your weekend dose of surrealism
"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Legal eagle vs legal beagle
You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, You'll enjoy the pie
If the Goon Show and Walt Kelly had gotten really sloppy drunk and had a love child with Salvador Dali, and that love child had been triplets, and one of them had been a lobster, and the three of them had blog it would be Fafblog. Enjoy the return of surrealism and teh funnee to the blogosphere and pray that they don't go on hiatus again.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Even living in Japan, we still get the weekend visits from the evangelists. Most weeks its the Jehovah Witnesses, but I see a lot of young Mormons around the major train stations with their whiter than white shirts, neckties and mountain bikes. Say what you want about the Mormons, but they have a stellar language program for their missionaries - their guys get off the plane here speaking better Japanese than I do, that much is certain.
Still, hearing that doorbell ring in the middle of a late, leisurely Saturday breakfast would piss me off if it were Jesus himself selling girl scout cookies, so seeing a couple of middle aged Japanese ladies with crazy eyes trying to foist off copies of the Watchtower usually harshes my coffee buzz considerably. Lately, they changed tactics and have sent a young British woman to try to sell me salvation, but I'm still not buying.
I have to wonder if anyone does. I mean, even if you are at the end of your rope, if you are desperate to find religion, to believe, to accept Hay-seus as your own personal savior -- are you really going to jump in to line with someone who comes round trundling tracts at your front door?
True story ( or at least presented to me as true by a trusted friend):Whenever I think of the Jehovah's witnesses going door to door, or I encounter an evangelist of any flavor knocking on doors or handing out tracts on the street corner, I am reminded of the experience of an old high school pal and his brush with immortality.
Todd and his father were avid outdoorsmen who lived in the neighbourhood the other side of the park from mine. He was a few years ahead of me in school and we moved in the same circles in Sault Ste. Marie back in "the day" as it were. One weekend he and his father had been out on an early morning duck hunt and had bagged several birds. As the junior partner in the operation, Todd, then about 17, was stuck with the chore of cleaning the ducks. So he dug in, plucking the feathers, lopping off the heads and feet and gutting the half dozen or so birds.
When a knock came at the front door, he went to answer, hunting knife in hand and spattered with gore from the quarry he was preparing for the table. It was all perfectly normal as far as he was concerned. He peeped through the peep hole in the front door expecting to see the paperboy collecting the weekly subscription fee for the newspaper or one of his younger sibling's friends come to call for them. It was a pair of middle aged ladies with the inevitable copies of The Watchtower.
Being a staunch agnostic and always ready for a good argument, Todd flung open the door and barked "What the hell do you want?" as a prelude to instructing them in their misapprehension that he gave a flying fuck at a rolling donut about their "good news" when his 14 year old sister saw a great big hairy spider in the upstairs bedroom and screamed as only a 14-year-old girl can.
Time, Todd told me later, slowed to the pace of molasses dripping uphill in February.
He stared at the Jehovah Witnesses. The Jehovah Witnesses stared back at him, briefly.
Mindful of his bloodspattered shirt and the big, bloody knife in his hand, Todd simply grimaced and the servants of Jehovah decided that it would be a good idea to give their witness elsewhere, immediately, if not sooner, and decamped in considerable haste.
Hilarity ensued. And ten minutes later when the police cruiser arrived, Todd, his sister, his father and his next-door neighbor who had allowed the panicked Witnesses to use his telephone were still sitting on the front porch roaring and holding their sides. When the constabulary were given the full picture, they were hard pressed not to take part in the merriment.
The Witnesses never darkened Todd's door again.
Obviously , we can't all have that kind of luck or timing, but you can fight back. Offer to trade literature with them. You get a copy of The Watchtower to wrap fish with and they get a copy of say Origin of Species, or some Pastafarian brochures or something like "Kissing Hank's Ass" (if you'd rather wait for the movie, wait no more, just look on the blogroll)
(video from the very funny Australian television series "Jon Safran vs. God" via Bruce at Canuck Attitude)
http://view.break.com/185806 - Watch more free videos
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sorry? He certainly is
Do any readers who live in the Toronto area have a paypal account? Because I'd like to ask you to do me a favor and forward a few inflated yen to Toronto city councillor Rob Ford so he can buy himself a few things -- namely a sense of shame and a clue.
It could have been worse, I suppose, at least he didn't pull back the corners of eyes and proclaim "Me so solly" like some offensive Jerry Lewis/Krusty the Clown knock-off, but he didn't stop much short of it.
Swellagant and elegant
though I daresay Skadl has hit the nail on the head with what I consider to be the ideal anthem for the event.
