestle who wants to appeal to the youth demographic.
*If you've got your blind-dude voice recognition software set up to render your "are"'s as "r"'s, I don't care if you live in a world of perpetual darkness. YOU ARE DUMB.

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Great Game Of Political Grabass

Memo to the Democratic Party: YOU ARE DUMB.
Seriously. If you screw this up... fuck, HOW can you screw this up? How difficult can it be to make a case against an incompetent, corrupt, window-sill licking president who's done nothing but walk into walls for the past three years? Yet you seem to be having certain... difficulties. Like picking a Vice President.
See that? Stare hard at that picture, fuckos. See who that is locked in a passionate embrace with the captain of the U.S. Titanic? Yes, it's that independent maverick of integrity, John McCain. You remember McCain. He's the other half of what you called a "dream ticket", a bipartisan Kerry/McCain presidential campaign.
Of course, it was called a "dream ticket" because it was being proposed by people who need to WAKE THE FUCK UP. Maybe this picture will knock your dicks out of your hands long enough for you to realize that if you have to turn to John McCain to make up your dream ticket, you may be thoroughly hosed.
They said it would be so wonderful. Two men bridging the partisan divide, uniting the country in an orgy of peace and harmony. Which is a great theory until you remember that the Constitution wasn't written by those two hacks that churned out all the Dragonlance books. It don't work that way here on Planet Politics.
All the desperate courting of John McCain means is that the Democrats, thanks to 20 years of metaphorical inbreeding via focus groups and polling, have produced a crop of feeble, bland clones. I mean, you thought the Democratic PRIMARIES were bad? At least there you had a token woman, token black, and token right-wing nutjob in there to liven things up.
But the Democratic Veep pool? Overchlorinated. There's no life within five feet of it, anyone that goes into it is instantly bleached, and just looking at it makes you pass out. It's like an entire room full of people auditioning for the role of the "safe one" in the latest boy band. When John Edwards is the life of the party, no wonder you consider knocking on the door of the rival frat house looking for a good time.
But as you can see, the Democrats got spurned and wedgied. McCain's no "independent". He's no "maverick". He's just a guy who's found that it helps his image to spend most of his time at the end of his chain rather than the feet of his master. But anyone who thought he wouldn't heel when called has been living in a dream world.
At this point, the Democrats might as well just pick their vice president because his name sounds good next to "Kerry". Sorry, Gephardt. Nobody's going to care who it is anyway. Just start sticking names of your big-haired middle aged white guys who pretend to be 10 years younger than they are into the phrase "The Kerry-Blank Campaign" and see which one rolls off the tongue best. You'll probably swing as many states that way as Edwards can.
Pity there's not some guy in the House of Representatives named Jim Freebeer. They'd have this thing locked down by August with a Kerry-Freebeer ticket.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Nobody Gives A Damn

