31 December 2008

30 December 2008

Chemistry puns don't usually feel this good. I mean in my pants. (too much?)


For some reason this thing has been around since I don't know when but I just saw it today. I was browsing one of the sites from which I "borrow" jokes and links and etc and found this. Not the picture. Just the link. I didn't know what to expect but my commitment to boredom was rewarded with this exceptional work of genius. No doubt there is room for debate here (I'd put Jedi ahead of ghosts in the noble races, and I think the heavy metals at the far left could use a re-org/update), but overall I think it's superb. I think the second row is v. strong; proximity mines are a bitch.

Unrelated:
I caught up with an old girlfriend from college* a couple days ago. We met for drinks and had the following exchange:

Her: You didn't treat me very well.
Mr. Super: That's true. But, in my defense, I didn't treat anyone very well when I was 19. So it wasn't just you. That makes it better, right? [smiles hopefully]

Ahhh, that was fun.

We're winding up another year here at GJAW. I doubt I'll do another post before year end (you care) sooooo... thanks for reading. This was the most prolific year ever, with almost 200 posts. Beats the old record by, umm, [too lazy to check a number] several.

* Unexpected benefit of dating hot girls in college is that they are (very occasionally) still hot, 15 years later.**

** Unexpected drawback: They might remember that you were a dick. Girls are funny that way.

28 December 2008

Cat vs. Printer



Can't believe I haven't seen this one yet. Was in the year's best list over on Filmdrunk. Sound is essential. Lance's comment (yeah we're on a first name basis) was funnier than anything I would have written so here you go:

If you read this site often, you probably know that it was only every once of self-restraint I had that kept this entire list from being cat videos. The end of this makes me laugh no matter how many times I watch it. In conclusion, I would bang this cat.

23 December 2008

Moar Science


Here's three more photographs from the California Academy of Sciences. One shows some of the interesting elements of the space (the organic juxtaposed with the inorganic, the interesting linear and curved shapes on offer in the design of the building, etc.), one is a picture I took of a kickass frog, and one is the the most popular thing in the aquarium (at least among staff & volunteers).

I know it doesn't look like much, but that's an adult octopus in a tank with her eggs. She was a new acquisition for the aquarium and a few days after she got into her tank she laid her eggs, much to the surprise of all involved. (Excepting, of course, the octopus herself.) It was a recent development when I visited, and aquarium staff and volunteers were coming by to get a good look at this rare treat. It's not all that uncommon for octopi (octopuses?) to lay eggs in captivity, but they are famously shy and retiring, so the eggs were a huge surprise and cause for much excitement.

That frog will fuck you up. He's all business.

Images posted in their full-size glory because I can. I'll post some of the others over on fbook as I sort through them, fix the levels in pshop, etc.

20 December 2008

Science is good for you


The fat kid spent a romantic couple of days in San Francisco this week. Main purpose was to honor a friend that was finishing his PhD program and moving to the east coast. While I was there I spent some time at the California Academy of Sciences. Had to see what all the fuss was about. And what do you know, it was actually pretty effing sweet. Weather in SF has been bitterly cold, and I was there during the week so crowds were really light. That meant that there weren't as many screaming disinterested kids as usual, and also that I had plenty of time to hang out and see whatever I was interested in. Some highlights:
  • The living roof. I took a photo of it. Full-size image attached in all its glory.
  • The space itself. There are essentially two large spheres stuck inside a rectangle. One sphere houses the planetarium, and the other houses the rain forest exhibit. The bottom floor houses the aquarium and includes their flagship Philippine coral reef tank.
  • The descriptions for most of the non-permanent exhibits (such as the fish tanks) are displayed on little 6" full color LCD screens. Big improvement over the little cards.
  • In an homage to the original aquarium, they kept the alligator pit, although it's a "swamp" display now.
The whole thing is worth the trouble if you're in the area. And a good value at $25 for an adult ticket.

19 December 2008

Get your list on


Field Notes have been featured in this space before. It's become popular to put your field notes to use and add them to a Field Notes Flickr set. I liked this group, and this was my favorite. Also quite liked this.

This is also excellent, too.

They make good gifts, and in my experience the shipping people at Field Notes Brand tend to throw in a little something extra for your trouble. A special bonus to include w/ your gift, or to keep for yourself.

18 December 2008

40 seconds of wiener dog




Occasionally I find out that people come to this space for entertainment. It's a testament to how bored they get in their day to day lives. This video is for my friend's ex-girlfriend Sarah, who gets a special shout-out b/c she is an occasional reader and also shares some of my internet genius with her students, and also b/c she is awesome. Not sure if this video will make the cut, but I'm cautiously optimistic. There's got to be some educational value in there somewhere...

Shocking news you will never believe


Apparently you don't lose most of your body heat from your head. I looked for the original source for more information but I couldn't find it. And the British Medical Journal probably doesn't have it available for free anyway.
Edit: Here's the same info in an easier-to-parse format, courtesy the BBC.

Other myths debunked:
  • There is a cure for your hangover. In fact, the only cure is not to drink to excess. A ha.
  • Sugar makes children hyperactive. Turns out that people rate their children's behavior as hyperactive after they've had some sugar, even when they hadn't.
  • Snacking at night makes you fat. Apparently it depends on what you eat, and how much, and how much exercise you get.
  • The bracts (red leaves) of the poinsettia plant are poisonous, and suicides rise during the holidays. Both are myths, but I had a hard time believing suicide one. I'm guessing their data is at least reasonable for it to be published.
And here's a link dump of 100 top sites for 2008. The Guardian only does a list every other year, so it's worth including here.

(image courtesy icanhascheezeburger.com - it has nothing to do with the post but I thought it was funny.)

17 December 2008

Elegance in Design: Design Observer

If you're a fan of Design (as I am) then there are thousands of places of interest on the web. I've mentioned Coudal Partners in this space before. Coudal's Field Tested Books section alone will kill an hour of your day, while the Museum of Online Museums will put an entire week's worth of productivity at serious risk.

Design Observer is more traditional blog, and it is superb. I particularly enjoyed this piece from Chris Pullman, the former Vice President for Design at WGBH. (WGBH is famous for, among other things, programs like Frontline.) Design Observer works hard at intelligent analysis of design and culture; it's rare that I visit the site without learning something new.

