Saturday, January 12, 2002

Actually, I believe that Endora (Samantha's mother) used to call Darin "Derwood," not "Darwin." I'm pretty sure; I have succesfully avoided watching Bewitched since I moved out on my own, almost twenty years ago. (And now that I've mentioned Darwin, I hope to get loads of hits, as per Bryan Preston. You'll have to scroll down his site to see the post I'm referring to.)

Darwin Darwin Darwin!

Oh -- and I saw Lord of the Rings today. I am still digesting it; it may (cough cough) need a second seeing for me to do a proper critique. I will post more on it later.

Jeff Jarvis tells the Politically Correct Era "Good-bye, and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." One thing, though, unmentioned by most commentators on this subject is how much time being PC wastes. For example: the professor of the Multicultural Studies class I took last semester would often tell us about the various meetings she went to (she was a folklorist something-or-other, and spent a lot of time setting up grants and foundations and such, which necessitated flying all over the United States to attend meetings). Some of the procedures participants in these meetings would go through in order to avoid inadvertantly committing a multicultural faux pas were not only ridiculous, they must have made no doubt already long, contentious meetings seem like an eternity. Procedures such as stating your background and cultural viewpoint every time you got up to make a remark, somewhat like this: "I'm a white, European-descended heterosexual Non-Christian-Religion-Impaired, non-disabled American, and I come from a middle-class background in South Florida, and I would like to say that I respect the (person speaker is responding to) own personal experience though I have never been attracted to blind castrated sheep nor have I personally felt 'empowered' while wearing cardboard underpants..." Half an hour later, the question gets asked.

In the real world, in real time, s**t happens, usually without regard for the age/sex/ethnic background etc. of the people involved. Which brings me to this. Apparently the three firemen who raised the flag over the ruins of the World Trade center were not made up of the approved ethnically/racially-balanced mixture for the New York City Fire Department, (or more likely whatever person or group of persons tells the NYCFD what is politically correct that week). Thus the fact that the three firemen just happened to be white guys is something that has to be glossed over, disguised, altered in order to make the rest of the city's ethnic groups feel good. As if they had any reason to feel particularly bad in the first place. As if statues of three white guys (whose statue versions, by the way, will be whatever color is the medium they are cast in, since we do not paint our statues like the Ancient Egyptians did) somehow "takes away" from the accomplishments of black or Chinese or Indian or Arab etc. persons. As if the fact that the three white firemen did not, upon getting their idea to raise the flag, immediately also get the idea that they had better find a black guy, a Hispanic woman, or a deaf Hindu lesbian with one leg to make their actions more "representative" of the city's culture.

Which brings me to another point. There has already been some feminist grumbling on the overwhelming percentage of firefighters involved in the WTC rescue attempt who were male. Gosh, I guess it would have been better if it had been fifty-fifty male-female firefighters who were crushed by the Towers' rubble. Do these people even listen to themselves when they speak? "Oh, if only the Fire Department had met it's quota -- then there could be an equal number of dead female firefighters!"

This old hagge wants to go out for breakfast, but first I must get this off my chest:

As concerns the Enron scandal, I can see that I'm going to be avoiding the news again (unless I am having trouble falling asleep). I can't see what the big deal is -- as far as I'm concerned, Enron deserved to go down the tubes just for that annoying commercial with the guy in the metal suit. Oh, and the "scandal" seems to be that they gave campaign contributions -- to just about everybody -- in order to buy political favors -- just like every other big-deal company does in Washington. Clue to media people: no one's shocked about this, no one cares, can we get back to the war? Why don't you guys do an exposé on the Saudis and their anti-Semitic newspapers? Ha ha just kidding -- the Saudis are our friends; if they weren't surely the New York Times wouldn't have printed their puff-piece advertisement on how wonderful the Saudi regime is.

Friday, January 11, 2002

My turn to comment on this little gem of a story. Let's see: an Arab guy stays in a hotel overlooking the World Trade Center from some unspecified (in the article) time up to September 11th. The safe in his room happened to contain: an Egyptian passport, an book in Arabic, and.... "a handheld pilot radio which is marketed for use by pilots, enabling them to communicate air-to-air and air-to-ground with other pilots or to monitor other pilot conversations." Of course, he said "Radio? What radio?" Needless to say, he is charged with perjury.

