Archive for the Fiction Category

A Flagrant Violation of Copyright

Posted in Fair Use, Fiction, good guys and bad guys, Money and Power, Monsters, Mordor, Parody, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, presidential candidate, Pycho-Social Trauma, Religion and Politics, The Great State of Montana!, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, مصارعه on August 22, 2012 by paulboylan

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In the original, didn’t the idealistic good guys all die in the end?

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HEADLINE – FDA claims no need to test Pacific fish for radioactivity

Posted in American Decline, Brave New World, Fiction, Food, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, IN MEMORIAM, Isnt nature wonderful?, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, pandemic, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science Fiction, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, USA! USA! USA!, What are you sick or something? on April 17, 2011 by paulboylan

FDA spokesperson Vinny Slimp

WASHINGTON D.C. – North Pacific fish are so unlikely to be contaminated by radioactive material from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan that there’s no reason to test them, state and federal officials said this week.

“I personally smelled a fish that came out of the Pacific that looked like it could have been Japanese and could detect no radiation whatsoever,” said FDA spokesperson Vinny Slimp. The Food and Drug Administration has oversight of the nation’s food supplies.

“Based on the work they’re doing, no sampling or monitoring of our fish is necessary,” Slimp said. “We also consulted with a really good psychic that works for the North Pacific Fish Foundation who told us to tell everyone to eat all the Pacific fish they want and that no testing is necessary.”  The North Pacific Fish Foundation is an advocacy and lobbying group that represents the sea food industry and works closely with the FDA to provide guidance on sea food safety regulations. 

“Fish is good for you even if it is radioactive,” said Rocko Vincenchi, Associate Director of the Food Safety Advisory Board. “Like the chemicals in drinking water from plastic bottles and dyes in foods, there is nothing bad, per se, about radiation.  We got radiation everywhere. You walk outside and you get hit with radiation from the sun. That’s right, from the sun. Solar energy and radiation are the same thing.  Besides, fish got all that healthy fish oil in them, so the more radiated fish you eat the more you will be protected from radiation in the fish!” Vincenchi said, then quickly added “but I’m not saying there is any radiation in any fish. The FDA says there is no need for testing so that means there ain’t no radiation,  right?”

Rocko Vincenchi

The Food Safety Advisory Board is an advocacy/lobbying organization supported financially by the food industry and is dedicated to repealing food safety regulations.

Source:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/04/16/1629400/fda-claims-no-need-to-test-pacific.html#ixzz1JnSXmTVC

A Grim Fairy Tale: THE SOMBER TURKEY

Posted in Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Family and Friends, Fiction, Food, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Humor, Isnt nature wonderful?, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, Our animal friends, Parody, Photography, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, The Wilhelm Scream, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 14, 2010 by paulboylan

Most of you who visit here know that I am an attorney – and a happy one, content in my work and honored to be part of one of the Great Professions.

But before I shook the dust out of my brain and decided to make something of myself, I fancied myself a writer – or at least thought I would write professionally one day.

During that phase of my wasted youth I wrote a series of terrible and really inappropriate children’s stories I called Grim Fairy Tales.  They were told by Brother Grim, an old man who owned and operated a convenience store. One night a bad storm forced brother Grim and a small group of children to spend the night in Brother Grim’s store.  The lights and phone were out, so Brother Grim entertained them with stories told in the dark, while the wind and rain howled and rattled the windows.

Hello, children. I am Brother Grim. Would you like to hear a story?

What follows is one of those stories.  I post it every November as we North Americans get closer to our Thanksgiving feast – which invariably features a big roasted turkey.

It is that time of year again.  My friends, I give you…

The Somber Turkey

Once upon a time, outside of the Kingdom of Woodland, east of Winters, in the Land of California, there lived a happy turkey farmer named Hannigan.  He loved raising turkeys, killing them, and selling them – in part or in whole – to clients all over California – where turkey eating was a big thing, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas.


On Hannigan’s turkey farm lived a happy turkey named Norman.  Norman was the happiest and most contented turkey the world had ever known because he was the biggest turkey anyone had ever seen.  Farmer Hannigan often brought other humans to marvel at Norman’s size and physical beauty.

“That’s gonna be some big turkey,” the human visitors would always say.

“Yep,” Farmer Hannigan would always reply.

Farmer Hannigan was happy, which made Norman happy. Norman was proud of the fact that he was so big and fat with lots of white meat, whatever that was.

The other turkeys knew how Norman felt, because he was always bragging about himself.

“I’m gonna be some big turkey!” he would say.

The other turkeys got fed up with Norman’s bragging.  One day Leonardo decided to do something about it.

Leonardo was not an especially big or happy turkey. Not being big didn’t make Leonardo unhappy.  He could give a rat’s ass about how big he was.  He didn’t buy into that neo-fascist farmcentric value system.  Leonardo was a fiery-eyed revolutionary with a strong interest in pragmatic Marxism.

Leonardo

“You are one fine, big turkey,” Leonardo said to Norman one day.

“Yes, I am,” Norman preened.

“You know what they’re going to do to you because you’re so big?” Leonardo asked.

“Admire me,” Norman said, meaning it.

“Sure they are.  They’re going to admire how good you taste,” Leonardo said.

“I beg your pardon?” Norman asked.

“They’re going to eat you, buddy.  In a couple of months they’re going to catch you, kill you, cut off your head, pull out all of your feathers and your internal organs, cook you and eat you, and they’re going to pick you first because you’re so big.  Lots of white meat.”

“Oh, my god!” Norman said.  “They’re going to eat me!”

Norman realizing the truth.

“You mean you didn’t know?”

“No!”

“Everyone else knows.  Why do you think that so many turkeys die while they’re drinking water?”

“Because they forget to breath?”

Leonardo laughed. “You believe that?  It’s a lie invented by the Man.  Have you ever forgotten to breath?”

“No.”

“Of course not. You got to be really stupid to forget to breath.”

“But we are pretty stupid.”

“No we’re not.  That’s just a lie to keep us down, to ruin our self esteem so we will be easy to exploit and so we won’t cause any trouble.  I’ll tell you why some turkeys die drinking water. Depression.  They’re depressed.  Why else do you think those other “stupid” things happen?  Why do you think some turkeys kill themselves by opening their throats in the rain and drowning?  Why do you think hens sit on their eggs so hard they break the eggs?”

“Oh my god, they’re killing their babies,” Norman said, in horror.

“Right.  They know what’s in store and they can’t take it. Would you want someone to eat your babies?”

“No,” Norman said.  “What can I do?” he asked, whispering in abject terror.

“Maybe I can get you out of here,” Leonardo said.  “On the outside there is an underground network of birds and humans who can take you to a place where you will be free.”

“Interested?”

“Of course!”

“Okay  I’ll see what I can do.”

Time went by.  Leonardo often spoke with Norman, teaching the bigger bird the truth about the world, teaching him hatred for the seemingly unbreakable power structure that doomed him and his race to be imprisoned, enslaved, slaughtered and devoured by killer apes.

