Thursday Bloody Thursday
This is my life right now. And I'm all out of peanut butter.
This is my life right now. And I'm all out of peanut butter.
Tim Blair gazes into the future that the glowball warm-mongerers have planned for us. It's not pretty. But it is funny.
As for me, according the the Weather Channel the Central Florida area can expext sizzling globally warm temperatures tomorrow. I had planned to wear shorts and a light shirt as I ran my errands but now I guess those plans are changed.
Rock, meet water: Kim Du Toit encounters a phenomenon that was known of thousands of years ago. Or, human nature rears its fugly head again:
When the great Tao ceased to be observed, benevolence (jen) and righteousness (i) came into fashion. Then wisdom and cleverness appeared, and hypocrisy followed at their heels. When harmony no longer prevailed among kin, loyal sons first appeared; when the states fell into disorder, loyal ministers appeared.
It begins, of course, with the notion that there is something wrong with people using things like "common sense" and reliance on standards of behavior to make their way through life. It ends with a woman letting a rapist into her house because it's rude to be suspicious of a strange man knocking on her door.
Everyone needs to buy this book. Including me.
On a side note, the Amazon blurb is great: "Steve H. Graham is a retired attorney. Since childhood, he has been fighting for truth, justice, and free movie passes. For each copy sold of this book, he will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to himself." I tell you, we're twins, except for the retired attorney bit (I'm not patient enough to get through law school much less argue in court, and I've led such a slacker life that now I won't be able to retire until I've been dead for twenty years) and the free movie passes thing (you would have to pay me to see most movies, never mind letting me go for "free"). But other than that, twins.
Related link: Steve's blog.
I had to eat in the breakroom today, where they have a big wall-screen tv. It was off when I went in there, but someone else got bored so they turned on the news. So I got to experience the following while I was trying to choke down my reheated Velveeta Shells 'N' Cheese: an aerial video of a procession of cars behind a white hearse, and a hush-voiced announcer saying "...bearing the body of Anna Nicole Smith... cemetary... laid to rest today..."
Whereupon the break room's atmosphere was split by my voice: "Oh Jesus Christ! You'd think she was a world leader or something!!"
It is things like this that lower my patience these days.
AIM.org are a bunch of sissies. I mean really. I'm not all that interested in Ann Coulter -- why eat junk food when gourmet is just as available, and so much better for both brain and soul? -- but the current hissy fit over her latest dud-bomb (Oooh, she called John Edwards the f-word!!! -- er, actually, not quite, though she does deserve to be slapped for heaping more evidence on the table that conservatives couldn't be witty if their lives depended on it) just reeks of "Please, please Mr. and Ms. Liberal Cool Person, don't hate me, don't shut me out of your fun parties!"
Full disclosure: I believe that to be conservative is to willingly give up more than a few of what the Western world considers great and wonderful things. You must give up the licentious lifestyle that the liberal entertainment culture pushes on us 24/7. You must give up the idea that people are really good at heart and that it's only amorphous and ever-changing "outside forces" (society, the Patriarchy™, capitalism, global warming) making people behave badly. You must not party like it's 1999. You must give up the idea of being "cool" -- fashion is the opposite of tradition. And you must behave like a grown-up, not like a perpetual adolescent. But that also means acting like a grownup when those on our side backslide, not like pouty teens afraid that the goofy one in their bunch is going to spoil their clique's chances of getting the popular girls to invite them to the keg party after the prom.
(Via Kathy Shaidle.)
Remember when the career of academic was so respected in America that "professors" were commonly considered to be wrinkled maniacs with crazy hair and coke-bottle eyeglasses who refused to drive cars because the ancient Greeks didn't have them? James Lileks has unearthed prime evidence that the ivory tower is as close-doored and clueless-inhabited as ever. The only thing that has changed is that the current generations lack our ancestors' robust sense of confidence in themselves and therefore don't dare make fun of idiots like this, because "--he's got a PhD!!!" That and a quarter will get you a gumball -- oops, no, they've gone up to fifty cents.
Which I hope to be, and then maybe I'll pass out and finally get some decent sleep. Yes, I'm staying home, because I was unable to sleep last night (unless you call light dozes in between getting up and running to the bathroom -- thanks, caffeine! -- "sleep") and I just couldn't face the thought of hauling myself to the bus stop and interacting with my fellow beings for hours and hours.
Anyway, there's been this sort of meme* thing travelling about INTERNET about how we should look at our blog archives from March 2003 -- those of us who have
had no life been blogging at least that long anyway -- and, um, well, I guess invite commentary about them. I think. Shut up, I haven't had enough sleep.
Anyway, here is mine. Skimming through it is kind of depressing, because it just makes me realize how much I used to write, even if a lot of the entries were variations on "I'm changing the blog design again!" And a lot of the links are now defunct, but I think you get the gist.
A randomly selected sample:
How to win friends and influence people
Not. Patty comments on this article which (unintentionally, I am sure) reveals the contempt the mavens of the "peace movement" feel towards the masses they are trying to engage in "dialogue." The gist of the article is: talk down to them, because obviously the only reason that the American people haven't jumped on the peace bandwagon in droves is because they are too stupid. Money quote from Susan C. Strong, a "former teacher of rhetoric and argumentation in Berkeley" :
"Speak American," she said. "Strip down to the simple, metaphoric Anglo Saxon. Leave out long words, complex explanations, historical analysis or arguments supported by lots of reasons, facts, statistics."
Up yours too, you cow. Go fuck yourself sideways with a plank. Look! All Anglo-Saxon words. Think Ms. Strong will get it?
(Links that were in the original are not copied over here.) Oh where, oh where has the fire gone? Must get my mojo back...