OK, I really don't get it. I don't. Someone needs to explain this to me, because you think you have a pretty good grasp of how this shit is supposed to work. You're pretty sure that as stupid and bad and retarded and insane as everything is, you've got a reasonable grasp on the upper limit. And then you check the news, and you read this:
"I was requested by the director of central intelligence to take custody of an Iraqi national who was believed to be a high-ranking member of Ansar al-Islam. And we did so. We were asked to not immediately register the individual. And we did that. He has been treated humanely. There's no implication of any problem. He was not at Abu Ghraib. He is not there now. He has never been there to my knowledge." - Donald Rumsfeld.
A bit of context not included in the direct quote. The "registering" in this instance means telling the Red Cross that we have this prisoner of war in our custody, as required by the Geneva Convention and any number of other international laws regarding POW's. And "not immediately" means "we hid him from the Red Cross for SEVEN MONTHS until the news media somehow got the story".
This, by the way, is not quite worthy of causing a brain embolism. That Rumsfeld would directly order the kind of "disappearance" usually attributed to third world dictators is not outside the range of shit I'd suspect he's capable of. Even his apparent feeling that we can just take him at his word because he's American and we don't need to follow those pesky laws because, well, we're American, that, again, is not what I would call a startling revelation.
Hell, the fact that he used Abu Ghraib, implying that Abu Ghraib is the only place anyone is even capable of being mistreated in the entire world, that's not quite enough to start blood fountaining from my ears.
"I'm never disappointed in my secretary of defense. He's doing a fabulous job and America's lucky to have him in the position he's in." - George W. Bush, after discussing the matter with Rumsfeld.
The secretary of defense, caught breaking the law, tells the President he got caught breaking the law, and the President, being a retarded lawn gnome in a suit, stands behind him 100%. The secretary of defense then holds a press conference in which he admits to breaking the law, shrugs it off, and goes about his business.
And yes, this makes me angry, but still, not completely beyond the new record-setting levels of pale we've been conditioned to accept. No, what pushes me over the edge into a fucking seizure is that nobody is going to bat an eye. Already nobody's batting an eye. CNN is all a-jitter over a suspected Al-Qaeda training video. If Google News is to be believed, over an hour after Rumsfeld admitted to outright criminal behavior, this admission has barely made a ripple across the news cycle. And as trite as it is, I can't help but think back to Clinton and his blowjobs and once again wonder, what the fuck? After all, as I watched CNN YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, there was a big news piece about Clinton's blowjobs, and nothing about Rumsfeld. Stupid liberal media.
You know who needs to be paying attention to who? All you Democrats who've had your lips super-glued to John McCain's ass need to watch your bestest buddy. I don't even particularly understand the McCain worship, what with it being largely dependent on putting your hands over your ears and yelling LA LA LA LA LA everytime anyone mentions the "Keating Five" or "savings and loan scandal". But whatever. You all love the McCain so much you want him to be Kerry's Vice-President. He's such a maverick. He's so bipartisan. If his dick were a lever, Archimedes could move the moon.
John McCain was a prisoner of war. John McCain understands the importance of the Geneva Convention. John McCain should understand that the Geneva Convention exists because you can't just take people's word for it when they say they're treating prisoners humanely. Even someone as honest and forthright as Donald Rumsfeld. If John McCain has one tenth of the alleged near-godlike integrity people seem to imbue him with, he cannot sit quietly as Rumsfeld admits publicly to intentionally, willfully, and casually violating the GC. Let's all watch together, shall we? I know where I'm placing MY bets, but I'd still love to be pleasantly suprised.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Rated "D" For Really, Really Stupid

Memo to Jack Valenti and the MPAA: YOU ARE DUMB.
I hate to do this to a man who made fun of his own cheeks on Freakazoid!, but Valenti and the MPAA have their cheeks so far up their own cheeks on the piracy thing it's insane. They are in the midst of a golden moment, a perfect opportunity to discourage 99.8% of all illegal movie downloading. It'll only take a week, tops, but they won't do it.
Here's what they're doing instead. First, they ran a series of ads in which average, blue collar stuntmen, lighting guys, and fluffers talked about how every time you download a movie off the Internet, one of their many children goes to bed hungry. And they ran these ads in movie theaters. Right before movies. Showing them to a bunch of people who had ALREADY decided to go to a theater and watch a movie instead of pirating it. Brilliant maneuver there. Valenti. Odds are, most of the people who saw those ads learned, for the first time, from those ads, that it was even POSSIBLE to download movies from the Internet.
It's a good thing Valenti wasn't the president of Redi-Whip. He'd put big signs up in supermarkets that say "If you hold the can like THIS..." (and there'd be a helpful picture of a puppy or something holding the can up to its snout) "... and sniff, you'll get really high for a little while. That wastes the dehydrated milk protein and carageenan loaded into these cans by hard-working members of the whip industry. So don't do it, OK? Even if you will get REALLY HIGH."
And now, this weekend, Valenti is rolling out a multimillion dollar ad campaign in newspapers and magazines. Valenti, who is four thousand years old, thinks that "'s a pretty damn good ad. We're optimistic." * The ads say: "Parental Guidance Suggested: Illegal downloading inappropriate for all ages.".
Some optimism. That's the kind of ad campaign that makes me want to go and download a movie this weekend just to spite him. Maybe "Garfield". Not like I'm gonna watch it or anything.
You want to know what ad campaign would stop illegal movie downloading in its tracks? It's simple. It would have worked much better, say, six months ago, but it'll work fine now. All you have to do is run ads in every major newspaper in the country. The ads say "Now, you can download movies for free off the Internet", and give a link to a site like suprnova or whatever that has links to movie downloads.
I know this seems counterintuitive, but bear with me. Let's take a sample of, say, 1,000 people who see the ads, think that's a great idea, and try to go to the site. Here's how it'll break down.
  • Number of people unable to connect to the site at all, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 172.
  • Number of people who connect to the site and realize that it'll take a month for their dialup connection to get the movie, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 316
  • Number of people who connect to the site, click on a link, and can't figure out what a "torrent" is, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 198.
  • Number of people who figure out what a torrent is, install the proper software, and can't get it to work properly, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 105.
  • Number of people who get their download started, but are unable to complete it within two days, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 78.
  • Number of people who successfully download a movie, try to run it, and only get the soundtrack because they have the wrong codec installed, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 53.
  • Number of people who have the correct codec installed, are able to watch the movie, and learn that it's a crappy camcorder bootleg where you can hear the guy in the next seat coughing up a lung for the entire movie, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 41.
  • Number of people who get a decent bootleg of a movie, watch it, and get annoyed because it's really not that convenient to watch movies by yourself in your home office sitting at a desk chair for two hours in front of a cheap Gateway 15" LCD monitor, and as a result, never bother trying to download a movie again: 35.
This leaves, out of every thousand people who actually try to download a movie off of the Internet, a grand total of TWO people not completely annoyed and disillusioned by the entire process. And these two people probably have so much in the way of gear that they've already put a much higher percentage of their income into the entertainment industry than the average person ever will in their lifetime. But like anything, downloading movies is just going to get easier as time goes by. You've got to get people trying it now, while it's a huge fucking hassle. Encourage downloading! It's the only way to stop it.
You Are Dumb Dot Net: Solving the world's problems, one mental deficient at a time.

