Thursday, June 25, 2009

Policing the World

This Naval Institute blog post has this interesting quote:
While the Navy can always be present persistently in areas of our choosing, we lack the capacity to be persistently present globally. This creates a presence deficit, if you will, where we are unable to meet combatant commander demands.

They seem to take it for granted that the national interests of the United States really do require us to maintain a global persistent presence.

I'm certain that they're wrong about that, and I'm inclined toward the view that we should be moving more toward a persistent military absense from anywhere very far from our own shores like we had prior to Teddy Roosevelt's administration. Of course, the world has changed a lot and maybe a good case can be made that we need a persistent military presence in some places, but WWII began without that kind of presense and we won it. Why do we now need to be all over the world? What's the security benefit and/or what's the unacceptable security risk in leaving some of the places we currently have troops? Why not leave Korea? Japan? Europe? I can see the argument for staying in the Middle East, but I'm having trouble seeing it for anywhere else.

So back to the question. If I'm wrong in my view of the 19th century as a good direction to return to military presence-wise, what's the right direction? Where do we need to maintain presence and why? I'm talking about the long term, not when or if we should get out of Afghanistan, but what should our goal be? Where should we keep bases and why? Where must our Navy maintain its presence?

Some Cultures are Better

via the always awesome Violet Blue. I discovered Pink Nihon. A blog devoted to the crucial study of Japanese sex vocabulary. Did you know that the Japanese have a word for lending one's partner out for sex? It's 貸し出しプレイ (kashidashi purei). Now how much easier would daily conversation be if your language had a word like that? I've been convinced since an early age that Japanese culture is just plain better than the rest of the world. This is one more bit of evidence.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Avoid Yakima

This article on alternet about what sex laws are doing to this country (the US) is a must read. It puts together all the shitty things that have been done to people who broke nobodys arm nor picked anyone's pocket. Well, just the sex related ones, it does not touch on the tens of thousands we're still incarcerating for buying or selling drugs, but that's a separate, and massively important injustice which I don't have anything new to say about.

It talks about how many kids are being criminally investigated for sending naked pictures of themselves. 2 dozen is the number USA Today estimates in a six state area, which means fuck only knows what the nationwide number is, but one is far too many.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the report comes from right here in Washington state.
This June, the city of Yakima, Washington, voted to change the city's indecent exposure laws to include "cleavage of the buttocks." This means that women whose thong or G-string show can now be fined $1,000 or face up to 90 days in jail.

Ladies, if the far-reaching influence of this blog can do one thing for the future of the Northwest Region, it should be to assure you that the sight of a thong peaking over the top of some low-rise jeans is not in the slightest bit indecent. I understand that some of you like to keep your underwear to yourselves. But women who show buttcrack, or better yet, a thong that draws attention to the fact that part of a woman's ass is exposed for my viewing pleasure, are contributing to the mental health of the community, not committing a crime.

This law is one more reason to avoid Yakima.
The Slog is working on lists of things you can't say in Seattle.

The lists are funny, but they are lists of things I hear people say nearly every day, and I've never seen anyone get into any kind of trouble for saying them. A less misleading title would be "Things the voices in my head tell me not to say in Seattle".

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mocking Conservatism as it's Actually Lived

If you're smart, you probably get your news primarily from the slog and Skippystalin. Those are the places you go to read about shit that actually matters, like the question will the antichrist be gay? No, the Stranger didn't open up that theological question, it was raised in The Frontiersman the daily paper of Wasilla, Alaska.

It reminds me of a famous quote from our last Presidential election.
So, when a conservative pundit mocks Wasilla, he's mocking conservatism as it's actually lived, as opposed to conservatism as a theoretical fantasy playground for the purposes of cocktail-party banter.
Mark Steyn said that.

Conservatism couldn't be more fucked if it tried, and that's a good thing. I'm as opposed to socialism as it's possible to be, but I know that hundreds of millions are living with it in Europe and the handful of people in Canada survive it as well. Places where scripture quoting debates on the ass-fucking habits of the anti-christ are not mocked mercilessly, on the other hand, are like the modern middle-east, or Europe around 800AD.

If the republicans will not mock and distance themselves from shit like this, they need to stay on the sped bus.

Oh and this screenshot came from the Frontiersman article. It was another slog post that alerted me to it, but I can't find that post due to a big download going on. That's why I tell people that starting your day with anything other than the slog or Postcards of the Hanging is stupid.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Something to think about

If I was a fan of house music, or whatever it is the kids are playing when there's a club DJ thing, I would definitely be at Hot For Teacher Night. Vili Fulau and Mary K. Letourneau will be hosting the party. No shit, click on that link if you don't believe me.

