May 2002

05.30.02 It's official - I'm going to Hell. The good folks at www.reformation.org have been kind enough to inform us that "Cremation is not Christian" and since I'm planning on being cremated... I better just call my travel agent. It's amusing that they open this article with a photo of JFK Jr.'s ashes being scattered over the Atlantic, because if you read the rest of their site it's obvious that any papist devil-worshipping Kennedy is going to Hell anyway. Make sure to turn down the volume before cruising around the rest of the site though. Your coworkers may start looking at you funny when they hear the organ music for "A Mighty Fortress is Our Lord" blasting from your cubicle. It's worth the bother though as the site is full of the best in anti-catholic wacky-ass conspiracy gibberish.
Know who killed JFK? Who's behind the Euro? Who Blew up the World Trade Center and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City? Who's behind the secret plot to release deadly illnesses on America from the exhaust of airline jets...? The Jews? Nope. The Masons? Nope. Microsoft? C'mon people... You know that "Rome loves to destroy buildings". It has to be the Pope.

05.24.02 Purely in the interest of the social sciences I've been doing searches on eBay for the word "weird". You get alot of Weird Al Yankovic results but also plenty of items sellers can only describe using that word. My favorite one so far is the **WEIRD CLOWN POTTERY COOKIE JAR** (There is also a correspondence between sellers describing items as "weird" and using all caps. Go figure). Imagine putting that sucker out at your next dinner loaded up with potted meat. The first curious guest who opened it would get a big surprise. "Well what were you expecting inside of a John Wayne Gacy killer-clown's cranium?" you could loudly exclaim as they gagged.

05.20.02 Imagine a world in which city buses would spew clear fumes smelling of delicious golden-brown french fries instead of sooty clouds reeking of burning oil. Sounds like the fantasy world of some fast-food loving tree hugger, eh? Well check out this article at Tompaine.com. Biodiesel is the answer and one producer of it is Griffin Industries. It turns out that the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolf Diesel - natch, intended for his invention to be able to run on peanut oil as a way to empower farmers. So you're not forcing diesel engines to do something they weren't designed to do. While the government has been, ahem, "encouraging" petroleum companies to clean up their diesel fuels as a way to encourage more use of that type of engine, biodiesel is far better for the environment. The only harmful emission is nitrogen oxide, but developers are already working on a way to reduce that. Sure there would be a huge startup cost to get use of biodiesel up and running on any large scale, but it would also be an investment in the creation of domestic jobs. A University of Missouri study estimated that a metropolitan area could provide 6,000 new jobs from the production of 100 million gallons of biodiesel. Not to mention the reduction of oil imports. I'm not a big fan of McDonalds, but I'd rather my money be going to them for recycled vegetable oil than some spoiled rich bastard Saudi prince whose government is funding religious schools that in turn produce terrorists who attack us.

05.16.02 I thought I'd take a break from the stream of venemous negativity that's been flowing out of my keyboard for the last month or so by saying how much I love Ray Bradbury. I feel sad that he's been classified as a science-fiction writer, because that means many people who might otherwise read his work never will. Serves them right for being snobs I guess. I get great satisfaction from reading a good story, but Ray's work usually goes beyond that. The man is a brilliant, passionate writer and one of the greatest storytellers America has ever produced. There's not a story he's written that doesn't have a clever plot, but the thing that really gets me with much of his work is the emotional response it can invoke in me. It's the difference between listening to a likeable, catchy song and listening to something that really makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Anyway raybradbury.com looks to be about the closest thing to an official site as there is. It's a must see for any Bradbury fan just for the video interviews.

05.15.02 People are reporting this story as if it's "yet another example of how stupid the government is", but NASA has been buying spare parts for the Space Shuttle's computer equipment on internet sale sites because no one produces the parts anymore. I guess all the freakin' whiners would be much happier if the government awarded a multibillion dollar contract to someone to produce parts for equipment that's going to be replaced soon anyway. It's not like the Shuttle is going to blow up because Harley the Shuttle Mechanic shoved in an 8086 chip he bought on Ebay without testing it. Jeebus Freakin' Christ! You just can't please some people.

05.14.02 If the basic unit of currency in the U.S. was the "kick in the ass", Donald Trump could redeem all his money for a kick in the ass by every man, woman, and child in the People's Republic of China. Bill Gates could get a kick in the ass from about 1/3rd of the total number of human beings who have ever lived.

05.11.02 If you drive an SUV you're probably - mind I say PROBABLY - doing it because you're a mindless sheep who has to have what all the other fucking sheep have. Go to hell. No, really G-O T-O H-E-L-L. I bet you got a tiny peepee too.