As a result of saying the word "damn", Valenti was forced to immediately rate his statement PG (mild profanity). Valenti is appealing the rating.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Want Some Comedy With That?

Memo to the USDA and Texas: YOU ARE DUMB.
It's like some horrible SAT question gone wrong:
Reagan : Ketchup :: Bush : French Fries 
It really is funny the way Dubya is choosing to take up the "Reagan legacy", by basically taking Reagan's evil ideas and then ratcheting up the stupidity to the breaking point. Reagan cut taxes so that there'd be no money for leftist social programs; Bush does the same, but throws in a $200 billion war on top. Reagan surrounded himself with crooks and politicians on the take, Bush surrounds himself with crooks and politicians on the take from the crooked and corrupt companies they "used to" work for. Reagan slowly deteriorated into a drooling vegetable, Bush came roaring out of the gate with the mental capacity of an underfed zucchini.
Which, in a borderline-masterful segue, brings us to the regular kind of vegetables. Reagan tried to get ketchup classified as a vegetable for nutritional purposes in school lunches, and failed. Bush's USDA, two decades later, has gotten ketchup's symbiotic partner, the batter-dipped, deep-fried French Fry, classified as a "fresh vegetable". And in an unlikely triumph of Bush administration subtlety, managed to do it a YEAR AGO, and nobody noticed.
It only came out now, a year later, because someone stood to lose some money off of it. Specifically, Fleming Companies, who makes batter-dipped french fries, and is now bankrupt. The serpentine bankruptcy laws treat companies differently if they sell fresh fruits and vegetables, you see. They owe more money if french fries are fresh, so they took the USDA to court over it. This is apparently what Republicans mean by allowing market forces to self-regulate. As soon as the mass warping of the fabric of reality and the meanings of words impacts someone financially, they will then work to correct things so that "fresh vegetable" and "batter-dipped, deep-fried, frozen hunk of starch" are no longer synonyms.
Except that they sued in Texas. And in Texas, food comes in two classifications: Hacked From The Still Warm Quivering Flesh Of A Cow And / Or Steer, and Fresh Vegetable. So the Texas judge had no problems going along with the french-fry industry's argument that chopping up a potato, dipping the pieces in batter, frying them in oil, and then freezing the result is no different than waxing a cucumber. Yee. Haw.
Representatives from the USDA, dimly aware of an epic public relations clusterfuck, were quick to reassure the American public that the ruling did not apply to nutrition, only to laws involving commerce. That's comforting. They're only behaving in a completey insane way in order to pander to huge food-processing conglomerates! They're not expecting anyone to actually BELIEVE that a batter-dipped french fry is a fresh veggie, they just want to call it one so that their corporate friends can use the loophole to get more money!
In a related story that is not real but instead invented to set up the standard comedy premise of taking the already ludicrous real-life example and extending it to other products, tortilla chips will be considered "corn on the cob" for purposes of interstate commerce, the Wonder corporation will now be receiving subsidies for all the "wheat" it "grows", and employees are now designated as "children" for tax purposes, allowing your company to claim you as a dependent. But don't worry. When it comes to school lunches, tortilla chips, Wonder bread, and human employees will retain their scientifically determined nutritional value. At long last, somebody thought of the children.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Big-Eyed Psychic Taco Ninjas

