April 13, 2008 - April 6, 2008
. Somebody got offended that we responded to
a commenter who accused us of being obsessed with 'boobies' by posting
a Google search of the term. What they didn't realize was that we had
employed the rarest stratagem on the Internet for finding interesting
content -- the 'Strict Safe Search.' You see there really is a whole
bunch of stuff that's completely SFW and fascinating to boot.
Worse, these are subjects no one ever learns anything about because
they're too sophisticated to screen out the flood of vulgarity that
ensues when they are tolerant enough to think they're better than the
censors of the Info-Gush called Google.
Tell me. Honestly. How many of you knew there were these extraordinarily beautiful birds out there called boobies? Have you ever discovered the Wikipedia entry?
They sound something like Coleridge's
But damn, they're
intriguing. And a lot more charismatic than most of the boobies we seem
to spend so much time looking for.
Well, end of lesson. Filtering isn't necessarily censorship. It's just
discrimination, which has -- oddly enough -- become something of a
dirty word in its own right. But if you practice it, you just might
find, for example, that even a relentless search for 'tit'
can yield something other than dirty thoughts:
Yup. You ultra-sophisticates miss a thing or two along the way. Me, I
feel sorry for people who never had maiden aunts. Try a few 'safe'
searches of your own. You might be surprised.
P.S. Mrs. IP has more or less ordered me to stop (over)using the audio clip I added to this post. I think she'll forgive me this time. Maybe it isn't rationally relevant, but it seems kind of right. Somehow.
Yeah, I know it's probably premature to believe that Randi Rhodes is
really off the air at Air America. The Not-Ready-For-Profit radio
network has been pronounced financially dead a score of times and come
back with refinancing schemes that would make most South American
governments green with envy. If liberals were as creative with their
social solutions as AAR has been about staving off market disasters
like no audience, no advertising, and no clue about the radio business,
one could almost believe in the Dems' too-good-to-be-true promise of
free universal healthcare. Still, this does sound like a big
step toward an official parting of the ways:
I won't pretend that I've ever liked her. But it's also true that
politics in this country is a game of savagely violent chess.
Randi Rhodes was always a pawn in the game. I don't think she knew that
because she carried real arms and took her habitual one step forward
with real passion. Like her colleagues, she began the Air America
experiment with a two-step move that gained her lots of national
attention (the original link is gone, but I quoted
it fairly at the time).
Was that opening gambit really so much different from the non-broadcast
outburst that got her suspended in recent weeks? Here's what we have of
the offending performance:
Has anyone complained about
her calling the Vice President of the
United States an anti-semitic racist? No. Anymore than anyone seriously
complained when she sponsored a radio skit declaring John McCain a
sodomite because all 'prisoners' automatically become homosexual.
Perhaps she thought that wasn't offensive because she assigned the
notion to Mitt Romney's Mormon supporters. (And if you're planning to
defend her by pointing out that her voice doesn't appear in the bit,
then acknowledge that you don't hold Limbaugh responsible for this or this.)
She had also convinced herelf, like a lot of other, uh, progressives, that the mass media were somehow in the pocket of the Republican power structure. Something about Reagan.
How could she possibly have known that she would eventually become the
victim of a double standard? She couldn't. After all, do pawns ever
understand that they're merely cannon fodder? That when they confront
knights or rooks or bishops, they're dealing with people who have more
exotic and deadly moves than they do? There's no question Rhodes
she had scored a signal victory when she announced her desire to "kick
Ann Coulter in the nuts."
(And here she is swapping
spit with another college drop-out know-it-all.) Problem is,
Coulter isn't a pawn. She's a knight, at least, endowed
with the ability to skip spaces and strike from unexpected angles.
Which is why Coulter is still standing and Rhodes is headed for minor
syndication. So I do feel sorry for Randi. Unlike Coulter, she has no
law degree, not even a college degree, no real connections. She was a
useful tool of the Democratic Attack Machine until she attacked the wrong targets.
But, as I said, I'm feeling sorry for her. She's a radio guy, schooled in the same bruising arena as Limbaugh and Hannity. Here's her Wikipedia bio.
Limbaugh knows the wisdom of the truism, "Be careful who your friends are." Rhodes apparently doesn't. (Who knows about Hannity? We have our doubts about him, too.) She thought she had carved out a special place for herself. She hadn't. Unlike even the oh-so-vulnerable Hannity, she never acquired an audience big enough to protect her from random execution.
But that doesn't mean we should celebrate her downfall. She's an ordinary person who did her best to make a difference. I disagree with almost every political opinion she's ever expressed, but I don't think she's as revolting as, say, Michael Savage.
Here's what I'll say for her. She is a veteran. She is passionate. Sometimes she's funny, whether I like it or not. And every once in a while she is right. She was right about the Republicans fawning disgustingly over the ghost of Ronald Reagan. And she was right during her ominous calm in handling this caller:
She shouldn't have been drummed off the air for doing to Democrats what
she routinely did to Republicans. If the one is okay [applause, applause, standing ovations], so is the other [boo, hiss, disgust, revulsion, shock].
