Archive for the 3D Category

SOME PARENTS SHOULDN’T BE PARENTS

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Brave New World, Celebrity, Embarrassing Butt-Shots, Fashion Forward, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Isnt nature wonderful?, ανόητο άτομα, Kim Kardashian, Monsters, News, neşeli, Our animal friends, photograph, Photography, Pop Culture, Rage Against the Machine, Small Town America, Television, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, مضحکہ خیز, What are you sick or something?, 滑稽, מצחיק, خنده دار, سياسة with tags , , , , on May 3, 2012 by paulboylan

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“Pout, baby, pout! Give me all you got! Oh yeah… Yeah! That’s it. Now walk slower. No, slower….”

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At least they didn’t dress her up like a pot of honey.

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WHAT IS ART?

Posted in 3D, amusant, And now the snorting starts, Art, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, dada, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Fair Use, greannmhar, Is that really Ellie Goulding?, 재미, αστείος, kluchtig, lächerlich, Monsters, neşeli, скарлетт йоханссон, snaaks, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, 滑稽, מצחיק, بشار الاسد, خنده, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون on May 3, 2012 by paulboylan


I often ask the question “what is art?”  A day doesn’t go by that I don’t ask myself that question over and over again.  

I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and have a large list of questions I ask my self over and over again, primarily because I can’t help myself: that is the nature of OCD – those with the disorder cannot help doing things over and over and over again.  For example, in addition to asking myself “what is art?” I also habitually ask myself “why is a second as long as it  is?”  Seriously. Why?  Why is a second as long as it is?  Who decided?

But I digress. In the same manner that I am fascinated with the history of seemingly arbitrary units of measurement, I am also fascinated by the question of what makes art different from stuff that isn’t art.

After long and obsessive (if not compulsive) pondering, I have concluded that art communicates.  Art has something to say. If it doesn’t have anything to say, then it isn’t art.

Art is a conversation that is multidimensional.  It is a conversation between the artist and viewer.  The conversation can be intellectual.

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It can be emotional.

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And the art people choose to put up in their homes communicates volumes about the person who acquired that art.

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Allow me to attempt to illustrate my thesis with an example drawn from my own life.  Below is a painting my wife purchased for our home.

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Beautiful, isn’t it? This painting is an extremely good example of my wife’s personality.  When I see it on the wall I smile and think of her.

Below is a painting that I recently purchased because it spoke to me. When I a saw it I knew I had to have it.  I wanted to look up and see it in my home.  And, I suspect that my decision to purchase this painting says a great deal about me.

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I can imagine your reaction. You think I’m kidding.  You’ve read my blog and think this is some kind of joke.  It isn’t a joke.  I bought that painting.  Here it it up on my family room wall:

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I just love it. When I look at it I smile because of the multidimensional message it communicates.

The most amazing thing, however, about my new painting is that my wife agreed to let me put it up at all.  I think she did it because the pleasure it provides me is greater than the deep revulsion she feels when she looks at it.

I’ve decided to push my luck.  I’ve found a new painting that I simply must have. I must own it and must place it on a wall within my home.  I love it because it speaks directly to my appreciation for those intrepid 19th Century artists who left civilization to travel through the America West to chronicle the Native American, or “the Noble Savage” as those artists called them.

I found a painting of a Noble Savage – sitting proud and noble – on his trusty Uniclown.

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I simply must own it.

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THE MARK OF THE BEAST

Posted in 3D, And now the snorting starts, Brave New World, Headline, Headlines, It's not what you think, News, ученые, Religion and Politics, The Wrath of God, The Wrath of Khan, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, What are you sick or something?, بشار الاسد, سكارليت جوهانسون on March 21, 2012 by paulboylan

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THE END IS NEAR(ER)!

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Click on image to enlarge for easier reading.

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Actually, that seems kind of cool.

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Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions – and Ray Gun Girls

Posted in 3D, Antique surgical instruments, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fire and Ice, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, TV, Uncategorized, USA! USA! USA!, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on March 11, 2011 by paulboylan


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By now you know I kind of dig Space Chicks.

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In addition to writing substantively on the historical, sociological and geopolitical aspects of Space Chicks, my purely scholarly passion led me to become the worlds leading authority on subject.

Professor Boylan presenting a paper on Space Chicks at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2006

When I first determined the importance of Space Chicks as a pop culture phenomenon,  I soon observed that there is an important Space Chick subset that is best described as “Ray Gun Girls.”  Simply put, a Ray Gun Girl is a girl often, but not always, wearing a space suit in close proximity to a ray gun, often, but not always holding the ray gun.

Like Space Chicks in general, Ray Gun Girls first appeared on the cover of pulp magazines.

And when Space Chicks migrated from pulp novel covers to film and television, Ray Gun Girls began showing up there, too.

In all honesty, most Ray Gun Girl images are fetish driven manifestations of arrested male adolescent wish fulfillment, amounting to little more than soft core pornography.

However, as the years went by science fiction matured, and Space Chick images began to include strong, capable women who were fully realized heroic figures as complex and detailed as any male hero. As this happened, the images of Ray Gun Girls also evolved into something more serious and less sexist.


To me, the entire phenomenon is really quite fascinating. I don’t have the time or inclination to explore in this blog why there is such a driving interest to depict women holding ray guns.  The psycho-sexual implications alone would fill more space than I have to work with here. However, it is worth noting that the Ray Gun Girl concept is distancing itself from sex object utility and is increasingly being seen as a sign of feminist empowerment.


I’m taking the time here to provide you with the opportunity to judge for yourself.  Below is a gallery of Ray Gun Girl drawings and photos representing only what I was able to download in a few minutes before I gave up and went on to more serious business.  Nevertheless, this incomplete sample is the most comprehensive collection of Ray Gun Girl pics anywhere on or off the internet.

I present them in the order my computer imposed due to file title.

[If you don't see any gallery below, then you need to go back up to the top and click on the link entitled something like "The Ultimate Ray Gun Girl Gallery."

I take no responsibility for any offense that may result from anyone accessing and scrutinizing any of the photos in that gallery.]

“I WISH IS COULD TALK IN TECHNICOLOR…”

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Brave New World, dada, Droit Moral, Fire and Ice, Hapax Legomenon, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science, Small Town America, The Matrix, The River of Time, Uncategorized, What are you sick or something? on January 18, 2011 by paulboylan

 

I just watched a video of an ordinary 1950′s housewife take LSD.   Here is what she looked like:


Here is the link:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/author-discovers-footage-of-50s-housewife-in-lsd-experiment;_ylt=Ap4VOiwZ343Im4WbTM5_Q9.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTVkOGlzZ3VjBGFzc2V0A3libG9nX3RoZWxvb2tvdXQvMjAxMTAxMTgvYXV0aG9yLWRpc2NvdmVycy1mb290YWdlLW9mLTUwcy1ob3VzZXdpZmUtaW4tbHNkLWV4cGVyaW1lbnQEY2NvZGUDbW9zdHBvcHVsYXIEY3BvcwM5BHBvcwM2BHB0A2hvbWVfY29rZQRzZWMDeW5faGVhZGxpbmVfbGlzdARzbGsDZm9vdGFnZW9mNTBz

 

I’m not sure what to say.

HEADLINE – More Proof God Exists: Obese People More Likely To Die From Swine Flu

Posted in 3D, amusant, bacon, пицца, Embarrassing Butt-Shots, Food, gülen yüz, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), greannmhar, Headline, Headlines, health care, Horrible Coincidences, Humor, Isnt nature wonderful?, Joseph Bleckman, kluchtig, lächerlich, morbid obesity, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, Mysterious Mysteries, News, скарлетт йоханссон, pandemic, pork, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, snaaks, Stoats, The Great State of Montana!, The Wrath of God, USA! USA! USA!, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, פיצה, سياسة on January 9, 2011 by paulboylan


MUNCIE – Extremely obese individuals – those with a body mass index over 40 because they eat like pigs – have a significantly higher chance of dying from a H1N1 swine flu infection compared to people who do not eat like pigs, researchers revealed in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“This is more proof that God exists,” said Krista Schnurstein, a Bibleologist and Christian stand-up comedian.  “This joke took over a billion years to be told, which also illustrates God’s incredible patience.  The joke required humans and pigs to evolve, the H1N1 virus to evolve and be identified, as well as the process that eventually named it ‘swine flu.’ God’s majesty is truly apparent when you consider the slow evolution of the now universal comparison between fat people and pigs, resulting in this new research showing fat people more likely to die of swine flu – which is, essentially, a divine punch line,” Schnurstein concluded.

Advocates for the morbidly obese are more concerned about the emotional pain this new study will cause fat people. “Fat people are often made fun of by comparing them to pigs,” said Tina Finster, Director of Friends of Obese Dependents (FOOD), a non profit organization that lobbies on behalf of obese citizens trapped in their homes because they are too large to use ordinary doors. “We want to change the name of swine flu to something less insulting to fat people who contract that illness,” Finster said.