“But remember,” Leonardo cautioned one night. “Not all humans are ravenous cannibals.  Some are good, and eat only plants and bugs.  These are the ones that help some of us get away.”

“How?” Leonardo asked in the star lit darkness.

“Every now and then there is a condition called Dark of the Moon, when there is no moon out and the darkness is as total as it can be.  During this time, a human jumps the fence and opens a big box. As many of us run in as we can.  We call it the Box of Freedom.”

“Just one box?”

“Yes, one box, but it is a big box, and it is better that some of us escape to keep the flames of hope burning.”

“I hope we both make it, brother,” Leonardo said.

“Me too, brother.  Me too.”

Then came the Dark of the Moon.  The turkeys were all quiet, making sure that there was no reason for Farmer Hannigan to investigate.

Suddenly the man with the box appeared.  He placed a big box on the ground and opened the side.

“This is it, brother!” Leonardo said, running.  Norman followed.

Leonardo made it into the box.  Norman didn’t get in before the man closed the box.

“Don’t worry, brother!” Leonardo cried from inside the box. “I’ll be waiting for you in paradise!”


But it didn’t happen.  The friendly human with the big box didn’t come back.  And Thanksgiving approached.  Leonardo was right – they came for Norman first.


Farmer Hannigan and his employees placed Norman in a big wooden crate built out of slats so that Norman could see and breathe.  Then Norman was carried to a truck, to an airport, into the belly of a jet, into another truck, and onto a large lawn next to a big white house.  Eventually, humans came to set up a lectern, chairs and cameras.  More humans came.  Some talked at the lectern in front of the crowd.

And then Norman’s cage was opened and gentle hands removed him from the crate.

“My god,” one human said.  “This had got to be the biggest turkey I’ve ever seen.”

“That’s why the President is getting it,” another human said, not trying to make a joke.

Norman was brought to the front of the crowd.  One human in a black suit made a short speech to another man, also standing in front of the crowd.  Humans in the audience took pictures with still and video cameras.


And then Norman did it.  He thrust out his neck and tried to bite the man who wasn’t giving the speech.  Norman knew that he just couldn’t go gently into that good night.

The man giving the speech reached out, grabbed Norman’s long neck and choked Norman.  Other humans helped stuff Norman back into the crate.

“That is one feisty bird,” the President quipped, and the reporters laughed.


In those days it was customary for the President to display generosity, and pardon the White House Thanksgiving turkey.  So Norman was taken to a farm in Virginia, where he lived for the rest of his natural days.

Leonardo was not so lucky. He ended up as dinner for the man with the big box, who was nothing more than a thief who just couldn’t get over how stupid those turkeys were and how they would be so quite and just waddle into the box, as if they wanted to be eaten.

Which was, from the thief’s point of view, always possible.  After all, turkeys are so stupid.



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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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OKAY, SO I WAS WRONG ABOUT STARGATE UNIVERSE

Posted in Art, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, Fiction, Getting it Right, Joseph Bleckman, Op Ed, Pop Culture, Review, Stargate Universe, Television, TV, Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by paulboylan

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I just watched the latest episode of Stargate Universe, entitled “Sabotage.” If you haven’t seen it, you must. It was one of the finest pieces of science fiction I’ve ever seen.

My personal relationship with art is centered in recognizing balance.  In my view, all art embodies at least two kinds of balance: the first is the balance of the genre it is part of; the second is the balance unique to the particular work itself.

In general, the evolution of science fiction as an art form has been a struggle to achieve artistic balance.  The early science fiction of Jules Vern and H.G. Wells was beautifully balanced, partly because Vern and Wells were not science fiction writers. They were authors who used science fiction as a story-telling delivery mechanism.  It was the story that was important to these writers; science fiction provided the structure to tell those stories.

These early science fiction stories also benefited from the fact that so few people could read and write. Those who could were automatically better educated and cultured than those who could not and, consequently, Vern, Wells and those like them were part of a “high art” literary tradition.

Such status was short-lived. Industrial societies depended on mass education that included reading and writing, which became common even among the uneducated and uncultured.  And it was these great unwashed masses that began both writing and reading science fiction.  Through pulp magazines, Sci Fi moved from high culture to popular culture.

And what a load of crap gushed forth – garbage written by amateur hacks with no story sense and poor vocabularies, using science fiction as a means of adolescent male masturbatory  wish fulfillment that really couldn’t get very far past rocketing off to a place they might encounter space chicks needing rescue from bug eyed monsters.

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In other words, this pulp rubbish lacked artistic balance and focus.  If “ray guns are cool” is the reason a story is written, and if the writer lacks the talent, skill and educational foundation to reach beyond their fingertips, then the story is going to suck.

I believe that has changed.  Kim Stanley Robinson and John Birmingham are proof that SF has changed for the better.

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Robinson and Birmingham are serious artists who, like Vern and Wells, use science fiction frameworks to tell stories that resonate beyond mere fantasy escapist wish fulfillment. Their work is artistically balanced in the same way any good novel worth reading and remembering achieves artistic balance.

Science Fiction cinema followed the same progression from early greatness  - e.g., Fritz Lang’s early silent work -

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From Metropolis


to adlolescent escapism – e.g., the Flash Gordon serials -

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to artistically balanced, nuanced good works that are cinema first and science fiction second – e.g., 2001, Alien and 12 Monkeys.

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The same is true for science fiction television – from high art of the Twilight Zone –

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to the idiocy of the Adventures of Buck Rodgers -

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to the retooled, reimagined excellence of Battlestar Galactica.

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This new video excellence was only possible because the popular audience is older and smarter, and cable television makes it possible to reach a smaller, smarter audience and still be profitable.  Battlestar Galactica was not just an artistic success – it was a commercial success.

And nothing succeeds like success. All commercial successes spawn imitations. Those behind Stargate Universe want to repeat, if not exceed, the BSG‘s commercial success and they concluded the way to do it is to imitate BSG‘s artistic success – i.e., focusing on story, plot and character and complex themes that resonate emotionally and intellectually.

Which created a different balance problem: too much focus on story, plot, character and complex themes is just as bad as too little.

Stargate Universe‘s first season suffered from this imbalance, resulting in slow, ponderous, boring television.  For me this imbalance was so annoying that I actually watched the show only because I was hoping to witness some of the more boring characters die and the slowest, most ponderous story lines end.

Which is why this last episode so delighted me. It is a demonstration of perfect balance between plot, character, theme, special effects and action. It isn’t boring in the slightest and when it was over I wanted more and cannot wait to see the next episode.

I so hope this isn’t an aberration. I so hope this is a sign the series as finally found its voice.

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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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HEADLINE – US combat rifles embedded with Bible verses

Posted in Barry Goldwater, Evil Smiley Face, Fiction, German Reformation Knock-Knock Jokes (1520-1553), Hapax Legomenon, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, News, Op Ed, Our animal friends, Paying Attention, Politics, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Sports, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on January 19, 2010 by paulboylan


REYKJAVIK – Combat rifle sights used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan carry references to Bible verses, stoking concerns about whether the inscriptions break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops.