Actually, I have no comment on it. I just can't think of anything to say.

I got this off of Instapundit.

There was apparently a plot afoot to kill Florida governor Jeb Bush with a truck bomb. (When I first read that headline I thought: "They'd better investigate the faculties of the state university system -- I haven't had a professor yet who can mention his name without looking as if they want to spit.")

Here's a little gem from MSN on inappropriate office jokes. Guess what? It's not nice to make fun of minorities! Wow. Who knew?

Isn't there some way this could be expressed without talking down to grown-up business persons as if they were small children in grade school?

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Last Night's Thoughts:

I meant to post all this last night but was unable to due to Blogger difficulties:

A study is out linking household appliances to miscarriages, according to this article in the Telegraph. Something to do with the magnetic fields that trains and vacuum cleaners, among other things, emit. I don't know; I smell the faintest whiff of pseudo-science. I just flashed on a memory of those "magnetic bracelets" or whatever they were that were supposed to "cure" arthritis and other ailments. And the links at the bottom of the article lead to other articles on various things that might cause miscarriages: drinking too much coffee or taking aspirin (sounds more plausible than magnetic fields, at least), aloe drinks, "rogue genes," and our old friend "stress from too much work." All I want to know is: how do so many babies manage to be born successfully in our high-tech, magnet-filled society?

Hey, aging desk-bound hawks: too old to enlist in the US armed forces? Join the French Foreign Legion. Yup, it still exists, and it'll take you until you're 40. So saith Sam MacDonald on Reason. (Guys only; and you have to go to France to sign up at one of their recruiting stations. Hey, they have McDonald's in France.)

Funny, I thought babies got nutrition from breast milk, or at worst gas -- but there are other things they can get as well -- or at least they do in Saudi Arabia. (via Charles Johnson.)

Word Morgue

There's a new word I have decided to add to the list of words that have seen too much use and need to be given a rest (words such as "quagmire," "hegemony," and "paradigm," for instance: that word is "chilling."

I've seen it everywhere: the news commentators on the Right and Left use it to describe things that unnerve them: "Osama Bin Laden's laughter at the fate of the highjackers was chilling"; "the sight of all those American flags in my home town is chilling"; and so forth. Let's just declare that "chilling" is what I am doing when I put the bottle of Chardonnay in the ice bucket and move on.

Daily Rant #1:

I was watching ABC news last night, and they were interviewing that guy with the "Redskins" license plate. (I think it says "1 RDSKINS" or something like that.) Well, his house is all Redskins, as in the football team, paraphernalia, and his wife also has a similar license plate on her car, with "2" instead of "1." But they have the misfortune to live in California, where it seems that the worst thing you can do is hurt someone's feelings -- worse than murder, worse than treason (which seems to be considered an out-dated jingoistic concept there anyway), worse than just about anything. And it doesn't matter whose feelings are hurt, what connection they may have to you, or what you have actually done. Wear wool socks? You'll have the Free the Enslaved Sheep people at your door. Eat a peach outdoors? You'll have the Stop the Exploitation of Fruit Trees people chasing after you.

Then they interviewed the person who started the whole trouble. He was apparently an Indian Native American: he had the hair, the tan, the requisite string tie or bolo tie or whatever they are called. The newscaster did not state what tribe this person belonged to, and excuse me for being skeptical, but for years I thought Steve Perry of Journey was an Indian Native American until I found out he was actually Italian. I mean, who looked just like my sister, who is an authentic Indian Native American (Menominee). I had to tell her the bad news, as she was under my same delusion.

Anyway, this guy, who is apparently involved in some Indian Native American action group, was searching through DMV records when he found the other man's license plate. Not once did the interviewer ask him what he was doing searching through DMV records. The matter was not even remarked upon. Excuse me. Hello? What sort of person sits looking through DMV records (unless they are doing some sort of police investigation, or it is otherwise part of their job) except for a professional troublemaker? Since when was this considered a legitimate enough pastime that it does not even get questioned on the national news?

And furthermore, what does this say about the state to which Native American activism has fallen, that all they have left to do is to go after every petty little so-called PC violation they can come up with? I was under the impression that the state of the Native American community in the US was not good, that life on most reservations sucks the tailpipe on a Greyhound bus, that alcoholism and other problems are rampant -- in short, that there are still a great many problems to which the Native American activist groups could be paying attention to instead of going after football teams names and mascots and hectoring people who have license plates they don't approve of.

