Showing posts from April, 2006
Coin fight!

My wife and I were parking the car today, and doing the usual digging for change. My wife had some dimes, I had some quarters. I knew my quarters could beat her dimes in a fight, and I told her so. This was an intuition, but of course it is backed up by the fact that quarters are both bigger and more valuable than dimes. So unless the dimes vastly outnumbered the quarters, they'd get their butts kicked if they somehow fought each other.

Of course, dime vs. quarter is not really an interesting fight, because it's so lopsided. So I got to thinking what sort of coin fights would be interesting. The first one that lept out at me was dime vs. nickel. I think they're pretty evenly matched: the nickel has a hefty size advantage, but the dime is worth twice as much. I thought about dime vs. penny, but pennies are pathetic wusses that no one wants. During my recent move, I treated pennies like dust bunnies or paper scraps left over from torn spiral bindings, i.e. as the w…
If you want to feel contempt for puritans...

...then read this article. It about southern states that have banned the sale of sex toys. Really. In the United States. In 2006. Some sadly humorous scenarios that could result are spun out here. It's this sort of thing that makes me think that apart from ending slavery, winning the Civil War was a big waste life and limb. I feel the culture gap in this country is a gaping abyss, and I don't see how it can be bridged.

Some, such as Andrew Sullivan here, have proposed a more robust federalism as a solution. Traditionally, federalist and states rights arguments have been used by reactionary conservative forces to inveigh against federal civil rights laws. But when Congress and the White House are controlled by corrupt Republicans beholden to Christianist Theocons, while many state governorships and legislatures are trending Democratic, states rights ends up having a nice liberal ring to it.

Let the puritans legislate themselves into a …
Impeach Bush!

Enough sex and religion! It's time for politics. Congress won't do a darn thing about the current administration, because it's controlled by Republicans. But apparently, state legislatures can initiate the impeachment process, and Illinois and California legislatures have begun the process of doing so. Here's a site dedicated to making it happen. I urge all 3 readers of this blog to take action!

When's the best time to kick some one? When they're down. And bush is down. Even FOX news polls say so. It's about time. Finally, those of us disgusted with the actions of this administration don't have to feel alienated from the rest of our fellow citizens. It's taken a long time. Too long. But you can't fool all the people all the time.

For those of you who are interested in this issue, Dan Savage (of Savage Love fame) has a site: that pursues the same objective from a different angle.
First there was the Purity Test (and its many variations), now there's a Purity Ball

But while the purity test was taken by college sophomores competing to see how sexually "impure" they'd managed to become (answer for me during most of college: not nearly enough), those attending a purity ball seem to have a different agenda altogether. Googling the subject brings up this and this and this and this.

I don't have anything original to add that hasn't been said by this diarist on Daily Kos or by Digby here. But the whole phenomenon strikes me as very Freudian, puritanical, and creepy. Not to mention that it invokes the commodization of virginity and the propagation of harmful double standards. Where's the ball where boys pledge to be pure? But maybe that's not so important to them.

I just don't think human sexuality works the way puritans think it does. I think they have a pathological model of sexuality: it's like alcoholism. It's something to…
Am I more famous than I think?

Often, actors are thought of as having enormously inflated notions of their share of the public mindspace. And someone of my insufferable arrogance might be expected to follow in this noble tradition of thespians afflicted with delusions of grandeur. But could it be that I am actually more famous than I think I am, rather than less?

I was surfing the net, engaged in a typically vain activity: searching for reviews of a History Channel documentary I narrated. It's part of their highly-touted "10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America" series. (The Episode is "Gold Rush".) The seventh result of my Google Search was this. His review of the episode was luekwarm, but what struck me was the following quote:

Narrated by voice-actor Zachary Drake (you'll recognize his voice from numerous documentaries and commercials), this installment of "10 Days" comes off as nothing very special.
This lept out at me immediately and of cours…
South Park does "The Aristocrats" joke
If you are looking for something horrendously vulgar, obscene, and funny, look no further. This is an excerpt from the movie The Aristocrats, which is a documentary about not-very-funny joke that comics tell each other as a test of skill and personalization. I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone did the best with Cartman telling the joke to his friends. One of the most absurdly obscene and funny tellings of the joke in the film.
Andrew Sullivan has a nice quote of the day from H. L. Mencken:

We must respect the other fellow's religion,but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
The old {Dungeons & Dragons = Satanism} meme: still around?

This thread over on maxminis contains some very sad stories about children being prohibited by church groups and parents from playing my favorite game. It also becomes a discussion about the truth of the Bible and the validity of Christianty. My post doesn't come until page 6 (and quoted below for your convenience):

This thread has been absolutely fascinating to me.

Regarding the whole D&D=Satanism meme that flourished in the early 80's:

I'm surprised and saddened by many of the stories related here. I didn’t know the fear and hatred of our hobby was so strong in certain subcultures. I'm hopeful, however, that we'll be hearing fewer of these kinds of stories in the future. Back in the late 70's and early 80's, fantasy culture and geek culture in general were not as mainstream as they are now. I don't think there was "geek chic" in 1981, and now there is. I think Bill Gates (what…
Nostril Salsa

I was in Picante today. My wife was getting our table ready, and she obtained two bottles of salsa sauce: one red and one green. These were transparent grey plastic bottles with a squirt top of the kind often used for ketchup and mustard. The squirt tops had been trimmed to enlarge the hole at the end of the nozzle in order to accommodate the chunkier consistency of the salsa.

My first thought on seeing these two bottles was that I should sieze them and shove the nozzles up my nose as far as possible and squeeze on them as hard as I could. The nozzles seemed to be the exact right size to shove up my nose, and they seemed to call out to be shoved up my nose. This is not the first time I've thought of shoving one of those bottles up my nose, but it is the first time I thought of doing so with two bottles simultaneously.

But a difficult choice immediately presented itself to me: Which bottle should go up which nostril? Should the red salsa bottle go in the left nostril, an…

This is the first and only commandment of modern life. All considerations of morality are subordinate to it. Here are some examples:
If you stall on a busy bridge (like I-80 Bay Bridge or the 520 bridge across Lake Washington) during rush hour, the ill-will and loss of productivity poured into the universe by the traffic jam that you thereby create is probably a lot worse for society than if you had just stolen a car or committed some fraud. People who block the aisle in airplanes when de-boarding because they're fiddling with their stuff or can't get it down from the overhead bin. Can you not feel the laser beams of ill-will boring into the skulls of such violators?!?!?If there is a long line of people behind you, it is inconsiderate to make non-standard requests from the clerk at the window. It's a bureaucracy, for cryin' out loud! Don't try to interact with the person as if they're an autonomous being capable of solving …