Tuesday, December 30, 2003

What the hell? NORAD has just intercepted Air France flight 68, en route to LAX. I'm waiting for a confirmation for this story. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 29, 2003

By the way, if there is ever an emo olympics, this could be a new event. The video is pretty long, but trust me, it gets better and better.

Howdy, folks. Christmas was pretty awesome for me, and I hope it was awesome for you. It snowed all Christmas day in Reno, so it was the first "white Christmas" I've witnessed in years. Very pretty. Okay, now that we've gone through the pleasantries, let's get to some really good news!

A federal appeals court has ruled that the subpoenas the RIAA has been using to reign in and convict individuals of music piracy are illegal. Yes, you read that right. ILLEGAL! What does this mean to those who have already fallen into the clutched of the RIAA? Well, nothing. They could still be held accountable for lots of money because of their piracy, but it means that the rest of us are free! So, swap on, my friends. The RIAA has lost it's teeth, and we can once again trade music illegally, thus destroying the music industry and making record executives poor.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

The first case of Mad Cow Disease has been discovered in Washington state. This, of course, means that it has spread already to the cows that made up the burger you ate today at Jack In The Box. This because of the unusually long gestation time of the disease, or maybe it just lies dormant foe a while. I don't remember which, so I am probably infected as well.

If you were waiting for that nightmare scenario of the Apocalypse, here it is. Because when all of us meat-eaters start running around in the streets with feces drying on our naked legs and commenting on how much we liked the movie adaptation of Dreamcatcher, Ted, fucking Ted, will be ruling us all with his iron vegetarian fist. And that, my friends, will be Judgment Day.

BTW, I am in Reno celebrating this joyous time of year with my family, so don't expect too many updates in the next few days. Not that you should expect regular updates from me anyway.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

This article was brought to my attention a couple of days ago by one of my faithful few readers, but it took me a while to track down the original piece. So now I can actually comment on it. Thanks, Ted. Next time, send a link, ya bastard.

It appears that the Catholics have once again put their noses(and thankfully, just that) where it isn't wanted, right in the center of the Saddam capture. Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said he felt compassion for Saddam and that the world should have been spared the images of his medical examination after his capture. The good Cardinal wanted the world to know that the Vatican has always been opposed to the death penalty and thought that Saddam was portrayed "like a cow" on television immediately after his capture. Like a sacrificial cow, you mean. While I don't doubt that the capture of the world's second most wanted man wasn't much more than a P.R. windfall for the Bush Administration, I don't know why the Catholic church is opening up their fucking mouths in the first place.

They didn't support the invasion in the first place, since they were dealing with so much bullshit concerning their turning a blind eye to pederasts in their organization. It's okay to rape children, but it isn't okay to overthrow despots who practice genocide. But this shouldn't be surprising, since they did absolutely fuck-all when Hitler was exterminating the Jews en masse just 60 years ago. Well, they were the "other team", weren't they? Losing six million Jews helped to push up the Catholics on the religion Top 40, although I may be a little off on this subject. Oh, and let's not forget the whole slavery thing. They turned a blind eye to that, too.

It is amusing when the Catholics try to take the holy high ground these days. It seems like they are riding the coattails of the rest of the religious right, who are getting their day finally with the Bush Administration pushing for more integration of church and state. I got news for you, Bush wants as little to do with the Catholics as everyone else. You guys did a really good job of dragging your whole religion through the mud, and now you want a queer makeover.

Perhaps now God has turned a blind eye to you. Oh, snap!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Let this be a lesson to all of you. Don't narc on your cat.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Here is a well written article taken from Rotten.com that touches a couple of issues that are close to my heart. The first involes Freedom Of Speech, which is too often squashed in these post 9/11 days.

The other is "The Shocker".

In May of 2000, it was reported in the local paper that thirty-four students who had attended Hanover High School in Pennsylvania had had their pictures taken for the school yearbook giving an obscene gesture. The principal, John P. Cokefair, had sent a letter to the thirty-four students' parents explaining that because of the preponderance of this gesture in the photos, the offending photos would be re-taken, without the gesturing students, and these students would bear the cost of the re-shoot.
Additionally, the students were to recieve community service for a day, and seniors who did not show up would be denied their diplomas, while truant underclassmen would be given a three-day suspension.

An outsider who hears this story naturally asks the same question: How were thirty-four students able to give the finger and not get caught until it was necessary to replace the photos?

Therein lies the interesting fact of this event; the gesture in question was not the middle finger, but a gesture known in certain circles as "the shocker". Principal Cokefair explained in his letter that the reference was "so horrific" that some students could not even speak of it. His letter explained, "perhaps your child will elaborate when you have a talk about this matter."

