Saturday, May 28, 2005

For the True Fans...

For Tom "Lemon", a true lover of shellfish...

For Dan "Educated" Berger, my sweet muse...

For the Actual Schwab, a scholar and a gentleman...

For my conservative fan base, including Arlo Harshenstein, without whom I'd now be vomiting blood...

...Thanks.

The Senator From a Place Called Gay (Historical Precedent of the Week: When Free Speech Ain't Free)

Yesterday, the Actual God and I were discussing a recent NYTimes Magazine article on one of his more wild-eyed disciples, a man by the name of Rick 'Santorum'. We were both disgusted by the slobbering that Michael Sokolove (I think) does upon Dick's knob; the article portrays Santorum as a virtuous, committed man with a heart of gold. Well, I think AG stands with me when I say bullshit. Santorum, like most politician-evangelicals, picks and chooses the most popular elements when it comes to his reading of the culture of 'life'.

BAGNews has a nice analysis of the photos in the article that suggests a degree of satire. Specifically, there is some sense that Santorum's virtue is about an inch deep, and his faith contrived. I'm not sure if we can give the Times so much credit....

But, if we were to briefly suspend our disbelief, it would say something depressing about the state of free speech in this country. Are we indeed so stifled as to need subtlety in journalism? Such reliance upon suggestion may expand the American journalistic craft as an art form (is Judy WoodruffTM really smarter than we think?), but if the thirsty masses have to think much to get the point, it really doesn't matter, does it? Is there really anything so advanced about presented allegorical subtexts in the 'news' that may or may not allude to unspeakable criticisms of the ruling regime? (All hail Bush, by the way.)

Iranian cinema, celebrated the world over for its unique brand of neo-realism, relies on such subtlety to communicate criticisms of the regime. It must, in order to get past censors--but are the censors already so powerful here in the US?

Think about that.

......And by the way, can there be any doubt that Santorum, like many homophobic right-wingers, is just a little bit faggy?

Recline II (The Redeclining)

Felicitations to my American friends on the Qur'an abuse revelations--toilet, no toilet...maybe a little bede (correct spelling? I don't care)? Whatever, many many people are very angry, and while I'm not the most doctrinaire Muslim (I treat Islam the way many of my Jewish friends treat their Judaism, as a source of cultural cohesion/identification/money), I'm not too pleased with this bullshit either--not even because it's insulting Islam as some transcendant faith, because a little toilet water isn't going to fuck with Allah, but just because that's a damned wrong thing to do to someone, even an alleged terrorist. Even if that terrorist has brown skin.

Most importantly for you savage bigots, this sort of thing does not make future 9/11s any less possible. That's all I'm gonna say. Some Americans may be unhappy that such acts cannot continue: torture, after all, can be quite fun, and a good way to 'let off steam.'

I'd also say that the Iraqi 'insurgency' has been a good way for disenfranchised, impoverished, and devastated Iraqi Sunnis to let off steam as well. That's why I think my dear KINGSPAWN touches on an interesting topic in his critique of Bob Herbert.

Whispers of defeat, eh? Well, what the fuck is 'defeat', in the first place? Thousands of dead and wounded American soldiers? The twisted abuse of a whole generation of American and Iraqi youths whose lives will never be free of their experiences in this war? Defeat was guaranteed from the beginning; no General needs to be cited for us to see that.

Explicitly, however, the U.S. has nearly no chance of ending the violence in Iraq; there is only a chance of preventing all-out civil war (and even that is slim). Juan Cole is much more eloquent on this topic than I could ever be. You don't need 'whispers' to see the obvious.

(By the way, 'SPAWN, I completely agree with you that Herbert's column needs more evidence for its claims, but I think we're going to have to take what we can get. Neocons don't respond to reason anyway, so unbacked rhetoric--like mine, sometimes--is great as long as it points to their inadequacies and is relatively truthful. These people are bent on creating their own reality, so citations/truth mean nothing to them. Fucking swine.)

To a similar effect, here's an interesting picture that Frank Lautenberg displayed on the Senate floor.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Still Not Happy (NPR is DEAD. LONG LIVE NPR.)

National Public Radio used to uphold a decent level of journalistic integrity. There used to be some good voices to listen to.

Now, they use an old bitch who can barely speak (in fairness, she's probably had 2 or 3 strokes or something, but this woman, whatever the fuck her name is, has no business being around a fucking microphone...you don't have to be pretty on radio, but it does help if your voice isn't fucking maddening). And, in addition, they're coming down on the press AND Amnesty International for being 'hard' on the Bush Administration in covering the Gitmo abuses. You call yourselves fucking journalists? She said 'oh, these Muslims' (since we're a single group) are just as hateful and senseless with Christian images, so why should we respect theirs?

