Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Posted by the Bekka

Looking for a little extra cash, World of Warcraft fans? Check out this fascinating article about the future of world commerce...it's video games, just in case you didn't know.

Why Didn't THIS DUDE Replace David Lee Roth?
Posted by Ross

I got this off my writers geek website. It rocks!

Canon in D Guitar

Posted by Raznor

You must, right now, read this post by David Rees.

And on a related note, I love this post by Aaron Freeman:

Only the left respects George Bush. The right insists he is an idiot.

There was never and is to this day not an iota of evidence of any Iraqi threat yet Bush supporters swear "The President was really scared of Saddam." The left respects Bush's intellect. We know he did not think a small, middle eastern country with a ruined economy and a crushed military was primed to attack the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth with the deadliest war machine in history."

Needless to say, there's more - read the rest.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More TV
Posted by Ross

Before we melt into oblivion in front of the warm radioactive glow of the boob tube, let's talk about...

Family Guy

I have TIVO, so I don't always watch shows right when they come out. The Bekka and I watched the "PTV" episode of "Family Guy" last night.

It starts with this extended "outtakes" of Osama's latest terrorist video, laughing when he mis-pronounces Ramadan. And then it quickly becomes a very clever parody of the "Naked Gun" movies. Parody of a parody... only in the cartoons.

Peter's setting up a red carpet in preparation for the Emmys, but Lois won't let him go because they have to go to Meg's boring play. And Peter tries to resist, but Lois quickly overpowers him, putting him in an arm-lock on the floor and making him shout, "I like eating red carpet!" which Quagmire, walking by in his bathrobe, of course, hears, and quickly loses consciousness.

At Meg's boring play, Peter has the clever idea of watching the Emmys on a tiny TV cleverly placed in the afro of the patron in front of him, until he gets up and says, "Excuse me, I gotta go do some black guy stuff."

Peter is crushed when he hears on the news later that on the Emmys, he missed a David Hyde Pierce trouser malfunction in which he exposed his testicles to a stunned audience.

At the TV executive board meeting, the head of the suits proclaims, "Gentlemen, we got 20 calls about the David Hyde Pierce incident, and as you know, one call equals a billion people, which means 20 billion people were offended by this." And then we learn that the chairman of this executive board is none other than Cobra Commander!

And so what happens is the FCC starts censoring everything... from a "Three's Company" topless scene to Ralph Kramden's charming spousal abuse catch phrase.

Brian says, "They're censoring anything that may be viewed as unpleasant."

To which a horrified Peter replies, "What the hell? They let Sarah Jessica Parker on TV and she looks like a foot!"

Monday, November 28, 2005

Talkin' TV
Posted by Ross

From Last Night's "Simpsons"

Mr. Burns and Smithers are leaving the mansion and Burns goes, "Remind me Smithers, while we're out I need to get my eyes re-balled and my brain flushed out with vinegar."

Smithers: Yes, Sir. Oh and your knees will be back from the shop tomorrow.

Burns: Excellent.

Homer had a funny come-on to Marge: Hey good lookin', wanna snuggle with Tyranasaurus sex?

We found out that Sherri and Terri go to twin camp every summer. Which sounds pretty creepy.

We find out Milhouse is Italian and has an Uncle Bastardo. And that his middle name is Mussolini. He's teaching Lisa Italian and tells her that he used to visit Italy every summer for two weeks and that his grandma would beat him if he spoke English. And after a flashback of Grandma Van Houten beating him, Milhouse says, "That's how I learned Italian... and started wetting the bed."

From (I think) Last Week's "Everybody Hates Chris"

The parents are going out on a date they can barely afford and leaving the kids with a baby sitter who's extremely irresponsible.

The dad tells Chris that if they have to come home early from the date he'll be in huge trouble and then hands him a for-emergency-only $10 bill and Chris Rock the narrator goes, "My father believed there was nuthin' $10 couldn't fix."

At the restaurant, there's a huge crowd already there, and Rock says, "Never go out on the day they give out welfare checks."

The baby sitter gets this phone call and then leaves all the kids alone and then comes back with her baby. And then she leaves again and the dad comes over and wants to take the baby. And Chris just gives him the baby even though the guy has no proof he's really the dad. And Rock says, "There ain't no black man pickin' up a baby that ain't his."

From Last Night's "The Boondocks"

It starts in this store where this bratty kid is throwing a tantrum because he wants candy. And his hysterical suburban mother doesn't know what to do and so Granddad muses, "Did you ever try beatin' his ass?" Which, of course, she hasn't. But she sure likes it. You can show practically anything on a cartoon!

Then a ho moves in with Granddad and starts leeching off his money, but Granddad's too much of a dumbass to notice. In the comic right after Katrina, Granddad is freaking out because there's like a 60% chance of rain and so he's trying to evacuate the house, telling the kids, didn't you hear what Kanye West said, Bush hates black people! There was this other time around the SARS outbreak when Granddad has a little cough or something and he's completely freaked out, screaming, "Get the Tussin, boy, I got the SARS!"