A few months ago, I think before the World Trade Center attack, I was watching one of the morning news shows. There was Vine Deloria on in what passes for Native American regalia these days: the braids, the bolo tie, the sour expression. He was griping and moaning on about some high school sports team called the "Braves" or something like that. I mean, they weren't called the "Massacring Savages" or the "Useless No-good Injuns." But there he was in full victim mode, grousing about how lousy the White Man treats the Red Man, as if it were still the goddamn Seventies. (The Nineteen-Seventies, when the Crying Indian -- apparently really an Italian-American actor - shades of Steve Perry! -- was on every station telling us not to throw our McDonald's wrappers out the car window, when Billy Jack was a top-grossing movie, when Cher's "Half-Breed" was a big hit and we all -- again -- thought she was an Indian. We didn't say "Native American" in those days either.)

I don't know what else we can do for "activists" like Deloria et al. Life on many reservations sucks? Well, in what surely must be worth an self-esteem-boosting chuckle or two, Uncle Sam unwisely chose to move many tribes onto "useless" land that later was found to contain valuable ores, or oil. Whoops. "Whites" etc. are prejudiced against Native Americans? Well, it's not as if the media hadn't tried and make up for it by making them into an icon of all that is Honest and Decent and Environmentally Correct. It's not as if city councils didn't roll over the moment an agrieved Native American was insulted by a local license plate. It's not as if racism was still condoned by the government.

Here's a suggestion, and it comes to me by way of my parents and grandparents who raised me: you want someone to treat you with respect? You act respectable. Being a nosenheimer and a busybody and a pettifogging little victim won't get you anything but a hankie to blow your nose in.

Wow! 1,060 visitors -- and they weren't all from me loading the page at work. I hope.

In a pathetic, attention-getting move, I've moved the Amazon tip box up higher. See? It's right over there on the left. My cat is starting to give me that "I'll bet humans are tasty" look...

All right! Some new snarky comments soon, just as soon as I wake up.

Oh, and the comment thingie is there. Try it out.

I am going to try and publish this thing. Here goes.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002


Looks like publishing is back up, sorta. I'm not ready to abandon Blogger yet (not until I get my domain name and site and brush up on my HTML skills anyway). I am going to try to add a comment thingie to my site (found it on Protein Wisdom). We'll see. Now, let's try to publish this...

Yes, I can publish.

Now that the new iMac is out, the one that looks like a desk lamp, maybe the older versions of iMacs will go down and price and I can buy one? Hmmm... I don't particularly care for the look of the new one -- I like my desk lamps to look like desk lamps and my computers to somewhat resemble computers; but then I have always used PCs, so I am used to that look. I sneered at the iMac when it first came out -- "It looks like a toy" -- but lately they have seemed an attractive alternative to my clunky Windows 98 machine. And I have the perfect desk for an iMac... Also, the new Mac OS is real snazzy, and they have nice aps. (I've been playing with the iMacs on display at my local Compusa.)

Oh no, publishing problems or no publishing problems, I have to get this down before I forget. I've got one of the morning shows on, and they are interviewing the guy who had some no-life fanatic complain about his "redskins1" license plate, which meant, of course, that he (the license-plate owner) is in trouble, not the busy-body. So of course they have to interview someone from "the other side," so this Idiotarian (thanks to Joanne Jacobs and whichever other blogger originally came up with that term) immediately comes on and the first thing he says is "With a forum like this that reaches thousands of people shouldn't the question be about global warming or vaccinating children against disease?"

Must... control... fist... of... death...

Look, dinkwad, the question YOU were being asked was "is it right to harass some guy for his footbal fan license plate because of political correctness?" ANSWER THE GODDAMN QUESTION. Don't even dare lecture us to make yourself look good you sanctimonious twit.

I really am unable to say anything more about this without profanity.

Twenty-five degrees last night in the Orlando area. That Brutal Florida Weather continues to threaten world peace! Where's Geraldo?

(You'll get all my snarky comments two weeks from now, probably, when I can finally get through Blogger's overloaded servers.)

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Please, please read this blogger's article ripping Ted Rall yet another new one. The man must look like Swiss cheese by now (or he would in my alternate universe). I wonder if Rall realizes just how many of us LOVE him.

