Today In Recreational Fury

“That we as a society are condoning information destruction and core library closures in Canada is unbelievable, and in my view, undemocratic and probably criminal… that would be an interesting aspect to investigate,” adds the scientist.

“Through a misguided policy purportedly driven by the desire for cost savings in the public service, and I believe this was only one reason for this action, we have trashed a network of world-class marine and fisheries libraries, the envy around the world. The rest of the world cannot believe what is happening in Canada on this issue.”

Concludes Wells: “If I were still working for the government, I probably would be fired for being concerned and outspoken about the future of aquatic science in Canada and the impact of current federal policies.”

What’s Driving Chaotic Dismantling of Canada’s Science Libraries?

Fuck The USA

It’s amusing that the stupid punk rock protest songs I remember from 30 years ago are the songs that are circling back for me lately. I love lots of Americans, but you know: I’m leaning forward into the old old familiar fuck-the-USA stance tonight. Outgrown hobbyhorse saddle smells like sunscorched leather and my own ballsweat. A familiar smell of my youth.

Jacket

It’s not like I’m any happier with my own left-behind home, friends. Part of getting old seems to be, at least for me, loving individual people but loathing them and their dimwit convictions in aggregate. So it goes.

Anger? Anger is an energy.

Stephen Harper

Fuck You, Canada

I say this as a once-proud Canadian: fuck you, Canada. Stephen Harper and his brigade of destroyers, again? A fucking majority? What could you possibly have been thinking, Canada? What the hell is wrong with you?

I know you’re not completely stupid, Canada. In the half of my 45 years that I lived there, I met lots of people who weren’t stupid. My mom, who’s mayor of my hometown: she’s one smart lady. But I’m not going to ask her if she voted Conservative. I fear her response would break my heart.

I don’t want you to apologize to me, Canada. That would be silly. But it will be heartbreaking when you come to me weeping, with fresh bruises across your face, because you believed him when he said he wouldn’t hit you any more, and you went back. Again. For the sake of the kids.

I don’t want to feel a tingle of schadenfreude when I see the smoking, cratered economic wasteland after the Great Real Estate Disaster that is coming, Canada, your people shambling and blistered, draped in scorched rags, clutching the tattered paperwork for your 40 year mortgages, or for you to learn a lesson about greed from that.

I don’t want you to be the nation I so loved when I was a boy, the country I was so proud of.

I don’t want you to wake up and realize that by emulating the worst, you become the worst. America’s so exciting, so vibrant, they have the best drugs and the shapeliest fake tits, the shiniest teeth and the porn, have you seen some of that crazy porn they make down there? And the great big servings of curly fries? Holy shit! Everybody loves America, except that Bin Laden creep, and hell, they finally took him down Rambostyle, right? So all aboard the USA train!

Those boring frigid Scandinavian countries, where they have the highest standard of living, the best education and health care, the lowest infant mortality rate, even — who needs all that? Who wants to be like them, all dour and shivering and strong and secure and beloved, when America! is just next door and has that flashy car and gold tooth?

I don’t want you to look in the mirror and realize you’ve become a disappointment, an also-ran, a minor-key sidekick to a lumbering misguided giant, a mockery of the great men and women who built you. I don’t need you to understand that the toxic Network News American Political Buzzword Culture that has colonized your media and infected your discourse has distracted your people and corrupted your leaders and is destroying you. I don’t want you to embrace the principles that made you great. I don’t want you to take a step back and think about what kind of nation you want to be, and then live up to those principles.

No, wait, what the hell am I saying?

I want all of those things.

But it looks less likely with every turn of the screw that I’ll ever be seeing them.

Freedom In Peril (and pass the ammo)

OK, it’s Christmas, and although we are taught that at Christmas our thoughts should turn to peace, love and brotherhood among men (and presumably sisterhood among women, and siblinghood amongst those of differing genders), mine tend to turn pretty quickly from all that lovely and uplifting feel-good window-dressing to righteous anger, antagonism towards hypocrisy, and a big boat of greasy schadenfreude gravy.
Traditionally, it has always been America that has given me the greatest educational opportunities to compare and contrast, seasonal or otherwise. These days Korea can be nearly as amusing, but it’s still the good ol’ US of A that always comes through; it never disappoints in the mindboggling bullshit department.
So in that spirit of angry Xmas wonderchickens past, present and future, I offer you this uplifting publication (pdf, 4Mb) from The National Rifle Association, which I just found today courtesy of a Site That Cannot Be Named. Freedom, they say, is in Peril.
I agree, if not for the reasons these people suggest.

NRA1.jpg

Peace, friends. Sleep well.
Update: This is all over the place today, which is yesterday my time, or something like that. That’s what I get for trying to be timely. Also, one year ago on Metafilter.

The Price Of Oil, Redux

I remember when the shit was clearly going to impact directly on the fan, at least to anyone with a couple of f–king braincells to rub together, as the last particles of dust from the World Trade Centre settled onto the homeless folks and the masters of the universe there in New York.
I remember that. And I remember how I thought ‘Oh, that Billy Bragg, much as I’ve loved him and his ethical stances and musico-politicking all these years, he’s gonna bounce off the marshmallow mindset with this’ when he released his song “The Price of Oil“.
It came up on my random-ass playlist tonight, and I misted up as I sang along. Remembering the fury I felt as the news outlets told us idiot fables about ‘shock and awe’, and realizing how I’ve tamped down my outrage into a little impotent packet of irony these days. I thought about the past couple of years, and all the people whose people died.
Here, you: download it. Or just listen right here.

