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  Blog Noir. An interplay of cultural references, snark, the occasional smutty joke, Dadaism, Mamaism, and a genuine outrage at the horrors of The Situation.

--to paraphrase Freddy el Desfibradddoro
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Republican Lite vs. the Republican heavies

First Mike Gravel, then Dennis Kucinich and now John Edwards. Hummph! Appears to me that we've eliminated the Democrats from the process. Well, except in name only.
It has been proven that power is both corrupting and addictive. And I believe that, historically, the people earnestly trying to build Utopian societies usually came to be known as brutal oppressors. So, I don't know if it's scarier to have a new business-as-usual corporatist stooge for president, or if it would be scarier to have a bright competent president who is eager to use all those new Unitary Powers to fix everything.

Come on everybody - sing along!

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (from Monty Python)

words and music by Eric Idle

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle - that's the thing.

And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin - give the audience a grin
Enjoy it - it's your last chance anyhow.

So always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

And always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the right side of life...
(Come on guys, cheer up!)
Always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the bright side of life...
(Worse things happen at sea, you know.)
Always look on the bright side of life...
(I mean - what have you got to lose?)
(You know, you come from nothing - you're going back to nothing.
What have you lost? Nothing!)
Always look on the right side of life...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008
when laughing is sadder than crying

in that pit of Poe's invention
or more accurately
hunched over and aching
in a typing chamber
or even more accurately
at a computer

like a flower
cut and neglected
parched lips part
to plead for redemption
or inspiration.

curse this fake sun!
it banishes clouds from the sky
but bestows false hope

artfully sovereign

it does not
beat back the cold of winter
it will not
black figurative clouds of dismay.

not a zombie bite
or all expenses paid
trip to Waveland
nor even ice cream
could raise these spirits.

impostor sun
plays across the dust
on the looking glass
an effect like rain drops
streaking the lens

or the saddest tears ever cried

the Kleinsche Fläche windows
jump out of themselves
desperate for a release
they will never know

halfassed martyrs.


there is only a sorrowful tapping
and mournful clacking
of clumsy thick fingers
on a lonely keyboard

a patriot with no country
by this icy dimple
on a vast flat Earth
and its taunting

Smile, it's Tuesday!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008
Something's Different

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Celebrate National Pie Day

Dear Spot,

Wow, I just found out that this was National Pie Day! mistah charley, ph.d. told me so in that comment right over there. He said we're supposed to "Practice Random Acts of Pieness" by sharing pie today, and he mentioned that I could aspire to something like sainthood by sharing pie. Well, Spot, I say we can Celebrate National Pie Day on January 23 and every other day of the year. I not so sure about this saint business, but why shouldn't I give it a shot, Spot?

Let's make every day a Celebrate National Pie Day day with Random Acts of Pieness.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

If elected, Constitutional Amendment Pie will fix the Constitution so that it will more clearly reflect True American Values. Then that ol' Constitution will be the bestest, most constitutiony constitution a constitution could be!

How will Constitutional Amendment Pie fix that ol' constitution? Let's see here... hmm... ok, here it is:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress ...
Ok... so... uhh... Constitutional Amendment Pie will "try."

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Political contrasts: 1907 versus 2007

by Cappy Rudyard

Ah was reading the good R. Ailes’s description of the possible third party candidate Mayor Bloomberg:
Yes, what this country needs in a time of recession is the leadership of an equity trader and head of a financial services software company, one who spent close to $75 million of his own money to become a friggin' mayor. Only Rich Uncle Pennybags can save us now. Perhaps he can sell us to the Tata Group.

Bloomberg is said to be worth some 20 billion dollars, and it put me in mind of the third party candidate a century ago. . .
Eugene Debs, the Socialist candidate, won 2.8 percent of the popular vote. Debs was a fireman turned union organizer and was one of the founders of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Then I thought of a couple of other sharp contrasts:

Who won the Michigan Republican primary?
Mitt Romney headed the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee, but is worth 200 million dollars because he founded a private equity investment firm that specialized in leveraged buyouts.

