Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The corporate powers that be have enacted a firewall against all blogspot sites, so I can't check anymore blogs. It will only be a matter of time before blogger itself is blocked, and I can no longer post from work. As 90% of my time at home is spent with Elliot, the remainder is far too precious to devote to something as mundane as blogging. This is probably the end, but stay tuned to find out for sure.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Home on the Range

Let the celebrations begin. Possible Triumvirate reunion? Methinks so.

Like a dog, he's loyal to his bone.

Saturday night may or may not be Arfeo's bachelor party, and I may or may not be excited. Just how big of an event is this, you ask? Well, it necessitates Giz's return to Texas. That's right - our very own prodigal son returns.

Red shorts and Mogwai, together again.

But first, here are a few cool things to make your Friday go by faster, all NES related.

First, he recreates screen shots with Legos. Poop, yes!

Most of you have probably already seen this one, with all the video game commercials archived, but the Mario ones are always worth a revisit.

And lastly, maps. More specifically, screen cap maps. There are the obligatory Zelda and Mario maps, but more interesting are the GTA San Andreas ones. Pretty slick.

Oh, I lied. For real lastly, MAKE SURE you check out the Star Wars thing I posted last night. It makes me pee myself.

Funniest. Thing. Ever.

So while we're still on somewhat of a Star Wars kick...

Granted, I'm 12 Budweisers drunk right now, but I think that even sober it will probably still be fucking hilarious. You should watch it now. Start to finish. No cheating. You won't regret it.

Thanks to Dubbie for the link.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More movie fun

Today we take a return to trip to the Family Fantasy Adventure of the 80's.

D.A.R.Y.L. ~10 viewings

This one stars that whiny little punk who played Bastian in The Neverending Story. This time he is Daryl - a Data Analyzing Robot Youth Lifeform. That's right, he's a robot! And let me tell you, being a robot pays dividends on the ol' baseball diamond. The story is a brilliant re-telling of a timeless tale. Government creates robot. Robot escapes government. Government must destroy robot. If they ever get around to making a sequel, they should call it Robocock 2.

Mac and Me. ~5

Ah, Mac and Me. Think: E.T., only starring a cripple kid. And with an alien that looks like a cross between a vagina and the Hamburgler. And about 1.5 million times suckier. Mac is yet another acronym, he is a Mysterious Alien Creature. Ohhhhh. Again, we are presented with a timeless tale. Government finds alien. Alien escapes government. Government must destroy alien. The only distinct detail I remember from this one is a scene when the handicapped kid rolls down a hill, uncontrollably. He's got such a pathetic sounding scream. F'ing hilarious.

Harry and the Hendersons. ~2

I don't really know what to say about this one. It's the timeless tale of John Lithgow vs. a mythological creature of the Pacific Northwest. Que mas quieres?

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids ~25

This one's got the winning recipe: a kooky patriarch, a milf, kids coming of age (relatively angst-free), and the adventure of a lifetime. The special effects are the coolest, Rick Moranis is the poop, and the jokes are a laugh a minute. The definitive transition piece from the 80s to the 90s, as far as the family adventure genre is concerned. Also, the VHS version came with a Roger Rabbit short, as a special feature. Unbeatable.

Flight of the Navigator ~20

You'll notice I'm saving the best ones for last. This is the greatest family fantasy film of the 1980s, if not of all time. We've got time travel. We've got an alien voiced over by Paul Reubens. We've got a cute critter. We've got a tear-jerking homecoming. We've got Sarah Jessica Parker as a Twisted Sister groupie. We've got Howard Hesseman as a NASA scientist with a heart of gold. We've got self-confidence and morale boosting in an otherwise self-conscious prepubescent. But most of all, we've got fun.

The Neverending Story ~30

Turn around. Look at what you see in her face, the mirror of your dreams. Make believe I'm everywhere. Hidden in the lines, written on the pages, is the answer to our never ending story.
Ahhhh ahhhhhh ahhhhhh.
Never ending story.
Ahhhh ahhhhhh ahhhhhh.
Seriously, the fucking Germans are weird. Classic though it is, what may be the most redeeming quality of this film is that it set the stage for The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter, starring the immortal Jonathan Brandis.

Labyrinth/The Dark Crystal ~30/20

Labyrinth is worth the price of admission for Bowie's junk alone. Kidding aside these movies are proof-positive that organic special effects and live-action fantasy in general are infinitely more appealing than CGI. These movies represent the pinnacle of Henson studio's artistic achievement, and serve as a sad reminder that we will never see anything like them again (although Strings did come really close).

