Archive for August, 2008

Bordeaux ’99

August 29, 2008

Today at lunch a stranger handed me an old newspaper folded over to a story about how “the art’s gone missing”. It goes without saying that the first (and only) paragraph I read mentioned the theft of Rembrandt’s self-portrait. 


It was all a dream / I used to read Word Up Magazine

August 28, 2008

I know the puzzles below aren’t very tough, but I thought all of you might need a little entertainment for your rainy Thursday. (p.s. don’t believe the hype on the cover: the “exclusive” photos from the set of “Got Money” are just crappy stills taken from the video.)

























Confusing quote

August 26, 2008

Last month the International Criminal Court Prosecutor initiated charges of war crimes against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Bashir responded to to the Court’s action by saying (among other things) that the charges were an attempt to topple his government and steal Sudan’s oil resources. Bashir’s position is that the Court is a thinly veiled instrument of the West, which is employed to grab what greed is after, not to right the world’s wrongs. Obviously, Bashir is side-stepping the main thrust of the Court’s claim (mass atrocities in Darfur), but it does cloud the issue when U.S. envoy Richard Williamson says things like:

“Darfur sits on a lake of oil. We don’t mind if they share it with us, we just don’t want them to take it all.”

What the heck does that mean?!

“the effects of television”

August 26, 2008

France bans broadcast of TV shows for babies

I hope that headline takes care of itself as a joke. If not, help yourself to: “Well I guess that must include the popular series ___________, I always found its sense of humor somewhat immature and its content not very enlightening or particularly intelligent.”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

August 25, 2008

For other pictures of girls in the Israeli Army, please visit

Generation Max

August 25, 2008

I’m a well-known cultural opponent of Pepsi-Cola. And so I thought the Democrats were doing themselves a major disservice by holding the bulk of their nomination convention in Denver’s Pepsi Center. It’s nice to get some corroboration on the matter!

Teal, unreal

August 20, 2008

As part of the ongoing series entitled Great Artists Steal, Steal From Great Artists, I present to you the below.














Now, it is well documented that My Mind rolls deep in teal Members Only jackets (cf. Ratso Ranzetti in “Tip Top Cop”, Boon Pobbits in “Vicki Samples Boon Pobbits”, Lindsey/Nate/Houtan/Matt/Firehouse all of 2008). So it was only reasonable to suppose that someone would soon feel the need to “jack” the style — and certainly it was even more reasonable suppose that person would be Fergie. (I needn’t mention that this fashion item is featured in the section of InTouch Magazine called Steal That Style!)

I’m filing for slander!

August 19, 2008

In yesterday’s paper newspaper I came across a television preview for an HBO bio of revered White House correspondent Helen Thomas. The headline prepared me for some uncovered scandal: “A Story With a Few Hole: Portrait of Helen Thomas Obscures Flaws”. Oh no, me thought, What skeleton be in da closet? Then, halfway down the first page the story’s author, Tom Shales, thickens da stew. “One can’t help wondering if the film was shortened in the final edit to obscure a blemish or two on Thomas’s celebrated career — the documentary equivalent of cosmetic surgery.” Oh dang, what hidden crime is Ms. Thomas guilty of that perhaps us youngsters don’t know about? And then the lede on the second page thickens the stew further: “A Journalist’s Life, Edited for HBO”

OK, I get the angle of the story Mr. Shales — but what is her crime that is so heinous that it can’t even be mentioned on the front page?! Ahh, yes… I quote at length:

What’s disappointing about Thomas, and troubling about the film, is her stridency in criticizing Israel and defending its enemies. Other than a passing reference to Thomas’s parents as having been Syrian immigrants, the film never hints at Thomas’s anti-Israeli rhetoric. In her writings, she’s already dismissed both John McCain and Barack Obama as being friendly to Israel and hostile to the Palestinians, “so the Israelis have no worries about the November election.”


Especially during the current administration, her “questions” at press briefings have been more like tirades, on one occasion prompting Tony Snow, the late journalist who was then press secretary, to respond, “Well, thank you for the Hezbollah view.” This would have been a pertinent and amusing clip to include in the film. Not for nothing was Thomas recently hailed as “the epitome of journalistic integrity for over 57 years” — by the Arab American News.


When controversies are a large part of a person’s career, it’s reasonable to expect even an adulatory documentary at least to mention them. “Thank You, Mr. President” could easily have included both sides — Thomas attacked and Thomas defended. Even attacking the attackers would have been more honest than ignoring the matter altogether.

