Dreck Archives

January 14, 2007

Plans for everyone

The discussion has gotten too long at Ace of Spades HQ for me to get my pearls of wisdom noticed, so I guess I'm going to have to post on the great hullaballoo over Dinesh D'Souza's apparent claim, in his new book, that American decadent liberal types are to blame for Muslim hatred of the West. Well, it's true that you won't find very many fanatical Muslims lining up to buy the latest Woody Allen vehicle on dvd. And it's true that much of what comes out of Hollywood and academia is decadent tripe. I've said so about a zillion times. But if D'Souza really is making such a simplistic claim, then I've got to go with the libertarians and libertines over at Ace's place. For he will be forgetting one important thing: they don't like conservative, sexually restrained Westerners either. They don't like anyone who isn't Muslim. We could burn Hollywood to the ground, ban all books that aren't about God 'n' family, and make all the women here dress like the women on the Lawrence Welk Show, and they still would hate us. Because we would still not be part of the Muslim Collective Organism. And even if we did convert, it still wouldn't all be universal love and hugs.

January 25, 2007

White Woman's Burden

The reason I can't bring myself to get excited about the so-called "coming demographic collapse of the West" is because the rhetoric has started to sound like that old time racist bullshit. Some of the commenters in the linked thread sound like the troglodytes at a KKK Klavern ranting about how the "darkies" are going to run riot. I want nothing to do with this crap, and anyone who believes that Western Culture (aka "rule of law") = Whites Only deserves to be the only pale person in town. This may lose me some readers. Don't care. Don't let the cyber door smack you in the sunburn.

(Kathy Shaidle is right: ad hominem arguments are more fun. I can't find the post where she said that on her new blog. I can't find her email either -- so I can't tell her that her web page is now blocked by Websense under the category "Sex" so I can't read her site from work. Not that I have any time any more, now that they've decided we have to change everything we are doing and by the way why haven't we already done so even though no memos were sent out and nothing was told to anyone who actually had to do all this shit?)

February 8, 2007


Offended people in a town in my state, Atlantic Beach, have caused the proprietors of a theater to change the name of their current offering on their marquee. The play in question is the notorious (a word I prefer in this instance to "famous") twat-fest "The Vagina Monologues." The word "vagina" has been replaced by "Hoohah." Which word describes the contents of the play better than any review.

(Via dustbury.)

February 16, 2007

Things I resent

I resent it when I find myself unable to write my own "Americans are hopeless idiots" screed because some supercilious jerk has already stuck his foot in, and in order to not be -- if only in my own thought -- associated with his self-satisfied little point-making I find myself unable to summon the words to complain about the doltishness and cowardice affecting American culture.

By the way, bragging about how your reading habits makes you superior to the drooling horde is a favorite trick of Our Enlightened Progressive Betters. (Which brings me to another thing I resent: being unable to enjoy talk of "important" -- because good -- works of classic literature because so many smarmy liberal bullshit artists have used their copies of Mansfield Park to impress chicks.)

(Via the inexplicably impressed Kim Du Toit.)

February 20, 2007


Oh Jesus, here's another one: "Hmm..." the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology observes, "British women in their 40s and 50s don't care much for sex! Now how can that be?"

British women in their 40s and 50s: "Englishmen our age are old, fat, and smelly."


(Okay, I know that the Daily Mail is one of those cheesy boobs-on-page-three rags that they come out with over there, but lots of people on this side of the pond equate anything that comes from the British Isles as immediately respectable. I have seen the Daily Mail referred to as a regular news source by other newspapers over here more than once.)

(Via Ace of Spades HQ.)

Update: SOOPER-DOOPER VERY IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATE BREAKING NEWS THING! Oh dear lord -- bicycles!!! Run for your life!!!!!!!

March 5, 2007

Mean Girls 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.)

Update: a couple more opinions for your reading pleasure.

March 11, 2007

Workin' in a coal mine

So I clicked on this link to an article about working from home that I got in my 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.

300 reasons to burn out your retina

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.

March 12, 2007

You came and broke my pretty balloon

Ooh. Emily and Marc are both going to love this:

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!"

March 16, 2007

Soylent Green Casserole

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.

April 5, 2007

Kiddie follies

When I was a kid in elementary school -- fourth grade, I think -- we had our own mock presidential campaign, as part of a civics lesson. As I recal, Nixon won -- but grammar school-age children are much more conservative than teenagers.

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

April 10, 2007

Question Time

People are laughing outside my window. Should I kill them, or just take an antihistamine? Leave answers in the comments.

