Archive for the Stargate Universe Category

Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions – and Ray Gun Girls

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


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By now you know I kind of dig Space Chicks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

The Ultimate Ray Gun Girl Gallery [ Mädchen mit Waffen I'm Weltraum ]

Posted in Art, Astronomy, Avatar, おかしなふるまいの, Brave New World, Cinema, космическая девушка, космическая девушка space girl, Internet Fun!, 스타게이트유니버스, Missile Defense, скарлетт йоханссон, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Rotwang, Science, Science Fiction, Space, Sports, Star Trek, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Television, the snows of yesteryear, The Wrath of Khan, Travel, Why do people in other countries talk funny? with tags , , , on March 11, 2011 by paulboylan

To access an image, click on it. When it comes up, click on it again to see it in its full size.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK – Engrish.com

Posted in Hapax Legomenon, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Paying Attention, Photography, Pop Culture, Stargate Universe, The Matrix, The Wilhelm Scream, Travel, TRIPs, Website of the Week, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 28, 2010 by paulboylan

Once again, I owe my “Website of the Week” to my wife, Lori. Here is what happened:

As I sat reading the news and drinking coffee on this bright, clear, crisp Northern California winter Sunday morning,

my wife’s sudden sincere and heart-felt laughter interrupted my peace and tranquility .


I tried to ignore it.  After all, I was in the middle of reading the news on my computer and drinking strong, hot, honey-sweetened coffee on a bright, clear, crisp Northern California winter Sunday morning and the last thing I wanted was for my Wa to be interrupted.


But then it happened like it always happens – my wife came into my office carrying her computer and insisted that I interrupt my sojourn into relaxation. She thrust her MacBook in front of me and gave me no choice but to look at http://www.engrish.com/.

I’m glad she did. Engrish.com is a website devoted to non-English speakers attempting to communicate with English speaking person through written messages.  The results can be very funny,

but not for the reasons immediately apparent and often presumed.

The lowest form of humor is laughing at someone because they made a mistake.

It is a Schadenfreude that seems to be hardwired into every human. A slip and fall, a pie in the face or a photo of someone who inadvertently wet themselves when riding a particularly frightening rollercoaster will make any human being in the world laugh regardless of race, religion, culture, language, sexual or political orientation, or geographical location.

“Man” isn’t the animal that laughs. “Man” is the animal that laughs at errors, mistakes or misfortune experienced by others.


But that isn’t what makes Engrish.com so entertaining.  It isn’t just the mistakes revealed – which are more than understandable: English is a god-awful language, incredibly difficult to use if you weren’t born into a culture speaking it.


If our non-English speaking cousins have trouble with our highly contextual pastiche doggerel/ Creole /gutter language, then it really isn’t their fault.

They are doing their best, and far better than most of us, who seem to insist they speak English if they wish to communicate rather than us learning to speak their language.


Engrish.com is funny for the mistakes it shows, but is fascinating beyond a mere laugh at the expense of others because it reveals that much of the difficulty is rooted in the inescapable fact that our non-English speaking cousins don’t think the way we do and their values are not the same as ours.

It is what they are trying to communicate more than how they are trying to do it that keeps me reading.  Perhaps it will do the same for you.

WEBSITE/VIDEO OF THE WEEK (Must See)

Posted in Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, French Impressionistic Knock-Knock Jokes, Hapax Legomenon, Internet Fun!, Mad Men, Nichola Tesla, Post Modern Knock-Knock Jokes, Research and Development, Romance Language Knock-Knock Jokes, Science, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Stupid People, The Matrix, Uncategorized, Victorian Era Knock-Knock Jokes, Website of the Week, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on July 20, 2010 by paulboylan

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This vid shows off a website that allows you to write a script for two animated  characters who speak your dialogue in electronic voices.

I can’t wait to try it.

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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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HEADLINE – TESTICLE FESTIVAL HUGE SUCCESTICLE

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

Photographer: Karen Combs 2010

Photographer: Karen Combs 2010

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

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Good, clean testicle related fun.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Good, clean testicle related fun.

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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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WHAT PRICE BALTHAZAR?