Today, we clean up some odds and ends.
In a predictive shock, I was right back in March about the Supreme Court being giant pussies and allowing the whole "Under God" thing in the Pledge of Allegiance. I actually underestimated their level of weenieness, as they threw it out on a technicality, saying that the guy who was suing on behalf of his daughter didn't have the legal right to bring the lawsuit in the first place. Nice to know that the Supreme Court is afraid to take a stand on an issue, since it's not, you know, their fucking job or anything.
I mean, how difficult could this be? Hell, I passed judgment on this decisively two and a half months ago, and I'm just one guy. Plus, I've got a day job. There's nine of them, and judging stuff is all they do. Allegedly.

But I must rejoice in the correctness of my prediction, because not only did an Usher of the Eucharist e-mail me to inform me that I am going to Hell*, but now it turns out that 75% of all online anime roleplayers find You Are Dumb dull, unfunny, and blah. I'd like to thank the people at GaiaOnline for their opinions, because it provides me with important demographic information. Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to better tailor the column toward big-eyed goth schoolgirls, scarf-wearing angel-devil-moth hybrid children with sunglasses, and scarf-wearing bat-winged Eskimos with dead baby seals on their feet.
Luckily, I have managed to capture the vital torso-baring big-eyed cat-girl demo. "Funny in a way that makes you want to punch him" really needs to be worked into a new T-Shirt design or something.

One week ago today, in the capital of Iowa, a man was arrested for assault after hurling a chalupa into the face of a Taco Bell employee who had screwed up his order. The man's name? Christopher Lame. Despite the incredible comedy potential summed up in the word "chalupa" and the name "Lame"; my almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Taco Bell menu, and this occurring in Iowa, this item did not make it into a full column here at You Are Dumb. In an attempt to lay bare the inner workings of the site to appeal to the DVD-commentary-listening crowd, allow me to explain why Christopher Lame is not DUMB.
  • Christopher's name is not his fault. He must have had Lame parents.
  • Christopher used his Chalupa as a weapon, rather than an item of food. Anyone who's ever bitten into a Chalupa knows he made the wise choice.
  • Christopher fought against the forces of DUMB. Sure, he did so in a completely inappropriate manner that got him arrested, but still. He was given the wrong item, and he did not simply drive away and force the awful chalupa down his throat. He took ACTION. In the future, I hope Mr. Lame learns to channel his anger in a more productive direction. Just as long as that direction isn't toward, say, the angry-rants-making-fun-of-idiots direction, because once I figure out how to appeal to the other three quarters of the online anime roleplayers, I'll have this fucking market SEWN UP TIGHT.
  • Christopher struck while the employee wasn't looking. Which means he may be a ninja. Or at least a ninja in training, since he failed to obscure his license plate before driving away, leading to his eventual arrest and capture. You don't mess with ninjas, man. Not even in online angry-rants-making-fun-of-idiots columns. Not if you want to keep your trachea free of throwing stars.

* Technically, according to the e-mail, I'm only going to Hell if I'm a Catholic. Otherwise, I'll just be in purgatory for a very long time. The Usher never did answer the question of whether or not they wear the little hats, which is disappointing.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Insert Beatles Song Joke Here