Voices on the radio
tell us that we’re going to war
those brave men and women in uniform
they want to know what they’re fighting for.
The generals want to hear the end game
the allies won’t approve the plan
but the oil men in the white house
they just don’t give a damn.
‘Cause it’s all about the price of oil
it’s all about the price of oil
don’t give me no shit
about blood, sweat, tears and toil
it’s all about the price of oil.
Now I ain’t no fan of Saddam Hussein
oh, please don’t get me wrong
if it’s freeing the Iraqi people you’re after
then why have we waited so long.
Why didn’t we sort this out last time
was he less evil than he is now
the stock market holds the answer
to why him, why here, why now.
‘Cause it’s all about the price of oil
it’s all about the price of oil
don’t give me no shit
about blood, sweat, tears and toil
it’s all about the price of oil.
Saddam killed his own people
just like general Pinochet
and once upon a time both these evil men
were supported by the U.S.A.
And whisper it, even Bin Laden
once drank from America’s cup
just like that election down in Florida
this shit doesn’t all add up.
‘Cause it’s all about the price of oil
it’s all about the price of oil
don’t give me no shit
about blood, sweat, tears and toil
it’s all about the price of oil.

Download it, if you haven’t before.
I am no better than them because there are people I would be happier to see dead. There is no honor in this.

Same As It Ever Was

Nigeria: Christians massacre Muslims

ONITSHA, Nigeria – Christian youths burned the corpses of Muslims on Thursday on the streets of Onitsha in southeastern Nigeria, the city worst hit by religious riots that have killed at least 146 people across the country in five days.Christian mobs, seeking revenge for the killings of Christians in the north, attacked Muslims with machetes, set fire to them, destroyed their houses and torched mosques in two days of violence in Onitsha, where 93 people died.”We are very happy that this thing is happening so that the north will learn their lesson,” said Anthony Umai, a motorcycle taxi rider, standing close to where Christian youths had piled up the corpses of 10 Muslims and were burning them.

Iraq: Muslims massacre Muslims

BAGHDAD At least 138 Iraqis, most of them Sunni Arabs, including a number of clerics, were killed in central Iraq on Wednesday and Thursday in the maelstrom of sectarian violence that followed the bombing of one of the country’s most sacred Shiite shrines, Iraqi officials said

Online: Koreans massacre Chinese

SEOUL (login:doofus/doofus) Chinese-Korean relations have their ups and downs, but it’s been a long time since they resorted to violence to settle scores. However, in cyberspace South Korean gamers are ganging up to obliterate the Chinese, whom they view as greedy and rude. “If we don’t kill the Chinese they will grow up to harm Korean players,” wrote Fifth Finger, a Lineage player, on the game’s message board. “They’re just logging on to Korean servers to make money.”

So it goes.

fox-news-logo

Completely Idiotic

I said the other day that the daily news is my number one source of the Big Laughs. The Big Laughs are the therapeutic ones, the ones that blow out the cobwebs and release those endorphins, that make you fart uncontrollably, which in turn starts you (well, me) laughing even harder. For this reason alone, I enjoy watching and reading the news these days.
To expand my endorphin and flatulence release program, I have invented a new game. My wife believes me to be moderately deranged as a result, but that’s not really anything new. You can play along at home, too, dear reader, and I guarantee it’ll be even better for your mental health and general well-being than constricting your anus 100 times a day. Malarkey? Or effective way? You get to decide.
It’s simple, really, and in its simplicity resides its demonic cleverness. Merely add the phrase ‘…which is, of course, completely idiotic’ to all news items, preferably political, that hove into your view. Fun for the whole family!
Here are some examples that I’ve prepared earlier in the clean and well-lit kitchens of wonderchicken Industries™:

  • Mr. Gonzales claimed that the warrantless surveillance program is consistent with protection of civil liberties, which is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • Iran’s best-selling newspaper has launched a competition to find the best cartoon about the Holocaust in retaliation for the publication in many European countries of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad, which is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • President Bush explained that the new budget, which cuts funding to health care, environmental protection and education while increasing defense and homeland security spending, will help to protect the American people, which is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • Telecom companies, “including AT&T, MCI and Sprint,” are allowing the NSA to spy on calls, “on the basis of oral requests from senior government officials” which is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • ‘Merkel likens Iranian president to Hitler’ and ‘Chavez says Bush worse than Hitler,’ after ‘Rumsfeld compares Venezuela’s Chavez to Hitler’ and ‘Likens bin Laden to Hitler’ which is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • Most state and local health departments reportedly “expect to be unprepared” for a bird flu epidemic “for at least a year,” during which time, says one expert, social distancing “is likely to be all we’re going to have as a strategy” which is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • The president reportedly “didn’t mean it literally,” when he vowed to cut Middle East oil imports by 75 percent: “This was purely an example,” explained Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, formerly known as ‘One of Texas’ Top Five Worst Polluterswhich is, of course, completely idiotic.
  • The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator” which is, of course, completely idiotic.

