Saturday, December 15, 2012
Bonus Review / Re soup-Double-view
Also want to give folks a heads up on Kung Fu's beef flavor soup. It's the instant soup with a difference because it has 2 packets: The flavor packet then this other packet which I forgot to take a picture of. The stuff in that one is clear and oozy and seems to give the soup more of a "pro" feel. I can't imagine what's in there but it's probably not too healthy. Again, The sodium in these things is off the charts even for soup. I like soup but not super a lot. I'm not a "total noodle head" like someone in the amazon reviews said they were. I don't really get those Vietnamese soup places. I had one once and it was good but I think of soup as a thing before a meal, not the meal itself. I can't see downing a gallon of broth then going out for beers, that's all I'm saying. My next column is going to be about a massive pig sacrifice during the depression.
Monday, November 26, 2012
"In Saratov last summer [late 90's], every home I visited had... the rough brown kind that sells for about a rouble a roll. "American-style" (as I think of it) TP was available, but at 4 or 5 roubles I never saw anyone buy it. These were middle-class homes by Russian standards, though not necessarily "intelligentsia" (e.g., a fireman and a teacher). Public facilities were a different story. The men's rooms at both SGU and SGTU had no toilet paper and, indeed, no toilets -- just a hole in the floor."
For some reason, communists didn't want people to have decent toilet paper. What was available was of very poor quality and sometimes you couldn't even get that. People just used newspaper. Everyday. Irony was apparently not a concern either as the newspapers people were literally wiping their ass with were all communist propaganda. While some did note receiving some satisfaction from this, it was likely a small consolation.
The entire issue of toilets was mainly just not dealt with. No one could be coerced into being an Untouchable One I guess. Ventilation? just get in there and do it and leave. Forget feminine products either. and then no one drinks the water because they aren't doing anything they should be with the toilet water. Even in high end places your gag reflex would be put to the test Here some lady describes a fun trip to Romania
"...Closing the door behind you, you begin to choke on the sharp stench of urine as you desperately try to find a dry patch on the flooded floor. Needless to say, there is no seat on the toilet, but by the time you visit that famous restaurant, you will already know that such a thing is not to be expected. And then you have to pull a dirty piece of rope in order to splash the water. Soap is nowhere to be seen and toilet paper seems to be a completely unknown thing. There is not a single public toilet in Bucharest where you would find it."That's great. Why do this? Why not create, say, a Ministry of Toiletry? 1. ideological purity. Determined people are willing to put up with a lot of things in pursuit of living according to their principles. In their minds, it's a long term decision where things might be rough now but eventually they will get better. It's honorable. unless you're wrong, then it's stupid and cruel. "Sorry, but we only have so much capitol and we need it for stuff like tanks, statues, and other basic necessities of life." (Sound familiar?) 2. demand creates more demand. If people get toilet paper they are going to prefer it to newspaper so they will want to keep buying it. Once they go forward, they won't go back. Momentum caused by a rumor that a Berlin wall checkpoint being open was what eventually brought it down. The lesson for dictators is don't let people think a rumor like that is even slightly plausible. 2.5 Why not just use the paper they use to make newspapers for actual toilet paper? Then the whole thing falls apart because there's no propaganda keeping people in line! 3. Finally, here's what a Russian guy told me "and so what? I remember that time, i was a child. We had old newspapers as toilet paper. They were smooth enough. I think it's more nature-friendly thinking - to use paper as much, as you can - read news and after that go to toilet (especially, that news were so big propaganda). But westerners buy things and throw them out and start consuming other ones, just now people start to think about recycling - thing that soviets were doing lot earlier. And i'm not communist."
So the last and least plausible reason is that the communists were massively ahead of the ball on environmentalism ( a sick joke considering the industrial and nuclear pollution in their countries).
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I like debating. I always have. People are still talking about my performance in 6th grade whatever it was class supporting the Loch Ness monster's existence. Recently though, I got in a donnybrook that left me utterly baffled. Here > is the thread in question. You don't have to go to it, I'll explain what happened. I include it simply as proof because people wouldn't believe it otherwise. Here's how it began: In a generic current events discussion, I made a pretty nondescript point somwheres along the lines of this: newspapers have ceded edgy political content to the internet and actually seem to have backtracked in what they will print in an OP ED. They aren't simply lame but reactionary and in total denial of the last decade or so of political thought.blah blah blah. This was one womans response
"Using the word 'lame' to mean 'pathetic' or 'deficient' or whatever the fuck you meant (since I sincerely doubt you meant 'having a physical disability') is insulting to and dismissive of people with physical disabilities. I do not care whether you meant to be insulting and dismissive. I do not care whether you have ever before encountered someone saying it is insulting and dismissive. It is insulting and dismissive. Knock it the fuck off."This is a joke right? I responded "I will continue to lose lame". I meant "use" but I was somewhat inebriated. Later , here was my response
Ellie- I was a little drunk, sorry. I meant I will gleefully continue to use the word lame to describe something that is lame lame lameI figured that would be the end of it. Instead, an unwanted, totally unrelated to the topic debate ensues. One or two brave souls initially try to stand up for free speech, but they fade away and most of the others gradually line up under the matriarchs* (there are two now) (*alot of liberal boards have these.) Ellie explains that the word lame doesn't offend her "But I've got two friends in wheelchairs who've expressed pain at encountering use of the word". The friends, as far as we know, are not in the thread. She could have said " speaking of lame, I had two friends with disabilities who were very sensitive to the word "lame" This, while having nothing to do with anything, would at least have been a normal way to communicate a thought. Instead it's now a campaign to make me not use the word lame. Problem: Using that non homopobic, rascist or obscene word is OBVIOUSLY not against the board's rules, so it was up to me to do this of my own volition. Yeah right. We go back and forth and I am thinking either, again 1. This is a joke or 2. she has serious mental problems. Lame is a very common word / expression coined by, I don't know, surfers? right? Was she offended at lame duck sessions of congress?
