Here’s an interesting example of how our collective memory is subject to the steady, ongoing erosion of the rough edges indicative of actual truth, leaving behind the smoother surface of something not quite as true, but more consistent with the mental models we employ in our ever-failing quest to hang onto meaning. Or something like that. Anyway, check out this story about a U.S. poster company’s decision to airbrush out the cigarette in Paul’s hand in recent versions of the image from the Abbey Road cover. I also came across this nice little montage that includes the original as well as other shots from the same photo session.
Archive for January, 2003
This isn’t exactly breaking news, but when I heard about it I just had to share: A man is facing contempt of court charges for writing “Bullsh*t F*cking ticket” in the Memo box of his check when paying a traffic fine. The same judge has charged at least 2 other people for similar reasosns recently. You can follow the story in
or from the AP (via CNN).
Although not internet related, I was in the middle of my normal Sunday newspaper reading yesterday when I turned to page 2 of the LA Times business section and found a quarter page ad from the CIA looking for Patriotic Arab Americans to join them to help save the world from the Axis of Evil! What, they don’t need caucasian folks to help infiltrate Osama’s close circle of advisors?
I missed this when it came out earlier this week, but better late than never: Ted Rall gives props to Illinois governor George Ryan over his end-of-term action to empty the state’s death row. I especially like the comparison of Ryan’s conscience to that of Bush, who when he was governor “allocated a mere 15 minutes to consider the fate of each inmate, on a work schedule which allotted up to two hours to playing video games.” That’s my dubya.
So it seems that some folks are a bit irritated with the Miller brewing company over their recent ad depicting two women in their underwear brawling over why they like Lite beer from Miller. I’m just curious to see if these are the same women that sit glued in front of all the Bachelor shows every week where 20 women chase after the same man.
Ach. Apparently the lovely Miranda Otto got married in an unpublicized ceremony on New Year’s Day. Congratulations to the happy couple, wishing you every joy, yadda yadda yadda.
As originally covered by lies.com back in May of 2002, Nike was slapped down by the California Supreme Court for claiming that falsehoods the company told about the sweatshops it runs in the Third World were Constitutionally protected free speech, rather than advertising, which would be subject to truth-in-advertising laws. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Nike’s appeal of that decision. What do you think: Could the current U.S. Supreme Court rule that businesses have a Constitutionally protected right to lie to consumers? Oh, yeah. You betcha.
So, CNN is running a story that recounts how the U.S. (along with our British lapdogs) has been bombing an area south of Baghdad for the last six days. The Pentagon refers to the strikes as “defensive” in nature (and who am I to argue; for all I know that patch of smoking rubble was fully intending to up and invade Malibu before they stopped it). Meanwhile, the L.A. Times has a piece about how the U.S. is seeking to tone down the drums of war. Which raises an interesting question: If we can be bombing the fuck out of Iraq at the same time we’re assuring everyone that we’re going to hold off for now on the actually-going-to-war thing, how will I know when the war has actually begun? My theory: war will officially have started on the day when dubya makes a nationally televised speech in which he displays signs of sexual arousal while stating that “the liberation of Iraq has begun.”
I’m not sure you all will find it interesting, but that’s never stopped me before, has it? Anyway, Hiro got on one of his intellectual jags yesterday, and the result is a little piece on the United States national debt. Enjoy.
Now that we’ve got that pesky TTT thing out of the way, it’s time to initiate the final countdown to ROTK. And what better way to whet your appetite than with a dozen images, posted on the Web by some calendar company, then taken down again, but still available thanks to the tireless obsessives at theonering.net. Among other goodness we’ve got Frodo in Shelob’s lair, Eowyn radiant in the morning sun atop the walls of the Houses of Healing (or at Edoras, maybe, not that it matters; it’s still Eowyn), and Denethor tasting the bitterness in the cup he mixed for himself. Yes, it’s going to be a long year. Update: Hi-res versions of the some of the images now available (though not Eowyn, dammit): Aragorn, Gollum, Gandalf, Arwen, and Frodo & Sam
Ted Rall offers up some more chilling details on the Iraq-oil connection, and the similarities between the Iraq invasion to come and the Afghanistan invasion just ended. When all this comes to pass according to his predictions, don’t say you didn’t have fair warning, okay?
George II’s administration appears to have decided that the public doesn’t really have sufficient need-to-know about layoff statistics.
By fascinating coincidence, George I made precisely the same decision of non-necessity when accused of economy-buggery. It was only that pesky Clinton who reinstated the publication in the meantime.
Let’s start off the week right, shall we? From Janus comes word of this really cool legal filing from 1993, in which a U.S. district judge responded to certifiable nut-job Teri Smith Tyler’s claims that she was owed $5 billion in damages for various horrific actions taken by various public figures. My favorite part is where Tyler asserts that Gulf War I was undertaken so the U.S. could restock its sexual slavery camps, and she quotes Dick Cheney as saying, “Well, we were so sick and tired of killing black girls. We just had to put some variety back into our death-hunting industry. And they (Persians) are incredibly beautiful. The beauty of the face heightens the pleasure of the kill. I know of no higher pleasure than the gang-rape of exceedingly beautiful people.” I can totally imagine Dick Cheney saying something like that.
I’m not sure what it is about St. Louis, but in the same way that all the loose screws in the country seem to have rattled their way to the edges, where they make life colorful in California and New York, the dim bulbs who want to force their absurdly narrow moral constraints on everyone else seem gravitationally bound to the heartland. It’s probably just a perceptual bias on my part (linking dorks like John Ashcroft with their Missouri locale, while treating those from, say, Orange County, California, as exceptions that “prove the rule”), but there it is: another story that reinforces my pre-existing bias against the middle of the country. Some parents in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles are outraged, it seems, because a parent volunteer who accompanied a bunch of fourth graders on a field trip was not really the tastefully dressed mom that clothing, hair and makeup seemed to indicate. He was a tastefully dressed transsexual dad (stupid L.A. Times login required; cypherpunk98/cypherpunk worked last time I tried). Ohmygod! The horror! True, none of the kids or teachers, or most of the other parent volunteers, cared (or even noticed, in many cases), but at least one of the other parents did, and got his or her panties in such a bunch that the matter has now spread to the local school board, where one boardmember is pushing for the passing of a new policy requiring all parent volunteers to wear “gender-appropriate” clothing at all school functions.
Ever the canny manipulators of public opinion, the U.S. war-planning apparatus has found a suitably named general to lead the assault on Iraq: Lieutenant General William Wallace. As recounted in a news report from the New Zealand Herald, Wallace would likely lead the ground attack in a future US/Iraq war. Which conjures up all sorts of wacky mental images. Like, General Wallace, his face streaked with blue paint, exhorting the grunts with stirring phrases like, “You have come here today as not-quite-free men, and not-quite-free men you are. What will you do with that not-quite-freedom?” Or maybe, “…and dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our freedom, but they’ll never take… our oil! Mobil!! Exxon!!”