24 February 2008

Brief reviews of Academy Award® nominated films I haven’t seen

Atonement

A comedy about a boy (Keira Knightly) who disguises himself as a girl to infiltrate the stately manor of Lord Snardbollocks and steal the Snardbollocks' family jewels. Hilarity ensues when assorted homosexualists (Englishmen) living at the manor find they’ve ‘inexplicably’ fallen in love with ‘her’.

Juno

I saw the preview to Juno in a theater. Afterwards I got up, went out to the lobby, and started punching people in the face. On principle.

There Will Be Blood

An elegy to our vanished way of life: men dig a hole in the ground, oil spouts out, everyone cheers then goes bowling. Existence had solidity and meaning; work was tangible and rewarding. Today it’s sit in cube, tap-tapitty-tap on keyboard, get yelled at by a lady-boss, then home to play Nintendo Wii or, worse, watch a movie like "Juno". What worms.

Michael Clayton

Dull bio-pic about a Tampa Bay wide receiver who caught 22 passes for 301 yards last season.

10,000 B.C.

A stunning recreation of the world as she was millions of years ago, based on descriptions carved on set of stone tablets discovered in a tar pit. Best picture of the eon.

23 February 2008

Dispatch from Bulgaria

Reporter Blaga Bangieva sends sad news from Bulgaria:
Tobacco smoking in tourist sites to be forbid completely with a law from the start of 2009 are suggesting from Association of Bulgaria tour operators and tour agencies.

In many European countries the ban already exists and this hasn't reflected to the incomes of hoteliers and restaurant owners.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) enters from July 1 only electronic tickets, which will embarrass the activity of tour agencies, because still many air carriers don't offer this kind of services.”

Optimistic won’t effect tourism.
Alas, I know from experience Blaga's optimism is misplaced. Is there anyplace in the world that still welcomes smokers? Yes, India, it turns out. The people there smoke like fiends:
There are 120 million smokers in India, half of them younger than 30, the study found. India has a larger population of smokers than any other country in the world except China.
Not only does India have a solid base of smokers going forward, they are reliable: "Only 2 percent of smokers in India quit the habit." Despite the profusion of snakes and diarhoea I may have to shift my base of operations to tobacco-friendly Bombay.

Bulgaria may be bad, but things are even worse in Germany, where anti-smoking zealots are lashing out violently at innocent smokers:
An angry anti-smoker emptied a fire extinguisher over his girlfriend when she lit a cigarette.

After the woman ignored his request not to smoke, the 42-year-old sprayed the contents of the extinguisher all around her flat in Berlin, shouting abuse, German police said.

"He said he wasn't bothered by the damage it caused," a spokesman said. The couple have now split up. [emphasis added]
Have you ever heard of a cigarette aficionado assaulting a non-smoker for refusing to light up? Of course not. Obviously all the hateful rhetoric of the 'Non’s' has made smokers an acceptable target for violence, even in their own homes.

18 February 2008

De mortuis ranae nil nisi bonum

The fossil of a giant, prehistoric frog that looked like a “slightly squashed beach-ball” was discovered in Madagascar, and researchers immediately began slandering its reputation, naming it Beezelbufo ('frog from hell’), and calling it “bad”, “mean”, and a “devil”. Yet there’s zero evidence one way or the other regarding the ancient amphibian’s manners or philanthropic pursuits. Whatever happened to scientific ethics?



The Beezelbufo, which weighed over 10lbs and dined on baby dinosaurs, is thought to have gone extinct more than 65 million years ago, though some scientists believe it may have evolved into an anatomically similar toad living today known as the Jpod. This photo captured a Jpod moments before stuffing a human baby into its maw.

12 February 2008

Announcements

After careful consideration, I have decided to formally announce the end of my involvement as the overseas artistic advisor to the Swaziland Reed Dance. I find my conscience will not allow me to continue with business as usual. At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on bouncing teenage titties, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crime against civilization known as the 'War on Tobacco’.

Also, after learning from the chairman of the West Sumatra branch of the Indonesian Clerics’ Council that Valentine’s Day is a Zionist plot, I’ve decided to formally announce I will not be participating in this year’s Valentine’s Day. According to Chairman Buya Mas’oed Abidin:
"Kegemaran tersebut perlu segera dihentikan, karena hal itu tidak cocok dengan budaya kita," kata Buya Mas'oed Abidin, di Padang, Selasa. Hari kasih sayang, digelar kapitalis dan satu konspirasi yahudi itu bakal diperingati remaja dunia pada 14 Pebruari 2008, dan kebiasaan tersebut juga bakal diperingati generasi muda di tanah air, seperti tahun-tahun lalu.

["This hobby must be immediately stopped, because it does not agree with our culture," said Buya Mas'oed Abidin, in Padang, on Tuesday. “This ‘affection day’, has been spread by the capitalists and the Jewish conspiracy, and will be commemorated by the world’s adolescents on February 14 2008, and this habit will also be commemorated by the younger generation in the homeland, like previous years.”]
When asked how he came up with this novel theory, Mas’oed Abidin insisted it was based on careful research, and has nothing to do with his having five wives.

10 February 2008

We care a lot

“Morality is not a science or knowledge that can stand on thought alone; morality is a practice. This explains why the heart of the inauthentic moralist beats only for distant and unattainable causes (in space and time): this gives him an excuse for not taking moral action and remaining all talk. It is very difficult to preach morality to one’s neighbor without applying it to oneself: by his very presence the other bears witness to the imposture and casts reproach in the face of the Pharisee. When the other is far removed, however, there is no reproachful look. The Pharisee therefore has every interest in reserving his moral discourse for the distant other, while he writes his neighbor off as a loss, on the argument that he is free to do what he wishes.”
– Chantal Delsol, The Unlearned Lessons of the Twentieth Century.

Elsewhere

Larison’s blog has absorbed the American Conservative.

Breathing in the dust of dried cow shits prevents lung cancer.

Did the Sandsend Blob attack a Chatsworth, California woman in 1971?

09 February 2008

Let them be

After overturning their parents’ taste in music, like all good little revolutionaries the children of the 60’s proceeded to oppress every subsequent generation with their taste in music. Now they’ve gone one step further and are inflicting the soundtrack of their perpetual adolescence on extraterrestrials:
For the first time ever, NASA beamed a song -- The Beatles' "Across the Universe" -- directly into deep space at 7 p.m. EST on Feb. 4.

The transmission over NASA's Deep Space Network commemorated the 40th anniversary of the day The Beatles recorded the song, as well as the 50th anniversary of NASA's founding and the group's beginnings...

The transmission was aimed at the North Star, Polaris, which is located 431 light years away from Earth. The song will travel across the universe at a speed of 186,000 miles per second.
I am relieved NASA didn’t send out that insufferable "Imagine" song. Hearing that tune could easily provoke aliens into coming here and zapping us with death rays.

02 February 2008

Dispatch from Mexico


Peasants discovered an enormous ear of corn in a field outside of Mexico City last Thursday. Theologians think the colossal cob harbingers the return of Chicomecoatl, the Aztec goddess of maize. Once a year the Aztecs would select a lucky girl to symbolically represent Chicomecoatl in a sacred ritual:
"Every September a young girl...was sacrificed. The priests decapitated the girl, collected her blood and poured it over a figurine of the goddess. The corpse was then flayed and the skin was worn by a priest."
Aztecs called this “being given the usual.” Chicomecoatl was married to a fellow named Tezcatlipoca who had a snake for a foot, which seems strange now, but that was the style back then.