Thursday, April 30, 2009
GoComics.com has a slew of great cartoon strips that you've never heard of. One of them is Mythtickle, which probably appeals to me since I recently finished reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. . Cartoonist Justin Thompson is talented and funny, and has a wide-ranging set of gods and legends populating the Mythtickle universe. Here's a direct link to this great strip.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
At least my classic lit reading habits are similar to Poppa Croc's. I made it through one page of The Scarlet Letter in high school before giving up. . I did better with Lord Jim - about 20 pages or so. I had to do an oral book report on it, so I actually bought and studied the Cliff Notes. . Then there's War And Peace. I only made it through one sentence. But I memorized it, so that counts for something. "Well prince, so Genoa and Lucca are just family estates of the Bonapartes." Impressive, ain't it?
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
What can I say? No wonder Senator Arlen Specter deserted the Republicans and became a Democrat today. While I'm not getting my hopes up about him (can someone say "Joe Lieberman"?), it does mean that mathematically, asinine Republican filibusters, can now be overruled. That bodes well for Supreme Court nominees during Obama's tenure.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
You could title this post "Columbine Take 2", and indeed the April 16th suicide-death of 11-year-old Jaheem Herrera (which you can read about here) is spookily close to the 10-year anniversary of the Columbine shootings. . What ties the two stories together of course is the senseless bullying. Jaheem got tired of being called (among others things) "gay", tired of his school teachers and counselors doing nothing about it, tired of his mom having to get involved because nothing was being done, and most of all, tired of being called hateful names every single day for no reason. . Let's be clear - the school administration, although a bunch of buffoons - are not criminally liable here. Negligent, yes. But not criminally so. They were clueless before Jaheem hung himself, they are clueless today, and tomorrow they will wake up just as clueless. You can't fix what you don't notice. . And the bullying will go on, because no one knows or cares how to stop it. I'm sure Dunaire Elementary School will say some nice platitudes (actually, they already have), have a moment of silence for Jaheem (during which the bullies will snicker), vow to be more vigilant, change absolutely nothing, and then settle back and hope to God this story is forgotten as soon as possible. . Just keep in mind one thing, Dumb-Airs Elementary School. Not every kid who gets bullied goes home and quietly hangs himself with his belt. Some of them get really angry and return to the school with assault weapons. Just ask Columbine.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday was the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Oprah cancelled her show on it because she felt it gave too much attention to the killers. . Pab Sungenis draws the very excellent New Adventures Of Queen Victoria which you can view each day at http://www.gocomics.com/. I'm happy to note that his take on Columbine - and the lessons we never learned - match mine. Until we stop the bullying and elitism that goes on in our High Schools, you're always going to have a day when some of those those picked-on peeps say, "That's Enough!!" and start blowing their tormentors away.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Move over, Texas. Arizona is way stupider than yooze. . 13-year-old Savana Redding was a honor student at Safford Middle School, when a classmate was caught with prescription-strength ibuprofen, but without a prescription. School officials asked the miscreant who supplied her with the pills, and she fingered Savana. . Savana got yanked from class, and her backpack was searched. No pills. But that wasn't good enough for the "zero tolerance and zero brains" school officials. So the school nurse and (female) assistant vice principal strip-searched Savana. Off came everything but her underwear, and then she was forced to pull out on her bra and panties to show the women that she wasn't hiding pills in there. . You can read CNN's account of this here. There was a big article in the Arizona Republic yesterday, since SCOTUS has now agreed to hear the appeal. The school district says SCOTUS better not side with Savana, cuz then it might inhibit their War On Drugs. . Jeez, where to start on this. First of all, hearsay from another girl is hardly just cause to even search Savana's backpack. Second, it is very unlikely that a girl suddenly pulled out of a middle-school class will have the wits or opportunity to unobtrusively stash some pills in her undies. And finally IBUPROFEN IS A F$$KING HEADACHE PILL, YOU ACADEMIC A$$HOLES!! . Subjecting a 13-year-old girl to something like this is a criminal offense. I kinda wish the Old Testament "eye for an eye" precept would be applied here. Let's have the school nurse and assistant principal strip-searched by Savana. Failing that, let's hope SCOTUS throws the book at these incredibly moronic school officials. . Okay, Texas. Your turn. Try to out-stupid that!