30 September 2005

Equilebriated amid the embracings of a monopolized bottle

I had to read this story twice before I could understand it:
Smoking Seems To Increase Brain Damage In Alcoholics

Alcoholics who smoke appear to lose more brain mass than alcoholics who don't smoke, according to a study at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

It is already well-known that the brains of long-term alcoholics atrophy and shrink, the study authors say, but the new findings are the first evidence that cigarette smoking might contribute to that atrophy, particularly in grey matter of the parietal and temporal lobes.
And as far as I can tell there’s nothing a reasonable a person can do to avoid it either. The only hope is to be one of the lucky exceptions, like James Joyce, whose mind never exhibited any sign of deterioration despite a lifetime of excessive drinking and smoking.

29 September 2005

Free DeLay! Update

Remember my warning of dark forces attempting to destroy Tom DeLay?
As you probably know, the Left and its allies in the Mainstream Media has launched a hate campaign of lies combined with bogus legal charges in order to destroy Majority Leader Tom DeLay. I have become so sickened by these attacks I decided to do something about it: at Café Press I created this thong panty emblazoned with the (or should I say ‘our’?) rallying cry: Free DeLay! Your crotch region is a most personal area, and the personal area is political, get the word out.
Well, as you surely know by now, a monomaniacal prosecutor has indicted Tom DeLay, on the flimsiest of pretexts.

But it is not too late to do something, and in fact now more than ever it’s imperative right minded people show support for our Majority Leader. I can think of no better way to do this than by purchasing one or more pairs of Free DeLay! thong panties. The panties are designed for women, but there is nothing to prevent homosexualists from wearing them too, I suppose, as long as they do so in private. Even oldies can wear them, now that I think about it, which is revolting.

Let your pubic region do something other than itch and stink, let it make a statement for freedom, buy as many pairs of Free DeLay! thong panties as you can today.

27 September 2005

Baby Burlesks

"In 1932, Shirley Temple made her film debut in What's to Do?, the first in a new series of comedy shorts called Baby Burlesks, created to compete with Our Gang. But here, instead of three- and four-years old child actors playing smart-aleck kids, they played adults in adult situations.

A friend of mine, Daniel Riccuito, who happens to be a film scholar, first called my attention to the films. He describes them as such: "Shirley plays a variety of sexually out-there characters. The one I own (Polly Tix in Washington) isn't the most outrageous of the bunch, but it has her playing a whore whose mission is to seduce a new senator and get him to sign The Castor Oil Bill. The all-child cast appears in diapers, mostly topless, with top hats, cigars, flesh."

Another film in the series, he tells me, has a diaper-clad boy squeezing a cucumber that shoots juice out of one end, striking Temple in the face."
- Jim Knipfel

20 September 2005

Reader Survey

Select the answer which best completes the following sentence.
What's depicted in this scene is _____:

a) perfectly normal.

b) odd.

c) insane.

d) something I've done (or would like to do) myself.
Judging by the look on his face, he's as mystified as I am as to why he's being presented with a platter of fruits and vegetables. He also appears to be wearing a collared shirt.

Asking the tough questions

Then if India is given a seat, and it is already a candidate for it, doesn't that mean the escalation of the degree of challenge with Pakistan, the nuclear state? Is that in the interest of world peace? On the contrary, it is a dangerous threat to world peace. And if Japan is given a seat, and it is a candidate for that, doesn't that mean the escalation of the challenge for North Korea that has a nuclear problem, and for China and Indonesia? If India and Japan are given a permanent seat, does that not mean the escalation of the boiling degree of the Chinese hydrogen kiln? Is it really for the benefit of world peace?
- from the curious mind of Col. Muammar Gadafi

18 September 2005

Yo-ho-ho-ho-ho, word to granny's panties

In the past, when I’ve criticized oldies (see here, and here) I’ve received hate-mail, not just from the powerful oldie lobby but also from otherwise rational people who can’t understand my antagonism toward the aged. These critics almost always justify their favorable view of oldies by invoking their own, mostly fond, childhood memories of grandmothers. I too remember grandmothers as being kindly and harmless figures, liked for their skill at baking pies and other goodies. Would that were still the case. Sadly, modern grandmothers are a debased as most of the rest of society, as exemplified by a group known as The Raging Grannies, who describe themselves as being “independent women” dedicated to “activism, social justice” and “politics”, which is a nice way of saying they are horrible, meddling old crones who enjoy annoying normal people. How bad are these hateful hags? A recent article describes how they’ve written a rap about hurricane Katrina:
"A Granny New Orleans Rap"

Our government moves at a very slow pace.
It did not understand New Orleans was a race,
For the needy, the poor, and the black who were there.
If this was a test -- they utterly failed.
This negligent lot should be charged and jailed.
I don’t think I’m alone in hoping that rap is somehow perceived as a dis’ by Suge Knight’s posse.

Nothing enlivens an arctic winter quite like an obese elephant

Apparently not content with the vast abundance of native wildlife (fish, grizzly bears, whales, Eskimos, etc.) in their state, the silly people of Alaska have imported a a 23-year-old female African elephant named Maggie to gawk at. Naturally, the elephant finds the frozen climate disagreeable. Worse, Alaskans are forcing the poor pachyderm to work out on a gigantic treadmill, because they have decided the unhappy elephant is fat. Which she is, of course, because all elephants are fat. I wonder if the Alaskans will figure this out before the exercise and diet regime they've imposed manages to kill her?

15 September 2005

Good for them

It seems the Hindoos are harnessing women to ploughs and making them till the fields. If fads originating in India as silly as Yoga can become popular in the West, is it too much to hope one of their sensible practices might be adopted too?