Enjoy.

14 December 2008

What You Are vs. What You are Not (message ahead - apologies in advance)


I have become frustrated with our culture's attempts to conflate material goods with actual worth. In other words, much of our (western, consumer) culture encourages you to think that because you *buy* something, you *are* something. There's no doubt that this is an effective marketing strategy. But it's also a lie.

Here is the truth about what you are not:
  • You are not your bank account.
  • You are not your choice of booze. (Related: your choice of booze will not help/hurt your chances of getting laid. I've done a lot of applied research in this area so I know what I'm talking about.)
  • You are not your house.
  • You are not the car you drive.
  • You are not your bookshelf.
  • You are not where you went to college, grad school, law school, or vocational school. You are nothing to do with your school at all.
  • You are not your dog or cat.
  • You are not your religion.
  • You are not your playlist on your ipod, or your favorite band, or your guitar, or whatever.
  • You are not any material thing.
What you are:
  • How you treat yourself.
  • How you treat other people.
These are the only things in your life that you can control completely from the beginning until the end. They are the only things every person on the planet shares with every other person. You 'own' a lot of things in the world, but these are the things you own that matter the most. If you take away all the crap that separates or differentiates you from people that live in other parts of the world, you will still have this.

So don't get too carried away with the material bullshit this holiday season (or any other time).

Love you, and thanks for reading.

(image courtesy the Life photo archive on Google, copyright Time, inc.)

Tasty online treats: Life magazine photo archive


I'm a fan of the computer-enabled time-waster. You can learn something new, see something interesting, or procrastinate for an hour making your bid for desktop domination.

One relatively new source of online superbness is the opening of the Life magazine image archives. It's a joint venture with the Google, so you can search the archives for images, or just browse until you find something that you like. The best part is that the full-size images are available online. You cannot use them for commercial purposes, but fair-use rights allow you to re-post them for private use as long as you credit the source. I got this picture of some fans at the Clay-Bonavena fight from here. Picture was taken outside of Madison Square Garden in December, 1970 by Bill Ray. Photo (c) Time, Inc.

Enjoy.

W's big fat go-f-yourself to America

It seems that George W. Bush is doing all he can to suck off big business before he leaves office. In his defense I don't think he has any idea what he's doing. I think he just does whatever his secretaries tell him to do, signs whatever they put in front of him. Coal companies want to make it easier to strip-mine? Approved. Oil companies want to be able to extract oil from shale, even though it's grossly inefficient and spectacularly polluting? Approved. Build highly polluting coal power plants closer to national parks? Hmmm... that's a tough one. On the one hand, you've got coal companies, and on the other hand you've got the national parks, which are the interest of the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Yeah, fuck the parks. Build the coal plants wherever you want. Awesome.

If his people had worked as hard at not being such fuck-ups then maybe things wouldn't be so bad today.

In related disaster capitalism news, remember all the fuss about $4 a gallon gasoline? People were up in arms about allowing drilling off the coasts, so the White House and Congress let the ban expire. This opens up the coasts (which, like the national parks, belong to everyone) to drilling by oil companies that belong to themselves. Big Business: 1; The People: 0. But your gas will be cheaper by as much as 2 or 3 cents a gallon. In the year 2030. Be happy with the money you're saving.

09 December 2008

Two for Tuesday

Tuesday means we get to double dip on some stuff from around the web. First up I'd like to throw a shoutout to the governor of Illinois for being both unscrupulous and really, really stupid. The unscrupulousness is SOP in a politician, but you have to work hard to be as egregiously stupid as he was over the past few weeks. Full credit to you, sir!

And here's a little op-ed piece (from the Newspaper of Record) explaining why Joe the Plumber shouldn't get a book deal. Enjoy.

In case you thought today's link dump was liars and idiots, here's a piece on Wayman Tisdale: former NBA player and cancer survivor. Word around the league for years is that he's been one of the nicest guys since forever, and recent experiences haven't changed him.
okay then.

08 December 2008

Fox apologizes for the dong they showed on TV


I thought this was hilarious.

Photo courtesy deadspin. Go there for the full report. (If you know what I mean. And I think you do.)

Mighty Mites - Martial arts are good for you

Went to a BJJ tournament over the weekend.

The truth will find you in the ring. It doesn't matter if you're 5 or 35. Just ask the Golden Boy, who spent his Saturday night taking a beating so severe he went straight from the ring to the hospital. He also got paid at least $20 million. (Silver linings and all that.) On the other hand, he's now at greater risk of Parkinson's disease and a host of other ailments that come from getting your head knocked around on a regular basis. Also: You can't spend your money if you're dead.

Watching tiny kids compete in Brazilian jiu jitsu was just as entertaining in its own way. The parents scream comments with varying degress of usefulness. E.g.: "DON'T LET HIM TAKE YOUR ARM JOHNNY!" This is not helping Johnny in any way. Try positive encouragement instead. The kids give maximum effort, and their goofy dancing can be hilarious, but if you laugh you might overlook the fact that they are in a fight, and that is no joke no matter how old you are.

I love the intensity of the kids. It's heartbreaking to see how some of them take the losses: tears are shed, hugs received, hard lessons about losing and sportsmanship are learned. Great stuff.

[Photo courtesy Crosley-Gracie Jiu Jitsu, used without permission but with my thanks. The tournament I watched was not at Crosley-Gracie, but they had a good photo of two kids grappling so I used it.]

03 December 2008

Moar Thxgiving


This from a friend:

Over Thanksgiving in Idyllwild, we were feeding the squirrels and this guy came along to pick up his Thanksgiving dinner.

I wanted to post it to icanhascheezeburger but I'm not sure they would love it as much as I do.

01 December 2008

GYWO countdown

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.

I think David Rees is shutting down GYWO when Bush leaves office. Enjoy it while you can. (The cartoon - not GW, unless you're into that.)

26 November 2008

happy thanksgiving

I've been busy.
Hope you have a good thanksgiving. Check back this weekend. I'll have something. Better than this, anyway.
love you.

21 November 2008

Organized Labor




I guess the Attractive Girls Union is driving a hard bargain.
"No hope of success unless there's a large influx of money, or he joins a band."

Note the chart at about the 2:50 mark.

