Monday, March 31, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7976

Call me old-fashioned, but I'd like to think that Santa wouldn't even know that Turkey has prisons, thank you very much.
(Image originally uploaded by santapaul; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Sing the LOLcat Electric

My friend jules has been introducing Maxxine to Walt Whitman.


Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2106

Can't Buy Me Pink Lady Reunion Tour!
(Image originally uploaded by btkpa16; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, March 28, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7625

I may be offline tomorrow, so here's tomorrow's Daily Random Flickr Blogging—today.

Nothing cuts into a gigolo's productivity quite like the Harry Potter series, lemme tell ya.
I never should have turned Grandma on to Ayn Rand. "Why, if I had this awful Immanuel Kant fellow here right now, I'd put a knitting needle right through his skull, Fluffy." *scratch scratch*
One day they're gonna invent one of these for sex—a little screen on the headboard, maybe, with flashing Xes and arrows and curlicues and tempo indicators and occasional baseball footage and whatnot. Remember, you heard it here first.
(Image originally uploaded by artcphoto, djinnie1, and gaber; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9288

When cinephiles write their own vows: "I take you to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health, fleeing in terror from a machine-like line of murderous descending Cossacks or dodging a homicidal crop-duster in a lonely Indiana cornfield...."
The Beaux Arts Trio show off their new Chucks.
Richard and Linda Thompson: a visual allegory.
(Image originally uploaded by NamTu, A Fine Frenzy, and o2ma; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Caption Contest!

I meant to mention a while back that PBS's NOW is running an occasional caption contest. The captioning fodder is cartoons, and I'm sure they'd prefer captions with a pretense of chin-scratching profundity, but what the hell.

Suddenly a clown car with a Libertarian and a Green fighting over the wheel plows smack through George Washington's face and the whole scene flies apart into chaos. This allegory brought to you by the Monarchist Society of America: Choose Monarchy® for all your -archic needs.

Shorter Megabucks Democrats to Nancy Pelosi

Nice political party ya got here. Shame if something was to happen to it.
(It seems that a who's-who of major donors—who, collectively, have given ten times as much money to Hillary Clinton's campaign as they have to Barack Obama's—have written to Nancy Pelosi urging that she stop suggesting to superdelegates that they ought to support the candidate who is ahead in the popular delegate vote come the convention this summer.
For now, Obama is ahead of Clinton in pledged delegates, 1413 to 1242, according to CNN's count, and the Clinton supporters who wrote to Pelosi this week want her to amend her advice to the nearly 800 superdelegates. "You suggested superdelegates have an obligation to support the candidate that leads in the pledged delegate count as of June 3, whether that lead be by 500 delegates or two," the letter stated. "This is an untenable position that runs counter to the party's intent in establishing super-delegates in 1984."
Yes, mustn't have too much democracy in the Democratic Party. Tsk tsk tsk.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2385

That's it. I found my epitaph.
(Image originally uploaded by ethanz; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #3601

I don't know which alternate universe I like better: (a) the one where this gorgeous creature wins on American Idol, or (b) the one where it wins on American Idol and then proceeds to eviscerate the other contestants and the judges. Wait—what am I saying? Of course I do.
(Image originally uploaded by moosewhisper; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9869

*whisper whisper* "I'm sorry, I misspoke. Iran is training extremists, not Al Qaeda."
(Image originally uploaded by Meandering Mike; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, March 24, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8128

One day, Robert DeNiro found a little door down at the end of a miniature hallway that enabled him to step into other people's minds at random and take over their bodies for fifteen minutes. With most people, the results are not pretty. "You talkin' ta me?"
(Image originally uploaded by benjamin badyk; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


So Wrong for So Long

See/hear/read Greg Mitchell on today's Democracy Now!, talking about his new book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits—and the President—Failed on Iraq. A taste:

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the “Iraq Follies,” and you’ve summarized this in a recent piece you did, the eighteen things we’ve already forgotten about the media’s flawed coverage of Iraq.

