Blogging Later Today--Maybe From Tuesday night until this morning, I was in pretty bad shape (don't worry about me because a lot of people have things a lot worse than me right now). I had a fever, body aches, and bronchitis. Yesterday, the only thing I ate was an apple (and I had to force that). I was on my back almost the entire time and got up briefly to do things like answer my email (which included a request from American Politics Journal to publish my funny post on Tammy Bruce). I had gotten some DVDs from Netflix; for the occasion, I needed something uplifting. One of the films I had gotten from Netflix was a Todd Solondz's film Happiness (I really liked his previous effort Welcome to the Dollhouse). I didn't know much about it; after viewing about 40 minutes of it, I knew it was not the film I needed to see at that time--maybe sometime else. It was very disturbing. Yesterday, I was too incapacitated to make an online prediction for the Alamo Bowl: My prediction was Ohio State 28, Oklahoma State 22. The actual score was Ohio State 33, Oklahoma State 7.
5:50 PM UPDATE: I feel better but not well enough to finish the post I had been working on.
For those of you new to my site, this site chronicles my thoughts--and I have a lot of them--some of them frivolous, a few of them very serious. One of the things I hope shines through from this site is my ardent belief in being true to yourself. Money rocks but if you sell your soul to get it, it's a bad deal. Media people who have sold their souls (i.e., media whores) pay a high price for not being true to themselves.
However, the issues go beyond the tragedy of the loss of authenticity to the whore. What has occurred in today's media culture is that media people who have either sold their souls (or have no souls to begin with) not only hurt themselves but society in general (click here, here, and here for more on the pathological dynamics of media whoredom). There are only two letters difference between the terms "media hack" and "media hacker" but there is a world of difference in their meanings. It's the duty of media hackers to expose media hacks, their lies, and their phoniness.
That's why Hindus rock. When Pat Robertson and the Southern Baptist Convention came out against Hinduism, the response by American Hindus made me proud. They collectively told Robertson and the SBC to take their religious bigotry and shove it up their butts (though they did it in a more delicate and constructive manner).
Those of you familiar with this phenomenon won't be too surprised to learn that I got the bigoted graphic from Tammy Bruce (her web site can be found here), a Fox News Democrat who is also a lesbian.
Let me flesh out the meaning of the graphic a bit more. The graphic is not only bigoted, but it's strictly bush league. The suggestion that blue state guys are flamboyant sissies and that red state guys are rugged individualists is based on mythology and marketing. The Marlboro Man is an obese, impotent, red statewelfare queen who winds up looking like Roger Ailes by the time he turns 50.
Bruce's attitude isn't surprising considering her favorable characterization of George W. Bush as "a cowboy." Bush isn't a cowboy: he's a pussy. Dubya has been pushed to the front of the line his entire life. He believes in sacrifices--as long as someone else does the sacrificing. He's willing to cozy up to demented cult leader Sun Myung Moon, but if Jenna and Barbara were married in one of Moon's mass weddings and then forced to use the Holy Handkerchief, Bush would squeal like a stuck WASP pig.
Let me further distinguish Bruce's internet slur from other forms of gay-baiting. I (and no doubt many others) have always sensed an air of they-doth-protest-too-much in a lot of the attitude of many professional gay-bashers and tough-talkers (e.g., I imagine that the steroids shriveled the nads of The Gropinator to the size of garden peas considering all his talk of "girlie men", his boorish treatment of women, and his half-dozen or so Hummers).
This is different: this is an out-of-the-closet lesbian spreading messages that mock and trivialize a group of which she is a member. Her motivation? I can only speculate. Write Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her. Also ask her if she gives Ailes a lap dance for her Fox News paycheck.
Note from Scoobie Davis: I finally learned how to post images to this site. I wish the first one that I posted wasn't a bigoted one. Guess where this image came from. Hint: I didn't get it off of the Free Republic web site. I'll give you the answer later today.