20 November 2008

Jimmie Johnson handles boner question well




NASCAR would be better if drivers showed some personality, maybe some sense of humor. There's too much money at stake now, so you get drivers like Jeff Gordon, who is often described as "remarkably lifelike". Rumor is that Gordon is a funny, entertaining guy behind closed doors, but we'll never know. Supposedly Carl Edwards is a fucking psycho, but we've got that on video.

Anyway, here's Jimmie Johnson giving a dumb question an appropriate answer. Hooray for personality!

19 November 2008

Dispatch from the Frozen North


It's going to be another 80 degree day in Sunny Southern California. Apparently they get weather in other parts of the country. We only get Hot and Windy. With a 100% chance of Ashy. This from my friend in New York:

Well, it is the second straight day of snow and I am told this is nothing. If it gets much deeper, you will not be able to find my Jack and Maddie [pictured]. We might have to put tracking devices on them and teach Splash how to find them.

Big news in small things


We had dude day this past weekend. That's when the married guys get a hall pass and get a chance to chain-drink beers with the guys that don't need permission to do those kinds of things. The married guys tend to fall into two categories: 1) the sprinters, who pass out early, b) the committed, who stay up until 3 AM. I was neither; I left at 9.

My friend Jimmy didn't make it. He had had to attend the birth of his child. Man that guy is whipped. Where are his priorities? Katherine Ann arrived on Friday night @ 11:47 PM. I ordered her one of these (is that a onesie?), and also a 'creeper', and one of these, because it comes with matching 49ers booties. I've got the sizes covered from newborn to 12 months. Awesome. Can't wait until she barfs on it.

I need to get this girl started out right. Her dad is a Detroit Lions fan (seriously) and those team colors are ugly. She is beautiful and deserves better. He's also a USC fan, so it's an uphill battle.

17 November 2008

Backup dancing is fun



Here's JT doing a cameo on SNL this weekend. One good thing about the bad SNL is you don't have to wait up on Saturday night to watch it. If there's a funny skit then someone will post it.

13 November 2008

Monetize your blog

The title of this post is a joke because 'monetizing your blog' is a whole cottage industry. Nice work if you can get it, but we're offering a free service here at GJAW. We're not for sale!

The Dutch as a people do a lot of things well. They are tall. They are good at soccer. They have names with lots of vooweels stuuck toogeetheer. (See whaat I diid theere?) And they are good at making money with free software: check it! Bitchin!

Image only makes sense in the context of the 'making money with free software' link, but if you don't want to click through it's also an excellent example of why mathematicians use fractals to compute the length of rough spaces (like coastlines). The non-math reason is the shorter a yardstick you use to measure, the longer a value you get. Tricky!

How big is the whale?




Philly is famous for booing Santa Claus. They were more kind to the toddler. Video taken at the Phillies World Series celebration parade.

12 November 2008

"the bums told Schulz these are prime seats"




Ze Germans.

Puppies are tasty


This courtesy a link from the Draplin Design Company. Yes that's a weiner dog puppy in a hot dog bun.

Someone posted it to the FFFFOUND website. Officially it's from "Lisa Marie's Facebook page". Whatever. It's cute, if you're into that. And I know you are. awwwwww...

11 November 2008

I used to love watching football

I used to love watching football. I came of age during the 80's and 90's, when the 49ers had some pretty good players and very good teams. They went from one hall of fame quarterback to another. That happens all the time, right? No? Oh.

The 49ers were the team of my grandfather, known around the neighborhood for shouting "TITTLE YOU BUM!" at the grainy television in his house in Redwood City. That would have been from 1951-1960. The man was, how to put this?, a little intense. It's not exaggerating to say that the Niners success in the 80's brought some peace to his life.

They were the team of my mother, who had a crush on Joe Montana that started in 1981 and continues to this day. (She never really had a heart for Steve, mostly because he just... wasn't Joe; I'm guessing this is more or less the story of Steve's career.)

And they were my team. I started losing interest right around the time Terrell Owens decided to read his own press. I was never super committed to the team itself; I was enamored with the players and people that comprised the team. One by one they retired, left as free agents, or were cut. I always thought loyalty to the 'team' is a joke, since it's really just a business venture in matching outfits. And the past 8-10 years for the niners have been abysmal.

And yet...

I forgot how much I enjoyed it until last night, when the 49ers were on Monday Night Football and I was home to watch the game. The spectacle! The action! The shiny maroon & gold and white uniforms of the 49ers on my HD television! Back and forth action on the field, conflict on the sidelines, a game in doubt until the final seconds! "My" team sharted away a win in the final seconds but I couldn't resist it. I forgot how much I used to love watching football.

Now if they could just get Joe to come out of retirement...

07 November 2008

I forgot to mention: BARACK OBAMA FTMFW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My faith in the voting public is not completely restored. You cannot have any confidence in a group that elected GW Bush once, never mind twice. But it's a step in the right direction.

If you don't share my enthusiasm, you can take comfort in the fact that it's going to be an extraordinarily difficult presidency. It ain't much but it'll have to do for now.

Gears2 came out today. I'm headed to Best Buy to add it to the catalog.
Unrelated: Paper Trail is a pretty good record. That guy (or his producers) know how to write a hook.

05 November 2008

A Proclamation

This from Coudal Partners:

A PROCLAMATION


WHEREAS The Fourth Day of November in the year 2008 represents the long-awaited resolution to the fiercely contested Presidential election.

WHEREAS By nature of Mr. Obama’s residency and its proud Democratic tradition, the great city of Chicago finds itself squarely at the center of attention on this momentous day.

WHEREAS No municipal or government body has shown the foresight or fortitude to state what needs to be stated.

NOW THEREFORE WE, Coudal Partners, do hereby proclaim that

NO WORK be done on NOVEMBER FOURTH

WHEREAS All employees are hereby required to report for work at the regularly appointed time and subsequently spend the morning hours unfettered by any assignment or memo, conversing with coworkers and furiously surfing political blogs for the latest information.

WHEREAS It would be nice if someone brought bagels.

WHEREAS Commencing at the hour of lunch, all employees will be set free from obligation, to leave the workplace and join friends and family at places of community and conviviality.

WHEREAS An exception will be made for those employees in “battleground states” with certain disagreeable political leanings who are required to arrive at work before the polls open and work until they have closed, without a lunch break and under constant supervision.

