31 May 2003
I think everyone can agree that the "playing card deck" motif that began with the Ba'ath party glitterati, then expanded in a wonderfully whimsical way to opponents of Administration policy (and even to the poor Texas House Democrats whose car apparently broke down in Ardmore), is getting pretty tired. In fact, I lost a substantial amount of money last night when somebody's "Ms. Anthrax"-high-straight beat my three Kings (Vincente Fox, Teddy Kennedy, and Gore Vidal). Rather than try to develop my own competing deck, maybe it would be better to kick it fanboy style and match up current Administration members to the estimable Legion of Doom. These are just my initial impressions:
1. Bizarro, humbly portrayed by your Commander-in-Chief and mine, George W. Bush. "To make matters worse, Bizarro had below-average intellect and a distinctive backward speech pattern. Despite his limitations, Bizarro is a threat not to underestimated. " Or misunderestimated, at the very least.
2. Black Manta, embodied by our elusive Vice President, Dick Cheney, who intermittently emerges in holographic form on "Meet the Press" to confound Tim Russert with a barrage of newspeak and campaign slogans. "While Black Manta's real name remains a mystery, what is known is that he has spent most of his adult life as a pirate and plunderer of sunken vessels throughout the world. Virtually nothing is known of this supervillain inside his advanced wetsuit." Close enough.
3. The Riddler could be none other than Donald Rumsfeld, whose cryptic half-jokes can transform entire press pools into languid lapdogs. "He reasoned that at least he could disguise his clues as mind-numbing riddles and allow himself time to be far away with his loot when his plans were later discovered."
4. Sinestro, played with notable plucky derring-do by our Attorney General, John Ashcroft. Actually, nothing about Sinestro suggests our calico-cat fearing, Crisco-anointed chief law justice enforcement officer, save for this interest 'origins' tidbit: "Sinestro of Korugar once served the Guardians of the Universe as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Although his assigned sector of space was among the most orderly in the universe, Sinestro achieved his success by suppressing all of the rights of his people."
5. And finally, bringing up the rear, Solomon Grundy, ably played by our region-reshaping mastermind, Paul Wolfowitz. There is absolutely nothing in common between a think-tank bookworm and a superstrong Cajun zombie, but I am told by various Beltway Sources that 'Wolfie' has an indescribably pungent body odor: "His virtually indestructible body is composed mostly of rotting swamp vegetation and if damaged will regenerate over time."
Sorry, just looking for an excuse to weasel in a rotting swamp vegetation take.
30 May 2003
The last in the current installment. 'Fucktard' isn't libelous, is it? Feel free to e-mail me (link to your right) with any other tips for aspiring paranoid housebound losers with access to free blogging software:
(9) If you get negative feedback from screeching lunatics, you’re doing something right. For good measure, delete everything that comes into your e-mail in box. Gratuitously insert yourself into each talkback, and indiscriminately delete people who keep calling you out (but don’t announce it). When the person complains, delete the complaint. Repeat as necessary. When someone asks “Whatever happened to [unnamed troll]?” delete their post as well. If someone complains about the lack of ideological balance, delete them as well. Leave no evidence of the deletions like those Free Republic halfwits. Save the e-mails you don’t delete for comic value. Assuming your comments section has many nom de plumes, post stupid e-mails and attribute them to people you don’t like. Make up your own critical e-mails, and respond to them as well, using many fallacious arguments, which in turn generates more e-mails.
(9a) Nobody in blog world is independently a public figure. Most use pseudonyms. As I have learned from numerous AOL chat sessions, you can’t libel or slander a fictitious construct. Slowly devolve into solipsism, like Andrew Sullivan.
(9b) Although this may run contrary to points (2) and (2a), do selectively quote bloggers you don’t like, punctuated only by the comment “what a fucktard”. For the maximum amount of confusion, use very content-neutral quotes, or even quotes you agree with to make the point again and again that Glenn Reynolds (whoops, Freudian slip) is a fucktard. Consistently leave it up to the reader’s imagination WHY it is you consider Glenn Reynolds a fucktard. Those in the know will not have to wonder.
In my never-ending to make this crappy list of histrionic observations a profit-making perpetual motion machine, I entered my name in the Truth Laid Bear new blogger showdown. So far, two people have linked to this page. Who the hell are you idiots? What are you doing? Did you actually read this stuff?