Military officials said the citations don’t violate the ban. One such inscription includes a reference to John 8:12: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”


“These inscriptions communicating Jesus’ message of peace and understanding do not violate the ban against proselytizing,” said Air Force spokesperson, Major John Blankenship.

 

Maj. John Blankenship

 

“There is no indication that any of our bullets have converted any of their targets to Christianity,” said Blankenship.


There is evidence, however, that bullets fired by guns with Bible verse inscriptions are convincing the Taliban and al Qaeda to change their ways.

Thinking it over.

“Right before Achmed was killed by an American sniper, he looked at me and said ‘I am suddenly compelled by logic, reason and spiritual insight to conclude that our leaders are completely wrong in their argument that the Americans are fighting a religious war against Islam and that their invasion is little different from the European invasions during the Crusades,’” said Aziz, a Taliban commander.

Aziz

“Achmed paused in deep though, and then continued, saying ‘perhaps this also means that we should reject Islam and consider accepting Jesus as our personal savior.’ Then Achmed’s head exploded.”

Achmed

“Nevertheless, Achmed’s points were well-made, thought provoking, and his logic impeccable,” Aziz concluded.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said he has received complaints about the Scripture citations from active-duty and retired members of the military. Weinstein said he couldn’t identify them because they fear retaliation.


“We see nothing ironic whatsoever or in any way hypocritical, alarming or distasteful in inscribing weapons with Jesus quotes,” said General Jack T. Ripper from an undisclosed location.

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Sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8468981.stm

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HEADLINE – Argentina forces dirty war orphans to provide DNA

Posted in Fiction, Globalization, Headline, Headlines, Humor, News, Op Ed, Research and Development, Travel on January 17, 2010 by paulboylan

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Ulan Bator – The Argentine legislature has enacted a controversial bill requiring all war orphans residing in Argentina to provide DNA samples – but only if they are “filthy.”

“Just look at those dirty, filthy war orphans,” said Juan Hepilmeyer, Argentine Minister of Public Hygiene. “The Argentine government has finally decided to do something about the problem of dirty war orphans, and the first step is to collect their DNA,” Hepilmeyer said.

“I don’t care what the law says,” said Ricci Polinski, a hygienically-challenged war orphan who wanders the streets of Buenos Aries. “They won’t get of my DNA,” said a defiant Polinski as he picked his nose and wiped his finger on his shirt.

Hepilmeyer said that the new law authorizes the use of the Argentine Army to enforce the new regulations.

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Source: http://www.stltoday.com/argentina-forces-dirty-war-orphans-to-provide-dna/

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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HEADLINE – GOV’T IMPOSES 3-HOUR LIMIT ON TARMAC STRANDINGS

Posted in Evil Smiley Face, Fiction, Headline, Headlines, Life, Mad Men, News, Op Ed on December 22, 2009 by paulboylan


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By Rhappi Kanasta (Ass.Press) – 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has ruled that airlines can hold passengers on grounded jets or planes for no more than three hours. After that, the passengers must be set free.

“The three-hour limit and other new regulations are meant to send an unequivocal message to airlines not to hold passengers hostage on stuck planes,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “If airline passengers are imprisoned any longer than three hours on a motionless, cramped, hot, smelly jet or plane, the responsible airline will be fined.”

The announcement was hailed by consumer advocates as “a Christmas miracle.” However, airline industry insiders predict that restricting the practice of forceably holding passengers on planes until the flight clears will result in more canceled flights and more inconvenience for passengers.

In related news, the Obama Administration also announced that rape victims can be sexually assaulted for only three hours, and no more.

“The three-hour limit on rape and sexual assault is meant to send an unequivocal message to rapists not to sexually assault anyone,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Nick Toumpas.  “If victims are raped for longer than three hours, then the rapist(s) responsible will be fined.”

The announcement was hailed by rape victim advocates as “a Christmas miracle.” However, experienced rapists predict that restricting how long rape can last will result in more rapes and more inconvenience for rape victims.



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.


RESTAURANT REVIEW

Posted in Art, Avatar, おかしなふるまいの, अजीब, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, buffo, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, greannmhar, 재미, αστείος, ανόητο άτομα, lächerlich, Life, Mad Men, News, neşeli, скарлетт йоханссон, смешной, Op Ed, Photography, Pop Culture, Review, Small Town America, Smiley Face, snaaks, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Television, The Matrix, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, مقاطع‏ ‏سكس‏ ‏مصارعه, مضحك, مضحکہ خیز, 滑稽, מצחיק, خنده دار, سكارليت جوهانسون on December 17, 2009 by paulboylan

Last Saturday my wife and I ate at Ming Tu’s – a restaurant located at 1158 “L” Street in Downtown Sacramento.  Ming Tu’s serves Asian” inspired” food in a casual setting.

Not affiliated with Ming Tu in any way whatsoever.

Many people have eaten at Ming Tu’s.  Some of them have written reviews that can be found at http://www.yelp.com/biz/ming-tus-asian-diner-sacramento.  For example, Karina of Elk Grove writes:

“I’ve been here twice – with coworkers and with friends.  The food is definitely an Americanized version of Chinese food, but far better than Panda Express. Love their Mongolian beef over brown rice.”



Moo N of Sacramento writes:

“I work a couple of blocks from here so I have had opportunity to eat here often.  Each time I have eaten here, I have been quite happy.  The teriyaki chicken with rice is my fave and I love the fried rice too!  I love rice so if you do too you should definitely partake :-)”



My dining experience was a little different from Katrina’s and Moo’s. My meal was not as good as theirs. So this is going to be a negative restaurant review.



Over the years I’ve written plenty of restaurant reviews, may of them negative, and when I write a negative review I spend a lot of time describing what I ate and how it was served. Then I complain a lot.


I feel this is a special case. The usual descriptions of the food and service and the usual complaining just wouldn’t be enough to properly express how I feel about this dining experience. So I’m not going to describe the food or the service. I’m not going to make fun of the owner’s funny accent. I am not going to mock the handicapped busboy.  Instead, I will simply describe what I did after I left Ming Tu’s.



After I paid the bill and my wife and I left the restaurant, I immediately walked to a nearby church and prayed that God would reach down with His mighty hand and, with a fist of divine fury, smite Ming Tu’s, crushing it down to the bedrock, destroying it utterly.



I know what you are thinking. You think I over reacted.  You are thinking: “Aw, come on, Paul. The meal couldn’t have been so bad that you would call upon the Creator of the Universe to smite those responsible. “



If you are thinking this, you are wrong.  You weren’t there. You didn’t pay good money for really bad Chinese food. It was so bad that I felt, and still feel, within my rights as a God fearing Christian to call upon the power of Almighty God to send down destruction upon Ming Tu’s and punish all those responsible for my mediocre dining experience.