Was It My Soul Patch? This weekend, I spent two days in Mexico (about one day of which was in bed) and I was stopped and searched twice by Tijuana's Finest. The first time I had to put my hands against a building and the cop searched all my pockets and my socks. The second time, the cop asked me what was in my bag. I don't think it helps that I dress like a surf/skate punk and have a soul patch--I figure that they thought I was a good candidate for possessing weed or some other contraband. Mexico is a great place to visit but they don't have the same constitutional safeguards that exist in the US (which I hope won't be destroyed by the bozos now in charge).
Too Bad, Fatai Hamza Like anyone else who has an email account, I receive a lot of the Nigerian 419 scam solicitations. Usually, I delete them but often I string these scammers along because I figure that the more time they waste with me, the less time they have to prey upon others (plus it's fun after corresponding with them for a month or so and making them think I'm going to send them $50,000 to read their responses after I email them that I knew it was a scam all along). The latest scammer I've been corresponding with is someone who calls himself Fatai Hamza. I can't correspond with him anymore because his email account is no longer valid. I guess the only way he'll hear from me is for him to Google his alias and come to my site.
Addendum: Here is the last email I received from Fatai. I'm surprised that in his emails he keeps praising Allah--as if the typical American would appreciate that:
Dear Mr Scoobie,
Thanks a lot for urgent response,infact I really apreciate
your effort towards this business preposition.
Beside how are you?hope is fine if so glory be to Allah
almighty that made us all to be alive,meanwhile Iwill
supply you the neccesary information that you need from me
concerning this transaction and moreover I assure you
100%risk free from this business,infact all the document to
back it is with me aswell,but the most important thing in
it is that if you are going to assure me that you will not
betray me in future,because if you let me down that means
is better i give up my life because this fund is the only
hope for the entire family.
finally please kindly send your profile tome so that I will
know whom am communicating with.
thanks my regard
Hamza for the family
Be of Good Cheer Note: I meant to post these thoughts right after the election but Christmas night is an appropriate time.
It's been a rough couple months for a lot of people. One of the things that really bothered me about the election is that it seemed so unfair that truly treacherous people (Limbaugh, John O'Neill, Noonan, Moon, Falwell, Farah, Ruddy, Ailes, Rove, and--of course--George W. Bush) were celebrating. It took me an hour or so to shake that false thought out of my head. I would never trade my life for their lame lives. They are sad, benighted, and ignoble people.
The last couple months could have been better for me but every day, I thank God that I'm me and not one of them. We are put on this earth for certain purposes and one of the most important is to be true to yourself. These are hollow men and women who have no centers and no souls.
What is it to live your life without authenticity? Is anyone out there naive enough to think that Rush Limbaugh was gulping down OxyContin by the handful because of back pain?
Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it.
Next, they tell you that you are the best of a bad lot (humans, that is) and that as bad as you are, if you stick with them, you are among the chosen. This is flattering and reassuring, and also encourages you to imagine the terrible fates of those you envy and resent. American politicians ALWAYS operate by a similar sort of flattery, and so Americans are never induced to question themselves. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter—he asked Americans to take responsibility for their profligate ways, and promptly lost to Ronald Reagan, who told them once again that they could do anything they wanted. The history of the last four years shows that red state types, above all, do not want to be told what to do—they prefer to be ignorant. As a result, they are virtually unteachable.
Third, and most important, when life grows difficult or fearsome, they (politicians, preachers, pundits) encourage you to cling to your ignorance with even more fervor. But by this time you don't need much encouragement—you've put all your eggs into the ignorance basket, and really, some kind of miraculous fruition (preferably accompanied by the torment of your enemies, and the ignorant always have plenty of enemies) is your only hope. If you are sufficiently ignorant, you won't even know how dangerous your policies are until they have destroyed you, and then you can always blame others.
What is really tragic is that the other victims are the ones who put their trust in these demagogues; these miserable people cause other peoples lives to be hell, e.g., Sun Myung Moon's and Jerry Falwell's exploitation of their flocks. These people should be exposed. I'm doing what I can.
