Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
March 4, 2006 - February 25, 2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Oscar Contest!

Coulter's right: "Bareback Mountain" can't win all the Oscars.

PSAYINGS.5Q.52. This is a real contest. The winner -- and there can be only one -- will receive the following prize: a large can of Three Diamonds tuna:

Not the chunk light, but the albacore.

All you have to do is best Ann Coulter in predicting the winners of the Oscar in the same categories in which she has made predictions. Read her column here. Then submit  your own predictions, including your reasoning, for the same categories in which she has made predictions. The person who gets the most right, with the best reasoning, will win.

All judging will be performed by InstaPunk, himself, in person. You can send your submissions via email, at the address shown on this page, or via the Comments section. We have secured extra bandwidth to accommodate the inevitable landslide volume of traffic. Don't forget, we're talking Three Diamonds. Large. Albacore.

All systems are GO. Start predicting.

UPDATE. Our servers are already taking a beating. But we can handle it. Albacore. We understand. Keep submitting.

UPDATE 2. Just to clarify -- Yes, it's really Three Diamonds tuna. Albacore. Believe it.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Swedish Mystery

A California auto accident involving alcohol, guns, a Ferrari, and a Swede.

SOMETHING STRANGE. Let's set the context. Sweden is obsessed with making safe cars -- Volvos and Saabs -- and they lose only 6.74 per 100,000 of their population to motor vehicle accidents each year (as compared to 16.39 per 100,000 here). In fact, they're highly responsible, enlightened, and mature generally, thanks to 50 years of socialistic government. Here are some other pertinent facts about the most superior people in Europe.

The whole country is obsessed with ending nasty habits like smoking, which they have reduced to half the level that still obtains in the U.S.

Welcome to smoke-free Sweden

On June 1st 2005 restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs throughout Sweden open their doors to a breath of fresh air. A smoking ban is the latest step in the country’s long-term efforts to combat the problems of tobacco consumption.

In 1963, 49 per cent of Swedish men and 23 per cent of Swedish women were active smokers. The startlingly high figures sent a shudder through the country’s health campaigners and initiated the move to kick out the habit

Sweden spearheaded tobacco control programmes and became one of the first countries in the world to pump money into public information and education services.

With a proactive track record in preventative measures, Sweden now joins a number of European countries to introduce legislation against smoking in bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs following the initiatives of Ireland, Norway, Italy and most recently Malta... Tobacco is the single biggest health risk in Sweden which houses 1.2 million smokers.

They also have very strict gun control laws, which may or may not work, but nevertheless bespeak a wonderfully progressive attitude toward the awfulness that is firearms:

Some claim that the culture in America accounts for the inverse relationship between guns and crime – "What works in America won’t work everywhere." So, narrowing the comparisons as much as possible, here are some results: Between Sweden, Norway, and Finland, you’re more likely to be a victim of crime if you’re a Swede. Both Norway and Finland have more relaxed gun laws and higher rates of gun ownership than Sweden. Sweden’s overall victimization rate is similar to America’s, and Sweden’s is increasing while America’s is decreasing.

And until the European Union began to coerce them to change existing laws, Sweden had even achieved a state of near-Prohibition of alcoholic beverages. According to one cultural observer:

When I arrived in Stockholm in the early 1960s Sweden was almost as far apart from the rest of Europe as the countries behind the iron curtain. People traveled little in those days and Sweden’s social- democratic government was a very paternalistic one, guiding citizens in the “right” direction in various ways....

In the 1950s Sweden still had ration books for alcoholic drinks. This allowed the authorities not only to limit the individual’s consumption but also to keep tabs on it. Every bottle you bought was entered into the book; when the limit was reached you weren’t allowed another drop. This authoritarian attitude was still very much in evidence when I arrived. Monopoly shops could be as crowded as railway stations, with over a hundred people waiting to place their order. Customers might be turned away summarily, no matter how long they had been queuing. The Swedes were friendly but subdued (at midnight, in sub-zero temperatures, one would see pedestrians patiently waiting for traffic lights to change before crossing roads empty of traffic). I recall one well-traveled Swede telling me that he never found such passivity in any other country.

