Saturday, April 30, 2005

OK, yeah, I'm weird

And you thought Hannidate 2005 was bizarre? I forget where, but I recently found a link to RepublicanPeopleMeet.com. On a total lark, I signed up just to see what it was like inside. You have to fill out a initial profile. The weirdest thing is that in the "What are you looking for in a partner?" section, it makes suggestions about what you should ask for, and the very first suggestion is, "Assertive/Submissive." Huh? I thought the whole surrendered wife movement had come and gone. So naturally, I said that "submissiveness is very important to me."

Inside, it looks like there are scads of women looking for good, dominant, Republican men, but only 14 men looking for the same, in the entire country. I got a kick out of rwfacist's profile:

A little about me...
I am an aryan republican who believes that affirmative action and immigration are the greatest challenges that this nation faces.

What are you looking for in a partner?
I am looking for a strong, blue eyed, blonde who doesn't mind raising similar blue eyed, blond haired children.

I'd just like to add...
I enjoy marching, large torchlight rallys that occur at night, and Octoberfest. My life's dream is to invade Poland.

Sure sounds like a good, red-blooded American Republican to me.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

This just in

From the "Yes, we are a bunch of inbred dumbfucks" department: State Rep. Gerald Allen of Alabama (boy, now that's a surprise) introduced a bill that would ban the state from spending money on books that recognize or promote homosexuality. That would include any book with a gay character or a gay author. (Presumably not Fagbashing for Dummies, however.) Allen is such a nutjob that he even wanted it to extend to Shakespeare, because of the cross dressing inherent in his plays. He has now relented, and it would not apply to the "classics," but leaves that term undefined. He now only wishes to ban "some Shakespeare."

He's doing this, he claims to "protect our children" from the "homosexual lifestyle." It appears he's only interested in protecting "our" straight children; the gay kids can go fuck off.

This ban would include:

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, one of the biggest poofters of all time.
  • Our Town, by Thornton Wilder, which is a perennial classic in high school theater and English classes
  • The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  • The Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address, because recent research suggests Abraham Lincoln may have been gay
  • any writings by Walt Whitman, probably the greatest American poet of the 20th century
  • ... and so on and so forth

More reading:

Alabama Bill Targets 'Gay' Books
Possible Gay Book Ban in Alabama
Legislators debate gay books in schools; other bills stalled

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bleep! this, nitwit

AMC is running Bleep! Censoring Hollywood, studying a "controversial movement" of a small number of companies that sanitize Hollywood movies of sex, profanity, and violence. ClearPlay, for example, is software that automatically fast-forwards through, or mutes over, sections of the film.

The AMC site has quite a bit of streaming video, which doesn't seem to play right for me in Firefox (which is just another example of what's wrong with the entertainment industry). In one of them, Steven Soderberg is complaining about the edit of his movie Traffic,

It doesn't make me happy that some anonymous person sitting in a room somewhere can recut Traffic, and can essentially sell that version of it through this software, and it has my name on it and the implication is that I condoned it or that it represents what I did.

First of all, it's not like anyone is going to accidentally get a CleanFlicks (a NetFlix-like service) version of a movie and not realize that it's been edited. People seek these services out for a reason.

Secondly, and what Soderberg doesn't seem to get is that I don't give a damn about his artistic vision. It's my movie, and I'll do with it what I damn well want to. If I want to fast-forward through the rape scene in Showgirls, I damn well will. If I want to freeze-frame Russell Crowe's mostly naked scene in The Sum of Us, I damn well will (and have). I read magazine articles out of order too, and even tear out the heavy paper advertising inserts I find so annoying. Once you sell me a product, it's mine to do whatever I want with. You've lost control, get over it.

OK, yeah, cleaning up Hollywood movies is kinda silly. And, yes, I'm a bit disturbed that one of the things that one of these companies remove from movies is "homosexuality, perversions, and cohabitation." But it's not the director's decision in these matters, and it's not mine, either.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Things would be different if his name were Monica

Remember Jeff Gannon/James Guckert? It appears his fifteen minutes have been extended another five. Not only is he on the cover of this week's Advocate, but there are new questions about his comings and goings at the White House. I doubt Secret Service paperwork is regularly this sloppy, but it looks like his perpetual temporary pass was used on days there was no White House press briefing, and his comings and goings were poorly tracked.

Excerpted from this Raw Story article:

Gannon’s ready access to President Bush and his work for a news agency that frequently plagiarized content from other reporters and tailored it to serve a conservative message may raise new questions about the White House’s attempts to seed favorable news coverage.

Perhaps more notable than the frequency of his attendance, however, is several distinct anomalies about his visits.

Guckert made more than three dozen excursions to the White House when there were no scheduled briefings. On many of these days, the Press Office held press gaggles aboard Air Force One—which raises questions about what Guckert was doing at the White House.