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Competing with the Vatican (see the posting for 17 April) for "Silliest Religous Pronouncement of the Week" was Wednesday's story out of Afghanistan about a new law there. . The edict for some reason applies to Shiites only, and states that '"a husband can demand sex with his wife every four days unless she is ill or would be harmed by intercourse" — a clause that critics say legalizes marital rape. It also regulates when and for what reasons a wife may leave her home alone. ' . You can read about it here. When 300 women dared to protest the new law, they were hounded by a thousand or so counter-protestors who hurled stones and gravel at them. And no, this didn't happen in a Taliban-controlled part of Afghanistan. This was in good old American-occupied, Allah-bless-us-lackeys Kabul. . Ah, Afghanistan. You could absorb 600 years of modernization and still find yourself smack dab in the Dark Ages. Congratulations for making the condom-condemning Papists seem progressive.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Pope Benny has his panties in a ruffle. According to MSNBC today (here), he thinks it's inappropriate for anyone to criticize His Infallibleness's remarks that AIDS "cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem." His feelings have been hurt. . I guess it's inherent that religion - any religion - demands blind acceptance from its flock. Imams send suicide bombers to their deaths. Prophets and tongues-speakers (or more correctly, tongues-interpreters) relay messages from The Deity Himself to you, as if somehow that's too great a task for His Omnipotency. And now a senile celibate feels that condoms are an offense to The Creator, since God alone should decide whether you are to get pregnant or get AIDS. . Sorry if we offend you by having our own opinions, Benny. Now please excuse me; I have to go read my horoscope and see what will happen to me tomorrow.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
As expected, the Republicans have started re-inventing themselves. After spending us into a record deficit and a bankrupt economy, they now want you to believe they're just lovable patriotic anti-tax proponents. Not that they have any constructive ideas for getting us out of the mess Dubnutz and his cronies created. But heaven forbid that Obama succeeds.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
No, not the cutthroats in Somalia. Nor the baseball ones in Pittsburgh, though I kinda like them. I'm talking about the Swedish gents at The Pirate Bay. . You can read about them here. They've been brazenly defiant to the RIAA/MPAA goons, and have been on trial since the beginning of this year. A verdict is expected two days from now. . So here's a jolly YO-HO-HO!! to Fredrik, Gottfrid, Peter and Carl. And a hope for an acquittal on all charges. As Jim Morrison once said (in Five-to-One), "They've got the guns, but we've got the numbers..."
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
b. : 14 August 1954
d. : 13 April 2009. Mark Fidrych was an instant sensation when he earned a spot in the woeful Detroit Tigers pitching rotation at the start of 1976. He went 19-9 that year, was Rookie-of-the-Year, and even started the 1976 All Star game. . Most importantly, he filled the stands whenever he pitched. People came in droves to watch him talk to himself, talk to the baseball, and do extensive landscaping on the pitcher's mound at the start of innings. . Alas, a leg injury, followed by a torn rotator cuff essentially derailed his career the next year. He hung around until 1980, but finished with a 29-19 record. . On Monday, they found him on his farm, under a dump truck that he apparently was working on. In an era where sports stars are pampered prima donnas with insufferable attitudes and/or multiple arrests, Mark Fidrych was a down-to-earth, overgrown kid who loved his brief time in the majors. Sadly, I couldn't find any decent YouTube videos of his on-the-field antics. I have a feeling some will be posted soon. . Oh yeah, they called him "The Bird" because of the uncanny resemblance he had to Sesame Street's "Big Bird". Here's to you, Mark Fidrych, the most famous 29-19 pitcher ever. You can be imitated by others, but never duplicated.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I flew into Chicago once at night - in the winter and in a snowstorm. After cruising blissfully at 30,000 feet and blue skies all the way from Las Vegas. Of course, below us it was cloudy, but who cared? . I was 18 at the time, heading back to college at Penn State. Flying standby, and stuck beside a middle-aged Jewish couple, who were quite aloof to the scruffy college kid sitting next to them when we left Vegas. But 5 or 6 drinks later (them, not me), we were old buddies. . Until we started descending into O'Hare. Into the pea-soup clouds. Then out over Lake Michigan (presumably), where we banked really sharply (still in the clouds) to make our final approach. . The dunken lady was clinging to my neck, and screaming at the top of her lungs, "WE'RE GONNA CRASH!!!" We didn't, of course. But my flight to Pittsburgh got delayed, meaning in turn that I missed the one and only evening flight from there to State College, where Penn State is located. Where I had to be the next morning in order to register for classes. . Long story short, we landed at Pittsburgh around 9:00 PM, where penniless, I somehow managed to snag a bus ticket for a 3:00 AM ride to State College. I got to my dorm around sunrise, essentially having been awake 24 hours. Woke up my roommate, whined about my karma, changed my shirt, and headed out to sign up for classes. . Oh yeah, the stupid airline also managed to lose my luggage in Chicago. What a great trip!