Conservatives aren't made of glass. Liberals shouldn't be, either. Thing is, they are.
Radio is a big wide field. [Choke.] We wish her well in her future gigs.
A Penny's Worth:
. It seems the big new fad of the moment is
YouTube clips of girls fighting. We're not going to link that crap
here. What you may not know, though, is that there also seems to be a
building trend for people making Greyhound Music Videos. The production
values vary, but they're all more fun to watch than that other fad. The
video above is "Daisy
the Greyhound," and here are some others: "Bandit Dreaming," "Born to Run," "Run Cecil Run," and "Harvey the Lurcher &
Glen the Greyhound." (If you want to see what they look like going
flat out in a straight line without the music, go here. It's stunning.)
Of course, we can't mention greyhounds without doing our bit for rescue. "Running for Their Lives" is a short vid about the thousands of dogs who need homes after their lives at the racetrack. It's British, but still informative. We have the same problems here. The good news is that there are many active rescue organizations doing a good job of placing greys. But there are always more new dogs. End of commercial.
We've got a few more feel-good stories for you, too. So take a break from Hillary-Obama, the congressional hearings on Iraq, and the Chinese Olympic mess. Take a look at this picture:
There's a nice story that goes with it. Jeff Guidry works at the Sarvey
Wildlife Center near Seattle. About four years ago, the Center received
a bald eagle fledgling that had fallen out its nest and suffered two
broken wings. Guidry explains what happened subsequently here.
You can guess part of what happened but not all of it. Read the link
above and then take a look here..
Our next item is quite a puzzler. It concerns a young woman who
received, at death's door, a heart-and-lung transplant from a young
(above) she was obviously told almost nothing else about. Her
after that were remarkable enough that she felt obliged to write a book
about them. You can read the short version here
and draw your own conclusions.
By now you've probably figured out that most of our "good news" isn't all quite new. But that's the way of things and why screaming headlines are usually screaming about something bad. Some stories just take a very long time to develop and the end result doesn't make the front page of the New York Times. I discovered the long-developing tale of 'Charlie Brown' at the Snopes.com website, which routinely researches viral Internet legends that usually turn out to be all or mostly false. In this case the legend went all the way back to World War II, where Charlie Brown was supposedly the pilot of a very badly damaged B-17 trying to limp back to England from Germany with half the crew dead and no remaining ability to defend itself. According to viral versions of the story, a German fighter pilot was ordered up to finish the bomber off but instead escorted it back to the channel, saluted, and flew away.
Well, this time the legend is true, and there was a second chapter many years later. Chivalry may be dead, but not quite all the chevaliers.
Another story of dire mechanical urgency actually did make headlines this week. It happened in Cleveland. A bus full of children began rolling out of a gas station down an adjacent street toward inevitable collision. Fortunately, there was someone on board who knew what to do.
Read the whole thing. For awhile there, he thought he was going to get
Our final item takes us all the way to the other end of the age spectrum. It's about a rock and roll choral group consisting entirely of very senior citizens. They're having a blast. Here's the background. And here's one of their music videos.
That should put a smile on your face for a few hours.
Gosh. We were so excited when we got dissed a week or so ago by a site that "won the European
'Satin Pajama Award' for Best Humorous Blog
in 2004." Wow. As far as we knew, there hasn't ever been any humor in Europe. But
we have it from the proprietors of Sadly,
No! that they are definitely funny:
I'd like to go on record right now as saying that I think it's great.
Europeans actually trying to do humor.
Cool. That's a kind of affirmative action we can get behind. It's
heartening is what it is. Personally, I didn't know they were even
trying. It's like badminton players storming Wimbledon. I do remember having been a
management consultant for an American conglomerate in Europe a decade
or so ago, and whenever any kind of joint -- i.e., pan-European --
project was initiated, the various European representatives would all
take me aside and solemnly explain that the project couldn't succeed
without an American at the helm. Because Italians couldn't work for
Germans, Germans couldn't work for the French, Scandinavians couldn't
take charge but would only smile and defer to the Germans and French,
the Austrians would spend all their time tiresomely denying they were
Germans to everyone who would listen, the Spaniards were too moody to
work with anyone, the Belgians were all just bastards, and while
everyone else was squabbling the Swiss would be stealing everybody's
Then, when the Americans reluctantly agreed to run things, again, the Euros all breathed a sigh of relief and told the same joke, the only one they ever had. It was all about heaven and hell. In heaven, for example, the French were the cooks, the Brits were the police, and the Germans were all locked up and castrated or something. In hell, the Brits were the cooks, the Germans were the police, and the Brits were running all over the world telling salacious stories about their tedious royal family. Or something like that. I don't remember the details. When you hear the same stupid joke from a dozen different incompetent assholes, you stop paying attention eventually. But you do get the punchline They all hate each other. Forever.