"Now you mention it, yeah, there are surely ways to express that concept that do not rely on the disparagement of mobility disabilities."This bizarre statment shakes me to my very core. I again reiterate that I cannot stop using the word lame simply to indulge a person who has no good reason for asking me to. That's that, lets move on. No dice. I try being sensitive and attempt very boring wordy explanations of language and society and why it's okay to say lame even though it offends some people. Everyone is mad at ME, not her, for being so obstinate. Finally after being admonished for several pages by this pack of demented druids I break down "This is crazy, everyone says lame!!"
I must be naive because I didn't see this one coming :
"There was a time when "everyone" said the N-word. That didn't make it right.The word crazy is offensive. I couldn't have written a better ending to this than that. A week later I went back and she was chastizing someone else for a language infraction and once again completely derailing the thread.
Also? Using "crazy" this way is rude and demeaning to the mentally ill. Not like you care, because no one tells Chris Hadrick what he is and is not allowed to say.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I started reading/ hearing about Ann Barnhardt during the MF Global scandal. Ann was a broker for farmers out in the heartland and began to realize that the stock market and related industries had completely lost touch with reality. Fearing that her customers funds weren't safe, she decided to simply close her firm. She describes this decision in this interview with Peter Schiff here (as well as calling for a total boycott of Wall Street and the death penalty for Jon Corzine). I soon learned she's also a kind of Westboro Baptist-light type fundy. There are tons of Evangelicals and fundamentalists on the "alternative right" which I seem to inhabit so it doesn't faze me. She's done stuff like burn a Quran on youtube (no one cared) and goes on and on about the Crusades and gays and Muslims on her site and on twitter. Sufficet to say, even in the now crowded field of bearish economic commentators she seems to have carved a niche for herself. Ann doesn't have comments on her blog and doesn't allow them on her youtubes so I'm making my comments here. This video is the last quarter of a talk she gave to a bunch of people about the French Revolution. I haven't watched the whole thing because 1. I'm not that interested in the French Revolution and 2. Who even knows if it's remotely accurate. My comments are related to the last part where she brings everything around to today and our godless rap culture. 8:00 - Here's where she starts talking about how an atheist revolution of a horrible, rampaging sort could take place here today. Again, I haven't watched the whole thing but the hook of it I gather is: early 18th century France = US today. We begin with Dan Savage and Amanda Marcotte saying some "offensive" things about the bible. It's obvious what they mean, however tackily they say it. "As bad as the people in the French Revolution were they never said such sacreligous stuff yada yada". Yeah, but that was 300 years ago and it's like...different. not that strong 10:04 - Now she's talking about rap which I think she secretly loves. She shows a picture of Lil Wayne sitting in between two girls. This is hugely offensive to her for some reason. "These girls are pieces of meat" Are we hearing some feminism here kinda? She uses this picture to again go into her argument about mass rapes happening. Lil Wayne is just sitting there. "We are hanging by a thread." okydoke. Next there's a cute picture of a dumb guy and his girlfriend. She's bent over and he's behind her. Ann asserts that the guy is "mocking anal sex" (which would certainly offend me). She has apparently never heard of doggy style (in her defense, Ann does claim to be a virgin). It's the time honored formula of stuff with "warnings" about wild behaviour that of course show all the behaviour. Next she shows the gif of Snooki getting punched in the face. We see Snooki getting punched in the face a thousand times. "This is our culture". Yes, everyone goes out to a bar and punches a fake Italian dwarf in the face on the weekends. The "I'm gonna make your booty pop" kid, the New Black panthers. She shows something awful from the internet and goes "This is our culture". I could do this. Obama is going to hire mexican drug gangs and muslims as mercenaries. and the New Black Panthers. She calls out Hillary. Hillary would torture you at Gitmo, Ann. So I don't know. For some reason I like her but this stuff is just silly. If you're smart enough to follow and understand CNBC you're too smart to mess around with this claptrap. I'm probably a Marxist Muslim infiltrator though. See how I capitalize Marxist and Muslim out of RESPECT?
