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Those Scary Foreign Countries

Posted by Ogged
on 07.23.05

I've long had a hankering to visit Vancouver, but never took any steps to do so because it's a foreign country you know, and those are such a hassle to get to. But it turns out that tickets to Vancouver aren't any more expensive than tickets to Chicago, so now I extra want to go. And it occurs to me that, despite my impeccable slacker cred and my company's generous vacation policy, I haven't taken a non-event (wedding etc.) vacation in the nearly six (!!) years I've been working there. But, people of blogdom, what's to do in Vancouver? I'm going because it's said to be beautiful and verdant and watery. That's great, but I'll need to eat and get some local flavor. Anyone been?


 

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Do It Like This

Posted by Ogged
on 07.22.05

In a model of efficient bloggic communication, Sherry writes,

Question for Men Who Refuse To Dance How come?

And in the very first comment, Outer Life responds,

By "dance," do you mean the practice of standing separate and apart on a dance floor whilst gyrating wildly in a solitary simulation of sex with oneself all the while hoping against hope that someone else looks even more ridiculous than you, thereby diverting attention away from your sorry-ass display of arhythmic spasmodia?
If that is what you meant by "dance," and you're wondering why the men aren't dancing, the answer is simple. They're not drunk yet.

 

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Here Ya Go

Posted by Ogged
on 07.22.05

It's easier than playing GTA and doing the modification to get the special scene: this Salon article has links to video clips of the offensive segment.

I do have to say that the segment is pretty disturbing; totally dehumanizing. I'm not in favor of censorship, of course, but if you let your kid play this shit, you're a bad parent.


 

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Heritage

Posted by Ogged
on 07.22.05

About the Confederate flag on the Dukes of Hazzard, I wrote:

Oh, the flag. I knew there was some PC violation I was overlooking. The flag is about heritage, not race, Yankee girl.

Then clarified,

Re the Heritage stuff: *I* was joking, but that line is something you hear constantly if you talk to defenders of the Confederate flag. They claim that they are just honoring their ancestors, and not endorsing slavery.

And, whaddya know, we just got this comment on an old entry about Barbecue.

Maurice's is displaying Southern Heritage not racism. You can't just slander a business like that. I think their bbq sucks, but still you can't just call someone a racist because of Confederate flags. It's history.

Comment from an IP address in South Carolina, which is where I heard this argument constantly.


 

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It takes a scary kind of illness

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.22.05

Page after page of people proudly modelling their "Club Gitmo" shirts. Nothing to say, really; the pictures speak for themselves.


 

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Backstroke of the West

Posted by Ogged
on 07.22.05

I don't understand why there would be english subtitles for a movie that's in english, but, in any case (via MY), this is superfunny.


 

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The Plan

Posted by Ogged
on 07.22.05

I don't even know what to say to things like this. If there's any truth to it (and why not?), then these people are just crazy.


 

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Aww, Me Again?

Posted by Ogged
on 07.22.05

Never piss off the coach: Lakers pick Turiaf to have open-heart surgery.


 

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Mission: Implausible

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.22.05

Powerline is on to our strategy. They know about our outing of Roberts:

[some Democrats] are hinting that John Roberts is a homosexual because he was once photographed--more than thirty years ago--wearing plaid pants.

And they've got good evidence backing this up. Seriously, read this. It shows how far Hindrocket has penetrated our network. I'm afraid he's now going to give us the pounding he's wanted to deliver for a very long time.

Even worse, they've uncovered our Pink Delta Task Force mission:

some on the Left have also suggested that Roberts' four year old son is "gay."

It must be admitted that this is not entirely implausible. Witness gaydar-tripping exhibit A:

notgayatall.jpg

But I digress. The sad truth is that we've been discovered, and Hindrocket knows what this means:

Throughout American history, until now, there have been limits. There have been depths beneath which Americans would not sink for the sake of partisan advantage. Even during the Civil War, when the Democrats were fighting to preserve slavery, limits were observed. Now, all civility is gone. There is no depth to which some Democrats will not sink.

Our cause is doomed.


 

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Hot coffee

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.21.05

It's hard to see the outrage at the hot coffee modification to GTA:SA as anything but hilarious. To get the salacious bits requires downloading stuff from the internet, which means that it takes more effort to see computer simulations of intercourse than to see actual porn. And yet this is considered dangerous in some new and special way.

In other San Andreas news, I've decided to replay the game with Charles Johnson wearing nothing but briefs.* The cut-scenes never stop amusing me, sadly.