Which is precisely why it's so cool that they have finally developed a sense of humor. One does wonder where it came from, though. Italians have never figured out that Fiats are funny. They've never even figured out that being the disorganized heirs of the Romans was funny -- sad but way-deep-down funny. The Spaniards have never figured out that their macho bullfight bullshit was funny. The Sandinavians have never figured out that if the people who live the longest and age the most gracefully write the most depressing plays and commit suicide at the drop of the hat, they're being exceptionally goddamn funny. The French are harder to figure. They had Voltaire, who was satirical. They had Moliere, who was witty. But when they tried to make the big leap to funny they fell bang on their ass somewhere in the gap between Fernandel and Jerry Lewis.
Of course, we live now in the days of the so-called European Union, which is as funny as the old Holy Roman Empire, for much the same reason, absent any kind of belief whatsoever, paperwork excluded. But not as funny as the French Revolution, which was kind of an ultimate in European rationalism-cum-Worthington Steel. (Sorry. My joke. Worthington steel comes from Ohio.) But the U.K. was never part of the Holy Roman Empire, and maybe that's where the funny comes from. The Brits were funny once. And even twice. Briefly. But they gave it up in order to join the European Union, where absolutely nothing is ever funny because smart people are in charge of making sure everyone has a very specific office to complain to.
And then there are Germans. Who in their whole history had only one single citizen who was ever funny. Him they hounded into insanity and then posthumously misunderstood into a rationale for extermination of the one people on earth who really did know best what funny was.
But okay. I'm willing to accept that Europeans have learned how to be "humorous." I can even agree that they have been. A year or two ago, "Sadly, Nein" focused its potent humorous energies on a blog called Protein Wisdom. They did their Teutonic best to destroy him with their newfound talent for mirth. I have to admit it. I laughed my ass off. Their entry was indeed hilarious. Falling down funny. Roll over and laugh till you cried and almost died funny. Why? Because they decided to make fun of the most long-winded blogger on earth by deriding his incompetently endless prose with even longer prose delivered in the usual deadpan German style. Not that they got their own joke. No, they gloried in their own infinite specificity, itemizing every single instance of the 410,846 times Jeff Goldstein ( the uppity Jew) employed jokes about cocksucking as the punchline of his political arguments. The Sadlyneinvolk made the usual German assumption that adding numbers up to totals constituted satire and that denouncing those totals amounted to humor.
Dang those Krauts is a hoot, ain't they?
More recently, Sadly, Nein has determined that InstaPunk is worthy of another German attempt at humor. (Perhaps because they've enlisted the aid of the most notoriously humorous Americans yet born, spoiled narcissistic liberals who know the labels for everything and the meaning of nothing. Yeah, they're the stand-ups who've been turning comedy clubs into political snoozefests all across the continent.) But here's the joke. They, meaning Germans and their closest associates in humor, decided that InstaPunk was racist. And the joke they made to drive home the point to the rest of us was selectively quoting from the piece they disdained -- in their infinite European tolerance for all peoples who are not Belgian or swarthy -- and commenting on the selected quote by pronouncing it racist.
HA. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It's just so damned humorous. Inspired really. Europeans lecturing someone -- anyone -- else about racism.
So funny that Nietzsche is probably laughing in his grave.
Which will make them feel wonderful. And infinitely superior. As usual.
Because they never understood Nietzsche. Who was always making fun of them. As they deserved to be made fun of. Except that they never understood the terrible tragedy of Nietzsche. Which was that he was the only one of their own who made fun of them in the way they deserved. He knew they were dangerous swine. He thought we'd get it if he alluded to it obviously enough. It was the biggest thing he was wrong about. To this day the Germans still haven't figured out that they're swine. Spoiled, arrogant, dangerous, humorless, whining, worthless swine.
Come to think of it, that's why we racist Americans had to troop over to Europe a couple of times in the twentieth century and pry their bad teeth off each other's necks to keep them from destroying the world with their pitifully racist tempers.
Unless that's not true. I'm sure the Europeans have come up with a new explanation that will enable them to say, "Sadly, No." After all, when you have only one joke, every question leads to the same punchline.
Are we intimidated by the post-modern zeitgeist? Sadly, nein.
. Yeah, The Boss has said bad things about B-Ball.
But he wasn't the one who was glued to the tube during the amazing
comeback win of the passing geniuses of Kansas over the brilliant pure
shooters of Memphis. It was incredible. Impossible. Like seeing Clint
Eastwood gunned down by five ambidextrous extras in a Sergio Leone
movie. Amazing! And the Kansas coach showed some real class. He said,
"This is the best team we played. We could play them ten times and win
five. We got fortunate late." Did they ever.
The InstaBoss won't admit it, but he was impressed too. What more can anyone say?
YAHHH! Brizoni! How long did it it take you to get your first post posted? The Boss said I had "verve," I had to look it up. How long did it take you to get up, Longman? First. time. I. submitted.