Her accomplishments are formidable, and that she remains active in her 80s is impressive. She’s also brave enough to chastise fellow journalists — for supporting the Iraq war in the aftermath of Sept. 11 and abetting what she considers the right-wing persecution of Bill Clinton. Thomas is an individual with strong opinions; it’s too bad that Kennedy chose to tippy-toe around some of them.




(A) Don’t even get me started.

(B) “Other than a passing reference to Thomas’s parents as having been Syrian immigrants, the film never hints at Thomas’s anti-Israeli rhetoric.” What do the two halves of this sentence have to do with each other?

(C) Tony Snow? Tony Fucking Snow? And what is his zinger? “Thank you for bringing up another aspect of the debate” (?) Without even knowing what Helen said (thanks Shales) we can only hope that she did bring up another point view… Why does everyone insist on hating understanding so much??

(D) “Not for nothing was Thomas recently hailed as “the epitome of journalistic integrity for over 57 years” — by the Arab American News.” The emphasis & thrust of this comment is baldly racist.


(E) Thank you Tom Shales for presenting an innuendo-laced article that carried NO supporting evidence for your claim. The only quote from the woman herself is that she believes either of the presidential candidates will be a friend of Israel — a non-controversial claim that is actually the actual & explicit platform of both candidates.


Tuesday’s Ruby

August 19, 2008

Houtan’s fav absurd article

August 19, 2008

Watch Your Head (aka Sunday Funnies)

August 19, 2008

My Art of War

August 15, 2008

Second World Problems

August 14, 2008

Songs of Just Hate

August 14, 2008

Fave Trax:: French Reggae/{pinggyback}

August 9, 2008


no, non, no –

needs Best French Reggae Ever.




Rabelais Jokebox

August 9, 2008

Fave track:

Ma’owei Kamberu
Maengket Pisok Lengkoan

13. Maengket: Ma’owei kamberu
Basic text (in Bahasa Tontemboan) provided by Semuel Assa; text-flow markings added by PY.
Winoilan — Oweica
Turuanai lalan karondoran — Oweica
Tayang waya sekaengko-engkolan — Oweica
E mone se-mangale-ngalei wene — Oweica
O Empung Renga-rengan maturu lalan karondoran — Oweica (2x)
Kamangenai se-mangale-ngalei wene — Oweica (2x)
Waya si Opo empangaleyane kamberu owei (2x)
Opo Wailan makakolano imbene owei (2x)
[line missing] (2x)
Pangaleyan imbene imbuena kamberu owei (2x)
O Winoilane oweye
Kamberu Wailane oweye
O Winoilane oweye
Kamberu Wailane oweye
Opo e kamberu weanai — oweye
Waya mangale-ngalei — oweye
Waya mangalei — kamberu owei
Sendo-sendotai — kamberu owei
Wue-wuenai — kamberu owei
Wailan i combak-e — kamberu owei
Waya kumombak-kombak — kamberu owei
Kamberu Wailan kamberu oweye (4x)
Sa maupu imbene kamberu, tiyo paento-entosan kamberu owei (2x)
Sa maupu imbene kamberu, tiyo palenge-lenge en kamberu owei (2x)
Sumempu-sempung waya asi Opo Wailan oweye kamberu oweye (4x)
Si Opo rumekos sumesempung imbene-e owei kamberu (2x)
Tembonai wene kamberu malewuo bene-e owei kamberu (2x)
Wailan paregesan rongkoranai wuena owei kamberu (2x)
Oweyen bene e kamberu e waya si Opo o Wailane (2x)
Kamangenai semangale-ngalei wene waya si Opo o Wailane (2x)
Kekekow e kamberu — Waya kumalekew imbene kamberu
O ya wene sapa sipangaleian — Yande pangaleian kawayaan bene
Wene rendang — wene pondos owei
Wene kulo — wene sumando owei
Wene ruwaticanai — paloyanai owei
Raitoro — wo paentosen owei.

Solids Feeble

August 7, 2008

By way of this New Yorker “Book Bench” post, I found the following excerpt from George Cheyne’s [ancestor of Dick?] The English Malady (1733):

I was born of healthy Parents, in the Prime of their days by disposed to corpulence… I passed my youth in close study … but upon the slightest excesses I always found slippery bowels, or a spitting to be the crise, whence afterwards upon reflection I concluded that my glands were naturally lax and my solids feeble.

Upon my coming to London, I all of a sudden changed my whole manner of living… being naturally of a large size, a cheerful temper, and tolerable lively imagination .. I soon became caressed by them and grew daily in bulk and friendship with these gay gentlemen… and thus constantly dining and supping … my health was in a few years brought into great distress, by so sudden and violent a change. I grew excessively fat, short-breathed, lethargic and listless.