Now you are thinking: “Okay, Paul, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the meal you were served wasn’t very good.  Is that sufficient reason for calling for divine retribution? Isn’t being served a bad meal at a restaurant a trivial reason for calling upon the divine power of God Almighty to smite those who displeased you?”



Not at all.  And if you think that, then you probably are not a Christian.


Or you might be a Socialist.


A Socialist Atheist, that’s what you are, if you think there is anything wrong with me asking God to smite anyone I don’t like or destroy any business that has provided less than acceptable service.



Every day, ordinary people from all walks of life call upon the power of the Lord to avenge them – often for seemingly trivial reasons. My own Aunt reads the Bible every day and goes to church every Sunday – and every single day she prays to Baby Jesus that her neighbor die of a heart attack.

Her neighbor is a liberal who plays that jazz music much too loud. And he voted for Obama. Who is a secret Muslim.


But I digress.  My point is that it is perfectly okay to call upon the power of God to right any wrong, no matter how trivial the wrong may appear. The Bible shows us that God responds in dramatic ways to correct what seem to be trivial wrongs.


For example, in 2 Kings 23-25, the prophet Elisha, who had a bald head, cast a “curse unto God” at a bunch of young boys who were making fun of Elisha’s bald head.  Now, you non-Christian, socialist liberal secret Muslims will say that what those kids did was no big deal.  Well, God didn’t think so.  In response to Elisha’s curse, God sent two female bears to kill forty-two of those boys.



So Elisha called upon the divine power of the Creator of the Universe to punish a bunch of boys who made fun of him. I am calling upon that same power to smite a restaurant that served me a lousy meal.  I honestly don’t see the difference. I fully expect to see a big hole in the ground where Ming Tu’s used to be when I next drive or walk by that place.



I’ll let you know if it happens.


INSULTS FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER

Posted in Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Fiction, Globalization, Mad Men, music, News, Photography, Pop Culture, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, The Matrix, Travel, TV, Uncategorized on December 10, 2009 by paulboylan

I have been flamed (but not defamed, as you will see).  Over at the the Blunt Instrument, one of my favorite blogs, a gentleman who goes by the name of Greybeard said:

Mr Boylan: you Sir, are a vulgarian and a snob.

 

Now, isn’t that the nicest way of calling someone a jerk you have ever seen?  It is beyond cool. The gentility and elegance of that insult lifts it beyond cool to the rarely achieved level of cugat (as in “that is soooo cugat, dude!”).

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.

DSC00323

The perfect Halloween treat.

DSC00325

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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A Short Story Inspired by WITHOUT WARNING by John Birmingham

Posted in Art, Artists Rights, Droit de Suite, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Fair Use, Fiction, Food, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Hapax Legomenon, Hubris, IN MEMORIAM, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, Moral Rights, pandemic, Paying Attention, Photography, Politics, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Rage Against the Machine, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, The Wrath of God, Travel, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on September 19, 2009 by paulboylan

[This next piece is “fanfic” that takes place in the world depicted in Without Warning -

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- a novel by the illustrious – and dare I say it, charming? – Australian author, John Birmingham.

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Not his best photo.

Not his best photo.

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I reviewed Without Warning in this blog.  I cannot recommend it more highly as a very good read. If you want to see the review, click here. /.

The novel was inspired by a question: what if the world woke up one day to find out that the United States (and adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico) were gone – and, in the novel “gone” is shown as a mysterious energy barrier surrounding the United States (called the “Wave”) behind which everyone has died and that kills anyone who tries to travel through it.

The novel is devoted to following characters who live in a world without America and describes what happens to the world when the US is suddenly gone and depicts what is left of the US – in Seattle and Guantanamo Bay – struggling to survive and rebuild.

I was interested in exploring how the Wave might affect people who are not part of any heroic scenario and who are, essentially, inconsequential in the scheme of things in every way a person can be inconsequential.]

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AFTER THE WAVE: JIMMY’S TALE

Chapter One:

It happened when Jimmy was in Calgary, rummaging through an alley behind a strip mall on 1st Street: he found a crate labeled “Novelty Nose and Glasses.”

Jimmy opened the crate and found it full of rubber noses attached to black plastic horned-rimmed glasses frames.  His hands shook as he placed a pair on his face.  He ran into an empty store and found a mirror and, as he looked at his reflection, Jimmy suddenly knew what he was supposed to do.


The Wave killed Jimmy’s parents.  They were out of town visiting family in Calgary.  Jimmy’s parents left him with his Aunt Mona.  Then the Wave hit.  Jimmy’s Aunt ordered him to stay with her in her house.  But when the riots began, Jimmy left, hell-bent on protecting his home.  He left his Aunt and ran across town to his house. He used the key hidden in the garden to get into the house and he went right to the closet where his father hid a gun.

“Guns are dangerous,” Jimmy’s father explained. “And no one is supposed to know we have this one.  But I want you to know how to load it. Just in case.”

Jimmy loaded the gun like his father showed him and then sat vigil in the darkened house, ready to use deadly force to defend it against anyone entering without his consent.

He almost shot his aunt who came by in the morning to make sure he was all right.  Three days later he returned to his aunt’s home, taking only his father’s gun and collected ammunition in a brown grocery bag.

Then the Wave vanished, and the need to find his parents overcame Jimmy. He stole his Aunt’s car and drove south on Highway 2, teaching himself how to drive as he traveled.

As he drove, he watched the needle on his gas gage slowly drop towards empty.  He stopped at gas stations along the way, but none of the pumps functioned.   He ran out of gas near Leduc.

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Jimmy hiked back to a gas station he passed just prior to running dry.   He found a Mercedes sedan parked at one of the pump islands under the canopy with the pump handle sticking out of the fuel fill tube as if, just before the Wave hit, the Mercedes owner left the pump to go into the mini mart to buy a cup of coffee while the pump continued to gush gasoline into the Mercedes’ gas tank.

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The doors was unlocked.  Jimmy ignored the crusty piles of clothing in the front passenger seat.  By then such refuse was nothing new to the little boy, even if he had not yet completely accepted what it meant.

Food became a problem. The residual smell of rotting meat and decaying produce made every supermarket unapproachable.  Eventually hunger superseded Jimmy’s revulsion, and, after that, it was an endless feast of junk food that evolved into a diet composed primarily of canned goods.

He found companionship.  Jimmy stopped at every supermarket he passed and he fed the feral dogs and cats lurking near each supermarket, drawn to the death stench.  There was plenty of cat and dog food in every market Jimmy plundered and, before he drove off, he broke enough windows to let the dogs and cats into the stores to scavenge what they could.

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After two weeks in Calgary, Jimmy gave up searching for his parents.  By then he knew they were dead –  he knew that everyone was dead – but he kept looking for them, harboring the romantic notion that it was his duty to find and bury their remains. When he could no longer hold onto that illusion, he finally grieved his parent’s death and the end of the world.  Great tremors battered his very small, very young mind and body as he sobbed and screamed, completely alone and utterly terrified.