Update: well, they stopped laughing, and I was able to go to bed without resorting to Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus. Or murder. So you're all off the hook.

April 13, 2007

I don't watch cable these days

Another fucking Canadian vampire tv series? What the hell is it with the Canucks? Kathy, do you have a clue? Help me out here, my American brain is not getting this. (Confession: my friends and I were much enamored of 90's tv show Forever Knight, which was also a north-of-the-border product. My favorite character was the cryptically evil yet somehow sympathetic vampire deejay played by Nigel Bennett.)

Oh, and while I can still sit upright

What can I say, it's a BIG bottle of brandy and I don't feel like lugging it to the new place. Anyway -- your daily Imus. By the way, word from the African American street, at least from my office (via a black coworker) is that Imus is just a shock jock, who cares what he said, and what the hell does Al Sharpton have to do with this and why is he putting his nose in this business? Also, she is nappy-headed, she don't care. I just pass this on to you, America, because I LOVE you and want to BEAR YOUR CHILDREN.

I forgot what else I was going to post here, except that I heard we were in a war somewhere, but that must have just been a rumor. Well, peace out!

Ten thousand books on the wall to pack, ten thousand books on the wall...

April 17, 2007


You know, even if this guy hadn't killed anyone this isn't the most reassuring photograph.

Update: yup, crazy as a shithouse rat.

April 19, 2007

Blame Game

The new consensus seems to be that running away is the New Bravery, and if you don't believe that you're "another nerd on the internet" who fantasizes about how you'd totally kick eight-foot-tall, steel-carapace-by-Hyundai, Korean Killbot Cho's ass. Me? I'd just be going to get help.

Update: read this.

And here's a run-down of the event. Sure looks like a lot of cowering and curling up and waiting to be killed was done. And I persist in thinking that there is just something wrong with that. But I don't blame the students -- this is how we've trained them to react, after all. Violence only begets violence.

May 3, 2007

How to make Ayn Rand Fans go insane

Objectivist clubs acros the nation will be littered with the remains of exploded heads: decadent, second-hander-pandering Hollywood is planning to make a version of the Robin Hood story that is sympathetic to the Sheriff of Nottingham.

(Via Those Fascists!.)


As for me, I'll vote for the first candidate who says that his favorite book is isn't a freaking scifi novel. Scifi is fun, but it's pulp. Grow up and read some real books. (Yes, I say this with my huge and now boxed for moving collection of Andre Norton, Jack Vance, and Tolkien books. But I'm not running for president.)

Updated: I read Heinlein when I was a teenager (including, I think, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, aka The Libertarian Bible), but I haven't touched a novel of his since. I outgrew him. (There, that should get everyone a-hatin' me.)

May 23, 2007

Aweless in Gaza

Oh hells no -- this article on comedy movies that flubbed the comedy part was going good, but then the writer had to ruin everything. First, he included the hilarious and biting paean to hating New York that is Quick Change among the failures. I beg to differ: that movie made me and my New-York-loving friend laugh ourselves sick. There's something about growing up in Miami, which as everyone knows is a detached borough of New York that drifted south and got stuck on the end of Florida, that brings out instant empathy with all anti-New-York rants. Then again, I have noticed that a certain type of people who actually live in New York -- who tend to be in their late 20s to early 30s and part of the self-consciously "cool" crowd that still thinks it's the height of fashion to have a reproduction of that Andy Warholl poster of soup cans on the wall of their fifth-floor walk-up hovel (for which they pay $1500 a month) -- are somewhat humorless about their city of residence.

And then there is this nonsense:

In a landscape as xenophobic as America post 9/11, the idea of a documentary examining what makes other cultures laugh should have been a slam dunk, delivering a feel-good "We're not so different after all" message with plenty of fish-out-of-water laughs along the way.
What the fuck is he talking about? After 9/11 America was so frantic to stave off accusations of xenophobia that we went far out of our way to tell our Muslim citizens what great, upstanding folks they were, we loved them, we didn't blame them for the actions of a few, we'll even cover ourselves up like some Muslim women do to show that we really, really, really are "citizens of the world" and love foreigners more than our own children. In any other country in the whole enlightened, xenophilic Rest Of The World, there would have been riots and mass slayings of anyone who looked even a little bit out of the ordinary if an atrocity on the scale of 9/11 had happened there. Or at least that would be true in the non-Western part of the world, which is the only part that counts to the sort of people that call the degrading "we like you, we really, really like you" lovefest we inflicted on the world after 9/11 "xenophobia."

I didn't bother reading the rest of the article.

