Friday, June 30, 2006

Exclusive not so secret memo.

I have obtained, through my network of inside sources, the text of a memo. Here is what it says:


To: Republican Senators and Congressmen

Fr: Karl Rove, Reichministier for Propaganda

Re: Instructions

Cc: Fox News

Date: Permanent

Say, "Democrats want to Cut and Run".
Repeat, "Democrats want to Cut and Run".
Repeat Ad Nauseum.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No no no no no no no!

I saw a commercial for a credit card company that uses the song "All You Need Is Love". Blasphemy. At least it was a bad cover version and not the Beatles original. Still, it is bad enough to be yet another sign of the End Times. The ad exec that pitched this idea should, by all that is good and holy, have burst into flames. Not just for using one of the greatest songs ever written in advertising, but using it to advertise and put a warm, fuzzy image on a credit card company. You know them, the ones who make sure you get dozens of cards before you even graduate college (some even issue cards to high school students!) and promise a low low (promotional) rate, and even when that rate is over, you get a fairly reasonable rate, until your payment is one day late, at which point your rate permanently locks in at 24.99%. Why 24.99%? Because 25% or greater interest rate is illegal in most places, so technically they are justified, as long as they stay below that. "All you need is love" my ass. All you need is obscenely high profit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My secret is out!

Some of you may have suspected all along, but I'm going to come right out and admit it. I am a Liberal. There, I said it and I won't take it back. You see, I have at least a passing grasp of logic, or at least a better grasp than those who think that if you repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth, and I really like doing the thing that the current administration hates more than anything. I like THINKING! For myself, even. And I won't ever give that up. Just like Chuck Heston says you can have his gun when you pry it from his cold, dead hands, (with any luck, I say), the government can have my thoughts when they pry them from my cold, dead, brain. (with any luck, they say)

Thanks to Tom Tomorrow for the illustration.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Nobody likes a smartass. Wait. Everybody likes a smartass!

According to Barry Levine in Newsfactor Magazine:

"If, hypothetically, all U.S. cars ran on 100 percent corn-based ethanol, and if one Ivy League professor's analysis is correct, then 97 percent of the entire country's land area -- including real estate now occupied by cities -- would be needed to grow corn."

I say, GO FOR IT!

Truly Grim

The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm are like the Bible, in that everybody knows at least some version of the stories, but nobody actually reads the stories, or knows what they actually say. I'm reading the most recent translation of the stories, from 1987, and they sure are not the way they have been sanitized by modern interpreters.
For instance, in the Frog Prince (actually, the Frog King), how does the Princess transform the frog? Does she kiss him? No. Does she give him some special food or medicine? No. She picks him up off of her pillow, where she very reluctantly has allowed him to sleep, as a reward for helping her retrieve a golden ball that had fallen in a well, and she throws him against the wall. Yep, she winds up and hurls him against a wall, which for some reason breaks the spell.
Or how about some of the grisly demises that befall the evil stepmothers and their evil children? In Snow White, the evil Queen is put into red hot iron shoes at the wedding feast and forced to dance herself to death. In another tale, the evil stepmother and daughter are put into a barrel full of boiling oil AND poisonous snakes. Seems a bit of overkill to me, plus, it's mean to the snakes.
The translation is pretty good, and readable, but it is a translation of the final version of the tales, from 1857, rather than the earlier, bawdier version from 1812, which was full of sexual inuendo. For instance, in Rapunzel, the witch is tipped off that Rapunzel has been having a visitor, when she comments that pulling the witch up on the rope of her hair is much harder than pulling up the prince, who weighs less. Not a slip up one would expect her to make. In the original story, the prince has been visiting and staying with Rapunzel for a while, and the witch is none the wiser until Rapunzel asks her: "Mother Goethel, why do you think my clothes have become too tight for me and no longer fit?" Oops. Evidently Rapunzel hadn't been exposed to the abstinence only program.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Context is everything

Isn't this a pretty Japanese character?
According to the website selling this charm,
The charachter means "Geisha"

Guess what? Oh, you know me too well.

In context, it can mean geisha, but by itself,
it just means PROSTITUTE.

Hey, at least it's not a tattoo.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Please. Stop. Climbing. Mount. Everest. Now.

How many people do you think have climbed all the way to the top of Mount Everest? Several hundred? Guess again.

Over fifteen hundred people have climbed to the top.
Just under two hundred people have died in the attempt.

What the hell is wrong with people? When Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to do it, and were asked why, he answered "because it was there." Trite, but telling. Now, if asked why, the honest answer should be "Because I'm Rich!". Yeah, I ride the rich a lot, but I think they deserve it. They throw money away with both hands, and their lives have become so hollow that they need big thrills, like climbing Everest to make them feel alive. Sadly, they then end up dead.

Good article regarding this:

Some stories are too easy. All too easy.

CEO's rate of pay, as compared to their workers:

Japan 11 times
Germany 12 times
France 15 times
Italy 20 times
Canada 20 times
South Africa 21 times
Britain 22 times
Hong Kong 41 times
Mexico 47 times
Venezuela 50 times

And the United states of America : 475 times!
And they still think they don't make enough.
Please see my earlier post about Exxon.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Go Hanshin Tigers!

Japanese baseball fans are notoriously fanatic. Team loyalties are very fierce, and one clothing company has invented a reversible business jacket which you can quickly convert from conservative salaryman attire to rabid Hanshin Tiger booster jacket, which looks very much like the team uniform. The buttons, of course are decorated with the Tiger's logo. Here's the machine translated text from the Japanese site which sells the jacket:

As for the true Hanshin Tigers fan, with the Hanshin Tigers you walk always even in the scene of business and the dressy dressing up. The hanshin tigers mark and the Osaka and Kobe tiger scalar were allotted to everywhere, it is one arrival of prejudice. “With the Hanshin Tigers it is always and it recommends our heart” because of the one where we would like to display the mind air with the dress.

In lining “white stripe” It added! Being sharp the uniform of the Hanshin Tigers is made to associate [supotei] design! Exact even in feast instantaneous art.

The style which the tiger fan chooses is naturally real British traditional ([buritora]). In the blazer, [torakichinetsuto] original [metarubotan] (you can choose from 2 types of normal button and metal button.)Has been attached.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

When Jesters Collide

I had an interesting run in the other day. At a coffee shop, had the following conversation with the barrista. It was very spontaneous, very deadpan, and had the few other patrons looking at us like we were crazy. They are correct.

Me: One chocolate croissant, please.
B: That'll be twelve thousand dollars.
Me: I'm a little short.
B: Ok, how does a buck seventy nine sound?
Me: Good. Heck of a discount.
B: We try.
Me: I heard of a guy who bought a hat for
two million dollars. It came with a free
B. Nice hat.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Wonder Curmudgeon Powers - Activate!

Atlanta's free weekly, Creative Loafing, home to all that is good and lefty, recently had a headline article called "Armageddon for the Religious Right"

A very good article. So good, in fact, that I wrote a letter to the editor, and damn if they didn't print the sucker.

Now this isn't my first letter to the editor to be published, and I doubt it will be the last, unless of course, THEY come to get me. But I flatter myself.
Although, as my sister said: "They can add this to your FBI file." I suppose so.