Posted in Headlines, Internet Fun!, It's not what you think, Joseph Bleckman, Mad Men, Small Town America, Stargate Universe on March 15, 2010 by paulboylan

Some aspects of Internet based social interaction trouble me. They can and often do bring out the worst in those participating.

In my last posting many of you were kind enough to discuss the concept of “cyber bullying.”  I am hoping your enthusiasm extends to explaining to me what is and what is not a “troll” and how best to respond to one.

I never heard the term “troll” until it was applied to Sweet Jane Says, a regular contributor at Cheeseburger Gothic/, Blunt Instrument and The Geek .  I looked into it and eventually learned that a “troll” is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or otherwise disrupts the discussion/conversation.  I’ve seen Jane do this, but I don’t consider her a troll because even her disruptive, off-topic comments that are clearly designed to provoke an emotional response are nevertheless backed up by a keen and penetrating mind.

I believe that, in addition to posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages designed to provoke others into an emotional response, for a person to be a troll their comments must lack any value, which means the troll – to be a troll – must be fairly stupid.

I don’t use the term as an insult.  I am using it to describe a lack of native intelligence that is a necessary condition to say and do things that are meaningful.  There are plenty of fine people in this world who aren’t very smart and they contribute in important ways. But their lack of intelligence bars them from places where those who live beyond their fingertips congregate and socialize. For example, tonight my wife is hosting a group of ladies who meet once a week to discuss films and books. Stupid people are not invited to these events.

The world is full of barriers that discriminate against the stupid and exclude them.  The internet has no such barriers.  The single greatest irony arising from the Internet is that millions of people who have nothing of any value to say have nevertheless found a place to say it.

Which leads me to balthazar.  Balthazar is a troll who haunts Blunt Instrument. Either he is a genius performance artist – which is how I view Jane – or he is just some dumb guy who likes to argue and uses the internet to make himself feel smarter, more powerful and more important than he can possibly reflect in the real world.

My question is whether balthazar is, nevertheless, useful.  It seems that others who post at Blunt Instrument enjoy engaging balthazar – even though they surely know he is an idiot who cannot possibly understand what is really going on. I admit doing it and enjoying it.

But this engagement also encourages him.  Balthazar has created a second persona  – called treeman – that is clearly the same person.  Everyone craves attention, especially the stupid. (Q: What are a bogan’s most common last words?  A: “Hey, mates!  Watch this!”)

So what I think I am getting at is my concern over how Internet communities deal with the equivalent of the village idiot.  Do they engage until some higher power simply gets rid of them? Or is there some other self-regulating mechanism at work?

I am interested in knowing what you think.

I WANT YOU TO PICK MY NEW AVATAR PHOTO

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

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

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

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

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

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REMEMBERING THE 2000 COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE, PART 2

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

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

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REMEMBERING THE 2000 SAG COMMERCIAL ACTORS STRIKE

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

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

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


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



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

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

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WHAT AMERICANS SOUND LIKE

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

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

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


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!”).

ANOTHER LOOK AT STARGATE UNIVERSE

Posted in Art, Battlestar Galactica, Brave New World, Evil Smiley Face, Internet Fun!, Science Fiction, Smiley Face, Stargate Universe, Television on November 21, 2009 by paulboylan

First, before I begin, I just want to say that, as I type this, I am listening to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance and loving it.


I haven’t decided yet if the images she crafts are parody and/or satire.  However, even if her visual marketing is a bit repulsive, her music is unexpectedly very good.

Second, I want to mention Sarah Palin.


palin

Her mere mention in this blog boosts my traffic tremendously.  Palin is at the heart of many google searches that lead the hapless, and unsuspecting, Internet surfer to this page – second only to searches for smiley faces.

Don’t ask me why, but thousands upon thousands of you out there access this blog using terms like “smiley,” “smiley face,” “smily face,” “evil smiley” and “evil smiley face.” If you are reading this, then the odds are you got here looking for an evil smiley face.


As for you who out there who found my page using google searches centering on Sarah Palin – and there are more of you every day –  please take my word for it that you won’t find any nude pictures of Palin here.