(Via Tom McMahon's news feed.)

May 28, 2007

Dying with the most toys

A commenter posting here reminded me of one of my pet peeves about modern life: the way children are treated like little maharajahs, complete with servants (their parents or caretakers) toting a palatial burden of food, extra clothing, and an entire Toys 'R' Us-worth of games, dolls, and the like everywhere they go. Not to mention the elaborate transportation systems the little tykes get, some of which have so many accouterments that you could use them to fly cargo to the moon.

It didn't used to be that way, and I can't help thinking that it's just another symptom of Western society's growing weakness and decadence. When I was a kid we didn't get to bring our toys or any of our other stuff when our parents took us somewhere. Babies were brought in their carriages or strollers, and the mother might bring an extra bottle and some diapers, but that was it. And toddlers didn't get to have the entire contents of their toy chests lugged everywhere; and if they got restive they were taken outside or to another room until they quieted down, not allowed to transform the entire restaurant floor (or wherever) into a simulacrum of their own bedrooms.

I think the whole thing started with car seats. Car seats area a laudable invention, but as with everything in American life no one was content with making just the car a baby-safe environment, and no one was content with mere safety being the consideration either. Now kids don't have to spend one amusement-free minute in their lives; their every waking moment they are reassured that the entire world exists to indulge them. This can't be good for them or the nation.

June 1, 2007


Dominick Dunne is apparently a talented writer, but he sure has wasted most of his life being a pathetic jerk.

(Via Tom McMahon.)

June 3, 2007

Ears and Mind Closed

As regards the new fad among some bloggers I like (and bloggers in general) for podcasting and blog-talk radio and the like: sorry, guys, I'm not buying. I don't like the sound of the human voice in general -- I have to listen to people yammer at me all day at work, for one thing. For another thing, I've always been this way -- I hate radio news, I hate commercials, I hate deejay patter. Shut up and play the fucking song already. (What's worse is, they play the song, then jabber for ten minutes, and never say the goddamn title and artist of the freaking song. Who gave deejays the idea that people wanted to listen to them say anything? Whoever did should be forced to listen to old Howard Cosell tapes until their heads explode.)

Anyway -- sorry, podcasting blogtalkradio-ing bloggers, I'm not going to listen. I READ. Write something. Yeah sorry that takes a little more effort, too bad so sad.

Yes I am still in a bad mood. It will pass. But the hatred of talk radio (and the internet equivalent) is perpetual.

June 9, 2007


Just for the hell of it, this hilarious comment thread over at Ace's. It's almost totally unrelated to the boring political post it's attached to. Sample quote:

This is good. I am drunk and eating bacon. I challenge you to find a way that it is not good.

Also the interesting information that in California they are trying to give squirrels birth control pills, to control the population, because squirrels are a protected species in that state, is conveyed.

June 13, 2007

Nice way to ruin a perfectly good skull

Cover it all up with ugly, gaudy diamonds.

I must be the only female in Christendom who thinks diamonds are uninteresting. Give me emeralds -- much harder to find in a flawless state -- give me rubies (though I really prefer garnets -- a much deeper, more pleasing, at least to me, shade of red, and much easier to obtain), give me interesting stones like tanzanite, tsavorite, iolite, or alexandrite. Now those are some rocks.

June 23, 2007


I was going to put this in a comment on Hog On Ice, but Steve H was having problems with his server or something. Also he has a tendency to remove posts if he thinks they will get too much attention of a certain kind. Anyway, he states that there is a lot of hostility towards conservative pundits. No kidding. But he seems to accept Dennis the Peasant's claim that it is because there are so many awful lady conservatives out there. If only we were cuter, and had nice manners that deferred to big, bitter men! Or something. Anyway, here is what I was going to say:

Dennis the Peasant isn't funny anymore. I guess his bad past experiences have embittered him -- I sympathize, but that doesn't make me want to read his blog. It takes real talent to be nasty and readable -- just slamming out the insults one after another gets kind of wearing after a while; you start to think "Well, okay, what does he approve of?" Oh well, c'est la vie -- he has lots of other readers who can't get enough of him complaining about some woman blogger with big boobs.