WHEREAS For everyone else in Chicago, we will see you at Grant Park. In all other American burgs, villages and hamlets, pretty much anywhere with a television is acceptable. Bowling alleys, rec rooms, firehouses and taverns are a few suggested venues.

WHEREAS Employers not obeying this proclamation are forewarned that they will find the day without productivity or profit and in the end only earn the ire of their tireless and devoted workers.

WHEREAS By the authority vested in us by us, all employees in the U.S.A. are encouraged to forward this proclamation to their supervisors and if there is some doubt about said supervisors agreeableness to follow the guidelines stated herein they are further advised, in the great tradition of American Democracy, to take matters into their own hands and sneak out the back door at lunchtime leaving this web page open on their computer as a statement of their whereabouts and intentions.

WHEREAS Employers are also advised to allow great leniency for late arrivals on the morning of the Fifth Day of November.

Signed and Stated by Coudal Partners, 31 October 2008

If I had to choose one or the other

Looks like Prop 8 is going to pass with a 52/48 margin in CA. That strikes me as odd considering the state went for Obama almost 2 to 1 (61/37). I'm disappointed but I'll get over it. Marriage is protected. Thank God. Or Thor. Or y*hweh. Or whatever. They're all the same to me.

The upside is that Obama won the election. There's a lot of ink being spilled about that right now, but this was my favorite:

At the start of his campaign, Obama often concluded his speeches by telling the story of his Senate campaign and how he prevailed in the southern part of Illinois despite its history of antipathy towards blacks. He cited Martin Luther King Jr., who said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." On Tuesday, 221 years after the adoption of a Constitution that allowed slavery to continue, an African-American won the presidency. In Grant Park, as Barack Obama left the stage, you could see that arc bend.

31 October 2008

All that political kerfluffle is bad for traffic




Yahtzee explains why Saints Row 2 is superior to GTA IV. One of his reasons is that GTA IV tried to be realistic; so much so that you spent a lot of time driving around, running errands. That's not a game, that's adulthood.

Jesus has an official position on the issues

I drove by a bunch of Yes on 8 folks at a busy intersection yesterday. I thought honking the horn might be misinterpreted as a show of support.

In order to learn what all the fuss is about I decided to visit their official website for reasons why to vote "yes on 8". (Full disclosure: I filled out my ballot a week ago motherfucker! Obama/Biden in 08 fo' life!)

Here is their commentary in it's entirety (straight from their website), along with my rebuttals. Because I'm like that.

Proposition 8 is simple and straightforward. It contains the same 14 words that were previously approved in 2000 by over 61% of California voters: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

Okay so far. I don't see the why yet, but we'll get there. If your argument is that "the people" chose thus it is good then you're not off to a very good start. The People also chose to segregate (and lynch) blacks, intern the Japanese, and shoot Indians (among quite a lot else). Hell, they set OJ free. So let's not hang our arguments on The People.

Because four activist judges in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people’s vote, we need to pass this measure as a constitutional amendment to RESTORE THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE as a man and a woman.

Right and wrong are a matter of opinion in this matter, but still: why do we need to "restore" the definition of marriage? If the definition is not "restored", what happens? And why do you care so much?

Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn’t take away any rights or benefits of gay or lesbian domestic partnerships. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits” as married spouses. (Family Code § 297.5.) There are NO exceptions. Proposition 8 WILL NOT change this.

That is good. What's the point then? And what is your motivation?

YES on Proposition 8 does three simple things:

It restores the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved and human history has understood marriage to be.

See prev. arguments re: 'the people'. Because a lot of people think something does not make it true. Or just.

It overturns the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.

Still with this 'will of the people' stuff? Schools would still be segregated if we went by the 'will of the people'. Our country fought a civil war over slavery and the 'will of the people'. This argument about the 'will of the people' is useless.

It protects our children from being taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage.

I can see this being an issue if you feel strongly about it, but is there really a danger of this happening? And if it does happen, can't you tell your kids something different? I mean, they're going to learn evolution in science class, but when they get home you're going to tell them that it's just a theory (which it isn't) and that the earth was created 6,000 years ago (which it quite obviously wasn't). Still don't see it.

Proposition 8 protects marriage as an essential institution of society. While death, divorce, or other circumstances may prevent the ideal, the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father.

I don't necessarily disagree, but what does that have to do with protecting marriage?

The narrow decision of the California Supreme Court isn’t just about “live and let live.” State law may require teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners about marriage. (Education Code § 51890.) If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, TEACHERS COULD BE REQUIRED to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.

If you insert the words 'not' next to your qualifiers in the above (may, could), your argument goes out the window. You're suggesting I should be afraid of the possibility of this happening? Hrmm... how likely is this type of teaching to happen?

We should not accept a court decision that may result in public schools teaching our kids that gay marriage is okay. That is an issue for parents to discuss with their children according to their own values and beliefs. It shouldn’t be forced on us against our will.

Same as above.

Some will try to tell you that Proposition 8 takes away legal rights of gay domestic partnerships. That is false. Proposition 8 DOES NOT take away any of those rights and does not interfere with gays living the lifestyle they choose.

However, while gays have the right to their private lives, they do not have the right to redefine marriage for everyone else.

CALIFORNIANS HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

Not strictly true. The original proposal passed 61/39, so 39% of the voters thought it was a bad idea. You could say that they 'voted for same sex marriage'.

If gay activists want to legalize gay marriage, they should put it on the ballot. Instead, they have gone behind the backs of voters and convinced four activist judges in San Francisco to redefine marriage for the rest of society. That is the wrong approach.

What is the right approach? It is the obligation of judges to overturn legislation that is discriminatory and/or violates our constitution. That's why you are pursuing this amendment.

Voting YES on Proposition 8 RESTORES the definition of marriage that was approved by over 61% of voters. Voting YES overturns the decision of four activist judges. Voting YES protects our children.

Protects our children from what, exactly? That they "may" be taught same sex marriage? From the evils of homosexuality? From atheists? From reason? Color me confused.

Please vote YES on Proposition 8 to RESTORE the meaning of marriage.

RON PRENTICE, President
California Family Council

ROSEMARIE "ROSIE" AVILA, Governing Board Member
Santa Ana Unified School District

BISHOP GEORGE McKINNEY, Director
Coalition of African American Pastors

You guys have a regular rainbow coalition over there. Cute.