*It has become fashionable to sneer at the term "meme," so I am not going to do that. I'm such a rebel!
... from this soon-to-be-boiled-dry planet, apparently: huge "sheets of ice" are falling from a skyscraper in Toronto.
(Via the Flea.)
I'm trying to stay awake until I can go to bed at a decent hour, and also avoiding caffeine. I just had my last cup of (tea (black weakened with an herbal concoction). I mustn't nap -- if I sleep in the middle of the day, it just throws me off and I'll end up worse than before. (I stayed in bed until nearly noon on Sunday, that might be part of what's wrong with me. I used to be able to sleep until all hours and/or stay up until dawn and still get in a full day's work but those days have been over for a while. Also it occurs to me that there is a reason I went about in a fog all the time back then...
Warning: more boring personal life post ahead!
...in order to prevent evil, you have to take a risk-not of death, but of embarrassment.
Words to die by:
"But we'll look like idiots/racists/paranoid/uncool!"
For an earlier illustration of this, see the widespread scorn heaped upon the people and the city of Boston for "being scared" by a stupid ad campaign. I was reassured rather than embarrassed by the fact that there are people even in the super-blue state of Massachusetts who aren't willing to laugh off the sudden appearance of devices of unknown import and provenance about their city when we're in the middle of a war waged by the sort of people whose way of waging war often uses methods like leaving explosive devices around places they want to attack. But the "guerrilla advertisers" were cool and scared people who just wanted to live their lives are not. Thanks to the attitudes of the Cool Kids, someone who is young and impressionable might ignore the next "not right" thing because he's afraid of being mocked. Well, you can't hear anyone make fun of you when you're in the grave.
(Via Kathy Shaidle.)
Googoth, the search engine with real bat chunks in it. That's the actual page title. It's a Goth parody of Google... or is it? Search, if you dare...
(Via the Flea.)
Addendum: hold me mommy, I'm scared.
"But censorship doesn't make people improve themselves; it makes people want to rebel." Sometimes Peggy Noonan's writing sets my teeth on edge. This is not one of those times.
(Via Kathy Shaidle.)
Here's the proof.
No, I am not especially happy with the new Daylight Savings Time date. Why don't they just go all the way -- ban air-conditioning because it contributes to climate change, make every day Bring Your Child To Work Day, make loud cell phone conversations consisting of "I'm on the bus," and "what up, dog?" mandatory on all buses? There are so many ways to torture me, why stop at just one?
(Oh wait -- that last one is already in effect.)
Dawn Eden says that the people who have premarital sex are doing so out of fear that stems from being affected by divorce, of their own parents or those around them.
Because a happy, committed marriage is inconceivable to them, they set themselves up to squeeze out the maximum amount of romance from a relationship in the shortest possible time — killing the opportunity to nurture real love and intimacy.
This is probably so, and it just confirms something I've believed for a long time: that most people have very little imagination, and are unable to form associations with anything beyond their own little private sphere of pleasures and pains. The idea that just because you, your little individual self, happens to be having a miserable time doesn't mean all of existence is meaningless is rejected; the idea that one can grow beyond the evils of one's own circumstances by learning and study of other times and ways does not even occur to them. Thanks to the American tradition of anti-intellectualism on the one hand and the circle-pissing of the half-baked intellectuals who have taken over the education industry on the other we have learned that no lessons can be learned from the past except the one that it was a Time of Ignorance, when everyone did everything wrong until our enlightened society finally got humanity on the right track. Strangely enough, that track seems to resemble another road we used to know well; it certainly seems to be paved with just as many good intentions.
What was that sound you heard? And why do you suddenly feel a little lightheaded? Could it be that a large portion of the self-important "right wing" blogging communitards have just sucked the oxygen out of the air with this giant priss-out in response to Ann Coulter's "unnacceptable use" of the word "faggot" to make fun of Senator John "Brylcreem" Edwards?
Well I've already slammed Coulter for being a lackwit and making conservatives look bad (because whether we like it or no in the minds of the news-spawn she "represents" us), but this is ridiculous. Excuse me, I have a statement to make.
FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOTTY FAG FAG FAGGOT.
There. Am I touching you now? How about now? Now? I'm not touching you. Not touching you. Am I touching you now?
(As I said on the KiSP website, fortunately hardly any of the blogging prisspots are real conservatives, because WE can laugh at ourselves. As for Ann? All is forgiven! But only because I want to piss these people off.)
A few days ago I heard something on the news (in passing, probably in the break room at work where they have a big flat-screen tv -- I never watch the news at home if I can help it) about the summit they had or possibly still are having down in South America somewhere, the one Bush was supposed to attend. (May already have attended. I told you, I don't watch the news.) Anyway, what I heard was this: the congerie of countries called "Latin America" apparently "feels" that the US of A is "ignoring" them.
Right. We probably are. And you should thank your lucky stars, Latin America. Try to stop feeling for one second and think: do you really want us to pay attention to you?
So I clicked on this link to an article about working from home that I got in my Monster.com email newsletter and wouldn't you know, it's focused on stay-at-home mothers. (NOT "MOMS" fortheloveofchrist...)
Dear employer community: not all single women need to leave their homes every day to enter the corporate cave so they can find a MAN or just not have to face the aching void of ALONENESS that single women are supposed to inhabit. I for one am sick of hauling myself out of bed at an ungodly hour so I can spend half my day interacting with my fellow human beings. I think I would hate the human race that much less if I didn't have to see so frickin' many of them day in and day out -- no wait, the same ones day in and day out, sprinkled with a random sampling of loser bums that ride the bus all day.