One of the funniest parts of the episode is when the boys are trying to convince Granddad the busty young white woman he's dating is really a ho, asking three questions: does she ever duck under a table when a man in a purple suit walks by? And can she run really, really fast in high heels? Yes and yes. The third question, does she ever ask if he's a cop, is answered when she walks into the kitchen and says to Granddad, "You gotta tell me you're a cop or it's entrapment."

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Infamous Vocab Quiz
Posted by Raznor

This has been making the rounds:

I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes.

Of course conservative bloggers are blowing this way out of proportion, but they're conservative bloggers. Blowing stuff way out of proportion is what they do. If not for that, all they'd do is sit at home with a doobie and a bowl of nachos watching Fox News - and we all know how evil marijuana is! But I do have a problem with this question.

Frankly, I have nothing against making fun of the president in a quiz like this, especially if you've already developed a jovial mood with your students regarding politics. But I think it's greatly inappropriate to imply that Republican voters are dumb. Bush is dumb is just canon, but a Republican student reading this, or a student with Republican friends, or any combination, would be quite hurt and offended by this. I say this as both a teacher and a student.

Merely offending students is not enough to merit disciplinary action, and frankly this teacher sounds pretty cool, but I would never write something like this for my students. Frankly this should be something that just blows over, and that this is even something of note for people who live nowhere near where this teacher is is quite ridiculous. But that's my two cents.

. . . I'll add too that it pisses me off that conservative students always seem to go to the media when they're offended. "Oh, you offended my sensibilities - now you've got Fox News and David Horowitz up your ass." What utter bullshit is that?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Posted by Raznor

Gaze ye into his nostrils.

Well, there you go. Also Hermes graduates from his obedience school in two weeks. I'll have a picture of him in his graduation cap, since, as we all know, dogs in hats is automatically adorable.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Random 10
Posted by Raznor

Finally back to this. Hooray. All praise to our mighty leader.

Plus this kinda forces me to do some work for an hour before playng some World of Warcraft. Dog blogging later tonight.

1) "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - Johnny Cash
2) "Born to Run" - Bruce Springsteen
3) "Wasting My Time" - Default (man I haven't listened to these guys in a while - this really is a good song too, you should look it up.)
4) "Lola Stars and Stripes" - The Stills
5) "I Don't Live Today" - Jimi Hendrix
6) "Cocoon" - The Decemberists
7) "I Do Not Want This" - Nine Inch Nails
8) "St. Ides Heaven" - Elliott Smith (I love this song - one of the greatest songs about drug addiction to ever be written. And that's saying a lot)
9) "Bad News and Bad Breaks" - Mighty Mighty BossToneS (wow - Bosstones - wow)
10) "Sunburn" - MUSE (As good a song as any to finish up on)

Well, there you go. Have fun.

Posted by the bekka

On Sunday, November 6, I called my local Kinko's to ask a question. Here is a transcript of the ensuing conversation:

Kinko's guy: "Happy holidays, thank you for calling Kinko's, how may I help you?"
Me: "???????"

And I'm thinking to myself, what holidays? Election day and Veterans' day? Day of the Dead and Eid? And why am I thinking these things? Oh, maybe because...


Since when does Xmas start on November 1? The shopping mall near my home already has its big gaudy tree up, the frame shop is selling stocking stuffers, and I SWEAR I saw a light-up Santa-and-sleigh on a roof near my home...a little over 2 miles away from the Pacific Ocean in sunny Los Angeles, no less. Now that I think of it, I may have been seeing Xmas paraphernalia showing up a ways before Halloween.

Is this all we have to look forward to as a country these days? Or is it the consumer industries pushing for bigger and bigger 4th quarter profits to counterbalance the downward-spiralling economy and take a little more out of the pockets of lower-middle class America for crap they don't need? Hey, as long as it momentarily distracts us from our otherwise meaningless lives, we're willing to pay out the nose for it. Just make sure we don't miss Oprah.

Or, as my husband put it, maybe we need Xmas a little more this year. To which I replied, "In that case, in 2001 Xmas could have started in September and no one would have batted an eyelash."

Look, I DO think we need a little more Christmas this year - every year, but I'm talking about Christmas - not "Xmas" - this commercialized, diluted, Hallmark holiday that turns the seasonal spirit into need, greed, and compulsive pocket-emptying in Jesus' name.