The next few weeks were dark indeed.  Jimmy discovered the numbing virtues of distilled ethyl alcohol in many varieties and the incredible pain associated with drinking too much of it.  He somehow lived through the ordeal, and slowly began devoting his days to exploring any part of Calgary that caught his momentary fancy and wasn’t on fire.

In an alley behind a strip mall on 1st Street, Jimmy found a shipping crate he decided to open, and when he did he discovered it was filled with novelty nose and glasses.  Jimmy never saw such things before, but he wasn’t stupid; he realized they were some kind of joke.  He slid a pair from their clear, crinkly cellophane packaging, unfolded the black plastic frame arms and slid them onto his face.

He found a mirror and looked at his new refection.  He didn’t notice his filthy skin and ragged, filthy clothing.  All he noticed was his eyes staring out from the black plastic frames and the large flesh colored rubber nose covering his.

And, at that moment, Jimmy knew what he was supposed to do.  He found a bag and stuffed it with nose and glasses.  Then he drove about three miles north on Macleod until he reached those stupid statues.

There, on Macleod, between 5th and 6th, stood ten statues of what looked like people who were starving.  They were three times as tall as Jimmy, standing in a circle, holding hands, and dancing.

family_of_man_statues_ii

Jimmy hated those statutes.  He didn’t fully appreciate the concept of irony, but he instinctively understood what he was too young to intellectually grasp, and that basic understanding encouraged him to hate those emaciated, faceless, tall dancing human caricatures.   Every time he drove past them he hated them  more, until eventually he worked hard to avoid them.


But now he avidly sought them, and when he found them, Jimmy used a tall ladder to climb up and place a novelty nose and glasses set on each of those ten statutes. And when he climbed down and walked far enough away to see them all standing there sporting his handiwork, he laughed and laughed until he fell to the ground holding his stomach and rolling on his back on the grass.  Eventually he stopped, only to start up again.  Jimmy gleefully convulsed thus until long after the sun set.

That night, sleeping in a home he chose at random in the bedroom of people who were surely dead, Jimmy dreamed.  In his dream he found himself walking down a path towards a shadowy figure sitting on a rock next to a campfire.

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As Jimmy drew closer he saw that the figure was an old man with shoulder-length hair, a cropped iron-gray beard and wearing old nondescript clothes.

“Call me Wanderer,” the old man said and smiled.  “I knew your father.”

“Ed Finklestien?” Jimmy asked.

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Ed Finklestien

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“What? No, not Ed Finklestien.  Mike Havel.  Wait – wait a minute – aren’t you Artos?”

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artos2.

“No. I’m Jimmy.”

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jimmy

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“Hold on a second.“ The old man stood, reaching into a pocket and removed what looked like a cell phone. He flipped it open and rapidly punched a series of keys on the phone face.  The old man peered at the small, glowing display screen.

“Damn it,” the old man hissed and rapidly punched another series of keys, lifting the phone to his ear.  “Cindy?” the old man said into the phone.  “Yeah, its me. It happened again.  No.  Listen.  Wait… look , I want her fired, okay?  It happened again.  I know.  It’s a hard job.  More alternate realities every day.  Right.  Uh huh. Yeah, the Assiti.   Look, I don’t care.  It’s the wrong universe again, God damn it.  I want a new appointment secretary right away, okay?  Okay.”

The old man angrily snapped the cell phone shut, shoved it back into his coat pocket and looked at Jimmy.

“Sorry, kid,” the old man said, “but this mystical experience is over.

Jimmy woke up.  He was a little afraid and didn’t understand what happened, but somehow the dream stiffened his resolve to continue defacing statues.  He drove back to the alley where he found the packing crate.  He loaded up his car with all the novelty nose and glasses he could find and, with a long ladder tied to the car roof, with no regrets, and armored with a sense of purpose, he left Calgary driving south on Highway 2.

.

CONTINUED

If you are interested in any other Without Warning inspired fanfic, go to

http://miniburger.wordpress.com/category/without-warning/

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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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 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

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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A DREAM DEFERRED

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, good guys and bad guys, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, 스타게이트유니버스, ανόητο άτομα, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Money and Power, music, News, Nichola Tesla, ученые, Op Ed, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Pycho-Social Trauma, Rage Against the Machine, Research and Development, Review, rimshot wav download, 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 Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TV, Uncategorized, Vegemite, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny?, טילים, سياسة on March 17, 2009 by paulboylan

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My house was recently remodeled, and I am disappointed. To make matters worse, my disappointment is causing me to question my goals and dreams.

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Me, standing in the wreckage of my dreams...

Me, standing in the wreckage of my dreams...

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My disappointment has nothing to do with the work that was done.  The construction company that did the work – North State Residential Development – did a great job.

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renovation3-0771

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Rob - God of Electricity and other stuff

Rob - God of Electricity and other stuff

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The work was performed on time and on budget.  North State more or less built me a new home in five months.  No one in my neighborhood believed it was possible.  But these guys worked on weekends, in the dark and even in the rain to get the job done.

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The men responsible for my bitter disappointment.

The men responsible for my bitter disappointment.

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But every time I look at my new home I cannot put behind me the hopes I had when I originally decided to remodel my home. You see, I am an evil genius, and that means I have always wanted a secret lair. Allow me to explain.

There are lots of evil geniuses in the world – but they are not all created equal.Sure, there are high profile evil geniuses sitting around in big chairs, stroking persian cats and using their genius to plan and execute diabolical plans to threaten the world with the goal of getting rich.

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My role model - Ernst Stavro Blofeld

My role model - Ernst Stavro Blofeld

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Despite these few “stars” most evil geniuses live very humble lives. We have families. We go to church on Sundays.


Secretly evil.

Secretly evil.

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But we live secret lives where we dream of threatening humanity with extinction in order to become enormously wealthy.

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evil-smiley-face

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I am that kind of evil genius.  My extreme evil and my uncanny genius are well established.  How else do you explain my otherwise unexplainable success?  I’ve spent my life crafting a respectable persona that hides my secret evil identity – Professor Iniquitous.  Over the years I have hatched countless ingenious plans for taking over the world – none of which I have been able to execute.

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blueprint

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There is one primary reason why I haven’t taken over the world yet.  It isn’t the lack of sufficient evil.  If the editors over at Merriam Webster knew about me,  the word “evil” in their dictionary would have my picture next to it.  And I do not lack for genius.  I am always the smartest guy in the room and I know all of the answers to questions asked on television quiz shows.  Nevertheless, I lack the one thing that all successful evil geniuses possess:  membership in the Amalgamation of Evil Geniuses (AEG).

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incorporated

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The AEG is an international labor union that more or less controls all evil genius activity on this planet.  You can’t really be an evil genius without belonging to AEG.  And to join AEG you must have a secret lair – a private place to conduct your evil experiments and hatch your evil plans.

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steampunk-office4

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So when my wife and I talked about remodeling our home, I was very excited about the possibilities of including a secret lair in the project.With a secret lair, I finally had a chance of joining AEG – and after that happened, it was only a matter of time before the world would be mine.