In other news, in a fascinating interview former President Bill Clinton reveals that "many people" in his administration believed the United States government had recovered a crashed alien spacecraft. Clinton also describes how he personally helped advance 20th century science: "we had succeeded in sequencing the human genome...now you know that we cloned Dolly the sheep".

12 September 2005

Memorable Sayings of Filippo Ottonieri (cont.)

[Ottonieri] observed that irresolute men are sometimes extremely persistent in their intents in spite of all difficulties; and this is as a result of their very irresolution, for if they relinquished their deliberation, they would have to resolve a second time. Often they are extremely prompt and efficient in executing what they have resolved because they are afraid to abandon their decision at any moment and regress to that torturing perplexity and mental vacillation in which they had dwelt before reaching a decision, and, therefore, they hasten the execution of their intents and apply to it all their energies – stimulated, as they are, more by anxiety and by the uncertainty about mastering themselves than by the aim of their undertaking and by the other obstacles they must surmount in order to attain it.
____

…he was listening to a passage of Diogenes Laertius’s Lives of the Philosophers, according to which Chilo, being asked in what way the learned differ from the ignorant, answered: “The learned have hope”; Ottonieri said: “Nowadays it is altogether the opposite; for the ignorant have hope and the learned have no hope whatsoever.”
Operette Morali, by Giacomo Leopardi (translated by Giovanni Cecchetti)

11 September 2005

Holiday

Since 2001 the British have traditionally celebrated Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27. From its inception, many have complained the holiday excludes other, non-Jews who were also subject to systematic and planned extermination. A simple solution would be to set aside a day for each victim group: whether Jewish, Gypsy, Mohican, Tutsi, Carthaginian, Armenian, Canaanite, or what have you. But that would mean too much vacation for everyone, victims and non-victims alike, and idle time can not be tolerated in our modern age where efficiency and productivity are everything.

Instead, advisers to the insipid Tony Blair have recommended scrapping Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day and replacing it with the generic Genocide Memorial Day. This attempt to please everyone will only please no one. Americans can testify to this, having undergone the combining of Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays into President's Day. It not only cheated everyone out of an extra day off, but worse, merging the separate holidays made it impossible to celebrate either one, since the distinctive celebrations of each are incompatible. And what celebrations they were. I can still recall as a boy how on Washington’s Birthday everyone in town would wear powdered wigs, cherry pie was served, and we would all drink applejack. For Lincoln’s birthday, in contrast, the children would dress as slaves. We would all gather in the town square and there, the tallest of the boys, dressed as Lincoln in top hat and overcoat would read a proclamation ‘freeing us’. The adults would applaud and the children would dance. Suddenly, a boy dressed as a 19th century stage actor would appear and pretend to shoot the boy dressed as Lincoln in the back of the head. The crowd would fall into silence for precisely four-score and seven seconds. Then the adults would applaud and the children would dance, and we would all drink applejack.

I predict that in the future there will be only one holiday, a combination of all existing and all possible holidays. This day will be called “Holiday”, and on this day everyone will stay home from work and watch television.

08 September 2005

Memorable Sayings of Filippo Ottonieri

Filippo Ottonieri – some of whose memorable observations, partly heard from his own lips and partly related by others, I will commit to writing, was born and spent most of his life in Nubiana, in the province of Valdivento, where he also died a short time ago and where there is no record of anyone having ever been insulted by him, either in word or deed. He was commonly hated by his fellow citizens because he seemed to find little pleasure in many of the things which are greatly liked and sought by a majority of men...
_______

He used to say that the most real pleasures in life are those produced by false imagining and that children find everything in nothing and men find nothing in everything.
_______

It is certain that truth is not beautiful. Yet even truth may sometimes bring some pleasure; and, if, in human affairs, beauty is to be preferred to truth, whenever beauty is missing, truth is preferable to anything else. Now, in big cities you are removed from beauty, for no longer does beauty have a place in the lives of men. You are removed from truth as well because in big cities everything is fake or empty. There, so to speak, you see, hear, touch, breathe, nothing but deception – of the ugliest and most unpleasant kind. To fine and delicate spirits this is possibly the greatest misery in the world.
_______

There are an infinite number of things in everyday life and in individual men that are extremely ridiculous, and yet they are very seldom laughed at.
_______

About a stupid individual who had the pretension of knowing very well how to reason and who at every other word mentioned logic he said: "This is indeed man as the Greeks defined him, that is to say, a logical animal."
Operette Morali, by Giacomo Leopardi (translated by Giovanni Cecchetti)

07 September 2005

Elsewhere: It is, after all, knitting

"I think that is what is going on, poor evil Kathy with no blog, no design on the cover of a magazine regardless of weather it is good or bad, no classes to teach, no books to edit or write. Granted yes she has stuff in a book and good for her, but I'm sure that it must rankle, why her and not me? I'm just as good if not better. Must attack when she complains about something, must pull the princess out of the castle. Except there is no castle just someone who works hard at something she loves and is really lucky to be able to share it with the world. That's all it is luck and a lot of hard work. I feel sorry for poor evil Kathy so bound up and twisted it must be hard for her on some days to think straight. But to put it into perspective it is after all knitting..."

Also highly recommended is "Knitters can be bitches":

So, it's ok for you and your friends to follow people sureptiously at fiber arts shows to take photos of their sweaters for the express purpose of making fun of them. Granted this is an old example but it's probably one of your most visible...Guess what? fuzzy yarn scarves will get knitted, acrylic yarn will be used to make sweaters and you might not like that but I really think that the majority of people don't care what you think.

Good grief

In a surprising break with tradition, The New York Times, or Grey Lady as she is known, has announced plans to enliven her dull pages with a funnies section. True to form, the newspaper promises the comics to be published won’t be funny, instead the tedious and pretentious doodles of "graphic novelists” are to be featured.