Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Science Fiction Quiz

I got 8/11. (Stupid Dune.)
Worse Off Than Me

Here's something to thank God about--I'm not this guy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Threat of Other Cultures

This speech against multiculturalism has been around for a while but I finally gave it some thought.

Going at it point by point:

1. First to destroy America, "Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. Since when do different languages destroy a nation? The strongest point in British history is when part of the population spoke French and the other English. China lasted for 5,000 years with multiple languages and over 20 distinct ethnic groups (China did crumble to different cultures but that was due to military and economic forces, not because they were bilingual). Egypt and Rome were also multicultural to an extent (one dominant but many cultures were tolerated as long as they agreed to revere the empire).

I see this argument tossed about casually but where's the proof? Canada and Belgium are listed as troubled bi-cultural nations? Most of the world would dream of being so troubled. Malaysia, Lebanon, Pakistan, and Cyprus certainly are messes but multiculturism doesn't even make the top forty list of woes.

People who believe this way try to make "multiculturism equals death" as a historical fact but they don't even try to provide facts or statistics. Even creationists do a better job of that.

2. "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal." How does any of this point "destroy America"? What's more destructive, an A-bomb or someone saying "All cultures are equal."

Then follow that up with a straw man attack: "I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds." Jesse Jackson doesn't even say this. Again, Lamm doesn't even try to provide any sort of proof--no quotes, no stats, no examples--everything must be accepted on faith.

3. "We could make the United States a 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort." Does this statement make any sense in any context? Is Lamm such an abject idiot that he thinks the United States could be transformed without an effort? In his last point, he presented black activists as rabid and inflexible. Does he not see a difference between black and Hispanic or is it okay to have his points directly contradict?

"The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved! Not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.'" You shot who in the what now? Does this mean that every redneck puts away the stars and bars and stops celebrating Jefferson Davis Day or are those differences acceptable?

"I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities." At the turn of the last century, Italians, Germans, Poles, all spoke their old languages far more frequently than today. And somehow, despite Lamm's beliefs, the U.S. survived. How is today's situation any more pressing? If Lamm has answers, he doesn't bother sharing them.

4. "I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school." Lamm doesn't have to say "I would." With the GOP's education policies, he DID. Is this Lamm's admission of guilt or does he expect the audience to believe that Democrats slashed school funding? Again, the key to Lamm's argument is don't ask questions.

5. "My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money." So, Lamm thinks liberals have more money than conservatives? Well no, but it sounded good when he said it. "I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.'" Like putting fish bumper stickers on your car and crying whenever someone doesn't want a personal relationship with Jesus? "I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."Are you the guys who say we lost Vietnam because of Jane Fonda? Are you the guys who say Iraq would be humming along fine except for the protests? Haven't you been known to throw the blame around a bit? And when you're done with realizing that you're a hypocrite, consider that not even the Nation of Islam blames "all minority failure on the majority population." (Okay, Nate Livingston does but he's a nobody.)

6. "My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties." My, that sounds effective what's the most recent example of anything remotely fitting this bill? "Look at the ancient Greeks." Gosh, here I thought there were multiple factors involved with the fall of classic Greece but it was all that they had divided loyalties. And funny that the Greeks all spoke the same language and shared the same culture--guess everything you said until this point was senseless drivel.

7. "Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'x! xenophobes' halt discussion and debate." So you're saying that you'd pass a PATRIOT Act or something? Liberals must really be liberty-hating bastards to want to do something so destructive to freedom.

"Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws." And, you'd do that how? "I would develop a mantra: No comment needed. That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good." Isn't this the very definition of conservative? Because X has been good, it's still good? Not that I'd expect any sort of coherence but I'm surprised Lamm was willing to sell out everything he and his party stands for. "I would make every individual immigrant symmetric..." You'd make them round? Are you even trying to make sense? "...and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them." Millions of round immigrants might roll around and hurt somebody. That would be hard to ignore.

8. "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book." Okay, let's not even consider that Republicans and censorship go together like "Patriot" and "Act." This whole speech was just an infomercial for Davis's book! Boy, to get this kind of promotion, it must make a lot of sense! In fairness to Davis, I've never had a chance to read his book. Maybe it's the cat's meow but I have to question his choice of a shill.

Do any other multiculturalism arguments make more sense than this? You know those poetry refrigerator magnets? If I took a box of them and threw them on the floor, I'd bet the resulting jumble would contain more intelligent thought than Lamm's speech.

There will always be chuckleheads like Lamm, left, right, and moderate. That doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that enough people thought so highly of this string of words that they e-mailed it to friends, so many times that it showed up on

Monday, June 27, 2005

Walnut Hills Blogs (and Stuff)

I've been trying to come up with blogs created by Walnut Hills grads. So far I just have this pathetic list:

Nathan Singer (is this considered a blog?)



Brian Mueller

Any others out there?
Zombie Dogs?

I wrote a story once about zombie birds and wondered why dogs and cats never re-animated in zombie movies. Supposedly zombie dogs are a reality.

