Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Onion vol. 41 #48

A good Onion! A good Onion!

  • Fritolaysia Cuts Off Chiplomatic Relations With Snakistan
    Relations between the two countries grew stale in 1994, when Fritolaysian rufflelutionaries crossed zestablished borders and forced Snakistan to dispatch cheesekeeping forces. The late-night SALTY talks held at Snakistan's Kuler Ranch, however, cooled the spicy conflict with the signing of the historic Buttermilk Compromise, which established bilateral chiplomacy and regulated trade flows by setting the international Rold Gold standard of currency.

  • CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years
    According to the report, sections of the documents— "almost invariably the most crucial passages"—are marred by an indelible black ink that renders the lines impossible to read, due to a top-secret highlighting policy that began at the agency's inception in 1947.

  • MythBusters Team Struck Down By Zeus
    "I soared ascending to the ethereal sky, and by merest nod massed a fearsome storm, and with mine lightnings struck down the naysayers Adam and Jamie," Zeus said in a press conference called to warn all doubters of his thunderous might.

  • Impersonal Trainer Couldn't Give A Fuck What You Do With Those Free Weights
    "Sure, wave those dumbbells around, whatever," Orth said during a typically hands-off training session at his L.A. gym this weekend. "Or just sit on your fat ass—I get paid either way."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Another "Alice's Restaurant" Post That Couldn't Be Beat

Following up from the last post: here's an interesting and entertaining NPR interview: Arlo Guthrie, Remembering 'Alice's Restaurant'. About eleven minutes long, a nice story on the origins and durability of the song. The true events (who knew?) that inspired it occurred 40 years ago this year.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

You Can Get Anything You Want at Alice's Restaurant

A Thanksgiving tradition of ours every year is to listen to Alice's Restaurant, by Arlo Guthrie. I'm not even sure where or when this tradition started; I think it came from a radio station in Ohio that always played it on Thanksgiving.

Anyway, it's a classic, and I highly recommend it for your holiday enjoyment. If you're an iTunes kind of person, I'll even make it easy for you, with a link directly to Alice's Restaurant on the iTunes Music Store.

And even if you're not, here are some of the favorite lines around my house.
...and off the side of the side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we decided to throw ours down.

...Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.

...and he started jumpin' up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

... and he sat down next to me and said, "Kid, whad'ya get?" I said, "I didn't get nothing, I had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage."

...just walk in say "Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant." And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it, they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in, singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out. They may think it's an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day, walking in, singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out? And friends, they may thinks it's a movement.

Update: sorry folk(s), I didn't notice this before, but it looks like those capitalist pigs at Warner Bros. won't let Alice's Restaurant be sold on ITMS as a single $0.99 track; you have to buy the whole album. It is wrong, very very wrong, but I leave the link so you can listen to the free 30-second sample while you go download the whole thing illegally somewhere.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Onion Whiff

This week's Onion doesn't have much worth recommending. The one funny bit was a What Do You Think? on the New Medicare Plan.
Criticized as needlessly confusing, the new Medicare prescription-drug program, Medicare Part D, went into effect this week. What do you think?
  • Michelle Halley, Crossing Guard
    "I’ve gone through all the paperwork at least 10 times, but no matter how I fill it out, I always end up on page 35M5, Line 18, which just says 'Fuck You, Grandma.'"

  • Cameron Feng, Systems Analyst
    "Does this cover the dog’s pills? Because those are the ones I take."

  • Ben Chisholm, Motorcycle Mechanic
    "The new Medicare plan is far too difficult to make sense of, which is why I have chosen to die earlier than I had initially planned."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Daily Haiku: Next Year, "Cheney"

Bush Pardons Turkey

Pardoning turkeys?
I guess I need the practice.
We'll call him "Scooter".

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Anti-war vs. Anti-THIS-war

A good essay by Bob Harris, We should hold off on celebrating, about not counting Rep. Murtha's opposition to the Iraq "war" before it hatches.
Thus, opposition to the war in this country only counts for anything when it comes from people who have already been vocal supporters of an irrational war based on obvious lies resulting in inevitable mass killing...

What about the people who were right all along? What about the ten million people who marched in the streets of cities all over the world before this shit ever started? No credibility. Obviously.

Would Martin Luther King have a place in the discussion? No. Would Jesus, whom millions of people who support incredible levels of violence flatter themselves by pretending to worship? No. Of course not.

...There are still numerous fundamental and false assumptions at the riverbed of the American mainstream. These are nowhere near changing. Washington's foreign policy is still inherently presumed "good," meant only for the welfare of the affected peoples, despite a complex historical record. Military spending, no matter how wasteful, no matter what else gets cut to pay for the waste, inherently makes America "stronger," because "strength" is defined by our ability to project our will upon others, not by the health and welfare of our people. Each war occurs in isolation from all past events; Bush's support for the Taliban, Rumsfeld's handshake with Saddam, CIA support for the fundamentalists who morphed into Al-Qaeda have nothing to do with our current situation. History itself is worse than useless; not only are there no lessons to learn, but simply knowing it and pointing it out still frequently brands one as unAmerican.

