Tuesday, November 30, 2004

One Shy Of The Eggroll Requirement

Memo to liberals: YOU'RE DUMB, TOO.
I've been sitting on this for a while, letting it percolate over the last month, but I think it's time to unveil the Top Five Dumb Liberal Fallacies. The five things many liberals believe that lost the 2000 election, lost the 2004 election, and will lose the 2006 and 2008 elections if we don't learn from our fucking mistakes.
FALLACY THE FIRST: There are more of us than there are of them.
You hear this one in a number of forms. This year, it was called Get Out The Vote. The idea was that pretty much all of Them were voting, and all of Us usually don't bother, so if all of Us vote, we'll win! Unfortunately, as it turned out, a whole bunch of them weren't voting either, and they were a lot easier to scare and prod and goad into voting. This fallacy is the root of the Cell Phone Hope and the Youth Vote Hope, and we know where that shit got us, don't we?
It also shows up in the belief that people, even Republican voters, are actually liberals if you sit down with them and ask them about individual issues. There are citable studies to back this one up and everything. But even if it's true, it doesn't really matter, because they're still voting REPUBLICAN. This ties directly into Fallacy The Second.
FALLACY THE SECOND: Elections are decided on the issues.
Please. The left should be prohibited by law from using the word "issues" in any non-periodical sense during an election year. And the year before. And the year after. People don't vote based on the issues. Even the people who say they vote based on the issues are lying to themselves and you. The people that actually do vote based on the issues will take care of themselves, because they'll look stuff up and figure out where they stand and they don't need you to tell them what the issues are. Everyone else is swayed by base emotions, personality, celebrity, tradition, religion, and whim.
Stop wishing for a "substantive discussion of the issues". It'll never happen, it can't happen, and nobody will show it if it did because nobody will watch it if they did. The "issues" are what you do AFTER you get elected.And even those don't matter if you can lie convincingly about what you did or didn't do.
FALLACY THE THIRD: People voting Republican are ignorant.
This is the tricky one. Because a lot of people voting Republican ARE ignorant. So are a lot of people in general. This is why elections aren't decided on the issues. The fallacy lies in the missionary fervor by which the left feels they can EDUCATE the ignorant into voting their way. Michael Moore said "Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them." Noble. Quixotic. IMFUCKINGPOSSIBLE. Or at least too much work for four years.
Educating people is difficult, time-consuming, and frequently futile. We shouldn't be concentrating on enlightening the ignorant. We just need to find a way to get them to pull the other fucking LEVER with a minimum of muss and fuss. We thought in 2004 that if people could just learn the truth, that Bush would be out on his ass. Bush is not out on his ass, and if people couldn't learn the truth about the CHIMP, they're not going to learn the truth about anybody. New approach, people. One that works.
FALLACY THE FOURTH: "The future of America is blue."
I've heard this shit bandied around as part of the left's desperate, post-election grasping at straws. Looking at the exit polls and the demographics and noticing that the young people vote Blue and the old people vote Red and conclude that if we just wait, eventually, all the blue young people will be blue old people and all the red old people will be dead. I have one question for these people: WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING HIPPIES? We should be choking on 35 years of accumulated patchouli and love beads by now, and we're not.
People get more conservative as they age. They have more to lose, more to protect, more to be scared of. Just ask Dennis Miller, assuming you can find a way to do that without listening to his answer. That's why the numbers are skewed. These people are blue now, but there's no guarantee they'll be blue by the time everyone terrified of gay marriage dies off. If that's what the left is relying on, we're more hosed than we look, and that's already so hosed you'd need a dozen of those mail-order motorized hosed organizers just to keep track of how hosed we are.
FALLACY THE FIFTH: There is a "middle" to appeal to.
Clinton grabbed a big chunk of the middle. Bush grabbed a big chunk of it back. The middle is gone Let it go. Karl Rove did. Everyone said he was fucked in the head, abandoning the middle to make sure his crazy assholes all voted, but it turns out he was fucked in the head like a FOX.
Kerry and Edwards appeased NOBODY by their half-assed stance on gay marriage, because there was no middle still susceptible to Clintonian half-assing on controversial issues. All they did was convince US they'd turn on Team Selfish Hedonism the instant it became convenient, and convinced THEM they'd turn on Team Missionary Position One Sunday A Month the instant it became convenient.
There are more, of course. But these are the big five for '06 and especially '08. Learn, change, or perish, people.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Prepare To Say "Ew" At Least Twice

When they came for the gays and bisexuals, I said nothing, because I'm straight. When they came for the smokers, I said nothing, because I don't smoke. When they came for the fast food, I said nothing, because, well, I really should stop eating that shit anyway. But when they came for the porn, nobody was left to speak for me except all the other skinny straight folks with good lungs, but none of them would say anything 'cause they were too busy spanking it.
In case you thought that perhaps the replacing of John Ashcroft with Alberto "I Heart Torture" Gonzalez might see the drapes covering Blind Justice's titty removed and replaced with a bit of leather bondage gear or a black hood, you will be sorely disappointed. Ashcroft's career's corpse (which he also lost an election to - funny story) was barely cold when, two Thursdays ago, Congress was learning that porn was worse than crack.
When I heard this, at first, I wanted to think this was the result of confusion. Perhaps they meant that porn contained a lot of crack, ass and otherwise, and also contained other, non-crack stuff. But no, the crazy people advising YOUR lawmakers meant that porn caused an addiction far worse than crack cocaine.
Who were these medical geniuses, bringing their carefully researched findings to our contemplative legislative body? Well, we do have Mary Anne Layden, from the University of Pennsylvania sexual trauma and psychopathology program. That sounds reasonably legitimate, plus, her name has "lay" in it, allowing for puerile comedy opportunities. But then it gets, as the kids say, freaky-deaky.
There's Jeffery Satinover, who works to CURE HOMOSEXUALITY. Much like creationists and people who use the word "islamofascist" seriously, anyone who claims to work in the field of curing our friends from Team Selfish Hedonism immediately forfeits their right to be taken seriously about anything ever. All they do is create a bunch more frustrated, pissed-off, closeted faux-straights, which we have a generous surpus of already, thanks.
And then there's Judith Reisman of the California Protective Parents Association, a group that's long been at odds with the California Just Leave The Little Bastards In The Car Foundation. Actually, the CPPA's agenda is preventing incest and rape, which is tough to argue with, but anyone who uses the word "erototoxins" to describe porn does not strike me as the kind of reasoned, sane face you want to use to represent your organization. "Erototoxins"? It sounds like the kind of thing you'd see in a Trek slashfic where Kirk fucks some kind of plant-woman. And then Spock has to suck the erototoxins out of Kirk to save his life.
Reisman also suggested that pornography be countered by advertisements on buses that say fucking children is wrong. Great idea, but if the bus ads we have NOW worked at all, I'd be so busy trying to listen to every different radio station in the Twin Cities metro that I wouldn't have the TIME to fuck children.
But it's Satinover who really takes the cake. We're all healthy, rational adults here, so without revealing any personal information, quietly compare your own personal experience with the following quote, and see how close they match up. It's ACTUAL WANKER QUOTE TIME!
"Pornography really does, unlike other addictions, biologically cause direct release of the most perfect addictive substance. That is, it causes masturbation, which causes release of the naturally occurring opioids. It does what heroin can't do, in effect.
First of all, he said "most perfect", which is stupid, and is a construction that drives me up the fucking wall semantically, but besides that - masturbation releases the PERFECT addictive substance? Please. Most people hooked on heroin can't hold down steady jobs, and slowly decline into Requiem for a Dream territory. I guarantee there are a LOT more masturbators out there than there are heroin addicts, and if masturbation were that addictive, we wouldn't have the energy to produce the porn that would be entirely superfluous ANYWAY. We'd have died out as a species centuries ago, either from starvation or mass drowning.
But fear not! Your government is hard at work attempting to wipe the scourge of porn out with the hand towel of justice. Those pesky 9/11 recommendations can wait, there's MASTURBATING to stop!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet Week (Day Five)

