November 27, 2002

Boy Eaten by Python

From a_stupid_box comes this link: Children Terrified As Python Eats Boy. Nasty stuff.

Posted by jbc at 02:44 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 26, 2002

War Without Death

Yet another really nice link from Janus, this one to Patrick J. Sloyan's article Bodies? What Bodies?, which recounts the extraordinary (and extraordinarily successful) effort on the part of Bush the First to convince the U.S. population that no one actually died in the course of Gulf War I.

Posted by jbc at 05:49 PM | view/comment (6) | TrackBack (0)

Artist Objects To His Own Painting's Title

A funny one from Janus, as reported in's National Post: Artist, Gallery in Row Over Show's Naughty Name. It seems artist Bill Rose created a painting titled, "Any Asshole Can Make Art." Then the James Baird Gallery, with which Rose used to (but no longer does) have a commercial relationship, included the painting in a show the gallery promoted under the same name. Now the artist has hired a lawyer and sent a nastygram to the gallery, alleging that the show's name is "offensive and defamatory."

Posted by jbc at 03:24 PM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

Ashcroft: Keep Big Brother's Hands Off the Internet

From Janus comes this cool piece by then-Senator John Ashcroft, in which he argues that letting the Clinton administration have its way with our online communications would be a tragic undermining of our cherished Constitutional freedoms. It's great stuff -- too bad Ashcroft turns out not to have actually believed any of it.

Posted by jbc at 12:23 PM | view/comment (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 24, 2002

New Get Your War On

The ultra-fine people at Get Your War On have a new installment, this time featuring the U.S. Civil War. My favorite part is the morphing of the clip art, via things like a big 'X' through the telephone and computer, to keep the images historically accurate.

Posted by jbc at 11:03 AM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

Letters to Dubya

McSweeney's (one of the weirder sites on the net, and one I'm pretty sure I would never have seen had it not been for the steady drip of pro-McSweeney propaganda supplied by Janus/onan), has a really interesting page up called Dear Mr. President Letters. Inspired by Gabe Hudson's book Dear Mr. President, the page features reader-submitted letters to dubya. Enjoy.

Posted by jbc at 08:27 AM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 22, 2002

New Line Has Oscar Hopes for Serkis' Gollum

It looks like the Academy will get a chance to make up for their pathetic fuck-up in failing to award the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar to Walsh, Boyens, and Jackson last year (A Beautiful Mind? Hello??), by giving a Best Supporting Actor nomination (or heck; the actual statue) to Andy Serkis for his invisible-yet-destined-to-be-unforgettable portrayal of Gollum in the upcoming TTT. Which is a cool idea: that an actor could be honored for a role in which not one scrap of the actual actor ever appears on screen. Here's hoping, anyway. 26 days and counting...

Posted by jbc at 10:50 AM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

The Lingering Stench of Tulia

Something I find really interesting is the way society and the media conspire to maintain the life-cycle of big exposés. A story breaks, with all its shocking revelations; reporters swoop in, stories get filed, and then what? Maybe some things actually change: laws are passed, powerful people resign their positions, the guilty are punished, the innocent exonerated. Or maybe not. Maybe nothing much at all changes. The cameras and TV lights are boxed up and shipped off somewhere else, the big papers stop covering the story, and the people left behind do their best to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. Or sit in their jail cells counting the months to their hoped-for parole. Anyway, a nice object lesson in all this is a recent story from Nate Blakeslee of the Texas Observer, covering the aftermath of the bogus drug convictions in Tulia, Texas: Can You Hear Me Now?

Posted by jbc at 10:26 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Huffington on Pelosi

Arianna Huffington caught Nancy Pelosi on the Sunday talk shows, and wasn't particularly impressed with the House Minority Leader-elect. "Gone was the bold, combative, impassioned, progressive politician we've come to know... In her place was a soulless pod person -- an empty shell mouthing the kind of pallid, inoffensive, focus group-tested and cringe-inducing platitudes that have driven two-thirds of the American electorate away from politics."