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Update: He apologized on Monday. love that guy
Monday, May 28, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I didn't listen to this album first before I bought it because I didn't realize the store I was in had a listening thing ( I'd only been there like twice). Sometimes you buy an album for what you THINK it is which is very dangerous and which you should never do and which no one has to do anymore, except me apparently. Shockingly, it was just about everything I could have hoped for! I've listened to it like a thousand times. The page of the people who put it out does it far more justice than I will attempt as far as concept and background here. It's something like: Radio stations used to have a Battle of the Bands and the best bands would get to be on an album like this, so this is like one of those. Isn't that clever? It was released for the new national holiday Record Store Day. Every song sounds like a montage where people are rollerskating and falling in love. The lyrics all seem to say "hey, don't worry about it. STD's are just a part of growin' up nowadays". I think I actually caught something from the bassline in Cream & Sugars "Between Us". It's pretty evenly balanced between upbeat and slow but of course, not TOO far in either direction. Caroline Peyton's "Try to be True", a jazzy Carole King -ish tune, is a quaint time capsule of the era. She asks if her lover could please try not to get with any girls while she's away, probably for like a weekend which was a lot to ask back then, I gather. It's kinda pathetic though, in any era. It's a good song though. The second half, or "side" as they used to say, gets a little moodier. Donna Kime's "Golden Pony" while somewhat cheesy (there's a line about silver dolphins or something) is more of a torchy soul song, but it fits in well enough. Lorren Cornelius's "Fantasy Woman" is also beautiful and intoxicating. At the same, you can't really have a song called "Fantasy Woman". "Fantasy Woman, you're a child in my eyes, Fantasy woman, something or other in disguise" A lot of the lyrics are kinda like that. I think people didn't pay attention in school a lot back then. I didn't either but I was like 5.
The Roach Band are the only group with a black singer. You'd figure he could school the honkeys on some Barry White type smoothness but instead they fizzle with a depressing repetitive song about a magic lamp. Greenflow's "I Gotcha", the albums sole instrumental, has a nice break that's cool the first 50 times but it gets annoying. Here I'll do it: 1,2,3 1-2,3, 1-2,3 4..I gotcha(repeat). The rest is light, fun and even good in a besides the point ish way. I don't know when these songs were recorded exactly, it sounds like right went everyone switched over to cocaine. I wonder if legit musicians today can even play this kind of music? You have to listen to it on your day off though. It doesn't quite work any other time.
Monday, May 14, 2012
"I'll prove it to you" I say. He's game, I back up a bit onto Gray Cliff. "Okay you ready? Look" I motion to my gear showing thingy and show it's now in reverse. "Okay I've come to a complete stop." He has his hands on my downed window area, like a cop. My car starts going FORWARD a bit and he instinctively begins pushing it upwards. I start revving the gas, the car goes nowhere. "My bad" he says smiling. You ever have an altercation with someone and you think of a quip or comeback later? Mine was "No, my bad...car!"
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
It's just some college kids' house (excuse me, haus) and you walk in through the living room into the basement. I went to shows like this in college, specifically Doc Hopper shows in Allston but I knew them and I was with people so I felt weird. Immediately I saw one, then two nice cats and I love cats so I played with them. Eventually, I realize the show is downstairs so I head down. Ey Koo is playing. She looks alot like an old boss of mine from the 90's. The thing for the show compared her favorably to stuff like Royal trux's "Twin Infinitives" a record I've listened to a trillion times and other Drag City / Siltbreezy stuff from the 90's. It was okay but kind of more akin to someone trying to describe Flying Saucer Attack to someone else by turning up the reverb on everything to a million. It was better than Cat power but really could have used alot less reverb. I really like this youtube of her though. When the set ended I walked around a little. I put a (one) dollar in the thing. (The guy was gracious!) Police cars zoomed by with a futuristic woob woob sort of sound along with the siren, making everything that much more surreal. There are some cute girls but they are 12 years younger than me and what am I going to say "I'm not even sure I'm awake hi!" so I play with the cats some more. One guy carries the cat around the house on his back. The cat is very calm the whole time. People just sit and talk about the cats which is fine with me. Various lps and so forth are for sale but I heard about 10 minutes of one of the acts. Eventually I head back down and a guy who has a wikipedia entry that looks like a scientist's has a bunch of weird hand held walkman things that are making squiggling sounds that two mics, one of which appears to be a PZM which I wish I had (mine broke). He squiggles around for a while and I lose patience. There are like a dozen people left. Sister Angela Sawyer, whose band I came to see and missed, is asleep in front of the music. I get back in the car and listen to WMBR. The rap show I'd been listening to has turned into an R n B show but its still pretty good. The song is about how this R n B guy wants to be the girl's housekeeper or something.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
new first lady?In the morning, Mr Guy who was buying bottles of vodka for half of Cartegena the night before became a sober Mr Hyde skinflint and told her to get lost. She was pissed and rounded up anyone she could find and made a fuss, which she's come to regret since the thing has spoiled her double life. She's pulled no punches in regards to their professional conduct.