Welcome to the final day of Creationists: The Stupidest People On Earth Week here at You Are Dumb. We've covered a lot of ground this week, ranging from stupid creationists to idiot creationists to moron creationists to racist innumerate fucktard creationists to a president who has no problem supporting creationists.
Let's take one last peek into the fucked up minds of the Six Thousand Year Universe people, shall we? Or even, in the case of "Molatar Seth Pyrargent", the ten thousand year old universe people.
You may have seen references to "MSP" on the Internet this week - his site appears to have been discovered and passed around to the point of server-crashing. MSP is a self-proclaimed transspecies dragon shapeshifting evangelist who feels it is his job to bring the Gospel to the furry and werewolf communities.
Molatar is one of the Broken People. People who, for whatever reason, cannot cope with the world at all, and retreat into fantasy worlds and subcultures in an attempt to find a purpose, a place for themselves. Molatar is fairly unique in this regard in that usually people EITHER hook up with the Sonic-Fuckers OR the Psycho Jesus-Freaks, but Molatar has dedicated himself to uniting the worlds of people who like drawings of centaur dicks and people who like big-eyed porcelain angels.
I'm not going to make too much fun of Molatar - there's no sport in the powerless, terminally fucked-up. Plus, if he does succeed in turning the furries into rabid (so to speak) Christians, I might have to start showing up at Sunday services just to watch the resulting culture-clash implosion. But what's interesting about Molatar is that, even in the grips of MULTIPLE psychotic delusions, he's able to say that "I don't believe the Earth is as young as 6000 years." Admittedly, he then goes on to add only 4,000 years to the total, and spout some completely insane bullshit about God making the Earth's magnetic field super-strong, but he's still, technically, 67% more sane than the people petitioning your school board these days. And he thinks he can turn into a dragon if he concentrates hard enough.
Molatar is not the problem. You are. Or, rather, the person next to you is.
Just this week, a CBS News poll shows that 55% of the people they surveyed (885 adults, margin of error +/- three percent) believe that humans were placed on Earth in their current form by God. That humans didn't, and don't, evolve. About half that number, 27%, take the more reasonable view that humans did evolve, but that God created the process of evolution. And about half of THAT number, 13%, believe that whatever god or gods exist or don't stayed the fuck out of the whole species thing.
If the poll is correct, some form of creationism ends up with a higher margin of victory than BUSH. An even higher margin, 65%, felt that creationism should be taught side-by-side with evolution in public schools, and a whopping 37% thougth that creationism should REPLACE evolution in schools.
Lest you think, by the way, that this is ENTIRELY a red/blue state thing. out of those 885 people, some unspecified number (around 40%) voted for Kerry. And of those who voted for Kerry, nearly a quarter also felt that evolution should be scrapped in schools in favor of the Judeo-Christian creation myth. And the Democrats wants to move farther to the right to appeal to 2008 voters? I think they've locked up all the drooling morons they can manage at this point.
And this, by the way, is after 17 years of creationism being booted out of the public schools. So what can we do about it? We have to grow a pair. We have to stop respecting the opinions of people who say the sky is plaid. We have to realize that "Intelligent Design" theory boils down to "we don't know and we can never know", and thus, even if it weren't complete bullshit, is not a topic that belongs in BIOLOGY textbooks. Save it for philosophy class. We have to reject, outright, the efforts of people to demean and devalue the work of thousands of dedicated scientists just because it doesn't mesh with what they larnt in Sunday scherl.
If these people want to rot their own children's brains, that's fine. That's what their home life is for, after all. Believe what you want to believe. Spend 28 grand on a Virgin Mary cheese sandwich. But that's not what they want. They want the rest of us to follow their rules, too. Eat what their book says we should eat. Fuck who and when their book says it's OK for us to fuck. And learn only what their book tells us we need to know, plus maybe a class on Microsoft Word so we can print angel borders for our fucking scrapbooking projects.
Fuck them and the dinosaurs they rode in on.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Creationists: The Stupidest People On the Planet Week (Day Four)

