Is's Mah Birfday!

Ore : 7:24 AM

Dun dada DAAAAAH!!!

Why, this margarine is fit for a queen!

Some of my presents:

Gossip: Standing In The Way of Control
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Show Your Bones
Deerpen: Wayward
Wolf Parade: Apologies To The Queen Mary
Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Calexico & Iron And Wine: In The Reins
The Joggers: With A Cape And Cane
Brand new pair of tan Ben Davis Gorilla Cut slacks
Black, G.I.-style rucksack
Pair of jungle boots
New sewing kit
Cilantro, thyme and dill seedlings for my herb patch
New wheelbarrow
Pretty new pearl-button, snap-front western shirt
New axe
2006 fishing license with a 2-pole stamp
Box of shiny, shiny .45 cartridges
Oakland Raiders dog-collar (really for Sparky, but whatevs...)

And tonight I go to the casino buffet, where I be fixin' to set it off... Injun style, baby.

posted by teh l4m3 at 7:24 AM | Permalink | 29 be jibber-jabberin'

This Is Getting Ridiculous

Ore : 8:10 AM

Offering an opinion critical of the Israeli right wing is not anti-semitism; people who do so are about as anti-semitic as the majority of the American diaspora or the op-ed pages of Ha'aretz or the huge plurality of voters who tossed out right-wingers in the most recent Israeli election. The specious claim by sophist, talented chubsmacker, and suspected dog-violator JismSmoothie that a disapproving tone taken toward the policies of Israeli's Likud party is some sort of coded dog-whistle trigger for the hordes of secret Dachau-lovers among America's unionized public schoolteachers and green-voting Ashkenazi lesbians is just so much projection. Liberals and Democrats don't have to avail themselves of dog-whistle politics precisely because, on the whole, their policy proposals are not cause for instinctual revulsion among most Americans. The left doesn't have to come up with euphemisms for eradicating HeadStart or decimating environmental protections; they are for providing tots with educational opportunities and keeping our water potable.

Dog whistle politics and, for that matter, anti-semitism are almost wholly right-wing phenomena. Being anti- any group is a defining aspect of American conservatism: racism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-atheism, nativism -- oh, hell, anti-Hinduism and Francophobia, too. That's why such a huge part of the debate on illegal immigration isn't about Germans or Afrikaaners with dodgy paperwork, but about Mexicans. That's why the Republicans' problem with Cynthia McKinney wasn't that she physically tangled with a Capitol officer, but that she's a
trashy, uppity jiggaboo. That's why a pro-lifer would have no interest in rescuing a petri dish full of blastocysts from a burning fertility clinic; the movement is far more about relegating women to second-class citizenship. And this is how the right wing consolidates power, by playing on one group's fear of others, by exploiting perceived differences to keep various people at odds with each other so they won't lift their heads in unison and by virtue of their number achieve any sort of political parity with the ruling classes.

It's this very aspect of divisiveness and knee-jerk hatred of others that makes me a patriot and people like Jeff Goldstein or Chaz Johnson or Michelle Malkin jingoists. I simply love my country; for the latter, it is not enough: they must hate others'. That, along with those sweet, sweet think-tank connections are what make them who they are.

posted by teh l4m3 at 8:10 AM | Permalink | 10 be jibber-jabberin'

I Am A Sommelier of Dystopias

Ore : 9:46 AM

I was pleased when I came across it in the stacks: I had greatly enjoyed James P. Hogan's The Gentle Giants of Ganymede, so I was sure I'd be entertained by The Multiplex Man. Furthermore, one of the key secondary characters from my novel as he's been developing seems to be the emotional and political equivalent of a photographic negative of Hogan's protagonist as he's described in the dust-jacket flap. I was intrigued, and thought a gander might lend some necessary and entertaining color to what I'm doing.

Boy howdy was I wrong. I'm halfway through the book, and though it's definitely pointing out precisely those things I don't want to do (very useful), I'm finding it so increasingly unreadable I may not finish it.

I'm going to gloss over the more prosaic problems here: the stilted, wooden, deeply over-serious dialogue; the jarring, uneven, unimaginative narrative; the otaku-titillating protagonist who seems like nothing so much as an amateur portrait of Jason Bourne done in Crayola on construction paper. Even the overarching propagandizing in the book is really not worth mention except to note that the politics don't follow as incidentals (as they should), and as a background against which characters try to live their lives; rather, they are the rickety framework over which characterization and plot are as carelessly draped as a cheap shawl -- a literary pushiness doubly disappointing coming from an author whose early work seemed so strongly suffused with a love for and sharp understanding of empiricism and the scientific method.

No, none of that made the book a complete and utter loss. Something far more basic did. One way The Multiplex Man might still have achieved a modicum of redemption would have been had Hogan created a plausible leftist totalitarianism. Mind you, don't think for a minute I'm falling into partisan wishful thinking, or treating the work as anything other than a product of its time. I'm well aware that speculative fiction (literary and cinematic) from the early 90s featured a wealth of left-leaning dystopias -- a prime, still campily entertaining, and not-quite-timeworn-at-all example being the hobbling, invasive, ludicrously PC society outlined in the embarrassingly fun "
Demolition Man". I know this can be done, and myself could suspend disbelief in the face of a decent effort.