Which ones did I miss?

"The changing of the world became an integral part of its cultural ideal"

It would be a strange fatality if the great revolution by which Western man has subdued nature to his purposes should end in the loss of his own spiritual freedom, but this might well happen if an increasing technical control of the state over the life and thought of its members should coincide with a qualitative decline in the standards of our culture.

An ideology in the modern sense of the word is very different from a faith, although it is intended to fill the same sociological functions. It is the work of man, an instrument by which the conscious political will attempts to mould the social tradition to its purpose.

But faith looks beyond the world of man and his works; it introduces man to a higher and more universal range of reality than the finite and temporal world to which the state and the economic order belong. And thereby it introduces into human life an element of spiritual freedom which may have a creative and transforming influence on man's social culture and historical destiny as well as on his inner personal experience.

If therefore we study a culture as a whole, we shall find there is an intimate relation between its religious faith and its social achievement. Even a religion which is explicitly other-worldly and appears to deny all the values and standards of human society may, nevertheless, exert a dynamic influence on culture and provide the driving forces in movements of social change.

"Religion is the key of history," said Lord Acton, and to-day, when we realize the tremendous influence of the unconscious on human behavior and the power of religion to bind and loose these hidden forces, Acton's saying has acquired a wider meaning than he realized.

...Western civilization has been the great ferment of change in the world, because the changing of the world became an integral part of its cultural ideal...

-excerpt from Religion and the Rise of Western Culture, by Christopher Dawson (emphasis mine)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"So this is how liberty dies: with a thunderous applause."

UPDATE: I fixed the link to Mango's blog down there.




This is going to take some effort.

In our 2005 Year in Review I commented on how much Star Wars: Episode III, much to the contrary to my initial reaction, SUCKED ASS.

Since the time that I've actually owned the film (ca. December 2005) I've tried and failed to watch it top to bottom several times. I usually fall asleep during the first ten minutes or so. Last night, for some God-awful reason, I made a concentrated effort to sit all the way through it again.


I guess we can get the obvious complaints out of the way first.

What pisses me off most about the movie are its egregiously political overtones. The OT was a masterwork of fantasy, and a was a fairly decent take on spirituality. Even though "the Force" in itself was a rather poorly conceived amalgamation of Eastern mysticism and New Age mumbo-jumbo, it was at the minimum thought inducing and mildly theological.

Episode III, and the entire NT in general, are nothing of the sort. E3's especially grimace-inducing allusions to current events leave it feeling horribly and unbearably dated, even before it has celebrated its one year birthday.

See if this sounds familiar: our executive leader has used lies and treachery to usurp the emergency wartime power legitimately granted him by our representative branch. Not only does he despise our precious democracy, but he also uses religion purely as a tool for his political advancement.

Only the neo-gnostic Jedi, with their access to secret goings on, untenable longing for justice, and relentless desire for truth are in the right in their actions. "He was deceived by a lie; we all were!" See the title of this post for more of the same from the good guys.

Gee, it's no small wonder that the Democrats don't carry lightsabers and that Howard Dean doesn't communicate in Yoda-speak everywhere he goes. Liberal bias in Hollywood? I don't believe in it.

Asinine politics aside, the love story thing is atrocious. It's obvious that George doesn't have a romantic bone in his body. Not only did he write some of the worst lovey-dovey exchanges in the history of the English language, but he directed the actors to deliver their lines with all the emotion of a dead baby. Anakin, you idiot! Padme is smokin' hot, that's for sure, but she's got the personality of tree stump. You turn to the Dark Side for her?

I just realized that this movie isn't worth the time I have spent on it so far.

Which leads me to my next point: George Lucas raped my childhood.

The Star Wars tapes I grew up with were all bootlegged. Star Wars was recorded off a CBS airing and Empire was a Showtime job. Jedi was an anomaly - I never owned a physical copy until I recorded it off the Sci Fi channel in early its early years, but I still had seen it a zillion times by then.

I watched those movies as many times as was physically possible by a kid. Empire was obviously the best, and obviously my favorite. I can remember stretches of several months where I would watch it every.single.Friday.evening. Without fail. Of course, I had internalized every last detail of the OT by the time I was 10. All three are among those movies I can quote verbatim, start to finish.