GREG MITCHELL: Right. Well, it’s really going back to the run-up and past the run-up, all the various commentators, like Chris Matthews or Bill O’Reilly or David Brooks and Tom Friedman—people like to poke fun at Tom Friedman for the so-called “Friedman Unit,” where he continually every six months would say, “Let’s give the war another six months,” and that went on for four years. But that was actually—

AMY GOODMAN: Thomas Friedman of the New York Times

GREG MITCHELL: Yeah, Thomas Friedman, yeah. But that was actually sort of a majority position. If you go back—I had to write at Editor & Publisher—and it’s all collected in the book—about every three months, I would write a column saying, “When is the first major newspaper going to come out for a—to reverse course and to begin a pullout?” And every three months, I would write this, and it never happened and never happened, until last year. So the Thomas Friedman situation really was the mainstream view.

Except that, as I pointed out three Friedmans ago, Thomas Friedman didn't invent the Friedman Unit; his equally misguided Times colleague David Brooks did. FAIR traces Friedman's first invocation of the magic six-month interval back to November 30, 2003, but his colleague Brooks said this three weeks earlier, on November 4, 2003:
Somehow, over the next six months, until the Iraqis are capable of their own defense, the Bush administration is going to have to remind us again and again that Iraq is the Battle of Midway in the war on terror, the crucial turning point where either we will crush the terrorists' spirit or they will crush ours.
I know, I know: that Midway analogy is so glaringly stupid that it distracts the attention from that "over the next six months," so casually tossed in at the beginning. Still, there it sits. David Brooks invented the Friedman Unit. I've suggested renaming it the Brooks Standard Unit or BSU, but I must admit, that doesn't have the euphonious zing of "the Friedman" or "the FU." Anyway.

Amy's conversation with Greg Mitchell is worth a read/view/listen if you'd like a quick refresher course in the many media disgraces that helped to bring us to where we are today. Surely somebody out there needs to induce vomiting?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2152

"Hello, and welcome back to Sport Night. Our next guest is an archaeologist whose new book argues that modern American professional sports could learn a lot from ancient cultures. Sum it up for us, professor: What can we borrow from the Mayans that would make, say, NCAA basketball much more worth watching?" "Two words, Keith: human sacrifice."
(Image originally uploaded by Erich Ulmer; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Twin Piques

I'm a little baffled by the reaction to the recent Barbara Ehrenreich piece on Hillary Clinton's "Family" connection from some normally judicious voices, particularly The Daily Howler and uggabugga. Channelling Kevin Drum, both accuse Ehrenreich of "character assassination"; uggabugga says she has "crafted a pure propaganda piece," and the Howler goes as far as to compare her to—it pains me to type this—Maureen Dowd ("a screaming nut-case"). Perhaps both of them missed Drum's addendum:

UPDATE: I just talked to Jeff Sharlet, author of the forthcoming book, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. Although he says that Hillary Clinton's connection with the Fellowship (aka the "Family") is fairly shallow, he also thinks it's quite wrong to characterize it as merely "a collection of Bible study groups." Hillary's association with the Fellowship is no scandal, he says, but it is fair to question her about whether she accepts Doug Coe's particular brand of elite-centered, post-millennial theology. More here.
What exactly are the Howler and uggabugga so excited about? Do they think that the claims made about the Fellowship/Family, or about Clinton's connection to it, are false? If so, they don't say so—and the Howler even says, "We’ve been interested in Jeff Sharlet’s work ever since his 2003 Harper’s piece" and adds that "We look forward to reading his forthcoming book." Do they think that the claims are not relevant? If so, then they're ignoring the specific context mentioned by Ehrenreich right at the beginning of her piece: the recent (and ongoing) flap over Barack Obama's pastor.

"He is not of the Body."
Some on the right have been trying to whip up a frenzy over some of Reverend Wright's remarks; some on the left have countered by trying to call more attention to John McCain's connections to prominent Bible-thumping loonie John Hagee. Given the level of interest being shown to both of these men's more controversial religious connections, how exactly is it out of bounds to point out that Hillary Clinton has some of her own? Do the Howler and uggabugga think that the connections between Clinton and this little-known right-wing "Christian" group are so tenuous as to not bear mentioning? Perhaps—but surely voters can decide for themselves what to make of connections like these (emphases mine):
When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian "cell" whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat.