It is possible to lead a sane reader not to choke on incredulity at the thought that socialists and greens and the nefarious PC police/feminazis/multiculturalists can somehow out-muscle corporate America and the traditional ruling class, but your work is cut out for you in illustrating how it is possible -- you cannot simply say it's so, and expect a reader to be convinced. This isn't like creating a corporatist or theocratic tyranny, for which we have ample historical precedent -- such a creation is far less of a stretch, as it were. You can make the former work, but it's far more difficult. You really have to flex your talents.

If a writer's going to do it convincingly, one of many obstacles requiring serious imagination to surmount is what I as a reader of speculative fiction arbitrarily term "The Scandinavian Factor": look at a given corporation in France or Denmark or Sweden, which may be heavily taxed, and may be as much as a third or more owned by the government, yet wherein multibillion-dollar fortunes may still be made, and wherein advancement and innovativeness are not in any meaningful way stalled. You're really going to have to work your little fingers off to take me from there to a future hell in which the white-man-hating, zealously anti-smoking, grimly tree-hugging politburo has so thoroughly squished our dashing libertarian would-be entrepreneur-cum-kung fu-fightin' hero under its muscular nanny thumb that he can barely squeek out his revolutionary call for a free-market paradise in which there are no toilet-paper shortages and no such thing as gas-rationing.

Hogan seems not to have made any attempt at all, merely presented things as a matter of course. My best guess is that he thought, at the dawn of the Clinton era, that "Hell, this, in a drunken haze, seems a remote possibility; let's run with it."

In toto, I'm shocked that a book by such a celebrated and accomplished author can fail so thoroughly.

UPDATE: Only after typing the above did I bother perusing his
official web site. I would just like to, at this juncture, make the completely not-germaine observation that HOLY SHIT THIS GUY IS A KOOKY NUTBALL: AIDS denial, Holocaust revisionism, Velikovskyism (!!!), et cetera... Wow. Just... Wow.

That does it. I'm checking The Multiplex Man back in.

posted by teh l4m3 at 9:46 AM | Permalink | 10 be jibber-jabberin'

"DEATH TO AMERICA! ...You say you want a Push-Pop?"

Ore : 7:32 AM

I know a thing or two about Lodi. That is to say, it's depressingly much like Manteca or Elk Grove or any number of flat, sad Central Valley rural/ex-urban/suburban enclaves. Lodi is uninspiring; it is, snake-handlers and bicycling JWs notwithstanding, spiritually anemic; it is culturally and economically thin and hollow. Its prospects for young people are limited to whatever they can take from there in the manner of scraping the bottom of a dumpster before heading for lands of decidedly more promise.

Predictably, Lodi's (like many other towns') not-so-bright and poor and not-terrifically balanced and (key here) stuck-with-no-way-out youngsters will reach out and grab at whatever they think might give their lives sorely needed meaning -- and if that which is reached for appalls the parental units, so much the better. Bonus points if they can claim an affinity based on religion or ethnicity or culture. Hence so many white kids embracing White Power or juggaloism or membership in the Young Republicans; hence so many latino kids holding in awe los norteños.

It's really not that shocking that a young Lodi man of Middle Eastern descent would grow starry-eyed and insufferably romantic and moony at the lure of jihad and radical fundamentalist Islam. What's shocking is that America has produced so few of these precious little angels -- a testament to how much better we've been than, say, the French at welcoming Persians and Arabs and North Africans et alia. It's proof of what's right with America.

At any rate, poor judgement and shady entanglements, while understandable in youth, are still inexcusable: if this boy was indeed providing support to terrorists, he must pay for his choices as the law demands.

But what to make of the father? Doubtless Michelle Malkin wants him drawn and quartered -- I'd be shocked if she didn't want to string out the entrails with her own glossy talons. However, let's push the racist nutballs of the right aside, and just concentrate on the more reasonable among conservatives, many of whom I've noticed in other cases like to argue for the one-size-fits-all approach to the law (whether you kill a man for his wallet or for being queer, it's the same thing). With these people I would once again argue that intent and context mean everything.

If the intent of Umer Hayat (a middle-aged ice cream truck driver, for crying out loud) was to deceive the Great Satan's FBI so that his li'l martyr might go about terrorizin' and evil-doin' undetected, then yes, he deserves a majorly harsh sentence.

Of course, those of us in Notinsaneistan might opt for the likelier explanation: a hurt, confused, and loving (if ultimately mistaken) father lies, out of desperation and loyalty, on behalf of his son. His big boo-boo was that he lied to the FBI, and what's worse, while being Muslim in Bush's Uhmurrka. If this is the case, come on, let the guy go with a slap on the wrist. 16 years in an orange jumpsuit, sitting down gingerly lest you chaff those cigarette burns on your ass, watching contractors create naked cheerleading pyramids with your fellow inmates is just too fucking much. I do hope sense reigns among this jury.

And if the father does get interned or renditioned, and we find out years later that he was representative of a huge percentage of the men and women disappeared by the Abu Gonzales doctrine, I mean, fuck...

I mean, shit, dude. Lodi.

posted by teh l4m3 at 7:32 AM | Permalink | 9 be jibber-jabberin'


Ore : 6:26 PM

Sorry, folks. Still experiencing technical difficulties. Major, several-day power outage in Chunderville, population: moi. Well okay, others were affected as well, but I'm the only important one...