Snopes linked to this story without comment but I'm not sure if it's meant as a parody. At any rate, Ted Williams sends his regrets.
Leaving it to the Cat

There's no real reason to read this (it's about inheritance and animals). I was writing something about laws in this area and wanted to make sure I can still find the link at home.
Ruined Jokes

Albert Brooks does a great job of this in Finding Nemo.
Finally Something

It's been a horrible couple of days and doesn't look like it will get any better for a while. Counting days until fall.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Video Studies

Via Hegmo, a list of what grad school students in Film/TV at USC are expected to have seen. I've put the ones I've seen in bold:

A Hard Day's Night (not enough of it to say I really saw it)
African Queen
Alice in the Cities
All About Eve
American Friend, The
American Grafitti
Annie Hall
Apartment, The (Fred, you evil devil!)
Apocalype Now
Apu Trilogy, The
Band of Outsiders
Band Wagon, The
Barton Fink (rented repeatedly but never watched)
Battle of Algiers
Being John Malkovich
Bicycle Thief, The (Only Tim Burton's loose adaptation)
Big Lebowski, The
Black Orpheus
Blade Runner
Blue Velvet
Bob le Flambeur
Bonnie and Clyde
Boyz 'n the Hood
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis)
Cinema Paradiso
Citizen Kane
Coal Miner's Daughter (but I was in two movies with Bob Elkins who was in it)
Conversation, The
Cool Hand Luke

Crimes And Misdemeanors
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Deep End, The
Dersu Uzala
Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The
D.O.A. (1950)
Do The Right Thing
Dog Day Afternoon
Donnie Darko
Double Indemnity
Dr. Strangelove

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
8 1/2
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (rented but kids wouldn't let me watch)
Exorcist, The
Fallen Idol, The
Fight Club
Fish Called Wanda, A
Five Easy Pieces
Force of Evil
Godfather, The (I & II)

Gone With the Wind (besides Million Dollar Baby, the only Oscar-winning movie of the year I haven't seen)
Graduate, The
Grand Illusion (rented)
High and Low
High Noon
House of Sand and Fog
It Happened One Night

Jules and Jim
King of Marvin Gardens, The
Kramer Vs. Kramer
La Jetée
La Strada
Lady Eve, The
Last Tango in Paris
Lawrence of Arabia
Le Boucher
Le Samouraï
Letter from an Unknown Woman
Like Water for Chocolate
Man for All Seasons, A
Matrix, The
Midnight Cowboy
Miller's Crossing

Mother and the Whore, The
Mulholland Drive
Nashville (rented)
Night Moves
On the Waterfront
Once Upon a Time in the West
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Out of the Past
Paths of Glory

Point Blank
Producers, The
Pulp Fiction
Raging Bull

Rear Window
Red Balloon, The
Repo Man
Rules of the Game
Searchers, The
Seven Samurai (but I saw, well, you know)
Seventh Seal, The
Shanghai Express
Shock Corridor
Shoot the Piano Player
Silence of the Lambs

Star is Born, A (1937)
Star Wars
Stranger Than Paradise
Sullivan's Travels
Sunset Boulevard

Talk to Her
Thelma and Louise
Third Man, The
Tin Drum, The
Touch of Evil

Trouble in Paradise
2001 - A Space Odyssey
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Unbearable Lightness of Being, The
Underworld U.S.A.
Verdict, The (not all of it)
Wild Strawberries
Wizard of Oz, The
Written on the Wind
Woman in the Dunes
You Can Count on Me

Sorrow and the Pity, The
Harlan Country, USA
Dogtown and Z Boys
My Architect
Triumph of the Will
Hoop Dreams
Roger and Me
Super Size Me
Grey Gardens
Gimme Shelter
Capturing the Friedmans
Riding Giants
The War Room
Don't Look Back
Brother's Keeper
What the Bleep do we know? (You're kidding me)
The Thin Blue Line
Fast, Cheap and Out of Control
The Kid Stays in the Picture
Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser
Control Room
The Celluloid Closet
Sans Soleil
Poto and Cabengo

TV [available to Rent]:
Six Feet Under
The Sopranos (All up until last season)
Sex and the City
Freaks and Geeks (A couple of shows)
All in the Family

Arrested Development
Gilmore Girls
Good Times
The Wonder Years

The Shield
The Wire
The Office

I thought I was strong on documentaries (how can you not have F for Fake) but apparently I need schooling.
Snopes' News

These stories got my attention:

Lion saves 12-year old from forced marriage.

Snake Handler bitten by King Cobra. This would have been funnier in Georgia.

Least Marketable Books (they could have at least given the whole list.)

The Two-Headed Cat I Posted About on Sunday is Dead
Nathan's Latest

I was almost finished with the Ed Wood biography Nightmare of Ecstasy when I decided to check out the manuscript that Nathan Singer sent me of his latest book.

Bad move I was up until 3:11 (by the kitchen clock, 3:27 by the clock on the nightstand). My mind's so groggy (DB woke up less than 15 minutes after I went to bed) that I can't give many details but I'd describe it as keeping the reader in an unbalanced state like trying to walk during an earthquake.