FOOD has polled its members to determine what term should be used to replace “swine flu.”  Based on the poll results, FOOD is sponsoring legislation that will require all state and federal government agencies to refer to swine flu by any of the following alternative names: cuddly-kitten flu, extra-crispy flu, chocolate-cake flu, fried-chicken flu, four-double-Whoppers-with-extra-cheese flu, or yes-I-want-fries-with-that flu.

DID I MENTION I DIG SPACE CHICKS?

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Getting it Right, Hapax Legomenon, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Nichola Tesla, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TV, Uncategorized on July 4, 2010 by paulboylan

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Of course I have. Over and over again. Since I came to this place I have freely expressed my appreciation for space chicks.  I have written scholarly critiques of new media, expressing dissatisfaction with this television program or that new film because the program or film didn’t have enough space chicks. Conversely, I have expressed my approval when a program or film featured the proper quantity of quality Space Chicks.

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But what, academically speaking, is a Space Chick?  Is it merely a woman in space?

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The first woman in space.

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Clearly not. The media has depicted many women in space, not all of whom can be properly classified as Space Chicks.  And, where life has imitated art, only one female astronaut can be properly considered a Space Chick.

Allow me to elaborate, elucidate, pontificate and fabricate (but just a little):

As I’ve discussed earlier in this blog, pulp magazines acted as the vehicle through which science fiction entered popular culture.  These pulp magazines – published from the 1920’s through the 1950’s – embodied the motto “sex sells” and so habitually featured women on their covers.  For example:

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With this marketing heritage it was only natural that pulp science fiction magazines would feature, as often as possible, images of women, often scantily clad.

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A Space Chick who apparently likes lollipops.

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These were the original Space Chicks – objects of amorphous adolescent male fantasy.  And, as objects of early 20th Century amorphous adolescent male fantasy, these space chicks often needed rescuing from monsters.

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Film, and eventually television, adopted the pulp magazine formula and expanded upon it. In the same way that producers began insisting that any science fiction project include aliens, they also insisted that Space Chicks be part of whatever awful film or television show they were going to finance.

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But something happened that differentiated Space Chicks from their non science fiction counterparts. Space chicks were often depicted doing more than simply needing rescue and being more than merely sexy.  The Women of Tomorrow were shown to be, not just desirable, but also fast, strong, smart, capable and brave as any man.

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Cinema and television imitated the pulp formula and began depicting Space Chicks that were not just sex objects, but also intelligent, confident and professionally accomplished -little realizing that they were part of a social and political revolution.

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When humans actually began poking a tentative finger into outer space, life imitated art.  The Russians were the first to put a woman into space.  Long before they did, they tried to let their people, and the world, know what to expect.

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Make no mistake: this is a Space Chick.  We can’t see the rest of her, and her space suit is undoubtedly too bulky to determine the attractiveness of her physical charms, but her mascara, eye shadow, false eyelashes and lipstick tells us that she is ready for action.

Reality did not meet this expectation.  The actual first woman in space looked like this.

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There is a rumor that persists to this day that she was really a man in a wig.

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In any event, she was no space chick.  The United States did better, but none of the women NASA put into space can be characterized as Space Chicks. Even zero gravity – which one would think, like beer, would make women more attractive – tends to make things worse.

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Lesbians seem to adore this photo. I have no idea why.

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There is one exception – Mae Jemison:

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She is more than pretty.  She is a medical doctor. She is strong, smart, capable and brave enough to ride in the space shuttle – a crapshoot against disaster every time its engines ignite. But even more important for the purposes of this essay, her cuteness survives zero gravity. Click on the following link to see what I am talking about.

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Mae Jemison

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That isn’t just a picture. It is a pose. But that isn’t what makes Dr. Jemison a Space Chick.  What makes her a bona fide Space Chick is that, after actually going into space, she appeared as a minor characer on Star Trek!!!

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Dr. Mae Jemision is the only women who is a media space chick AND a real world Space Chick!

How cool is that?

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MEET KAREN (again) [UPDATED]

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Brave New World, Cinema, Family and Friends, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Headline, Humor, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Paying Attention, Science, Small Town America, Television, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on July 3, 2010 by paulboylan

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About a year ago, I asked all of you to go to a website devoted to the American cable television show Mad Men and vote for my dear friend, Karen, so that she could appear on that television program.  This is Karen:

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Sister of my spirit.

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Please note the ankle tattoo. I will NOT entertain discussion of her “tramp stamp” so don’t even ask.  I’m looking at you, Barnes and Bondi.

I was at our favorite sushi bar the other day with Karen, her husband Gerald and their daughter Laney.  Gerald looks like this:

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Gerald is possibly the most interesting person I know, and I know a lot of interesting people.  He is the guy who wrote a program called Ethereal now known as Wireshark, a network protocol analyzer.  If you don’t know what that is, then you can’t say you know what is really going on.

Gerald and Karen’s daughter, Laney, looks like this:

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So we are sitting there chatting, catching up on stuff, when suddenly, and without warning of any kind, Laney gasps and says:

“I swallowed my tooth.”

Laney is very, very young, and is losing her baby teeth. Well, at the moment she was chewing on and swallowing a bit of California Roll, one of her lose teeth dislodged and went down with the food.

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The culprit.

Laney was very unhappy, but soon was eating with gusto again.

But Karen was not satisfied.

“That is Laney’s first baby tooth. I am going to get that tooth,” she said to me, her words oozing with ruthless determination. “You know me,” she said. ” I am going to get that tooth.”

The visual image was, well, rather disgusting.  Karen saw it on my face and attempted to reassure me.

“I am going to use gloves,” she said.

Using gloves was not really the point.  The concept of Karen rooting through Laney’s – well, you know – was the image that was revolting me.

“Well, okay,” I said. “But I want pictures so I can post them on my blog.”

“Okay!” Karen said.

So, stay tuned!  Pics on the way!

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UPDATE

Karen succeeded . Here is the tooth:

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Karen assures me that she “soaked it in bleach” but – from my perspective – that isn’t really an important point.

When all is said and done, that tooth has a heck of a story associated with it.  And although the details may be a bit unsavory, it really is an amazing story. And isn’t that what all of this is about?

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HEADLINE – TESTICLE FESTIVAL HUGE SUCCESTICLE

Posted in 3D, And now the snorting starts, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, buffo, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Food, Fritz Lang, Globalization, greannmhar, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, Is that really Ellie Goulding?, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, kluchtig, lächerlich, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, скарлетт йоханссон, Our animal friends, Paying Attention, photograph, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, Small Town America, snaaks, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Great State of Montana!, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, מצחיק, خنده, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون scarlett johansson on June 15, 2010 by paulboylan

Photographer: Karen Combs 2010

Photographer: Karen Combs 2010

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OLEAN, MO. – The Olean Festival Commission has declared this year’s Testicle Festival to be most successful testicle festival in the 17 years that Olean has hosted a testicle festival. “Attendance this year broke all prior attendance records,” said Gunther Haas, the primary organizer of this year’s Testicle Festival. “People traveled from as far away as Henley to participate in the testicle themed festivities.”

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Good, clean testicle related fun.

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In addition to the many testicle related food items being offered, this year’s Testicle Festival featured a Testicle Festival Parade, a Testicle Festival Pancake Breakfast, with testicle shaped pancakes and free testicle shaped balloons for the kids, and a testicle eating contest.

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A number of testicle-themed rides and educational exhibits also contributed to this year’s Testicle Festival’s unprecedented success.

“We got a roller-coaster called the Testicle Express that is sure to give a thrill,” said Travis Jode, Honorary Mayor of Olean’s 17th Annual Testicle Festival. “And for the kids we have a giant testicle you can walk through and learn all about testicles.”

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But the one thing that sets this year’s Testicle Festival apart from all other testicle festivals was the variety of testicles offered for consumption.

“Bull testicles are great,” said Sue Ellen Plavin, this year’s Testicle Queen.


“But you can get bull testicles at any testicle festival.  That’s where we’re different.  At the Olean Testicle Festival you can enjoy all sorts of testicles ranging from goat and sheep and pig and turkey to more exotic testes like squirrel, possum and frog, which I can tell you are simply delicious.  And I hear tell that somewhere around here you can score some kangaroo balls,” Plavin said and smiled. “I bet you can’t get kangaroo ‘nads at the Russelville Testicle Festival. No siree bob.”

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Good, clean testicle related fun.

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I WANT YOU TO PICK MY NEW AVATAR PHOTO

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headlines, Internet Fun!, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week on February 17, 2010 by paulboylan

I’ve decided I need a new avatar photo.  This is the one I’ve been using:

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This is really a great photograph.  It is utterly cool in every way an avatar photo can be cool. But, despite how cool it is, no one has ever commented on it – which means no one gets it.

So it is time for Rotwang from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to go,  but I don’t want to exert the effort of deciding which photo should be my new avatar, which means you get to pick.