Memo to religious obsessives: YOU ARE DUMB.
I know, I know. How many times can I nail a dead horse to a cross? I do try to wait at least three days between instances, to allow the horse to resurrect itself, but still. On the other hand, punks keep getting up to get knocked down, as they say. Specifically, Southern religious punks. From the lovely small town of Alexandria, VA. Where God works in mysterious ways.
They say that when God closes a door, he opens a window. An enlightening analogy, yes, but somewhat inappropriate-sounding when you're talking about someone's bathroom. You see, in Alexandria, LA, there is a family. A family named Cross. And the Cross family has a bathroom, and the bathroom has a window, and outside that bathroom there is a store, and outside that store there is a light. And when the light shines through the window, which is yellow and frosted, some people say they can see... wait for it... a CROSS.
This has kicked off a bit of a fervor in Alexandria, LA, where schools apparently lump "refraction" in with "evolution" and "human sacrifice" as inappropriate subject matter, and where there is apparently nothing better to do than get yourself worked up into a Baptist frenzy over your neighbor's shitter.
Not everyone sees a cross, of course. Wouldn't want the bathroom miracle to remain consistent. Some people see many crosses. Some people see an angel, and some people see a crown of thorns. That last one kills me, because other than artistic representations, there aren't a lot of crowns made of thorns lying around for comparison. They're not next to the wicker baskets at Wal-Mart.
So you can imagine why I'd be a bit skeptical when, say, Zelma Seals McCoy is quoted as exclaiming "I see the thorns. I see the thorns. God is real."
I know that this column tends to be written from what might be considered a somewhat... secular perspective, but let's assume, for the moment, that the Judeo-Christian god is the one true god, as real as a Hostess fruit pie and twice as nice. What kind of fucking backhanded, half-ass respect do these people think they're giving Him? God is great! God is all-powerful! God has chosen to reveal His Divine Self through a stain on a rock, an oddly-shaped potato, and if that weren't low-rent enough, a LOUISIANA BATHROOM WINDOW. Behold the majesty of The Lord Our God, and don't forget to flush!
Now, if the waters of the toilet bowl were to part, and a bunch of silverfish, led by one silverfish holding a staff, were to then cross the bowl, we might be talking here. But it strikes me as incredibly disrespectful to attribute a vague light effect to your omnipotent uberbeing with such fervor and stupidity. Stupidity as evidenced in the Book of Lambert, verse 24, paragraph 2: "And lo, there shall come a time upon the Earth when the dull-witted shall speak, and their spakings shalt be recorded by a small-town journalism intern, and the recordings shall be posted upon the World Wide Web, and then reposted at a time known as the EPOCH OF THE DIVINE SPAKINGS." Which modern theologians prefer to translate as ACTUAL QUOTE TIME.
"It's shocking to see so many people, people my age, people I went to school with." - Roncey Miles, daughter of the Cross matriarch, and the first to see the cross. Yes, in a small town in Louisiana, many of the people who came to look at a cross in a bathroom window are peole Miles knew and went to school with. It is as if they never left the small Southern town of their birth. IT IS LIKE UNTO A MIRACLE.
"It was so amazing, so breathtaking." - Andrewnette Sampson, leaving me the perfect opportunity to make another "stinky bathroom" joke. But instead, I will take the high road and just make fun of all the names listed in the article, like "Andrewnette Sampson", "Roncey Miles", "Ricky Beauregard", and poor, poor little 7-year-old "Keraneicia Aaron", who is destined to spend her entire adult life sighing with exasperation before spelling out her name a fourth time to outsourced call center employees in third world countries.
If God wanted to work a miracle, he should have shown up in a delivery room seven years ago and saved the poor Aaron girl from her fate. Unfortunately, He was much too busy at the time painstakingly forming the image of the Virgin Mary into a single Cool Ranch Dorito bound for Oklahoma. Hey, he can't be everywhere at once.

Friday, June 11, 2004

No Stupid "Mourning" Puns

Happy National Day of Mourning, everyone! I sure hope I can get to the mall before the Day of Mourning Sales are over.
Oh, wait. National days of mourning are fucking stupid. Never mind.
It's not even necessarily that it's Reagan. I understand there are a lot of people, especially people with money and power, that practically worship our newest corpse-in-chief. That's fine. And for these people, these Reagan conservatives, NOTHING is too good for Reagan. Not processions, not ritual, not getting his smiling face on whatever they can manage.
Well, OK. Stem cell research that might have made his last years less of a living hell, THAT was too good for him, but then them's the price you pay when you cozy up to Jerry Falwell in the 80's to get your job. Oh, sure, Nancy can ask all she wants for the embryonic stem cells, but the fundie monster Ron helped create is running science now. The irony is palpable. I mean, the closest I could come to an analogy is if, say, a whole bunch of our problems right now were caused by a group of nutjobs in some country that Ronnie funded and armed because they were fighting the Soviet Un.... oh. Wait. Shit.
But aside from it being Reagan, why we need an official day of mourning six whole days after Reagan died is beyond me. It's 2004, folks. I'm sorry, but we all live faster now. Even the Amish had heard and mourned and were done with the whole thing by Wednesday noon. Give us some credit. Many of us have high speed Internet access at home, work, or our local libraries.
At this point, we should have had a National Hour-Forty-Five of Mourning. Let's say on Tuesday, 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, tape delayed for the Pacific. Mountain time, check your local listings. That would have covered it. It's not as if all those people had to walk past the casket. Please. 80% of those fuckers were doing it just so they could say they did. Of the 20% who had some kind of valid connection to Reagan, at least half of those could have been weeded out by some fair, egalitarian process. Get Katherine Harris on that job, come to think of it.
We have things called cameras. We can even use the hi-def ones. Rent out some theaters. People can walk past the screen of their local Multiplex. Touch the screen, get some nachos, make a morning of it. What do you think, you're gonna be able to smell him in the rotunda or something? If you sense the faint reek of death and decay, odds are it's coming from the sweaty bastard behind you. STAY HOME.
I mean, if I were... someone completely different, I could totally justify walking past the casket. I mean, back in '84, the school band I was in played for a Reagan re-election rally in Rochester, NY. I was in the SAME ARENA as Reagan. We shared a deep personal connection. I helped, in some small way, to get him re-elected*. I could totally get away with going and pay my respects. But I'm not a self-obsessed dickhead with an overactive thyroid**.
Some of you may be asking, at this moment, "Who are YOU to judge how other people grieve?" I say this, because there are now a whole bunch of new people reading the site. I'd like to extend a hale and hearty YAD welcome to the Barony of Nordskogen and all you sick fucks googling your hearts out for every last detail of the Heemeyer Granby Armored Bulldozer Rampage. Anyway, for future reference, judging is kinda what I do around here. At least, whenever I see something DUMB.
* For those wondering, yes, I did throw up, just a little, in my mouth as I typed that.
** The thyroid's the one that makes you all maudlin and melodramatic, right? Whatever.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hey, Wasn't There Something About Torture?