Ed Wood's crew seemed normal in comparison, except maybe Tor.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Female Orgasm Shuts Off Portion of Brain

You're going to wind up reading it sometime: take the plunge.
Voinovich Blocks Vote


When he was governor, he refused to allow conceal-carry laws go in effect and effectively banned capital punishment. I disagree with him on many issues but he stood by what he believed in. Back when Clinton was in office, Republicans claimed a true leader did what he thought was right and wasn't governed by the polls. Ain't what they're saying about Georgie now.
Plastic Shit

Brutal Onion satire about Chinese workers making worthless novelty items for Americans to break and throw away.

For three weeks I worked in a warehouse that stocked bird baths, novelty flags (all important shamrock flags for St. Paddy's), and worthless plastic crap. To raise the spirits of the workers, the management posted photographs of the kids in Taiwan who made the stuff. They were grade school age and worked all day on stools with no back support. Everyone got a big laugh out of it. I was very happy to quit.
Mercury and Autism

I'm in no means in favor of ingesting Mercury, either the element or the planet but lately the talk about thimerosal has gone about here. (For an opposing view of Rolling Stones' article, click here.) [Actually a similar Salon article.]

Kennedy makes it seem that Republicans are behind the cover-up ("Even many conservatives are shocked by the government's effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal") but most of the politicians that I've read about connected to banning thimerosal are Republicans, the same sort who would like to ban abortion, birth control, and evolution. Bill Frist is paid off to protect thimerosal (and for this reason, I can't blame anyone for having suspicions) but I would bet that the money trail behind the issue covers both sides.

The main objection I have to this theory is that it neatly explains the cause of autism on external factors, similar to Bruno Bettelheim (granted Bettelheim's theory was psychological and the "Blame thimerosal" theory is chemical but they both hinge on non-genetic factors). This doesn't seem possible in many autistic cases.

One of the reason autism rates vary wildly from state to state is that autism has no single agreed upon definition. A child diagnosed as autistic in Ohio might not be in Kentucky. The Autism Society of America defines it as "a spectrum disorder that affects each individual differently and to varying degrees of severity." That gives a lot of room to cherry pick if you're looking for a connection between a cause and effect. The anti-thimerosal people use this to their advantage.

Having said all that, I would favor switching to non-thimerosal vaccines. Based on the results from Canada, I don't think it would have much of an effect but I can't see how anyone could argue in favor of taking in Mercury...unless you're paid to like Frist. (The Autism Society's position is for more research.)

Ultimately I agree on what Kennedy is calling for but I think he and most people who write about this are indefensibly dishonest.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Six and a Half Seals

Kittens with two faces?

Puppies with six legs and two penises?

Surely this is a sign of the end of times. . . or too much industrial pollution. . . or too many media outlets.
Stem Cell Stupidity

Today's stem cell editorial makes me wonder if a debate is even possible. Is there a point of even trying to exchange intelligent opinions when someone says:

When the chromosomes begin to split and the cell begins to divide, following the new and unique genetic code created from the mother and father, that is the point at which there is a brand-new human life. That is when God reaches down and says, "Here is your soul. Go and do good things."

Just for the record "Life begins at conception" is a modern idea with no history in early Christian teachings, namely because the notion of conception--a sperm cell joining an egg--was unknown. St. Augustine wrote that abortion was not an act of murder primarily because the mechanics of prenatal development were so poorly understood. Ironically, if it wasn't for science to provide a better understanding of what conception actually is, religious types couldn't have come up with their current talking points.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Devilboy and Evil Dad vs.
The Sadistic Sisterhood of Surly Satanic Servants

After numerous setbacks at destroying the world, Evil Dad has decided to play a game of Candyland with Devilgirl and let Devilboy rampage before doing anything truly diabolic. This doesn't sit well with the higher ups of the Forces of Evil.