Anyway, I've got enough firewood for the next two years, and I've been catching up on my sewing. More to come...

posted by teh l4m3 at 6:26 PM | Permalink | 16 be jibber-jabberin'

They're Ones To Talk

Ore : 1:11 PM

How not to be an ugly American:

* Don't make jokes about sticking fingers in dykes. Especially if your name is Katrina.
* Eat somewhere besides Outback Steakhouse; don't whine that you can't find a "Sonic's" in Normandy.
* Don't torture people.
* Don't bring London to a stand-still with your helicopters and surveillance equipment and entourage of 5,000.
* Do use a tranlator if when speaking Spanish you sound like Peggy Hill.
* Do just remain in the offices of the State Department in Washington if you look like Peggy Hill.
* Don't interfere in the governance of sovereign nations.
* Don't attack your allies just because they caught you in a blatant lie that wouldn't have fooled a slow five-year-old.
* Do refrain from saying things like "Oh, you have blacks too?" In fact, save all your comments about ethnicity. Ideally, you won't talk at all.
* Be sure you can point out a country in question before dictating any policy concerning that country.
* Don't make an ass of yourself, when trying to duck out of some hard questions, by trying to open and escape through a locked door.
* Do call whatever heads of state you meet by their proper names; save the condescending nicknames for your domestic toadies.


I could do more, but it's sunny outside, dammit.

The truth about ugly Americans abroad aside (I've seen it, so has
David Sedaris -- many of you have as well), don't you just love how the anti-Americanism that's been inflamed in recent years by the venality and outright criminality of our ruling class is somehow *our* responsibility to try and mitigate?

Whatever. I'm not traveling abroad any time soon -- not even with a maple leaf tacked to my ass. Besides, I'm probably on a no-fly list anyway.

posted by teh l4m3 at 1:11 PM | Permalink | 26 be jibber-jabberin'

How It Goes -- How It ALWAYS Goes...

Ore : 10:55 AM

Half of the American people: "How could Bush nominate this incompetent asshole? He/she'll turn everything he/she touches to shit! The Senate shouldn't confirm him."

Congressional Democrats: "Well, we'll let it go this time. We'll save up for when the President nominates a clearly unacceptable Supreme Court Justice. Supreme Court nominations: That's where we're Vikings!"

[Cut to several years of nasty outbursts and incomprehensibly idiotic decisions by said appointee, and tens of thousands of dead bodies later.]

President Bush and Appointee, flanked by first responders/military personnel lookin' purty for the camera: "Yer doin' a heckuva job, Appointee X."

Most of the American people: "WHAT THE FUCK?"

Congressional Democrats: "Yeah, but you can still get an abortion! Huh? Huh?"

Scalia and Alito: "Vaffanculo, bitches!"; Roberts: "Oh, my!"; Mrs. Alito: "*Sob, sob* *sniffle*"

Anonymous officials close to the White House in the WaPo/NYT/Newsweek: "Expect a shake up soon."

Scott McClellan/Ari Fleischer: "This talk of a shake up is wild speculation. These are just rumors. Just because almost everyone is complaining doesn't mean anything."

President: "I don't pay attention to polls. I do what my heart and Jesus tell me to do."

Almost every American citizen and fed-up underling of Appointee X: "Enough already!"

A vast majority of the Wingnut Wurlitzer: "It's not his/her fault; it's the fault of everyone around him/her" ...Until they can no longer pull it off, at which point it becomes: "Appointee X needs to go lest he endanger the party in the next election. We've been saying it all along."

Dick Cheney on Press the Meat: "*Snarl* Were it not for Appointee X, al Qaeda would've shot your child in the face! *grrr*"

President: "Yer doin' a heckuva job, Appointee X."

[Cut to 12 hours later]

Scott McClellan/Ari Fleischer: "Appointee X, after long deliberation and years of sterling service to the American people, has chosen to resign so he might spend more time with his family. Good luck, you'll be missed."

posted by teh l4m3 at 10:55 AM | Permalink | 19 be jibber-jabberin'

Israeli Hotties For Smarty + Aimless Rant

Ore : 12:12 PM

So Ahmadinejad, typical fundamentalist nutball that he is, has declared that Israel will be wiped out. Aside from the fact that this is doubtless so much specious red meat being thrown at his frothing-at-the mouth, jingoistic base, there's a less comfortable, but necessary thought to consider: That this really isn't America's problem.

Frankly, I'm at a loss to understand this notion, which has become ascendant with the American right wing's consolidation of its hold on government, that the Israelis are babes in the woods, incapable of the most rudimentary self-defense. It smacks of condescension. We're talking about a nation possessed of a spectacularly powerful military, which has resoundingly thwarted past aggression of such countries as Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. They don't need our help. Certainly, they don't need us to deploy nuclear weapons on their behalf -- they're more than capable of doing even that themselves. They might require our assistance (and would deservedly receive it, along with that of every other Western power) were the entire Middle East to turn on them at once, but really, how likely is that to happen?

Nor do I get this recent need among modern Republicans to conflate Israel's interests with America's. Certainly, there are overlaps, but Israel is not America. They are an ally. We must accept that at certain points, our paths necessarily diverge. I can't imagine anything more idiotic than allowing AIPAC exclusive rights to draft our foreign policy as it concerns Israel -- except maybe letting said policy be dictated by the thinly veiled apocalyptic wing of the Talibangelical Right.

Whatever. This rant is just an excuse to vent the new anti-Semitism, as the term has been, with some success, redefined to mean any and all criticism of the worst excesses of the hard right segment of the Israeli political scene, and those of their allies among America's republindependeconservatarians. Meaning, of course, if we are to defer to the vast intellects of such luminaries as Daniel Pipes and Jonah Goldberg, that if the recent election results are any indication, Israel has overnight become populated by a large plurality of Nazi sympathizers and self-hating Jews.