Posted by jbc at 07:53 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 21, 2002

Ivins on Total Information Awareness and the Poindexter Menace

Molly Ivins offers some scary-sounding commentary on John Poindexter's plan to help the government mine all our private data, and the whole slippery-slope thing, and the curious irony that liberals, rather than conservatives, are now the ones most concerned with avoiding foreign adventures and limiting the power of big government. She also references the f-word, though in her case the word is 'fascism'.

Posted by jbc at 06:21 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Decline and Fall of the F-word

The Guardian has an interesting piece on the growing acceptance in Britain of the word fuck. My favorite head-scratch-inducing quote: "In research, 50% or more people said the words that should never be broadcast are cunt, motherfucker, nigger, Paki and spastic. Young women also don't like whore, slag and twat. But fuck wasn't on the list." Spastic? Anyway, thanks to plastic for the link.

Posted by jbc at 05:14 PM | view/comment (5) | TrackBack (0)

Silly Mac Story

Slow day for falsehoods, but in the meantime, Janus sent me this cute story: Mac User Finally Just Up And Smacks Someone.

Posted by jbc at 11:28 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 19, 2002

Another Wacko Jacko Photo

Not content with frightening children with his face, Michael Jackson has apparently taken to dangling toddlers from fourth-floor balconies. Update: More details, for those so inclined. Later: Jackson, under heavy criticism, calls dangling the infant from the balcony a horrible mistake.

Posted by jbc at 03:25 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ashcroft Hails 'Victory' Over Constitution

What is the sound of one-half a brain clapping? Attorney General John Ashcroft called a press conference yesterday to celebrate what he called a "major victory" in the War on Terra: the decision, by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, to grant the FBI broad powers to wiretap phones and search homes and computers, setting aside all that pesky Fourth Amendment stuff, as long as the FBI alleges some sort of vague, unspecified connection between the target and international terror. The ACLU is upset, but due to the special rules surrounding the terrorism court, it appears that its decision can't even be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wow. With victories like this, who needs defeats?

Posted by jbc at 07:21 AM | view/comment (4) | TrackBack (0)

November 18, 2002

Man (and His Sperm) Get Life for Shooting Television

A story that for some reason winds up being more interesting to me than the sum of its parts: William Reno Gerber is serving a life sentence under California's three strikes law for shooting his television. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to the appeals court ruling that decreed he could not mail his sperm to his wife, in order for her to be artificially inseminated.

Posted by jbc at 05:44 PM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 17, 2002

Al Gore: Not-quite Royalty in Exile

Al Gore is in the news. First, a poll of Democratic National Committee members shows only tepid support for a Gore presidential run in 2004 - though Gore still outpaces any Democratic alternative. (Personally, I just want him to run so I can put a "Re-elect Gore" bumper sticker on my car.) More interesting is the Washington Post's look at what Gore's life has been like over the last few years: Mr. Resident.

Posted by jbc at 07:41 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 16, 2002

Parrish: The Middle East Match Game

A nice reality check from Geov Parrish on just what we're about to start in Iraq: Match Game.

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Rice Tapdances on Administration's 'War on Terra' Focus

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice had a tough outing with reporters yesterday. In the course of a press conference touting the administration's progress in the War on Terra, she was put on the defensive (stupid L.A. Times login required; cypherpunk98/cypherpunk works) by repeated questions about whether the President isn't just a bit too preoccupied with occupying the Iraqi oil fields, especially in light of the reappearance of Osama bin Laden and new warnings about resurgent al Qaeda activity. Among the silly and/or mutually contradictory assertions made by Rice: the President starts his day focused on anti-terra activity, and only switches to Iraq after he's had his coffee; the U.S. is making great strides in combatting al Qaeda, although the level of risk we face is essentially unchanged since Sep. 11, 2001; and there really are substantial links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, despite the fact that no one outside the administration even pretends to believe that these days.

Posted by jbc at 07:03 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Press Piles on Jacko

The gloves (well, glove, and surgical mask, too) are off, apparently, as the world media goes nuts over Michael Jackson's face. As in this story from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, titled But can Michael Jackson recall the details of his nose? I realize I did the very same thing here on the instant I saw that first day's photo, but I thought real-life news outlets would have a touch more decorum. Silly me. Update: Here's another story, from Reuters, with expert analysis from a panel of plastic surgeons. Eesh.

