I spent most of the weekend writing, but i also fell down the youtube hole.
this is what i found.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I spent most of the weekend writing, but i also fell down the youtube hole.
Friday, January 25, 2008
While standing on stage with people like Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee answering questions about political positions Ron Paul can't help but appear intellectually alluring. Watching the Republican Debate last night I began to understand what Ron Paul supporters see in the man. He is an actual conservative: The sort of person who promotes small government, fiscal responsibility, and a foreign policy of "none". He's the sort of person I would unquestioningly vote for provided that he dismissed that whole "god" thing.
Of course, Ron Paul maintains unreasonable notions about how the United States government ought to function. While "crazy" may be a bit of a stretch Ron Paul does have some odd, oudated ideas of how our government ought to function.
But are these ideas necessarily bad or detrimental? I do not think so.
The government of the United States is an experiment; the founders did not know what would come of the system they put in place. They had ideas and theories based upon the writings of dipshits about how best to govern a society but no real historical attempt to work from. So they wrote a Constitution and let the experiment begin.
The problem is that people forget this and cling to the notion that how things are somehow indicates how things truly ought to be. Whether by clinging to the past, present, or a concept of the future we construct notions of normalcy and "right" to which we cling. It's a coping mechanism based upon our need for permanence. For example, initially people were opposed to Social Security; now we are in dire fear of it failing. What changed? We grew accustomed to having it. But this embrace of fabricated normalcy is not necessarily the best way of existing in the world. There could be other, better, systems of government. Change could be a good thing.
Which is why I would really like to see Ron Paul elected president. I want to know what would happen if we had no IRS, returned to the gold standard, and pulled literally all of our military personnel back to the United States. I'm curious. Sure, some things could break and we might experience a few problems in the transition. But we survived George W. Bush. Do you really think that ridding ourselves of the IRS would be more problematic than the War in Iraq?
If things somehow go completely to shit then in four years we'll elect another John Jackson or Jack Johnson from either of the two established political parties and so regain our monotonous, acceptable system. Or, hell, most of the people running for president right now will still be alive. We could just declare a mulligan and let these guys and gal go back to lying to us.
So why not let Ron Paul run through the government for four years deleting, cutting, and trimming? Why not get rid of the IRS and then bring it back in four years if we really need to? Why not try out the whole gold standard thing for a few years? Why not get rid of affirmative action, eminent domain, and the war on drugs? Are we really in such a delightful, joyous, and perfect situation that some Ron Paul provided change would be life-shatteringly problematic?
I don't necessarily agree with everything Ron Paul thinks. But I am quite bored. So I say we elect Ron Paul president and see what happens. Because Ron Paul has one thing to offer that no other candidate has:
Ron Paul would make life interesting.
Obama did the top ten list on Letterman last Night: The Ten Campaign Promises. As a Letterman Top Ten List Goes, it fulfills of the generic conventions (a joke about oprah and one about Regis)
I think it is nice that Obama and Edwards are willing to make fun of themselves. Vote Obama.
10. To keep the budget balanced, I'll rent the situation room for sweet sixteens.
9. I will double your tax money at the craps table.
8. Appoint Mitt Romney secretary of lookin' good.
7. If you bring a gator to the White House, I'll wrassle it.
6. I'll put Regis on the nickel.
5. I'll rename the tenth month of the year "Barack-tober."
4. I won't let Apple release the new and improved Ipod the day after you bought the previous model.
3. I'll find money in the budget to buy Letterman a decent hairpiece.
2. Pronounce the word nuclear, nuclear.
1. Three words: Vice President Oprah.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Heath Ledger's memorial service because, all together now, God Hates Fags. This latest Westboro moment has reminded me of a goal I've had for a while now. I want to go through the Bible and find every verse related to homosexuality and then find verses from the same books which no one heeds anymore.
For example, I would post Leviticus 18:22:
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
I would then post Leviticus 11:10-12:
"But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to detest. And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses. Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you."
Because, to me, it seems reasonable to argue that if one can completely ignore Leviticus 11:10-12 then it is also reasonable to completely ignore Leviticus 18:22. If only because any "logic" used to argue that it's now ok to eat lobster despite what God said (if we are to take that view of the Bible) will also support the idea that it's now ok to suck dick despite what God said. That is, of course, unless we are to distinguish between eating and sucking. And, really, I'd just like to hear a Christian fundamentalist nutcase make that argument; hopefully with diagrams and a demonstration.
The problem with my little goal is that
1) It is a lot of work.
2) I am really, really lazy.
Additionally, people have already made arguments similar to the one I want to make as well as arguments which are far better. Hell, wikipedia has an entry on the Bible and homosexuality which goes through, verse by verse, detailing the history and context and translation. There are also real websites which explore the Bible verses related to homosexuality and note particularities of translations and what the original Hebrew actually meant.