Evil Dad: C'mon double orange! I'm almost up to King Candy. (picks card) No! Not Mr. Mint! That's almost all the way back!
Devilgirl: Ha, ha!
(Devilboy pauses from setting the curtains on fire to laugh along)
ED: Devilboy, don't burn that DVD player! No, stop! Don't burn the computer either! No, and don't—well, okay, it's not like your mom wears her old wedding dress any more.
Evil voice behind them: So, playing Candyland when you should be spreading evil!
ED: That's winning at Candyland, thank you.
DG: Nuh-uh.
ED: Well, I was.
Voice: Silence, boob! For your slack-offishness, you must be punished by The Sadistic Sisterhood of Surly Satanic Servants, Kay O'Connor and Anne Coulter!
ED: Slack-offishness! I've fought more battles against the forces of good than Rick Santorum!
KO: What have you done lately? Faced off against Princess Frostine?
ED: That's not my fault! I'd be sacrificing a teenage virgin right now but you losers didn't keep your end of the bargain.
AC: Treason! Slander! Poopy!
ED: No, the deal was that the Ancient Gods of Darkness would give you the presidency and both houses then you'd create abstinence-only programs so there'd be plenty of virgins to sacrifice. So what happened?
KO: Oh, we're doing our best but it turns out that weren't not all that experienced with matters concerning S-E-X.
AC: Speak for yourself, baby. I'm such a player that I knocked up six bitches before I graduated high school.
(all stare)
AC: Uh, is what my brother often says. Yeah, my male brother.
KO: Even so, you could at least make your headquarters more sinister. This place looks like Chuck E. Cheese's with bad lighting.
ED: And your point is?
KO: This is the lamest evil lair I've ever seen.
ED: How can you say that? Look at the creepy rat-infested ambience.
KO: Those aren't even rats. They're hamsters.
ED: I assure you they're rats. Look at their long, creepy tails.
KO: Those aren't real tails. That's yarn tied around a hamster's butt. You should be ashamed.
ED (breaks down sobbing): I am, I am. My wife won't let me keep real rats in the house. Even the garage. She says they'd give the kids cavities. What can I do? What can I do?
AC: This is why women shouldn't be allowed to vote!
KO: Um, that doesn't even make sense by your standards.
AC: I know but I just love to shout it.
KO: Say, you just mentioned your kids. Your little brat has a reputation for chaos but I haven't heard a peep from him since we got here.
ED: That's because he's been hot-wiring your car.
(Devilboy smashes through the wall in Coulter's Expedition, scattering a collection of bondage magazines from the back passenger side door)
AC: Quick, cast a mutagenic spell to stop him.
ED: I ain't casting a mutagenic spell! Studies show those cause prostate cancer.
AC: Ech, don't get me started about my prostate.
(all stare except Devilboy who crashes the Expedition out another wall and into a telephone pole)
AC: I mean, uh, probate. My grandma just died.
(the awkward silence that follows is diverted when Devilboy punches a hole in the Expedition's gas tank and ignites it with his cigar)
AC: No! That SUV was a babe magnet! I'll clobber you, Devilboy! (claws extended, she launches at Devilboy but is stopped short when Evil Dad grabs her tighty whities, halting her progress and delivering a chafing wedgie)
ED: Let's decide democratically on how to punish him. I vote for a time-out and since you two are chicks, I'm the only one who counts.
AC: Sez you, fat boy! (whirls around, wickedly kicking Evil Dad in the shin)
(Evil Dad yelps and takes a swing at her nose but can't avoid her grotesquely fleshy Adam's apple.)


ED: Eww, gross. I can't get my hand out, a la Uncle Remus's tar baby.
KO: Serves you right for slacking off in the first place. From now on, you shall be cursed to carry Ann Coulter at the end of your arm.
AC: Kay! You can't leave me like this. We had a broth--uh, sisterhood!
KO: Not even I could stand you, you she-male freak. See ya!
DG (pushing Candyland forward): I took my turn while you were fighting. Pick a card.
AC: You'd better get double red if you want to win. What! Blue? You suck, liberal scum.
ED: Devilboy, aren't you going to kill her already?
DB: Brapp! (tosses Coulter's car keys in the smoldering remains of his parents' wedding album and throws up in one of her bondage magazines)

Join us some time in the future for another exciting episode of Devilboy and Evil Dad when we'll hear Anne Coulter say, "Your treasonous slander would be easier to swallow if you just admitted that persons with vaginas shouldn't be allowed to drive. Got that, Dumbo? Maybe you should—
Evil Dad: Devilboy, I'll buy you a new Maserati if you chew my hand off at the wrist.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Cecil on the Missionary Position

Sex, lies, the Vatican. The whole sickening story.

I'm just hoping this doesn't merge with the Texas Cheerleader post.
Texan Cheerleaders

I have relatives in Texas who like it a lot but Texans care about certain things like high school football, college football, pro football, and cheerleading far more than they care about who they elect to high office. Texan cheerleaders mix food and feces.

At least none of the mothers has hired a hitman...yet.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Devilboy Results

Yesterday the school district recommended the most intense program available for Devilboy this fall. We'll have to wait until September to see how he takes to it but it looked very positive. I'm hoping they can handle him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Red State in India

Coming to the U.S. next October.
Free Beagle

NKU is plastered with posters of a dog who needs a new home (bad with kids and other dogs). Anyone remotely interested? Python owners need not apply.
Schiavo Editorial

Via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Mr. Schiavo now has truth on his side. Will decency compel his critics to do the right thing and apologize? We doubt it.
"Do You Think You Live in Cincinnati?"

Binghamton, New Jersey: Leaving your gun in a bathroom where it is found shortly after? Bad.

Cincinnati: After shooting an unarmed black man and starting a riot, leave your gun in a bathroom to be found a month later? All part of the job.
Library List

Why are the libraries looking empty? Because I've got all their stuff. Hit the "50 items checked out" mark.