No really, who are you? As soon as I find out how to link to other websites [estimated completion date: Fall 2005], I'd love to return the favor in exchange for some food stamps.
I don't know why I would bother putting more thought into these long-winded posts than I would any of my snarky comments on more successful blogs. Without a comments section (something I'm not actively working on acquiring), how the hell can I be contradicted, unless somebody wants to Fisk the everlasting shit out of me, thereby wasting valuable bandwidth on their own? [More on the art of cultivating infallibility in part 4 (Leprechuans 'N Tha Hood) of my Blogging pointers]. Well, sometimes you just have to rant incoherently:
1. The Lynch rescue was somewhat staged, whatever your specific quibbles with the evidence the BBC compiled. Special Forces are usually notoriously camera-shy, yet this event was better covered than Reagan's colonoscopy. Further, there is an ongoing investigation, during which time not even her parents can comment on the proceedings. Maybe this will go somewhere. Probably not.
2. The victory announcement on the aircraft carrier. I am still in rage-induced paralysis over this one, so let’s go to…
3. The statute-toppling was, in the grand scheme of things, the tipping point for “Operation Shifting Rationale” and was also staged, as clearly shown by photographic evidence of the scene. The tipping point was for the American and British administrations, looking at the cooked intelligence reports, to provide the “it’s all about liberation” crowd with its talking points, and to downplay the paucity of actual WMD evidence. It was all about security, right?
4. Subsequent episodes of anarchy, looting (whatever the degree), and even further deaths of Coalition servicemen and women have received the same coverage as a page A-23 retraction.
5. “Operation Shifting Rationale” talking points, set 2, posits that “what’s done is done” and therefore the lies getting the American public on board (since they were really the only people in the international community that fully agreed with any sort of rationale) don’t matter. Of course, the follow-up stories mentioned in point 3 won’t matter either.
6. In essence, the only Administration vulnerability is the inevitable “Baghdad: one year later” story. I really don’t expect much, given the abysmal play of the “Afghanistan: 18 months later” stories. Heroin addicts are pleased, however.
7. We are doomed to repeat history in Iran in the near future.
8. It’s the economy, stupid. Let the class warfare commence!
28 May 2003
(6) If called on inconsistent postings by a blog researcher who has combed your archives, admit it freely (may even blame it on huffing nail polish remover). Remember: There are no standardized procedures for impeaching blog writers. People who comb through blog archives are just above people who wait for months for a George Lucas movie on the human evolution ladder. Avoid e-mail exchanges with anyone who starts off “but in November 2001, you said…” Especially if you didn’t have a blog in November 2001.
(7) Fundamentalists of any stripe are fucking morons. You don’t have to ever, EVER apologize for making fun of them. And it never gets old.
(8) Your analogy is probably wrong on multiple levels. Your analogy concerning Vietnam, Mao, or Adolf Hitler, unless you’re 80 years old and Polish, should never be made.
27 May 2003
Hello, John Davidson of "That's Incredible!" here. I know I got in a little late on the weblog scam to provide a detailed blow-by-blow of the Democratic walk-out in the Texas Legislature. I am also not smart or self-motivated enough to provide an educated summary of the situation, like Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. I have to subscribe to the George Carlin school of thought, which posits that chaos is infinitely more entertaining than order. Therefore, as an Austin resident, I am hereby requesting of myself and granting myself an exemption and coming late to the party with some highly ordered and badly reasoned observations:
(1) Tom DeLay is a lying sack of crap. Don't you ever get that feeling? If he told me that the water in the pristine Houston Ship Channel was unsafe for human consumption, I'd start making some iced tea with it immediately. His Lyingsackofcrapitis also infects anyone he touches or attempts to whip into shape, including Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, normally straight-laced Texas Rangers, small children, house plants, and robots who were heretofore unable to practice deception.
(2) Redistricting was not a stated priority for any elected official, Republican or otherwise, during the November 2002 elections or the January 2003 onset of the legislative session. Systematic mid-decade redistricting had not been practiced since the halycon days of Boss Tweed and the pre-17th Amendment (1913) indirect election of U.S. Senators. The redistricting bill was hastily composed, insufficiently noticed, and brought into Committee hearings at the time when only (a) decent bills are received that originated from the other side of the Legislature; (b) crappy bills that nobody wants are given a pity hearing [lest a campaign contributor become offended].