I would say more, but as I unwisely post under my own name (though I doubt any of my coworkers have any idea how to look up a person on the internet, or even how to get on the internet -- some of them still act as if the mouse in their hand will explode if they move it too fast) I will refrain and just sit here seething until I am crushed under the mountain of debt that forces me to have to have a day job.
Heh heh. Periodically I like to tweak the earnest hedonists over at Ace of Spades HQ. Here's what I left in the comments to the above-linked post, which reports the box office success of the current nekkid shouty men killing each other movie 300:
I mean really, who cares how much money movies make? Who cares how many people go see a movie you happened to like? I like movies hardly anyone else on earth seems to even know exist -- does this bum me out? Do I sit here wracked with pain because the moviegoing American public let me down for not going in droves to see (insert some light romcom or silly scifi title or whatever) making its actors huge stars etc. etc.??? Do we really care that much how much the movie industry is making?
Me, I'd be happy if all the movie cameras in the world spontaneously disintegrated. I am sick of movies. I am sick of actors. I am sick of "film critics." I am sick of the whole megilla. Thanks to the movies we are no longer able to think outside of a frame of reference that doesn't include closeups, dramatic reaction shots, and climactic scenes in an hour and a half.
Open a fucking book, America. One without pictures -- yes, put down your beloved comic book, that's not "reading."
However, I meant it. I can vaguely recall a time when no one much cared about "box office returns" and so on. When movies were just a pastime you could choose, instead of, apparently, an essential part of American life without which you are crippled. It's the same thing as the attitude towards cars. Once it was quite normal for not everyone in the whole goddamn universe to need a vehicle once they turned sixteen. An old post of Udolpho's slammed the late Art Buchwald for writing stuff like this:
People are broad-minded. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there's something wrong with him.
-- and that is crap. It's also not quite right: the truth is, people, at least Americans, don't approve of alcoholics, dope fiends, wife beaters, or newspapermen, and they don't really trust an adult who doesn't own a car either. (Unless they live in a place like New York, where the rules that govern the rest of the US are basically inverted, but that's another story.) I have held off on buying a new car, despite the inconveniences of living in a standard pedestrian-unfriendly American city, because I have come to enjoy occasionally being able to pay my rent on time. When I had a car I was always worrying about either being able to pay my car payments and rent in the same month, and then add the insurance (which costs the earth in macho teen male and senile snowbird riddled Florida) and then there was gas and the inevitable repairs. Now all I have to worry about is getting to work on time either via a succession of buses or rides from coworkers, and as I plan to move to an apartment within walking distance of work when my lease here is up that will cease to be a problem.
I also have another, more personal reason (no, not my incompetent way with money) for not wanting to get back into the driving fray just yet: every time I see one of those grossly obese people -- and I see them all the time -- you know, the ones who when they sit down are so fat their legs can't go together? The ones that are basically rotund? -- I get the urge to walk and walk and walk. I am already too fat, but at least I can put my legs together when I sit down in public, and wattles of flesh don't hang down below the backs of my knees. And I plan to keep it that way.
But anyway, I still sense my carless state is an occasion of worry for some people, even though I am an able-bodied woman in (as far as I know, I don't make a fetish of going to the doctor as is now the fashionable thing either) good health. This isn't the way it used to be -- my mother quit driving because she just couldn't deal with Miami traffic anymore and no one treated her like a retard.
So it goes with movie-going. You tell people "I don't like movies as a general rule" and they don't get the idea there are exceptions, they get the idea you are some kind of freak from outerspace. I could enjoy the movies -- I used to enjoy them -- but all the talk about how much money they made and how high they are on this week's top ten has undercut most of the enjoyment.
Also, if you ask me they are just tapped out. Films apparently aren't a constantly renewing source like novels are; being a much more simplistic medium (there are only so many things people can see when they look at something, as opposed to being forced to use their own imagination under the restrictions of black type on white paper) they had to run out of steam some day. If you ask me today is that day. The same tired plots, the same hackneyed dialogue, the increasing reliance on flashy computer effects and comic books, the substitution of screaming for acting -- all add up to a dry fart of nothing.
As for 300, I haven't seen it, but by all reports -- favorable and un- (but not stupid -- the reviewers who are bleating about the movie being "fascist propaganda" and screeching about "Nazis/racists/awk! awk! awk!" are just moronic and should be ignored except for purposes of mockery) it's got all the problems I have listed above. Personally I think Xerxes and the whole Persian Empire have been getting the short end of the stick from people for a while too. Sure, they might have been that era's version of totalitarian zombie rule, or were they? Remember, this was the "Middle East" before it got boring (ie, before Islam); the Persian Empire lasted for a gajillion years and must have been kind of interesting at the very least. I find it odd the way they are treated like cartoon villains in our accounts of the Greeks' conflicts with them (the Greeks may have been our philosophical forefathers, but we don't have to take on all of their attitudes). It would be interesting to see a historical treatment on some aspect of the Persian Empire -- at the very least we could figure out in part where those nutty Iranians are coming from.
But we'd probably turn it into a romantic comedy starring Owen Wilson and whatever stick figure with breasts is giving the casting couch a workout.
Update: forgot to link to this. Heh.
Second update: I did wonder whether I should leave out the "read a fucking book" line, as it seems kind of like a non-sequitur, but as so far the reponses (along the lines of I should "lighten up" and lists of all the Real History Books people are reading) have been pure comedy gold I'm glad I decided to leave it in.
Third update: oh, it just keeps getting better and better. Geeks do not like having their pwecious comic book collections mocked. I'm waiting for one of these flabby retards to threaten to come to my house and beat me up (or rather, girl-slap me with their pasty, ink-stained paws).