Nor will you find any photos or discussions or any jokes even remotely related to any of the following apparently popular search terms:

Sarah Palin feet

Sarah Palin feets

Sarah Palin shoes

Sarah Palin Girl Scout

Sarah Palin Girl Scout Hat

Sarah Palin bullet bra

Sarah Palin donkey

Sarah Palin naughty nurse

Sarah Palin dog collar

Sarah Palin smoking

Sarah Palin smoking cigarettes

Sarah Palin cheerleader

Sarah Palin cheer leader

Sarah Palin dominatrix

Sarah Palin dominetrix

Sarah Palin dominutrix

Sarah Palin Navajo sweat lodge

Sarah Palin sweet lodge

Sarah Palin colonoscopy

Sarah Palin nasal passage

Sarah Palin sexy

Sarah Palin sexy cyborg

These are not all of the search terms related to Sarah Palin that have lead people to this blog, but they are some of the most troubling ones.

Who are you people? Do you live anywhere near me? Because if you do, I am moving the hell away.  “Sarah Palin nasal passage?” “Sarah Palin sexy cyborg?”  What on earth is going on?  Are you out of your piggy little minds?

Look, let’s cut to the chase: if photos of anything even remotely related to any of those search terms existed, then I would have posted them. But there aren’t any – at least not yet.  I fully expect that, once her political star sinks, as it surely will, she will attempt to cash in on her name and reignite her celebrity by “accidentally” posting a sex tape or nude pics the way Carrie Prejean did.


Just jam-packed with irony, both actual and potential.

The lure of easy money is the greatest weakness from which white trash suffers.


Just oozing with greed and white trash hubris.

I am utterly convinced that the continuing revelations about Carrie Prejean’s multiple sex tapes (self-shot) and porno pics are part of a liberal conspiracy to discredit attractive but stupid right wing ultra Christian women who hate homosexuals.

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But I digress.  I am really here to talk about Stargate Universe. I am a new participant on a blog hosted by the Brisbane Times and authored by John Birmingham, author of Without Warning and the Axis of Time series – all of which I enjoyed, have reread and highly recommend.


John’s blog is called The Geek and you can find it by going here. The Geek is devoted to issues designed to appeal to everyone’s inner nerd – i.e., questions centering on computers, technology and, lately, science fiction.  If you want to see what the Geek is all about, just sample the sparkling discussion by clicking here.

John Birmingham and premier tech geek and author, Orin Thomas.

Most recently in the Geek John has expressed his appreciation for Stargate Universe, a new series on the SyFi cable network.  Thus far I’ve based my criticism on the show’s lack of sexy space chicks.

Not appearing on Stargate Universe

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Also not appearing on Stargate Universe.

Also not appearing on Stargate Universe

But John’s recent opinion, the comments from some of his regular visitors, and the undeniable fact that the last SG-U episode was really very good, has forced me to get serious and explain why I am critical of the show.  What follows expands on the comment I left at the Geek.

To better explain why I haven’t liked SG-U until this last episode requires a short history of popular science fiction. In the beginning, science fiction was part of “high culture,” written by amazingly proficient writers like Mary Shelley, Jules Verne, Edwin Abbott Abbott and H.G. Wells (“the Early Masters”).

H.G. Wells. Wrote Sci Fi to meet women.

It wasn’t even called science fiction; it was, instead, referred to as  “scientific romance.” Then, in the late 1920’s in New York City, science fiction crept into pulp magazines and became popularized.  Lots of people read it, but, as literature, it was rubbish and even the best SF writers were, compared with the Early Masters, uneducated amateur hacks. But, like circus geeks who dream of playing Carnegie Hall, these pulp fiction hacks dreamed of critical recognition.


She considered herself an artist.


This desire for critical recognition for science fiction started a slow climb towards legitimacy – which required writers to display proficiency as well as imagination. Harlan Ellison was and still is part of this effort.


Harlan was a pensive young dude.

Unlike most science fiction writers of his time, Ellison began his career writing in the mainstream. In the 1950’s he wrote about youth gangs. In the 1960’s he wrote erotica.  In the 1960’s he began selling scripts for science fiction television programs like Star Trek and The Outer Limits.  These scripts were remarkably well written (Star Trek – The City on the Edge of Forever; The Outer Limits – Demon With the Glass Hand) and stood out as perhaps the best episodes of those series, garnering legitimate critical acclaim.

Ultra cool.


