Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Experimental Friday Video Dog-blogging
Posted by Raznor

Well, you can view my battle with Hermes here.

Friday Random 10 - with coolness self-audit
Posted by Raznor

Yes the Friday Random 10 is back. A requisite praise of our leader, plus a coolness self-audit, a la Norbizness. Here we go:

1) "Mariner's Revenge Song" - the Decemberists 10/10, it's indie rockish plus a fucking epic awesome song, and Petra Hayden sings the voice of the mother, it doesn't get much cooler than that.
2) "Equus" - Blonde Redhead 10/10 - another indie band, a unique sound, an awesome song, who shares a title with an amazing Peter Shaffer play. I'm getting lucky early on in this one.
3) "Glorious #1" - Remy Zero 7/10 - Remy Zero seems to be a 5/10 band in general, but anything on The Golden Hum, as it is a concept album, gets an instant +2. Kind of like how The Who are in general 6/10, but anything on The Who Sell Out gets a base score of 8/10, and - depending on the song - if it's Petra Hayden doing it accopello, then it can be as high as 9/10.
4) "10th Avenue Freezeout" - Bruce Springsteen 4/10 - if not for the fact that Bruce Springsteen is among the rockingest people to exist this would be 2/10 tops. "Jungleland" is the primary reason why Born to Run remains a great album overall.
5) "The End of an Act" - Team America 9/10. The "Pearl Harbor sucks and I miss you" song. Nothing this funny can be uncool.
6) "Warning Sign" - Born Jamericans 3/10. It's a great song, but Reggae has kind of left it's "cool" period and into it's "music conoisseur" period. In 20 years it'll be kitsch.
7) "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" - Prince 5/10. Prince is an automatic 7/10, but the only thing I have of his is a box set of hits, as opposed to actual Prince albums so I must take 2 points off in penance.
8) "Mary's Place" - Bruce Springsteen 6/10. A normal 7/10, -1 for repeating artists. I do have 2 days of music on my computer now, but I still need to add more. (note: as I started this I had this worth 5/10, then as the awesome conclusion came in and I realized just how fucking awesome this song is, I upped it a point)
9) "Someone's Coming" - The Who 8/10. Remember what I said about The Who Sell Out? Well it turned out to apply to this random 10. Who knew?
10) "Red Rain" - The White Stripes 10/10. And we finish the random 10 on a totally awesome note. The guitar part of this song is worth 9 cool points on it's own.

So I score 7.2/10. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Dog-blogging later tonight.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Quote of the day
Posted by Raznor

From Greg Saunders:

If we're gonna play the "I wish Michael Brown was _____" game, I'm gonna vote for Moses. If Moses were in charge of FEMA, he would have just parted those flood waters instead of just standing around like a fucking doofus.

Republicans and Abortion
Posted by Raznor

Scott Lemieux has a great post on abortion that is worth a read. I'm struck, though, by this excerpt from the GOP platform (emphasis Lemieux's):

We must keep our pledge to the first guarantee of the Declaration of Independence. That is why we say the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children. Our purpose is to have legislative and judicial protection of that right against those who perform abortions. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life.

We oppose abortion, but our pro-life agenda does not include punitive action against women who have an abortion. We salute those who provide alternatives to abortion and offer adoption services, and we commend Congressional Republicans for expanding assistance to adopting families and for removing racial barriers to adoption.

Look at that. As Lemieux points out, if the unborn are given equal protection under the law, then by definition, abortion is first-degree murder. Yet they are not for punishing women who have abortions. What kind of bullshit is that?

I'm reminded of a video I saw online a couple months ago (can't seem to find the link, maybe I'll post it later) where people picketing an abortion clinic were asked whether they thought abortion should be legal and then what they thought should happen to women who had illegal abortions. The answer to the first question was a resounding "Hell, yes!!" and to the second question a resounding "err -umm - like a punishment? Errrrr, well, I dunno. nothing?"

It's a childish position. Their reasoning is "abortion is icky, therefore it oughta be illegal". But they have no thoughts whatsoever as to the consequences of making it illegal. And unfortunately, thanks to this complete lack of responsibility, they are mindlessly getting closer to achieving their goals.

The new Republican slogan "we do what we want and to hell with the repercussions". It would be fine if they weren't running the government.

On Nostalgia, Laziness, Greed and the Need for a Paradigm Shift

Posted by Ross

“I long for a past that only exists in the minds of we Republicans.” - Ned Flanders

Nostalgia. That sickening bittersweet longing for a simpler time, when things were… better. When everyone was happy and prosperous, when human advances hadn’t created heretofore unimagined ethical and moral dilemmas that place us on increasingly uncomfortable ground, challenging us to (say it ain’t so!) slightly alter the way we live and look at the world.