Festivus In Mexico I intended to spend the entire weekend in SD but yesterday I went down to Tijuana to get some Quiksilver products (the prices at the Quiksilver store in TJ are a bargain compared to the ones in the states). I had a bit of a cold and then I got a terrible headache. I got a hotel room in TJ and stayed in bed until about 2:00 PM today. I hung around and recouped. For Christmas Dinner I went to the Restaurente Caesar when the waiter prepared a Caesar salad for me at my table; it was only when I just checked on the net that they use anchovies--a big no-no because flesh-eating is adharmic for me. On my way over to the internet cafe, the hawkers at the Beverly Hills Club tried to get me to check out their club. I told them some other time; Christmas night in a titty bar just ain't my thing. Tomorrow, I'm going to SD and meet with a filmmaker.
Useless (But Hopefully Interesting) Info Roger Ailes and Gilbert Shelton were born in the same year (1940). Ailes could use some of Shelton's weed. . . The box office for Spanglish is over $12 million--which means the overall box office for films whose premiere after-parties I crashed is over the $2,100,000,000 mark. . .I just thought of this: if Laura Ingraham is really 37, then she was 18 when she graduated college in 1985. It's an established fact that she dated Dinesh D'Souza when she was in college. That means that, according to Ingraham's info, D'Souza was dating jail bait. . . My thought after seeing Lenny Kravitz's video for his song "Lady": "I'll take some fries with those shakes." (the dancers' shakes, not Lenny's)
Merry F-ing Christmas Part III: "God's People" Turn On Bush What karma: the headline in WorldNetDaily: "Bush White House's
Christ-less Christmas" Read the story. If George W. Bush is viewed as promoting "Christ-lessness," then people like me really don't have a fucking chance trying to reason with these people.
Department of D'oh A while ago, I raffled off an autographed copy of Hugh Hefner's Little Black Book in a fund drive for this site. I forgot to announce that the winner was Eric from St. Paul in the blue state of Minnesota. The guest blogger who chose the winner is Poligeek, who is now on my links list.
It is a disgrace to documentary filmmaking. It is shoddy, ham-handed--and most important--intellectually dishonest. Mind you, I write this after only watching about 15 minutes of it! I haven't even gotten to the part where they interview Swift Boat Liar John O'Neill. What's ironic about it is that Celsius 41.11's official web site calls the film an attempt "to refute the propaganda in Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11." I will have more on this film later.
Merry F-ing Christmas Part Deux Frank Rich:
The only evidence of what Pat Buchanan has called Christmas-season "hate crimes against Christianity" consists of a few ridiculous and isolated incidents, like the banishment of a religious float from a parade in Denver and of religious songs from a high school band concert in New Jersey. (In scale, this is nothing compared with the refusal of the world's largest retailer, Wal- Mart, to stock George Carlin's new best seller, "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?," whose cover depicts its author at the Last Supper.) Yet the hysteria is being pumped up daily by Fox News, newspapers like The New York Post and The Washington Times, and Web sites like savemerrychristmas.org. Mr. O'Reilly and Jerry Falwell have gone so far as to name Michael Bloomberg an anti-Christmas conspirator because the mayor referred to the Christmas tree as a "holiday tree" in the lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center.
What is this about? How can those in this country's overwhelming religious majority maintain that they are victims in a fiery battle with forces of darkness? It is certainly not about actual victimization. Christmas is as pervasive as it has ever been in America, where it wasn't even declared a federal holiday until after the Civil War. What's really going on here is yet another example of a post-Election-Day winner-takes-all power grab by the "moral values" brigade. As Mr. Gibson shrewdly contrived his own crucifixion all the way to the bank, trumping up nonexistent threats to his movie to hype it, so the creation of imagined enemies and exaggerated threats to Christianity by "moral values" mongers of the right has its own secular purpose. The idea is to intimidate and marginalize anyone who objects to their efforts to impose the most conservative of Christian dogma on public policy. If you're against their views, you don't have a differing opinion — you're anti-Christian (even if you are a Christian).
Merry F-ing Christmas To You The alternate title for this post is "Memes, Media Webs, Operant Conditioning, and Anomie."