(3) Therefore, I instinctively side with the Democrats in this matter, but I have no doubt that millions of dollars will be spent in radio and TV ads in close districts [not that that many exist after the last round of redistricting in 2001] to pummel Democrats with a simple message: "Representative X is a Chickenshit!". The Republicans may even, ironically, become walkout-proof in the 79th Legislature.
That's all for now. I have not preemptively responded to the legitimate and illegitimate arguments that the Democrats should have stayed in town and participated in the inevitable beatdown of having the redistricting bill rammed down their throat. However, don't start the discussion with "they were there to do the business of Texas", because I would only redirect you to the intro of paragraph (2), and also curse in your general direction at length.
26 May 2003
(3) Nobody gives a fuck about your college, your guinea pig Snuggles, or your hometown. In the words of an Onion T-shirt I can’t afford, “Your Favorite Band Sucks”. There are a number of corollaries to this point, chiefly: the fact that it snows a lot in Buffalo or that it’s really hot in Atlanta only surprises lobotomy patients. And neither of those weather-related factoids will prove or disprove the existence of global warming (see point #5)
(4) You may have libertarian tendencies, but you are not a libertarian. Libertarians are mythical creatures, like sprites, midgets, people who scream out after drinking Sam Adams Light, white heavyweights, or Eskimos. The last real libertarian died of consumption in the East Indies in 1861, and we have the daguerrotypes to prove it.
(5) Don’t even try to step to scientific studies, or even pop-scientific studies. Something you remembered between paper football games from chemistry class in high school is likely to have no impact on a peer-reviewed tract in Scientific American. Stay away from any math higher than long division, and confine your statistical analysis to such phrases as “why, that’s within the margin of error!”
25 May 2003
Kevin Drum, the grandfather of blogging and the inventor of the Odyssey (TM) Video Gaming System, has succumbed to shitty news item overload from the Sunday edition of the L.A. Times, thereby prompting this depressing reaction. Of course, this genuine display of human emotion has elicited a number of cold, dispassionate reactions from the always-entertaining Reactionary Vulcan wing of the blog universe.
Of course, there's no good way to rage against the Administration's monolith of incompetence. If you preface your diatribe with "I'm so mad, I could kick William Kristol in the testes", you fall prey to some objectivist axiom about the party out of power becoming increasingly histrionic. If you say "Sometimes I marvel at the Administration's stupidity", then you get the whole misunderestimation spiel. If you say "the Administration isn't going far enough in dismantling the safety net, and should begin extracting vital nutrients from the elderly", then the chronically humor-impaired in your loyal following don't realize that you've selected an obscure Simpsons quote, and the cannibalism begins.
In short, may I humbly suggest the following replacement paragraph for Mr. Drum: "It's 11 a.m., I've just read the Sunday paper, whereupon I was besieged with this shit: (link to articles). The liquor stores are closed, my emergency Jameson's is shot, so I'm taking the day off. Fuck all y'all." Nothing confuses the masses like drunken anger.
Much to my utter astonishment, I can do this without spending money, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, that means that this a spartan undertaking, which is additionally complicated by my complete lack of knowledge on how to even post my own goddamned e-mail address or create links. Therefore, if anyone has jumped here via my comments on another more successful blog, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any helpful comments.
I started off by actually calling this a manifesto, but then I realized I would have to be consistent in its application to the garbage I type here. Therefore, these are utter unconnected talking points that betray my institutional biases.
(1) Idiotarian is not a word. It does not describe a concept. People who use such terms are idiotarians. In fact, “blogging” may be the only useable, cute catchphrase this miserable genre can claim. Everything else, in the words of Sammy Hagar, is mental masturbation.
(2) So and so does not “get it right”. In fact, I don’t care what so and so thinks. Whatever happened to the great American pastime of stealing others’ ideas and repackaging them? I mean, there’s so much circle-jerking done by us degenerates, who’s really going to notice? Blogging is really the online equivalent of a philosophy department. What else does it do but produce other philosophy professors (or record store clerks)?
(2a) Posting somebody’s entire entry, where your entire original content was “(Blogger X) had an interesting post”-- really-- come on, people. It’s like seeing the same MacGyver re-run twice without recognizing it.