That being said -- Fox's crop of female personalities does seem to be mostly barrel-bottom scrapings, though I don't know that it's just Fox who does this. At work our break room has a tv that will only play CNN (because that's all our cheap company will pay for) and the female anchors and reporters they have are no oil paintings either. And what is with the cawing, ear-grating, hectoring voices all these females have? Whatever happened to "tv voice" -- learning to modulate your tone and delivery so that it is pleasing to the audience? Or have we all become inured -- or heaven forfend, even fond of -- the accents of trailer trash and New York street talk? All these women sound like they were raised in an alley among the cats, and the men aren't much better. And it cuts across ideological lines. (By the way, Michelle Malkin, despite what Dennis says about her, is one of the few that still has a rather pleasing voice, or at least it isn't so hideous on the ear as some of those other women. And she doesn't put on a pound of frosted blue eye shadow --!-- like Debbie Schlussel does. (See the picture on Dennis the Peasant's site -- ::shudder::.)

Anyway, I haven't willingly watched the news in years, except for glimpses, so I have no dog in this hunt. I also don't care to become a "conservative pundit" -- whatever that is. Most people with that label seem about as conservative as Hillary Clinton -- scratch most consie spokesbeasts and you get someone who shrieks like a scalded female anchor at the very idea of being deprived of internet porn -- "let the Free Market™ decide (please god no i need my!" -- or sees nothing wrong with human cloning or pipe-dream schemes to extend human life (those who can pay for the process anyway) indefinitely. Or else they are sour isolationists who don't want any more of that furrin' stuff on our shores (the position most attractive to me, I admit); or else they are from the Happy, Unthinking Protestant contingent of Christianity, who reject all facts that threaten their pink-and-gold worldview of Jesus as a sort of Extra-Strength Cleanser that will get your whites brighter. I must admit to disappointment in most "conservatives" today -- especially when the klieg lights hit them, they turn into just a different shade of liberal.

June 30, 2007

Memory Lane post - Enron

A random blast from the past: I could never understand what product or service Enron was pushing (I still can't, and I don't understand exactly what they did wrong either, and please don't explain -- the subject just makes my head hurt), but I do know that I hated them forever because of this fucking annoying, incomprehensibly weird commercial.

July 4, 2007

But -- but they were inexperienced!

Aren't college kids incomprehensible alcoholics most of the time too?


Update: more on those untrained common folk endangering their lives unnecessarily. Really, they need to stop this sort of thing. It will just encourage us the wrong kind of people.


July 5, 2007

There's only so much I can take

I'm supposed to be enthralled and moved, I guess, by all this:

You are not only a link with something. You are the thing itself; and you are the sacrament, the instrument, by which we learn to love the things that are. Your body is the first object any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.

My first -- and so far only -- reaction? "Oh, fuck off."

Sorry, I can't be nice all the time. (Of course, the moonbeam who emitted this gush of prose is an Episcopal priest. This open-to-wonder style of Christianity makes one positively yearn for the scourge, the hairshirt, and the Inquisition.)

July 8, 2007

Movie directors are insane

And they should be forbidden to direct movies based on novels until whatever is wrong with their brains is healed, or else until they are all dead and can no longer harm any written work with their misconceived "making the story more cinematic" changes. Case in point: they are now in the process of destroying one of the favorite fantasy series of my childhood: The Dark Is Rising. For one thing, according to the IMDB forums (which I can't believe I registered just so I could read them after having vowed to never register for anything online because I don't frickin' want to), the main character, Will, who in the book is a British child from a large, rural English family, has been changed into an American for no good Goddamn reason that I can figure out. This destroys the entire central theme of the series, which is centered around old British pagan mythology and has fuckall to do with us across the pond. For another thing, far from being the rather sleazy-looking, short, dark-haired and bearded figure with a face like a collapsed beagle like Ian McShane, the character he is set to play, Merriman Lyon (who is actually Merlin), is clearly described several times in all of the books (a fairly decent compilation and summation can be found here) as being tall, gaunt, and white-haired. And last but not least, far from being a member of a band of immortal "warriors" kind of like the ones in Highlander, Will is an "Old One," who is rather more than a mere warrior, instead being more a cross between a wizard and a Celtic god. I have the feeling many explosions and drooling, slavering monsters will be added as well. Dismaying all around.

(I was going to write further on Ursula K. Le Guin and why, even though I mocked her on her reasons for disliking the tv adaptation of her Earthsea trilogy she was still at base right, as I promised Charles here. Think of this as a preface to the upcoming post.)

August 14, 2007


Told ya to eat more chicken.

And in more my-life-sucks news, I do believe that all the leaks in our office ceiling have caused dry rot, because every time the vent blows my way (all the time, that is) I get a nice whiff of it. How many more days until September 4th?