I’ve narrowed the field down a bit.  My finalists are numbered below. Whichever pic gets the most votes will be my new avatar.

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REMEMBERING THE 2000 COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE, PART 2

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV on December 27, 2009 by paulboylan

In Part One of this series, we encountered “Hello, Meteor!” – a commercial the Discovery Channel  (TDS) made during the 2000 commercial actors strike.  “Hello, Meteor!” garnered critical and commercial acclaim.  This success encouraged TDS on to assign more of their non-actor office to star in other commercials, including the now classic “Hello, Mosquito!” shown below.

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REMEMBERING THE 2000 SAG COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Art, Artists Rights, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Berne Convention, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, Isnt nature wonderful?, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Moral Rights, morbid obesity, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Parody, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, satire, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, South Korea, Space, Sports, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, Stupid People, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TRIPs, TV, Uncategorized, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, West Korea, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on December 23, 2009 by paulboylan

If you are anything like me, then every so often – when the winter wind blows clean and fresh from the north – you are overcome by nolstagia for the halcyon days of the 2000 Screen Actors Guild Commercial Actors Strike.

Ah, those halcyon days! – when men selling things on television had to do without actors because actors who acted in television commercials wanted more money for their labor, but the major studios wouldn’t give them more money.  And so they went on strike.


Commercials got made and were broadcast without professional acting, and sometimes the results were simply wonderful.



The Discovery Channel used accounting and technical employees to act in a series of commercials that have since become legend, the first of which I feature below.

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AHHH!!!   THE ATMOSPHERE!!!!  AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!

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WHAT AMERICANS SOUND LIKE

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV on December 21, 2009 by paulboylan

As I’ve often mentioned (purely as a matter of pretense), I often lecture to non American audiences. With minor exception I lecture in English.

The noted internet social analysis and general media maven, Joseph Bleckman, sent me this link that shows what non English speakers hear when they hear Americans speaking.  It isn’t a very loving or kind parody, but it is pretty funny.


AVATAR: THE 3D WAS ANNOYING

Posted in 3D, Avatar, Cinema, Hate Crimes, Photography, Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 by paulboylan


I just got home after seeing Avatar with my son.  Was it the best film I’ve ever seen?  No. Will I see it again?  Very much yes.

I can’t stop thinking about this film – and that, for me, is a sign I’ve seen something meaningful.  With minor exception, it is honest and deeply experienced emotion that separates Cameron’s science fiction/fantasy films from every other film within that quasi-genre.  Avatar’s main character is a shattered man, a soldier who lost his legs in battle and really has nothing to live for.  Something that cannot be described in words happens when we see him wake up in his avatar for the first time.

No animated characters – computer generated or otherwise – have ever expressed so much honest emotion or engendered so much audience identification as the creations Cameron has given us.  As I said, I can’t stop thinking about the film, and I am anxious to see it again.

But, even so, the 3D was really, really annoying and was a gimmick the film could have done without.   It has to do with how human binocular vision works to focus on things close and far away.

In the real world, everything is in focus. We shift our focus continually by moving our eyes back and forth – closer together for objects close to us, and farther apart to focus on objects farther away.  Try it yourself. Hold up a pen a foot from your face. Look at it, and notice that, while the pen is in focus, everything else behind it is blurry. If you shift your focus to something farther away, the pen in front of you will become blurry.


To work successfully, 3D movies must show everything in focus. We, the viewers, shift our focus, creating the illusion of depth.

2D films don’t do that.  The camera replaces our eyes and focuses on whatever objects the director wants us to see, leaving the rest blurry and out of focus.

Foreground, clear; background, blurry.


Accomplishing clear, universal focus in any shot takes a whole lot light – which cost money – and special lenses – which cost even more money.  Sometimes a really clever director shows off by creating clear focus for all objects within a certain shot, but it is so rare that every time it happens it is noticed as exceptional.

Orson Wells did it in Citizen Kane. In a very famous scene  Charlie Kane is typing in the foreground – his form totally in sharp focus; in the background – far off in the distance – Hezekiah (Joseph Cotton) enters through a door, and he is in sharp focus, and stays in focus as he walk forward towards the camera.


The technology to accomplish this did not, at that time, exist. Wells did it using a split screen. He shot himself typing using perfect light and sharp focus. After that, Wells shot Joseph Cotton walking towards the camara. Then Wells joined both pieces of footage side by side to make it look like it was happening in one shot.

An even more spectacular example is this scene from Citizen Kane showing three different people at three different distances from the camera – all in sharp focus:



But, as already pointed out, this sort of sharp focus throughout a shot is hard to do and is rare, so rare and expensive that even James Cameron couldn’t do it. It is apparent that Avatar was shot like a conventional 2D movie and that converting it to 3D was clearly an after thought.  The scenes devoid of computer magic were shot like any other movie – which means focus shifts within shots. Close things are clear, the background is blurry, unless it comes into focus because someone enters the room, or for some other reason.

Close, in focus; background, blurry.

When 2D is converted to 3D, the viewer keeps trying to shift focus from close to far like they would do in the real world, but the blurry backgrounds stay blurry, and that can be – and was – really annoying.

But most of the movie is fully computer animated, and that means everything can be in focus to allow the viewer to shift from object to object enough so that the 3D is far less annoying, and even enjoyable, enhancing the experience.

Was Avatar the best movie ever made? No.  Will it change the way movies are made?  Not likely. Was the story original? No, but it was a story worth telling and wonderful to watch being told in such spectacular fashion. I am definitely going to see it again.

But when I do I am going to see it in 2D.

I’ll let you know what happens.

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MISSING BABY FOUND

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Website of the Week on November 5, 2009 by paulboylan

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Little Shannon Dedrick’s disappearance caught the world’s attention.

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7 month old Shannon Dedrick

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The world breathed a collective sigh of relief when, today, Shannon was found in a box under the bed of her baby sitter – who had apparently abducted the infant.

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I am glad the ordeal is over for Shannon’s parents, but someone has to point out that their child is an alien.

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resized_Shannon_Dedrick

That isn't drool.

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Little Shannon is clearly a human/alien hybrid.  I am the last person on this or any world to so much as imply that there is anything wrong with that.  At one time some stygma might have attached to parents who gave birth to an alien baby, but recent high profile celebrity adoptions have removed much of that stygma.

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As a consequence, caring for an alien baby has become quite fashionable.

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Shannon’s parents must realize that raising a human/alien hybrid is a challenging, but ultimately rewarding endeavor.

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Every child is a special gift from God.

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For example, Shannon’s remarkably large head indicates that she will be telepathic.

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resized_Shannon_Dedrick

Knows what you are thinking.

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Telepathic children are unusually challenging because they know when daddy says “no” that he really means “yes” and when mommy says “just wait until your father gets home!” mommy really doesn’t mean it.

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Nothing but trouble

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As an alien/human hybrid, little Shannon is likely to develop the skill to levitate.

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Extra care is required.

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Like telepathy, the ability to levitate will be a job skill that employers will appreciate, but in the beginning, the parent of an alien/human hybrid must exercise extra care, such as making sure windows are closed at all times.

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Not good.

So, we are all glad baby Shannon is back, but her parents need to pay attention to her special qualities.

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HALLOWEEN AT MY PLACE

Posted in 3D, Art, Artists Rights, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Berne Convention, Brave New World, Cinema, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Humor, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Moral Rights, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Parody, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TV, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 3, 2009 by paulboylan

Culturally speaking, the United States has contributed two things to the world – popular barbecue and Halloween.

Why not both at the same time?

By “popular” I mean widespread.  No people on earth have popularized cooking outdoors over live fire the way we Americans have. For a more serious discussion, please click here. l


Considered good eating in Perth.

By “Halloween” I mean an unabashed annual celebration of the spooky.

Other cultures celebrate death.  They do it in China. They do it in Mexico.  But those celebrations are essentially spiritual and/or religious.  But not Halloween.  Halloween has nothing to do with the spiritual. It has nothing to do with religion.  It has everything to do with fun.

Every year on October 31st – when the wall between the worlds is thinnest and most easily crossed – kids and adults dress up in costumes and, when it gets dark, they go door to door essentially begging for candy – which they receive in large, monstrous handfuls.

This completely non religious festival is becoming part of the international scene.  American style Halloween is now celebrated all over the world.

Halloween in Costa Rica

Halloween in Costa Rica

Halloween in Singapore

My favorite expression of this spread is Sandra’s haunted balcony in Hamburg, Germany.

It makes sense that the Germans in particular would embrace Halloween.

Admirable Teutonic exuberance.

But I digress.  I am here to tell you – to show you – what Halloween is like here in Northern California in the small town where I live.

Blackula1

For me Halloween began with a knock on my door early in the morning.  My neighbor and his son came by to ask is they could install a portal into a dimension of evil in my front yard.  My lawn was destroyed when my home was remodeled, so I figured, heck, when would there be a better time to have a portal into a dimension of evil installed in my front yard?