(some items lifted from Cursor.org, because I’m exhausted from all the farting)
Share and enjoy.

chinawall

The Goo

Weblog people love to jerk off into the Google Kleenex™ (still in beta), rub the resultant mess all over their faces, then post about it on their sites. They’re putting the Goo into Google at thousands of litres per second. They’d pile on and collectively hump it into a smoking hole in the ground if they could find enough holes to plug with their techno-weiners (or grind its G-pelvis to dust, if they’re she-geeks, I suppose).
Investors love the Goo as well. If they got in on the ground floor, they’ve made enough money that they just don’t give a shit what’s going on in the dungeons beneath the Googleplex. “Hell, the cafeteria lunches are legendary, and the corporate motto is “Don’t be evil”, right? Look at that stock price! We’re too busy running around naked with bouquets of rolled-up dollar bills sticking out of our asses to worry about details!”
Advertisers, the whoring undead scum that take everything they touch and convert it to shit, they’re nuts-deep in the Goo. After all, Google is an advertising company first and foremost, now. If it’s not the world’s biggest trader of weapons of shit conversion, it’s certainly the most exciting. “The eyeballs! The delicious sweet tangy eyeballs, filled with goo! Let a thousand text-ads bloom!”
Hell, I use its services a hundred times a day, literally. There’s wonderchicken goo in the bucket, too.
We live in a world where the country that calls itself the Champion of Freedom and Democracy tortures prisoners in an archipelago of secret prisons. Where the evil dimwit homunculus known inexplicably as the Leader of The Free World unapologetically claims the right to spy on the communications of his own citizens. A squinting faux-cowboy weasel who launches his hobbyhorse war in Iraq on lies, grudges, and incompetence one day, sells it as crusade for Freedom, then turns around, drops and mouths the potent rhinohorn-stiffened economic cock of the Chinese the next. Don’t get the wrong idea, though. It’s manly, Texas-style dong-wrangling. It’s realpolitik.
And it’s enough to make your head spin. Rather than green vomit, though, words fountain out, splash and drip down the walls.
But hang on: the plot — convoluted and far-fetched as it already is — thickens. The Freedom Through Torture (Liberty Through Surveillance Department) gang wants Google to disclose information about its users. Google says “No way, we’re like totally not evil!” Almost the very next day, as they used to say in the fairy tales, Google then turns around and says “Hey, we’re totally going to censor search results in China, though! It’s not all that evil, right?” Are you seeing a pattern here, too?
Google is full of shit. The fact that they’re not the only ones does not excuse them.
And though there are a few weblog people out there saying “My little revenue-goo stream is not worth throwing in with this kind of thing,” the river of Goo shows little sign of drying up. Same thing goes for the investors, not surprisingly, and the marketing shit-alchemists know there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
So Andrew McLaughlin, who is Google’s Senior Policy Counsel, whatever that means, says:

“While removing search results is inconsistent with Google’s mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission.”

Noted Large and Smart weblogger David Weinberger, who is indeed Smart, and Large in the sense that he is one of the brighter sources of light in our in our texty netherworld, and casts a long shadow in the cashosphere that has attached itself limpetlike to us over the past couple of years, well, he gives Google a bit of a pass, though he admits to ‘being torn’ in face of McLaughlin’s justification. Well, OK. It’s true that nothing is black and white. Grey is the new black.
In classic wonderchicken style, I’m entirely untorn, though.
Andrew McLaughlin is also full of shit. That’s no surprise — he’s a lawyer, right? But his artless waffle tastes a lot like Bush’s pet lawyer, Alberto Gonzales, helping to justify torture. But you know, only some torture. “Waterboarding, sleep deprivation, ‘stress positions’, psychological cruelty? Evil? Well, less evil than thumbscrews, castration, disemboweling, stuff like that, right? We’re totally all about the freedom and the democracy!”
Again:

“While removing search results is inconsistent with Google’s mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission.”

What’s inconsistent with Google’s corporate motto — remember, it’s “Don’t be evil!” — is being evil, you asshole. Remember #6, from the ‘ten things’: “You can make money without doing evil.” This isn’t rocket science, and David Weinberger notwithstanding, it’s not complicated.
Google is a company, and more significantly an advertising company, and that means that the truth is that nothing can come in the way of whoring itself out for a sleazy but necessary buck or two. You have to keep your investors happy. It’s evil to get down on your knees in the filth and suck that cock in the back alley, then stab the guy and steal his wallet. It’s less evil to just drain the goo and let him stagger away. Yay! Everyone’s a winner, and you can rest easy, at least after you’ve scored some smack to keep the demon at bay. You have to keep your dealer happy. Not to mention your pimp.
Google doesn’t need to be in China. There are other search engines, domestic and international. The absence of Google is not going to suddenly deprive those poor Chinese citizens — the ones looking over their shoulder to see if the government is watching — of the ability to find information about washing machines and condoms. The only reason Google ‘needs’ to be there is the money. The sweet, filthy, repressive, execution-happy, police state money. Google wants growth, because that’s what investors want. Growth. Not the metastatic cancer cauliflower kind of growth either — they want those graphs pointing skyward, proud and erectile. They want to get in to China, build a foothold. And they’ll do evil to get that market share.
But there’s no actual need. No need to get down in the filthy alley in front of the Chinese government. Let Baidu have the money. Let someone else do it. You can make money without doing evil.
“Removing search results is inconsistent with Google’s mission, providing no information (or a heavily degraded user experience that amounts to no information) is more inconsistent with our mission.”
Let there be no confusion. Google’s mission is to make money. And holy crap, those Chinese have got some money these days.
Words have meanings. We’ve never been at war with Oceania. f–k you, Google.
[Update, long long after the fact (June 07 2006)] : ‘We were evil, Google founder admits.’ The ‘it’s only business’ apologists can commence to sucking my balls….. now.