I remain unconvinced. The main arguments for this position are religious, but there is nothing religious in this manifesto. That's plain weird. Special bonus: I googled 'California Family Council'. I guess they're more than a little bit shady. Good at making money, though.

The religious angst over gay marriage and prop 8 is outlined in gloriously overwrought prose over at thecall.com. Here's a link. It's either inspiring or inspiringly funny, depending on your point of view. I thought it was hilarious bible-thumping craziness.

29 October 2008

Who is tired of all the election talk? I mean, besides me?




The newspaper of record weighs in.

You can't always trust them (see: shoddy reporting in the leadup to the Iraq war) but this is an editorial piece so it uses facts to support an opinion. I recommend reading the editorial while listening to Mike Rowe sing the national anthem. (It's surprisingly good. Seriously.)

--------------
As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.

----------------
In the interest of balance, John McCain also got a strong endorsement today. Hrrmmm... that can't be good.

---------------
And finally, please vote yes on proposition 8. Equality under the law is sooooooo last century. Why should everyone have the same rights? It just doesn't make any sense. We need one set of rules for gay people, and another set of rules for straight people. After all, they're different! How can they possibly expect to have the same rights as everyone else! Sheesh. I don't know where people get these crazy ideas.

28 October 2008

Don't mince words...

Ahh, Christopher Hitchens. He is smug, arrogant, and obnoxious. But he's frequently correct in his scathing analysis. And he's got a special place in his heart for Sarah Palin. Take it away, Christopher:

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

27 October 2008

Metaphor for life

You have to click the picture to get a good feel for the genius.

Courtesy the Perry Bible Fellowship and not really used with permission but I'm not making any money on it so hopefully he won't mind.

23 October 2008

That explains a lot

Software and IP piracy is a huge problem in China. You can knockoffs of anything there: handbags, shoes, watches, clothes, software, DVDs, whatever. If it exists and someone buys it, then you can buy a knockoff in China.

Software piracy is epidemic. A lot of the spam you get comes from Chinese computers running pirated versions of Windows XP that don't have the security service pack and are easily hacked and unwittingly transformed into spammers.

MicroSoft put out a security notice in China that alerts users and blanks their screen once an hour when they are using pirated software. The Chinese are super pissed and think MicroSoft is infringing on their rights.

This is like buying a stolen car and then complaining to the original owner when it doesn't run right.

The people suggest that they should not be affected by the piracy; they're only the end-customer. Instead, they think MicroSoft should be go after the distributors and sellers of pirated software, not the actual customers. Why should they be inconvenienced in any way? They have rights as a consumer, don't they? I think they do. For example, they have a right to eat a dick because they bought something that was stolen and it doesn't work. I'm pretty sure "stolen shit" is not covered in the MicroSoft warranty / user agreement. Pretty sure.

21 October 2008

"I know what Eat, Pray, Love is like for fat women"

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at 236.com.


This is the best two minutes of your day. Unless you vote early, like I did (I'll be out of town on election day).

Audio NSFW. They use cuss words.

18 October 2008

Serious dog has serious costume

Big backlog of posts to work through over here in cyberspace.

My friend has dogs and she loooooves them like no other. She sent me the following email in early October:

They just could not control their excitement for halloween. They are going to be dressed like this until October 31st. They are very happy about it, as you can see.

-----------
If you can't figure it out, one is a bumblebee and the other is ladybug. They didn't get to wear their costumes every day because the ladybug tried to eat hers. And the bumblebee made the serious face the whole time.

17 October 2008

Which one of these is the professional athlete?


Some friends went to the Jay-Z concert a couple nights ago. I was invited but didn't have a date and didn't want to try and find one. So I passed. Here's some girls with some guy that was there. His ears stick out. Also he is good at basketball. I know this because I have seen him on TV. Derron Williams kicked his ass in the playoffs last year, though.

Metaphor


By "come back tomorrow" I meant "several days later". It's been a very busy week. Lots going on. I'm going to avoid political posts for a while. Besides this one, I mean.

I accidentally stumbled across the photo on the intornets. What kind of person goes searching for this kind of photo? Not me. It was a gift when I was browsing automotive forums. Thank you, automotive forums.

Captions are mine.

13 October 2008

Apoplexy [politics ahead - come back tomorrow for some humor]

Orange County's Most Eligible Bachelor does this thing where he forwards me his right-wing chain mails and laughs because I read them and they annoy me. He sends me idiocy and I'll craft a carefully worded essay about how he should think critically when he reads that stuff, and also that he should stop parroting what other people tell him and do some thinking for himself. If that's too much work I suggested he let someone smarter start doing the thinking because he sounds like an idiot.

All of which brings us to our latest "debate" about taxes. OC's Most Eligible is rich, so he believes that you should lower taxes on the rich because then they will spend more money and stimulate the economy. This economic theory goes by many names: supply-side economics, trickle-down economics, Reaganomics, and, most accurately: complete bullshit.
Here's some further reading:
http://mises.org/article.aspx?Id=1544
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaganomics
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/reaganomics_finally_trickles_down

I liked the Onion article the best. I think it really brings the point home.
McCain and Palin want to bring Reaganomics back. Unless you make over $250,000 a year, that's not going to be good for you.

As for McCain/Palin's current smear&fear campaign strategy, here's a veteran's thoughts (click through for entire essay):

When you say, as a candidate for vice president, that the opposition is led by a man who is closely affiliated with terrorists, no intellectual jump needs to be made on the part of the listeners. What you are asserting to your base constituents, those most inclined to believe your rhetoric, is that if they don’t elect you, America’s president will be one with close, disguised ties to terrorists. But the NY Times article Palin cited in this speech could in no way be construed as stating Barack Obama has the kind of relationship with Bill Ayers Gov. Palin suggested.

08 October 2008

the force unleashed




Friend Jeff took a time out from unleashing the force on his gf to buy The Force Unleashed video game. Then lend it to me (the game, not his girlfriend). He liked it. I thought it was okay for about an hour and then I lost interest.

Yahtzee played the wii version and if you want to know why the wii is great as long as you don't want to play any real games on it, watch the embedded video.

Audio NSFW.

03 October 2008

I understand what you mean...


This from the consistently excellent xkcd.