Right before Thanksgiving, a media myth was created alleging that school officials in California banned the Declaration of Independence. Let's look of the dynamics of the creation of this meme:
1. Inciting Incident: [Stephen] Williams is a fifth grade teacher in Silicon Valley and practicing Christian who fell foul of his school principal because he was overeager to emphasize the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers in his history classes. So far, so banal. He wasn’t suspended or fired. The principal at Stevens Creek Elementary School in Cupertino simply became a little alarmed when Williams distributed a handout entitled “What Great Leaders Have Said About The Bible,” which quoted a handful of Republican presidents (all pro!) alongside Jesus himself. She became more alarmed still when he asked his class to read a chunk of St. Luke’s Gospel to help them understand the meaning of Easter. So, at the end of the last school year, she asked him to submit his lesson plans to her in advance to make sure his classes didn’t violate the separation of church and state.
When Williams edited down the Declaration of Independence to include only its references to a higher being, or when he reproduced chunks of George Washington’s prayer journal to the exclusion of the Father of the Nation’s more obviously political reflections, the principal drew the line and told him to take the discussion in a different direction.
4. The mainstream media picks up the phony story (e.g., click here).
5. Millions of people are led to believe the false meme that "secularist" school officials in California banned the Declaration of Independence. In addition, millions are led to believe that an antidemocratic and sectarian group like the Alliance Defense Fund is fighting for the constitution and that conscientious school administrators are God-hating secularists. As a consequence, the school has been the recipient of hate emails and letters, as well as threats during the Christmas season. Great fucking holiday spirit.
ANALYSIS: Who are the winners in this flap? The Alliance Defense Fund, Drudge, Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News. Who are the losers? School officials who were doing the right thing. Americans who wanted the truth. There's a term to describe a situation in which bad behavior is rewarded and good behavior is punished: anomie.
When people do the wrong thing and not only don't pay a price but are rewarded, it encourages them to engage in further wrongdoing.
Eunuchs Versus The Dinos Jesus H. Christ, you’d think that Fox News would at least try to provide a credible appearance of balance. Today, Fox chose Zell Miller as their newest Fox News Democrat. Here’s the newest tally of Fox News Democrats:
1. The Eunuchs: Alan Colmes, Juan Williams, Lis Wiehl, and Susan Estrich
2. The Dinos (Democrats in Name Only): Pat Caddell, Tammy Bruce, and Miller
This farce is not only an insult to our intelligence, it’s a transparent insult to our intelligence.
Media Matters I don't mean this as fulsome praise but I think every Democrat and progressive in this country should thank God for Media Matters. Their simple approach is one that I have advocated on this site: 1)monitor the right's media apparatus; 2) keep a paper trail of their words; and 3)hold the right's media people accountable for their words.
I'm grateful to Media Matters because I know that Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly and others are being monitored and that I don't have to listen to them as much (a few months ago, I had to get an 8 to 5 office job to get the student loan people off my back so I'm not able to listen to morning talk radio).
In fact, this morning it was the first time in months that I listened to Bill O'Reilly's Radio Factor. I am to the point where, on aesthetic grounds, I can't listen to him for more than ten minutes without a break--that lame-o windbag creeps me out big time. Anyhow, today he was bashing the Washington State Supreme Court for ruling that it's illegal for parents in that state to electonically eavesdrop on their children's conversations. I don't think O'Reilly's position was unreasonable but his rationale for it was. O'Reilly said the decision by the court wasn't some kind of nefarious plot and then he introduced a nefarious plot to describe the court's reasoning. O'Reilly rehashed the shopworn urban legend, the Communist Rules for Revolution in order to describe people who want to take power from parents regarding how they raise their children. Unfortunately, I didn't record it but I believe this is an accurate summation.
Right now, Media Matters is holding an end of the year fund drive. If you have a little spare cash, send it to them. If you're a bit short on cash, there's another way you can help. Send an email to your favorite member of the MSM (mainstream media) telling him/her to read Media Matters on a regular basis. If you're too lazy to look anyone up, send the email to Howard Kurtz at email@example.com
Laura Looking For Love Click here. Interesting point: in the profle, Ingraham is listed as 37; Ann Coulter isn't the only right-wing fem-bot who lies about her age.