Last update, because I'm just having too much fun: OMG the perfection of this:
On the subject of lowly comic books and Greek legend, am I the only one who sees a similarity between the comic book form and bas relief/pottery ornamentation the Greeks used for graphic narrative? Just wondering.
I never thought Ace's commenters would rise to the occasion like they have here. Gentlemen (and ladies, and those of, um, unknown or unfixed gender), I bow to you. You have made a boring Sunday just a little more special than normal.
It takes two to participate in oppression -- meet at least half the reason Muslim women are little better than slaves: their own sisters. As long as stupidity and ignorance are tended like the rarest of orchids by idiots like this woman, Muslim women will never be free.
Don't believe me? Well, here's a sample of this female's opinion -- or something -- on Lord of the Rings:
Identify sources, which propagate destructive Messianic ideology and address them, e.g. Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, which can imbue children and teens with the “hate” ethos. For example, in Lord of the Rings, free peoples of the West and North enter an all-out war with the terror-inflicting forces of the South and East, in Middle Earth (Middle East?) (ad nauseum -- Ed.)
No, Middle-Earth, you stupid bitch. God forbid you take five minutes to look up the provenance of that term -- but since it has fuckall to do with The Only Knowledge One Should Know (ie, Allah's Guide to Proper Penis-Washing and Fingernail Paring, aka the Koran) she probably never will.
PS: I fail to see the progressive tendencies Kathy found, but then I found reading any more of this nonsense painful in the extreme.
I share moments of my life with you poor, lesser mortals: just because I have had an excellent dinner, prepared with these two hands (ham steak, a baked sweet potato, and fresh brussel sprouts parboiled and sauteed in butter, with a not-bad-for-a-grocery-store zinfandel), does not mean I feel mellow. On the contrary, there's nothing like a nice meal to get the hate flowing.
On the other hand, I have a couple of Sherlock Holmes (the ones with Jeremy Brett) dvds from Netflix waiting, and I have to get up early blah blah blah. What to do?
Heh -- that sounds like lyrics from a Seventies song, even if it isn't. Anyway, I can stay up a little later because one of my coworkers called and offered to pick me up in the morning. This means I don't have to crawl outdoors at six in the morning to catch the first of three buses. Anyway, I feel like irritating someone. I actually saw the news yesterday on the stupid tvs they have on some of the buses down here, about that guy from the band Boston, whatsisname, who just died. So naturally the first thing I thought of was "Do you suppose his last thoughts were 'Hey, that is more than a feeli--'"?
Steve Sailer considers Obama; I consider another election of bland platitudes acting as an inadequate bandaid over seething resentment, a situation irritated more than ameliorated by the embarrassing antics of white liberals in one of their "At last! A black (or blackish) candidate we can approve of!" fests.
As for me, I am strangely cheered by the news that Al Sharpton is running for prez again. I may just vote for him. Sure, he's an idiot, and he'd ruin the country (or have a good time trying), but at least he doesn't have the Clean, Articulate Negro stamp of approval. Eight years of Clinton shows that having a sociopathic yet oddly charming liar in the highest office in the land bothers us not at all. Sure, we'd have a lot more terrorist attacks on our soil, but my fellow Americans have more than once indicated that they'd be glad to put up with a few corpses for cheap gas and go-along-to-get-along cred.
Tired of abuse by mankind, the earth is angry. Worse, the planet is out to even the score.
Audiences can expect a story along those lines when M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Happening” reaches screens in the next year. The project, to which 20th Century Fox signed on last week, imagines a planet that is starting to act like the vigilante Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver."
The sequel: "Tired of having crap movies broadcast into it, the void of space fights back. Space may really be the final frontier!"
Be still, my beating heart -- I'm not alone on this earth in wishing for the return of the grown-up -- or as they used to be called "the people who ran things, while you kids stayed out of our hair, did your homework, and cleaned your room."
American culture is now almost completely infantile. The under-eighteen set is either catered to or ringed about with exaggerated fears that the slightest hint that maybe the whole world doesn't quite completely revolve around the little darlings will cause mayhem. Actually that might happen -- when you treat emotionally immature beings as if they are capricious little godlings you tend to produce demons instead.
The most obvious example of this phenomenon is television and the movies. When I was a child there was no question television and films were mostly bad for children, though not in the childish, fearmongering sense we know of today (violent scenes might give their feelings an owie, sexy scenes may make them consider the pleasures of chastity -- oops! I mean, turn them into porno-guzzling sex fiends, not that there's anything wrong with that it's a LIFESTYLE CHOICE, YOU HOMOPHOBES). No, back then (I was a child in the sixties and seventies) we knew of something called "it's for grownups," also expressed as "you're too young, and anyway it's a school night."
Back then when a movie was rated R that didn't mean an excuse for a family night out, it meant YOU, the CHILD, were not going. Just as you were not going to that play, or that party, and that when your parents went out you would have a babysitter or a relative staying with you.
Grownups did grownup things and weren't ashamed of it. The world was a place for adults which a child had to grow up to be allowed to enter. Parents did not try to be their childrens' "best buddy" because for one thing childish tastes and activities are boring to a normal adult. The reason so many parents hate Barney when people who were parents in days of yore have only affection for the kiddie tv characters of the day (Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers, etc.) is in large part because it never occurred to parents to endure hours upon hours of their childrens' favorite tv shows and movies. Of course, this wasn't possible given the technology of the time, but even if it had been I have no doubt that the mindset would be the same: "turn that thing off, it's your bed time/you have to get dressed and go to school." I had a favorite (awful) program when I was about seven that came on at 7:30 PM. Guess when my bedtime was. Guess what show I didn't get to see until school closed for the summer.