NPR's Morning Edition did a series a few months ago in which they ascertained some of the driving forces behind the non-wealthy voting block that put George Bush into office for a second term. These are the hard-working, lower middle-class, generally God-fearing middle of the country Americans who care little for tax cuts for the wealthy, who know very little about international matters, who are most concerned with the here and now, who are afraid that current trends will damn and destroy their way of life.

And I hesitate to even use the term “they” in describing those who long for a simpler time, because, in actual fact, nostalgia is a condition that is deeply entrenched into the human experience. It’s in our literature, in our religions, in our governments. And the prevailing theme of nostalgia is: things used to be better.

So the question remains, how great were things back then?

In the 1950s, for example, the Republicans were running things in the White House, and the economy was growing as the Greatest Generation, after saving the world from the Nazis, focused its attention on fueling the workforce. And they were fruitful. And they multiplied.

But all this growth went completely unchecked, still fueled by that age-old Manifest Destiny that somehow made us Americans entitled to take and take and take. Of course Americans are hardly alone in this, for that’s the way the world has been going ‘round for thousands of years as we humans pass on our wit and cunning, our mastery over the elements and other animals, to generation after generation. And as we become better skilled at surviving in this vast, indifferent universe, we start to focus on the amassment of wealth.

Think of it, billions of humans clog this planet like a blocked artery, and each and every one of them longs to amass wealth. Sure plenty of them, thanks to repressive governments or a restrictive social order, or just plain bad luck, will never get the opportunity, but they all want to. And the sad truth is that there is not enough wealth to go around. Not by our current standards of wealth, in which the richest amongst us live in compounds behind wrought iron gates that keep out the desperate masses.

And look what has happened to this planet in the name of progress. The internal combustion engine and other fossil fuel burning developments have poisoned our planet for generations to come. Our unchecked population growth has brought millions upon millions into our filthy cities looking for a way to improve their lives. We have massive populations living in scorched hellholes and submerged sinkholes, we live along unstable coastlines and faultlines, we pave over our rivers; dams damn our ecosystems, our toxins poison our water and wildlife, which in turn poison us.

In the name of progress, we forget our place. We forget that, even inside our skyscrapers and our luxury SUVs and our Bel Air compounds, we still are biological beings living in the natural world. And that’s what disasters like the Southeast Asian Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina should have taught us, and what the next big one here in Southern California invariably will teach us: that the awesome might of nature will ultimately destroy us all, be it by storm, quake, meteor or just the simple fact that we are biological beings who one day must die.

In his book Hocus Pocus Kurt Vonnegut blamed laziness and greed as the reasons we humans failed, even though we had it within our capabilities to change, to help this diseased planet heal its wounds so that it may continue to provide oxygen and food and shelter for we meek, fragile human beings.

Soon, probably as soon as Bush leaves office, we will no longer be able to deny human activity is responsible for the gradual warming of this planet which will continue to cause new environmental challenges. And it won’t be a "Day After Tomorrow" scenario, where one day everything’s swell, and the next, Jake Gyllenhaal is fighting off blood-thirsty CGI timber wolves on some mid-town Manhattan oil barge. In a way, this is a shame, because if such a thing were to happen, a paradigm shift would be inevitable.

Perhaps what will happen, instead, is that the climate will continue to change in its gradual sort of way, the environment will continue to grow in its toxicity in its gradual sort of way, and the desperate plight for fossil fuels will shift to an even more desperate plight for clean drinking water.

Not that we can’t still hope for a Roddenberry-type future where technology helps heal the earth and we can expand beyond our planet. Of course, we could also have an Asimov-type future where humanity expands to all corners of the universe, leaving planet Earth a toxic, uninhabitable wasteland.

Or we can simply say, the past was fine, dandy, great even, but maybe all that unchecked growth, all that wasteful devouring of our precious resources in the ephemeral pursuit of wealth that has been going on for millennia, maybe all that was kind of shitty.

And then maybe we can speak with one voice: The time for a paradigm shift is now.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday Dog-Blogging
Posted by Raznor

Hermes and me.

I wanted to do a video dog blog, but wasn't able to figure out how to do that yet. Hopefully next week.

Now bed.

How many nuts can I get in the dirty sanchez?

Posted by Ross

A-dub over at The Worst Blog of All-Time has laid out a fascinating, possibly revolutionary expose on some unfortunately-named ice cream flavors. So after getting your chuckles here at Raznor, have yourself a read.

