Monday, January 28, 2008

Congratulations! You ARE a Wiener

Not much happens here at my shitty little blog, so I thought that reaching the 1,000th visitor milestone my second month into this whole thing was really something worth celebrating.

I've trained Sitemeter to ignore my own IP address, though it still records the times that I check in from work. The visitor and pageview counts are skewed because of that, but I try to minimize the frequency and duration of my visits from the workplace. So, they're skewed just a little bit.

I really like seeing who's visited - there've been folks from England, France, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as all across the U.S. Someone associated with the U.S. federal court system in New York has come by several times, along with people from several prestigious universities.

How exciting!

I also get regular traffic from my signature link and an occasional blog-whoring comment at Sadly, No!, and last month I got a boatload of visitors courtesy of the irrepressible Jon Swift, who featured one of my posts in his fine retrospective, "Best Blog Posts of 2007 (Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves)."

Anywhoozle, I started poking around to see who the lucky #1,000 was, and to my surprise it appeared to be somebody who's made quite a regular habit out of visiting chez moi.
Now, I've obscured the actual IP address of my frequent flyer because I'm not a dickhead (unlike somebody who shall remain nameless). I think the whole IP-outing thing is kind of creepy, though it's generally only used as an empty threat by limp-dicked chickenshits who couldn't manage to hoist their fat asses up from their overstuffed chairs in the first place.

I've also semi-obscured the referring link, which gives me the best clue to my obsessive/compulsive visitor's identity. But like the guy caught handcuffed to the bed in a cheap motel wearing just his knee-high executive stockings and an expectant look, he knows who he is.

The funniest part of all this is that Mr. 1,000 quite gleefully taunted me for being, in his view, unable to stay away from a comment thread at his own pathetic little blog.

Ah, wingnuts - they're so fucking predictable. You could pick any wingnut's blog at random, then use its author and contents in a case study to illustrate distorted thinking and the use of maladaptive defense mechanisms.

In this case, we're talking projection.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No Immunity for Tel-Comms

Stop the Spying!

The debate is happening right now. Click the link. Take action.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fuck Saint Ronnie

This photo shows Ronald Reagan performing the last job that he was actually qualified for - feeding a chimpanzee from a bottle.

Meanwhile, as the controversy surrounding Barack Obama's comments about the worst president ever until our current one sort of dies down, here's something that the esteemed Doghouse Riley recently said about the man from Dixon:
You think there's ugly partisanship afoot today? Too bad you're too young to have taken a seat in People's Park, Berkeley, in 1969, so you could have experienced Ronald Reagan changing the trajectory of American politics one load of buckshot at a time, and reported back on how much you enjoyed that fundamentally different path of his while his goons were chasing you down it firing into your back.

That 'States' Rights' kickoff and the worst civil rights record of any post-war administration. The worst labor record. The worst jobs-creation record to that time, since topped by his successor and his successor's idiot Reagan impersonator son. The beginning of the tax-cutting scams which have enriched the top 1% and eroded the middle class. The worst environmental record. A record of adventurism in Central America which any decent person should view with disgust. The escalation of an already failed War on Drugs to include the use of military personnel in domestic law enforcement functions. Insane spending on big-ticket military toys purely as a domestic politics ruse, long after we realized the Soviets were broke. The introduction of Bombing the Shit Out of Countries With No Air Force As A Means Of Reviving That Ol' Martial Spirit. Iran-Contra, the S&L swindle, reduction of the number of federal food inspectors, assaults on clean air and water standards, the elimination of the Fairness and Equal Time doctrines, the kickoff of America's highly-successful "Industry Mouthpiece to Regulatory Commission Chairman" Retraining Program, and its time-saving "Why Write Laws When Lobbyists Already Have a Template Ready?" reforms. Roger Ailes. James Watt. Robert Fucking Bork. With apologies to Robin Harris, you don't stop typing Reagan atrocities because you run out of them. You stop typing because your arms give out.

There's plenty more here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hot Chick Classical Music Link

I love music - all kinds of music, pretty much. Except maybe contemporary country and top-40 bullshit, both of which are over-produced and banal.

Having said that, I've been listening to Kathy Mattea's more recent stuff ("Right Out of Nowhere"), and I'm really looking forward to the release of her newest album, "Coal."

But mostly I've been listening to classical, with an emphasis on small ensembles and chamber music. I've also been taking advantage of concert opportunities, and had the chance not long ago to see and hear these three smokin' babes - the Bruskin twins (Emily and Julia) and Donna Kwong, known together as the Claremont Trio.

I was so impressed that I've added them to my link list, "Non-political Things I Like."

These drop-dead gorgeous and talented young ladies formed the trio in 1999 while attending Julliard, and have performed before enthusiastic audiences across the country and around the world.

They have a couple of CD's for sale at their website, and you can download their recent performances of the Beethoven "Ghost" and "Archduke" piano trios at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's website for freaking free!!!1!

The Claremont will also be performing again at the Gardner this coming March, so get your late winter fix of hot chick classical music. Resistance is futile.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Have Here a List on My Blog...

Actually, I have four.

And since I never really explained my reasoning for any of these lists, here's a quick rundown:

Fighting teh Good Fight highlights the sites that inspired me to start my own infrequently-visited blog right here. These are the folks who've been taking on wingnut bullshit far more effectively, and more consistently over a longer haul, than me. They're awesome.