“The man slept all night,” Suarez said, according to The Associated Press. “If I had wanted to, I could have gone through all his documents, his wallet, his suitcase.”Like it matters. Nuts have been going after presidents since the invention of the president. The whole secret service thing is all theatre.As big a screw up as this was, none of it will affect the presidential race which is all anyone cares about so it doesn't matter. Dania Londoño Suarez can probably be in Columbian Playboy and/or appear on a Columbian reality series or if she's really lucky, do something else like have a career and forget this ever happened. The guy I guess quit. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he got a pension of some sort.
Suarez said if her alleged client carried sensitive information, she could have compromised the security of the president. She was bewildered that the agents didn’t take the situation seriously
One kind of crazy thing I noticed though: She gave the initial interview in Madrid, Spain and had been hiding out before that in Dubai during the hubub. I've always wondered why there were so many hookers in movies and never bought that their lives were as exciting as Hollywood made them out to be. I figured they were actually really depressing. Have you been to Spain, the United Arab Emirates and South America in the past month? All from meeting guys in the hotel bar.
Monday, April 30, 2012
I consider myself a decent neocon scholar, having been a regular reader of the various paleocon critics of such (Buchanan, Raimondo) as well as trolling at places like Commentary (where I can scarcely recall ever hearing one thing about any other conservative issues besides foreign policy) and other less known ones (screwliberals.com, etc.) Yet I hadn't heard of this guy. When I stumbled upon this this column of his, cleverly titled "Time to Nuke Iran", I was really annoyed.
The radical mullahs in Tehran are a scourge that must be destroyed. To allow them to exist one minute more would be tantamount to reliving the mistakes that led to the rise of Adolf Hitler, World War II and the HolocaustIt's been several more minutes since this column was written and there hasn't been another Holocaust. Exaggerating for effect?
Importantly, an increasing number of Iranian-Americans now understand that war with Iran will entail significant civilian casualties in their native country. And, while many Iranian-Americans still have loved ones there, they are increasingly willing to accept the consequences of all-out war with the Islamic regime.He offers absolutely no substantiation of this. A recent poll shows about 3 percent. of Iranian-Americans support a military option in regards to their homeland.
This is the most evil regime since the Third ReichMore evil than Pol Pot or Mao's China? because they have rigged elections? Noth Korea? Sudan?
Much like taking out a small lump in a cancerous female breast, the operation could have been simple and done with. Now a total radical double mastectomy is required.Imagine this guy having the president's ear. Imagine him being president! This is why I'm iffy on democracy.
Obama and Hillary Clinton are traitors, and they are probably bribed to the hilt by IranYeah they probably bribed Hillary to give them the sanctions that they're suffering under (none of which appear to be destablizing them in the least). Worst of all, he doesn't even really suggest nuking Iran!. Talk about phoning it in. No one takes stuff like this seriously anymore but I guess I was struck by the craziness of it so I looked him up I found this on his wiki page :
"On February 3, 2012, the prosecutor of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, announced that Klayman was indicted for failure to pay child support. The charge of criminal non-support is a fifth degree felony which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. Klayman owes $78,861.76 for two children ages 11 and 14. Klayman failed to appear for his arraignment which was scheduled for March 15, 2012, and is currently a fugitive subject to arrest in Ohio."It's quite an entry. He's sued Dick Cheney, Facebook, Bill Clinton (18 times), and probably me for writing this article. I guess the fact that he wasn't making much money peddling this stuff is a good sign. Somehow, he's still writing his columns though. The most recent thing I found on blogs was this depressing vid/ article on the apparently still proceeding Obama birth certificate thing. He calls into the group and they put him on speaker and he addresses the crowd that way. Here's a good comment on youtube
Larry Klayman is a joke. He is about as useful as a toothache.... I heard him 20 years ago when he was going to expose the Clintons. Nothing came of that. Dont expect any results. Oh yeah he needs donations. Same as 20 years ago. dont waste a dime..... blah blah....... canarsiemarsie 5 days ago
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I used to have no life. I still have no life, but I have shittier job than I had before. Of all the things that've suffered in the recession, my movie watching is the most biggest one. From 2007 till like mid last year I was on the unlimited plan at Netflix, basically a movie every night. I saw somewhere near a thousand movies. I was a top 200 or something reviewer at Netflix (some people have negative life). Seeing this, the Federal Reserve started the recession so I got a hard ass job and I don't really do Netflix that much anymore and I don't write reviews there because it's less fun since they took all the film geek features away. I guess it saved them money but it seems kinda stupid. Why, for example, would I specifically NOT want to know who wrote a review of a movie and /or what they thought of other ones? I think Amazon and pretty much every other site have established that people do. Whatever, dude. Qwickster, that's all I have to say.