A hole was dug.

digging the hole

The device was installed.

adjusting the device

While my neighbors tinkered with the field densities between the universes, a flock of wild turkeys strolled down my street foraging and decided to spend some time on a roof at the end of the block.

roof turkeys 1.0

DSC00275

DSC00277

It was a good omen.

I decided to carve a pumpkin, but the pumpkin bin at my local market was somewhat bare with slim pickings left.

pumpkin dregs

Nevertheless, I was able to find a reasonably decent pumpkin and was able to exercise the minimal artistic talent every American is born with and which is useful only for carving faces in pumpkins.

awaiting darkness 3

The dirt from the hole that housed the portal into the dimension of evil made a couple of fine impromptu graves.


awaiting nightfall

All we had to do was wait for darkness and some unsuspecting Trick or Treaters.

trick or treat

Actual Trick or Treaters who came to my door.

I went out and bought candy to give away to the little boys and gouls who would come to my door that evening.

DSC00324

In addition to the usual treats, I included in my selection the very finest fake glow in the dark sour worms I could find.

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The perfect Halloween treat.

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And then it was time to get our collective freak on.

kids 4

The device in my front yard worked nicely.  I had a switch inside the house that triggered the device whenever someone rang the door bell, causing much shouting and the occasional scream.

DSC00317

It was a most satisfying Halloween.  But I’m beginning to wonder if that portal is going to harm the value of my property.

 

“YOU LIE!”

Posted in 3D, American Decline, And now the snorting starts, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Bigotry in America, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, GOP, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Great State of Montana!, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, USA! USA! USA!, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 29, 2009 by paulboylan

JOE WILSON AND THE AMERICAN WAY

I want to talk to you about Joe Wilson, the guy who heckled Barak Obama by yelling “you lie!” when the president was addressing a joint session of congress.

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He looks retarded, but he is more than that.

He looks retarded, but he is more than that.

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The liberal media has expressed extreme outrage over this incident, accusing Wilson of being everything from a boorish idiot to a racist.

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Victim of the liberal media

Victim of the liberal media

Don’t let that outrage fool you. What Wilson did is no big deal – especially when viewed through the lens of American history.  A congressman yelling “you lie!” at the president during a presentation to congress is not only a trivial event, the event itself fits well within the American traditions of political free speech.

The American Way

The American Way

To begin with, allow me to remind you what it means to be an American.  More than anything else, being an American means having the constitutional right to speak your mind.  Many Americans take this important freedom for granted.  But those outside our great nation know how special and precious it is. During the great wave of immigration that took place near the beginning of the 20th Century – the time my Greek ancestors came to this country – immigrants wrote home saying that the streets of American cities were “paved with gold.”


In a literal sense this wasn’t true.  But to people escaping tyranny, oppression and poverty, the freedoms and opportunities that came with merely walking on American soil were priceless.  Where they came from, no matter how hard they worked they could never hope for a better life for their children.  In America, men and women who are willing to work hard can shape their own futures.  In their homelands, these immigrants could be arrested and imprisoned for saying the wrong thing.  But in America they could argue in the streets and express their opinions freely.


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What the liberal media wants us to forget is that the right of free speech includes the right to get angry.  When Joe Wilson interrupted the President of the United States by shouting “you lie!” Citizen Joe was merely exercising his rights as an American and was taking part in a tradition that spans our nation’s noble history.

The American Founding Fathers were notoriously cranky, rude, angry men who openly hated each other.  Benjamin Franklin hated Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine hated George Washington. George Washington hated all French intellectuals – who, in a very real sense, gave birth to the American Revolution.


Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr hated each other so much they fought a duel – and Burr killed Hamilton with a bullet that pierced Hamilton’s liver.  Thomas Jefferson – the man given credit with drafting the American Declaration of Independence – made loud, unmistakable noises simulating flatulence – often using his hand and armpit – every time he encountered his political rival John Adams.  Adams never hesitated to accuse Jefferson of “preferring the company of young boys” and of stealing the design for the swivel chair from Nathaniel Swivel, a Boston furniture maker and brewer.

Nathanial Swivel

Nathaniel Swivel

As our republic grew and matured, so did the salty nature of American political discourse.  Martin Van Buren – our 8th president – and the first American president born in the United States – won the 1832 election in a landslide.  But the Whig Party (now defunct) despised Van Buren and refused to recognize his legitimacy.  They spread rumors that he was born in Holland and that he was secretly a Quaker.

Quaker

Quaker

In conjunction with this rumor campaign, the Whigs engaged in a rhetorical attack utilizing misleading vocabulary. For example, Winfield Scott – a Whig Party organizer – gave a speech in Buffalo, New York accusing Van Buren of vague charges that no one understood but everyone believed.  Scott is quoted as saying:

“In addition to the many crimes Martin Van Buren has committed against the American people as a whole – nay humanity – perhaps most disturbing, if not revolting, is the indisputable fact that Van Buren is a notorious masticator.   Reliable sources close to Van Buren – if that is his real name – confirm that he masticates at least three times a day, often in the presence of his wife. As monstrous as this may seem, Van Buren has also been known to vacillate on numerous occasions.  I put it to you that, not only is Van Buren a vacillator AND a masticator, he vacillates WHILE he masticates! The man has practiced vacillation and chronic mastication ever since he was a small child in Holland!”

These Whig tactics worked: the public turned against Van Buren, with many refusing to shake his hand for fear of where it may have been.  Whig congressmen and senators began pelting Van Buren with rotten vegetables whenever he spoke publically. The threat of violence became so pronounced that Van Buren would carry two loaded pistols whenever he addressed congress.

Packing heat

More recently, Republicans unhappy with Franklin Delano Roosevelt – a polio victim confined to a wheel chair – accused Roosevelt of being born in Norway and of secretly being a Free Mason. They would yell “cripple!” and “gimp!” during Roosevelt’s State of the Union addresses, pretending that they were sneezing.

He killed and ate this child.

He killed and ate this child.

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So, when seen through the lens of history, Joe Wilson’s yelling, “you lie!” at Obama during the the President’s State of the Union Address, or Arizona Governor Jan Brewer jabbing her finger into the President’s face while yelling at him, or even a reporter heckling Obama during a press conference, it really isn’t very important.

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Maybe it was tourettes.

This never happened when a white president was giving a speech.

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This would never happen to a white president, and never has.

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Perhaps they feel free to disrespect him because he isn’t white, so he can’t really be the president, so they don’t owe him any respect.

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 It is just part of the American way.

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HEADLINE – Ugandan gorillas join Facebook

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 27, 2009 by paulboylan

Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace

By Rhappi Khanasta, Ass. Press Writer – Sat Sep 26, 10:53 am ET

KAMPALA, Uganda – Around 340 mountain gorillas — nearly half of the 740 remaining worldwide — have joined Facebook, Myspace and Twitter in an attempt to live it up before the end.

“I figured, what the hell?” explains M’bitah, a male silverback weighing 400 pounds (180 kilograms) who lives in Uganda’s lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. “Maybe I can hook up with a willing female and have a little fun before I am shot, killed and eaten,” M’bitah said.

Despite their size — a male silverback can reach over 7 feet (2.1 meters) — the gorillas are threatened by poachers who kill them for meat, farmers and charcoal-burners who encroach on their habitat, and the indiscriminate bullets of rebels on the run.

“We Mountain Gorillas will probably be eaten into extinction within a year or two,” said Kampanga, a female adult mountain gorilla. “But I just got friended by five people on Facebook and 28 people responded to my tweet about scratching my stomach,” she said. “How cool is that?”

“We support efforts to include gorillas within internet based social networks,” said N’kita “Ernie” Ruzigandekwa, President and former Treasurer for the Ugandan Bush Meat Advisory Board, a nonprofit, corporate sponsored interest group that promotes eating gorillas. “The Ugandan mountain gorilla is an elusive creature that is much, much easier to sneak up on when concentrating on updating their Facebook profile,” Ruzigandekwa said.

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MY FAVORITE HOMOSEXUALS

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 16, 2009 by paulboylan


Today I couldn’t help but notice homosexuals all over the place.

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I noticed three homosexuals while I watched television as I made coffee for my wife. I saw half a dozen more as I drove my son to school. I saw another two or three in the supermarket where I stopped to buy milk on my way back home. And, when I parked outside my house, I waved to Ted, my gay neighbor, as he was leaving his house to go to work.

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My gay neighbor, Ted.
My gay neighbor, Ted.

We chatted a bit and both agreed that the weather was fabulous for this time of year.

It wasn’t always this way.  At one time, not so long ago, I could go for months without encountering a homosexual or even noticing one on the street. Other than Richard Simmons, you almost never saw one on TV.

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Richard Simmons. Very gay.
Richard Simmons. Very gay.

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But things have changed.  The media today seems jam-packed with homosexuals – both real and imaginary. For example, on the television show Will and Grace, Eric McCormack – a fine, upstanding heterosexual actor – plays the part of a homosexual lawyer.

