Will the last person to leave please turn out the lights

Via MeFi and OW™, something else to be really pissed about, you know, after you’re finished with all the other things on your list.

This proposed law [..] “would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive ‘suspicion,’ create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups.”

How much more of this are Americans willing to take? How many more clear signals can there be that the principles for which their nation is claimed to stand are being dismantled and subverted by their almost-elected officials? What will it take to get them to wake the f–k up and throw these weasels out?
See, now I’m all grumpy again.


This guy‘s on a trip around the planet, and his travel diaries (full of the tales like this latest of difficult defecations, hiking hardships, and all manner of mad and unpleasant things one puts oneself through on a daily basis when backpacking around the world) make me feel like hitting the road again.
Also : “lots of nice pictures too, including penis gourds and big stone penises at a fertility temple, the big jars of Laos, the big heads of Easter Island, dog eating and dried llama foetuses.”
Domesticity is wearisome, some days. Particularly on those days you find yourself bickering with your spouse about everything and nothing. Oh, to be sh-tting in a trench latrine with snowflakes swirling around your tender bits on the side of a mountain somewhere…

[this is funny]

Representatives of The Irish Government’s Department of Education and The INTO (Irish Teachers Organization) have advised its qualified teachers to “exercise extreme caution” when accepting a teaching contract in South Korea. It goes on on to state that “due to the overwhelming number of complaints routinely received by various Irish government departments from Irish teachers in connection with their experiences in this country, we feel unable to recommend it to our citizens as a safe or viable career option and furthermore impossible to resist the conclusion that the current Hagwon system in South Korea is endemically corrupt”.
Endemically corrupt, indeed. Nicely spotted.
(‘hagwons’ are private schools (primarily for English), by the way, of which there are literally tens of thousands in the ROK)

Why do they hate us so much?

This article and its associated Metafilter thread make interesting reading, and are germane to the roots of my rant yesterday, perhaps. Really, though, I was just havin’ a bit of fun.

You know that feeling you get when a telemarketer interrupts your dinner? I get that feeling sometime when my Pentecostal/Charismatic friends are trying to persuade me into their camp. It’s not that I don’t know they are good, decent, law-abiding people who like me. I just want them to quit treating me as a target or a project and start treating me as a person who is free to be myself and different from them.

Pray For Death! Pray!

Thanks to the eternally irate Mr Golby for this little nugget.
Yes! Bless us, lord! Let’s pray for our troops, pray for our politicians, pray that the bleeding hemorrhoids that have been plaguing us will disappear, let’s pray that those pesky raghead pagan f–ks die in their thousands, let’s pray that more war will stop war, let’s pray that killing will put a cap on killing, let’s pray that the sweet light crude manna will continue to pump through the fiscal veins of our great nation, let’s pray that our god has a bigger dick than theirs, let’s pray that the dazed halfwit apathetic scum that allowed us to take over the most powerful country in the world won’t wake up and cut our throats like the vermin we are, let’s pray goddamnit, let’s pray the great game will continue, let’s pray that jesus doesn’t f–king come back and rip us from crotch to sternum like trout, let’s pray, let’s pray, let’s get down on our knees and pray to something bigger, let’s pray, let’s pray our children don’t have to do the same evil things we did, it’s not our fault, god, please, it’s not our fault, we’re not bad people, we just did what we had to do, what we were told to do….


[Audio : Dead Kennedys – Kinky Sex Makes The World Go ‘Round]


Hey, while I’m at it, Exploding Dog is really good and stuff, too. But you probably already knew that.
I could learn to like this linking without the commentary schtick… Emptybottle Lite! Now with even more sh-t that you don’t care about!


Like quonsar said, not necessarily Metafilter at it’s best, but certainly at it’s most interesting, in some ways. When the WTC was hit, when the bomb went off in Bali, and today, to offer some examples : all have been moments when it was fascinating to read the raw responses of people to tragedy, to watch how the community dealt with it, to see the both the maudlin sentimentality and the black humour, the heartfelt grief and the political opportunism, the whole sweep of emotion that folks feel when they are hammered by unexpected loss, all packaged up in one neat blue thread.

Coin of the Realm

In light of recent ruminations in some places about the politics and social implications of hyperlinking and blogrolling, I find this amusing, no less so because of my opinions about some of the names involved. What a sad and silly game it is, and how inconsequential.
For my part, were I asked, I’d have to say that Jim Cappozzola, whoever he is, can take a flying f–k at a rolling doughnut, even if I do agree with him about the virulence and unpleasantness of the Little Green Cesspool. The proper response, I would say, to his threats (is it a threat if the consequences are so completely and laughably trivial?) to de-link people if they do not comply with his demands that they de-link Little Green Poosticks is : “So?”
Fun to watch the fur and feathers fly, I suppose. But it’s something a little embarrassing for adult people to be so concerned about, even if it does touch on important issues that go well beyond blogdom, like censorship and freedom of expression, like tolerance and bigotry. My response to LGF and its ilk, though, is a little like the one I have to those fat, 40 year old men who dress up in Sailor Moon costumes : “Yay! for expressing your inner dipsh-t and striking a blow for repressed losers everywhere, Mr Man, but please take it out of my face, OK?”


It’d be fun to get some statistics on Blogspot bloggers, or blogs in general, I suppose, to get a handle what the blogly zeitgeist is like. How many would characterize themselves as political, how many consider themselves part of a community, how many try to use the word ‘f–k’ on a daily basis, how many insist on writing posts without the use of capital letters…
And how many call themselves ‘pundit.’ A whole hell of a lot, would be the answer for that one, it seems.

C students from Yale

Say what you will about his recent fictional output (or his older fictional output, for that matter), I still have a soft spot for Kurt Vonnegut. At the age of 80, he’s still saying things worth listening to.
And he’s not an asshole, which still counts for something, I hope.

I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka ‘Christians,’ and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or ‘PPs.’

What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! f–k habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!

While we’re talking authors here, another writer whose work I’ve always enjoyed reading, Gunter Grass, is also speaking out against those murderous C students and psychopaths in Washington.
Edit : This is as good a time as any to share some statistics about Korea with you. I ran across these numbers a few days ago, and they would seem to explain much on first glance. Whether that is actually the case or not is up for debate.
There are a total of 450 public libraries in Korea. In the whole country.
These facilities serve a population of approximately 47 million people : it works out to about 110,000 people for each library, the lowest in the OECD. The ratio is actually worse here in Seoul – which is home to the equivalent of about a third of the population of Canada, a fact that never ceases to boggle me a bit – there’s one library for every 330,000 people.
The comparable figure in Europe is about 1:10,000 and in America it’s 1:20,000 or so.
Some ad-hocratic systems have arisen to compensate, as is always the case here. There are privately run shops, even in the nasty little suburb where I live, that rent a few books (mostly home-grown manga for the schoolkids) alongside the standard racks of action movies. There’s a bookmobile that comes around the human beehives once a week, too, with a couple of hundred Korean novels onboard. Small compensation for the few who have the time or energy to read anything.
As for me, even if any of these few libraries were near enough for me to visit, I’d be out of luck. None carry books in English, of course.
If any webblogger should have an Amazon wishlist and wheedle and beg for books, it’s me, by crikey. Maybe I should get a webcam, start peddling my wonderchicken pulchritude, and demand payments (“Put it on! Put it all back on! Please!”) in literature….