Anyway, I'm as much an expert on film as anybody now that the film critic no longer exists so I compiled this list that I think will define the cannon of fine film for the coming years. It's been too long since I've seen some of these to really offer reviews of any accuracy but they are all worth seeing.
"Help Help, the Globolinks" (1969)"Hilfe, Hilfe, die Globolinks" was a failed opera that no one liked. It's the story of some space things that bother everybody. It's supposed to be a warning that modern music is horrible and tuneless but the Globolinks are the coolest part of the movie so it totally undermines it's own message. Another stupid thing is that the way to stop the Globos is to play music, but it's an opera! There's a nice scene with a little girl playing a violin to ward off the strange ass thingies as she makes her way through the forest and it's visually pretty cool but all the dialogue is the dark, Mighty Mouse type singing around. It's so obscure it doesn't even have an IMDB page. My friend's review of it is the only one I know of besides my old one. To quote:
"Globolinks is mostly a historical curiosity, a bizarre and bad example from a dying art form."
Fantastic Argoman (1967)Argoman (I don't know what that means, of or pertaining to Jason and the Argonaughts) is a stud who has an awesome underwater hideout and can do stuff like this. Except, if he can use his mind to tell people to kill each other, can't he do pretty much anything? Isn't he really just God. As cheap and crazy as this is it's actually good and about a thousand times better than most Italian movies. The way white supremecists talk about Jews is how I think of Italians. If a movie is really half assed I start looking to see if an Italian's involved. They always, always, always, manage to have hot girls in their pictures though, so I guess they're all right after all.
Swept Away (2002)Imagine if some rich guy paid 40 million dollars to remake "Die Hard" with himself in the lead role. That's fine, but what if he thought they could charge people to see it? Madonna gets swept away and has to rely on the lowly serf and the servant becomes the servee. Meanwhile, her muscles are bigger than his. The single was a cover of Come On A My House, the annoying Rosemary Clooney song. If you can even tolerate it, it's certainly a far cry from "Crazy for you" or "Live to tell" on the Madonna soundtrack spectrum. No gems hidden in this turkey carcass.
"Madonna is very sub standard in this terrible movie"- Gene Siskel
ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh (2002)A gay guy swallows a large magic rock that falls out of the sky (it's really disturbing) and turns into a Superwoman who has to save the village and does jokes with her/his transexual sidekick. This guy didn't like it
He's wrong though it's awesome. In fact, it's probably the only movie here I could recommend with something resembling a straight face.
This is movie's singular focus is about how being gay is a happy human experience - what a waste of my family's time and money!
0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.
The Manitou (1978)What's his name from the Odd Couple, who is totally miscast, fights a thing that grows out of Susan Strasberg's back. It's a 400 year old native American Demon or something. The movie is like a PCP nightmare. I love this review especially the higlighted part
"1.0 out of 5 stars Ed Wood Lives! And it was obviously this bad while they were filming..., March 11, 2007horrible mention:
By APC Reviews "APC Reviews" (USA) - This review is from: The Manitou (DVD)
The Manitou is one of the worst films ever made, "The Manitou" has now been released on DVD, which proves that if it's 90 minutes and in color with sound that just about anything can become immortal. William Girdler was the heir to Ed Wood's legacy in the truly bad movies hall of fame. Tragically, he was killed in a helicopter accident just after finishing the Manitou. This DVD release may help reacquaint the current generation of filmgoers with just how ludicrous a film can be while maintaining a straight face. If these guys had not taken themselves so seriously they might have made the Indian Medicine Man version of "Airplane".
I mention all this because I was a guest on the set of The Manitou for a few days during production -- I knew one of the crew members and hung around while they filmed various scenes with Tony Curtis and Burgess Meredith. also managed to get myself thrown off the set and off the lot, on the director's orders, for commenting within earshot of the screenwriter that "...it all seems like Tonto meets the Exorcist to me." Dejected, I went back into Hollywood and went to the second day performance of a new film showing at the Mann's Chinese, "Star Wars".
This is a truly awful film in that wonderful Ed Wood kind of way -- the quotes and sound bites are worth the price of the DVD just to hear actors actually say such things. And it was obviously this bad even standing there as they were filming... "
Like Normal People (1979)I haven't seen this so I couldn't include it but it's pretty uncanny. In my view, you don't go full retard or even part retard. It's minstrelsy.Let retarded poeple portray themselves. Shock Cinema evicerated it for it's condescending title and the demented performance of the actors. SC's Mike Sullivan had my favorite review "Shaun Cassidy who in awkward brown horn rimmed glasses resembles would be Reagan assassin John Hinckley jr imitating Jimmy Stewart as channeled through a cartoon horse" perhaps my favorite sentence ever. really twisted stuff.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I've always kind of liked the muslim women who wear headscarves. I think it's because they remind me of nuns, who I like. Nuns are simple,honorable,kind of mysterious,and any number of other good adjectives really. Agnes of God, Buddhist kung fu doing nuns, Hildegard von Bingen : there are alot of cool nuns, but not ones like at that place in Ireland where they made the girls do laundry all the time everyday. They suck. Monks are cool too.