1974

I’ll have more to say when I sober up, but for now, a blast from the past.
You f–kers.

For now, we should make every effort to look at the bright side of the Nixon Administration. It has been a failure of such monumental proportions that political apathy is no longer considered fashionable, or even safe, among millions of people who only two years ago thought that anybody who disagreed openly with “the Government” was either paranoid or subversive. Political candidates in 1974, at least, are going to have to deal with an angry, disillusioned electorate that is not likely to settle for flag-waving and pompous bullsh-t. The Watergate spectacle was a shock, but the fact of a millionaire President paying less income tax than most construction workers while gasoline costs a dollar in Brooklyn and the threat of mass unemployment by spring tends to personalize Mr. Nixon’s failures in a very visceral way.
[…]
When the cold eye of history looks back on Richard Nixon’s five years of unrestrained power in the White House, it will show that he had the same effect on conservative/Republican politics as Charles Manson and the Hells Angels had on hippies and flower power. . . and the ultimate damage, on both fronts, will prove out to be just about equal.
Or maybe not — at least not on the scale of sheer numbers of people affected. In retrospect, the grisly violence of the Manson/Angels trips affected very few people directly, while the greedy, fascistic incompetence of Richard Nixon’s Presidency will leave scars on the minds and lives of a whole generation — his supporters and political allies no less than his opponents.
Maybe that’s why the end of this incredible, frantic year feels so hollow. Looking back on the sixties, and even back to the fifties, the fact of President Nixon and everything that has happened to him — and to us — seem so queerly fated and inevitable that it is hard to reflect on those years and see them unfolding in any other way.
One of the strangest things about these five downhill years of the Nixon Presidency is that despite all the savage excesses committed by the people he chose to run the country, no real opposition or realistic alternative to Richard Nixon’s cheap and mean-hearted view of the American Dream has ever developed. It is almost as if that sour 1968 election rang down the curtain on career politicians.
This is the horror of American politics today — not that Richard Nixon and his fixers have been crippled, convicted, indicted, disgraced and even jailed — but that the only available alternatives are not much better; the same dim collection of burned-out hacks who have been fouling our air with their gibberish for the last twenty years.
How long, oh Lord, how long? And how much longer will we have to wait before some high-powered shark with a fistful of answers will finally bring us face-to-face with the ugly question that is already so close to the surface in this country, that sooner or later even politicians will have to cope with it?
Is the democracy worth all the risks and problems that necessarily go with it? Or, would we all be happier by admitting that the whole thing was a lark from the start and now that it hasn’t worked out, to hell with it.
– Hunter S Thompson, The New York Times, January 1, 1974

Image stolen from the SA Forums, and hosted by ImageShack.us

The Truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!

I said this over there.
Hindsight will show how much this (and all the other American campaign related program activities on the internets) have made an impact on the vote for World Leader #1 this year, but I have no doubt that whatever happens next week (and probably in the weeks following, if it’s anything like 2000), that if the elections aren’t cancelled in 2008, the power of freed-up culture, rumours on the internets, the resurgence of an engaged wired citizenry and the decline of old media and yes, even the self-obsessed wankery of the blogotroposphere are going to kick some political ass.
Gives me hope.
For the moment, though, spread the word, link the link, and take those bastards in the White House down.
Update : When asked for his opinion about these rumours on the internets, Mr Bush had this response for the American people.