If you've been following this blog, you're probably one of the voices in my head and not real. All the rest of you are probably unaware of the extensive coverage Skippy has given to the issue of just how fucking hot the teacher's who've been busted for blowing their students are. You really should read up and educate yourself on this issue.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jackoff news

Back a couple of years ago Skippy expressed his childhood disappointment that there was no professional pussy-eating league. This competition is not professional and it's not pussy-eating, but it is a step in the right direction. Via ROK Drop and then Niel Duckett I learned of San Fransisco's annual Masturbate-a-thon.

My question for Skippy is does he plan to compete? I realize the event doesn't currently have a lot of corporate sponsorship, but the fact that we now have competitive masturbation in North America indicates a positive cultural trend toward a world where breakfast cereals and companies like Nike will be sponsoring competitive jackoffery with serious bucks, and putting the world's top wankers on cereal boxes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Christmas Quote

I know I'm off by about as far as it's possible to be off in the timing of this, but I just read this book and had to share one of the many money quotes:
I spent many Christmasses at the West Saxon court. Christmas is Yule with religion, and the West Saxons managed to spoil the midwinter feast with chanting monks, droning priests, and savagely long sermons. Yule is supposed to be a celebration and a consolation, a moment of warm brightness in the heart of winter, a time to eat because you know that the lean times are coming when food will be scarce and ice locks the land, and a time to be happy and get drunk and behave irresponsibly and wake up the next morning wondering if you will ever feel well again, but the West Saxons handed the feast to the priests who made it as joyous as a funeral. I have never really understood why people think religion has a place in the midwinter feast...
Read more here.

Since childhood, I was struck by the contrast between Christmas and the religion that gave the holiday its name. The holiday was fun, and had nothing in common with the worship of a god who was just like the galactic empire, only less rational. I didn't give it too much thought at the time, except to be glad that crucifixion was the furthest thing on my mind around that time and to pity those raised under the evil shadow of religion.

My favorite take on how the Pagan holiday we celebrate in mid winter was stolen by the Christian church is Leonard Piekoff's Why Christmas Should be More Commercial.

But the book I quoted is not primarily about that. It's about the Danes overruning 3 out of 4 Saxon kingdoms in 9th century England, and the Saxon king Alfred who turned that around and created the first unified English kingdom.

Bernard Cornwell is a brilliant author of historical fiction revolving around wars and usually from the infantryman's point of view. You can get a good intro to his work from the BBC Sharpe's Rifles series. The Last Kingdom is my favorite of his so far. After watching and getting hooked on the Richard Sharpe tv series, I picked up The Archer's Tale. I'll eventually read all of Cornwell's books. He's that good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Not related

It seems there's another Luke Baggins out there. This is definitely not me as I'm only a moderate fan of the office. What's extra weird about this is that the blog this comment was posted on seems to be Seattle based.

It would be really fucked up if there were two of us posting comments at The Stranger. From time to time, I search for my comments there, and I've yet to find one that isn't by me. I do, on the other hand, find some that I wish I didn't have sole blame for. On the other hand, I do sometimes get it right. It's comments like Mr. Poe's here that make commenting on the slog look fun and easy. And it is both. What's less easy is going back and looking at what you've written and seeing how it stacks up to the others. Poe always get's really short sweet comments that are on target like a JDAM. Mine are more like a shotgun blast held by an alzheimer's victim with very shaky hands. I wander around the topic. But I'm keeping a link to my slog comments on the side in case you all run out of things to read.

I'm glad I google alerted myself to this other Luke Baggins issue.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Asshole From El Paso

Many years ago, I was at my dad's place looking at a book on the history of country music and there was this crazy fucker in some kind of mink coat with rhinestones all over, heart shaped, plastic-jewel studded sunglasses under his crazy-ass paisley fedora. And I was like "Who the fuck is that?". And my dad said: "That's Kinky Friedman, of Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys. And it's a good thing this book was made in the UK, because no American book on the history of country music would have included him." I've learned a lot of valuable things out at my dad's place.

Later, I learned that he was running for governor of Texas and his slogan was "The Asshole From El Paso. I see today's political scene as very much like a Jerry Springer episode, but I don't think it needs to be that way, or should be that way, so I'm not in favor of bullshit campaigns in general. On the other hand, here in Seattle, Dan Savage has announced a bid for the Mayor's office and I'm glad he did it. It reminds people where politics currently are. So maybe Kinky had the right idea in his campaign.