I believe that the current childish level our culture has sunk to owes much to a certain spoiled generation now trying to ignore the fast-approaching grave. You know who I am talking about. It all comes down to the Boomers. I am pretty sure that no generation has run so frantically from the specter of their own natural end since the fall of Rome. If they can't stay young they'll force the whole of society back into the nursery, or at least junior high. And they don't care if they have to look like pathetic idiots, tagging along after their own children begging to be let into their fun, turning everything on tv including the news into a cartoon, avoiding adult responsibilities (except the necessary ones to keep the toy fund going). Include me out.
(Via Kim Du Toit.)
Update: one more thing -- I forgot this. I was waiting for the bus this morning at Uptown Altamonte, a new enclave of cute shops and overpriced apartments (really, who do they expect to want to live there next to I-4?) just north of Orlando. I was wandering about, idly looking at the new and still-to-be-constructed shops, and I saw this restaurant that sold hamburgers and such. Apparently one of their specialties is roasted peanuts. There was a sign on the door admonishing customers that (I am paraphrasing as I can't remember the exact wording) since "many of our customers and their children have allergies do not discard peanuts or their shells outside of this restaurant."
This is a city which is covered in a weedy specimen of oak called "laurel oak," which every year about this time throws out clouds of pollen, causing the entire state to go into rhinitic spasms. I felt like buying a bag of peanuts at the grocery store and throwing them all over the sidewalk in front of the place.
One or two more things: I didn't even touch on the alcohol. The relationship between Americans and booze wasn't always so confused as it is now. Our country was basically created while everyone was three sheets to the wind (all those Founding Fathers hashing out matters in inns over tankards of ale and grog and whatever). But the reasons why there's a confused, even schizophrenic attitude towards booze in this country are too many to go into here. I'll just say that yes, back when I was a kid grownups, if they drank, downed concoctions that tasted nasty to us kids (we knew because we'd snag an ice cube or a sip our of our parents' highball glasses when they weren't looking) -- scotch, bourbon, and so on. There was of course, beer, but we didn't like it, nor did we like the chianti in the basket bottle that was the only wine we ever saw our parents drink, and it was only imbibed with Italian food. Drinking was one of those incomprehensible grownup thing that we weren't supposed to partake in until we were old enough. We kids actually thought drinking was kind of silly, at least until we got into high school and got silly ourselves.
One more short thing on D.A.R.E. and other anti-drug school programs: of course they aren't "working." The commenters on Dr. Helen's site are right: the program is just for show, so school officials can say they are "doing something" about kids taking drugs. Naturally kids see right through all the "drugs are bad look what they do to yooouuuuu!!! And then you'll go to prison and--" etc. Kids see right through this because of course they know drugs are dangerous. They aren't stupid in that sense. They are stupid for wanting the effect of drugs, but then they've had the idea dinned into their skulls since infancy that life is all about pleasure and good feelings and having fun, and here's a little red pill or a smoke that will give you all of that and what do we expect them to do?
(Note: some spelling mistakes corrected.)
Hi kids! I really need to move out of this place. Last night about 10:30 I'm sitting there on the couch stroking my elderly, sick cat, and trying to make myself tired enough to sleep, as opposed to being too tired to sleep, when suddenly this commotion erupts from the apartment behind mine. (I believe I have previously complained about the thin walls in this place.) This noise could have been heard in a bunker, though -- either Cato and the Pink Panther have moved in behind me, or someone was being axe-murdered. I didn't know whether to call maintenance or the police.
Older tenants are leaving this place in droves and are being replaced with, if you ask me, a somewhat less savory crowd. There was the yutz with the firecrackers, and the guy who has loud arguments on the phone with his window open (which is next to my bedroom window, which needless to say keep out the noise even less well than the walls), and just a certain look to people I've seen about the place lately.
That's not all. I'm tired of living so far from where I work. I only moved to this place so I could be close to work, and then the office moved to the other side of I-4. Even if I did have a car I'd want to move. I live near a large state road which I have to cross every morning to catch the first bus, and I'm sick of it, as people drive here as if running people down wasn't against the law. I don't even like walking on the sidewalk here anymore. New cars tend to stop on a dime, unlike the steel behemoths of my youth, so people don't bother putting the brakes on until the last minute. (Oddly enough, in older parts of Orlando, such as near downtown, where the traffic is even worse, I'm not as jumpy walking around. I think it's because all the roads are straighter and narrower than the wide, curved highways in suburban and semi-urban areas.) There are a few apartment complexes either within walking distance or at least within one short bus ride from work, so there is no reason for me to stay here any longer than I have to.
But I need money. I don't have much worth selling -- I'll probably end up giving most of my clutter to Goodwill or the dumpster -- and anyway I am keeping most of the furniture I have acquired, and it's not the light crap I used to own. Therefore I will have to hire movers or at least a truck and have a friend drive it. Also there is the little matter of down payment, pet fees, etc.
So I am having a Get Me Out of Here! fundraiser. The Paypal and Amazon should both work. Every little bit helps. I'll even post more. If the mad axe-murderer doesn't start on the rest of the building.
Want to know what Bridezilla eats?
March 15, 2007 — - In 2003, a large suitcase containing the remains of 26 butchered monkeys was confiscated at Logan Airport in Boston on its way from Ghana.
The 300 pounds of raw meat, destined to be served as the main course at a wedding in New Hampshire, was "oozing out of its container," said Tom Healy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
(Bolds mine.) I have nothing else to say, really.
(Via Ace of Spades HQ.)
First in a series! Here it is:
My favorite Led Zeppelin song has this chorus:
And maybe a few more, and then something about walking in a park, if he comes back.