Kids’ Books
Truck Duck Rex, Michael.
The Crayola rainbow colors book Yoon, Salina.
What are you doing, Maisy? Cousins, Lucy.
Maisy cleans up Cousins, Lucy.
Where are you going, Maisy? Cousins, Lucy.
Smile, Maisy! Cousins, Lucy
Maisy loves you Cousins, Lucy. (Yeah, they like Maisy)
The hidden alphabet Seeger, Laura Vaccaro.
A Muggle's guide to the wizard : exploring the Harry Potter universe Boyle, Fionna.
Scooby-doo! in jungle jeopardy McCann, Jesse Leon.
Blue's checkup Albee, Sarah
Electric shock showdown Muldrow, Diane.
I want to be in the show! Smith, Michael T.
Spider-man 2 : the official comic adaptation Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto.
Little cloud Carle, Eric.
Peter Parker, Spider-Man. Vol. 4. Trials & tribulations Jenkins, Paul.
Bob's busy wrench Thorpe, Kiki.
How kind! Murphy, Mary,
Apple farmer Annie Wellington, Monica.
Colors everywhere Hoban, Tana.
Barbie a b c. Knowles, Rebecca.
ABC NYC : a book about seeing New York City Dugan, Joanne

Kids’ Videos
Pokémon: Circuit to the Johto League champion [videorecording]
What's new Scooby-Doo?. Volume 2, Safari, so goodi! [videorecording]
LeapFrog presents the letter factory [videorecording]
The Wiggles. Wiggle time [videorecording]
The Wiggles. Wiggly, wiggly Christmas [videorecording]
The Wiggles. Toot toot! [videorecording]
The talking words factory [videorecording]

Kids’ CDs
A playdate with Blue [sound recording]
Veggie rocks! [sound recording ] (Yes, she picked out Veggie Tales--hasn't listened to it yet)
Shark tale [sound recording]
Infinity [sound recording] Trout Fishing in America (Musical group)
Universe of song. [sound recording] Del Rey, Maria.

My Books
The Salmon of Doubt : hitchhiking the galaxy one last time Adams, Douglas (Never read it before. I was hoping for more but it's better than nothing.)
Haunted Ohio III : still more ghostly tales from the Buckeye State Woodyard, Chris. (Quote for book I might never finish writing)
Why big fierce animals are rare : an ecologist's perspective Colinvaux, Paul A., Meridian (Quote for another book but I actually like this one)
Why do some shoes squeak? And 568 other popular questions answered Stimpson, George W.,
The mythology of North America Bierhorst, John.
Heroes, monsters, and other worlds from Russian mythology Warner, Elizabeth
The illustrated encyclopedia of dinosaurs Norman, David,
Mythology of the British Isles Ashe, Geoffrey.
Strange angel : the otherworldly life of rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons Pendle, George (I'll have to post on this one soon)
Superman, Batman : public enemies Loeb, Jeph.
What they didn't teach you about the Civil War Wright, Mike,
Superman : no limits!
JLA. World War III Morrison, Grant.
Nightmare of ecstasy : the life and art of Edward D. Wood, Jr Grey, Rudolph (Just glanced through it but looks good so far)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I'm Going Back to the Silly Party

Results of the primary blow the whole "vote-for-the-viable-candidate" argument to hell for the second time in a year.


TOM BEMMES 32 1.10%
TOM BRINKMAN, JR. 650 22.31%
PAT DEWINE 463 15.89%
BOB MCEWEN 947 32.51%
DOUGLAS E. MINK 16 0.55% (16 votes? I could get more than that.)
JEFF MORGAN 84 2.88%
JEAN SCHMIDT 496 17.03%
DAVID R. SMITH 28 0.96%


PAUL HACKETT 479 45.19%
ARTHUR STANLEY KATZ (W/ I) 1 0.09% ("Sure, I voted for you Artie.")
40% of French Men Want to Get Pregnant

This has got to be a hoax.

How many women wish they could feel what this is like?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Global Warming and Whaling

Bad science can cover just about anything.
Moon by 2015

That is if everything goes well.

For a while television and bad movies developed the stock character of the retired astronaut who mused about walking on the moon. (This even cropped up in Spiderman II with a character who wasn't supposed to be older than 30--meaning he wouldn't have been born in 1972, the last time man has been there.) Ex-astronauts weren't the egg-head stereotype like typical Hollywood scientists so could be brain-dead and represent godless secular science at the same time.

Other than Spiderman, this character doesn't show up as often anymore. I guess that's the bright side to stagnation.
Tic Tac?

Sometimes I think I have problems. It takes something like a discussion on coprophagia to make me realize how normal I am.
Sad Songs

Via Hegmo via the Guardian, 25 tunes to slash your wrist by. I don't mind the "Honey" and "Tell Laura I Love Her" bashing but I could come up with a better list than this ("Comfortably Numb" isn't even in Pink Floyd's "25 saddest song list"). Where's Twisted Sister's remake of "Leader of the Pack"? Where's "Indiana Wants Me"? Where's "Maggie on the Guillotine"? Where's "Timothy" (they fucking ate him, that's where!)? And for God's sake, where's "Teen Angel" (she ran back to the stalled car on the railroad tracks to get her purse with the train 15 feet away--death caused no decrease in I.Q.)?

I'm with Reynolds in his appreciation of Johnny Cash's "Hurt" but where's the focus?
Lesser of Two/Eleven Evils

The other day Tom Brinkman sent me a nice letter about library funding. That might be the only issue we agree on but it's one up from Bob McEwen. I don't know Brian's record but he's picking DeWine, Brinkman, McEwen, and Schmidt. Gun to my head I'd take Brinkman over McEwen and DeWine (and don't get me started on Schmidt) so should I vote for him or go with one of the other candidates who don't have a legitimate chance?

Last fall, for the first time since 1988, I broke from third-party presidential candidates (not that it did any good). Realistically my single vote won't matter (one vote never matters) but should I go with my heart or back somebody with a theoretical chance of taking office?