Read all of Bob Harris' We should hold off on celebrating.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

All You Need to Know About Chuck Norris

Via Bob Harris, a hilarious modern (post-modern?) tall tale hero: Chuck Norris.
  • Rather than being birthed like a normal child, Chuck Norris instead decided to punch his way out of his mother's womb. Shortly thereafter he grew a beard.
  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
  • Chuck Norris is not hung like a horse... horses are hung like Chuck Norris
  • The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain
  • When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.
  • Chuck Norris was the fourth Wiseman. He brought baby Jesus the gift of "beard". Jesus wore it proudly to his dying day. The other Wisemen, jealous of Jesus' obvious gift favoritism, used their combined influence to have Chuck omitted from the Bible. Shortly after all three died of roundhouse kick related deaths.
  • Chuck Norris appeared in the "Street Fighter II" video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this "glitch," Norris replied, "That's no glitch."

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Onion Vol. 41 #46

KFC Introduces New Bird-Flu Dipping Vaccine
KFC Introduces New
Bird-Flu Dipping

Decent Onion today.
  • What Do You Think? on Montana Bison Hunting
    "Now how about cutting down some of the trees that have begun to wander outside of Yellowstone National Park?"

  • 133 Dead As Delta Cancels Flight In Midair
    Consolidating flights is another controversial cost-cutting measure used by Delta in recent months. Delta's last attempt to consolidate flights in midair, in December 2005, resulted in the total destruction of two 747s, which exploded in a large fireball approximately 35,000 feet over central Arizona.

  • Activist Wet-T-Shirt Judge Votes For Girlfriend
    "Inevitably, my own perceptions will guide my interpretation and application of event guidelines—if that weren't a part of our system, we could just replace the judges with a tape measure," said Scully, responding to bar patrons who said they believed that several contestants had breasts both larger and better-displayed than Swain's.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

More Media Money Motivation

Following up on that last post on the media's true motive, and via an old Bob Harris post I somehow remembered, here is an interesting essay, Advertising as Payola: Who really owns CNN?. Among the advertisers not really advertising:
  • Boeing
  • Dow Chemical
  • Lockheed Martin
  • British Petroleum
  • The United States Telecommunications Association
  • ConocoPhillips

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Media's Unending Fight For Truth, er, Profit

A couple of good posts on by Jonathan Schwarz on A Tiny Revolution, on what really drives mainstream media. (Hint: it ain't Truth.)

From the middle of last month: There Is No Santa Claus.
One thing I repeat is that the mainstream media does a FANTASTIC job. Day in and day out, they turn in an extraordinary performance—at what they exist to do. And that is to make as much money as possible.

Of course, in terms of helping people learn about the world, they are an eternal catastrophe. But why would we ever expect any different? The mainstream media is made up of gigantic corporations. Like all corporations, they manufacture a product, which is their audience. They sell this product to their customers, which are other huge corporations.

Informing people about the world is not just irrelevant to the purpose of making money, but in many ways actually HURTS a corporation's profitability. No business goes out of its way to piss off its owners and customers.

Now, obviously it's true you hear constantly about the media's Unending Fight For Truth. But you also hear constantly that a fat man wearing a red suit breaks into America's homes at the end of each year to distribute new X-boxes. Neither of these things is real.

He followed that up last week with further evidence in the Washington Post, with the post A Shocking Outbreak Of Honesty From Ted Koppel (quote by Koppel, emphasis by Schwarz):
This is an industry, it's a business. We exist to make money. We exist to put commercials on the air. The programming that is put on between those commercials is simply the bait we put in the mousetrap.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Schwarzenegger Street

Schwarzenegger St.
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Schwarzenegger Street?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Onion Vol. 41 #45

Chicago's Shedd
Aquarium Admits
Panda Exhibit A Ghastly

After weeks of nothing worth pointing you to, finally an Onion with a few laughs.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Best Richard Scarry Parodies Ever

Richard Scarry's Jokes to Play on Fatties Book
Via Mimi Smartypants, alternate titles for Richard Scarry books. Some are dumb, but some are hilarious: The Grown-up World of Richard Scarry.

My favorites (scan the linked page):

  • Richard Scarry's Worst Fucking Acid Trip Ever (page 1)

  • Grand Theft Auto Busytown (page 2)

  • Richard Scarry's The Ethical Consequences of Perceived Historical Biological Warfare on American-Indian Relations in the United States (page 6)

  • Richard Scarry's World of Humiliating Employment (page 7)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

About the Author

I am a man. I am two meters tall, and I was born in 1968. I have one wife, two kids and two cats, whom I love. I live in Austin, Texas, which I love. I develop software for a living, which I love.

I believe that war should always be the last option, that nobody should go hungry and that the global environment needs protection from humans. I think information sharing of every kind, from the latest debacle of the Bush "administration", to how using Microsoft products slowly but surely saps your everlasting soul, works best when it's funny.

In theory, the content of this weblog matches the tagline: "Provided by The Management for your protection." In practice, it's more or less whatever crap I find on the Internet that I think is funny or interesting enough to email my friends about. Posting is sporadic: sometimes more, sometimes less - it all depends on how much funny or interesting crap I find on the Internet, and how much time my one wife, two kids, two cats, Austin neighbors and software projects leave me to post it.

One of my software projects is the site design and programming for Far Out Shirts (formerly Any minute now, one of our designs is going to become the Next Big Thing, and my two partners and I will totally bank, allowing me to quit my day job. If, no, not if, when that happens, this blog will unfortunately suffer, because I do my best surfing for funny and interesting crap at work.

In the meantime, enjoy.

(Posted because Jakob told me to.)