If we want to abandon the verse-by-verse argument and adopt a "in general" or broad view of the Bible and homosexuality there are sites which approach the debate from that angle as well. We can read about three same-sex relationships described in the Bible, exploring both the particular verses and their relation to the work as a whole.
What I do not understand, after spending the four minutes on google required to find all of this information, is how people can take this nuanced, historical, scholarly argument which explores the Bible as a historical text and simplify it all down to, "God hates Fags. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
If one honestly gives a shit about The Bible and if one honestly believes that there is an invisible man living in the sky who inspired the book and has a message to communicate to us I would think that such a person would, I don't know, read the fucking book and pay attention to scholars and interested parties who put forth the effort require to compile all of this information in an easily accessed manner.
The problem, I think, is that people do not desire to assess the work from an unbiased perspective. Insane people like the Westboro Baptist Church and Rick Santorum have an objective in mind when they approach the debate: They really don't like gay people. So instead of reading the Bible and understanding the nuance and particulars and complete bat-shit-insanity of Leviticus they stumble upon Leviticus 18:22, close the book, close their minds, consider their viewpoint justified, and let forth verbal torrents of hate at fellow human beings who happen to be homosexuals.
And the only thing worse than someone who thinks there is an invisible man living in the sky is someone who uses the child-like innocence of delusional fuckwits to rally support for their own hate-driven, intolerant message.
If you're going to ignore your day to day experiences, build onto reality the fabricated notion of an invisible sky daddy, and latch onto The Book which a group of historical grifters foisted onto your forebears under the guise of Godly dictation then at the very least you ought to read the damn thing and research the historical context of the work and the nuances of translation required to understand what The Book actually says.
Even if that does negate all of the premises upon which you base your belief in invisible sky daddy and your justification for your intolerant, narcissistic gay bashing.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Upon hearing the news that (spoiler alert) Heath Ledger died I didn't really care except to say that it ensured there would be no Brokeback Mountain II: The Secret of Dicksuckle Creek.
Then I got on the IMDB and discovered that Heath Ledger was not only the guy from Brokeback Mountain, but he was also the guy who got to kiss Julia Stiles (perfect) in 10 Things I Hate About You and that fucking ponce from A Knight's Tale; the movie which answered the question: "Why has no one ever made a movie in which people joust to the musical stylings of AC/DC and Queen?"
Which made me wonder why in all of these write ups of his death we get statements like this:
"It was a shocking end to a career built on unpredictability. Ledger avoided the safe path in favor of roles that forced him to bury his Australian accent and downplay his leading-man looks"
Really, Associated Press? Have you seen 10 Things I Hate About You? Have you seen A Knight's Tale?
If you want to blow this up to be a tragic loss of a shining gem of the Silver Screen then, fine, do so. With the presidential primaries, the war in Iraq, and the stock market going down like, um, Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain (zing!), it's not like you have anything to really write about.
But let's be fair and celebrate the man's entire catalog. Starting with Roar:
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
World of Warcraft reaches 10 Million Mark
To answer a question we had previously:
World of Warcraft subscribers include individuals who have paid a subscription fee or have an active prepaid card to play World of Warcraft, as well as those who have purchased the game and are within their free month of access. Internet Game Room players who have accessed the game over the last thirty days are also counted as subscribers. The above definition excludes all players under free promotional subscriptions, expired or cancelled subscriptions, and expired prepaid cards. Subscribers in licensees' territories are defined along the same rules.
So no, Mikey, you are not part of that 10 Million.
Equality in a social sense is a nuanced term with contextual, situational implications which transcend the mundane and completely idiotic simplification of, "We want to be treated equally."
Today there is an article about Mexico's new "Women Only" busses. On the day after Martin Luther King Jr. day? The timing is too perfect to ignore.
You see, women are sometimes harassed or groped or verbally abused on multi-sexual Mexican busses. Since not harassing or groping or verbally abusing women is obviously an unattainable goal, new Women Only busses were created to, hopefully, provide a means by which women can use public transport and not be treated poorly by Mexican assholes. A sensible solution? Sure. Except when applied to the idea of equality. "Women only" busses are not equal. Women only busses are a form of segregation. And if you recall what we were supposed to recall yesterday, segregation is bad. Which is why, according to Beatriz Perez, the new Women Only busses are, "wonderful".
So how, you know, THE FUCK, are we supposed to make sense of this?
This situation can only be understood once one casts aside the ignorantly simplified and incorrect notion that people desire "equality". No one wants equality; we are not all equal. We differ in gender and sex and abilities and physique and personality and race and culture and preferences and goals and hopes and dreams and a multitude of other facets of our being.
What we want is respect and a recognition of our own unique abilities divorced from stereotypes and idiotic notions of "who we are" based upon classification; we want a recognition that we are all human-fucking-beings deserving of respect by virtue of our humanity. And that? That's not "equality".
That is why Women Only busses are sensible and "we want to be treated equally" is a ditch-fuckingly stupid, misleading, and incorrect phrase used by dolts more concerned with presenting an appearance than articulating a sensible point of view.