Robertson to start line of Christian-themed adult videos

Posted by Ross

Sick and tired of all the immoral, debased, socially destructive pornography saturating the marketplace, anti-smut crusador Pat Robertson has a plan that will once and for all put all those sleaze merchants out of business and restore righteous Christian values to the porn industry.

"How many times has this happened to you?" Robertson asked. "You've just spent the last eight hours ranting against the gays, the harlots and the activist judges. You finally find yourself alone with a bottle of hand lotion, so you flip on a video. Maybe it's the one with the lonely housewife who's got a leak under her sink. You know the rest: she calls the plummer and before you can recite the sixth commandment, well, you know... and the whole thing, it's a desecration to all that's good and holy!"

Which is why Robertson is introducing a new line of Christian-themed adult videos. "No longer will the consumer of adult material have his immortal soul tormented by a shoddily-produced video that glorifies carnal sin and hot adulterous action," Robertson said.

The new line of videos, called "Uncle Pat's Boner Jamboree", will be sold exclusively through ads on his Christian Broadcasting Network. "From 'Garden of Eden Gangbang' to 'Help Me Procreate, My Wife's a Pillar of Salt!' to 'Noah's Naughty Ark,' we've got enough titles to have you popping your rock until the third cumming!" Robertson proclaimed.

"Plus," he added with a wink and a grin as dollar signs appeared in each of his beady little eyes and the sound of a cash register dinging could be heard in the distance, "only by purchasing selected 'Uncle Pat's Boner Jamboree' titles can you be assured an eternity free of hellfire."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

President Bush: There is no God

Posted by Ross

Few politicians, certainly in modern history, have reaped more success from invoking the name of the Almighty than George W. Bush. This raises the following questions:

1) Does the President, as a member of the cultural elite of this country, simply have a direct line to the great granddad in the sky?
2) Is the President violating the Third Commandment, in which, "yadda yadda Lord's name in vain yadda yadda"?

It turns out, the answer is, "None of the above."

"My good friend Pat Robertson once told me," the President said, "if ever you want something, I mean really, really, really want something, just tell the people God or Jesus or the holy ghost are actually the ones who want it. Because, as Patty says, 'Who's gonna argue with what Jesus wants?'

"Course you know an' I know that God probably doesn't really believe in the neocon agenda," the President continued, "but that's only cuz there is no God. All there is is this life on earth an' the only thing I really care about is getting as much as I can for me an' all my buddies while I'm still here.

"I mean," the President went on, "there's literally billions of people on this planet who I've never met. Fuck them in their little dirt hovels dying from their extreme poverty and repressive governments, from their malnutrition and AIDS. In fact, come to think of it, fuck all the poor huddled masses in this country yearning to something something. I'm rich. That's how it's always been and that's how it'll always be."

The President then added he would by "praying" for the soon-to-be victims of Hurricane Rita.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Posted by the Bekka
(Incidentally, it annoys the Bekka it when people say stuff like, "Freud teaches us...," and "We learn about the miracle of birth from...")

I took this killer Social Psych class this past summer. In a chapter entitled "The Need to Justify Our Actions: Maintaining a Stable, Positive Self-Image," our texbook discussed an interesting passage from a book entitled Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World after 9/11. I've been meaning to post it for some time now. Please to enjoy:

"Thomas Friedman, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist and one of our nation's most astute observers of the Middle East...suggests that there are thousands of young Muslim men all over the Middle east and Europe who are suffering from a loss of dignity. According to Friedman, these young men were:

taught from youth in the mosque that theirs is the most complete and advanced form of the three monotheistic faiths - superior to both Christianity and Judaism - yet who become aware that the Islamic world has fallen behind both the Christian West and the Jewish state in education, science, democracy, and development. This produces a cognitive dissonance in these young men - a cognitive dissonance that is the original spark for all their rage.... They reconcile this by concluding that the Islamic world has fallen behind the rest of the world either because the Europeans, Americans, and Israelis stole something from the Muslims, or because the Europeans, Americans, and Israelis are deliberately retarding the progress of Muslims, or because those who are leading the Muslim world have drifted away from the true faith and are behaving in un-Islamic ways, but are being kept in power by America.... They see America as the most powerful lethal weapon destroying their religious universe, or at least the universe they would like to build. And that is why they transform America into the ultimate evil, even more than Western Europe, an evil that needs to be weakened and, if possible, destroyed. Even by suicide? Why not? If America is destroying the source of meaning in their lives, then it needs to be destroyed back."

Chew on that tasty morsel for a while.