While selling drink to the public was the Systembolaget’s raison d’être, it did everything possible to persuade them to abstain. When sales dropped, as they sometimes did (perhaps when illicit stills were unusually productive!), they published exultant advertisements in the press, drawing the public’s attention to the downward trend.

Some of the propaganda was alarmist. To men it was hinted that drinking would make them impotent; one poster in monopoly shop windows showed a picture of a human body with hideously distended internal organs, with a text claiming that such was the inevitable result of habitual drinking. Those wanting to go out for a drink found that there were scarcely more than three or four places in the whole of Stockholm where this was possible. And if you got into one of them (there was always a queue) you could not get a drink before you had ordered a hefty – and very expensive – sandwich. The drinks themselves were four or five times more expensive as in an English pub. All of this produced a neurosis about alcohol comparable to attitudes to sex in Victorian England.

The owner of the Ferrari in the accident is a man named Stefan Eriksson. He is Swedish, which means he was raised by his government to be a much better behaved (and more law-abiding) person than the facts of the accident seem to suggest he is:

The mystery deepened Monday in the case of the puzzling crash last week of a $1-million Ferrari Enzo on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Sheriff's detectives said Monday that they believe a gun's magazine discovered near the wreckage is connected to the crash, and they plan to interview an unnamed person who they believe was in the car with the Swedish game machine entrepreneur...

The totaled Ferrari was one of two Enzos that Eriksson brought into the United States from England along with the Mercedes SLR, Brooks said. But detectives concluded that the totaled vehicle did not have appropriate papers and was not "street legal" for driving in California, he said.

Detectives have been trying for nearly a week to sort out what exactly happened last Tuesday morning when Eriksson's Enzo — one of only 400 ever made — smashed into a telephone pole, totaling the car. Eriksson told deputies that he was the passenger and that a man he knew only as "Dietrich" was behind the wheel. But detectives have been openly skeptical of the story, noting that Eriksson had a bloody lip and that the only blood they found in the car was on the driver's-side air bag...

"The guy should have had an IQ test," said Malibu Mayor Pro Tem Ken Kearsley, who has been following the coverage of the crash with a half-grin. The driver's IQ "couldn't come up above 60 if he was doing 120 on PCH," Kearsley said.

But in fact, Brooks said Monday, the car was traveling 162 mph when it crashed, far faster than the 120 mph originally believed. The Ferrari, with just a few inches of undercarriage clearance, hit a bump at a crest in the road, sending the vehicle airborne and into the power pole, Brooks said.

The question of whether Eriksson was the driver is key to the case, Brooks said. Eriksson's blood-alcohol level was 0.09%, higher than the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.

It all does make one wonder. It's not as if the road was some kind of serpentine obstacle course:

There are really two problems that need to be solved here. First and most importantly for Stefan is the question of what his legal defense should be. And here I think it's possible to give him some good advice. It's almost impossible to get convicted of anything in California as long as you can make all the halfwits they put on juries out there believe that you just couldn't help it. It also helps to have a very expensive lawyer who gives press conferences every 15 minutes. What Stefan's lawyer should say in his first press conference is that Stefan couldn't help it because it was America's fault. He wasn't from a country where they put a gun in one hand and a bottle of booze in the other right before they shoehorn you into a ridiculously fast car that can go three times the safe speed for the existing road conditions. How could he be expected to defend himself against that kind of pernicious influence? It was inevitable that he would succumb as he did. And not ever having been a teenager in the U.S., there was no chance that he would know how to operate a motor vehicle at high speed while drinking, shooting, and smoking at the same time. The jury will practically give him a standing ovation when they acquit.

The other more difficult question is, why? Why would a man so meticulously raised to be a "passive," law-abiding, vice-free citizen of the world's most advanced civilization engage in such reckless and immoderate behavior? For a long time (say, two minutes) I was stumped. Then I googled the words Sweden and suicide. Here's the first thing I found:

Suicide Crisis.

Sweden is a small country of only 8.9 million people. Today our standard of living is among the highest. Approximately 8 % of Sweden's gross national product amounts to health and medical services. Our people are among those who live longest. Almost 18% of Sweden's population are over 65 years old and 4.7% over 80 years old... In Sweden suicide is responsible for about 1,500 deaths each year. By way of comparison, approximately 600 persons are killed in traffic accidents yearly. Swedish women are likely to experience episodes of major depression twice as much as men. However, for suicide, male gender dominates. The rate among adolescents has increased markedly, and in the 15-44 age group suicide is the main cause of death. Depression is the most common experience in elderly suicide victims, while alcoholism is the most common diagnosis in the younger.