William Howard Taft served as the Solicitor General of the United States, a federal judge, Governor-General of the Philippines, and Secretary of War before being nominated for President. He is remembered as a “a pioneer in international arbitration and staunch advocate of world peace.”

Who governs California?
Arnold Schwarzenegger, steroid-fueled bodybuilder and action movie actor, who is worth over some 800 million dollars.

George Pardee, native Californian medical doctor and Mayor of Oakland. Promoted conservation and education, successfully rebuilt San Francisco after the earthquake and bucked the influence of the Southern Pacific Railroad on state politics.

I'm just an old sea salt, but it doesn't seem like things have gotten better in politics over the last century!

As power shifts from government to corporate hands, elections will increasingly become the domain of the vain rich and celebrities. Save us all, we're being sucked into Waveland.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Pray this January 16, 2008 - Or Else!

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 14, 2008

Religious Freedom Day, 2008
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Thomas Jefferson counted the freedom of worship as one of America's greatest blessings. He said it was "a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government, and yet proved by our experience to be its best support." On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

The freedom to worship according to one's conscience is one of our Nation's most cherished values. It is the first protection offered in the Bill of Rights: that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In America, people of different faiths can live together united in peace, tolerance, and humility. We are committed to the proposition that as equal citizens of the United States of America, all are free to worship as they choose.

In an era during which an unprecedented number of nations have embraced individual freedom, we have also witnessed the stubborn endurance of religious repression. Religious freedom belongs not to any one nation, but to the world, and my Administration continues to support freedom of worship at home and abroad. On Religious Freedom Day and throughout the year, we recognize the importance of religious freedom and the vital role it plays in spreading liberty and ensuring human dignity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2008, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the great blessing of religious liberty, endeavor to preserve this freedom for future generations, and commemorate this day with appropriate events and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.


Poor Tom. You'd think by now he would have gotten used to supporting God's Law. But this is a new millenium, the opposite-millenium, where everything is upside-down, backwards and contrary.
"On Religious Freedom Day and throughout the year, we recognize the importance of religious freedom and the vital role it plays in spreading liberty and ensuring human dignity."

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Sunday, January 13, 2008
Bush: “Strike While the Iran is Hot!”
[Jan 13, 2008] US President George W Bush has warned of the dangers he says are posed by Iran, in a speech in its Gulf neighbour, the United Arab Emirates. . .Mr Bush said Iran threatened the security of all nations and should be confronted "before it's too late".

Because, of course, Iran attacked us on 9/11! Oh, wait, that was Iran, wasn't it?

The Emirates' ruling families formerly maintained close relationships with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, whose hunting camps in Afghanistan they frequented; two of the 20 hijackers in the 9/11 plot were UAE nationals who used safe houses and banks in Dubai; and the A.Q. Khan nuclear smuggling network also used facilities there to mask its operations.

Well, the President is aware of those connections and chose to downplay them. He is aware that the UAE is not yet a fully open and democratic society. But they are making progress and so he wants to encourage them!

Bush's UAE speech:
Beginning with the revered father of this country -- Sheikh Zayed -- you have succeeded in building a prosperous society out of the desert. . . You have encouraged women to contribute to the development of your nation -- and they have occupied some of your highest ministerial posts.

“Dubai. . . is the "Bangkok of the Middle East," populated with thousands of Russian, Armenian, Indian, and Iranian prostitutes controlled by various transnational gangs and mafias.”

There! They are certainly contributing to the development of the nation!

UAE does not have democratically elected institutions (citizens do not have the right to change their government) or political parties; free assembly and association are restricted; and the rights of workers are limited.

Oh, dear. Perhaps, in their culture, it is polite for guests to act like they are ignoramuses. Yeah, that’s the ticket. He's just being culturally sensitive.

Bush's UAE speech:
And finally, [Iran] defies the United Nations and destabilizes the region by refusing to be open and transparent about its nuclear programs and ambitions. Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere. So the United States is strengthening our longstanding security commitments with our friends in the Gulf -- and rallying friends around the world to confront this danger before it is too late.