On at least fourteen occasions, Secret Service records show either the entry or exit time missing. Generally, the existing entry or exit times correlate with press conferences; on most of these days, the records show that Guckert checked in but was never processed out.

So Secret Service records show that a male prostitute entered the White House, but don't show that he left, possibly until the next day. Hmmmm. I wonder what that could mean.

If his name were Monica, Republicans would be impeaching.

(Via AmericaBlog)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Friday, April 22, 2005

Shocking

The four top officers accused of wrongdoing in the Abu Ghraib torture scandle have all been cleared. I guess that all the abuse was simultaneously going on at multiple locations was just ... a coincidence. So much for the administrations vaunted "personal responsibility" theme.

The sad part is that I'm not suprised one whit.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Yeah, what he said

Did you ever read something that was put so well, you're afraid to add to the discussion because you're afraid that you'll mess it up? With that, I'll just link to this blog entry: Keep the Church Out of My State

There is only one thing I could possibly contribute to the discussion, and it was not written by me:

... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ...

-- The Treaty with Tripoli, 1796

Sunday, April 17, 2005

So is this evil in a good way?

This site is certified 22% EVIL by the Gematriculator
My blog is apparently 22% evil. Funny, I figured I'd be worse than that. I'm slightly more evil than David's Reports From the Edge, but I'm not sure if he's ahead or I am.

Gematria, by the way, is the study of numerolgy of Hebrew alphabet, usually applied to the Talmud. It works by assigning a number value to the letters, and adding up the numbers associated with the letters. It seems 3 is a good number and 13 is an evil number.

I couldn't help but wonder who else was good and evil.

  • Liberal blog: DailyKos is 27% evil.
  • Liberal blog: Eschaton is 45% evil. Hmm, gonna have to watch that guy.
  • Liberal blog: AmericaBLOG is 37% evil.
  • Conservative blog: Powerlineblog is 40% evil.
and ...
  • rushlimbaugh.com is 95% evil. Seriously.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Bunnies!

OK, so whoever did this is no Jennifer Shiman, but this is the sort of thing that Flash excels at. Not basics like navigating your crappy website, but rather singing, dancing bunnies. Bunnies are always good.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The only logical conclusion

Daily Kos has put up a copy of the Republicans new "Fillibuster against people of faith" ad. Yeah, because Democrats are all just a bunch of athiests. And if you're not a right-wing, whack-job, conservative Christian, you're an athiest too.

I can only draw one logical conclusion from this new tacic.

Republicans hate the Constitution. They hate freedom. And they hate America.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Please answer the question

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was at NYU today to receive an award. There was a Q&A period with law students beforehand. According to NYUNews:

In asking about Scalia's dissent in Lawrence v. Texas and his view that privacy is not constitutionally protected, Eric Berndt, a law student, shocked the crowd by asking, "Do you sodomize your wife?"

Scalia refused to answer the question. Administrators at the event, immediately silenced Berndt.

Scalia has repeatedly claimed that there is no right to privacy. Presumably he has no such right, just like all other Americans. Furthermore, he claims that it is legitimate for the State to regulate the sexual behavior between even married citizens.

We need to do more of this. If right-wingers are going to claim that there is no legal right to privacy, and that they should be the arbiters of sexual morality, then we must be vigilant and persistent in determining that they do not take part in such sexual deviancy. Including homosexuality or oral sex or even more perverted things like letting the wife be on top.

So, Justice Scalia, will you please answer the question?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Revelations

Tonight is the start of Revelations, NBC's big Left Behind-esque miniseries about the Biblical end of the world. I'll probably watch it; there's lots about the end of the world and in Christian theology that can make for entertaining fiction. See Neil Gaiman's Good Omens for an amusing example, and 1991's The Rapture for a thought-provoking and creepy example.

But this sort of thing worries me. It seems that we're seeing more and more fanatical Christians claiming that this is the End of Days, and that God will soon destroy the world. Fortunately, not before he sucks up the faithful into heaven with the Celestial Dust Buster. These are not people that take the Bible lightly, nor do they understand that much of it is metaphor and allegory. These are the people that actually believe that there will be a seven-headed, ten-horned Beast that will come from the sea to make war on the peoples of the Earth. That's not an analogy. That's exactly what they think is going to happen.

This kind of thinking just isn't healthy. The recent church shooting in Milwaukee took place at a church that teaches we are living in the End Days. Jerry Falwell claims that the Antichrist lives today as a male Jew. These people seem to be the "moral values" voters that are trying to exert tremendus pressure on the government. They're not a small force, and their efforts aren't harmless. One of the reasons they are so pro-Israel, as I understand it, is that the Second Coming can't happen until the Temple on the Mount is rebuilt by the Jews. That's a major political football because there's an important Muslim temple built on that site now. So this sort of thinking does influence our foreign policy.