My thoughts on the global-warming no we mean -cooling no climate change! oh well anyway the latest hysteria, can be summarized as follows:
I can't believe anyone could ever want to bring back the Seventies, one of the most useless, valueless, morally-lost, frivolous, hideous decades in the history of Western civilization -- but apparently someone does.
I'm awake. It's that time o' the month again (Irish b.s. accent added in honor of St. Patrick's Day), and I'm drinking decaf coffee so I won't get cramps. Also, I always experience a dulling of my already feeble mental capacities whenever this wonderful week comes around, so I may or may not be posting things here for the next couple of days. And if I do they may or may not be crap. (Bet on number one.)
I should pack, for my planned move -- even if I can't get out of here before my lease is up in September I should start now, as I know how long it takes me to pack -- but I can't bring myself to start. Gah, I need some real coffee.
Update: I have to say it could be worse. (And now my post title is even more apropos.)
Argh, just did my 1040-EZ form. There is bad news and good news. The bad news is I owe again. The good news is, at least it's less than 100 bucks this time. I really should sign up for that 401-K.
Well, everyone must be out vomiting up green beer onto the sidewalks, because the internet is dead. I never venture out alone in Orlando on St. Patrick's Day, because I'm not stupid. People here are bad enough when sober. I don't know if my crazy neighbors are celebrating with their usual yelling, rap-music-playing, and firecracker-lighting, but that's because I'm sitting here listening to Big, Stupid Rock on the Big, Stupid Rock station. As you may have ascertained, the current offering is "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull. ("...snot running down his nose...") They don't do it like the Tull anymore.
Let's see if this works and doesn't screw up my template:
OK, so far so good. Some of this is just nonsense, but I had to pick the nearest thing. The "love" category was the most unsatisfactory, but this is probably due to the desiccated state of my "heart" (carefully tended, of course). Most of the choices were images of cute young things getting physical, which hardly describes my preferences these days. There was one image of a cute dog bearing a newspaper, but as I am under no illusion as to why dogs do things for us I couldn't very well pick that one.
More items... sorry for the hairy back image, but it was the grossest one they had. Other images (a clean toilet (?) -- I guess a dirty one would be going too far -- and someone's bare toes, etc.) weren't gross enough. But anyway, it's a cute timewaster, and I feel it my duty to clutter up the internet with as much garbage as possible -- just doing my part! (Via Sheila O'Malley.)
(Boring personal post follows. Skip if you like quality.)
Orlando has this radio station that is mostly moronic talk all week (the kind of "talk" that is nothing but three or four semi-cretins talking over each other and laughing at their own moronic "jokes," which weren't funny when Truman was president, and occasionally taking callers -- all of whom seem to be the sort of people who call talk radio shows because there's just not much else a 600-pound hermaphrodite on disability can do for fun), but on weekends they have music, and on Sunday they have a show called "Sunday Night Vinyl." (They probably spell it "Nite" but I'm not in radio so I will use correct spelling.)
Anyway, most of the stuff they play is from the Eighties, the time of vinyl's last gasp (there is a feeble movement of sorts to bring vinyl back, but nothing will come of it, as most people prefer the ease of storage and playing of CDs, or downloading music off the internet onto their iPods). I remember at the time that music had suddenly become creative and interesting again, but in retrospect there was an awful lot of cruddy garbage, and a lot of new bad habits were formed (and I'm not talking about the drugs).
One of the things that bothered me back then and is really annoying now is the bogus "English" accent many singers affected. This was a sort of exaggerated twisting of vowels as well as an extra snotty way of projecting the voice that was extremely irritating, and undercut whatever virtues the song in question may otherwise have had. You could really tell the British singers from their American counterparts that way -- the British singers didn't have much of an accent when they sang. But hordes of eyelined, spike-haired boys were sure this would draw in the chicks, so we got to hear things like what I just heard from some obscure band whose name I now forget -- the phrase "I close my eyes" pronounced as "Oy cla-owse moy oyz." God, shut up, who cares.
And they're still doing it -- the bad Fake British Accent is here to stay. Green Day is one of the major offenders (one of the many reasons I can't stand them, besides the fact that they suck.) On the whole, it's just another reason I am considering selling my record collection on Ebay.
Update: if it's Vienna Calling, hang up. And -- you know, there's a reason these things were B-sides. (Tell the kids what that means.)
A nice little pad going for $1200 per month in New York City, or a cell in Guantanamo? How to tell? One clue: an apartment in New York would have a view of a brick wall or a concrete garbage shute instead of the sky.
(Read more about the chagrined tears of those who lost out on this sweet deal at Tim Blair's blog.)
I can't think of anything else to say. I always enjoy reading Cathy's blog because she is nice without being smarmy, and can be witty without being cruel. I like to be cruel, myself, but it was good to know that everyone wasn't -- isn't -- like me. After all, that would be boring.
Okay, I guess I did think of something to say. I suck at these things, sorry.
How conservatives can avoid tying themselves in philosophical knots when news of the Next Kewl Scientific Breakthrough is announced: remember two chief tenets of true conservatism:
1) figuring out how to do something is no reason to do it, and
2) having a natural impulse is no reason to give in to it.
As I've said before, if you want to be cool, you can't be conservative. The two things are mutually exclusive.
(Prompted by this post on Transterrestrial Musings, where I left a similar comment.)
(I decided what I did have here was too wordy.) I came back home today to take the cat to the vet. The older one -- she seemed to be having trouble peeing, and I know that's not good. They have here there giving her fluids (despite being not able to pee she was dehydrated) and I am supposed to call them in the afternoon for the prognosis.
So that's been my day so far.
It is very important not to tailgate someone who has apparently had approximately 900 cups of coffee that day.
