Sunday, March 30, 2008

Is the Postal Service emo? I'm not sure.

News of the Mexican anti-emo riots has prompted me to sound off a little on their subculture, which, frankly, I don't know much about.

I know that the anti-emo catchphrase is "Cheer Up, Emo Kid." I don't agree with that. This is America, goddamnit, and the goddamned Constitution protects your goddamned right to feel any way you want at any time for any reason. As the protestors say "Dissent is patriotic," so I say to you now, "Misery is patriotic."

There's a certain coolness attached to rejecting the mainstream culture by being sad - this has been around for years and years. Don't believe me? Have a look at these lyrics: "They told me he was bad / But I knew he was sad / That's why I fell for / The Leader of the Pack. *vroom, vroom*" Or follow this link to listen to "Gloomy Sunday," which was written in 1933 and was banned in Hungary because holy shit is it ever miserable. Or read up on "The Sorrows of Young Werther," which allegedly inspired over 2,000 suicides in 1774.

On the other hand, emo kids aren't quite as sad as they would like you to believe. Trust me on this one. I know sadness. I'm on a first-name basis with sadness. I've been over to sadness' house and met sadness' parents. When you're really as sad as emo kids say they are, you don't go out and buy white belts and skinny jeans. You don't comb your hair into an improbable shape. You don't go to listen to the Postal Service. When you're that sad, you don't have the energy to do much of anything. You just lie around.

So basically I'm calling them all posers. But I'm OK with them being posers. They can continue to rebel any way they want. Soon there will be only one way left to rebel: conformity. And then I will be the coolest kid on the block.

Friday, March 28, 2008

An Alien Debate


The meeting was called to order by ZAR-KOR. Present were Commander of Space Forces ZAR-KOR, Commander of Ground Forces LO-TON, and Commander of Earthling Intelligence ZIG-NU.

Discuss secondary targets for Destructo-Ray vaporization if Earthlings do not comply with initial demands. Primary targets were resolved in the Grand War Council meeting of Cycle 1337.

ZIG-NU proposed the destruction of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican State. He believed that destroying a monument of religious significance would discourage Earthlings from attempting to fight a "holy war" against the invasion force.

LO-TON opposed, stating that the Occupation Authority planned to install a collaborationist Pope. He recommended destroying Jerusalem instead. He believed that the city, if left intact, would remain a trouble spot for occupation forces.

ZAR-KOR stated that the area of potential insurgency in the Middle East was too large to vaporize with the Destructo-Ray. He proposed that a series of atmospheric neutron bombers be deployed to clear away resistance. ZIG-NU and LO-TON agreed.

ZAR-KOR proposed the destruction of the CN Tower. Its vaporization would hinder communications among Earthling forces and allow invasion dropships to land without aerial interference. The Tower was also Earth's tallest freestanding structure and its destruction would lower Earthling morale.

LO-TON objected that recent intelligence revealed that the CN Tower was no longer the world's tallest freestanding structure. It had been replaced by the Burj al-Dubai.

ZIG-NU opposed destruction of the CN Tower and the Burj al-Dubai. He said that "tallest building" was not an adequate rationale for using the Destructo-Ray. The next tallest building would then become the tallest, and the Space Fleet would have to go out and vaporize Taipei 101, the Sears Tower, and those giant dildo things in Malaysia. He proposed the destruction of the Great Pyramid, claiming the Pyramid could serve as a hideout for resistance fighters.

LO-TON agreed. The pyramid was one of Earth's most fabled structures and would help to sever the Earthlings' psychological connection with their pre-invasion past.

ZAR-KOR proposed further study of the pyramid. He stated that the Destructo-Ray was not designed for destroying pyramids, which are among the most stable geometric shapes. An engineering team would experiment. ZIG-NU and LO-TON concurred.

ZAR-KOR proposed destruction of EPCOT. He believed that the vaporization of a popular fantasy world would emphasize the reality of the invasion. Furthermore, the mirrored surface of the building would radiate the Destructo-Ray and cause maximum destruction with minimum energy use.

ZIG-NU objected. He said that ground forces had planned to use the complex as barracks.