05.10.02 Is America turning into Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash? In that brilliant book America ('scuse me the United States) is no longer really a nation, but a collection of franchised 'burbclaves that cater to the particular ideological needs of their inhabitants/tenants. Can't happen? Well check out this article from this New York Times article (registration required) about how some churches are on the way to becoming churches/malls/gated communities. It's easy to become alarmed by this kind of thing. Looking at this rationally, though it's not like little utopian communities are a brand new thing. Look at the Amana Colonies, the Onieda Community, the Celo Community, or The Farm. On the dark side of these you have Jonestown Guyana, and the Waco Branch Davidians, but those aren't really the kind of people who build malls, because they're too busy stock-piling weapons and marrying their teenage daughters to "The Messiah". The way I look at it - if they pay their taxes, obey the law of the land, and leave me the hell alone - I don't give a shit. Worrying about shit like this is what gives people high blood pressure, and I need high blood pressure like a fish needs a freakin' Boba Fett Jet Pack.

05.08.02 As far as the media is concerned the assassination of Pym Fortuyn in Holland is just dressing on the european neo-fascist cake of which Jean-Marie Le Pen seems to be the main ingredient. My initial reaction was "The guy's anti-immigrant, he must be some kind of neo-fascist." But then I was surprised to find out that Fortuyn was an openly gay man. Not that gay men can't be fascists. Ernst Roehm was one of the founders of the Nazi Party, although whether or not he was really gay, or whether it was just attributed to him by his enemies as a way to slander him is still debated. Anyway a friend is presenting a paper on "multiculturalism" later this month, so the subject has gotten alot of play with all the folks I like to talk politics with. My opinion about "multiculturalism" is the same as about "political correctness" - a good idea very poorly executed. So this morning I read this op-ed piece by Jonah Goldberg, editor of the National Review Online (someone I normally wouldn't find myself agreeing too much with) and find basically the same ideas I've been spouting about multiculturalism for the last month, and also that I and the media may have misjudged Fortuyn. My problem with most people's idea of how multiculturalism should be executed is that it ends up defending extremely conservative cultures whose values are the complete opposite of the societies that have given birth to multiculturalism. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but you generally don't want to load up your shotgun and hand it to the robber when he breaks into your house.
Okay, maybe an analogy comparing immigrants to robbers "just ain't right". How about this? Say you let your brother-in-law come live with you. He's a nice guy and all, but he refuses to stop drinking milk out of the carton despite the fact that the right of all house members to be able to drink milk without having to chug someone's nasty backwash is enshrined in the house rules. Your brother in law knew that rule and pledged to live by it when he came to live with you, but now he's decided he doesn't want to go along with it because "Dude, at the last house he lived everybody drank out of the carton."
Much as it may shock you, many immigrants don't come to developed western countries because they're "yearning to breathe free". They come because they want a JOB, and for whatever reason the economy of their homeland is in the crapper. That's fine by me. And if they come to love my country like I do and want to stay that's great, but as the Mexicans learned in the Texas Revolution there can be consequences when you let in large numbers of immigrants who don't want to assimilate. And I'm not talking about bullshit like "english only" legislation. Hell! If it was up to me competancy in a foreign language would be a requirement to graduate from high school. I know that people from other cultures are going to have different customs, etc..., but if those customs are antithetical to the basic principles on which your society is founded - id est The Constitution, those customs shouldn't be "tolerated". The American public should have woken up to this fact during the whole Elian Gonzalez schmeer, when it looked like Miami was ready to fuckin' secede over what amounted to a child-custody case, and all the anglos in Miami wanted to secede from Miami. That kind of shit spells trouble with a capital T. There is nothing to be gained from it. While it may by definition be intolerant to say "we're not going to stand for immigrants coming here and thinking that it's socially acceptable to force their children into arranged marriages, mutilate their daughter's genitals, or beat women for not covering their heads (or any other fucking reason for that matter)" - I'm willing to stand up for that kind of intolerance.

05.07.02 I was in the gift shop of the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA a few weeks back and the place was overrun with teenagers. I assume they were on some goddamn field trip or something like that, but that's beside the point. The point is - Jesus fucking Christ in a lobster-bib were they annoying! I shudder to think that I used to be one of those scuttling cock-roaches! Holy shit! In more lucid moments I contemplate that probably most of them will grow up to be people I wouldn't mind having a conversation with at the bus stop, or in the checkout line at the A&P. As long as it doesn't go any further than that.

05.06.02 Sara Lee is now marketing crustless white bread. They call it "Ironkids" and the bread bag has pictures of active kids doing all the sporty crap that active kids do (as opposed to the nerdy kids who eat bread with crusts, stay inside reading all day and get wedgies from the active kids). It has the fiber content of whole-wheat bread, but then so does yesterday's New York Post.


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