Friday, October 26, 2007

Seriously: What the Fuck?

Via Daring Fireball, an interesting New Republic article on profanity, past and present: What the F***?.

As secularization has rendered religious swear words less powerful, creative speakers have replaced them with words that have the same degree of affective clout according to the sensibilities of the day. This explains why taboo expressions can have such baffling syntax and semantics. To take just one example, why do people use the ungrammatical Fuck you? And why does no one have a clear sense of what, exactly, Fuck you means? . . . The most likely explanation is that these grammatically baffling curses originated in more intelligible religious curses during the transition from religious to sexual and scatological swearing in English-speaking countries:

Who (in) the hell are you? >> Who the fuck are you?

I don't give a damn >> I don't give a fuck; I don't give a shit.

Holy Mary! >> Holy shit! Holy fuck!

For God's sake >> For fuck's sake; For shit's sake.

Damn you! >> Fuck you!

Bonus bit from the Onion Radio News: Stupid Fucking Mistake Ruining Whole Fucking Day (warning: may play automatically (and loudly) when you click through).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Onion: Not-So-Horrible Thing Happens In Iraq

Iraqi bomb wreckage
Baghdadis gather round the wreckage to remark on
how much more gory the explosions clearly could have been.

BAGHDAD—In a development that Pentagon officials are calling not nearly as horrifying as usual, three car bombs ripped through a Baghdad marketplace Tuesday, killing fewer than 15 innocent civilians, severely injuring no more than 30, and merely maiming one U.S. soldier.

The car bombs, which were detonated by Iraqi insurgents at approximately 2 p.m., left slightly less than complete and utter devastation in their wake. As of press time, barely five families were believed to be trapped beneath the resulting wreckage, although upbeat U.S. authorities have estimated that number could be as low as four.

"Not bad—not bad at all," said Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, who claimed the attack is conclusive proof that the tide in Iraq is somewhat turning in a vaguely less-ghastly direction.

Full story

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Onion: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Timely, accurate piece from the Onion News Network (you might want to turn the volume down a little before you hit play).

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wide Stance Republicans

He has a wide stance when going to the bathroom
Please please PLEASE let this phrase get the widespread (no pun intended) adoption it deserves!

This Modern World's Tom Tomorrow wrote in a recent post that hypocritically sanctimonious Republicans having embarrassingly public downfalls is becoming quite the pattern lately.
The recent run of outed Republican Sexual Hypocrites reminds me of the moment — and I remember this quite clearly — at which the phrase “going postal” entered the lexicon. You read about one postal worker going on a gun rampage, and then another, and then yet another — and then suddenly it seemed to click for everyone, that there was a distinct pattern emerging, that these weren’t simply troubling isolated incidents but rather a symptom of some larger problem (i.e. the soulless monotony of the job).

We’re clearly at that pattern recognition moment now, the moment at which it becomes obvious to everyone that there’s more going on here, that some not insignificant percentage of sanctimonious moralizers are in fact leading personal lives significantly at odds with their public pronouncements. To put it politely.

I’m just not sure what the phrase should be in this instance. “Going Republican”?

Just a few days later, thanks to the miracle of blog reader participation, I think we have a winner: "wide stance Republicans":
Perhaps espousing anti-gay positions while secretly craving homosexual love should enter the lexicon as “having a wide stance”.

Besides being a highly quoted Craig line, it can be taken to mean your public stance is way wide of your private stance, as it were.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Nat'l Geo: Orlando's Disneyfication

National Geographic: Orlando
Check out this interesting story from National Geographic: The Theme-Parking, Megachurching, Franchising, Exurbing, McMansioning of America -- How Walt Disney Changed Everything. (Don't look at the date or you'll see how far behind I am with my magazine stack.)

Twenty-five years ago, Orlando seemed a safe haven to those seeking to avoid the immigrants pouring into Miami and reshaping life all over the country. "Will the last American to leave please bring the flag?" the saying went. But as the sudden death of the Big 100s [oldies radio station] demonstrated, Miami was a forecast, not an aberration. Today there are about 400,000 Hispanics in the Orlando area—20 percent of its entire population.

...Kissimmee, south of Orlando and just east of Disney World, has gone from being a cowboy town to mostly Hispanic in less than ten years. The tentacles of diversity have penetrated Disney World too. Few tourists realize it, but when their kids hug Goofy and Minnie they might be embracing low-wage workers from places like Sri Lanka and the Dominican Republic.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Onion: Reaganomics Finally Trickles Down To Area Man

Area Man
The $10 began its long journey into Kellener's wallet in 1983, when a beefed-up national defense budget of $210 billion enabled the military to purchase advanced warhead-delivery systems from aerospace manufacturer Lockheed. Buoyed by a multimillion-dollar bonus, then-CEO Martin Lawler bought a house on a 5,000-acre plot in Montana. When a forest fire destroyed his home in 1986, Lawler took the federal relief check and invested it in a savings and loan run by a Virginia man named Michael Webber. After Webber's firm collapsed in 1989, and he was indicted on fraud and conspiracy charges, he retained the services of high- powered law firm Rabin & Levy for his defense. After six years and $7 million in legal fees, Webber received only a $250,000 fine, and the defense team went out to celebrate at a Washington, D.C.-area restaurant called Di Forenza. During dinner, lawyer Peter Smith overheard several investment bankers at an adjoining table discussing a hot Internet start-up that was about to go public. Smith took a portion of his earnings from the Webber case and bought several hundred shares in, quadrupling his investment before selling them four months later.'s two founders used the sudden influx of investment capital to outfit their office with modern Danish furniture, in a sale brokered by the New York gallery Modern Now! in 1998. After the ensuing dot-com bust, Modern Now! was forced out of business, and Sotheby's auction house was put in charge of liquidating its inventory. The commission from that auction enabled auctioneer Mary Schafer to retire to the Ozark region of Missouri in 2006. Last month, while passing through Hazelwood, she took her Audi to Marlin Car Wash, where Kellener was one of the employees who tended to her car. She was so satisfied with the job that she left a $50 tip, which the manager divided among the people working that day.

"This money didn't just affect one life," Laffer said. "It affected five."

Full story