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Texas state representative Betty Brown (Republican, of course) thinks Asians should change their names to make it "easier for Americans to deal with" them. You can read about it here. Betty thinks them Chinese names are just too danged complicated. . Betty, dearie, I know you're a dittohead bigot. But try not to be a cultural clod as well. Here, I'll help you. Chinese names are monosyllabic. That means one syllable, Betty. Like Li Ling Wang. Yeah I know, that's three syllables, which strains your Neanderthal brain. But that's actually three names. You have three names too, Betty. You don't have any trouble with them do you? Omigosh, maybe you do. Perhaps that's why you shortened Elizabeth to Betty. . Anyway, just so there's no hard feelings, Betty, the above Chinese character is for you. Have fun figuring it out. With luck, it might even give you a dose of cultural awareness.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Meet 18-year-old Phillip Alpert. Phil's an idiot. When he recently got into an argument with his 16-year-old GF, he took it kinda hard. So he found the nude photo that the GF (she's also an idiot) sexted him, and sent it to lots of her friends and her family. You can read about it here. Smart, Phil. Real smart.
GF's family and friends were not amused. Someone tipped off the police, and Idiot Phil got his a$$ busted for child pornography. He pled "no contest" to the charge, and was later surprised that that counted as a conviction. Way to grasp the judicial subtleties, Phil.
Phil is now a registered sex-offender. And on probation for 5 years. He's bitter that passing around naked pics of an underage girl without her consent is viewed as a crime. Be happy you're not in jail, Phil. With a cellmate named "Animal".
One last thing. The article says Phil and GF have been dating (CNN's word, not mine) for 2½ years. So GF was what - 13½ or 14 - when they started going out? 8th or 9th grade? Hey, parents of GF! That's freaking way too young to have your daughter going out on dates.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
An Iraqi court today shortened the sentence of Muntadhar el-Zeidi (Mr. Shoe-Thrower) down from three years to one. He is now due to be released in December 2009. You can read about it here. . Personally, he's one of my heroes. Someone who stood up and expressed the true feelings of the Iraqi populace to the occupying bullies. He's already been beaten up a couple times, and has been in jail for 4 months or so. Release this patriot now and give him a medal.
Monday, April 06, 2009
Yeah, I've had this dream. Dozens of times. Usually involving some imagined calculus class that I for some reason neglected going to for weeks on end. Or doing the homework. Or studying for the test. . And we won't even talk about waking up time after time on the back pew in a church. In my underwear. Or less. Thank god it's always the back pew. Now if I can just sneak out without anyone seeing me...
Sunday, April 05, 2009
Actually, I'd choose "passed out drunk at a party" if that was one of the options. And there ought to be a tie-breaker - guess Miley's age when the embarrassing moment occurs. I think she's a couple years away yet - let's go with "17 years and 7 months".
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Iowa became the third state in the USA to realize that discrimination against same-sex marriages is unconstitutional and denies equal rights to people for no reason other than plain old meanness. You can read the MSNBC article on it here. . I love the state's argument against same-sex marriages : the courts have no business protecting the rights of gays - if a majority of the voters want to promote hate and be nasty to a minority, well by crackee, that oughta be good enough for the courts. Hey California, you're next! And all you idiots who obeyed your hate-filled bishop, pastor, or ranting dittohead and sank millions of dollars into passing Proposition 8 are sure gonna be disappointed when the state Supreme Court throws out your little piece of bigotry there too.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
The 2009 Phoenix Gay Pride Parade is on Saturday, 18 April, and starts an hour later than usual (IIRC) at 11:00 AM. Once again, it goes up 3rd Street from Thomas to Indian School, where the weekend-long Gay Pride Festival will also be going on. You can get more details on it here. And you can see my pics from the 2008 parade here. . I work with a heap of homophobes, so this is an important event for me. I make it a point each year to invite those homophobes (and others) to the parade.