In fact, the photos had been taken throughout the year, but were undetected as anything meaningful until some team photos were brought to the attention of the administration by a faculty member in the athletic department. Once the meaning was known, the yearbook had become a minefield of obscenity and deplorable references; the Principal had felt he must act.

It would be best at this juncture to assist the unknowing (feel no embarassment) as to the formation and reference of "the shocker". Let's start with your outstretched hand, palm up. Take your ring finger (next to the pinky) and touch it to your thumb. It is as if you're making an "OK" symbol with the wrong finger. Now, flatten your finger and thumb a bit, while your first, second and pinky fingers remain straight up. Rotate your hand a little, so your straightened fingers are pointing somewhat sideways.

Congratulations, you are now making "The Shocker".

It is a gesture meant to indicate a sexual act, wherein the first and second fingers enter a vagina, while the errant pinky plunges into the anus; hence the "shock". The gesture, the province of minds quite filthy in nature, has taken on other, more explicit names: "Two in the pink and one in the stink", "two in the coot and one in the boot", "going to town with one in the brown". Yes, quite rude, quite crude... but a minimal impact, considering its relative obscurity and difficult explanation. You can imagine Cokefair's eyes tearing up with anger as he flipped through the photographs; smiling faces, blushing with youth and vitality, innocently holding up a signal representing digital sodomy and sexual manipulation. The despair in the room, the struggle to decide what to do, must have been palpable.

For their own part, students claimed several defenses to the local press; that some didn't know what the meaning of the gesture was (quite likely), that it had been done in previous yearbooks with no punishment (and it had), and that the punishment was, after all, inherently cruel.

A parents' meeting was quickly announced by the school board for the following tuesday, allowing the parents to vent their anger or sound their agreement with the chosen punishment.

One hundred parents and students showed up. One hundred! The tone was obvious, the intent soon laid out: removal of the photos was not the answer. This tone found a voice in one Kate Klunk, the lone student representative on the school board. That night had been bittersweet for her; while this debate raged on, she had also been awarded a certificate for two years of service on the board. But she saw through the fog of anger and spoke. And her words held weight and meaning.

"The yearbook is designed as a documentary, memorial or historical book," she said. "No person or persons" should be permitted to remove photographs; it was tantamount, she said, to removing mentions of slavery from history books because "it makes America look bad."

Why not simply airbrush out the gestures themselves, a cost which the offenders could bear, and which could be done without sacrificing the many photographs that had been taken? Ms. Klunk concluded with her brilliant offered comprimise and gave back the floor.

Then rose Steve Sheppard. A parent and self-described "representative of the parent community", he proceeded to read Cokefair's letter to the attendees of the room, because not all had had the opportunity to read it. He dismissed the idea that the children were "innocent babes", but questioned why their silly joke must cause such revisionism in the yearbook. He refuted the idea of making the students drive back from Senior Week to do community service, questioning the safety of such a request. He pointed out that the plan as stated by the Cokefair letter was that not only would the students be not allowed in the re-taken photographs, but their names would cease to appear next to them, even under a "missing" header. In other words, as he put it, the school district would "destroy a piece of our history".

Sheppard's speech was interspersed with applause at several points, and upon conclusion he was given a standing ovation.

No doubt, Cokefair saw the writing on the wall as the applause faded.

By June, the board had spoken. The students were not to be given community service, and the photos would not be replaced (although in some cases new photographs had been taken in anticipation). Instead, Klunk's suggestion ruled the day: the students' obscene gestures would be airbrushed from the photos, artistic siphoning of the horrifying incident. The students would also recieve six hours of after-school detention.

What happened next is, like all back-room intrigue, up to interpretation. Fingers were pointed, accusations made, numerous angry calls and conferences between the administrators of the school. To the outside world, and even the parents, things seemed to die down.

Until July.

His authority questioned, his declarations anulled, and his good name now inextricably linked with this digital obscenity, John Cokefair did what any self-respecting man would do. He resigned.

In the heat of the Hanover summer, Cokefair submitted a letter to school district authorities and officials, citing the Shocker incident, and the ensuing fiasco, as reason enough to seek employment elsewhere. Cry not for him, for he found solace and waiting arms in his previous employer, the Williamsport High School, three restful hours away. His pay would be nearly the same, although he would be one of several co-principals, no longer the single lord and renovating spirit he had been at Hanover. No doubt, this was a tough sword to self-administer at age 50, a time when your days should be spent walking the hallways, assisting the problem students, disciplining the bad eggs, making the inspiring speeches at pep rallies.

And as for whether he was jumped or pushed, Cokefair claimed he had been given a gag order (an accusation which the school board denied) and refused to discuss details other than to intimate to the local paper about the event: "That probably was the most shining example of the lack of respect I was receiving....it was a crowning star and I sincerely hope that Dr. Bortner (the new superintendent Michele Bortner) is able to convince the board to respect their principals."