We Are All

A few times in my life, I’ve felt the Fear. When terror — long drawn-out exhausting fear — works itself to such a pitch inside you that you end up punching right through it, and a calm resignation takes over. You understand at a time like that that there’s absolutely nothing you can think of doing that might change the flow, to alter events in any way, and you become an observer. Whether it’s the cornered herbivore going limp as the predator’s teeth close around its throat or a detached zen calm is a matter of debate. Either way, it’s an instructive place to sit, in the eye of the storm, wrapped in a mental silence, utterly still.
I feel that way at the moment with regard to the American election. As anyone who’s ever subjected themselves to the Comedy Ranting of the wonderchicken is amply aware, I’ve made clear my feelings about the criminal scum who’ve left their snail tracks of glistening goo all over the remnants of a once-great nation. Although I’ve been accused of trying to sway people with my screeds and polemics, that has never been the case, at least not consciously. I was just playing. Writing for me is a ludic thing. I don’t want to change your mind, I just enjoy speaking mine, and playing with words while I do it. Maybe even having a conversation.
The rage, of course, was always genuine. It still is. But the fire’s banked at the moment. Not a flame to be seen, even if the carbon-black belly of the stove is glowing fiercely. It’s not about me, though.
It’s about you, my American friends. Much as I’ve castigated you as collectively stupid, hopelessly parochial, misguided and misled, lazy, fat and terrifyingly unaware of the great evils wrought in your name all around the world, well, I still love you. In the particular, if not the abstract. I was just poking fun. Serious jokes. You always hurt the ones you love, right?
Just like Jon Stewart, I want it both ways, you see. I want to be the funny monkey, and I want to tell hard truths. Serious jokes. I do believe it’s possible to have it both ways, and dangerously simpleminded to expect otherwise.
But this time, I’m going to speak plainly, from this terrified pocket of calm, not because it will make a difference to what’s going to happen, but because I would be betraying myself if I remained silent. We’re begging you, our American friends, our American enemies, our American taskmasters and landlords, our American occupiers and our American pimps, our American sisters and brothers, to do the right thing next week. We’re depending on you, all of us out here in the Outlands. We know you don’t give a flying f–k about us, really, all us furriners. We know you want what’s best for your country, your people, your families. You don’t want to hear our opinions about your politics. We understand that.
But do you remember when the whole world wept along with you and averred ‘We are all Americans‘ after that terrible day 3 years ago? It was true, then. It is hard, my friends, to find many who feel that way today.
Many of us believe that what’s best for America need not also be what’s worst for the rest of the world.
So please. Please. Vote next week. Think, read, put aside your tribal affiliations, and vote. I don’t even care who you vote for, because, much as I’ve abused you all in fun, I trust that most of you are good people, and that if more than the customary 40% 55% [thanks, Dan] or so of you do your duty as citizens and go to the polls, nothing can result but a landslide for the Other Guy.
I’m begging you. We’re all begging you. Do the right thing.

Comedy Gold

Man, I love them Americans. They feel so strongly about entertaining the rest of us with their comedic stylings, and we are all in their debt for keeping us laughing. The chutzpah, the testicular fortitude that they collectively show, out there on the world stage, walking the tightrope between hilarious self-parody and a collapse into a light-gobbling singularity whose gravitational gradient is so steep that even irony cannot escape. Bravo, I say!
The tension they so skillfully build in all the rest of us who hang on every faux-drunken swerve and stumble of their political machine is breathtaking. Those rapscallions. Teetering up there on the democracy highwire, introducing ramshackle, insecure electronic voting systems built on Microsoft™ Access© while they so nobly and selflessly impose American freedom and democracy on the Afghanis and Iraqis? Oh, eek, I can’t watch! Putting their dear leader up there on stage to praise the 10 million voters registered in Afghanistan, when only 9 million are eligible? The showmanship is breathtaking, and The Funny is debilitating.
Trotting out a frothing villain like Zell Miller to inflame the stupid, while retaining the option of distancing yourself (‘He’s not a Republican!’) should the spin from the assembled stenographers of the press turn ugly? Pure comedy gold! Did you see the look on that old bastard’s face when he felt the carpet being pulled out from under him? Classic, backslappin’ American pie hijinks!
Oh, you wacky yank bastards, how I love that you’d totter so close to the abyss to entertain us all. I wake up each morning frothing in my urgency to fire up my old PC and find out what new japery you might have unleashed.
The subtleties of the ways your leaders use words, my friends, while merely appearing to wield them like a simpleton’s club, claiming that they ‘don’t do nuance‘… simply magnificent. The way that you can collectively turn on an ironic dime, and allow a man whose family connections excused him from serving his country to shine the character assassination jocularity spotlight on a man who actually did. And the way that that fellow and his supporters let their foes just do it. Oh, it’s belly-laughin’ time, right there!
You Americans kill me. No really, you do. Not as dead as the 10,000 (30,000?) Iraqis, or the 3000 Afghanis, or the 1000 Americans, or the 100 ‘coalition of the willing’ (oh, dear, that’s a nugget of comedy pyrite there, too) members. (And never mind those 50,000 Komedy Korpses in the Darfur. They’re not dead from the hilarity apoplexy!)
A pretend cowboy President whose horses are rented? A constitutional amendment to protect the sanctity of marriage in a nation where half of all marriages end in divorce? An inner powerbroker circle of oil company gassholes and oil prices at all-time highs? A leader who claims to receive instructions from his god (or from ‘beyond the stars’, whatever that means), making offhand remarks about crusades? Invading a country that posed no threat, while the Norks built more nukes and threaten to turn Seoul into a lake of fire? Talking about corporate responsibility and pumping a few billion into your vice-president’s old company? Contracting out your warfare needs to the lowest (or best-connected) bidder? Running a gulag in Cuba, of all places? Torturing children in Iraq while proudly (if spuriously) proclaiming ‘no child left behind’ back home? Reducing the taxes of the richest, then making populist proclamations like ‘there’s no point taxing the rich because they just dodge their tax bill anyway‘? Osama bin who?
Your A-material kills, my friends. You rock.
You gotta take your show on the road.

