June 6th, 2005

flavored with age

Leks Luthor

Jimmy Lileks, apparently sensing that at least half of his audience is being brought to the edge of vom by his endless right-wing yapping, has given such yapping its own special blog. (He's very self-deprecating about his reactionary jibber-jabber, but it's hard to tell from the tone whether it's fuck-me or fuck-you self-deprecation.) Anyway, now the Bleat will be pure and unsullied by any hint of politics, except, for example, today, when he spends several paragraphs mocking a liberal hippie pizza joint in Minneapolis and once again reminding us that sci-fi in the 1970s was depressing and crappy.

His very first self-contained Screed is about the alleged desecration of the Q'uran by soldiers at Guantanamo Bay: what's the big deal, anyway? So some guy peed on a prisoner and some got on the Q'uran. IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! So some guy stomped and kicked the Q'uran. SO WHAT? So some guy might have written "Fuck Allah" in the Q'uran. HEY MAYBE THE PRISONER DID IT HIMSELF! The point is, how come "if Al Qaeda blew up a Bible depository in Malaysia tomorrow, it would be page A-16", but "when we’re found guilty of wind-assisted desecration, it’s A-1"?

Well, Jim, I don't know what's so hard to understand about this, because you keep saying it every fucking day: it's because we're supposed to be the good guys. It's not as newsworthy when terrorists commit acts of terror, because they're terrorists. That's what they do. We, on the other hand, are not terrorists, and thus aren't supposed to, say, torture and humiliate prisoners. Why is it headline news when we do bad things but not quite as big headline news when they do bad things? For the same reason it's less shocking when a burglar robs your house than it is if your mother robs your house.

He also plays cute when talking about the detainees at Gitmo: "the terrorist. (Sorry, detainee.)"..." the terro (SORRY!) detainee"..."the terrori – sorry, the detainees". Ha ha ha! That's so funny, because we all know they're really terrorists and not detainees, even though none of them have ever been charged with a crime, brought to trial, convicted, or even brushed up against any aspect of the court system and in fact are kept in a prison not located on American soil (located, indeed, in the communist dictatorship of Cuba, which might strike some people as ironic if they were into that kind of thing) for the specific purpose of being exempt from legal protection and who have been the subject of much definitional game-playing by the U.S. government in order to prevent them from having the legal status that would provide them with the right to any kind of a trial and many of whom have now been detained for over four years without any hope of being tried, released or even fairly convicted and transferred to an actual prison, ever. And those crazy nuts at Amnesty International call it a GULAG! That's ridiculous. At least before they send you to a gulag, you get a show trial.
flavored with age

What's left

The weekend was pretty jammed full of activity, and yet with almost nothing to talk about. Friday, I pretty much conked out early, because I knew I'd have to be on the road all day the next day and I didn't want to be too tired. Saturday, I rented a car and headed up to Minneapolis, then took an airport shuttle (driven by a guy who was a dead ringer for George "Goober" Lindsey") back to Eau Claire to pick up the ChickWagon. (She's running pretty dreamy so far. Thanks, Moose and Dan at Insterstate Automotive, 6111 Chuck Lane, Eau Claire WI 54703!) Then back to Chicago, through some of the worst rain I've ever seen but which yielded some of the most gorgeous cloud formations imaginable, to crash out after about 14 hours of driving. Sunday I watched Apocalypse Now Redux and then, thoroughly depressed, plowed through not one but four freelance assignments I had due, which took up most of the day. Now, back at work, I have to desperately beg my bosses for money since I idiotically failed to file for a vacation paycheck this week, and later I have to embark on one of the busiest three days ever, as I have a ton to do before heading BACK up to Minnesota for my girlfriend's sister's wedding. Sorry this is the most boring post of all time, but I really am spectacularly swamped at the mo'.

And now, haters, here are some pictures of Li'l' Duce wearing a White Sox jersey. TAKE THAT, IMAGINARY ENEMIES. (To show I am not fully consumed by partisanship, here is a picture of her not wearing a White Sox jersey.
flavored with age

Not so swamped, though...

...that I can't make another completely pointless, unreadable post.