Needless to say, these films are near and dear to me, and hold a special place in my heart. Which explains why when Mr. Lucas came in and completely defaced them with his special editions, a little piece of me died inside. I remember it vividly. The year was 1997, and I was at the midnight screening of Episode IV. Never have I felt such a sense of violation, of hurt, of betrayal as that moment when, on the big screen, in glorious THX, Greedo shot first:

Greedo. Shot. First.

What the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK?!?

The rest of the movie continued in similar revisionist fashion, as did the the other two, whose releases quickly followed. By the time I witnessed what amounted to the gayest orgy of CGI overload EVER during the new ending of Jedi, I seriously contemplated suicide. Well, maybe not.

Lucas continued to reveal not only his unadulterated apathy to his millions of loyal fans, but also his sick, sadistic side as he released the drivel known as the New Trilogy and his self-proclaimed "canonical version" of the OT on DVD.

I think the DVD is what hurts the worst. DVD is the ultimate fanboy medium. Think: "Dude, I can't fucking wait until that comes out on DVD!" about, well, every geek movie, ever. For years, as was the case with Back to the Future or Indiana Jones, I would spontaneously cum at even the hint of Star Wars being released on DVD. Little did I know...

Where Lucas' botching of the Special Edition was largely described as a master tinkering, the "canonical version" released on DVD in 2004 was nothing short of a butcher cleaving away at a masterpiece. Inserting the face of Hayden Christensen over Shaw IN THE VERY LAST SCENE of the VERY LAST MOVIE goes beyond unacceptable. HAYDEN FUCKING CHRISTENSEN. Its like rewriting the last chapter of Revelation to read, "And the beast swallowed the lamb and darkness ruled the universe until the end of time. The End." What the fuck?!?

The list of changes is no concise one. Even at the viewing of the smallest modification, my heart breaks all over again. And I can spot them all.

The saddest part is that Star Wars is such an integral part of my character that I have regular, inevitable urges to watch these things. Yes, even the vomitous Episode I, every once in a blue moon. As much as I try, I cannot disassociate myself with them. The one God-send in all of this has been Ebay. Blessed, blessed Ebay. Only on Ebay can you still regularly purchase the 1995 THX re-mastered VHS versions.

Blessed, blessed Ebay.

Which is why I will never throw away my VCR. Rest assured, Elliot will have unlimited access to these versions only, until he is of appropriate age to appreciate the irreconcilable distinctions between the two. All the DVD's will be safely locked away in the gun cabinet.

Okay, I'm stopping now. Suffice it to say: Lucas, you have scarred me beyond reprieve.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Now Mango has a blog. He's way hipper than me, maybe Giz, and definitely Richard.

Typical Mango.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mildly amusing

I can't decide which one I'd like to boink more - Coulter or Huffington. If you can actually make it to the 11:15 mark of this Hannity & Colmes disaster, Ann's got a pretty worthwhile punchline.

Via Expose The Left, which, for the record, I do not frequent (gotta save face).

Sunday, February 19, 2006


This just in from the "ear to the pavement" crowd. Guns and Roses, "Chinese Democracy," the mythical album 15 years in the making, looks like it has a release, and the date for this may or may not be March 6th, of THIS YEAR. I think that my head may explode if it truly does come out. I can't say that I should be totally stoked about this album, but I am. GnR was the poop back in the day, and a little nostalgia never hurt anyone. Be prepared, check out the leaked songs.

Hear the songs at Central Village

Read the stories at Ear Farm

Lazy Sunday (saturday part dos)

This is nearly shareworthy, so I submit a picture of myself taken last night. I was decidedly unsober at this point.

oh, and here you go Tito.

Fun times. We should start a weekly post on sundays of drunken saturday pictures. Toon?

Friday, February 17, 2006

Right now

>The only reason to watch ice skating tonight. Or ice dancing, or whatever the hell they call it. Tanith Belbin. Wokka wokka, want to touch the hiney. Please Sweet Baby Jesus, let her advance.

There goes the neighborhood

First, the really bad news. My favorite Donkey Kong t-shirt (N64 - "Four Apes in a World of Trouble") is, I'm afraid, ruined. Whilst watching Back to the Future last night, I passed out, wine glass in hand. The rest is history. I'm going to give it the bleach treatment from hell when I get home, but I fear the worst. Sigh.


The landscape is changing..

West Campus is going to be so fucking gay when it's all said and done. The few low rises they've already built have zero architectural worth, and are in fact hideous to behold. I guess this is a case of art imitating life - bland, homogeneous facades for the vapid sorority girls who will quickly infest them. It just sucks that they have to completely dominate the landscape with their lack of personality. The buildings, not the girls. At least the chicks are hot.