Memo to Creationists: YOU ARE STILL DUMB.
Welcome to Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet Week: Day Four. Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you've checked in before the L-Tryptophan hit your brain, or you might find yourself agreeing with the creationists, who believe that as recently as 500 years ago, Thanksgiving was celebrated by eating Triceratops, mashed potatoes, and gravy. If you can count the number of things wrong with that sentence, congratulations! You can count higher than a creationist!
We know the creationists are out there. We know they're not that bright. And we know that, in a few small communities, they are gaining a toehold by getting "intelligent design" bullshit into textbooks or classrooms, thanks to a few highly-placed godly types on school boards. But schools aren't the only place the Six Thousand Year Universe People are pulling their crap. It's a big wide world, and hey, we've had a science-hating born-again president for four years...
I'd like to introduce you all to Tom Vail. whose middle name is probably not "Iwaseducatedforyearstonoa". Tom Vail works at the Grand Canyon. You remember the Grand Canyon. Like dinosaurs, the Grand Canyon is a bit of a gigantic, pesky thorn in the side to creationists, because, well, we know how fast erosion is, we know how deep the Grand Canyon is, and when you do the math, you come up with a number a lot bigger than 6,000. Or... do you? It's ACTUAL CREATIONIST QUOTE TIME!
"For years, as a Colorado River guide, I told people how the Grand Canyon was formed over the evolutionary time span of millions of years. Then I met the Lord. Now I have a different view of the Canyon, which according to a biblical time scale, can?t possibly be more than a few thousand years old."
Now, that's just fine. Well, not FINE, I mean, he is, after all, wrong, but he's wrong on a personal and individual level as a result of "having met the Lord". The Lord never shows up to my parties. Although to be fair, I haven't invited him into my heart, because as this website clearly shows, my heart is not nearly big enough to host the kind of party the Lord would show up to. He's welcome at my apartment anytime, though. He doesn't even have to bring snacks.
The problem with Tom Vail is that he feels so strongly that his life in the Grand Canyon has been a lie, that he has compiled a book. "The Grand Canyon, A Different View". Creationists like terms like "different view" or "alternate view", because those sound much nicer than "wrong". I would love to be able to present my bank with a book entitled "Five Minus Three: A Different View", in which, through rhetorical wordplay, ad hominem attacks, and general ramblings, convince them that five minus three is in fact FOUR, and that my checking account should be retroactively adjusted accordingly.
But even that's not so bad. People are free to write any book they can get paid to (or themselves pay to) publish. But Vai's "Grand Canyon: The Talking Out Of My Biblical Ass View" is being sold. At the Grand Canyon. By bookstores affiiliated with the National Park Service. You know, the branch of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT?!
This did not escape notice. When the NPS's head of the Geologic Resource Division found out about it, he tried to get the book out of National Park Service stores, feeling that it is not the government's place to be actively promoting pseudocientific, religious hoohah. Or, at least, it wasn't. Before 2000. According to Time Magazine, the park service overruled the decision, promised to lead a high-level review of the book, never actually performed that review, and it appears that the Bush Administration is actively ensuring the book stays on Park Service shelves.
Unlike it's anti-science views on global warming, pregnancy, and STD prevention, the Bush Administration's 4,500 year old Grand Canyon won't get anyone killed, unless some poor fool does the math the other way, figures it can't possibly be more than a few feet deep, and jumps in. But it's egregious, and shows that whether out of true belief or just pandering to the base, the idiocy that is creationism, like so many other idiocies, stretches all the way to the highest office in the land.
Tomorrow: It all comes to a screeching end, as you learn things about your fellow man that even the last election could have taught you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet (Day Three)

Memo to Creationists: YOU ARE STILL DUMB.
Welcome to Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet Week: Day Three. Thus far, we've learned that creatinonists want to teach your children, think black people are like monkeys, and believe that Martin Luther may have had to wait for a DINOSAUR to finish walking past before he could nail things to a church. And we're letting them rewrite biology textbooks.
It is a battle taking place in the year 2004, what many of us considered "the future" when we were growing up. It's a battle pitting 200 years of hard work, learning, and thought against remarketed superstition and hokum. At most, they should be treated like a pesky six-year-old who's patiently explaining to his mother that he's found an elephant in his closet. Nod, smile, give them a cookie, and under no circumstances let them drive the minivan. But showing remarkable savvy for people who can't count past 6,000, the creationists are fighting all over the country, and winning.
Dover Area School District, Pennsylvania: Henceforth known as the Scraggly Toehold of the Stinky Foot of the Creationist Horde. The district has just become the first in the nation to approve the teaching of "intelligent design". Now, remember, I.D. is creationism with the serial numbers filed off. It's a pseudoscientific rubber mask covering the ugly face of the Six Thousand Year Universe People. It is a lie, and it will be taught to children in rural Pennsylvania in the name of "balance".
It's important, by the way, to remember WHY the mask is necessary, and why the creationists have to put on a white lab coat from the Halloween Store before they can say anything. Teaching creationism in public schools is ILLEGAL. Unconstitutional. Can't do it. Supreme Court said so. Not allowed. No way, no how. If creationists robbed a bank, and explained that it wasn't a robbery, it was an "unconventional transfer of funds", they would still go to prison. Yet "Intelligent Design" gets a pass, because there are plenty of people in positions of power willing to aid and abet the obvious charade.
People like William Buckingham, born-again Christian and, coincidentally, evil fucking idiot. It's ACTUAL CREATIONIST QUOTE TIME!
"I think it's a downright fraud to perpetrate on the students of this district, to portray one theory over and over," Mr. Buckingham said. "What we wanted was a balanced presentation." Really. That's a downright fraud, Mr. Buckingham? If teaching the thing for which there is evidence instead of the thing for which there is not is "downright fraud", then bypassing a constitutional restrictions using a name change and some sleight of hand is first-degree intellectual murder.
Mr. Buckingham also said that "This is not an attempt to impose my views on anyone else." Interestingly, there are two competing and equally valid theories behind the source of this statement - the Bastardists believe that Mr. Buckingham is both lying through his teeth and knows it, while the Delusionists believe that Buckingham actually believes that he's not imposing his view on others, even though he patently is.
Grantsburg, Wisconsin: The school board there has approved the teaching of "multiple theories of origin", which also means CREATIONISM. The president of the school board that approved this decision is David Ahlquist. Ahlquist is the pastor at the town's Grace Baptist Church. He also says, "I've tried not to let my particular view on evolution or origins get in the way of my academic. To promote only one view is indoctrination." Given that viewpoint, I'll be looking for a Buddhist with a bullhorn who's free on Sunday and knows where the fuck Grantsburg, WI is. Wouldn't want the Grace Baptists presenting only one view, would we?
Georgia: In the land of Zell Miller, they're trying to decide whether to add a "warning sticker" to textbooks informing students that evolution is not all that, and certainly should not have a bag of chips added to it. A WARNING STICKER. It should have a little cartoon devil on it. "Dipshit the Devil says - DARWIN'S IN HELL WITH ME! Don't be like Darwin, kids!"
Today, it's two small towns and a hick state. But that's three more locales than there should be. It just emboldens them. Makes them try for more. And they have allies in high places.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet (Day Two)