Clinton's prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or "the Family"), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to "spiritual war" on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship's only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has "made a fetish of being invisible," former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God's plan.

[...] The Fellowship's ideas are essentially a blend of Calvinism and Norman Vincent Peale, the 1960s preacher of positive thinking. It's a cheery faith in the "elect" chosen by a single voter—God—and a devotion to Romans 13:1: "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers....The powers that be are ordained of God." Or, as Coe has put it, "we work with power where we can, build new power where we can't."

When Time put together a list of the nation's 25 most powerful evangelicals in 2005, the heading for Coe's entry was "The Stealth Persuader." "You know what I think of when I think of Doug Coe?" the Reverend Schenck (a Coe admirer) asked us. "I think literally of the guy in the smoky back room that you can't even see his face. He sits in the corner, and you see the cigar, and you see the flame, and you hear his voice—but you never see his face. He's that shadowy figure."

"The Will to Power is my co-pilot."
Do most voters know that Hillary Clinton pals around with people like this? I doubt it. Hell, after what the Rethugs did to her in the 1990s, I'm sure that many people still think she's some sort of lesbian witch. Will any voters care that she pals around with people like this? Some certainly will. And frankly, I think they have good reason to. After all, a government full of people who talk like this
Through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection. "A lot of evangelicals would see that as just cynical exploitation," says the Reverend Rob Schenck, a former leader of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue who now ministers to decision makers in Washington. "I don't....there is a real good that is infected in people when they are around Jesus talk, and open Bibles, and prayer."
—has left behind it an ever-lengthening trail of corpses, a failing economy, and a thoroughly corrupted government. How exactly has Barbara Ehrenreich done us a national disservice by pointing out Hillary Clinton has longstanding and more-than-casual connections to people like these?

Though I must say that the Howler is right about the cheap "tormented search for identity, marked by ever-changing hairstyles and names" bit. I'll give him that one.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7222

(Image originally uploaded by Brenda Chang; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, March 21, 2008


Happy Birthday, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Glenn Gould playing harpsichord. I was just thinking that there's an alternate universe where he got the Lurch part on The Addams Family. And fit right in.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4109

"G-Dog" had everyone convinced he was real gangsta—until they found a Hanson album in his CD collection.
Meanwhile, in Dick Cheney's sock drawer....
Steps Toward Adulthood, #19: Dimly apprehending a connection between the sudden disappearance of Fluffy the cat and the sudden appearance of Mom and Dad's snazzy new badminton racquets.
(Images originally uploaded by bodini, huberific, and rkalajian; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


All in the Family

While the media continues to leg-hump away over Barack Obama's insufficiently patriotic pastor, Barbara Ehrenreich reminds us that Hillary Clinton has some Christofascist skeletons in her own closet:

There's a reason Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as "The "Fellowship," also known as The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

I thought I'd heard about this creepy group before; sure enough, in my files I found a 2003 interview with Sharlet about The Family. It all sounds quite surreal—a cognitively dissonant mix of Christian piety ("Jesus is in charge"), elitism and fascism ("but bidnessmen and guys like us should run things"), topped off with real-world connections to actual gosh-darned skull-cracking, torture-committing, dissidents-out-of-airplanes-dropping authoritarian dictatorships:
GNN: So how scared are you of this group? Are they a force for fascism or some sort of cult-like group with big connections that comes and goes?

SHARLET: I think they are definitely a force for fascism. I think a lot of the way the world looks is a result of their work. They were instrumental in getting U.S. government support for General Suharto, for the generals' juntas in Brazil. Just take those two countries alone, they are two of the biggest countries on Earth. Those countries might have been progressive democracies a long time ago had it not been for U.S. support for those regimes ...

GNN: But don't you think the CIA and the U.S. government's own agenda had a lot to do with those decisions?

SHARLET: Yeah, but they made those connections.

GNN: What are the connections between the CIA and the Fellowship?

SHARLET: A lot of their key men in a country would be the intelligence officers in the American embassy. Throughout their correspondence, that's the kind of guy they would like to have involved. They always had a lot of Army intelligence guys involved, Pentagon guys.