I asked my dad to play me some Texas Jewboys tracks and didn't hear anything memorable. If Kinky ever succeeded musically, it wasn't in the couple of tracks I heard. I also came back into the city with several paperbacks of Kinky Friedman Novels. For what's probably more than a year now, all they did was sit on my shelf getting dusty with the other books. But, just recently, after a long stretch of reading nothing but Bernard Cornwell, I did some re-reading of Carl Hiaasen. Specifically, I re-read Skinny Dip for the third fucking time. And it was funnier than ever. In fact, I think it may be even funnier than Strip Tease which kept me up late several nights laughing my fucking ass off. If you haven't read Strip Tease yet, you're in for a serious treat. I can't even emphasize that enough. But we're talking about Kinky.

I decided to finally pick up Armadillos and Old Lace and see if the asshole from El Paso did better in prose than in music, and so far, it looks promising. To start with, look at the blurbs and who they're coming from:

"Spreads more joy than Ross Perot's Ears"
-Molly Ivins

"Kinky Friedman is one of Texas's great natural resources"
-former governor Ann W. Richards

"Kinky, Mozart, Shakespeare--with what could I equal them"
-Joseph Heller

There's more like that. If those blurbs are actual quotes from the people whose names are printed beneath them, I'm impressed. So I'm convinced to read further.

Here's a sample from the first few pages that convinced me to read the rest:
I could use a little quiet, I reflected. I'd become somewhat ambivalent about performing country music gigs lately and I'd come to realize that anybody who uses the word "ambivalent" probably shouldn't have been a country singer in the first place

I think I'll be reading the rest. I'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, Carl Hiaasen is a proven winner. I'm no fan of his environmentalism at all, but he is a virtuoso of satire. His books are better the 3rd time than they are the first. And I laughed out loud the first time. I've been meaning to write in detail about why this guy rocks for a long time, and I can't go into the details just yet, but that's been on my to-do list forever. Maybe someday I'll write that essay. For now, if you're book shopping, I'll tell you that his funniest are: Strip Tease, Skin Tight, Skinny Dip and Lucky You.

Music History Update

Some months ago, I witnessed some serious music history, and of course, I blogged it here. For those too lazy or busy to click links, I saw The Sonics, the founding fathers of punk rock at the Paramount. It was one of those nights when I feel sorry for anyone unable to appreciate the Northwest. Those nights are damn near every night though. This night ... well, I'm not going to do any better describing it now than I did then.

The point now is to update all of you. As an Internet opinion maker, I have an obligation to keep all of you informed of what matters and what doesn't. In that earlier post, I linked to this myspace page saying it had all of the most essential Sonics tracks on it. It turns out, there's another essential one that you shouldn't miss. It's called "Shot Down" and I believe it was on their 2nd album "Boom". It is a perfect example of why those guys rule and why I will still go out to see them play when they're way too old to be doing this shit. You can hear it on this other myspace sonics page. Check it out. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

News from my ass

I'm sure most of you have seen this story. I immediately set up a google alert for any new developments when I heard that the makers of the Pull-My-Finger iPhone app were suing the makers of iFart for trademark infringement. Didn't you? In case you've been in a coma, or out filling sandbags for your end of the world compound in the hills without a web-connected computer nearby or something, They're claiming that iFart's use of the phrase "Pull my finger" in promotional materials violates their trademark.

This story, which I'm linking again gives a pretty good re-cap of the case so far. It includes this under-fucking-statement of the fucking century: "Denver-based trademark attorney John Posthumus of Greenberg Traurig said the case has interesting facets that could make for lively arguments if the issue went to trial. "

The thought of that case going to trial had me feeling like I hadn't felt since I was 5 years old and in the 2 week home stretch before Christmas. I knew it probably wasn't going to trial, because that would be too good and a Lawyer friend confirmed that for me so I could start getting over it.

The bullet points are these:
  • Yes, "Pull My Finger" is a federally registered trademark

  • Being the top selling fart application in the iPhone app store is worth like $50,000 a week

  • Sadly, no, this isn't going to trial.

It would be unfair not to link to the iFart and Pull my finger sites. I wouldn't want to deny them the great big wave of web traffic they'll surely get from my link.

Also, check out Kathy Lee investigating another iFart related story.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Possible good news?

So I'm hearing through the internets that the new Joss Whedon show Dollhouse is about to get good. I, like everyone who's not completely retarded, am a huge Joss Whedon fan. He gets it wrong some times, but when he's on, holy fuck! The man who gave us Firefly has so much credit in the bank he could turn out solid streams of pure poo for the rest of his career and I would lap up every last drop of it.

