Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Conservatives and Irony

In a not-too-surprising revelation, it turns out that conservatives don't get Colbert. In a recent study done at the Ohio State University, it was found that many conservatives think he's being serious, and that he really is an arch-conservative who uses humor but really means what he says.

No word on whether the Republican party is gearing up to increase our nation's bear-security, but I'm guessing it's coming soon...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's Your Congressional Rep Doing?

Rarely am I proud of a politician, and even more rarely does someone I voted for get elected to office. Yet both of these things are now true. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress and my rep, was arrested yesterday at the Sudanese embassy, protesting the expulsion of aid workers form Darfur, and generally trying to raise awareness of the genocide.

Of course, a more depressing take on it is that our government's inaction in the face of a clear genocide has gotten to the point where a half-dozen members of the U.S. Congress have to get arrested for people to pay attention, but for now I'm just going to bask in the glow of having an elected official representing me actually do something I agree with...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Day in IA

Today marks the first day gay folk can apply for marriage licenses in Iowa.

Can't say much more than has already been said, but it's an exciting day nonetheless...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Only WHEN It Happens Is a Question

The good lads and lasses over at Cracked have given us the five most plausible (likely?) scenarios from which the Zombie apocalypse will come. The 5th and final scenario seems most convincing. I won't give it away, but it will involve parasitic nanotech cyborgs...but in a scientifically plausible way (we already have the technology, we really only need the evil/accidental application of it).

People laugh at my zombie-preparedness levels now, but it seems one day soon it won't appear so foolish...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day and All That...

So it's Earth Day, and we're supposed to do something to care about the world today before it implodes and we all die and whatnot. But as a handy little reminder that the devastation were visiting on the earth effects some of us more than others, here's a handy image of how toxic waste and race interact (via the incomparable SocImages)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Americans and Sexuality

Americans have a really weird relationship with sex. We're obsessed with it, yet at the same time, have determined it is rarely, if ever, appropriate to discuss or display any modicum of sexuality. Plenty of other people have discussed this far more intelligently than I, so I won't rehash all the thoughts on why we act this way or what it means, but I will point out a great recent example of our collective insatiable thirst/disgust for/with sex.

As you may or may not be aware, PETA recorded a commercial deemed "too sexy" for the Super Bowl halftime, which is a pretty high bar to surpass. The commercial features very scantily clad women erotically rubbing themselves with vegetables and is accompanied by text noting that studies have found vegetarians have better sex.

Well, CNN was recently discussing the commercial and the fallout over it. But my favorite part? Because of the sexual nature of the commercial, CNN blurred out certain portions of it. But what did they blur? A pumpkin.

Yes. A pumpkin. As a woman is rubbing herself with a pumpkin, this was apparently too erotic, so the pumpkin had to be blurred out. I'm guessing this is so our precious children don't see it and get prurient ideas about gourds, but I can't help but think this is a little over the top...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fuck. Yes.

After years of wonder, innuendo, false starts, copyright problems, and many, many broken hearts, seminal sketch-comedy show The State is finally being released on DVD.

Words cannot describe how happy I am right now...

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Torture Memos Revealed

In case you had any lingering belief in the judicial process or constitutional safeguards, some of the most disturbing torture memos yet have just been released.

The memos discuss some pretty graphic things, all in that dry legalistic tone that lets us not recognize the horrible things happening. Approved torture methods range from the infamous waterboarding to how exactly to slap someone in the stomach to shoving people into insect-filled boxes after telling them there are poisonous insects in there.

Of course, Obama has already said he's not going to prosecute any of these people, but I wouldn't recommend trying out any of these yourself, as you undoubtedly would be prosecuted...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Best New Book I've Heard of in a Long While

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

In addition to having a fantastic title, this classic of literature meets the undead has been garnering some positive reviews.

I haven't read it yet (though I plan on picking up a copy soon), but it does make me wonder what other classics can be improved with the inclusion of Zombies -- imagine the urgency of Moby Dick if the ship is crawling with the undead, or Hamlet if all those who dead rose again to continue their quest for the Scottish throne...I think this may be the best literary invention since the printed word...

Friday, April 10, 2009


I'm not a vegetarian, but I have sympathy for PETA -- they're definitely fighting an up-hill battle, and in a way, you have to admire how committed they are. I would seriously doubt there's any other culture as meat-centric as the U.S. Think about it; meat is a status symbol, a necessary for masculinity, and oh so many other things to Americans.