Whew, that felt better.

Of course, it might have been better had Mr. Goldberg's most recent tome, Liberals Hate Jews -- Really not featured on the cover the same image -- of a Hitler-moustached happy face -- as was printed even more recently on t-shirts worn by the Mary Kate and Ashley of the White Power music scene. I mean, talk about an awkward reminder of the political heritage one has allied oneself with...

Anyway, on with the hotties... From Israel!
Kosher *and* mouth-wateringly delicious
Say, baby, is that an uzi or... No, wait, clearly you're naked.

(And of course I cannot neglect my straight male readers...)
She can break your arm in three places.

posted by teh l4m3 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | 13 be jibber-jabberin'

It's True. They ALL Are...

Ore : 9:07 AM

Species official name:  crackheadia cobagensis
Guys, Whitney called -- she thinks it's time for an intervention...

Hello, room service?  Yeah, I need a razor, a straw, and a martini, please...
Not that she's one to talk.

posted by teh l4m3 at 9:07 AM | Permalink | 13 be jibber-jabberin'

Cuz I Gotz Shit Ta Do

Ore : 11:35 AM

Go read Howard instead:

I don't understand the school playground of international politics sometimes. America says that the world should be more like them. Iran becomes more like America - led by a religious cabal, dangerous foreign policy, secretive about their true politics in an international arena - and suddenly America complains?

...even if it is nearly impossible to comment there. (Fix it, bitch!)

Oh, and just to get this nonsense out of the way:

Yeah, and Passover, too...

posted by teh l4m3 at 11:35 AM | Permalink | 7 be jibber-jabberin'


Ore : 12:23 PM

Last night, part of my dream was, Jeneane Garofalo (complete with Reality Bites hair, but in a cat-burglar suit) and I occupied a Mad Max-ish apocalyptic future. We were trying to steal a Caterpillar plow, but we had to be faster than a pair of guys who looked suspiciously like Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller...

* * *

It occured to me a while back: Conservatives are correct in that theoretically, the call of "state's rights" can be a perfectly legitimate predicate from which to make many political arguments -- it is an inherently honest position. Unfortunately, it's never been used that way. It's only ever been used as a cover for perverse injustice. Your state doesn't want Diebold?
Too bad. Does your state have strict laws regarding food labelling? Can't enforce 'em. Does your state want to legalize medical marijuana? As if. Does your state issue marriage licenses to teh gayz? Not if Bush has his way! The list goes on and on. Again, states' rights as a position to work from when formulating laws and advocating policy is perfectly reasonable, but in practice has only ever been used to fuck over the poor, fuck over gays, fuck over women, and fuck over racial and ethnic minorities. Of course, if there are examples of where I'm inarguably wrong, I'll concede the individual points.

* * *

WHY???? Stupid, cruel, post-age-26 metabolism... To be sure, I have a body type that lends itself to gaining fat kinda easily. But I gain muscle mass with just a little less ease (that is to say, by putting in less effort than most have to). And I have rather good food habits -- plenty of veggies, lean(ish) meat, sensible portions, blah-di-blah-blah -- no eating "problems" (not a grief eater, never eat past when I'm full...) Anyway, I'm finding it's more difficult to get rid of my post-Winter gut than it used to be. I've been at these stupid incline sit-ups and other core exercises (not to mention my usual pull-ups and push-ups) for almost two weeks!!! And I've lost only 1"+ off my tummy! ARGHHHH!!!


* * *

You know, I would love to run into
Vestal Vespa (+1, I assume) during the last weekend of April for a night of drunken debauchery... drop me a line, chica!

* * *

OMG I just saw the most ginormous woman out the window. She was in a Rascal or one of those crazy Annette Funicello zoomy things for fat people and cripples. At first I thought it was two people in a weird embrace, then I looked closer, and saw it was one human being! How bizarre!

posted by teh l4m3 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | 22 be jibber-jabberin'

Malhotra VS Gayzilla

Ore : 3:06 PM

Mothra, devout Christian and rampaging mutant beast, seen here leaving the courthouse in flames.

"Radioactive monster Mothra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant. Mothra says her Christian faith compels her to kill Godzilla and wreak havoc on the city of Tokyo. But the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their monsterism and friendliness towards humans. Mothra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. So she's
demanding that Georgia Tech revoke its tolerance policy."

posted by teh l4m3 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | 14 be jibber-jabberin'

Logick: The Cornering!

Ore : 10:08 AM

Yes, these DNA testing kits [btw, check out the story, and the first accompanying pic. I wouldn't mind giving that boy a free-ride scholarship (hur, hur, hur) - ed.] are a little dubious in what they can deliver. But Jonah, being Jonah, ignores the obvious problems in favor of some made-up ones, missing the point completely.

Has it even occured to him a) to ask why it is that higher education is becoming increasingly less obtainable for people of average means, so much so that parents must go to the lengths outlined by the Times piece he quotes; and that b) private non-profits, even those he perceives to be liberal, may disburse financial aid to prospective students based on those organizations' charters and mission statements -- in other words, to whomever they please? After all, freedom of association, and all that, Mr. Conservative...