I will also add Protein Wisdom to my links as soon as publishing is back working.

At 37.6% I am but a closet nerd. Take the test -- if you dare. (Via a newly found blog, Balloon Juice, which I will add to my links as soon as publishing is back up.)

Today: via Instapundit I was led to the latest Mark Steyn column in the National Post. Yes, where is that "brutal Afghan winter" that so many assured us would freeze our soldiers to the seats of their F-15s, turn cute kiddies into popsicles, and generally make the country about as hospitable as the surface of Pluto. Well, maybe it's that way in the Alternate Tedrallian Universe, but here in this one it's apparently in the Fifties. Compared with, say, Vermont, Toronto, or even Central Florida this morning where it was still 33 degrees Fahrenheit when I woke up, that's pretty balmy. So when does winter start over there, March?

Monday, January 07, 2002

Links of the Day

I wish this article had come out when I was enrolled in Feminist Theory. (You'll have to register for the Times website, but it's free, like the New York Times.) I was alerted to this article from Andrew Sullivan's nicely revamped site.

(I love the little Britishisms the registration form uses, like telling one to "tick off" the checkboxes next to selections.)

Read this article on Occidentalism -- it's important. Full of mind vitamins! (So you can make more Mind Bullets!)

Speaking of the Tenacious Ones, I had forgotten that Jack Black was on several X-Files episodes, back when the show was still fairly coherent. Now it sux. I no longer watch; why, when there are all those Live Lobotomy websites I can check out?

Site update:

I updated my faq. Now you can find out all about me. Well, sorta.

Classes started today. All my classrooms (the rooms themselves) are the Extra Small variety, and they are all packed. At least they aren't the big, auditorium types (I have never done well in any class that is in an auditorium). But a lot of the buildings at the university I go to seem as if they were built as empty shells and then rooms were factored in later thusly: "Let's see how many dividing walls we can squeeze in and still have room for desks and chairs!" Even the department head's offices are teensy little things. Visiting professors get little windowless cells; adjunct professors (lowest on the totem pole above interns, I believe) get to share one of these cells with one or more other adjuncts. The teachers at the community school I went to got bigger offices.

(Edit out whine about cost of college textbooks.)

Sunday, January 06, 2002

Travels in the Leftist World Redux

If Commondreams is bad, wait until you take a gander at the Utne Reader Online. Every once in a while I'd pick up an issue of the print magazine, usually when I was feeling somewhat constipated. On their website you can avail yourself of articles such as this one, on Jose Bove (I don't feel like opening Character Map again to get the accented e's), gentleman farmer and destroyer of the Great McDonald's Beast. In this article, one Florence Williams claims that he is regarded as France's "most famous political personality," for what that is worth these days. She writes: "His name is Jose Bove. He makes cheese." And she's serious.

Warblogger Critiques Own Youthful Folly

No, not me, I happen to be perfect! Just kidding. Really, if I only had the ability to face up to my really bad writing/half-baked ideas (tries not to look at twenty-year-old handwritten diary she keeps on top of the vcr for some reason -- perhaps one day she will burn it in a special ceremony) like Bjørn Stærk does here. (I had to open up Character Map to spell his name correctly!) Hey, Bjørn, don't be too hard on yourself; you were just a kid.

If I'm ever brave enough, maybe I'll dig out my silly little essay I wrote in favor of gun control. I thought I was being so clever. And youth was no excuse; I wrote it about 4 years ago. (I'm thirty-eight years old.)

Blog Update

I can't keep up with the blogs! Here's another: A Dog's Life.

I Was a Teenage Moron:

There I am, surfing innocently over to Ken Layne's website and what did I find but the link to this story about the teenager who flew his small (fortunately) plane into an empty (thank god) skyscraper in Tampa TWO HOURS DRIVE FROM WHERE I LIVE.

Thanks. I'm better now.

What I want to know is, where do they get teenage freaks like this kid and Johnny Walker Taliboy (who was a teenager when he got into Islamofascism) and that Shoe Guy (who I think was 18?).

Dear Mom and Dad,

Western Civilization sucks! It's too hard and all, and girls won't date me 'cos I keep calling them sluts for not covering their heads and obeying my every wish. So I want to go off to Yemen/the local terrorist-sponsoring mosque/flight school. Can I have $2000 dollars?

