Wednesday, October 13th, 2004

Looks like Bill O’Reilly’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.  Namely, about how exactly you use falafel as a sex toy and possibly about what will change in Al Franken’s life when he gets a knock on his door.

I wonder, if all of Jon Stewart’s viewers are stoned slackers, does
that make O’Reilly’s horny thugs?  I’m just thinkin’ out loud here. (more…)

After news hit of actor Christopher Reeves’ death, many players from the online superhero game City of Heroes joined in living memorials.  A sample screenshot shows lots of caped heroes stopping in one of the city centers to salute and mourn. 

It’s weird, but I find it deeply touching. (more…)

So, today I ordered the Hoover apple tree grafts to be delivered next year.

Aw yeah. (more…)

Hey, they’re only a decade late to the party.  And now they’re suing
the DoD and Rumsfeld to have “don’t ask, don’t tell” struck down in
favor of being able to serve openly.  Look at them!  They’re
walking on two legs and everything! (more…)

I’m with KJ on this one – it’s just fun to discuss the word “bulge.”

That said, Salon has more opinions from various experts, all of whom verify that there must be something on his back.  The Boyf
pointed out last night there’s a Heinlein novel about critters that
attach themselves to your back and make you mean.  Star Trek also
has an episode about this.  Me, I think it’s his evil symbiote.

Also, Salon has a contest going
First one to send them a picture from tonight’s debate showing a bulge
on Bush gets a Salon Premium membership.  Woot!

This is classic conspiracy theory, er, theory at work, though. 
This is what fascinates me so much.  It starts with one
observation.  That observation is verified in terms of the basic
perception that led to reporting – that there is a visible bulge under
Bush’s jacket in the first debate.  This verification brings
people out of the woodwork to report dissimilar but possibly related
occurances (the phantom voice-overs at the D-Day Memorial and other
occasions, which The Boyf
pointed out could well be the voice of the subtitlist appearing to
speak before Bush because the video is delayed slightly to allow the
subtitles to be inserted into the video by speech-recognition). 
Taken together with an assumption that they must be symptoms of the
same phenomenon – for no reason other than that they’re discussed in
the same context – these add up to a rational or irrational conclusion
based largely on speculation. 

E.G., the gov’t have armed guards in New Mexico and people have
reported lights in the sky in New Mexico, thus the gov’t must be
guarding the lights in the sky.  There’s a bulge on Bush’s back
that the White House seems to have trouble explaining and gets
defensive when pressed about, and people have heard voice-overs
preceding the President’s spoken remarks at other events, thus it must
be a receiver the White House doesn’t wish to acknowledge. 

Those statements oversimplify the controversies they describe, yes –
but that’s just another factor of the conspiracy theory, usually. 
Oversimplification is absolutely key to some of the theories that float
around out there.  I stick to my original statement of interest in
them:  conspiracy theories serve as the secular spirituality of
the first officially secular society.  As such, there must
occasionally be oversimplification and lack of thorough reporting or
analysis so that faith can be expressed in place of reason.

It’s not that it’s impossible that Bush is wired – and in fact I subscribe to that theory myself
– it’s that this is the conception, pregnancy and birth of a conspiracy
theory in real time and anyone who finds them as interesting as I do
should be paying attention.  We don’t get many chances like this
to play Jane Goodall at the fringe. (more…)