Doug Coe in the early 70's was touring the frontlines in Vietnam with intelligence officers and South Vietnamese generals. That's the level of connections they are talking about, like the Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova [convicted by a Florida jury for the torture of thousands] and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez [a minister also linked to the CIA and death squads]. They are the people who brought those people in. They said you need to meet this person. That's how it works.

Their diplomacy can affect some good things, like the truce in Rwanda. They had a lot of connections with the South African [apartheid] regime, where they were generally a moderate, even a progressive force. But it's kinda hard to name a nasty regime around the world that doesn't have really well-documented connections to them. Franco was a hold-out. So they started winning over a bunch of ministers in the Franco regime and then they went to Franco and said this is a good group, we can do business with them.

Yeah, you can see how Jesus would be totally sympatico with guys like Franco and Suharto. Right. It almost makes you pine for some honest fascists, doesn't it? Guys who don't don't feel the need to hide their paternalistic power-f*cking fantasies behind the conceit that it's all being done for God. But then I guess that if this deception fools enough people (possibly including The Family themselves) to be useful, and if power is what you really worship, then you might as well embrace the deception and drag the good name of Jesus into your sick little game. Once you're a power-f*cker, you might as well be a power-f*cker all the way.

At any rate, I eagerly await the mainstream media's leg-humping frenzy over Hillary's connections to this lovely little organization. Not.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4081

Two days? Don't make me laugh. You have to be dead at least a week before you stop rooting for Manchester United.
(Image originally uploaded by rlouisalexander; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Rules of the Game

While browsing Today's Papers this morning I came across an interesting article about a wacky young Finnish computer-game designer, Petri Purho, who just won a fairly prestigious game developers' award for a game called Crayon Physics Deluxe (free simpler prototype version here). That one looks like fun, but what really caught my eye were a couple of his other simple-themed, made-in-less-than-a-week games:

But many of his experiments are wickedly funny and original. There are many games based on the exploits of Indiana Jones, but Purho's version is the only one that tells the story from the boulder's point of view, letting players control the rampaging sphere and smoosh wave after wave of attacking archeologists. Another game, Grammar Nazi, is a literate twist on shooters like Space Invaders. Players fire upward at swarms of enemies, but the ammo in Purho's version is the letters you type on the keyboard, and the longer the words you spell, the more damage they do. (Tapping out indie has some impact. Autodidact causes a massive explosion.) Purho made it in a single day.
I'm not a big computer game player—aside from good old Windows Solitaire, I have an old poker CD-ROM and that's about it—but there's a certain subversive appeal in something like "A Tribute to the Rolling Boulder":
You play as the infamous rolling boulder. Roll over the archeologists and protect the honor of the golden idols of fertility.

If your honor drops to zero (honor is indicated by the bar in the bottom of the screen) the game is over. The honor will decrease if there are archeologists touching the golden idols.

I'm thinking that Orson Welles's movies might be a good source of similarly decentered games. Perhaps one where you chase Harry Lime through the sewers of Vienna, or one where you play a fly that has to stay out of the way of Kane's room-trashing rampage? Hmm.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5345

I'm in a foul mood today, what with the five-year anniversary and three days' worth of Winter Soldier testimony on Democracy Now! and all.

Meanwhile, at the Fox News auditions, the competition was heating up.
(Image originally uploaded by Side Salad; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5030

"Surprisingly roomy and non-binding, actually."
(Image originally uploaded by Patcave; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


If a Hearing Falls in the Forest...