Welcome to Creationists: The Dumbest People On The Planet Week here at You Are Dumb. Yesterday, we learned in general that creationism is bad, evolution is good, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a literalist idiot who needs to have their Bible shoved so far up their ass they can turn the pages with their uvula.
The gentler among you - and you do exist, the gentle, kind angels in my audience who are quite pleasant to the idiots they meet in their day-to-day lives while secretly enjoying the dark, hateful bile-spewing that is this site's stock in trade - you may, at this point, be thinking to yourselves that perhaps I am being a bit too harsh on people merely because of their faith. Their faith in the idea that, lest we forget, the Earth was created by the Official Christian Beardy around six millenia ago, and that we are all literally descended from Adam and Eve. And while the subsequent massive inbreeding would explain "Desperate Housewives", it just ain't so.
But they believe, and have faith, and for that alone, should they be mocked by some guy with a website? Yes. But if more evidence is required, allow me to turn your collective heads toward Pensacola, Florida. Specifically, Dinosaur Adventure Land.
Dinosaur Adventure Land is a dinosaur-themed attraction run by creationists. Being run by creationists, D.A.L. is run on the premise that since the Earth is only 6,000 years old, dinosaurs walked the Earth with Adam and Eve and stuck around at least until the Great Flood. Think of it as "Six Flags Over A Horrible, Traumatic Brain Injury".
They have a web site. Don't go. Like a brand new induction roller coaster, the DAL website is not intended for people with heart conditions, the easily excitable, and pretty much anyone who can walk past an EEG without the device audibly weeping. I went, so don't let my sacrifice be in vain. See their site as God intended it. THROUGH MY INCREDIBLY JUDGMENTAL EYES.
There is a "Science Fact of the Day". On Sunday, it was that "gold is 19.3 times heavier than water", which I cannot argue with, and is quite impressive for creationists, who, when visiting the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, must have noticed that none of the pirate booty was floating. On Monday, we learned the airspeed velocity of an unladen housefly, which is only useful, really, if you race flies.
There are the "DAL Funnies". According to their site, "THEY'RE FUNNY!". The current DAL Funny is labeled "The Untold Truth About Evolution", and shows five identical pictures of monkeys, and five identical pictures of a black man in business casual. The reader is left to draw their own conclusion - that the people involved with Dinosaur Adventure Land, in addition to being raging creationist fuckwads, are also filthy racists from Deep Pigfuckerland.
There is a video on the Big Bang, which makes up some shit about the Big Bang, then comes to the conclusion that since the shit they made up wasn't true, the universe must have been created by God. I kid you not. They use the conservation of angular momentum on one poorly described version of one of dozens of different models of universal origin to say that because stuff is rotating in different directions after (alleged) billions of years, that all science is poo. They call this an "EXPERIMENT", which it is not. They call "Conservation of Angular Momentum" a "big word" too, which means that they're a bunch of moronic, illiterate racists who CAN'T FUCKING COUNT, EITHER.
They have a trough filled with sand. And a faucet at one end. And you turn on the faucet, and it forms a small trench in the sand. This is intended to demonstrate that the Grand Canyon was in fact created in a matter of moments by Noah's Flood, which carved through a V-shaped chunk of solid Colorado rock, while leaving all the other rock untouched.
There's a Flash cartoon. In the Flash cartoon, promoting a Creationist seminar, the speakers at the seminar, in a cartoon tank, complete their mission to "DESTROY EVOLUTION" by taking a tank and blowing up a building marked "Evolution". The sole resident of the building has a weak, quavery, high-pitched nerd voice, and the sign on the building has a backwards capital "E". This shit makes "Blue Collar TV" seem like "Masterpiece Theater".
These are the people that want to teach your children about science. People who cannot count to four. People who can't even manage a funny fifteen second Flash cartoon. People who claim, in all seriousness, that there have been TRICERATOPS SIGHTINGS "as recently as 500 years ago". These people cannot be trusted to cut their own fucking meat and tie their shoes, and they are being listened to by textbook makers and school boards. If we cannot stop the agenda of people who think dinosaurs were around at the same time as Leonardo Da Fucking Vinci, then we're not gonna stop a flat tax, I'll tell you that much.
TOMORROW: Where We're Losing To These Droolers

Monday, November 22, 2004

Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet (Day One)

Memo to Creationists: YOU ARE DUMB.
Welcome to Creationists: The Stupidest People On The Planet Week here at You Are Dumb. At least four full days of rich, fecund mocking of creationists, who are, as you may have heard, the stupidest fucking people on the entire planet Earth. Today brings the broadside manifesto, and during the week we'll be looking at specific instances of stupid creationists doing what they do best: being stupid.
As we sink headfirst into the New Dark Ages, is it too much of me to ask that we of Blue America at least pick one thing to fight wholeheartedly? One line to draw and say to the Red that while you may be trying to regress everything else, we're gonna keep this one fucking chunk of progress? That chunk is evolution, and it is being grabbed at by the Idiot Hordes. Hold on tight.
It won't be easy. The resurgence of creationism is something more people should have been paying attention to. Because it's symptomatic of everything that's been going wrong. The reduction of facts to mere "subjects for debate". The rise of the religious right. The abandonment of science. And the triumph of sheer, rampant stupidity. Let's start by defining some terms we'll use all this week.
Creationism, as defined around these parts, is the completely wrong and retarded belief that the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible created the heavens and the earth about 6,000 years ago, literally planted Adam and Eve as the first fully-formed humans on that earth at around the same time, all of us are descended from two navel-free naked white people, and that everything else is the braying of liberal pagan witches under the thrall of Satan.
"Intelligent Design", as defined around these parts, is the completely wrong and retarded belief that the universe and biological systems on the Earth are so incredibly complex that they couldn't have arisen through chance, and thus, the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible must have created the heavens and the earth about 6,000 years ago, literally planted Adam and Eve as the first fully-formed humans on that earth at around the same time, all of us are descended from two navel-free naked white people,and that everything else is the braying of liberal pagan witches under the thrall of Satan.
Do not fall into the trap of people who stop speaking at "chance". Because if you watch their lips very carefully, they're mouthing the rest of it. They can proclaim otherwise until they're red-state in the face, but the truth is, every single person trying to push Intelligent Design on this nation's children believes in the six thousand year universe. They just hide it so as not to be laughed out of school board meetings (or elections) like the crazy people they are.
Here's where I let all you thinking godfolk in my audience off the hook, because I'm feeling nice. Enjoy this paragraph, because it's your only succor in this space for the next three and a half to four and a half days. You're free to believe all you want that science is just exploring God's great creation, and that your god created the universe and the systems and the whatnot billions of years ago. That's fine. Because that stays out of the way. Don't call it "Intelligent Design", though. That phrase got co-opted by the crazy people, and if you use it, you'll just sound like a crazy person when you're talking over wine and fondue or whatever it is you people do when you discuss Life's Great Mysteries.
But the 6,000 year universe people are WRONG, the anti-evolution people are WRONG, and we need to be standing up for that. Evolution is an observed, proven fact. What remains a "theory" is just the strict-Darwinian, one-celled organism all the way up to that record-setting Jeopardy guy progression over the millenia. And let's stop focusing on Darwin. He was a biggie, yes, but for fuck's sake, he was working in the 1800's. Back when light bulbs were a novelty. He didn't have all the answers, and the Six Thousand Year Universe People seize on that, with their tiny, tiny minds, to try to convince people that because Darwin wasn't 100% spot on, we've learned NOTHING in the intervening 150+ years, and obviously the Bible is just as good.
But it's not just as good. Try using it to fix your fuel injector sometime and see how far the Bible gets you. The rational people in this country, even the religious, Republican rational people*, need to stand up and realize that the idea that creationism should be taught in science class is roughly on par with the idea that history classes should teach that George Washington was a giant, fire-breathing turtle and friend to all children. And that "respecting their views" is in fact allowing our liberal, egalitarian sensibilities to give complete bullshit a veneer or legitimacy in a world where only the veneer of legitimacy matters anymore.
That is our line in the sand. That facts are more valid than beliefs, and if beliefs contradict facts, then it is the beliefs that need to change, because the facts won't, no matter how strong the belief. Every time a textbook presents "alternative viewpoints" to facts, every time a teacher, by will or by force, is compelled to use the phrase "intelligent design" in a biology class, every time a student leaves class thinking we don't REALLY know what's going on, that it's still up in the air, when it patently and demonstrably IS NOT, every time these things happen, we take one step backwards, towards Dayton, Tennessee, 1925, and one of the lowest, saddest points in American history. This shit needs to be stopped.
All five of you.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