Well, sensitive to some cultures, and belligerent to others. At least you can’t say Mr. Bush is not being transparent about his ambitions, can you? The president is sincere about building a consensus! This time! He certainly wouldn't approve of the false-flag type operation that rogue elements in the Navy tried when they falsely claimed Iranian boats were verbally threatening US ships. He wouldn't start a war under false pretenses! This time!
Earlier on Sunday, during a visit to Bahrain, President Bush met some of the sailors whose ships the US says were confronted by Iranian speedboats last weekend.

Oops. Well, it must simply be a bad reaction to all that hummus.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008
We don't need no stinking election rules - man!

FEC enters election season without quorum

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- As the U.S. 2008 primaries begin, the Federal Election Commission has effectively shut down, without enough members for a quorum.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008
Informal Straw Poll taken behind Smith's Fine Wines & Spirits

thepuppethead was in a celebratory mood, so at the wee crack of dawn this morning he (and Spot) decided to schlep down to Smith's Fine Wines & Spirits in search of happiness and a bottle of scotch. But when we got there the store hadn't opened for business yet, so instead of standing out front (which would be a grievous mistake if mrs. thepuppethead happened to drive by on her way to work), we slipped around back to wait and, possibly, search for treasure. You never know what you might find behind a liquor store. No really, you seriously never know.

In any case, instead of treasure, thepuppethead (and Spot) only found Big Bob Binion, CPA, and Smitty the Bindlestiff, who were apparently also waiting to buy booze. Here is a brief re-enactment of this encounter.

Big Bob Binion: "Howdy PH."

Me: "Hey BB."

Smitty: "Hi P-Head."

Spot: Growls at Smitty.

Me: "Don't call me pee head, buster... or we are going to scrap!"

Big Bob Binion: "Don't mind him PH."

Me: Squints at Smitty.

Smitty: "I like sausage."

Spot: Gets distracted by a pile of leaves and wanders off.

Me: "What did you fellas think about Barack whooping up on Hillary in Iowa?"

Big Bob Binion: "I was surprised. I thought Hillary had it sewn up. Guess Barack had her number."

Smitty: "B-AFLAC!!!" (Sounding just like the AFLAC duck)

Me: "B-ARACK. Barack OBAMA, you poltroon."

Smitty: "Mutual of O-BAMA'S WILD Kingdom!"

Big Bob Binion: "I bet that Hillary was pretty steamed."

Me: "Probably. And that Huckabee! He cleaned Romney's clock!"

Smitty: "Huck-L-bee-RY HOUND!"

Me: "Shut up, Smitty. Do you want a poke in the nose?"

Big Bob Binion: "Don't pay him no mind, PH."

Me: "So who do you like, BB?"

Big Bob Binion: 'I'm for Fred. The rest of them is all Liberal, or crazy."

Smitty: "... reminds me. What's the difference between Hillary and ol' Joe Lieberman?"

Me: "A conscience?"

Smitty: "A uterus!"

Me: "Dangit Smitty! That's not funny!"

Big Bob Binion's cell phone rings, and he walks around the corner to answer it.

Smitty (sotto voce): "Psst. Hey PH."

Me: "Hm?"

Smitty: "That Obama is the real deal. Haven't seen anyone like him since Bobby Kennedy. I remember listening to Bobby on Armed Forces Radio when I was in Vietnam (courtesy of LBJ, may he rot in hell) and thinking to myself -- This guy is going to shake stuff up. But then the bastards shot him, and the country kept on sliding down the greasy path of least resistance towards oblivion. But that Obama -- guy like that doesn't come around very often. He could shake it up. Really could."

Me: "Damn, Smitty! Where'd that come from?"

Smitty: "Crap PH, you know how Big Bob Binion is... I have to act the fool around him. If he knew I was smarter than he is it'd break his poor heart, and he's my best friend - couldn't do that to him. Plus, he's my best customer."