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The contractor at North State loved the idea.I talked to their architect, who drew up the plans and even made a 3D computer simulation of what my secret lair would look like after it was built.I sat there in the architect’s office as he showed me my underground secret lair – my future laboratory, my control room, my nuclear missile silo, my shark tank and the kitchen where my evil minions could microwave hot pocket snacks.It was a dream come true.

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Then I saw the price.  Underground lairs are very, very expensive.  So we began to reduce the project. The shark tank was the first thing to go.  I really didn’t need a shark tank.I could use other means to dispose of the secret agents sent to stop me.

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Then I gave up the missile silo.Nuclear weapons were old fashioned. I could eventually replace the nuclear missile with a much less expensive death ray.

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Even with these sacrifices, the costs associated with a secret lair were just too high to afford. More and more of what I wanted was cut away until eventually I was left with what amounts to a secret closet in the garage.

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Don’t get me wrong:the closet is very secret.  Unless you knew what to look for you wouldn’t really notice it.  But it is still a closet.  I can stand in it, but that’s about it.  I really cannot use it to menace the world.

And that is exactly what AEG told me when I sent them a picture of my secret closet attached to my membership application.They wrote and told me

The AEG New Member Selection Committee has decided to hold onto your application until such time that you improve upon your secret lair to meet or exceed AEG’s secret lair standards as described in the AEG publication “So You Think You Have a Secret Lair…” a copy of which is enclosed for your convenience.

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doctor-no-lair-design

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So I guess my plans for world domination are going to have to wait.  Maybe I should reconsider this whole evil genius thing.In the meantime, I am using my secret closet to store some gardening supplies…

Wait! That gives me an idea – a beautifully evil idea!  I can infect seemingly ordinary gardening supplies to spread bacteria genetically engineered to transform people from home gardeners into an army of zombie slaves!  Mooohahahahah!!

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madscientist_21

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I am back, baby!

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DISAPPOINTED WITH OBAMA

Posted in Art, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Cinema, Evil Smiley Face, Family and Friends, Fiction, Fire and Ice, Food, Getting it Right, Globalization, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, 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 with tags on February 24, 2009 by paulboylan


day

People of Earth, we have a new President of the United States, the honeymoon is over, and I miss George Bush.

You may think that the “honeymoon” I speak of is the bipartisan cooperation that traditionally follows a presidential election. During this “honeymoon period,” a newly elected president – either in their first term or re-elected for their second term – can make big changes without much debate. George Washington himself used his “honeymoon period” to support legislation prohibiting discrimination against short people – or, in the parlance of the times “persons of diminutive stature.” Many experts consider this the beginning of what was to become the American Civil Rights Movement.

 

 

Other American Presidents failed to take advantage of their honeymoon period to shape our nation through new legislation. For example, Martin Van Buren hosted nude swimming parties in a pond outside of the White House.

 

Martin Van Buren - party animal.

Martin Van Buren - party animal.

 

Millard Filmore conducted eldritch surgical experiments involving humans and animals.

 

 

Chester A. Arthur required all members of his cabinet to wear masks that looked exactly like him and insisted that, whenever they met, everyone refer to one another only as “Luigi.”

 

 

Such presidential frivolities ended when their respective honeymoons were over.

George W. Bush took full advantage of his honeymoon to enact a tax break for rich people, which not only pissed away a $128 billion budget surplus, but also is one of the primary causes for the $3 trillion deficit Bush left us with – as well as the first domino that fell in the chain of events that created what is shaping up to be a world-wide economic depression.

 


"You want your prosperity back? I got your prosperity right here..."

But the kind of honeymoon that allowed George Washington and George W. Bush to cement their places in history isn’t the “honeymoon” I am talking about. And I am not talking about Obama’s “honeymoon” being over. He didn’t have one. The honeymoon I am talking about is the one between Obama and the American people. All honeymoons end when the mystery vanishes, and there is no mystery about what the Obama administration is going to do.

The next four years are going to be boring – incredibly, mind-numbingly boring.

 

Modern Americans may pick their president with the hopes that they will lead wisely, but we value our presidents, not for their wisdom, but for their entertainment value. It started with John Kennedy. We picked him because he looked good on television. The drama of his presidency – from the Cuban missile crisis to his horrifically tragic assassination – riveted our attention.

 

 

Lyndon Johnson turned out to be entertainingly crazy.

 

 

 

You can’t beat Richard Nixon for entertainment value.

 

 

Gerald Ford is remembered more for falling down a lot than for any of his policy achievements.

 

 

Jimmy Carter continues to entertain us by simply refusing to go away.

 

 

Ronald Reagan, for all his faults and strengths, was fun to listen to and watch.

 

 

George Bush Senior endlessly delighted us by not knowing what a supermarket price scanner was and by having horse manure thrown at him in Brazil.

 

 

Bill Clinton’s rise and fall reminded us of a Greek drama where the hero is a great leader, brought down by a fatal flaw – i.e., an uncontrollable passion for chubby interns.

 

 

Bill Clintons drug of choice.

Bill Clinton's drug of choice.

And America didn’t vote for George Bush as much as we voted against Al Gore because Gore was painfully dull.

 

 

 

 

After only a few weeks in office, it is abysmally clear that we are not going to be entertained by the Obama administration. We made the mistake of choosing a president who is a good family man and thinks through virtually everything he does or says. There will be no improvisation in the Obama administration.

 

 

Which is why I miss George W. Bush. Sure, he was an utter disaster, leaving everything he touched or even considered worse off than it was before it captured his attention. Sure, he made a lot of his rich friends even richer, but the way he did it wrecked the ship we all live on, and – rich or poor – we are all going down as it sinks. As my good for nothing liberal son points out, and I cannot argue against, no single person in the history of the world has left more people around the world worse off for his passing than has George W. Bush.

 

 

But I digress. The point is that, for all his faults – or maybe because of them – George W. Bush was incredibly entertaining. Every time he opened his mouth, something amazing might come out.

 

 

I especially enjoyed watching and listening to Bush mangle the English language as if he were a developmentally disabled eight year old. For example, he referred to himself as “the decider.” He made up his own words, like “subliminable” and “misunderestimate.” You had to laugh when you heard him say things like “I know how hard it is to put food on your family.”

 

foodfight

 

Well, none of that is going to happen in an Obama administration. He is just going to plod along, thinking things through, making sense, grappling with problems no one can solve – and just being no fun to watch or listen to at all.

 

 

Unless I am misunderestimating him.