Abdul al-Haziz Mohammed Ali Osama-lama-ding-dong (that's my new name)

More Blogs

Do not mock Happy Fun Pundit.


The Blogs of War.

More to be added later.

Anyone in the mood for a Fisking? Travels in the Leftist Universe

The Wonderful, Frightening World of Robert Fisk continues. He has a "headache as big as Afghanistan" because of all the awful, terrible lies the Western -- well, the American anyway -- media has been telling about the war and his unrequited love Osama Bin Laden. "Drugged by all the lies" he is rescued by his friend Vincent Browne, "breathing like a steam engine," who helpfully pointed out that Newsweek et al had outdone Fisk in the hyperbole department ("...he pulled Newsweek from the shelf. The headline: After The Evil"), so he'd better get cracking! Fisk tries his best; Bin Laden is pissed about Andalusia in 1472 (or whenever the hell it was), so Fisk evokes Kabul Gorge in 1842. But his heart isn't really in it; he obviously yearns to be in a nice, frozen cave somewhere with his True Love, the two of them huddling together under a goatskin rug while Fisk helpfully lectures Bin Laden on more points of American history and culture. ("They don't see anything wrong with eating pork products -- hot dogs, Virginia hams, and so forth define American cuisine!" "My god, you've given me even more reasons to destroy them! Now what is this Sex and the City program? We can't seem to get the feed on our satellite dish.")

As for Vince Brown, the article he wrote for Commondreams.org is, of course, about the so-called "100 Afghan civilians" that were supposedly killed by US bombs a while back. He gives quotes from (he claims) Rumsfeld and a Pentagon spokesperson on the matter, and then says that "nobody in government or in politics has a word to say about it." Whatever.

Commondreams is a hilarious site anyway, a compendium of mirth-making leftist inconsequentiality. Here's a complaint from one Heather Wokusch: "The Emperor is Butt-Naked (the Media Too)". The gist of the article is: flag-decorated beer mugs and support for the war in Afghanistan is the same thing as "stifling civil liberties", and the current US government is to be compared with the corrupt political establishment that condemned Socrates to death. And who are today's Socrates (Socrateses? Socratae?)? Why, anyone who "has the guts" to protest the war. Step right up, everyone, for your government-issued cup of hemlock. Ms. Wokusch's email is womanrant@hotmail.com. Need I say more?

(That article, by the way, has an idiotic quote from a so-called journalist on the "journalism of the North and....the South." Dummkopf "progressives" who have taken to dividing the world in this manner seem to forget a couple of nations in the 'South" called "Australia" and "New Zealand," neither of which fit into the "poor, brown South" stereotype.)

More fun: they actually have a writer who calls himself "Tom Turnipseed," whose article here on the American "disease" of "affluenza" (it's good to be poor!) has one of the most annoyingly alliterative headlines; I can only think that he is on Dr. Seuss overload from reading "Green Eggs and Ham" to his three-year-old every night. And he's an attorney.

But wait! There's more! There is this article, 10 Things to Do During the High Alert Through March 11, which tries to be flippant and sarcastic: "be sure to report suspicious behavior, like someone odd trying to fly a plane into a building!" Ha ha ha, I kill myself. Here's Molly Ivins, to reassure us that health insurance companies don't take future tax credits as payment (oh wow, really? knock me over with a feather!), and in general grouses that rich people should not get tax cuts but should instead be chained in the basement. Robert Hunter Wade, sadly a professor at the London School of Economics, says that because every American does not grow his or her own food and make his or her own appliances from ore that he or she their very own self dug out of the ground (in other words, we "consume more than we produce"), the rest of the world is somehow unable to have the same standard of living. No mention of crappy governments and bad economic policies (such as those based on the notion that wealthy nations "consume more than they produce") in those countries having anything to do with their poverty.

There's more, so much more, such as columns by that leftist shrew Katha Pollit, but it occurs to me that I have a life.

Removing this extra post...

Thanks to Rand Simberg I came across this report on the Saudi Princess (the one here in Orlando who is accused of beating up her maid). Among other things, the article mentions that Orlando is the "No. 1 destination in the United States for Saudis" because of its "safe, organized" amusements. They should visit Disney during Gay Day...

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