Freak on, freak off

I found this old post on the Wired blog via Gmail's sidebar ads -- I just thought the whole thing was weird: back in May Sixapart tried to ban kiddy-pr0n sites etc. from LiveJournal and went a little "too far" -- resulting in a bizarre discussion of just what constitutes legitimate "therapeutic" fictional accounts of rape from exploiting one's prurient "interest" in the, er, activity, and then there is the slash fiction. See, people writing about Harry Potter getting it on with Ron Weasley might fall afoul of kiddypr0n laws... no, I don't think I want to go there after all. I will say I'm mostly putting this up so I can read the comments later and laugh at them.

August 21, 2007

The Horror

Good grief. I'm sitting here listening to the oldies station, and an announcement comes on: the Lifetime channel is going to feature a movie called "The Murder of Princess Diana." No, it's not a parody, either. I'll bet you the Lifetime demographic will eat it up too.

I never could get the fascination with the whole Diana thing. For some reason my Anglophilia didn't extend to the British monarchy, which just bored me. If you ask me the British royals haven't been interesting since 1066. I'm a true atavist -- I can identify with dour Anglo-Saxons in their drafty mead halls, and even, just a bit, the theological obsessions of the High Middle Ages, but the velvet-robed political maneuvering and matrimonial inbreeding that came after that just leaves me cold. However, most of my fellow Americans, at least the distaff side, disagreed with me, and in the early 80s everywhere you looked (that wasn't at me) women were sporting that shiny golden Diana helmet hairdo. True story: I went to a party in, I think, 1985, being held at the home of one of my coworkers. I entered her house to be stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of an entire wall devoted to Diana: 8x10 photos, books, commemorative figurines of the marriage... "I'm kind of obsessed by her" the coworker said frankly.

But I don't get it. I never did. Diana wasn't even the sort of British woman who interested me -- she was blond and bland, and gave off that air of "preppy" which at the time was anathema to budding alterna-goth me. I found her boring, and just as I couldn't figure out what was so fascinating about the blond, healthy, ordinary tribunal of popular kids who stood at the top of my high school's social hierarchy, I couldn't figure out what made this vanilla creature so worthy of obsession. If you ask me her manner of death was the only really interesting thing that she "gave," if you will, to the world -- and it was just a common traffic accident after all. Perhaps that is why so many of her "fans" really wish there had been something more to her death, and therefore make up ridiculous conspiracy theories about it -- even they sense that there wasn't anything all that fascinating after all about their hobbyhorse.

Anyway, I'm here at home due to one of those stomach bugs (I've lost three pounds in the last two days), and still hitching a ride on someone's unencrypted wireless. I can't wait to get my own connection, though -- this one keeps dropping.

Update: after thinking about it I should rather say that I don't so much identify with the Anglo-Saxons of eld as I am stirred by them, or rather the thought of them, while the well-worm pomposity of latter day British Royal ceremonies rather bores me. Still, Beefeaters and Buckingham Palace and all of it beat the crassness and flatness of most of our modern, "hang loose" way of life. Diana and her Peoples' Princess shtick contributed much towards the grinding down of Western civilization into a gray paste of multiculturalism, which was even more of a turnoff to me than her upper-crust blandness; if she'd just been an arrogant bitch who never let the commoners forget their place she would have been much more interesting. Instead we have to go to actresses and models for imitation high-class tantrums, and as such people tend to be low-class they can't get it quite right.

September 18, 2007

Your grandmother was right

Wash your hands. This, by the way, is one of the reasons I don't want to get a job in a hospital or doctor's office. I don't care how much money medical receptionists make; those places are filthy hives of unkillable germs. One of the things I did last week was ferry my friend to doctor offices all over the place; I wonder if that also contributed to this (fortunately mild) cold of mine.

September 23, 2007


It came as no surprise to me that lefty-liberal Bush-mockers didn't understand what Bush meant by his "Mandela is dead" statement, since the only labored metaphors they understand are their own. But something did come up that started me thinking. This poor BDS-sufferer lists in the comments to his own post (further down -- there are no individual comment links) part of a list of supposed malaprops by Bush garnered from this site that is supposed to prove what an idiot Bush is. One of the first ones on the list was this one, supposedly a huge gaffe by the "pResident":

"As John Howard accurately noted when he went to thank the Austrian troops there last year..." --George W. Bush, referring to Australian troops as "Austrian troops," APEC Business Summit, Sept. 7, 2007