This kind of thing scares me because when you really, truly believe that then end of the world is nigh, then there's no reason to prepare for tomorrow. It's OK to destroy the environment and raid Social Security.

But hopefully tonight will just be about entertaining (or, more likely, mediocre) television.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Next: Cialis X-treme!

I got a spam today advertising "a new medicine on the market now!" It's "Viagra Professional."

I guess it's Viagra for right-wing pseudojouranlists?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

HHGTTG

There's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie coming out. I was excited. Really excited. Then I read this review of the nearly-complete version of the movie. I'm not so excited anymore. (That's the link to the spoiler-free version of the movie. The spolieriffic version is here.)

The important part of the review is this:

To put it bluntly, they have cut most of the jokes out. I’m not being metaphorical here, they really have, in a very literal sense, removed the jokes from the story. There are scenes where all we’re left with is the set-up dialogue, there are jokes where we get the feed-line but not the punchline. It’s astounding. Occasionally, the filmmakers have actually bothered replacing the jokes but they have replaced them with really, really pisspoor, unfunny jokes; they have replaced them with stupid playground humour and pointless slapstick.

I suspect Douglas Adams is spinning in his grave so fast right now that we should hook up a turbine to him.

Update: it looks like the author of this article was Adam's biographer. As such, he's probably awfully attached to the source material, and may not have the most unbiased opinion. I guess we'll have to wait and see until us mere mortals can have a look.

Orange and something

[Note: I wrote this and it was supposed to be posted on Apr. 2. I must have saved it as a draft, rather than publishing the post. Oops.]

On my way in to work, this week I've had to pass no less than three tent-like kiosks selling sports-related merchandise. From what I've been able to glean, one of the Illini teams made it to the Fantastic Four or something. I just don't get why people are going crazy over this. But, then, I didn't inherit the sports gene. It's apparently recessive since no one in my family seems to have it.

If your kid is on the team, I can completely understand it. It's good to support your own. But people completely unrelated, who have no stake in the matter, are painting "Go Illini!" in bright orange on the side of their cars and such.

I just dont get it. Do these people really think that they are somehow embiggened by being geographically associated with one team that is victorious in a ball-handling activity? Really, if the Illini beat the (insert opposing team's racially-charged mascot name here), does this imply you are better, smarter, faster, or anything?

The university is in the middle of a budget crunch so bad, they can't find money to fix the ceiling in historic Lincoln Hall, and pieces of it are falling in on lectures. Priorities, people.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Your attention please!

The Pope is still dead.

CNN has basically been covering the Pope's death and funeral non-stop since last week. Watching it, you'd think that no other news happened since then. The only break I've seen was Larry King interviewing Jane Fonda and someone else.

You know, it's a good thing that:

I'm not saying the death and funeral of the Pope aren't newsworthy. I'm just saying that it's not the only important thing that happened in the world this week. This level of coverage is totally out of proportion.

Furthermore, it seems the coverage (which I can't bring myself to watch, non-stop so this may be in there) has been basically glowingly complementary to the Pope. Virtually nothing about how the Catholic Church basically ignored the pedophelia scandal in its ranks. Cardinal Law (see scandal, above) gave one of the Masses in the Pope's honor. Nothing about how many tens of thousands have died all over the world because the Church maintains it's a sin to use a condom, even in a marriage where one spouse is HIV+. Nothing about how the Pope recently called gay people part of "a new ideology of evil."

Are the other 24-hour news-like networks devoting this level of coverage to the late Pope? (I only get CNN.)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Still not getting it

What a crappy day for the bus to break down on the way home. The traffic on Green Street was already heavy; the lines outside the bars were a block long at 5:40. Outside every bar, it was like a sea of orange. And bright orange is not a flattering color on anyone.

It's been near-hysteria the lead up to this final game of whatever sport we're talking about. If our ball-manipulating athletic team is victorious against the other city's, it clearly means that, not just all the inhabitants of Champaign-Urbana are faster, stronger, and can jump higher than them, but it shows we're just morally superior in every way, too.

If the Illini win, I predict rioting on camplus. If not, I predict mass, cult-like suicides. Don't disappoint me, folks.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

This just in

I'll sum up all of the non-stop news coverage for you for the next day or so:

The Pope is not dead yet.

This will, of course, be slightly modified upon his death, along with several multi-hour retrospectives on his life which will undoubtedly credit him with singlehandedly defeating Communism (*cough* China *cough*) and the USSR and will basically ignore the Church's willful blindness to the pedophilia in it's ranks.

Friday, April 01, 2005

PDW '05

Obviously, I don't particular care for the guy, but I see that Papal Death Watch 2005 has continued unabated since this morning. This is positively gruesome. Did nothing actually happen in the world today?