That article is pretty informative, you should read it.


Two Oprah references in two day days?!? Inconceivable!

Best Week Ever blog is awesome. With yet another nod in the direction of James Frey, they present "Tom Cruise on Oprah: The Way It Should've Been." It made me snort-laugh. That's pretty funny. I had a secondary laugh when realized that Oprah, the most informed, enlightened, and educated woman in the history of the universe, used the world's largest soapbox to subsequently praise and defame a man about whom she still knows absolutely nothing.

Sweet, sweet irony.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'd almost forgotten how much I hated this book...

...until I was reminded of its existence.

Barbara Nicolosi, in response to the claim that in order to engage in meaningful dialogue, all Christians must see The Da Vinci Code:

Da Vinci Code is so ridiculous in its premises, that it is giving it a false gravity to even take it seriously enough so as to argue about it. ["And tomorrow, the Christians will be offering a hermenutic of moral praxis as can be gleaned from next week's episode of WWF Smackdown. Ahem."] Yeah, let's all find a starting point for dialogue in the notion that a secret coterie of albino monks has been mythmaking about Jesus' Divinity for 2,000 years. No, you go first.

Now, Christians being coaxed into writing anti-DVC pieces on a stupid web site (like, well, this one) are meekly accepting that they are being given "a seat at the table" in some grand cultural discussion. Duped! There is no seat folks. There is no discussion. What there is, is a few p.r. folks in Hollywood taking mondo big bucks from Sony Pictures, to deliver legions of well-meaning Christians into subsidizing a movie that makes their own Savior out to be a sham.

Quick, someone assure me that Time and Newsweek and the NY Times, et al. will NOT be running reviews or ads for The Da Vinci Code because it is such an offensive caricature of the central figure of a major world religion!
Full text here.

In a perfect world, Oprah would pull Dan Brown onto her show a la James Frey, and burn him alive for betraying the trust of the world. Actually, that's not entirely true. In a perfect world, Oprah would exist only as either a) a figment of my imagination, or b) a housekeeper.

What is the place of The Da Vinci Code in the history of Western Civilization? The question itself is laughable. Let's put it this way: TDVC reminds me of that fat, ugly chick you banged your sophomore year. You can't deny that she ever happened, but you'd sure like to forget you were ever stupid/drunk enough to feign interest in what she had to say. Anything to get your dick wet, right?

P.S. Giz is convinced that I will actually see this when it comes out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ah, now this is interesting...

Explore the tunnels under UT.

Daily Texan story here.

"I Am AIDS Incarnate," or "Why I Like the Olympics"

Arun has a blog. He's pledged to be the anti-me, so if you think I'm an idiot, you'll get along great with him. Just kidding. Arun is the man.


So I've been watching the Olympics. I'm kind of addicted to them, actually. Especially figure skating. Okay, not really figure skating. But the other stuff is freaking hardcore. It could be that because I have lived in Texas for 23 years I am fascinated by anything cold weather related, but holy crap. I wish I could ski like that. Hell, I wish I could ski period.

I took off work on Monday so that I could take Elliot to the doctor for his one year checkup and booster shots and whatnot. Luckily for me, during the day they were showing "curling." Who the crap invented this? I don't know the first thing about the damn game, but holy shit, if I wasn't glued to the TV for hours watching it. Those little brooms they use - awesome!

I think my favorite so far is the luge. Or maybe speed skating. I just like fast stuff, I guess. Actually, I just finally found out what the Skeleton is. Head first? Heck yeah. It will be my new favorite once I actually see it in action.

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. I love the cock.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Celebrating a pseudo-holiday

"Eros need not forever be on his knees to Agape; he has a right to his delights; they are part of the Way. The division is not between the Eros of the flesh and the Agape of the soul; it is between the moment of love which sinks into hell and the moment of love which rises to the in-Godding." -Charles Williams

I don't believe in Valentine's Day.

It's not because I don't have a Valentine, either. I could care less about that. It's because the whole deal is a pile of shit, and a major loss for the culture as a whole. Andrew Sullivan, with whom I disagree 99.9% of the time, published this little gem a few years back, in which he lays bare the undesired (in our culture, at least) truth about romantic love.