I knew a few hijabis, mainly at shiachat and they were pretty funny. It was "clean" humor there but crazy all the same, maybe for that reason. In general they and the guys seemed like loveable goofballs with regrettable lapses into conspiracy theories and constantly asking some imam somewhere if this or that was haram (non-okay) or not. Being shia, they were used to being in the minority and stuck together. What I liked most about shiachat was they had a rule against swearing and in general promoted civil dialogue. Also, at the time discussing Israel was very taboo. I was thrown off of countless blogs and boards over it. That was not in danger of happening at a muslim board. So I've got a soft spot for the em.
Yet, I wasn't particularly disturbed by the death of Shaima Alawadi initally. I kind of ignored it and in retrospect it was for a good reason. Shaima Alawadi was a shia woman in California who was brutally killed, ostensibly by a bigoted home invader whe left a note saying “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.” The woman's daughter Fatima made a tearful statment to the media and Alawadi's death was publicly memorialized, in some cases along with Trayvon Martin's. One Million Hijabis appeared on facebook. Her name spread throughout the muslim world.
There were some people, there are still in fact, who were asking why it wasn't a bigger story. The reason: people were waiting for the smoke to clear because something smelled funny. We Americans might not be smart but we do watch a ton of cop shows. Though they admonished each other for insensitivity initially, people started to cautiously wonder. The police then released the affadavit and it's contents turned the perception of the case fully around on it's head (does that make sense?).
This blog piece at a progressive christian site follows a typical sort of trajectory : The author lays into western civilization for islamaphobia and gives a litany of crimes against muslims and so forth. Gradually as the story changes the comments do as well. Finally the author throws her hands up and renounces the piece. Others continue saying stuff about islamophobia for some reason and people move on.
The other side kind of blew it to though. Atlas Shrugs and Deb Schlussel for all their alleged expertise on radical islam both mis-solved the case right away as well. Not as a hate crime but as an honor killing. This article from what looks like a pretty normal muslim bashing site was excellent and well researched and in fact negates much of the need for this here one. oh well.
So what did happen? There is a one in a million chance it could have been a hate crime, though you know what, no there isn't read the affadavit. While their may have been domestic violence, the father was not in the house at the time, at least according to the report:
"Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi, had reportedly left to take the couple’s other younger children to school, although police state in the March 27 affidavit that his whereabouts had not yet been confirmed."
The daughter is at the top of the list right now. Backstory: She had been acting out and so forth, a la a stereotypical second generation Americanized adoloscent. She apparently got busted getting it on with a guy in a car. On the way home from the police she jumped out of the car, an apparent suicide attempt. She was at some point, maybe that night? not clear, informed she was going to arranged marry one of her cousins. Thus, there are ample reasons to be suspicious of her and, as it takes two to tango, her male friend. (Amazingly, some random journalist guy was there when all of that happened, the car was parked in front of his house.) A suspicious person was seen fleeing the murder scene but that might be a red herring. It's described briefly in the thing. A very incriminating text mssage was recovered from her phone. I can't tell if it was sent by her or to her but it reads "The detective will find out tell them (can't) talk,".
Clearly these people are all flight risks but they split, ostensibly to go to the mothers funeral in Baghdad. They are set to come back to the US in 2 weeks but even Chief Wiggum would realize they probably won't. Now what happens? I'd imagine the Iraqi police have other priorities. The facebook page has kind of morphed into a general we like muslims tribute page. Perhaps the family make their way into Syria or Iran? Who knows. The culture clash of being muslims in the west, the inflexability of muslim traditions, Americans intolerance of muslims and arabs and so forth are no doubt in this story somewhere but not as near the top as most initially thought.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Guided By Voices are known if anything for their massive recorded output: dozens of albums, 3 or 4 different boxed sets, and at least a dozen more solo records and side project thingies. One album does tends to stand apart and that's Bee Thousand. It's not a radical departure from the rest of their catalog, but it is just a little different. It's got your Beatles-y /power pop sort of songs up front then it gradually adds more and more home recorded foolishness/ brilliance with uncanny track sequencing, like a musical or something. It's the most accesible avant garde album and weirdest pop album of it's time. There's even a book about it. The name apparently came from the misreading of a movie marquee for "Beethoven" a kids movie about a huge loveable St Bernard.
