Archive for April, 2004

unworthy thoughts, v3

I can’t have been the first person to notice this…can I? Can I?

Separated At Birth?
jackson gentleman
Michael Jackson, alleged molester of childrenThe Gentlemen, fictional evisceraters of children


My illustrious representative in the House, Charles Rangel, has just issued a press release confirming that the Reverend Sun Myung Moon is the messiah.


If you’re a New Yorker, please spread this story around. If you live in his district (Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, some bits of the UWS), you should really call them (212-663-3900) and ask (as politely as possible), what the fuck?

(“Moonies? Weren’t they just some thing from the 70s?” I hear you ask. Sadly, no.)

they called me mad at the Sorbonne…

I’ve finally figured out how I’m going to retire early. It’s a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel. Observe!

Step one: Install BlogADs and Google AdWords on my little site.

Step two: Once a week, at a minimum, make a post that suggests that the denizens of are one or more of: Nazis, totalitarians, uncouth, racists, idiots, psychopaths or madmen. Be sure to link to one LGF post at random so they notice it in their referrer logs.

Step three: ???

my vs lgf

bm vs lgf

Step four: profit!

Going once, going twice…

Okay, the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

So after 2 years, it’s time to admit to myself that a briefly-almost-funny IRC gag is not actually worth paying the domain registrations on three domains in perpetuity. So, if anyone reading this wants to take over the care and feeding of:
…you have 4 days in which to ask me to re-assign the domain to you, which I will do happily. If not, they go to the great domain name reclaimer in the sky.

Doing something funny or worthwhile with them is encouraged, but not required.

gone fishin’



No further comment necessary, I think.

haven’t we been here before?

From today’s Washington Week in Review roundtable, Barbara Slavin of USA Today speaking:

“There’s another aspect. People keep saying “Oh, isn’t this like Vietnam, this is reminding me of Vietnam.”

I think they’re wrong.

Unfortunatly, it’s looking more and more like Lebanon.

As you recall, the Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982. They were greeted with… actually they were greeted more enthusiastically than we were greeted. They were greeted with roses and rice by the Shi’a community in the south. Before long Hizbollah arose, to attack the Israelis, to attack the Americans: we had kidnappings of journalists, of foreigners; suicide bombings. It’s not a pretty picture.”

Pardon me for taking a moment here to quote, um, myself:

Iraq does look suspiciously like a past conflict, but Vietnam isn’t it.

About twenty years ago, an advanced western-style army swept into an unstable but still holding-together middle eastern country, ostensibly to protect themselves from an imminent threat, but really because the people orchestrating the attack believed that it was the first step in completely and positively reordering the politics of the entire region. The loud and repeated objections of the rest of the world were blithely ignored. They did this with confidence partly because of promises from a group of rebels on the inside who’s strength and support turned out to be largely illusory once they arrived. They romped to an easy formal military victory, but shortly thereafter found themselves unable to actually control the country they’d conquered, and became sitting-duck targets in the middle of a multi-way civil war where the only thing the various factions could agree on was dislike of the invaders. A few of the native leaders who were interested in cooperating with the occupiers were quickly assassinated by other factions, and the remaining ones lost interest as a result.

Sound familiar yet? To my eyes and ears, Iraq in 2003 is starting to look painfully similar to Lebanon in 1982. And surprise surprise, there’s good ol’ reliable Ariel Sharon stuck right in the middle of both of them.

The second time, not as farce, just a bigger, messier tragedy. Are we having fun yet?

To review: The Lebanon invasion didn’t go completely pear-shaped for the Israelis until, some time after their initial (and easy) victory, their hand-picked President-elect for Lebanon, Bashir al-Jumayyil, was assassinated, and his brother and successor, Amin, realized that his life wasn’t worth squat if he was seen as cooperating with the Israelis in any substantive way. At that point, the game was effectively over, and it was merely a matter of ritually watching the balls drop as Syria ran the table: the Israelis had to content themselves with pushing the PLO into Tunisia, and Begin and Sharon’s dream of a re-ordered mideast political map died a hasty death. All for the cost of one bullet.

Would anybody care to take any bets on the lifespan of the first “independent” Prime Minister of Iraq?

Would anybody care to speculate on the likely motives and plans of the coterie of Iranian Shi’ite theocrats just across the border, who have recently had a hard time riding herd on their (well-educated and chafing) population, but who have just been handed a huge natural constituency right next door?

Apparently not Abdel Basit Turki, nor Iyad Allawi; both members of the Provisional Government who resigned in haste today. Somehow I doubt they’ll be the last.

And it’s not even summer yet.

[Edit and postscript: Josh gets it.]

Janus’ other face.

All Europe contributed to the making of Kurtz; and by-and-by I learned that, most appropriately, the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs had intrusted him with the making of a report, for its future guidance. And he had written it too. I’ve seen it. I’ve read it. It was eloquent, vibrating with eloquence, but too high-strung, I think. Seventeen pages of close writing he had found time for! But this must have been before his—let us say—nerves, went wrong, and caused him to preside at certain midnight dances ending with unspeakable rites, which—as far as I reluctantly gathered from what I heard at various times—were offered up to him—do you understand?—to Mr. Kurtz himself. But it was a beautiful piece of writing. The opening paragraph, however, in the light of later information, strikes me now as ominous. He began with the argument that we whites, from the point of development we had arrived at, ‘must necessarily appear to them [savages] in the nature of supernatural beings—we approach them with the might as of a deity,’ and so on, and so on. ‘By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,’ &c., &c. From that point he soared and took me with him. The peroration was magnificent, though difficult to remember, you know. It gave me the notion of an exotic Immensity ruled by an august Benevolence. It made me tingle with enthusiasm. This was the unbounded power of eloquence—of words—of burning noble words. There were no practical hints to interrupt the magic current of phrases, unless a kind of note at the foot of the last page, scrawled evidently much later, in an unsteady hand, may be regarded as the exposition of a method. It was very simple, and at the end of that moving appeal to every altruistic sentiment it blazed at you, luminous and terrifying, like a flash of lightning in a serene sky: ‘Exterminate all the brutes!’

—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Draw your own damn conclusions; I’m too depressed to connect the dots for anyone today.

this stuff just finds me

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, five megabytes of pure sonic brilliance, a one-track justification for the existence of digital audio editing software, and quite possibly the best thing ever… ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States has an important message for you all:

If you’re at work, you should probably listen on headphones — there’s a bit of naughty language.

(Mirrored here in case the original site dies, but abuse their bandwidth before mine please.)