But thanks to the civic religion of romance, we constantly expect more and quit what we have in search of more. For the essence of romantic love is not the company of a lover but the pursuit. It's all promise with the delivery of the postal service... More important, in a culture in which sex is increasingly divorced from procreation, it gives copulation a new kind of purpose, apart from pleasure. It sacralizes it, dignifies it, elevates it. Love, we're told, conquers all. The trouble is, of course, it doesn't. The love celebrated on Valentine's Day conquers nothing. It contains neither the friendship nor civility that makes marriage successful. It fulfills the way a drug fulfills -- requiring new infusions to sustain the high.
Now, I would never say that romantic love doesn't exist, or that it is a negative thing. In fact, it is good. However, when it is practiced or sought after as an ends in itself, and not as a means to or a beginning of something deeper (ultimately, caritas), it loses all its inherent value.

Isolated, romantic love has nowhere to go but down. The eros must be synthesized with the agape, lest we return to an empty pagan deification of desire, and miss out on one of the most profound mysteries known to man: the love of God. For that is what romantic love, in the correct context, gives us but the dimmest glimpse of, and a headstart to experiencing.

Being in love is like putting your eye up to a crack in the wall, and seeing a crack in the opposite wall, and squinting your eye to look through THAT crack at another in the NEXT wall, and so on. On the other side of a thousand or a million or a billion walls is the most brilliant light you will never be able to imagine. All you feel of it is the faintest sliver of it warmth - it is unbelievable that even that much is able to reach you through so many countless barriers.

Even so, the warmth and joy it gives you is the most beautiful feeling you have ever experienced. You can only imagine that being in the presence of the light itself would be the greatest feeling in the universe. You and your beloved will work with all your being to ensure that the other experiences it, and along the way you will empty yourselves into each other to accomplish just that. That is the direction in which romantic love points us - toward perfect charity.

Sadly, that is the direction that is totally lost on Valentine's Day.

Today's recommended reading: Deus Caritas Est. It's short and sweet.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Couple of things


I have returned from hibernation. Well, actually, it's snowing like a madman today, so I actually have a chance to post something, since I can't do anything for the jobs today.

First off, being a member of the leering music press ( Filter Magazine) has its perks. Got to see Sigur Ros at Madison Square Garden theatre this past Thursday, and it has usurped both Radiohead and the Polyphonic Spree as the best show I have ever seen. The cool thing is, that from people who had seen them before, this was not the best show of theirs that they had seen, so I will definitely have to check them out again. And I insist that ALL OF YOU DO THE SAME. I know that the Ft. Worth show is sold out, but they have Austin and Houston dates as well.

Secondly, the gizzard is returning to his homeland, for a day or so anyways. I will be back in Dallas on Friday the 24th, and will be there until the 26th, so people's presence is required, and livers shall be damaged. It just so happens that that weekend is this guy's bachelor party. So come one, come all to Dallas for a weekend of activity,snacks,and schmoozing, folliwing which the ToB will be holding a Q&A session. I still maintain that we are a Triumvirate, but with Vince doing all of the work. I am reclaiming the music videos in the name of giz.

Hopefully this trip ends better than the last last time I got together with a member of this blog ...

I will have a real post sometime, I promise.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Told you so

David Carr is staying in Houston. Vince will not be a Texan.

Told you so.

In order to maximize Vince's output, you have to work the offense around his natural playing style. Greg Davis finally learned that this year, as every aspect of our offense was Vince-centric. The Texans weren't willing to make that kind of a commitment. David Carr is an excellent quarterback - if he would've had any semblance of an offensive line to work with, last season would've ended up much differently. With a few key lineup changes and a disciplined offseason, they'll alleviate that. They made a good decision in sticking with Carr, and they willl make another when they pick up Bush.

The question that really matters though, is what happens to Vince? I'm still saying he'll be able to ride it out to Tennessee. McNair has been not only his mentor, but also a father figure for him since high school. How freaking storybook would that be, for them to end up together, giving Vince the chance to bloom to the tune of McNair's swan song? Besides, the Saints are going to be in desperate need of Matt Leinart. The Aaron Brooks era is over, and Leinart has the franchise re-building potential written all over him that only a solid, white, pocket pass can offer.

Vince to the Titans. I've been claiming it since Vince announced his draft eligibility; let this be my written affidavit.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I finally watched the Aristocrats last night. There were some pretty damn humorous incarnations of the joke (Bob Saget is a riot), but more than that, I think its value lies in the insider's perspective it offers of the Hollywood comedic subculture. Listening to really funny people laugh and tell really funny stories about their really funny friends is... well, really fun. This to say nothing of the fact that you are treated to a cross-section of 100 different comedic styles - it's like speed dating for funnies. Add it to the queue, and then after you've watched it, read Penn's blog. Talk about major liner notes.