Ha ha, he said "Austrian" instead of "Australian." Or -- did he? One thing I've noticed about Bush is that he has a way of slurring sound combinations that are difficult to say. But so do many other Americans. I do it myself, or used to -- I grew up in Miami, where the prevailing accent is a sort of Southern/Latin mumble. I have tried my best to train myself out of it, though I'll never have the precise accent of people from California, for instance. Anyway, it could be that Bush actually did say "Australia," but he pronounced it the way a lot of people do, as "Austray-a." That "lya" sound is one of the more difficult combinations to pronounce properly -- and not just for English-speaking people. In Spanish it's rendered as "ll" but a lot of Spanish speakers pronounce it as "y." In my high school Italian class we learned the equivalent sound was spelled "gl" and the teacher had a devil of a time getting the Hispanic kids in the class to say it correctly, with the "l" sound included. So it doesn't surprise me that Bush would have elided over the "l" sound in "Australia." In fact a lot of Australians do it too, the word coming out sounding something like "Orstraya." (The middle "a" long as in "father.")

The way to avoid this, by the way, is to say each of the syllables distinctly: Aus-tray-lee-a. But in every day speech most people don't bother speaking so clearly. In any case, it's possible he did stumble and say "Austria" -- the way we'd know this is if he emphasized the first syllable, which you would if you were saying "Austria" instead of "Australia." But this is such a petty thing to laugh at, as are most of the so-called "Bushisms" listed here, some of which are standard self-deprecating humor and others of which are simple statements that coming from an ordinary person wouldn't even be remarked upon. There's nothing really awful, which supports my theory that the exaggerated hatred Bush has garnered has nothing to do with him and everything to do with the neuroses of his haters.

Pointless Zombie Movie

Yeah, I just watched most of this flick (I came in about half an hour into it) because it was on the SciFi channel and I've been whacked by cold medicine all day. I pretty much agree with the review, though it didn't say anything about the "WTF? Was that?" dud of an ending. I generally don't like zombie movies -- though there is something interesting in the way there's been a big run on them in the past few years; more liberal projection?* -- and I think Clive Barker** is overrated(I tried to get through Weaveworld, but after a promising beginning it got bogged down in the middle and then rushed up to an ending that was both chaotic and anticlimactic). But whoever actually wrote and directed the movie could at least have made sure that the non-zombie characters at least behave in ways somewhat congruent with actual human nature. (For example: when the characters are just about to be able to escape, the movie has one of the female characters decide to run back into the nest of murderous zombie kids so they can steal their guns and kill them all. That's one of the the clumsiest block-all-escape segues that I've ever seen.)

*If you want to see a zombie/demon/mutant creature in real life try saying something favorable -- or even neutral -- about President Bush to your liberal friends. Then sit back and enjoy the green-pea-soup spewing, head-spinning levitation, and blank angry-zombie glares.

**Apparently just a producer, but he lent his name to this project, so he gets at least part of the blame.

Update: oh, reality, you shouldn't follow my thoughts so closely. See what I mean? When are these people going to quit merely having bizarre seizures and go into full-on brain-eating mode? (Via Kathy Shaidle.)

September 25, 2007

Women have no taste

My eyes... one of the minor irritations of my life has been the difficulty of finding a purse that is practical (as in, having a number of both large and small compartments that are easy to get to), comfortable to carry, and tasteful. Since my requirements are rather exacting I tend to carry the same bag until it wears out. Then I have to go looking for a new one, which means I find myself confronted by monstrosities like these. (Or rather, their lower-priced knockoffs, as I would never spend that much money on a sack.) Now I have one question: why on earth do women find these things so desirable? They are all, without exception, hideous. I wouldn't have these in my house even if I could afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a bag.

I singled out Coach because the ugly purse phenomenon seems to be especially egregious in the more expensive end of the lady-sack industry. Gucci is another brand that turns out creations that look like syphilis in purse form. Most of my purses end up coming from places like Walmart. Yes! Walmart has a more tasteful and dignified inventory than high-arsed places like Nordstrom's -- there, I've said it.

October 5, 2007

Smoke gets in your eyes

I have news for the people at CRACKED -- who seem genuinely shocked underneath the sarcastic humor -- but people did indeed know about the "Holy shit, this stuff fucking kills you" aspect of tobacco back in the Seventies, and even before then. The famous Surgeon General's warning has been on cigarettes in this country since the mid-Sixties, but even before then people were under no illusion that smoking caused health problems. My parents, for instance, knew that it wasn't fresh air and sunshine that made them hack up their lungs every morning (the sound was my alarm clock in my early childhood years). The difference was people didn't care. No, change that -- people had weighed the difference between the pleasures of smoking, and the pleasures of a life free of gobs of brown mucus in the sink, yellow fingers, and premature wrinkles, and made choices accordingly in the manner of a free people. I, for instance, chose all by myself to breathe in air rather than smoke, and I did it all despite being surrounded by the dreaded "peer pressure" (and the contradictory need to appear adult and cool) that was supposed to program us all like so many robots. Lord knows I hate to say one word of praise for the Seventies, but I must admit that back then we weren't quite so terrified of dying as we are now. The fact that we survived the Seventies should actually be evidence that we are made of sterner stuff than HillaryCare & Co. want us to realize...

