Friday, September 28, 2007

A Year Behind the Meme

I have a few new blogs added to the old 'roll.

Two Knives, which is not at all based on "The Simpsons," but is instead a young lady fed up with the extent to which our consumerist society is controlled by advertising. We had a nice argument tonight before we realized we were saying the exact same thing. Happens to me all of the time.

(Strangely, of all of the crap on YouTube, there is no clip of "The Simpsons" where Moe talks about how great it is to have two knives)

Next we have PubHouse Dialogues, which, if nothing else, showed me that I didn't know how to spell "dialogue." Also, there's something called "Fat Man Ranting," which is apparently like a 3 hour 5 minute podcast. (It's late and I have to watch "The Office," so I didn't actually listen to the whole thing. Or more than about 2 minutes. Sue me.) And dialogue still looks wrong to me, but Webster says it's correct.

Finally, here's Zesticle. The name itself is enough to draw me in, but the writing reminded me a bit of Kevin-M. Now, Kevin-M hasn't been writing much in the last year, so a replacement is in order. (Don't worry - Insomnia Report is not leaving the blogroll yet.) This post reminded me of some conversations I've had with Mark, which isn't always a good thing.

So there's that.

Now, I got an iPod. Finally. So I'm going to play a little game that I vaguely remember people doing a while back. In my defense, The Onion does this as an interview tool. So, a random selection of songs (Note: I'm not done filling the iPod yet)

1. "Four of Two" - They Might Be Giants
From their children's album, "NO!," this is a cute song about a guy who believes the woman he loves will be coming in mere minutes. Unfortunately, he bases this on a clock that is apparently stuck at the titular time. The song mentions "gigantic metal bugs," which makes me like it.

2. "The Piano Has Been Drinking" - Tom Waits
Anthropomorphic barroom items with serious flaws. Or maybe the singer is just projecting...

3. "You Don't Know" - Reel Big Fish
From the less ska oriented "Why Do They Rock So Hard?", a fuck you to people who can't accept that some people have different tastes in music. Interestingly, Goldfinger has basically the same song that came out around the same time. I like them both.

4. "Walk Unafraid" - R.E.M.
From my favorite album, "Up." Not my favorite song. A song about forging one's own path, and learning from mistakes. I think. Like most songs on the album, it's a little vague.

5. "Duty Free" - Cracker
An Ike Reilly cover. Who knew that those even existed? Actually, it's a re-imagining, as the lyrics are mostly different, except for the line, There are some lines that can't be crossed/But sometimes, those lines get lost. The tune is the same, and both songs have their merits. Interestingly, this isn't listed as a single on Cracker's wikipedia page, yet I only know this song from hearing it on the radio.

That's enough for now. Nothing too embarrassing, and Tom Waits gives me a little music cred, I think.

Wow. Something called Perez Hilton is on TV. I must get away from it. See ya.

Your Add, Then Take Away leader.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

There Was A Place, And The Name Of The Place Escapes Me

("Someday I Suppose" - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones)

Robert Jordan died a few days ago. I never read his Wheel of Time series. For one, I had heard it was very dense. Also, I assumed that it would never end, or Jordan would die before he could finish it. I get enough lack of closure from TV cancellations. For once, I was right. Jordan didn't finish his last book. Sucks for fans. Sucks for his family that he died too.

Professor fired for not believing in fairy tales. Why isn't the right attacking this firing for being anti-Catholic? Catholics don't believe the Bible is literal. Are they allowed to express that belief in Des Moines without being fired? From the story: "So it'd be no different than saying the world was not created in six days in science class." Of course there are places where saying that would get you run out of town, so we'll see if they accept that argument.

The truth about cats.

Your Someday I Suppose leader.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What Pattern Does A Scottish Pirate Wear? Arrrrrrgyle

It begins. International Talk Like A Pirate Day is about to begin here in the Central Daylight Time Zone. Arr, me mateys. We shall tell jokes that will make yer skin boil and yer blood crawl.

Why couldn't the young pirate see the movie? It was rated arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

How does a pirate poison someone? He uses arrrrrrsenic.

What do pirates do when they disagree? They arrrrrrrrrrrrgue.

How does a pirate keep his refrigerator smelling fresh? Arrrrrrrrrm and Hammer.

What happened to the pirate who broke a minor rule while serving in the Navy? He got an Arrrrrrrrrticle 15. (Bet you didn't see that one coming)

And as a Navy man, the college football game he most looked forward to was against Arrrrrrrrrmy.

He got tickets to see the Arrrrrmy/Navy game once. He sat on the 50 yarrrrrrrd line.

What is a pirate's favorite drink? Rum, of course.

The pirate doesn't mix rum with Diet Coke, though. Know why? It has arrrrrrtificial sweeteners.

What kind of music do pirates like? Arrrrrr & B.

And the pirate's favorite Arrrrrr & B singer? Arrrrrrrrrrr Kelly.

Our pirate likes to tell jokes as well. He doesn't tell them very well, though. One joke he likes ends like this: "Arrrrrnge you glad I didn't say banana again?"

I will update throughout the day.

Your One Day for Pirate Puns leader.