Justice is hibernating in the minds of your people, and we'd best beat it awake.

Foxcism

I was just hypnotizin to a little Special Report with Brit Hume, in which they were discussing the hold placed on the John Bolton nomination in the Senate today. When Mort Kondracke is your least right-wing panelist, you have to wonder about this whole 'fair and balanced' bullshit.

How does Fox get away with the mantra of journalistic balance while speaking so derisively about simply anything that Democrats do??? And I'm not here to simply speak for the Democratic Party; that's not the point of this blog. I'm not an American and I'm generally not impressed by any American politicians (Former Sen. Paul Simon and Al Gore are two exceptions, and yeah, they are both Democrats, sue me, it just so happens that Republicans are either moderately intelligent but tremendously oily or complete idiots--no offense, Keith Urb., I guess you fall somewhere in-between). The K-Hammer, a hair-implanted lying shill empty suit piece of shit, is a poor excuse for a journalist/commentator and should be promptly be deflated, rolled up, and returned to the nearest Dollar General store. Is he a Republican shill? Yes, but most of my readers know that.

So why do I care? Because this bullshit needs to fucking stop. When he says that the 'Era of Good Feelings' (which is also a nice piece of quasi-historical bullshit to which the murderers on this sinking neocon ship will try to parallel their beloved Bush Regime) was unceremoniously ended by the Democratic 'filibuster' of Bolton, he's deliberately twisting the facts. The Bush Administration is withholding information on Bolton, information that Congress requested long ago. It is absolutely unacceptable to paint this as anything less than a fair outcome. Democracy doesn't work if elected representatives are kept in the dark on what they're supposed to vote on. Yeah, I 'hate' all you white people, semi-ironically, but I respect your fucking constitution a little. Not that much, and you didn't invent the shit, so don't ride your own dicks. But Charles Krauthammer does not--he is doing this country and its democratic traditions immense violence (big up) by suggesting that a delay on Executive whim (resulting from stonewalling democratically-elected representatives) is anything but justified. They try to plant these seeds of hate for law and the deliberative democratic process, on which the very success of this country is founded, even as their ratings plummet. They are indeed fascists, and their fascism is goddamn un-American. If Krauthammer has half a brain, he ought to be ashamed of himself.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

This is boring

(etched on an execution chamber's wall, right under "GB+JG 4evr")

Where the strained liver
Of my dying sister
bleeds; inches from
Her broken heart.

For O! Mitch Daniels,
More credible, in parts,
than even Jacko
or myself, or you,
is ever more a douche.

Though it turns out the dude had Hepatitis B.

See, this is what I've been saying for a long time: 'racism hurts everyone. (except for the crackers.)'. How much does it cost to put up a billboard? I'm thinking a picture of our dear departed Saintess alongside the words "FAITH LIVES"--who's with me?

Recline I

Word on the street is that trillion-dollar national deficits are bad for the American economy, you know, in the long-run. Thus I was positively delighted by KINGSPAWN's first secular post in over a decade, in which he brings up Paul "I think beards are academic" Krugman's recent column in the JY Times. While the 'SPAWN is on, as usual, I wish to make a small point.

First, the quoted piece, minus the accidental part about recruiters (which was actually from Herbert's article, to which I'll link in the post), plus the paragraph after it in the column:

At a gala dinner in his honor, Tom DeLay cited his party's recent achievements: "bankruptcy reform, class-action reform, energy, border security, repealing the death tax." All of these measures are either irrelevant to or actively hostile to the economic security of working Americans.

Yet as Mr. DeLay boasted, many Democratic members of Congress also voted in support of these measures. In so doing, they undermined their party's ability to claim that it stands for something different.

Indeed, Krugman is constructing a needlessly weak and byzantine argument with the column as a whole, and there are plenty of better ways to argue against Republican financial practices (because they're not just incompetent, they're corrupt, predatory and obviously ultra-corporatist--but that may be an unqualified statement too, if you've been drinking the plutocrat Kool-aid for the past 25 years). But his final statement, which my man Reasonable KS deems unqualified or non sequitur, is not really so lacking in evidence. The depression the US is most probably heading for is a direct result of tax cuts (including the repeal of the death tax)/increased national debt/the amount it spends on health care/a probable popping of the current real estate bubble/the actions of Asian Central Banks re: detaching their currencies from the dollar. These are all issues that Krugman treats from time to time. But I dunno--are Op-Ed columns meant to be read serially?