LO-TON stated that intercepted transmissions from Earth entitled "Star Trek: Enterprise" indicated that Earthlings were expecting an attack on Florida and would be prepared. He proposed the destruction of Sydney Opera House. He believed that destroying the building might actually win over potential collaborators, as the people of Australia would be freed of its vast maintenance costs.

ZIG-NU objected to the destruction of a purely symbolic target. He proposed the destruction of Sydney Harbor Bridge. Vaporizing the bridge would hinder Earthling vehicle transportation without affecting Grebnulak hovercrafts.

ZAR-KOR agreed and stated that bridges in general would make good targets. He asked whether the Golden Gate Bridge would be an appropriate target.

ZIG-NU said that the Golden Gate Bridge would not be an appropriate target. The terrain surrounding it is too rocky for Grebnulak hovercrafts, so the invasion force may have to use the bridge.

The Call to Worship the Emperor sounded and the meeting was adjourned.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Theology break!

If you've driven from Moscow to Boise (or the other way) then you've probably seen one of these.

Make Ready The Way Of The Lord

(Frankly, in this part of Idaho, I'm surprised that the highway isn't adopted by somebody like the Anti-Sodomite Coalition. But I digress.)

Rather than just make guesses about the Assembly's beliefs (I suspected they had something to do with the End Times), I did a little research, and lo and behold, here's their web site.

According to the Assembly, there was some sort of divine typo made thousands of years ago. The real heads of the universe are a couple of guys named "Yahuweh" and "Yahushua," and it turns out that all those other names like "The Lord" and "Jesus" and "Jehovah" and so forth are actually registered trademarks of Satan. So if you think you're being pious when you pray to God, boy, you'd better look out 'cause El Diablo is intercepting all your prayers and using them to build his power and send you to hell. Oh, and you Adventists are really messed up because it turns out that Saturday is the only day that isn't the Sabbath.

So what does Yahushua want us to do? Unfortunately, his disciples corrupted all his teachings, except for the ones they didn't corrupt. I'm sure the Reverend O'Leary can tell the difference.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Purely hypothetical question

All right, maybe it's not purely hypothetical, because I've experienced both of these in the past, but I want to stress that I am happy for all my friends who are in relationships right now. Really. I approve! Enjoy yourselves!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Unpopular bumper stickers

• My Honor Student Beat Up Your Kid's Kids
• not all who wander are goth
• Horn Broken - Use Finger To Direct Me To Nearby Repair Shop
• Free Tibet, But The Rest Of China Can Be Enslaved For All I Care
• Guns Don't Kill People; Well, Not By Themselves, Anyway
• Abortion Is Voluntary Manslaughter
• war is bad for children and other living things, but there are also risks inherent in appeasement, so it's important to consider those risks when contemplating the possibility of military action
• 01.20.09: Slim Whitman's 85th Birthday
• He Who Dies With The Most Toys Needs A Good Estate Plan
• I'd Rather Be Driving With A License
• I'm Irrational Enough To Think That My Bumper Sticker Will Influence Your Way Of Thinking, And I Vote!
• The Goddess Is Alive, And Magick... Oh, You've Got To Be Kidding Me. Magick? Really?
• I'm Kind Of Ambivalent About Our Troops
• My Other Bumper Sticker Is Clever

…and a Google Image search reveals that Tom McMahon beat me to one of my ideas several months ago.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Small comfort

While my law school experience is otherwise in freefall and the ground is coming up real fast, I did manage to accomplish a goal tonight which I never knew I had set.

I managed to get our distinguished Dean to quote Olympic hero and former WWE champion Kurt Angle.

Maybe for graduation I can trick him into delivering an Ultimate Warrior promo.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Attention minor-league sports owners

The good people at All Movie Talk have been so kind as to upload a 1929 manual for film promotions. (Just increment the number after the word "ballyhoo" to get to the next one.) Here are some fantastic ways to put asses in seats:

Let local schools have at each other in a ukelele duel!
Drag a caged bear through town!
Hold a fat baby contest!
Make insensitive jokes at the expense of the mentally ill!
Send capsules of mysterious white powder through the mail!
Bribe traffic cops to distribute tickets!
Hang lingerie in your lobby!
Bring in the drag queens!
Have women in swimsuits block traffic on major thoroughfares!
Get the entire audience fingerprinted, and turn the prints over to the police!
Accuse your customers of violating the Volstead Act!