So PETA's got its work cut out to change this. But I can't help but feel they're going at it the wrong way. For instance, only a few years after they insisted the Green Bay Packers should change their name to the Pickers (to give props to the state's cherry-cultivating heritage rather than it's animal-slaughtering heritage), they're now asking the Pet Shop Boys to change their name, preferably to the Shelter Boys.

I get it, PETA: most pets from pet shops come from horrible mills were animals are force-bred in terrible conditions. But do you really think people listen to a British electro-pop band and think they should support puppy mills? For some strange reason, I don't think so...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Little Victory for the RNC 8

The RNC 8, a group of organizers arrested under suspicious circumstances and charged with conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism, got a little good news today as the terrorism charge was dropped.

Of course, they still face the conspiracy to riot charge, but apparently the rioting is now not considered terroristic. But just as the charges and trial are entirely a political move, so too was the dropping of the terrorism charge. Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner, the woman who brought the terrorism charges in the first place, is putting her hat in the ring as DFL candidate for Governor. And as you may guess, persecution of anti-Republican activists doesn't sit well with a number of people in the DFL, so she's in political-management mode.

So they're still looking at 5 years if convicted, but little victories are still victories...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hypocritical Post

I think one of the worst/stupidest things about the internet is the mindless passing of mildly-amusing videos. I could rant for a long while about how inane it is to send people a video of some animal acting funny as if this were ground-breaking cinema.

But I won't, because that's exactly what I'm doing today. While it's obviously quite hypocritical of me to do the exact thing I deride so forcefully, the combination of monkey, segway, and slapdash song describing what's happening make this irresistible.

It's a monkey! On a segway! It's like the peanut butter cup of youtube videos -- two great tastes that taste even better together! Is there anything more hilarious?!?

Monday, April 06, 2009

April Snows Bring May...something

Had quite the eventful weekend with much to report -- I mean, who saw it coming that Iowa would legalize gay marriage?

But possibly my oddest story of the weekend was heading back home. You see, Iowa got a freak April snowstorm which dumped 6 inches of snow in a matter of two hours. Of course, this snow happened to fall exactly where I and the lady were driving.

As a result, we were parked on I-35 for over 4 hours, as the road had been shut down and deemed "impassible." Adding insult to injury, we were only a few miles on the road before this happened, leading me to calculate that we had an overall moving average of about 1/4 miles/hour.

But, if nothing else, it did lead me to seeing not one, but three snowmen built in the middle of a major interstate, which is something I'll probably never see again in my life, especially not in April. Not that it makes turning a 4 hour trip into a 10 hour trip, but at least it's something.

Friday, April 03, 2009

No Coast!

It's no secret that I, as a general rule, disdain the coasts and most of the people that live thee. They very much like to look down on Midwesterners as some sort of ignorant, backward people. Well, while everyone in California was busy overturning gay marriage, Iowa just became the third state to legalize same-sex marriage.

That's right -- not urbane New York, not liberal California, but good ol' corn-pone, middle-of-nowhere, backward Iowa.

I can't begin to express how proud I am of my home state today, and how happy I am that I'm coincidentally in Des Moines today and get to join in on the victory celebrations. Today Iowa has made one the biggest steps in the new civil rights movement, and we'll be moving forward from here!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Life Imitating Art...Again

I don't think I need to go into detail about why The Simpsons is not just the greatest television show of all time, but one of the highest forms of American pop culture art.

But to throw further evidence on the pile, I never cease to be amazed at how prescient the show has been over the years. For instance, in the plant softball team episode (Homer At the Bat), there was this absurdist running joke in which Mr. Burns angrily demanded that Wade Boggs shave his non-existent sideburns, going so far as to kick a now mohawked Boggs off the team for failing to do something about whatever it was Burns thought were sideburns. And as Bogss ambled off the field he quipped "I still like him better than Steinbrenner..."

Of course, as any baseball fan knows, in a brilliant fit of life imitating art, Boggs and Steinbrenner did end up having a very public fight about his sideburns over a year later, even leading to Boggs getting benched for a short period after his refusal to shave.

Well, now they have presaged a new phenomenon, as the world sees its first actual whacking day.

Unfortunately, Barry White is no longer with us to serenade the sexy slither of a lady frog, but perhaps another basso profundo is available...