It's very hard to die or get yourself killed in Sweden. All the cars are safe, and all the drivers drive like old ladies, because most of them are. Crime may be rising, but you can't count on getting killed by a Swedish gunman just because you're sick to death of existing. It's increasingly hard to smoke yourself to death, and the authorities just aren't going to let you drink yourself to death. So what do you do after you take a fling at the high technology business world and come a cropper? You import the world's fastest car to the most libertine nation in the western world, and you get behind that wheel, and you figure if you're drunk and having a ruminative smoke at 160 mph when you fire that gun at your head, the situation just might result in the closest thing to bliss any Swede is likely to experience in this day and age.

If that's what happened, I don't know how to advise Stefan once he's overcome his legal difficulties. His best shot would be leveraging his newfound fame into a celebrity lifestyle where -- as in this country -- drinking and driving at high speed with mysterious firearms inside your not quite legally registered exoticar while being famous is considered admirable by millions and millions of people. But he probably wouldn't believe it. Not until he went on Oprah, that is.

Now that I've tried to solve Stefan's problems, maybe some of the brilliant social engineers in this country could explain to me why their Swedish-style plans for eliminating all the pleasurable vices from life in the United States won't result in 260 million Stefan Erikssons.

Forget it. I'm just pulling your chain. I know that most of you really do want to live to be a hundred, smoke-free, dry as a bone, stuffed with well-intentioned pills, and speed-limited in your little Saab old-age scooters to 5 mph on the sidewalks of St. Petersburg. I hope you enjoy it. Give my best to the boring old farts in your bingo club when you get there.

How It Will Happen

Fashion creations by Rolf & Viktor (left) and Vivian Westwood (right)

ABJECT SURRENDER. The Drudge item refers to it as "Beheading Chic," but it's worse than that. The world of high fashion may seem immaterial to everyday life. It isn't. As a cultural bellwether, it's probably more significant than the editorials in the New York Times or the leading newspapers of Europe. The latter can be challenged in the arena of reason. Fashion circumvents reason and re-landscapes the culture by a top-down process of osmosis, altering what we accept as commonplace by redrawing the boundaries of acceptable experience in the eyes of young people before their parents are aware that anything significant is happening. The most outrageous couturier runway stunt can become a popular hit at your local 'Hot Topic' with amazing speed, reconfigured perhaps, but with the underlying message of the original intact. The recent mode of middle-class girls attiring themselves as streetwalker Lolitas began on the runways of Paris, Milan, London, and New York. Now a new process is underway.

Westwood dressed up for her show. Horns?

The article linked by Drudge seems a rather jolly celebration of Vivian Westwood, the British designer who rose to prominence defining the punk look for Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols. Characteristically, she is portrayed (more than a little disingenuously, to be sure) as a mischievous rebel who -- like so many artistes -- delights in shaking us up with her irreverent perspective. Whatever blows your skirt up, right?

A flying penis, voluminous robes and a call to release a convicted prisoner -- British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood brought it all to Paris in a shrill show on Tuesday.

In an autumn-winter collection inspired by Greek themes, 64-year-old Westwood paraded models in long, gold shimmering coats and girls showing off colorful tights under bright purple layered dresses with the word "Innocent" printed on them.

"I think it is terribly important to have opinions, and to think. We live in a world of action without thought," said Westwood, who has kept her eccentric edge since her bondage- inspired creations for the Sex Pistols punk band in the 1970s.

Westwood, who is famed for using British fabrics such as tweed and tartan for her daring clothes, has not been shy to add a political touch to her clothes. Last year, she presented tops reading "I'm not a terrorist. Please don't arrest me" to protest against a tightening of anti-terrorism measures.

Wearing two sparkling little devil's horns in her bright red hair, Westwood told reporters she wanted to raise attention to the case of Leonard Peltier, a American Indian activist convicted for the 1975 killings of two FBI agents...

