Thursday, February 28, 2008

Waterboarding in Utah County

Dude, some of the shit coming outa down south gives me the creepazoids. For mad reals. Who's running the show down there, the CIA? Or Halli-evil-devil-burton?

Tom: gotta love those Utah Co. entrepreneurs--all of 'em fighting for the same small piece of the pie. X-treme sales pep rallies are pretty common down in Cougar Country, if I recall, and most of the dudes that I knew who were in those kind of businesses were already pretty turbo to begin with.

World's Shittiest Guitar Solo

Feast on this!

Sean: Holy shit, that sucked. I love how he just abandons the solo and runs some back-up riffs instead. Well, nobody ever accused him of being a good guitarist and it doesn't make him any less fabulous. It almost reminds me of the "shredding" solos that guy did that got banned on Youtube. You, know, he'd take an Eddie solo and dub in his own really shiddy licks. I'll try to find them.

Update (Sean): Wired has all of the "Shredder" videos posted here. Truly hilarious and well worth your time. Word is that Steve Vai's agent had them pulled from Youtube.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr. RIP

Reportedly passed away at his desk. The man started the modern conservative movement. Modern as in non-Birch. He had that rare combination of being graceful and devastating as a commentator. NRO has republished his seminal first piece from National review in 1955. RIP.

Tom: may he rest peacefully in the great debonaire gentleman's club in the sky.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Scary Jesus

Pretty much sums up my twenties. Thanks to American Digest.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One example of the value of AP analysis

Wow, the AP has some real fucking nincompoops churning out that Sinclair-esque sausage they like to call "news". Last night, SNL had Mike Huckabee do a guest spot, which was actually funny, to his credit. The AP was on it thusly:

Even though Mike Huckabee is still battling for the Republican presidential nomination despite long odds, he said Saturday he won’t “overstay his welcome.” Then he did precisely that, lingering on the “Weekend Update” set of “Saturday Night Live” despite repeated cues to leave the stage....he remained seated at the “Update” desk even though [the host Seth Meyers] made it clear it was time for him to leave.

Problem is, it was clearly a scripted part of the segment, as anyone with a minimalist sense of humor can plainly see (this would even qualify the Amish, as well as Bevan Briggs, but not Junior over at AP).
Conclusion: Don't ever invite one of those AP bore-a-phyls to your party, they are blood sucking comedy killers, man.

Deseret Industries, Land of the Strange

I've seen some wicked weird shit at Deseret Industries in my time. From masturbating homeless people to fully-grown people defecating in their pants in the checkout line, but this really takes the cake. It ends with a turn for the macabre:

Emery said she returned with her husband to discuss the incident with store managers and call police. When officers arrived, the man appeared in the store parking lot, wearing his own white jumpsuit under a trench coat and a hockey mask on his face. Police arrested him and are seeking a charge of unlawful detention.

As a person who has spent many an hour spooking about the local D.I., mostly in search of rare vinyl, I must say that for some reason, this doesn't surprise me.

Tom: bro, you tend to see more wierd shit than any other person (such as the time when that polygamist family's kid shat his pants in your van out in the desert). It must have something to do with all the whack places you choose to spend your time, in addition to the Deseret Industries. Places such as Delta, Utah; Elko, Nevada; and Death (F'n) Valley. Actually sounds sorta fun, I do love me some of them Twilight Zone moments mysselff.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Return of the Salt Lake Sharia

This just won't go away. Somali taxi drivers, almost exclusively driving for Yellow Cab, the worst taxi service in the country, and a rogue shuttle driver, have locked horns over the use of a so-called "quiet room" at SLC International Airport. This Brueningsen guy is obviously more than a little sensitive to the situation and is probably a poster-boy of how not to integrate an immigrant population, but what he brings up is really a question of separation of church and state. You know, the same separation that the ACLU depends upon to collect their checks.

Brueningsen wasn't the only one who complained over the years, although he was the only one to do so formally, but Gann says the airport was generally able to address people's issues. For example, when some cabbies complained about Muslim drivers washing their feet in the bathroom, the airport opened a janitor's closet so the mop sink could be used for ritual washing. The airport spoke to the taxi company owners, telling them to convey messages of concern. But between degrees of separation, language and cultural barriers, it's hard to know what every Muslim driver understood.