Have a Facebook? Don't do this.

I have a former coworker who added me as a friend on Facebook. It seems that she really, really likes Facebook applications.

I count 221 applications, and nearly every one of them sent me an invitation. It's got to the point where I get more application invitations than spam from Myspace porn sites.

Is there some sort of etiquette guide to removing a Facebook friend?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

It's 2008, and I'm watching Lisa Ling talk about the dangers of drugs. I did this fifteen years ago, except it wasn't meth then.

The National Geographic "meth map" shows the drug starting in Oregon and spreading east... but for whatever reason, it seems to have skipped Wisconsin. Eh, they're always behind on fads.

Also they discussed a couple of kids in suburban Omaha that got in trouble with the police for meth use. The kids lived on Pacific Avenue. Maybe truth-in-advertising laws should apply to street naming: if this problem goes unchecked then developers will start slapping down Pine Valley Lanes in the Australian outback.

Now she's going undercover in Thailand. This is just like the time she went undercover in Singapore to investigate that guy getting caned. Apparently there are lots of drug users in Thailand and the government doesn't treat them very well. Who would've guessed?

Looks like there isn't going to be a Stephanie Tanner interview. Oh well, she seems to have cleaned up a little. (I'd like to make some sort of joke involving "Full Blouse" but I can't figure out how to make it work. I'm losing it, man, I'm losing it.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Feck, humbug

Today's the day when many Irish-Americans wear buttons that say "Kiss Me, I'm Irish."* But what can you do if, like me, you don't have any particular attachment to the Auld Sod? Try one of these slogans!

• Waltz With Me, I'm Austrian
• Headbutt Me, I'm Scottish
• Salute Me, I'm Prussian
• Cut Me Off, I'm Spanish
• Bribe Me, I'm Russian
• Offend Me, I'm French
• Zerg Rush Me, I'm Korean
• Hire Me To Design Your Space-Age Airport, I'm Finnish
• Ignore Me, I'm Lichtensteinian

*Which brings me to the issue of platonic kissing. Women on TV kiss their male friends all the time when they do nice things. I was very disappointed when I grew up and found that real-life women don't kiss you even when you do really big favors for them. Are Angelinos just more friendly than those of us in the flyover states, or is it just a cheap way to create dramatic tension?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Break is too long: I'm reduced to posting about TV

I am currently watching episodes of "The Critic" and it's puzzling how the guys responsible for this funny show could go on to run "The Simpsons" into the ground. Maybe it was a case where studio executives kept Jean and Reiss in line at their old jobs, but were afraid to tamper with them once they helmed a more successful show. Or maybe it was Brad Bird and Judd Apatow making everything funny and Jean and Reiss taking all the credit.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One foot out the door

I'm heading to Boise for a few days. In the meantime, if you're keen on learning some new things, go to this page and read about early 20th century predictions of the City of Tomorrow. Those of you who are Batman fans will be pleased.

If you're not so keen on learning anything, then watch this.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Grr, technology

I held out as long as I possibly could. And frankly, I didn't need it. Nobody had anything to say to me that couldn't be put off until later, or expressed via the cheaper form of e-mail. Nor did I need to coordinate bar-hopping, because I don't bar-hop. But employers are old-fashioned: they want to hear your voice.

So I gave in. I got a goddamn cell phone.

I understand that this phone doesn't give me license to go around bothering people. In fact, I'm glad I held out: it got me out of the habit of calling people.

You can get the number on my Facebook page, or send me an email and ask for it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Debate Practice

Three propositions for my readers to debate in the comments.

1. RESOLVED, that the best of the Geico "real celebrity" advertisements is the one with Peter Frampton.
2. RESOLVED, that wearing sneakers to the airport is preferable to wearing loafers because the possibility of having to run for your flight outweighs the convenience of being able to slip your shoes off for security.
3. RESOLVED, that any part played by Cary Elwes could have been played equally well by Tim Curry.

Monday, March 3, 2008

And not a hippie in sight

I spent the weekend in San Francisco. Naturally I brought you back some photos. Naturally Flickr screwed with the order of my upload again, so to take the tour with me, click here and start clicking the right arrow on "Echopapa's photostream."