More Than All You Can Eat

Mr. President, can you find a sovereign nation on a map?

Quick, someone donate a map for the president!

I ate at a little bistro in downtown Mpls last night called Fogo de Chao (apologies to Brazilians; I don't know how to make the little squiggly over the "a"). Wow.

The idea behind the place is meat. Many kinds. As much as you want. Delivered to the table by guys in gaucho pants. For $50, it's worth checking out, but man is that a lot of food. And they don't relent in bringing the meat. Ever. Bring an appetite, and maybe a treadmill for working out afterwards.

Speaking of meat, an assessment of people;

Your Meat leader.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

2 Posts in One Day

This is really unprecedented, but I had a few questions about something I read over at the Cucking Stool. Apparently, the gloriously unfunny Kathy Griffin decided that thanking God and Jesus wasn't the way to go after (*sigh*) receiving an Emmy for her (*sigh*) "reality" show, (oh come on, seriously? *sigh*) "My Life on the D-List."

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this. He had nothing to do with this,” Griffin said in her acceptance speech. “Suck it, Jesus. This award is my God now.”

Now the Catholic League got pissed about this, calling it "hate speech." The Emmy people caved like a cheap card table, leading Bill Donohue to applaud censorship -

“The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences reacted responsibly to our criticism of Kathy Griffin’s verbal assault on 85 percent of the U.S. population. The ball is now in Griffin’s court. The self-described ‘complete militant atheist’ needs to make a swift and unequivocal apology to Christians. If she does, she will get this issue behind her. If she does not, she will be remembered as a foul-mouthed bigot for the rest of her life.”

Here's the question; Why is this hate speech? She didn't say, "Suck it, Catholics." I mean, Jesus would have a right to be offended if he weren't dead or imaginary, depending on the reference you use, but she did not direct her statements towards Christians in general, did she? She made an insult towards an individual, not a group. How does that make her a bigot? Also, if the award is her god, isn't this censoring religious speech?

Here's another interesting quote:

“It is sure bet that if Griffin had said, ‘Suck it, Muhammad,’ there would have been a very different reaction from the crowd and from the media who covered this event. To say nothing of the Muslim reaction.”

This quote is valid. If she had said this, Muslims would be denouncing Kathy Griffin and demanding that she be censored and demanding a swift and unequivocal apology, calling her a foul-mouthed bigot if she didn't do so.

Me, I'd still think the joke was funny. Which would raise the total of Kathy Griffin jokes I've found funny to one.

This would not have been an insult to Christians if they hadn't somehow decided they are being persecuted by the vast minority of non-Christians in America. Tell me again how it's possible that your claimed 85% of the country is somehow being held down by the few of us atheists who might want to make a joke or two about the people running the country? If a person who makes a disparaging remark involving god or Jesus is a Christian, are they then a bigot? Will you revise your 85% down to exclude anyone who makes any jokes about Jesus?

Is it possible the "Christian community" has gotten a little thin-skinned? Hell, no one watches the Emmys. This would have gone unheard if not for the Catholic League. I'm pretty sure your religion can survive some jokes. As Kevin Smith said, god must have a sense of humor - he created the platypus, right?

Your Dodging Lightning leader.

Oh Yeah!!

Check out my open thread at Kool-Aid Report. And we'll see if Swiftee drops the act and starts hitting on me at this thread.

Seriously, I'm not sure what one does with an Open Thread. Maybe I'll e-mail Sisyphus.

Your Comment Away leader.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Century Mark - (Or, Why'd It Take 2 Years?)

Post 100, in case you were wondering. That doesn't include all of the carefully crafted drafts that were abandoned because they just weren't good enough. (Oh, man how sad would that be if it were actually true?)

In honor of this ridiculously weak milestone, here's a link about the internet.

Now that I've made 100 posts, you may not hear from me for a while. i got a new computer game that is promising to take all of my free time. It's called "Medieval II: Total War."

I'll see you when I do.

Your Conquering Europe leader.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We're Comin'! We're Comin'! Vikings 1-0

So that was interesting. A 24-3 victory over the hated Joey Harrington and the Falcons puts the Minnesota Vikings in a tie for first place with ... everyone but the Bears? What strangeness could this season hold, when the only team thought capable of winning in the lowly NFC North is the only team not to win on opening day? Sure, the Bears played San Diego, but I see this as a harbinger of things to come.

I was going to live-blog game 1, but I was stuck in the 8th row of the end-zone seats at Metrodome, so that was quite impossible. Maybe next week.

Anyway, Adrian Peterson was brilliant, and even T-Jack wasn't all that bad (his interception may not have been his fault, but the other two dropped interceptions were only because of the hapless Falcons defense). The vaunted Vikings defense did what they were supposed to, and I predict they will outscore the offense at least through the bye week.

I didn't make a pre-season prediction, but considering I had them beating Atlanta anyway, my season pick is 9-6. Maybe the playoffs, but I doubt it. T-Jack just isn't good enough yet. The Vikes may be exciting to watch, however, which is more than I have been able to say for the last few years.

Your Skoal, Vikings! leader.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What is Truth?