In the 1970’s Ellison became one of the leaders in the movement to legitimize science fiction. His own stories injected more mature themes into the genre – resulting in critical and commercial success.  His short story A Boy and His Dog – culminating with the hero and his pet eating the heroine – was produced as a movie.


'a_boy_and_his_dog'

Ellison’s efforts to improve science fiction were inventive.  Way before the rest of the world became aware how language colors perception, Ellison attempted to remove the stigma associated with science fiction by insisting I be referred to only as “speculative fiction.”

Ellison was part of a movement that raised the bar on what to expect from science fiction.  These efforts brought big benefits:  over the years that followed, Sci Fi writers slowly died out and have been replaced by writers who incidentally employ science fiction concepts and constructs.  This is not a trivial change.  Writers today – such as John Birmingham – are writers first, serious about the craft of writing. Science fiction concepts and constructs are devices used to help tell the story.

Before the reform movement described above, it used to be the other way around: science fiction concepts and constructs took precedent over story. For example, more often than not, any given science fiction story focused on space ships, ray guns and, yes, space chicks.


Adolescent geek wish fulfillment realized.

The story itself was incidental to these factors. So now we come to Stargate Universe.  This new program results from the desire to legitimize science fiction and focus on story and not on ray guns or space chicks.


That is SG-U’s strength, but it is also its weakness, because, in their efforts to inject real drama into science fiction, the SG-U writers and producers have forgotten who their audience is.

There is nothing wrong with well-written drama. What I saw last night on SG-U wasn’t melodramatic and wasn’t soap opera.  It was well written, well directed drama.  But those responsible for SG-U have forgotten that guys who grew up thrilled by space chicks and space battles make up SG-U’s audience.

 

Not a space chick, but she played one on TV.

Even the recent reinvention of Battlestar Galactica sprinkled amazing drama with the occasional amazing space battle – AND it included the occasional space chick.


battlestar-photo2

That’s what kept us watching our television screens while really well written, well acted and well-directed drama took place.

Bertolt Brecht believed that literature and art should educate the viewer.  I believe that SG-U’s writers and producers are trying to educate the fan boys into appreciating drama. Or they have decided that BSG did the educating and now was the time to make the final transition from pop culture back to high culture. Either way, those responsible for SG-U were and are wrong.  The fan boys still want space battles and space chicks.  Drama is fine – especially if it is well written – but please remember who your audience is.  BSG succeeded because it emphasized story but never became dull.  You can do it, too.

Remember your audience.

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I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT STARGATE UNIVERSE

Posted in Antique surgical instruments, Art, Astronomy, Avatar, Battlestar Galactica, disembodied heads of the rich and famous, Droit Moral, Early Elizabethan Knock-Knock Jokes, Fritz Lang, Hapax Legomenon, Joseph Bleckman, Pop Culture, Review, Rotwang, Science Fiction, Space, Stargate Universe, Steampunk, Sumerian Knock-Knock Jokes, Television, The Matrix, Travel, TV, Why do people in other countries talk funny? on November 7, 2009 by paulboylan

I know I’ve been fairly critical of Stargate Universe.

I’ve complained about how it is too much soap opera



and not enough space opera.


but…

I am watching the latest episode of SG-U and I just got to the part where that guy from the spaceship switched bodies with the Lou Diamond Philips character and went back to his wife and she took him back and they were getting busy and then the body transfer reversed for a moment and that guy from the spaceship was back on board the spaceship and the Lou Diamond Philips guy was under the other guys wife and then the body transfer kicked back in and the first guy was under his wife again – and his wife was acting like she never got it that way before – which has to make her husband (the guy from the spaceship) fell a bit awkward – and the Lou Diamond Philips guy was back on on earth and asks “what the hell just happened?”

The Lou Diamond Philips character.

It was great!  I love this show now!


And there is even a chance fat nerd may score with the Senator’s drunk daughter!

The dead Senator's daughter.

The fat guy and an asian chick.

It’s back on. Gotta run-

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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MY FAVORITE HOMOSEXUALS

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Eric McCormack: not gay.

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

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

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

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What the hell?

What the hell?

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

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Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Gay - with children.

Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Imagine the effort.

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

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

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


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

Not as easy as it looks.

Not as easy as it looks.