And Brinkman's letter was pretty sweet.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Latest Update

My stepdaughter is away at her dad's until August so I'll get to use the computer again.

D-boy is heading to the doctor for whatever is wrong with his stomach. He's had off and on problems for a week, not really serious but it keeps him up at night.

I had two days in a row at Kroger. I lost over 20 pounds last summer by working there but starting up again is wearing me out.

My dog's fleas are apparently immortal.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"Where Do You Keep The Unicorns?"

Texas zoo exhibits creationist display.

Paging all Satanists and Phallus-Worshippers: Creationists say that to not include a point of view would be discriminatory.
Good Religion

Don't kill somebody to kiss up to God/s--dance naked.

Yes, it could get ugly but it would beat terrorism.
No Respect at the Library

I searched the Cincinnati Public Library's catalog for "Ed Wood." The first thing that popped up was Design of wood structures--ASD 5th ed.

A few days ago I noticed that their computers were blocking Nathan Singer's pages for A Prayer for Dawn. First Anderson High School, next the library, tomorrow the world.
Midweek Update

My stepdaughter was off of school this week which explains why I couldn't post yesterday. Her mom hardly ever lets her play video games during the school year so she was on Cartoon Network, playing Teen Titans for hours. She's also been cleaning the library out of comic book compilations--she might be the first girl to go to a comic book convention.

She also made honor roll so I'm giving her first dibs on the computer. (And to any trolls: the computer is in the living room so she isn't making illicit web pages of herself.)

Devilboy was up all last night with stomach problems. He was groggy for the home visitation from Forest Hills but I'm hoping he'll be more awake tomorrow when we go in for his observation.

If anyone remembers the situation with my niece, apparently time is standing still in Clinton County. The court case keeps getting delayed and she wants to just let time run out until her 18th birthday. I don't know if that's the best decision but I'm not in her shoes.

Oh, and my dog has lots of fleas. He's going to need a bath with the special shampoo and will probably bite at least one of my arms off.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Devilboy Tested

I took D-boy to Children's Hospital today for the first of three sets of behavioral/developmental tests. They didn't tell us anything completely unexpected but I might have to get a fourth job to pay for his and his sister's therapies.

Tomorrow is just a home observation but the last big exam is on Wednesday. Hoping it helps.
Censorship and Bad Magic

This is a long-winded ramble based on one of Covington's posts about "dangerous books."

In June of 1952, while working in his garage/lab in Pasadena, Jack Parsons, chemist for the Caltech Rocket Propulsion program, mixed cordite and fulminate of mercury. The resulting explosion killed him and tore apart his house. Initially investigators had a hard time believing an experienced chemist would make such a careless mistake.

The most convincing explanation that anyone ever came up for his death was that Parsons had been reading the works of Aleister Crowley and attempted to create the "homunculus," a tiny man/demon that granted magical powers. Crowley's homunculus recipe called for a cordite/mercury mix and apparently Parsons followed it without thinking. (This is only one theory about Parsons' death--others believe he committed suicide or that an enemy planted a bomb in his home.)

Crowley had died five years earlier so there was no way of questioning him about the matter (unless you followed one of his other spells). Crowley was an educated man so it's unlikely that the mix of chemicals was just by chance. I've read that all of Crowley's writings were booby-trapped but considering some of his critics, I don't know how much can be believed. In his defense, I believe that Crowley once wrote that all his books were lies so it's debatable if he ever wanted anyone to literally follow his directions.

Centuries before Crowley, other magicians had written formulas for homunculus (alluded to in one of Robert Anton Wilson's novels) that called for the spell caster to ejaculate into his own feces. This might have caused rubes to masturbate into their own shit but at least it wouldn't kill them. Crowley might have wanted to one up the old masters.

I don't think this will ever get wrapped up for everyone's satisfaction but it makes me wonder about the ethics of publishing Crowley's work. Should an editor include a disclaimer under the homunculus spell that "performing this rite at home may lead to immediate death"? Should an editor even block out the ingredients?

Going along these lines, if someone wrote a cookbook that included a recipe with cyanide, should a publisher remove it or include a warning? This goes beyond the standard arguments for censorship—it's one thing to express unpopular ideas but another to intentionally trick readers without warning.

Years ago at American Legal Publishing, I wrote a joke article for the company newsletter that gave directions for finding explicit pictures of one of the salesmen and Marge Schott. The last line of the directions was "Type ‘Format c:'" At the last minute I chickened out and changed it to the inoperable "Type ‘Format hard drive.'" If I hadn't and some moron actually formatted his computer, would I have been responsible? I'm sure I would have been fired but I don't know if this legitimizes censorship or is the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowed theater.

Imagine if magic actually worked and a Crowley-equivalent published a book of death spells. In real life in U.S. v. The Progressive (1979), U.S. courts denied a magazine the right to publish instructions to build a hydrogen bomb. Again were they right to do so or was this unwarranted censorship? For the answers to this and all other questions, simply type "format c:" and press enter.
Worse than Plan 9

For years, I've felt ashamed that my wife renews Entertainment Weekly. I know it's one of the dumbest magazines out there (thank you Lucky for lowering the bar) but this week it redeemed itself with an article entitled "The Worst Movie Ever Made."