With Whom Shall I Not Mess, Again?

Dumb in the morning. Dumb in the evening. Dumb from Oklahoma to Mexico, and dumb from the deserts of New Mexico to the sweet sweet pig vaginas of Louisiana. So dumb they wouldn't be able to remember the Alamo if its name had a few more letters in it. So dumb that the residents of Austin must feel like a domed, time-traveling city of the future, stranded amidst the barbarous wasteland that lies just outside their borders. So dumb that making fun of Texas actually releases endorphins into my brain, resulting in at the very least a mild psychological addiction. So dumb they're ALMOST as dumb as Tennessee.
So, what's the latest word out of Texas, the unofficial capital of Jesusland?* Well, you know the Classic Red-State Trifecta of God, guns, and gays? How does two out of three strike ya?
In East Texas, in the Spurger school district, a longstanding Homecoming Week tradition is being cancelled because one redneck mom was convinced it would turn her nine-year old son into a homosexual.
The event, TWIRP Day, stands for "The Woman Is Requested to Pay". It apparently involves reversing the traditional gender roles most of us pretty much abandoned 20 years ago, like girls paying for sodas, and asking boys out on dates. As part of the admittedly quaint tradition, girls and boys also dress like their opposite gender for the day. Having been informed about the perfidious Homosexual Agenda, Delana Davies took a stand.
"It's like experimenting with drugs. You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary. ... If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?" Davies, being an idiot, is incapable of discerning the difference between "wearing a frilly dress" and "hot anal sex". In a completely unrelated note, Mrs. Davies' husband stops at Laura Ashley about once every three weeks to get a present for his wife.
The school has replaced TWIRP day with "Camo Day", in which students are encouraged to dress like overweight armchair mercenary wannabes who subscribe to "Guns And Ammo" and play their paintball "for keeps". Mrs. Davies is fine with that, as it will let her son look like a brave American soldier and play "shoot the wounded Iraqi" with the other kids, and will make her four-year-old daughter look like a huge dyke.
In Texas' defense, this same issue has come up in two other schools - one in rural Illinois, which is like Texas except you can go into the city for deep dish pizza, and one in New York, where they felt it was offensive to the transgender community.
One hundred and fifty miles west of Spurger, where the pernicious agenda of Team Selfish Hedonism is being painstakingly eradicated, one elementary school student at a time, lies Houston, TX, the Bizarro to Austin's Superman. Like Austin, Houston has a burgeoning technology industry. Unlike Austin, where much of the tech industry is devoted to helping gamers pretend to shoot each other over the Internet, Houston's tech industry is working on letting people ACTUALLY shoot things over the Internet.
It's a heady idea, a surefire contender for the Worst Fucking Idea Ever award, and it's the asschild** of John Underwood, who by day works in an auto body shop, but is an idiot in his free time. The idea is to place a remote-controlled camera and gun on a ranch, and allow people to connect to that camera and gun over the Internet and shoot whatever deer, antelopes, moose, pets, children, airplanes, or space aliens appear on-screen. To give you an idea of the kind of mentality we are dealing with here, I'll allow Underwood to relate the tale of where his inspiration came from.
He and a friend were looking at a webcam set up in some woodlanda area that allowed you to take pictures of animals."We were looking at a beautiful white-tail buck and my friend said 'If you just had a gun for that.' A little light bulb went off in my head." Unfortunately, it wasn't a stroke. "Man, that's gorgeous. If only there were some way to KILL IT FROM MILES AWAY WITHOUT IT EVEN KNOWING."
Underwood was quick to conceal his bloodlust behind a veneer of charity, noting that his technology could be a boon to disabled hunters no longer able to hold a gun. In addition, once the animals are killed, they could be cut up and their meat could be donated to animal orphanages. I am not fucking kidding you here. A human attendant will retrieve any animal corpses, and Underwood would arrange for the taxidermy of the trophy and the dispensation of the flesh. That service will be offered as soon as they find someone who's tired of their dull job at the slaughterhouse and want to combine the fun of handling dead animals with the adrenaline rush of walking around in front of a remote controlled Internet gun. So, basically, as soon as Ted Nugent finishes his latest tour.
Ah, Texas. Don't ever change. And don't ever visit, either, now that I think of it. You're incredibly useful to me right where you are.
If you don't know what I'm referring to here, then you need to turn in your Card-Carrying Internet Liberal card, and become, um, a non-card-carrying Internet Liberal.
** Normally, this sentence would call for the word "brainchild", but my fingers refused to type it, for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

