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December 8, 2006

sean delonas will not relent in sucking

Someday, when I'm all grown up, I'm going to start a blog that is only about Sean Delonas.  Some days, I'll just talk about hating the gays, and why Delonas thinks that's funny.  Others, I'll discuss caricature and its uses.  Mostly, though, it will be about Delonas sucking.

Until that day comes, I'm just going to do what I always do and post a link to today's thoughts of Gawker, and say that I agree with every word, especially when they describe today's Delonas deliciousness as "James Baker Buttfucks French President Jacques Chirac While Pepe LePew And Assorted Other Stereotypes About French People And Homosexuals Look On".

Also, if you happen to look upon the described editorial cartoon, ask yourself what kind of Escherian universe Uncle Sam comes from, where a door is open yet not open?  I think there are books commercially available that can teach "perspective" to just about anyone.

Remember, it's not about who's right and who's wrong, it's about who's fucking Jacques Chirac.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:59 AM

December 5, 2006

college republicans are crybabies

I know what I want for Christmas.  More than anything in the world, I want the opportunity to make a college Republican cry.  (Though once I make one college Republican cry, I'll just want to make another one cry in a day or two.)

The particular Republican in question got zinged when she tried to back up an argument with a citation from Fox News.  Oh, the huge mannatee!

I've been a fan of the whinging college Republicans complaining about campus bias for years -- in fact, I can't think of a better strawman at all!  There is a delicate whiff of crazy in the protestations of a student concerning the curriculum, teaching, etc.  "You're teaching me wrong, dammit!  Teach me like I'm telling you!"  You'd think they were taking some elementary school history class, where Washington chops down a cherry tree and a page later Lincoln frees the slaves in a fit of conscience.  Though I don't remember ever protesting during that.  Maybe the enemy is me!

For extra bonus points, hit the comment section and watch as the trolls descend, flinging poo everywhere.  Just, everywhere.  Like, "And since there haven't been any domestic attacks since 9/11 maybe you can tell us how we are 'less safe'?"  They do too go there!  How can I get anything done through all the laughing?

Posted by mrbrent at 5:39 PM

winning the war

There's been a great deal of talk in the last few weeks about whether we are winning the war in Iraq.  While it is comforting that a certain amount of introspection has entered the national conversation, I believe that to entertain a notion of a binary outcome (i.e., winning vs. losing) when considering our actions in Iraq is to make you a dummy -- a big old dummy all drunked up on the stupid juice.

The war is and was entirely goal-less.  The kaleidoscope of fleeting or alleged goals of the invasion include finding and seizing weapons of mass destruction, bringing the architects of 9-11 to justice, toppling the Baathist Regime, hunting down Saddam Hussein, protecting oil supply capacity, quelling the insurgents and declaring a center ground on a war on terror.  Of course, none of these have anything to do with the actual intention behind the invasion.  It's difficult to say what that is with any verity (my opinion: an experiment (which ultimately failed) designed to retrofit American foreign policy into that of a unilateral actor), but none of the stated ends of the invasion pass the laugh test -- they are either an obvious reaction to post-invasion events or ham-handed propaganda designed to win elections.  This is an aimless, wandering little occupation we've gotten ourselves into. 

And without any fixed intention, without any goals, it's silly to discuss an up or down outcome.  I'll even table the discussion of the wisdom of "winning/losing" on a philosophical level.  Without a stated eventual desired income, there is no "winning" and there is no "victory".  Discussion of "winning the Iraq War" is an obfuscation, and the hand-wringing over it is disingenuous at best.

Perhaps the most reasonable response is that of Defense Secretary-designee Robert Gates: We're not winning.  It doesn't go as far as I would (as in, "I'm not sure what we're doing, but whatever we're doing sure ain't winning"), but at least he hints at it.  Though I'm sure he'll loop around to "the metrics of success" and all that dowdy blather tarted up in Gladwell-words.

I know that this is a fact hiding in broad daylight, but once you've seen enough grown men with medals on their chests talking about "victory" like it was any kind of possibility has left me a little dumb-founded.  If you want to declare a victory, designate a goalpost, already.

It would be nice to live in a world where our leaders are smart enough to realize that we live in a world of discrete outcomes.  We do not live in this world.  I don't have confidence that anyone in the opposition is capable of this, which saddens me, because until someone with a national platform begins to try to convince the general populace that, yes, smarter is better, we will continue to be ruled by a national will with the emotional maturity of a five year old.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:29 AM

December 4, 2006

moving off the grid

I've always wanted to be the kind of guy that ripped the Windows off my box and replaced it with Linux, but, the older I get, the more bigger my eyes are than my stomach.  I have an inherent distrust of business interests in general, so now that we've hit the point in history where a program (or an OS) consists of a couple million lines of code, I get paranoid.  Inasmuch as, the mechanism that runs the word proscessing program I use is so hopelessly complex that it could very well have a "Kill User" subroutine buried somewhere in there and I would never know.  (Until it killed me, the user.)  And the only thing to stop the manufacturer from putting a Kill-User or similar evilness in its code is the question of whether or not they could make money off it somehow.  Because we're paying for the privilege of this intimidation.

So it is in this spirit that I toss you over to this most helpful list of jazzy free replacements for those proprietary (not to mention slow and buggy) software applications that you use every day.

No, I haven't downloaded any of this but Firefox -- my fingers are short and stubby, and all that typing makes me sleepy.  But, I "intend" to, and I'm certain I would be better off for it.

So, until the unlikely day comes when I hack unmercifully and throw off these closed-source chains that bind me, I will sit and dream of Freemind

[Via Rogers, via Lifehacker.]

Posted by mrbrent at 12:40 PM