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: WITHOUT WARNING by John Birmingham

Posted in 3D, American Decline, 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, Food, Free Utilization Doctrine, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, Getting it Right, Globalization, Hapax Legomenon, Harvey Eisner, Hate Crimes, Headline, Headlines, Hubris, Humor, IN MEMORIAM, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Life, Mad Men, Mad Scientists, Moral Rights, music, News, Nichola Tesla, Op Ed, 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, Science, Science Fiction, Small Town America, Smiley Face, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Tasmania, Television, The Matrix, The River of Time, The Wilhelm Scream, The Wrath of God, Travel, TRIPs, TV, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags on February 12, 2009 by paulboylan

I just spent the last two days putting off high paying work to read WITHOUT WARNING, the latest novel by John Birmingham.  I’ve never reviewed a book before, so I am compelled to enact what I imagine a book reviewer would say, and this is it:

I experienced John Birmingham’s WITHOUT WARNING in the same manner I would have experienced a full glass of a good California zinfandel: it began strong in character, getting better with each taste and ended with a big finish, making me sad it was gone and leaving me wanting more.

No kidding. It was a really good read. The zinfandel analogy is spot on.  I highly recommend WITHOUT WARNING to the thousands of people who read this blog. Go out and buy it. I promise you won’t be able to put it down, and when you are forced by time and fate to do so, you will be scheming to find time to pick it up and continue.

Okay. I’ve done my book reviewer thing. Now it is time to get back to what I do a little better.

All of the characters – other than Fifi – were memorable. I especially enjoyed seeing the Rhino and a cameo by Murphy.  But the one character I enjoyed most – but didn’t quite get enough of – was Stavros. I LOVED that guy, and I believe he was more pivotal than would appear on first reading.

John Birmingham, where ever you are, please continue to develop this fine, Greek character (whom I suspect also has an Irish ancestry).

The guy on the left has an Irish last name.

As a matter of fact, please consider adding additional Greco-Irish characters, perhaps one that is an attorney with a small liver.  Yeah!  Wouldn’t that be great?  I mean, really, who doesn’t want to read about a character who is half Greek, half Irish – and is an attorney – who gets drunk really, really easily? And, while you’re at it, give him (has to be a guy) Attention Deficit Disorder. And flat feet.  Oh yeah, and he has to be bald.  I mean, that is a must, don’t you think – for verisimilitude and pathos?  Bald middle aged attorneys of Greek/Irish ancestry just reek of pathos. At least I hope that reek is pathos.

I am not a professional writer, but I can tell you that this is a very good idea.

The author of WITHOUT WARNING writing down my idea for possible future reference.

The author of WITHOUT WARNING writing down my idea for possible future reference.

 

And remember: the Wave eats people.

 

THE NEW REPUBLICAN PARTY

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 with tags on February 4, 2009 by paulboylan


young-disney1

By Paul Nicholas Boylan,

Columnist

[Reprinted with permission of the Sacramento Valley Mirror, where this article first appeared.]

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has chosen former Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele – an African American – to be its Chairman. Several RNC members said it was a historic moment for the party.

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Michael Steele frowning.

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“This is a dramatic sign that the Republican Party is the real party of change,” said current RNC chair Mike Duncan. “The GOP is seen as the party that can take a one hundred dollar bill and change it into four twenties,” Duncan said. “But now we will be seen as something else.”

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Incredibly white women

Incredibly rich, incredibly white women

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“This is the first step of our effort to reach out to the Negro voter,” said former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltzman – who distributed a CD to RNC committee members featuring a song called “Barack the Magic Negro.”

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Chip Saltzman and his brother Chip

Chip Saltzman and his brother Chip

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“The liberal media – which is controlled by the Jews,” Saltsman explained, “took that song out of context. I sent that song to each and every RNC member to alert them to the fact that American politics has changed, and we have to change with it.  I believe I helped get Mike chosen as chairman. The song pointed out that the Democrats have a magic Negro, so we need one, too.”

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“It is classic case of one-upsmanship,” Duncan agreed. “So they have a Negro. Well, our negro is better than their Negro,” he said. “The Democrats’ negro is a half-breed.  Our Republican Negro, on the other hand, is full Negro on his mother’s side and his father’s side.  No race mixing miscegenation here. None of our social conservative base can accuse us of promoting the mongrelization of the races.”

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Angering social conservatives

Angering social conservatives

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“And our Negro has a Christian name. An American name,” said Track Hemplin, an unemployed grade school custodian and Civil War reenactor. “Our negro is named Michael Steele.  Say it with me – ‘Michael Steele….’ sounds like a football quarterback.    But the Democrats’ Negro is named Barak Hussein Obama.  Hell, that sounds like one of them Mooslam terrorists.  If I’m looking at two male Negros, all things being equal, I would feel more kindly toward the one that isn’t a half breed and has a name that sounds American.” Hemplin admitted.

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“And our Negro has a kung fu grip. And he comes with a vehicle,” Hemplin added.

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Political pundits believe that the RNC’s choosing Steele is a sign of a more fundamental shift in Republican political strategery.  “Historically, racism has worked very well for the Republican Party,” said Dr. Krista Schnurstein, Professor Emeritus of the American Institute of Political Theory. “Racial hate was a unifier and a persuader. Poor, uneducated whites could be persuaded to support Republican candidates – who want to cut their wages, health care and food safety and keep them poor – purely because of their common hatred for black people.  Politicians could take advantage of racial stereotypes to create fear, which would then translate into votes for the “law and order” Republican candidates.”

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“But the effectiveness of racism vanished during Obama’s inauguration,” explained Herman Oberstein, a researcher with the Heritage Foundation. “White America watched in amazement as hundreds of thousands of black people converged on Washington D.C., and yet no one was murdered, no one was shot, no one was stabbed, no one died. Not one white woman had the letter “B” cut backwards into her cheek.  White America was astonished at how unexpectedly well-behaved all those colored folks were.”

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Norman Weisser, a freelance political consultant agrees. “There were no riots. No looting. Nothing,” Weisser said.  “When the world looked out at the faces of those watching and participating in Obama’s inauguration, they didn’t see white and black. They saw Americans.  And that spelled the end of racial division as a political tool.”

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/

Despite both parties embracing African Americans, racism is still very much alive and will be for the foreseeable future.

“Hate is still great,” proclaims Track Bramble, Exalted Cyclops, “and is still a powerful political force.  Just because the GOP don’t hate Negroes no more don’t mean we can’t hate Hispanics and Greeks – ‘specially those filthy illegal immigrants.  And homosexuals. It is still perfectly okay to hate homos.  And Mooslams.  And women who work outside of the home.  It is still okay to hate them.  And environmentalists. And wine drinking east coast intellectual elites.  And the theory of evolution.  And ugly people.  Dontcha just hate ugly people?”

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it is still okay to hate them.

East coast intellectuals: it is still okay to hate them.

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Republican Strategists, however, are anxious to “keep the eyes on the prize” – which is the growing demographic of stupid voters.

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“The true goal here is to convince stupid people to vote Republican,” said the Reverend Billy Bob, Director of the William Robert Law School and Christian Catering Emporium. “Let’s not forget that stupid people are forty-two times more likely to vote Republican than someone who can read and who may have gone to college,” Bob continued.  “Let us also not forget that stupidity is cross-cultural and cross-racial. Just as there are stupid white people who vote Republican, there are stupid black people that might vote Republican, too.”