You'll Never Guess Where I'm Calling You From

Memo to Sprint: YOU ARE DUMB.
On Monday, I extolled the virtues of science and technology, which, on average, has enriched and ennobled all of our lives over the centuries in ways that phlogiston, witchcraft, and orgones cannot complete with. The key phrase being ON AVERAGE. As anyone who owned a Coleco Adam can tell you, some pieces of technology should never have made it out of science's fecund womb.
Some technology solves problems we knew we had. Indoor plumbing, for example, solves the problem of Not Having Our Own Shit Everywhere, and I am eternally grateful to it. Some technology solves problems we didn't know we had, but we actually had.
I mean, when I was a tender young lad in my formative years, I never could have imagined that one day, I would need to instruct a box on my shelf to make a purely digital recording of a pay-cable talk show so that I could, the next day, transfer that digital recording over to a super-powerful "thinking machine", so that I could take that video, separate out seveal dozen frames of it, and string those frames back together in a compressed image animation format so that, using a packet-switched network of fiber optics, I could broadcast the image of a man picking his butt to hundreds upon hundreds of strangers. But science and technology solved that problem for me years before I knew I'd have it.
Which brings me, in a roundabout, space-filling way, to the fine people at Sprint, who have managed to solve a problem that nobody knew they had, because NOBODY HAD IT. They've invented a box that lets you use your home phones over Sprint's cellular phone network.
The last time I checked, HOUSES DON'T MOVE. Even so called "mobile homes" only actually move when they're picked up by a tornado and flung headlong across the Kansas landscape. So the biggest acvantage to cellphones, the thing we get them for, is completely moot. So why the hell would people want to do it?
It might e good for stutterers, actually. Cell phone technology has been a boon to the stuttering community, because the average person can't tell the difference between a wireless phone signal randomly cutting in and out and your average, non-Bachman-Turner-Overdrive-lead-singer stutterer. But the fact is, when I'm talking to the nice man who called me about my current vinyl siding needs, I can't have bits of words dropping out of sentences. It's 2004, goddammit. We were supposed to have VIDEOPHONES by now. And instead Sprint's spending its time making boxes that can barely handle audio.
Sprint wants you to think it's about cost. So did the local reporter from whom I found out about this device, which is odd, because the reporter then proceeded to outline a series of facts that, when taken together, show the box to be a complete fucking ripoff. But since I'm on a bit of a shaky moral high ground when it comes to "not reading what one is writing", we'll just move on to those facts.
You can, according to Sprint, convert your home to a giant cell-phone for just $20 a month, local and long-distance included. And as we all know, when a phone company quotes a price, that price is SOLID. There are never any catches or conditions that may suddenly send the real cost skyrocketing, right? Right.
You have to buy the box, of course. All it really is is some cell-phone hardware that plugs into your wall. Unlike most $100 cellphones, it doesn't have a screen. It doesn't take pictures or play Ja Rule songs or run crappy versions of Tetris or store phone numbers or calculate your tip. But it does cost a hundred bucks.
On top of that, you have to already be spending at least $40 a month on a Sprint cell-phone plan, whose allocated minutes the home phone also uses up. The plot thicks! And if you're buying a hundred dollar box to make cell-phone network calls from your home when you already have a cellphone that works JUST AS WELL IN YOUR HOUSE as this box will, "thick" is being too kind. And Sprint somehow expects the people stupid enough to go for their plan to be smart enough to hook it all up themselves and physically disconnect their homes from the phone system, too.
It is possible to save money with one of these boxes, though. I know this because the intrepid Star Tribune reporter found one! Guy's saving about ten bucks a month! That ain't chump change! Of course, he bought the converter box froma third company, not from Sprint, and just has it linked with a cheap AT&T cellphone account. Here's a hint. If your best example of a technology comes from guy who's not actually using what you're reporting on, maybe you should rethink your first paragraph. And your career choice, while you're at it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Mona Lisa Is Trying To Tell Me Something

Memo to America: YOU ARE MEDIOCRE.
That's what we really need to face up to. Some of the time we're a beacon of freedom and hope. A lot of the time we're reactionary douchebags. But the vast majority of the time, America, and American culture, is just... mediocre. Safe. We invented Wonder Bread, John Grisham, and Hanson, three crimes for which we still haven't atoned.
I mean, "Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice"? What, exactly, did she do as National Security Advisor, other than go on the Sunday talk shows and testify before the 9/11 commission about the briefings she ignored? MEDIOCRE AT BEST. And that earns her a promotion to Secretary of State? The good news is, her predecessor lowered the job qualifications to "must be willing to lie to the United Nations on command", and "must never be listened to ever", so Condi should do well enough on the job that when she's done, they can name another oil tanker after her.
But if you want a true example of American mediocrity, of that point in the bell curve where the clicking stops and you're about to raise your hands and start screaming, you need look no farther than the news that Ron Howard will be directing Tom Hanks in the fim adaptation of... The DaVinci Code.
The DaVinci Code is, of course, That Book. Every few years, America decides, as a nation, that we're all going to "read" a book. Partly to keep in practice, but mainly just so we can be seen carrying around stuff that proves we can read. "The Firm" was That Book for a while. The Harry Potter books aspired to That Book status for a few years, until they got too big. I seem to recall "The Thorn Birds" being That Book when I was growing up in the 70's. And right now, the book everyone is carrying around and pretending to read is "The DaVinci Code". It's apparently about some guy who discovers that hidden messages are encoded into DaVinci paintings, leading to a Dark Secret that could Change Everything. It's like "National Treasure", only done for people who realize that the "G" in "Gnostic" is silent.
It's not actually necessary to read "That Book". You just need to own a copy or two. You can leave it lying around, on the kitchen table or in your briefcase, with a bookmark somewhere in the first third, and can get away with saying things like "It's pretty good so far", or "I can't wait to see how it turns out", or "I didn't know they kept all those paintings in France", because all the people you'll be discussing the book with haven't actually read it either. They just held it in front of them on the bus so that they could stare at the Crazy Poodle Hair Woman without being noticed.
We don't have to read That Book, because if enough of us just go out and buy That Book, they'll make a MOVIE of it, and we can all go see the movie and know as much about what was in the book as anybody else does, and we can all nod knowingly at each other and say that the book was better, of course, and went into more detail. We ourselves won't go into more detail, because we understand the pact we've made with each other.
Obviously, when adapting one of America's most beloved pieces of unread fiction, great care must be taken, and that's why they brought Ron Howard on board. I will not make the obvious Opie or Richie Cunningham jokes, as the man who brought us "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", "Willow", and "A Beautiful Mind" does not deserve to be remembered for his harmless, dull, white acting past. Putting Ron Howard on "The DaVinci Code" is like putting the french fried onions on top of your green bean casserole. It doesn't make it better, it just makes it more recognizable, more comfortable.
The DaVinci Code's main character is Some Guy, and who better to portray Some Guy than Tom Hanks? Hanks, who can currently be seen as a creepy, plasticine caricature of himself *, is the cream of mushroom soup in the green bean casserole. Warm, processed, and slightly gooey. Ron Howard said of Hanks that "''Tom is an exciting actor to watch thinking," which shows that MASSIVE QUANTITIES OF HAIR aren't the only things that have gone missing from Howard's skull in the past few decades.
Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman is not mediocre. But he can be mathematically expressed AS mediocrity. Goldsman, you see, is the worst screenwriter in the universe. Through, I presume, the dark arts, he managed to win the Oscar for his "A Beautiful Mind" work, making him, technically, also the best screenwriter in the universe. And when you average out those two states, you get mediocrity.
Finally, we have producer Brian Grazer, whose name is attached to so much crap ("Kindergarten Cop", "Sgt. Bilko") and respectable work ("Sports Night", "Arrested Development", "Undercover Brother" that we must judge him by his words. It's BELATED ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
Speaking of an unnamed, Oscar-winning actress who wanted to play the part of a Parisian cryptologist: ''She could easily do it. 'But I think the audience would be let down a bit. They expect a French girl." From this, we can determine two things. Either Grazer is a complete idiot who doesn't realize the American audience will accept anyone as French as long as they wear a beret, or the actress in question was Halle Berry.
The DaVinci Code: The Movie, coming to theaters in 2005, so that you don't have to finish any of the three copies you own in 2004.
And there's a CGI version of him in that Polar Express movie, too! I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Welcome To The New Dark Ages