Perhaps I should be more forgiving. A spawn of Lucianne, suckled for so long at the rancid teat of wingnut welfare, probably never had to understand the exigencies of financial aid. See, what happens, when you fill those sheets out at the office (in part with your ethnic background), is not that the college itself cuts you a check based on who your ancestors were; rather, if they're doing their jobs, they let you take advantage of their research and contacts in that area, and refer you to those organizations which might help you get more money to pay for your education.

A college doesn't give you money because you have a Mewauk grandma. Their financial aid office, however, might put you in touch with some tribal elders or charitable giving officers who might, in turn, chuck some of those sweet, sweet casino ducats your way. That's all.

Note to Clif, Gregor, Jess: your donations in particular have been v. v. popular -- Clif, yours started going out the door the moment it was back from cataloguing, and has barely been on the shelf since.

You guys have made a difference. To other readers:
Ahem, *cough* *cough* and all that... ;)

posted by teh l4m3 at 10:08 AM | Permalink | 9 be jibber-jabberin'

Lightly Posted

Ore : 8:44 AM

Cuz I gotz ta work. Gimme gimme.

* * *

Condi/Arnie '08: Sounds fabulous!


* * *

D-Ho crack-den special: Shorter Heather MacDonald: "America should be more like those countries whose citizens flee them."

* * *

I saw this years and years ago in Sacramento. Everyone cried. From the nastiest bully to the most sensitive, frail little girl -- a flood of tears.

* * *

Assparrot has more on Dan Simmons's abortion of a story (can we still hold on to the faint hope that it's some sort of parody?) at his place. Read it.

(hat tip to
AIF in comments).

posted by teh l4m3 at 8:44 AM | Permalink | 10 be jibber-jabberin'

Random Shite

Ore : 10:06 AM

One more thought on Katie Couric: Saw her attempting to flex her journalistic triceps opposite the usually execrable Tim Russert on The Today Show this morning, complete with Ashleigh Banfield glasses and the whole "I'm a serious talking head" scowl, perhaps trying to justify her kickin' new $100 million contract. And you know, she wasn't half bad.

It could be worse. They could have hired Matt Lauer.

* * *
Vintage Hotties for Smarty:

Tyrone Power

Martin Milner

Pierre Jalbert

(a very young) Maximilian Schell Montgomery Clift (ooh snap -- thanks tbl)

Maximilian Schell

* * *
Roll over Buffy:

I saw a trailer for this at the premiere of Snakes On A Plane.

* * *
Such a disappointment: Dan Simmons, author of the clever and immensely enoyable Hyperion Cantos, has gone the way of Chaz Johnson and James Lileks before him. Before I even realized it (chapeau tip to Diane in S,N! comments), he had become a full-fledged, bed-wetting, sea-of-glass nutball. So sad.

Check out
this story, and replace "America" or "the West" with "the Hegemony", and "Muslims" with "Ousters," and you'll get a faint idea of how far down the rabbit hole this poor man has fallen...

* * *

Abomination! The Christian Right, unsatisfied with ruining everything else in our country, decide to use that poor, noseless, one-eyed kitten as cannon fodder in the war on science and common sense. These people have no decency! They must be stopped! This is desecration!!! Poor kitty...

posted by teh l4m3 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | 22 be jibber-jabberin'

Ignore The Mainstream Tablet-Pressers -- The King Is Right!

Ore : 9:53 AM

The evidence is undeniable that the Pharoah has been providing material support to terrorists in the provinces -- terrorists who seek to undermine our Assyrian way of life. Other enemies, between here and the Mediterranean, and between here and Elam, have been developing and stockpiling new tools of terror. The Erech Intelligence Agency has recently secured proof that our enemies have attempted to secure ass-drawn chariots and iron weapons of destruction. We must strike pre-emptively if we are to remain safe and free. For the sake of the barley farmer and the wool weaver. For the sake of the children.

The appeasement-minded suggest we are too zealous in our prosecution of this war. They make the same old whimpering Urukagina noises about human rights and injustice. But look what happened to the date-eating surrender-sheep of Lagash: their city was utterly razed. We cannot afford the same fate befalling Assur -- we cannot let the proverbial vibrating bow-string be seige ladders laid against the walls of our fair city-state. Some go so far as to suggest that because we cut down the enemy in heaps, down to the last evil toddler, and color the mighty Tigris red with their blood, we are no better than those we fight against.

To follow the lead of these cowards would be nothing less than treason.

Others have criticized the Great King, the Mighty King for indicating that he has been called by the command of the God Assur to lay low our enemies -- that this is some sort of impious presumption. Such critics are mired in pre-dynastic thinking. We face a new sort of enemy; this is a new sort of war. We need new strategies, and new tools, and must not hesitate in deploying them.

We must fight, flay, behead and burn them over there, lest we be forced to do so over here.

We must, if this war on terror is to be as successful as our war on lions.

We cannot deny that September 11, 846 B.C. changed everything. The cowardly attack on Assyria by terrorists from the Zagros was nothing less than a declaration of war. Men who share their mindset among the Axis of Evil -- be they in Egypt, in Elam, or in Babylonia -- must be brought to heel. And skinned and impaled on stakes if necessary.

Tiglath-Ukurligak is Senior Fellow of the Assurbanipal Council on Foreign Relations. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, observing ritual recitals at the Ziggurat, and kicking Elamite butt.

posted by teh l4m3 at 9:53 AM | Permalink | 12 be jibber-jabberin'


Ore : 9:36 AM

What the hell, people?

Just last week, there was a county meeting where people hollered to the rafters about all the loose chickens out on the road -- they had become a hazard. No one wants to take responsibility, and the issue still simmers.