Westwood's collection included a golden suit with a wide hood, toga-style dresses in pink and purple and accessories such as a police-man style visor in sparkling gold.

In fact, the article did not touch on the real subtext of Westwood's newest creations, which are revealed by the slide show linked from the piece and confirmed by the work of other designers as well.

"An autumn-winter collection inspired by Greek themes." Right.

The inspiration is not Greek, but Islamic, and fundamentalist Islamic at that:

The Westwood "toga-style dress in... purple" is on the left.

Are we still thinking this is all cute and harmless? Combine the eyehole-less hood above with the "toga-style dress" and we are all the way to burkha. Beyond actually. The hood really does suggest the grisly hostage exhibitions we have seen on television courtesy of al Jazeera, and Westwood adds a further touch that underscores her message in bold strokes. Note the blown-up detail below, which appears twice (at least) on the outfit -- above the printed eyes of the hood and underneath the "Greek" geometric border on the "dress":

This is not at all subtle. The Greek letters are a straight transliteration of the English word "Future." What are we to make of the neighboring circles? Sightless eyes -- the blinders of the burkha, the blank stare of a decapitated head? Or merely empty crocodile tears for an ineluctable fate we no doubt deserve? It hardly matters. Westwood has incorporated the barbaric iconography used by the sworn enemy of her license to shock into her design esthetic. She might as well have come truly clean and used her Greek letters to spell "thanatos," which to the Hellenes meant love of death.

An isolated instance? No. She is joined in her perverse fascination with the death of the west by at least two other designers featured in the same fashion-photo slideshow. A Frenchman named Castelbajac responds to the current climate of Islamist threat to the nation states of Europe by transforming his models into visual ridicule of Christanity and European nationality and history. How cool.

The dead hand of Christianity

Most of his creations are explosions of color and Warhol-like pop motifs. His use of starkly simple imagery is reserved for the outfit that places a medievally outsized crucifix at its center. One might think of this piece as his philosophical base, the vision that "informs" his treatment of individual countries in other designs.

An affectionate pop tribute to the Brits?

Campy and fun, right? Wrong. Cued by the discrepant Christian concoction, we can recognize the same ideas at work. The Union Jack is, of course, a concatenation of three Christian crosses, and despite the primary colors, the context is still death. The face of the dead cast-off princess is framed, literally, by skeleton gloves in playful (or blood-drenched) red. The other two outfits are feminized permutations of Brit military uniforms, also linked to death: more skeletal gloves on the first and a cartoon rendering of a long-dead queen with downcast eyes on the second. All three of the models are presented with blackened or concealed eyes. The busby borrowed from the Welsh Guards is here, in fact, pressed into service, burkha-like, to cover one eye completely and eclipse the other. Notably, the symbols of the lost British Empire translated into women's clothing do not so much endow them with female strength as emasculate them. From the vantage point of the designer, the models are not to be seen as women, emblematic of the advance of equality and participation, but as symptoms of pathology, proof of compleat castration. As western women, the models do not even exist.

Fun with Switzerland

 It's the same with Switzerland: blackened eyes, skeletal gloves, and a comical reconfiguration of the bustline as the tesselations of a castle surmounted by a regnant red crescent gaily flaunting the obviously dispensable accessory of an archaic Swiss flag-cum-cross. The effect of the whole is like a puzzle of Fashion Pictionary that reads: "Come on, Islamists! Breach our ramparts, and smite the bloody hands of our bankrupt faith!" Unconvinced? Take a gander at this closeup of the model's 'balcon':

A Templar and a Nun

They're still swinging their bloody swords, all right, but their position has already been overrun. The crescent has already conquered and is their backdrop. There's more one could say, of course, but the point has already been made sufficiently. Castelbajac is jeering at the fait accompli of a vanquished Christian Europe. In fairness to the purity of his anti-patriotism, it should be noted that Catelbajac doesn't spare his own country, either. (Just for fun, find the red crescent below and interpret the one western symbol employed in his joke on the tri-color of France.)

The third designer working this theme is actually a two-man Dutch team consisting of Rolf Snoeren and Viktor Hosting.

No. They do NOT look like 9/11 hijackers.