Even now, in this future age, when the events have settled into history and the decisions and battles are now trapped in the amber of lore, it is best to realize how even the littlest fights can erupt into life-changing battles, with collateral damage to careers and reputations, driving men and their families from a community, never to return.

Surely, that is the greatest "shocker" of all.

Saddam has been captured! It took a while, but we finally have him. Saddam Hussein was found in a hole on a ranch in his hometown of Tikrit yesterday in a raid codenamed "Operation Red Dawn". That rules, I love that movie! It makes you wonder if the U.S. troops yelled "Wolverines!" when they finally had their hands on him. Well, congrats guys! Now, let's get the hell out of there and go get bin Laden.

Friday, December 12, 2003

Sometimes the news cheers me up. It's nice to see that there is some kind of justice in a world which all too often seems cold and impartial. For instance, this asshole got exactly what he deserved. First of all, he bought a pit bull and trained it to fight. This training is brutally abusive to the dog, seeing as they often get their asses kicked by both man and other dogs throughout their "career". Then, when the dog has miraculously survived to a comfortable old age and refuses to fight, these schmucks attempt to drown him in a well of water, oil, and filth. One of these little dickheads falls in, his cousin gets his dad, then the dad falls in. The dog and the cousin survived.

People, dogs aren't toys, like Rockem' Sockem' Robots. They are not here to serve as some kind of violent outlet for your own moronic desires. They are here to simply sponge off of us and be friendly. Like cats, except for the being friendly part. There really should be some sort of test you have to go through before you are allowed to own a pet. It would be so much better for them. And me, because every time I have to read a story like this, it really gets my blood up.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Stop the presses! It appears that some 17th century Javanese coins have been found encased in mud on the banks of the River Thames in London. Wow! How incredibly bizarre!

I really don't know why this story is newsworthy, but apparently others feel the need to tout this finding as "mysterious", even though London was doing a brisk trade with Java in the 17th century. In fact, the English and the Dutch, not the Pennsylvania Dutch, had been duking it out for the proposed monopoly on all those great Javanese spices. Paprika, bay leaves, Mrs. Dash, all the heavies. So why is this mysterious? Just because they are the first Javanese coins from the 17th century? So what? It must be a weak news day.

Well, it looks like everyone's favorite corporation, Haliburton, has decided to screw over the Pentagon. This would not seem like the world's best decision, conssidering they just won a no bid contract to rebuild Iraq's oil industry. They also should be announcing the start of construction on oil pipelines running through Afganistan, like Dick Cheney has wanted for so long now, but I digress.

Why would Haliburton be so stupid as to overcharge America on gas prices? Is this what is really going on in this story? Is there more to it? I DON'T KNOW! Yahoo needs to fluff this story a little so I can form a coherent rant.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Okay, I have found my new favorite band, Blaq! Although I can't find any info on them anywhere on the internet, don't think that is going to stop me, oh no! I forget where exactly I found these pictures, but let me tell you, they were certainly eye openers! I don't even know where to begin with these guys. Actually, maybe I do.

First of all, the bassist here reinforces the belief that the bass player is always the geekiest person in the band. I mean, come on! Couldn't he afford makeup like the rest of his mates? And that hairdo! All of these guys would undoubtedly get their asses kicked if they walked around in public like that, but they would probably use the bassist as the bludgeoning instrument. He kinda reminds me of Kenny G as well. That's not endearing me to him any further.

The guy with the pentagram on his forehead is obviously on heroin, to boot. They all look a little fucked up, but he really takes the burrito. I love the way most of his headshots show him staring into outer space while keeping his head tilted up so he looks like he might be thinking about something other than what the hell he did to end up in this band. Or when he can "fix" himself next. But considering how much he smiles, he may be the person most into dressing like fourteen year old LiveJournal writer.

The guy with the feather boa and the B.C. Rich guitar is the lead singer, I guess, simply because he is always in the forefront of the pics and he flips off the camera more than anyone else. He also apparently plays the keyboards. He's so talented! And those dayglo gloves he wearing? Pure genius! I swear to god, I'm dying to see these guys in concert. It would be a trip down memory lane, like the time I saw Poison and Ratt at the Cow Palace. Now, that was a show!

The drummer looks the most normal of the whole crew. If you took off his makeup and combed his hair, he could be the guy who helped you pick out a DVD player at Circuit City. Or works at your local Starbucks. The rest of the guys, though? Nothing but L.A. glam trash. Or they could be from Poland, now that I think about it. Is glam rock in over there?