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

October 16, 2007


I kant unseed what I sawded. EVAR.

October 20, 2007


Patrick Swayze boxing in white pants. Lots of explodey stuff. Deep profound talk about a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, which is apparently fight with a GAY GAY GAY posturing fake-fu dude wielding the Pool Cue of Doom. The bad guy calls the good guy's friend a "draft dodger" and wears a hat, whereas the good guys let their 80s locks flow free in the breeze. It must be... Roadhouse!

Save me.

(Yes, I am still at my friend's house.)

Update: to punish them, I watched the Doctor Who episode that was on BBC America tonight. I did not watch the BBC News America show though (motto: "Bow down and worship the BBC News! Worship! Worship!") -- there are limits that I will not cross even to counteract the Patrick Swayze rays.

Update: hey, Kathy readers -- I updated the "Shaolin monk dude" line, as I decided that there really wasn't all that much of a Kung Fu vibe coming from the guy -- more of a "Fame! I'm gonna liver forevah! And do this really fruity 'evil maniac' laugh just to put the cherry on top of this homo sundae." Hey, I call 'em what I see 'em -- a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.

October 21, 2007

J.K. Rowling is officially sick of her own books

And their stupid fans who can't stop bugging her about the "real lives" of her imaginary characters. I imagine her thinking: "There, that oughta shut 'em up."

Of course, she turns out to have been wrong, but only a saint could have resisted. Maybe.

October 31, 2007

Con vs. Con

I had this realization a while back but haven't had time to sit down and hash out some Deep Thoughts on it. I still don't have time (lucky you), but here's a synopsis: I think that one of the problems we have in this country (and maybe the rest of the Western world) in pinning down just what are proper conservative beliefs is the fact that we tend to confuse conservative with conventional. For example: the Hollywood movie industry is supposedly a bastion of daring, liberal, progressive, even radical thought -- but its output is anemic, tired, and imitative. In other words, despite the chesty faux-defiant rhetoric coming from the entertainment media, its members are quite as conventional as the narrow-minded small-town Middle America they supposedly have to play to.

It's the same with a lot of other bastions of supposedly radical, progressive thought. For instance, the environmental movement is still harping on its sacred cows of overpopulation (even though birth rates are dropping just about everywhere), pollution from the West being the worst (even though nations like China and India are the worst polluted today), and "climate change" (a few decades ago it was the coming ice age because of our evil polluting ways; today it's global warming, but it's all the same ball of old wax). And of course there is the anti-war "movement," which is still stuck in 1969 Haight-Ashbury to an embarrassingly senile degree. None of the members of these movements show any evidence of even being capable of holding a new idea in their heads, or be capable of any independent thought whatsoever. They are as conventional as Ward and June Cleaver -- more so, because now June's habit of being completely dressed even as to pearls and earrings while staying inside her house all day is pretty darn radical in these slobby times.

That brings me to conservatives. A lot of people don't like to define themselves as such even though they are in their personal habits and beliefs -- but that's because they are actually afraid of being conventional. They shouldn't fear: conventional behavior these days means living together out of wedlock, babies without daddies, thinking chocolate Jesus statues are a cute kick in the eye to those fundy Christians but a cartoon making mild fun of Mohammed is a deep religious insult, and so on. If you don't actually believe any of the above are good things for society then you are being quite radical, you crazy conservative you.

November 1, 2007


Apparently there's going to be another X-Files movie. Why does this news make my brain haze over with boredom?

November 15, 2007

My thoughts on the new "Beowulf" animated movie

I'm pretty sure that Grendel's ma wasn't meant to be a MILF.

Honestly. Here:

Soon found the fiend who the flood-domain
sword-hungry held these hundred winters,
greedy and grim, that some guest from above,
some man, was raiding her monster-realm.
She grasped out for him with grisly claws,
and the warrior seized; yet scathed she not
his body hale; the breastplate hindered,
as she strove to shatter the sark of war,
the linked harness, with loathsome hand.
Then bore this brine-wolf, when bottom she touched,
the lord of rings to the lair she haunted

Etc. I'm just not getting that "sexy, get her voiced by Angelina Jolie" vibe. But maybe you men are different. But I don't think so.

