Archive for November, 2002

Boy Eaten by Python

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

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

War Without Death

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

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.

Artist Objects To His Own Painting’s Title

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

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.”

Ashcroft: Keep Big Brother’s Hands Off the Internet

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002

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.

New Get Your War On

Sunday, November 24th, 2002

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.

Letters to Dubya

Sunday, November 24th, 2002

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.

New Line Has Oscar Hopes for Serkis’ Gollum

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

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…

The Lingering Stench of Tulia

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

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?

Huffington on Pelosi

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

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.”

Ivins on Total Information Awareness and the Poindexter Menace

Thursday, November 21st, 2002

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’.

The Decline and Fall of the F-word

Thursday, November 21st, 2002

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.

Silly Mac Story

Thursday, November 21st, 2002

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

Another Wacko Jacko Photo

Tuesday, November 19th, 2002

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.

Ashcroft Hails ‘Victory’ Over Constitution

Tuesday, November 19th, 2002

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?

Man (and His Sperm) Get Life for Shooting Television

Monday, November 18th, 2002

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.

Al Gore: Not-quite Royalty in Exile

Sunday, November 17th, 2002

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.

Parrish: The Middle East Match Game

Saturday, November 16th, 2002

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

Rice Tapdances on Administration’s ‘War on Terra’ Focus

Saturday, November 16th, 2002

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.

Press Piles on Jacko

Saturday, November 16th, 2002

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.

John Bender’s Switch Ad

Friday, November 15th, 2002

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).