I need you all to be strong today.
I've uncovered something that many of you will find troubling, disturbing, even chilling. For a wide variety of reasons. Some of you may think that what I've found is redundant, others may think that there must be some mitigating circumstances that can counter the great, seething deposit of stupidity I've stumbled across. But you need to be strong, and face head-on the fact that there is a better reason than ever before to hate the Sci-Fi Channel.
It's difficult to believe, I know. After all, they've given us new Cylon fuckbots. They produced "Mad Mad House", a reality show about a collection of "alternative" (meaning less photogenic) freakjobs with issues. They've spent years giving money and a forum to John "Not The Loser, The Psychic" Edward, who exploits the ignorant for his own personal gain by making up fake conversations with real dead people. They've produced, aided, abetted, and aired hundreds of low-budget direct-to-video features that debase and dilute the genre the channel is supposed to celebrate. And what's worse, they've aired "Sliders" reruns.
But the channel that is basic cable's closest equivalent to the Bataan Death March is not done with its black-hooded experiments into perfidy. They are, apparently, now airing a show called, and this is IMPORTANT, so pay attention, called "Proof Positive: Evidence of the Paranormal".
As we know from previouis experience, c.f. John "Charlatan" Edward and any number of cheap syndicated shows hosted by Jonathan Frakes, the Sci-Fi Channel is no stranger to the short-bus world of ghosts, vampires, strange forces, mysterious disappearances, U.F.O.'s, and their spooky ilk. So with a title like "Proof Positive: Evidence of the Paranormal", what you'd expect would be yet another show filled with synth music, dark rooms, spotlights, and "eyewitness testimony" from the usual collection of people who can't spell S.A.T. and couldn't count how many teeth they had until it hit single digits. You would expect this, but you would be tragically, horribly wrong.
Allow me to introduce you to the host of the show, which I will derisively refer to from now on by its initials, "P.P.", which is also a childish euphemism for male genitalia. The woman who holds P.P. firmly in her grasp is Amanda Tapping. Some of you may know Ms. Tapping from her regular role on Stargate SG-1, and as a result, I pity you. Older readers may be more familiar with the classic dance style invented by her eponymous great-grandfather. As a bit of eye candy on a basic cable spinoff show, Ms. Tapping is eminently qualified to explore the scientific basis for the paranormal. But if her C.V. isn't enough for you, wait till you hear how well she interviews. It's ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"Conceptually, I love it. I love the idea that we actually put things to the test, that there are actually forensic tests that you can do to determine the veracity of paranormal phenomena."
Man, she's so dumb and stupid and dumb and... wait a second. That actually sounds reasonable. After all, in the post-election landscape, with creationism running rampant and "ignoring global warming" fast becoming the national pastime now that all the ballparks have sunk under the rising oceans, forensics is the only science people actually believe in. After all, if it's the basis for 97% of the prime-time network schedule, forensics MUST be true, even if it never directly refers to Jesus.
So using forensics to test the claims of paranormal believers... that could actulally work! Boy, I sure hope that later on in the intervew, Tapping doesn't go on to undercut her point with something so mind-bogglingly moronic that it will crush my nascent, flowering hope! Let's look together! Hold hands... take a deep breath...
"I'm a huge believer in the paranormal, so some of the stories really freaked me out." (Uh oh.) "Some of the stories, even though they [may be] proven inconclusive or proven proof negative, you can still go, 'Wait a second. I don't know about that. Just because that test didn't work doesn't mean ... .' So I think it makes for some great debate. I watched the first episode with my twin brother when I was in Chicago, and we had a big debate over it."
There are times that even I come up against my limitations as a writer. I want to convey the image of a broken, dejected man, lying on the floor in the fetal position, weeping quietly, his face covered by his tear-dampened hands. Weeping in utter disbelief that we have sunk to the point where not only are we taking bullshit like faith healing and "intelligent design" and poltergeists at face value just becuase people say they experienced them, but that we're actually going to the trouble to perform tests, for a show called PROOF MOTHERFUCKING POSITIVE, and then utterly dismissing the proof when it comes back negative. And all I can think to write is "Take your P.P. and shove it up your ass."
People, it's one thing to believe in Invisible Bearded Wish-Granting Punishment Man. You can't do tests on a god. But to produce a show that claims to deliver scientific results, and then to say that those results DON'T MATTER in the end because it fosters debate... that's fucking criminal, is what that is. I mean, after Test Subject #5 Of Five drowns horribly, you don't keep debating whether people can breathe underwater, just because you think FISHIES ARE PRETTY.
At least in the Dark Ages, we had an excuse. Nobody knew shit. There was no Google. There were no rocketships. Life was short, knowledge was scarce, and people could be excused for believing that their crops failed because their neighbor gave them the evil eye. Tapping and her fellow P.P.'s have no such excuse. We're awash in facts. We're up to our asses in technology. Every single moment of our lives is better than it could be because a few people, throughout history, spent five seconds realizing that evil eyes were FUCKING STUPID, and spent a few years figuring out that maybe the crops were failing for actual, tangible reasons that could be stopped or mitigated without immolating the old hermit down the road.
If you want to ignore your own tests that tell you the fuckhead with the widow's peak and the robe isn't really reading minds, then do us all a favor and stop taking antibiotics, stop using indoor plumbing, and go back to eating the half-dozen moldy potatoes you can manage to grow by waving your hands over the dirt. And while you're at it, stop using fiber-optic cables and routers and switching systems to send your stupidity out to hundreds of thousands of people who don't need to be any stupider, thank you. Just write your missives on a rock with your own dung, as God intended.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Why We're Hosed, Part 857