I'm tossing around the idea of making a video podcast. Unfortunately, I am about as creative as... fuck. I can't even come up with a simile, that's how creative I'm not. What I was going to say is that I can't come up with what would be deemed a worthy subject matter. But because I do it all for you, and only you, dear friends, I'll let you decide. What do you want to see? What should be the theme? And no, I'm not going to do the one man string band trick with my dick. Again. So don't ask.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

More thoughts

My responses are in blue.

Vince, all you are proposing is exculpating the truly guilty party.

I'm not, though. We are in agreement that those committing acts of violence are guilty, but I would also add that it is possible for multiple parties to share guilt.

Violence, especially indiscriminate violence, is not an appropriate response to nonthreatening stimuli. It is a gross overreaction, not the response of logical or rational person.


And if it is not logical or rational, you cannot and should not censor yourself to avoid a reaction that you can't reasonably predict.

I maintain that we can predict the reaction, well within reason, each and every time: violent, mob-like protesting in response to even the slightest hint of sacrilegious rhetoric. As I said, that's just the nature of the beast, so the only way to avoid it is by a precise, calculated measurement of our words.

There are instances the right to free speech should not be excersized, but this is not shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater. This is not revealing the identity of undercover operatives.


This is exposing a hypocritical system that thinks it is beyond reproach.

You give too much credit. These cartoons make absolutely no political statement. They express what the entire world knows to be true: that terrorists are operating under the guise of religion. That's not really exposing groundbreaking news; it's preaching to the choir.

When you have imams exhorting their followers to burn flags and engage in jihad, you cannot sit silently because you are afraid to tread on toes. Islamic extremists fight their war against the West not primarily with terrorist tactics, but with propaganda and rhetoric designed to sway public opinion. If it were a small minority, silence may be an appropriate answer. However, when an enemy is fighting a war of moral attrition and propaganda, silence only gives tacit credibility and fodder.

I'm not advocating silence, but I am demanding prudence. You are right in that the primary weapons of the enemy are propaganda and rhetoric. But recognizing this, what does publishing stupid little profane cartoons accomplish other than sharpening their blades and feeding their frenzy? It certainly does us no good. We have much better things to say, and much better ways of saying them than this.

Regarding your belief that it is unacceptable to profane that which is holy; that is the same relativistic nonsense you were decrying earlier.

I didn't say it was unacceptable, although I will go ahead and say that it is inappropriate. I really only hinted at what I was really wondering: does freedom of expression grant the press or anyone else the freedom to ridicule the religious symbols of a particular faith? If you play with and degrade the religious symbols of any person long enough, you WILL get a response. Having said that, it is not difficult to engage in mutually respectful, inoffensive ecumenical dialog. People have been doing it for millenia.

Holy to whom? I have to respect the sanctity of Wicca and other backwards forms animism to avoid antagonizing a few deluded fools? Must I respect white-supremacist trash? They have the right to say and believe whatever they want, but I have the right to ridicule them for it.

Two rather extreme examples. I think that anyone serious about the study of religion agrees that the ideologies of racism are not religious in nature, so scrap that one. In response to whether or not you have to respect the sancitity of [any religion]... sancitity in itself? Of course not. Just because someone else believes something is holy doesn't mean that you have to believe so, as well. That would be retarded.

What we DO have to respect is the fact that any religion, rightly defined as an individual's submission to God, is at the very least an admirable endeavor. Therefore, to ridicule someone else for practicing a different religion, or to openly ridicule what they hold as sacred - even if it is backwards as hell - is to hinder that man in his submission to God - hardly a meritorious undertaking.

ALL fundamentalists (not just muslims) hold that their moral righteousness is unimpeachable because they believe their cause is "holy."

New topic altogether, maybe one to take up next week.


Noooooooooooooooow, all that said....

There is absolutely no justification for these militant bastards to react the way they are, or to demand that we somehow give up free society, and play by their rules about what can and cannot be published, or what can and cannot be said. While I hold that publishing the cartoons in question showed a certain lack of discretion, I would defend the very right to do so with my life.

Speaking of, did anyone else notice that Google sold out to censorship?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

the Romero Theory

Do you ever wonder what Jim Tressel does during the off-season? You should, because it's entertaining as hell.


