Thursday, June 30, 2005

I, for one, welcome...

You may have seen the phrase, "I, for one, welcome our new ______ overlords," where the blank is filled in with whatever's funny and/or appropriate. I've done this myself; mainly, I admit, in blatant copy of jwz, who uses the device more than any other single author I know.

So I, for one, welcomed the description of where this little gem came from, when I came across it in a Slashdot comment recently.
...this comes from "Deep Space Homer" (I think that's the name), the one where Homer gets launched into space with Buzz Aldrin and Race Bannon. At one point in the episode Homer accidently breaks a container containing an ant colony (Now they'll never know if ants can be trained to sort tiny screws in space!), just as the news is breaking in with live coverage. The world gets a shot of what looks to be a giant ant (floating right next to the shuttle camera).

Anchor Kent Brockman draws the only assumption that can be drawn: (stolen from

Kent: Ladies and gentlemen, er, we've just lost the picture, but, uh, what we've seen speaks for itself. The Corvair spacecraft has been taken over -- "conquered", if you will -- by a master race of giant space ants. It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive earth men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain, there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #26

One blog post, please, with extra Onion.

This week's is okay, with:

But there's funnier stuff in the past: their link to "From The Vault" Volume 35 Issue 20 (26 May 1999) has lots of good stuff. My favorite:
Society For Creative Anachronism Seizes Control Of Russia
Forsooth, mine legions of brave warmakers hath conquered the Lands West O' the Urals! Let there be great rejoicing in our noble victory!" exclaimed Cedric, Bard of the House of Æthelmearc, 36, hoisting a flagon of ale. "What, ho! Bring on the serving wenches!"

...SCA leaders, who have called the weekend's campaign "a really good time," were said to be especially pleased with the invasion's early wrap-up, as it left the remainder of the weekend free for social recreation in the form of mead-drinking, archery contests, and the singing of bawdy madrigals.

But wait! The past is funny, but the future's even better. They still have their "Future Archives" up, when they celebrate their 300th issue in 2056: Volume 92 Issue 25. (It's sort of past future, because they had this last week but I never posted it.) Unfortunately it's one giant Flash page, but it's worth putting up with. There's honestly too much to highlight. Just trust me on this one and check out the whole thing, if you haven't already seen it.

Her Name Is Molly Ivins

Molly Ivins at WorkingForChange rebuts "political knife-fighter" Karl Rove's ridiculouts mischaracterization of liberals.
Setting up a straw man, calling it liberal and then knocking it down has become a favorite form of "argument" for those on the right. Make some ridiculous claim about what "liberals" think, and then demonstrate how silly it is. Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and many other right-wing ravers never seem to get tired of this old game.

She goes on to put the whole Iraq invasion debacle in a more accurate historical light, summarizing her opinion:
Since my name is Molly Ivins and I speak for myself, I'll tell you exactly why I opposed invading Iraq: because I thought it would be bad for this country, our country, my country. I opposed the invasion out of patriotism, and that is the reason I continue to oppose it today -- I think it is bad for us. I think it has done nothing but harm to the United States of America. I think we have created more terrorists than we faced to start with and that our good name has been sullied all over the world. I think we have alienated our allies and have killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein ever did.

I did not oppose the war because I like Saddam Hussein. I have been active in human rights work for 30 years, and I told you he was a miserable s.o.b. back in the '80s, when our government was sending him arms.

I did not oppose the war because I am soft on terrorists or didn't want to get Osama bin Laden. To the contrary, I thought it would be much more useful to get bin Laden than to invade Iraq -- which, once again, had nothing to do with 9-11. I believe the case now stands proved that this administration used 9-11 as a handy excuse to invade Iraq, which it already wanted to do for other reasons.

The whole article is worth reading.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hope We Can Say The Same To You Next Year, Gov. Goodhair

I first heard about Texas governor Rick Perry's little "mofo" gaffe on the Chris Bell blog, and found this account by the reporter himself via Google News:
Our questions were not recorded on tape, but in saying goodbye I told the governor, "Try as I may, Governor, I guess I can't win this one."

Eleven seconds after he said goodbye, the camera crew was getting ready for the next interview with another station. That's when Gov. Perry repeated what he thought I'd said, and added a few words of his own with his microphone on and tape still rolling.

"Try as I may, Governor, I'm not going to wait that long," Gov. Perry said. "Adios, Mofo."

Those last words aren't exactly part of the seven dirty words, but it isn't something you want to say to your mother or use in good company. Tuesday morning, Governor Perry called me personally. He apologized and said his comment wasn't directed at us.

He agreed it was just one of those times a politician is caught by an open mike saying something embarrassing. He tells us he was just trying to get a reaction from the camera crew and it wasn't said with any malice or intent.

Like George Bush's infamous "one-finger victory salute", this doesn't makes me mad so much as it makes me laugh. Sure it's juvenile, and inappropriate to let it be caught on tape, but hey, a juvenile and inappropriate sense of humor is better than none at all. (Of course a swarm of rabidly righteous and indignant right-wingers would descend upon and rip the flesh off any Democrat who made a similar harmless mistake, rather than just blowing it off - but that's because they're animals, and I'm an enlightened dude. Also please note that they're trained attack animals who would never bite the hand that feeds them or say boo to Rick Perry in this situation.)

Anyway, my enlightenment notwithstanding, Amanda at Pandagon makes an excellent point: the problem isn't how awful "mofo" is, it's how weak it is.
Here's an example of how to be properly straight about your feelings on these issues:

"Fuck your kids and their education, motherfucker."