Some apples do not fall from the tree
Prominent offspring of famous facist+ multiple hookers+ nazi regalia+Fleet street tabloid=Hilarity!
Yes, there are more important things going on in the world. Yes, what people do in the privacy of their own homes is their own business. Still, this is what we in the journalism business call a perfect storm. If only it had been Dick Cheney or George Bush.
Mercy me, such foolish contrarianism
Bound as I am by my decision to abide by Canadian Cynic's civility for truth challenge, I cannot give full play to range of colourful expressions I would like to use to describe
Richard Peter Foster's collection of contrarian nonsense and flat out balderdash in the Financial Post recently, nor to describe Ms. McMillian's insistence that apples are oranges based on her own willful misinterpretation of the facts regarding the recent "Earth Hour." (Link goes to CC's critique, I will not send traffic to her site.)
As to Foster's foolishness, well, if you have a million scientists and 1,999,997 of them are climate experts who say global warming is real and man-made and three who are say, Christopher Monckton or Tim Ball or some other charlatan or serial prevaricator bought and paid for by the petroleum industry, I think it is fair to say the science is settled. (Click the links to see a laundry list of the way and places such people have been discredited.) The jury is not out on climate change any more than it is out on whether the earth is flat, to say otherwise is simply false. If you still have any doubts, try any of these links offered here. Note to climate change deniers on the far right: Just because you hate Al Gore doesn't mean he's wrong about climate change.
Foster's statement that "Earth Hour" is somehow facistic leads me to wonder if he has been spending too much time reading Mr. Jonah Goldberg's recent unintentionally comic magnum opus. As has been pointed out elsewhere, how is an event that is strictly voluntary and does not involve appeals to notions of racial or cultural superiority or militant nationalism facistic?
Truly, Foster gives one pause when he erupts with such stupendous statements as this:
"Leo Burnet's chairman, Nigel Marsh, demonstrated his skill both in semantic perversion and moral obfuscation when he declared: "I'm an optimist about climate change. The human race eventually abolished slavery and gave women the vote. We eventually work it out."
Get the implication? "Deny" the dubious science or dangerous politics of anthropogenic climate change and you're the kind of person who would support slavery and keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!"
A simple statement of optimism by Marsh, that people will eventually choose to do the right thing, brings an astounding outburst of defensiveness from Foster that just because he is out to lunch on climate change, doesn't mean he supports slavery or keeping women pregnant, shoeless and chained to stove. I might wonder aloud which part of the political spectrum it was that fought to continue slavery and deny women the vote and equal rights (Hint: not liberals) but that, gentle reader would be a less civil area of discourse.
Suffice to say that a shorter version of Foster's article written in a different time might go something like this:
"Anyone who thinks walking upright is a good idea is a fool. And this whole notion of banding together and sharing the work - nonsense! No one has proved that division of labour and cooperation results in more food and even if it did, what would we do with the extra time? Paint on the cave walls or learn to make fire? Bah, humbug!"
As to the aforementioned proprietress of Small Dead Animals (nope, I will not link to her site. Use Google if you must), I haven't really much to add to CC's analysis -- and by analysis I mean pointing and laughing -- of her contention that Earth Hour was a failure because she urged her regular readers to use as much energy as possible during the hour in question.
Her argument seems to be that because energy use in the set period did not go down, but merely did not increase as much as it does on an average day, she is somehow a winner and people who are in favour of saving energy and using less expensive fossil fuels are somehow losers. That is rather like saying that if you slam on the brakes while going 100 kph and your car doesn't suddenly go in reverse, but instead just slows down, your brakes are broken.
I think that is the kind of dishonesty that CC was talking about when he proposed this challenge.
As for the foolish contrarianism of people who went out of their way to use as much electricity as possible during Earth Hour, there have been numerous suggestions for declaring other days of activism during which you can feel free to "stick it to the Man" by doing the opposite. We here at the Woodshed (by which I mean me) are declaring tomorrow "International multicultural, gay rights, feminist, anti-global warming Don't-pour-hot-sauce-in-your-eyes Day" Do what you feel you must.
Whoops, my bad: I mistakenly identified the author of the piece of tomfoolery in the Finanacial Post as Richard Foster, when in fact the man's name is Peter Foster. Sorry about that. Thanks to Pogge for catching my error. See, this is what you do when you make a mistake, you admit the mistake, correct it and move on. You do not insist that you are right in the face of all available evidence and declare victory. You do not insist that such empirical evidence is a plot by your political opponents. You do not pretend that such a mistake never occurred. Not that I'm accusing anyone...