I'd figured that the new Winter Soldier hearings wouldn't get much mainstream press attention, but I didn't think they'd be ignored this thoroughly:

Although Winter Soldier was held just outside the nation’s capital, it was almost entirely ignored by the American corporate media. A search on the Lexis database found that no major television network or cable news network even mentioned Winter Soldier over the weekend, neither did the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times or most other major newspapers in the country. The editors of the Washington Post chose to cover Winter Soldier but placed the article in the local section.
For curiosity's sake, twice over the last weekend I browsed the websites of the major TV "news" channels; all I found were links to the same lonely WaPo story, and those were only at CBS and MSNBC. I found nothing at ABC, CNN, or PBS's NewsHour. From the good NPR Check I find that All Things Considered had a story on Sunday, but listening to it, I find that it's all of three minutes long and well sanitized, with examples that seem carefully chosen not to offend: a soldier says that rules of engagement allowed firing on vehicles that strayed too close to convoys, and another says that a prisoner was denied food, water, and sleep for three days. Gosh. Meanwhile, over at Democracy Now! and other outlets, there's testimony about terrorizing families, indiscriminate shooting of civilians, indiscriminate firing of machine guns into buildings, etc. etc. etc. But I guess that basic honesty about such things would cut into tote bag sales.

Oh, that liberal media.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6791

Of all the many variations of poker, there is none more confusing and violence-prone than Five-Card ARP (Aircraft Recognition Poker).

"But a Messerschmitt 109 beats a Lockheed P-38."

"No, it doesn't."

"Yes, it does. The Messerschmitt's manouverability more than makes up for the P-38's greater speed and armament."

"No, it doesn't."

"Yes, it does."

*chips scattering* *gunshots* *screams*

(Image originally uploaded by CarlNE; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6438

"Do I know the way to San José? Watch and learn."
(Image originally uploaded by Gare and Kitty; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


A Trip Down Memory Hole Lane

You may have already seen "The Iraq Follies," Greg Mitchell's review of "eighteen things you've already forgotten about the media's flawed coverage of Iraq," but be sure to check it out if you haven't. The first item on his list remains one of my personal favorites:

The day before the invasion, Bill O'Reilly said, "If the Americans go in and overthrow Saddam Hussein and it's clean, he has nothing, I will apologize to the nation; I will not trust the Bush administration again, all right?"
The mystery isn't why you didn't follow through on that promise, Bill; the mystery is why anybody continues to watch a pompous lying jackass like you. But this is the one that Democrats had better not forget come this summer and fall:
On March 27, 2007, John McCain, referring to the supposed calm settling on Baghdad, said, "General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed Humvee." This turned out to be pure bunk, but McCain quickly visited Iraq to try to prove his overall point. There, the Arizona senator went from the ridiculous to the maligned, touring a Baghdad market and claiming all was safe—while troops surrounded him and helicopters twirled overhead. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) likened the scene to "a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime."
Either John McCain actually thinks that it's normal to take half a Marine battalion and air support along with you when you go shopping, or he's a dirty stinking liar who should have this shameful anecdote hung around his neck like a dead albatross. Straight talk!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7689

From the alternate universe where Jackson Pollock became a chef rather than a painter, and he pioneered "action cooking," wherein he would put plates on the floor and just walk around with bucketfuls of various meats, fish, vegetables, etc., grabbing and tossing and flinging and dripping as the spirit took him, until the filled plates would then be picked up and sold to hungry sophisticates who would eagerly pay upwards of $75 a plate for the resulting collaborations between Pollock, chance, and gravity, and only one diner out of ten came down with any serious gastrointestinal disorder, and hey, those are better odds than you get from the surrealists over at alternate-universe Taco Bell.
(Image originally uploaded by jasonperlow; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, March 14, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4407

Animal Planet is taking improv comedy in an exciting new direction:

"Okay, the location is a cab, the action is a stoned surfer trying to find the nearest beach. Got it....Um, driver. Um. Take me to the, um, beach, like, thing."

"Yes, sir." *mimes activating meter*


*screams, sounds of disemboweling*

(Image originally uploaded by Brian 96; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Rock of Ageds

Hey, Generik is back in action, and he has up a truly magnificent rant by his brother. Speaking of "classic rock": I confess that I sometimes tune in to our local (as in broadcast from somewhere in Orlando but probably programmed somewhere in Hong Kong) "classic rock" station when I'm in my car. And only when I'm in my car. There is a certain "comfort food" element in hearing the exact same songs I was hearing 2-3 decades ago, I admit. Or do I mean "comfort station"? "Comfort women"? I'm not sure anymore. But y'know the weirdest thing? Pretty much every single time I'm in my car and tune in that station, they play a Boston song. Honestly, I don't remember hearing that much Boston back when this "rock" was "classic." At what point in the past twenty years did Boston get promoted to classic rock archetype? 'cause if I were Journey I would be, like, seriously pissed.