Well, the cat is back. She's got a urinary tract infection, so I now have to give her antibiotic drops twice a day. (It's the same pink stuff, amoxicillin, they gave us all when we were kids.) She's going to be thrilled. She yowled all the way back from the vet, a short trip across the street made much longer by the INSANE drivers here -- pedestrians have the right to be run over if they can't sprint out of the way of the *important* person driving the Lexus have the very *important* cell phone conversation that can't stop for mundane things like paying attention to the short fat lady struggling to carry a case full of agitated, bouncing cat. And sloshing -- her plumbing is already working again. So not only was she upset at the trip and the poking and the strange place and the shots, but she was sitting in pee. Fortunately the case is plastic and has no openings on the bottom so at least it didn't drip all over me. Much.
Catblogging must -- some pictures after the break:
I just don't. But I guess I have to sometimes.
Make sure you read Treacher's previous entries too. And everything else.
A group of preteen girls who live in the complex are having a screaming contest. (You know -- one of those things where you and your little friends would see who could scream the loudest.)
Well, life does go on, doesn't it? Begin whine...
Okay, I am attempting to remove my head from the smelly place it's been in. I had some food, took an Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus, etc. Nothing is more tiresome than a self-pity attack.
One more thing: I'd like to thank all of you for your generous donations! Of money and kind comments.
Okay, now a nice, calming bath.
Update: aaarrggghhhh!!! Is there any good blogging software that isn't built by softheaded newagey lefty-progressive geeks? I was actually going to take a shower, not a bath, but baths use up more water, so... Death to Gaia!
Cathy Seipp's articles on National Review Online. No, I hadn't read all of them.
Update: oh dear. Maybe I should put that book on my to-buy list. On the other hand, that would be just another excuse to put off doing my laundry. (And yes, I am afraid I thow my Haines and Fruit of the Loom briefs in with the sheets and towels.)
I'm here in a coffee bar playing with their free wireless network. I must say mine is the most battered laptop in the place -- grunge! So what it works.
It's actually my only working computer, so I was a little worried about taking it out into the cruel world. One thing I have to work on (after finding a new place to live, and etc.) is getting another desktop. One of these days...
I am just having a coffee break before going to look at some apartments. Then it will be back to the mountain of laundry, and the housework. My place really is a mess, and I also need to start getting rid of stuff. My back already hurts. And I'm already angry because in moving a table out of my bedroom (the small dinette table, which I'd put in there for some reason I forget) I nicked the finish on my platform bed. You can't really see the damage -- it's just a tiny chip in the varnish on the underside of the bottom rail, but I can see it. I won't turn the bed around, because the idea of the scratch will be there in my mind. I have to call the store to see if they have any repair or touch up kits, or know of where I can get one. (Dark cherry stain varnish.) I am trying not to think what moving will do to my furniture.
Visiting the bathroom every half hour, apparently. What can I say, I was out trudging around in the hot sun, and when I got back I was parched. So my dinner this evening has been: water water water water sandwich tea tea tea. (The sandwich is an attempt to soak up some of the water, and also I hadn't eaten since noon.)
Anyway, I looked at a couple of places, got some literature... I have decided to try and hold out as long as possible where I am.* I don't want to break my lease, as that will cost me extra money. I haven't heard any more of the loud scary noises from the apartment behind me, so I guess they buried the body real well. (Or whatever.) My lease is up at the end of September, so that gives me plenty of time to save up the money and nail down a place. However, I am holding out the possibility of leaving earlier, if the opportunity comes up and must be snatched. I can always beg them to hold the apartment...
And six months is about how long I'll need to pack. Three months to think about it. Two months to start getting rid of stuff. Three weeks to acquire boxes and tape. One week to throw everything into a huge pile and drink myself into a stupor. One day for my remaining friends to finish packing for me.
*So far. That could just be my fatigue talking. Right now if I lived under a park bench I'd be telling myself "you know, it's not so bad, I've got the healthy fresh airzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..."
I think one of the major problems afflicting American society today is that we have taken to listening to "experts" instead of using our own common sense and know-how. For example, in this article on the burst housing bubble (something I get to experience first hand both as someone looking for a new apartment in a market affected by the condo-conversion frenzy, and an employee of a home-building company feeling the pinch of lowered sales) Dean Baker states:
...the experts either looked the other way or said everything was fine. And, the politicians pushed policies that persuaded many moderate-income families to buy overvalued homes that they could not afford. And the mortgage brokers made a fortune selling bad mortgages. That is the way the US economy works these days. Those who mess up the economy do well, while their victims - in this case millions of moderate-income homebuyers who will lose their homes - pay the price for the experts' mistakes.
Once Americans approached life with skepticism, but now we are merely cynical. There is a difference. Cynicism doesn't have to actually be tied to action; it is merely a pose. Thus the spectacle of ostentatiously authority-mistrusting crowds slavishly hanging onto Al Gore's every word on global warming and running obediently to the car lot to bargain on a Prius, which will get no better mileage than a non-electric car with manual transmission (which will have less dangerous heavy metals in its makeup and also have more trunk space for those Whole Foods grocery bags).
I have a theory (based mostly on intuition and observation instead of expert-approved missals; there's a theme here) that this is part of the bad effects of post World War II liberal worship of all things European. There was always a trend to Euro-worship among American literatti, for historical reasons, but it didn't really reach the bulk of the non-literary crowd (i.e., everybody else) until around the Fifties. As progressive liberal admiration of European literature and European political ideology gained a foothold in the American mind, so did European thought processes -- like the tendency towards turning to an intellectual elite for an increasing number of important and not so important decisions.