The song "Smothered in Hugs" is one I think about sometimes. If you listen closely, it sounds like the song is describing Jesus Christ from the view of a disciple/ follower. Songwriter Robert Pollard has denied (link=old Magnet interview I can't find) that and usually says something along the lines of the lyrics are stream of conscious and more about the sound of the words and so forth. Many of the band's songs and albums do seem to have themes though, the answer may be somewhere in between. "Smothered In Hugs" is not my favorite song TITLE by a long shot, that would be maybe The Who vs Porky Pig? I'd have to think about it.
In the summer that you came
there was something eating everyone
And the sunshine fund was low
We couldn't greet you with a simple hello
And the watchers of the flood were busy in their chambers
Making sure there was new blood to sustain their dying veins
But I believed you
No need for further questioning
I'm gonna leave with you
You can teach me all you know
Which way will we go now on our trip to taller windows
I really don't know now
I really don't know
In the winter that you left, there was business as usual
With the same old fears and frustrations
But the word got out, it was really such a pity
But the judges and the saints and the textbook committee
Decided you should be left out - not even mentioned
But I believed you
No need for further questioning
I'm gonna leave with you
You can teach me all you know
Which way will we go now on our trip to taller windows
I really don't know now
I really don't know
Conservatives may be inclined to think the line about the textbook committee refers to how Christ and prayer have been taken out of our schools, but Pollard was a teacher for decades and it may just be a phrase he heard. Of course, the whole song could easily be about any sort of person who comes to town or about rock music itself. In fact, one of the reasons the name Bee Thousand was settled upon as a name was that it sounded like Pete Townsend (The Who).
Sunday, April 8, 2012
So John Derbyshire got into some hot soup for an article he wrote at Takimag. This caught me by surprise, mostly because I don't usually read his stuff there and I never read NRO so I don't really know what he talks about. I usually read Gavin McInnes, Pat Buchanan, Taki himself, sometimes Jim Goad and maybe other stuff that randomly catches my eye. I think Takimag are onto something and I like their fearlessness and honesty. I don't really care too much about the "Death of the West" stuff their writers are always going on about though. Some of them whine alot too, like liberals.
I probably wouldn't have read this article. In fact, I think I saw it and didn't. Liberals like to talk about race because their whole movement is simply nostalgia for the 60's and 90's. That's fine but why help them out? It's retro. It doesn't matter. So I was going to visit this site I just basically called obsolete like I do every day but it didn't open. Then I saw the Derbyshire trending on twitter. I didn't think it was for some insightful article he wrote on cultural whatever. Gawker laid into him pretty good. If you haven't read it, the hook of the article is a list of ways white people should avoid black people so they don't end up getting shot or something. To back up his claim that this is good advice he links to instances from the news where not following this type of advice ended badly.
As the late Andrew Breitbart apparently said "So?". This is less racist than Chris Rock saying "Books are like Kryptonite to a nigga". He's looking out for the safety of his children so he wants to avoids situations where they would be in danger. He isn't advocating shooting black people nor does he think that it's genetically impossible for one to not behave in this manner. We'll get into the efficacy of this in a bit but anyway that's what he did.
I confess, I used to be afraid of black people on the street. Then one day my friend calmly sat down next to a bunch of black people and nothing happened. Now I'm not scared of them. (Plus I weigh like 200 pounds now and also don't really care if I live or die). Takimag commenters would probably think this make me some kind of flaming liberal. One of my favorite scenes in Borat was when he is in Detroit or something and he goes "lets go over there" pointing to a poorly lit area where black yutes were hanging out. He goes over there and nothing untoward happens except they make fun of him. What if had gotten killed. Who knows,who cares. and don't freak out about racism either. You want to see some really racist motherfuckers go to Japan or Egypt. They make John Derbyshire look like Jane Fonda.
Sort of as a corrolary though to my making fun of people who care about civil rights is my belief in "picking your battles". Conservatives who got all upset about Sandra Fluke kind of had a point, but were kind of dumb too. It's not worth pissing off women to support the right of religous institutions to deny contraception. In theory, they are right. In practice, save your ammo for something more important than preventing the horrible result of women who want birth control pills getting them. This could be a whole other column, but I'd go further to just say stay away from womens stuff altogether. Have you every read a romance novel or even watched a soap opera? It's sordid beyond all measure, but you never see anyone trying to ban them or anything, even the fire and brimstone preachers are smart about that. Luke rapes Laura and their wedding is one of the top 3 most watched events in tv history! Don't try to understand women and their weird take on life at all. They are worse than Hezbollah and similarly their worldview will never make sense to the western mind.
So what was John Derbyshire's impeteus for writing this column that was worth stirring a hornet's nest over? To tell scared white people that he is scared too and they are okay? Everyone knows that! More to the point: It's tacky, no pun intended, as hell to be coming off with this stuff in the midst of and in response to what was a tragedy: the shooting of Trayvon Martin. He was there visiting someone, not robbing people and no one disputes that. As Takimag scribe Gavin McInnes has noted there is a thing called decorum. Should he have gotten FIRED over it? National Review stinks who cares. He's been there for 30 years and I doubt they thought 2 seconds about it.
