Friday, December 03, 2010


John McCain is a very small man.

On the Unreliability of Cultural Memories

I had to rescue this comment from my moderation queue about my skeptical post about the Peruvian "Stargate."
It was not "them" who said it, it was the natives/locals of that area; some legend handed to them from generations to generations. Call it BS or silly-75% of viewers call it as "truth". Respect other people's beliefs.
And honestly, I can't disagree more.

I respect other people's long as those beliefs are valid. Why must I respect wrong beliefs? To be nice? Sorry, not that nice.

As for the "natives legend" angle, sure, that this is a legend may be accurate. But so what? Legends are, almost by definition, not historical.

Anyway this was my response:
I'm a bit skeptical about "cultural memories." Have you ever heard of the "Telephone game?" Now imagine that game being played over centuries...

Not exactly reliable, I would say.

Also consider that post-Columbian contact with European diseases killed maybe 90% of the native population, and whatever cultural records they may have had were destroyed by the Spanish, yeah....I'm going with the local legends/native cultural memories are less than accurate.

And if they're as absurd as some kind of stargate using technology that doesn't even exist, that makes them twice as suspect.
The more I study this stuff, the more convinced I am that "cultural memories" about ancient happenings are next to useless.

* I didn't even know I had a moderation queue!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Rock N Roll Never Felt So Good

It's almost 2011. If you're offended by anything the metal band GWAR does, you are...two decades late to the fucking party.

Ann Althouse, a law professor at a school you don't want to go to, writes a post consisting of this text:
Violence against women...
... amuses liberals sometimes.
And a link to a GWAR video where they do mean things to a Sarah Palin look-a-like.

Seriously? There's no indication that Althouse is familiar with GWAR, which makes it strange that she finds them representative of "liberals." It would make more sense to say that violence against women humans sometimes amuses liberals GWAR.

I mean, couldn't Althouse be bothered to check Wikipedia, where it says right there in the first paragraph:
The band is best known for its elaborate sci-fi/horror film inspired costumes, raunchy obscene lyrics, and graphic stage performances which consist of humorous re-enactments of politically and morally taboo themes.
But let's play Althouse's game, shall we? If GWAR proves that liberals are sometimes amused by (simulated, theatrical) violence against women cast members, then what does this prove?

Here we have actual violence against actual women, and guess what? This was at a campaign appearance, not a heavy metal concert. (I know, I know, but really...context does matter.)

Does this prove that conservatives are sometimes amused by violence against women? C'mon, Althouse. Make the case. (Yeah, didn't think so.)

At any rate, here's my favorite GWAR song. Dig the horns, but try not to let them hurt your feelings.

PS. I hope Althouse never comes into contact with the song that this post is named after...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Strain

I recently listened to (as opposed to read) a book co-authored by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan called The Strain. It's the first book in a vampire trilogy and being a fan of Del Toro, I had high hopes.

Unfortunately I found the book rather trite and pedestrian. I got the sense that the idea originated as a movie treatment, but because of eerie similarities to Blade II, wiser heads prevailed and said, "Before we blow $50 million on a Blade II remake, let's turn it into a novel instead!"

There were a lot of things that bugged me about the book. The Blade II vibe, including a vampire autopsy scene and a climax with a sword-wielding protagonist fighting vampires in a subterranean tunnel. (The sword-wielding protagonist, by the way, started the book as a scientist bureaucrat with the CDC. Did I buy the transition from disease-fighting scientist to vampire-fighting action hero?

But I'm going to have to say the thing that bugged me most about the book was the "olive scene." Chances are, if you've read the book, or listened to it like I did, you might not even remember the olive scene. It's not even really a scene. It's just the most vivid description of a man eating an olive ever.

I have not been able to locate the exact quote in the book, so you'll just have to take my word on it, but while I was listening to it, I remember actually rewinding it to hear how awful it was. At first I thought I found an example of poor writing, but no: Technically, the writing was sound. Good verbs, good sentence structure. Not a weak clause in the paragraph.

The problem, I realized, wasn't clunky style. It was the utter banality of the subject. The entire content of the idea could be expressed with four simple words: "He ate an olive."

Sure, you can spice it up with, "He set the olive between his teeth, squeezed until it popped raining down a shower of olive juice on his tongue." (Again, can't find the quote, so this is an approximation.) No doubt, the second version is more vivid but if all you're trying to say is "he ate an olive," why dress it up in fancy clothes?

Just say "he ate an olive!"

Praise the Lord


Athletes appeal to God in locker room prayers. They thank him when they score. They thank him when they win.

But he never seems to get the blame when they lose. Until now.

Stevie Johnson, who dropped a potentially game-winning touchdown in overtime this week, tweeted after the loss:

I guess God's just a Steelers fan...

Fire Him

Josh McDaniels is making it very hard for this Bronco fan to give a shit. This year, we're one of the worst teams in the league. We're one game better than the perennially struggling Lions, but so what? The Lions have scored more points and the goal is to become World Champions, not "Worst Team in your conference."

But this whole Spygate Part Deux crap is really the last straw.

Hey, I didn't mind when you wanted to trade Jay Cutler, pissing him off so bad that he demanded to leave. As prone to throwing interceptions as that guy is, oh well.

I didn't really mind when you couldn't get Brandon Marshall in check. Yeah, he's a talented receiver, but he's also kind of a douchebag. Brandon Lloyd is just as talented, but he's missing the douchieness.

So you want to draft a quarterback instead of a linebacker? Fine. Just don't be surprised when your main quarterback plays better than he ever has, your newly drafted QB is practically useless (except on direct-snap plays in the red zone; then he's of limited utility), and your defense sucks.

But if you want to be this big of an embarrassment...I ain't watching.


All weekend, I felt like Madonna shit.
Lack of sleep plus mild dehydration equals one sick Jimmy. I'm skipping Thanksgiving next year.