While we're on the subject, I also recommend the Perry Bible Fellowship.
enjoy.

01 October 2008

We've got good chemistry


I laughed.

I'd love to run some electricity through little miss Neon, see if I could get her excited. If you know what I mean. And I think you do.

29 September 2008

happy birthday


Someecards makes birthdays fun again. So good.

Here's their corporate profile:

Someecards may or may not be the greatest thing since ecards. It was created by Brook Lundy and Duncan Mitchell and a dollar and a half-assed dream. New cards, categories, and features will be frequently added until everyone involved with the site dies.

28 September 2008

Stealth Mode




This is relatively new but it's extremely popular so you might have seen it.
I laughed.

27 September 2008

Jesus is a friend of mine




This is for all you christian rockers out there.
If you can get through the whole thing then Jesus loves you for sure.

26 September 2008

new required reading: Then We Came to the End


Finished Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. Outstanding book. It's one of the rare books that is so true I recommend it to anyone who wants to get a feel for day to day office politics. In that regard it's a little like the tv show The Office, but more real. Also recommended to anyone that wants an enjoyable, engaging read. You can file it next to High Fidelity in the art-imitates-life section of your library.

It's possible that the book won't engage you at all. Some people don't have the patience for it. I didn't have the patience for Into the Wild because the main character was an aimless clown that didn't care enough to look after himself, so why should I bother to care about him?

I bought a used copy of TWCttE ($3! only) but I'll probably buy the book new to give as a gift, support the cause, encourage the author. Because widespread critical acclaim isn't enough.

Did USC cover last night?


I can't remember. USC was favored in the game by 25 points. How did that turn out?

(photo courtesy AP - via the Oregon State Athletics website)

22 September 2008

Douchebaggery on Parade: quidditch teams




This has been kicking around the internets for a while. It finally made it over the Guardian as a item of interest, so it's officially an international phenomenon. And by that I mean it's the dumbest fucking thing I've seen since I first heard about it a year ago. Congratulations douchebags. You run around with a broom between your legs and chase a ball? Why a broom? Oh. I get it now.

I wish they had that when I was in college. Because binge drinking and making out with pretty girls is soooooooo tedious. I hated doing that shit in college. I was constantly trying to figure out ways to "further unify the student body". Hmmm... maybe not.

16 September 2008

Fantasy Football Feels My Wraf


Remember when this little thing we're doing here in cyberspace was funny? When it wasn't all politics and death and sadness? Me too. I remember it fondly. We're doing our best to keep it light but sometimes the real world intrudes.

From the I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing file I give you this weeks victory in Fantasy Football (hooray for Schweaty Balls)*. I know, I know - FF is only slightly less interesting than the dream I had last night or my NCAA tournament bracket, but still. Look at that margin of victory. Now note that the whole contest was complete except for LJ Smith's "contribution" on Monday night. That's right: after Sunday's games I needed 1 point to win this week and I got... 1 point. That's the kind of domination I'm talking about, people.

I went ahead and cut LJ after his feeble performance. Someone else in the league might need his magic.

*Yes the team is really called the Schweaty Balls. That's a photo of Pete Schweaty, looking sexy in flannel. He wasn't intimidated by that no-neck goon on the other team. He had balls on his side.

15 September 2008

Intelligence takes it on the chin. Again. - David Foster Wallace found dead in his home

David Foster Wallace was found dead by his wife yesterday. He hanged himself.

This brings me down.

I didn't get as much out of his fiction as some other people. It is dense and difficult to parse. But his essays were brilliant, as was his nonfiction. In the same way that jazz is an acquired taste, his fiction does not reward the casual reader; his essays are much more accessible. Also insightful. And funny. His short stories are also difficult, in that they are occasionally related, oddly paced and hard to follow.

If you wrote a story in DFW-style in high school and submitted it you would get a failing grade. If you submitted the same story in college you might pass, depending on whether or not the teacher thought you were doing it intentionally. His stories were like that: if you didn't know he was doing it on purpose you'd think he was off his rocker. But his essays were consistently brilliant.

You can make comparisons to John Kennedy Toole or some other tortured writer if you want to. I think that's an oversimplification; borrowing from Tolstoy: each person is unhappy in their own way. It may be that Wallace was having a hard time living up to his own promise. We'll never know. And that's a sadness.
He was 46.

12 September 2008

"... and the hammer is made of wank"





Yahtzee brings the pain to Too Human this week.

I pre-ordered the game but decided against buying it after reviews were shit. Plus my friend bought it so I can borrow his copy. Thanks Jeff!

I had to take a break from posting after all the politics.
Are they having elections this year? I can't remember. It's not in the news or anything.

05 September 2008

hit the books - Into the Wild and The Shock Doctrine

Way behind on the blogging the past couple weeks. Had the friends in from out of town. Somehow being out all hours led to me getting sick. Weird how that works. In any case, we're getting caught up. I know that 2 (of 4) regular readers are looking for book recommendations.

Don't bother with Into the Wild. Krakauer has written some outstanding books, but Wild is not one of them. The main character is a whiny, self-obsessed idiot. (You'd think I would be more understanding since we have so much in common.) No fewer than 1,197 people have rated this book on Amazon and almost half of them gave it 5 stars. The book is described as "haunting" and "poignant". I don't know what's haunting about a spoiled, judgmental rich kid going to Alaska and starving himself to death. I heard the movie was much better than the book. It would have to be. The book is well written but it's a testament to Krakauer that he was able to stretch it into book length. The magazine piece was more than enough.

Highly recommended: The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. She lays the left-wing righteousness on a bit thick at times but it's still a good read. Her reporting is excellent, and her facts are thoroughly researched. Sometimes I want to redline all the adjectives and adverbs so that I can straight to the facts without all the bluster. Even so, this is a great book.

Behemoth Chicken, Cont'd, plus Castle Crashers


The Behemoth finally released Castle Crashers. They had some initial problems but I hear it's working now. Dan Paladin and the rest of the team kick ass.* Get your wallpapers here. The art is superb.

When the game launched my blog traffic went up because people were searching for The Behemoth Chicken (who wields a sword in the intro to the new game). So here it is again. Along with another image courtesy the Behemoth website.