Memo to Bob Jones: YOU ARE DUMB.
This was originally going to be a short bit, but once I got into it, I realized it was deserving of a whole column. If any of your friends are Bush-voting moderates, show them this to remind them that they voted for the kind of mentality that Bob Jones represents. You remember Bob Jones. He has that university, you know, the completely fucking racist one that's terrified of interracial dating? The one where all the prominent Republicans go to speak at to remind the guys with Confederate flags on everything they own that Republicans still want their vote? That Bob Jones. Bob sent a congratulatory letter to President Bush on white, white paper, and these were his heartfelt, stirring words. Yes, it's ACTUAL QUOTE DAY!
"In your re-election, God has graciously granted America-though she doesn't deserve it-a reprieve from the agenda of paganism."
See, this just goes to show you how insular the world of the Jesus-Freak is. If Bob Jones actually got outside his Ku Klux EnKlave and met some pagans, he'd understand that the Pagan Agenda, such as it is, consists solely of buying lots of stupid bumper stickers and calling God "she" around non-pagans in the hopes of impressing them with Paganic Weirdness and Specialositude. Pagans are also a convenient resource if you cannot remember the difference between solstice and equinox, but so is Google, and Google won't waste a half hour of your life telling you what it'll be doing in the solstice.
"You have been given a mandate. We the people expect your voice to be like the clear and certain sound of a trumpet. Because you seek the Lord daily, we who know the Lord will follow that kind of voice eagerly."
Apparently, They Who Know The Lord think that trumpets can't get through two sentences without fucking up a word. Bush's voice is really more like a bassoon. It's tricky, fussy, and with an idiot controlling it, makes the most awful noises known to man.
"Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you."
Oh, please. I'm about the most extreme, atheistic, lefty motherfucker I know, and I don't hate Bush because I hate Christ. But then, people like Bob Jones have always had a tough time with the whole "correlation is not causation" thing. For me, Christ is kind of like John Carpenter. I really like a couple of the things he's put out, but a lot of it is crap, and his die-hard fans are seriously fucked-up.
"Had your opponent won, I would have still given thanks, because the Bible says I must (I Thessalonians 5:18). It would have been hard, but because the Lord lifts up whom He will and pulls down whom He will, I would have done it. It is easy to rejoice today, because Christ has allowed you to be His servant in this nation for another presidential term."
Apparently, Thessalonicans 5:18 reads "LIKE HELL YE WOULD HAVE, YOU SANCTIMONIOUS FUCK!". And if Christ was determining the outcome of the election, you'd think, since he apparently lives within each of us, he'd have arranged for more than a three percent margin, and would have allowed His Flock to get to bed at a decent hour on Election Day. Jesus is such a drama queen.
"Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government. You have four years-a brief time only-to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God."
Welcome to your theocracy, you so-called moderate, security-mom fuckwads. Bob Jones is urging Bush to pass laws on RELIGIOUS FREEDOM that are defined by BIBLICAL NORM. You know what the biblical norm is for religious freedom? "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Hope you like your next tax cut, because all you'll be allowed to spend it on are those little figurines of Jesus playing soccer with white children. This is the reason I had to get the whole letter, and do the column on the whole letter, because this paragraph is the single most appalling thing I've read from the right since the election, and I haven't seen a single story about the letter quote it. The. Fucking. Un. Mitigated. Gall.
"The student body, faculty, and staff at Bob Jones University commit ourselves to pray for you-that you would do right and honor the Savior. Pull out all the stops and make a difference. If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them. Conservative Americans would love to see one president who doesn't care whether he is liked, but cares infinitely that he does right.
I can already hear the counterargument. He's an extremist. Bush probably didn't even read his letter. Bush probably COULDN'T even read his letter. But these are the people that came out in droves last week. These are the people whose stigmata make the red states red. Bob Jones did not send this letter thinking it would fall on deaf ears. Just dumb ones.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The High Road Remains Free Of Traffic

Memo to Andrew Sullivan: ARE YOU LOOKING FOR YOUR HEAD?
I'd always felt a little bit sorry for Andrew Sullivan. As a gay Republican, he can't help bt act in a completely self-destructive, contrary-to-his-own-interests manner, but in recent times, he has come out against George W. Bush. Which proves he, like the Log Cabin Republicans all but the 20% of the gay population who voted for Dubya, are capable of finally recognizing a direct threat to their existence when it jumps up and down in front of them waving big red flags with flares tied to the tops and yells "I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU AND I'M IN CHARGE, FAGGOT"
Sensing this vague, tenuous animosity from the Republicans, Andrew Sullivan voted for Kerry, and for that, I give him credit. But he's still a dick.
Sullivan appeard on "Real Time with Bill Maher" last Friday, a show which had already been marred* by a bizarre exchange with former senator Alan Simpson. Simpson took the peculiar view that political comedians like Maher shouldn't make jokes at the expense of politics, parties, policies, or voters, and defended Wyoming's gay population by reminding Maher that Wyoming is where Matthew Shepard was killed.
Toward the end of the show, Maher had, for the first time on any of his shows, Noam Chomsky as a guest. Noam Chomsky is the Samuel L. Jackson of political argument. You may not agree with him, but you do not fuck with him, because he's better at it than you. This isn't a matter of his opinions, this is a matter of pure skill. Noam Chomsky is to logical argument what Michelangelo was to doodling. So Chomsky came on via satellite for his interview, he and Maher talked for a while, and then he went away. Chomsky was coherent, completely devoid of rhetoric, and name-dropped Zbigniew Burzynski. And the instant his screen went dark, Sullivan pounced.
He started going off on the kind of rant that would make Tucker Carlson say "Dial it down a notch, buddy." He went after Chomsky, who conveniently was no longer able to respond, like Ann Coulter going after a liberal pork chop**. He accused Chomsky of hating America, of loving Saddam Hussein, of a whole bunch of things that Chomsky didn't actually say. He even accused Chomsky of being paid money to speak to people, which as we know was outlawed in 1972.
He accused Chomsky of besmirching freedom and democracy, and supporting oppression and tyranny, and said "I hope he's smart enough to know he's lying". And he completely dismissed the "100,000 civilian casualties in Iraq" study, which shows that Sullivan did not so much come to his senses when he voted for Kerry, but rather executed a classic gravity slingshot maneuver around his senses, spending a brief period of time in orbit around his senses before shooting off into Fuckety Cuckoo Land.
Maher tried to engage him on the topic, but Sullivan could not see or hear him through his righteous berzerker rage. And then, as the credits rolled, Sullivan started... rubbing his ass. I know you find this hard to believe. I missed it entirely the first time I watched the show, because I wasn't paying attention to the credits. But for whatever reason, going apeshit on an elderly professor gave Sullivan a wedgie, or a rash, or something else I don't even want to think about.
Now, normally, I would not automatically make fun of someone for their moment of inadvertent public embarassment. That's why I've taken great, epic pains to demonstrate that Andrew Sullivan is a dick, and thus a completely valid target for the utterly cheap, completely immature, and otherwise uncalled-for bit of graphic kerfluffery I'm about to commit.

Are you looking for your head, Andy?
Get it? "MARRED"? You wouldn't get this kind of comedy from a "blogger", you know.
** Dress it up all you want, but it's still COMMIE PINK on the inside.