Saturday, December 06, 2003

I guess we have been so occupied with terrorist attacks and the economy that we have ignored the real problem in our country. Yes, I'm talking about Christian Persecution. Apparently, the Christians are whining that the separation of church and state included their religion as well. The author of this article, David Limbaugh(who is a lawyer, by the way), has pieced together quite a little argument for himself in the only way a lawyer could: by circumstantial evidence and clouding the facts. He has written a whole book on this subject and even hints at a sequel. I can't wait!

His first example of religious persecution involves the Meriden Public Library in Meriden, Conn., which banned five paintings of Jesus Christ. The library had decided that pictures of Jews being crucified and in obvious pain were inappropriate for small children, saying that they could scare the little tykes. Limbaugh counters this by wondering why a library would think that a picture of "the One", who I thought was supposed to be Keanu Reeves, would be offensive. The guy is naked and streaming blood while hanging from his hands on a cross! Using this as a religious symbol has always confounded me, but much of Christianity has confounded me. Like encouraging cannibalism or considering sex evil. The rest of his examples point to students not being given scholarships to study divinity. What isn't mentioned is the fact that their grades, not their choices of majors, were instrumental in their not being given money by the state. Although, if I were on the board of Those Who Give Out Money, I wouldn't want to cough up thirty grand for someone to study Christianity either. That's what CCD is for, stupid! You would imagine textbooks would be pretty cheap, though. You only really need the one. The BIG one.

While this article just about made me spit up my Fruity Pebbles all over my keyboard, I guess I can understand where this guy is coming from. He's just thinking like most religious zealots do. If anybody wants to tone down the religious voices of some folks in the interest of letting everyone live their own life in peace, the vociferous ones always cry foul. And we all know how loud Christians can be. If it were the Hindus saying the same thing, the Christians would growl about false idols and teaching our children the wrong morals. And really, they would be right. If everybody would just keep their relationship with their gods personal, and not bring everybody else into it, we would all be in better shape. But this is not possible for some folks. We should concentrate on teaching our young tolerance, which would include shutting the fuck up every once in a while and listening to what our neighbors have to say.

Just a thought.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Apparently, this whole lawsuit thing the RIAA has going is making them money hungry. Now they have turned their Death Star beam on people who haven't even got computers to swap MP3's. Their latest target is 79 year old Ernest Brenot of Ridgewood, Washington. Apparently, Ernest is quite prolific in trading Eminem and Korn MP3's even though he does not own and can't really operate a computer. In fact, he sent in a handwritten note to the federal judge presiding over this case because of his apparent inability to use Microsoft Word in order to craft a letter of bafflement.

Yeah, right.

This is exactly the kind of crafty bullshit an accomplished filesharing guru would use as a front. "Oh, I'm too old and stupid to install Kazaa on my system and trade U2 and Vanilla Ice songs!" C'mon, now. We've heard that story before. Kudos to the RIAA for bringing these assholes to the forefront of the struggle, ensuring that record company executives can still pay for their country club memberships while the artists see nothing of the profits. I say pull their pension. That only seems fair.

Christmas is just around the corner, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the winter wonderland that is San Jose. The Christmas lights are up, there is a light powdering of snow on the ground, and sleigh rides are to be enjoyed up and down Santa Clara Street. The only thing left to do is decide what we want for this joyous occasion. You know, maybe a TiVo, or perhaps that DVD/VCR combo down at Circuit City. While we all ponder over such things, let's not forget the soldiers in Iraq who, unfortunately, will not be able to celebrate with their loved ones.

And let's not forget who sent them there in the first place. President George W. Bush, who was so convinced that there was an imminent danger of weapons of mass destruction from this rogue state, that he just couldn't help but invade and topple Saddam's regime of terror. Now, I know that I had previously stated that I was pro-war at the onset of this debacle, and my reasoning was sound. I wanted to get cheaper gas. I was not convinced that WMDs were in Iraq, but it sounded like a good enough cover for a land grab, so I jumped on the bandwagon. Now, not only were there no WMDs, but gas hasn't gotten any cheaper, either. I feel screwed. And the REAL bitch about it is this; even though Iraq and Afghanistan blew up in his face, Dubya still is enjoying a 60% approval rating from the citizens of America. What the hell? This guy has got to be the worst president ever, but middle America thinks he is still doing okay?

Please, folks, lets make sure this guy doesn't get another chance at fucking up our country. It's not about Democrats and Republicans anymore, it's about getting Dubya out of office! He's Satan, and really, that's not what Christmas is all about. Except for the fact that Santa and Satan have names that are suspiciously close to one another.

By the way, this update didn't come from any sort of idea brewing in my head. I just kinda let it flow. Pretty hard to tell, isn't it?