Their contribution to the mix is especially interesting and timely in the context of an item linked yesterday by Glenn Reynolds. In an essay published in the Sunday Times of London, author Douglas Murray sounds an alarm about the Netherlands. I apologize for the length of what seems a digression in our little fashion rotogravure, but the following quote is intensely relevant:

"Would you write the name you’d like to use here, and your real name there?” asked the girl at reception. I had just been driven to a hotel in the Hague. An hour earlier I’d been greeted at Amsterdam airport by a man holding a sign with a pre-agreed cipher. I hadn’t known where I would be staying, or where I would be speaking. The secrecy was necessary: I had come to Holland to talk about Islam.

Last weekend, four years after his murder, Pim Fortuyn’s political party, Lijst Pim Fortuyn, held a conference in his memory on Islam and Europe. The organisers had assembled nearly all the writers most critical of Islam’s current manifestation in the West. The American scholars Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer were present, as were the Egyptian-Jewish exile and scholar of dhimmitude, Bat Ye’or, and the great Muslim apostate Ibn Warraq.
Both Ye’or and Warraq write and speak under pseudonyms. Standing at the hotel desk I confessed to the girl that I didn’t have any other name, couldn’t think of a good one fast. I was given my key and made aware that the other person in the lobby, a tall figure in a dark suit, was my security detail. I was taken up to my room where I changed, unpacked and headed back out — the security guard now positioned outside my bedroom door.

The event was scholarly, incisive and wide-ranging...  we tried to discuss Islam as openly as we could. The Dutch security service in the Hague was among those who considered the threat to us for doing this as particularly high. The security status of the event was put at just one level below “national emergency”...

Where Holland has gone, Britain and the rest of Europe are following. The silencing happens bit by bit. A student paper in Britain that ran the Danish cartoons got pulped. A London magazine withdrew the cartoons from its website after the British police informed the editor they could not protect him, his staff, or his offices from attack. This happened only days before the police provided 500 officers to protect a “peaceful” Muslim protest in Trafalgar Square.

It seems the British police — who regularly provide protection for mosques (as they did after the 7/7 bombs) — were unable to send even one policeman to protect an organ of free speech. At the notorious London protests, Islamists were allowed to incite murder and bloodshed on the streets, but a passer-by objecting to these displays was threatened with detention for making trouble.

Holland — with its disproportionately high Muslim population — is the canary in the mine. Its once open society is closing, and Europe is closing slowly behind it. It looks, from Holland, like the twilight of liberalism — not the “liberalism” that is actually libertarianism, but the liberalism that is freedom. Not least freedom of expression.

All across Europe, debate on Islam is being stopped. Italy’s greatest living writer, Oriana Fallaci, soon comes up for trial in her home country, and in Britain the government seems intent on pushing through laws that would make truths about Islam and the conduct of its followers impossible to voice.

I don't believe there will be any doubt that Rolf and Viktor are taking a position and sending a message about the Islamicization of Europe. In stark contrast to the political context just described, the Islamic images they employ are not censored or intimidated into silence. They are out in the open for all to see, and we are permitted to read their message while the ideas of real thinkers are being locked in an opaque strongbox. The question I will leave for you is what this particular message consists of. Here is the evidence:

The last one does look as if a wedding is being contemplated. But how eagerly? In aggregate, the collection is so scary -- so evocative of the entombment, even the erasure, of women that one is tempted to believe a challenge is being mounted to the ideas being embraced by Westwood and Castelbajac. Yet the whole purpose of fashion is to attract, to propose the esthetic appeal of new influences, however difficult, and to begin the process of inseminating the popular culture with those influences. Are we being warned or inured? It's anyone's guess which is the intent here. Regardless, the once alien images and concepts of the world's only philosophically bellicose major religion are being smuggled into our everyday consciousness. If Europe becomes, as Mark Steyn predicts, Eurabia, this will have been one of the incremental steps along the way.

The United States is less endangered than Europe by Islamic cultural absorption. I do recommend, though, that American parents keep closer track than they have so far of the fashion trends that sweep through the teen and pre-teen boutiques where their daughters shop for the latest and greatest in chic attire. Be on the alert for variations on the theme of headscarves and veils and desert robes. I know it will be argued that especially here fashion is mere frivolity, a kind of witty commentary on matters unserious and impermanent. In reply I'd suggest it's worthwhile to take a closer look at the life, career, politics, and public statements of Vivian Westwood. She thinks fashion is more than that.