Me: "...."

Me: (Looking at the store's sign) "Smitty.... Smith's... holy crap Smitty, you own this store?"

Smitty: "Sure. But don't tell Big Bob Binion, PH. If he knew that I make more money than he does he'd be mortified, and probably die of a heart attack or something. Poor fella."

Me: "Mum's the word, Smitty. Mum's the word."

Smitty: "Mark my words, PH. That Obama is the guy to watch."

Me: "Well, I'll be watching."

Big Bob Binion walks back around the corner.

Big Bob Binion: "She's open!"

Me: "Talisker here I come!"

Smitty: "I smell hair."

The End

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Friday, January 04, 2008
Thepuppethead's Nightmare

Thursday, January 03, 2008
Not a Post

[This non-post is posted at the peril of people not reading the prior post. But please! Don't skip it!!!!!]

Yes. The Awards Committee has been shirking the Comment of the Week of late. But that doesn't mean they haven't been doing anything. While it is late to be posting about this here, I should really let you all know, a couple of weeks ago, renowned "reasonable conservative" Jon Swift approached the Awards Committee to select IMFB,S!'s best post of the year, for some project he was working on at the time.

Well, The Awards Committee obliged, and true to form, (the same form that made his prose so indomitable in the Comments of the Week Awards,) it was MarkC, who after minutes of deliberation came out on top, for Reverend Cavendish's finest sermon, (so far,) Right Makes Might. Well done, MarkC!

Mr. Swift has since posted that project here: Best Blog Posts of 2007 (Chosen by the Bloggers Themselves) and there is a lot of great stuff there to go through.

Also, as a result of IMFB,S!'s inclusion in that post, we are now fortunate enough to welcome SteveAudio and Vidiot Speak to the blogrolls, and to say "thanks" for being so kind. [Vidiot Speak: Fafblog Spotting]



Foreign Policy

POINT: Killin' innocent people is wrong! It's a shame that our system a massive military budgets an' profiteerin' doesn't favor the helpin' a folks who needs help instead. We need a leader who'll change things around an' give everybody hope. An' healthcare. An' unicorns. ---Falkor

COUNTERPOINT: There are no innocents! People who don't want to die shouldn't live in war zones. The freedom to drive 10,000 lb. grocery-getters isn't free! We need a strong, fatherly leader who isn't afraid to get a little blood on his hands to preserve Our way of life. ---Gizzard

COUNTER-COUNTERPOINT: Killing people is not unlike the proverbial skinning of cats. There are many ways to do it. If wars with bombs and guns and the flexing of lots of manly muscles, and dead heroes, do not suit your taste, then there are also oppressive sanction regimes with food programs so corrupt that starving people are actually the least of their concerns. We are the strong. They are the weak. The strong will live, and many hundreds of thousands of the weak will not make it through the next presidential term. We must not lose sight of what is truly most important: that the policy behind these killing instruments cannot, and must not change. We must each chose the leader that makes us feel best when they talk about how their actions and decisions will kill thousands of people (without actually coming out and saying they're going to kill thousands of people.) ---Chaplain Montag of the First Knights of the 19 Quart Lobster Pot

Democracy Now!: Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked U.S. Officials Advising Democratic, GOP Presidential Frontrunners
News and Comment: The US Election is Already Over. Murder and Preventable Death Have Won.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008
I Likert - but is it Kitsch?

Well, according to [The Nexus Institute: KITSCH AND THE CRISIS OF THE WEST (pdf!), Rob Riemen said,
"... you will understand that if I talk about kitsch, I’m not talking about bad taste or bad art because if kitsch would be bad taste and bad art, it would not be interesting. Kitsch is much more than this. Kitsch is a form of aesthetics but it relates to ethics, it relates to values as well. And the key thing is that it has the pretension to be real. And so it makes us believe: yes, this is truly beautiful, or this is absolutely important, and this is very valuable, and so on and so forth. But it is kitsch, that is to say, it’s fake, it’s not real or if it was, it’s a lie."