What I find most brilliant about Romero with regard to his zombie films is not his effective use of mood, atmosphere, or special effects. Rather, it is his ability to take what is absolutely repulsive - living dead - and effectively render them nothing more than a backdrop for the real conflict at hand: man vs. his fellow man. Watching Dawn of the Dead for the umpteenth time the other night, I was struck by how completely compelling such an approach to horror can be, because it mirrors the real world so well.

Case in point: I can't help but think of all this Muslims-rioting-over-sacrilegious-cartoons nonsense in terms of Romero's living dead.

Hear me out.

The crazy ass Muslims who are going ape shit are the zombies. They rely on an instinct that motivates a single craving - Western blood. An entire tangent could be drawn here, but like Romero's zombies, they are not really the focus of the story. Suffice it to say that they are blood hungry, do offer a real threat, and lurk around every corner. Raise the flag to threat level yellow, if you will. Background noise.

The real meat of our story is the internal conflict that their latest acts of general unruliness has stirred. We have a variety of (rather strong) opinions on the matter. There are those who think:

  1. we should refrain from publishing the cartoons because willfully inciting people to violence is morally reprehensible, i.e. it is irresponsible.
  2. we should refrain from publishing the cartoons because we should never criticize the Islamic religion, i.e. it is intolerant.
  3. we should publish the cartoons because it is our right, and we should always exercise every single one of our rights, no matter the consequences, i.e. we do what we want.
  4. we should publish the cartoons because it pisses them off, i.e. we are assholes.

And then there are those who think anything and everything in between. So wherein lies the conflict? Aren't we all entitled to our opinion? Most certainly we are, but if you offer one, you are liable and susceptible to being called out on your blatant hypocrisy.

Opinions number three and four are those of retards, and are irrelevant. The real conflict lies between one and two. Extrinsically, they appear to be of the same strain, but intrinsically, they are diametrically opposed arguments. The first is derived from the natural law; the second from a relativistic clinging to an ideal of tolerance. I would say that this situation serves as a microcosm of a war of words that has been waged for going on a century and a half.

And so, just like a Romero film, though we are mindful and ever vigilant of the threat that the zombies pose from without, we have identified an equal and more immediately pressing threat that looms in-house. And just like in his movies, it's clear who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are. The question, then, is which is which? I trust you know my answer by now.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Well, well, well

I am up to my eyeballs in shit at work, so out of necessity I will be brief.

First of all, as intrinsically homosexual that the NFL is, the Superbowl is just straight-up fucking gay. I'm not being facetious, either. It is butt-fuckingly, cum-guzzingly, carpet burn on your face GAY. I hate it.

Now that we have that out of the way, I'm trying to figure out why the NFL blows on such an epic scale. This may be elitist snobbery, but who gives a shit: I think it's the fanbase. Who out there claims as their favorite sports team ever a professional football team? Yeah, you know the kind of guys I'm talking about. They're about half a step up from fucking NASCAR fans.

Let's face the cold, hard truth: anyone who lives and dies by the NFL these days is a damn meathead. Nothing else could explain why you would suffer yourself to care about such a micromanaged, pre-packaged, corporate fed, downright blasé sports league. And yes, I have a nearly identical gripe about the NBA.

The Superbowl is like that point toward the end of a gay orgy when so much semen has been flying around for so long and everyone's ass is so ripped to bloddy shreds that it attracts the attention of even the most nonchalant of bystanders. Shocked, yet totally transfixed by the spectacle, they say, "Wow, I usually don't do the whole gay thing - but look, in between facials we get funny commercials AND halftime entertainment! Fuck yeah, I'm down!"


I know, that was completely over the line.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ever relevant...

Not a tough read, but a necessary one.

Happy weekend.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


The Horns baseball club is playing three games here in Houston next weekend as part of the 2006 College Classic. We've got UofH on Friday night, Rice on Saturday night, and Tulane on Sunday afternoon. Each day there are also 2 other games (other teams being TCU and Texas Tech. Tickets are $12 a day, or $30 for the a three-day tournament pass.

I'm probably going to get the pass. If anyone wants to come down for the weekend, I have two couches and floor space you are more than welcome to use, or I'm sure Tito and his fiance would let you have their bed for a couple nights. Come. You know you want to.


Insider information regarding Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Oscars.

Venn Diagrams are instant gratification. Word.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The State of Our Union is Good

George is the man.

