June 2004

So, to make a long story short, just now I was sorting my email and exporting spam that had slipped past SpamAssassin
so that I could train SA to recognize such messages in future.  In
one case, I hit the wrong key and rather than exporting the message I
simply displayed it. 

I read the first line and was intrigued – it wasn’t a bald-faced advert, it was a joke.

The message body, with links to associated sites removed, read:

              A popular bar had a new robotic bartender installed.
             A fellow came in for a drink and the robot asked him,
‘What’s your IQ?’

The man replied, ‘150.’
So the robot proceeded to make conversation about
          Quantum physics, string theory, atomic chemistry, and so on.

         The man listened intently and thought, ‘This is really cool.’

        The man decided to test the robot. He walked out the bar, turned
       around, and came back in for another drink. Again, the robot asked
him, ‘What’s your IQ?’

          The man responded, ‘100.’ So the robot started talking about
football, baseball, and so on.

The man thought to himself, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’

           The man went out and came back in a third time. As before,
         the robot asked him, ‘What’s your IQ?’ The man replied, ’50.’
           The robot then said, ‘So, you gonna vote for Bush again?’

Apparently my party can’t shake its penchant for hornball advocates,
though.  The theoretical sender’s username was JohnnySpankalot.

It almost hurt to export and delete that one.  But I did it anyway.


It had to happen.  Al Sharpton is getting a reality show.  To be honest, the joke makes itself on this one. (more…)

Went to see F9/11 with The Peeps (being Lakehouse Crew, Gaming
Crew & Compound Crew, a Venn diagram of my social life which
overlaps in many places and yet remains richly diverse, or something)
on Sunday afternoon.  Let’s just say I’m glad I ate beforehand,
because I sure as shit couldn’t have after.  Had to cover my eyes
a couple of times, had to watch it through my fingers another couple of
times just in case.

Since it’s required by law that anyone with a blog discuss the film, here’s my take:

1.  This was a very different movie from the one that I
expected.  I expected it to be sillier, and I expected more
camera-mugging from Moore.  Instead, he’s actually on-camera for
about five minutes and he does something other than strictly narrate
(ie, he offers raw conjecture, he cracks jokes, etc.) for about another
five minutes.  The rest of the time, it’s largely his interview
subjects speaking or it’s footage from Iraq or it’s narration of the
history of GWB and the Saudis.  The very personal nature of the
movie – whether in attacking Bush or in telling the story of the mother
of a US soldier – is very powerful.  It’s much more powerful than
some entirely dry political diatribe.

2.  As conspiracy theory, it’s lacking.  Conspiracy theories
are usually easier to tie up in a menacing bow, and Moore doesn’t do
that.  I’m not saying it’s a bad film, I’m saying it’s a bad conspiracy theory
That’s a pretty weak defense against those who’d label it as such, but
I’m not really in the business of defending the film, anyway.  I
guess what I’m getting at is that I expected it to be more
conspiratorial, more directly accusational.  Instead, Moore’s left
it sort of open.  If you want an excuse to accuse Bush of a
purposeful conspiracy to deflect attention from his business partners,
it’s there.  If instead you want to say that all he did was
completely ignore any potential conflict of interest between his
political career and his professional career, it’s there.

3.  By the same token, as documentary, this is lacking.  As an editorial,
however, it’s just dandy.  I’m sure there are plenty of folks who
will come after him for that one, but it’s not like Michael Moore is
going to deny he has an agenda.  I was interested to note that
WUNC has started referring to it as a “commentary film.”  Now,
it’s not like no other documentary ever has had an agenda.  Dark Days
clearly aims to demonstrate that the people living under NYC in shacks
of their own making were still human beings despite being abandoned by,
or abandoning, society at large.  I even have an argument of how Koyaanisgatsi has a very firm agenda.  On the other hand, a documentarian should, as I understand it, at least try to include all perspectives, and F9/11
is about as one-sided as it gets.  So, it’s hard for me to
consider it a documentary.  I somehow doubt that Moore would have
shown it had he run across nothing but folks who said they loved the
war, loved Bush and loved the way Jesus tells him to bomb
fur’ners.  So, it’s an editorial.  But so what
When corporate media has completely abdicated the throne of
objectivity, it’s awfully hard to say that Michael Moore should be the
first person criticized for expressing an opinion.

4.  I’m glad I saw it.  Horrified as I was, nauseous as I was
by the end, I was very, very glad I saw it.  I left feeling kicked
in the nads, but it was a good kind of kicked.

5.  I left there knowing that our national karma is so fucked.  This will come back to haunt us, over and over, and we as a country will have asked for it. (more…)

Robust McManlyPants on Extra Display (newly relocated) (more…)

IANAL, but it sure seems to me like the Supreme Court is trying to make up for last summer – you know, when they handed down landmark decision after landmark decision in favor of a more progressive future?  Hell, they knocked down all the sodomy laws in one fell swoop.  It was a heady time.


Now?  Now they’re sitting on their hands more than anything else.  On the 50th anniversary of the day “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance – and on Flag Day, no less – they declined the opportunity to remind everyone that we’re officially an irreligious nation and they used a technicality as their excuse (there’s actually more to it than that – there would have been big implications from allowing a parent with no legal custody to sue on behalf of a child, and not all of those implications would have been good, but I’m feeling partisan).  Then, today, they said Cheney doesn’t have to give up the goods on his energy task force – again, on a technicality.  They say the lower court ruling that he’d have to show us his cards isn’t proper, but rather than rule definitively one way or the other, they’ve punted it back to the lower courts and said it needs to be considered in light of federal “open government” laws. 


Is it just legal wrangling meant to keep them out of the limelight on this one?  Have they lost their nerve?  Did they see a sudden upswell of leftist excitement given last summer and decide maybe they were being too activist, or are they, instead, making sure that when the courts bring down Bush & Co. they do it in broad daylight for water-tight reasons?


IANAL, but I am a paranoiac.  I’ll be home tonight making fashion statements in tin foil.


Warren Ellis Preaches It (more…)

And here I am.  I’ll be damned.

Gods but I have got to get this template changed.  Pivot seems cool enough but these colors are fugly. (more…)