It will be a while before I can confirm or deny these rumors for all the many thousands who come here first to have their opinions made. The reason for this is that my bandwidth is much too shitty for Hulu, so I get my TV shows exclusively from Netflix which is the only really civilized option. I can't imagine going back to a world where things are "on" at a particular time and not at some other time. Anytime I talk about a show and someone asks me "what channel is that on?", it takes me a while to realize what they're talking about. There are people in the world who still wait for shows to get broadcast out to them on some kind of schedule. I can't imagine living that way, but you know, different fuckin strokes, as Arnold said.

But I won't go back to the unsanitary caveman days and die of bubonic plague while waiting for a show to be on at a certain time. I will put the show on my netflix queue and wait for the disc to come to me, like a civilized person.

So my views on Whedon's new show Dollhouse will not be available to the many readers of this blog until that happens.

But I will remind all of you of the fucking unbelievable shittiness that was the 2nd to last season of Angel and the amazing awesomeness of the last season. That is the reason why those of us with taste will sit through whatever Whedon puts out there. We know it will eventually be worth it.

The Story

For those who weren't following the last days of Skippy's old blog. Here is a good summary of what went down and why I keep to a fake name. I haven't yet had occasion to piss off someone online. Someone has to read you for that to happen. But Skippy's own stories of getting fired due to his old blog struck a chord with me. I expect I will piss somebody off eventually.

The story continues here

And then, it proceeds to get better

Here is the story of how Kinsella earned the title "Catmeat".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

All kinds of news

I know you haven't heard from me in a while. Things have been going at the usual crazy pace. Much of what I have to share today isn't new, but for the many thousands of readers who rely on this blog for fair and balanced commentary, it probably will be news.

First, there's a horrible irony to my last post title "Berghoff's will always be there." Sometime after I posted it, the great and inspiring Skippystalin went off the air. At first, I coped pretty well. I think I was in denial. I refused to consider the details of what an internet without Skippy would be like. Plus, I had lots of work to do, but then one evening as I was racing toward a deadline and, as usual, looking for ways to waste time when I really shouldn't, I went to my unofficial Skippy archive to browse some old posts as I often do and I found that both of Skippy's blogs and all of their archives had been deleted (they've been restored since though)! I hadn't seen that coming. Oh fuck! This means that Tards Anonymous is now a bunch of links pointing to nowhere. I will eventually update some of those links wherever I can find cached copies of those old pages. Canada's flag should really have been at half mast that day. They lost one of their greatest national treasures.

On the other hand, there's also good news. The good news is Blackwolf The Dragon Master, New York City's unofficial wizard, is planning his first feature film!

Anybody with a decent education knows who Blackwolf is, but I know that schools today are really fucking retarded and still aren't teaching Ass Jihad, which would inspire more kids to read and write than any of that stupid bullshit they told us was "poetry". And it's also likely that none of them were teaching the work of Skippystalin. So there are probably lots of you who don't know who Blackwolf is. The remedial education of people like you is why I came to the webs in the first place though, so I'll back up to the beginning.

It was Blackwolf who inspired me with the possibility of claiming an unofficial title for myself on Al Gore's interweb. I knew there were probably other Skippystalin fansites out there, but I figured Skippy didn't yet have an unofficial archivist, so that was the title for me. I claimed the title, and it turned out, nobody challenged me for it. That worked out okay. It got me writing about something. It also made me realize how much I do want to write about my own opinions, and retarded thoughts and didn't want to mix my Skippy commentary up with that. I wanted Tards Anonymous to be for all Skippystalin fans, even the ones so morally deficient as to not agree with me on other things. And that led to the organized retardation that you're reading now.

Blackwolf is a hero of Al Gore's interwebs, not a great cultural commentator like Skippy, but he adds the kind of color to the web that you'll never find in other media. That's why it's ironic that it was through the establishment media, via the web that I first learned of him. I was working in Chicago back in 2002 and some coworker downloaded Triump The Insult Comic Dog's Attack of the Star Wars Nerds episode. I don't think I've seen a laughter explosion like the one that collapsed everyone in that office since the late 90's when the Farelly brothers' classic Something About Mary was in theaters. If you haven't seen that, the Triumph nerds episode, or Something About Mary, you need to. One of the people colorfully pooped on in in that episode, when Triumph visited the ziegfield theater in NYC for the Attack of the Clones opening, was The Dragon Master himself.

You can see The nerds attack on Triumph's DVD, which I think you can get at Netflix, but you really should own a copy. I'm against owning things in general, but I have a copy of that disc and the Firefly set (fuck the movie), but that's another story.