See? Leaves no doubt in the audience's mind who you're looking out for. And that's the kind of foul-mouthed eloquence that Texans deserve to be known for, not this weak "mofo" shit. We elected you! The least you can do is represent us, motherfucker.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Just Like Houston

Ol' Tom Tomorrow had a puzzling (to me) post today. Under the title "Just Like Houston," he excerpted a bit of a NY Times article:
In Iraq last week, multiple car bombs on successive days in Baghdad killed more than 40 people and wounded at least 100, and a police official was assassinated. More than 700 people have been killed in the capital by insurgents in the past month.

This made me say, "Huh...?" But fear not: Google News to the rescue. The reference turns out to be my favorite corrupt politician from Sugarland, Tom Delay, who put not just his foot but the entire urban sprawl of Houston in his mouth.
"You know, if Houston, Texas, was held to the same standard as Iraq is held to, nobody'd go to Houston, because all this reporting coming out of the local press in Houston is violence, murders, robberies, deaths on the highways," DeLay said.

Leaving aside for the moment the facts that nobody does go to Houston if they can at all help it, and that it is regularly referred to as "an armpit" by myself and every other Texan I know, including many that live there, this is either just plain idiotic, or Orwellian. Maybe both.

Other good (that is, bad) stuff in that NYT article:

The News: A classified assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency says Iraq may be an even more effective training ground for Islamic extremists than Afghanistan was for Al Qaeda in the days of the struggle against Soviet occupation. Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, is serving as a real-world laboratory for urban combat.

Behind the News: The assessment, as described by several Congressional and intelligence officials, says the urban nature of the war in Iraq is helping combatants learn how to carry out assassinations, kidnappings, car bombings and other kinds of attacks that were never a staple of the fighting in Afghanistan during the anti-Soviet campaigns of the 1980's.

The report says that, for now, most potential terrorists are expected to focus their energies on attacking American forces in Iraq, but that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries would soon have to contend with well-trained militants from the conflict.

Way to take the fight to them, George.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #24

Late, sure, but what's your hurry? This week's Onion.

  • Chinese Factory Worker Can't Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans
    "Often, when we're assigned a new order for, say, 'salad shooters,' I will say to myself, 'There's no way that anyone will ever buy these,'" Chen said during his lunch break in an open-air courtyard. "One month later, we will receive an order for the same product, but three times the quantity. How can anyone have a need for such useless shit?"

  • What Do You Think? on Medical Marijuana
    "This is sad news for me and other survivors of nausea."

  • Infograph: GM's Rising Costs
    $5,550 Marketing aimed at convincing people they want cars bigger than they need or should be able to afford, that GM will later sell to them for less than they cost to produce

  • Portugal finally Gets It Together
    LISBON, PORTUGAL—To the relief of surrounding countries, Portugal seems to have finally gotten its ducks in a row, sources reported Monday. "Man, I didn't think P. would ever get it together," said Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. "But it really cleaned up its act and got its shit straight. Who would've guessed?" Cyprus said that if Portugal can do it, maybe it can, too.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Why Dooce Rules

Much mocking is made of personal weblogs; the navel-gazing "what I had for breakfast" kind (as opposed to the totally cool and completely invaluable "link to other people" kind; *cough*). And many such weblogs are indeed self-involved exercises in mundanity, and poorly-written to boot, so they deserve mocking, or at least warnings to steer clear.

BUT. Some personal weblogs are real gems. People who are entertaining, or insightful, or (best of all) both. The subject matter is still someone else's not-usually-very-exciting daily life, but through good writing, it's elevated to something worthwhile.

Such is Dooce, and this recent story of her dog's medical troubles is a perfect example of why it's worth reading.

Plus, I believe she's really a pseudonym for Liz Phair. Read Dooce, listen to Liz, and judge for yourself.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Onion Vol. 41 #22

Peanuts characters protest closing of Camp Snoopy

This week's Onion.

  • Pentagon Announces Plans To Close Camp Snoopy
    "I heard a rumor that I'm going to be shipped out to the Lego Imagination Center," Coordinating Concessions Manager Steve Voorhies said. "I'm still in shock. I had a distinguished food-service record here -- a record I could be proud of -- and now some desk jockey at the Pentagon sends me to the mall's South Avenue quadrant? It's bullshit."

  • What Do You Think? The Stem-Cell Bill
    "If Bush vetoes this bill, I'm going to veto him! With a bumper sticker, of course."

  • Infographic: Green Products
    • 10,000 Tomorrows, the reusable toilet paper
    • Rats, "nature's garbage disposal"
    • Kleaner Wieners, the hot dog made from 100 percent post-consumer meats

More Sleater-Kinney

In this week's Onion A.V. Club: an interview with Carrie Brownstein.
I would listen to the radio and listen to modern-rock stations, and I would just be so annoyed at the direction of where, like, the legacy of punk and alternative rock had gone—like just this super safe, "Oh, every song that the station plays has to be under three minutes. I have to know what the chorus is going to sound like even before it happens." It was just so safe and predictable. And then I would turn to the classic-rock station, and it would be like this eight-minute song that breaks into this insane part, and you'd have no idea what was going to happen. I was just like, "How did we come so far from this? Why does this sound punk-rock now?" I thought punk rock was about breaking rules and going to a place that's a little bit dangerous, and nothing on the contemporary rock station sounds dangerous at all.