But yeah, this economy is probably fucked, unless some miraculous new techmology or something allows a build-out. That's probably not happening too soon, as high energy prices/the petrocracy/the excessive use of the slash device generally raise the cost and therefore slow the pace of technological advancement (I'll find a link relevant to this pretty soon, I need to go execute a sea otter convicted of treason/barbecue more Christians).

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

So I was talking

with this kindly Anglo-Saxon septegenarian, class of '53, and the conversation turned to the American march towards fascism. It went a little bit like this:

Actual Rod: Yeah, I mean there's certainly a trend in mass politics towards appealing to emotion versus reason.
Septegenarian: Yes, well--
AR: Now, if you were to ask me for a time-table, on the record, I'd say 10 years, but we're mostly already there.
S: I don't believe that for a moment!
AR: DON'T DISAGREE WITH ME! (struggle ensues, septegenarian kicks me down a flight of stairs)
S: Die, you nonwhite bastard!
AR: Oh! Ah! Shit! When will the falling stop? (Death)

I used to love blogging.

Lovelace and candle wax: don't take offense

....if I happen to hate you, Reverend--

The pastor of a small Baptist church has refused calls to take down a sign posted in front of his church reading "The Koran needs to be flushed," saying Tuesday he has nothing to apologize for.

"My creed is the Bible, which tells me I am supposed to stand up and defend my faith," said the Rev. Creighton Lovelace, pastor of the 55-member Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City. "I don't hate Muslims, I just hate their false doctrines." (from Eschaton)

What the fuck is this 'defend my faith' bullshit? Whose faith is under attack? How exactly do you attack a faith? What the fuck? The culture and rhetoric of perpetual victimhood (that's not a word, is it?) quietly pave the path to fascism. There's no need to be rational, goddamnit--we're under attack!

Meh, I'd write more about this, but I need to go flip the Christian babies I'm grilling.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Rejoice, thirsty flaccids! (or: Schiavosis, Vol. I Section 4 Sub-section Q)

(Cross-posted at my new stomping grounds, "Death/Media Incarnate Made Real in Text Form)"


I feel the love of my readers plopping into my prophetic hands from time to time. "You're the common man's prophet," they tell me, "Actual Raud, do not forsake us with your absence!!! Will you heal my boil?"

So it would be interesting, I thought, that the first post in my triumphant return to the blogospheric Rodosphere be on a blog to which I haven't even linked yet--(apologies, Nost., I haven't even laid eyes on that Temple of Righteousness for nearly a month)--and so, here I am. Much thanks to Nostrobama for giving me this bloginternship.

In keeping with one of the themes of Death/Media, therefore, I'd like to introduce a concept to the readers.

Nostradamus has courageously brought to light the true nature of the Culture of Ciphe, or, as I prefer to call it, flaccid worship. What the fuck do I mean? --The constant media obsession with Schiavo Game and the recent misery of the Runaway Womb-man amidst an age of war, terror, lies, rape, torture, and misinformation ought to reveal to us that our beloved media no longer even cares about profits (gasp!!!!). Lies (on which I will comment later, probably back at the Temple, but suffice to cough, um...er... Downing Street Memo?), torture (ditto), lies about torture (I will never comment on this you fucking pigs, think for yourselves), etc. are all extremely thirst-quenching. The media has largely chosen to ignore these refreshments, instead opting with the aforementioned bullshit. Their profits are indeed taking a nosedive, and that may be connected to the fact that they have no souls, or the fact that the Bush Administration has been systematically eliminating large groups of news-loving minorities, but I'd wager it has more to do with the fact that the 'news' is no longer news.

Who would've thought that tabloidization could ever cause widespread disinterest in the news? Eh.

Saddamn, you look good in them white briefs, but let's be clear, the U.S. is holding him as a POW to be tried by an 'Iraqi court'. There are no fucking Iraqi courts. There is NO Iraqi law! Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, made the excellent point that these Iraqi 'judges' are appointed by the AMERICAN (and, at the time of Saddam's capture, unelected) Bush Administration, the case against Saddam has been prepared by the Bush Administration, and there is simply no legitimate legal structure in which to try Saddam yet. And the neocons can't hand him over to the International Criminal Court, as they should, because Bolton would shit on them.

Saddam was indeed helpless to stop the publication of those photos, but I'd say he was helpless even before the capture. The moment he became an icon, Schiavosis set in. This is just an advanced stage.

(By the way, I'm going to resume posting at I am justice either tonight or tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled, or I will be obliged peel them myself.)