Once the idea that we should be the "not-Europe" because after all our ancestors came here to get away from everything that was wrong with the place was a basic tenet of American action. The idea that one should buy a house or a car despite not being able to do so was anathema to the average American. Those days area long gone, and now most Americans are in debt to their grandkids' eyeballs, as much as any English lord. All that's left is to learn to pay our gambling debts and let our tailors starve, and we'll have come full circle.
(Via Mangan's Miscellany.)
Update: speaking of home ownership and its difficulties, in the comments to another post where Mangan points out that it's difficult to find employment if you are tied to a home you own (since you just can't pick up and move as easily as you could if you merely rent), a commenter actually takes issue with him:
By this lamentably weak logic, getting married, having children, getting old or anything that might conceivably negatively effect worker mobility causes unemployment. Big deal.
See what I mean about the lack of common sense in people today? I guess I really have to point out some things: your spouse and children aren't nailed to the floorboards -- unlike a house, they can move with you. And when you get old you generally aren't looking for a job, you are looking to retire. True, you could sell your house, but if your unemployment happens to coincide with a depressed housing market, good luck with that. You may have to sell at a loss, if you simply aren't foreclosed on. True, there are penalties for renters who have to move before their lease is up, but they can usually work something out with the landlord; you haven't lost a bushel of money, usually just a month's rent and your security deposit. Owning a home is a life commitment, or it should be -- too many people these days seem to treat it as a magic panacaea for all their financial problems; they believe all the promises of how becoming a homeowner will suddenly give them good credit, and wipe out their past of bad financial decisions. I toyed with the idea of buying, but five minutes consideration of my wacky finances and spendthrift ways (call me the prodigal daughter) canned that idea.
Below is just more of my maunderings about my apartment-hunting preoccupations. A post about an issue outside of my own selfish concerns (though of course, connected; it's all about me, don't you know?) is in the previous post. But if you want to continue to enjoy the slow-motion car crash that is my life, read on:
For some reason the radio station I am listening to, Orlando's 104.1 ("Real Radio" is what they call themselves) is coming in all staticky. Usually they are as clear as a bell, and I haven't moved my stereo. (I am only listening to them because they are having their Sunday Night Vinyl show -- the rest of the week they are stupid talk radio that I can't stand. The vinyl show plays all those songs from my second childhood -- i.e., the Eighties/early Nineties heyday of college radio. They just sent out a shout-out to all the "former FIT students in Melbourne." Shudder as too many reminiscenses surface....)
A 300 Word Review of '300'. I think this review, more than any of the other ones, must surely encapsulate what the movie is all about.
Here is a drink I came up with myself:
Andrea Queen of the Universe Cocktail
Take a rocks glass
Put in three or four ice cubes
Add two ounces of brandy (don't worry if you go a little over, like I did tonight)
Add the juice of one freshly-squeezed tangelo
Add ginger ale to fill
If you like, add a twist of tangelo rind
Dear Lady who came in the bathroom at the Michaels store while I was in the midst of relieving myself: I really don't care to have your husband (or whoever it was you were calling "honey" on your Very Important Cell Phone Call) hear me piss.
Next time someone does that (it will be tomorrow, I am sure) I must remind myself to cut a real loud one, and then announce very loudly "Oh, sorry, I'm taking a HUGE dump and I always FART when I do!"
"I'll bet you say that to all the boys."
(Fill in the rest. Anyone who lived in Miami in the Eighties will know what I am talking about.)
Is this guy for real? Because he rocks. I can think of a number of offices he should be in besides sheriff, starting -- or ending -- with the one in the title of this post.
On a side note, I think the reason so many softheaded liberals are up in arms (so to speak) about Gitmo is because it's run like a real prison, not a maximum security Hilton with free cable and gyms and other crap law-abiding people have to pay for or go without.
(Via Tom McMahon.)
I have decided to just go ahead and apply for the apartment with the washer/dryer. The one that is the most expensive of those I've seen so far, but is in a nice location (one bus ride or one long walk if I have to to work, near shops and restaurants and the other bus that runs on Sundays, in a nice bunch of trees). I mean what the heck. If I don't get it I don't get it, and there are others. But the idea of having my own washer and dryer again is a real draw.
To most people, it seems, the Eighties evoke a vision of brightly-colored glitter and energy, a resurgence in optimism both economic and political for the Western world after the dreary, sour Seventies. That's as may be -- for myself, the Eighties will always be more like this. Well, it certainly was energetic...
(Fun fact: Peter Murphy married a Turkish woman and converted to Islam some time ago. Fun personal fact: I was actually infatuated with Daniel Ash. It's hard to explain; the closest I can come to it is the way he had those stripes painted down his arms... Seeds of my demise brought to you by way of Ghost of a Flea.)
Ladies and gentlemen:
The word you mean when you want to flog your moral worth is conscience, as in "I would never vote for Hillary Clinton for president, because I have a conscience."
The word you are misusing, is "conscious." That word indicates a physical state of awareness of one's surroundings: "The hippy was still conscious after smoking vast quantities of marijuana." Saying "I have a conscious" is INCORRECT. It is as if you said "I have an awake."
Use these words correctly from now on, or I WILL KILL YOU.
Actually, I won't need one; it looks like I got the apartment. I have to move in on May 4th, that was the longest I could get them to hold it. It's on the second floor, has a balcony, and washer-dryer hookups, and also the water heater isn't in the bedroom closet. Also it's ten minutes bus ride from work (if that) -- just as I wanted.
Now all I have to do is find $1400, comprised of one month's prorated rent, security, and various, fees, and pack. And figure out how I'm going to get my stuff from here to there. And break the news to my landlord. Just a few minor things.