*The protagonist, CJ, is in his underwear in the game-- I'm fully clothed while playing and at all other times, of course.


 

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I am not Ogged

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.21.05

Dear Provost,

I did not post that picture, nor do I approve of any sport that promotes the objectification of women. [Joke snipped even though it was not offensive.]

Regards,

F. Labs

UPDATE: I had a photoshop of Allan Gibbard's head on a swimsuit model's body, but it began to creep out even me, so I took it down.


 

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Tenure This

Posted by Ogged
on 07.21.05

To spite the fuddy duddies in Dan Drezner's comments (via ac), I give you beach volleyball (from here).

(If the ladies nominate an appropriate picture of male flesh, I'll post that too.)


 

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Please Note

Posted by Ogged
on 07.20.05

Matt Weiner's grad school nickname was The Meatman Magic Matt Weiner.

More: Standpipe Bridgeplate really likes goats. IYKWIM.


 

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Correction

Posted by Ogged
on 07.20.05

Of all sad sights, few are sadder than failed pedantry. From the Bandarlog.

One John Roberts is nominated for SCOTUS. From the Times: Judge Roberts, appearing with his wife, Jane, in the East Room of the White House, called his nomination "an honor and very humbling." So, he has the ability to maintain contradictions with a straight face -- surely one of the main things Bush was looking for in an appointee.

You see, one cannot be honored and humbled. Oy. One is honored to be chosen from the mass of men to join a great institution; one is humbled to join an institution whose greatness seems overwhelming. Particularly at the time of transition, when one is no longer like everyone else, but not yet a full member, feeling honored and humbled makes perfect sense. So, with respect to one's pre-honor status, one is honored; with respect to one's post-honor status, one is humbled.


 

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Uninformed Speculation

Posted by Ogged
on 07.20.05

I'm flummoxed by John Roberts's nomination. Even if he's too conservative for your taste, he doesn't seem to be quite conservative enough for Bush's base, and there are no bonus points for nominating a very white dude. The more I think about it, the more something I read a couple of years ago seems like the explanation: the core belief of the the Bush family is Business. They have to placate social conservatives and the rest of us, but what they're about is helping business. As far as I can tell, everyone agrees that Roberts is a very "business friendly" judge.


 

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James Doohan

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.20.05

We note with sadness the death of James Doohan, best known as Scotty from Star Trek.

We note with some amusement that he is survived by many:

Doohan's first marriage to Judy Doohan produced four children. He had two children by his second marriage to Anita Yagel. Both marriages ended in divorce. In 1974 he married Wende Braunberger, and their children were Eric, Thomas and Sarah, who was born in 2000, when Doohan was 80.

80. Jesus. There's a lot of power in those dilithium crystals, I guess.


 

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Losers

Posted by Ogged
on 07.20.05

Of course, there's no clear separation between a judge's political beliefs and legal reasoning; they inform one another. Fine. But when we're not considering someone whose political beliefs are odious or truly at the margins of societal acceptability, are those beliefs even relevant to whether we think the judge ought to be confirmed? I have no doubt that John Roberts and I disagree on just about every hot-button issue: abortion, civil liberties, federal power, equal protection, etc., but there's no indication that he's out of the mainstream. And if there's also no reason to doubt his competence, I'm inclined to say that he just ought to be confirmed. We lost the election, it's the other side's turn to choose, losing sucks. Am I wrong? I'm willing to be convinced.


 

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Guardian of the Seed

Posted by Ogged
on 07.20.05

I've been blind. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but my fascination with the Tom Cruise / Katie Holmes relationship turns out to have been personal and meaningful. I've just remembered that I too was the target of an attempted Scientological coupling. Recall that the Boss is a Scientologist. Note how she tries to use subterfuge ("date") in furtherance of her real agenda ("marriage"). And it all makes perfect sense, in that twisted Scientological way: just as Katie Holmes is probably the greatest c-list actress of her generation (the girl next door, as Matt Y said), I'm quite likely the greatest mysterious Iranian blogger next door of my generation. Wow, close call.


 

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Normativity

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.19.05

Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that you were going to take an upper-level undergraduate course in normative ethics in the fall. What would you want to read in such a course? You might expect to cover virtue theory, consequentialism, and deontology, in some of their many variants, as well as the central debates over these theories. But what else? Or is this enough? And what would you consider the central debates?

When I start writing a syllabus, I try to think of what omissions would be scandalous. (E.g., in this case, not reading Williams' "Utilitarianism-- against" or forgetting to mention rule-utilitiarianism.) Leave your candidates below, if you're so inclined, and, as always, comments are appreciated.