Posted by jbc at 06:29 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 15, 2002

John Bender's Switch Ad

One of the better parodies of Apple's Switch campaign is offered up by U.S.-born John Bender, who became a Canadian in 1996 and is never going back. Courtesy of Janus (who is actually onan).

Posted by jbc at 11:31 AM | view/comment (5) | TrackBack (0)

MPAA: Soderbergh Can Have Clooney's Ass AND PG-13 Rating

On appeal, the MPAA has decided that the depiction of George Clooney's bare bottom in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming film Solaris does not justify an R rating after all. CNN's version of the headline: George Clooney Butt Gets PG-13.

Posted by jbc at 07:16 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Freund on Aghajari

Reason's Charles Paul Freund has a nice piece on Hashem Aghajari, an Iranian academic who gave a lecture in June calling for political reform and religious renewal, and asking his fellow Iranians not to blindly follow the religious authorities. As a result, he has been jailed, convicted of apostasy, and sentenced to be hanged. Thanks to Hiro for the link.

Posted by jbc at 05:59 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 14, 2002

Gulf War Movie Poster

Mad Magazine, it looks like, should get credit for the original creation, but in the meantime Hiro's hosting a copy of the very scary/funny movie poster for Gulf War II: Clone of the Attack. Coming soon to a Persian Gulf near you!

Posted by jbc at 04:51 PM | view/comment (4) | TrackBack (0)

Clinton Vindicated

Apparently Clinton's critical mistake was failing to be president of Taiwan. A group of sixty Taiwanese judges has met and concluded that oral sex is not sex, and does not constitute adultery.

I am reminded of the words of the late J. Edgar Hoover: "I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce."

Posted by onan at 02:11 PM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

That's a nice name, stop using it

Define Irony: Bill Wyman suing Bill Wyman for using the name Bill Wyman. The catch is, 'Bill Wyman' isn't Bill Wyman's real name -- Bill Wyman was born with it before Bill Wyman started using it. (as seen on slashdot)

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Lord of the Peeps

Between serial viewings of the FOTR extended edition DVD, and crossing off days until TTT debuts on December 18, I somehow found time to check out Lord of the Peeps: The Fellowship of the Peep.

Posted by jbc at 01:29 PM | view/comment (6) | TrackBack (0)

Safire: All Your Data Are Belong to Poindexter

William Safire has a New York Times op-ed piece called You Are a Suspect, in which he screams bloody murder about one of the riders tacked onto the President's Homeland Security Act. Specifically, a rider that gives the Strangelove-ian John Poindexter, late of the Iran-Contra scandal and now head of the Defense Department's "Information Awareness Office," a large wheelbarrow-full of money to set up a master database linking every conceivable piece of information about every American, for convenient data-mining by the government.

Posted by jbc at 10:44 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 13, 2002

Michael Jackson Testifies

Appearing in a packed courtroom to testify about his failure to perform a 1999 concert, Michael Jackson must have elicited audible gasps from the gallery when he removed a surgical mask to reveal the latest incarnation of his face. And no, I will not be devoting a wiki page to subsequent appearances.

Posted by jbc at 04:46 PM | view/comment (13) | TrackBack (0)

Onion: Beltway Sniper Game Release Delayed Out of Respect for Victims

The Onion continues to be a beacon of sanity in an insanse world. Thanks to Jason for the link.

Posted by jbc at 11:33 AM | view/comment (7) | TrackBack (0)

Parrish on the Uncle oSAMa Poster

Geov Parrish offers some interesting observations on's Uncle oSAMa poster, which depicts a finger-pointing bin Laden encouraging the U.S. to invade Iraq.

Posted by jbc at 09:23 AM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 12, 2002

How to Shoot Heroin

Courtesy of Hiro: "This information is only for kids who are smart and mature enough to respect the dangers involved with injecting heroin..."