Memo to all you suckers out there: YOU ARE DUMB.
Seriously. If anyone out there is still in the "it was just seven bad apples performing fraternity pranks" crowd when it comes to U.S.-sanctioned torture, you need to stop staring at what you had for breakfast two hours ago, pull your head out, and join the rest of us in the big wide world of PAYING ATTENTION.
I know it's not easy, what with non-stop footage of people walking slowly past a casket occupying your time 24/7, but bear with me here. Things are still happening outside of Washington DC's necrophilic orgy, and if you've been relying on the "bad apples" theory to help you sleep at night, better stock up on warm milk.
Obviousy, the Bush Administration does not support torture. We know this, because John Ashcroft and Scott McLellan told us so. Scott McLellan, as White House press secretary, must be inherently trustworthy. After all, the job description of "press secretary" is to go out and tell the press what he's been TOLD TO SAY. And if he's been told to say the Bush administration doesn't support torture, and it wasn't true, he'd do what all the other press secretaries do all the time. Tell the truth, blow the whistle, and become famous. Riiiiight.
But John Ashcroft says so too, and if anyone would know about the Bush administration's attitude toward torture, it'd be John Ashcroft. Because Ashcroft is the one the Bush administration asked to look into whether or not it'd be OK TO TORTURE PEOPLE.
Ashcroft's response, by the way, basically boiled down to "If the people actually doing the torturing say they didn't -mean- to torture anyone, they'll probably get away with it". Oh, and he also provided the legal opinion that the President can do whatever the hell he wants as long as he's acting in his role as Commander In Chief, and laws barring torture really don't apply to him.
In case you're still confused, allow me to provide you with a lewd analogy including profanity to possibly clear things up. This is as if a creepy, 37-year-old gym teacher at the local high school were to spend, say, three hours a night on the Internet researching age-of-consent laws for his state, educational ethics, and district policy, and then claiming he is in NO WAY interested in fucking the head of the cheerleading squad.
But hey. Let's all take a big hit of the crack for a second so we can pretend that they're not lying. Which means they're incompetent fucktards, not evil fucktards. Because they went to a bunch of lawyers and asked them to prepare a 50+ page report on whether or not they could get away with something they DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO DO. Can you imagine how many billable hours went into that? Makes Pentagon hammers look like a bargain.
I mean, at least when 800 of our tax dollars are spent on a toilet seat, it's being used for shit containment. I suppose Ashcroft and Bush could wipe their asses with this report, but why bother, when they've got a perfectly good Constitution and flag to tide them over until at least November?
At least the assholes who think it doesn't matter what we do to brown furriners because they're brown furriners are ignorant evil redneck fucks with a firm grasp of reality. They know we're torturing people as policy, they just don't CARE. But the "bad apples" people need to realize that our current administration felt the need to check to see just how much torture they could get away with. And I guess we're all finding out the answer to that together, ain't we.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled non-stop coverage of DUDE IN A BOX.