My appetite being insatiable I sucked up and retained the juices and chyle of my food like a sponge and thereby suddenly grew plump, fat, and hale to a wonder, but indeed too fast. However, for near twenty Years, I continued sober, moderate, and plain in my diet and in my greatest health drank not about a quart or 3 pints at most of wine any day … never tasting any supper and at breakfast nothing but green tea, without any eatable, but by these means every dinner necessarily became a surfeit and a debauch, and in ten or twelve years I swelled so such an enormous size that upon my last weighing I exceeded 32 stone. My breath became so short that upon stepping into my chariot quickly and with some effort I was ready to faint away for want of breath and my face turned black…. I was not able to walk above one pair of stairs at a time, without extreme pain and blowing, being forced to ride from door to door in a chariot even here at bath and if I had but an hundred paces to walk was obliged to have a servant follow me holding a stool. About this time, my legs broke out all over in scorbutic ulcers, the ichor of which corroded the very skin where it lay any time and the fore parts of both legs were one continued sore.

Since our wealth has increased and our navigation has been exteneded we have ransasked all the parts of the globe to bring together its whole stock of materials for riot, luxury, and to provoke excess. The tables of the rich and great (and indeed those who can afford it) are furnish’d with provisions of delicacy, number, and plenty, sufficient to provoke, and even gorge, the most large and voluptuous appetite. … Invention is racked to furnish the materials of our food the most delicate and savoury possible: instead of the plain simplicity of leaving the animals to range and feed in their proper element, with their natural nourishment, they are physicked almost out of their lives and made as great epicures as those feeding on them, and by stalling, cramming, bleeding, laming, sweating, purging, and thrusting sown such unnatural and high seasoned foods into them, these nervous diseases are produced in the animals themselves even before they are admitted as food to those who complain of such disorders.


If you don’t have the conversion handy, 32 stone = 448(!) pounds.

I do appreciate his description of imperial epicurean excess & unwholesome pre-Industrial “factory” farming in the last paragraph… though I very much doubt that he would tolerate my insistence that animal husbandry was the sin that cast us out of Eden. One of these days I’ll post selections from the Enuma Elish or the Epic Of Gilgamesh to help make my case…

Apocalypse Quiz

August 7, 2008

Yesterday was the anniversary of “Hiroshima” and yesterday evening I saw commemorative commentary on the Fox News Channel which cued some of my regular thoughts & opinions.

Today on the internet I came across the below item, and (among other things) let it be said that even for the militaristic among us, what was wrong with, for example, the (still maximally “aggressive”) second choice? If you are going to employ the most massive material weapon ever produced by (the) man, which you rightly expect to shock, awe and effect the surrender of the Japanese Emperor, why not drop the first one in an empty field? The fact that this option was passed over, provides fertile avenues of research for aspiring theologians working in the field of dizzying rot-lusting human evil.


The Manhattan Project Poll on the Use of Atomic Weapons, July 1945.

This is the straightforward poll of Compton and Daniels which asked 250 scientists at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory arm of the Manhattan Project in pre-Trinity July, 1945. (Originally published as “A Poll of Scientists at Chicago, July 1945,” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 1948, 44, p63. and again published in Compton’s Atomic Quest in 1956.)  

Which of the following five procedures comes closest to your choice as to the way in which any new weapons that may develop should be used in the Japanese war: (REQUIRED)

1. Use them in the manner that is from the military point of view most effective in bringing about prompt Japanese surrender at minimum human cost to our armed forces.

2. Give a military demonstration in Japan to be followed by renewed opportunity for surrender before full use of the weapon is employed.

3. Give an experimental demonstration in this country, with representatives of Japan present; followed by a new opportunity for surrender before full use of the weapon is employed.

4. Withhold military use of the weapons, but make public experimental demonstration of their effectiveness.

5. Maintain as secret as possible all developments of our new weapons and refrain from using them in this war.

George Colville

August 7, 2008

From the dedication of George Colville’s 1556 translation of The Consolation of Philosophy and, coincidentally, this weblog, too:

“And gentle readers… consyder that my onely purpose was nether for prayse of men, nor for any reward, but to contente the myndes of the wise, and to instructe the ignoraunt vnlearned people with the holesome doctryne of Philosophye, or wysedome, that is conteyned in this boke, and soo to cause men to cesse, and leue of and gape no more soo gredylye as they do for worldlye and transytorye thynges, but to ensue and folowe vertue in godly lyuynge, and fynallye to ascende from this lyfe actyfe in thys worlde, vnto the lyfe contemplatyfe whych neuer shal fayle…”

from H.R. Patch’s The Traditions of Boethius (1935)

Rebellious Jukebox

August 7, 2008
Critatx Raview

Critatx Raview

Eggnogged Out