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

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

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

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

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

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Repressed homosexuals

Repressed homosexual (the one holding the signs).

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

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Ellen DeGeneres:


Ellen is American’s Gay Sweetheart.

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

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


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Karl Rove:

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

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

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Elton John:

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

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Rosie O’Donnell:

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


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

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SARAH PALIN AND THE GOP RENAISSANCE – Part 3

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


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

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

Considers himself a conservative.

Considers himself a conservative, and is probably a registered Republican

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

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

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

Go watch Glenn Beck on Fox.

Proof there is a flaw in the First Amendment.

Proof there is a flaw in the First Amendment.

Enjoy yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

Crazy+Christians+Protesting+Academy+Awards+BHeKb7Xyebql

Ronald Reagan invited them in.

We need to recognize that this was a mistake.

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

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

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

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

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

Small town crowds just adore retarded babies.

Small town crowds just adore retarded babies.

Plays GREAT in Wasilla!

A photo op at home!

A photo op at home!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't think it didn't hurt.

Don't think it didn't hurt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah, its a little like this.

Yeah, its a little like this.

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

MOST OF THE RUMORS ARE FALSE

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

Coming soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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dr_strangelove

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

Rumor No. 1:  I am Jewish.

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Superficial similarities.

Superficial similarities.

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

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We all know each other.

We all know each other.

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

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Hilarious at parties.

Hilarious at parties.

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

Knows what it means.

Knows what it means.

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

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

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Lola Montez

Lola Montez

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

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The Battle for Glenn County.

The Battle for Glenn County.

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

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

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Arturo Barrera

Arturo Barrera

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

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

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

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Dont go in their closets.

Chambers of Mystery.

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

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

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It would look a lot like this.

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

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Dislikes direct sunlight.

Dislikes direct sunlight.

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

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

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Such a deal, eh?

Such a deal, eh?

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THE 100,000 MARK

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

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

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Smiley - 53,424

 

 

 

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Smiley face – 20,013

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Sarah Palin – 11,301

6a00e552e19fa3883300e554ca89968834-800wi

 

 

 

 

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Sarah Palin nude – 3,175

palin 629618_f260

 

 

 

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Martin Van Buren  - 1,007

 

 

 

 

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Martin Van Buren nude – 1,005

 

 

 

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Katie Couric cleavage – 728

 

 

 

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Redneck -366

 

 

 

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Stupid people – 359

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Oops – 254

 

 

 

 

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Steampunk office – 249

 

 

 

 

 

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Mean smiley – 208

 

 

 

 

 

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Morons eating pie – 119

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Jews in the news – 103

 

 

 

 

 

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Taye Diggs Wife – 99

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beastiality – 97

Horrified-woman

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

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

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HEADLINE – RARE WHITE TIGER VILIFIED

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



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

Ass. Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF INTERNET “NEWS”

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


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

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

y Paul Nicholas Boylan,
Columnis

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

Even really, really poor people.

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

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

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IH071413

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

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

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

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

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Think about it.

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

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

“NAVAJOS LARGELY UNSCATHED BY RECESSION”

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

 

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

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

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

“RECENT STUDY SHOWS DEAD PEOPLE HAVE FEWER HEALTH PROBLEMS”

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

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

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Lucky Navajos!

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

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

“STEELERS LINEBACKER HARRISON WON’T VISIT WHITE HOUSE

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

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Harrison is the one in the air.

Harrison is the one in the air.

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

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

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

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

“No one, sweety. You are dreaming.

“I am?”

“Yes, you are.”

“Okay!”

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Harrison thinking.

Harrison thinking.

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

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

Welcome to the Information Age.

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********************

ZippyT.Pinhead writes:

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

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

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>

hailey young

HEADLINE – POLICE APPREHEND BIGGEST SERIAL KILLER

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HEADLINES – Chinese Fitness Balls Recalled

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

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

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



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



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



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

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

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

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This one is a bit disturbing.

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THERE IS IRONY HERE, IF YOU LOOK DEEP ENOUGH

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

wipenose

Let’s talk about funny.

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

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

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

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

Funnier than thou

Funnier than thou

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

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

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

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

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

And that is enough.

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

Fiat lux, oh my brothers and sisters.

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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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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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