Rudy Can't Fail

Rudy Giuliani. Rudy f–kin’ Giuliani. I caught the last 10 minutes or so of his horrifying public deep-throat of his paymasters in the Fellato-drome as I was shovelling down my lunchtime bibimbap this afternoon. In the way of a good journalist — which of course we know all bloggers aspire to be, with ‘blog is to journalism as waffle iron is to pita bread’ our battle cry — I’m going to pretend that I watched the whole thing with rapt attention, rather than with one eye while I mixed a big dollop of gochu-jang into my rice.

What kind of man could this unhinged bastard be? That he actually believes the kinds of things he said, up there with his naked face hanging out, boggles the mind. It would seem, unlike the president whose steaming sidewalk turds he unhinged his jaw to gobble up — whether in the name of tribal solidarity, or clean streets, or merely because we live in a world where public fabrication in the name of self-preservation trumps the lives of thousands, I don’t know — that he’s not merely a stupid man. How could he possibly justify the audacity of the warispeace platitudes and outright howlers he lobbed out over the heads of the assembled herd animals in the pit? Most of the assembled groundlings, interestingly, appeared to be a little bemused and confused as they milled and mooed that there was a distinct absence onstage of naked Iraqis chained to the pillars or homos cruficied and bloody in front of the stars-and-stripes. Is it possible that the fog of bullsh-t that was emanating from this opportunist f–k up on stage was choking them, too? Perhaps not, but I’m eternally the optimist.

“As I stood watching the towers fall, I turned to Bernie, and I said, ‘Thank God George Bush is our president’.”

Really? Did you really do that, Rudy? And how, for the rest of your life, will be you able to live it down, if you actually did?
To Giuliani’s credit, perhaps, was the look in his piggy little eyes as he limped his way through his clumsy litany of weasel-sh-t doubletalk. You could see it, if you looked closely: ‘Help me!’ his eyes seemed to be saying, while his mouth continued to force words out around the mechanically-reclaimed Republican meat that was occluding it. ‘Let me the hell out of here! I’ve sold my soul and made a foul, demonic joke of my integrity, and the price wasn’t high enough! There’s no way back from this, and I’m nuts-deep in the toothy maw of the beast!’
But f–k him. He made his choice. He’s a force for evil now, whether or not he ever was anything but. He’s on the side of America! The! Great! America! Mom and apple pie! America! Freedom and equality for some! America! Commerce is honour! America! Hurry up and get those ovens finished, so we can get this Final Solution thing underway! America the proud torturers! America! With us or against us!
I have mentioned before that I’m against you, right, America?
Just so we’re clear.

Fallout from the Blog Bomb

Is it anti-communitarian of me to say that I’m wryly amused by all the ‘bloggers’ jostling like wee piggies for a nipple at the Democratic convention? That jockeying for pole position in the anecdote-race to be the first to fellate the rich and powerful is a teeny bit distasteful to me?
Will I get in trouble (again) with all those otherwise good and smart people who are all a-twitter about the fact that they really really matter now? Now that they’re inside the chalk borders of the pentagram? I mean, it’s cute, all right. Sure. Like the wallflower become belle of the ball. And having them tell themselves, and us, in public, how it’s a sign that the heavy elements of democracy are sinking through the clouds of the blogosphere, like the glittering dusty fallout from the Blog Bomb, back onto the heads of the Common People? That a change is a-comin? That’s precious, and may even have a kernel of truth to it. More power to ’em. But.
But I’m still waiting, and still looking, for one — just one! — who has the bravery and the cockeyed gonzo ballsiness to rip a few new assholes in the purveyors of all that sanctimonious ‘America The Great’ autowankery, and, say, fling an empty Royal Reserve bottle at the stage while Joe Lieberman does his coattail ride into obscurity. Metaphorically or otherwise. And then write about it. In realtime.
How I wish that there were a few writers there splashing their talent (and cocktails) all over the web. Not just permalink patriots and also-ran digerati, but mad bloggy bastards who’d give me some stank, some snark, a few laughs. How I wish Rageboy could’ve gone and kicked out the motherf–king jams, or dong_resin, or Golby the crazed. Whoever. Just somebody whose panties don’t go all damp at the idea of getting spattered with John Edwards’ sweat.
I don’t want to see digital snapshots of you posing with some other blogerati dildo or fawning over some Real Celebrity, framed with a bit of Commentary Lite, damn it. I want you to write something that will make me laugh and weep and want to go and break a bottle over someone’s head (or laugh and weep and give somebody an equally random big ol’ kiss on the lips), then dance like a tarantula-bitten gypsy. Something to fire me up a bit! I want a Hunter S Thompson, by god, a Mencken, somebody with a bit of rage and a bit of juice in ’em, with too many damn words and a talent for juggling them. Someone who sees the opening, seizes it, then drives a juggernaut of text right through the quivering greasy middle of it, while lesser mortals scatter in fear for their lives.
Hell, maybe there are bloggers out there doing that at this convention. If so, point me to them. If not, well, get me a plane ticket and a pass to the Republican Clusterf–k, and I’ll do the damn job myself.
Never send a blogger to do a wonderchicken’s job.
[Update : Well, OK, this is pretty damn cool. But I’m stickin’ to my knee-jerk contrarian guns, damn it!]
[Update 2: Well, besides the Mighty Fafblog, even if I do have my suspicions that Fafnir and Giblets aren’t actually there. Still: fafferrific or faffelicious? You decide!]
[Update 3: Oh, crap. Me and John Freakin’ Dvorak. I’m turning in my decoder ring.]
[Update 4: f–kin’ A, Tutor, my old nemesis.]