Posted by jbc at 06:13 PM | view/comment (47) | TrackBack (0)

November 10, 2002

Looking at Meat

Michael Pollan has a cool piece in the latest New York Times Magazine, called An Animal's Place (stupid mandatory login required, cypherpunk98/cypherpunk works for now). In it he talks about factory farming, the animal rights movement, and the various ways in which one can try to combine meat-eating with a moral existence in early twenty-first century America. Cool followup reading I stumbled upon while Googling for the author's name includes Power Steer, an earlier NYT Magazine piece where the author follows the life of a particular bovine, and, where you can arm yourself to take on the CAFOs of the world (that's "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation"). Bon appetit.

Posted by jbc at 07:11 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 08, 2002

TTT Tops Norway Box Office - Six Weeks Before Opening

Those Norwegians are smart cobbers. They've snapped up so many advance tickets to the as-yet-agonizingly-unreleased The Two Towers that it is the #1 film in the country, beating out all the crappy stuff currently showing in the cinemas. Bring it on!

Posted by jbc at 05:41 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 07, 2002

Hooooom Hmmmm, Treebeard...

Just because a) I can't resist posting a Lord of the Rings link that jbc missed and b) jbc has been distracted from his TT obsession by a well-dressed criminal -- I now bring you a nice picture of Treebeard courtesy of, what appears to be a french-language fantasy news site. Surprisingly, I actually think he looks pretty respectable.

Posted by ymatt at 09:44 PM | view/comment (3) | TrackBack (0)

S&M Barbie Legal, Court Rules

The relentless encroachment of corporate intellectual property rights hit a snag Monday when a New York judge ruled that Mattel cannot block a British woman from selling "Dungeon Barbie" on a web site that specializes in adult paraphernalia, because the use clearly is intended as parody. Nice.

Posted by jbc at 04:11 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Soderbergh: The MPAA Can Have George Clooney's Butt When They Pry It From My Cold, Dead Fingers

Another round in the culture wars: Director Steven Soderbergh wants a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for his upcoming sci-fi film Solaris; they counter that a scene showing George Clooney's ass earns the film an R. So Soderbergh is taking his case to the public, arguing that the ratings board is employing a double standard (since women's butts don't result in R ratings). How about it, ladies? How significant is a 40-foot-wide image of George Clooney's bare bottom?

Posted by jbc at 03:54 PM | view/comment (11) | TrackBack (0)

Terrifica vs. Fantastico

I would have figured this story was completely fictional, but I dunno; ABC News? Anyway, do not miss the tale of Terrifica, a pretty New Yorker who puts on a red leotard and hits the city's bar and party scene, helping protect young, drunk women from the men who would take advantage of them. And then there's her arch-nemesis, a suave sexual predator who likes to wear velvet and calls himself "Fantastico." It just gets better and better.

Posted by jbc at 01:11 PM | view/comment (5) | TrackBack (0)

Arianna Smacks Terry McAuliffe Around

Arianna Huffington, continuing to make me, against all my better judgement, like her, offers this insightful commentary on the beleagured head of the Democratic National Committee: Bring me the head of Terry McAuliffe!.

Posted by jbc at 12:12 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 06, 2002

Winona Day X: Maroon and a Verdict

Winona's in dark maroon today, with some odd-looking shoes; see photos on the wiki's WinonaRyderOnTrial page. We've also got a verdict, reportedly, to be announced by late morning. Update: Guilty on the grand theft and vandalism charges; not guilty on burglary. Sentencing set for December 6.

Posted by jbc at 12:22 PM | view/comment (2) | TrackBack (0)

Brits Scandalized by Hospital Sex

I continue to be entertained by the British. From The Straits Times, via Hiro, comes an article about an apparently dead-serious study on "Violence, Disorder and Incivility in British Hospitals." Titled Sex on the Wards, the article focuses on the racier stuff from the report, but it also includes such shocking revelations as a female patient who took a call on her cell phone in the midst of a gynecological exam. The horror!

Posted by jbc at 12:07 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Conason: Democrats Have No One to Blame But Themselves

One of the better pieces on the midterm fallout that I've seen this morning is this one, from Salon's Joe Conason: No Excuses.