Vivian. What exactly does blow her skirt up?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Belatedly... the NBA All-Star Game.

It may have been exciting inside all the flapping uniforms. Who knows?

A TIME TO LAUGH. You know how carried away we were with the Olympics. It's our only excuse. How else could we have completely forgotten to cover the February 19 event that assembled America's "royalty" in Houston, Texas:

The streets of Houston were hot, despite the chilly 40-degree weather. But it was the star-studded parties and events where things really sizzled. Without even mentioning the NBA all-time royalty visiting the city prior to Feb. 19 game... celebrity sightings were in full passion...

In addition to an A-list that included Diddy, Jadakiss and Fat Joe, there was an auction that featured [Michael] Jordan's autograph on Air Jordan shoes I though XXI (complete with a custom display), which was stopped at $425,000 by night's end so that the bidding could continue on eBay through March 3...

Not to be outdone, Puma on Feb. 18 rolled out Ludacris–star of its new ad campaign, and former longtime endorser Walt "Clyde" Frazier, back in the fold to tout Puma Clydes—with marketing due this summer. That same day, EA Sports hosted a private tout the "NBA Europe Tour Presented by EA Sports"...
Among the most visible non-NBA athletes in town was NFL running back Terrell Owens, who hosted a night-into-day party Feb. 18 at The Fox Sports Grill at Galleria Mall. (No word from T.O. on where he'll play in 2006, though.)

Among the most interesting sights of the week: a life-size statue of all-star Vince Carter made out of Lego blocks (but wearing real Nikes); hip-hop star Nelly showing off his b-ball chops by winning the Reebok celebrity slam dunk contest; and Brandon Routh, the star of next year's Superman Returns, getting minimal crowd response when introduced as a judge at the aforementioned Feb. 18 celebrity slam dunk contest, until the announcer revealed Routh had appeared in Christina Aguilera's music video for "What a Girl Wants," which evoked huge cheers.

Oh yeah. There was a game too.

The main event itself featured such celeb sightings as Jamie Foxx, Diddy, Ice Cube, 50 Cent, Julianne Moore, former president George Bush and Eva Longoria, who was cheering on her boyfriend, all-star Tony Parker. It seemed as if the NBA had put on about as frenzied an event as it could.

Unlike the authors of the article quoted above, we'd love to report the final score in what we fondly call "America's Cup on Hardwood," but it was pretty windy that night, and we're not sure anyone could actually hear the PA announcer over the snap and whish of fabric as players sailed majestically about the boards. If we discover anything in the papers, we'll let you know.

FEMA Flops Again!

New Orleans buried by another terrible flood, this time of bangles and beads.

CALAMITY. Amid lots of MSM tut-tutting about the poor taste of a Mardi-Gras festival so soon after Hurricane Katrina, MSNBC has acquired shocking photographs of the terrible wave of new devastation being wrought by the indiscriminate tossing of beads by revelers. Here is a photo published by the same news organization of a typical perpetrator:


Just look at her! She's all smiling and white and stuff. And do you see any sign of the National Guard or FEMA officials on the scene preparing to toss out buckets of money to victims of the bead deluge? No. But make no mistake. If we'd listened to MSNBC, this could all have been avoided. Here's their lede:

Was New Orleans ready for Mardi Gras to return? That was the question lurking in the background as thousands of revelers filled the streets to partake in its renowned traditions.

As cheering revelers in purple and green beads hit Bourbon Street before dawn, some residents and refugees wondered whether the time was right for a raucous party just six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

How long should they have waited? A year? Two? Five? Ten? How much lachrymose pouting is enough to sate the lugubrious emotional correctness of the mass media? Maybe returning New Orleanians should be required to wear black and forego smiling and laughing for an interval deemed suitable by a panel of network anchormen. And it has to be the responsibility of various federal, state, and local officials to head off any paying visitors who might lighten the requisite heavy air of grief in the area's hotels, restaurants, and bars. What we want to see is thousands of people practically catatonic with self-pity, so weak with despair they can barely hold up their arms for a hand-out. That's the American Way.