Thanks to Damon for the link.
UPDATE: Let me elaborate on the lying about the age thing. Ingraham was one of the founding members of the Dartmouth Review where as editor, she sent "reporters" to infiltrate a campus gay group where they recorded meetings of the group and sent the tapes to the parents of the members. Ingraham graduated Dartmouth in 1985--which would make her 41 or 42 (unless she skipped grades).
Who's Your Daddy?
I'm your daddy! Why? Because the Scoobster partied with Jack Nicholson--or at least I partied in the same room as Jack Nicholson. Yours truly crashed the Spanglish premiere after-party last night. !t was totally dope! It was a good thing I dressed up because it was kind of formal for LA. It was held in a huge tent at Sony studios in Culver City.
Jack was a guest of director James L. Brooks. I realized it was Nicholson only when I walked past him. No, I didn't say anything to him--that would have been bad form. I also saw the stars of the film: Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni. I was disappointed because supporting actress Cloris Leachman's reserved table was empty for the night; hey, a lot of people can say they partied with Jack but it would be a real feather in your cap to be able to say that you partied with Cloris Leachman.
Wolfgang Puck catered the event and they had a ravioli bar. Yummy! I drank three martinis (which is one too many for me). Hans Zimmer and some other musicians played some classical music for a while.
This Happened Tonight I went to Golden Apple Comics tonight and purchased Harry Johnson #1 (I met the people behind it at the SD Comic-Con; they signed posters). I literally had one foot out of the door and a zombie-woman from a Moonie front group (Chicks for World Peace--or something like that) asked me for a donation. It was a typical lame Moonie approach (a person with a clipboard and laminated 8.5 X 11 sheets touting world peace). Apparently, it's not too lame because millions of American dollars go into zombie hands each year. Everyone is on drugs.
Exclusive: Ray Bradbury on Michael Moore Yesterday, Ray Bradbury had a discussion and signing at the Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. I found Bradbury's discussion of the creative writing process eye-opening. One excerpt:
My characters write themselves, just as in the case of Moby Dick. It was written by Ahab. Melville got out of bed one day and there was a rap on the door and he opened it and there was Ahab with a bloody harpoon. He says, "Ahab, what's the problem?" [Ahab] said, "That damned whale!" and Melville said, "Go get him!" and Ahab went to get him and the book was written--and it destroyed Melville's life, of course. It was his finest work but nobody wanted it, so it's very sad, very sad. So back about fifty-five years ago, I heard a rap on the door and I opened the door and Montag was standing there. And I said, "Montag, what's your problem?" He said, "I'm burning books." And I said, "You don't want to do that anymore?" He said, "No." I said, "Well, go unburn them!" and nine days later, the novel [Fahrenheit 451] was finished. Montag wrote the novel.
Bradbury also discussed his struggling days as a writer. I got a lot out of it.
Bradbury agreed with my position on higher education: "The real reason for going to City College was women. [laughter] I longed to impregnate dozens of them." Note: Bradbury, unlike me, realized it was the wrong reason and didn't go to college.
I had the opportunity to ask a question. I asked him what were his favorite and least favorite adaptations of his work. He must have only heard "least favorite" because he only mentioned his least favorite adaptation which was The Illustrated Man which he described as "a terrible film" (I agree; Roger Ebert does a good job of describing the film).
Here's the thing: tomorrow morning, Michael Moore is going to wake up trapped in the body of Michael Moore...
Tomorrow, I'm going to wake up trapped in the body of Ray Bradbury. There's a big difference.
[audience laughter and applause]
One final note: I made out like a bandit at the signing. I got my copy of Fahrenheit 451 signed. In addition, after the discussion, I asked the B & N manager if I could have the window banner publicizing the event. He let me have it. It's a 3' by 6' vinyl banner with Bradbury's picture and the date and time of the signing. I had Bradbury sign it also. In the margins of the banner were drawings of great writers. Next to Bradbury's picture was Shakespeare. Bradbury drew arrows pointing to his and Shakespeare's pictures and wrote, "Bill & Ray" and below it his signature. Totally phat.
