Thursday, April 30, 2009

Whoops, Forgot the Title 2: The Entitlement

At a town hall meeting in Missouri:

Obama then noted that the real fiscal problem facing the United States is the skyrocketing costs of Medicare and Medicaid, not the Recovery Act or bank bailouts, which he said are "one-time charges." "If we aren't careful, health care will consume so much of our budget that ultimately we won't be able to do anything else," he warned.

Oh, don't worry, Mr. President. I'm sure we can find enough money in the education budget to cover all of our other expenses for the time being.

As far as "not being able to do anything else," poppycock. Defense spending can only increase, you know. Haven't you learned anything from your time on Capitol Hill?


Saturday, April 25, 2009

*Excited Gasp*

Via Nodwick:

Dr Who: Gillian Anderson Is The Rani?

*deep breath*


*Runs around, lifts arms in air, trips over cat, knocks china cabinet down, lies amidst shards with one hand lifted in a triumphant thumbs-up*

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Bit of Fry and Laurie

I have been reminded of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie by Patrick Nielsen-Hayden over at Making Light.

So here's some Friday Fun:

The Daily Mail is, of course, Britain's hateful-old-man newspaper. "Immigrants get offa my grass!" is a good way to summarize it.

EDIT: Oh what the heck, here's one more, a honky tonk piece out of a Jeeves & Wooster episode:

Jeeves appears to be what in the vernacular the man on the street might call "turned on" by the process of observing rather comely young ladies traveling at high speeds and attempting what for all intents and purposes might best be considered bloody murder upon each other and which is more commonly considered sport by the refined and educated.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The National Organization of Marriage will now protest with deep flustration:

This goes out to ma homey Lia.

We Both Know It Was A Girl, Back In Bethlehem

I must shake my finger at PZ Myers. He says,

As I'm sure many of you are aware, one of the more superficially off-putting elements of the Catholic church is to walk into one of their buildings and see it decorated with images of writhing, tortured men in loin cloths — it's like stepping into a S&M fantasy, and I'm really not into that (not that there's anything wrong with it, of course, if that's your thing…).

He then says he sees nothing wrong with this, and in fact would encourage the Church to use it:

He got that from here, which provides this description:

Raquel Welch, called by Playboy Magazine the "Most Desired Woman" of the '70s, is captured being crucified while wearing nothing but a loin-cloth on the set of the 1970 film, "Myra Breckenridge." The photo was devised for the poster of "One Million Years BC" and reflected [artist Terry] O'Neill's view that the Sixties were a decade that "crucified" the ideal of womanhood because it valued women only for their sexuality.

Let us not dwell upon the recursive nature that is showing us Raquel Welch in a hide bikini in order to get us to recognize the injustice of looking at Raquel Welch in a hide bikini.

I'm not sure how the "It" girl of the Seventies is supposed to show us anything about the Sixties, but seeing as virgin/whore has been the archetype and largely the sole judgment axis of Woman throughout much of the known world for much of recorded history I don't think the Sixties bear more approbation than average.

And really, PZ, if you can't take men being tortured to death, it's not kosher to accept women being tortured to death, even in hide bikinis.

And What, Prithee Tell, Was Wrong With Dad's Star Trek?

The tag for this trailer is "This is not your father's Star Trek." It seems to involve a set piece in which Kirk, Sulu, and someone else sky dive onto a platform in order to engage in a heavily-choreographed fight scene. They'd better have an explanation for why they can't beam down, especially since in this next clip Spock can't figure out how Kirk and Scott beamed up while the Enterprise was travelling at warp speed:

So Spock, holding the idiot ball, demands to be told something he should be able to figure out, and Kirk refuses, apparently because he merely wants to get Spock's goat. Judging from the glimpses of a fight between Spock and Kirk in all the trailers, I think Kirk spends a lot of the movie trying to get Spock to show emotion: which is a damn fine way to relate to another species, there, farm boy.

And that's Kirk and McCoy. McCoy's fear of the transporter seems to have been expanded to fear of space travel in general. Or perhaps he's merely bitching, but since he went and hid in the toilet before this clip starts I'm going to say it's not all just complaining for complaint's sake.