Delurker Day
Posted by Raznor

Via Pandamanda it's apparently Delurker Day. So, as I know there are countless thousands of people who read this blog and never comment, go ahead. Use the comments and introduce yourself to everyone.

Do it.

Coca-Cola Throws in the Towel

Posted by Ross

Coca-Cola, soft drink manufacturer, cultural icon and bully to the developing world, is no more.

Coke CEO E. Neville Isdell looked humbled as he addressed reporters, reading from prepared remarks:

"Coca-Cola was the planet's leading cola supplier. In the face of global poverty, mass starvation, genocide and war, we spent hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising every year so that we stayed on top. And for what? For cola? There's like a thousand other colas on this planet and most of them taste nearly identical. I mean, have you ever had Pepsi? Would the world be so bad if everyone drank Pepsi instead of Coke? For fuck's sake, have you ever had China Cola? That shit is the bomb!

"The point is," Isdell continued, "what's the point? It's just fucking cola. It's not even good for you."

Isdell then dedicated his life to the betterment of mother earth.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Check-um Out the New Blog In Town

Posted by Ross

Aaron, frequent Raznor commentator, has started a new blog, the aptly titled WORST BLOG OF ALL TIME.

Is it really as bad as all that? Only one way to find out.

Posted by the Bekka
Britney Spears named her new celebaby after my brother's dog. It's true.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Breaking News: Rove Above the Law

Posted by Ross

Karl Rove, the Machiavailian political strategist who helped this country's most corrupt, unaccountable, vindictive and incompetent administration be "elected" to consecutive terms, who leaks the names of undercover CIA agents like it's going out of style, and whose shit, a study from leading intelligent design scientists shows, doesn't stink, even a little bit, has been handed control of relief efforts for the demolished south east in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

How could a man who should be languishing in a Gitmo cage, writing his misguided political rhetoric on the walls with his own blood and fecal matter like some fat, ugly, uneducated Marquis de Sade, be allowed to hand out no-bid contracts to the likes of Halliburton, Bechtel and Al Qaeda?

Rove took the time to answer the question at an impromptu conference with the White House Press corps. Taking a break from raping his underage illegal immigrant Mexican housekeeper, Rove told reporters:

"It's really quite simple. I, like my fellow Republican overlords, George, Rummy, Dick and John Roberts, am your better. And therefore, I can do what I want when I want without any fear of ever having to answer for my actions."

And to prove his point, Rove proceeded to fire up a flamethrower, barbecue all reporters gathered, slather their fricasseed corpses with A1 steak sauce and noisily devour them.

Immediately afterward, Rove issued Halliburton a no-bid $50 billion contract to rebuild the White House Press corps with a more corporate-friendly agenda.

He then let out a monumental belch that smelled like greed, hubris, arrogance and orange blossoms.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Humor from around the internets
Posted by Raznor

So, to let your weekend go nice and happy, here's a few humorous stuff.

First of all, via Lauren, here's a humorous photo story for ya. And speaking of Lauren and humorous photos - Check this out.

Also, don't forget to check out the newest Get Your War On comics. Here's my favorite:

Oh, and don't forget to watch out for those inappropriate peer-2-teen choice behaviors.

Update: Also, Mikhaela has a nice little roundup of Katrina toons.

Sharon wishes evacuation of bowels would go as smoothly as Gaza

Posted by Ross

Ariel Sharon emerged from the bathroom this morning after yet another unsuccessful attempt to evacuate his bowels.

The geriatric 77 year-old Israeli Prime Minister hasn't had a decent shit in over a week now.

"I've been pounding laxatives," the Prime Minister said. "The pressure against my sphincter is unbearable. And yet, I sit down on the crapper and nothing comes."

"How ironic," Sharon mused, after spending the better part of an hour on the toilet, in which he read the latest issue of US WEEKLY cover-to-cover, "that it took a shorter time to evacuate Jewish settlements in Gaza than it's taken my bowels to evacuate."

"And speaking of shit," Sharon added, "can you believe after only two albums, Hilary Duff is putting out a greatest hits CD?"

Friday (or Saturday) Dog Blogging
Posted by Raznor

Hermes does not watch the baseball.

There, there's you're Friday dog blog. Happy? Now I to bed go.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Well, Raznor, it's Friday - where's the dog-blog
Posted by Raznor

No seriously, I'll do it. Just experiencing some technical difficulties. I've got a really cute pic though, trust me.

You'd better believe I'm gettin' me some of that
Posted by Raznor

Good news for indi-comic fans - August Pollak is makin' another book!

Good times are here again.