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Eric McCormack: not gay.

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While on the television show How I Met Your Mother Neil Patrick Harris, who is gay, plays the part of Barney, who isn’t.

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Neil Patrick Harris: totally gay.
Neil Patrick Harris: totally gay.

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(Harris also played the part of Doogie Howser, which disturbs me.  Somehow I cannot accept that Doogie is gay.)

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What the hell?

What the hell?

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It wasn’t always this way.  In the old days, you could go your whole life without noticing a homosexual.  You could be in the middle of a crowd without realizing you were surrounded by them. Your best friends could have been gay – and probably were – but you would never have known it because they did everything they could to look, sound, dress and live like heterosexuals.  And they were pretty good at it.  Some – like Senator Larry Craig – got married and even had kids just to avoid anyone knowing they were gay. You gotta admire that kind of effort.

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Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Gay - with children.

Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Imagine the effort.

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But now it seems that more and more homosexuals go out of their way to appear “gay” by embodying gay stereotypes.  I see lesbians every day with short hair, often wearing bandanas on their heads, dressed in flannel shirts, wearing extra-long baggy cargo/plaid/khaki shorts and walking in Doc Martins or Birkenstocks.

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(If you are a woman and I just described what you look like, and you are not gay, I’m sorry, but it isn’t my fault: you look like a lesbian).

Every day I see effeminate, lisping, mincing, fastidious, fashion-forward, musical theater loving guys who “simply adore” Betty Davis, and who go out of their way to demonstrate that they throw like a girl. (“Here! Catch!  Don’t I throw like a girl?”)


But I am not one to judge.  I mean that in a literal sense.  I tried it, and I was a terrible judge.  I couldn’t really accept the whole “innocent until proven guilty” slogan.  I mean, if the accused might be innocent, then why were they in jail?  They must have done something wrong, right?  When I found out judges are supposed to be “impartial” I realized I am not one to judge.

Not as easy as it looks.

Not as easy as it looks.

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Neither am I here to debate the issue.  I am not here to say whether the advent of open homosexuality is good or bad.  The last thing I want to do is get involved in a argument over whether homosexuality is a naturally occurring condition – like red hair and freckles – or a mental disease like acute schizophrenia that can be treated with intensive psychotherapy or drugs or even institutionalization.

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As far as I am concerned, both positions have merit, but I don’t want to get involved.

In all honesty, there is a limit to my ability to embrace this brave new world.  I feel I speak for many heterosexuals when I say that there is a certain “ick” factor associated with the concept, if not the practice, of homosexuality.

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We heterosexuals are trying to keep open minds, but we are wired this way and cannot help finding the picture below sort of unsettling on a visceral level.

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And let’s not forget the problems inherent in the persistent argument that the gay lifestyle is an abomination in the eyes of God.  I mean, Leviticus 18:23 really complicates the whole discussion, doesn’t it?

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Repressed homosexuals

Repressed homosexual (the one holding the signs).

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But I digress.  The point I am trying to make is that there are lots of homosexuals out there and I might as well point out the ones I like.  Here is a quick list of the homosexuals I approve of:

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Ellen DeGeneres:


Ellen is American’s Gay Sweetheart.

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She is smart.  She is funny.   She replaced Paula Abdul on American Idol.

When you see Ellen it is easy to overlook that she prefers to have sex with women.


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Karl Rove:

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Karl is one of my favorite homosexuals because he defeats the gay stereotype that male homosexuals are fastidious, well groomed and fashionable.  He does this by being fat and sloppy.  Snap! You go, Karl!

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And, to give balance to this column, my least favorite homosexuals are….

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Elton John:

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Elton hasn’t had a hit for years and that thing on his head is clearly a toupee.  Come on, Elton: spend the money.

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Rosie O’Donnell:

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I detest Rosie O’Donnell.  She is a loud-mouthed, annoying, pompous, self-important, corpulent idiot.  She discredits all homosexuals – especially the fat, ugly ones.


Well, that’s it for my thoughts on homosexuality.  I think I’ll have a beer and watch High School Musical. That show is totally gay.

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SARAH PALIN AND THE GOP RENAISSANCE – Part 3

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headlines, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on August 20, 2009 by paulboylan


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It has been a while since I’ve appeared here. During my absence I’ve paid close attention to the increasingly hostile national debate that is now focused on health care reform. The way the topic is being debated reinforces my belief the Republican Party is poised for renaissance and that Sarah Palin is key to the GOP’s rebirth.

As I’ve said, I am not addressing these comments to everyone out there who considers themselves conservative Republicans.  As I’ve explained previously, over the last 30 years the term “conservative Republican” has become warped and twisted to include people that hold positions contrary to what the GOP has historically championed.

Considers himself a conservative.

Considers himself a conservative, and is probably a registered Republican

Let me make it simple:  if you believe that Barak Obama can’t be president because he was born in Kenya, or if you think Obama’s health care reform proposals are similar to anything Hitler did,  then stop reading.

Yeah. You. Stop reading. It will only make your brain hurt.

Yeah. You. Stop reading. It will only make your brain hurt.

Go watch Glenn Beck on Fox.

Proof there is a flaw in the First Amendment.

Proof there is a flaw in the First Amendment.

Enjoy yourself.

But stop reading this. You lack the intellectual and/or emotional capacity and/or stability to join the effort to fix what is broken and to help guide the GOP back to national prominence.

I am writing to conservative Republicans who, like me, reluctantly supported Obama because a McCain win that included Palin as his Vice President was too horrifying to event think about.

I am writing to you out there who are watching with equal horror as crazy people disrupt town hall meetings – and then are interviewed on cable news.

I am here to tell you not to worry. The screaming crazies are part of a chain of events that will transform the GOP from its current status as a “rump” political party into a new and stronger national force.  And Sarah Palin is the key to this rebirth.

But before that can happen, we need to admit some basic truths – like the undeniable fact that crazy, stupid people have taken over the GOP.

Crazy+Christians+Protesting+Academy+Awards+BHeKb7Xyebql

Ronald Reagan invited them in.

We need to recognize that this was a mistake.

Republican candidates lose votes every time some middle-aged fat, poorly dressed woman screams “I want my country back!” at a nationally televised town hall meeting or some wild-eyed attorney (who is also a dentist and real estate agent) demonizes Obama by comparing him to Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler and calls for the army to revolt against our national government.

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She really said that (the one in the middle).

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When John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, he did so with the hopes of pleasing social conservatives/fundamentalist.  He succeeded.

They flocked to McCain/Palin rallies where they did what they always do at their local school board meetings, city council meetings and county board of supervisor meetings – they screamed and shook their fists in anger.  They demonized their opponents.  They proudly proclaimed their intellectual, educational and worldly ignorance.

Palin encouraged this because she was and is, essentially, a small town politician. She did what she knows, and that included saying and doing really dumb things, and then lying about it.  She pretended to be moral when her record revealed entrenched corruption.  She exploited her Down Syndrome baby because that plays well to small town crowds.

Small town crowds just adore retarded babies.

Small town crowds just adore retarded babies.

Plays GREAT in Wasilla!

A photo op at home!

A photo op at home!

Possibly the most exploited child in America. I'm not saying they should be ashamed of him or hide him. I am saying they actively exploited that poor kid.

Possibly the most exploited child in America. I'm not saying they should be ashamed of him or hide him. I am saying they actively exploited that poor kid.

I take that back. These were the most exploited children in America.  Remember: marriage is a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers.

I take that back. These were the most exploited children in America. Remember: marriage is a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers.

But it did not play well to the national American audience.  McCain, to his credit, tried to manage the damage, but it was too late. Palin gave the crazies a reason, a platform, a place to do their crazy political thing in front of the whole world.

And that is why McCain lost. Although he is a true conservative, he had no choice but to choose Palin as his running mate because the GOP is dependent on the lunatic fringe’s money and support in the same way a drug addict is dependent on his or her supplier.  But when moderate conservatives saw the lunatics screaming at Palin rallies, McCain lost the moderate vote, which lost him the election.

Don't think it didn't hurt.

Don't think it didn't hurt.

Dont think it doesnt still hurt. Dont you understand? The GOP left us no choice.

Don't think it doesn't still hurt. Don't you understand? The GOP left us no choice.

Palin’s resignation as Alaska’s governor freed her to reach out to the crazies who support her.  In essence, she is forming a new political party.

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Traditional conservatives should welcome this.  The crazies need a place to go – and stay.  They are welcomed to exert local and regional influence, but, if the GOP has a chance of returning to national prominence, the crazies cannot be allowed to hijack  the national debate.

Palin will continue saying outrageous things that the media cannot resist reporting.

Each time this happens, more and more screaming crazies will join her organization. Close to the next election, Palin will approach the GOP leadership – probably at the national convention – and try to make a deal. She will offer money and support in exchange for influence behind the scenes on the national stage.