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And Republicans will thank them for voting republican.

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And that is the true importance of the RNC picking an African American to be their chairman.  The choice was more than a sign of change:  it is a desperate and cynical gamble on the adamantine belief that black voters are too stupid to tell the difference between a Republican and a Democrat.

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THE SECRET OF MY (NEW) INTERNET SUCCESS

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, Uncategorized, Website of the Week, Weird Stuff, What are you sick or something?, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on January 29, 2009 by paulboylan

As some of you remember, I wrote an essay during the halcyon days of JournalSpace (JS) musing on my sudden Internet success. After crawling through cyberspace getting a few visitors here and a few there, all of a sudden my blog began being accessed hundreds of times a day.

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This happened during a cycle where I posted photos related to lesbian equestrians. Apparently, people all over the world were keenly interested in lesbian horse stories.

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Better prose than you might suspect.

Better prose than you might suspect.

 

I pandered to this interest as long as I could. But then I broke stride and posted a short essay describing my feelings after the death of a loved one. Whereas the world wide web was peppered with people who couldn’t get enough of lesbians and horses in whatever combination I could conjure up, the combination of love and death acted like bug spray on a bunch of roaches: my international audience disappeared.

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I am experiencing the same sort of thing here at WordPress. I just reached that magic 5,000-viewer milestone with a sudden stream of viewers.

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Like my Internet success at JournalSpace, my achievement here at WordPress does not stand up to close scrutiny.  Careful inspection shows that my success here at WordPress is an illusion – something I find utterly fascinating.

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One of the reasons I now prefer WordPress is the wonderful tools WordPress provides to data junkies like me.  JournalSpace let me know who was visiting my blog, but WordPress lets me know why.

 

 

WordPress provides two utilities that place a bright light on the motives of people who visit my blog.  The first of these tools shows me which blogs “referred” others to my blog.  For example, I get a lot of referrals from John Birmingham’s blog

www.cheeseburgergothic.com. /John graciously lists me as a blog he follows and people who read his blog click on that link to access my blog.  I get the same kind of traffic from (in no particular order):

cageliner.blogspot.com

therbs-bar.blogspot.com

bangarrr.wordpress.com

dirkflinthart.blogspot.com

jadedj-banquetofconsequencestoo.blogspot.com

mamagetshergrooveback.blogspot.com

lermontov09.blogspot.com

mokoreturns.blogspot.com

becomingkate-becomingkate.blogspot.com

64poundsofrumpsteakpleasesanta.blogspot.com

rhinorog.blogspot.com

nataliatherussianspy.blogspot.com

gurubob09.blogspot.com

alonewithnoone.blogspot.com

morphinekisses.journalspace.com

puma.journalspace.com

labetine.blogspot.com

lovingdeparture.blogspot.com

sacrificial-doll.blogspot.com

drej08.wordpress.com

loupylou.wordpress.com

truckersjournal.wordpress.com

dorrie.de/F1

wildwesty.wordpress.com

drewsbird.blogspot.com

mirrorone.blogspot.com

captainmando.wordpress.com

nautilis.wordpress.com

karada007.wordpress.com

dkpark.wordpress.com

uamada.wordpress.com

I also get regular referrals from unexpected places, like:

google.com.au

huffingtonpost.com

Apparently Australians and liberals (not always synonymous) are interested in my particular brand of invective.

 

 

 

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I love seeing and hearing from fellow members of the JS Diaspora.  But these friends and friendly websites count for a fraction of those reading my blog, and it is those anonymous, invisible people whom never comment who interest me most.

 

 

The second WordPress analytical tool I enjoy sheds the most light on the mystery of why people I don’t know from JS visit here – there is a function that lists the search terms people are typing into search engines like google and yahoo people to find my blog.


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A fair number of these phantoms are interested in me – and I do mean me.  They use the following search terms to find and access my WordPress blog:

Paul Boylan attorney

Paul Nicholas Boylan

Paul Nicholas Boylan’s blog

Paul Nicholas Boylan mug shot

Paul Nicholas Boylan cocaine

Paul Nicholas Boylan criminal record

Paul Nicholas Boylan photo

“Paul Nicholas Boylan” pornography

Paul Nicholas Boylan “I dream of”

“Paul Nicholas Boylan” Darwin

“Paul Nicholas Boylan” gay


My analysis of these particular search terms seems to indicate someone is fishing around on the Internet hoping they can prove I am a drug using homosexual pornographer that spent time in jail for teaching evolution.

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Please don’t be concerned. My legal practice often requires that I become involved in contentious issues. People I represent love me; people whom my clients oppose sometimes hate me, which prompts them to research my background in an attempt to “dig up dirt” about me to publish anonymously on the internet with the hope that, if they can harm my professional and personal reputations, then they can minimize my effectiveness as an advocate, counselor and advisor. It comes with the turff.

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1-rotwang-in-contemplation

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But those desiring to learn more about my life of lust and crime are very few.  The majority of my visitors are interested in something else.

They are deeply interested in Sarah Palin.

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Every day I get hundreds of hits on my site by people who got here using the following search terms:


sarah palin

sara palin

sarah palin pictures

sarah palin sexist picture

sarah palin naked

naked sarah palin

sarah palin dominatrix

sarah palin suspended

sarah palin 2012

palin in superbowl ad 2009

dirty photos of sarah palin

sarah palin in black face

sarah palin ball gag

Palin boots

sarah palin in boots, pictures

sarah palin cocaïne call girl

revealing “sarah palin”

sarah palin stupid

sarah palin, mund auf, augen zu

sarah palin leather skirt

sarah palin ass

sarah palin stripper

free sarah palin pictures

sara palin look a like

sarah palin without glasses

sarah palin pouting

 


There are more, but you get the drift.

So, the reason why my blog is receiving significant and unexpected traffic is because I posted a couple of political pieces about Sarah Palin little realizing that, for many, many people out there in cyber land, Sarah Palin is a fetish.

I’m not sure how to react to this insight.

 

Sarah Palin in leather playing video game

Sarah Palin in leather playing video game

Sarah relaxing at home after being Governor

Sarah relaxing at home after being Governor

Sarah and two boy toys

Sarah and two "boy toys"

Palins actual feet and shoes.

Palin's actual feet and shoes.

 

palin-629618_f260

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HOTTER THAN YOU 1.1

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 with tags on January 4, 2009 by paulboylan

My good friend, Christine, took issue with HOTTER THAN YOU 1.0, posted previously.  She opined, quite correctly, that she is hotter than the woman depicted in HOTTER THAN YOU 1.0.

The point of this series of photos is to show hot COUPLES, not two hot people together.

For example, the two people in the following photo are, frankly, not all that hot. But put them together, and you magically get a hot couple that is probably hotter than you and your significant other.

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Christine, I am not in any way saying that you are not hotter than Victoria Beckham. But I am saying that David and Victoria together are hotter that you and – well, take your pick.

If I am wrong,  any of you are welcomed to send a photo proving it and I will gladly post it within this series.

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