1966, El Paso, Texas: on a bet, Harold "Hal" P. Warren, a fertilizer salesman, decided to direct a movie. He scribbled down the outline for the plot on a napkin. He cast himself as a man who accidentally drives his family into the clutches of some undefined kind of monster. He raised $19,000, which today with cheap videotape and editing equipment might have been enough but in the days of film, it wasn't enough to record a wedding.

Only two cast members were paid: the six-year old daughter (given a new bike) and a dog (50 pounds of dog food). The script called for the family to ride in the car for what seems like 45 minutes. This isn't filmed inside the car, providing meaningful dialogue; it's mainly filmed outside the car. You just see a car riding down the road for the first half of the movie.

Those of you in the know are already saying, "Hey, that's Manos: The Hands of Fate!"

Manos is some sort of vampire-like fiend who calls himself "the Master" and wears a black cape with red hands. He doesn't really do anything but the audience is expected to fear him for some reason. The Master has a harem of wives who wear filmsy white dresses and fight each other by rolling around on the ground and making strange noises.

Easily the best part of Manos was Torgo, the Master's version of Rensfield. Shipping clerk John Reynolds took the role of Torgo who is supposed to be some kind of a satyr but you never see any evidence of it except his kneecaps seem swelled up under his pants. Cast members believe Reynolds was high on acid the whole time during filming. Sadly, almost exactly a month before the November 15, 1966, world premier of Manos: The Hands of Fate, Reynolds shot himself through the mouth, ending any chance of Torgo's revenge.

Warren kept a good sense of humor about the movie and wore the Master's robe every Halloween. He died of lung cancer in 1985 and never got to see the Renaisance of Manos in 1993.

At first the writers of Mystery Science 3000 thought Manos was too terrible for even them to use. Finally they broke down and aired it. (For those of you unfamiliar with MS3K , the premise is that a mad doctor and his assistant, tv's Frank, torture/experiment upon a test subject by showing him horrible movies. Manos was so bad that both the doctor and Frank personally apologized.)

Although it hasn't been released yet, Hotel Torgo , a documentary on Manos , has been completed. I don't know much about this yet but you have to figure that pressure was off the director. He knew no matter how bad a movie he made, it couldn't be worse than the subject.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Say It Ain't So, Arnie

Just after I wrote something nice about Arnold for coming clean about global warming, he decides to keep the loot stolen from the Ohio Coin Scandal.

Good for Bush and the RNC for giving their part back. I hope we won't hear any dirt about them!
Flu Day

My wife drove for my stepdaughter's girl scout trip so I had Devilboy and Devilgirl (actually she's not even half the trouble of him but I'm sick of calling her "Devilboy's sister") for the weekend.

Naturally this would be the weekend they get the Digestive System Destructo-Flu so I've been covered in vomit and worse every couple of hours. I know there's some perverts who would pay money for such a chance but my tastes run more conventional (relatively).

I did four loads of laundry yesterday, three today, and there's plenty left over for tomorrow. Thank God I'm not paying for water.
Koran not Flushed down a Toilet; Just Used as a Toilet

U.S. admits mistakes were made. Looks like somebody owes Newsweek an apology.

Friday, June 03, 2005

It's been forever since one of these. It's rough, it's unpolished, but here's--

Devilboy and Evil Dad in
Guess Who's Coming for Sinner

While Devilboy is napping, Evil Dad gives the old "ripping-open-a-demonic-portal-to-another-dimension-so-that-an-ancient-evil-can-yada-yada-yada" routine another shot.