All images copyright Dan Paladin and Behemoth Software. Don't dare use them without credit or you will for sure go to hell and get your site pummeled by powerful nerds (not me - I'm a mid-level tech geek). Steal images from Wal-Mart or Sony, not independent game developers.

*Wanted to type list of other team members but there's no list on your website & I'm not enough of a kissass to get it from the game itself. I had to draw the line somewhere.

04 September 2008

outstanding work


I went to a wedding a couple months ago in Catalina. I drank so much over that weekend that I took the following two months off.

My friend's wife keeps sending me pictures of me sweating on the dancefloor, hugging it out with my peeps, etc. These little reminders drift in by ones and twos as they get forwarded to her and she sorts them out. She's really great about sending the photos even if you can barely see me. This latest is my favorite. The favoriteness is further enhanced by the fact that The Guy That Rules is slightly out of the frame, married, and definitely not married to the girl he's giving the business.
----------------------------------------

In other news, I got in a discussion with the OC's Most Eligible Bachelor yesterday. He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple, so sometimes it's hard to explain things to him. I told him that having kids at a young age has a negative impact on a woman's lifetime earning potential. I said that women that have kids young are less likely to finish high school, less likely to finish college, and thus don't get the same job opportunities as girls that do finish college. Simple enough, right? You would think so. He said it was "laughable, left-wing opinion". (That is a direct quote, not taken out of context.) My bad. I had no idea teen pregnancy, education, and poverty were funny. I wish I were rich AND ignorant. I could find humor in anything!

03 September 2008

Tourists


Had some friends visiting from London last week. They went shopping at Abercrombie (wtf?) and when I registered my confusion they said that they don't have Abercrombie overseas so it plays well there. Good to know.

Getting matching pink shorts wasn't nearly gay enough so they took their shirts off and got a photo in front of the store. I asked if the staff had anything to say about it and they said they were "really unimpressed". You can't take yourself too seriously. Good times.

02 September 2008

And while we're at it...

I'm ready for the GOP to nominate a candidate for president that didn't ride his daddys coattails for the first 40 years of his life. And was at least an above-average student when he was in college.

McCain got into the Naval Academy because his father and grandfather were big shots. He rewarded their nepotism by graduating 894th out of a class of 899. What's his excuse? He's not dumb but he didn't feel like trying very hard? I guess you could argue that since he's 80 years old it was a long time ago, doesn't matter any more. And he acquitted himself well after he got a sweet gig as a naval aviator (thanks Dad!) so you can't say he was a total fuckup. Still, there's something to be said for high achievers, even at a young age.

If you're really bored you can chart McCain's post-war career.

The convention coverage is awesome. I'm going with NPR because they make a real effort to be impartial. (That's what happens when you're publicly funded: you don't have to push an agenda, unless you're a DA in the Bush administration.)

So much noise, so little signal. This from NPR:
President Bush Tuesday night hailed Sen. John McCain as "the man we need."
Need for what, exactly? Need to fix your epic blunders?

Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman told delegates at the GOP convention that he was backing McCain "because country matters more than party."
That's from the guy that couldn't win his own party's primary in his home state so he ran as an independent and won anyway. Fuck Connecticutt.

That's a lot of text and no laughs. Check back in 24 hours. It'll be dick jokes galore. I promise.

Politics are good for you

We're political today. If you want your blog experience to be more light-hearted and obnoxious, come back in 24 hours.
thx.
---------------------------------------------------

I've been busy but things are settling down. Last week was the big event for Barack Obama, this week it's John McCain. I don't much care for the conventions because it's just a big political jerkoff, but I was glad to see that Joe Lieberman spoke for John McCain. Nice work, shitbag. And then GW gave McCain a ringing endorsement. I'd expect people to figure out that 8 years of bad leadership should not be followed up by 4 years of someone that thinks the past 8 years were good, but the US public already elected GW twice, so there's no accounting for taste.

In other news, Ron Paul had a big rally. I don't know who he is. Apparently he's against "big government", but that's just an excuse to roll back social programs. I'm all for cutting taxes and responsible spending, but before we eliminate social programs (fuck the poor!) maybe we should cut back a bit on our national defense budget. Because we spend more on national defense than EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER. I'm going to write that again three times in case you missed it:

We spend more on national defense than EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER.

We spend more on national defense than EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER.

We spend more on national defense than EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD PUT TOGETHER.

I'd rather keep the social programs because I'm more concerned about the kid that grows up without a family or proper leadership and turns to crime than I am about terrorists. Because I've never seen a terrorist, but I see the kids that didn't get a proper education all the time.

26 August 2008

I am an international financier, part the fifth


The last guy I lent to repaid his loan to Kiva, which means I get to re-allocate the resources. He was a shopkeeper and fairly close to home (relatively speaking) so for the next one I wanted to pick someone that would get more out of the money. Which brings us to the lovely-named Mrs. Liliane Sagbohan:

Mrs. Liliane Sagbohan was born on May 14, 1978 in Ekpè in Ouémé County in the southeast of Benin. She is married and the mother of 2 children: Corneille and Fabienne, aged 5 and 2 respectively. She furnishes various household items to her neighbors in the district who have confidence in her because her products are of good quality. She is requesting this loan to bolster her business which is currently growing rapidly.

Consider it done. She's got 90% of her loan so I think it's going to be funded (they wouldn't let me fund the whole thing). Sweet.

Had to check the map to find Benin. It's between Nigeria and Togo, on the Gulf of Guinea. Wherever that is. People say it's a small world. If you believe that you should try walking to Hawaii. Or Porto Novo (capital of Benin).

24 August 2008

The Olympic Village is bringing sexy back

The olympics are over. That's a bummer. I have really enjoyed the competition and spectacle. I don't go in for the nationalistic bullshit but it's nice to see people that have worked hard do well. And since pretty much every person there has worked hard it's easy to enjoy the winning. Don't really care what country they're from.

The US Men's Basketball Team is a bunch of spoiled brats so that was tedious but there was lots of other good stuff to watch. The US Men's Indoor Volleyball team played brilliantly to win the gold medal for the first time in 20 years. And so forth and so on. If you got tired of one athelete or event there was plenty other stuff to appreciate. Like the prospect of some deliciously hot athlete sex. [Full list of favorite athletes/photos from the games coming later this week - expect middle-distance runners to be well represented.]