So I drop by the post office today to pick up the library mail, and what do I find? A FUCKING CHICKEN STANDING IN THE DOORWAY! Seriously, folks, there are feral cats and hungry drunks around. Your chicken will not live for very long if you do not pen it up. And if it causes a traffic accident, you are liable.

What was so creepy about this chicken was its behavior. I shooed it away from the door, hoping it would hop on home, but it went a little ways, and then came back. It just stood there at the door, like it was waiting for its master to emerge from the closed, empty back room.

Or maybe it thought the post office looked like a huge coop, and was all "so where the bangin' hens at, dawg?" Or something.

Fucking bizarre.

posted by teh l4m3 at 9:36 AM | Permalink | 13 be jibber-jabberin'

SIRIUS + meme

Ore : 11:38 AM

Sufjan Stevens, "The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" -- And not through our ribcages! Sufjan gives a thoughtfully orchestrated meditation on the big S that could have been inspired by a pre-ball o' nuts Margot Kidder, has probably given Stuart Murdoch sweet pause, and, in light of history, is more than slightly touching. Lovely. 7.5/10

The New Pornographers, "Sing Me Spanish Techno" -- Sadly strikes me as a bit weaker as a single than "Twin Cinema" was. It coasts along. Still better than most of what's out there, and detracts not one whit from Dan Bejar's doability. 6/10

The Smiths, "William, It Was Really Nothing" -- Jangly, paint-by-numbers, carefully crafted not to upstage Morrissey's vocal acrobatics, yet mercifully short. Blah, blah, blah. 'S all right. 4/10

Guillemots, "Trains To Brazil" -- They've finally broken out, and at just the right time. I doubt there will ever be an actual glut of richly arranged and artfully performed pop music -- Belle & Sebastian, Sufjan, The Arcade Fire, et alia have not come close to filling this niche. I like this trend of bands that spend more than five minutes' thought on their songs getting more airplay. Pile it on, baby; horns and strings, horns and strings (and sure, why not, samples too)... 7/10

Bright Eyes, "The City Has Sex" -- Not Conor Oberst's strongest showing ; lyrically spot-on, musically, sort of filler. Meh. Well, it is still Bright Eyes filler. There's that. 5/10

The Gossip, "Standing In The Way Of Control" -- K Punk's (funny, I only guessed that was their label; turned out, I was right!) answer to the industry's recent spate of dance "punk". Low-budget yet soulful disco. I can shake my gorgeous butt to this. 7/10

Stems, "Don't Let Me" -- solid garage/rockabilly/vintage biker (with a hint of surfer) rock. I don't see what the big fuss about Black Rebel Motorcycle club is. As good a song as any to pound beer to. 6.5/10

Thunderclap Newman, "Something In The Air" -- A pop time capsule, this is one of those one-hit wonders (Pete Townshend's involvement notwithstanding) that illustrates the bridge artists built between 60s and 70s rock -- an example of how music was pushed along. A minor classic in its own right, and still fresh. 8.5/10

Hotel Lights, "AM Slow Golden Hit" -- A lovely if wistful make-out song. It glows like sunlight on honey, particularly in its production and Darren Jessee's deft, soft tenor. There's a hint of vintage Air (who themselves just ripped off 70s European and Brazilian lounge) in here that I like. 7/10

The National, "Mr. November" -- I've mentioned this song recently in one of my kulturkampf posts, but that's not enough. And neither, come to think of it, is this... A bracing meditation, drenched in tristesse. Written and performed with great heart. A must-download. Among my top five favorite singles right now. 8/10

BONUS: Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy" -- Fucking awesome. 70s soul meets Nina Simone meets Chemical Brothers at their finest. 'Nuff said. Download it NOW. 9/10

* * *
Oh, Fine: I've been tagged by none other than Mrs. The Price Is Right AKA Peter...

Have you done heroin?
No, and I wouldn't think of stepping on Ally Sheedy's toes.

Have you done anal?
Does Elton John own a sequined poppers bottle?

Have you had a three way?
And then some.

Have you felched?
Uh, no.

Have you done it in a bar?
I think you'd get further asking me where I haven't done it.

Have you done coke?
Ah, Lexington Alley...

Have you done meth?
OhshitIhearthecops. Isthatthecopsman? Aw, fuck. Nononocheckthe p-p-peephole. Okaynowcheckagain...

What's the strangest thing you have stuck in your butt of vag or someone elses'?
A thermometer (a stranger object I maintain that a dick or a finger).

Have you eaten ass?
Please, language! We of the North American Rimmer's Association prefer the less loaded term, "tongue-fucking."

Have you ever puked while fucking?
No. Well, once there was this ancient Heritage Foundation fellow...

Have you ever pooped or peed on someone?
I peed on R. Kelly.

Have you masturbated in a public place?
Yes, and the desk sargeant was not amused.

No one else is being tagged with this. Filthy!

posted by teh l4m3 at 11:38 AM | Permalink | 14 be jibber-jabberin'

"You're the racist. Not me, you."

Ore : 10:06 PM

Brad makes a funny

Ann gets upset

Worse yet, Gavin finds out!

Brad is forced to watch educational video starring Retardeau...

''And I suppose a black woman isn't supposed to be a doctor...''

''Perhaps you'd prefer something a little mo' like dis...''

Meanwhile, Ann's trauma drives her into treating the patriarchy to a ding-a-ling of her "liberty bell"

Brad comes around

Sort of.