Since I realized I was a secular Jew and began to understand the common human origin of all the holidays falling around the winter solstice, the discrepancy between the "reason for the season" and the actual season itself has become more and more glaring, just fading into the background with all the rest of the hypocrisy and irony of modern American culture. Early human beings without central heating and electricity didn't have much during the deadest of winter, and all they knew was that hopefully the sun would slowly increase its portion of the day, and if they could hold out until that happened, everything would be okay. They lit lights to encourage the sun to come out and to warm their spirits, and revered the trees that remained alive and green year-round. Over time, different tribes began to express their communal winter feelings and experiences in different ways - some of us still light lights, some of us still revere trees, but most of all, we appreciate what we have and maintain hope for the future.

These days, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice - I see them all as essentially the same holiday, arising out of the same basic human needs. This is the "Holiday" that I think of when I wish people to have happy ones. May it be so for all you and yours as we head into dark times and hope for the light to return.

Happy holidays.

Monday, November 14, 2005

More Hilarity
Posted by Raznor

Check out the new Strong Bad E-mail. Best film strip ever.

Pic of the Day
Posted by Raznor

For your viewing pleasure:

Via Oliver Willis.

But wait - that kind of looks like my co-blogger/brother behind that sign!! Oh Ross, why hast thou fallen so . . .

(Okay, so it's not really, but I'm sure Ross and the Bekka will admit it's quite eerie)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Dog Blogging
Posted by Raznor

The ol' sideways glance.

Here's a pic of Hermes on the couch. Yay.

Anyway, happy Veteran's Day.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Reading assignment
Posted by Raznor

If you read just one post about the riots in France, make it this one. Juan Cole, once again, offers a very insightful commentary.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Posted by the Bekka

Is this why my tomato plants didn't grow in 2nd grade?

Turns out the White Christian Majority does endorse evolutionary science...as long as it supports their continued sovereignty of America. Ever heard of the Eugenics Movement? In the infancy of the discovery of heredity (think pea plants) at the beginning of the 20th century, "Scientists" argued that we could selectively breed humans for whatever qualities we preferred! Guess which ones we preferred? Turns out most of the folks that entered in the "Better Babies" and "Fitter Families" contests of the time were...you guessed it...white Christians of Northern European descent. These "discoveries" led to laws restricting immigration (dilution of the pure "American race"), and more laws dictating who could and could not reproduce. This strategy was singularly opposed by the Catholic Church. In yet another bout of irony, the CC suffered greatly during this era after Eugenics' supporters repeatedly accused it of "imposing its religious and moral values on the nation."

With the advent of the Genetics movement, it quickly became clear that heredity was nowhere near as simple as we thought it was, and could no longer reasonably be used to support cultural bias in the name of "Science." That, and a certain mid-century German leader picked up where Eugenics left off to create one of the World's most favoristist wars!

Aaaah, the Eugenics movement. What a great...and embarassing...time for America's Ruling Class!

Fast forward to the late 20th century, when Charles Darwin's theory of Natural Selection is the dominantly accepted theory of evolutionary science, openly conflicting with the beloved mythology of WASP America. Wait a minute, Science! You can't do that! Our kids might question our beliefs - marry an "ethnic" - renounce Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior - and God knows we can't let that happen.

Yup. Once evolutionary science threatens their modus operandi, WASP America gives it the royal kibosh. And they called John Kerry a flip-flopper.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Dog-blogging
Posted by Raznor

Hermes is all sleepy and such

Well, here's Hermes lying in a bed. All cute like and such.

Unfortunately, my iBook has stopped working, so I'm going to have to send it in to get repaired. So no Friday rendom 10. I was totally gonna do it too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Your semantics lesson of the day
Posted by Raznor

From Ampersand:

Until lesbian couples have equal marriage rights, the term is "husband notification." Calling it "spousal" notification is Orwellian; there will never be an instance in which a male "spouse" needs to sign a form swearing he's notified a female "spouse" of his medical decisions.

And via Kevin Drum, Garance Franke-Ruta elaborates:

It is worth noting that at the same time the state of Pennsylvania was arguing that the state had a legitimate interest in compelling a woman to inform her husband before she obtained an abortion, the state declined to make the conceptually similar demand that an HIV-infected man inform his wife that he carried a potentially deadly infectious disease that could be sexually transmitted.

....The overwhelmingly male legislators of the state of Pennsylvania thought it perfectly appropriate to intervene in a woman's marriage and deny her the freedom to make reproductive choices without coercion, threats, or worse from her husband. Judge Samuel Alito agreed with those legislators. And yet, should that same husband carry HIV, the state would have left informing his wife of this fact to his discretion, and would require from him no proof or signed affirmation that he had, in fact, informed her.

And the great Pandamanda adds this:

I will say this much. I'm glad that Casey is the Alito opinion that is drawing so much attention. It's important to remind people that at the base of it, anti-abortion laws are about subjecting female bodily autonomy to male or government control.

I don't think I can sum it up better than that.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Posted by the bekka


(friday, october 28: scooter libby indicted by grand jury investigation)