Am I Angry? Do I Hate? Can I Kill?

Anal rape of children is bad. This is a sentence that, in the normal course of things, one would think that it would be unnecessary to write. I’m pretty sure — much as I loathe humanity, most of the damn time — that the majority of humans on this planet, obsessed as they tend to be with their progeny, would agree with me that raping children is a bad thing. One of the worst things that you can do, they’d probably say, short of maybe genocide.
Or rather, cleansing. Ethnic cleansing, to wash away those pesky ethnic underarm stains that are so embarrassing in polite society.
‘Rape’s a part of war, though, stav!’ I hear you cry, as I cup quivering-with-rage hand to shell-like ear. ‘To the victor the spoils, and the orifices. The plunder, the glory! It’s part of our common human heritage! It’s tradition, damn it!’
Well, sure. But butt-f–king kids while their mothers look on? While videotaping it? I’m not sure that’s really in line with the ‘rape, loot and pillage’ modus operandi so loved and respected throughout human history. Pushing the envelope a little, that. It may not be specifically forbidden by the letter of Geneva Convention, for example, but I’m pretty sure it goes against the spirit of it.
Which is why the Bush administration spent so much time and effort trying to ensure that their troops would not be bound by international law, of course.
Because that’s what the Americans were doing, it seems, at least until they got caught.
Raping children. With Soldiers Gone Wild spring-break videography.
I wrote an deliberately, egregiously offensive piece called ‘Neocon Allegory‘ many months back, in which Dick Cheney anally rapes and murders an Iraqi boy. It was the most over-the-top offensive thing I could come up with, that little piece, after the unwelcome images of that tableau had gotten their claws into me, and I knew I had to write it down to get it out of my head. I wrote it down alright, and I’ve thought about deleting it many times since. I’m glad now that I didn’t.
How horrifying is it that the central metaphors of that post — the rape of children by Dick and George, the rape of two nations, of the whole f–king planet — would seem to have come true, in as literal a way as one could imagine in the worst mescaline-driven nightmare? How awful that the worst metaphorical flight of nasty invention I could come up with is now a reality in fact, and it’s being hidden by the powerful and ignored by the hypnotized?
Pretty awful. And they ask why I seem to hate America so. They keep asking.

A Political Dream

I had a dream last night. A glorious technicolour dream. A political dream.
In my dream, Candidates Kerry and Edwards realized that Dim George and Snarling Dick were going to pull Osama Bin Laden out of their asses at some opportune moment before the election, and crucify him on the White House lawn. Plant the cross in a pool of scented oil to keep the saudi cooties from spreading, invite the bloodclan and Fox News and Dad, and rouse the tribes to a tumescent, frantic headline-crawl apogee of Republican vote-lust. But in a tasteful way, with very little mention of anyone having to go and f–k themselves.
My dream-representation of the light dawning in the Johns’ minds was a tableau of them making cute anime ‘O’s with their mouths while rolling their eyes upwards toward a shared thought balloon in which Dick Cheney was holding the severed head of Osama up by its hair, letting the blood drip onto a Diebold voting machine. It was way cool.
So Franken-John and Pretty-John decided to go proactive. Winning, Kerry declared in his endearingly halting, tone-deaf way, is as much about kicking… some… mother…f–king ass as it is about proactively leveraging mission-critical paradigms in a time-sensitive fashion. Edwards popped up in front of him to declare that the only way to make America strong, to unite America again, and to preempt an October Suprise that would make America unstrong and disunited, was if the two of them were to hunt down that bastard OBL themselves, and beat the chickenhawks at their own game.
Yeah! said the crowd. Woo!
And so, enlisting the aid of a bionic monkey named Limbaugh (because robots and monkeys are funny, and a robot monkey wins by default (until the bionic monkey pirate shows up, at least)), the two boarded a Black Hawk helicopter and departed from an undisclosed location into the free and democratic mountains of America’s Newest Ally, Afghanistan. This wasn’t just any helicopter, mind you. This was way better than the Campaign Bus they figured on using off the get-go. Yes, this was a stealth chopper, and its shiny new Kerry/Edwards vinyl appliqués were replaced with other shiny new ones, ones shouting stuff like ‘Death To America!’ and ‘Jihad or Bust!’ (but with barely-legible disclaimers underneath in tiny little print, just in case somebody got the wrong idea). These guys were clever, canny combatants, and they had good media advisors!
With Lurch resplendant in Ramboriffic headband and shiny plastic nippleless muscley-torso, and co-John working his best assets and looking simply stunning in his floor-length silk gown, they combed the arid hills of the Afghan-Pakistan border in their OsamaChopper, setting down each evening as Allah’s sun sank into the dusty haze to lay traps for the Bad Guys. Candidate Breck Girl strutted his silky stuff while bandolero-strapped Candidate Kerry lurked in the shadows with Limbaugh and waited, guns akimbo, frowning for the film-school interns with the digital video cameras. Waiting for their quarry to strike the bait.
Waiting, and drinking whiskey, because that’s what men do when they’re hunting outlaws with a bionic monkey at their side.
That’s when I woke up with a start, all sweaty and disoriented. I hope I never have to see that look on my wife’s face again.