Heartwarming, n'est pas?

posted by teh l4m3 at 10:06 PM | Permalink | 12 be jibber-jabberin'

"Infant Mortality Is Hot"

Ore : 6:56 AM

Eeew!  Lepers!
Sure, why not?

I'm struck dumb. [Paging Dr. Norbizness! Dr. Norbizness to the ER!]


UPDATE: For perspective, casting that make slightly more sense:

"Oliver Stone taps Star Jones to play controversial drag star Divine"

"Director Jodie Foster begs Parker and Stone for rights to Eric Cartman to star in Star Jones biopic"

posted by teh l4m3 at 6:56 AM | Permalink | 17 be jibber-jabberin'

Toiletry Meme + Perky Surprise!

Ore : 8:40 AM

1. Body soap?

This goat's milk-based, freesia-scented stuff made by this old hippie chick in Chico. Swear by it.

2. Face wash?


3. Shampoo?

Johnson & Johnson no-tears.

4. Moisturizer?

Aveeno (with sun-block in the summer).

5. Cologne/Perfume?


6. Deodorant/Anti-perspirant?

That crystal thing that you wet and rub under your arms.

7. Toothpaste?

Crest Cinnamon Rush Whitening Expressions.

8. Mouthwash?


9. Razor?

Norelco electric. Unless it's got too far along, then my straight razor (ees charp!)

10. Shaving cream?

Edge gel-foamy stuff.

11. Aftershave?

Store-brand isopropyl alcohol.

12. Missed anything?

The crisco I pre-grease my mangina with before heading for the freeway truck stop... Kidding!

... Or am I?

13. Whose bathroom shall we raid next?

Gregor Samsa's, Madame Rouge's, Smartypants's, and Adorable Girlfriend's.

* * *
So Katie Couric, Sy Hersh of the Parade Magazine set, moves to CBS Evening News. A preview:

"Recently, President Bush has come under fire for his warrantless wiretapping program, which critics say is illegal. Tonight, we're going to examine how this political firestorm is affecting first pooch Miss Beazley. Joining me now is pet psychologist Dr. Roger Mugford..."

"Many questions have been raised about how the government collects unemployment statistics, and it is well-known that people who have dropped off of unemployment rolls are simply not counted. What's less well-known, however, is the toll that unemployment can take on your skin. Tonight we talk with dermatological spokesperson Jessica Simpson..."

"With the death toll in Iraq mounting, and public support for the campaign there failing, it's easy to lose sight of a more silent, if more persistent killer: colon cancer..."

Yadda-yadda et cetera and so forth ad nauseum....

posted by teh l4m3 at 8:40 AM | Permalink | 26 be jibber-jabberin'

Yes, It Is April 4th

Ore : 7:45 AM

1929 - 1968,
but his memory is immortal

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
The King Center
Nobel Site

You know, I wanted this post to be simple and elegant and tasteful, but I have to fucking ask: Why the hell does Stormfront own (no link folks -- it's ugly), and just as important, why the hell does google put it up near the top on their search? I mean, WTF people???

posted by teh l4m3 at 7:45 AM | Permalink | 13 be jibber-jabberin'


Ore : 10:26 AM

I mean this not as a pejorative, as I kinda like her, but... Kristanna Loken: The new Keanu Reeves?
Hook sista girlfriend up with the Wachowski brothers

* * *

Popular culture as barometer: So we're pretty sure that the glut of cop/DA/forensics dramas, with Dick Wolf (is that his real name?) at the vanguard, may be a reflection of our society's newfound comfort with authoritarianism -- specifically, the idea of those invested with the power to arrest and prosecute (not to mention often in uniform) being infallible.

My question is this: What will happen to In Justice? Too soon? Or just too crappy?

* * *

I have it on good authority that Wolfmother, in a blood rite overseen by the spectral visage of a Year-of-Biting-Heads-Off-Bats-vintage Ozzie, secretly dedicated their new album to this model of sartorial rectitude:

* * *

"...But We Never Liked Disco": Listening to SIRIUS 26's Ghostie one morning, I heard him mention all the hate mail he's been getting for playing M.I.A. He didn't go into too much detail save for the most common criticism that the music "doesn't fit" -- a similar argument was leveled against The Streets, he added.

Now, apart from the pedestrian (and purely subjective) response I would make to such a person, that M.I.A.'s music has far more artistic merit than that of, say, the boring drones of Soft, or the gurgling dreckmeisters of Nine Black Alps, and that it seems to fit as well as some of The Gossip's newer stuff, I also have an ideological bone to pick. These people seem to want to say something that they don't have the balls to come right out and say, so they beat around it. But ultimately, it harkens back to the old criticisms we used to hear about disco music that were rooted not in examinations of its artistic merit, but instead were sniper shots at the culture which was perceived to have grown up around it: it was the music of flighty girls; there were too much drugs on the scene; it was too "dancey". All of this was rooted mainly in misogyny, homophobia, and racism.

That the only "true" musicians had greasy hair, wore flannel, and eschewed synthesizers, turntables, and electronic effects -- such instead favored the same three chords played ad nauseum on drums, a bass, and a guitar or two. If music invites you to dance, then it simply cannot be "art." Are there judgements that don't come from a place of hate? Certainly, there is the barely defensible argument that if something sounds poppy, it must be too corporate -- it's sell-out music. Basically, though, these attitudes are just stale old holdovers from the early 90s, and what they propose for music is as misguided as what von Triers' Dogme 95 did for cinema.