We need to say no.  If we accept the deal, we will be repeating the mistake Reagan made, which will alienate the moderate votes we need to regain the White House and majorities in congress.  We need to say no when the devil comes again to our door with promises of power in exchange for just a little bit of our soul.

Yeah, its a little like this.

Yeah, its a little like this.

It won’t be easy. Politicians often cannot resist the lure of easy money or the promise of guaranteed votes. But if our Republican leaders can resist this temptation, then the GOP will again become the voice of and for the American majority.

STEAMPUNK: EXPLORATIONS

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Joseph Bleckman, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Science Fiction, Steampunk on July 22, 2009 by paulboylan

STEAMPUNK IRON MAN


MOST OF THE RUMORS ARE FALSE

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Website of the Week on July 14, 2009 by paulboylan

Coming soon.

One of my regular readers – who goes only by the name “Penelope” – recently wrote:

“I bet your getting a good laff  writing about me in the valley smear laff it up jew boy I heard that the departement of justise is gonna file charges against you for getting fired for lying to elected officials! ha! they are on there way to arrest you right now I heard that you are cheating on your wife with oriental illegal aliens who dont speak english we should send them back where they come from along with all the other illegal aliens who wont speak English and welfare cheats and homisexual liberals I hope your afraid because of the stuff I heard about you from reliable sorses like my neighbors and other reliable sorses like my other neighbors and other people who know things about you that they heard from reliable sorses”

Penelope’s comment highlights a growing problem: what do you do when you hear rumors, especially when you hear them from people you trust, who probably heard them from people they trust, and so on, and so on?

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As Penelope’s email shows, there isn’t much you can do when confronted by a rumor other than spread the rumor and, if you spend most of your day on the internet, it is pretty easy to spread a rumor farther than ever possible before.  But what is an average individual supposed to do?

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An ordinary person really can’t do much to verify or disprove a rumor – especially the kind that is either started or spread by anonymous people on the Internet.  I, on the other hand, am not an ordinary person.  In addition to having webbed toes, I am fortunate to be an attorney with the skills and the connections needed to round up answers and get to the bottom of things – which means I can verify rumors.

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dr_strangelove

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So, as a service to a community that has been very good to me, I investigated some of the more prevalent and persistent rumors currently floating around and have determined whether they are true or not. I want to start with something personal, and then go on to rumors of a more general interest.

Rumor No. 1:  I am Jewish.

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Superficial similarities.

Superficial similarities.

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This rumor is false.  I really have no idea how it got started or why it continues to spread. People keep sending me emails arguing that the Holocaust was a “Jew plot” to discredit the Nazis. People call me to complain about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Complete strangers walk up to me on the street to ask me when the next Barbara Streisand movie is coming out.

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We all know each other.

We all know each other.

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To set the record straight, I am not Jewish: I am Greek Orthodox, a faith that prides itself on being the oldest continuous version of Christianity.  Despite some similarities – e.g., Greeks have big noses, are notoriously cheap, are smarter than goyum (i.e., non-Greeks) and control the media – Judaism and Greek Orthodoxy have very little in common.  And then there are the goat sacrifices – which I would rather not get into right now.

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Hilarious at parties.

Hilarious at parties.

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Rumor No. 2:  The words “Butte County” mean something obscene in Latin.

Knows what it means.

Knows what it means.

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This rumor is false.  “Butte County” has no Latin meaning whatsoever.  The word “butte” is French, meaning “a small hill or mound of earth detached from any mountain range”  Coincidentally, “Butte County” mean “socially embarrassed potato” in Swahili.

The persistent rumor that “Butte County” is a foreign obscenity can be traced to a printing accident that took place shortly after Butte County was founded in 1850.  Butte County’s first Clerk,  the legendary Earnest H. Sockmender, ordered stationery that mistakenly read “Butt County.”  The mistake wasn’t discovered until 1853 when famed actress and exotic dancer Lola Montez was performing at the Yellow Foot Saloon in Biggs.

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Lola Montez

Lola Montez

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Rumor No. 3  Glenn County was founded by an insane polygamist wheat farmer who used a private militia to force the Colusa County Council, at gunpoint, to “let go of” the land that eventually became Glenn County.

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The Battle for Glenn County.

The Battle for Glenn County.

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\.

This rumor is false.  Dr. Hugh J. Glenn – the prominent California wheat farmer and amateur dentist that Glenn County is named after – was not insane.

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Rumor No. 4:  Glenn County Superintendent of Schools, Arturo Barrera, is really a woman.

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Arturo Barrera

Arturo Barrera

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Despite my very best research and investigative efforts, I can neither confirm nor deny this allegation.  Barrera’s bodyguards – who seem to be with him 24 hours a day – make it impossible to get close enough to perform the examination necessary to either confirm or disprove the rumor. However, I’ve eaten with Arturo, and I can tell you from first hand experience that no woman can devour a bucket of fried chicken that fast or that vigorously.

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The next few rumors are relatively recent, and seem to be part of an attempt to explain why the Glenn County Superior Court decided to remodel a courtroom scheduled to be closed, and then spent more money in attorney’s fees than the remodeling cost trying to keep the remodeling details secret.

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Rumor No. 5:  Retired Glenn County Judge St. Evans killed a guy and hid his body in a “man-sized safe” for a time period longer than the one recommended by the Judicial Counsel. The “remodeling” was a cover story created to explain efforts to remove the evidence.

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Dont go in their closets.

Chambers of Mystery.

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This rumor is false and, frankly, it offends me that anyone would repeat it.  It is simply unbelievable that any judge would kill anyone (except for those two judges in Los Angeles) and violate the Judicial Council’s standards for body storage/disposal (again, except for those same two judges in Los Angeles).   Also, hiding evidence of judicial misconduct doesn’t explain the decision to install high-tech infrared remote controlled automatic window shades.

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Rumor 6: The Orland judge’s chambers remodeling project cost so much money because they are building a trans-dimensional portal that will be used by evil insectoid aliens to invade the earth and use people for food.

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It would look a lot like this.

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This rumor is seductive, lulling the listener into believe it because it explains so much.  People wonder why such a large amount of money was spent to remodel a room so tiny, but a trans-dimensional portal could easily fit in that tiny space with room to spare.  The large amounts of money spent trying to keep the project details secret is also explained by the need to prevent humans from finding out about the plan before it is too late to stop it.  Even the high tech electronic automatic window shades are explainable because it is well known that insectoid alien monsters – hungry for human flesh – are notoriously light sensitive.

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Dislikes direct sunlight.

Dislikes direct sunlight.

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However, no matter how tempting it is to believe this rumor, I cannot confirm it, and it is my firm opinion that it is probably untrue.

In closing,  I want to say that I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords and would like to take this opportunity to remind them that, as an attorney and lobbyist, I can be helpful in rounding up others to serve as a food source during their stay on our world – and I am willing to do it at a very low hourly rate.

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Such a deal, eh?

Such a deal, eh?

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THE 100,000 MARK

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Barry Goldwater, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on June 6, 2009 by paulboylan

I’ve passed my 100,000th visitor. I know that 100,000 is a drop in the bucket for you uber bloggers out there,  but is it even smaller than that.  When you look at the kinds of google searches that lead people to my site, the following  search terms are the ones that keep bringing people to this page:

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Smiley - 53,424

 

 

 

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Smiley face – 20,013

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Sarah Palin – 11,301

6a00e552e19fa3883300e554ca89968834-800wi

 

 

 

 

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Sarah Palin nude – 3,175

palin 629618_f260

 

 

 

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Martin Van Buren  - 1,007

 

 

 

 

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Martin Van Buren nude – 1,005

 

 

 

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Katie Couric cleavage – 728

 

 

 

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Redneck -366

 

 

 

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Stupid people – 359

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Oops – 254

 

 

 

 

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Steampunk office – 249

 

 

 

 

 

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Mean smiley – 208

 

 

 

 

 

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Morons eating pie – 119

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Jews in the news – 103

 

 

 

 

 

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Taye Diggs Wife – 99

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beastiality – 97

Horrified-woman

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I very much appreciate the 10 or 20 people that seem to habitually drop by. But the vast majority of those visiting here pass through looking for something else (pics of nude politicians) or land here utterly by mistake (‘oops”).

I’m not complaining – just grooving on the goofiness of the whole thing.

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HEADLINE – RARE WHITE TIGER VILIFIED

Posted in 3D, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Hapax Legomenon, Headline, Headlines, Isnt nature wonderful?, morbidly obese gymnasts, News, Our animal friends, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stoats, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on May 29, 2009 by paulboylan



Ass. Press
Posted: 05/29/2009 05:57:32 AM PDT
Updated: 05/27/2009 05:57:34 AM PDT
WELLINGTON, New Zealand —

Ass. Press

Posted: 05/29/2009 05:57:32 AM PDT

Updated: 05/27/2009 05:57:34 AM PDT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand —  Princess, the rare white tiger that killed one of her handlers at a wild animal park in New Zealand, has become the target for international criticism.