November 17, 2007

Proof that the internet has ruined romance

Um, yeah. Buy it for your favorite ex-girlfriend!

Poll results reported but not questioned

There has been widespread upset concerning a recent poll taken of students concerning what they would supposedly trade their right to vote for. Insert many harrumphing protestations about our sacred duty to participate in the democracy that so many brave men and women fought to preserve, etc. What no one seems to have considered is the possibility that many of these students may simply have not taken the question all that seriously -- "Dude, what would you rather have, the right to vote or an iPod?" "The iPod, of course, man!" It's not a question that has any resonance in the real world -- no one's going to hand out valuable prizes in exchange for your right to vote -- so you can say anything you like. To those who charge the respondents with flippancy I say in return that a fundamentally unserious question doesn't necessarily deserve a serious answer.

November 25, 2007

How to spoil a good song

There I am, listening to one of my Pandora stations play a mildly raucous industrial-lite ditty from the soundtrack to the latest Resident Evil movie when it suddenly breaks into a chorus of singing children.

Stop doing that.

November 28, 2007

Random Media Observation No. 592

There's this show on Discovery Health called "Mystery Diagnosis." It features people who've come down with mysterious symptoms that a battery of doctors can't figure out until much sleuthing of obscure ailments comes up with the arcane and/or ordinary explanation of what is wrong with the person, and they are cured or at least successfully treated. For one of those icky bodily-fluid-obsessed plus weepy victims things the show isn't bad, but there is one disturbing gimmick I wish they'd dispense with. I speak of the frequent use of the Single Eyeball Closeup. There will be a perfectly ordinary interview scene going on -- either of a doctor, a patient, or a relative -- and then suddenly, for no reason, the camera will zoom in on one of the interviewee's eyeballs until the entire thing fills the screen and you can count the individual eyelashes and sometimes even the mites that live in the dead skin cells and makeup, depending on the size of your tv screen. There you are, watching a Concerned Doctor or Fearful Patient discourse on symptoms and causes, when suddenly: EYEBALL. The first time I saw this I actually drew back in my seat.

I submit that this technique serves no purpose other than to confuse and possibly disgust the viewer, and to transform whoever is being interviewed from an ordinary person into some sort of gelloid, spike-encircled monster. Perhaps the technique is supposed to bring us "closer" to the emotions being experienced by the person in focus (for instance, when they are all weepy), but closing in on one eye like that negates the emotions being expressed. All you see is a giant eyeball, rolling around like the Eye of Sauron. So stop it.

December 16, 2007

Life can be so disappointing

I must say that the Clintons look much happier in this picture of the couple in their "hippie" days than they do now. That's the Sixties experience in a nutshell if you ask me.

December 17, 2007

A wimp for all seasons

I just found out I'm not the only person who hates that Louis Armstrong song "What A Wonderful World." Now here's a greater challenge: am I the only person in creation who can't stand that awful Dan Fogelberg song "Same Old Lang Syne," the one about stalking his ex-girlfriend? And that goes double for that "Leader of the Band" song, blech. If he hadn't just recently croaked I'd never have to think about that song again, since I don't listen to AOR (MOR -- whatever) radio, but the blogiverse has become inundated with sobbing Fogelberg fans who can't believe the Great Mushtunesmith has passed into the great beyond. Yeah, yeah, cancer sucks, but as most of us are going to die of it, unless a heart attack or stroke gets us, I don't see why writing treacly songs gets someone a special send-off. That's like giving my encoffined remains a parade because my X-Files/Doctor Who slash fiction became* a surprise bestseller in the 2040s.

Okay okay. Cue hysterical male rebuttals: "It's about fathers and sons! And he wasn't stalking her, she was glad to see him!" Blah blah blah.

(*Will have become? It has occurred to me that a civilization of time travelers should have at some point devised a special verb tense just to handle time-out-of-joint scenarios, and if therefore so how would the Tardis translate that into English? Discuss. God I'm bored.)

December 22, 2007

Entitlement City

Not being a total electronics geek (I squint at my Doctor Who dvds on a teensy little 13-inch screen tv) I noticed the hardwood floors long before I realized that was a 60 incher in this poor, downtrodden woman's apartment. I'd just like to say I wish I could afford a place with hardwood floors -- they jack up the price of apartments here at least $150 for that privilege, and you can only have declawed cats. (Note -- this is an update to the previous post.)

(Via Kathy Shaidle.)

December 29, 2007

The Internet is officially dead

I just saw a commercial for the Television Without Pity website on the Fox Reality channel.

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