So, is it really appropriate for quasi-public institutions like airports to convert mop closets into Islamic foot-washing stations? We also get the message pounded home that Brueningsen is a xenophobic, aggressive redneck:

The whole situation befuddles Clancy Prescott, 60, a Marine veteran who's driven a cab for nearly 20 years and is called "Grandpa" by a group of young Somali drivers who hang out and share food with him. "Other than this guy, I don't know anyone else who's complained," he says. "Why should he care if they pray or not? It don't bother me." The shuttle driver's antics don't surprise Thomas Howard, a Park City attorney who represented one of Brueningsen's former employers starting in 2002. He recalls the incessant harassment of his client, which required the lawyer to file for a restraining order. "The guy's an absolute troublemaker, in my opinion," Howard says.

Good, now we are finished being all "balanced" and shit. The "quiet room" has been closed and we can all move on, right? Well, there are those types of spaces scattered about airports all across America, but most with completely different set-ups:

This saddens Tarek Nosseir of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, who says he's used "quiet spaces" inside some of the country's largest airports. If he can use them as a passenger, shouldn't drivers serving passengers be entitled to the same? The difference, explains Rutan, is that nondenominational chapels in airports are leased to a third party. If a third party wanted to lease a space for drivers, such a facility would be cleared for takeoff. Meantime, port-o-potties with little sinks are the best Muslim drivers, all drivers, can expect.

Seems reasonable enough to me to have a third-party lease account for this demand to pray in public. I for one don't care if and when people pray to Allah/God/Gaia or Oprah, but I do object to one side or the other prohibiting the others' own displays of piousness. I should point out that, based upon my own limited experience, many Utah Muslims from Somalia are quite traditional, much more so than their more established Pakistani and Middle Eastern counterparts (if I may indulge myself with a gross oversimplification). But as they mature in their new lifes as Americans, I hope we see them integrate. I'm not asking them to abandon their faith, just to realize that along with their new life comes the peculiarly American tradition of derision and satire that the Jews, Evangelicals, Mormons, Atheists, etc. have endured for the last century. It's the time-honored tradition of sarcasm and childish name-calling that makes this country great.

It's really just a matter of time. Just the other day I was leaving the grocery store and as I approached my car, I was assaulted by the bone-crushingly crappy beat of Lil John, they're all the same damned beat, cranking at about 120db. It was the car next to mine and the racket had knocked the front bumper off the car. It was chock full of teenage African immigrants, all decked out in Dirty South Garb, obviously high as fuck, laughing their asses off. Maybe that integration will be complete sooner than I thought, whether their Imams like it or not.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

That Didn't Take Long

We always knew that the press would turn on their darling McCain when he won the Republican nomination, but I'm surprised they didn't wait at least until the race for the democratic nominee was over.

Did McCain trade political favors for sexual ones? If so, icky. I'm witholding judgement though.

SEAN: You're right Noah. Icky indeed. What this exposes is the NYTs' utter confusion as an institution and lack of tact. Didn't they just endorse McCain? If you read through the comments, even utter lefties are disappointed with their trusted source for news. Ace of Spades links to The New Republic, of all places, for the background on the story about the story. A reporter resigns, the entire newsroom in battle, etc. Weird stuff that probably helps McCain in the long run methinks. Hell of a way to ring in the general election, though. I think this fires up the base and gets McCain rolling.

Exit question: Was I way off in thinking McCain gets knocked out by Obama? The more I see Obama, the more I think he's a lightweight.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Picture of the Month February

Fat Down Syndrome lady Micheal Moore wants to bring Fidel to the Oscars. Then he ate a bowl of ketchup and two sticks of butter, slowly rocking back and forth in his favorite slippers, moaning lightly.

Tom: pretty damn funny.