Derbyshires book looks relatively interesting. I think to some extent that was his crime here: not being more boring like the rest of the interchangeable horn rimmed spectacled pundits on twitter and so forth.
John Derbyshire is a lucky bastard: I wish I was famous enough to be blacklisted!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Back in 2007 there was a kind of strange moment in this country. The national intelligence estimate report ,which combines all the US spy type agencies collective knowledge, came out saying that Iran wasn't building a nuke. Apparently, it's major reason for doing so or trying to was Saddam Hussein and now he was gone. What was weird was instead of being relieved at this, people were mad! It was a turning point, in my mind at least.
Now, I certainly don't "trust" the government's judgement in anything, but at the very least it was an excuse to take the military option off the table and resolve the conflict to some extent and move on. It was always a kind of ridiculous idea anyway: tiny backward Iran attacking the superpower US and/or Israel. Why would they step, when they know we're strapped? as Ice T would say. Plus, Iran has oil. lets get some of it. Alas, The NIE failed to change the direction of things in the least. Lately it's taken on a creepier tone. As the US remains stuck in a long recession, war counterintuitively seems more likely. It's like some ancient sort of fatalism.
SR380 is the latest ramping up of it. You can click below Lindsey Grahams adorable face to see if your horrible senator co sponsored this thing, 44 of them did. It's very bi partisan. As recently blacklisted, black-face comedy fan Pat Buchanan points out
"Three dozen senators have signed on to a resolution declaring it a U.S. “vital national interest” that Iran not possess even a “nuclear weapons capability....
S.R. 380 reads like a resolution crafted as a casus belli, a cause for war..."
The co sponsor that surprised me the most was Sherrod Brown, who has to be the only one on it to have voted against the Iraq War resolution. Then I remembered Brown had been the guy that Chuck Schumer and co had thrown Paul Hackett under the bus for. Hackett is an Iraq war vet who was generating alot of excitement back in 06 and when the party turned on him it was ugly. Normally loyal democratic institutions like Democratic Underground and the Stephanie Miller show openly showed their outrage and indignation. Hackett was on jon Stewart and Colbert. Then...people forgot about it and Brown entered the Senate on the wave of the "thumping" the GOP took . He soon delighted the world with his trademark style which is blowhardy (Buchananite) protectionism, looking like a 70's sitcom character, and stuff like banning incandscent lightbulbs, supporting every type of bailout, and the DREAM act ( because war and illegal immigration are two things we just don't have enough of in this country).
Perhaps in thanks to the party brass he also conspiciously co sponsored s970, which sought to tighten sanctions on Iran. Okay, he got the bosses of his back. That's politics, and the thing didn't even go to vote. No need to make hay of it.
So why did he sign on to this latest bill? Brown is facing a challenge in the form of a 34 year old gay for pay looking republican josh mandel an iraq vet (why can't they leave Sherrod alone?) and rising star in Sarah Palins GOP. He's a big Iran hawk.
"Given that Jews turn out at an 80 percent turnout rate, " says Nathan Diament, a lobbyist for the Orthodox Jewish movement. "if you swing the Jewish vote 10 percent in Ohio, that could give you Ohio,". As Dr. Suess once said "Luke Luck licks lakes that Luke Luck's duck likes" especially in a swing state.
This isn't just to pick on Jewish people in Ohio or anywhere else. You ever notice how, as an American, you can't go to Cuba? You can go to Iran, Sudan, North Korea, and every island near Cuba but not Cuba unless you're a Gitmo detainee. That's because the loud annoying Cuban-American lobby in Florida for some reason doesn't want the embargo lifted. The Cold War ended 20 + years ago. Why do a group of people I don't know determine wether I can go to a place called Cuba (which I did try to do, that's another story) ( I got a ticket in but couldn't secure a return trip, which at the time was enough to disuade me. Now I wouldn't give a fuck)? answer: Florida is also a swing state.
This is in direct violation of the General Welfare clause of the Constitution. This clause is often misinterpreted to mean something along the lines of the government is supposed to give people the thing called welfare if they need it. The actual meaning is that the edicts and so forth of the state are meant to benefit the general as opposed to specific welfare of the country. So, just because Cubans in Miami don't like Castro, that doesn't mean all 300 million Americans and however many Cubans in Cuba should have to deal with a ridiculous embargo, but there it is.
Winston Churchill once said "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." We'd like to think so, but there are real problems with democracy. While it's a shame Americans can't legaly travel to Cuba and the Cuban people have to suffer under a ridiculous embargo, the situation in the middle east is something far more alarming. We're getting in the middle of millenia long feuds in a way that could spell the literal end of humanity. For some reason, we're all too polite to say anything about it.
Bill Gates probably has a space Ark ready for himself if that's any consolation.