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January 20, 2006

bin laden top 40

[From Kev in the UK, w/r/t the recording career of Bin Laden:]
You have to admire his adherence to the old format.  Is digital the work of the infidel?  What do these tapes actually sound like?  Do they start with an audible clunk as the Record/Play buttons are pressed simultaneously?  Is this followed by someone mumbling "Tell me when", followed by "It's running now!"; "What?"; "I said, It's running now; Start!"; "Oh! Hurrumph! Hello, testing testing 123; People of America, Be Very Scared!"  All the time accompanied with the sound of a Werther's Originals advert dubbed into farsi blaring out of a TV somewhere out back.

Yeh, that's probably what they're not telling us.

(And when the message cuts, there's momentary voices, a glimpse of a 1985 radio play which eventually gives way to side two of a Peter Frampton LP.)

[I wholehearted agree with Kev that Bin Laden pronouncements should be treated with the same level of seriousness as one treats a mixtape.

I also noticed last night, radio-listening and conversation-overhearing, that the consensus around here is that the whole Bin Laden tape-release phenomemon is utter utter bullshit, a ham-fisted attempt at electorate misdirection.  I can't say I'm with them on this, but I am happy that the rest of the world has caught up to me, tinfoil-hat-wise.]

Posted by mrbrent at 12:10 PM

January 19, 2006

bin laden not dead yet

Cue sweeping, patriotic music:  Bin Laden releases another tape, giving Bush apologists the opportunity to look tough in the face of utter failure.  I would not be surprised if the next tape contained the following: "President Bush -- you need me, and I need you.  We both know it.  Gimme some sugar."

I especially look forward to simultaneous panic and righteousness, as them we short-hand as "Red Staters" both claim that Bin Laden's refusal to die/get captured justifies the excesses of the Bush Administration, and also freak the fuck out that Bin Laden might carbomb some WalMart in rural Arkansas.

You know, just like our grandparents panicked when Khrushchev got all poundy with his shoe at the U.N.  Oh, that's right -- they didn't, and they had an arsenal that could asplode the whole world x times over pointed at them.

Please, panic.  It makes you more laugh-at-able.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:14 AM

January 18, 2006

bye wonkette

You might have heard that Ana Marie Cox has left Wonkette.  Then again, you may not give a flying Fig Newton about Wonkette and to whom the fingers belonged that did all the typing about ass-fuckery, but anyhow.

Currently, a place-keeper is writing/editing Wonkette.  He was so-so.  Until today, that is, when he stooped to a Ted Kennedy-Chappaquidick joke.  Not that Ted Kennedy and his past sins are off comedic limits -- rather that if the best you can do is a Chappaquidick schtick, then your talent is a most modest thing indeed.  No, please; tell us more about airplane food.

Listen now to the sound of the revision of the Blogrolls.

Posted by mrbrent at 5:24 PM

shut-up macro

I found my new favorite shut-up macro!  What is "shut-up macro"?  "Shut-up macro" is to me a macro, or little linguistic viral-content unit, that is so snot-hangingly dumb that the most effective working defense to it is the retort, "Shut up," which renders the discoursive equivalent of the "TKO", or technical knock-out.

An easy example: if someone were to say to you, "If [x], then the terrorists have won," then you give them a look like you imagine Tommy Lee Jones would, kind of a menacing dead-pan, and then you say, "Shut up."  The shut-up macro is, "If [x], then the terrorists have won," though it can slide over into plain old macro if used ironically.

The "Shut up" in the shut-up macro is of course not failsafe, as we skirt the realm of the staircase wit, if you know what I mean.  Everyone would agree, however, that the "shut up" in the shut-up macro is always worth a try.

So this is my new favorite shut-up macro:

"If it had been a [Republican/conservative/Neocon/dittohead] that had [performed action x], well then, you would've heard [something analogous to 'an uproar'] from [Democrats/liberals/the MSM]!"

I've seen it a few times already in the past few weeks.  It's a schoolyard-level tactic, and, as such, unusually effective.  Foghorn Leghorn could be pretty easily pictured saying it, ah say, ah say.

And therefore, "Shut up."

You could opt to address the charge on its merits, to challenge the hypothesis.  You could claim that the proposed situation would not result in the asserted uproar, or even claim that the idea of the contemplated role-reversal is just specious and time-wasting. You could do this, but it's best not to.  The shut-up macro is syntactically content-free.  It's a ploy.  It's, "Hey, look over there, the Queen of France!"

So, yeah, "Shut up."

Even if you were going to take it on its face and ponder the hypothesis that equivalent acts of ideologues are viewed differently on the basis of political orientation.  Sadly, if you were to do so, you would be changing the subject, as the chances are pretty good that the precipitating topic was not, "Are Democrats sufficiently held to account?" or, "Are Republicans never given a break?"  No, more likely the precipitating topic was why a chocolate plantation is an inherently racist concept, so, see?  See?  Or something like that.  Whether or not a chocolate plantation is more or less racist coming from different mouths is not really the topic at hand, so to surrender to it is to be suckered, sucka.

Please, "Shut up."

This example of defensive rhetoric is as wearying as all the other defensive rhetoric, so let's fill the screen with, "Shut up."

[I would be remiss if I did not say that, while macros have always been around, the term "macro" comes from the brain of the proprietor of Cardhouse, and all props should go over there.]

Posted by mrbrent at 12:10 PM

i personally think roy nagin is a fine fellow

Maybe I'm naive, but what's so wrong with chocolate?

I thought that chocolate was wonderful and delicious?

The friend of children everywhere?


Oh, and what's so wrong with God being mad at America?  Isn't that why we have night?  Because angry God eats the sun at the end of every day?

Posted by mrbrent at 10:54 AM

January 17, 2006

no one went broke underestimating american stupidity

For the New Year, the Administration has resolved to strain credulity at every turn.  And so far it's been a banner year.

Remember that Pakistan missle strike that missed the latest iteration of the Al Qaida Number Two (but didn't miss a buncha women and children?  Well, four days later the "administration of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal regions" reports that, come to find out, some unidentified "foreign extremists" were among those blown to bits.  Hey, "administration of Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal regions", the check is in the mail!

Also, last Friday the Justice Department, in a bond hearing for accused terrorist Jose Padilla, remembered that, oh yeah, they do have concrete evidence on Padilla -- his Al Qaida job application.  Which is about as plausible thing as I've heard in months.

Only hubris can explain why this shit can't even pass the laugh-out-loud test -- there's some Administration motherfuckers that aren't even trying anymore.

For me, though, it's just an honor to type "straining credulity", which is one of those phrases you only see written and rarely heard out loud.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:53 AM

January 16, 2006

happy federal holiday

These Federal holidays just make me jumpy.  My internal workclock knows it's Monday, and that I should be pushing the paper back and forth at my place of employ.  But no, I just rustle around the house and look for ways to feel useful.

My favorite irony of these Monday Federal holidays are that the only people who do get a day off of work are people like me who make too much money already.  In honor of whichever, we close the banks and the gummint offices, but woe betide the sucka who is prevented from celebrating the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by scarfing a Big Mac and then snagging some bulk toilet paper at the WalMart (whose low low prices are saving your community, you under-employed sumbitches, so stop with your belly-aching).

Nothing against this day for MLK, please note.  It's the top tier of reasons-to-have-a-holiday.  Actually, Armistice Day was about the best, but somewhere down the line the good people decided that peace don't sell worth a damn -- hello, war!

Posted by mrbrent at 12:02 PM