The following quote comes from an article that was forwarded to me by two different / unconnected people. So good when your friends are on the same page. The article is a bit long but it has its moments. Enjoy.

I am often asked if the Olympic village - the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world's top athletes for the duration of the Games - is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is.

21 August 2008

Orange County's Most Eligible Bachelor


The OC's Most Eligible Bachelor (aka the King of Blind Dates) has been talking shit to me all day via the internets. All. Day. Thank goodness he sent me this carefully crafted artistic rendering from one of his co-workers. Plus he's not a regular reader. At one point we had the following exchange:

OCs M.E.B.: So… are you going to put on a monkey suit and roll big in vegas tomorrow night? Please say yes. It will be like old times…
me: hey cockface: feel free to stop being a cock at any point. like now.
---------

All because I'm on the fence about going to a party with him on Saturday. I asked who was going to be there and he said, that one girl that my blah blah set me up with blah blah and she blah blah. I said, no, that girl is awful. Which prompted this exchange:

OC's M.E.B.: She makes everyone around her a better person.
me: She makes them SEEM better, because she sucks so bad. Everyone looks good standing next to her.
OC's M.E.B.: True.
---------

It's a tough crowd people.

I can't wait to start getting hits from people doing internet searches for 'oc bachelor'.

19 August 2008

Why the olympics is awesome, part XXIV

I love the olympics. The more obscure the sport, the more I enjoy it. You might enjoy this story about the heavyweight lifters:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/08/19/weightlifters_bring_blood_and.html

and you can watch video of the entire competition here:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/greatesthits/index.html?forcereload=true

You might have to dig around a little. Direct links to the video are tough, but if you look for the A class 105+ Kg weightlifters then you can see it. Might want to fast forward to the last 20 minutes if you want to get straight to the good part.
enjoy.

13 August 2008

Shit yourself thin; plus, more olympics!


'Cosmopolitan' Institute Completes Decades-Long Study On How To Please Your Man

Blah blah olympics blah blah blah. I feel bad for the US girl that fell down on the balance beam and again on the floor exercises. After she biffed she had to stand up straight and watch her teammates compete while they shoved cameras in her face. Nowhere to hide. That was hard to watch so I changed the channel. I feel badly enough when they fall; I don't need to watch them blink back tears afterwards. Which reminds me, some of the older US gymnastics girls would be pretty hot if they were adult sized. Unlike China, who fields girls way under the age limit like it's no big deal.

In other news the onion is still making superb videos and they've had a scientific breakthrough. You'll have to watch and decide for yourself.

12 August 2008

Lezak kicks frog ass


I love the olympics. A lot.

I have no use for the medal count, or the endless fellatio of the "redeem team", or all the long faces from the lesbians that are bummed about the end of softball as an olympic sport. That stuff is lame.

What I love is the drama of your entire athletic life, your purpose, distilled into events that last minutes, or even seconds. The pressure is unbelievable. Some people wilt; some thrive. Jason Lezak is the latter. I don't have video because the only thing the olympics hates more than human rights is copyright violations. But you can watch the end of it over on withleather.com.

And there's this from my friend the King of Blind Dates:

Jason Lezak was my teammate in high school for both water polo and swimming. He was one year younger than me. My senior year we received 1st team all-american honors in the 4x50 and 4x100 free relays- winning CIF in both events and recording the fastest high school time in the country in 1993 for the 4x50 free. I wonder why??? In both CIF final races… Jason performed similar heroics (as our relay anchor) to what he pulled off last night on the world stage. If you didn’t catch the race… watch it on u-tube or espn.com. It’s amazing- though I must admit, I’m not surprised… It’s so awesome to see someone’s years of hard work pay off.

11 August 2008

If you suck at your job you might lose it


Alexi Lalas got fired from his job as GM of the LA Galaxy. He retains his position as the #2 douche in US soccer history (Eric Wynalda has a hammerlock on the #1 spot - Landon Donovan is very strong at # 3).

Also, the LA Galaxy head coach resigned for 'personal reasons', which was a nice gesture because he had a three year contract. I wonder if his personal reasons had anything to do with the fact that the team sucks. *

I've written at length about what a fucking idiot Alexi Lalas is. You can review that at your leisure. The money guy says that "There are two good people that for different reasons aren't part of this organization today, and that's a shame." The shame is that Lalas sucks so bad at his job that he can't build a winning team in one of the largest markets in the US.


*We are not going to dis Ruud Gullit here, or anywhere. He didn't get the tools he needed to build a successful team. Also, he favors a stylish, attacking style of play. LA isn't good enough to play that way, but that was true before he got there. It's still true.

08 August 2008

My new favorite time-waster, or: Why I don't notice that I don't have a girlfriend


Decided to mix some turn-based strategy into my console gaming. Started playing Civilization: Revolution. It's a nice break from shooting people; now I get to take over the world. Which is more in line with my personality anyway.

The problem is that the games take anywhere from 3-5 hours to finish. Sure you can save along the way and come back to it later but I find myself unable to put the controller down. It's pathetic. Apparently there are support groups, but mostly I think I need to show some discipline. Right after I kick Napoleon's ass. Fuck him. He sucks.

07 August 2008

Generation Kill: required viewing


Generation Kill (on HBO) is the best show on television.

Not much competition this time of year, but it would be the best show on TV any time of year, with the possible exception of Wire reruns.

It's supposed to be 'authentic', and you'd have to ask a real soldier how accurate it really is. Or for true authenticity you would have to live it. But from the Marines I've talked to, it's fairly accurate. For example, when the Marines in the show pillage care packages searching for Penthouse and logs of Skoal straight, that matches exactly with what I was told, along with lots of other details that I have heard about. But it's still a TV show, so take all that with a grain of salt. "Iceman" walks around with his cover off quite a bit (easier to see his face), plus they do some sh*t that I don't think happened in real life, but these are minor quibbles.

I read the original articles in Rolling Stone very closely but skipped the book when it came out. It's interesting to see how the characters from the article come to life in the show. There were some things that Wright couldn't say back in 2003, but I think it's easier to tell the truth about it now. The book has been out for a while so it's not going to further ruin anyone's career.

Sundays @ 9 on HBO. Set your TiVo or catch it on netflix later this year.

* Image cribbed from the HBO website and definitely used without permission. Hooray for the internet.