November 18, 2014
End of the Road
Guys, after thinking a lot about it, I'm just not willing to do this anymore.
There are things I care about in life passionately, and passionately believe are worth defending. But the Internet is entirely the wrong place for that. Wrong audience, wrong venue. The culture (not just liberal culture, but conservative culture too) is so far removed from the things I love and the values I hold that I no longer know how to bridge the gap or even communicate across it anymore.
You can chalk this up to the increasingly toxic culture wars, or to my personal failings as a human being (which are many), or to whatever you wish. Either way, I'm done.
Thank you for the gift of your friendship and your conversation all these years. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work out my ideas, for your patience as I have grappled with various issues, and for the sounding board you've provided.
November 17, 2014
LEAVE MATT TAYLOR ALONE! CAN'T YOU SEE HE'S A *HUMAN*???
The Editorial Staff slipped from betwixt the Marital Sheets just as rosy-finger'd Dawn began painting the horizon with emasculating shades of pink and coral and [sob!] even canary yellow. As we snidely sipped our morning coffee, we sensed a ginormous disturbance in the Force.
It was as though a million manly voices had cried out in agony, and were suddenly silenced.
It was like something from the show trials of Stalin, or from the sobbing testimony of the enemies of Kim Il-sung, before they were taken away and shot. It was like a scene from Mao's cultural revolution when weeping intellectuals were forced to confess their crimes against the people.
Why was he forced into this humiliation? Because he was subjected to an unrelenting tweetstorm of abuse. He was bombarded across the internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate...
Life contains a finite number of "where were you?" moments: where were you when they shot JFK and Martin Luther King? Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell, or the Twin Towers came crashing down?
Where were you when The Great Tweetstorm of 2014 touched ground, devastating everything in its path?
Is there anyone still brave enough to defend that most sacred of prerogatives: the right of a man to wear a shirt depicting highly sexualized and scantily clad women on television?
It is with a great degree of sadness that the Blog Princess thinks back to a bygone era when America was the undisputed Colossus on the global stage. In that golden age, men were men: bold, unashamed, proudly masculine. And everywhere, as far as the eye could see, were men sporting Hawaiian-style shirts full of semi-nekkid women.
It was a manly right of passage; something like a Bar Mitzvah. Turn 13, don an eye-popping shirt, and wear it to your first job interview. Think of the manly role models of ages past. John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart - who can think of these proud, male icons without also remembering the buxom, barely-clothed babes emblazoned on their shirts? When did men lose this proud tradition, this glorious blaze of self-expression so inextricably linked with manhood that - clearly - it must be defended at all costs, else this once-common tradition forever vanish from the earth?
And how better to highlight the overwrought, hysterical bleating of female tweeters (much less the utter intellectual bankruptcy of their arguments) than with the cool, bracing rhetoric of dispassionate reason? The searing logic and pinpoint accuracy, for instance, of this point are indisputable:
I think we all understand that "but for" the absolute right to wear eye popping shirts on TV free from gender-oppressive Twitter commentary, mankind could never have placed a landing craft on a comet in outer space. The two phenomena are as inextricably linked as ... well, Soviet-style pogroms and disapproving Tweets! And who can object to calm, sensible, but above all rigorously non-shaming phrases like, "online feminist lynch mob", ""Mean girls" online mobbing", and "bullying"? Only the kind of person who doesn't want opposing voices to be heard at all. Free speech is only free when it is unopposed and uncriticized. Disapproval and disagreement are forms of silencing, meant to shut down opposing speech.
Or so we've been told :p
Who among us can contemplate such savagery without feeling the red mist of rage descend upon those harpies who "monstered" Dr. Taylor? After all, if an actress mostly known for making a sex tape and for appearing in public in various states of undress can strip off in an effete NY magazine without a single adverse comment or even a hint of ridicule on Twitter, then surely the absolute right of a scientist to appear on TV wearing a shirt full of scantily clad women with exaggerated... err... assets must be defended because.... EQUALITY!
After all, the two situations are exactly.the.same.in.every.respect.
The solution is obvious: the only way to fight outrage and hyperbole is with outrage and hyperbole. Clearly, whatever caused this heinous attempt to crush free speech - whether it be feminism or political correctness - must not go unchallenged, else we resign ourselves to living in a world where overwrought expressions of digital rage over completely trivial incidents become the accepted norm rather than the rare and disapproved-of exception.
And what a tragedy that would be.
November 14, 2014
November 12, 2014
Blast from the Past
Interesting retrospective on how Windows has changed over the years.
The Editorial Staff can still remember checking out a home PC (it was a metal box with a tiny, 4x4 screen) from the Naval Postgraduate School. When we got it home and turned it on, the software was so bare bones that both of us kind of shook our heads and thought, "This will never catch on with most people." :p
Caption Contest - Mid-term Edition
Alright, villains. Here is your next picture to snarkify.
Have at it.
And may the Farce be with you.