Repairing the city's staggered economy is not a job for resilient entrepreneurs and smiling out-of-state partiers. It's a dreadful, intolerable burden which must be borne exclusively by the dourly unimaginative minions of government and their tractor-trailers full of rubber checks.

We're afraid it's time for another congressional investigation, so that the correct tonnage of blame for the current onslaught of bead littering can be assigned and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We're probably going to need another new FEMA director, at a minimum, and maybe another $20 billion in reparations to the pitiful helpless mourners of Louisiana. If he had an ounce of decency, George W. Bush would be on the scene tomorrow, picking up handfuls of beads with his own two dirty hands. Him and about 10,000 FEMA drones.

How could any reasonable person think otherwise?

And while they're at it, they need to arrest this guy:

Too damn buoyant by half.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Which Is Worse?

Three Six Mafia -- A "trio" which apparently includes
some "niggaz" who aren't counted for tax purposes.

THE GOLDEN VAULT. From today's Drudge Report:

The nominated tune "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow" with music and lyric by Jordan Houston ("Juicy Jay"), Cedric Coleman ("Freysier Boy") and Paul Beauregard ("Deejay Paul") has, by my count, 10 repeated words which would not pass network clearances. They are "f**k," "sh*t" and "niggaz."

Producer Gil Cates says when he informed the trio that those words would have to be changed, they immediately told him they'd alter 'em. Meanwhile, Cates said "bitch" and "ho's" are ok since they're already heard on network shows.

The new, replacement lyrics will be heard by the Oscar team and ABC network for the first time next Tuesday (Feb. 28) when the group pre-records for the March 5 Oscar show. Host Jon Stewart, his wife, two babies and writing staff arrive in L.A. Sunday.

They wrote the words in the first place. To sell CDs. They're perfectly willing to change them for the Oscar telecast. To sell CDs. What should we admire most? The fearless realism of their illiterate lyrics? Or their docile response to mass media pandering?

Meanwhile, intellectual(?) bon vivant and celebrated Oscar host Jon Stewart is bringing his infant children to a show at which he will be pleased to introduce an act whose idea of lyrics is "f**k, sh*t, and "niggaz." Is this actually good publicity for a snarky little New Jersey snot who makes a million dollars a year being arch about the Bush administration? I have an idea. Maybe Mrs. Jon Stewart could distract attention from the story by doing a Courtney Love and letting Three Six Mafia suck her lactating mammaries live at the Oscar telecast. What could be more transcendantly liberal than that? The intellectual elite would be jazzed, and Mrs. Antichrist (a.k.a. Laura Bush) would be livid.

You know, I'm tired of twenty-first century Oscar Wildes. I liked it better when wits were actually educated, not just Howard Stern with a tie and a degree from the second oldest (and 302nd best) university in the country. But that's just me.

Cartoon Dude of the Century

Bode Miller

DESTINY. He has a website and a speed-dial link to Katie Couric. It doesn't really matter that he can't ski very well. Because he's COOL. I mean, just look at him. The great thing is, the century is so young. We can make nominations all day long, and there's no responsibility because there's another 94 years to overrule us.

So. With a century that's just six years old, we can state with total confidence that Bode Miller is the Cartoon Dude of the Century. What's a cartoon dude, you ask? Well, it's what passes for a man these days. Overtly masculine in appearance, deeply dumb in fact, and far more confident of his attractiveness and overall capability than even the kindest outside observer would stipulate. Also, immune to physical disability, like Wile E. Coyote, only fatter and dumber.

What are the requirements for masculinity in this new century? More evocative of testosterone than Matt Lauer. Less artificially tan than Brian Williams. Less pretty than Brad Pitt. Less ancient than Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. Less accomplished than Ashton Kutcher. Less intelligent than Jon Stewart (Sorry, an IQ of 105 just doesn't cut it in the Feminist Century). Less  effective than Clint Eastwood.

He's perfect. He brags about things he can't do. He's online.  He has that great dumb perpetual hard-on  look. And you know he's got to be carrying that extra five or ten pounds that inspires Cartoon Babes to persist in their bulimia so they can grab his love handles when they insist he scr*w them half to death.

Who needs medals? These days, America is all about hunky losers. We wouldn't have it any other way. Would we?

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