Not to mention the shaky cam and all the bright lights washing out the image in the second clip. Great Cthulhu I wish they'd stop using shaky cam to enhance tension all the time. Why can't they trust their actors?

So far I'm seeing a generic action movie wrapped up in the Star Trek branding. There are things that make Kirk, Kirk and Spock, Spock that are more than being played by Shatner and Nimoy and these glimpses aren't showing them. I oughtn't pass judgment unless I see the whole thing -- which is out in a week -- but the prognosis is not looking good.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We Meet Again, My Old Nemesis

But this time, the advantage is mine! ... just as soon as the room stops spinning....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Pretty fly ... for a smart guy.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


More Easter British Goodness:

Does that count as White & Nerdy?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Oh no, my green-eyed sister," quoth she, "do not think I wish to steal your beau away from you; for then it shall surely be the river, and the miller, and the passing minstrel for me. I wist not to become some motley busker's harp, poetic justice notwithstanding, thank you!"

This Book Is Not Helping


Via Pharyngula, I have run across one of the most horrible books in existence: The Professor and the Dominatrix. The author is a self-professed atheist, and his magnum opus here handily illustrates the fact that atheist does not automatically equal decent human being.

That link above goes to an extensive review of this horrible book. You can read the whole thing, if you're really sure, but to sum up, I'll list a few of the really awful aspects of this book:

1. The Dominatrix of the title isn't a very good one; she meets the Professor and immediately starts talking babies and marriage. They're married after they've known each other a) for a week, and b) twice (hem, hem). The Professor, on the other hand, is no more than a giant Mary Sue and Author Avatar.

2. The Mayor of this little college town is the only black man in the book, and while everyone else talks exactly like a college professor might, Mayor Stereotype speaks like Steppin Fetchit and curses about every other word.

3. Every woman in this book is either a frumpy, ugly old crone who continuously commits the mortal sin of not turning on the Professor, or a ditzy young thing who is simultaneously pure as the driven snow and built like a pr0n star.

4. The murder victims in the scant plot are both gay men; you'd think then the plot would be sympathetic to people of a non-normative sexual orientation; you'd be wrong. The gay slurs are up there with the women and Mayor Remus. Oh, and the text refers to a trans person as "he-she" and "it."

5. The sex scenes. Good lord, the sex scenes. There are only two, which apparently qualify this book as "dripping with sex," in the author's words (oh -- forgot all the sexual evaluations going on in connection with 3. above), and they suck. There are references to "whangs" and the text constantly refers to the Professor's "whang" as "Captain Marvel." Captain Marvel. I'll never be able to look DC in the eye again.

6. And finally, there's the arguments against religious people. This book is full of straw men and women who exist only for the author's abuse. There are author filibusters -- whole chapters of incoherent ranting with no plot or tension, just the author barfing all his pent-up frustrations onto the page. The philosophical climax of the book occurs at a televised debate between the Professor and the Dominatrix and a man-woman team of evangelicals, and it ends when the Prof (an accomplished boxer) goads the other man into attacking him so that the Prof can lay him out flat in as violent a manner as possible. Meanwhile, the Dom rips the other woman's clothes off. And then everybody points and laughs. Oh, and there's a man dressed as Jesus in the audience getting a hand job. Ew.

So, to sum up, this book's author may be a professed atheist, but his book reads like it was written by a right-wing hater, with all the unreconstructed opinions about the value of women and the jabs at gay people.

Being an atheist is a moral-neutral stance; it doesn't automatically make you good or bad. It's your own actions determine that, and this book is dripping with Bad. In the philosophical debate between atheists and theists, this book is absolutely a harm to its professed side, and not any help at all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool's Was Awesome This Year

ThinkGeek's Tauntaun sleeping bag.

I'm not sure whether to be excited or horrified that there was enough of a public outcry on the ThinkGeek site to convince them to at least try to get the rights to actually produce this from LucasFilm.

My favorite part? The lightsaber zipper-pull.