- Last night, thaitea came up with a really neat idea, and I said I was going to post it on my LJ and see what people thought of it. Can I now remember what it was? Of course not.

- Also last night, I did a bit of revision to the script for issue #0 of The Stand-Ins, as well as a tiny couple of pages of issue #1. (I also did some Dargerverse background materials, to keep my geek muscles toned.) Hopefully I can distress calamityjon with this stuff some time next week. (Slightly distressed Calamity Jon is on sale! Stock up and save!)

- Also also last night, I read the IMDB message boards about Apocalypse Now. This exchange summarized my own complex feelings about the film:

"jmlji93": This is ABSOLUTELY THE MOST AWFUL VIETNAM MOVIE!! Watch a Vietnam film that actually shows AMERICA WINNING AT LEAST. The Vietnam film to watch is..."THE GREEN BERETS" (1968) with John Wayne!!

"maitrautsav": ok jmlji93....you seriously are the most ignorant and stupid person ever.....your stupidity is vast dude.you call apocalypse now a bad film....IN CAPITAL LETTERS....you are so wack dude....you probably did'nt appreciate it cuz it was so disturbing...it is truly the best war film ever....so.see you and stay stupid...makes you look and seem like a git.

- The only thing said to me directly by the 90-year-old man (dressed in stylish navy blue blazer, driving cap and poofy cravat!) with whom I shared the shuttle van ride from Minneapolis to Eau Claire: "I'm 90 years old!" Says it all, really.

- I'm having a patio sale probably soon, and I want to give some of you nerds first crack at swag. There's gonna be lots of videotapes (remember them?), some of geek interest; some toys; a few comics (albeit shitty ones); craploads of CDs; and some books. Anyone interested, drop a comment and I'll make a special filter. Also, is the July 4th holiday weekend a GREAT time to have a sale, or a STUPID time? Sound off.

Yes, this is my worst posting day ever. I'm very sorry.
flavored with age

Monkeys, shown here buying Popsicles, are promoting injustice

I really, truly, honestly can't decide what I love most about this New York Times article (thanks to Phil F. for the heads-up) about a researcher who taught monkeys to use money.

So much to choose from:

You can feed them marshmallows all day, they'll throw up and then come back for more.

...

The selfish jerk, meanwhile, was punished even worse. Once her reputation was established, whenever she was led into the experimenting chamber, the other tamarins "would just go nuts," Chen recalls. "They'd throw their feces at the wall, walk into the corner and sit on their hands, kind of sulk."

...

The data generated by the capuchin monkeys, Chen says, "make them statistically indistinguishable from most stock-market investors."

...

What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind.

...

It wouldn't reflect well on anyone involved if the money turned the lab into a brothel. To this end, Chen has taken steps to ensure that future monkey sex at Yale occurs as nature intended it.
flavored with age

George Bush: he's the President of his family and about 500 of their close friends and associates

On the other hand, I also can't decide what enrages me most about this New York Times article about how the Bush tax cuts not only hurt the poor, but don't even really benefit the rich so much as the super-mega-ultra-rich.

Take your pick:

The average income for the top 0.1 percent was $3 million in 2002, the latest year for which averages are available. That number is two and a half times the $1.2 million, adjusted for inflation, that group reported in 1980. No other income group rose nearly as fast.

...

The share of the nation's income earned by those in this uppermost category has more than doubled since 1980, to 7.4 percent in 2002. The share of income earned by the rest of the top 10 percent rose far less, and the share earned by the bottom 90 percent fell.

...

Under the Bush tax cuts, the 400 taxpayers with the highest incomes now pay income, Medicare and Social Security taxes amounting to virtually the same percentage of their incomes as people making $50,000 to $75,000.

...

From 1950 to 1970, for example, for every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent, those in the top 0.01 percent earned an additional $162, according to the Times analysis. From 1990 to 2002, for every extra dollar earned by those in the bottom 90 percent, each taxpayer at the top brought in an extra $18,000.

...

The Bush administration says that the tax cuts have actually made the income tax system more progressive, shifting the burden slightly more to those with higher incomes. Still, an Internal Revenue Service study found that the only taxpayers whose share of taxes declined in 2001 and 2002 were those in the top 0.1 percent.