* * *

It occurs to me that although they crested in a tsunami of popularity several years ago, low- (mind you, not too low) slung, boot-cut jeans have never really gone out of style, and probably never will. A flattering cut for any figure, they produce a keen silhouette, and move easily from day to evening, urban to rural.

* * *

Frankly, I'd much rather the kidz be watching Wonder Showzen than Jackass. It really is a step up.

* * *

You know, music videos were only ever artistically useful complements when Michel Gondry and his imitators were doing them.

* * *

All genre literature are guilty pleasures. That said, "soft" (a discussion unto itself, but for later, my pets) skiffy classic "The Left Hand of Darkness" strikes me as not only eminently readable for adults, but a fine choice to be disseminated among younger readers. Raises interesting questions they may often ask themselves when they're not gibbering about Xbox and Jessica Simpson hooey. Stuff such as the distinctions between patriotism and jingoism; sexual fluidity; the role of empathy in human intercourse, etc.

* * *

Enormous, gilt-framed, black-velvet portrait of a weeping Christ: only $2 at your nearest charity shop. Beat feet!

* * *

Okay, so you're hot stuff 'cos you caught Masterpiece Theatre's brilliant adaptation of "Bleak House." Good for you. But if you're really smart, you'll avail yourself of any opportunity to read the book, if you haven't already. It's worth your time, as the televised version, by virtue of its medium, missed a lot of the crackling satirical humor of the original Dickens.

* * *

Mud wrestling at the Eagle = Heaven.

* * *

Speaking of which, (filed under Embarrassing Yet Hilarious): All those San Francisco bands and musical projects that never take wing because nobody can drum up a drummer -- it's like finding a top in a Castro watering hole.

* * *

We need our own Aesop. Someone who will write a pithy fable, maybe something about a weasel secretly releasing egg-eating snakes into a hen house, then convincing the hens to pay him eggs as the price for protection from said snakes. Should cast as much light as anything else on the fiendish Medicare Plan D.

* * *

I could be mistaken, but it does seem Aaron Eckhart has been somewhat typecast since his role in "In The Company of Men."

What a magnificently vile movie, by the way; give it a gander if you haven't already...

* * *

Coolest drag king name not yet in use AFAIK: William Shackner.

posted by teh l4m3 at 10:26 AM | Permalink | 19 be jibber-jabberin'

Sunday Hottie

Ore : 11:42 AM

Jay Hernandez

Dedicated to Smarty AKA The Dread Pirate Blackbra

posted by teh l4m3 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | 13 be jibber-jabberin'

Skiffy Lies Fallow... "Oh, Halloo!"

Ore : 3:55 PM

So Dexter's totally been on my jock about the new(est) Doctor Who. Here is where I oblige with some random observations in no particular order:

Special Effects: The Doctor Who franchise has come a long way from the days of Jon Pertwee when, reminiscent of Dark Shadows, a character would, in closing a door, risk toppling the whole wall. Still, the new production values are less Battlestar Galactica and more Nickelodeon kiddie fare. That is to say, not bad, just not so excellent that they scare the under-12 set.

Some of the aliens are downright Farscape.

Characterization & Drama:
Dexter is right. This is a family program, an unusual phenomenon on American television. It's an acquired taste.

What appealed to me as a child does not appeal to me now. Or perhaps the writing of the older DW's was superior to that of the new. Or the truth could be somewhere in the middle.

Regardless, one's tastes change with time. "Just blundering about, happening into weird adventures, without any plan or overarching purpose of my own" [falls through doorway, mugs for audience] "Oh, halloo!": a fun mood when I was a kid, one perfectly amenable to maintaining a sense of wonder. And cute. But too fucking British for me these days. And the humor is a mite broad, a bit too hammy, besides; if a show doesn't feature a crack-addicted midget spreading syphilis and HIV by sharing her polio-wracked body with her Bible-study klatch, chances are I'm not laughing -- or, for that matter, watching. The jamming in of moments intended to be deeply dramatic make the effect all the more jarring.

As an aside, has it ever been satisfactorily explained why the hell a Time Lord picks up random people, chucks them in his TARDIS, and drags them through time and space with him? Is it for company? One of those things I've never quite understood.

Suspension of disbelief: One major gripe: The Doctors have traditionally been outlandish, funny, neuter, and avuncular or grandpafunkular types. Colin Baker's Doctor, though charming and intriguing, was about as sexually attractive as a blighted potato; Tom Baker was ugly as sin, and that was a major part of his appeal. Not so with this ninth installment. Honestly, were I a nubile, blonde 19 year-old chavette, I'd have a damn hard time keeping my stubby, ADIDAS-lacing fingers out of the natty and hotly gawky Chris Eccleston's pants. But that's just me. Nothing wrong with that, but still... All that sexual tension seems to undercut the show's family-friendly pretensions...

IN PERSPECTIVE: I'd actually rate this above the cheesy drudgery Stargate has become of late. And it's a fresh, kid-friendly, less dour counterpoint to BSG. It's better than most of what's out there. Not that that's saying much. But it ain't sayin' nothin', either. I don't know... I might turn it on again, maybe...

APRIL FOOLIO BITCHEZ!!! I'll totally watch it forever. I mean, hello: CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON!

Yeah, not too shabby...

posted by teh l4m3 at 3:55 PM | Permalink | 11 be jibber-jabberin'

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