New Orleans shall receive power only when it pleases the great leader
Posted by Raznor

So apparently Bush turned the power on in New Orleans for his speech last night, then turned it back off.

How very kind of him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Why Macs rock - an iBook update
Posted by Raznor

First of all, did you know that Steve Jobs is a Reedie? Yeah, I share his alma mater. In your face non-Reedies.

Anyway, the main reason I got an iBook was for TeXshop but I'm really enjoying the random play function on iTunes. It fades out from songs, like it's planned. It's weird when a slow, sad Elliott Smith song fades into a quick, high energy Le Tigre song, but hey, it'll make a return to Friday Random Tens quite enjoyable. Not that it won't be anyway.

But really it's all about the OSX man. All I need is World of Warcraft for Mac and I'll be set.

That's one hell of a heh-indeedy
Posted by Raznor

Amanda Marcotte on John Roberts:

Hot damn, that was a non-answer Roberts gave on eminent domain, though, wasn't it? First my uterus is up for grabs and now I have to worry about someone turning Mouse Manor into a shopping center? I'm fixing to go out and buy me a gun so I'll have at least one thing in my possession the Republican-run government won't feel free to lay claim to.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Techno Advance
Posted by Raznor

Well, I got a new iBook today. It has wireless and everything. Will this newfound advance in technology mean that I will blog more frequently? We can only hope so.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Friday Dog Blogging
Posted by Raznor

That raw hide is scared as hell right now.

Yep, loves those bones.

Today's Hermes theme is raw hide bones. As you might guess from the bottom picture - the dirt conspicuous on his nose and the bone itself - that bone was stored in the backyard before he got it again.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Onion - Most honest news site?
Posted by Raznor

Yet again, the Onion has one of their funny-and-true stories.

White Foragers Report Threat Of Black Looters

NEW ORLEANS—Throughout the Gulf Coast, Caucasian suburbanites attempting to gather food and drink in the shattered wreckage of shopping districts have reported seeing African­Americans "looting snacks and beer from damaged businesses." "I was in the abandoned Wal-Mart gathering an air mattress so I could float out the potato chips, beef jerky, and Budweiser I'd managed to find," said white survivor Lars Wrightson, who had carefully selected foodstuffs whose salt and alcohol content provide protection against contamination. "Then I look up, and I see a whole family of [African-Americans] going straight for the booze. Hell, you could see they had already looted a fortune in diapers." Radio stations still in operation are advising store owners and white people in the affected areas to locate firearms in sporting-goods stores in order to protect themselves against marauding blacks looting gun shops.

Bush incompetent? Perish the thought!
Posted by Raznor

Bob Harris has a nice visual aid of which parishes Bush decided to list in his Pre-Katrina declaration of emergency and which he didn't. (Guess which category New Orleans falls in)

My guess is they figured Katrina would get to the coast, relax for a few hundred miles and then get to the destructive part.

This would be funny if not for the thousands of people to die thanks to presidential ineptitude.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Further Reading
Posted by Ross

As you may have gathered from past postings, I like to read editorials. And there's a really good one over at The Onion, written by...

A Goat.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Posted by the Bekka

I just received the following email from my sister (a Rabbi):

"Dear Rebekka

If you haven't seen this webpage , please make it a priority to do so immediately. I am a convert and I think I can safely say that you will be too. It is just that convincing. I am throwing in the rabbinate and taking up FSMism today. It is the only true answer.

Shabbat shalom

I have been to this site, and it is indeed good. Visit it as soon as humanly (or spaghettily) possible, or face the potential wrath of the great FSM!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Friday Dog-blog
Posted by Raznor

Okay, it's not Friday yet, but I'm heading to Telluride tomorrow for the film festival.

Hermes craves affection like no other.

Notice the dirt on his nose - someone's been diggin'.

Meanwhile, check out this post and this post by August Pollak about New Orleans - both long and worth the read. And don't forget donate to the Red Cross.

Posted by the bekka

Let me first say this: Hurricane Katrina was a complete disaster. I'm overwhelmed by the images and stories, as well as the outpouring of kindness by total strangers.

That said, how come nobody's talking about this. Nearly 1,000 Shiite muslims were crushed, trampled, or drowned near Baghdad during a holiday pilgrimmage ritual. They're still fishing bodies out of the Tigris, and hospital morgues are overflowing with unidentified dead. The alleged cause? A rumor of an imminent suicide bomb (allegedly spread by a Sunni looking to cause hysteria) overtook the throng of people, which erupted into immediate panic as people ran for their lives.

It's like dueling mass deaths everywhere you look these days - good thing Katrina came along to give us a legitimate reason to ignore suffering elsewhere.