Should We Crush His Sweet Hands?

One of the absolutely best paragraphs I have ever read, courtesy The Poor Man:

If you pull down a six- or seven-figure salary working in a cushy media job, and especially if you spend time in a makeup chair before putting on your gossipy news “show”, you forfeit the right to speak for the “working class”, or anybody who has a real job, ever again. If your made-up face on your catty chat show is beamed down to normal people from far-out satellites, you are basically a Mick Ronson riff away from being Ziggy Stardust, and should probably work on coming to grips with that, rather than imagining that you are somehow the authentic proletariat. You’re a freaky moonage rich person in spaced-out freaky daydreamland, man. Deal with it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6232

I'm having a crappy week, as witness my utter lack of inspiration today.

You know a civilization is doomed when it takes this much effort just to tell a knock-knock joke.
(Image originally uploaded by carmensapunaru; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2596

A little-known fact about Tom Cruise is that he can hand-fart all four movements of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Whether he owes this talent to the mystic teachings of Scientology, I cannot say.
(Image originally uploaded by jaimeandstu; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7393

It's a little-known fact that Howard Hughes had been working on a series of streamlined tricycles when he hooked up with luscious starlet Ava Gardner:

His next project? The Hughes H-1 Racer:
Tune in tomorrow for another enlightening piece of Freudian trivia.
(Image originally uploaded by codymc; other images from IMDB and AAFO. Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekly Random Flickr Blogging, #2095

Here's a quick one for this week's group fun.

(Image originally uploaded by michielvw; Random Flickr Blogging explained here.)


Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7347

Then the sullen Goth kid got up and wrote "Your intestines are full of decomposing meat," and things at self-esteem camp went downhill from there.
(Image originally uploaded by _misto; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan

I can't wait to see how little attention this gets from the mainstream media:

Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan will feature testimony from U.S. veterans who served in those occupations, giving an accurate account of what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground.

The four-day event will bring together veterans from across the country to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan—and present video and photographic evidence. In addition, there will be panels of scholars, veterans, journalists, and other specialists to give context to the testimony. These panels will cover everything from the history of the GI resistance movement to the fight for veterans' health benefits and support.

When: Thursday March 13 to Sunday March 16

Schedule and streaming information here. I was only a kid when the first Winter Soldier hearings took place; growing up as a good progressive optimist in the richest, most powerful democracy in the world, I never dreamed that another set would ever be necessary. Thanks to the Bush-Cheney administration, it almost feels like we have to recover an entire century's worth of moral progress.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7444

When Professor Escargot noticed that the Snail-Signal had been activated, he turned immediately to his trusty sidekick. "Come, Baguette," he said. "We are needed."
(Image originally uploaded by Gaël Chardon; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Saturday, March 08, 2008

One Giant Leap for Jazzkind

When you read student papers, you find (a) errors that confuse you, (b) errors that annoy you, and (c) errors that make you rock with laughter. Here's one of the latter that helped to make my day a bit more enjoyable:

When man landed on the moon everyone thought it was such an amazing historical event. They thought that it was such an immense accomplishment. Everyone watched the broadcast of it on their black and white television in their living room and tried to imagine what they were seeing. Watching it, you would have seen an image of Louis Armstrong bouncing up and down on the moon’s surface, planting that celebrated American flag.
And then you would have seen his thrilling rendition of "Basin Street Blues" in the vacuum of space. Man, did Satchmo have a set of lungs on him or what?