“That tiger killed and tried to eat that guy,” said Bill Chen, Human Rights advocate based in Beijing, China. “That tiger should be destroyed,” Chen demanded.

“William Chen operates a disreputable restaurant that specializes in serving meals made from endangered species,” said Ingrid Bledsoe, Animal Rights advocate based in Billings, Montana. “Chen sees this as an opportunity to expand his menu,” Bledsoe asserts. “He wants it to replace his Trumpeter Swan Fricassee.”

Many around the world are demanding that Princess suffer some consequence for attempting to devour her caregiver.  But others offer a different perspective.

“Princess has given joy to thousands of children over the years,” says animal park worker Ted Smedby. “But do they call her ‘Princess, the giver of joy?” No, they do not. Now they call her ‘Princess, the tiger that tried to eat that guy.’  It is so unfair,” Smedby argues.

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF INTERNET “NEWS”

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Website of the Week with tags on May 20, 2009 by paulboylan


The author (front) and his brother, Dave (back).

The author (front) and his brother, Dave (back).

y Paul Nicholas Boylan,
Columnis

People of Earth, I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that very soon virtually everyone on earth will be able to easily and cheaply access the Internet.

Even really, really poor people.

It is happening so fast no one can keep up or predict where or how it will end.  Computers and telephones with wireless connections to the World Wide Web are spreading even through the poorest parts of Africa – even though there is no electrical infrastructure there. The people who live in those retched places are using solar energy to power their small, inexpensive internet devices.  And that means people from Port-au-Prince to Benghazi can watch television reruns on Hulu, watch weird videos on YouTube and look down upon their huts and refugee camps using the satellite images from Google Earth.

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Now for the bad news. Even though we are entering a brave new world promising incredible access to information, a lot of the information available is absolute junk.  This true especially for the news.

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IH071413

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The problem is found in the system itself.  Every major newspaper and every major Internet service provider offers a news page where anyone can browse the headlines for free.  Google has a news page.  Yahoo has a news page.  Microsoft has a news page.

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But there just isn’t enough news to fill those pages.  Our opportunities to find news on the Internet are growing faster than the news itself.  There just isn’t enough happening that is newsworthy to post on the Internet for you and me to read.

In the past, during the golden age of journalism, great newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times and the Weekly World News pledged to report “all of the news that is fit to print.”  Please read that promise carefully:  all of the news that is fit to print.  That implies that not all news is suitable to be put in a newspaper.  Some stories are just too trivial or too stupid to make it past an editor.  Traditionally, only the most interesting, most helpful and/or most topical stories made it into print.  In other words, quality mattered.

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It isn’t that way any more.  In this new age of fast information access, quality has lost its meaning and importance. Now quantity is king.  Electronic space, millions of times larger than all of the newspapers that have ever been printed, needs to be filled with something.

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Think about it.

The results are simply bizarre, and – truth be told – a little frightening.  When the quality of information loses its importance, the quality of thought and reason suffers.

For example, just yesterday I read the following headline on the Google News website:

“NAVAJOS LARGELY UNSCATHED BY RECESSION”

I want you to think about this headline.  It basically reports that the group of Native Americans more commonly called Navajos – who are perhaps one of the poorest people in the United States, suffering from lack of education, lack of health care and double digit unemployment – are not really being affected by the recent economic down turn.  And why? Because they are already dirt poor, that’s why.

 

The news article quoted some idiot who explained why the Great Recession isn’t really being noticed on Navajo reservations:

“Most Navajos own their own homes, tend not to invest in the stock market and have long had difficulties borrowing money, distinguishing them from millions of other Americans who’ve suffered from rising mortgage payments, sinking 401(k) retirement accounts and stricter terms from lenders.”

If you are not totally amazed at the abject stupidity of this “news” then perhaps I can help you understand by suggesting a headline that would be equally stupid for exactly the same reasons:

“RECENT STUDY SHOWS DEAD PEOPLE HAVE FEWER HEALTH PROBLEMS”

Navajos are not affected by the Great Recession for the exact same reason why dead people don’t get sick: because they are already in such bad shape that it just doesn’t matter.  Swine flu isn’t a problem for people who have died for the same reason unemployment isn’t a problem for people who already don’t have a job.  

You know what else impoverished Navajos aren’t affected by? The increase in swimming pool maintenance fees and the rising price of caviar.

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Lucky Navajos!

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The fact that our banks won’t lend any money doesn’t matter to people who could never get a loan anyway. Reporting this kind of stuff as “news” is like reporting thathpigs are born small but grow big.lIt isn’t news. It is an observation dressed up and presented to look like news.

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It gets worse.  Not only are stupid things reported, but also stupid people are actually allowed to make the news itself.  For example, yesterday I also read the following headline:

“STEELERS LINEBACKER HARRISON WON’T VISIT WHITE HOUSE

Here is what happened: President Obama invited Super Bowl champions Pittsburgh Steelers to the White House.  Linebacker James Harrison refused to go because Obama “would probably have invited Arizona if they had won.”

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Harrison is the one in the air.

Harrison is the one in the air.

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Excuse me? Is he kidding? No, he is not kidding, and that is exactly what is wrong with this “news” article.  He is one serious intellectually challenged American style football player. I mean, what the f**k.  Seriously, what the f**k? Is there anything inside his cranium at all?

Mr. Harrison – if I may address you personally – please try to understand that being angry with the President because Obama would have invited the other team if they had won is just as stupid as a man divorcing his wife because, if she had not agreed to marry him, she would probably have married someone else.

Oh hell. I sincerely hope Harrison doesn’t read this, because if he does, he is going to agree and divorce his wife. I do not want to be responsible for that or anything like it.  I am sure they are a happy couple. I mean, I bet Harrison’s wife takes advantage of his lack of mental acuity to do just about anything she wants.

“Hey, honey, who is that in our bed making love to you?”

“No one, sweety. You are dreaming.

“I am?”

“Yes, you are.”

“Okay!”

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Harrison thinking.

Harrison thinking.

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But I digress.  The point I originally wanted to make is that his stupid reason for not visiting the White House is just a stupid reason. It isn’t newsworthy.  Yet it has engulfed enormous space on the internet.

Navajos that are “lucky” because they are condemned to hopeless poverty and stupid football players aren’t newsworthy.  At best that is information devoid of usefulness or meaningful content.

Welcome to the Information Age.

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ZippyT.Pinhead writes:

” ‘Welcome to the Information Age?’ That is a terribly weak last line for an essay that is marginal at best.”

Zippy, I am forced by self-honesty to agree with your opinion that I ended the essay poorly. However, as for your assessment that the essay itself was somehow not up to scratch, I offer the following in rebuttal:

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>

hailey young

HEADLINE – POLICE APPREHEND BIGGEST SERIAL KILLER

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit de Suite, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Getting it Right, Globalization, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, music, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on May 1, 2009 by paulboylan


By Rhappi Kanasta, Ass. Press Writer – Thu Apr 30, 9:59 pm ET

LOS ANGELES – Police believe a 72-year-old insurance claims adjuster arrested earlier this month is the biggest serial killer in the city’s history.

“This guy is huge,” Capt. Denis Cremins said. “When we say we caught him laying around the house, we mean “around” the house.”

The suspect weighs over a metric ton and is so large that his arrest required two specially trained SWAT units just to put him in improvised handcuffs originally used to restrain emotionally unstable, bipolar hippos at the Los Angeles Zoo.

“We trained in Iraq, so my men are familiar with morbidly obese perpetrators,” Denis said. “But this is way beyond my experience.  How could he let that happen to him? He should be ashamed of himself.”

Serial killers often over-eat, said FBI profiler, David Carr. “It really is a big problem and it can lead to clinical depression. Without counseling and medical intervention, a serial killer’s uncontrollable appetite for fast food eventually interferes with their predatory activities, and when that happens suicidal thoughts are not uncommon” Carr explained.

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Source for headline:  http://largest-ever-serial-killer-captured.html

TRANSCENDENT MUSIC 1.0 — Goanna

Posted in 3D, Art, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Family and Friends, Fire and Ice, Fritz Lang, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Joseph Bleckman, Life, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Steampunk, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on April 25, 2009 by paulboylan

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This is the start of a new series on this blog. I’ve wanted to post music vids for some time showcasing some of my favorite music.  But too often, even if the music was good, the vids were so bad that they detracted from the music, virtually forcing the listener/viewer to miss what was good about the music in the first place.

Well, I’ve found a few music vids that don’t hurt the music that much.  Each of the ones I will post here I consider transcendent music – i.e., music that rose above the time and place of its ferment.

For reasons unknown to me, there are many Australian bands that produced transcendent music.  Goanna is one of them.  I first heard this song at 3:00 AM as I drove north on the 405 freeway on my way back home from a party in Santa Monica. I listened casually, and then intently, realizing I was listening to something that went beyond my experience, something urgent, something with a message.  I popped a cassette onto my car’s stereo recorder and captured as much of it as I could. I listened to it many times over the years. It took me 20 years to find out who wrote and performed that song.