Evil Dad (whispers to three virgins, tied up in a pentagram): Wakey, wakey, my sweets! Little did you know when you went to that fraternity party last night that you would be drugged and awakened in this dungeon.
Virgin1: Actually that's what happens every time I go to a frat party.
ED (still whispering): Um, then I'm guessing your status as virgins isn't entirely accurate.
V3: I say it only counts if you're sober.
ED: No matter, the dread Cyruthulu will still accept a former virgin. I just won't receive the complimentary tote bag and her corporate newsletter.
DB: Hu-wuh?
ED (shrieks and tries to rock Devilboy to sleep): Sleepie-bye baby, please don't wake up (DB begins to thrash and vomit) Okay, you win--here's another beer.
(DB chugs and passes out again)
V2: You gave alcohol to a child! You should be ashamed of yourself!
ED: It's not something I'm proud of but you have no idea of the pressure of being an evil cult leader AND the primary care-giver of a special needs child.
V1: I hear Pat Buchanan has three special needs children.
ED: Yeah, in a jar under his desk.
(Devilboy wakes up, jumps into the pentagram, and kicks over candles)
ED: Stop, that'll conjure up the wrong Ancient One!
(A flash of light and the Eye of Sauron materializes)
Sauron: Tremble at my might, ye insects! All hope shall be extinguished in my shadow! Let the bl—
(Devilboy smears his diaper in Sauron's iris)
Sauron: Oh, you brute, you brute, you brute, you vicious brute! (vanishes)
ED: Holy copyright infringement! I'd better hurry up and destroy the world or Christopher Tolkien will be on my ass!
(Devilboy kicks over another candle; Lord Voldemort appears in a puff of vapor)
LV: Fools! Do you realize that you've opened the door of death for your mugglish little world.
(Devilboy shoves a magic candle down Voldemort's shorts, setting his crotch afire)
LV: God, I hate kids! (vanishes)
ED: Just great! You can just kiss any chance of a Slytherin scholarship good bye!
(Devilboy pulls a lit cigarette from his diaper and ignites a dark part of the pentacle; Cthulhu appears)
ED: Take your time with this one. His copyright's expired.
(Cthulhu hums/grunts a song of destruction, warping time and space, the sum of a triangle no longer adds up to 180 degrees, Miller Lite no longer is less filling or tastes great)
DB: Fuh-ish fud! (dumps a bottle of wasabi on his head and starts biting)
Cthulhu: Not the tentacles! They have such a concentration of pain-receptacles! (vanishes)
(Devilboy tries to conjure something else but nothing responds)
DB: Duhm jah! (destroys everything in room in fraction of a second)
V2: Wow, that was like the time I mixed ecstasy and acid.
ED: Sorry about wasting your time. He broke all the evil paraphernalia so you might as well go home (unties virgins)
V2: What? You're not going to repeatedly rape me? I got all dressed up for a frat party for nothing?
ED: Don't fret. The Shriners are having a meeting at midnight and just try to buy an undefiled virgin from them.
V3: Yuck, little cars are such a turn-off (leave)
ED (watches them go): Well, Devilboy, you ruined my dreams once more.
DB: Ruhg! (hands over the One Ring that he swiped from Sauron)
ED: Sweet Momma Cyruthulu! Looks Jeb Bush will be watching ME get the nomination in 2008!
DB: Braaappp! (vomits up parts of Chtulu's face)

Join us some time in the future for another exciting episode of Devilboy and Evil Dad when we'll hear Evil Wife say, "It's Christopher Tolkien's lawyer on the phone. He says a discussion is in order."
The Openers

At this very moment, I'm listening to the Openers with Brad Thacker and Darin Overholser, airing Friday 10:00 a.m. on WAIF 88.3 FM and/or

I would call in but every time they give the number, Devilboy starts screaming or knocks over his breakfast.

UPDATE: I'm pretty sure the number is 749-1444 but Devilboy is screaming for Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman.
Diaper-Eating Dog

My gross pet list just got bumped but I just noticed a comment from Louis that brought back a wave of repressed memories of my dog eating dirty diapers. By the second kid, we figured out never to store garbage less than five feet from the floor. We still have plastic bags hanging from the top door hinges, like camping near bears.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Kids' Books My Kids Ignored

Some kid lit books are written strictly for children, some can be read by everyone, and others only appeal to parents. I checked out two books that I liked but my kids showed no interest.

The first, All the World's a Stage by Rebecca Piatt Davidson, is essentially a variation of "The House that Jack Built" centered around Shakespeare and his plays, including The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale (but not mentioning "exit pursued by a bear").

A couple of incidents in Shakespeare's plays that would make a kid sit up and listen might be:

*Crabbe the farting dog from Two Gentlemen from Verona

*In Titus Andronicus, tricking the main character into chopping off his hand to save his sons who are secretly already beheaded after being framed for the rape and mutiliation of their sister and the murder of their brother-in-law

*Just the premise of Othello in red states

*Just the premise of The Merchant of Venice in blue states

*Joan of Arc conjuring demons and sleeping with half the French Army in Henry VI, Part II

Of course, a book like that might get you arrested and your kids sent to therapy but it could compete with cartoons.

The other book, Science Verse by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, looked funny but neither kid would sit through even the shortest poem. The "Verses" were parodies of famous poems, set up around scientific matters like "Evolution" based on "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "Astronaut Stopping by a Planet on a Snowy Evening." This would be a good book to buy creationist parents just to piss them off but they might not read it either.
Anderson in the News

First Bob McEwen, now this..

My neck of the woods is actually starting to get interesting.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Redskin or Devil?

I can't believe it's taken this long for teams with "Satanic" mascots to take flack.

Like the whole "Redskin" flap at Anderson, why the attachment to a name? (Okay, the Jersey Devil is a pretty good reason.) Wouldn't changing your name every couple of years create new marketing opportunities?

I'd rather have a team called the Cincinnati Buttholes than the Bengals if they fielded a decent line.
Meat Workers' Peril

This here's the reason I love working with meat slicers. Yep.
49er Film

Racial jokes? Lesbian exploitation? Why is this happening in San Francisco and not Cincinnati? Oh, wait--they have a pro football team.
Class of 2011

My stepdaughter got her yearbook today and for the first time I realized that she was in the class of 2011. Devilboy should be in the class of 2021 but I'm not buying a sign just yet.
Whatta Day

At 10:06 this morning I called NKU and found that I did have a class after all--the same time as the last class at Clermont. I gambled that a good start is better than a good finish and got a sub for Clermont.

I was feeling so much better about teaching than I was this time last year. Thanks to Devilboy, I'm still happy to have an excuse to get out of the house.