Unless, of course, I am incorrect and we really do want to be treated equally. In which case Women Only busses are a pox on the women of Mexico despite how wonderful 73-year-old Beatriz Perez may think they are.
So we all know that stocks are falling, the fed cut rates by 3/4 of a percentage point, and the word "recession" is as common on CNBC as "Islamofascist" is on The O'Reilly Factor. And if you don't know these things then I'd suggest you stop reading and go back to calmly huming to yourself as you remain ignorant of the world in which you live.
For those of you still reading, however, I would like to offer a piece of advice: Don't let George W. Bush fuck things up any worse than they already are. Because "fucked up" is exactly how things will be if W enacts his little, "I'll fix the economy by giving everyone $800, huyuck." strategy.
And I don't need to understand economics to know this. I simply need to understand George W. "when history was written the final page will say" Bush. If motherfucker can't understand the differences between past, present and future tense then motherfucker can't understand the economy. If only because the tense system is very simple and economics is incredibly complex.
What is that $800 supposed to do, anyway? Let's say that everyone in the United States had an extra $800. Ok. How does that fix the housing market? How does that fix loan rates and energy costs? What is it supposed to do? Everyone in the United States pays off $800 of credit card debt and those of us without credit card debt (financially responsible pricks) put $785 into our savings account and use $15 to pay our World of Warcraft bill for a month.
The $800 will not actually do anything. It's not even an illusion of a solution. It's simply W's attempt at an economic reach around while he fucks us in the ass so that dipshits say: "President gave me $800. He's a good leader. Huyuck."
Fix the god damned problem and stop trying to assuage your constituents. And if we're hurting for money? How about we end the damn War on Terror. That would probably free up a few billion dollars and severely decrease the amount of money we're borrowing from other nations which may very well increase the value of the dollar overall and so stimulate some positive economic growth.
That is, if we actually want to fix the problem. Which at this point is a premise based upon a mere assumption.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Every third monday in January I make a pilgrimage, a ritualistic and sacred trek, to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Why? Well, the third monday in January is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And I really don't know what else I'm supposed to do to celebrate.
I'm serious, too. What am I supposed to do? What are any of us supposed to do? Go ahead and read about the history of the day. Now, did you see anywhere therein a description of what we're supposed to do? Are we supposed to exchange gifts, volunteer, decorate eggs, salute a flag, or just blow smoke up the black man's ass?
Because that's all this day seems to really be about: appeasement without advancement. Congratulations, dream achieved: Bankers and Postal Workers get a day off.
I also enjoy that Martin Luther King Jr. day is not January 15, King's birthday, but rather is on a relative, approximate day thereabout. It's the approximation of a holiday for something approximating equality. It's faux respect and reverence. And I don't understand how that makes people happy.
Honestly, if you are truly pissed off about inequality or racism or slavery or some other bug that happens to dwell within your ass how is the third monday in January in any way beneficial to your particular historical or cultural pet peeve? What does it really do for you? In what way do you benefit?
Sure, you get a token speech, an expected article on a news site, and maybe a presidential candidate will show up to your rally and tell you what you want to hear. Great. Go ahead and make a "Mission Accomplished" banner. It will be just as appropriate now as it was then.
Because it's not doing anything for you; it's not really helping. It's the holiday equivalent of getting Don Imus kicked off the air. Sure, your cause gets some attention and people pretend to care for a little bit. But on the third Tuesday of January? The postal workers and bankers will be back at work, the speech will be forgotten, the candidate will move on to the next town.
And Martin Luther King Junior will still be dead with his cause and ideal condensed down to a bumper sticker motto.
But on the bright side, Barak Obama could be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. So maybe progress and equality will come despite you jackoffs focusing on trite bullshit rather than pursuing true progress.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
So there's this quest in World of Warcraft called Skywing. You happen upon an NPC bird who, well, i'll let the quest text speak for itself:
Skywing flutters around you.
You get the feeling he wants you to follow him.
So you follow this fucking bird around a fucking village where sentient human/bird things try to beat the crap out of you while Skywing there attempts to find "something". After some amount of time Skywing finds what he is looking for, presumably, turns into a human/bird thing, thanks you, and is off on his merry way.
I tell you this not to stress the engaging and well-crafted story of the quest (that's sarcasm), but rather to focus on the rewards for this quest. For, you see, not only do you get reputation, experience/gold, and a piece of armor but you ALSO get a mother-fucking pet bird.
I had forgotten how absurd things can be in WoW; how after escorting what may have been some sort of demi-bird-god-thing around a village so that it might, let's say, save an entire race of beings, an NPC will thank you by handing you a pet bird. Named Miniwing. Who follows you around for the rest of its life.
Something about that situation endears the game to me. I do not know exactly why this is the case. But for some reason I love the idea that after escorting a bird around a village of bird people the reward to be given will include a pet bird who just follows you around forever to remind you of that time you escorted a bird through a village of bird people.