November 11, 2014
Let The Judgement Begin
Well, that was an excellent exercise in evisceration. The Dark Side loathes the Stones, and y'all's comments tickled tremendously. Even though it may not seem so given the length of time it's taken me to post this, I have had most of it written for quite some time, but then Life took over the steering wheel. (And, no, despite the Princess' assertions, it had very little to do with abundant quantities of beer. Although, that's not to say that beer hasn't been consumed....0>;~])
But, that's irrelevant right now when there is old business that is long past due it's proper attention.
Today, Veteran's Day, was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the treaty that signalled the formal end to what was, at the time, the Great War - the war to end all wars. Having been signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, it therefore seems apropos to this Dark Lord that I should a Top 11 for the judgement today.
So with that and a look back...
Let the Judgement begin.
There are two sections to the Judgement today. The first of which belong to our own inimitable spd rdr. Obviously the man had been working entirely too hard during his absence. So, here in no particular order is the man, the myth, the anti vowel-movement in one cracked nutshell, spd rdr:
Mick Jagger says:
After fifty years of non-stop touring and rock and roll I've learned a few things about what it takes to stay at the top of your game. Sure, it's important to watch your diet, get plenty of exercise, and know how to resuscitate your guitarist backstage before the big show. But sometimes a hectic touring schedule can interfere with your personal routine, and when the lights go down and there's 20 thousand fans screaming in anticipation, the last thing that you want to worry about is irregularity.
That's why whenever the Rolling Stones go on tour, we pack Dulcolax medicated laxative suppositories. Dulcolax provides fast, reliable relief from the occasional constipation and irregularity caused by too much gourmet food and over-prescribed prescription medications. Just one Dulcolax suppository and Jumpin' Jack Flash is a blast blast blast!
Take it from Mick: When you can't get no satisfaction, try Dulcolax medicated laxative suppositories and rock on!
Keith Richards says:
Oy...Frigginslumerinit' wot? Hasimselfrigginknighted, wot. Then wot, wot? Figginsupositaries wot. Wot? Figging (unintelligible), wot?
Take it from Keith: When you need to git yer ya-yas out, try Dulcolax medicated laxative suppositories and wot.
Jumpin' Jack Flash
it's a gasp, gasp, gasp!
"Yo! Check out the sister rockin' the turnip!"
"Yo Keith! Check out the sister rockin' the parsnip!"
"No, Mick, turnip."
"All right then... Would you please parsnip me bloody amplifier!"
Veterans Day is a day of remembrance on which many of us - perhaps most of us - remember the dead rather than the living. That other holiday, Memorial Day, casts a long shadow. And so, rather than count our many blessings; rather than thank the men and women who served this nation and then returned home to raise families and work in our factories, businesses, schools, churches, and charities, we think only of those we have lost.
Or we focus solely on war, forgetting how many of our fellow Americans never saw combat. In times of peace and plenty, they stood lonely watches far from home, gave up holidays with family and friends, missed the births of their children, countless anniversaries, a son's first step or a daughter's high school graduation. They slogged through mud, slept outside under the stars, hiked for miles wearing heavy packs, braved icy winds on storm-tossed decks. They jumped out of perfectly good planes and years later endured painfully compressed spines and crushed bones in their feet. Their ears ring and many can't hear well after decades of noises from artillery or jet engines or fire from a battleship's 16 inch guns.
Because even practicing for war has its dangers. Even in peace time, they are prepared for war. They harden their hearts against hardships most of us can only imagine, and open themselves back up when a child or spouse needs a different kind of strength. But through it all, they can be depended upon. They are there when we want them, and even when we forget how very much we need them:
The weekend obituaries told the story. We lost three of you in Syracuse alone. It seems like we lose a few more every day. That makes it important to get two words on the table:
For once, we'll say it now, instead of waiting for your wake.
Veterans Day is Tuesday. Your day, really, although what it's become too often is a day off from school, a break from work, an extra afternoon to walk in circles at the mall.
Veterans Day. We have parades and ceremonies around Syracuse.
But many of you never went to the parades.
You held jobs, raised your families and put the war up in the attic, uniforms and clippings in a locked-up chest.
Thank you. They say Veterans Day is about remembering, but maybe it should be about appreciating. I see you around town, survivors of war and those who waited, white-haired couples walking arm in arm from church on Sunday, old men sitting in McDonald's drinking coffee in a booth, or, toughest of all, those of you left all alone.
Forty or fifty years or sixty years of marriage, a wife or husband who heard your secrets in the middle of the night, and now they are gone and you're alone with it. The things you saw, the things you buried, the things no one else could hear. Your kids moved away and you walk alone on Veterans Day.
To remember Okinawa or Normandy, Pearl Harbor or the Bulge, Korea or Vietnam, and now Kuwait, Iraq or Afghanistan. To us, they are names, places we can't envision. You went because of some cosmic lottery, because of the time and the place of your birth, because you were drafted or because you made a choice. It was your fate to go and then to come back and remember.
On this day, I am thankful for the veterans in my life. Some were ambivalent about their service and even their country, yet served anyway. Many don't particularly care for rules, but followed them anyway. They represent Navy surface line, Marine infantry, artillery, and aviation, Army infantry and artillery, the Navy nurse corps, and Air Force pilots and ground personnel.
Most are quietly proud of their service. They should be.