In honor of baa, the course will be titled "Consequentialism Rulz."


 

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Them boys are in a heap o' trouble

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.19.05

Ben Jones, former GA congressman and even more former portrayer of Cooter (R-Hazzard) on "The Dukes of Hazzard," is calling for a boycott of the new film:

"Basically, they trashed our show," said Jones, who read a script of the Warner Brothers movie, which is scheduled to be released next month. "It's one thing to do whatever movie they want to do, but to take a classic family show and do that is like taking I Love Lucy and making her a crackhead or something...From all I have seen and heard, the Dukes movie is a sleazy insult to all of us who have cared about the Dukes of Hazzard for so long," Jones wrote. "Unless they clean it up before the Aug. 5 release date I would strongly recommend that true blue Dukes fans hold their noses and pass this one up."

Jones' website is here; his thoughts on the film are here. Worth reading if only to see someone assert that "there's no place for this toilet humor in Hazzard County." Suprisingly, a site called "Cooter's Place" is work safe, unless you're worried about your boss thinking you're an idiot.


 

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Unity

Posted by Ogged
on 07.19.05

I've been thinking again about soccer, and I'm disturbed. Isn't it very strange that humans would play a game that doesn't allow them to use the appendages with which they're most dextrous? (I mean their hands, of course.) And there's so much frustration in soccer. Even great players are lucky to make a few spectacular plays in a season.

But mostly, I'm geo-politically disturbed. Hindsight is 20/20, but imagine the great rallying-round if, after 9/11, the President had declared a war on global soccer. 90% of the country would have been behind him instantly. And we could have saved the tedious "'You're not a patriot!' 'Am too!'" shouting, because not even the ACLU can argue that soccer isn't unamerican. And it would have been so easy to find the fifth-column. Can the sons throw a baseball? If not, can they code Javascript or tell you how to solve level 12 of Grand Theft Auto? The families of kids who can't throw or code or game are, for our purposes, French.

Furthermore, people like Dick Cheney wouldn't have had to debase themselves with talk about "the intent to procure materials which could be used to manufacture..." crap. We *know* those Arab fuckers were playing soccer. "Iraq is weak, and there we will begin to fight the scourge of global soccer." You can't argue with that, and there's no way that a steady bombing campaign would increase the incidence of soccer.

It's all just damn sad, you know?


 

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All nannies! All the time!

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.19.05

You've heard, no doubt, about Helaine Olen's account of firing her nanny after reading her blog. Olen is unspeakably hideous, to be sure, as she whines on about how learning that her nanny has fun makes her feel old and dull. Oh, butchya are, Blanche, butchya are.

But what's gone less discussed is that Tessa the Nanny is in need of a good W-lfs-ning. If you're going to make a big deal about your plan to write a dissertation on the Victorian novel (is my academic prejudice showing if I say that this sounds utterly tedious?), don't fill your screed with punctuation errors. I'm just saying.


 

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A Question For Cell Phone Geeks

Posted by Ogged
on 07.18.05

Have any of you bought an "unlocked" cell phone (either from something like eBay or as an import from Asia) and then activated service with an American provider? How did it go? Would you recommend it? (Cingular is my cell service provider.)


 

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Sincerely, Your Biggest Fan

Posted by Ogged
on 07.18.05

Ok, I really need to post something to push Fontana's embarrassing post down the page. I'm about halfway through the Potter book and I think it's spoiler-free to say that I'm amused at Rowling's skewering of starfuckers and hangers-on. She likely had to do very little imagining for those passages.


 

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Trivially true?

Posted by Fontana Labs
on 07.18.05

Jim Lindgren says something that seems right:

Golf is one of the few sports where ordinary people can play on many of the historic courses where the pros play (though getting on most of them is far easier in the UK than in the US). After playing a course, it is a treat to watch a tournament played on it.

"Golf-- one of the few sports played on golf courses" is only marginally less trivial. I suppose we could read this expansively to include courts and fields-- but still, the reason that playing famous golf courses is interesting is because the courses themselves are distinct, rather than standardized, as tennis or basketball courts are. Do people who play tennis want to play on the courts at Wimbledon?

Ok, fine, it's a slow blogging day. Now back to work.


 

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Too Long

Posted by Ogged
on 07.18.05

"Holbovian" is not laudatory, people. It's something we say because we like John Holbo and make allowances for him, but if your post is over 500 words, you're trying our patience, and anything in the thousands, whatever else it says, means "I love me. You should love me."


 

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