Castro's Beard Resigns

No statement yet from John Bolton's Mustache. No saying how he'll find a new home for all of the Revolutionary People's Beard-Termites.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Asshat Tinpot Dictator Going Fishing

If only he could buy a fishing pole. See you, sucker. If there was any justice in the world, his people would have skinned him and hung him upside down from a broken lamp post in Havana fifty years ago. Now his brother is king. I hope they both die soon. Assholes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Iowa's Holy Rollers

What did they accomplish? One downed eligible candidate. Captain Ed Morrissey lays it square.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Please, no more government solutions

In these times, with the ever-present media blitz that the plummeting Real Estate market has caused, many politicians think what the people really want is some kind of government-based solution to the markets' woes, as shown in the bullshit stimulus package that slipped out of congress and Bush’s' asses last week. At the same time hearing, even from the GOP frontrunner, the same old crap about "corporate responsibility" and "greedy corporate interests", it's important to recognize the disasters that have befallen the business world following the implementation of these so-called solutions. Sarbanes-Oxley, the infamous Enron laws, have had a lasting negative impact on all sectors of our economy and I'm sad to report that the corporate business environment in Europe and Asia are thriving compared to the USA. This article at City Journal lays it all out there for your inspection. Then you can grieve with me about the sad state of business in this country.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mitt Bows Out

This is how it's done. No fanfare, no wobbling along for six more weeks. Mitt was a fine candidate and this move might be his most deft. He now puts the impetus on Fuckabee to do the same or be exposed for what he is: a Republican Jimmy Carter whose raw lust for power overshadows any policy stances that he might possess, all in the name of Jesus. Mitt's not VP material and he knows how McCain will be slaughtered come November. He then positions himself, as McCain did this year, as a more familiar face for 2012, but with more money and no crappy record in the Senate to deal with. That is, if we survive until 2012.

The great unspoken? The root cause? Most Evangelicals hate Mormons. The result? GOP is toast in November. Happy day.

Tom: agreed that Mitt's move was a good strategic one. And now Mike Fuckeefuckee, McCain's little buddy, has lost his reason of being. In a way, it's as if Mitt has called him out, leaving him to now actually run against McCain. It'll be fun to see him squirm, though I imagine he'll end his little game pretty soon now. A debate between those two would be absolutely pathetic, both would be rubbing each other's balls the whole time.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why Young People Don't Listen to Classical Anymore

Short answer: because of humorless "Charles Winchester the Third" butt-punchers like this. Speaking on the oh, so annoying propensity toward scurrilous "expression" that so many young classical performers possess, Wendle K. Douchepants, Jr., writing in the Old Saggy Nutsack points out, rather down-the-nose:

Wandering from one television channel to the next the other day, I came across young people playing the piano. One man, bearded and a little hefty, rippled through a Beethoven sonata, sharing with the camera complicit smiles, exultant grimaces, gazes to the right and left, and a gentle swaying from side to side.

Arthur Rubinstein was known for keeping his head and torso still while playing.
The next, a young woman, sat down to Schumann, bending her back, lifting her head and gazing straight up. Maybe God was sitting in the rafters just above her, and she was using the opportunity to say hello. Both pianists were perfectly fluent. They kept time, played the right notes and sounded expressive when they were supposed to.

I had to turn away. I could listen, but I couldn’t watch. Two performers, four glazed eyes and four waving arms were too much for my stomach. And if someone with a lifelong love for the piano repertory has this kind of reaction, what about those coming to classical music from the outside? Think of the smart young people ready to believe, filled with curiosity and good thoughts, and imagine with what astonishment and amusement they must come away from such scenes.

It’s another reason classical music is not reaching more young people: not because of how it sounds, but because of how it looks. Even worse, lugubrious gymnastics like these advertise the feelings of performers, not of Beethoven or Schumann. Music is asked to stand in line and wait its turn.

No, my snooty clueless pantywaste, YOU are the reason young people aren't flocking to Classical like they used to. The "old guard" of Classical (and the New York Times itself) simply needs to die. Diatribes like these do nothing to catch the imagination of young people, in fact they do the opposite. Classical music has a rich history of rebellion and base expression and the current mantra of publicly subsidized, politically correct orchestras fails to acknowlege this history. Faced with the stale, moth-ball sensibility of the old "Stoic Granduer" set, creative young people give a collective yawn. They then open up an instance of Nuendo, send a chat message to their Polish counterpart and create complete collaborative scores of fantastic music in real-time, only to return to finish off the enemy in Halo 3 two hours later. And that drives Winston, Buffy and crew fucking crazy.