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

Bragging Rights and Assholes

Memo to the asshole on Highway 169 North: YOU ARE DUMB.
In fact, let's expand the mandate a bit to any asshole who permanently affixes something to the back of their car without actually thinking about what it says. Like getting a tattoo when you're drunk, it's a bad idea. Case in point. People who spend their money on personalized license plates that say something that was already on the back of their car for free. I've seen a Lexus with the license plate "LEXUS", a four by four with the plate "4 X 4", etc. I can only assume they got hung up on the idea of a personalized license plate, only to discover, to their horror, that there was nothing at all interesting about them, so they panicked.
Similarly, bumper stickers. If you must express a viewpoint using your car's ass as a medium, put some thought into it. Take some care. Try to show us something we haven't seen before. And try to show us something that makes sense.
Which brings us to the asshole on 169. Driving there on Monday afternoon, we saw a bumper sticker that said: "NO ONE CAN KILL AMERICANS AND BRAG ABOUT IT. NO ONE."
Which is an incredibly odd sentiment to put on your car if you take it literally. I mean, no one can play ping-pong with their own spleen, either, but you don't see people with "DOWN WITH SPLEEN-PONG" bumper stickers. If it's so impossible that you have to state not once, but TWICE, that "no one" can do it, then what's there to be concerned about? Obviously, for it to be enough of a problem to warrant a bumper sticker, SOMEONE must be killing Americans and bragging about it.
Maybe he means Dubya? After all, as Governor of Texas, our president presided over 134 executions, including children and the mentally disabled. And in an infamous Talk magazine interview, openly mocked one of them (Karla Faye Tucker). Perhaps he's still incensed at the President's callous attitude toward life and death?
Of course, Americans kill Americans all the time. Maybe he means the perpetrators of the thousands of murders in the US every year. I bet some of them brag. Corporate polluters? The NRA? Those guys at Enron who had the parties and the cheering during the California wildfires? Hm.
That's the problem with unclear bumper stickers. We simply don't know. Oh, of course we could play the ODDS, and assume that since he 's so hung up on Americans being killed and bragged about that it must be non-Americans that are doing the killing and the bragging. Heck, we could even play the odds further, and assume that he means filthy brown Ay-Rabs that are doing the killing and the bragging and must be stopped.
Which brings with it its own set of problems, doesn't it? Because for that to work, for the 169 asshole to be able to take a moral high ground so absolute that it can be printed on vinyl and adhered, permanently, to a steel bumper, then Americans would have to be so noble that none of us would ever even consider bragging about killing foreigners...
But this is my point. Ten minutes of sober reflection would have revealed to the 169 asshole that the entire point of his bumper sticker is demolished by the mere existence of Ann Coulter. He'd have reached the conclusion that putting this bumper sticker on his car would make him an asshole, and, ideally, not done it, thus simultaneously saving hundreds of drivers from having to read assholery and depriving me of fodder for the column.
Today's article has been brought to you by yee-haw jingoism and the numbers one, six, and nine.

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

A Man, A. Plan, A Montage... GRANBY!