Exclusive: Was NewsMax's "Hollywood Hero" Patricia Heaton Responsible for the Removal of Billboards in Los Angeles? I'm Reporting; You Decide I was reading the teaser for the article in the Scaife-funded rag NewsMax (published by Christopher Ruddy) on Hollywood's heroes (in the opinion of NewsMax, one is a Hollywood hero if one is in the entertainment industry but supported Bush in the election). It mentioned Patricia Heaton as "a crusader for family values"; I never heard of her so I looked her up on IMDb and found that she plays the mother on TV's Everybody Loves Raymond.
That jogged something from my memory from last month's LA Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention which I attended. Appearing at the convention were Matthew Silverstein and Dave Jeser, the writers/creators of the naughty comedy Central "cartoon reality show" Drawn Together (which I recommended last month). Before I go on about Heaton, let me tell you about the series and the convention. Drawn Together takes comic book and animation characters from different genres and put them together in a Big Brother-style home. It's raw but funny as shit.
Anyhow, the creators spoke about how they had to deal with the network censors (Standards and Practices) about some of the dialogue. In fact, they had a contest in which people from the audience guessed whether certain lines of dialogue were censored or not. I won a phat DT poster (which I later had them sign) because I correctly guessed that Standards and Practices censored the following dialogue from the Captain Hero character: "I'd nail any one of these broads like the Son of God to the cross!"
Here's the juicy part. During their talk, the creators said that they were forced to take down their Drawn Together billboards from the LA area (Note: I saw the billboards which featured the characters outside and showed the charcters Foxxy Love and Princess Clara making out in the pool--it was similar to the graphic on the web page). They said they were removed because of the complaints of a TV mom whose name they refused to reveal. However, after they mentioned this, someone from the audience shouted, "Was it Everybody Loves Raymond?" That got me to think: if there would be any TV mom out there who would censor a billboard with some cartoon girl/girl action, it would have to be someone who was honored by NewsMax. I'm going out on a limb and say that Heaton was the complainer. I'll retract this if I'm wrong. Who else could it be?
For fans of Drawn Together, some muy excellente news: Drawn Together was renewed for next season.
Wing-Nut Nexus or Coincidence? I just noticed this: Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily and Roy Masters, a prominent right-wing nut-job/cult leader/head of the Talk Radio Network are based in Grants Pass, Oregon, a small city of only 24,790 people. It would surprise me if two prominent right-wing loons are based in the same small city and aren't coordinating things. If you have any info, email me.
You Can't Make This Shit Up When I read Eric Muller's report (via Atrios) on Michelle Malkin/Maglalang, my first thought was that Maglalang isn't a bad last name (I once knew a woman whose surname was Underdonk) and Malkin isn't that great of a last name. Why bother?
A while later, I was lurking on Dr. Laura's web site (hey, someone's gotta do it), when I saw that Malkin/Maglalang is a pin-up girl for--no, I'm not making it up--The 2005 Great American Conservative Women Calendar, which includes Condi, Ann Coulter, and--stop the presses--Phyllis Schlafly. I'm sure this is on the Christmas list of every Freeper looking for stroking material. I'm assuming (and praying) that the models are clothed (I know that Malkin/Maglalang is; she previously assured her readers of her primness--which was a big relief to me).
A Promise During the campaign, I and other bloggers did the most we could to expose the lies of John O'Neill and his compadres. I'm afraid to report that it wasn't enough. The right's mendacious media apparatus was able to give unwarrented credibility to O'Neill and his transparent lies. Just one example: Brit Hume said that O'Neill's charges were "credible." (this was the same person who said that Richard Clarke was "not credible").
I have decided to turn things up a notch--Correction: I will turn things up a few notches. Some of what I am planning won't be listed on this site but I have plans for some interesting media projects. I will work over the weekend and have at least one or two long posts. Stay tuned.