With that in mind please rate the above on the Likert scale of -3.14159 (don't know what that is!) to +3.14159 (definitely Kitsch!).


And Everything Old is New Again version



Gorilla’s Guides
December 30, 2007

This was first published by T.E. Lawrence (”Lawrence of Arabia” ) in the Army Journal and Defence Quarterly, October 1920.

... It seemed that rebellion must have an unassailable base, something guarded not merely from attack, but from the fear of it: such a base as we had in the Red Sea Parts, the desert, or in the minds of the men we converted to our creed.
It must have a sophisticated alien enemy, in the form of a disciplined army of occupation too small to fulfil the doctrine of acreage: too few to adjust number to space, in order to dominate the whole area effectively from fortified posts. It must have a friendly population, not actively friendly, but sympathetic to the point of not betraying rebel movements to the enemy. Rebellions can be made by 2 per cent. active in a striking force, and 98 per cent. passively sympathetic. The few active rebels must have the qualities of speed and endurance, ubiquity and independence of arteries of supply. They must have the technical equipment to destroy or paralyse the enemy’s organized communications, for irregular war is fairly Willisen’s definition of strategy, “the study of communication” in its extreme degree, of attack where the enemy is not. In fifty words: Granted mobility, security (in the form of denying targets to the enemy), time, and doctrine (the idea to convert every subject to friendliness), victory will rest with the insurgents, for the algebraical factors are in the end decisive, and against them perfections of means and spirit struggle quite in vain.

Some Rights Reserved. Guess which ones!

Missing Fafblog picture of the week

Halcylon days.


"What did your mother and I tell you about watching the commercials?"

"That if they need commercials to sell it, it isn't worth buying."

"That's right kids, they're either selling you a price that's too high, or a need that isn't necessary, or a superiority that is superfluous."

---Montag Alawicious Beeblebrox I



Links to Actual Fafblogs

Sorta Fafblogian Link Types
Anonymous Lawyer
Armageddon Cocktail Hour
Baby Toupees
Bateman, Scott
Billionaires For Bush
Blue Gal
Chalk, Mr.
Chase Me Ladies, I'm in the Calvary!
Chicken Suits
CompareNContrast Wars
Cool Hunter
Crooks and Liars
Culture Ghost, The
Dateline Hollywood
Defeatists, The
Doodle Bean
Guys From Area 51
Happy Sock Fun Time (thepuppethead)
Harris, Bob (includes occasional pudus!)
Improv Everywhere
Jesus' General!
Lark News
Laughing Squid
Le Pétomane
Liberal Fascism
Little Green Fascists
Maximumize Positive Chaos
Mental Floss Magazine
Mouse and Rat Breeds
Noah Kalina Every Day
Onion, The
Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying
Perrin, Dennis
Roger Ailes' Fox-TV Blog
Sadly, No!
Shakespeare, Neil
Obsidian Wings
Stump Lane (Montag)
Swift, Jon
Swift Report, The
Tristam Shandy
Who Is IOZ
Zaius Nation
Ze Frank

Argue With Everyone
Casa de Los Gatos
Fret Free Fridays
Grow a Brain
Hellbound in Denver
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Blogosphere
Matilda's Advice and Rants
Miss Cellania
The Republic of Dogs
Doug Richardson
Trick of the Light
Vidiot Speak

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Part One: Maths
Part Two: Water
Part Three: Germs
Part Four: Ghosts
Part Five: Sulphur
Part Six: Music
Part Seven: Iron
Part Eight: Brain

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Aranjuez Quartet - Classical Guitarists
How to Talk Like a Pirate
Matrix Ping Pong
OK Go!
Soldier Head Twist
The Supersonic Future


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Missing Fafblog! can be like the solitary life of the Sumatran rhinoceros. I Miss Fafblog, Spot!? A saltlick around which to congregate.
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This is a homage blog to the apparently moribund Fafblog. Any copyright violations are pretty much unintentional and are the fault of that dastardly Doodle Bean!

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