The only way to protect our people … the only way to secure the peace … the only way to control our destiny is by our leadership – so the United States of America will continue to lead.

Abroad, our Nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal – we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. On September 11th, 2001, we found that problems originating in a failed and oppressive state seven thousand miles away could bring murder and destruction to our country. Dictatorships shelter terrorists, feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction. Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and their neighbors, and join the fight against terror. Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer, and so we will act boldly in freedom’s cause.
I don't think anyone can argue with this line of reasoning. The only thing debatable is what is and is not a morally justifiable bold action "in freedom's cause." I don't agree at all with the war in Iraq. I obviously don't think that the benefits of invasion outweighed the costs, both morally and financially, but it's not like it was a cut and dry decision to be made. Both sides have legitimate arguments for and against, but it ultimately was the President's prerogative to take action. Like it or not, we are where we are now, and it is our responsibility to practice in equal share prudence and sticktoitiveness in completing the task at hand. A straight pull-out of all our forces at this point in time would be incredibly irresponsible.

Yet there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. Hindsight alone is not wisdom. And second-guessing is not a strategy.
Amen, amen, and amen. Hey, the war in Iraq - money pit though it may be - has accomplished a lot of good. To deny that is to be irrationally stubborn or blindingly ignorant or both. Props given where props are due.

As regards the non-issue of wiretapping and all that baloney:

It is said that prior to the attacks of September 11th, our government failed to connect the dots of the conspiracy. We now know that two of the hijackers in the United States placed telephone calls to al-Qaida operatives overseas. But we did not know about their plans until it was too late.

So to prevent another attack – based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute – I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al-Qaida operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have – and Federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate Members of Congress have been kept informed.
Way to set 'em straight, Georgie. I love the people that pretend that the federal government HASN'T been spying on civilians since its inception, and get indignant all of a sudden when it actually comes up with a legitimate reason to do so. Get over it.

Other domestic issues all seemed a little hurried, but that's not really surprising given the position that foreign policy has comandeered over his presidential career. The energy bit was definitely ambitious, if not out of left field. Too bad it would take an act of God to even budge any of the major oil companies from complete dominance of the energy market. Still, this line has to go into the "vintage Bush" vault:

We'll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass.
Just to hear him say "wood chips" and "switch grass" in the biggest speech of the year - totally classic.

The fear/hope interplay served him well, especially toward the end of the speech when "hope" really found some rythym.

In recent years, America has become a more hopeful nation. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row.

These gains are evidence of a quiet transformation -- a revolution of conscience, in which a rising generation is finding that a life of personal responsibility is a life of fulfillment. Government has played a role. Wise policies, such as welfare reform and drug education and support for abstinence and adoption have made a difference in the character of our country.
"Revolution of conscience" is a money phrase if I've ever heard one, and one that I think should become a rallying point for conservatives in the next rounds of elections. Although it has never been phrased so perfectly succinctly, their focus on conscience and personal responsibility is the reason why Republicans have dominated the political landscape as of late. People recognize and appreciate appeals to the natural law - it is human nature. The Democrats have no such moral foundation upon which to build, and are, quite frankly, clueless as to how to connect with voters on such a purely humanistic level.

Also in that strain,

A hopeful society has institutions of science and medicine that do not cut ethical corners, and that recognize the matchless value of every life. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to prohibit the most egregious abuses of medical research: human cloning in all its forms, creating or implanting embryos for experiments, creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos. Human life is a gift from our Creator -- and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.
This was an especially bold statement to make on such a hotbed issue, and I loved it. I've said it before, it was the pro-life crowd that won the election for him, and this was exactly what they needed to hear. I think the fact that he didn't specifically mention abortion speaks volumes in itself. The writing is already on the wall: the atrocity that is Roe v. Wade is as good as gone (another testament to the appeal of personal responsibility and conscience). Thank God.

Overall, Bush rocked. He looked and acted Presidential. He was responsive to criticism, repeated key points about his current policies, and even offered a few new initiatives. But above all, he was optimistic. It's really easy to fall into the "everything sucks, America sucks" death trap. I have myself, on several occasions. What is not so easy is to recognize and acknowledge just how irresponsible and generally oppressive such an outlook really is.

Those who gave an honest and open-minded listen to what the President had to say - no matter what you think of his policies - should appreciate that he is a man who is committed to the well-being of this country, both now and in the future. For that, I applaud him. Hear, hear.

all smiles