Truth is an i-Pod full of music.

Your Whorish Shill leader.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Which Side Are You On?

A history lesson for today.

LABOR'S DAY -- AND YOURS By Dick Meister

Submitted to portside

Sunday August 26, 2007

Labor Day. Time once more for politicians and union adherents to speak of the greatness of organized labor.
Time once more for the rest of us to ignore the speechmakers, as we mark the end of summer with yet another three-day weekend. The general public indifference is understandable. After all, only 12 percent of the country's working people are in unions these days.

But even if you are not a union member -- even if you do not approve of unions -- consider this while you're enjoying the long Labor Day holiday: There wouldn't be any three-day weekends if it wasn't for those unions.


If unions hadn't done what they did -- and continue to do -- it's highly unlikely that anyone outside the executive ranks would be getting a paid holiday on Labor Day, or on any other day. (Or even, of course, that there would be such a holiday as Labor Day.)

Nor is it likely that those who are required to work on such holidays would be getting the pay of two to three times their regular rate that unions have made the standard for holiday work in most areas -- or get premium pay for any other work, at any other time.

Holidays meant very little to most working people in the days before unions became effective. They meant only an unwelcome day off and loss of a day's pay or, at best, a day of work at regular wages.

Those were the days when unions still were struggling primarily for nothing more than legal recognition. It wasn't until World War II that unions were able to go beyond the fundamentals and make negotiation of paid holidays a common practice, a concession employers made in lieu of the pay raises federal wage controls prohibited during the war.

The paid vacations so many working people took as usual this summer also were very rare until unions demanded and won them. So were employer-financed pensions and medical care and other fringe benefits, health and safety standards, job security and other things now commonly granted most workers, union and non-union alike.

Thus without unions, we should not forget, there would be no paid holidays for most people, no premium or overtime pay, no paid vacations, few fringe benefits and little protection against job-related hazards and arbitrary dismissal.

Without unions, as a matter of fact, the standard work day might very well still be 10 to 12 hours, the standard work week six to seven days, and working people would have few of the rights so many now take for granted. That includes the overriding right of having a genuine voice in determining their pay and working conditions.

You doubt it? Consider the recollections of Mark Hawkins, who worked in the warehouses along San Francisco's busy waterfront in the 1930s, before the coming of effective unionization.

Hawkins remembered men wrestling with crates, bundles, cartons, merchandise in all sizes, shapes and weights, 10 hours a day, often every day of the week, for a mere $60 a month. They worked as many hours on as many days as the boss demanded, at whatever pay he offered, lest they be replaced by others clamoring for jobs in those dark days of the Great Depression.

Hawkins especially remembered a fellow worker who failed to raise his hand one Saturday when the boss made his usual Saturday afternoon request for "volunteers" to work Sunday. The reluctant warehouseman pleaded that his wife, undergoing a complicated pregnancy, was seriously ill and would need him at home to comfort her.

"Okay," said the boss -- "but don't you think she'll feel even worse if you have to tell her you don't have a job anymore?"

The man worked that Sunday. When he got home, his wife was dead.

Very few of today's employers would even consider acting in such a manner. It would be virtually unthinkable, given the firm standing gained for all workers by the country's now solidly entrenched unions. That alone is more than enough reason to honor organized labor on the holiday it won for us all.


By some reckoning, this is the 113th Labor Day, since it was first observed as a national holiday in 1894. But the observance actually began a quarter-century earlier in San Francisco.

It was on Feb. 21, 1868. Brass bands blared, flags, banners and torchlights waved high as more than 3,000 union members marched proudly through the city's downtown streets, led by shipyard workers and carpenters and men from dozens of other construction trades.

"A jollification," the marchers called their parade -- the climax of a three-year campaign of strikes and other pressures that had culminated in the establishment of the eight-hour workday as a legal right in California.

New York unionists staged a similar parade in 1882 that is often erroneously cited as the first Labor Day parade, even though it occurred 14 years after the march in San Francisco.

Honors for holding the first official Labor Day are usually granted the state of Oregon, which proclaimed a Labor Day holiday in 1887 -- seven years before the Federal Government got around to proclaiming the holiday which is now observed nationwide.

But Oregon's move came nearly a year after Gov. George Stoneman of California issued a proclamation setting aside May 11, 1886 as a legal holiday to honor a new organization of California unions -- the year-old Iron Trades Council. That, said renowned labor historian Ira B. Cross of the University of California, was "the first legalized Labor Day in the United States."

San Francisco also played a major role in that celebration of 1886. The city was the scene of the chief event -- a march down Market Street by more than lO,OOO men and women from some 40 unions, led by the uniformed rank-and-file of the Coast Seamen's Union. Gov. Stoneman and his entire staff marched right along with them.

The procession was seven miles long, took more than two hours to pass any given point and generated enthusiasm that the San Francisco Examiner said was "entirely unprecedented -- even in political campaigns."

-- Dick Meister

Copyright (c) 2007 Dick Meister, a San Francisco-based

journalist who has covered labor issues for five

decades. Contact him through his website,

(Special Thanks to Dad)

Of course, I still have to work today.

Your Solidarity Forever leader.