Later, Blackwolf recorded a duet with Triumph on the CD Come Poop With Me. From then on, I knew that this unofficial municipal mage was one to keep an eye on. I was right, as I usually am, that's why I still hold the title of Skippy's archivist (until Skippy decides to yank it). Blackwolf is planning I hope he pulls it off. The unofficial wizard title impresses me and anyone else with real culture, but hollywood investors are famous for being assholes. There's an entire HBO show devoted to this fact. I hope somebody decides to back this project, like maybe the Insult Comic Dog. Maybe there can be a part for the dog in the movie. Blackwolf says he may fictionalize some of the details of his youth in Ireland, maybe he could write a foul-mouthed best friend into the story. Everything is better with that dog in it. Just as New York City is better with an unofficial wizard.

Now, I'm off to see a great Buck Owens cover band.

I promise to take my blogging responsibilities as seriously as they merit in the future.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Berghoff's will always be there.

I'm watching Swingtown. A show about a couple moving into an affluent northshore suburb kinda like Wilmette, but they don't name the town. It's 1976, a year that I can only just barely remember, and their neighbors are into partner swapping. Someone just said "Berghoff's will always be there." And anyone who knows Chicago knows that this is not the case.

I'm not sure why I like this show so much other than the women are amazingly hot. I was never all that nostalgic about the 70's. I've loved every James Lileks sendup of the era. And if you haven't seen the gobbler, you don't know the Internet. What's interesting about this show is how normal the 70's look. The hair, the clothes, the crazy wallpaper, all that shit you see in any show about the 70's is there, but in this show, it looks normal. That's what gets my attention. Usually, when you 70's hair, or 70's shirts, you say "holy fuck look at that 70's hair!" In this show, it all seems normal, like it did back then when I was 5, 6 and 7. If you're a hardcore TV junkie, this show might just be for you.

Oh, and it's about wife and husband swapping and it's on network TV!! That's some kind of a sign of something or whatever.

Check it out.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The most hilarious family in America

I have shit I need to be doing, and really don't have time to be posting this, but it's too good not to share.

Some Brit came over here and filmed a documentary on the Westboro Baptist Church. I thought Jesus Camp was pretty funny, but it only had a few moments that really made me laugh out loud. My favorite was when some lefty radio guy tells the youth pastor that she's going to hell for indoctrinating kids with republicanism. And there were a few other worthwhile moments. But Jesus Camp has exactly shit on this one. The Westboro congregation is non-stop comedy gold. I really shouldn't be watching this, but I can't stop. It's too good. The whole hour-long documentary is there online. Below, I've transcribed the scene that made me realize that there was just no way I could stop watching and that I would be longing for more when it reached the end:

Reporter (R): "Where are we going?"

Westboro Member (WM): "We're going to a picket here at the Jew church."

R: "What did you say?"

WM: "The Jew church."

R: "That sounds a little anti-semitic when you say 'the jew church'."

WM: "These people hate God and worship the rectum."

R: "The rectum?"

WM: "Yeah, the rectum."

R: "That sounds insane when you say that!"

WM: "They worship that which they desire. That which makes them feel good."

If you miss this show, you're regret it for the rest of your fucking life.

Update: Okay, I've watched the rest of it, and no, it doesn't ever quite reach the greatness of that scene again, but it's still worth watching to the end.

The main thing I'm left with after watching this is for the love of fuck and all that's holy, there has to be a dance mix somewhere with that "They worship the rectum." quote as a sample. If there isn't, there really should be.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Anyone not reading the totally not safe for work Violet Blue on a regular basis is missing out on what really matters in life, like these pictures of a Japanese sex doll factory.

It was a post about sex dolls that originally inspired me to start archiving the links that were lost to the world from Skippy's old site.

I know that Tards Anonymous hasn't been updated in a while and there's much to be done. But keep your crash helmets on. These days, blogger is a whole lot better than it used to be and full text searching works pretty well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Friday

Friday Fancy Chance was in town. It was one of those evenings that start with hot dancers twirling tassels, William Shatner's voice in the back ground, and then ends with hot dogs, wondering where your people went, and passing out. The buzz didn't wear off for more than a day and I have no explanation for the green stains on the butt-cheek of my pants. I would write in detail about the show I saw at the Can Can, but among the legions of readers of this blog, there could be someone who lives further along in Fancy Chance's tour route. I wouldn't want to give away any of the surprises in the show. I'll just say fucking go see it if you're in the right place. I hope video gets posted someday soon.

The Can Can is a great place. It has low ceilings with archways and red lights. It looks satanic, like something from Carnivale. When I have a job, lots more of my Fridays will start there.

Oh and go see some more video of Fancy Chance on Youtube. You'll be glad you did.