Posted by jbc at 11:17 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dubya Kicks Demo Butt

Soundly trouncing his detractors in the Democratic party, Bush carried his chosen senators and governors to victory last night, re-establishing GOP control of the Senate, and paving the way for two years of serious political ass-whuppin', Texas style. Sigh. Elections suck.

Posted by jbc at 09:59 AM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 05, 2002

Winona Day IX: Low-Key

We're back to the dark jacket look (or perhaps it's a dark dress that just looks like a jacket) at the Winona Ryder trial. See the wiki's WinonaRyderOnTrial page for the latest images and commentary. Today is jury-deliberation day, with the possibility of a verdict before the day is over. My prediction: a guilty verdict, followed by a sentence involving probation, fine, and counseling, but no jail time. But I think an actual stay behind bars is still a possibility, if the judge decides to try to set the little lady straight and scare her away from future acts of self-destruction. Update: No verdict today (Tuesday); jury to return tomorrow for more deliberations.

Posted by jbc at 12:57 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 04, 2002

U.S. Blows Up Yemeni Bad Guys

U.S. military forces (actually, the CIA, it turns out) apparently used a missile to blow up a car in Yemen early today, thereby killing six people, at least one of whom was believed to have been a high-ranking al Qaeda member. Welcome to the doctrine of pre-emption.

Posted by jbc at 03:53 PM | view/comment (3) | TrackBack (0)

Solomon on the Branding of Warfare

Norman Solomon has a nice piece over at Working for Change called Branding new and improved wars, about the careful attention politico-military types give these days to choosing catchy names like "Enduring Freedom" for their activities.

Posted by jbc at 02:34 PM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

Winona Day VIII: White Again, Hooray!

Winona returns to an outfit reminiscent of the white-dress stunner of October 16. Photos and commentary in the wiki's WinonaRyderOnTrial page. Update: The defense rests, with no calling of Winona to testify on her own behalf. The prosecution has given its closing statement; the defense's closing statement is expected later today. Later: Some interesting bits about the closing statements are in this Associated Press article. Judge's instructions and jury deliberation tomorrow.

Posted by jbc at 12:26 PM | view/comment (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 03, 2002

GOP, Dems Both Predict Victory

The heads of the both the Democrat and Republican Senate campaign committees appeared on CNN Saturday, with each predicting that his party would win a Senate majority on Tuesday. One of them is wrong, obviously, and while I suppose it's possible that that one just has bad poll data, I think it's much more likely that he already knows his side is going to lose, and is just whistling past the graveyard. Tune in Tuesday to find out which one he is. The article also talks about Clinton's campaigning in Florida yesterday on behalf of Jeb-challenger Bill McBride, and mentions that Al Gore will be doing the same today and tomorrow. Mmm. Gore campaigning against Jeb in Florida. This could be good.

Posted by jbc at 01:24 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 02, 2002

The Gray Lady Does Winona

Just when you thought it was safe, with the trial on hold for the weekend, here comes even more Winona coverage. Specifically, check out this nice article from the New York Times: For the Ryder Trial, a Hollywood Script. It gives a good summary of where things stand currently, along with some speculation about why someone like Winona would have shoplifted.

Posted by jbc at 08:27 AM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 01, 2002

Winona Day VII: Same Look, Different Day

Today's look from Winona (see the bottom of the wiki's WinonaRyderOnTrial page) is nearly indistinguishable from yesterday's, at least based on the two photos that have come out so far. It's a different dark coat over the top, and looks like a dark sweater, rather than a dark jacket, in the middle layer, but the shirt could be the same one as yesterday's, and the purse is the same, too. Haven't seen the pants yet. I wonder if this reflects a growing recognition on Winona's part of the seriousness of what she's involved in here. When defending yourself against charges that you're clothes-crazy enough to go shoplifting stuff you could easily have just purchased, maybe the wearing of wackily different outfits each day of the trial hurts more than helps.

Posted by jbc at 04:00 PM | view/comment (0) | TrackBack (0)