G-List Wingnuts is self-explanatory. These are the low-level miscreants who dream of someday cashing in on the kind of wingnut welfare bucks pulled in by the A-listers. Their ideas range from the truly loathsome to simply ridiculous, and their overall tone is remarkably like that of Crazy Louie, the poor gin-soaked fellow down the street who divides his time between yelling at pigeons and pissing on himself. I'll never give Crazy Louie a penny, but several of us in the neighborhood have an agreement to make sure that he gets something to eat every day.

Surprising Myself Sometimes when I follow a link from a comment at one of the g-listers, I end up at a site that doesn't quite meet the criteria for full-blown wingnut status. It's not because I agree with them (I generally don't), but rather because the authors don't appear to fit the bill as mindless authoritarian followers.

Non-political Stuff I Like features sites that explore a variety of topics having nothing to do with wingnuttery.

I'll shine the spotlight on a not-so-randomly selected inhabitant of one of these lists in my next post.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Barrel Sold Separately

I tell ya, if ya wanna make fun of wingnuts and their crazy-ass scribblings, you'll never be at a loss for raw material. Never.

There's really no trick to it, either - just wade on in, aim anywhere, and fire away. Hell, don't even aim. It's food on the table, folks. Manna from heaven.

Back when the web was just a motley collection of sparsely designed lists and buggy versions of Netscape, I was fond of visiting a site that paved the way for every snarky blog that exists today - Suck.

Suck's motto said it all - "A fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun." No topic or person was safe from their scrutiny, and they proved that mockery isn't rocket science when the subjects make it so easy. Their timing was perfect for me, because Suck kicked in right about when Spy magazine went belly-up for good.

I've always needed a steady supply. It's not safe to quit snark cold turkey.

Anyway, what was my point about wingnuts and ridicule? Hmm. Oh, yeah - no matter whether it's the infinite supply of noxious ideas wingnuts promote, or the grammatically jumbled and deceitful ways they express them, it almost seems to me like they're asking for it.

Recently, in what I can only describe as the final and definitive occasion where I got seriously and thoroughly pwned by Tennessee Jed, there appeared a wingnut in the brief comment thread who actually did come right out and ask for it...

A quick click showed that the Jimbo in question cuts lawns for a living, says he was born as a rabbit, likes to read books, and even hopes to become a "writer of Science Fiction and Fantasy."

Welp, Jimbo, it's like Emily Dickinson said:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all...

So, sure, absolutely, hold on tight to your dreams. Otherwise, why even go on living?

I took a look around Jimbo's little exercise in glibertarian imagination, where his every utterance is unrestricted by reality, and found he's kind of like a poor man's James Lileks, just without the funny forehead (though the Red Sox cap tugged down snugly to his eyebrows in the squinty-faced portrait at Jimbo's site does have me wondering).

This little nugget of Jimbo's from last month caught my attention, particularly his conclusion:
During and after snowstorms you see a sampling of humanity, many unwilling to lift a hand in their own care and safety. Because it's not their job. Disgusting.

Some of them complain that they won't be able to get the mail after a storm so they can get their check from the government. Yes, they actually say that, quite loud for all that are willing to listen. Whatever happened to shame?. You'd think they'd shovel out just for that check. Nope. You'd be wrong.

I understand that it isn't their job and that some other guy, who might or might not be honest and hardworking, is supposed to be doing it. But in that man's absence why can't they be bothered to see to their own needs? Better men than me have tried to figure that out. If there's any consolation here, it's that should there ever be a real catastrophe, these lazy sheep will stay shut up in their homes and out of the way and not be competing for valuable food and supplies. And the others, the ones that come out and take care of themsleves, will find out that just like after a storm, the ones out there doing something for themselves will be there to help dig out, get people to safety, get food and help. The ethic of reciprocity. And because they value life and work and self-reliance, they will probably even help the ones too lazy to help themselves. Just remember, it's not their job.

And here I thought Ronald Reagan's story about welfare queens was just...a story. I'm glad I have Jimbo to set me straight.

I also look forward to hearing what Jimbo has to say about "strapping young bucks." I'm sure he's got some opinion, having no doubt encountered several as they bought T-bone steaks and tried voting under other people's names.

Speaking of Ronald Reagan, who, until the Cheney administration came along, held a special spot in my heart as the worst fucking president ever, Jimbo's list of favorite readings includes Arthur's Hall of Viking Manliness. Such a spot deserves it's own special post, though, and I really should get started.

But, as Jimbo himself is quick to point out - just for some good laughs.

Of course. Heh. Indeed.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blogger's Block

I've been visiting and posting at some of the usual G-list wingnut sites, and have even discovered some new ones. There's plenty of G-list wingnut bullshit out there, but I just haven't been able to get it together to write up anything these past several days.

I will soon, I swear.

graphic from Eddie Campbell at Powell's Books

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hot Chick Classical Music New Year

A young Jacqueline du Pre plays Granados Intermezzo from 'Goyescas', transcribed by Cassadó. This clip was taken from the documentary Legendary British Performers.

Because it's important to remember that there's good and beauty in the world, despite the stupid wingnut fucktards.

Happy 2008.