There Will Be Crap

The Daily Show is usually good when it comes to satirizing the corporate "news" channels, but this—this is magnificent:

You laugh now, but that skull locomotive thing will show up on MSNBC one day, just you wait.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6583

As the waves rolled in, Sophia began to think that this would be a lot more fun (a) with Burt Lancaster and (b) without the incredibly painful jellyfish stings.
(Image originally uploaded by legothenego; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Friday, March 07, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8188

"I Am Yog-Sothoth's Clitoris" is one of the lesser-known stories in the Lovecraft canon.
(Image originally uploaded by BurningQuestion; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6842

Some things truly are universal. "My eyes are up here, comrade."
(Image originally uploaded by URKOURSUS; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5127

Hey, look: clownfish with an amenome. An anenome. An amemone. A— One of those things that clownfish live with.
Few people realize that the Fujita tornado scale was originally developed to simplify insurance claims in the wake of Led Zeppelin's first US tour.
(Image originally uploaded by adorablebabasseur and we-make-money-not-art; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4236

Sometimes, when you're pressed for time, you just have to go with first thoughts, however inexplicable they might be. When I saw this picture, I swear, this is the first thought I had:

It's Joey Ramone—in cow form.
(Image originally uploaded by Hög på livet!; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, March 03, 2008

Weekly Random Flickr Blogging, #0463

Tsk tsk, I've been forgetting the weekly festivities again. But not this time.

Caution: Zeus Crossing?

Warning: Trespassers May Be Used For Frankensteinesque Reanimation Experiments?

Danger: Wearing of Nehru Jackets May Incur Divine Retribution?

You Know You're a Yuppie When #172: You actually own a snail koozie.
It's a $20,000 antique mahogany Victorian pedestal desk, and the underside is still full of boogers. There's your human condition, right there.
(Images originally uploaded by fnygaard, katinagies3, and antique4sale58; Random Flickr Blogging explained here.)



Don't miss Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes talking about their new book on the real cost of the Iraq war. Don't miss 'em on Democracy Now!, anyway, 'cause it's unlikely that Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Chris Wallace, Tucker Carlson, etc. will be having them in for a chat anytime soon. And don't think about all the education, health care, infrastructure improvements, etc. that could've been bought with that money.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4766

"All things arise and pass away, but the awakened awake forever, R2."
(Image originally uploaded by lepham; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4192

I haven't done a threefer for a while. So here one is.

Bite Me, Juan Valdez, Chavez Replies
Janeane Garofalo's disappointing screen test for Salomé.
Join us now for the Coney Island Mermaid Parade's thrilling re-creation of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.
(Images originally uploaded by gigo6000, Woodrow, and Paul-M; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton.)


Onward, Christian Soldier

And don't let the door hit you on the way out:

San Francisco - Another high-ranking George W. Bush administration official has resigned. The Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Benefits Daniel Cooper quit Thursday amid mounting criticism over a backlog of disability claims for injured veterans that runs six months long and an appearance he made in a fundraising video for an evangelical Christian organisation where he said Bible study was more important than doing his job.

Cooper has been under fire for using his office to proselytise for evangelical Christianity ever since he appeared in a 2004 fundraising video for Christian Embassy, which carries out missionary work among the Washington elite as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ.

In the video, Cooper says of his Bible study, "It's not really about carving out time, it really is a matter of saying what is important. And since that's more important than doing the job - the job's going to be there, whether I'm there or not."

Cooper's declaration inflamed veterans who saw the number of veterans waiting for the Veterans Administration (VA) to decide their disability claims balloon to 400,000 on his watch, with the average veteran waiting six months for a decision from the government.

"He was clearly a fundamentalist Christian first and essentially a government paid missionary for his particular world view of the gospel of Jesus Christ," said Mike Weinstein, who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. "The fact that he's gone obviously is good."

Spokespersons for the Department of Veterans Affairs refused to grant an interview for this story.

I've heard of the "Protestant work ethic," but this is ridiculous.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0422

It's one of the most classic jokes in China:

Man: "Waiter, there's a map of Middle Earth in my Duck Blood Tofu."

Waiter: "Shhh. Everybody will want one."

(Image originally uploaded by Bill Glover; Random Flickr Blogging invented by Tom Hilton."Duck blood tofu" is what the original caption says, I swear. According to a "Weird Meat" blog, this dish is also known as "duck blood soup." Read down, by the way, for a description of "black bone chicken soup with bull penis" featuring one of the coolest sentences I have ever read: "This penis was soft and tender like a fresh noodle, and captured the flavor of the soup nicely.")


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