Memo to the fine people of Granby, Colorado. We understand your tragedy and trauma, and we're here to help you in your time of need. Not with rebuilding your downtown, no. We can't help with that. But we can help you not be so fucking dumb.
For those who didn't know, Granby, CO is a small town north of Denver. And on Friday, a disgruntled member of that community got in his armored bulldozer and started wrecking shit.
Because nobody was injured during the rampage, I am comfortable saying that in many ways, 52 year old Marvin John Heemeyer is my hero. Because he built an ARMORED BULLDOZER. I can't help it. I grew up watching the A-Team. When a guy feeling downtrodden by the system welds inch-thick armored plating to a bulldozer and starts knocking buildings down, all I can think is, "I love it when a plan comes together."
The only difference is, unlike Hannibal Smith, Heemeyer did not fly off into the sunset, chomping a cigar after just having slipped Mr. T some knockout drops in a glass of milk. Instead, Heemeyer, who had welded himself into the cab, allegedly took his own life before police finally blasted through the armor and managed to drag out his corpse. This is admittedly less inspiring. But still. ARMORED BULLDOZER. Wreckin' stuff.
And, in certain specific ways, the people of Granby, CO had it comin'. Please allow me to enumerate these ways in the honored tradition of my people. In my native tongue, this tradition is called ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"People knew he was building the armored bulldozer, but they didn't know why he was building it," - Shawn Nelson, proprietor and/or employee of Duke's Gunsmithing in downtown Granby. Marvin John Heemeyer was a crazy, pissed off muffler shop owner. He was building an armored bulldozer. I can understand the desire to give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt, but what possible other uses for an armored bulldozer could there BE? But wait, it gets better.
"He was talking about the sale of his business, and how he had to pay too much money for it, and how the town was involved in undercutting him, and would charge him excessive taxes and all these other fees that they had not assessed to other people. He said, 'By God, I am going to bulldoze those businesses,' the businesses of all the people who'd done this to him," - Bonnie Brown, who went out drinking with Heemeyer and other acquaintances from time to time.
So he says he's going to bulldoze everyone who'd done him wrong, and he was building an armored bulldozer, and the town of Granby, Colorado is now SHOCKED, SHOCKED that the man witnesses described as a "teddy bear" took his armored bulldozer and bulldozed everyone who did him wrong. Frankly, I don't think Granby gets to bemoan the loss of its town hall and library, because they obviously weren't being used anyway. Heemeyer did them a favor.
And here's the topper. "It's a nightmare. This is the kind of thing that happens in big cities." - Terri Hertel, who lives behind YET ANOTHER DOWNTOWN GRANBY GUN STORE. And is an idiot.
This is not the kind of thing that happens in big cities. Do you know why? Because big cities breed an entirely different kind of pissed off person than Marvin Heemeyer. And even if they didn't, in big cities, bulldozers are considerably more difficult to come by if you own a muffler shop. And even if they weren't, if you start welding one inch armor plating to a bulldozer in a big city, someone is going to notice and stop you. And even if they don't, in a big city, it's much more difficult to maneuver your armored bulldozer through traffic to hit buildings. And even if it's a light traffic day, many of the buildings in downtown big cities would shrug off an armored bulldozer like a pesky fly.
No, this kind of thing only happens in tiny, podunk towns full of hicks in gun shops where a man building a tank in his backyard is considered "quaint" and unworthy of concern, and it is subsequently a shock when said tank comes crashing through your front door. Perhaps Granby has learned its lesson. Perhaps not. After all, they are DUMB.

Monday, June 7, 2004

I Hate Morning In America

Memo to the media: HURRY UP.
Let's just get it over with quickly, since we can't escape it. After all, when Nixon died, all of a sudden he was some kind of great statesman, instead of the drunken racist filthy crook that all those pesky facts pointed to. So now Ronnie has finally kicked it, and I know you're all lining up to jerk off his corpse and display your Photoshopped soft-focus portraits with the waving flag behind them, but move through it as quickly as you can, because I just ate.
In one sense, it was like God thought this weekend was my birthday, because first Creed broke up, and then Reagan died. But if there's one thing Ronald Reagan and an Islamic militant have in common, it's that they were both of more use to me drooling in a house somewhere than actually dead, because death makes them martyrs.
I can't even imagine what kind of cathartic apotheosis must have been happening on Fox News this weekend. Unclean worship of Reagan is one of those freakish arch-conservative points of view that they've managed to mainstream to the point where if you don't love "The Gipper", you're a commie. Just ask CBS.
And that's another thing. Ronald Reagan wasn't the fucking Gipper. George Gipp was the fucking Gipper. How rude is that, anyway, to just up and assume the fucking persona of someone in the real world who you happened to play in a movie? I bet all those Young Republicans out there weeping in their Coors this morning would have a fucking embolism if James Brolin started calling himself the "Great Communicator".
Reagan was the reason my generation shit itself when they ran "The Day After". "The Day After" does not hold up well. It's not actually a particularly good movie. But with Ronnie and his fucking plastic hair running things, there was a palpable sense in the air that at any moment, he could have some kind of communist hallucination, or press the wrong button, and rain nuclear fire down upon us all.
I mean, we were terrified of STEVE FUCKING GUTTENBERG walking around on a soundstage full of the simulated styrofoam rubble of 80's civilization. How the hell can you deify the man most responsible for an entire nation being freaked out by STEVE GUTTENBERG? I mean, as bad as Iran-Contra was, as bad as the October Surprise was, as bad as Reaganomics was, that's the most chilling indictment of the Reagan years right there. We were so fucked up as a country under Reagan that Steve Guttenberg TV-movies were giving children legitimate nightmares.
Bet they don't mention THAT in any of the four thousand retrospectives you're gonna see in the next two months.
Luckily, unlike Reagan, the death of Creed has NO DOWNSIDE WHATSOEVER. So even while Dan Rather waxes poetic over slow-mo footage of that evil retard president (the dead one) smiling, we too can maybe smile, just a little. Because as horrible as the wor