Don’t watch this vid so much as listen to the music.  Do not be distracted by the simple video techniques. Do not be put off by the 70’s hair styles. Listen to the music. It is excellent in every way rock music can be excellent.

I wonder if they realized their accomplishment as it was being achieved.  I tend to doubt it – which only adds to the wonder of it all.  If they knew what they were doing, they could have never done it so well.

I really hope you like it. And if you don’t, then you are just no good.

HEADLINES – Chinese Fitness Balls Recalled

Posted in 3D, American Decline, Avatar, Brave New World, dada, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Fair Use, Family and Friends, Food, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Headline, Headlines, Humor, Joseph Bleckman, morbid obesity, morbidly obese French revolutionary philosophers, morbidly obese gymnasts, News, Our animal friends, pandemic, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, TV, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on April 19, 2009 by paulboylan

By RHAPPI KANASTA, Ass. Press Writer – 2 hrs 24 mins ago

BEJING – EB Brands on Thursday voluntarily recalled three million fitness balls made in China after reports that they can pop unexpectedly during use, causing the person using them to fall to the floor, despite the fact that the products specifically say they are burst-resistant.



“Balls work just fine in China,” said, Fuk Hu, EB Brands spokesperson. “This not Chinese problem. This stupid fat American problem,” Hu explained. “Smart fat American say “hey, I no sit on ball, too fat to sit on ball.”



“The only market experiencing these problems is in the United States and parts of Egypt,” said Paul Nicholas Boylan, attorney representing EB Brands. “The world industrial complex should not be required to cater to the grossly overweight American consumer,” said Boylan.



“Maybe stupid, lazy Americans not eat so much McDonalds,” said Fuk Mei, directors of the American Products Division of Asian Stuff, Inc. “You grotesquely obese. No surprise balls burst,” Mei said.

“Ball not broken when leave China. Ball fine,” Hu added.

The recall is expected to cost EB Brands millions of US dollars.

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This one is a bit disturbing.

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THERE IS IRONY HERE, IF YOU LOOK DEEP ENOUGH

Posted in 3D, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Barry Goldwater, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wrath of God, TV, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something? with tags on April 11, 2009 by paulboylan

wipenose

Let’s talk about funny.

I won’t bore you describing the tiny tragedies of my beginnings.  We’ve all suffered, and, when viewed in proper perspective, all suffering is trivial.  When the self-indulgent drama is brushed aside, I best remember laughter.  Through it all, the darkness was split and punctuated by laughter.

Samuel Clemens is famously misquoted as saying “man is the only animal that laughs, or needs to.”  The first time I heard that quote I understood it thoroughly.  Humanity was born the moment a cold, hungry, shivering animal looked around at the noise, waste and horror – and laughed – because there was nothing else to do about it but laugh.

I vaguely remember pain and dread.  Then something happened, something I still struggle to understand.  I concluded it was good and right to encourage others to laugh.

At first it was my immediate family, in particular my mother.  Her laughter was special.  But so was my older brother and younger sister’s.  It was a simple thing that cost nothing, but made so much difference for those brief moments in time.  Light in the darkness.  Trembling, tentative order forced out of chaos by the simple act of willing it to be so.  For a brief moment, the Power of Creation, the shadow of what it must feel like to be a god.

Funnier than thou

Funnier than thou

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And so it continued, it was and it has always been.  When all is said and done, the truest, strongest, most meaningful bond I share with my wife is laughter.  Slowly, time robs us of everything that brought us together, but shared laughter holds us close.

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And our son – our only child.   I am a proud father.  My son is shaping up to be a good man – a better man than his father.  I am proud that his mind is sharp. I am grateful that, unlike his old man, he is truly kind and caring. But I am most proud of his fine and complex sense of humor.  It is the one gift I hoped to give him, valued above intellect and heart because the mind and the spirit are subsumed by it.   One cannot be truly funny unless one is smart and sensitive.

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God doesn’t laugh.  I’m not kidding: look it up.  God laughs exactly twice in the Old Testament and not at all in the New – and both times in the Old He laughs “in derision.”

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Humans laugh.  Only we humans.  And that is absolute proof that God loves us.  Animals are too busy living from moment to moment to laugh.  Angels are too perfect to so much as crack a smile.  But we beautifully flawed humans not only laugh, we are inspired to make – to help – to encourage – others to laugh too.  It is a kindness only we know.  It is a blessing only we can bestow.  It is a light only we can spark.

I love to make people laugh.  It is my connection to the infinite.   It is the absurdity that makes total sense.

And that is enough.

That and money.  Lots of money.  And sex.  Kinky sex – not the “man on top, get it over with quick” kind of sex.  And champagne – the good French stuff, not cheap California swill. And double-jointed women – two, whenever possible.

Fiat lux, oh my brothers and sisters.

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FILM REVIEWS: MONSTERS V. ALIENS and WATCHMEN

Posted in 3D, Cinema, Getting it Right, Hapax Legomenon, It's not what you think, Nichola Tesla, Paying Attention, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on March 28, 2009 by paulboylan

Monsters v. Aliens:

 

Tell me why a giant cute girl with Reese Witherspoon's voice is a monster?

I didn’t like this movie. Let me tell you why.

When I spend hard cash – that is more and more difficult to come by these days – to buy a ticket so that I can sit in the dark with a bunch of strangers, in order for the investment to be worthwhile I need to be able to suspend my disbelief enough to forget for those few moments that I am sitting in a theater watching a movie.

That’s why I don’t see movies starring Sean Penn. Granted, he is a great actor, but he is so good that I spend the entire movie saying to myself “wow, that Sean Penn is such a terrific actor!” Penn is the kind of actor that never lets you forget you are watching a film. And I want to forget I am watching a film.

I go to see movies that I hope will have sufficient story with characters I can care about enough played by capable actors to allow me the opportunity to forget I’m sitting and watching a movie. If I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to do that, then I feel I’ve wasted my money.

Monsters v. Aliens was a fun movie, but the very structure of the film – its very conceit – has nothing to do with providing a story sufficient to allow the audience to forget where they are. The purpose of the film is to showcase 3-D animation technology. The whole thing is designed to provide opportunities for the filmmakers to throw things at the audience.

Granted, the technology works great. I actually ducked a few times as stuff came at me out of the screen. But I don’t go to the movies to have things thrown at me. If I want that, I can stay home and experience the same thing for a whole lot less money and trouble. All I have to do is tell my wife that her cooking stinks, and I assure you that in a nanosecond a plate will be in the air with a trajectory terminating at my head, followed by glassware and cutlery.

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So, to sum up, Monsters v. Aliens gets a thumbs down from Professor Boylan.

 

Watchmen:

 

The Comedian: the joke is that there is no joke.

The Comedian: the joke is that there is no joke.

 

I loved this movie. Let me tell you why.

First, I hated the comic book.  “Graphic novel” my ass.  It was a bunch of comic books bundled together and then sold as a novel.  The Watchmen graphic novel is the literary equivalent of what banks did with subprime mortgages when they bundled them up and sold them as securities.

The comic book is bloated and silly, with an end stolen from an old Outer Limits episode entitled “The Architects of Fear.”  The buzz behind the “graphic novel” is hype, and the fan boys are fools.

When I saw the previews on Youtube, I was optimistic, but the film’s reviews overwhelmingly claimed that the film’s fatal flaw was that it was too true to the original comic book.  My son’s mediocre review significantly diminished my expectations.  I waited for the hype to die down.

So I bought my ticket, sat with around twenty other people (most of them sitting alone), watched the previews (which enjoyed – I cannot wait to see the next Terminator movie) and expected to sit through a long and ponderous exercise in lost opportunities. I went in expecting to spend almost three hours cringing at clumsy cinemagraphic moments. Instead, I very quickly lost myself in the story and the characters.

Then I thought about it afterwards and conclude the film is brilliant.  I realized that I just witnessed something I’ve never seen before, expertly crafted to communicate the message that inspired the original comic book, but that got lost in the padding and nonsense that even graphic novels cannot resist.

The primary message of the Watchmen is that anyone who wants to put on a mask and fight crime is probably deeply disturbed.  And I mean deeply. The secondary but no less important message is that, if there really was a Superman, both he and Lois Lane would be tragic figures – and just the existence of a superman would be detrimental to the world as a whole.

Watchmen isn’t satire or parody – it is an anti-comic book. Comic books are all about adolescent fantasy, and the Watchmen comic book/graphic novel is no exception.  The film, however, is about brutal realities.

The visuals are faithful to the original – which is great: if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.  But the story is significantly different in ways that improves the original.  And the performances provided nuance and depth that only cinema can achieve.  The characters of Dr. Manhattan, the Comedian and Rorschach will haunt me for some time.

And that is the most anyone can really hope for from a film.

I highly recommend this marvelous film.

 

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