Impeachy

If you’ve landed in the ‘bottle looking for some invective-laced wonderchicken perspective on the impeachment of Noh Moo Hyun here in Korea today, well, you’re outta luck, my friends. At least for the moment.
I will opine that the sh-t is quite possibly going to hit the fan, though. Will it be a tipping point, where the resentment and anger at how badly this country is governed by the wrinkly old chaebol rent-boys finally spills out of the confucian cup? I don’t know, and I’ve got beer to drink, but in the meantime you could do a lot worse than going here.

Next question becomes how at such a time of great national distress and instability could the country possibly endure an Assembly election? Shouldn’t the save-the-fatherland conservatives see to it that it is canceled in the interest of “stability” and “economic growth” and “national defense,” just like they said whenever they used tanks to do the same thing? (Remember that the GNP is the direct patrilineal descendent of the Democratic Justice Party (Min jeong dang) of Chun Doo Hwan, several sneaky transformations in the past.)
It all makes you wonder.
[…]
More people are going to be in the streets for political protest than at any time since the June Struggle of 1986. Maybe that’s the whole idea. “How do you hold an election with such chaos?”
[more…]

Interesting.

The decorous glory of Korean democracy. Or, you know, not.

Compare and Contrast

Here’s George Bush’s recent speech.
Here’s the same speech, with the following substitutions :

  • “Marriage” becomes “whiteness
  • “the same gender” becomes “a brownish color
  • “the union of a man and a woman” or “the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife” or “a union of a man and woman as husband and wife” becomes “racially superior
  • “a husband and wife” becomes “white people

Please note upfront that I am about as far from being a racist as one can get, and I am astonished that anyone could think that gay marriages are in any way a bad thing, for anyone. Bigotry in any form is repulsive. This thing is meant to shine a light on Mr Bush and his puppeteers, and that’s all.
I hope this little search-and-replace exercise helps put things in a historical context for you, dear reader. It did for me.

BUSH: Good morning.
Eight years ago, Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Defense of whiteness Act, which defined whiteness for purposes of federal law as racially superior.
The act passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-67 and the Senate by a vote of 85-14.
Those congressional votes, and the passage of similar defense of whiteness laws in 38 states, express an overwhelming consensus in our country for protecting the institution of whiteness.
In recent months, however, some activist judges and local officials have made an aggressive attempt to redefine whiteness. In Massachusetts, four judges on the highest court have indicated they will order the issuance of whiteness licenses to applicants of a brownish color in May of this year.
In San Francisco, city officials have issued thousands of whiteness licenses to people of a brownish color, contrary to the California Family Code. That code, which clearly defines whiteness as racially superior, was approved overwhelmingly by the voters of California.
A county in New Mexico has also issued whiteness licenses to applicants of a brownish color.
And unless action is taken, we can expect more arbitrary court decisions, more litigation, more defiance of the law by local officials, all of which adds to uncertainty.
After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization.
Their actions have created confusion on an issue that requires clarity. On a matter of such importance, the voice of the people must be heard. Activist courts have left the people with one recourse.
If we’re to prevent the meaning of whiteness from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional amendment to protect whiteness in America. Decisive and democratic action is needed because attempts to redefine whiteness in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country.
The Constitution says that “full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts and records and judicial proceedings of every other state.”
Those who want to change the meaning of whiteness will claim that this provision requires all states and cities to recognize same-sex whitenesss performed anywhere in America.
Congress attempted to address this problem in the Defense of whiteness Act by declaring that no state must accept another state’s definition of whiteness. My administration will vigorously defend this act of Congress.
Yet there is no assurance that the Defense of whiteness Act will not itself be struck down by activist courts. In that event, every state would be forced to recognize any relationship that judges in Boston or officials in San Francisco choose to call a whiteness.
Furthermore, even if the Defense of whiteness Act is upheld, the law does not protect whiteness within any state or city.
For all these reasons, the defense of whiteness requires a constitutional amendment.
An amendment to the Constitution is never to be undertaken lightly. The amendment process has addressed many serious matters of national concern, and the preservation of whiteness rises to this level of national importance.
‘Racially superior’ is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of white people to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society.
Whiteness cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.
Government, by recognizing and protecting whiteness, serves the interests of all.
Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting whiteness as racially superior.
The amendment should fully protect whiteness, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than whiteness.
America’s a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions.
Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of whiteness. There is no contradiction between these responsibilities.
We should also conduct this difficult debate in a matter worthy of our country, without bitterness or anger.
In all that lies ahead, let us match strong convictions with kindness and good will and decency.
Thank you very much.

[Credit where due : I stole this idea from half of these people here (but I’m not going to tell you which half – ha!), via a certain not-to-be-mentioned kitty-loving community website, but I think I improved on it a bit.]
[Update : There are those who would protest (even though I’m not seriously equating them) that racial and sexual-orientation discrimination are apples and oranges. Perhaps, but they are more interrelated in American law than I had thought.

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
[via Atrios]